Progradar Recommends – Episode 5 – Frequency Drift, Hillmen, Deafening Opera & Weend’ô

Here we go again folks, another episode of my recommendations and have we got some pretty powerful and intense stuff for you this time so, without further ado…

Frequency Drift – Letters to Maro

Intense and complex cinematic art rock with a heavy progressive feel, that has been the core of German band Frequency Drift’s sound for a long time. Their previous album ‘Last’ (2016) is a case in point. With a penchant for the dramatic and sophisticated these impressive musicians have always delivered very emotive albums.

‘Letters to Maro’ takes that succesfull format and builds on it impressively with the addition of the soulful vocals of Irina Alexa to the core of Andreas Hack, Nerissa Schwarz and Wolfgang Ostermann. Irina also adds a subtle influence with her writing style and lyrical implementation.

Where ‘Last’ was underpinned by the heavy guitars, this new album is much more rounded sonically and there’s an inherent melancholy and lightness to the soulful and emotive music and it results in a vivid, melodramatic musical experience that will leave a long lasting impression on you.

‘Letters to Maro’ is more than just a collection of songs, it is a hugely involving, artful and immersive experience that everyone one should experience at least once.

Rating – 87/100

Released 13th April 2018

Order ‘Letters to Maro’ from bandcamp here

Hillmen – The Whiskey Mountain Sessions Vol. II

“Recorded in a smoke filled private studio high in the coastal mountains of Southern California, ‘The Whiskey Mountain Sessions Vol. II’ is forty minutes of contemporary instrumental music at its dynamic best. Hillmen features the talents of Peter Hillman (Kiss The Frog) on drums, Gayle Ellett (Djam Karet) on keyboards, Jeff Smith (Insects vs. Robots) on bass and Lito Magana Jr. (Mestizo Beat) on guitar.” – so says the press blurb for this intriguing album of so-called Free Improvisation music.

This is raw, unfiltered music written without even a score and recorded in one literal ‘jam’ session. Opener The Long Way Home is full of psychedelic guitar, dreamy Minimoog synth stylings and incredibly laid back jazz drumming. Whiskey soaked, smoke filled bar nights come to mind on this super laid back track. Rhodes electric piano, Minimoog, vintage guitars and amps are combined with state of the art recording technology to generate a warm, unique sound.

The vibrant feel continues throughout the rest of the album and leaves a permanent grin on your face, nostalgic and yet forward looking this release showcases the magic that can come from improvised music, music that can grow and evolve over time.

Get your hands on this exceptional and singular release, you won’t regret one minute of it!

Rating – 80/100 

Listen to an edit of The Long Way Home here

Released 16th march 2018

Order the album from bandcamp here

Deafening Opera – Let Silence Fall

I was a fan of the last Deafening Opera album ‘Blueprint’ which was a real progressive feeling record so I was very happy when this new release popped through my letterbox. ‘Let Silence Fall’ promised to be an evolution in every regard which did make me a bit nervous but after the first listen this excellent German band had delivered superb musical theatre once again.

With a more modern, even symphonic, delivery this concept album is a rich musical tapestry of passionate vocals and thunderous guitar riffs entwined with more delicate and emotive pieces to give an all-encompassing theatrical musical experience.

Showing a maturity and sheer complexity and depth, Deafening Opera not only prove themselves to be very proficient musicians but master storytellers as well as this involving dramatic piece of work ebbs and flows effortlessly. Showmanship as much suited to the stage as to a recorded work, it is a highlight of the year for those of a symphonic rock persuasion.

Rating – 81/100

Released 17th March 2018

Order the album direct from the band here

Weend’ô – Time of Awakening

There’s some really good music coming out of France. I’d heard of Weend’ô but it wasn’t until I’d made their acquaintance at last year’s Summer’s End Festival that I really got to see and hear how good they really were.

A group of talented and consummate musicians fronted by the amazing vocal talent of Laetitia, a singer heavily influenced by Anneke Van Giersbergen and one who has completely transcended any such comparisons now. The band’s sound has previously been described as falling somewhere between Pink Floyd’s more ambient moments and the modern riffs of Tool, a fair comparison although I feel they are ploughing their own unique musical furrow nowadays.

Atmospheric rock music with prog-tinged hues and a real under current of the blues to the fluent guitar playing, I find it totally addictive and fronted by Laetitia’s sultry rock voice it takes on a whole life of its own. ‘Time of Awakening’ is a call to humanity to keep faith and hope despite the appalling events currently afflicting the world. Discussed in the wistful and ethereal hymn Elea, nothing can stop the true evolution…

Seven songs, forty-three minutes long, this deeply engaging album will immerse you in Weend’ô’s singular musical world and it is a place you may find exceedingly difficult to leave. This wonderful album is definitely my unexpected find of the year so far for 2018.

