Hungarian prog masters Kaltenecker-Marko share video for “Space Junk”

Kaltenecker-Marko, the Hungarian duo of Zsolt Kaltenecker & Adam Marko, released their debut album ‘Space Junk’ in April 2022. The album is a unique mixture of prog, modern jazz and other electronic styles which manages to impress and engage the listener at the same time.

Today, the duo are pleased to share the new video for the track “Space Junk ” which you can see now here:

Zsolt Kaltenecker & Adam Marko are among Hungary’s top musicians, and also members of the well-known instrumental band Special Providence who have toured with Haken, Spock’s Beard, and others. The duo invites the listeners to a special musical journey from prog, djent, downtempo to trip-hop and jazzfusion, many electronic styles are recalled live on two instruments, keyboards and drums. The minimal setup is really challenging and also gives air and space for the artists to showcase their abilities as musicians.

Tracklist:

1. Secret Shifter
2. Doubt
3. Higher
4. Space Junk
5. The 7th Wave
6. Unexpected
7. Wormhole
8. Bill Murray
9. Bunuel
10. Lemuria
11. Dharma Bums
12. Glitches
13. The Way 

Get the album here:  https://bfan.link/space-junk

RIVERSIDE – Release new single/video “Self-Aware (Single Edit)” off upcoming album “ID.Entity”; Announce North American Tour

Today, Poland’s pioneering and leading Progressive Rock band RIVERSIDE are pleased to present a second single for their upcoming studio album “ID.Entity”, to be released via InsideOutMusic on January 20th, 2023.

Check out the album’s closing track “Self-Aware” in its ‘Single Edit’ version and with an entertaining video clip directed by Marcin Zawadziński and Mariusz Duda here: 

RIVERSIDE’s Mariusz Duda checked in with the following comment about the new single: 
’Self-Aware’ is a song which summarises the entire album, and talks about how it’s difficult these days to live in a society and ignore all the social changes, how you can’t simply be passive, “shut yourself off”, or “hole up deep in the woods”. We need each other in order to change something in our lives. Not everything can be done single-handedly; “I have to be better than others, I have to be the best” is not a good mantra. We need cooperation to achieve goals. And it’s important that this message comes not from a solo artist, but from a band, whose success lies mostly in cooperation within the band and interaction with their listeners.”

“ID.Entity”, the group’s 8th studio album was recorded and mixed in two studios – The Boogie Town Studio in Otwock with Paweł Marciniak and in Serakos studio in Warsaw with Magda and Robert Srzedniccy -, mastered by Robert Szydło and produced by RIVERSIDE’s Mariusz Duda himself. The “ID.Entity” artwork was created by Polish artist Jarek Kubicki. 

A first single off “ID.Entity” was recently released via the track “I’m Done With You”, which can also be seen here in a video-clip animated and directed by Thomas Hicks / www.thomashicks.co.uk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3q6XJfKxKb4

RIVERSIDE also launched a “Riverside Heavy” playlist featuring “I’m Done With You” as well as many other heavier tracks from the band’s comprehensive catalogue, which you can check out here:

 Here is the standard track-listing for the album: 

RIVERSIDE – “ID.Entity” (53:11)

Tracklist:

1. Friend or Foe? (07:29)

2. Landmine Blast (04:50)

3. Big Tech Brother (07:24)

4. Post-Truth (05:37)

5. The Place Where I Belong (13:16)

6. I’m Done With You (05:52)

7. Self-Aware (8:43)

The bonus material appearing on “ID.Entity” includes the instrumental tracks “Age of Anger” (11:56) and “Together Again” (06:29) as well as “Friend or Foe? (Single Edit)” (05:59) and “Self-Aware (Single Edit)” (05:29).

The album will be available in the following formats: 

–        Ltd. Deluxe 2CD+Blu-ray Artbook 
(Disc 1: Album, Disc 2: All 4 bonus tracks, Blu-ray: All main 9 album tracks in Dolby Atmos, 5.1 and 24bit HighRes Audio mix versions) 
-> Pictured above!

