TRANSATLANTIC reveal ‘The Absolute Universe’ 2022 Tour Dates for North America & UK/Europe!

TRANSATLANTIC – the Prog Supergroup of Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt & Pete Trewavas – are pleased to announce tour dates for North America and UK/Europe to take place in 2022.  The tour will be in support of the group’s epic release ‘The Absolute Universe’ which was released earlier this year in multiple versions.  The North America dates kick off April 15th in Glenside, PA and concludes with performances at Morsefest 2022 and Cruise to the Edge.  Meanwhile, the Europe/UK dates take place in July beginning with the ARTmania festival in Romania.

Mike Portnoy had this to say about the upcoming tour:

“Between releasing our latest album in the middle of a worldwide pandemic & shutdown, and the already difficult task of trying to align our different schedules even in the most normal of circumstances, it was uncertain if Transatlantic would ever get to play any shows in support of The Absolute Universe. 

“But now with the world slowly re-opening and the band already committing to a few one-off appearances in 2022 (Cruise To The Edge, Morsefest and a Festival in Romania), we’re excited to announce we were able to wrangle up some headlining shows surrounding these one-offs! (April in North America and July in EU/UK) 

“These are the ONLY shows we will be doing in support of The Absolute Universe so if we can’t make it to your area, it may be worth traveling to come see us and share these special shows with us. While we wish we could do a full proper tour, getting to play ANY shows for this album is an unexpected treat that we weren’t sure would ever happen…so better late than never!” – Mike Portnoy. 

North America dates:

April 15th • Glenside, PA – Keswick Theater

https://www.axs.com/events/409822/an-evening-with-transatlantic-tickets

April 16th • Montclair, NJ – Wellmont Theater

https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/02005AFEFC0F7014

April 18th • Quebec City, Quebec – Palais Montcalm

https://palaismontcalm.tuxedobillet.com/main/transatlantic

April 19th • Montreal, Quebec – M Telus

https://www.ticketmaster.ca/event/31005B03CBCC1934?lang=en-ca&brand=mtelus

April 21st • St Charles, IL – Arcada Theater

https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/4311193/transatlantic-stcharles-the-arcada-theatre?_ga=2.14751414.123937637.1628201559-79101957.1628201559

April 23rd • Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theater

https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/09005B05AF17211D

April 24th • Berkeley, CA – UC Theatre

https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/4360146/an-evening-with-transatlantic-berkeley-the-uc-theatre

April 29th & 30th • Cross Plains, TN – MorseFest 2022

May 2nd to 7th • Cruise To The Edge 2022

https://cruisetotheedge.com/book-now/

UK/Europe dates:

July 22nd – Sibiu, Romania – ARTmania Festival 

July 24th – Cologne, Germany – E Werk

https://www.myticket.de/de/transatlantic-the-absolute-universe-2022-tour-tickets

July 25th – Tilburg, Netherlands – 013

https://www.ticketmaster.nl/event/272933?CAMEFROM=013&brand=nl_013web

July 27th – London, England – O2 Forum Kentish Town

https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/1F005AFE183A8DE7

July 28th – Paris, France – Olympia (ON SALE ON AUG 18TH)

www.olympiahall.com/evenements/transatlantic/

Representing the band’s first new music since 2014’s ‘Kaleidoscope’, with ‘The Absolute Universe’ the band have done something unique and created two versions of the record: ‘The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)’ & ‘The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version)’.

The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)’

Available as:

Single CD Edition, Gatefold 2LP+CD, or Digital Album 

 ‘The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version)’
Available as:
2CD Edition, 3LP+2CD Boxset, or Digital Album 

The full list of formats is below, and you can order now here: https://transatlantic.lnk.to/TheAbsoluteUniverse 

Watch the previously released video clips for the album below:

‘Looking For The Light’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvhvY-vUkLI

‘The World We Used To Know’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xULvfo6rpvE

‘Overture/Reaching For The Sky’: https://youtu.be/SP5HwWbCQvg   

‘The Absolute Interview’ series was also launched, which saw each member of Transatlantic interviewed by one of their musical peers, with Ross Jennings (Haken), Ted Leonard (Pattern-Seeking Animals, Spock’s Beard, Enchant), Nad Sylvan & John Mitchell (It Bites, Lonely Robot, Frost*) taking part. Watch the full series here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfMBXSLZAyyf9kipocjOullLWwQyRX8Cw

