The Tangent announce new studio album ‘Proxy’

The Tangent, the progressive rock group led by Andy Tillison, will release their 10th studio album ‘Proxy’ on November 16th,  2018. Recorded during the band’s tour with Karmakanic in 2017/18, which saw them with more chances than normal to work together on the record – hotel writing sessions, van discussions, soundcheck ideas – all of which have allowed the band to make an album that is as organic as they have achieved since their formation 15 years ago.

Andy Tillison comments: “Our belief is that Progressive Rock music is still a valid and viable musical form in 2018 and will continue to be so. Our band has always sought to take on board things from the present and add them to that magical mix. We don’t claim to be offering the FUTURE. We just claim to be offering one set of possibilities. Ours. Now.”

‘Proxy’ is a riot of juxtaposing styles, presented in a really direct manner and despite being firmly rooted in the stylistic traits of the Progressive Rock Genre takes some unexpected turnoffs and a major swerve. The albums kicks off with a trademark Tangent prog fantasia based around growling Hammonds, shrieking Synths, whirling guitars and sharp percussive bass  – influences of ELP, Egg, Hatfield & the North, Caravan and Camel proudly worn on their sleeves.  This 16-minute title track eventually becomes a protest song about the continuing wars that share their name with the song.

But this album features no overall concept. The second track is a sun-drenched Mediterranean fusion instrumental, more Chick Corea than Che Guevara.  And the third track is referred to by the band as an attempt to find the missing link between Porcupine Tree and Jamiroquai.  By the time we reach the centrepiece epic track ‘The Adulthood Lie’, the rulebook has been left behind and the band are trying to fix the car with whatever is at hand. The Tangent came of age some time ago now. After 15 years with a constant presence on the periphery of the scene, this album is the next step on the road from a band who have painstakingly revered and recreated the past, with one eye on the future.

The album will be available as a limited CD digipak, Vinyl LP + CD & as digital download. The full track-listing is as follows:


2.The Melting Andalusian Skies

3.A Case of Misplaced Optimism

4.The Adulthood Lie

5.Supper’s Off

6.Excerpt From “Exo-Oceans” (Bonus Track)

The album features the following players:
Andy Tillison – Vocals, Lyrics, Keyboards, Composer
Jonas Reingold (The Sea Within, Steve Hackett Band) – Bass Guitar
Theo Travis (Soft Machine, Travis-Fripp) – Sax & Flute
Luke Machin (Maschine, Francis Dunnery Band) – Guitar
Steve Roberts (ex Magenta, Godsticks) – Drums
With special guest: Goran Edman (Karmakanic) – Vocals

Review – Hillward – System – by Progradar

Since the release of their debut album ‘Flies in Amber Stones’ in 2015, Hillward, the heavy progressive rock quintet from Quebec, has been fine-tuning its craft playing local shows including the well known Festival d’Été de Québec in 2016, as well as various opening sets for major bands such as Symphony X and Uriah Heep.

David Lizotte – Vocals & Guitars, Alexandre Lapierre – Guitars & Vocals, André-Philippe Pouliot – Keys & Vocals, Jean-François Boudreault – Bass and Antoine Guertin – Drums & Vocals deliver a brand of progressive rock that is at times brooding and intense and at others, cerebral and thoughtful. 2018 sees the release of their sophomore album ‘System’, which takes those attributes and really expands on them.

The slow building suspense of opener Foster the River is followed by the bombastic riffs and defiant drumming of Long Way Down to give a highly charged opening to the album. The pensive ambience of Haven gives way to the thunderous grandiloquence and musings of Hollow (a personal fave of mine). This is a well wrought collection of intelligent songs given life by the high octane conflagration of the music.

There’s intellect and perception in the violent guitar riffs of both Life in Serigraph and Flat Light, the wistful Fragile is a winsome delight and circle of calmness in the musical storm and everything culminates in the elemental, primeval forces of Behind the Silence.

‘System’ is a high quality release full of original and perceptive songs that come from a band whose minds are brilliantly creative. The music feels like it was spawned from the raging fires of the core of the Earth and gives vibrancy and a primal fervor to this impressive album.

Released 31st July 2018

Order the album on mp3 from bandcamp here


Review – Redemption – Long Night’s Journey Into Day – by Progradar

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! L.A. based prog metallers Redemption return with a supremely impressive example of the genre – ‘Long Night’s Journey Into Day’.

Taking the title of Eugene O’Neill’s play Long Day’s Journey Into Night, which focuses on the decay of a family that’s plagued by addiction, Redemption have turned it inside out, and made it their own.

Inverting the phrasing of the title is really what Redemption’s message is about.”, says founder guitarist/keyboardist Nick van Dyk, “It’s a long night. It’s a journey, and at times it’s a struggle. But there is daybreak.

