Review – Kansas – The Prelude Implicit – by Gary Morley

Kansas Album

Confessions time this review is proving trickier than I thought.

I discussed writing it with a friend who’s far more erudite… a transcript follows:-

Me: Morning. Am still struggling with Kansas CD, are you an expert in them?

Learned Friend: in what sense?

Me: I have listened to this new one 6 or 7 times now and it just glides over me,it just seems to get going and then fades into the ether

Learned Friend: not heard it, so I can’t say, are you reviewing it?

Me: Yes, For Wallet Emptier. They seem to straddle a fence between rock and Prog, neither one nor the other..

I’ve written the review twice and it’s still not my thing.

Bits have grown on me

But mostly yawn….

Learned Friend: just copy and paste this conversation, review done

Me: Good Plan – wonder if Martin would let me get away with it?

Learned Friend: How long do your reviews have to be?

Me: no limit. Never word counted them!

Learned Friend: are they the sort that has to dissect each track or can you just give an overall opinion on the album as a whole

Me: I can do whichever I wish, mine tend to wander around the field a bit as the album is on stage, more o f a feeling rather than a dissection. I can’t do the time signatures / minor major chord bollocks, It either grabs me or it doesn’t

Learned Friend: I hate the ones that go through the track list telling me which each track is like (especially when the album isn’t even out for me to check) – I just want the “good for a rainy day, great in the car” “man this sucks” kind of review. No time signature stuff is excellent! That stuff is for nerds and I don’t like the “I’d better say it’s good otherwise they won’t send me any more free CD’s” reviews either.

So, In the cause of balance and “No Free CD’s for a bad review” Here’s what I thought about Kansas’ new album:

Caveat emptor

I wrote about his album yesterday. It was more of a rant: I had decided I didn’t like it for the following reasons:

For not sounding like an American Waterboys (both bands feature violins in case you didn’t realise the comparison)

For sounding like the bastard offspring of REO Speedwagon and ELO.

For the singer whining on and on about nothing in particular, being more of a karaoke singer than a rock singer, more musical Theater than Dream Theater

But my computer is obviously wiser than me as it has “lost” that piece.

Probably for the best as it was incoherent, rambled on and offered nothing new.

Bit like much of the album the devil on my shoulder whispers maliciously, whilst the angel on the other shoulder says that I should play nice and talk about the bits that sound like Spock’s Beard (Instrumental break in track 4 , Rhythm in the Spirit) the track that I will be adding to my MP3 player ( Section 60)  Or the song that sounds like “Dust In The Wind” (Refugee)

That last one is playing now, it should be a heart breaking paen to the plight of the disposed, but the vocals make it sound as traumatic as having to wait for the green man to appear before crossing an empty road.

The vocal harmonies are trying to be emotive, but I must be a callus twisted person as I remain immune. The instrumental break is almost Celtic with the minor chords of the keyboards floating along with the violin , painting a sound picture of an empty road , whether a road to hell or a road to nowhere I am not able to decide as the track just stops.

The atmosphere is sucked out as quickly as the potatoes in the Martian when the habitiat decompresses. The result is just as catastrophic.

I’m thrown back into AOR bland land, this singer is good, but in the wrong band. Either that or I am missing something.

Kansas

 

To me, great vocalists are individuals; you recognise them from the merest vocal hiccup or inflection. They are the living embodiment of the lyric. AS I mentioned before, this is more like an X Factor audition, all technique and no soul.

The band try hard , there are some nice interplays between violin, guitar and keyboard / orchestra on track 6, but it’s all very widescreen and a bit primary TV- pleasant, inoffensive and a wee bit formulaic.

Track 8, Summer, is a jaunt bouncy little tune, featuring another 3 way battle between guitar, violin and keyboards. Sadly, it lacks grit though, the singer again detracts from the feeling by sounding breathless and the lack of power in his voice let the side down.The lyric too is a bit wishy-washy. He warbles on about never regretting that summer. But doesn’t elaborate any further, so we can only speculate as to the trauma that caused him the regret – losing his paper round? Finding out that he would have to go back to school at the end of the holiday?