Rating – 88/100

Released 30th March 2018

Order the album from bandcamp here

 

 

 

Episode 4 of Progradar Recommends – Tangekanic, That Joe Payne, Toundra, Flicker Rate

Welcome to another edition of Progradar Recommends and this time I’ll talk about new releases from Tangekanic, That Joe Payne, Toundra and Flicker Rate…

Tangekanic – Hotel Cantaffordit

I didn’t know what to expect when I went to the Summers End Festival in Chepstow last October with the Prog Guru™ himself, Mr David Elliott. It was a blast, a real home grown, family friendly festival with superb acts and a brilliant atmosphere. One of the highlights was the set from Tangekanic, a touring unit that plays the music of both The Tangent and Karmakanic and features members of both, working together in one collaborative set.

Well the guys took the show to the USA and, luckily for us, decided to record at the New Jersey Proghouse and release it as a live album – ‘Hotel Cantaffordit’. What a stunning release it is, Jonas Reingold – Bass Guitar, Andy Tillison – Keyboards & Vocals, Göran Edman – Vocals, Luke Machin – Guitar and Steve Roberts – Drums  deliver a rip-roaring set full of good natured humour and enough energy and vibrancy to power a small village in deepest Yorkshire!

Opening with an incendiary version of The Tangent’s Spark In The Aether and then a spirited interpretation of the instrumental Dr Livingstone (I Presume?)  from the band’s latest long player ‘The Slow Rust of Forgotten Machinery’, this hybrid band play as if they’ve been together for many a year.

There’s a real camaraderie between them and a fun feeling to their energetic and lively set, the dry asides from Jonas are a particular highlight as is the wonderful version of the Swedish band’s God, The Universe And Everything Else Nobody Cares About, the closing track, Steer By The Stars with a hugely entertaining performance of the uplifting Send a Message From the Heart segued on closes the album in style.

‘Hotel Cantaffordit’ also includes the emotive Sanctuary In Music and Two Rope Swings.

Rating – 80/100

Released 22nd March 2018

Order direct from The Tangent here

That Joe Payne – I Need A Change (single release)

I’ve met Joe a few times and he is a lovely and personable young man so it was with some concern that I heard he had left his role as front man for the legendary prog unit The Enid in September 2016. He was open about his issues with anxiety and depression and thankfully, like the proverbial Phoenix, Joe has risen from the flames and reinvented himself as a solo artist with this first single release, I Need A Change.

The music, written and arranged entirely by Joe, was brought to life in the studio with the help of three other recently retired Enid members; Max Read (singer and producer), Nic Willes (drums and bass) and Duncan McLaughlan (guitar).

I’m sure Joe would be happy with my description of him and his music as being very dramatic and he is almost operatic in his vocal delivery, the lush harmonies that abound throughout the track are a beautiful highlight. I Need A Change is a musical triumph and sees this remarkable front man back where he belongs. There is real melodrama to the powerful music and there is no doubting the breathtaking emotional performance that Joe delivers on his first solo outing.

If this were a vinyl single we would call Moonlit Love the ‘B’ side and it is another superbly theatrical piece of music that shows off Joe’s talents to perfection. If you buy the single you get another five different versions of I Need A Change including piano, strings and choir arrangements which certainly give excellent value for money.

I am really excited to see what this outstanding performer comes up with next!

Rating – 78/100

Released 2nd March 2018

Order the single direct from Joe’s online shop here

Toundra – Vortex

I was very impressed by Spanish instrumental band Toundra’s last release ‘IV’ so it was with heightened anticipation that I awaited the promo of their new album ‘Vortex’, the enigmatic cover certainly helped too!

Their sound blends powerful riffs, beautiful deep melodies and intricate atmospheres, all wrapped up in elongated electric songs that emphasized their dangerous flammable live potential. ‘Vortex’ tales that as a base and then builds on it with repeated layers of powerful and in your face instrumental rock.

Monstrous riffs abound, just check out Cobra to see what I’m getting at, and the rhythm section seems like it was hewn out of solid granite. If you like your music in-your-face, direct, dynamic and, well, bloody loud then you have come to the right place. Touareg is an eight minute monster (as well as a Volkswagen 4×4), the eleven minute brilliance of Mojave does show that band can craft an excellent tune as well and is worth the entry price alone.