He goes on to say, “If there’s a consistent message to Redemption’s music, it’s that life is a struggle and there is pain and fear and doubt, but, ultimately, it is a thing of beauty and wonderment. If you push through the struggle, the rewards of that process itself, along with what you find on the other side, are joyous and a fantastic gift.”

With the band – rounded out by bassist Sean Andrews and drummer Chris Quirarte – parting company with vocalist Ray Adler (ex Fates Warning), they had to bring someone in who could fit some very large shoes and Tom Englund of Evergrey certainly fits that bill!

Absent from the band’s lineup is lead guitarist Bernie Versailles, who suffered an aneurysm in 2014, and has since been focusing on his recovery. ‘Long Night’s Journey Into Day’ does however see the quartet collaborating with guitarists Simone Mularoni (DGM/Empyrios), and the legendary Chris Poland, both of whom also supplied astounding leads on ‘The Art Of Loss’. Alongside these longtime collaborators they also recruited keyboardist Vikram Shankar, who van Dyk asserts “may be the most talented musician I have ever met.”

Legendary prog metal contempories Dream Theater are due to return with a new album in 2018 and after the general disappointment of ‘The Awakening’, they are really going to have to come up with something to upstage this sixty-five minute behemoth of twin guitar brilliance, thunderous rhythm section and astounding vocal performance from Englund.

It’s easy to say that there isn’t a duff track on an album but, for fans of the band (and prog-metal in general), it’s most certainly true of ‘Long Night’s Journey Into Day’. It’s a well thought out collection of tracks dealing with themes of recovering from failure, dealing with the end of a chapter in our lives, coming to terms with one’s mortality or experiencing a betrayal and struggling through its impact.

The mountain crushing riffing and energetic rhythm section are aided and abetted by fantastic keyboards and Englund relates tales of adaptation (Impermanent), doubts that fill the void when one’s integrity is lacking (Eyes You Dare Not face In Dreams), living life to the fullest, no matter how hard it can be (Indulge in Colour) and the superb title track of which van Dyk says, “We see a lot of dreams and hoped-for-outcomes dashed by our own failings or by factors outside our control, but dreaming is essential to realizing the beauty of life. Life is amazing and depressing and carefree and terrifying and full of hope and love and full of fear and doubt…But it is, in the final calculus, beautiful and an incredible gift. And we must keep on dreaming.

The consummate skill of the musicians shines though on every track, the twin virtuoso guitar skills of Mularoni and Poland have to be heard to be believed and the rhythm section of Andrews and Quirarte really do move mountains. However, it’s not all about power and energy, the expertise and passion flows throughout.

There’s nothing new here but what you do get is progressive metal created and delivered at its absolute best, a band surely at the top of its game and looking like they are there to stay for a very long time. Bring on the challengers!

Released 27th July 2018

Order the album in all formats at Metalblade here



Review – Letitia VanSant – Gut It To The Studs – by Progradar

There are very few writers these days who are bold enough to bridge the gap between being both creatively and politically relevant. In her music as in her life, Letitia VanSant has always sought to wrestle with worth questions.

This is someone who has earned a degree in Human Rights & Humanitarian Issues, worked for the Obama campaign in Detroit, and then engaged in important environmental organising in Baltimore. Five years of work with a progressive advocacy group landed her in Washington D.C. where, on weekends, she reflected on the state of society through her songs, earning a regional following in coffee shops and clubs.

Upon weighing up the power of music to move and motivate, she ultimately left her nine-to-five job to become a full time musician.

Her debut album ‘Gut It To The Studs’ blends seamlessly with her life as an artist and the songs reflect this with the title track being an ode to her effort to feel comfortable in her new skin and literally having to look at her emerging life and ‘gut it to the studs’.

There’s a story behind every song but it’s the beauty inherent in the frailty of her vocals and the gracefully refined music that touches your heart. VanSant is a rare talent and her songwriting is testimony to not only an intense personal journey but also the changing political climate of a nation at a national and also more local level.

Taking Back The Reins is a charming track that reflects the notion that insecurities will follow you wherever you roam. Where I’m Bound shows the importance of persevering through a ‘land of broken promises and streets of fool’s gold.’ The wistful Dandelion echoes our generation’s keen interest in building communities that are nourishing and real and the only cover on the album, a haunting version of For What It’s Worth, stands the test of time as a protest anthem. Letitia churns out a powerful interpretation inspired by recent protests against police brutality.