Once again, the track stops suddenly without warning, almost causing the following track to crash into it.

Another  3 minutes or so of vague pomp and we reach the only track that I think will get repeat plays – the rather strangely titled Section 60, starts as a middle paced power balled score, with the triple faced instrumental front line  swelling and building to a peak .

Here we have the big guitar moment, all dry ice and spot lit gurning, with the violin in counterpoint.

And this is the bit that gets me – as the music fades to a violin and a military snare drum cutting through and playing out to fade. No coda, no lyric, just this echoed drum pattern that fades into the night. It serves as a flicker of hope after the battle, poignant and powerful.

I get he image of the aftermath of a great battle, the drum and violin painting the silence after the bombast and fighting has ended, the smoke clears to show the dead, the dying and the small group of survivors banded together, walking off into the sunset.

Clichéd, yes, but then that’s this album through and through. It is anachronistic in that it could have been made in 1976 when the band were at the top of their game and  FM radio needed a steady supply of anthemic songs to power the great American dream.

Instead, here we are 40 years later and the rest of the world has moved on. I am sure that many will listen to this with the aural equivalent of rose tinted glasses, the music taking them back to that mythical summer of ’76.

If you liked Kansas then, you’ll probably love this – I sneaked a read at reviews on that tax dodging site – yes, the fans are claiming it as the second coming, so I’m going to annoy people again but it did nothing for me, failed to inspire . A C+ album if we graded such things.

Released 23rd September 2016

Buy ‘The Prelude Implicit’ direct from the band.

 

Review – Sphelm – These Roots Know No Boundaries – by Emma Roebuck

sphelm-album-cover

Have you ever tried to categorise something and found it close to impossible because its fits some of them and yet none at the same time? I find myself there right now after over ten times around the album ‘These Roots Know No Boundaries’ by Sphelm and, having heard the Orenda EP from 2014, I find to be fascinating, challenging and yet still highly enjoyable. Mike McKnight and Tim Powell form the actual band but they have a great deal of help here with the Album from some excellent guest musicians.

They self-define as Acoustic Ambient Electronic yet I believe that is too limited a description. Sphelm were born out of  Post rock metal band Cyril Snear and were looking for the next step to follow after that band broke up.

Mike and Tim have written music that, if played in a full electric band, would come out at the cutting edge of Progressive but the ‘stripped back to basics’ style gives it a uniqueness and identity all of its own with no box to fit. Whether you’d call it a new branch of music or some guys following their noses and seeing where it goes either way, this is worthy of exploration.

sphelm-2

The music is complex and accessible with some outstanding songs that appear simple at first pass and then the detail surfaces on further hearing. Stillness is the simplest and yet it isn’t with its complex harmonies and harmonic on the acoustic guitar and keyboard backing.  A song that asks us to stop and be still and think without the noise we have around us constantly in the 21st century. After The Dopamine seems to refer to again to society and the bubble we exist in as people, consumerism being the Dopamine in question. Mainly with complex vocal harmonies but with atmospheric keyboards plugging the gaps, it stands out on the first few listens as one that has longevity.

Prince Rupert’s Drop has a folky feel to it at the start which then leads into a beautiful guitar lick. Is it a treatise on molten glass dropped into water or a metaphor for human resilience in our modern world? The title track really stands out too. A fine example of how the human voice can join in a harmony that is greater than the sum of the parts. The lilting Trumpet section is not intrusive but sneaks up on you and hypnotises you and, overall, the melancholy feel is achingly beautiful and emotive.

The whole album is not even close to the mainstream, it is ‘off piste’ even for the Progressive but not in any dissonant way but in a way that the likes of Sigur Ros and Steven Wilson travel their own path. In fact all you fans of Post Rock, Math Rock and those are partial to the ambience of Eno and Fripp and who have the desire to hear acoustic music, you should buy it. If you are adventurous in any way get your name on a copy of this album.

Released 21st October 2016

Pre-order from Bad Elephant Music on bandcamp

 

 

 

 

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF – ANNOUNCE HEADLINE YOUR WILDERNESS TOUR FEATURING GAVIN HARRISON

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The Pineapple Thief have announced a string of European dates for early 2017 in support of their highly acclaimed new album, ‘Your Wilderness’. The band will be joined by virtuoso Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson) on drums.  

