Big Big Train launch video for ‘Miramare’; second track taken from ‘The Likes Of Us’

The award-winning progressive rock band Big Big Train will release their 15th studio album ‘The Likes Of Us’ on 1st March 2024 (InsideOutMusic). The album is the internationally-based group’s first full collection of songs since the unexpected passing of long-serving lead vocalist David Longdon in late 2021. Besides marking the debut of new frontman Alberto Bravin, a former member of the Italian band Premiata Forneria Marconi, it also heralds the beginning of a new relationship with InsideOutMusic, the group having self-released their music for almost two decades. 

Today the band are pleased to reveal a second track taken from the forthcoming album. ‘Miramare’ is an edited version of a song that features in a longer format on ‘The Likes Of Us’. You can watch the video for ‘Miramare’, created by Miles Skarin of Crystal Spotlight, here:

Gregory Spawton comments of the track: “BBT is known for its story songs, and I was keen to find a story which is set in Italy. Alberto lives in Trieste and mentioned the story of Maximilian and Carlotta, which was both a romantic (but doomed) love story and also a tale of the end of empires. 

Miramare was their castle home, a castle of dreams, set on the shore just outside Trieste. It turned out to be a grand folly and a place of madness and nightmares. Alberto had written a lovely piece of music and melody to set the words to and so it was simply a process of reading some books on the history and finding the way to tell the story.”

Alberto Bravin adds: “Having grown up in Trieste, and recently returned here after living for some years in London and Milan, the Miramare castle has been a backdrop for most of my life. 

Putting the story of Maximilian and Carlotta into music with Greg has been hugely satisfying for me. It was very fulfilling to co-write this song together and create what will hopefully be regarded as a Big Big Train future classic. With all its twists and turns as the story progresses, Miramare should be great to play live as well.”

Watch the recently released clip for ‘Oblivion’ here: https://youtu.be/TZjAreGfqlU

‘The Likes Of Us’ will be released on several different formats, including for the first time as Dolby Atmos mixed by The Pineapple Thief’s Bruce Soord, while the stereo mixes were undertaken by the band’s regular engineer Rob Aubrey together with Alberto Bravin. The Dolby Atmos mix will come as part of the Limited CD & Blu-ray Mediabook edition that also contains the album as 5.1 Surround Sound & 24-bit high-resolution stereo. The album will also be available as a Gatefold 180g 2LP (available in black, sky blue, olive green and orange formats), Standard CD Jewelcase and Digital Album. The stunning artwork was created by the band’s longstanding collaborator Sarah Louise Ewing, with layouts by Steve Vantsis.

Pre-order now here:

Big Big Train – Miramare (Single Edit) (lnk.to)

The album’s full track listing is as follows:

1.     Light Left In The Day 06:10

2.     Oblivion 05:27

3.     Beneath The Masts 17:26

4.     Skates On 04:28

5.     Miramare 10:17

6.     Love Is The Light 06:11

7.     Bookmarks 06:23

8.     Last Eleven 07:55

Big Big Train will perform for the first ever time in the USA in March 2024, including an appearance on Cruise To The Edge. The full list of shows can be found below:

1st March – Sweetwater Performance Theatre, Fort Wayne, Indiana

2nd March – Rivoli Theater at the Williams Center, Rutherford, New Jersey

3rd March – Rivoli Theater at the Williams Center, Rutherford, New Jersey

5th March – Regent Theatre, Arlington (Boston), Massachusetts

8th-13th March – Cruise To The Edge, Miami, Florida

The band have also confirmed two summer 2024 festival appearances at the final Night of the Prog Festival in Germany on 21st July, and Cropredy Festival in the UK on 9th August.

Look out for more dates to be announced soon.

ALBERTO BRAVIN – Lead vocals, guitar, keyboards

NICK D’VIRGILIO – Drums, percussion, vocals, 12-string acoustic guitar, vocals

DAVE FOSTER – Guitars 

OSKAR HOLLDORFF – Keyboards, vocals

CLARE LINDLEY – Violin, vocals 

RIKARD SJÖBLOM – Guitars, keyboards, vocals

GREGORY SPAWTON – Bass guitar, bass pedals, 12-string acoustic guitar, Mellotron

Featured image by Massimo Goina.