–        Ltd. 2CD Mediabook (Disc 1: Album, Disc 2: All 4 bonus tracks)
-> Pictured above!

–        CD Jewelcase

–        Deluxe Digital Album (Including all 4 bonus tracks)

–       Digital album

The album’s vinyl version comes as Gatefold 2LP (With the bonus tracks “Age of Anger” and “Together Again” on Side D) in the following variants:
– Black vinyl: All outlets
– Orange vinyl: All outlets

– White vinyl: 500x copies via JPC & Burning Shed
– Yellow vinyl: 500x copies via EMP & Just For Kicks
– Sky Blue vinyl: 600x copies via Laser’s Edge & CM Distro/Webshop Europe

The pre-order for “ID.Entity” in its various formats is available here:
https://riverside.lnk.to/IDEntity

“ID.Entity”, an album that extends and expands RIVERSIDE’s characteristic sound, but all in a revamped and more dynamic formula, follows 2018’s widely acclaimed ‘Wasteland’ album, which entered the charts in Germany at # 13, The Netherlands at # 28, Switzerland at # 23, Austria at # 39, UK at # 83, Finland at # 30, France at # 97, Czech Republic at # 59 and Poland at # 1. 

RIVERSIDE have recently also announced their return to North American stages in February/March 2023 in promotion of “ID.Entity”. Check out the band’s upcoming confirmed live-dates here:

RIVERSIDE – Live 2023:

North American Tour:
17. February 2023 Tampa, FL – The Orpheum

18. February 2023 Orlando, FL – The Abbey

19. February 2023 Atlanta, GA – Hell At The Masquerade

21. February 2023 Dallas, TX – Amplified Live

22. February 2023 Austin, TX – Come And Take It Live

24. February 2023 Mesa, AZ – The Nile Theater

25. February 2023 Pomona, CA – The Glass House

26. February 2023 Berkeley, CA – Cornerstone

28. February 2023 Vancouver, BC – The Rickshaw Theatre

1. March 2023 Seattle, WA – Neumos

3. March 2023 Salt Lake City, UT – The State Room

4. March 2023 Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre

7. March 2023 St. Paul, MN – Amsterdam Bar And Hall

8. March 2023 Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge

10. March 2023 Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace

11. March 2023 Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre

12. March 2023 Quebec City, QC – Imperial Bell

14. March 2023 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall

16. March 2023 New York, NY – Sony Hall

17. March 2023 Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts

18. March 2023 Pittsburgh, PA – Thunderbird Music Hall

19. March 2023 Washington, DC – Black Cat

21. March 2023 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
—————————-

15-16. April 2023 Eindhoven (The Netherlands) – Prognosis Festival
22-23. April 2023 London (UK) – Prognosis Festival 
https://www.prognosis-festival.nl/

More RIVERSIDE live show announcements and further details about “ID.Entity” coming soon…

RIVERSIDE line-up:
Michał Łapaj – keyboards and Hammond Organ
Mariusz Duda – vocal, bass
Piotr Kozieradzki – drums
Maciej Meller – guitar

Review – Downriver Dead men Go – Ruins

Downriver Dead Men Go is a cinematic post-rock band from Leiden, the Netherlands. Their highly anticipated third album ‘Ruins’ has just been released. DDMG previously released two critically acclaimed albums: ‘Tides’ in 2015 and ‘Departures’ in 2018, gathering a loyal and ever-growing fan base. Both albums feature a mesmerizing, atmospheric, melancholic sound, ranging from post-rock to touches of prog and dark wave.

I’ve been a long time fan of the band from my association with FREIA Music through my work with Bad Elephant Music and every DDMG album is a dense, imposing and highly melodic musical experience.‘Ruins’ takes that base and ramps up the tension to 11, a dark, brooding and utterly magnificent musical encounter that will linger long in the memory.