 “We always said that we couldn’t imagine touring the material live without Gavin on stage’, explains band leader Bruce Soord, ”We’re so excited that we have made it happen. It’s a real once in a lifetime event.” 

20.01 Patronaat, Haarlem NL
21.01 Uden, De Pul NL
22.01 Zwolle, Hedon NL
24.01 Aschaffenburg, Colos Saal DE
25.01 Oberhausen, Eisenlager DE
26.01 Berlin, Frannz club DE
27.01 Prague, Futurum Music Bar CZ
28.01 Dresden, Tante Ju DE
29.01 Hamburg, Knust DE
31.01 Maastricht, Muziekgieterij NL
01.02 Paris, Le Divan Du Monde FR
09.02 Glasgow, ABC2 UK
10.02 Manchester, Sound Control UK
11.02 London, Islington Assembly Hall UK

For more information and ticket details – http://pineapplethief.com/tour

The band will be performing Your Wilderness plus a string of re-imagined favourites from their back catalogue, and with an expanded 5-piece line-up including Darran Charles on additional guitar duties, this will be a live show not to be missed.  Special guest support is from Kscope label mates Godsticks.

Your Wilderness, their 11th studio album, showcases the band performing without any inhibitions providing a springboard for the ongoing creative growth of The Pineapple Thief. 

For the first time, The Pineapple Thief brought in several special guest performers: Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) contributed drums throughout the album, John Helliwell (Supertramp) some beautiful clarinet parts, and Geoffrey Richardson (Caravan) provided a string quartet. They were also joined by a 4-piece choir and to cap it all off, Darran Charles (Godsticks) added some jaw dropping guitar playing. 

Seen as one of the most vital rock bands the UK has produced over the last two decades, The Pineapple Thief was formed in 1999 by founder and chief songwriter Bruce Soord. The band has steadily evolved and refined its sound with the bass playing of Jon Sykes and the production and keyboards of Steve Kitch vital ingredients to the unmistakable TPT sound.

Your Wilderness has been released by Kscope on CD / LP / Digital and as a Deluxe hardback book 2 CD+DVD set: www.kscopemusic.com/store

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR “IN EXILE ” HERE

The Pineapple Thief – In Exile (from Your Wilderness) – YouTube

The Pineapple Thief – In Exile (from Your Wilderness) on Vimeo

WATCH AN  ACOUSTIC VERSION OF “TEAR YOU UP ” RECORDED AT SOORD STUDIOS HERE:

https://youtu.be/l-1awi26pBs

https://vimeo.com/181043820

The Pineapple Thief online:

Website: www.thepineapplethief.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thepineapplethief

Twitter: www.twitter.com/pineapplethief

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thepineapplethief

Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/artist/4lrBMUSk8PiNnCEZfsmPAk

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE6401DB011BD837E

Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/the-pineapple-thief/id278648772

Colin Tench Project ‘Hair In A G-String’ ready for pre-orders

hair-in-a-g-string-the-brazilian-final-for-youtube-with-light-cropped_orig

Colin Tench tells us,

“The album is complete and in preparation for CD manufacture. The cast list is a dream come true. The diversity of the players and pieces  is what makes this album special to me. The album structure could be labelled Prog before there was Prog. Split this into the written piece “Hair in a G-String” (about 46 minutes) & “Songs not in G” (About 36 minutes) and you’d have a prog album and a melodic rock album I guess. We didn’t do that. We mixed it up. See it as musical interludes between the main action.”

I’ve heard And So, Today with the great Peter Jones on vocals and am happy to say that this release is sounding rather exciting!

