DROTT first full-length album “Orcus” set for release on September 24th 2021 via By Norse Music

First single and video “The Marauders” unveiled today!

DROTT is comprised of Arve Isdal (Enslaved), Ivar Thormodsæter (Ulver) and Matias Monsen and hails from Bergen in the west coast of Norway. With their varied musical background ranging from metal and jazz to classical music, they create the genre which can only be described as DROTT. Inspired by forces of nature, superstition and spirituality the trio explores light within darkness through their music.   

The group, recently established (2020), released their self-titled EP in March 2021 and received great reviews. It established the Drott’s instrumental Progressive Rock sound as a breath of fresh air in the genre! Their first full-length “Orcus” album takes Drott in a new creative and artistic direction. With 10 tracks they dive deeper into sonic, experimental landscapes! 

DROTT comment on “The Marauders”:

“The Marauders are not visible through the layers of mist. You can hear them hanging in ropes and sharpening their tools of mischief before their dire intentions are manifested through slow, dark riffs and slaughtering, heavy beats. They are lost souls roaming the Underworld, vicious murderers and thieves constantly searching for prey.”  

Watch the video directed by Arve Isdal –

Filmed by Arve Isdal and Cathrine Wespestad 

“Orcus” will be available as: 

  • CD Digipack Trifold 
  • 12” Black vinyl in Gatefold 
  • 12” Gold vinyl in Gatefold – Limited to 100 copies, By Norse Music online stores exclusive
  • 12” Milky Clear w/ Black and Gold Splatter in Gatefold – Limited to 100 copies, By Norse Music online stores exclusive
  • Digital 

Pre-orders are available in the By Norse Music stores: 

Europe: bynorsestore.com

North America: bynorsestore.net

Tracklist:

1. The Lure

2. Caerdroia

3. Katabasis

4. The Strait

5. Psychopomp

6. By the Lunar Lake

7. The Marauders

8. Grey Gull

9. Arch of Gloom

10. Orcus

KATATONIA RELEASE MNEMOSYNEAN ON 1ST OCTOBER 2021

An extensive collection of rarities and B-sides marking 30 years of the band

This new release marks 30 years since the formation of one of the most enigmatic & aurally captivating bands to grace the dark rock/prog genre, Mnemosyneancontains an extensive collection of all of Katatonia’s rarities and B-sides, including tracks from the band’s numerous EPs, unheard album songs, limited special edition bonuses, cover songs, as well as a series of collaborative remixes. 

The journey of Mnemosynean spans the gothic-soaked experimental epic ‘Scarlet Heavens’ recorded all the way back in 1994, through to tracks recorded during the sessions for the stellar 2016 opus, The Fall of Hearts

The intriguing title of ‘Mnemosynean’ itself represents memories & was selected because tomb inscriptions dating back to 400 BCE say that the dead could keep their memories by avoiding drinking from the Lethe, and drink instead from the stream flowing from the lake of Mnemosyne (the goddess of memory). 

Following an early string of deathly doom-inspired releases which firmly & quickly established Katatonia as a leading force in the 1990s underground, the Swedes, led by Jonas Renkse & Anders Nyström,  came to true prominence following a transition to a more metallic, sleek, dark & depressive rock style while fully embracing concepts of urban and social decay, but also retaining some of the distinguishing traits from their early repertoire, such as the melancholy-laced & instantly identifiable melodic guitar leads.

2020 saw Katatonia present their eleventh studio opus, the poignant City Burials, to unanimous acclaim. 

With a somewhat unforeseen global event transpiring and touring being made impossible, the band still wanted to perform for their fans, so conducted a more intimate “lockdown” show which was streamed live from Studio Grondahl. This show was released as Dead Air in late 2020 and gives fans a full 88-minute set containing 20 tracks from the band’s extensive and illustrious repertoire to date.

The Mnemosynean packaging includes a new band biography courtesy of music journalist Eleanor Goodman, as well as full lyrics plus backgrounds to the track origins described by founding members Anders Nyström and Jonas Renkse, along with other close Katatonia collaborators. The artwork for this release has been created by long-running Katatonia visual artist Travis Smith.