Watch a short snippet from the making of documentary here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=964kfA1EX4s 

Steve Hackett Launches ‘Foxes Tango’, second single from ‘Surrender of Silence’ & Full Dates For ‘Seconds Out + More’ Tour, Starts 10th September

Legendary guitarist Steve Hackett, releases his new studio rock album Surrender of Silence on 10th September 2021, via Inside Out Music. The album features 11 new songs as Steve has been working hard through Lockdown and, for the first time, has completed two studio albums for release within the same year! Hackett also starts his 31 date UK Seconds Out +MoreTour on 10th September.

Today sees the launch of the second single from Surrender of Silence, and you can watch the video for ‘Fox’s Tango’ here: 

Steve comments: “A protest song at life’s inequalities – in other words, the poor versus the rich. With current conflicts, if we can’t learn to share the land, we’ll find ourselves sharing the graveyards. A song for an unbalanced world. Fox’s Tango has my playing at its angriest. I really let rip here!”

Surrender of Silence is released on 10th September 2021 as a Limited Edition CD+Blu-ray Mediabook in hardcover slipcase, Standard CD Jewel case, Gatefold 2LP+CD & LP-Booklet and Digital Album via Inside Out Music. Pre-order now here: https://stevehackett.lnk.to/SurrenderOfSilence

Hot on the heels of his classical-acoustic travelogue Under A Mediterranean Sky, which was released in January and hit Number 2 in the UK Classical Album Chart, Surrender of Silence is a further exploration of Hackett’s love of world music, discovering different sounds, moods and textures to deliver a rock album of extraordinary variety, power and beauty.

As with Under A Mediterranean Sky, Surrender of Silence was also recorded during Lockdown and, again, Hackett has called upon some of his musical friends from across the world to contribute. Hackett’s regular touring band of Roger King (keyboards, programming and orchestral arrangements), Rob Townsend (sax, clarinet), Jonas Reingold (bass), Nad Sylvan (vocals) and Craig Blundell (drums) are supplemented by Phil Ehart and Nick D’Virgilio (drums), the vocal talents of Amanda Lehmann, Durga and Lorelei McBroom, Christine Townsend (violin, viola), Malik Mansurov (tar) and Sodirkhon Ubaidulloev (dutar).

This new album is full-on electric…

“Lockdown cobwebs are blown away in one fell-swoop here!” says Steve Hackett. “With the monster rhythm section of Jonas, Craig, Nick and Phil along with Rob’s soaring sax and bass clarinet, Nad, Amanda and myself on vocals, Roger’s darkly powerful organ and my guitar, we plunge full-pelt into that wild release of energy.”

Our journey takes us from the classical orchestrations of Russia (Natalia) to the plains of Africa (Wingbeats) to mysterious Eastern shores (Shanghai To Samarkand), all via the ocean’s depths (Relaxation Music for Sharks (featuring feeding frenzy)). The Devil’s Cathedral pools the talents of Hackett’s entire touring band and features King’s atmospheric Gothic organ and a powerhouse rhythm display from Blundell and Reingold.

Hackett’s vocals have never been bettered and his duet with Amanda Lehmann adds emotion to Scorched Earth a lament for the environmental horrors facing our planet. Throughout Hackett’s guitars add a rich tapestry of colour with soaring solos and intricate weaving melodies.

“It’s a ‘no holds barred’ album,” adds Hackett, “riding that wave, unleashing those demons, dreams and nightmares, all crashing together over the shore.

“I enjoyed the power of this album allowing my guitar to scream in joy and rage… and once again flying across those oceans to distant lands. It’s terrific to connect creatively with musicians from far flung places, particularly when we’ve all been unable to meet. We all have a voice in our cacophony of sound and we cry out together in the Surrender of Silence!”

Steve Hackett “Surrender of Silence” track listing:
1. The Obliterati (02:17)

2. Natalia (06:17)

3. Relaxation Music For Sharks (Featuring Feeding Frenzy) (04:36)

4. Wingbeats (05:20)

5. The Devil’s Cathedral (06:31)

6. Held In The Shadows (06:20)

7. Shanghai To Samarkand (08:27)

8. Fox’s Tango (04:21)

9. Day Of The Dead (06:25)

10. Scorched Earth (06:03)

11. Esperanza (01:04)

Steve Hackett shares writing credits with both Jo Hackett and Roger King on several tracks. All tracks were recorded by Roger King and produced by Steve Hackett with Roger King at Siren.

