EUROPE Unveil Title Track “Walk The Earth” Single Out Now; Album Out October 20

EUROPE is pleased to announce the release of their title track and first single “Walk The Earth” from their up and coming new studio album WALK THE EARTHout October 20th.

WALK THE EARTH is now available for pre-order from the links below:

Jewel case CD: http://hyperurl.co/EuropeWTECD

Special Edition CD/DVD Digi-book: http://hyperurl.co/EuropeWTESE

White coloured vinyl: http://hyperurl.co/EuropeWTFLP

MP3: http://hyperurl.co/EuropeWTEMP3

If EUROPE’s 2015 album WAR OF KINGS was the album that made the rock world realise what a formidable act EUROPE had become then WALK THE EARTH is the album that is set to establish the band as one of the most exciting contemporary rock acts of current times.
“We’re simply a different band today,” says lead singer Joey Tempest. “Ever since we started up again in 2004, we have constantly explored our limits and new parts of our musical universe. After around 1,000 shows, we feel comfortable just improvising, jamming and pushing our lyrics and songwriting with much more ease. We have now been together recording and making albums longer than the early period of the band. Five albums in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Now six records with WALK THE EARTH. When we started up again in 2004 we all agreed to think ‘long-term,’ to take the long road and build up a new relationship with listeners and media. We all agreed on writing together, owning our music, and license it out to labels that really care and support us in the long run.
“We also agreed to not look back! And never stop looking for that deeper expression. We don’t have much in common with our contemporaries from back then. We have taken a different path, making sure we are constantly moving forward. We have little regard for outside influences and opinions. In order to enjoy this new journey and feel creative, it needed to be completely on our terms.
“In a EUROPE live show, there is of course some room for nostalgia, but in the studio there is none. Every album is a reaction to the one before, a new journey a new adventure. The music of a rock band needs to constantly move, challenge, upheave, evolve or the band will automatically become a nostalgia act. We are proud of our past and previous albums, but we simply can’t identify, recapture, emulate any of it. We simply can’t write like that even if we wanted to. We are a new act with a different expression.
“Over the years, we have learned how important recording techniques and recording equipment is by trying to search and research which producers, engineers and recording studios that can actually inspire and keep us wanting to be adventurous and daring. It has now taken us six albums to get here.”
The new album WALK THE EARTH will feature original artwork by famed Los Angeles artist Mike Sportes of Filth Mart.
“We were in the studio a few days into recording and Dave (Cobb, Producer) comes in wearing this very cool T-Shirt with one of Mike’s designs on it. Immediately we knew we had to check Mike’s other work and have him come up with an exclusive design for us based on the vibe of the album. We are very proud to have his amazing artwork as the WALK THE EARTH album cover!’ – Joey Tempest on the appointment of Mike Sportes to do the cover.
WALK THE EARTH tracklisting:
1. Walk The Earth
2. The Siege
3. Kingdom United
4. Pictures
5. Election Day
6. Wolves
7. GTO
8. Haze
9. Whenever You’re Ready
10. Turn To Dust
From the anthemic sound of the opening track “Walk The Earth” to the heavy vibe that is “Haze,” from the instant melody of “Election Day” to the lyrical content of “Kingdom United,”WALK THE EARTH is the album that should see EUROPE rightly acclaimed as a band at the height of their powers. The wonderful melodies and depth of Joey Tempest’s vocals along with a powerhouse rhythm section and the guitar playing of John Norum, one of the great underrated guitarists. Norum’s guitar playing shines across the record. This is an album that is big in its scope and sound. Much like previous album “War Of Kings,” WALK THE EARTH is an album that has instant appeal but is also an album that needs to be lived with, in order to uncover it’s depth. The album was recorded at famed Abbey Road Studios in London with Grammy@ winning producer Dave Cobb (Rival Sons, Shooter Jennings, Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton).
Late 2016 saw EUROPE perform a series of “The Final Countdown Anniversary Shows” across Europe – culminating in a show at The Roundhouse in London. The show has been immortalised in a July 2017 DVD release The Final Countdown 30th Anniversary Show – Live at the Roundhouse.
Preceding the landmark event, fans were also treated to a live performance of EUROPE’s last album, 2015’s WAR OF KINGS, a release which re-established them as one of the top rock bands in the world.
Since forming in 1979 EUROPE have sold over 25 million albums, toured across the world and become one of the greats of modern rock music. The bands all conquering THE FINAL COUNTDOWN album has alone sold over 15 million copies worldwide and the single of the same name was #1 in 25 countries.

