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This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/news/steven-wilson-nowhere-now-video/
What to Expect from STEVEN WILSON's "To the Bone" Album

Steven Wilson has launched a video for the song “Nowhere Now” taken from his recently released, fifth studio album To the Bone. Watch it below.

The video, directed by long-time collaborator Lasse Hoile, was shot on location at the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile. The song was described as a “gloriously soaring paean to the joys of everyday escapism.

Along with the release of the new video, Wilson has also announced that he will play a third show at the Royal Albert Hall in London on March 29th next year. About this third concert, Steven commented:

I know that some fans may consider attending all 3 nights, and to those people I say that while each night will have a fair amount of overlap in the repertoire, I will aim for there to be at least something special and unique on each night, though I’m not quite sure what that will be yet!

Tickets for this show will go on sale on Friday (September 22) via Gigs And Tours.

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This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/news/majora-release-new-song/
Majora

Majora‘s brand new EP Aphotic will see it’s release into the world this Friday, September 15 through Bird’s Robe Records – and to celebrate, Majora are rolling out the gorgeous intro track “Fear of Falling Forever” from the record and are finally hitting the road again to promote and perform their second EP. The tour will consist of a series of east coast shows, co-headlining select shows alongside Brisbane’s enigmatic 4-piece Osaka Punch.

The tour drops in to Canberra on October 12, Melbourne October 14, Newcastle October 27, Sydney October 28, Wollongong October 29 and Brisbane November 3.

TheMusic.com.au said the first single Aphotic…the song stands tall on its musical merits alone, pulling the listener through a range of feelings at various degrees of ferocity, from thunderous, churning riffs to restrained quietude to untethered, shrill cacophony.“ Heavy Magazine praised the record, calling it “…everything you’d want in a post-rock/progressive track – a multitude of charismatic sounds that soothe your eardrums, the heavier and rhythmic sections dispersed throughout, making you forget that vocals exist at all.” And Killyourstereo saying “If you ever wanted to see how an instrumental band could say so much without having a vocalist present, Majora’s latest single is your best bet.

Working with highly acclaimed engineer Dax Liniere, who engineered, mixed and produced of the EP and Forrester Savell on the mastering, Majora have sought to deliver a superior release that takes the listeners on an epic journey in mind and soul. Single “Aphotic” has been seeing some love across triple j (The Racket, Home and Hosed and 2017 with Richard Kingsmill) and triple j unearthed, as well as AndrewHaugRadio and The Faction Radio as well as tonnes of community radio love.

Majora shared their excitement about the EP drop and tour dates: ”We are super excited to be finally getting this EP into people’s ears and get some feedback on it. We’ve had some very positive reviews coming in already and can’t wait to have it available to everyone. ‘The Fear of Falling Forever’ is the intro to the EP that leads directly into the title track ‘Aphotic’ and will hopefully give people a chance to hear another side to majora. We are currently rehearsing this new material to bring it out for our tour in October with Osaka Punch and give people a chance to hear it all live!

The progressive post-rock quartet based in Newcastle, released their debut EP Iridescent in 2015, followed by the headline Iridescent tour and winning the Triple J Unearthed inaugural ‘This-That” competition. With the release of the single Tidal and another headline tour in 2016, Majora were selected to perform with Cog, Twelve Foot Ninja, The Contortionist, Protest the Hero and Sleepmakeswaves among many other high-profile artists throughout the year.

Majora‘s Aphotic EP is available now to pre-order on Bandcamp and tickets are on sale for their tour at beardfoot.com.au.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/news/steven-wilson-last-day-of-june-video/

505 Games and Ovosonico’s award-winning Last Day of June has launched on Steam for PC and PlayStation®4. The interactive tale of love and loss from an all-star team of creators including critically acclaimed director Massimo Guarini, musician Steven Wilson and writer/director Jess Cope is available now worldwide for $19.99. As part of a limited-time launch promotion running from today through Thursday, Sept. 14, indie game fans who purchase via Steam will receive a 10% discount and a bonus copy of another award- winning 505-published title, Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons.