The guitars have that monolithic feel, as heavy and hard as age old granite yet hauntingly melodic at the same time. The music has a timeless grace to it, a melancholic leviathan that has a different concept of time or space than we do and has just awoken from an ageless slumber. There’s a wistful, desolate beauty to the songs starting with the timeless elegance of title track Ruins and the sparse grandeur of Secret. The sorrowful and plaintive pain evident in Helpless and Line in the Sand gives the tracks a thoughtful and mournful stateliness and the widescreen, cinematic magnificence of longest track Cruel World is a heart-wrenching joy to behold. The album closes with the short hypnotic apprehension of The Lie and you left feeling almost bereft.

‘Ruins’ is an album of varying emotions, stark highs and solemn lows, it’s a reflective and meditative work of art that is the ultimate soundtrack to a cold and rainy day spent in front of a roaring fire and, in my opinion, is simply superb!

Released 24th November, 2022.

Order from bandcamp here:

Ruins | Downriver Dead Men Go (bandcamp.com)

The Tangent announce ‘Pyramids, Stars & Other Stories: The Tangent Live Recordings 2004-2017’ for January 2023 release

The Tangent are pleased to present ‘Pyramids, Stars & Other Stories: The Tangent Live Recordings 2004-2017’ for release on the 27th January 2023 via InsideOutMusic. Collecting together tracks from 3 line-ups of The Tangent, this 2CD & 3LP album collects together show recordings from 2004, 2011 & 2017. Band leader Andy Tillison comments: “A Triple Live LP is the stuff of Bucket Lists, dreamed of doing one of these since I was a kid”.

The album will be available as a 2CD Digipak, a Gatefold 3LP+2CD & LP-booklet, as well as digitally worldwide. Listen to the track ‘A Spark In The Aether’ recorded by the bands current line-up, and pre-order now here: https://TheTangent.lnk.to/PyramidsStarsOtherStories_TheTangentLiveRecordings2004-2017

Included in its entirety is the 2004 ‘Pyramids And Stars’ concert in Germany featuring the “Roine Stolt” lineup of The Tangent playing its way through the majority of the debut ‘Music That Died Alone’ album along with (then) new material from their second album ‘The World That We Drive Through’.

Added to that, there are tracks from the COMM era line-up of the band at a concert in the UK – plus music recorded in the USA in 2017 by the band’s current line-up. These originally appeared on the ‘Southend On Sea’ and ‘Hotel Cantaffordit’ fan releases respectively. 

All is presented inside a re-imagined Ed Unitsky sleeve, to create a package that fans are sure to love. 

“This is a real, proper, live album” says Tillison. “It’s candid, it’s spontaneous, it has mistakes and things that are a bit too loud and things that are a bit too quiet. It’s what happened on stage at three gigs at which “making a live album” never crossed our minds.”  

The full tracklisting is below:

Side One

1. The World We Drive Though

Side Two

3. The Canterbury Sequence

4. The Winning Game

Side Three

5. In Darkest Dreams

Side Four

6. The Music That Died Alone

7. Lucky Man

Side Five

8. A Spark In The Aether

9. A Sale Of Two Souls

10. Perdu Dans Paris

Side Six

11. A Crisis In Mid Life

12. Doctor Livingstone (I Presume)

The CD’s (included with the vinyl edition) also include all of the above with the addition of:

13. Titanic Calls Carpathia

14. Two Rope Swings

Andy Tillison – Keyboards & Vocals (all tracks)

Jonas Reingold – Bass Guitar (all tracks except 9,10,11,13)

Luke Machin – Guitars & Vox (Tracks 8-14)

Steve Roberts – Drums (Tracks 8, 12, 14)

Roine Stolt – Guitars & Vocals (Tracks 1 – 7)

Zoltán Csörsz – Drums (Tracks 1 – 7)

Sam Baine – Keyboards (Tracks 1 – 7)

Tony ‘Funkytoe’ Latham – Drums (Tracks 10,11,13)

Dan Mash – Bass (Tracks 10,11,13) 

The Tangent online:
www.thetangent.org

https://www.facebook.com/groups/alltangentmembers/

Review Phi Yaan-Zek – Interdimensional Garden Party – by John Wenlock-Smith

I first came across Phi Yaan-Zek as many others may have, through the pages and tracks on Prog Magazine, although at that time it didn’t really grab me. I was probably on a different musical phase ,as is often the way with me. However, I recently read a review of his latest album from a writer for The Progressive Aspect whose eloquent words piqued my interest, hence this review.