The Lunar Effect lift up cosmic spirits with “Sounds of Green and Blue” Album, out 12th April via Svart Records

Listen to first single ‘Killing Daisies’ 

The Lunar Effect, sonic architects known for their gravitational pull of fuzzy, snarling riffs and psychedelic visions, proudly announce the release of their latest album, “Sounds of Green and Blue,” available to pre-order now through Svart Records. “Sounds of Green and Blue” is a galactic journey through sound that showcases The Lunar Effect’s evolution and marks a pivotal chapter in their musical odyssey.

Formed in 2016, The Lunar Effect burst onto the scene with a distinct blend of grunge and retro hard rock. With a flair for hair and a penchant for barbed and growling riff work, the London-based quartet quickly garnered attention for their dynamic sound and Blues rock reverence. In 2019, they crash-landed onto the Stoner Rock scene with their debut album, “Calm Before the Calm,” firmly establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with.

“Sounds of Green and Blue” sees The Lunar Effect expanding their sonic scope and bending all the elements and eras of Classic Rock into their own unique mold. The album is a testament to their musical growth and willingness to explore new territories while maintaining the brooding vintage sound that defines them. Each track is propelled into orbit by the low-end buzz of distorted chords, powerful enough to blow the moon-dust off your amp.

The first single from the album, “Pulling Daisies,” is a bristling sojourn that encapsulates the band’s celestial rock influences. The track combines classic Blues tones, fuzzy guitars, swirling ethereal vocals, and a dusty, hypnotic rhythm that transports listeners from the past into a screaming, paisley, future wonderland. “Pulling Daisies” sets the controls for the heart of the moon, showcasing The Lunar Effect’s ability to craft immersive and soul side musical experiences. From the heyday of The Beatles, Floyd, Zeppelin and Sabbath to newer artists like Graveyard, Radio Moscow and Red FangThe Lunar Effect have created a masterclass in Psychedelic Rock that takes you firmly by the collar. With a palette that also includes shades of the 90s Grunge scene like Nirvana and Soundgarden into their heady mix, The Lunar Effect paint their own trippy world, where genres blur into their unique brew of heart-felt space rock. 

Listen to “Pulling Daisies” from “Sounds of Green and Blue” on and bathe yourself in the glow of The Lunar Effect‘s sonic moon-burn here:

And here:

The Lunar Effect – Pulling Daisies (orcd.co)

“Sounds of Green and Blue” by The Lunar Effect is proudly released by Svart Records on 12th April, a label known for its commitment to uncovering high-quality, diverse, and boundary-pushing music. Svart Records continues to be a platform for artists who defy conventions, push the boundaries of their respective genres, and break out of the underground.

Pre-order The Lunar Effect: Sounds of Green and Blue LP/CD – https://www.svartrecords.com/en/product/the-lunar-effect-sounds-of-green-blue/12072

Tracklist:

1. Ocean Queen

2. Flowers For Teeth

3. Colour My World

4. In Grey

5. Middle Of The End

6. Pulling Daisies

7. I Can’t Say

8. Fear Before The Fall

9. On The Story Goes

WHOM GODS DESTROY – Reveal details for debut album “Insanium” and start pre-order

First single/video “In The Name Of War” out today!

Whom Gods Destroy, the formidable new progressive metal group formed by keyboardist Derek Sherinian, guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal, and vocalist Dino Jelusick, along with the potent rhythm section of bassist Yas Nomura and drummer Bruno Valverde, are pleased to announce their debut album “Insanium”, to be released on March 15th, 2024 worldwide via InsideOutMusic.

As a first appetizer for “Insanium”, Whom Gods Destroy are launching the first single and opening track off their upcoming debut album today. Check out the dynamic track “In The Name Of War” in a video directed by Vicente Cordero / Industrialism Films and edited by Vojan Koceić / PILOTstudio here:

Whom Gods Destroy guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal commented about “In The Name Of War” as follows: “Derek, Dino and I began writing this song in 2020, it was the first song we wrote together. This song captures a lot of what the band is about, it’s a good example of what to expect from the album. The song gets pretty intense when the band kicks in, an unexpected contrast, the music tells the story alongside the lyrics – the Eastern scale melody in the chorus followed by the ‘war drum’ pattern, the bridge feeling like it’s heading toward something, an urgency…”