This game is a deeply personal project that explores universal themes of life and love, but also the contradictions of loss and how we process the emotions that come with it,” said Massimo Guarini, founder and CEO, Ovosonico. “My goal was to create an interactive experience that anyone can relate to, whether or not they are a traditional gamer, and I think we achieved that with Last Day of June.

Last Day of June is a poignant single-player journey that progresses participants from a viewer joining Carl and June on what begins as a magical outing to their favorite spot, to a character deeply intertwined in the narrative, as they try to unlock the sequence of events that could save the day – and June’s life. In this artistic experience, players will solve emotionally challenging puzzles in an attempt to turn back time, compelling them to ask themselves “What would you do to save the one you love?

Last Day of June is an emotional experience unlike any other, and we’re thrilled to add it to our line-up of award-winning titles,” said Tim Woodley, SVP of global brand and marketing, 505 Games. “This cinematic adventure really resonates with everyone who has played it, and we’re happy to have played a part in helping bring Massimo’s vision to life.

Last Day of June is available for purchase now as a digital download on Steam and the PlayStation store and available in languages including English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

For more information about the game, please visit: www.lastdayofjunegame.com.

Watch a video below where Steven Wilson and team behind the game talk about it.

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About 505 Games

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/septicflesh-interview/
Septicflesh 2017 interview

Greek symphonic extreme metal elite Septicflesh has released their tenth studio album titled Codex Omega on September 1st via Prosthetic Records (US) and Season of Mist (Europe). Heralded as the quartet’s “most infernal release” to date, the 2-CD record was produced by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Dimmu Borgir) and it consists of ten songs of “their trademark blend of mystical atmosphere, relentless death guitar riffing and pale melodies.

Rhythm guitarist, clean vocalist and keyboardist Sotiris Vayenas spoke for Prog Sphere about the new record, upcoming tour dates, and future.

Describe the vision propelling Codex Omega.

Sotiris V.: Codex Omega is a title given to the 3rd and last Testament. It is an admittance, a revelation, that all books including all religious bibles, are the products of human mind. Therefore also Satan and God are man’s creations and that is why they have human elements. It is not the other way around.

What made this the right time to pursue that vision?

Sotiris V.: Mankind is on the brink of self-annihilation. It is about time to take responsibility for its actions, stop blaming scapegoats or simply waiting for a divine intervention that will miraculously solve all problems.

Also, religion is definitely not making the world a peaceful place. A world without religion, a world of logic and self-responsibility would be a far better place to live.

Septicflesh - Codex Omega

Tell me about what you’re communicating with the album cover.

Sotiris V.: What you feed with energy in your mind, keeps growing, until finally starts to feed by itself, getting stronger and stronger in time, from something vague and powerless to something almost tangible and powerful. So be careful what you are feeding, because the “baby” at some point will be fully grown and take control.

The press release says that Codex Omega is by far your most infernal release.” What, in your opinion, contributed to that?

Sotiris V.: I agree. Not only there are some of the most infernal/antireligious lyrics I have ever written, as in “3rd Testament (Codex Omega)” for example, but when you listen to the songs, you are feeling one step closer to hell. This feeling is enhanced from some really dark melodic parts and of course there are a lot of razor sharp riffs that combined with the drumming bring the listener in the middle of an infernal warzone.

Provide some insight into the creative process for Codex Omega. Did your approach change comparing with 2014’s Titan?

Sotiris V.: The creative process was the same. As always, all members of Septicflesh contributed compositions. Initially, we start composing songs separately and at some point when we feel ready, we present our compositions to each other. And then interaction and feedback between us begins. All songs are worked and re-worked over and over, until we are satisfied from every small detail.

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Speaking of creating, what does it look like when you work on a new Septicflesh song? How do you usually start shaping up a song?