Seconds Out +More UK Tour 2021
Full Tour Dates.

Fri 10th Sep Leicester De Montfort Hall (SOLD OUT)

Sat 11th Sept Liverpool Philharmonic (SOLD OUT)

Sun 12th Sept Stoke Victoria Hall

Tue 14th Sept Birmingham Symphony Hall

Wed 15th Sept Cambridge Corn Exchange (SOLD OUT)

Fri 17th Sept Cardiff St David’s Hall (SOLD OUT)

Sat 18th Sept Basingstoke The Anvil (SOLD OUT)

Mon 20th Sept London The Palladium (SOLD OUT) 

Tue 21st Sept London The Palladium (SOLD OUT)

Wed 22nd Sept London The Palladium (NEW)

Fri 24th Sept Manchester O2 Apollo

Sat 25th Sept Edinburgh Playhouse

Mon 27th Sept Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Tue 28th Sept Dundee Caird Hall

Thurs 30th Sept Scunthorpe The Baths Hall

Fri 1st Oct Bradford St George’s Hall

Sat 2nd Oct Nottingham Royal Concert Hall (new)

Mon 4th Oct Croydon Fairfield Halls (new)

Tue 5th Oct Guildford G Live (SOLD OUT)

Thur 7th Oct Brighton Dome (SOLD OUT)

Fri 8th Oct Poole Lighthouse (new)

Sat 9th Oct Bexhill-on-Sea De La Warr Pavilion (SOLD OUT)

Mon 11th Oct Southampton Mayflower Theatre

Tue 12th Oct Plymouth Pavilions (new)

Thur 14th Oct Carlisle The Sands Centre

Fri 15th Oct STOCKTON GLOBE (new show)

Sat 16th Oct Newcastle O2 City Hall  

Mon 18th Oct Aylesbury Waterside (new)                                       

Tue 19th Oct Oxford New Theatre                                                      

Thur 21st Oct Peterborough Cresset (new)

Fri 22nd Oct  Harrogate Royal Hall (new)

All tickets remain valid for the re-scheduled shows.For full details and to book tickets for all shows for the Seconds Out + More Tour go too https://myticket.co.uk/ and venue box offices.

About Steve Hackett
Steve Hackett joined Genesis at the beginning of 1971 and gained an international reputation as the guitarist in the band’s classic line-up alongside Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins. Hackett’s intricate guitar work was a key element of Genesis’ albums from Nursery Cryme (1971) to Wind And Wuthering (1977) including the classic Selling England By The Pound.

After leaving Genesis at the end of 1977, Hackett’s solo career, which now spans more than 30 albums, has demonstrated his extraordinary versatility with both electric and acoustic guitar. Hackett is renowned as both an immensely talented and innovative rock musician and a virtuoso classical guitarist and composer and this was recognised in 2010 when he was inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame. He has also worked alongside Steve Howe of YES in the supergroup GTR.

Hackett’s compositions take influences from many genres, including jazz, classical and blues. For his later studio works The Night Siren (2017) and At The Edge Of Light (2019) Hackett has explored the influences of world music. Recent tours have seen Hackett celebrate his time with Genesisincluding a spectacular 2018 tour in which he realised a long-held ambition to perform the works of Genesis live with his band and an orchestra.The lockdown enforced by the 2020 global pandemic has proven to be a particularly creative period for Hackett. He began by releasing Selling England by the Pound & Spectral Mornings: Live at Hammersmith, a live recording of 2019’s hugely successful tour celebrating that Genesis classic together with the 40th anniversary of one of his most-loved solo albums. Lockdown also gave Hackett the opportunity to write and record two new studio albums, the UK Classical Chart hit Under A Mediterranean Sky and the forthcoming Surrender of Silence.

InsideOutMusic/Sony Music announce the signing of Jethro Tull

InsideOutMusic/Sony Music are extremely pleased to announce the signing of progressive rock legends Jethro Tull to the label.  The band has already completed a new album titled ‘The Zealot Gene’, which can be expected in early 2022.