 Here is the complete tracklisting for the upcoming album, which comes with artwork by Nello Dell’Omo (To be seen above!):

Whom Gods Destroy – “Insanium” (52:56)

1. In the Name Of War (06:38) 

2. Over Again (05:01) 

3. The Decision (07:08)4. Crawl (06:36)

5. Find My Way Back (05:46) 

6. Crucifier (04:43)

7. Keeper of the Gate (04:54)

8. Hypernova 158 (03:24) 

9. Insanium (08:37)

 

Whom Gods Destroy’s “Insanium” album will become available as Standard CD Jewelcase, Digital Album, Ltd. 2CD Mediabook (with the bonus track “Requiem” (04:58) as well as the entire album as bonus instrumental disc) and as Gatefold 2LP & LP-Booklet on 180g. vinyl in the following variants:
– Black 2LP

– Dark Green 2LP (Ltd. 500x copies from www.insideoutshop.de & various other retailers)

– Custard Colored 2LP (Ltd. 1000x copies at all US outlets) 

The album’s pre-order in its various formats has started today here: https://whomgodsdestroy.lnk.to/Insanium 

Further updates on Whom Gods Destroy and “Insanium” coming soon…

Whom Gods Destroy line-up:
Bruno Valverde – Drums

Yas Nomura – Bass

Dino Jelusick – Vocals

Derek Sherinian – Keyboards

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal – Guitars

sleepmakeswaves Announce New Album ‘It’s Here, But I Have No Names For It’ 

Tour dates for Australia, Europe & USA

Australian instrumental post-rockers sleepmakeswaves have announced they will tour Australia, Europe and the USA in support of their new album ‘It’s Here, But I Have No Names For It.’

The band have also released an animated video trailer to announce the new album and its planned release date of Friday 12th April (Bird’s Robe/MGM and Dunk Records).

Watch the trailer now:

The band will kick off their world tour in Australia in April, playing shows in Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane with support from Taiwanese math rock legends ELEPHANT GYM and fellow Australian post-rock veterans MENISCUS.

sleepmakeswaves will then return to Europe in May to headline Belgium’s Dunk Festival, and North America to co-headline PostFest in Indianapolis in July. Further shows will be added.

The new album ‘It’s Here, But I Have No Names For It’ was produced by the band themselves, at Golden Retriever Studios in Sydney, Australia. Written during the pandemic, it was originally recorded during 2022 just before the band embarked on a 3 month tour for their previous EP trilogy ‘these are not your dreams.’ Further recording was completed in 2023, including string arrangements by Simeon Bartholomew (SEIMS). The record was then mixed by Andrei Eremin (Closure in Moscow, Tash Sultana, G Flip, Luca Brasi) in Philadelphia USA and mastered by Jeff Lipton and Maria Rice at Peerless Mastering in Boston USA.

 Fans of the band’s heavy bombastic aggression will resonate with tracks such as ‘All Hail Skull’ and ‘Ritual Control.’ They also shine with invigorated melodic and emotive performances and arrangements on tracks like ‘Black Paradise’ and ‘Terror Future.’ Retaining their signature approach to heavy dynamics and crescendos the band are still at their unmatched peak when they turn their hand to cataclysmic emotional epics such as the title track and the album closer ‘This Close Forever.’

The band released a statement to fans, saying:

“The instrumental band sleepmakeswaves

Decided rock music they must save

In the year twenty twenty four

Fans were clamouring for more

So they dropped a new record

It’s a rave!

The mysterious phase of nothingness, crucial to the smw creative process, is over: our new album is finally done. Thank you so much to all our listeners for your patience. It has been a slow but intense labor of love and we are proud of the songs on this record, and grateful for the many people who helped bring it to life. Hope to see you on the road in 2024, more show announcements to come, and we truly hope the new music we’re about to release resonates with you in the same way it does with us. 

