LONELY ROBOT – releases new video/single ‘Spiders’

Lonely Robot, the project masterminded by producer, guitarist and singer/songwriter John Mitchell (Kino, Frost*, Arena, It Bites), are set to release their fourth album ‘Feelings Are Good’ on the 17th July 2020. Now, a second track from this record has been released featuring an impressive video by Miles Skarin of Crystal Spotlight: 

John Mitchell has the following to say about this song: “’Spiders’ is a song about a woman, nay wolf in sheep’s clothing, who chose a path of greed and wretchedness and exploited her position of trust at a time of weakness when she COULD have done the exact opposite. Long since gone but never forgotten for all the wrong reasons.”

‘Feelings Are Good’ marks sort of a fresh start following the conclusion of the ‘The Astronaut Trilogy’ as John explains: “‘Feelings Are Good’ is a bit of a departure from the first three Lonely Robot albums. On ‘Feelings Are Good’, I wanted to explore more personal themes and the songs are very much about individual experiences and narratives that I believe had been the cornerstones, good and bad, to my life. The long tall and short of it is that we’re back on planet Earth, and I have a personal lyrical axe to grind!” 

‘Feelings Are Good’ is now available for pre-order and will be released as a Limited Edition CD Digipak, Gatefold 2LP+CD and as Digital Album in both 16 & 24 bit versions (all including 2 bonus tracks). Pre-order the album from a variety of partners here: https://lonelyrobot.lnk.to/Feelingsaregood

Lonely Robot will hit the road in December 2020 for some select headline dates, and you can find a list of those below:

Dec 13th  Islington Assembly Hall, London, UK

Dec 16th  Riff, Bochum, GER

Dec 17th  Das Rind, Rüsselsheim, GER

Dec 18th  Muziekgieterij, Maastricht, NL

Dec 20th  De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, NL

John Mitchell is a man with a rich musical heritage and history – from musician and vocalist, to songwriter and producer. With bands like Arena, Frost*, Kino, It Bites and Lonely Robot, to name but a few, Mitchell has left his mark on the current progressive rock scene and has been involved in dozens of recordings. He is also a respected producer & mixer, running Outhouse Studios in the UK and working with artists as diverse as You Me At Six, Enter Shikari, Alter Bridge, Asia, Don Broco, Funeral For A Friend, McFly & much more. 

Rikard Sjöblom’s Gungfly launch video for ‘Happy Somewhere In Between’ / first single from ‘Alone Together’

Swedish multi-instrumentalist Rikard Sjöblom recently announced his new album under the Gungfly moniker, ‘Alone Together’. Set for release on the 4th September 2020, it followsan  extremely productive past few years, whether it be working with English progressive rockers Big Big Train, or taking the lead with Gungfly. 

Today sees the launch of the first single ‘Happy Somewhere In Between’ and you can watch the video here:

Rikard comments: “I wanted to write an upbeat prog-rocker about a subject I was reading about, and got intrigued by: the dynamics in a relationship – how one person can be needy and the other one avoidant. These personality traits sometimes attract each other but then things get problematic when one needs a lot of attention and the other one tends to feel trapped by it. It’s also about mixing things up in general and pretty much a fun song about serious stuff.”

‘Alone Together’ will be available as a Limited CD Digipak (with 2 bonus tracks), Gatefold LP + CD & as Digital Album. Pre-order now here: https://RikardSjoeblomsGungfly.lnk.to/AloneTogether

Rikard comments: “I started writing these songs about a year ago but then it took some time to get started with the production because I had two tours lined up, one with Big Big Train in November and then opening solo for The Flower Kings on their European tour in December. After that my focus shifted back to Gungfly and it felt really nice so it all came together pretty fast!”

‘Alone Together’ saw Gungfly recording as a trio, with brothers and previous collaborators Petter and Rasmus Diamant on drums and bass respectively. “It was a lot of fun playing both keyboards and guitar because I had come up with a lot of nice parts but I knew early on that I wanted to make the album with the brothers on drums and bass – luckily they were very up for it!” This ‘power-trio’ have focussed on the rock this time, and you can hear that loud and clear: “I didn’t want to smother the production with layers upon layers of keyboards and bells and whistles but instead tried to keep it prog rock with the focus on ROCK. I wanted every instrument to mean something in the mix.” This is evident on tracks like ‘Happy Somewhere In Between’ and the 13-minute epic ‘Traveler’, where Gungfly have never hit harder.

The album cover features a painting by American artist Kevin Sloan (The Flower Kings). Rikard comments of the piece: “I had just written lyrics for the song ‘From Afar’ and was looking at Kevin’s paintings when I came across this one and I couldn’t believe the connection, particularly the lyric “A million eyes watching glimpses of each other’s lives””.