Sotiris V.: First, Christos [Antoniou, guitars and orchestrations] brings orchestral parts recorded with samplers, to give us a first taste of his ideas and to help us figure out the appropriate guitars and rhythm section. All of the other members bring pre-recordings of their compositions with guitars and all other “metal” instruments and Chris then figures out if orchestra and choir are needed, or we give him a basic musical guideline with the melodies that we want to be played from the orchestra and he transcribes those lines to orchestra music sheet.  Actually, Christos has a Master’s degree in concert music and so he creates all the music sheets for the orchestra. So everything you hear on our records is composed solely by Septicflesh.

Septicflesh has been active for over 25 years, and you are considered as one of the prime symphonic death metal acts. What’s the future of the genre like, in your opinion?

Sotiris V.: It is a matter of imagination and skill, so as far as there are bands with those elements, the future of this subgenre will be good. When you have at your disposal many different instruments to express your emotions, there are a lot of options to be explored and that is something hopeful for the future. On the other hand, it is essential to know what you are doing and not just randomly throwing symphonic parts here and there, aiming to impress the audience.

You will be kicking off a South American tour in support of the new album in October, and you will be joined by Fleshgod Apocalypse. What are your expectations? Audiences in Latin America are absolutely crazy for metal.

Sotiris V.: Indeed. We’ve already received a lot of emails from fans in Latin America that are very anxious to witness this event. I am sure that it will be a great tour.

What are your plans when it comes to touring Europe?

Sotiris V.: It’s still early on, but at this point we are discussing different options. So I can’t give you any details right now, but surely there will be an extensive European tour.

With a career spanning almost 30 years, what are your goals as a band to achieve in the future?

Sotiris V.: Although many years have passed since we started this musical journey, we are still hungry for more and it seems our fans feel the same. We keep moving up, step by step, and we intend to continue to do so. Our next goal will be to top Codex Omega.

Codex Omega is out now; pre-order it here. For more news from Septicflesh visit their official website.

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This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/threshold-karl-groom-interview/
Threshold - Interview with Karl Groom

UK’s prime progressive metal outfit Threshold have had a fair amount of line-up changes during their almost three decades long career. After spending ten years with the band in his third run, singer Damian Wilson made a decision to leave Threshold in early 2017. The group looked no further and former vocalist Glynn Morgan returned to the fold. Morgan was a part of Threshold between 1993 and 1996, with whom the band released Wounded Land and Psychedelicatessen.

On the verge of their 30th anniversary, Threshold return this September 8th with the release of their eleventh studio album Legends of the Shires via Nuclear Blast, a two-disc concept record which also features a guest appearance of Jon Jeary who was active with the band from 1988 to 2003.

Founder and guitarist Karl Groom spoke for Prog Sphere about this new effort, creative chemistry, and more.

What was your vision for the Legends of the Shires album, and now that you are so close to launch it, can you say that you succeeded in achieving your goals?

Our initial aim for the new album was to create something that had a feeling of being complete as one piece of music. We wanted it to be as focussed as the 2004 release of Subsurface. In many ways, the way to achieve that is by having fewer writers and in this case it was Richard [West, keyboardist]  and myself writing the majority of the music. As it happened, Steve [Anderson, bassist] was the only other band member to contributed and was able to fit in very well with the musical and lyrical theme. I prefer not to plan things too tightly, because this will limit creativity. However, we did want to bring in some more progressive elements, while still retaining a heavy sound. In the end, we have exceeded our own expectations for the album.

Threshold - Legends Of The Shires - Artwork

What, in your opinion, made this the right time to pursue that vision?

We certainly didn’t plan to write a double concept album when we started to compose for Legends of the Shires. It was a totally organic process that ended up with 83 minutes of music.

When Richard and I began to write for a new record we didn’t reach a situation where it came to natural conclusion at 50 minutes to one hour. In fact we spoke about this and decided to keep writing while the inspiration kept coming. At some point we decided it would be a double album and wanted to make it our first concept record since Clone in 1998. The music will just fit onto a double LP and crucially for us, the tracks will still be in the correct order when transferred to the four sides of vinyl.

The album art looks very Tolkien-esque. Is it a way for you to communicate what is presented on the record in a musical way?