Ian Anderson had this to say about the new signing – “After 54 years in the world of music recording, it is with great pleasure that I now sign Jethro Tull to a record company which reminds me, in many ways, of the old Chrysalis label – both as an independent and in its later years in partnership with EMI. Here are real music guys with a passion for the best and most creative in rock music. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship and more releases to come.” 

InsideOutMusic Label Manager Thomas Waber states, “Adding Jethro Tull to the roster is an incredible honour for us. The band are true innovators of the genre and we are looking forward to working with them on their new album. We are sure their countless fans will be as excited about it as we are!” 

With more than 30 albums to their credit and sales totaling more than 50 million, Jethro Tull are one of the most successful rock bands of all-time with a catalog that contains classics that still resonate today. Led by Ian Anderson, Tull still continue to tour throughout the world, entertaining audiences of all ages.

The band currently consists of:

Ian Anderson – Flute, acoustic guitar, harmonica, vocals

Joe Parrish-James – Guitar

Florian Opahle – Guitar (album only)

Scott Hammond – Drums.

John O’Hara – Piano, keyboards and accordion

David Goodier – Bass guitar

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)

Steve Hackett Announces Release of ‘Surrender of Silence’

Legendary guitarist Steve Hackett, releases his new studio rock album Surrender of Silence on 10th September 2021, via Inside Out Music. The album features 11 new songs as Steve has been working hard through Lockdown and, for the first time, has completed two studio albums for release within the same year! 

Hot on the heels of his classical-acoustic travelogue Under A Mediterranean Sky, which was released in January and hit Number 2 in the UK Classical Album Chart, Surrender of Silence is a further exploration of Hackett’s love of world music, discovering different sounds, moods and textures to deliver a rock album of extraordinary variety, power and beauty.

As with Under A Mediterranean SkySurrender of Silence was also recorded during Lockdown and, again, Hackett has called upon some of his musical friends from across the world to contribute. Hackett’s regular touring band of Roger King (keyboards, programming and orchestral arrangements), Rob Townsend (sax, clarinet), Jonas Reingold (bass), Nad Sylvan (vocals) and Craig Blundell (drums) are supplemented by Phil Ehart and Nick D’Virgilio (drums), the vocal talents of Amanda Lehmann, Durga and Lorelei McBroom, Christine Townsend (violin, viola), Malik Mansurov (tar) and Sodirkhon Ubaidulloev (dutar).

This new album is full-on electric…

“Lockdown cobwebs are blown away in one fell-swoop here!” says Steve Hackett. “With the monster rhythm section of Jonas, Craig, Nick and Phil along with Rob’s soaring sax and bass clarinet, Nad, Amanda and myself on vocals, Roger’s darkly powerful organ and my guitar, we plunge full-pelt into that wild release of energy.”

Our journey takes us from the classical orchestrations of Russia (Natalia) to the plains of Africa (Wingbeats) to mysterious Eastern shores (Shanghai To Samarkand), all via the ocean’s depths (Relaxation Music for Sharks (featuring feeding frenzy)). The Devil’s Cathedral pools the talents of Hackett’s entire touring band and features King’s atmospheric Gothic organ and a powerhouse rhythm display from Blundell and Reingold.

Hackett’s vocals have never been bettered and his duet with Amanda Lehmann adds emotion to Scorched Earth a lament for the environmental horrors facing our planet. Throughout Hackett’s guitars add a rich tapestry of colour with soaring solos and intricate weaving melodies.

“It’s a ‘no holds barred’ album,” adds Hackett, “riding that wave, unleashing those demons, dreams and nightmares, all crashing together over the shore.
“I enjoyed the power of this album allowing my guitar to scream in joy and rage… and once again flying across those oceans to distant lands. It’s terrific to connect creatively with musicians from far flung places, particularly when we’ve all been unable to meet. We all have a voice in our cacophony of sound and we cry out together in the Surrender of Silence!” 

Surrender of Silence track listing:

1. The Obliterati (02:17)2. Natalia (06:17)3. Relaxation Music For Sharks (Featuring Feeding Frenzy) (04:36)4. Wingbeats (05:20)5. The Devil’s Cathedral (06:31)6. Held In The Shadows (06:20)7. Shanghai To Samarkand (08:27)8. Fox’s Tango (04:21)9. Day Of The Dead (06:25)10. Scorched Earth (06:03)11. Esperanza (01:04)

Steve Hackett shares writing credits with both Jo Hackett and Roger King on several tracks. All tracks were recorded by Roger King and produced by Steve Hackett with Roger King at Siren. 