The full track-listing for the album is as follows:

1.     Traveler

2.     Happy Somewhere In Between

3.     Clean as a Whistle

4.     Alone Together

5.     From Afar

6.     On The Shoulders Of Giants

7.     Grove Thoughts (Bonus Track)

8.     Shoulder Variations (Bonus Track)

The bandwill come to the UK for 3 select live dates in October 2021. The band will play London & Manchester, co-headlining alongside the Robin Armstrong-led Cosmograf, before continuing on to Summer’s End Festival.

The dates are as follows and are on sale now:

Friday 1st October – Dingwalls, London

Saturday 2nd October – Academy 3, Manchester

Sunday 3rd October – Summer’s End Festival, Chepstow

Rikard Sjöblom is perhaps best known as the multi-instrumentalist frontman of Beardfish, who established themselves as one of the most consistently brilliant modern-day progressive rock bands over the course of eight studio albums. In recent years, he has also become known for his work with English progressive collective Big Big Train, playing live with them as well as performing on their recent studio albums.

Pain of Salvation – Launch first single/video for opening track “ACCELERATOR” from new album “PANTHER”

Album pre-order starting today!

Firmly at the forefront of the progressive rock and metal scenes for nearly three decades now and one of modern rock’s most acclaimed live acts, Sweden’s Pain of Salvation return with a new studio album entitled “PANTHER”, due out August 28th, 2020 worldwide via InsideOutMusic. 

A first single and video (Directed by Lars Ardarve) off “PANTHER” is being debuted today. 
Check out the album’s opening track “ACCELERATOR” here:

Pain of Salvation’s Daniel Gildenlöw checked in with the following comment about the song/video:

It has been brilliant to work with Lars for a video, after all these years of photographing. We think alike and always have a blast when we work together. We had three very long days of shooting it, only Lars and us in the band in Skjulstahallen, a large gymnastics hall kindly provided by IKEG. As per usual, I found myself in weird situations, like making high flips and jumps over Lars’ head. We are very happy with this video and think it’s the perfect kickoff for the PANTHER album. 

“PANTHER”, the follow-up release to 2017’s “In The Passing Light Of Day” album, was recorded, mixed and produced by Daniel Gildenlöw with Daniel Bergstrand (In Flames, Meshuggah, Devin Townsend) and comes with a comprehensive artwork-theme with illustrations made by André Meister. 

Pain of Salvation – “PANTHER”:
Track-listing:

1. ACCELERATOR

2. UNFUTURE

3. RESTLESS BOY

4. WAIT

5. KEEN TO A FAULT

6. FUR

7. PANTHER

8. SPECIES

9. ICON 

Next to the standard CD and the Digital Album formats, ”PANTHER” will also be available as limited 2CD Mediabook (Including expanded artwork and the following 4 bonus tracks on a separate disc: “PANTHER (demo)”, “KEEN TO A FAULT (demo)”, “FIFI GRUFFI” and “UNFOREVER”) and as 180g. Gatefold 2LP (Including the 4 bonus tracks on Side D and album on CD as bonus), in the following variations:

Black vinyl – Unlimited

Deep blood red vinyl – 100x copies from IOM Webshop Europe
Transparent blue vinyl – 300x copies from CM Distro
Transparent green vinyl – 200x copies from EMP

Lilac vinyl – 200x copies from JPC

White vinyl – 200x copies from Pain of Salvation

Transparent yellow vinyl – 100x copies from Pain of Salvation 

The pre-order for “PANTHER” in its various formats is started today here:

https://PainofSalvation.lnk.to/Panther

“PANTHER” album trailer: https://youtu.be/njgmgECkFBw

Look out for more news about Pain of Salvation and “PANTHER” soon…Pain of Salvation line-up:
Daniel Gildenlöw – lead vocals and lots of stuffJohan Hallgren – guitar and vocalsLéo Margarit – drums and vocalsDaniel Karlsson – keyboards, guitars and vocalsGustaf Hielm – bass and vocals 

Pain of Salvation discography:

Entropia –1997

One Hour by the Concrete Lake – 1998

The Perfect Element, Part I – 2000

Remedy Lane – 2002

12:5 – 2004

BE – 2004

BE DVD – 2005

Scarsick – 2007

Ending Themes DVD – 2009

Linoleum EP – 2009

Road Salt One – 2010

Road Salt Two – 2011

Falling Home – 2014

Remedy Lane Re:visited (Re:mixed & Re:lived) – 2016

In the Passing Light of Day – 2017

PANTHER – 2020

Tim Bowness releases video and single, ‘I’m Better Now’ from forthcoming album “Late Night Laments”

On August 28th, 2020, Tim Bowness will release his sixth solo album, “Late Night Laments”, on InsideOutMusic. The album offers a collection of lush, atmospheric songs with a wide lyrical scope marking the most intimate yet universal of Bowness’s solo releases. As a first track, Tim Bowness decided to release the unsettling yet accessible ‘I’m Better Now’ (which presents an intriguing stylistic departure for Bowness). 