In all the years of my life I have never really been a big fan of Frank Zappa, although I can clearly see his influence in this music. I certainly like it here, for sure, and definitely in the humour contained within these tracks. Phi is certainly a very fine musician and can play a very mean guitar line when required. He also enlists an extraordinary cast of collaborators, like Andy Edwards and John Jowitt of Frost* and he also has a couple of Aristocrats in tow to give this music much flair and finesse.

It has strong touches of psychedelia along with certain hippyish elements, but these are woven into the overall sound of the album. I am certainly highly impressed by all of this excellent and exciting music, it is all wonderfully produced with excellent guitar skills on display. The music also has jazz elements at times, giving the sound a definite jazz/fusion blend.

An outstanding track is track Wickety Wickety, which is a cross between a rumbling song, something like Nelly The Elephant but with brass embellishments. It is rather a fun piece but utterly engrossing and captivating. This whole album is different, it is definitely a positive sounding album and will imbue feelings of well being and contentment. Above all, this music is good fun and we should all be glad of that, especially at this time. Also notable is Anomaly Temporal with an almost reggae swing and spoken vocal from , this also has a touch of Star Trek to it and rounds out with an excellent instrumental finale.

I really enjoy the instrumental flourishes that abound throughout this very imaginative album, it really is a fascinating and captivating listen. Phi is a very fluid guitarist, think of folks like Steve Vai and you won’t be far off the mark, but he is also very melodic in tone and, whilst he can shred with the best, he works for the track, not just to stun.

This is clearly shown on My Favourite UFO which combines his fine guitar virtuosity with a strong tune to fine effect. This track has a dreamy type of sound and reminds me of 10CC in parts, it also has great bass from Bryan Beller of The Aristocrats. The song speeds up towards its conclusion and this proves very effective, as is the vocal from Ellie Williams. The next track Floating gives room for some free reign musical improvisation which is taken by Phi with Mike Keneally in tow, along with the fabulous and dynamic Aristocrats rhythm team of Beller and Marco Minneman. With Phi’s guitar floating over the top most efficiently and effectively, it really is a sublime piece of intent delivered really well.

Final track The Puffball That Ate My Village is another monster track with a similar pace to Wickety Wickety but with fiery guitar interjections and interplay between Phi and Chanan Hanspal, who play off against each other in a six string orgy of soloing. It’s all highly effective, especially with Andy Edwards‘ drums and Steve Lawson’s majestic bass playing that anchor it all together seamlessly. The song also features lots of guests adding chant type vocals, which really sounds good. When this track end there is a brief pause of about 2 minutes before A reprise of opener The Interdimensional Garden Party plays, this is a fitting close to an exceptional album but wait, there’s more as there is a brief untitled track that is basically the words spoken backwards deliberately.

This is a truly entertaining album with fabulous music and performances throughout. Definitely one of my album of the year contenders, outstanding. In a year that has seen so many really good albums, this one can truly stand tall and proud and I recommend it without hesitation, especially for its weirdness and sense of fun.

Released 7th October, 2022.

Order from bandcamp here:

Interdimensional Garden Party | Phi Yaan-Zek (pyzmusic.com)

VLMV – For Empire – Live At Tortington Church

Picture by Paris Grace

On one cold, wet and windy afternoon in early November VLMV, aka Pete Lambrou, brought VLMV’s live set up to a Twelfth Century Church on England’s South Coast.

The resulting video is a beautiful one-take-completely-live recording of usual set opener ‘For Empire’, taken from the latest album Sing With Abandon. For Empire’s title and general demeanour evoke an apprehensive anti nostalgia for the old world, and the lyrics are plainly critical, but throughout weaves a feeling of yearning: ‘I was hoping someone could turn this boat around’.