The pared back sparsity of Sundown Town closes out the album and leaves the question, Do we need more straight talking right now? Listening to this wistful and wonderful collection of songs leaves me thinking that, perhaps we do, probably more now than ever…

Released 27th August 2018

Order the CD/LP or download direct from the artists website here


Review – CEREUS – Dystonia – by Progradar

CEREUS is a Post-Progressive band from Warsaw/Poland. Their music is the outcome of inspiration coming from post rock as well as post metal, with the elements of alternative and progressive climate (Caspian, ISIS, Russian Circles, Marillion).

‘Dystonia’ is an engrossing album with tracks representing eternal questions about our past, present and future, there can also be found stories about human’s fortune, from birth to death. Every tale is a search for a place in given space and time and a reason to exist…

I do like a mysterious press release, it really makes me want to delve further into the record and, with ‘Dystonia’, I’m really glad I did. On a basic level this collection of songs is, musically, like a cross between the Seattle grunge of Pearl Jam with the modern heavy progressive rock of bands like Earthside and Dream The Electric Sleep.

The thunderous riffing from Paweł Sikora and Patryk Woźniak on tracks like Kraken King and Cassiopea is enough to make your ears bleed (and just listen to the monstrous bass playing of Konrad Pawłowski) but it contrasts superbly with the more relaxed refrains of Icarus and Ocean.

Michał Dąbrowski has a really distinctive vocal delivery and it is a highlight of the album. His voice drips emotion, passion and vehemence when required, like a cross between Eddie Vedder and Scott Stapp and it adds real depth to the music. Maciej Caputa is a dynamo on the drums and drives every track on with enormous verve and gusto.

If you like your progressive rock with a distinctively heavy edge and feel to it, like it has ascended from the bowels of the earth with a mission to knock everyone twenty feet backwards, then ‘Dystonia’ is definitely for you. One thing that makes it stand out from the rest though is that is also has plenty of heart, soul and humanity and that comes through in every note.

Released 30th April 2018

Order the album from Amazon here


Karrnnel, one of Canada’s most innovative fiddlers, and member of JUNO-winning instrumental band The Fretless, is proud to announce the independent release of his double album on September 13th. Featuring his unique sound, including a copper fiddle with pedal effects, ‘Crazy Old Man’ and ‘SKMB’ have 18 tracks that Karrnnel has been crafting since his 2009 debut release. Although he has been a multi-award winning professional musician since age four and has composed over 300 instrumental pieces, the upcoming releases represent two firsts: vocal tracks (with him singing) and original lyrics. He’ll present this new work to audiences with tours across Canada, the US and Europe.

The albums were recorded with engineer Don Benedictson and producer Murray Pulver in Roseisle, MB at Unity Gain Productions and in Toronto at Revolution Recording.

‘Crazy Old Man’ – a solo album inspired by bands/artists such as Snarky Puppy, Natalie McMaster, Wade Ward, and Bruce Molsky. The album incorporates experimentation with the use of the copper fiddle, the copper fiddle with two octave strings, and pedal effects. And of course, Karrnnel’s vocals for the first time. All of the instrumental tracks were recorded live off the floor with the full band: Karnnell (fiddle), Nate Douglas (acoustic guitar), Joey Landreth (electric guitar), Don Benedictson (bass), Daniel Roy (drums), and a three piece horn section.

‘SKMB’ – a guest-singer album influenced sonically by bands/artists The Tedeschi Trucks Band, Jack White, and Gary Clark Jr. The album title reflects how much Saskatchewan and Manitoba musicians have shaped Karrnnel’s art and music. Three guest vocalists (his favourite singers from SK and MB) bring these cross-genre songs to life: Amy Matysio (award-winning actress and Karrnnel’s wife), Joey Landrey (The Landreth Brothers), and Ken Hamm (JUNO winner). The album is similar in concept to the Santana album, “Supernatural”.

“The vision was to create a massive project that translates into a massive show. Bigband. Big sound. Life is a journey and this is mine. Enjoy yours.”Karrnnel

Sept 14 Winnipeg, MB Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain
Sept 15 Clearwater, MB Harvest Moon Festival
Sept 16 St. Lucipin MB St. Lupicin Fundraiser
Sept 20 Regina, SK The Artesian
Sept 21 Saskatoon, SK The Broadway Theatre
see for further tour announcements

Florida Ambient/Experimental Rock Band Europa To Release Debut Full Album In Late 2018 – Release Video For Running Futures

5-piece Independent Ambient/Experimental/Progressive rock group Europa, based out of Orlando, FL. have announced the title of their debut, full-length album due late 2018. The release is to be called ‘Small Steps’ and is about progress; musical, personal and social. The band are also currently finalizing the artwork.

The band, who strives to push the boundaries of modern Rock music, have released two E.P.s, 2013’s ‘Stage 0’ and 2015’s ‘Children’. So far in their career they’ve garnered comparisons to bands such as Eidola, Sianvar, The Deer Hunter and Thrice.

