Over 5 years in the making, ‘HINTERLAND’ is the long awaited debut album from progressive rock band, TILT.
Following on from their acclaimed debut EP ‘Million Dollar Wound’, ‘HINTERLAND’ has over 60 minutes of new music.
TILT members Robin Boult, David Stewart and Steve Vantsis are all probably better known for recording, writing and touring with prog legend FISH over the years. Steve Vantsis was also responsible for most of the writing of the last two well received Fish albums, ‘13th Star’ and ‘Feast of Consequences’. They are augmented by guitarist Paul Humphreys and singer PJ Dourley.
TILT are joined on this release by keyboard player John Beck (It Bites) and guitarist John Mitchell (Lonely Robot/Kino/Arena/It Bites) with John Mitchell also responsible for the final mix.
‘HINTERLAND’ is exclusively distributed by Burning Shed and is available to pre-order now with an exclusive signed postcard by the band for initial orders at:
“The new album was a joy to make. More so than any other The Pineapple Thief album before it. Everything came together so effortlessly and I think this comes across when you hear the record.” – Bruce Soord
After the worldwide acclaim generated by the 2014 anthemic rock release Magnolia, The Pineapple Thief returns with its most ambitious studio album to date, Your Wilderness on 12th August(19th August in France).
Your Wilderness, their 11th studio album, showcases the band performing without any inhibitions providing a springboard for the ongoing creative growth of The Pineapple Thief.
For the first time, The Pineapple Thief has brought in several special guest performers. “Since our last album Magnolia, the most eye catching change is obviously having Gavin Harrison contribute drums throughout the album” explains Bruce Soord. “This has not only redefined our sound but also redefined how we approached the songs as a band. Gavin’s drumming is technically brilliant but also incredibly musical, and it inspired all of us to raise our game. I’ve also rediscovered my progressive roots in terms of song-writing and arrangement. Added to that, we were lucky enough to have John Helliwell from Supertramp contribute some beautiful clarinet parts and Geoffrey Richardson (Caravan) provided a string quartet. We were also joined by a lovely 4 piece choir and to cap it all off, my friend Darran Charles (Godsticks) added some jaw dropping guitar playing… You’ve never heard a The Pineapple Thief album like this one! I am convinced people will love this record as much as we do.”
Carl’s thought provoking collection of photographs perfectly compliment the concept of the album, something which Soord is tight lipped about. “It should reveal itself to the listener and be open to interpretation. I don’t want what it means to me to influence how it affects you”.
Your Wilderness was recorded entirely by the band with the exception of the drums, which Gavin Harrison produced & engineered at his own studio. The string quartet which was recorded at Geoffrey’s own studio in Canterbury. The album was mixed and produced by Bruce Soord and Steve Kitch with mastering duties also carried out by Steve. There will be a special lossless 5.1 surround mix available with the special edition mixed by Bruce.
Seen as one of the most vital rock bands the UK has produced over the last two decades, The Pineapple Thief was formed in 1999 by founder and chief songwriter Bruce Soord. The band has steadily evolved and refined it’s sound with the bass playing of Jon Sykes and the production and keyboards of Steve Kitch now so integral to the sound.“After so many years, The Pineapple Thief has become way bigger than the sum of it’s parts.” explains Soord.
Bruce Soord has also collaborated with the likes of Wisdom Of Crowds (with Katatonia’s Jonas Renske), Katatonia (joining the band on its 2014 acoustic European tour), and has created 5.1 remixes for artists such as Opeth, TesseracT, Tim Bowness and Katatonia. Soord also released his debut self titled debut solo album through Kscope in 2015.
The Pineapple Thief is currently booking a European tour for late 2016 and planning live shows in USA / Canada
Your Wilderness will be released by Kscope on CD, LP, digitally and as a special deluxe ‘hardbook’.
Starting on 5th April the italian prog-rock band Barock Project launch the pre-sale of a new live-album. Two live cds featuring an unreleased track to celebrate a decade of music writing and four studio albums!!
Vivo: ten years in two hours with Barock Project!
On May 23rd Barock Project will release ‘VIVO’, their first live album (and fifth album in total) to celebrate ten years of writing music. VIVOwill be the fifth release by BP, following the successful studio album Skyline(2015), sold in 34 countries. In addition to the live tracklist, enriched by a memorable version of Genesis’ hit Los Endos,VIVOincludes an unreleased bonus studio track: My Silent Sea.
Two cds, comprising two full hours of music, will feature all the BP hits and shows the musical evolution of composer/leader Luca Zabbini and his band. ‘VIVO’ has been recorded during the 2015 ‘Skyline Tour’.
