Caligula’s Horse – launch video for “The Hands are the Hardest” – EU tour starts imminently

Caligula’s Horse, a band at the forefront of Australia’s progressive rock scene, are set to begin their European ‘Aussie-Invasion’ tour imminently, and to celebrate they have launched a video for “The Hands are the Hardest.”

Jim Grey (vocalist) comments: “’The Hands are the Hardest’ is one of my favourite tunes from In Contact – it was the first we completed for that album and for that reason it holds a special place in my heart. The story of struggle within this song resonates with me personally, so it only felt right to make this tune a focus for our first headline tour in Europe, the biggest tour we’ve ever embarked upon. 

We’re taking a 27-show journey across Europe, and night after night we’ll be sharing this song’s story with all of our people – it’s going to be something truly special.”

Joining them on their EU tour will be fellow countrymen & progressive metal powerhouse Circles on their momentous return to Europe as main support, and instrumental guitar prodigy I Built The Sky (for their first European appearances). The run will also see Caligula’s Horse make appearances at several festivals including Euroblast, ProgPower, Very Prog Festival, Damnation Festival and AMFest.

You can find the full list of dates below:
Friday October 5 – Euroblast Festival, Cologne, Germany
Sunday October 7 – ProgPower Festival, Baarlo, Netherlands*
Monday October 8 – Backstage, Paris, France
Tuesday October 9 – Ferrailleur, Nantes, France
Thursday October 11 – Mungirock Aretoa, Mungia (Bilbao), Spain
Friday October 12 – Very Prog Festival, Toulouse, France**
Saturday October 13 – AMFest, Barcelona, Spain**
Sunday October 14 – Nazca, Madrid, Spain
Monday October 15 – RCA Club, Lisbon, Portugal
Wednesday October 17 – KiFF Foyer, Aarau, Switzerland
Thursday October 18 – Legend Club, Milan, Italy
Saturday October 20 – Collosseum, Kosice, Slovakia
Sunday October 21 – Dürer Kert (Room 041), Budapest, Hungary
Monday October 22 – KSET, Zagreb, Croatia
Tuesday October 23 – Strahov 007, Prague, Czech Republic
Wednesday October 24 – Musik & Frieden, Berlin, Germany
Thursday October 25 – Headcrash, Hamburg, Germany
Saturday October 27 – Fangelset, Gothenburg, Sweden
Sunday October 28 – John Dee, Oslo, Norway
Monday October 29 – BETA, Copenhagen, Denmark
Tuesday October 30 – The Tube, Dusseldorf, Germany
Thursday November 1 – Boston Music Room, London, UK
Friday November 2 – Audio, Glasgow, UK
Saturday November 3 – Damnation Festival, Leeds, UK**
Sunday November 4 – Mama Roux, Birmingham, UK
Monday November 5 – Star And Garter, Manchester, UK
Tuesday November 6 – The Lanes, Bristol, UK
*I Built The Sky Not Appearing
**Circles & I Built The Sky Not Appearing

Watch the video for the track ‘Songs For No One’, taken from the latest album ‘In Contact’, here:

‘In Contact’ is available now on CD & 2LP + CD (including exclusive coloured versions) here: http://smarturl.it/CaligulasHorseIC

BE PROG! MY FRIEND ANNOUNCES FINAL BANDS

FESTIVAL WHICH HIGHLIGHTS THE WORLD’S BEST PROGRESSIVE BANDS COMPLETES THIS YEAR’S LINE-UP WITH THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, LEPROUS & JARDÍN DE LA CROIX.

30th June – 1nd JULY 2017 – BARCELONA

Since its inception in 2014 the Barcelona based festival Be Prog! My Friend has played host to the likes of Opeth, Steven Wilson, Anathema, Devin Townsend, TesseracT, The Pineapple Thief, Magma, Agent Fresco, Camel, Meshuggah, Katatonia, Riverside, Ihsahn and Alcest.