Surrender of Silence is released on 10th September 2021 as a Limited Edition CD+Blu-ray Mediabook in hardcover slipcase, Standard CD Jewel case, Gatefold 2LP+CD & LP-Booklet and Digital Album via Inside Out Music.

About Steve Hackett

Steve Hackett joined Genesis at the beginning of 1971 and gained an international reputation as the guitarist in the band’s classic line-up alongside Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins. Hackett’s intricate guitar work was a key element of Genesis’ albums from Nursery Cryme (1971) to Wind And Wuthering (1977) including the classic Selling England By The Pound.

After leaving Genesis at the end of 1977, Hackett’s solo career, which now spans more than 30 albums, has demonstrated his extraordinary versatility with both electric and acoustic guitar. Hackett is renowned as both an immensely talented and innovative rock musician and a virtuoso classical guitarist and composer and this was recognised in 2010 when he was inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame. He has also worked alongside Steve Howe of YES in the supergroup GTR.
Hackett’s compositions take influences from many genres, including jazz, classical and blues. For his later studio works The Night Siren (2017) and At The Edge Of Light (2019) Hackett has explored the influences of world music. Recent tours have seen Hackett celebrate his time with Genesis 

including a spectacular 2018 tour in which he realised a long-held ambition to perform the works of Genesis live with his band and an orchestra. 
The lockdown enforced by the 2020 global pandemic has proven to be a particularly creative period for Hackett. He began by releasing Selling England by the Pound & Spectral Mornings: Live at Hammersmith, a live recording of 2019’s hugely successful tour celebrating that Genesis classic together with the 40th anniversary of one of his most-loved solo albums. Lockdown also gave Hackett the opportunity to write and record two new studio albums, the UK Classical Chart hit Under A Mediterranean Sky and the forthcoming Surrender of Silence.

Neal Morse Band – announce fourth studio album ‘Innocence & Danger’ for release this August

Neal Morse Band are pleased to announce the release of their much-anticipated fourth studio album ‘Innocence & Danger’ on the 27th August 2021. 

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 realise 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 realise 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.”

The album will be released as a Limited 2CD+DVD Digipak (featuring a Making Of documentary), 3LP+2CD Boxset, Standard 2CD Jewelcase & Digital Album, featuring artwork by Thomas Ewerhard (Transatlantic). Pre-orders start on the 18th June, and the full track-listing is below:

CD 1 (Innocence):

1.    Do It All Again 08:55

2.    Bird On A Wire 07:22

3.    Your Place In The Sun 04:12

4.    Another Story To Tell 04:50

5.    The Way It Had To Be 07:14

6.    Emergence 03:12

7.    Not Afraid Pt. 1 04:53

8.    Bridge Over Troubled Water 08:08 

CD 2 (Danger):

1.    Not Afraid Pt. 2 19:32

2.    Beyond The Years 31:22

The Neal Morse Band (now NMB) was formed in 2012, featuring long-time collaborators Neal Morse (vocals, keyboards and guitars), Mike Portnoy (drums, vocals) and Randy George (bass), as well as Bill Hubauer (keyboards, vocals) and Eric Gillette (guitars, vocals). The band’s first album, The Grand Experiment, showed both a freshness and maturity that was further developed in 2016’s The Similitude Of A Dream, 2019’s The Great Adventure and 2021’s Innocence & Danger.

Look for NMB on tour in North America in October 2021 and in Europe throughout May/June 2022. Tour dates coming soon!

Review – Kayak – Out Of This World – by John Wenlock-Smith

Growing up , as I did in the fair city of Birmingham, I spent much of my teenage years trawling the city’s many record shops including my favourite, the now long gone, Reddington’s Rare Records, which was a virtual treasure trove of vinyl spread across different shops. The one that appealed to me was the one that sold rock music and I would happily spend hours of a Saturday morning looking through the racks in search of something new and interesting to listen to. Many of those albums are probably like gold dust now and most likely worth a fortune too. One band that I came across frequently was Kayak, who’s then album ‘Royal Bed Bouncer’ from 1975 frequently caught my eye but never enough to actually buy a copy for myself. This was probably a major mistake that I made as getting it on CD now will cost a fair amount.

