Opeth release lyric video for title track to ‘Sorceress’ – article by Progradar

This is the official title track from Swedish progressive legends OPETH’s twelfth studio album, SORCERESS, out September 30, 2016 via Moderbolaget Records / Nuclear Blast Entertainment.

2016 marks the monumental return of one of heavy rock’s most unique, revered and fearless bands of the last three decades, Opeth. Over the years, the experimental, prog veterans have continuously reinvented themselves, pushing the boundaries of their craft and expectations of fans and critics alike.

OPETH’s new album, ‘Sorceress’, their first for Nuclear Blast via the band’s imprint label Moderbolaget Records, is proof chief architect Mikael Åkerfeldt has a near-endless well of greatness inside. From the album’s opener Persephone to The Wilde Flowers and Strange Brew to the album’s counterpart title tracks Sorceress and Sorceress II, OPETH’s twelfth full-length is an unparalleled adventure, where visions cleverly and secretly change, colors mute as if weathered by time, and sounds challenge profoundly.

Sorceress cover

Sorceress Track List:
1. Persephone
2. Sorceress
3. The Wilde Flowers
4. Will O The Wisp
5. Chrysalis
6. Sorceress 2
7. The Seventh Sojourn
8. Strange Brew
9. A Fleeting Glance
10. Era
11. Persephone (Slight Return)

”The new album “Sorceress” is our 12th studio album since our beginnings in 1990,” says Åkerfeldt. “I find it difficult to understand that we’ve been going on for 26 years, let alone that we’ve made 12 records now, all of which I am very proud of. ”Sorceress” is no exception. I love this album, as does the whole band. I wrote the music during 5-6 months and we spent only 12 days recording it at Rockfield studios in Wales. I find that once again we’ve taken a step forward. Or sideways, Or backwards. Somewhere!? It’s different! It’s extremely diverse. And if I may say so myself, extremely good.

I feel the right to say that since I like to think I know this band better than anyone on the planet. Also, I always manage to detach myself from the record and listen as a fan. It’s a fine little record. My favorite in our discography right now. Of course. That’s how it should be, right? It’s both fresh and old, both progressive and rehashed. Heavy and calm. Just the way we like it. Hopefully there’ll be others around the globe sharing this opinion. It was a joy to make it. A fucking joy to record it, and a sheer joy listening to it. So there you have it!”

For Sorceress, OPETH returned to Rockfield Studios in Wales, also home to pivotal releases from Queen, Rush and Judas Priest, where the Swedes had tracked Pale Communion in 2014 with Tom Dalgety. The band spent 12 days recording at the countryside venue among its serene and inspiring surroundings. The result is nothing short of a powerful and intriguing record that will add yet another layer to the band’s celebrated career.

ORDER ALBUM AT
Nuclear Blast (Worldwide): http://nuclearblast.com/opeth-sorceress
OPETH Store (US): http://www.jsrdirect.com/bands/opeth
OPETH Store (Euro): http://store.moderbolagetrecords.com
iTunes: http://nblast.de/OpethSorceressIT
Amazon Music: http://nblast.de/OpethSorceressAMZMP3
Google Play: http://nblast.de/OpethSorceressGP

Opeth band

Glass Hammer talk about new album ‘Valkyrie’ – article by Progradar

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Glass Hammer are due to release their 18th studio album, ‘Valkyrie’, in September and I managed to grab a few words with main man Steve Babb and vocalist Susie Bogdanowicz.

The follow up to last year’s ‘The Breaking of the World’ is a concept album in the vein of ‘Lex Rex’ and ‘The Inconsolable Secret’ and will see Bogdanowicz take a bigger role than on previous releases she has appeared on.

Steve told me,

“Fred and I both contribute lead vocals on the album. The lyrics of ‘Valkyrie’ were, for the most part, intentionally written so that the female lead would gradually come to the fore. To my ears the whole thing has more impact that way. The male vocals tend to convey the darker parts of the story while Susie really had to bring out the more emotional moments and the hopefulness that our albums tend to convey.”

The concept behind the album is the struggle of a soldier’s return home from the horrors of war, to the girl that loves and who must ultimately find her way to him.

When asked what it was like to to create a concept album with Glass Hammer, Susie went on to say,

“I really enjoy seeing the creative process behind a Glass Hammer concept album. There’s the beauty and complexity of the songs written with these musical threads that unite the album; and then there are these gorgeous lyrics that usually have a much deeper meaning. It’s such a rich and fulfilling experience.”