The final cover is by Russian artist Elena Dudina and we were very happy when we came across this piece. We had been searching for months for something that alluded to the story and atmosphere of the music and lyrics. I can remember a good feeling as a music fan when finding a cover that depicted in your mind something of the flavour of the music that you could expect from a band. It is best to find a piece of artwork that is already complete, rather than telling an artist what you want and boxing them in with our ideas. They are creative people too and need freedom to express their best work.

We did realise that some people would make links to Tolkien with the album title and artwork, but it is not meant to be the case.

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What was the creative chemistry for Legends of the Shires like, especially knowing that Glynn Morgan returned to the band after more than 20 years? How much did he contribute to the album in its creative phase?

All the music was written and mostly recorded before Glynn returned, but he still worked to the demos and I felt that gave him the best chance to approach things like any other band member. Even with lyrics and melody lines fully formed, a vocalist always brings their own personality and performance to an album and this added a lot to the final record.

We gave him three weeks with the new album and he learnt most of it in that time. Later he came back for another session to complete the remaining songs. Glynn has now met Steve and Johanne [James, drummer] a few times socially and for a photo shoot. Also we recently recorded our video clip for “Small Dark Lines” together and he has fully integrated again. I think Glynn would tell you that he really missed being in the band and it is good to see him return.

Speaking of the album’s creative process, provide some insight into it. Were there any drastic changes in your approach comparing with your previous records?

It is always planned to improve every aspect of production and arrangement each time we start a new record. I guess Richard and I are looking at new keyboards sounds and effects sources. It is also a good excuse to update guitar equipment and find new methods. Our demos are more complete a closer to the final product than ever now. Probably the biggest change over the years is that we record many of the guitars and keyboards during the writing process. This gives us more time to assess what we can improve as the recording goes along.

Did the environment in any way influence the vibe the album transcends?

My own environment and the way I feel at the time of writing always has a major impact on the song writing process. There are never any pre-conceptions when I start on a new album and I always try writing in the time immediately preceding the recording, rather than collect music over years. In this way I can create a cohesive musical sound and recognize my state of mind from an era when the album was created. A sort of Threshold time capsule if you like.

Legends of the Shires consists of 2CD’s and is over 80 minutes. Considering the climate in the world of music today, would you say that it was a bit risky to release a lengthy piece of music?

I am not sure that you could ever consider Threshold as a commercially motivated band and it has always been driven by the love music. We started writing our own songs because we couldn’t find another band with the style that we wanted to hear. Fortunately I have a record label that value our creativity and allow us to move on and experiment as we see fit.

There are many easier ways to make a successful living than music, so you have to be driven! Maybe albums are selling less physically, but downloads are increasing by an equal measure and progressive metal fans have generally been very supportive in keeping their music alive. The only downside for me is streaming, where record company and artist gain next to nothing and the middlemen suck the industry dry. I would rather fans take it for nothing somewhere than use those sites.

You will embark on a European tour in support of the album in November and December. What can you tell me about the setlist for this run? I suppose that the accent will be on the new record, but I’m sure that fans will want to hear many of the songs from your previous albums.

With the return of Glynn, we will perform a couple of songs from Psychelicatessen (including “Innocent”) that fans have wanted to hear and many from the new Legends of the Shire album. Of course there will be some live favourites and many have expressed an interest to hear Glynn perform songs originally recorded by Mac [Andrew McDermott, late former singer]. His voice compares well with him and Dead Reckoning was never heard live with Mac.

Threshold 2017

In which way did the departures of Damian Wilson and Pete Morten affect the new album? The band’s current line-up works as a quintet, so do you have in plan to introduce a new guitarist or hire a session player for the upcoming tours?

Their presence or departure had no affect on the writing of the new album whether in or out of the band. Every band member in Threshold has always been entitled to write for the band, but neither had a song for this album. We always demo our songs with a female voice to avoid having any limitations on creativity and this means I can compose in a way that avoids falling into obvious patterns. All three of our singers would bring their own performance at the time of recording and were able to translate what we wanted in the past.