LUNATIC SOUL PRESENTS NEW VIDEO FOR THE SONG “ANYMORE” TAKEN FROM FORTHCOMING NEW STUDIO ALBUM – FRACTURED RELEASED THROUGH KSCOPE ON 6TH OCTOBER

With the release of Lunatic Soul’s new album Fractured imminent, Mariusz Duda, the talented creator, singer and multi-instrumentalist behind Lunatic Soul has revealed a new track and video for the song “Anymore”.  Mariusz has previously spoke of how the new album Fractured is an album of catharsis after a challenging year in his personal life and here he reveals the influence behind the album’s most deeply emotional and personal track.

’Anymore’ is different from all the previous Lunatic Soul compositions and opens a new music chapter in my career. Experimenting with subtle electronics and inspiration with the sound of the 80s have always been close to my heart and this time, more than ever, I wanted to introduce all that into the world of Lunatic Soul. The lyrics are inspired by the tragic death of my father.”

Fractured, Lunatic Soul’s is the fifth album and the follow up to 2014’s acclaimed Walking On A Flashlight Beam. Here, sees a conceptual development for Lunatic Soul with Duda gaining the self-confidence to allow himself greater creative freedom with the new material, experimenting more with electronics and rhythm. 

Fractured features Poland’s Sinfonietta Consonus Orchestra, conducted by Michał Mierzejewski, on two of the album’s most personal tracks “Crumbling Teeth And The Owl Eyes” and “A Thousand Shards Of Heaven”; the album also features saxophonist Marcin Odyniec who first worked with Mariusz in Riverside. The album was recorded in Poland at Serakos Studio and Custom 34 Studio, mixed by Magda & Robert Srzedniccy and Mariusz Duda, and the artwork was created by long time collaborator, renowned cover artist Travis Smith, whose previous work includes the likes of Anathema, Katatonia, Opeth & Riverside.

“Anymore” 

I want to tell you about something

You don’t talk to me anymore

Want to share my innermost desires

You don’t talk to me anymore

 

I need to show you what I’m like

What I’ve achieved

What I have understood

Then you might tell me you are proud of me

But you don’t talk to me anymore

Fractured will be released on CD / LP / digitally

Follow Lunatic Soul online:

Website: www.lunaticsoul.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lunaticsoulband

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lunaticsoulband

Twitter: @Marivsz_Riv

 

 

Review – Kaipa – Children of the Sounds – by Roy Hunter

Legendary Swedish progressive rockers Kaipa, led by mastermind Hans Lundin, have announced the release of their new studio album ‘Children of the Sounds’ for 22nd September 2017. The band’s 13th album, and 8th since the act were reborn in 2002, this album features the line-up of Lundin, accompanied by Per Nilsson (Scar Symmetry), Morgan Ågren (Karmakanic), Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings, Karmakanic), Patrik Lundström (Ritual) & Aleena Gibson, plus a guest appearance from violinist Elin Rubinsztein.

This album is a thing of great beauty, and if you know the extended catalogue of the band, it sits right at the top!! Since Per Nilsson replaced Roine Stolt from the 2007 album ‘Angling Feelings’, there has been subtle change to the style of music. Always melodic, with great interplay between Nilsson’s sometimes frenetic guitar, Reingold’s bass and Lundin’s keys.

Just 5 tracks on here, the opening title track, Children Of The Sounds, sets off with swapped female/male vocal leads interspersed with Nilsson’s piquant guitar floating over all. The rhythm section drive the music along for 11 minutes, and not one minute of this is filler. Aleena Gibson’s voice is an acquired taste I’ll admit, but I can’t imagine anybody else singing her parts!