The stunning album art is by Michal Xaay Loranc who also handled the design for ‘Ode To Echo’ and ‘The Breaking Of The World’.

The tracklist for ‘Valkyrie’, released 27th September, is as follows:

  1. The Fields We Know
  2. Golden Days
  3. No Man’s Land
  4. Nexus Girl
  5. Valkyrie
  6. Fog Of War
  7. Dead And Gone
  8. Eucatastrophe
  9. Rapturo

Pre-orders for ‘Valkyrie’ begin on August 30th with signed copies available

 

Gravitysays_i is set to release their first album in five years, “Quantum Unknown” – article by Progradar

Artwork

Greek rock group Gravitysays_i is set to release their first album in five years, “Quantum Unknown”, on September 16th via Inner Ear Records.

Gravitysays_i is a six member band from Greece. Their sound is a mix of prog-rock, Pink Floyd-style space-rock, ambient electronics, with a traditional Mediterranean flair (In addition to the usual rock band instruments, Gravitysays_i adds acoustic instruments like trumpet, Cretan lyra and the beautiful sound of the santur).

Band

It’s been a long time since the release of their previous album “The Figures Of Enormous Grey And The Patterns Of Fraud” (2011). Gravitysays_i are back with their third album, “Quantum Unknown”, which makes the long wait worthwhile.

If their previous album was a big battle with themselves, “Quantum Unknown” is the liberation from their own selves. In this mood, they began creating this album of 6 tracks, which is the result of four years of recordings and intense experimentation by the band in new fields of music and lyrics.

This time, the band’s themes play with every knowledgeable form in an attempt to escape from the human gaze itself. Music-wise the experimental and electronic element replaces the electric effusions of their previous work.

Gravitysays_i was formed in March of 2003 by Manos Paterakis and Nikos Retsos in Piraeus. Their debut album entitled “The Roughest Sea” (2007) was released on Sirius, the label founded by the famous Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis. It consists of nine compositions inspired by the egotism, vanity and isolation of modern man. It is a conceptual album characterized by consecutive flow, where the electronic element meets traditional instrumentation, while minimalistic forms follow the general pop-rock spirit.

Their sophomore album entitled “The Figures of Enormous Grey and The Patterns of Fraud”, released in 2011 (Restless Wind) is different, with regard to its theme, as it re-examines social values, institutions and morality as an extension of individual, as well as collective conscience. This time, their sound follows a more traditional / Mediterranean audio vocabulary, while, at the same time, the dark, atmospheric elements become even more apparent.

In 2016, after a period of absence, they are back to present live their new album ”Quantum Unknown”, which will be released this September via Inner Ear Records.

1. More Than A Matter Of Instinct 
2. Of Woe / Migratory Birds          
3. Dowser                                 
4. An Ivory Heart                      
5. Every Man 
6. Quantum Unknown (Riveted Eye)     

TESSERACT DEBUT REIMAGINED “SURVIVAL” SINGLE / POLARIS TOUR EDITION “ERRAI” DUE 16TH SEPTEMBER FEATURING 4 RE-IMAGINED POLARIS TRACKS

Errai

(‘Errai’ artwork)

TesseracT has debuted the re-imagined version of the single Survival today.  The track is from the all new 2-disc tour edition of TesseracT’s critically acclaimed studio album ‘Polaris’, with bonus disc ‘Errai’, released on September 16th via Kscope. The package includes four re-imagined tracks from ‘Polaris’ by the band’s long time live producer and sound engineer Aidan O’BrienSurvival, Cages, Tourniquet and Seven Names. This new version will keep fans thrilled leading up to TesseracT’s  U.S. tour with Gojira in September.

Polaris

(‘Polaris’ artwork)

O’Brien offers, “The fascinating thing about taking a track apart to remix, rework, or re-imagine it, is being able to look at each individual element and figure out exactly what makes it tick as a composition.”

“In the case of ‘Survival,’ it was amazing to see how the track still retained a real power and drive even when the distorted guitars and drums were stripped away, and it was very exciting to experiment with rebuilding the track around a basic chord structure and Dan’s vocal by using piano, synths and a handful of sound design tricks to push it into a darker and more cinematic direction.”

“Using that as a base to build on meant that when I brought the track back to the band they were able to reinterpret a lot of what they had originally written in a totally new context – capitalising on that darker sound and resulting in an arrangement, which in some ways is much lighter and sparser but in others is far more brooding and menacing.” 