Pete Lambrou on the setting:

“This had to be recorded and filmed in an old Church; being one of the absolute pillars of old empire. The older the better. Not all the songs from the album were written in the midst of lockdown. A couple were performed live on the last tour before the pandemic hit, including For Empire. But their roots are in the aftermath of Brexit, and this feeling of abandonment I’d felt throughout, and then the realisation that your neighbours aren’t who you thought they were.”

The Churches Conservation Trust:

“Tortington, the homestead of Torhta’s people, is recorded in Domesday Book (1086). The entrance to this twelfth-century flint church looks like something out of a mediaeval fantasy – three rows of Norman carvings arch over a thick wooden door set with ornamental hinge straps. Inside, creatures unlike anything found in nature peer down from the chancel arch. They are called ‘beakheads’ – boggle-eyed monsters with beaks, tongues and squid-like  tentacles that frown and glare at visitors below. Once they would have been painted in bright colours to entertain – or terrify – worshippers.”

VLMV (pronounced and formerly known as ALMA) is a self-proclaimed ambient-ish post-something singer-songwriter / producer from London. Part of the illustrious Erased Tapes family, VLMV have released 2 albums on Fierce Panda Records, alongside 2022’s Sing With Abandon out on Pete’s own label, Nice Weather for Airstrikes. Live, VLMV deploy loop stations, multiple delay pedals, piano and strings to create a slow-moving, high-flying soundscape of luscious gravitas.

“Building atmospheric and quietly epic soundscapes that creep up on you unannounced….like a beam of light through a dark, cold night.” – Lauren Laverne BBC6 Music

“As worthy of your love and admiration as anything Sigur Rós or Explosions In The Sky have released” Team Rock

Featured image by Jess Robinson

Review – 25 Yard Screamer – Nemesis

‘Nemesis’ is the eighth studio album from Welsh Progressive Rock band 25 Yard Screamer. Released three years after their ‘Natural Satellite’ album, and twenty years after their inception, this new release takes key elements of the band’s past and combines them with a fresh modernity to produce a new musical voice to take them into their future.

25 Yard Screamer was formed in 2002 following Matt Clarke (bass) and Donal Owen (drums) assisting Nick James with a showcase gig for a music management company. The experience through rehearsals for that show, gave an indication to all three that there was a future in their collaboration. 2003 saw their first album ‘The Pictures Within’, 2011 brought the fourth album ‘Until All Are One’, a band favourite. This marked the bands first association with WhiteKnight Records, the label owned and run by Will Mackie and Rob Reed.

With their backing the international market opened up and the band started distributing and selling in the UK and around the world. Since then the band have released three more albums through WhiteKnight, 2013’s concept album ‘Something That Serves To Warn Or Remind’, 2016’s partial retrospective ‘Keep Sending Signals’, and 2019’s ‘Natural Satellite’.

‘Nemesis’ is my first experience of the band and it has made quite a big impression on me. Intelligent, insightful and thoughtful progressive rock with, at times, a distinctly harder edge. The band quote a variety of influences combining on this album, from Steven Wilson to King Crimson and The Mars Volta but also things such as the Conceptual and Performance Art of Marina Abramovic, the attitudes and relationships of people towards life and technology and how, as a society, we are choosing to exist today.

25 Yard Screamer deliver nine tracks of brooding, sparse music imbued with a dark melodic feel. I’m a particular fan of Incident, The Vibrations Of Speech and the haunting power of Giving Away My Last Secret with it’s harsh but brilliant guitar solo but the whole album is a mature and assured journey into a band who are confident of where they stand in the world and where they are heading. Dynamic, often crushing, riffs combine with thunderous drums, soaring keyboards and charismatic vocals to deliver a sound that, while familiar, has nuances all of its own. The final track on the album, Fragility Of Angels is exquisite, thoughtful vocals combine with sublime and wistful music to give us a hypnotic and mesmerising masterpiece resplendent with one of the best solos you will hear this year.

‘Nemesis’ may be my first step into the world of 25 Yard Screamer but it will definitely not be my last. This latest album from the Welshmen is a rather sublime slice of modern progressive rock complimented by hard rock sensibilities and deserves all the success it can garner.