Love smw”

Pre-order now – https://sleepmakeswaves.bandcamp.com/album/its-here-but-i-have-no-names-for-it

sleepmakeswaves Australian tour 2024

w/Elephant Gym (Taiwan) & Meniscus

Fri 26 April – Max Watts, Melbourne VIC

Sat 27 April – Manning Bar, Sydney NSW

Sun 28 April – The Triffid, Brisbane QLD

+ more to be announced

Presented by Bird’s Robe & Cult Artists

Tickets on sale from sleepmakeswaves.com & venue websites

sleepmakeswaves UK/EU tour 2024

Sat 11 May – Dunk Festival, Zottegem BELGIUM

+ more to be announced

sleepmakeswaves USA tour 2024

25-27 July – PostFest, Indianapolis INDIANA

+ more to be announced

‘It’s Here, But I Have No Names For It’ is out Friday 12 April through Bird’s Robe/MGM and Dunk Records

Check out more at www.sleepmakeswaves.com

Steve Hackett launches ‘Wherever You Are’; second track taken from ‘The Circus and the Nighwhale’

Legendary rock guitarist Steve Hackett is set to release his new studio album ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ on 16th February 2024, via InsideOut Music. A rite-of-passage concept album with a young character called Travla at the centre of it, ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’s’ 13 tracks have an autobiographical angle for the musician who says about his 30th solo release: “I love this album. It says the things I’ve been wanting to say for a very long time.”

Today a brand new track is revealed, titled ‘Wherever You Are’, and you can watch the video now here:

Of the track, Steve comments: “’Wherever You Are’ is a song of love winning through, shattering the chains of the physical world… Light obliterating darkness. A new universe has opened up with the hope that such a strong love could even survive death. The dreams of childhood realised, there is a sense of everything coming around full circle… Even the three part harmony guitar at the end of Genesis’ The Musical Box is revisited in spirit with the joy of celebration during this song.”

The albums opening track ‘People of the Smoke’ was released in December. Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_iujNWzPL0

The new album is available to pre-order on several different formats, including a Limited CD+Blu-ray mediabook (including 5.1 Surround Sound & 24bit high resolution stereo mixes), Standard CD Jewelcase, Gatefold 180g Vinyl LP & as Digital Album. All feature the stunning cover painting by Denise Marsh. Pre-order now here: https://stevehackett.lnk.to/TheCircusAndTheNightwhale

Steve will celebrate the release of his new album with two HMV instore events in London & Birmingham, where he will be taking part in a Q&A and signing albums. Find out more details on those here: https://ow.ly/HUaT50Q7paJ

‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ is Steve’s first new music in over two years. Recorded between tours in 2022 and 2023 at Siren studio in the UK – with guest parts beamed in from Sweden, Austria, the US, Azerbaijan and Denmark.   The line-up for ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ includes some familiar faces alongside Steve on electric and acoustic guitars, 12-string, mandolin, harmonica, percussion, bass and vocals. Roger King (keyboards, programming and orchestral arrangements), Rob Townsend (sax), Jonas Reingold (bass), Nad Sylvan (vocals), Craig Blundell (drums) and Amanda Lehmann on vocals. Nick D’Virgilio and Hugo Degenhardt return as guests on the drumstool, engineer extraordinaire Benedict Fenner appears on keyboards and Malik Mansurov is back with the tar. Finally, Steve’s brother John Hackett is present once more on flute.

The full track-listing is as follows:

1. People Of The Smoke

2. These Passing Clouds

3. Taking You Down

4. Found And Lost

5. Enter The Ring

6. Get Me Out!

7. Ghost Moon and Living Love

8. Circo Inferno

9. Breakout

10. All At Sea

11. Into The Nightwhale 

12. Wherever You Are

13. White Dove

Summing up ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’, Steve says: “It’s a lovely journey that starts dirty, scratchy and smoky and becomes heavenly and divine. How can you resist it?”

Steve Hackett & band will tour the world extensively in 2024, including a brand new 16-date UK tour ‘Genesis Greats, Lamb Highlights & Solo’, in October which will see him return to the legendary Royal Albert Hall. He will also return to North America early this year, with European shows booked in for the Summer.  For the full list of dates, head to:

http://hackettsongs.com/tour.html

Big Big Train announce new studio album ‘The Likes Of Us’; launch first single ‘Oblivion’

The award-winning progressive rock band Big Big Train will release their 15th studio album ‘The Likes Of Us’ on 1st March 2024. The album is the internationally-based group’s first full collection of songs since the unexpected passing of long-serving lead vocalist David Longdon in late 2021. Besides marking the debut of new frontman Alberto Bravin, a former member of the Italian band Premiata Forneria Marconi, ‘The Likes Of Us’ also heralds the beginning of a new relationship with InsideOutMusic, the group having self-released their music for almost two decades. 