TessaracT vocalist Dan Tompkins comments  “It’s been fantastic to re-visit and re-work the vocals to some of the Polaris tracks from a different angle and with the benefit of time and space. The normal process of writing TesseracT songs starts with the creation of the music followed by the lyrical content; this time Acle and Aidan have stripped away the music and re-created the songs based around the vocals. As a result this has allowed much more breathing space between both and also highlighted much more detail in the performance.”

Listen to Survival here:

The ‘Polaris’ Tour Edition will be released as a 2 CD set, as well as digitally, with ‘Errai’ being released as a stand-alone 180g heavyweight clear vinyl with enclosed download code.

The CD & LP are available to pre-order here

Along with the new song interpretations, the cover art of new edition of Polaris has been given a 2016 make-over by artist Dan Mumford.

In addition to supporting Gojira, TesseracT has also announced a handful of U.S. headlining shows.

09/23 – Shaka’s Live, Virginia Beach, VA

10/02 – Backstage Lubbock Depot District, Lubbock, TX

10/18 – Bottom Lounge, Chicago, IL

The last time U.S fans saw the band was on the highly successful run late last year. Tickets are on sale now. Fans can visit the band’s official website for more info.

TesseracT released ‘Polaris’ in September of last year – the new LP was the follow up to the highly regarded ‘Altered State’ LP that was released in 2013. ‘Polaris’ is the band’s third studio album and first for Kscope.

(Featured image credit Tom Barnes)

Lobate Scarp release new single and announce Kickstarter campaign for epic second album – article by Progradar

You Have It All Mock Up 1

(mock up of possible cover for new album using one of David A. Hardy’s previous works)

On 11th July, California Progressive Rock band Lobate Scarp released the new single Beautiful Light from their upcoming album entitled ‘You Have It All’. Recorded and mixed at The Mouse House under the production expertise of Rich Mouser, the song features an array of guest musicians plying flute, English horn, oboe and violin. The release has been followed up with a lyric video created by UK -based production company Crystal Spotlight.

Mouser, whose mixing repertoire includes Spock’s Beard, Transatlantic, Neal Morse, as well as Lobate Scarp’s debut album ‘Time and Space’, will join as producer of the new album. Steven Leavitt, producer of ‘Time and Space’, will also return to co-produce and David A. Hardy, the world’s oldest living space artist, will again create the artwork.

In congruence with the single release, Lobate Scarp launched a major crowd funding for their follow up to ‘Time and Space’.

(click on the ‘K’ in the top left corner of the video to go to the Kickstarter page)

Lobate Scarp is a progressive space-opera rock band based in Los Angeles. Their influences range from classic prog-rock of the 70’s such as Genesis and Yes, to 80’s pop such as Simple Minds and Tears For Fears, as well as strong ties to musical theater. Their debut ‘Time and Space’ was made possible in 2012 by a successful Kickstarter campaign and has since received accolades from all over the world, played on radio shows, podcasts, as well as had reviews published in numerous music publications.

“The group Lobate Scarp presents prog rock that hits you right between the eyes. This band’s rich melodies flow naturally like a stream, while the songs are broken down into movements much like a symphony” – Music Connection.

Website: http://lobatescarp.com

 

 

Nosound announce new studio album Scintilla, and release video for new track ‘Short Story’

Nosound - Scintilla

Nosound’s new studio album, their fifth, entitled ‘Scintilla’ marks a major departure and includes guest appearances from Anathema’s Vincent Cavanagh and acclaimed Italian singer Andrea Chimenti.

After a decade of crafting a very particular type of widescreen melancholia and wistful imagery, Nosound’s fifth studio album ‘Scintilla’ introduces a wholly new musical and visual approach for Giancarlo Erra’s ever-evolving band.

Inspired by personal upheaval and a desire for change, ‘Scintilla’ is an emotionally complex and musically direct work presenting a stripped-down set of compositions that mark a major departure from Nosound’s trademark symphonic lushness and production precision. Giancarlo Erra says,

“The intention with ‘Scintilla’ was to do something a bit more different than previously and illustrating more vigorously what Nosound is today. During a decade of activity, my listening tastes have shifted gradually towards a simpler, more direct music with an intimate character that still retains a certain richness and detail in sound. Northern folk and alt singer-songwriter music are possibly the stronger influences, but generally speaking, everything that is simple, direct and minimal but with rich sound is what I like, and what I hope this album is.”