MNEMOSYNEAN will be released through Peaceville on 1st October, on 2 CD, deluxe gatefold  triple LP on black vinyl , deluxe gatefold  triple LP on white coloured vinyl (available only through the Peaceville label stores and Katatonia band store)and digitally with PRE-ORDERS AVAILABLE HERE

Watch the trailer here:

MNEMOSYNEAN TRACKLISTING (CD split)

DISC 1

1. Vakaren [04:54]

2. Sistere [04:11]

3. Wide Awake In Quietus [04:59]

4. Night Comes Down [04:14]

5. Second [03:32]

6. The Act Of Darkening [05:52]

7. Ashen [04:06]

8. Sold Heart [04:32]

9. Displaced [05:14]

10. Dissolving Bonds [03:41]

11. Unfurl[04:48]

12. Code Against The Code [03:28] 

DISC 2

1. Wait Outside [03:38]

2. Sulfur[06:22]

3. March 4 [03:51]

4. O How I Enjoy The Light [02:44]

5. Help Me Disappear [05:13]

6. Fractured [05:52]

7. No Devotion [04:48]

8. Quiet World [04:39]

9. Scarlet Heavens [10:27]

10. In The White (Urban Dub) [05:25]

11. My Twin (Opium Dub Version)[04:15]

12. Soil`s Song (Krister Linder 2012 remix)[04:40]

13. Day And Then The Shade (Frank Default remix) [05:40]

14. Idle Blood (Linje 14) [03:23]

15. Hypnone (Frank Default Hypnocadence mix)[04:46]

KATATONIA LIVEThe band have confirmed that, all being well, they will be playing extensively throughout 2022, beginning in January and February 2022 with the Twilight Burials” tour, a 31-date co-headline tour of the UK and Europe with SÓLSTAFIR for 2022! 

Which will be followed by a huge run of festivals including Prognosis (NL), Mystic Festival (PL), Hellfest (FR) and Luppolo In Rock (FI). For more details and tickets see www.katatonia.com

Current Katatonia lineup :

Jonas Renkse – vocals

Anders Nyström – guitar

Niklas Sandin – bass

Daniel Moilanen – drums

Roger Öjersson – guitar

TESSERACT RELEASE FULL PERFORMANCE VIDEO OF “NOCTURNE (P O R T A L S)” FROM P O R T A L S

THE MULTI FORMAT RELEASE OF THE AURAL & VISUAL CINEMATIC LIVE EXPERIENCE COMING 27 AUGUST 2021 ON KSCOPE.

In December 2020, TesseracT invited fans to join them in P O R T A L S – an ambitious concept created to offer an escape in a time of isolation. The live cinematic experience fused live performance with beautiful lighting and striking effects, brought together by chaptered screenplay. By taking their most daring steps as a creative force, the band offered the viewer a completely new and unique experience.

The show was a phenomenal success and garnered praise from fans and media worldwide after the band performed 14 songs spanning their entire catalogue in a performance that lasted over 2 hours, with one of the highlights being the track “Nocturne”. 

Bass player Amos Williams “Nocturne has been a firm fan and band favourite since it was released ahead of the ‘Altered State’ album cycle. As such, we threw a lot into the performance, which was matched by our production team, who really pushed the envelope with what they achieved during this track. The laser effects and lighting is powerful and emotive, and Rich’s cinematography really hits the mark. 

Every tour produces a slightly different version of this track, as our mindset waxes and wanes, but this version of Nocturne is a real high mark for us we feel; it was just so much fun to perform after not performing it for a year. So, why didn’t we close the show with this song if it was so fun? The thought did cross our minds, we figured everybody would want that. But,  we wanted to sit outside our comfort zone with an ‘encore’ of real deep cuts and fan favourites. Thus, Nocturne (P O R T A L S) was the perfect handover between the desired and expected, as well as an excellent guide for everyone as we turned to face the weird and wonderful direction of the final act. “

Kscope will present this unique event to a wider audience for the first time. The film and soundtrack will be issued on an array of formats including Blu-Ray, Triple LP soundtrack and as a limited edition deluxe 4 disc book edition on 27 August 2021.

P O R T A L S will be released on the following formats with pre-orders available HERE (https://tesseractkscope.lnk.to/PORTALS)

LIMITED EDITION DELUXE 4 DISC BOOK EDITION includes:

  • Blu-ray & DVD includes: P O R T A L S main feature • Behind the scenes documentary • Live In The Lockdown • P O R T A L S hi res audio only version (all BD/DVD audio 48/24 PCM Stereo)
  • 2CD P O R T A L S soundtrack
  • All presented in a lavish set with 40 page book containing exclusive pictures, extensive liner notes from Amos Williams and individually numbered art print

The band webstore will exclusively sell a limited number of this set with the art prints signed by TesseracT

BLU-RAY EDITION includes: P O R T A L S main feature • Behind the scenes documentary • Live In The Lockdown • P O R T A L S hi res audio only version (48/24 PCM Stereo)

3LP Gatefold / 2CD Edition / digital  – the soundtrack to the stunning cinematic live experience P O R T A L S featuring tracks spanning the band’s career to date including Nocturne, Seven Names & King

Along with the release of the livestream event, the band will be playing their first live shows in almost two years this November and December special guests to Trivium in the UK and Europe, as well as returning to North American shores in 2022 (see the band’s website for details).