Track 2 is a 17 minute epic composition that builds right from the off. On The Edge of New Horizons is a lovely long-form work that Kaipa is noted for. Just when you think it is over, Lundin brings in a new melody or revamps an earlier one. Excellent.

The 3rd track Like A Serpentine does what it says on the tin. Beautiful melodies again and great vocal harmonies, Lundin himself taking the lead. Nilsson excels yet again!! The rhythm section to be so understated carries the tune along very sweetly. The violin places yet another layer overall.

The Shadowy Sunlight, track 4, is the shortest at just under 7 minutes. Beautiful folky violin with some fascinating guitar/keyboards interplay here. Multiple key-changes as the tune ascends to a heady climax – the subtle shift from minor to major really awaken a longing for resolution and finally Nilsson delivers! But I wonder why it finished so soon?

The last track What’s Behind The Fields, opens with a feeling of déjà vu… Have we heard this before? Indeed the track develops into a showcase for all the great features of this band:- harmony vocals and instrumental wizardry of the highest calibre!!

Released 22nd September 2017

Buy ‘Children of the Sounds’ from InsideOut

 

Review- Leprous – Malina – by Roy Hunter

I’ve had very little listening experience of Leprous, so the offer of a chance to review this album was eagerly grabbed! Firstly, my credentials. Since July 5th 1969 (a date famous for King Crimson’s appearance at The Rolling Stones “Free in Hyde Park” gig) I’ve been an avid “prog” fan. OK, that’s out of the way so here goes:-

The amount of “prog” hurled at us these days is bewildering, and a chance to get an early listen to a new album free of any expectations or recommendations aroused my curiosity.

Norway’s Leprous isn’t easily “pigeon-holed” in a sub-genre… The album opens with Bonneville – a beautifully thought out track that shows off Einar Holberg’s ethereal voice to perfection. The depth of sound gradually increases drawing the listener in… to… Stuck – a more upbeat song with a twanging guitar backing those soaring vocals once more. The drums lay down a compelling rhythm complimenting everything else. This is a longer track at 6 minutes 49 seconds but it flies by, never getting stuck at all. A very pleasing satisfying experience.

Next up is From The Flame – another song with drive and a great hook that is still going round my head! Job done – can see this one becoming a favourite and possibly released as a single? Ahh – Captive – a punchy opening to the shortest track (3.44), melodic vocals over a pizzicato guitar and strange rhythms. Great harmonies too but it will take a bit of time to understand I think.

Illuminate & Leashes – two 4 minute tracks, slower in pace and highlighting the soaring counter-tenor voice of writer/keysman Einar. His is a voice that intrigues me, soft and gentle at one point, rocky and strident at another… I could listen to him all day long!! (I now plan to seek out the Leprous’ back-catalogue)…

Shimmering keys work opens the next track, Mirage, leading to a wall of sound that then fades to a song that shows traces of a Middle-Eastern structure… Intriguing bass line around 3.30 into the track… “I have been trying to break out for too long from the cage…” sings Einar! Oh definitely they’ve done that!

Malina – Bulgarian for raspberry – but no raspberries for this album so far! Beautiful lyrics over a lighter beginning that builds to a crescendo and some frenzied drumming from Baard Kolstad. Roses for this one!

Followed by Coma, a shorter track much like 5 & 6. Dare I say that this track didn’t exactly place me in a coma? Great – “I still feel the heat, no retreat” !!!

Next up a heavier song, The Weight Of Disaster – those heart-string tugging vocals again, why hasn’t Leprous loomed over my horizon before?

The Last Milestone is the last song on this fabulous album. This track wouldn’t be out of place performed at a concert of modern classicist composers like Henryk Górecki… Plaintive vocals over strings and keyboards. Eat your hearts out audiophiles!

Altogether, this one album has opened up a new sound-world for me. I thought that, although I’d heard it all, there is always something new around the corner! I shan’t be so smug in future, and indeed will look forward to the NEXT milestone!

I read from the press release that this album is a change in style for Leprous – I hope they continue to develop it further. Now for that back catalogue – my interest has been kicked in the backside and made to wake up!