 

See full track and guest-listing  below:

1. Hair in a G-String part 1 (The opening)  [6.25]
Peter Jones: Vocals, Saxophone
Colin Tench: Guitars, Piano
Steve Gresswell: Piano, Keyboards, Percussion
Petri Lindström: Bass guitar
Stef Flaming: Percussion

2. Can’t see it any other way [4.36]
Colin Tench: Guitars
Phil Naro: Vocals
Gary Derrick: Bass guitar
Marco Chiappini: Piano
Victor Tassone: Drums

3. Hair in a G-String part 2 (The Hairy Part)  [6.04]
Colin Tench: Guitars, Synthesisers, Drum programming
Phil Naro: Vocals
Steve Gresswell: Keyboards
Stef Flaming: keyboards
Oliver Rusing: Drums, Percussion
Petri Lindström: Bass guitar

Stephen Speelman: Stunt bass

4. The Mad Yeti [2.55]
Colin Tench: guitars

5. The Sad Brazilian [7.20]
Colin Tench: Guitars, Piano
Gordon Bennett: Orchestra, Shaving cream
Petri Lemmy Lindström: Bass guitar

6. And so, Today [4.08]
Pete Jones: Vocals, Clarinet
Colin Tench: Guitars, Piano, Percussion
Gordon Bennett: Orchestra
Petri Lindström: Bass guitar
Jay Theodore McGurrin: Drums

7. Hair in a G-String part 3 (I’m Going Down) [10.09]
Peter Jones: Vocals
Colin Tench: Guitars, Synthesisers, Piano
Gordon Bennett: Orchestra
Petri Lindström: Bass guitar
Oliver RusingDrums
Steve Gresswell: Keyboards
Angelo Hulshout: Fretless Bass
Sonej Retep: Sciryl lanoitidda

8. Lisa waltzes back in with no G-String [3.53]
Colin Tench: Guitars
Gordon Bennett: String Section, Horns, Basses
Petri Lindström: Bass Guitar
Robert Wolff: Drums
Pasi Koivu: Synthesisers, Organ
Sean Filkins: Tamborine

9. Lisa’s Entrance Unplugged [3.09]
Colin Tench: Guitars, Synthesisers
Ian Beabout:
 Flute

10. Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Screwed [7:32]
Colin Tench: Guitars, vocals, Percussion
Gary Derrick: Bass guitar
Marco Chiappini: Keyboards
Victor Tassone: Drums, Percussion

11. La Palo Desperado [5.54]
Colin Tench: Guitars, Annoying noises

12. A Beautiful Feeling [5.58]
Phil Naro: Vocals
Colin Tench: Guitars, Piano, Percussion
Petri Lindström: Bass guitar
Gary Hodges: (Buckingham Nicks): Drums
Kelly Brown: (Ozark Mountain Daredevils): Keyboards
Vic Tassone: Percussion
Violins: (String Section)  http://www.springfieldmosymphony.org/
Tina Sibley (Springfield Symphony)
Kirsten Weingartner (Springfield Symphony)
Ned Horner (Springfield Symphony)
Aleksis Zarins (Springfield Symphony)

13Dnieper Summer Day [1.38]
Colin Tench: acoustic guitars
David Knokey: Rhythm Guitar
Stef Flamming: Bass guitar

14. Part 4b [7.58]
Peter Jones: Lead Vocals
Phil Naro: Lead Vocals
Colin Tench: Guitars
Gordon Bennett: Orchestra, Perucssion, Triangle, Thing that goes boing
Petri Lindström: Bass guitar
Angelo Hulshout: Fretless bass
Jay Theodore McGurrin:  Drums (We fired Neil Peart)

15. Part 4b Redux [0.23]
Peter Jones: Piano
Peter Jones: Main vocal
Peter Jones: Backing vocals
Peter Jones: Foley guy
Peter Jones: Production
Colin Tench: Bugger all

BONUS TRACKLiza’s Waltz with full orchestral arrangements [4.23]
All instruments and arrangements by Gordon Bennett
Based on the original Lisa’s Waltz by Colin Tench.

All artwork by Sonia Mota.

 

BE PROG! MY FRIEND – FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES JETHRO TULL FOR 2017 LINE-UP

jethro-tull-low

Since its inception in 2014 the Barcelona based festival Be Prog! My Friend has played host to the likes of Opeth, Steven Wilson, Anathema, Devin Townsend, TesseracT, The Pineapple Thief, Magma, Agent Fresco, Camel, Meshuggah, Katatonia, Riverside, Isahn and Alcest.