HAKEN – Announce ‘Invasion 2022’ European Tour Dates

HAKEN is making its much anticipated return to live shows with the Invasion 2022 Tour. The group is pleased to announce dates for Europe which kicks off 4th February 2022 in Cologne. Dates and ticket links can be found below.  

Ray Hearne conveys the group’s excitement here: “It’s a huge relief to finally be able to announce a tour after such a difficult year for everyone. We’re incredibly excited for this one, which will be the first outing of many in 2022 in celebration of our latest album ‘Virus’. Bring on the Haken Invasion!” 

04 Feb – Cologne, de – Essigfabrik

https://www.eventim.de/artist/haken/

05 Feb – Nijmegen, NL – Doornroosje

06 Feb – Amsterdam, NL – Melkweg Max

https://www.ticketmaster.nl/event/271191

07 Feb – Hamburg, DE – Markthalle

https://www.eventim.de/artist/haken/

09 Feb – Berlin, DE – Columbia Theater

https://www.eventim.de/artist/haken/

10 Feb – Prague, CZ – Futurum

https://obscure.cz/cs/tickets/detail/id/431

11 Feb – Vienna, AT – Flex

https://www.oeticket.com/event/13877607/

12 Feb – Budapest, HU – A38

https://www.a38.hu/hu/program/haken-uk-invasion-2022-tour

14 Feb – Zurich, CH – Mascotte

https://www.ticketmaster.ch/artist/haken-tickets/897388

15 Feb – Roncade, IT – New Age

http://www.vertigo.co.it/it/haken

6 Feb – Milan, IT – Alcatraz

http://www.vertigo.co.it/it/haken 

17 Feb – Lyon, FR – Transbordeur

https://www.gdp.fr/fr_FR/artistes/haken

18 Feb – Barcelona, ES – Salamandra

https://www.madnesslive.es/es/inicio/752-haken-barcelona.html

19 Feb – Madrid, ES – Shoko

https://www.madnesslive.es/es/inicio/753-haken-madrid.html

21 Feb – Toulouse, FR – Connexion Live

https://www.gdp.fr/fr_FR/artistes/haken

22 Feb – Nantes, FR – Ferrailleur

https://www.gdp.fr/fr_FR/artistes/haken

23 Feb – Paris, FR – Alhambra

https://www.gdp.fr/fr_FR/artistes/haken

24 Feb – Manchester, UK – Academy 2

https://myticket.co.uk/artists/haken

25 Feb – Glasgow, UK – Saint Luke’s

https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/36005ADC8DC11CC8

27 Feb – London, UK – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

https://myticket.co.uk/artists/haken

Released in 2020, Haken’s most recent album ‘Virus’ is the culmination of a musical thought experiment which started with 2018’s ‘Vector’.  Ross Jennings explains, “whilst ‘Virus’ can absolutely be enjoyed as a stand-alone work, it is thematically and conceptually linked with ‘Vector’, so our intention is to perform both albums back-to-back for a special performance someday”. 

‘Virus’ is available here: https://haken.lnk.to/Virus

You can watch the videos for the singles here: 

Invasion: https://youtu.be/2Rkx6b5vFdQ

Canary Yellow: https://youtu.be/KJQy1Waj_cY

Prosthetic: https://youtu.be/4EmbYo65Pbs

Captured at SECC on 09December,2019 by Max Taylor Grant

GIANCARLO ERRA RELEASES NEW SINGLE & VIDEO “PREVIOUS TAPE”

Taken from the forthcoming new album Departure Tapes released on Kscope on 2nd July 2021

With his new album Departure Tapes released this Friday, 2nd July, on Kscope,, UK based Italian composer, multi-instrumentalist and visual artist Giancarlo Erra has revealed the 3rd single and video for ‘Previous Tape’. He comments,

“Whatever music I write, whether for a soundtrack or for a rock band, for me, song writing and melody are always something that must be there (I grew up listening to Beatles so I can’t escape that!). At the same time I’m not a big fan of solos, but I’m obsessed with vocals, even if synthesised. I own a couple of synths dedicated almost exclusively to that.

So on Previous Tape, I used a Seaboard (keyboard/synth) because it allows me to play instruments and sounds without quantised pitch, like a vocal (or a theremin), while at the same time with a dynamically controlled expression of other parameters, exactly like I would while I sing.”