Line-Up:

Einar Solberg – vocals/synth

Tor Oddmund Suhrke – guitar

Baard Kolstad – drums

Simen Børven – bass

Robin Ognedal – guitar

Released 25th August 2017

Pre-order ‘Malina’ from InsideOut

LUNATIC SOUL ANNOUNCES ANTICIPATED FIFTH STUDIO ALBUM – FRACTURED – WITH THE RELEASE OF A VIDEO FOR THE TITLE TRACK

(Album art by Travis Smith)

Lunatic Soul is Mariusz Duda, the talented creator, singer and multi-instrumentalist behind some of the finest and most captivating progressive music coming from Europe, including his output on UK label Kscope and with Poland’s shooting stars Riverside. Duda is now releasing his fifth and long-awaited album Fractured – the follow up to 2014’s acclaimed ‘Walking On A Flashlight Beam’. ‘Fractured’, has been described by Duda as an album of catharsis after a challenging year in his personal life.

Mariusz explains further “the main theme of “Fractured” is coming back to life after a personal tragedy. It’s inspired by what happened in my life in 2016 and by everything that’s happening around us and what’s making us turn away from one another and divide into groups, for better and for worse. Musically it will be the most original album I have ever made as well as the most accessible and personal album in the Lunatic Soul discography.”

Fans can watch the new video & hear the title track “Fractured”:

As well as a conceptual development, Duda gained the self-confidence to allow himself greater creative freedom with the new material, experimenting more with electronics and rhythm and inspiration with influences from the likes of Massive Attack and Depeche Mode to Peter Gabriel and David Sylvian. ‘Fractured’ features Poland’s Sinfonietta Consonus Orchestra, conducted by Michał Mierzejewski, on two of the album’s most personal tracks “Crumbling Teeth And The Owl Eyes” and “A Thousand Shards Of Heaven”; the album also features saxophonist Marcin Odyniec who first worked with Mariusz in Riverside.

The album was recorded in Poland at Serakos Studio and Custom 34 Studio, mixed by Magda & Robert Srzedniccy and Mariusz Duda, and the artwork was created by long time collaborator, renowned cover artist Travis Smith, whose previous work includes the likes of Anathema, Katatonia, Opeth & Riverside.

‘Fractured’ will be released in the following formats and is now available for pre-order here: http://found.ee/LS_FRACTURED

·       CD

·       LP – double gatefold LP in heavyweight 180g vinyl in black and limited edition red vinyl (w/ MP3 download code)

·       Digital – with digital pre-orders receiving the song “Fractured” as an instant download

(Picture of Mariusz by Oskar Szramka)

Follow Lunatic Soul online:

Website: www.lunaticsoul.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lunaticsoulband

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lunaticsoulband

Twitter: @Marivsz_Riv

Drifting Sun Announce New Concept Album ‘Twilight’ Release Date and New Single ‘Eternal Cycle’

UK Progressive Rock act Drifting Sun have announced that they are in the final stages of completing their forthcoming new concept album ‘Twilight’ and it is now available as a pre-order ahead of a 1st September release at the band’s official website here:

Shop

To celebrate the release of the album Drifting Sun are offering a ‘name your price’ download of the track Soldiers from their bandcamp site here:

‘Name Your Price’ download of Soldiers

As a ‘thank you’ for pre-ordering ‘Twilight’, the band are giving away the new single Eternal Cycle with each pre-order. Once you have ordered from the website, you will receive a free download code direct to your email address.

Drifting Sun are a UK-based Progressive Rock studio project which dates back to the early 90’s when Keyboardist/Composer Pat Sanders left his native France for England with Bass Player Manu Sibona. Their music has been described as dramatic, theatrical, & atmospheric, in the true style of prog rock giants such as Dream Theater, Queensryche, Genesis and Jethro Tull, to name but a few of the bands that influenced their sound.

Drifting Sun’s eponymous debut CD was released in December 1996 to positive reviews from across the globe. Following line-up changes, ‘On The Rebound’, the band’s second CD was released in the autumn of 1998. After taking a long break from the music business during which time he pursued other interests, Pat decided to revamp his project, and, armed with a brand new line up, released their third opus ‘Trip The Life Fantastic’ in January 2015.