Taking place in the beautiful open air surroundings of Poble Espanyol – a huge stone built architectural museum – the site is one of the most important and striking landmarks of tourism in Barcelona. Whilst by day the Catalonian hotspot may play host to some of Barcelona’s most interesting historical articles, by the end of June to the start of July it will instead play host to some of the world’s finest progressive bands. Last year saw the festival co-headlined by Steven Wilson and fellow progressive heavy weights Opeth.

So far for 2017 Be Prog! My Friend have announced legendary headliners Jethro Tull and Marillion alongside Norwegian music collective Ulver, Anathema, Animals as Leaders, Mike Portnoy’s Shattered Fortress and Caligula’s Horse.

Now Be Prog! My Friends line-up for this year is complete with the addition of the Devin Townsend Project, Leprous and Spain’s Jardín de la Croix.

Devin Townsend returns to Be Prog! My Friend for an exclusive performance of his 1997 album ‘Ocean Machine: Biomech’ in full to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Devin himself describes ‘Ocean Machine’ as ‘a labor of love that was born more out of adversity than almost anything else. I’m very proud of this album, and has a very obvious ‘blue’ feeling to me’

Joining Devin will be one of the best progressive metal acts in the world, Leprous. The festival organisers comment: we were stunned by their technical genius, the absorbing personality of frontman Einar and their almighty live shows’. At Be Prog! My Friend their performance will be a ‘By Request’ show, where all fans of Leprous can vote. The songs with the most votes will be played at the festival.

The final band that completes the line-up for Be Prog! My Friend 2017 is Jardín de la Croix described by the festival as ‘one of the most beloved bands in the Spanish rock scene at the moment. With their excellent live shows they are definitely one of the best instrumental rock bands in Spain at the moment.  We proudly welcome them to the festival and hope you enjoy Jardín de la Croix with us!’

The complete line-up for Be Prog! My Friend 2017:

JETHRO TULL / MARILLION

MIKE PORTNOY’S SHATTERED FORTRESS / ANATHEMA / THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT / ULVER / ANIMALS AS LEADERS / LEPROUS / CALIGULA’S HORSE / JARDÍN DE LA CROIX

Tickets are on sale now at the fixed price of 130 Euros:

http://www.ticktackticket.com/entradas/goto.do?claves=.127248&origin=TTT&codIdioma=ING

 Press for Be Prog! My Friend festival 2016:

‘And so Prog finds itself in love with Barcelona, the delightful weather and everything that Be Prog! My Friend has to offer’ – Prog Magazine

‘The leading festival for progressive music in Spain, showcased avant-garde music in a magnificent location’ – The Independent

‘Set in the hazy sunlit square of Barcelona’s historic and quite stunning Poble Espanyol, it certainly beats the sodden mud of the British festival season’ – Total Guitar Magazine

‘If nothing else, it proves that prog is alive and kicking. Especially in Catalonia’ – Classic Rock Magazine

http://www.beprogmyfriend.com/

facebook.com/beprogmyfriend 

Be Prog! My Friend takes place in the heart of Barcelona and with an airport only 12km away, regular, cheap flights make it an easy festival to get and from the UK. Bands will start playing from mid/late afternoon each day which will also mean visitors have plenty of time to explore the stunning city of Barcelona while they are there.

http://www.barcelonaturisme.com

Exclusive hotel deals for Be Prog! My Friend attendees are available here:

http://www.beprogmyfriend.com/17/en/nearby-hotels/

BE PROG! MY FRIEND NOW ADDS ANATHEMA, ANIMALS AS LEADERS AND CALIGULA’S HORSE.

anathema-announcement

Since its inception in 2014 the Barcelona based festival Be Prog! My Friend has played host to the likes of Opeth, Steven Wilson, Anathema, Devin Townsend, TesseracT, The Pineapple Thief, Magma, Agent Fresco, Camel, Meshuggah, Katatonia, Riverside, Isahn and Alcest.