‘Skyline’achieved overwhelming success, many journalists all over the world acclaimed Barock’s ability of playing traditional progressive-rock in combination with a new direction. Vittorio De Scalzi (New Trolls founding member), and special guest on ‘Skyline’, publicly appointed BP as symphonic-prog heirs in continuation of his work with the New Trolls and their ‘Concerto Grosso’ albums.
On the 13th of February UK progressive rockers The Gift will be be re-releasing their seminal first album ‘Awake and Dreaming’ to mark its 10th anniversary. The re-issue will feature stunning artwork by Brian Mitchell, thereby giving the album a new lease of life with the striking imagery. Initially the re-issue will be limited to 100 copies with an elegantly illustrated lyric booklet.
Despite the album being 10 years old, it’s as though it could have been released yesterday, the sound remaining fresh and the meaning remainsing true no matter how many times you listen to it. Frequent melodic variation, ambiguous tonalities and thought provoking lyrics; The Gift give you a real gift.
The re-issue is not the only exciting news that the band have, they have also announced an extended band line-up, including the return of original guitarist Leroy James. This couldn’t have come at a better time considering Leroy and lead vocalist Mike Morton deliberated greatly together in the writing of ‘Awake and Dreaming’.
Not only do they welcome the return of Leroy, The Gift also look forward to welcoming 2 new members to the band. This includes drummer Neil Hayman of KONCHORDAT a fellow prog band who are also signed to Bad Elephant Music. The band also welcome Gabriele Baldocci from Italy on keys who is a renowned concert pianist as well as a conductor and Professor of Piano at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London.
For those who want to listen to the mellow, yet sometimes eerie, sounds of The Gift beyond the headphones, they will be performing at The Boston Music Room in London for “An Evening of Bad Elephant Music” on the 13th February, the first day that the band perform in their new line-up. jh, Tom Slatter and Twice Bitten complete the line up of Bad Elephant artists performing.
Pre-order ‘Awake & Dreaming’, buy event tickets or the combined bundle at the links below:
Mighty British melodic hard rock group Magnum are set to release their magnificent new studio album ‘Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies’, on Steamhammer / SPV on February 26th, as a limited edition DigiPak CD (with bonus DVD), standard Jewel Case CD, double gatefold vinyl with printed inner sleeves + CD (in paper sleeve), and download.
‘Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies’, a hugely stirring, uplifting opus, is a notably heavier, harder offering than its much acclaimed predecessor, ‘Escape From The Shadow Garden’, and is packed with even more of Magnum’s massive trademark rousing rock melodies. The band have also lined up a 15 concert headline UK tour in support of the album, from May 11th through to May 30th; dates are:-
11th May SOUTHAMPTON The Brook
12th May CARDIFF Tramshed
13th May LONDON Islington Assembly Hall
14th May OXFORD 02 Academy
16th May NORWICH Waterfront
17th May NOTTINGHAM Rock City
19th May BIRMINGHAM 02 Institute
20th May HOLMFIRTH Picturedome
21st May MANCHESTER Academy 2
22nd May NEWCASTLE 02 Academy
24th May ABERDEEN Garage
25th May GLASGOW Garage
27th May BELFAST Limelight 1
29th May BRISTOL 02 Academy
30th May LEAMINGTON SPA Assembly
Magnum mastermind Tony Clarkin started working on the resounding new album even before ‘Escape From The Shadow Garden’ crashed into the UK Album Chart at 38, (the band’s first top 40 album chart position for over 20 years), on release in March 2014.
“I usually start composing for our next album immediately after the release of the previous one,” Clarkin recalls, continuing “When ‘Escape…’ arrived at the stores in March 2014, my thoughts had already turned to our next recording.”
Clarkin was inspired to write 25 new songs during and after the subsequent triumphant European tour, the most outstanding 13 of which were selected for ‘Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies’. Ten of the numbers made it onto the standard album CD and another three onto the DigiPak bonus DVD, which also contains videos for three of the brand new songs on the album.
The epicentre of this soundquake features, along with frontman Bob Catley’s charismatic voice, Clarkin’s awesome riffing and hard driving lead guitar licks, which provide the all-important substructure to each of the ten gems of songs on the album.
‘Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies’ counts without a doubt among the group’s most dynamic releases; Clarkin states that “I’ve always been into rock numbers. But it isn’t necessarily that easy to write really good rock material. It’s much more simple to compose a ballad. But that dynamic pace suits Magnum perfectly.”