I have always been a big fan of instrumental rock (see the Flicker Rate review that follows this) and Toundra have just elevated themselves to the top of my recommendations with “the most straight-forward, heart-stopping, earth-shaking album of the year.”

Rating – 80/100

Released 27th April 2018.

Order the album on CD or Vinyl from Burning Shed here

Flicker Rate – Skylight

I know the exact moment when Spencer Bassett stepped out of the shadow of his illustrious father John and became a bona-fide artist in his own right. It was when I stopped considering him to be the son of John Bassett and took the merits of Spencer’s instrumental musical project Flicker Rate on their own standing.

Unlike the monstrous riffage of Toundra ‘Skylight’ has a much lighter vibe, wistful and with a easygoing vibe. The title track has an almost world music feel to it and Cloud Drop and Shimmer take that and add a lazy jazz influence to give it real sophistication and maturity.

Final track Grow has a post-rock vibe at its core and adds even more of an easy going feel to this delightful EP. With his third release and its contemplative and emotive atmosphere, Spencer has proven himself to be a songwriter and musician of some repute and not a little skill, it’s a bout time we got a full-length album from him (are you listening Spencer?).

Rating – 79/100

Released 13th April 2018

Order Skylight from bandcamp here

Keep your eyes out for the next episode of Progradar Recommends, coming soon…

 

 

 

Episode 3 of Progradar Recommends – HeKz, Emperor Norton, Malady & Subsignal

Welcome to the third edition of my Progradar recommendations, this time around we have the new albums from HeKzEmperor NortonMalady and Subsignal

HeKz – Invicta

From the first notes of album opener Quetzlcoatl it is apparent that the rising stars of UK prog-metal, HeKz, have gone balls out on new album ‘Invicta’. This mighty powerful five piece from Bedford certainly know how to turn the amps up to 11. The Brian May-esque guitar and Matt Youngs flamboyant vocals that slot somewhere between Freddie Mercury and Justin Hawkins combine to take you on a thunderously wild ride of progressive metal pomp and circumstance.

For Our Lives is a adrenaline fueled rock anthem with totally excessive ( and utterly addictive) riffage and vocal harmonies aplenty, this band know how to give the audience what they want. There’s a couple of ballads and The Devil’s Coin is a properly progressive fifteen minute track to prove they have the chops but, overall, what you get is an thoroughly enjoyable blast that will blow the cobwebs out of your hair and leave a stupid, inane grin on your face for quite a long time.

I have a sneaking suspicion that HeKz will be an awesome proposition live and these dynamic and energetic tracks certainly deserve to be let out of the studio and onto an unsuspecting listening public, ‘Invicta’ is a musical tornado that will flatten everything that comes before it and leave you asking for more.

85/100

Released 20th April 2018

Pre-order ‘Invicta’ from the HeKz website here

Emperor Norton – Emperor Norton

Every now and again an album comes along that makes you reconsider your musical principles and stands out among a river of repetitive and formulaic releases and the eponymous debut from York’s Emperor Norton is proving itself to be one of those gems.

To quote the band’s website;

Emperor Norton promptly donned the musical cummerbund of “Prog” and added “Rock” to sound cutting edge. The very next day, the group discovered – to its astonishment – that it had unwittingly declared allegiance to an underground resistance movement of cape-laden keyboard wizards, fiery plectrum wranglers and lead singers who speaketh like Shakespeare. Emperor Norton felt right at home.”

They bring a freshness to the whole progressive rock genre and almost seem to be the missing link between the bombast of the 70’s leviathans with their overblown Hammonds and jangly guitars and the modern breed of progressive influenced rock artists like MuseCoheed and Cambria, Mandroid Echostar and Mars Volta.

Take the Steve Howe style guitar on Act I: Portents that along with the thumping bass line and swirling keys transports you back to tracks like Yours Is No Disgrace and the ilk and then segues into Act I: Petrichor with vocals that tip more than a hat to Matt Bellamy and you’ll begin to get my gist.

It’s an incredible piece of work especially considering that this is the band’s first release and, just when you think it can’t get any better, the fifteen minute joyful brilliance of the stunning Act III: Arrow comes along to prove that we really have some genre redefining musicians in front of us.

Do yourselves a favour, buy what is possibly the album of the year already and don’t just take my word for it, have a listen…

95/100

Released 17th March 2017

Buy ‘Emperor Norton’ from bandcamp

Malady – Toinen Toista

“Modern music consumption isn’t built for looking at trees or wandering through mazes. We live in a culture of straight lines and constant motion. Malady ask that you opt out, reclaim your time, and slow the f**k down for once. Trust me, it’s worth it.”