Released October 7th, 2022.

Order from White Knight Records here:

25 Yard Screamer – Nemesis CD (whiteknightshop2.co.uk)

Review – Grant Ferguson – Windswept Isle

It’s electric…the way Grant Ferguson goes off on some new musical foray at the mere touch of a string. He doesn’t disappoint the demanding fan with his tricky licks, and never pushes away a newcomer with his harder edge, but rather pulls all listeners together on a common musical journey unlike any other in contemporary rock.

Propulsive, melodic rock guitar in the hands of Grant Ferguson is a powerful reminder of the instrument’s glory days. Influenced by some of the great axe masters: Jeff Beck, Gary Moore, David Gilmour and others, Ferguson is pushing his all-instrumental sound toward a new rock vision.

Born in Scotland, now based in Montana and Arizona, Grant is a breakout independent recording and touring artist who has released 3 albums, multiple singles and composed award-winning music for film and dance. 

‘Windswept Isle’ is Grant Ferguson’s sixth album. Over the years he’s matured as an artist, and grown more retrospective, even sentimental. While a good chunk of his writing has been about time (April Song, November, While the Sun Goes Down, December Sky, etc..) ‘Windswept Isle’ finds Grant focused afresh on the idea of place. Born in Scotland and an immigrant to the USA, Grant’s ties to his homeland are undeniable, both emotionally and musically. Perhaps as you listen to this collection of music you too will get a sense of the deep longing Grant carries in his soul – a yearning to connect with heritage, roots and place – the hauntingly beautiful windswept isles from whence he came.

I was introduced to Grant Ferguson and his sixth, and latest, release by his record company, Guitar One Records and, as is often the case with me, I was drawn in by the intriguing album cover. I’m also a big fan of instrumental melodic guitar albums so I was definitely going to have a listen, wasn’t I? And I certainly wasn’t let down, while ‘Windswept Isle’ can’t be called ground breaking, when the music and guitar playing are as good as they are on this superb release you really can’t go wrong!

There is a definite Celtic feel to the opening, and title, song Windswept Isle and it’s the only track with any vocals, a sweeping breathy Celtic harmony that imbues the track with an ethereal, otherworldly grace. To be fair, on this piece, Grant’s guitar is very much part of the storytelling and not hard-edged and in your face and it works perfectly. The next four songs see Grant come front and centre and certainly major on his highly impressive guitar playing and technique. Force Of Nature reminds me a bit of Gary Moore in his ‘Wild Frontier’ hard rock phase, a pounding, fast paced stomp across Grant’s windswept landscape with occasional pauses for breath, it’s excellent! Big Sky Road has that expansive feel to it, bringing to mind open spaces that stretch on forever, empty apart from the local wildlife and it really hits home in your heart, a properly emotive track.

Sunday Promenade takes a bluesy attitude to the music and a feel of Neal Schon’s superb ‘Beyond The Thunder’ in every relaxed and uber-cool note. There’s more of an urgency to Beyond The Veil, a Celtic undertone that wouldn’t be amiss on a Runrig release adding a huge amount of polish to Grant’s intricate guitar playing. An ultimately uplifting, powerful track that really resonated with me. Grant’s yearning for the land of his birth ultimately manifests itself in the endearing charms of album closer My Heart Is Not Here, the heartfelt fiddle playing that opens the track bleeds emotion and sincerity. It’s a wistful, nostalgic piece of music that sees this impressive musician laying his heart on his sleeve and ends the album on a heartfelt, passionate note.

‘Windswept Isle’ is an exquisite ode to the land of Grant Ferguson’s birth and a highly appealing collection of tracks full of charm and charisma and is an album that I feel I will be revisiting quite often.

Released August 25th, 2022.