Taking place in the beautiful open air surroundings of Poble Espanyol – a huge stone built architectural museum – the site is one of the most important and striking landmarks of tourism in Barcelona. Whilst by day the Catalonian hotspot may play host to some of Barcelona’s most interesting historical articles, by the end of June to the start of July it will instead play host to some of the world’s finest progressive bands.

This year saw the festival co-headlined by Steven Wilson and fellow progressive heavy weights Opeth. Now following Be Prog! My Friend‘s recent news that Ulver will play in 2017, comes the announcement of multi-genre progressive giants Jethro Tull, bringing their ever-famous presence to the Catalonion open air surroundings.

The festival organisers comment: Jethro Tull remain unstoppable thanks to the relentless spirit of charismatic frontman Ian Anderson. After more than forty years, Tull continue to delight audiences with their variety and depth of experience, giving fans – young and old – the best of folk, jazz and classically-inspired progressive rock music”.

Tickets are currently on sale now at the reduced price of 75 Euros for a limited time only –

http://www.ticktackticket.com/entradas/goto.do?claves=.127248&origin=TTT&codIdioma=ING

http://www.beprogmyfriend.com/

facebook.com/beprogmyfriend

Be Prog! My Friend takes place in the heart of Barcelona and with an airport only 12km away, regular, cheap flights make it an easy festival to get and from the UK. Bands will start playing from mid/late afternoon each day which will also mean visitors have plenty of time to explore the stunning city of Barcelona while they are there.

http://www.barcelonaturisme.com

Offworld – Some Circles Are Square – New album release with FREIA Music

offworld-cover

Debut album by this unique instrumental progressive band from Belgium to be released on September 22, 2016.

Offworld’s debut concept album ‘Some Circles Are Square’ is a roaring, soaring, never-boring, infuriating, wild and often whacky smorgasbord of a record – equal parts Prog, Psychedelic, Rock, Metal, Funk, Lounge, Shred, and a number of other styles that have yet to be coined with a term. Sometimes weird, often crazy, yet always compelling and dosed with fiery passion and high levels of musicianship, Offworld takes the listener on a trip through Space Opera’s most bizarre and dangerous reaches.

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Review – Half Past Four – Land of the Blind – by Progradar

(Cover photo by Moth)

front-cover-1

“Welcome to Half Past Four – a band from Toronto that create new original art rock and prog. Come follow us!”

A short introduction on Half Past Four’s Facebook page that opens up a whole world of amazing musical mayhem, self-expression and Joie de vivre from this incredible Toronto band.

I’ve had a quite lengthy and intense period of writer’s block recently, I’m not going into the reasons but I was beginning to fear I wasn’t going to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As ever, my love of music (and a severe kick up the proverbials from some close friends) has finally got me out the other side.

I think Billy Joel put it best when he said,

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music…”

The new E.P. from Half Past Four‘Land of the Blind’, certainly fits in that category and has given a much need fillip to my wounded emotions. To be fair, until the promo arrived in my inbox, I’d never heard of this quintet before. Luckily there was a handy bio in the Press Kit too…

Half Past Four is one of the best progressive rock bands to have emerged from Canada. Over nearly two decades, they have developed a unique sound, employing traditional prog-rock music laiden with folk, country, jazz, heavy metal and classical genres, among others.

Each member of Half Past Four is a virtuoso in their own right. Together, they form somewhat of a familial gestalt. Each band member brings a proficiency, originality and respect for the whole that propels their combined efforts into a place beyond simple classification.

Constantin Necrasov (Guitar), Dmitry Lesov (Bass & Chapman Stick), Igor Kurtzman (Keyboards), Kyree Vibrant (Vocals) and Marcello Ciurleo (Drums) have been compared to early-80s King Crimson. Yet any comparisons can only truly function on a per-track basis. While one piece might sound reminiscent of late-70s Yes, listeners might feel the influence of early Pink Floyd in the next piece, followed by a piece that harkens Primus in the 1990s. Or Kate Bush in the mid-80s. Like the best of progressive rock music, the listener cannot predict where the band will take them next.