Sage advice from Finland’s Malady, hailing from Helsinki theirs is a sound rooted in the 70’s with fuzzy guitars and Hammond organs swirling like only a Hammond can. With their debut a deserved underground hit the band return with a polished follow up that invokes all of the best things that vintage Scandinavian prog can deliver.

Lush vocals and organic instrumentation abound on title track and opener Toinen Toista, a song that leads us into an album full of questions about being human and the transient nature of things but, don’t worry, this release isn’t asking you to take a PHD course in existentialism or the like, it has strings on it for God’s sake!

Lazy, hazy nostalgic days are invoked by the acid jazz heavy Teidon Kehtolaulu and the fact that the vocals are in Finnish doesn’t detract one bit, in fact they just add to the mystic feel (along with the superb flute playing, you’ve got to love flutes!).

The best is saved for last with the epic twenty-three minutes of Nurja Puoli, one of the best Prog ‘epics’ of recent years. To put this all into context I have actually ordered the vinyl of this superb release and I know it is going to get plenty of play…

85/100

Released 30th March 2018

Order the download of ‘Toinen Toista’ from bandcamp

Order on CD or LP from Svart Records:

Toinen toista

Subsignal – La Muerta

Germany’s purveyor’s of powerful and polished progressive rock, Subsignal, return with new album ‘La Muerta’ and (according to the press release), “…sends the listener on a proper voyage of discovery that is as complex as it is eventful. Subsignal have consciously designed the path to “La Muerta” a tad more accessible than was the case with the predecessor…”

Featuring Sieges Even luminaries Arno Menses and Markus Steffen, you get the signature involving songwriting but this time the band have decided not to hold the listener’s hand and, instead, let them make their own voyage of discovery through these eleven impressively crafted tunes. The expected superb harmonies are evident on the brilliant title track and the powerful guitar work of Markus drives the album on throughout.

I was a huge fan of the last Subsignal release ‘The Beacons of Somewhere Sometime’, each track had its place in the unfolding story that was laid before you and the band have tweaked their unique songwriting process to deliver an even more immersive and intoxicating musical journey.

Drowning sees the band baring their soul with a much more pared back approach, one that features the haunting vocals of Marjana Semkina. A beautifully stark piece of music, it will leave a mark on your soul that will stay for a very long time.

With the wonderfully lush production (courtesy of Yogi Lang and Kalle Wallner of RPWL) giving the songs enough air to breathe, ‘La Muerta’ sees the band full of self-confidence and delivering a collection of songs that, while easily able to stand on their own, are a collective force when dealt with as a whole.

80/100

Released 26th May 2018

Pre-orders will open soon at Gentle Art of Music:

Subsignal

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Progradar Recommends (Episode 2) – PENNA, Soul Enema, Jim Griffin & Obscura

Welcome to another edition of Progradar Recommends, today I’ll talk to you about music from PENNA, Soul Enema, Jim Griffin & Obscura in this selection of bite-size reviews…

PENNA – SubLevels

Multi-instrumentalist Dave Penna first came to notariety in the early 90’s as the drummer with Long Island tech-thrashers Kronin.  Since then he has worked with Spastic Ink, Ad Astra, Ronnie Spector, Planet Hate, and members of The Coasters and The Del Vikings.

Hailing from New York, his first solo EP was 2016’s ‘Chemical God’ but ‘SubLevels’ is more progressive and less dark and has a real hard rock vibe that reminds me of Foo Fighters and Nirvana with the fuzzy guitar and hard-edged rhythm section. In fact, the exemplary drums and bass are the real driving force behind the entire EP and a comparison to Craig Blundell and Nick Beggs would not be out of place.

The EP was written and performed entirely by Penna, recorded with assistance from producer Chris Fasulo (Ill Niño, Chico Hamilton) and will be mastered by Dave Roman (Birdthrower, Leroy Burgess).

Criminally short with only four tracks, it really only gives you taste of what this talented musician is about and I, for one, am hoping his next outing will be a full length album. Intricate and complicated in places yet there is still an instant accessibility at the core and a jazz/fusion subtext that keeps everything very interesting.

Released 4th November 2017

Order ‘SubLevels’ from bandcamp here

Soul Enema – Of Clans And Clones

Okay, let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way, I’m not keen on the band name and all its connotations. Hopefully that won’t stop people from listening to the music because, boy, do you really get a listening experience that is intense and madder than Mad Jack McMad but utterly fulfilling as well.