Damian came to see me at the studio in October and said he was leaving Threshold. In addition, he gave me some names of singers that might replace him. Some weeks later said he would like to continue and started to record, but by then the atmosphere had changed in the band and he didn’t want to commit to further live shows. We all felt there would be compromises in what we planned to do going forward. I never want to be in a position of forcing someone to be active in Threshold, so we thanked him for his time in the band and wish him well with his projects.

Pete was originally used to replace Nick Midson live and only ever played guitar on the three tracks he wrote for Threshold when recording. He was never really brought in with recording in mind and was meant to be a live session player. I think Pete is talented and wanted to be the main focus of a band and formed his own solo project as singer and guitarist. His style is quite different from what we have built in Threshold, so he always had to adjust his natural ways to fit in with our sound.

We realized that we didn’t need 2 guitarists for everything. Glynn is a great guitarist and will play live for the parts that need it, as he already did it for his own band years ago.

What else can fans expect from Threshold in the near future? What are your plans?

Our agent is still planning more dates and we will look forward to festivals next summer too. For now we are focused on the release date and preparing for our European Tour. When it comes to the point we are inspired to create a new album, Glynn will be fully involved again and bring his songwriting skills back to Threshold.

Legends of the Shires is out on September 8th via Nuclear Blast; pre-order it here. Stay updated for the latest news and tour dates via Threshold’s official website.

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This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/news/soul-enema-aral-sea-dustbin-of-history-video/
Soul Enema 2017

Progressive Rock/Metal act Soul Enema premieres a video clip for the track “Aral Sea II – Dustbin of History.” Watch it below.

The song is from the recent album Of Clans and Clones and Clowns, and it features a guest appearance by Yossi Sassi (ex-Orphaned Land, Yossi Sassi Band), who plays rhythm and solo parts on bouzoukitara – a unique custom-made instrument combining Bouzouki and Electric Guitar.

‘Aral Sea II’ is the second part of the ‘Aral Sea’ trilogy, dedicated to the environmental disaster of the former sea — one of the biggest ecological problems of our time,” comments keyboard player and songwriter Constantin Glantz.

This video features magnificent time-lapse footage taken by photographer Denis Frantsouzov on his journey through the Aral Sea/Ustyurt Plateau region. We tried to capture the reflection of an irreversible loss, and bid a final farewell to the Aral Sea — once a blooming oasis in the desert, now literally turned to dust as a result of reckless human activity.

“Aral Sea II” is a part of the band’s new album, titled Of Clans and Clones and Clowns, featuring 70+ minutes of music with special guests including Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon), Yossi Sassi (ex-Orphaned Land), Sergey Kalugin and Yuri Ruslanov (Orgia Pravednikov). The album was mixed by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Devin Townsend, Symphony X), and is available for purchase on Bandcamp.

Soul Enema line-up:

Noa Gruman – lead and backing vocals, choir

Yoel Genin – guitars

Constantin Glantz – keyboards, programming, vocals, shamisen, percussion

Michael Rosenfeld – bass guitar, sitar, violin

Dor Levin – drums

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Of Clans and Clones and Clowns

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/infinitwav-interview/
Stephen-Latin-Kasper

Stephen Latin-Kasper is a man behind an experimental project called infinitwav, and he recently released a debut album “Humans” which was inspired by National Geographic’s genome project. In an interview below, Stephen discusses about the music on the album and delves deeper into the story that informed the record.

Define the mission of infinitwav.

Infinitwav’s mission is to create music that is connected to history, but moves past it.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your debut album “Humans” and the themes it captures.

HUMANS was inspired by the National Geographic’s genome project. Reading about the project made me think about how all humans on our planet are connected to each other by their genetic codes. At some point the idea occurred to me that the various genetic mutations that occurred over the course of human evolution might connect the people who share those mutations more closely than they realize. That idea grew into a short science fiction story.

I had already started writing some instrumental music for other reasons. As I continued the process, the writing of the story and the music started to influence each other. The primary theme that runs throughout HUMANS is exploration, but lying underneath that is competition for the power to determine the direction of human exploration.

What is the message you are trying to give with “Humans”?

There is more than one way to think about human existence and destiny. To determine which path is optimal may require groups of humans exploring different paths.