Taking in influences from Post Rock, Shoegaze and Alt-Singer-Songwriters, the album imaginatively utilises a mostly organic and acoustic sound palette.

Musically looser and more sonically intimate than the band’s previous releases, ‘Scintilla’s’ emphasis is placed firmly on feeling rather than technique.

Anathema’s Vincent Cavanagh lends his distinctive vocals to two of the album’s tracks – In Celebration of Life and The Perfect Wife, and cellist Marianne De Chastelaine returns once more to the Nosound fold (this time in a more free-flowing and improvisational capacity). Acclaimed Italian singer Andrea Chimenti co-writes and sings on the serene Sogno E Incendio.

Shifting from the uncharacteristic sarcasm of Love is Forever and potent anger of The Perfect Wife to the dreamy sensitivity of Emily and the unusually uplifting Celebration of Life, ‘Scintilla’ represents the boldest statement of Nosound’s career so far.

A cathartic album of emotional extremes, Scintilla marks the brave beginning of the second phase of Nosound’s fascinating career.

Nosound - band

Nosound have launched their first video for the song Short Story – Giancarlo comments of the song and video,

This is one of the shortest and less structured Nosound songs, both musically and lyrically, and yet one that perfectly sets the mood to ‘different’ and prepares for the album. A statement of intentions, so much that it is the opening of the album and  the one we choose to be the  first single. The video was shot specifically for this song, introducing the places where the album was partly written and recorded, and at the same time illustrating the emotional extremes present on the whole album, being at the same time delicate and thunderous without very much for the in-between.” 

Scintila tracklisting

1. Short Story
2. Last Lunch
3. Little Man
4. In Celebration of Life
5. Sogno e Incendio
6. Emily
7. The Perfect Wife
8. Love is Forever
9. Evil Smile
10. Scintilla

Released 2nd September 2016

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CIRCA: announce new album Valley of the WIndmill – by Progradar

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From Frontiers Music Srl:

“CIRCA: is a Progressive Rock band formed by veteran rockers Tony Kaye (original YES keyboard and organ player) and Billy Sherwood (who took Chris Squire’s place after his untimely passing in 2015), with Ricky Tierney on bass and Scott Connor on drums.

The band was formed in 2007 by Tony Kaye and Billy Sherwood. The debut self-titled CD, “CIRCA:”, features also YES drummer Alan White and Jimmy Haun on guitar. The follow-up, “CIRCA: Live” DVD, archived the band’s first live performance.

In 2009, “CIRCA: HQ” was released with Jay Schellen on drums. CIRCA: “Overflow” is a collection of extra bonus material from the first and second recording sessions, available only as a digital download.

“And So On,” was the third studio CD by the band. A subsequent tour happened in 2011.

“Valley of the Windmill” the new album, includes several extended length songs, and can be described as “super proggy” with influences ranging from classic Yes and Gentle Giant, to Porcupine Tree and Marillion. And absolute must for all Prog Rock fans!”

“Valley of the Windmill” will be released by Frontiers Music Srl on 8th July 2016.

Kansas announce first new album in 16 years – ‘The Prelude Implicit” to be Released September 23rd – by Progradar