Like a more intensified version of Bent Knee this band deliver cooky and in-your-face progressive rock/metal that is a bit off-putting at first but, once you get into the same frame of mind as these talented Israelis, you will not be disappointed.

Soul Enema’s bio has this gem of a sentence, “The band combines conventional melodic rock aspects with a different, occasionally more experimental way of writing.”

‘More Experimental’? You can say that again, the middle-eastern influences are obviously there but it is the free thinking unconventional music that really knocks you off your feet in a good way. Featuring a who’s-who of modern progressive metal including Yossi Sassi and Arjen Lucassen, this is one album that everyone should try at least once and i have a sneaking suspicion that quite a few will come back for more…

The Aral Sea Trilogy has to be heard to be believed:

Released June 23rd 2017.

Order Of ‘Clans and Clones’ from bandcamp here

Jim Griffin – To A Far City

Zombie Picnic’s guitarist (James to his friends) has a solo project that is far away from the psychedelic instrumental space rock that is their usual fare. A much more personal affair, there is a lush and nostalgic feel to the music, a feel of lazy, hazy days gone by. You could almost imagine that the trials and tribulations of this modern world never existed as the five tracks (plus bonus) take you on a spiritual journey of self discovery.

Did those near perfect worlds of Enid Blyton ever exist? I’m guessing James thinks so as it is that sepia tinged world that his music keeps depositing me in.

Do we believe too much in things as they are? Superstitious reverence for that which exists.

Take an hour out of your day, turn your phone off and listen to this delightful musical peregrination that was inspired by, ‘The Narrow Road to the Interior’ by Matsuo Bashō (Genroku 2), “The Quest of Iranon” by H.P. Lovecraft (February 28th, 1921) and a rainy Summer’s day at Derrigimlagh at half three in the afternoon.

Tender vocals and a plethora of verdant acoustic guitars are king on this wonderful release that had me feeling like I was intruding on James’ most private life and yet this accomplished musician is one of the most welcoming I know. A wonderfully fulfilling collection of songs that surely make the world a better place.

Released 15th November 2017

Order ‘To A Far City’ from bandcamp here

Ostura – The Room

Since the demise of Dream Theater into a pompous, self-obsessed shadow of their original selves, progressive metal has been searching for a new standard bearer. Some have come and tried and delivered some rather tasty albums but none have reached that pinnacle…yet…

However Lebanon based Middle-Eastern collective Ostura may yet lay claim to that mantle with their ambitious new concept album ‘The Room’ which has many movers and shakers in the genre lauding it as the next best thing and, as of now, you can count me in that group too. A grandiose cinematic storyline about a social recluse girl who takes refuge in a room. Locked in with her thoughts, fears, and ambitions, the girl’s imagination turns the room into an endless universe where she is the creator. The story tackles the notions of fear, perfection, social anxiety, ambitions, rage, power, and the struggle between the creator and the creation.

A massive production consisting of performers from 12 countries alongside the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and the core band, ‘The Room’ is a stunning achievement which brings Ostura to the forefront of progressive and symphonic metal artists and will literally blow you away with its power, intensity and musical aplomb.

The storyline is captivating and engrossing as the two vocalists (Youmna Jreissati and Elia Monsef) adroitly guide you through the events as they unfold and the utterly impressive musical score provides perfect accompaniment to deliver symphonic/progressive metal opera that amazes and dumbfounds with equal measure.

It is nothing short of a musical triumph from the first note to the last and should see this thrilling band ascend to the top rung of the ladder.

Released 23rd February 2018

Buy/Stream ‘The Room’ at this link

So, there you have it, another four albums I think you should buy, keep your eyes out for the next edition of Progradar Recommends coming your way soon…

 

 

Progradar Recommends (Episode 1) – Marco Ragni, M’Z, Siiilk & Wilson and Wakeman

The long form review is becoming defunct in this day of instant gratification and bombardment of new musical exploits. Welcome to the new Progradar review section – ‘Progradar Recommends’ – where you’ll get more reviews (only with less words or some may say less twaddle!).

Starting this new feature will be Marco Ragni, M’Z, Siiilk and Wilson & Wakeman.

Marco Ragni – The Wandering Caravan

“The album is about revolution, about searching for oneself, about metaphysical travel, about memories, about love and suffering. It talks about life, of how we live this Era. It try to push us in search of ourselves, finding the best of us after having passed from the worst of us. It’s a journey into my life. It is passion. It is a desire for redemption. It is a dream and a reality.”