Recently Europa released two singles from the forthcoming album – Redesign and Running Futures – and a video for the latter.

Running Futures is a wide ranging soundscape of highly intense music. The fiery, energetic drumming works perfectly with the stark, yet vibrant guitar. The vocals are an integral part of the experience, ranging from the typical post and hard rock to the harsh and coruscating.

You can download both singles, pay what you want, from the bandcamp page here


Review – Psychoyogi – Accident Prone – by Progradar

Mad as a badger poked by an exceedingly large stick or just willfully eclectic? Psychoyogi describe themselves as ‘Leftfield punk jazz’ and, after listening to their latest release ‘Accident Prone’ I can certainly subscribe some way to that definition.

There’s a whimsical wandering minstrel feel to the way the songs are delivered, not quite Canterbury prog, more that genres black sheep of the family.

Psychoyogi’s music is a diverse mixture of instrumental colours, melodies, and words. The songs present social and political critique alongside personal moments and moods.

Translated, the PR blurb means something along the lines of, it’s not quite like anything you’ve heard before and you will either get it, or not, depending on your personal propensity for songs that don’t adhere to the norm.

New Ways of Losing sees free-from jazz meet stubborn 70’s Prog complete with cape and flared trousers, title track Accident Prone sees The Dave Brubeck Quartet meet 70’s era King Crimson and Party For One is like Iggy Pop on weed and acid at the same time. There is never a dull moment throughout this innovative and captivating release, main man Chris Ramsing has a unique vocal style that blends spoken word with what is considered traditional as his lilting voice beguiles you.

‘Accident Prone’ is a forty minute musical journey through a warped but incredibly intelligent mind and you will be a changed person when you come out the other side after taking in the delights of songs such as Reasons To Pretend and Corporate Shoes with their knowing smiles and dry wit. Remember when you first started watching Lost? You may wonder what the hell is going on but you’ll be really enjoying yourself finding out.

Released 26th June 2018.

Order the album from bandcamp here

Check out the band’s website here


Review – Sleeperman – Don’t Get Carried Away E.P. – by Progradar

Ah, that lovely sound of the letterbox clattering in the first days of every month as Stephen Skinner, bearded bassist of local cheeky chappies and erudite songsmiths Sleeperman, drops the latest instalment of the band’s monthly E.P. through, I never get tired of it.

August sees the band taking on a more thoughtful and mellow note with the lovely charms of Don’t Get Carried Away, a wonderfully nostalgic and wistful three minutes complete with John Hilton’s signature lyrics.

“The first memory I can remember, walking home in the dark of November…”

John’s vocals are contemplative and a touch melancholy and they seem to suit the mood of a dark winter month and the restrained guitar playing of Neil just adds a sombre and thoughtful note. I really like the lovely harmonised vocal on the chorus. It’s just a really nice track that brings back sepai tinged memories of a life gone by, Sleeperman really should be the next big thing.

Once again, the song is backed by an impressive ‘B’ side, this time a track that mirrors the tasteful, laid back appeal of the ‘A’ side (our younger readers may need to google that term).

“There you are…”

Review – Dwiki Dharmawan – Rumah Batu – by Progradar

Following on from 2016’s groundbreaking, internationally acclaimed ‘Pasar Klewer’, Indonesian icon and keyboard legend Dwiki Dharmawan has considerably upped the ante with his new album ‘Rumah Batu’ (The Stone House). Drawing from both his extensive jazz influences and rich cultural heritage, he is augmented by a stellar cast of players to deliver a mind-bending piece of work brimming with intricate and adventurous compositions.

There’s free-from jazz that really blows you away, fantastic traditional arrangements, haunting Indonesian vocals and music that stretches envelopes and ignores boundaries. Dwiki is unparalleled as a player, arranger and songwriter and his genius is such that you find yourself literally transported into his idea of what the musical universe should be like.

In places it is definitely not for the faint-hearted and will only give up its delights as a reward to your intensive listening and understanding of the culture from which this exhilarating musician takes his influence. The album chronicles its creation at the already infamous La Casa Murada. Situated in the tranquil, picturesque setting of the Catalonian wine region of Penedès, Spain, the recordings take on a definite life of their own.

Rumah Batu’ can be said to chronicle the continuing evolution and progression of jazz in the 21st Century, there’s definite elements of King Crimson style progressive rock in there too, you only have to listen to the Rumah Batu Suite in its entirety to understand that.

All in all, Dwiki Dharmawan has produced one of the most groundbreaking, innovative, but certainly perplexing at times, releases of 2018. It gets under your skin as it eclipses both progressive jazz and world music to be a relentlessly revealing listen.

Released 15th May 2018

Order the album from bandcamp here