Nowhere is this more evident than on the title track and album opener; “I feel that Bob delivered it really well,” Clarkin praises his vocalist Bob Catley. “As far as I am concerned, ‘Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies’ is definitely likely to join the ranks of great Magnum classics.” So it comes as no surprise that ‘Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies’, with its significant message, became the album title.
Among the other multiple highlights on this thoroughly powerful recording, mention must be made of the anthemic ‘Gypsy Queen’, which Tony was inspired to write after a concert in St. Petersburg, a city which deeply impressed him with its unique atmosphere.
By no means less memorable is ‘Your Dreams Won’t Die’ which is based on a cascading piano chord sequence, reflecting the song’s poignant philosophical message. “To me, the title and lyrics have an almost religious depth,” says Clarkin. “There’s a saying that somebody is not forgotten if their name is remembered.” A successful rock group like Magnum should be entitled to eternal renown, shouldn’t it? Says Clarkin: “You want my honest opinion? I don’t think that far ahead, but of course it’s a nice notion that this band may always be remembered because so many people love our music.”
And last but not least: ‘Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies’ closes with a song which surprised even Clarkin; “I liked the general sound of ‘Don’t Cry Baby’ from the start,” he remarks. “Although I initially didn’t have a lyric, the melody kept going through my head, as well as the chorus with acoustic and e-guitars plus piano. We even kept the drums from the demo version because our drummer Harry James liked them so much. He said: “I love it the way it is. We shouldn’t change a thing about it”.”
‘Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies’, the cover of which has once again been designed by renowned fantasy artist Rodney Matthews (Nazareth, Asia), is a stupendous record, packed with soon-to-be-proclaimed-classic, majestic hard rock compositions.
Progressive Rock innovators Gandalf’s Fist are delighted to announce “The Clockwork Fable”, a Prog-Rock Mind Movie in three oscillations.
As a follow-up to the acclaimed “A Forest of Fey”, they’ve gone all-out, creating a truly epic *TRIPLE* concept album.
Set in the fictional world of “Cogtopolis”, each CD of the record serves as a different “act” of the story, with Dean Marsh and Luke Severn, along with to-be-announced guest vocalists, providing the singing voices of the inhabitants. However things don’t end there; the characters are also brought to life by a 50-page script that has been professionally recorded by a range of hugely talented actors.
A far cry from a musical, where characters burst into song at the drop of a proverbial hat, ‘The Clockwork Fable’ serves as a sprawling motion picture that will play out in your Neocortex with Gandalf’s Fist, of course, providing the soundtrack.
Aside from the depth of story and characters, the band have also fully developed the world of Cogtopolis. From geography, religious doctrines, even down to the fictional language of Cypheridia… the amount of work that’s been put into this conceptual piece is staggering.
Dean adds: “It’s a sprawling record with so many different styles. Conceptually it’s War of the Worlds meets Monty Python, but musically there’s everything from Van der Graaf Generator to Black Sabbath in there. We’re extremely excited for everyone to hear a suite of songs based around the character of “The Lamplighter”, the first of which is the longest song we’ve ever written… and that’s only part one!”
But that’s not the best of it.
Gandalf’s Fist truly believe that this is the finest musical work that they have ever created. There’s a mix of all of their influences and, were you to put all of the best bits of our discography into a huge melting pot, you’d end up with something quite close (but not as awesome) as what the guys have created! But don’t just take their word for it – head over to the pre-order store and have a listen to a whopping 10 minutes of audio previews!
Cinematic progressive rock band Proud Peasant (Austin, TX, USA) will release a 7″ single on acclaimed UK vinyl-only label Fruits de Mer Records. ‘Cosmic Sound’ will be released as a part of the label’s April 2016 releases and will feature covers of songs by Eloy and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.
Cinematic in scope, Proud Peasant’s debut album ‘Flight’ was called an “aptly titled escape into musical fancy that masterfully knots together British folk, cinematic symphonic rock, Elizabethan prog, Gentle Giant-ish vocal fugues and even videogame-score-like whimsy.” (Progression Magazine) Their sound has drawn comparisons to Mike Oldfield, Gryphon, Wobbler, and King Crimson, with classic and modern sounds residing comfortably beside one another.
Fruits de Mer Records, the “world’s smallest vinyl-only psych/prog/acid/folk/ krautrock/spacerock record label”, occupies a rare place in the musical world. The majority of its releases consist of classic and obscure tracks from the late 60s/early 70s, reinterpreted by current bands. They have been called “a national treasure” (Shindig) and “one of the great labels that comes along now and then” (Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio).