Taking place in the beautiful open air surroundings of Poble Espanyol – a huge stone built architectural museum – the site is one of the most important and striking landmarks of tourism in Barcelona. Whilst by day the Catalonian hotspot may play host to some of Barcelona’s most interesting historical articles, by the end of June to the start of July it will instead play host to some of the world’s finest progressive bands.

This year saw the festival co-headlined by Steven Wilson and fellow progressive heavy weights Opeth. So far for 2017 Be Prog! My Friend have announnced the legendary Jethro Tull alongside Norwegian music collective Ulver.

Now the festival have added another 3 incredible bands to the line-up. The festival comment:

Anathema, who formed in the mid 90s, have risen to become one of the UK’s most cherished and critically acclaimed rock bands. With their star rising ever higher, Anathema returned in 2014 with ‘Distant Satellites’, another assertive step into the realm of miraculous songwriting.

Animals as Leaders incorporate influences from jazz, electronic, progressive, classical and fusion. After amazing releases like “Weightless” and “The Joy of Motion”, Animals As Leaders continue to explore their musical endeavours with the highly anticipated fourth album “The Madness of Many”, to be released this next November. Be Prog! invites you to forget all musical boundaries for an instrumental act that will blow your mind.

Caligula’s Horse channel the raw honesty of rock and the skill of progressive metal into a seamless voice at once energetic, grand and forthright, They offer devotees of all strains of powerful and progressive music something unique. Be Prog! My Friend are confident that this for this charismatic band will become a big success in the progressive metal scene. Caligula’s Horse, Welcome to Be Prog!’

Tickets are on sale now priced at 100 Euros for a limited time:

http://www.ticktackticket.com/entradas/goto.do?claves=.127248&origin=TTT&codIdioma=ING

anathema_0691_2014_credit_scarlet_page1-300x199

(Anathema pic by Scarlet Page)

http://www.beprogmyfriend.com/

facebook.com/beprogmyfriend

Be Prog! My Friend takes place in the heart of Barcelona and with an airport only 12km away, regular, cheap flights make it an easy festival to get and from the UK. Bands will start playing from mid/late afternoon each day which will also mean visitors have plenty of time to explore the stunning city of Barcelona while they are there.

http://www.barcelonaturisme.com

Guest Review – Caligula’s Horse – Bloom – by Emma Roebuck

So, here we go with the first of Progradar’s ‘guest’ or ‘collaborative’ reviews and the first to step up to the plate is Emma Roebuck with a review of Caligula’s Horse and ‘Bloom’……….

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The third album from Caligula’s Horse ‘Bloom’, and my first exposure to their brand of Rock/metal/prog, finds me smiling. It passes a few tests for me, one played it through several times in the car and I didn’t feel the need to change the album and my passengers, who are not prog fans, were nodding along to riff laden music. The second test is playing it in the solitude of unwinding after a working week.

I won’t do a track by track break-down just say Sam Vallen, Jim Grey and the rest of the guys are a fine addition to Aussie prog-rock. It has something for most fans of the harder side of prog music, loads of hard, powerful guitar riffing with layered musical texture underneath. I am drawn instinctively to the better, mid-period, Dream Theater and Opeth stuff as you would expect but, also, Anathema too, not as copyists but as fellow travellers.

There is also plenty for the casual listener too, the songs draw you in and are accessible from the first listen, with plenty of variety from the softer Undergrowth creeping up on you to the aural ‘smack in the teeth’ half way through the Title track Bloom.  These guys can write songs with nuance and skill and are not formulaic by any stretch of the imagination.

The Stand out track for me is Dragonfly. Coming in at just short of 10 minutes, it has everything good that this album has to offer in one song. Trying to imagine this performed live, I see a great set closer in this one.

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Jim Grey has a voice that has remarkable range and works in the quieter moments and higher registers too, but maintains a power when they rock out and they can rock out, Rust being a fine example of an outright technical track that Threshold would be proud to produce.