Order the album here:

Grant Ferguson | Home | Guitar One Records

Review – Saro Cosentino – The Road To Now

Music has an uncanny ability to change your perception, let me explain what I mean by that. It’s a well known fact that I struggle with VDGG frontman Peter Hammill’s vocals, his voice has always seemed to grate on me, whether with the venerable progressive rock legends or singing with Isulders Bane, etc. I just haven’t been able to appreciate a voice that is, to some, one of the best out there. So, when I got sent a promo for the long awaited third solo album from Italian composer and producer Saro Cosentino, ‘The Road To Now’, with a tag line that said, “Featuring Peter Hammill.”, It didn’t immediately draw me in.

I will, however, always listen to any new music that is sent to me as how can you judge anything if you have not experienced it? To my surprise, I was completely seduced by the album and Peter Hammill’s contributions so let me tell you more about the album and why I found it to be one of the surprises of this musical year.

First, some background…

The third solo album by Italian composer and producer Saro Cosentino, ‘The Road To Now’ features singers Peter Hammill (on four songs), Tim Bowness (of No-Man) and Karen Eden, plus instrumental contributions from the likes of Gavin Harrison, David Rhodes, John Giblin and Trey Gunn. Available on heavyweight colour vinyl, CD and digital formats, it is the long-awaited follow-up to 1997’s acclaimed ‘Ones And Zeros’.

The Road To Now’ was recorded in the UK and US as well as at Cosentino’s own studio in Prague, with final mixing taking place at Real World in Bath. The opening ‘You’re The Story’ is followed by ‘The Joke’, the first of four songs featuring the unmistakable tones of legendary prog singer Peter Hammill. ‘November’ (on which Bowness provides a backing vocal) is a tale of long lost love, the outstanding ‘Time To Go’ contemplates the very end of the road (hopefully a long time from now), while the closing ‘When Your Parents Danced’ considers the first central figures in one’s life in their younger days, ‘before life’s stories made them what they’ve become’.

Having contributed to ‘Ones and Zeros’, as well as records by the likes of William Orbit and Chris Rea, the versatile Australian singer Karen Eden returns to perform on two contrasting tracks; the portentous sounding ‘Pray’ and (by way of contrast to everything else on the record), the pop song ‘Us (Scars on Skin)’. The album also contains the instrumental ‘Howl’, which switches from strident to atmospheric midway through and showcases the skills of the musicians involved.

Saro Cosentino creates music imbued with a timeless grace and elegance, whether it’s jazz infused progressive rock, mature, well crafted pop/rock or elegantly constructed instrumentals. You can tell from the way the music opens out in front of you that it is not just ‘written’ but also ‘composed’, like a soundtrack for an arty, perceptive film. There’s a precise nature to the composition of the tracks where every note and every word is placed carefully to create an attractive and creative whole.

Wistful, dreamy opener You’re The Story has a wonderfully nostalgic feel to it, given a contemplative purity by Tim Bowness’ restrained and sophisticated vocals. It’s a stunning, if low key, opening to the album but I’ve long been a fan of Tim’s voice anyway. The big surprise is the dark magnificence of The Joke where Peter Hammill’s voice is the main component of the track and is what makes it stand out so much. This is a moody, malevolent song and a thing of sombre magnificence, consider me hooked. This album also marks the first time I have ever heard Karen Eden’s voice and, on Pray, it has a theatrical drama and dynamism that bleeds through into the whole track. The coruscating saxophone of Nicola Alesini and cello of Dorota Barova are pure genius and add a whole extra dimension to what is a rather impressive piece of music.

This unanticipated wonder of an album showcases Saro’s brilliance as both composer and musician and continues with the melancholy grandeur of November where Hammill’s heartfelt, sorrowful vocal leaves an aura of remorse and regret that is only emphasised by the strident trumpet of Radim Knapp, a truly emotive song that hits you hard. At first US (Scars on Skin) seemed a bit out of place, an uptempo pop song among a collection of much more serious pieces but, taken in isolation, it is a fine showcase for the exquisite vocals of Karen Eden. A delightfully impish four minutes plus of uplifting music that just cleanses your template. The gravitas returns with the sparse, melancholy tones of Time To Go, Peter Hammill imbuing the track with sincere honesty and languid grace.