Pat, Manu, Peter Falconer (vocals), Dan Storey (guitars) and Will Jones (drums) recorded the previous album ‘Safe Asylum’ that was released on the 21st May 2016. This was the last record to feature Dan on guitars and his replacement, Mathieu Spaeter (of The Franck Carducci band) was recruited in time to record the new album ‘Twilight’.

 

Review – White Willow – Future Hopes – by Emma Roebuck

I shall be brutally honest: I had forgotten that White Willow was still running as a functioning band. Maybe The Hedvig Mollestad project has made me think that way? The lack of any profile in the last few years or output had put them well in the back of my musical memory. I was at HRH V Prog talking to old friends about the forthcoming album when it occurred to me how important profile is in the Biz we call ‘show.’ Therefore, essentially, I have come to this as if it’s a fresh band out of the box.

Sporting a cover courtesy of Roger Dean himself, this is a product that has set its sights on being a truly prog album in the classical sense but it is also a real challenge for the band themselves to achieve the aspiration worthy of such a historically artistic cover. Have they achieved it? We shall see by the end of the review.

White Willow are Venke Knutson (vocals), Jacob Holm-Lupo (guitars, synthesizers, keyboards, backing vocals), Mattias Olsson )drums, percussion, e-bow, sounds & noises), Lars Fredrik Frøislie (synthesizers, keyboards), Ketil Vestrum Einarsen (wind controller, flute) and Ellen Andrea Wang (bass guitar), Hedvig Mollestad (guitar), David Krakauer (clarinet), Ole Øvstedal (guitar) and Kjersti Løken (trumpet).

(Band photos by Dagfinn Hobæk)

By producing a seven track album (including the two bonus tracks) the band have not fallen into the trap of needing to fill a CD’s worth of material for the sake of it but, instead, have focused on the quality of the product rather than blitzing it with a ton of excessive material that could swamp the real calibre of the music.

Future Hopes, the eponymous title track, opens with booming bass pedals and a lilting melody with a melancholic vocal. The guitar and keyboards come in and the whole thing has an analog feel to it, but decidedly not old fashioned. The music has a crisp clean sound, nothing muddy or thick here. Complex harmonies and rhythms wind through the track, twisting between the possibly positive or negative world that we have to look forward to right now. It’s a fine opener and sets the bar high for the rest of the album

Silver and Gold is very folk-like in style with an acoustic introduction and almost a duet between guitar and voice that has a poetry all of its own. There’s also a very Moogy keyboard subtly coming into the background followed by a doom laden drum instrumental middle 8 then back to the guitar and voice. This has hidden depths and would make an outstanding live track for atmosphere and melancholy.

In Dim Days jumps straight up a gear and has a sonic landscape that is the total opposite of the previous track. You get distorted guitar and phasing through and through, it has a real symphonic feel to it reminiscent of Floyd in the Division Bell period. There is an open fullness to the track, if that makes sense at all? It has an epicness to it that allows a really effective exploration of the theme musically and lyrically without having to fill every second up with a million notes that swamp the listener. It’s definitely a high point of the album and this alone makes it a worthwhile purchase.

Venke Knutson is the new vocalist on this album and a stable back line from Opium Cartel . She provides a great vehicle for the lyrics and slots well into the line up. Now these guys have evolved over the last 21 years from a very folk base line to a band that has mature song writing and looks at adult themes. White Willow have placed their colours very firmly in the Traditional Prog territory but have retained a definitive identity of their own. I often do a sounds-a-like for reference in my reviews but not for the sake of “do they do a good … insert band name…” but mainly so you can have a point of reference as to whether this is going to be my cup of tea or not.

White Willow have a very firm identity of their own but sit very firmly in the atmospheric open grouping of bands that allow the music to breath and express itself. If Pink Floyd merged with Yes and Steve Wilson then recruited a female vocalist and then listened to Steeleye Span for a month before going into the studio, you may be close but it sounds nothing like any of the component parts.

There is an interesting version of Animal Magnetism By The Scorpions as one of the bonus tracks that shows a great sense of musical history and humour.  Fans of the band won’t be disappointed by this album and it will also attract new listeners. It does not bring down the walls of innovation but it does a sterling job of improving on White Willow’s reputation.