The new studio album Departure Tapes, the follow up to 2019’s Ends I-VII, consists of 6 contemplative recordings, written while travelling between the UK and Italy and reflect the extremely difficult year Giancarlo experienced due to the death of his estranged father. Erra comments “In 2019 my first solo album was just being released, and I already had the view that I wanted to be more experimental with the second one, but no precise idea how at that point. Then my father suddenly got ill with cancer, and everything changed. I found myself taking care of this man, someone who I have been distanced from for so long.  During this time both of us to came to terms with many things. I wanted to get closure, but a positive one, for him and for me. 

Creatively it was an interesting period for me – writing this album without realising I was actually writing it, as it is so intrinsically linked to one of the hardest and yet more healing parts of my life. The end result is the most experimental, and at the times, the darkest material I have ever written, without compromise or set plan. It contains all the elements of my music in a very unconscious free flowing way. “

Departure Tapes sees Erra using a wide mix of analogue synths and digital plugins though he is keen to highlight the unsung hero of many of his albums, 

‘The 1979 monophonic Korg MS10, deserves a mention because this synth has a wicked filter, a squelching and screaming one that can really do some unique stuff once you use it with the modular part of the synth. In Departure Tapes and in possibly all of my albums, any bass synth part is performed on the MS10, and I believe is the one sound I use it for most of the times. Once you manually tune down the synth and then you tune and move the filter at resonant peak around the notes you need, this thing is able to make not just walls shaking bass sounds, but also ones that contain enough upper medium frequencies to cut through the mix: I would be lost without this little gem.’

Max Richter, Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm and the more electronic / ambient recordings of Brian Eno may offer a reference point by which to enter Erra’s world, but the depth within his recordings is truly original.

Departure Tapes will be released on the following formats and is available to pre-order HERE (https://GiancarloErra.lnk.to/DepartureTapes)

– a gatefold LP on oxblood coloured 180g vinyl

–  2-disc CD/DVD with the DVD-A/V including high resolution stereo & 5.1 mix:

DVD-V: stereo 24/48 LPCM lossless mixes, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, DTS 96/24 5.1 Surround and DVD-A: 5.1 Surround 24/48 LPCM lossless mixes 

– Digitally (with digital pre-orders receiving the single “Departure Tape” as an instant download)

LEPROUS – Launch first single/video “Running Low” off upcoming “Aphelion” album; Album details announced & pre-order started.

Today, Norwegian Rock outfit LEPROUS are pleased to debut the first single “Running Low” off their upcoming studio album “Aphelion”, out August 27th, 2021 worldwide via InsideOutMusic.

Check out the album’s opening track “Running Low” in a video clip directed by Troll Toftenes here:

LEPROUS vocalist/keyboardist Einar Solberg commented about “Running Low” as follows:

“The initial idea for “Running Low” started when I had decided to force myself to write a sketch on my phone on a way up to a mountain top called “Himingen” in Telemark, Norway. It felt completely pointless while I was doing it, but when I came back, I was able to go further with it and actually structure it into a proper composition. Then we met up in Cederberg Studios together with the band to take it even further. This song is a proof that even the smallest sparks can turn into a big flame. Despite being a band who always wants to explore new territories, I believe “Running Low” can easily unite both our old and new fan base.”

Following up on 2019’s highly acclaimed “Pitfalls” album, LEPROUS recorded “Aphelion” throughout the last year at three different studios: Ghost Ward Studios in Sweden, Ocean Sound Recordings in Norway and Cederberg Studios in Norway. The album was once again mixed by Adam Noble (Placebo, Biffy Clyro, Nothing But Thieves, etc.), mastered by Robin Schmidt (The 1975, Placebo, The Gaslight Anthem, etc.) and its front cover artwork – designed by Elena Sigida, based on photography by Øystein Aspelund – can be seen above.

The album’s track-listing reads as follows:

LEPROUS – “Aphelion” (56:06)

1. Running Low

2. Out Of Here

3. Silhouette

4. All The Moments

5. Have You Ever?

6. The Silent Revelation

7. The Shadow Side

8. On Hold

9. Castaway Angels

10. Nighttime Disguise 

Next to the Jewelcase CD and Digital Album versions, “Aphelion” will also be available as limited edition Mediabook CD (with expanded booklet) and as Gatefold 2LP+CD with two bonus tracks: 
11. A Prophecy To Trust and 12. Acquired Taste (Live 2021). 