The band comments: “We are delighted to announce the release of ‘The Likes Of Us’. After the events of the last few years, this is a particularly important album for us, both as a band and individually. We’re very proud of the new songs, which we recorded principally in a studio in Italy. Working together in one room brought additional inspiration, real energy and a clear sense of purpose. We’re thrilled with the results.”

To coincide with this announcement, the band have launched the first single from the album, a track titled ‘Oblivion’ which the band were seen performing on their UK and European tour in August and September 2023. The video was filmed by Tim Sidwell of Toward Infinity at Urban Recording Studio in Trieste, and you can watch the clip here:

Big Big Train – Oblivion (lnk.to)

‘The Likes Of Us’ will be released on several different formats, including for the first time as Dolby Atmos mixed by The Pineapple Thief’s Bruce Soord, while the stereo mixes were undertaken by the band’s regular engineer Rob Aubrey together with Alberto Bravin. The Dolby Atmos mix will come as part of the Limited CD & Blu-ray Mediabook edition that also contains the album as 5.1 Surround Sound & 24-bit high-resolution stereo. The album will also be available as a Gatefold 180g 2LP (available in black, sky blue, olive green and orange formats), Standard CD Jewelcase and Digital Album. The stunning artwork was created by the band’s longstanding collaborator Sarah Louise Ewing, with layouts by Steve Vantsis. 

Pre-order now here: https://bigbigtrain.lnk.to/TheLikesOfUs

The album’s full track listing is as follows:

1.     Light Left In The Day 06:10

2.     Oblivion 05:27

3.     Beneath The Masts 17:26

4.     Skates On 04:28

5.     Miramare 10:17

6.     Love Is The Light 06:11

7.     Bookmarks 06:23

8.     Last Eleven 07:55

In May 2023, six members of Big Big Train left their homes in England (bassist Gregory Spawton, guitarist Dave Foster and violinist Clare Lindley), the United States (drummer Nick D’Virgilio), Sweden (guitarist/keyboardist Rikard Sjöblom) and Norway (keyboardist Oskar Holldorff) to gather for a week in lead vocalist Alberto Bravin’s home town of Trieste in north eastern Italy. They convened at Urban Recording, a studio recommended by Alberto, to lay down the basic tracks for the band’s new studio album ‘The Likes Of Us’. Being face to face in a room, as opposed to emailing sound files, the intimacy of the process generated moments of inspiration that would otherwise have gone unheard.

The process would prove emotional. “There were some tears; I cried a few of my own,” recalls D’Virgilio. “There are many reasons to explain why we hadn’t worked that way in quite a while, but the process brought out the best in everybody.”

“These were stories from our lives and we have a deep, personal connection with them,” Spawton remembers. “If there was blood on the tracks, we did everything possible to let that sink into the music.”

On the group’s most recent tour, two selections from ‘The Likes Of Us’ – first single ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Love Is The Light’ – were introduced to an ecstatic audience response. During a tidal wave of rebirth and celebration for Big Big Train, Alberto Bravin was accepted as one of the family. Indeed, the chemistry of the band’s latest line-up has delivered mouth-watering results. “We’ve got a great mix of people that want to be here and go the extra mile to do something very special,” D’Virgilio concludes. “There’s a big world of talented musicians out there, and luckily some of them want to hang out with us.”

ALBERTO BRAVIN – Lead vocals, guitar, keyboards

NICK D’VIRGILIO – Drums, percussion, vocals, 12-string acoustic guitar, vocals

DAVE FOSTER – Guitars 

OSKAR HOLLDORFF – Keyboards, vocals

CLARE LINDLEY – Violin, vocals 

RIKARD SJÖBLOM – Guitars, keyboards, vocals

GREGORY SPAWTON – Bass guitar, bass pedals, 12-string acoustic guitar, Mellotron

Steve Hackett reveals the first single “People of the Smoke” from his new conceptual studio album ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale – Out 16th February, 2024.