Gig with this album guys and gals. Your classmates Anekdoten and Anglagard seem to have been far more in the fore-front recently. This album has amended that and set a line your turn to deliver!

Released 31st March 2017

Buy ‘Future Hopes’ from Laser’s Edge (US)

Buy ‘Future Hopes’ from cd-services (UK)

 

New music from ‘a strAnger’: “One Day” – by Progradar

Swedish music act a strAnger is truly independent, DIY to the bone. Fairly eclectic, but fundamentally a rock and alt music act and have been described as :

“Beck gone Soundgarden lite hardrock with the cheerful bastards of Radiohead playing lounge music in the background”.
– RockUnited

For Swedish singer-songwriter act a strAnger, music has always been an eclectic undertaking. Starting out playing in bands ranging from thrash, to heavy rock to grunge and punk-rock, while at the same time honing his acoustic skills on his own and appreciating a wide range of other musical styles; a strAnger does not worry much about genres.

In a change from the norm he has release his latest album ‘Insatiable’ on a track by track basis through 2016 and 2017 and on April 4th released the seventh track One Day. Lyrically it is a social commentary; staging the big brother – little brother relationship in a socially and criminally challenged environment.

The last couple of years have been a lot about finding a path for music in Sweden and the West, coming back from the dynamics of China. And finding a path in the changing landscape of music. Which in turn impacts the way to release music, as well as finding a balance between where and when. a strAnger is delighted to finally be sharing the fruit the last couple of years’ hard work with his new
collection of songs ‘Insatiable’.

You can buy the first seven tracks (including One Day) from bandcamp here

 

ANATHEMA PREMIERE FIRST TRACK FROM THE OPTIMIST -“SPRINGFIELD” Plus Album And Tour Details.

Anathema are premiering the first track from their forthcoming new studio album The Optimist entitled “Springfield”.

Daniel Cavanagh explains the song choice “Here we present the song ‘Springfield’, it’s actually the song that closed our unforgettable Wembley gig with Opeth and it seemed to be a track that just fell into place without much effort. It seemed to do itself. The song forms part of a narrative that runs through The Optimist album, it’s a narrative that begins where A Fine Day To Exit left off. The album is a journey. The songs are ambiguous. There is no right or wrong way to take them. Make of them what you will.”

LISTEN TO “SPRINGFIELD” HERE: http://www.anathema.ws/

Anathema’s eleventh full-length The Optimist is due for release on 9th June through Kscope, where the ambient rockers will reveal some of the darkest, most challenging and unexpected music the sextet have put their name to.

Anathema, led by brothers Daniel and Vincent Cavanagh, along with drummer John Douglas, singer Lee Douglas, bassist Jamie Cavanagh and drummer/keyboardist Daniel Cardoso began recording The Optimist in the winter of 2016 at Attica Audio in Donegal, Ireland and then finished at Castle Of Doom studios in Glasgow with producer Tony Doogan [Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian, Super Furry Animals] at the helm and was mastered at the legendary Abbey Road Studios.

The Optimist will be released on the following formats and all are available to pre-ordered now here: http://found.ee/The_Optimist

Deluxe 12” hardbook featuring:

  • 40 page artwork book, with artwork from Travis Smith.
  • CD The Optimist  11 original album tracks 
  • CD featuring 6 bonus tracks – 3 demo versions and 3 live demo recordings from their November 2016 dates
  • DVD-V The Optimist  11 original album tracks 24/96 LPCM Stereo & 24/96 DTS 5.1 surround mix
  • Blu-Ray disc The Optimist  11 original album tracks 24/96 LPCM Stereo, 24/96 LPCM 5.1 lossless surround mix & 24/96 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless 5.1 surround mix

2 Disc CD & DVD Mediabook

24 page booklet

  • CD The Optimist  11 original album tracks 
  • DVD-V The Optimist  11 original album tracks 24/96 LPCM Stereo & 24/96 DTS 5.1 surround mix

Blu-Ray featuring

·       The Optimist  11 original album tracks 24/96 LPCM Stereo, 24/96 LPCM 5.1 lossless surround mix & 24/96 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless 5.1 surround mix

CD featuring:

·       The Optimist 11 original album tracks

Double gatefold 180g heavy weight LP featuring:

·       The Optimist  11 original album tracks (with MP3 download code) 

·       Limited Edition red vinyl LP version (with MP3 download code) available exclusively through the band’s webstore

Digital download featuring:

·       The Optimist 11 original album tracks with pre-orders receiving an instant download of “Springfield” 

Anathema are set to tour worldwide to celebrate the release of The Optimist and have now confirmed their headline shows in Europe.