The album’s 180g 2LP vinyl version, which comes in Gatefold packaging and with the entire album on CD as bonus, is available in the following variants and limited editions: 

Black 2LP+CD – Unlimited

Ultra Clear 2LP+CD – 500x copies via IOM Webshop & CM Distro

Bright Gold 2LP+CD – 200x copies via JPC

Transparent Light Blue 2LP+CD – 200x copies via EMP

Creamy White 2LP+CD – 400x copies via O-Merch

Deep Blood Red 2LP+CD – 200x copies via Band 

The pre-order for “Aphelion” in its various formats starts today from this location: https://leprousband.lnk.to/Aphelion

Feel free to also re-visit the band’s latest single “Castaway Angels” here:
https://leprousband.lnk.to/CastawayAngels-SinglePR

Check out its video clip directed by Tobias Hole Aasgaarden / South Coast Creative here:
https://youtu.be/85drl9-lqRU

And watch an interesting behind-the-scenes video for the recordings of “Castaway Angels” here:
https://youtu.be/ZLk9ksi29AU

And last but certainly not least, here is a list of upcoming live appearances by LEPROUS:

LEPROUS – 20th Anniversary European Tour

01.12.2021 Oslo (Norway) – Vulkan Arena

03.12.2021 Nijmegen (The Netherlands) – Doornroosje

04.12.2021 London (UK) – Electric Ballroom

05.12.2021 Paris (France) – Elysee Montmartre

06.12.2021 Aschaffenburg (Germany) – Colos-Saal

07.12.2021 Vienna (Austria) – Arena

08.12.2021 Esch (Luxembourg) – Rockhal

09.12.2021 Lyon (France) – Ninkasi Kao

10.12.2021 Barcelona (Spain) – Apolo 1

11.12.2021 Madrid (Spain) – LAB

13.12.2021 Milan (Italy) – Live Club

14.12.2021 Aarau (Switzerland) – KiFF

15.12.2021 Munich (Germany) – Technikum

16.12.2021 Berlin (Germany) – Columbia Theater 

LEPROUS – Live 2022:

17.06.2022 Clisson (France) – Hellfest
25.06.2022 Valkenburg (The Netherlands) – Midsummer Prog Festival
16.07.2022 Cremona (Italy) – Luppolo In Rock
20.08.2022 Bristol (UK) – ArcTanGent Festival

More shows to be announced soon…

Stay tuned for more news on LEPROUS and “Aphelion” coming soon…

NMB – release video for “Do It All Again” the first single from the upcoming album ‘Innocence & Danger’

Pre-order starts today / Tour Dates revealed for US and Europe

NMB recently announced their much-anticipated fourth studio album ‘Innocence & Danger’, to be released on August 27th, 2021. Today, the band are sharing the first single and video from the album for the opening track “Do It All Again.”  

Watch the video for “Do It All Again,” created by Christian Rios:

Mike Portnoy says this about the track, “This was the first song we wrote when we reconvened for the sessions for this album. It rooted from an idea Bill Hubauer brought in and we built off it from there. Like most NMB songs, I love the sharing of lead vocals…Neal Morse on the verses, Bill on the B section and an amazingly catchy 3-part harmony chorus with Eric Gillette taking the lead.”

‘Innocence & Danger’, featuring artwork by Thomas Ewerhard (Transatlantic), will be available as:

• Limited 2CD+DVD Digipak (featuring a Making Of documentary)

• Standard 2CD Jewelcase

• Digital Album

• 3LP+ 2CD Boxset

And is available for pre-order now here:

https://thenealmorseband.lnk.to/InnocenceAndDanger

NMB are also happy to announce tour dates for ‘An Evening of Innocence & Danger’ across US and Europe. 

USA 2021 

Oct 8th & 9th – Cross Plains, TN – Morsefest 2021 – www.radiantrecords.com  

Oct 12th – Seattle, WA – The Triple Door – https://tickets.thetripledoor.net/eventperformances.asp?evt=1830

Oct 14th – St Charles, IL – The Arcada – https://www.etix.com/ticket/v/12589

Oct 15th – Pontiac, MI – The Crofoot Ballroom – https://www.ticketweb.com/event/the-neal-morse-band-the-crofoot-ballroom-tickets/11136425?pl=crofoot

Oct 16th – Ft Wayne, IN – Pieres – https://www.etix.com/ticket/v/18520/pieres-entertainment-center

Oct 17th – Cleveland, OH – The Beachland Ballroom – https://www.ticketweb.com/event/the-neal-morse-band-an-beachland-ballroom-tickets/11128265?pl=beachland

Oct 19th – Glenside, PA – The Keswick Theater – https://www.axs.com/events/405348/the-neal-morse-band-tickets

Oct 20th – Baltimore, MD – Soundstage – https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/15005ACE0DA1334C 