Bowness comments:

 ‘In some ways ‘I’m Better Now’ represents the flipside of the title song from my previous album, “Flowers At The Scene”.

‘Flowers At The Scene’ focused on the repercussions of a violent crime (the impact on the victim’s family and friends), while ‘I’m Better Now’ is written from the perspective of a perpetrator of a hate crime.

 For a variety of reasons, society has seemingly become increasingly polarised over the last half-decade and along with an rise in intolerance, there’s been a real sense of more and more people becoming disaffected and feeling ‘left behind’ or invisible. Sometimes, the consequences of that can be ugly.’

Peter Chilvers – who’s previously created visuals for Brian Eno – is responsible for the abstract video that superbly evokes the ominous and chilly mood of the lyric. The clip can be viewed here:

Musically, the track includes contributions from Knifeworld’s Kavus Torabi and Melanie Woods. Bowness says, ‘Kavus’s biting and twisting solo is a particular highlight of the song for me.’

Mixed by his longtime partner in no-man, Steven Wilson, and mastered by Calum Malcolm (The Blue Nile, Prefab Sprout), the album – co-produced by Bowness and Brian Hulse – combines electronic soundscapes, acoustic instrumentation and unexpected rhythms in a tightly focused and emotionally charged opus. The artwork is once again by Jarrod Gosling. 

“Late Night Laments” will be released as Limited Edition 2CD digipak including five additional studio recordings, as Gatefold LP plus CD, and digital album. 

Pre-orders are available now:

https://timbowness.lnk.to/LateNightLamentsID

An exclusive transparent blue edition (600 copies) plus signed art print is available only at BurningShed.com.

https://burningshed.com/store/timbowness

About Tim Bowness:

Tim Bowness is primarily known as vocalist/co-writer with the band no-man, a long-running collaboration with Steven Wilson.  

In addition to releasing seven studio albums and a documentary DVD with no-man, Tim has worked with popular Italian artist Alice (on her Italian Top 20 album “Viaggio In Italia”), Mercury Prize nominated Banco De Gaia, Robert Fripp, Peter Hammill, Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera and many others. 

Tim recorded the album “Flame” (1994) with Richard Barbieri (Porcupine Tree/ex-Japan), co-produced/co-wrote the acclaimed “Talking With Strangers” (2009) for Judy Dyble (ex-Fairport Convention), and has had a long-term collaborative partnership with Peter Chilvers (Brian Eno/Karl Hyde). 

Tim’s recent quartet of solo releases on InsideOutMusic/Sony have entered the official UK Top 5 Rock, Progressive, and Vinyl charts, as well as the official Scottish charts. Along with Steven Wilson, he is also the co-host of “The Album Years”, which has reached the Top 5 Music Podcast charts in over 25 countries (#1 in 10).

GAZPACHO, THE KINGS OF ATMOSPHERIC AND AFFECTIVE ROCK RETURN WITH NEW ALBUM FIREWORKER – DUE FOR RELEASE ON KSCOPE ON 18TH SEPTEMBER

For nearly twenty years, Gazpacho have reigned as the kings of atmospheric and affective art rock. That’s certainly no small feat, as the subgenre is full of wonderfully moody, ornate, and emotional artists; yet, none of them manage to achieve the same level of exquisite baroque resonance and hypnotically introspective weight as the Norwegian sextet. As a result, they never fail to provide awe-inspiring examinations of the human condition, and their latest observation, Fireworker, is no exception. It is undoubtedly among their greatest achievements, as well as one of the most profound pieces of music you’ll hear in 2020.

LISTEN TO THE TITLE  TRACK “FIREWORKER” HERE

Conceptually, the album follows the band’s tradition of blending grand philosophical quandaries, stimulating literary leanings, and haunting personal turmoil. In a way, it acts as the culmination of the themes and techniques that’ve decorated earlier collections, combining the fatalistic isolation of Night and Missa Atropos; the ill-fated narrative drama of Tick Tock and Soyuz; and the hefty theological/scientific contemplations of Demon and Molok. Beyond that, its central premise (that humanity has always been controlled by an infallible and omniscient creature determined to propagate at any cost) means that Fireworker comes across like the overarching umbrella under which all of its predecessors occur.