In a great exclusive for Progradar, the eclectic Dutch band Fractal Mirror are due to release their third album ‘Slow Burn 1’ in February 2016 and I was extremely lucky enough to catch up with band member Leo Koperdraat this morning and find out more details about this highly anticipated release.
Leo, Ed van Haagen and Frank L. Urbaniak have released two previous albums, 2013’s ‘Strange Attractors’ and last year’s ‘Garden of Ghosts’, of which I said:
“Not just an album of songs but a journey into a world of profound understanding, ‘Garden of Ghosts’ is not for the fickle of heart or soul. It requires commitment and intelligence to fully benefit from its deeper connotations, once smitten though, you will never want to leave. Fractal Mirror are currently working on their third album and I, for one, cannot wait.“
Fast forward nearly twelve months and the band are about to release ‘Slow Burn 1’, what’s the main differences between the two records?
Leo Koperdraat: “The songs are shorter and to the point but we paid a lot of attention to vocal arrangements this time. The Progressive Rock influences are still very much in place (Patrick Farrell of Built 4 the Future even plays Rickenbacker bass on one song and Leo Blu Sky really shines with his bass on the Beatles meets Tears For Fears 8 minute closing track), but we do hope that ‘Slow Burn 1’ will also offer new things to the listeners.”
The band could also be looking at a Crowd Funding option to finalise the album.
I was also lucky enough to listen to one of the new tracks from the album called Numbers and it showcased the evolution of the shorter tracks with great vocal arrangements, add in some rather intense guitar work on show and it all augurs well for the new album.
‘Slow Burn 1’ features Brett Kull (Echolyn) again on every track and there are guest appearances (so far) from; Don Fast (guitars), Charlotte Koperdraat (backing vocals), Patrick Farrell and Kenny Bissett Sr (from B4tF on BV and bass), Jason Himmelberger (from Jhimm on BV), Peter Swart (guitars) and Leopold Blu Sky (From Unto Us/Mike Kershaw on Bass).
Larry Fast will be mastering again. The expected release date is February 2016.
The striking artwork is provided, once again, by Brian Watson.
I was really impressed by the one track I heard and, if it is representative of what is to come, I am sure that Fractal Mirror will deliver another outstanding and immersive musical experience.
It has been a long time since the Austin, Texas based progressive rock outfit The Aaron Clift Experiment released ‘Lonely Hills’, their acclaimed debut album, it was 2012 in fact.
Well, thanks be to god, this year will see the release of the long awaited follow up ‘Outer Light, Inner Darkness’ and, believe me, it is well worth waiting for. I was really impressed with the guys debut effort but this release improves in all areas with its intricate compositions, complex arrangements and virtuosic performances.
Frontman Aaron tells us more,
“‘Outer Light, Inner Darkness’ is a concept album about duality: light vs. darkness, individual vs. group, hope vs. despair, etc. Songs in the first half of the album detail the conflict between these opposing forces, while the songs in second half of the album are a journey toward reconciling the extremes. The album culminates with ‘Bathed in Moonlight,’ a song about how humanity can learn to embrace its outer light and inner darkness and become one with both sides of its nature.”
With the release of the band’s second album, “Outer Light, Inner Darkness” in September 2015, The Aaron Clift Experiment continues to lead the way in fusing the sophistication and depth of classical music with the passion and raw power of rock and roll. What began as an idea of how to create music has now blossomed into a full-fledged experiment. The band invites you to join them in this experiment as they embark on their new path.
“Although The Aaron Clift Experiment started as my solo project, ‘Outer Light, Inner Darkness’ marks the birth of ACE as a full-fledged band. Unlike the first album, in which I wrote all the songs and arrangements, the songwriting and arranging process for the second album was a largely collaborative process, with all of the band members contributing elements to the sound that makes the album our most diverse to date. One of the fun challenges of co-writing between me and my band mates is that we all have very distinct songwriting styles and music preferences. As a result, we all pushed each other to write outside of our comfort zones. Sometimes this could be disorienting process, but in the end, it helped us write our strongest songs to date. The song, ‘Aoide, Goddess of Song,’ was in a way my commentary on what it can be like to come up with brand new music.”
“Outer Light, Inner Darkness” will be released on September 18 with an album release show to be held on August 27 at Threadgill’s in Austin, Texas.
The Aaron Clift Experiment are:
Aaron Clift – Vocals/Keyboards Eric Gutierrez – Guitar Joe Resnick – Drums Devin North – Bass