They’ll be accompanied by French blackgaze pioneers Alcestwww.facebook.com/alcest.official ). Looking forward to the tour Daniel Cavanagh says “It’s really good to be touring with Alcest again, continuing our relationship that began in America in 2013. They are superb melodists and have a beautiful and unique voice.”

Tickets on sale from Monday 3rd April from 10am local time – see www.facebook.com/anathemamusic for details plus all other confirmed shows and festivals 

 More dates to be announced soon

facebook.com/anathemamusic  instagram.com/anathemamusic.com  www.anathema.ws   instagram.com/anathemamusic

Band Image Credit Scarlet Page

Review – Retrospective – RE:SEARCH – by Progradar

“Nobody who loved life and new experiences that much was ever going to get old, not really. Wiser and eventually dead, but not old…” – C.E.Murphy.

Don’t you find that sometimes you seem to stick to what you know, you are loath to try anything new or different because you may not like it or it may take you out of your comfort zone?

The problem with this way of life is that you can grow old and eventually die without having tried something that may well have enriched your life and changed it very much for the better. How can we truly say whether we like something or not unless we actually try it?

This can be applied to music just as much as anything else and even us music journalists can be guilty of this. We only listen to music we are comfortable with and will not go out of our comfort zone for anything. By doing this we then lose the right to criticise or critique music which we have only a passing interest in. We must embrace it, or at least try it, before we have the right to an opinion.

I have spent so much time recently listening to the pastoral and traditional progressive rock that I have neglected other music to a degree. I have redressed this recently with my delving in depth into Scottish folk and Americana and it was due to a good friend of mine, Aloys Martens, that my old love of a more metal approach to Progressive Rock has been rekindled.

Aloys introduced me to the Polish band Retrospective and their label Progressive Promotion Records, led by the uber-enthusiastic Oliver Wenzler, and a copy of the band’s new album ‘RE:SEARCH’ was soon winging its way to Progradar Towers for review.

Retrospective represents a young generation of Polish ProgressiveRock bands. Their music is inspired by different artists covering a broad spectrum of musical genres (Porcupine TreeTool, King Crimson). The band is not restricted to a particular music style either. They search for different kinds of rock, ranging from Art to Hard. Lush musical atmospheres, full of emotions, are complemented by thunderous riffs, to enthrall the listener and create asound that makes them stand out among their contemporaries.

They have released one previous album, ‘Lost In Perception’
which won the award as “Best Polish Progressive Album 2012”.

The band are: Jakub Roszak (Vocals), Beata Tagoda (Keys, Vocals), Maciej Klimek (Guitars), Tukasz Marszatek (Bass), Robert Kusik (Drums) and Alan Szczepaniak (Guitars).

I still get that same buzz every time I start playing this album (it must be 25 or 30 times now) and Rest Another Time once again opens with that thundering riff and dynamic drumming. The vocals are powerful but laced with pathos and the sound is as addictive as anything. Funky bass lines add some swagger but it’s that energetic guitar work allied with Jakub’s vocals that give this song efficacy and intensity. A really great central section to the song that just racks up the tension brings in mind Creed to my delicate ears, it’s a positive rock-fest of thunderous proportions and gets the album off to a very auspicious start. A great piano line opens Right Way with an almost hushed feel, matched by the stylish vocals that increase the anticipation. Beata adds her feminine wiles to the track and the tension just increases with a great keyboard heavy melody that gives the impression of flight and then Beata’s vocal opens up like a great bird opening its wings to be set free from its mortal coils, the vocal interplay is brilliant and gives an overwhelming symphonic prog overtone to proceedings. A passionate song that really tugs at the heartstrings and the musicianship is superb, these guys are at the top of their game here and there is a classy and stylish feel to every note that is played.