Oct 21st – Boston, MA – The Sinclair – https://www.axs.com/events/405764/the-neal-morse-band-tickets?skin=sinclair

Oct 22nd – New York City, NY – The Sony Theater – https://www.ticketmaster.com/sony-hall-tickets-new-york/venue/1475

Europe 2022

May 28th – Madrid, Spain – Teatro Kapital

https://www.madnesslive.es/es/inicio/726-neal-morse-band-featuring-mike-portnoy-madrid.html

May 29th – Barcelona, Spain – Apolo

https://www.madnesslive.es/es/inicio/727-neal-morse-band-featuring-mike-portnoy-barcelona.html

May 30th – Milan, Italy – Live Club

http://www.vertigo.co.it/it/neal-morse-band

May 31st – Pratteln, Switzerland – Z7

http://www.z-7.ch/event.php?eventid=1908

June 2nd – Tilburg, Netherlands – 013

https://shop.eventix.io/1d82d0a4-563c-44ca-96c9-302a843e7abc/tickets

June 3rd – London, England – Shepherds Bush Empire

https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/1F005AD083C7358E

June 4th – Paris, France – Trianon

https://www.letrianon.fr/fr/programme/the-neal-morse-band

June 5th – Esch Sur Alzette, Luxembourg – Rockhal – https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/6465213/neal-morse-band-eschalzette-rockhal-luxembourg

June 7th – Cologne, Germany – Live Music Hall

https://www.myticket.de/de/hank-von-hell-live-2022-tickets/

June 9th – Brno, Czech Republic – Sono

https://goout.net/cs/an-evening-of-innocence-and-danger-2022-the-neal-morse-band/szrjjlr/

June 10th – Krakow, Poland – Studio Club

https://rockserwis.pl/products/215847

June 11th – Warsaw, Poland – Progresja

https://sklep.knockoutprod.net/pl/eventinfo/399/neal-morse-band

June 13th – Hamburg, Germany – Markthalle

https://www.myticket.de/de/hank-von-hell-live-2022-tickets/

June 15th – Copenhagen, Denmark – Amager Bio

https://www.ticketmaster.dk/event/AMA1506A?language=da-dk

June 16th – Gothenburg, Sweden – Pustervik

https://www.tickster.com/sv/events/wyvkch5k9kl4hcb

June 17th – Oslo, Norway – Cosmopolite

https://hurumrock.no/konserter.html

June 18th – Stockholm, Sweden – Lilla Cirkus

https://www.ticketmaster.se/event/595757?

*** 

With NMB’s previous two releases being concept albums, it’s perhaps remarkable that Innocence & Danger is a series of unrelated songs, but drummer Mike Portnoy says “After two sprawling back to back double concept albums in a row, it was refreshing to get back to writing a collection of unrelated individual songs in the vein of our first album.”

Indeed, making this album came easy to the band; while the initial inspiration came particularly from Bill Hubauer (keyboards) and Randy George (bass), the ideas flowed from everybody from there on, as George recalls: “I am excited about the level of collaboration that we achieved on this one. We even went in with a lot of ideas that weren’t necessarily developed, and I think in the end we have something that represents the best of everybody in the band.”

In fact – like its two acclaimed predecessors – Innocence & Danger is a double album by inspiration, rather than design, as Portnoy explains: “As much as we wanted to try and keep it to a single album after having just done two double albums, we wrote so much material that we found ourselves with our third double album in a row! That’s pretty prog!”

There is also plenty in Innocence & Danger to excite those prog fans who have a thirst for epics, as Neal Morse explains: “There’s one half hour epic and another that’s about 20 minutes long. I really didn’t realize that they were that long when we were recording them, which I guess is great because if a movie is really good, you don’t realize that it’s three hours long! But there are also some shorter songs: some have poppier elements, some are heavier and some have three part acoustic sections. I’m excited about all of it, really.” 

NMB (Neal Morse Band) is 

Neal Morse (vocals, keyboards and guitars) 

Mike Portnoy (drums, vocals)

Randy George (bass)

Eric Gillette (guitars, vocals)

Bill Hubauer (keyboards, vocals)

Review – White Moth Black Butterfly – The Cost of Dreaming

After their lauded 2017 album ‘Atone‘, White Moth Black Butterfly return with their new studio album ‘The Cost Of Dreaming‘.

Created by Daniel Tompkins, the collaborative project features a team of songwriters & producers based worldwide, all at the height of their own scenes. Collaborating with Tompkins are New-Delhi based Skyharbor songwriter and producer Keshav Dhar; US based producer and string arranger Randy Slaugh, drummer Mac Christensen and the line up is completed by ethereal vocals of UK singer & lyricist Jordan Turner.