That was many years ago and now Kayak are just preparing to release their 19th album, ‘Out of This World’ a 15 Track, seventy plus minute, musical voyage into their world of progressive pomp rock that will appeal to many special folks who like pomp rock along the lines of Trillion, Le Roux, Starcastle or even Kansas. This is the area in which Kayak really operate, as this album can clearly testify.

The album has a mixture of shorter songs alongside three longer pieces and also includes one track that is epic in length. The music puts me in mind of Toto at times, such is their sound. The delicate undertones, great vocalist, strong keyboards and guitar solos, put me in mind of Toto’s ‘Hydra’ and ‘Turn Back’ albums especially.

Let us have a listen and see what we can say about this album.

The album opens in style with the first of the longer tracks, Out Of This World, which is a good and strong opener, in that it sets you up for all that is to follow. It starts with some lovely piano ruins and a good guitar riff, all very fluidly played and symphonic sounding with a chugging bass line driving the song along. This is fine symphonic rock with great melodies and performance from all concerned. The vocalist is clear and in good voice, in fact the whole band are on excellent form on this track, especially the guitarist who really rips it up on this song, making a good impression. His playing is melodic and his guitar lines soar in tandem with the keyboards and synthesizers.     

The song is very catchy with some fabulous sections and great guitar too, this is followed by Waiting, which is a shorter song but one that is enlivened by a very fluid guitar line and an almost funky or chunky guitar riff. The track is about desire and waiting for someone to decide. It is very memorable indeed with a fine chorus, stirring stuff indeed. We then move onto the second long track, Under A Scar, which opens with delicate piano lines and some lush keyboard orchestrations. It is all very symphonic sounding before the song moves into a strong instrumental section with keyboards and guitar firing on all cylinders, all very impressive.

Kaja is another shorter song but one that has great guitar on its opening moments. This one is an instrumental and acts as a showcase for the guitar artistry of Marcel Signor who rises to the task fabulously. Next we have the shorter track Mystery which has some fabulous piano playing amongst the symphonic keyboard textures and muscular guitar playing with a strong rhythm section who support and drive the song forwards.

Critical Mass is another longer track which opens mysteriously, like the music from a film like Halloween or similar, before vocals are introduced and more keyboard orchestrations. This is all highly effective indeed, I am really enjoying my initial introduction to Kayak as it is very impressive stuff musically, it is spot on and bodes well for a successful album. This is a very well-crafted record with fabulous songs and performances and the sound is very pleasing to the ear. This is so good that I can see this being on peoples best of lists later this year, there has already been a lot of fabulous music released this year, must be all that time on folks’ hands or something?

As The Crow Flies is next and this has a looping recurring synth line that runs through it. The song is short and possibly one of the weaker songs on the album but it is all over fairly quickly and is followed by The Way She Said Goodbye which is a song about a love that is over and the feelings that remain in the wake of her leaving. This song is handled with much dignity and, whilst sad, is never maudlin and there is some fabulous fretless bass playing on the track.

The energetic Traitors Gate, once again, recalls the power of Toto with its neat interplay of synthesizers and guitar and its muscular power. This track also has a great guitar solo where Marcel gets a few bars to let rip once more making it possibly one of my favourite tracks on the album. Distance To Your Heart follows and sounds like rime ELO of all people but with Kayak’s own take on it and that fabulous vocalist shining once again. It’s not a stand out track and leads into Red Rag To A Bull which is a fine, rockier, track with some excellent synth at the start and some moody orchestrations that build the song. There’s slight Spanish flamenco type sounds and touches with some subtle Spanish guitar flourishes in the mix and a great solo from Marcel once again. This one is a subtle grower of a track that opens out into a majestic song, all impressive indeed.

One By One is a far softer and melancholic type of song, quite maudlin and emotionally moving with its fabulous chorus. There is also a quite dramatic key change that lifts the song from into something much brighter and better. This track is subtle and moving and all the better for it. The drum beat moves it into a bit of an epic singalong type number that would not be out of place an Abba album somehow, magnificent!