It is this shifting flow of sound and feeling that distinguishes Half Past Four. They are an aural tapestry, weaving 50+ years of musical influences into mellifluous melodies and rhythmic resonances that take their listeners on a journey to states that are both fresh and familiar.

eska-urwen

(Photo by Eska Urwen)

‘Land of the Blind’ is a five-track mini-LP and follows 2013’s ‘Good Things’ and 2008’s ‘Rabbit In The Vestibule’.

Opening track Mathematics brings to mind high-energy jazz-infused progressive rock with a little addition of impish fun. Kyree’s vocals are smooth and yet she seems to sing with a twinkle in her eye, they are the perfect foil for the brilliant musicianship on show, hugely influenced by the 70’s era of progressive rock and its ilk. You can see where the King Crimson influences come from with the edgy rhythm section and Constantin’s hugely expressive guitar playing. Throw in some epic Hammond from Igor and it is a brilliant exhibition of joy filled music played with an innate love and affection and you just can’t help smiling, left with a carefree happiness in your soul.

The funk-meter is turned up to ten with the superb Mood Elevator, a Van Der Graaf Generator-esque opening with some hushed and spooky vocals sets the scene for what turns into a super-smooth and laid back song that couldn’t be more cool if it tried. The funky keyboards and charming guitar open the way for Kyree’s sparkling vocal performance, an amalgamation of 70’s funk and jazz with an utterly indulgent feel. It’s got hints of West Coast surfer freedom with psychedelic prog running through the middle and just a hint of lunacy hiding in the background, all of which adds up to one jubilant gem of a track.

Fans of 70’s cult Canadian art-rockers Max Webster will be delighted by the cover of Toronto Tontos, a bold statement if there ever was one. Edgy, restless and skittish, it bounces around from riff to riff with some energetic drumming and seems to never want to stand still. The vocals are brash and direct and I found myself jumping around and grinning inanely at the anarchic feel of it all, enhanced by the french lyrics. All sharp with 90 degree angles, there isn’t a smooth edge to be found, especially on the caustic guitar solo which ends up giving the song a properly punk feel to it.

One Eyed Man seems to take a bit from the previous track with it’s almost crafty-cockney vibe (if that makes sense?), as if Kyree has had elocution lessons from Damon Albarn after he’s sung ‘Country House’. Another wildly inventive track that has no agenda and is just there for the fun of it. We are talking King Crimson meets VDGG and goes off to the pub for a bender. The irreverent guitar solo is a thing of mad genius and you just get the impression that this band have a definite hint of mild insanity to them and it is that that gives them their uniqueness and I, for one, love it.

The final track on this oh-too-short mini-LP is Mirror Eyes and this brings a hint of seriousness back into the equation. An intent and earnest intro is opened up by Kyree’s voice, this time with more passion than humour and the piano playing is stylish and suave. There is a hint of jazz lounge to the rhythm section, guitar and piano combination but always a little sense of mischief hiding in the back, it’s like a Ben Folds Five influence but with a more mature feel. I am captivated by Kyree Vibrant‘s wonderfully intense voice  and the prodigious musical talent that backs her up to the hilt, it is quite sublime.

As this absolutely jubilant and refreshing record comes to a close I just cannot help but smile. These are vistuoso musicians without a trace of smugness or superiority, they just play and sing for the love of the music and it shows, in spades. A joyous expression of love, hope and humour all rolled into an incredible package that you just can’t resist. I recommend plenty of albums but I’d prescribe this to everyone to save your sanity and give your life a boost of happiness and enjoyable irregularity.

Released 17th September

Buy ‘Land of the Blind’ from cdbaby

 

 

OPETH DEBUT “THE WILDE FLOWERS”

opeth-the-wilde-flowers

Sweden’s musical alchemists, OPETH, have premiered a new song entitled, “The Wilde Flowers”. The track is featured on the bands highly anticipated 12th studio album, Sorceress, which is scheduled for release on September 30th via the band’s imprint label Moderbolaget Records with Nuclear Blast Entertainment.