Legendary rock guitarist Steve Hackett is set to release his new studio album ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ on 16th February 2024, via InsideOut Music. A rite-of-passage concept album with a young character called Travla at the centre of it, ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’s’ 13 tracks have an autobiographical angle for the musician who says about his 30th solo release: “I love this album. It says the things I’ve been wanting to say for a very long time.”

Today he is pleased to reveal the first single, and the albums opening track, ‘People of the Smoke’, you can watch the video now here:

Steve says of the track: “People of the Smoke spins us all back in time to 1950, when bustling post-war London was stifled with smog from trains, chimneys, industry and smokers. I was born into that world! This song kicks off an album following my life’s journey both literally and metaphorically…”

The new album is available to pre-order on several different formats, including a Limited CD+Blu-ray mediabook (including 5.1 Surround Sound & 24bit high resolution stereo mixes), Standard CD Jewelcase, Gatefold 180g Vinyl LP & as Digital Album. All feature the stunning cover painting by Denise Marsh. Pre-order now here: https://stevehackett.lnk.to/TheCircusAndTheNightwhale

Steve will celebrate the release of his new album with two HMV instore events in London & Birmingham, where he will be taking part in a Q&A and signing albums. Find out more details on those here: https://ow.ly/HUaT50Q7paJ

‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ is Steve’s first new music in over two years. Recorded between tours in 2022 and 2023 at Siren studio in the UK – with guest parts beamed in from Sweden, Austria, the US, Azerbaijan and Denmark. The line-up for ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ includes some familiar faces alongside Steve on electric and acoustic guitars, 12-string, mandolin, harmonica, percussion, bass and vocals. Roger King (keyboards, programming and orchestral arrangements), Rob Townsend (sax), Jonas Reingold (bass), Nad Sylvan (vocals), Craig Blundell (drums) and Amanda Lehmann on vocals. Nick D’Virgilio and Hugo Degenhardt return as guests on the drumstool, engineer extraordinaire Benedict Fenner appears on keyboards and Malik Mansurov is back with the tar. Finally, Steve’s brother John Hackett is present once more on flute.

The full tracklisting is as follows:

1. People Of The Smoke

2. These Passing Clouds

3. Taking You Down

4. Found And Lost

5. Enter The Ring

6. Get Me Out!

7. Ghost Moon and Living Love

8. Circo Inferno

9. Breakout

10. All At Sea

11. Into The Nightwhale 

12. Wherever You Are

13. White Dove

Summing up ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’, Steve says: “It’s a lovely journey that starts dirty, scratchy and smoky and becomes heavenly and divine. How can you resist it?”

Steve recently completed his North American Tour where he continued his ‘Foxtrot At Fifty + Hackett Highlights’ run.  Next year he will tour the world extensively, including a brand new UK tour ‘Genesis Greats, Lamb Highlights & Solo’, which will see him return to the legendary Royal Albert Hall.  For the full list of dates, head to: http://hackettsongs.com/tour.html

Kindred Spirit Band Announce Further Details of New Concept Album – “The Journey Within” – To Be Released In 2024

The Kindred Spirit Band have a revitalised and excellent sound with their almost completely renewed, “post Covid” line-up and they have been working hard, putting this sound into some powerful, new recordings, which have a real relevance to the current generation. The band’s music has rightly been described as,

“all about facing up to the hidden dangers and the stored-up menaces presented to us in the modern world. But salvation is offered by the band. Through music. The sounds and words invite us to think freely…written for our generation”.

                                                              
Neil Mach, Ad Pontes, Staines

New Concept Album – ‘The Journey Within’, An Album for Our Generation:

Many of us have friends or family members battling with mental health issues. It could well be the rise of “the machine” and the complexity and fast pace created in our lives, by our computer driven world, which is driving this malaise. A full length, concept album is well underway, called ‘The Journey Within’, which we hope to release in 2024.

In this album, faced with dark visions and feelings of persecution, we manage to escape deep within our own minds to an “Alice In Wonderland” kind of dream world. Here, we know we want to escape back to the loving embrace of our family and friends, in the real world, but we don’t want the dark thoughts to follow us back and we need to find healing and salvation somehow.