Daniel Tompkins explains why he sees White Moth Black Butterfly and ‘The Cost Of Dreaming‘ representing the dichotomy between peace and conflict within a life full of chaos. “Our new album ‘The Cost of Dreaming’ is something we feel just about every human being on the planet that’s been affected by life changing disruption will relate strongly to. Our nature is to always be planning, dreaming about an ideal future in which we will have ticked various boxes that define our ideal lives, often at the cost of the present. And when control over that future is seized away from us and all we are left with is the present, we realise just how much we took for granted. Life is surely a gift to us all throughout which we experience moments of soaring bliss and happiness, and then in a heartbeat sink into states of great trouble and suffering. Often our struggles can serve as momentous opportunities for growth, but the balance of life can often hold us back from seizing the day. We believe that this album is our greatest achievement – it’s an outpouring of love and a cry for help.”

The album is a very clever integration of contemporary pop with the stylistic flourishes of progressive rock and ambient, experimental music. Catchy hooks abound along with lush orchestral notes and edgy keyboard infused electronica. All the songs are short, like perfect little gems of musical wonder, never outstaying their welcome.

The ethereal strains of opener Ether blend perfectly into the harder, staccato notes of Prayer For Rain and this is followed by the gorgeous wistfulness of The Dreamer where Turner’s vocals stand out perfectly.

The exquisitely refined tone of Heavy Heart bleeds melancholic nostalgia and the lush Portals would grace any modern club scene. Use You is deliciously dark, almost malevolent in its sinister delivery and segues seamlessly into the powerful, funky edginess of Darker Days, given added sparkle by Kenny Fong’s glorious saxophone.

The album builds superbly with each track, an audio experience that draws you in piece by piece. Sands of Despair mournfully washes over you with its plaintive vocal and contemplative piano note before the thoughtful mood of Under The Stars grabs you in its embrace, Jordan’s dreamy vocals imbuing a sense of calm serenity. Soma is a super smooth slice of jazz/pop that is as classy a piece of music that you will hear this year and Liberate takes the art of writing contemporary pop muisic to another level.

There’s a insistent demanding feel to Unholy, an anticipation building of something enigmatic and ominous before heartfelt vocals and the addition of Eric Guenther’s keyboards introduce an emotive emphasis to the sumptuous sounds of Bloom. The album closes out with Spirits, a wonderfully uplifting piece of music that continues to resonate long after the final note dies away.

In ‘The Cost of Dreaming’, White Moth Black Butterfly have created an utterly captivating and beautiful collection of songs where nothing has been held back. It contains every piece of their heart and soul and, just as Daniel Tompkins says, it is a perfectly conceived outpouring of love and cry for help, one that I hope everyone takes heed of…

Released 28th May, 2021

Order the album here:

WHITE MOTH BLACK BUTTERFLY (lnk.to)

GIANCARLO ERRA RELEASES NEW SINGLE & VIDEO “A BLUES FOR MY FATHER”

Taken from the forthcoming new album Departure Tapes released on Kscope on 2nd July 2021

Having announced his new album Departure Tapes and released the first single “Departure Tape”,  UK based Italian composer, multi-instrumentalist and visual artist Giancarlo Erra has revealed his next single and video, the moving and poignantly titled “A Blues For My Father”.

Giancarlo explains the song’s touching significance “After my father’s passing, the mourning brought back the curiosity to go re-look at all the material I wrote during the previous months and I realised I had an album that made a lot of sense. It was dark, experimental for me, confusing but also a discovery, it was a mirror in music of what I was going through. Something was missing, ‘ A Blues For My Father”  the only track that I wrote once back home, and the mournful yet peaceful closure”. 

The deeply personal video he recalls came about after a visit to his father in hospital  “on this particular visit he seemed unusually happy and excited to show me a DVD”, he recalls  “The footage was from the 1950’s and of his family and childhood, sadly his memory was failing at this point but once we started watching these moments came back to him, the people and the places, he was laughing and genuinely happy. I love this footage as it shows my father with his siblings and is the perfect mirror for the peaceful and warm meaning of this closure, a closure to an album and to many other things.”

The new studio album Departure Tapes, the follow up to 2019’s Ends I-VII, consists of 6 contemplative recordings, written while travelling between the UK and Italy and reflect the extremely difficult year Giancarlo experienced due to the death of his estranged father. Erra comments “In 2019 my first solo album was just being released, and I already had the view that I wanted to be more experimental with the second one, but no precise idea how at that point. Then my father suddenly got ill with cancer, and everything changed. I found myself taking care of this man, someone who I have been distanced from for so long.  During this time both of us to came to terms with many things. I wanted to get closure, but a positive one, for him and for me. 