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

Most of the music was created with a KORG M50 and a Roland Octapad. The KORG M50 has hundreds of “voices” that sound like different instruments, as well as choirs, or entire orchestras. There are also sound effects. The Roland Octapad is all about percussion. There are voices for talking drums and Chinese cymbals, and everything in between. I think there are about 25 preprogrammed snare voices, all of which can be modified.

For each of the nine songs in HUMANS there is a file. Notes regarding the voices used in each song, along with notes on tempo, key, and modifications are all in those files. There are also some notes regarding song structure. For example, in the file for HUMANS 3, there is a note regarding how to set the resonance and cutoff dials for the primary keyboard track.

Looking back, I wish that I had been more meticulous about notation. It has been three years now since I have actually played most of the songs. Since I didn’t notate I would have to listen to individual tracks and learn how to play them all over again.

infinitwav-Humans

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

The short answer is yes, but it is worth embellishing since the music and the story were not initially connected. The first song I wrote for HUMANS didn’t even end up on the album, since it didn’t fit with the rest of the project by the time I finished recording. The last two songs written were actually HUMANS One and Four.

Over the course of three years, as the story was edited and reedited, I added tracks to songs to make them more representative of the chapters they went with. HUMANS One starts with a primitive percussion intro, as we move beyond hitting logs with sticks, to animal skins stretched over wood frames. Each of the first two migratory groups have their own main themes and time signatures in HUMANS Two. The melody in HUMANS Three is repeated three times, rising one octave with each repetition. HUMANS Four has the most complex arrangement of the nine songs to represent the level of complexity added to human culture by the Fours. To represent the cold war being fought by the Fours and 5s in chapter six, the melody played with a flute doesn’t quite match up with the melody played with a synthesized keyboard voice throughout much of the song. You can hear 21 spaceships taking off from their shipyards in orbit around the moon in HUMANS 7, and an electric guitar that is used by the Fours to secretly communicate with each other. The music of HUMANS Eight is pure energy to represent our move beyond the Milky Way. 16 explosions in HUMANS Nine help tell the story of the discovery of our origin.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

The entire album was recorded in my home studio. There were two reasons for that: one was a limited budget; the other was a desire to be as independent as I could. I wanted it to sound as live as possible, so there are no loops, and no samples. I played every track with the exception of the primary percussion track on HUMANS Four.

How long “Humans” was in the making?

I started writing and recording in 2014. I didn’t finish recording until December 2016. As of August 2017, I am still involved in all of the administrative details that are necessary to publish and market new songs.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

I don’t think it’s possible to comprehensively answer the question. A short list would include Richard Strauss, Aaron Copland, Louie Bellson, Steely Dan, Warren Zevon, Yes, and Jethro Tull. The actual list is much longer.

What is your view on technology in music?

As a musician, I think that technology needs to be embraced. Music has always involved technology. The first African percussionists must have realized almost immediately after they started beating logs with sticks that the sound from a hollowed-out log carried further than the sound from a solid log. All further enhancement of that sound involved some sort of technological advance. I’m glad I live in an age in which I had the chance to hear Neil Peart do what he does with Rush. That doesn’t change the fact that there are moments when I just want to sit on the edge of a lake and play my bongos.

I appreciate analog and digital. There is no way I could have produced HUMANS without digital technology, but I prefer analog playback, which is why I published the music on vinyl.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

In the case of HUMANS, the music is worth listening to separate from the story that goes with it, but it clearly was intended to support that story. That is just as true for any song with a lyric. Regarding HUMANS, I’m sure some people will read between the lines of the story. I’m just as sure that not all of those people will interpret the story the same way. I wrote the story with the intent of making people think about some aspects of human culture in ways that may not have occurred to them before. If there is a purpose beyond the music in and of itself, it is to encourage thought and discussion.

What are your plans for the future?

While taking breaks from working on HUMANS, I wrote a number of other songs. I plan to publish those as a double-album sometime in 2018. Two of the songs that will likely be on that album (War Zone Nerv and Cold Sweat) can be heard at infinitwav.com.