The epic of the album, A Writer’s Tale, starts with keyboards and an almost Kashmir type pace to it. The song gives room for some excellent guitar and keyboard playing and lots of space for the music to stretch and grow in intensity and emotional resonance. The piece is a real epic in scope, style, and sound and is utterly fantastic. Next track Cary has more than a whiff of a fisherman’s song or a sailors sea shanty about it . There’s certainly a merry and jolly touch to it making the track almost a singalong number. Unusual and no less impressive, it even manages a guitar solo in its brief tenure, a surprisingly good song.

Album closer Ship Of Theseus has more of that touch of epic Pomp Rock that we have come to enjoy. This song is about a ship that travelled to Theseus in ancient days and recounts its tale of adventure and its exploits. This mini epic ends things in fine symphonic style.

What an album this is, ‘Out Of This World’ really is brim-full of strong songs and fabulous performances and I feel that it has much to offer the listener. I intend to go back into Kayak’s history and listen to some more of their music and discover it for myself because, on the basis of this album, there appears to be much to enjoy and I would highly commend this fabulous album to all.

Released 7th May, 2021

Order from this link:

Out Of This World (lnk.to)

Review – Nad Sylvan – Spiritus Mundi – by John Wenlock-Smith

When  I was growing up there was no internet, we used to have to use encyclopaedias and other forms of reference books to find out about things. Nowadays, of course, it is all there waiting to be delved into and discovered for yourself.

It is a whole different ball game now, although there was a time in the late 1980’s /early 1990’s that you could ring up the reference people at Birmingham City Library and they would find things out for you. This was especially useful, and was well before Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded what we now know as Google, this company that they founded as students at Stanford university is now one of the world’s premier search engines. Folk now often say ‘google it’ to find information.

I did that whilst listening to this album as it is largely music set to poems that were written by William Butler (W.B) Yeats (Born in 1885 Died January 1939). Yeats is widely acclaimed as one of Ireland’s most famous poets, dramatists, and prose writers, in fact, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.

Spiritus Mundi’ sets those poems to gentle and orchestral sounding pieces with vocals from Nad Sylvan and guitars from Andrew Laitres, a US based composer and musician, who Nad had worked with previously on his last album, ‘The Regal Bastard’ – The final part of his Vampyrate trilogy.

Nad is joined by some famous guests on this album, namely Tony Levin and Jonas Reingold on bass and Marko DeMaio (The Flower Kings) on drums with Steve Hackett also featuring. The bulk of the lyrics are taken verbatim from Yeats’s poems, apart from the first bonus track, You Have Got To Find A Way, that has Sylvan’s own lyrics. This approach has left the music room to breath and allows the beauty of the words to shine through clearly with the music clearly supporting and enhancing the impact of the words. That intention has paid off excellently giving the album dignity and weight.

The tracks are mainly short and as they focus predominantly on the words the album will take several listens before it really begins to make sense. Having said that, the longer tracks, The Second Coming and Sailing To Byzantium, work the best for me as there are musical interludes within in them that work well. The instrumentation is supportive and sympathetic, you will not find long ego fuelled solos here, you fill find empathy and delicacy throughout. The whole album lasts about 52 minutes including the two bonus tracks.

I think this album is a great, intensive listening experience and will appeal to any who like Yeats’ poems or who are fans of Nad Sylvan’s earlier solo albums as he is certainly in fine voice on these songs. This project is certainly different and a brave, bold move by Nad, as an album this is certainly different and somehow the lyricism of Yeats’ poetry works well in this format and will hopefully bring it to a whole new audience of people. They may find much within the words of these pieces that speaks clearly to their hearts and minds and hopefully leads them discover more of Yeats’ works for themselves.    

The sound of the album is sparse and the space between the words and the music is wide and open allowing subtle nuances to be realised and appreciated with repeated listening. There is a fabulous slide guitar part contained on the last track on the album, The Fisherman, (performed by Neil Whitford) that really drives the piece along.

It is not an album that is immediately easy to access but I sincerely recommend that you persevere as it is truly worth it when you finally do click with it and its treasures and beauties are finally revealed to you. ‘Spiritus Mundi’ is a journey of discovery into a different world, but it is a journey that you need to decide to undertake. 