The one instrumental on the album, Howl, gives the talented musicians involved in the creation of this record a platform on which to demonstrate their accomplished talents. A dramatic piece of music that ebbs and flows and allows you to lose yourself momentarily in its notable wonders. The album closes with the measured and restrained spectacle of When Your Parents Danced, a sublime and criminally short song where myself and Peter Hammill finally click for good.

Saro Cosentino is nothing short of a musical genius, he has collected a hugely talented group of musicians together and created the biggest musical surprise of the year for me. A composer of not inconsiderable talent and a gifted songwriter, his choice of guest vocalists makes this an album that really should be on your wish list.

Released 7th October, 2022.

Order from bandcamp here:

The Road To Now | Saro Cosentino (bandcamp.com)

KLONE PRESENT ‘MEANWHILE’, NEW ALBUM FROM THE FRENCH ALT-METAL/ART-ROCK COLLECTIVE, RELEASED ON FEBRUARY 10TH 2023 ON KSCOPE

Emotive and conceptual, Klone have once again broken new sonic ground and built further on their signature expansive sound. 

Since 2019’s opus Le Grand Voyage, French art-rockers Klone have risen to new heights across

the globe, touring alongside the likes of Leprous and Pain of Salvation, and blowing away festival crowds at HellfestMotocultorProg Power USAMidsummer Prog, and Cruise to the Edge. Back with new album Meanwhile, the band return with sprawling textures, huge guitars and beautiful melodies to satisfy progressive metal fans and rock listeners alike. 

Recorded in February 2022 with producer Chris Edrich (TesseracT, Leprous, The Ocean Collective), Meanwhile chronicles the best and worst aspects of humanity. Vocalist Yann Ligner’s high-concept and oftentimes meta lyrics paint a picture of events taking place at the same time but in different places, while he muses about choices that are made against our will that can change the course of our common history – resulting in some poignant reflections about today’s world. 

First single, ‘Within Reach’, showcases Klone’s signature blend of beautiful soundscapes, monstrous riffs and off-kilter time signatures, blended with relatable lyrics. The band say:  “Within Reach is about those missed opportunities, those moments that elude us, close to the tipping point and so often within reach. The song introduces the album and sets the tone with a powerful and direct opening. With a sharp sound, Chris Edrich’s massive production enhances a composition full of relief and straight to the point Both heavy and refined, “Within Reach” condenses the ingredients that make the colour of this new album.” 

The striking artwork for Meanwhile was created by Umut Recber, who experimented with photo manipulation techniques to create a striking image of stormy skies which perfectly represents the music within. 

Klone’s most concise, direct and sonically accomplished album yet, Meanwhile is an essential listen. The album will be released on February 10th 2023 on CD / LP / limited edition silver coloured vinyl LP / limited edition clear vinyl LP / digitally and is available to pre-order HERE (https://Klone.lnk.to/Meanwhile

MEANWHILE TRACKLISTING

1. Within Reach [05:00] https://youtu.be/k_i3cq0ad8A

2. Blink Of An Eye [05:22]

3. Bystander [05:05]

4. Scarcity [04:25]

5. Elusive [05:02]

6. Apnea [05:22]

7. The Unknown [04:55]

8. Night And Day [05:36]

9. Disobedience [05:44]

10. Meanwhile [06:48]

 Klone have confirmed they will be supporting the release of Meanwhile with live shows, beginning in their native France, but more dates will be announced soon. 

02/12/2022 – Lille – Le Black Lab 

03/12/2022 – Nantes – Le Ferrailleur – Nantes Metal Fest

28/01/2023 – Clermont-Ferrand – La Cooperative De Mai

09/02/2023 – Le Mans – L’alambik / Superforma

10/02/2023 – Bordeaux – Le Rocher De Palmer

11/02/2023 – Paris – Le Trabendo

24/02/2023 – Poitiers – Le Confort Moderne 

15/04/2023 – Savigny-Le-Temple – L’empreinte

Klone are:

Yann Ligner : Vocals 

Guillaume Bernard : Guitar

Aldrick Guadagnino : Guitar

Morgan Berthet: Drums 

Enzo Alfano: Bass