Keyboardist Thomas Andersen elucidates: “There’s an instinctual part of you that lives inside your mind, separate from your consciousness. I call it the ‘Fireworker’ or the ‘Lizard’ or the ‘Space Cowboy.’ It’s an eternal and unbroken lifeforce that’s survived every generation, with a new version in each of us. It’s evolved alongside our consciousness, and it can override us and control all of our actions.

In order to get us to do what it wants, he clarifies, the “Fireworker” will silence the parts of our mind that feel disgust or remorse so that we’re unable to stop it. The conscious part of our mind, Andersen notes, will actually “rationalize and legitimize” those thoughts and actions so that we never discover the beast behind-the-scenes. No matter how we feel about ourselves in terms of identity, accomplishments, and value, we’re all just vessels—or “Sapiens”—that the creature uses until it no longer needs us.“If you play along,” Andersen explains, “It’ll reward you like a puppy and let you feel fantastic; if you don’t, it’ll punish you severely.”

Like NightFireworker is a single “trip” broken into five chapters but meant to be appreciated all at once. This time, however, Gazpacho’s recurring protagonist is investigating the labyrinthian hive of his own psyche to engage in a Bergman-esque confrontation with the “Fireworker.” This journey is even represented by the Wimmelbilder cover, which, as usual, was designed by collaborator Antonio Seijas and depicts “the billions of neurons that create the cave of the mind”.

Fireworker declares its mesmeric dominance right away via “Space Cowboy,” a side-long suite whose ominous lyricism (“The parasite / That lives in me / Murders words / From where I stop / And it breathes in / We’re biting our tail / The cycle begins”) is but one of many reasons why it’s among Gazpacho’s greatest compositions. From its heartbreakingly delicate first movement and chaotic centerpiece, to its mournfully symphonic penultimate phase and thunderous outro, it is a masterpiece onto itself, cementing how vivacious, evocative, and imaginative Gazpacho remain after all these years. 

From there, the sequence remains just as seductively eccentric and beautiful. In particular, “Hourglass” is a gorgeous piano ballad that evokes March of Ghosts in its fusion of welcoming melodies and gentle orchestral flourishes. That then make way for the feisty layers and catchy hooks of the band’s first single and title track “Fireworker.” Fittingly, “Antique” takes over with angelic mystery and the album closer “Sapien,” echoes the dynamic range and epic scope of “Space Cowboy,” resulting in an awe-inspiring finale that envelops you in luscious arrangements and poignant existential realizations.  

Naturally, Gazpacho’s career has been full of great performances and glowing praise. Outside of issuing three superb live LPs (2010’s A Night at the Loreley, 2011’s London, and 2015’s Night of the Demon), they’ve played festivals such as Be Prog! My Friend, Night of the Prog, Midsummer Prog Festival, and Cruise to the Edge, where they delighted audiences alongside exceptional brethren like iamthemorning, Anathema, Pain of Salvation, Caligula’s Horse, Riverside, The Neal Morse Band, and Steve Hackett.

Unsurprisingly, their records have been met with similarly enthusiastic reception; for instance, their previous statement, 2018’s Soyuz,earned superlative accolades from publications such as PROGEchoes and Dust and Louder than War.

Fireworker is truly life-changing experience, so you would be wise to turn off all of the lights, clear your mind as best you can, and prepare to meet the Fireworker.

 FIREWORKER tracklisting

1. Space Cowboy [19:43] 

2. Hourglass [04:15] 

3. Fireworker [04:41] 

4. Antique [06:24] 

5. Sapien [15:22]

Fireworker will be released on Kscope on 18th September, on CD, a gatefold 2LP on 180g black vinyl  (3 sides audio, 1 side art etching) and digitally (digital pre-orders receive the title track “Fireworker” as an instant download) and is available to pre-order HERE

GAZPACHO LIVE

Sadly, due to the current covid-19 situation the band’s European and UK dates scheduled for October 2020 have been postponed to October 2021, but as the band didn’t want to disappoint their fans Gazpacho are planning to play Fireworker in its entirety via a livestream, alongside a Q&A about the concept plus will play a few favourites from their repertoire. Details of the streaming event and the rescheduled tour will follow soon.