Released 9th April 2021

Order the album here:

Spiritus Mundi (lnk.to)

FROST* return with fourth studio album ‘Day And Age’

Frost* are returning with their first new studio album in 5 years on the 14th May 2021. ‘Day And Age’ is the band’s fourth record, and features Jem Godfrey once again joined by John Mitchell & Nathan King, as well as 3 guest drummers: Kaz Rodriguez (Chaka Khan, Josh Groban), Darby Todd (The Darkness, Martin Barre) & Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson, Mister Mister). The album also features actor Jason Isaacs.

Jem Godfrey comments of the new album: “2020 was the year of the studio for obvious reasons. As a result 2021 is going to be a bumper year for new music I think and we’re very happy to be riding that wave too into what I hope will be a better year for everybody.”

 ‘Day And Age’ was recorded over the course of 2019 and 2020, featuring 8 tracks and striking cover artwork by Carl Glover of Aleph Studios (Steven Wilson, Marillion, Steve Jansen). The full track-listing is below:

1.         Day And Age 11:49

2.         Terrestrial 5:13

3.         Waiting For The Lie 4:31

4.         The Boy Who Stood Still 7:33

5.         Island Life 4:14

6.         Skywards 4:13

7.         Kill The Orchestra 9:27

8.         Repeat To Fade 6:14 

The album will be released on Limited 2CD (including a bonus disc of instrumentals), Gatefold 180g 2LP + CD (with etching on Side D), and as Digital Album. Pre-order starts 19th March.

In September 2019 Godfrey and Mitchell rented a cottage for a week in Helford, Cornwall and set about converting it into a recording studio. Day one saw them write and record “Skywards”, “Island Life” was written on day two. On day three, the duo wrote what was to become the title and defining track of the new album, “Day And Age”. 

The following January, the band setup a new temporary studio for a further week in a converted coastguard tower at Dungeness in East Sussex. “We were 30 feet by the sea, next to a nuclear power station and a lighthouse, in midwinter. So there was hardly any daylight and the weather was dreadful”, laughs bassist Nathan King, “We wrote “Terrestrial” and “Repeat To Fade” there and you can definitely hear the bleak isolated oppression having an effect on us. The songs we wrote were far darker – the wind howling round the building at night, the power station generating crackles on the audio, a huge lighthouse next door sweeping light into the fog every 30 seconds and John screaming “ENJOY YOURSELVES YOU SCUM” into a microphone. It was absolutely brilliant!”.

In November 2020, Frost* released the career-retrospective collection ‘13 Winters’ which featured all their studio albums to date, plus live material, b-sides & last years ‘Others’ EP, all packaged in a beautiful artbook. 

Frost* was formed in 2004 by keyboard player and singer Jem Godfrey, Released in 2006 the band’s debut album “Milliontown” was an instant success and is regarded by many as a classic in the modern prog rock genre featuring John Mitchell on guitar, John Jowitt on bass and Andy Edwards on drums. The band quickly followed it up with “Experiments In Mass Appeal” in 2008, in many ways the antithesis of “Milliontown” featuring a much more stripped back sound, more concise songs and a new band member and singer in the form of Dec Burke. 

The live album “The Philadelphia Experiment” followed in 2009 and the a long gap followed before 3rd album “Falling Satellites” was released in 2016 with a new line-up of Nathan King on bass and Craig Blundell on drums, plus returning guitarist and singer John Mitchell on guitar who also co-wrote much of the album with Jem Godfrey.

Nad Sylvan – releases new single & video for “The Fisherman” / Reveals cover artwork for “Spiritus Mundi”

Nad Sylvan ended 2020 on a rather happy note. He released “You’ve Got To Find A Way” in December 2020, a bonus track on his upcoming album “Spiritus Mundi”. 

Today Nad is excited to be releasing the first proper album track “The Fisherman” off of said album to the world.

Nad comments: 

“No one is a prophet in their own land”. W.B Yeats, the famous Irish poet penned the poem “The Fisherman” in 1914 that this song is based on. At this point in time, he felt misunderstood by his contemporaries, just like I have done growing up in a small minded world. Yeats poems are filled with double and hidden messages. So is this video.

Watch the video for “The Fisherman” here: 

After concluding the Vampirate’s trilogy, Nad now changes course on his upcoming fourth album by converting poems of WB Yeats into music. The new album is due for release on  April 9th 2021 featuring the stunning new cover artwork by Robin Damore.

The pre-order for “Spiritus Mundi” will start on February 12th 2021.