Kansas Album

KANSAS, America’s legendary progressive rock band, will release their intensely anticipated new studio album “The Prelude Implicit” on September 23, 2016.  The album is the first new release in 16 years for the band that has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, and is famous for classic hits such as ‘Carry On Wayward Son’ and ‘Dust In the Wind,’ to progressive epics like ‘Song for America’ and ‘Miracles Out of Nowhere.’
“The Prelude Implicit” features 10 all new tracks written by the band and co-produced by Zak Rizvi, Phil Ehart, and Richard Williams.  KANSAS‘s signature sound is evident throughout the album.  It showcases Ronnie Platt’s soaring lead vocals, David Ragsdale’s blistering violin, Williams and Rizvi’s rocking guitar riffs, the unmistakable sound of David Manion’s B3 organ and keyboards, Ehart’s thundering drums, and Billy Greer’s driving bass and vocals.
KANSAS returned to the studio in January 2016 after signing with Inside Out Music.  Says Inside Out founder and president Thomas Waber, KANSAS is the biggest and most important Prog band to come out of the United States. I grew up listening to them, and their music is part of my DNA.  ‘The Prelude Implicit’ undoubtedly adds to their already impressive musical legacy.  I can’t stop listening to it, and we are proud to be releasing the album.”
The result of the time in the studio was even more than the band imagined.  “This is definitely a KANSAS album,” remarks original guitarist Richard Williams. “Whether it is the trademark Prog epic like ‘The Voyage of Eight Eighteen,’ biting rocker such as ‘Rhythm in the Spirit,’ or mindful ballad like ‘The Unsung Heroes,’ there is something on this album for every kind of KANSAS fan.  After years of pent-up creativity, the entire band is very proud of ‘The Prelude Implicit.'”
Lead Vocalist Ronnie Platt adds, “Recording ‘The Prelude Implicit’ was an incredible experience, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. It is my hope that, knowing the intense listeners that KANSAS fans are, the continuity yet diversity of this album will be pleasing to them.”
The album title, The Prelude Implicit means, “Without a doubt, this is a new musical beginning,” explains Ehart. Tattoo artist, Denise de la Cerda, did the oil painting of the front and back cover.  “It shows a Phoenix flying from the past into the future.”
“The Prelude Implicit” will be released September 23, 2016, on Inside Out Music and is distributed by RED.  The album will be available on CD, Double 180 Gram Vinyl, and digitally on iTunes and Google Play.  Pre-order opportunities will be available starting later this summer at KansasBand.com and Amazon.com.
‘The Prelude Implicit’ Track Listing:
1.) With This Heart
2.) Visibility Zero
3.) The Unsung Heroes
4.) Rhythm in the Spirit
5.) Refugee
6.) The Voyage of Eight Eighteen
7.) Camouflage
8.) Summer
9.) Crowded Isolation
10.) Section 60
KANSAS will be debuting songs off “The Prelude Implicit” this fall, live in concert, as part of their Leftoverture 40th Anniversary Tour in celebration of their breakthrough album. The sextuple-platinum album will be performed in its entirety.

 

Glass Hammer announce new album – by Progradar

Renowned progressive rock outfit Glass Hammer have announced that 16th studio album ‘Valkyrie’ will be released this autumn.

The new release will see Susie Bogdanowicz take lead vocal duties, along with support from founder members Steve Babb and Fred Schendel.

A full on concept album in the vein of ‘Lex Rex’ and ‘The Inconsolable Secret’, ‘Valkyrie’ was rehearsed it as if it would be a show then recorded all of the basic rhythm tracks live. There’s still a lot of recording to do back at the studio.

Glass Hammer are in the studio now, finishing off what could prove to be their Magnum Opus.

A teaser trailer video has been released:

 

AISLES announce new studio album and release online documentary – by Progradar

Aisles Hawaii Album Cover

The Chilean prog rock sextet returns with their new studio effort, “Hawaii”, a two-disc concept album that will be available starting in July.

Chilean prog rockers Aisles have just announced the title and release date of “Hawaii”, their highly anticipated fourth studio album. The LP will be released on July 29, 2016 via Presagio Records on CD and digitally, while the vinyl edition will be available in November.

“Hawaii” is a two-disc concept album about human colonies established in space after the destruction of the Earth. Its twelve tracks explore the dilemmas and challenges that the individual and the human spirit would face in this futuristic scenario. Regarding the theme and sound of the album, guitarist and producer Germán Vergara states: “Without a doubt it’s our most profound work so far. With ‘Hawaii’ we dug deep in search of a concept that could really move us. Our objective was to write music that would emotionally and mentally take us to the place where the events in the album occur: Space”.

 “All the music on the album was written with our hearts and minds set on the idea of these human colonies, a small group of people who are able to preserve some of the heritage of mankind after the Earth is destroyed. Musically speaking we had never taken so many risks, tried so many different approaches and allowed ourselves this level of freedom to improvise and experiment. I am really proud of what we’ve achieved this time”, Vergara adds.

Also, on their YouTube channel Aisles have just released the first of five episodes of an online documentary depicting the recording process of “Hawaii”. Check it out below:

‘HAWAII’ DOCUMENTARY EPISODE 1:

“Hawaii” is available for preorder in various formats and bundles on Aisles official website.

“Hawaii” tracklisting

 Disc 1:

  1. The Poet Part I – Dusk
  2. The Poet Part II – New World
  3. Year Zero
  4. Upside Down
  5. CH-7

Disc 2

  1. Terra
  2. Pale Blue Dot
  3. Still Alive
  4. Nostalgia
  5. Club Hawaii
  6. Falling
  7. In the Probe