In the meantime, they suggest, you should internalize the record as much as possible to eventually “research your own ‘Space Cowboy.’” Anderson adds: “It’s an attempt at a safe way of looking at something highly dangerous because the animal does not understand music or poetry. We’re trying to outsmart it by writing around it, as music can go places words can’t and there’s a magic to it all.”. 
Gazpacho are:

Thomas Andersen – keyboards, programming

Jan-Henrik Ohme – vocals

Jon-Arne Vibo – guitars

Mikael Krømer – violin, additional guitars

Kristian “Fido” Torp – bass

Robert R Johansen – drums

The Tangent launch ‘Life On Hold’; first single from new album ‘Auto Reconnaissance’

The Tangent, the progressive rock group led by Andy Tillison, recently announced the release of their 11th studio album ‘Auto Reconnaissance’ on the 21st August 2020. The follow-up to 2018’s ‘Proxy’, sees them continuing the band philosophy of celebrating the golden age of prog, whilst bringing it to the present and exploring new paths for the music to take in the future. On ‘Auto Reconnaissance’, they bend that philosophy to their will, taking in prog rock foot stomping, sublime Jazz, humour, narrative, a modern R&B love song, funk/soul and a 28 minute long emotional epic about the band’s home country of England.

Today they launch the first track, titled ‘Life On Hold’, and you can listen now here:

Andy comments: “‘Life On Hold is  the cheerful up-tempo Prog Rock foot-stomper we chose to kick off our album. It sits alongside pieces we’ve done in the past like ‘GPS Culture’ and ‘Spark In The Aether’, ‘Crisis In Midlife’ etc and it’s a flavour we do like to return to now and then. This one is influenced by things like that first Asia album, stuff like Kansas and Boston, and the kind of thing that Transatlantic might bang out at you. It’s part of our genetic makeup, but of course only one part. Although there’s a fair amount of accessible tunes on the new album, there’s some seriously deep water around too.  And no, ‘Life On Hold’ has nothing to do with Lockdowns. It mentions Jean Paul Sartre, which is not normal in foot-stompers. Get it ON!! Bang, and the dirt is gone!”

‘Auto Reconnaissance’ will be available as a limited CD Digipak, Gatefold 2LP + CD + LP-Booklet and as a digital album. Pre-order now here: https://The-Tangent.lnk.to/AutoReconnaissance

 Andy comments: “I utterly refuse to accept that Progressive Rock Music is some kind of museum piece. It is actually a living and breathing movement that has a past, a present and above all, a future. It once had an album-chart-topping golden age, but the genre was never about that. It has subtly and virally kept itself alive for decades where many new musical genres have risen to glory and faded away.”

For this release, Andy is once again joined by long-time collaborators Jonas Reingold, Luke Machin (who  co-produced the album with Andy),  Theo Travis, and Steve Roberts. Together they bring to life an album that has been influenced by the likes of ELP, The Isley Brothers, Steely Dan, Aphex Twin, National Health, Rose Royce, Squarepusher and Return To Forever amongst others. 

Andy comments of the current line-up: “In the past 6 years the line-up of The Tangent has become more stable than at the beginning. I think that the identity of the Tangent as a “Group” rather than a “Project” started to come together on the album ‘A Spark In The Aether’ in 2014. Essentially Luke, Jonas, Theo and myself have appeared on the last four albums, and we added Steve Roberts for the tour that supported ‘Slow Rust’ in 2017 and we’ve settled on this line-up. I hope for a while because I find this unit to be productive, in tune with the band’s purpose and manifesto and a lot of fun to boot. The new album ‘Auto Reconnaissance’ is the first time that the core band has been identical in structure to its predecessor.  For the first time I feel that everyone is totally onboard with the fusion of Jazz, Prog, Punkishness and electronica that The Tangent likes to cook up. We are a good group of friends and although we don’t meet up often, it’s a real blast when we do. I’ve always considered Ed Unitsky the cover artist to have been a recurring member of the cast – his artwork has been a huge part of our story and although we move away, we always return.”

‘Auto Reconnaissance’ will be available as Limited CD Digipak (incl. bonus track), Gatefold 2LP + CD + LP booklet & as Digital Album, all featuring the artwork of Ed Untisky, whose visuals have not been seen on a Tangent album since 2014’s ‘A Spark In The Aether’. The full track-listing can be found below:

1.     Life On Hold

2.     Jinxed In Jersey

3.     Under Your Spell

4.     The Tower Of Babel

5.     Lie Back & Think Of England

6.     The Midas Touch

7.     Proxima (Bonus Track)

The Tangent are the following players:

Andy Tillison – Vocals, Lyrics, Keyboards, Composer

Jonas Reingold (The Sea Within, Steve Hackett Band) – Bass Guitar

Theo Travis (Soft Machine, David Gilmour, Travis-Fripp) – Sax & Flute

Luke Machin (Maschine, Francis Dunnery Band) – Guitar

Steve Roberts (David Cross Band, ex Magenta, Godsticks) – Drums

Pain of Salvation – Announce details for new studio album “PANTHER”!