Why This Album Will Be Unique:

In the story, deep within our own minds, we know we are looking for something. We encounter obstacles and meet several characters on the journey, all of whom are guardians of something as well as guides. These characters are one of the things which will make this album so unique; These characters are all personifications of a number of prog rock bands’ title characters! They come alive, in the songs in which they feature, on the album and all the prog rock bands involved have agreed to add some instrumentation and / or, vocals to their characters’ songs!

The bands involved, in the order in which they appear in the story, are:-

Haze (and Treebeard)
Spriggan Mist
Gryphon
Stuckfish

Elaine has been researching mental health conditions and reading autobiographies of suffers, who describe their difficult journey from the inside and how they managed to eventually recover. She has drawn inspiration from a variety of real life stories to create the darkness and feelings of persecution in the start of the story. At the beginning, we find ourselves trapped in a large, old house full of distorted mirrors. Dark, shadowy, faceless beings emerge from the mirrors. They speak directly into our minds, with whispery voices and we know they are coming for us! Fans who have heard us sing these songs live already are telling us that they are, indeed disturbing yet enjoyable; so we know we are achieving our aims!

Elaine has also been researching books about the positive evolution of the human spirit, along with real life, alternative views on medicine, the body and healing therapies. She has pulled together and integrated a raft of contemporary thought on the question of improving mental, physical and spiritual health and hopes that anyone suffering with, or caring for someone suffering with, mental health issues might both enjoy the story and the music, as well as find some comfort and useful insight, from listening to “The Journey Within”. Music also plays a big role in our salvation and return to the real world too!

The songs for this album are almost complete. The story described in the songs can be read, along with illustrations being drawn by Elaine, and live performance video of some of the songs, on the Kindred Spirit Band web site here:-

http://www.elainesamuels.co.uk/journey-p1.htm


Steve Hackett celebrates over 50 years of music with his new conceptual studio album ‘The Circus and the Nightwhale’

Legendary rock guitarist Steve Hackett will release his new studio album ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ on 16th February 2024, via InsideOut Music. A rite-of-passage concept album with a young character called Travla at the centre of it, ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’s’ 13 tracks have an autobiographical angle for the musician who says about his 30th solo release: “I love this album. It says the things I’ve been wanting to say for a very long time.”

‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ is Steve’s first new music in over two years. It follows the beautiful acoustic LP ‘Under A Mediterranean Sky’ from January 2021 – which rose to No 2 in the UK Classical chart – and, in September of that year, his metallic masterpiece Surrender Of Silence, which hit the UK Top 40. His 2023 live album, ‘Foxtrot At Fifty + Hackett Highlights: Live in Brighton’, reached No 2 in the Rock & Metal Chart.  Steve’s new LP promises ballads, blues, blistering progressive rock… and healthy measures of theatre and fantasia.

Recorded between tours in 2022 and 2023 at Siren studio in the UK – with guest parts beamed in from Sweden, Austria, the US, Azerbaijan and Denmark, the line-up for ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ includes some familiar faces alongside Steve on electric and acoustic guitars, 12-string, mandolin, harmonica, percussion, bass and vocals. Roger King (keyboards, programming and orchestral arrangements), Rob Townsend (sax), Jonas Reingold (bass), Nad Sylvan (vocals), Craig Blundell (drums) and Amanda Lehmann on vocals. Nick D’Virgilio and Hugo Degenhardt return as guests on the drumstool, engineer extraordinaire Benedict Fenner appears on keyboards and Malik Mansurov is back with the tar. Finally, Steve’s brother John Hackett is present once more on flute.

The new album will be available to pre-order from the 1st December 2023 on several different formats, including a Limited CD+Blu-ray mediabook (including 5.1 Surround Sound & 24bit high resolution stereo mixes), Standard CD Jewelcase, Gatefold 180g Vinyl LP & as Digital Album. All feature the stunning cover painting by Denise Marsh.

The full tracklisting is as follows:

1. People Of The Smoke

2. These Passing Clouds

3. Taking You Down

4. Found And Lost

5. Enter The Ring

6. Get Me Out!

7. Ghost Moon and Living Love

8. Circo Inferno

9. Breakout

10. All At Sea

11. Into The Nightwhale 

12. Wherever You Are

13. White Dove

Summing up ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’, Steve says: “It’s a lovely journey that starts dirty, scratchy and smoky and becomes heavenly and divine. How can you resist it?”