Stream “The Wilde Flowers” now at www.opeth.com

Speaking with Metal Hammer, vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt says “This was the first song I wrote for this album. It’s kind of an OPETH standard, in a way, like from the last two albums. It’s very dynamic. It has a chorus, I guess. Then there’s a big Queen-sounding bit in the middle just before this massive solo… oh, and harps! They’re hidden in the mix but they’re there. The title comes from the band Caravan – they were originally called Wilde Flowers. I always liked those weird spellings.”

In addition to the psychedelic, progressive masterpiece “The Wilde Flowers,” OPETH’s monumental new record also features the critically heralded new songs “Will O The Wisp” and “Sorceress.” Fans who pre-order the album will receive an instant download of “The Wilde Flowers,” “Will O The Wisp” and “Sorceress.” Links to pre-orders can be found below:

Nuclear Blast Store: http://nblast.de/OpethSorceressNB
Recordstore (inc signed insert): http://nblast.de/OpethSorceressRS
iTunes: http://nblast.de/OpethSorceressIT
Apple Music: http://nblast.de/OpethSorceressAM
Google Play: http://nblast.de/OpethSorceressGP

Catch up on the previous episodes here:
Mikael leads you through the Rockfield Studios
Mikael speaks about the guitar recordings
Axe speaks about the drum recordings
Martin speaks about the bass recordings
Mikael speaks about the songwriting
Fredrik speaks about the guitar recordings
Mikael talks about the lyrical concept
Joakim Svalberg talks about the keyboard recordings

OPETH will return to the UK for a headline show at Wembley Arena on Saturday 19th November.  Tickets are on sale now from www.livenation.co.uk.

Full tour dates as follows:
05.11.  S         Stockholm – Annexet
06.11.  N         Oslo – Konserthus
07.11.  DK       Copenhagen – DR Koncerthuset, Koncertsalen
08.11.  D         Hamburg – Docks
10.11.  A          Vienna – Arena
11.11.  D         Stuttgart – LKA Longhorn
12.11.  D         Munich – Theaterfabrik
13.11.  CH       Zurich – Volkshaus
14.11.  I           Milan – Alcatraz
16.11.  D         Cologne – E-Werk
17.11.  B          Brussels – AB
18.11.  NL        Tilburg – 013
19.11.  UK       London – SSE Arena Wembley
21.11.  F          Paris – Le Trianon
23.11.  LUX      Luxemburg – Den Atelier
24.11.  D         Berlin – Astra Kulturhaus

OPETH North American Tour:
24.09.  USA      San Bernardino, CA – Ozzfest
29.09.  USA     Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
30.09.  USA     Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore
01.10.  USA     New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
02.10.  USA     Boston, MA – House Of Blues
04.10.  CDN     Montreal, QC – Metropolis
05.10.  CDN     Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
07.10.  USA     Detroit, MI – The Fillmore
08.10.  USA     Akron, OH – Good Year Theater @ East End
09.10.  USA     Chicago, IL – Riviera Theater
10.10.  USA     Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
12.10.  USA     Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
13.10.  USA     Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
14.10.  USA     Austin, TX – Emo‘s
15.10.  USA     Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Live!
18.10.  USA     Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl
19.10.  USA     Tempe, AZ – The Marquee
21.10.  USA     Sacramento, CA – Ace Of Spades
22.10.  USA     San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
24.10.  USA     Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
25.10.  USA     Seattle, WA – The Moore
26.10.  CDN     Vancouver, BC – Orpheum

MORE INFO:

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MASCHINE announce release of second studio album through INSIDE OUT

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Young British progressive rockers MASCHINE have announced the release of their second studio album ‘Naturalis’ for the 18th November 2016 on InsideOutMusic. The follow-up to the band’s debut ‘Rubidium’, this is the first to feature drummer James Stewart ( Vader) & keyboardist/vocalist Marie-Eve de Gaultier.

The album will be released as a special edition digipak CD & digital download, both featuring two bonus tracks recorded live in 2015 at Veruno Prog Festival in Italy. The full track-list can be found below:

1. Resistance (11:52)
2. Night And Day (5:08)
3. Make Believe (7:10)
4. Hidden In Plain Sight (7:01)
5. A New Reality (8:45)
6. Megacyma (11:46)
Bonus Tracks
7. Eyes Pt.2 (Live in Veruno) (8:55)
8. Rubidium (Live in Veruno) (8:47)

Forever Still – Sign to Nuclear Blast and release debut “Tied Down” on October 21st Check out music video for ‘Miss Madness’ and pre-order now!