Firmly at the forefront of the progressive rock and metal scenes for nearly three decades now and one of modern rock’s most acclaimed live acts, Sweden’s Pain of Salvation return with a new studio album entitled “PANTHER”, due out August 28th, 2020 worldwide via InsideOutMusic. 

“PANTHER”, the follow-up release to 2017’s “In The Passing Light Of Day” album, was recorded, mixed and produced by Daniel Gildenlöw with Daniel Bergstrand (In Flames, Meshuggah, Devin Townsend) and comes with a comprehensive artwork-theme with illustrations made by André Meister (Frontcover to be seen above!). 

Here is the track-listing for the standard edition of the album: 

Pain of Salvation – “PANTHER”:

1. ACCELERATOR

2. UNFUTURE

3. RESTLESS BOY

4. WAIT

5. KEEN TO A FAULT

6. FUR

7. PANTHER

8. SPECIES

9. ICON 

Pain of Salvation’s Daniel Gildenlöw checked in with the following comment about “PANTHER”:

“The making of ‘PANTHER’ has taken over 2 years. I have felt the need to push boundaries, both musically and sonically. Approaching the music from more diverse angles, yet without losing the core identity of the band. Lyrically it coincidently fits more than ever into current times. When I look at the great artwork drawings that went into the concept, I can only say that I am extremely happy how everything turned out. I can’t wait to share this album with everybody.” 

More details about the various formats for “PANTHER”, its pre-order start as well as the launch of a first single/video will be shared on July 3rd, 2020. Mark your calendars! 

A first sneak preview with one of the songs off “PANTHER” is in the album trailer clip here: 

Pain of Salvation’s previous album “In the Passing Light of Day” entered the official sales charts of various countries upon release as follows: Germany: # 28, France: # 70, The Netherlands: # 86, Italy: # 56, Switzerland: # 28, Austria # 39, Belgium (Flemish charts): # 82, Belgium (Wallonian charts): 
# 79, Finland: # 32, Italy: # 56, Spain: # 88, Sweden: # 94, Sweden (Physical album charts): # 15, Sweden (Vinyl  charts): # 8 and USA (Billboard Heatseekers Chart): # 9.

The album’s main singles / videos can still be checked out here:
“Meaningless”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MreXYqelGPM
“Reasons”:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_qZpLgvdOI

“In the Passing Light of Day” as well as previous Pain of Salvation catalogue releases can still be purchased in various formats in the IOM webshop here:
https://www.insideoutshop.de/Artist/Pain_Of_Salvation/20854

Look out for more news about Pain of Salvation’s upcoming album “PANTHER” soon…  Pain of Salvation line-up:
Daniel Gildenlöw – lead vocals and lots of stuffJohan Hallgren – guitar and vocalsLéo Margarit – drums and vocalsDaniel Karlsson – keyboards, guitars and vocalsGustaf Hielm – bass and vocals

Review – Abel Ganz – The Life of the Honey Bee and Other Moments of Clarity

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
― C.S. Lewis

I have made so many friends through music and not short lasting friendships either, friendships that I hold dear and will last the test of time and for all time. You all know how much I love music but it is the stories behind a lot of those friendships that have made the music much more meaningful and enduring.

I have to thank my good friend and colleague at Bad Elephant Music, David Elliott for introducing me to the fantastic legendary Scottish proggers Abel Ganz through their incredible 2014 self-titled release which was a kind of rebirth for this seminal band.

The conclusion to my review of that album went like this,

“This is music that will stand the test of time and could become a legacy for this superb band. Abel Ganz has delivered what is bound to become a highlight of this already impressive musical year, I implore you to go henceforth and purchase this musical marvel!”

And those words led me on a fantastic musical and life affirming journey to seeing the band live quite a few times including four trips to Glasgow to see them at their own mini ‘Prog B4 Christmas’ festival.

Through those trips and the wonder of social media, I have come to know the band on a very emotive and personal level and I am very proud to call them all friends. Perhaps that close friendship added fuel to the foreboding worry of how they would follow up that wondrous collection of songs that made up 2014’s well loved release? All I know is that, when band leader, drummer and all round good guy Denis Smith sent me the music files in March of this year, I was both excited and slightly apprehensive about what I was going to hear…

So, first to the Press Release:

“A concept album comprising of six thematically linked pieces exploring our relationship with memory and loss. The liminal space between a fading ‘what was’ and an anticipated ‘what is to come’.