Steve is currently on tour in North America, continuing his ‘Foxtrot At Fifty + Hackett Highlights’ run. Next year he will tour the world extensively, including a brand-new UK tour under the name ‘Genesis Greats, Lamb Highlights & Solo’, and that will see him return to the legendary Royal Albert Hall. For the full list of dates, head to: http://hackettsongs.com/tour.html

OPETH RELEASE PREVIOUSLY LOST VIDEO FOR ‘WINDOWPANE’

VINYL REISSUE OF ‘DAMNATION’ OUT ON 15TH DECEMBER (MUSIC FOR NATIONS)

To mark the 20th anniversary of Opeth’s ground-breaking 2003 album ‘Damnation’, a special vinyl re-issue was recently announced, which has been meticulously crafted to pay homage to a pivotal and trailblazing moment in the band’s illustrious history. Originally recorded in the serenity of Åkerfelt’s native Sweden, with additional production from Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson, the album acclaimed by fans and critics alike has since received a re-mix and master in 2015, pressed to vinyl on a double LP together with the dichotomous ‘Deliverance’.

Now just a month away from its release, Music For Nations have re-discovered the long lost video for the single ‘Windowpane’. Originally released in 2003, the Fredrik Odefjärd directed video has been digitally processed from the archival tape for 2023.

Watch the video now:

Released on 15th December (Music For Nations) this marks the first time exclusive and deluxe vinyl pressings have been given to ‘Damnation’. A record that represents a paradigm shift in the band’s approach to composition, seeing them side-line their metal roots from the forefront of their arsenal. Instead replacing it with an additional insight into ambience, atmospherics, and progressive rock, this together with Åkerfeldt’s signature lyricality and musicianship creates a unique record of ethereal beauty and longing, and one which remains top of mind for many Opeth fans.

The 20th Anniversary versions sees the 2015 re-mix and remaster pressed to standard black vinyl, as well as being available on deluxe and limited colour finishes, and for the very first time available on an exclusive picture disc that highlights and reflects the album’s ethereal and bleak visual world.

Pre-order now: https://opeth.lnk.to/Damnation20

Speaking on the release, the band’s lead vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt comments,

“Hello folks! Our old “partners in crime” Music For Nations are planning a 20th-anniversary re-release of one of our odd records, this time ”Damnation”. We want our records available on vinyl at all times, and it turns out we can’t keep stock! Our vinyl editions are flying out. I’ve seen it with my own eyes when I helped out in a record shop during the pandemic. Some customers didn’t know they’re buying it from one of the people responsible for the music. Of course I went: ”Good record, good band!”. So before there’s any moaning about ”another reissue, another cash grab” I want to stress out that it really comes down to public demand. We’ll present Steven Wilson’s updated mix (first available in 2015 or thereabouts) on limited edition opaque and transparent vinyl as well as on a picture disc, which I believe is the first time ever.

 ”Damnation” is a special record, even if they’re all special to me. I remember hearing the first mix on headphones in a crummy hotel somewhere in the UK. I had trouble believing it was us, myself, Peter, Lopez, Mendez (as well as ol’ Steve on keys). It was completely different from anything we’d done up to that point, and quite frankly, since. Out of all of our records, I think this one is most suitable for the vinyl format due to the fact that it is not really cluttered with stuff. A pretty airy recording with 5 musicians and done on 2 inch tapes as well. It’s a record I’m immensely proud over and it also remains a fan-favourite I believe.

Commenting further Steven Wilson adds “At the time I remember getting death threats from metal fans for “ruining” the band!  As if it could be anyone’s intention but Mikael’s to do a record like that anyway.  Damnation was when everyone understood that he was not going be trapped within the confines of any genre or label, and that the band’s importance and influence would be far reaching.  Rightly so Damnation is now seen as a timeless masterpiece, and I’m very proud to have had my part in making it.”

TRACKLISTING

Side A

1 – Windowpane

2 – In My Time Of Need

3 – Death Whispered A Lullaby

Side B

1 – Closure

2 – Hope Leaves

3 – To Rid The Disease

4 – Ending Credits

5 – Weakness

Opeth – Damnation;

Mikael Åkerfeldt – vocals and lead guitar

Peter Lindgren – rhythm guitar

Martin Méndez – bass guitar

Martin Lopez – drums