Creativity it was an interesting period for me – writing this album without realising I was actually writing it, as it is so intrinsically linked to one of the hardest and yet more healing parts of my life. The end result is the most experimental, and at the times, the darkest material I have ever written, without compromise or set plan. It contains all the elements of my music in a very unconscious free flowing way. “

Departure Tapes sees Erra play and record every instrument himself along with taking on full production responsibilities at his own studio (https://widescreen.studio). 

Max Richter, Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm and the more electronic / ambient recordings of Brian Eno may offer a reference point by which to enter Erra’s world, but the depth within his recordings is truly original.

Departure Tapes will be released on the following formats and is available to pre-order HERE (https://GiancarloErra.lnk.to/DepartureTapes)

·       a gatefold LP on oxblood coloured 180g vinyl

·       2-disc CD/DVD with the DVD-A/V including high resolution stereo & 5.1 mix:DVD-V: stereo 24/48 LPCM lossless mixes, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, DTS 96/24 5.1 Surround and DVD-A: 5.1 Surround 24/48 LPCM lossless mixes

·       Digitally (with digital pre-orders receiving the single “Departure Tape” as an instant download)

MOUNTAIN CALLER – CHRONICLE: PROLOGUE – NEW EP RELEASED 9TH JULY (NEW HEAVY SOUNDS)

LISTEN TO FIRST SINGLE ‘BEYOND THIS BLACK HORIZON’ NOW:

Mountain Caller: Beyond This Black Horizon by New Heavy Sounds (soundcloud.com)

Hot on the heels of their debut full length album, Mountain Caller return with a new EP, Chronicle: Prologue, the follow up and conceptual prequel to their debut

Chronicle I: The Truthseeker. That album was released to wide acclaim, as well as a passionate response from an already devoted fanbase. 

Chronicle: Prologue gives further depth and insight into the conceptual story that embodies their output, as well as their own musical journey. 

Recorded alongside the debut album, Prologue’s tracks consist of the very earliest material written by the band. Opener Something Stirred From Underneath The Rubble was the true genesis of the band’s dynamic mix of heavy, expansive and progressive metal. It’s the culmination of three distinct musical voices collaborating and letting the music lead them, without aiming for any specific genre. Beyond This Black Horizon follows, a live fan-favourite and the band’s love letter to the riff. Stripped Of All But Purpose closes, with the band exploring the widest ranges of their soundscapes and heaviness, while providing some of the most fist-pumpingly metal moments of their career. These tracks highlight the band’s fundamental make up of ambition, passion, and sheer love for creation.

Conceptually, Prologue leads right up to the events of The Truthseeker. We catch our first glimpse of The Protagonist awakening under the rubble of a great fallen city, and setting forth on an oceanic voyage. After a battle that seemingly claims her life, she regains consciousness on a beach, shipwrecked and rocked by waves of sea and trauma. The band conjure Mastodon expanses of sound melded with Sabbathian riffs, all executed with Tool-like wizardry. With the EP seamlessly leading into the debut album, the band want listeners to consume one after the other, creating one cohesive hour-plus journey. Chronicle: Prologue is a chance to more fully understand the identity of the band and to explore the world they’ve summoned.

On new single ‘Beyond This Black Horizon’, bassist El Reeve comments,

‘Our new EP ‘Chronicle: Prologue’ is a prequel story to the album. It’s about the very beginning of The Protagonist’s journey, and follows her from waking up under the ruins of a devastated city, to meeting the mysterious Mountain Caller with his equally mysterious motives, and travelling across an ocean to the desert shores where we first encounter her in the album, having survived a shipwreck.

In ‘Beyond This Black Horizon’, The Protagonist has secured passage on an old ship. Its course will take her roughly in the direction that’s pressing down on her mind – she must travel onwards, no matter what. The seas become wild and violent, and the ship is battered mercilessly. And soon, through the screaming wind and rain, she can see why. The ship is grappled by colossal tentacles – a weird creature of scales, horns and bones. It’s torn to pieces and she’s plunged into the water, losing consciousness.

‘Chronicle: Prologue’ was recorded at the same time as the album with Joe Clayton at No Studio and mastered by Magnus Lindberg at VRTKL Audio AB. The sleeve artwork is by Taylor Rose.’

Chronicle: Prologue is released on July 9th on very limited vinyl and digital formats.
Pre-order: https://cargorecordsdirect.co.uk/products/mountain-caller-chronicle-prologue