The album recalls the hazy technicolour of long remembered summers and the sepia of a love forgotten. A place where we blur the boundaries of returning and renewal. The lyrics chart the course through recollection to premonition. These words are both deeply personal and universal, hope for what is next and a lament for what we have lost.”

Denis told me that the band had deliberately set out to NOT make the same album as before and after dozens of listens I can honestly say that they have delivered something totally different but equally as wonderful as before, to be honest, it is better, in my opinion!

There is something utterly bewitching about this collection of seven perfectly crafted songs. Actually, I’d go further than calling them songs, they are stories, stories that bare their soul, stories of love and loss that can be at times amazingly uplifting and, at others, totally heart-wrenching but they are always beautiful.

This enchanting and captivating musical journey opens with the title track, The Life of the Honey Bee and Other Moments of Clarity, which opens the album with nearly thirteen minutes of enthralling, beguiling brilliance and the album never looks back from there. The song writing is thought provoking and the musicianship second to none with Dave King’s elegant guitar playing providing the ethereal stepping stones for Mick Macfarlane’s soft, Caledonian brogue to draw you in to this mesmerising song and the genius Chromatic Harmonica of Alex Partlin has to be heard to be believed. The masters of Scottish progressive rock are back and it has taken just one song to ease my worries, this is going to be one wondrous experience, I just know it!

As if that wasn’t superb enough then the incredibly moving exquisite grace of One Small Soul (can you tell I like this song?!) takes the bar and lifts it even higher. There are simply not enough superlatives for this ridiculously good piece of music. I always said that Thank You from the previous release was my favourite Abel Ganz track and I still love it but this consummate song has just stolen my heart completely. From the sublime guitar through to the delightful piano, it just touches my soul. The vocals are heartfelt and earnest and Mick’s interplay with acclaimed solo artist Emily Smith is a highlight of the whole album, add in the dazzling guitar solo and you have just about the perfect song.

Dave King took over from long time Ganz guitarist Davie Mitchell and has immediately become one of the family and his self-penned instrumental Arran Shores superbly evokes the image of a wind swept and scenic Scottish shoreline. Just under three minutes of instrumental music that you can just lose yourself in and forget all your worries.

Get the tissues out, trust me, there will not be a dry eye in the house after listening to the celestial strings and evocative vocals of Summerlong. A song with a depth of personal meaning that soars high with a melancholy, wistful grace. On Denis’ recommendation, the first time I heard this track I wore headphones and just stopped dead and listened to every word and every note intricately and I would advise you all to do the same. A thoughtful, yet plaintive song that leaves its mark on your heart and in your mind.

After the contemplative and reflective nobility of the previous track, the first ninety seconds of Sepia and White (written by stylish bass player Stephen Donnelly) has more funk than a New York disco in the height of the 70’s. It is utterly brilliant and put a huge smile on my face before the song segues into a thirteen and a half minute epic with elements of progressive rock, elements of jazz and an added touch of Americana just to mix things up. The guitar motif that runs throughout is a great piece of ingenuity, vocalist extraordinaire Mick Macfarlane really is on top form and Jack Webb’s keys are as accomplished as ever. Sit down with a wee dram or a glass of your favourite red and just enjoy a group of musicians on a creative high as this exceptional song gets under your skin and almost becomes part of your actual being, it really doesn’t get much better than this my friends!

What a wonderful surprise as the first notes of The Light Shines Out fade and the vocals begin, this refined and nostalgic song sees Denis Smith on the microphone and his slightly catching voice is just perfect for the gossamer like feel that the music engenders. Like the sepia tinged early morning dew of a spring day, there is a feel of awakening and rebirth about the whole song and it really stirs your emotions and is a fitting end to the album and I love the way the fading guitar ends the track.

Well I say end, we are actually treated to a radio edit of One Small Soul as things come to a proper close which, let’s face it, is no bad thing…

How to sum up my feelings? I have a very close connection with Abel Ganz but that has not made any difference to how I have reviewed this album. Put simply, it is not just the best album I have heard this year, it is one of the best albums I have ever heard in my 52 years. More than just a collection of songs or even stories, it is part of the band member’s very souls and when they put all of that into making a record, you are going to get something very special indeed.

Released 6th July 2020

Order the album direct from the band’s website here:

www.abelganz.com

Tim Bowness announces August release date and reveals cover for new studio album “Late Night Laments”

On August 28th, 2020, Tim Bowness will release his sixth solo recording, “Late Night Laments”, on InsideOutMusic. The emotionally charged and tightly focused album offers a collection of lush, atmospheric songs with a wide lyrical scope making it the most intimate yet universal of Bowness’s solo releases. 