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A new spark of hope has started glowing in the darkness of the rock music scene and with their untamed female lead vocals and haunting melodies the new wildfire namedFOREVER STILL is starting to spread from Denmark. Hailing from the same musical shores as LACUNA COIL, FLYLEAF, HALESTORM or BRING ME THE HORIZON, the band has been building a solid fan base since 2013 and toured tirelessly throughout Europe. Now they are ready to unleash their fresh debut record entitled Tied Down on October 21st.

“People who have followed the band for a while know that we’re very self-sufficient and haven’t been in a rush signing with a label”, singer Maja Shining states. “If we were to sign, we wanted to find someone who believed as much in the band as we do, without wanting to change us and who wants to work hard together with us to push it to the top. We believe we’ve found that in Nuclear Blast and we’re very excited to start working with them and reach new heights with the band.”

While many young rock bands with a charming frontwoman are often labeled as ‘industry products’ or ‘engineered’, nothing is artificial or marionette-like aboutFOREVER STILL – writing their own songs is obvious for Maja and multi-instrumentalist Mikkel Haastrup, but the band also put their heart and soul into every other aspect affiliated with their music. Over the years they have booked their own tours, shot their band photos and music videos themselves, produced and mixed their new songs and have consequently climbed their self-constructed ladder to success.

Something that instantly impressed Nuclear Blast CEO Markus Staiger:
“With FOREVER STILL it was love at first sight! The Metal Hammer article in which they had been named ‘Band Of The Month’ immediately caught my attention and after checking out their music via their homepage, I was overwhelmed! This band is young, ambitious, sounds fresh and has a massive amount of potential hits! Their modern and melodic metal is breathtaking and with singer Maja, FOREVER STILL has the perfect frontwoman! We loved the DIY-Status of the band and their high ambitions and it’s an honour to welcome them to the Nuclear Blast family!”

Their first album Tied Down is a journey through emotional devastation, hope and recovery, it mixes passionate clean vocals with raging screams from singer Maja and contains rock hymns that instantly capture the listener.

Here’s the tracklist of the new release that will also contain a special DVD:
01. Scars
02. Once Upon A Nightmare
03. Miss Madness
04. Awake The Fire
05. Breathe In
06. Save Me
07. Your Light
08. Alone
09. Break The Glass
10. Tied Down
Bonus Tracks:
11. Scars (Acoustic)
12. Save Me (Acoustic)
13. Miss Madness (Acoustic)

DVD:
01. Miss Madness (Video Clip)
02. Scars (Video Clip)
03. Awake The Fire (Video Clip)
04. Break The Glass (Video Clip)
05. Once Upon a Nightmare (Lyric Video)
06. Miss Madness (Lyric Video)
07. Scars (Lyric Video)

Forever Still have also just unleashed a new video for single ‘Miss Madness’

“The clip for ‘Miss Madness’ was shot at the oldest amusement park in the world over the course of 6 months. Half of it in the summer time and the other in the winter time to portray the contrast filled dream and the brutal reality for ‘Miss Madness’ herself”,singer Maja Shining remembers.
But shooting the video in the middle of the crowded amusement park ‘Bakken’ was of course not particularly easy – you have to let yourself go, ignore the staring people andMaja laughs when she’s thinking back to the scenery: “…haha, it was exactly as horrible as you can imagine!”

And since the madness is just about to begin, FOREVER STILL‘s debut album Tied Down is now available for pre-order. The physical copy will be a special CD+DVD digipack:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tied-Down-Forever-Still/dp/B01LZT5JHP/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1474448064&sr=1-1&keywords=forever+still

If you prefer to get a digital version:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/tied-down/id1151437769

Check out their music video to the album opening track ‘Scars’ here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUG0c05iK-Q

More info:
www.foreverstill.dk
www.facebook.com/foreverstill

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