Crashing the scene like Lemmy on a Harley Davidson, bottle of JD in hand, The End Of Their World is a riff-heavy masterpiece of progressive metal. A sultry verse with husky vocals, underpinned by some delicate drumming, keys and bass, builds up to the huge, granite hard chorus dominated by the grooviest riff you’ll hear this year. Sit back and enjoy the ride and sing along to that addictive chorus, I know I did! There’s more serious mid section with mysterious overtones and wildly cackling voice overs that make you wonder if illegal substances may have been involved but, overall, it is a hugely enjoyable slice of heavy rock infused prog-metal. A nicely strummed guitar opens Rollercoaster before the plaintive vocals begin, Beata imparting poignancy and feeling and Jakub adding some urgency and steel to provide a perfect combination. You get a feeling of floating on air as this track seems to dance along your aural receptors but wait, the pace is lifted and the energy increases, mirrored by the insistence of Jakub’s voice. The softer edge has been replaced with some stylish metal and a cool melody runs right through the middle giving import and imperativeness to that harder feeling that now pervades all. A cleverly worked song of two halves that fit together well.

Time for a breather and the more laid back side of Retrospective. There’s a delicate aura to the opening of Heaven is Here, a chilled laid back nostalgic feel that gives lightness to your being. The vocals are smoother than silk and full of emotion and love and you find yourself losing yourself in the wistful atmosphere. The classy drumming and piquant guitar add dignity and style and layers of sophistication. I can feel a growing maturity in this band, a confidence to deliver what they want and what they know you will like and it is most evident in the swagger of the powerful chorus with the vocal harmonies that soar into the heavens, aided and abetted by the superb guitar playing. There’s a philosophical tone to the opening of Look in the Mirror, contemplative and thoughtful and this is reflected in the gravitas of Jakub’s opening vocal with his meaningful intonations. Beata joins him on the chorus sections to add even more class and sophistication to this intelligent track. I really like the purposeful beat and melody kept by the rhythm section and the resolute guitar work, it’s a single-minded and cultured song.

Compelling and energetic, Last Breath opens with an authoritarian riff that drives the song on at a demanding pace, influences abound all over and get drawn into a huge melting pot before firing out with what is becoming a signature sound for this impressive band. There’s almost a feeling of organised chaos to the song, anarchy barely held back but there is a primeval intelligence that is coordinating everything. Standby has a much more relaxed atmosphere to it, almost pop-rock but in a much more dynamic way. The vocals from Jakub and Beata are composed and easy going giving the song a laid-back and serene nature. There’s definitely a touch of Porcupine Tree and even The Pineapple Thief to this track as it goes a bit darker at the end with a fantastic riff and fiery solo adding real menace to it.

The longest and heaviest song on the album is also the final track and boy does it blow you away! The Wisest Man on Earth starts to crank up the tension with eerie keyboards and bass adding an ominous feel, very Tool like. Bass is really king at the start and Tukasz gives it his all, making the tension almost unbearable. Jakub’s demonic vocal just adds even more shade and darkness before a monstrous riff erupts from the bowels off the earth and nearly takes your head clean off. This is proper heavy rock with a touch of doom metal thrown in just because they can and I really like it. Never mind blowing the cobwebs away, this riff will eviscerate the spiders! Jakub shows the incredible versatility to his voice and I get the impression he really enjoys giving it large on this song. There’s a quieter section, Jaukb’s vocals still low down and brooding, before a superbly dark and delicious guitar solo fires from the dark pits of Hades and the song closes out in a sinister and portentous way, brilliant stuff!

Retrospective produce music that is aggressive and forceful and yet knowledgeable and perceptive in places, this is progressive rock at its heaviest and most intense. There is something for everybody and it is a release that will restore your faith in Progressive Metal. ‘RE:SEARCH’ is chock full of compelling and intelligent music that makes you feel alive again and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Released 10th February 2017

Buy ‘RE:SEARCH’ from Progressive Promotion Records

Featured image by Arek Kulasik Larido.