Mixed by his longtime partner in no-man, Steven Wilson, and mastered by Calum Malcolm (The Blue Nile, Prefab Sprout), the album – co-produced by Bowness and Brian Hulse – combines electronic soundscapes, acoustic instrumentation and unexpected rhythms. Richard Barbieri, Colin Edwin, Kavus Torabi and Evan Carson are amongst the guest musicians. The artwork is once again by the award-winning Jarrod Gosling. 

The track-listing of the album can be viewed below and a first track will be released on July 3rd, 2020 along with physical and digital pre-orders.

TIM BOWNESS – Late Night Laments (38:50)

1) Northern Rain (4.49)

2) I’m Better Now (3.52)

3) Darkline (3.57)

4) We Caught The Light (3.56)

5) The Hitman Who Missed (3.21)

6) Never A Place (4.41)

7) The Last Getaway (4.55)

8) Hidden Life (5.05)

9) One Last Call (4.15)

“Late Night Laments” will be released as Limited Edition 2CD digipak including five additional studio recordings, as Gatefold LP plus CD, and digital album.

About Tim Bowness:

Tim Bowness is primarily known as vocalist/co-writer with the band no-man, a long-running collaboration with Steven Wilson.

In addition to releasing seven studio albums and a documentary DVD with no-man, Tim has worked with popular Italian artist Alice (on her Italian Top 20 album “Viaggio In Italia”), Mercury Prize nominated Banco De Gaia, Robert Fripp, Peter Hammill, Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera and many others.

Tim recorded the album “Flame” (1994) with Richard Barbieri (Porcupine Tree/ex-Japan), co-produced/co-wrote the acclaimed “Talking With Strangers” (2009) for Judy Dyble (ex-Fairport Convention), and has had a long-term collaborative partnership with Peter Chilvers (Brian Eno/Karl Hyde).

Tim’s recent quartet of solo releases on InsideOutMusic/Sony have entered the official UK Top 5 Rock, Progressive, and Vinyl charts, as well as the official Scottish charts. Along with Steven Wilson, he is also the co-host of “The Album Years”, which has reached the Top 5 Music Podcast charts in over 25 countries (#1 in 10). 

Rikard Sjöblom’s Gungfly announce new album ‘Alone Together’

Swedish multi-instrumentalist Rikard Sjöblom is pleased to announce his new album under the Gungfly moniker, ‘Alone Together’. Set for release on the 4th September 2020, it follows extremely productive past few years, whether it be working with English progressive rockers Big Big Train, or taking the lead with Gungfly. 

Rikard comments: “I started writing these songs about a year ago but then it took some time to get started with the production because I had two tours lined up, one with Big Big Train in November and then opening solo for The Flower Kings on their European tour in December. After that my focus shifted back to Gungfly and it felt really nice so it all came together pretty fast!”

‘Alone Together’ saw Gungfly recording as a trio, with brothers and previous collaborators Petter and Rasmus Diamant on drums and bass respectively. “It was a lot of fun playing both keyboards and guitar because I had come up with a lot of nice parts but I knew early on that I wanted to make the album with the brothers on drums and bass – luckily they were very up for it!” This ‘power-trio’ have focussed on the rock this time, and you can hear that loud and clear: “I didn’t want to smother the production with layers upon layers of keyboards and bells and whistles but instead tried to keep it prog rock with the focus on ROCK. I wanted every instrument to mean something in the mix.” This is evident on tracks like ‘Happy Somewhere In Between’ and the 13-minute epic ‘Traveler’, where Gungfly have never hit harder.

‘Alone Together’ will be available as a Limited CD Digipak (with 2 bonus tracks), Gatefold 2LP + CD & as Digital Album. The album cover features a painting by American artist Kevin Sloan (The Flower Kings). Rikard comments of the piece: “I had just written lyrics for the song ‘From Afar’ and was looking at Kevin’s paintings when I came across this one and I couldn’t believe the connection, particularly the lyric “A million eyes watching glimpses of each other’s lives””.

The full track-listing for the album is as follows:

1.     Traveler

2.     Happy Somewhere In Between

3.     Clean as a Whistle

4.     Alone Together

5.     From Afar

6.     On The Shoulders Of Giants

7.     Grove Thoughts (Bonus Track)

8.     Shoulder Variations (Bonus Track)

Rikard Sjöblom is perhaps best known as the multi-instrumentalist frontman of Beardfish, who established themselves as one of the most consistently brilliant modern-day progressive rock bands over the course of eight studio albums. In recent years, he has also become known for his work with English progressive collective Big Big Train, playing live with them as well as performing on their recent studio albums.