Italian musician Marco has always been one for complicated and involving music using different influences and this new album is no different. Using eastern influences and a lot of woodwind you are treated to an ululating and evolving musical work that rewards concentration and repeated listening. Tracks like Promised Land and Keep Dreaming have a wistful and laid back feel that instantly lulls you into a calm and serene frame of mind.

Marco is joined on this journey by Peter Matuchniak (Lead guitar), Dave Newhouse (Woodwind) and Jeff Mack (Bass) as well as a host of renowned guests included Luca Zabbini and Ian Beabout. What he delivers is eight tracks that are a personal musical revelation from this highly accomplished artist. Listen to songs like Waiting on the Threshold and you will be captivated and drawn into this impressive escape from the mundane boredom of real life.

Released 28th February 2018

Order The Wandering Caravan from bandcamp here

M’Z – Prisme

Not your usual fare for this reviewer but I was intrigued by the album cover of Toulouse artist M’Z’s album ‘Prisme’ and so I decided to follow it up. It is presented as a fusion of rock, electro and jazz and, to be fair, it does exactly what is says on the tin.

To me, there’s just something exciting about the music and the structure of the tracks. Based around some pretty impressive guitar work the keyboards blend in with there elctro-pop vibe and the off-kilter feel is really of free-from jazz. To add even more polish and machination there are some highly energetic and powerful industrial electro vibes flying around all over the place with some punchy percussion.

To quote the artist:

M is the guitar and Z is the machine, the idea is to also create a bridge between organic and electric/electronic music, a bridge between the code and its acceptance and the need to get out of the code.”

Don’t be put off by the description as, with repeated listens, this album really gets under your skin in a very positive manner. What you get is a thoroughly enjoyable 42 minutes of music with influences from all over the musical spectrum.

Released 27th December 2017

Order ‘Prisme’ from bandcamp here

Siiilk – Endless Mystery

A band new to me until I happened to talk to member Richard Pick earlier this year, Siiilk (someone’s finger stuck on the keyboard?) hail from France and produce wonderful, ethereal progressive rock hewn from the genre’s traditional style but with added Gallic flair and grace.

The band was formed in 2010 and have gone from strength to strength, blending superb, intricate guitar work with the lush keyboards and the wistful vocals of Robert and Catherine Pick. The subtle rhythm section is a revelation throughout and especially prevalent on the title track.

The PR stuff –Siiilk revives its creative power and takes us to the imaginary realms of the mysteries of the soul. Through sensitive and intense sounds, their songs speak about landscapes of emotion and melancholy.”

Listening to ‘Endless Mystery’ is like falling onto the most comfortable bed in the world and letting the sublime, heavenly music wash over you, absolving you of all your earthly sins. Musical catharsis if I have ever heard it, one I suggest you go out and purchase forthwith!

Released 24th May 2017

Buy ‘Endless Mystery’ from Amazon here

Damian Wilson & Adam Wakeman – The Sun Will Dance In Its Twilight Hour

The second collaboration from this uber-talented duo is another exquisitely created and performed selection of songs where Damian Wilson once again gets to show us his more gentle side for this is another album founded on the big man’s ever impressive vocal and Wakeman Junior’s sublime tinkling ivories just add lashings of polish and verve.

What we have here is another dedication to the art of songwriting and the song. Tracks like opener The Last American Hero, Always The Lonely One and the title track are perfectly crafted jewels of the songwriting art and don’t need any enhancement, you just enjoy them for what they are. Adam even gets to show us his vocal skills on On This Battlefield and their emotive, touching delivery will move you.

“Writing songs with Damian is always a great experience as we tend to start from scratch and follow where the writing takes us. We’re so pleased with how this album has come together. Having Gary Stevenson on board to mix thealbum and add an extra ear from a production background has been nothing but positive. He also has a killer coffee machine.” – Adam Wakeman

After the wonderful ‘Weir Keeper’s Tale’ Damian and Adam have once again proved there are a force to be reckoned with and song writers without peer. Just listen to the nigh on perfect Better Than That with its gentle, piano led opening that slowly builds into a wonderfully up beat, almost raucous, jazz/rock outpouring that just makes you smile, life really doesn’t get much better than this!

Released 16th February 2018

Order ‘The Sun Will Dance In Its Twilight Hour Direct From Damian & Adam here

So that’s it, the first edition of Progradar Recommends, let me know your thoughts please as I’m always looking to improve!