To finish, it’s a worthy piece of music that shows how good some of the technically minded progressive musicians can write at the harder edge of this thing we called ‘prog’.

Check out the band’s website

Release Dates through InsideOut Records: October 16th, 2015 (EU), October 30th, 2015 (US).

 

Wallet Emptier – 29/9/15

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Nad Sylvan – Courting the Widow

Better known recently as the voice behind Steve Hackett’s ‘Genesis Revisited’ live show, Nad has had a varied career as a solo musician and as part of the musical projects Unifaun and Agents Of Mercy. ‘Courting the Widow’ is his first solo effort since 2005 and was quite a revelation to me. It is full of traditional progressive rock pointers yet it is Nad’s voice that carries the album all the way through. A concept album about his stage persona, The Vampyre. Featuring a plethora of guest musicians including Steve Hackett, Nick BeggsRoine STolt and Nick D’Virgilio if you like well written, story driven music (and a touch of Genesis), you’ll love this.

Released 16th October 2015 (EU)

Stand Out Track – Long Slow Crash Landing

Pre-order Courting the Widow from inside out music

 

David Gilmour

David Gilmour – Rattle That Lock

Pink Floyd’s guitar maestro releases his first solo album since ‘On an Island’ and it is a good one. There’s been a lot of discussion about the prominence of the older, established artists recently and how they are perhaps taking the attention from the new and up and coming acts (I put my hand up to being one who is worried by it) but, surely, they can exist together. If these older, nostalgic acts weren’t around, what music would we have listened to in the first place? Nothing new or different but polished and comfortable, like your favourite shoes, I find myself returning to it quite frequently.

Released 18th September 2015

Stand out track – And Then…..

Buy direct from the artist’s website

 

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Hillward – Flies in Amber Stones

Canadian band Hillward started off as Southern Cross’ side project with three of its members, David Lizotte, Jean-François Boudreault and Antoine Guertin. The band became one of its own when Alexandre Lapierre joined as a second guitar player after the recording of the first album ‘Flies In Amber Stones’.

Progressive metal with alternative undertones, its powerful and dynamic sound is really quite addictive as it pulses and resounds with heavy riffs, potent drumming and aggressive vocals.

Released 25th September 2015

Stand out track – Flies in Amber Stones

Buy direct from the artist

 

Perfect Beings II cover image lg CMYK

Perfect Beings – Perfect Beings II

The eagerly awaited follow up to 2014’s eponymous debut album is a cornucopia of progressive, classical, experimental, ambient, jazz and pop influences that create the band’s unique style. Emotive and full of energy it is the fruit of 2014’s live performances and the way that playing live tightened up the band’s sound and evolved them into a tighter unit.

Perhaps a tad incohesive and self-indulgent in places, it is still, nevertheless, a great Prog-Rock release.

Released 16th October 2015

Stand out track – The Love Inside

Pre-order Perfect Beings II direct from the band’s website

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFVPWk_X8mw

 

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Australia’s Caligula’s Horse release their third album of raw, honest, and yet skillful, progressive, alternative rock. Vibrant and dynamic, the band are like a force of nature and their music is not for the faint hearted whilst being energetic, grand and forthright.

This is their most vivid, vibrant and emotional work to date and should see them break through and become one of the leading lights of the genre, full of colour and life.

Released 16th October 2015 (EU)

Stand out track – Dragonfly

Buy Bloom from inside out music

Blast from the past…..

Kinetic Element – Powered by Light

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Following my review of the band’s ‘Travelog’ album last week, I have the pleasure of introducing their first release from 2009. ‘Powered by Light’ follows in the tradition of the progressive rock giants of the 1970s, heavy with symphonic keyboards and virtuoso guitar work, Kinetic Element takes the listener on a lightspeed journey of the heart, full of great evocative passages.

Released 2009

Stand out track – Reconciliation

Buy Powered by Light from MRR