Rob’s Recommendation Roundup: Volume 14

WaltzTo start things off, we have the long awaited fourth album by Noekk, “Waltzing In Obscurity.” I reviewed their EP “Carol Stones and Elder Rock” from last year which was an all acoustic affair. I had wondered if that was somehow a new direction. No it wasn’t. While I like the EP, “Waltzing In Obscurity” is has what I love about Noekk. A ton of mellotrons, thick guitars and a vintage sound overall.

Noekk are a German duo that take the classic prog sound and add a Katatonia doomy twist to it. The one area that might be difficult for the average listener is the vocals of Helm. He has a deep yet operatic style that reminds me of current Barren Earth singer Jón Aldará and Dan Swanö. That style is not for everyone but he is really good and I think it fits the music.

The title track kicks off with some mellotron so right away I know Noekk is back. The song itself has a big, bold sound and great hooks. In the past, the band have ventured into long, sprawling numbers. On “Waltzing In Obscurity,” there are some punchy, toe tappers like “Perseus” and “On Summits” which are two of my favorite songs on the album. That’s not to say they are remotely radio friendly. Sure, I’ll play them on MY show but this is catchy and weird at the same time.

Noekk are able to merge a classic vibe with modern prog aesthetics. Not many can really pull it off, other than perhaps Opeth. “Waltzing In Obscurity” will go down well with those who prefer Opeth’s “Heritage” and the like. This is prog thru the eyes for reformed death metallers.

Release Date: 6 September 2019
Label: Prophecy Productions

Le-Grand-Voyage-cover-800Change can be good but it can also come on too quickly. Such was the case with the last album by France’s Klone. The band were more like Tool and Riverside but perhaps heavier. Then they decided to strip away their heaviness on “Here Comes the Sun.” For me, the album needed SOME edge to it. Instead, it sound like a band sleep walking through the album.

Klone has signed to Kscope and have a new album called “Le Grand Voyage.” My first thought was how heavy would it be. But then I thought, “who cares as long as the songs are good!” While “Le Grand Voyage” is not heavy like “Black Days,” it does add back some of the edge that was missing from Klone’s last effort. Plus, the songs on “Le Grand Voyage” are really good!

Klone have more in common with label mates The Pineapple Thief than Tool at this point. And it would seem, they have adjusted to their surroundings. “Le Grand Voyage” is dark and atmospheric. It isn’t weird or quirky so those days are gone. Bands mature and sometimes the listeners also do.

The songs are big and brooding. The opener “Yonder” sets the overall tone of the album. It’s has a great hook and it just sounds massive. The next song “Breach” is easily a favorite of mine. It has a breezy vibe and INCREDIBLE vocal by Yann Ligner. And that has always been the key to Klone for me, Ligner’s voice. The guy has great range and power plus a raspy tone.

“Keystone” is another gem which does have a slight Tool sound to it, mostly the bassline and drums. “Hidden Passenger” is the current single and I love how things go from quiet to loud. Great dynamics and that’s what Klone is capable of doing. “Sad and Slow” does sum up what Klone sounds like but I never feel like they repeat themselves. “Le Grand Voyage” is Klone finding their balance and they are posed to be a very popular band.

Release Date: 20 September 2019
Label: Kscope

kayoThere aren’t many bands that you really don’t know what to expect from album to album. Ulver comes to mind for sure. But even moreso is Kayo Dot. Kayo Dot has done chamber music, death metal, avant garde and post rock. Sometimes this happens on the same album but often it is a change of direction from one release to the next one.

Their last album “Plastic House on Base of Sky” was a strange mix of electronics and avant garde, which I guess if Kayo Dot had a “standard sound,” that album was close to it. “Blasphemy” is their new album and it’s got more in common with their debut album “Choirs of the Eye” and parts of “Hubardo.” But it even reminds me a bit of maudlin of the Well!

Honestly, it’s a very easy album to listen to…I mean that when compared to what we usually get from Kayo Dot. “Ocean Cumulonimbus” starts off mellow with some GREAT vocals from Toby Driver before getting mildly violent. “The Something Opal” actually has a nice groove to it which is not normal for Kayo Dot. It’s a great song too. “Vanishing Act in Blinding Gray” is moody and ethereal but doesn’t get lost either. It’s quite progressive and an awesome song.

There’s not a weak track or a wasted moment on “Blasphemy.” It’s one of Toby Driver’s best vocal performance and also one of the band’s best batches of songs. Kayo Dot is, dare I say, focused. Now, if you get into Kayo Dot based on “Blasphemy,” don’t expect to find anything exactly like it (or even remotely like it) in their catalog. It would be amazing if the album got the band more exposure. They deserve it.

Release Date: 6 September 2019
Label: Prophecy Productions

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ProgPower USA 2019 – Day Two

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MaYaN pictured above.

Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019 – Day 2:

(All photos taken by me.)

For setlist info, see here (Thanks to whoever did this!): https://www.setlist.fm/festival/2019/progpower-usa-xx-5bd71fe4.html

Tomorrow’s Eve (Germany/USA) 4-5pm

Butt dragging already. Oh boy. Got to the venue a little late and Tomorrow’s Eve was already on. But I caught most of their set. And I must say, I don’t think I did enough prep on them prior because I liked what I had heard before, but on stage, they sounded fantastic! I need to give a more concentrated listen to their material. They were heavy. They were progressive. And they were melodic as hell. And I strongly believe their front man was in breaking bad. ;-P

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MaYaN (Netherlands) 5:30-6:30pm

Now… I have all their albums and have listened to them many times. But nothing could prepare me for this show. The most people on stage I have seen at the fest so far. Glad they had room! Everyone was in top form and were clearly having fun. Both Marcela and Laura were stunning, in all respects. Absolute voices of angels.

Mark, Adam, and George killed it on the growls. Though, George kind of stole the show. His energy and antics kept stealing my attention. And that is saying a lot.

The rest of the gang were stellar as well! And very nice people! All of them!

And a great song selection for the short, 1 hour set. But they made damn good use of their time! I would see them again in a heartbeat!

This set was indeed a religious experience.

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Galneryus (Japan) 7p-830pm

I had to join this set already in progress. Typically this strain of power metal isn’t normally my thing (mostly blazing fast guitar and drums). But I will tell you, they are a force of nature on stage and put on a hell of a set! And the language barrier wasn’t an issue at all! And this was their first time in the US to boot!

Now, not being familiar with all their music, I’m not sure what all they played, but I’m assuming it was a “best of” selection.

Now, while all the band members were on fire and masters of their craft. I want to call attention to Syu. That was some of the most incredible guitar playing I have seen. My jaw was on the floor. A friend of mine was down at the stage, right in front of Syu. We had to do a face check later to see if their were any residual burns from the face melting. He was thankfully ok.

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It was funny, later in the Everygrey set, Tom joker with his guitarist asking if he was getting paid by the note. I will tel you, if they were… Syu would be a billionaire.

Announcement for next year’s Day’s One and Two

So, between these sets is normally where we would get a video for the roster for next year. Instead, Nathan and Milton addresses the crowd about changes for next year. Thankfully, it will still be a 4 day fest. The big change is that day 1 will be in The Loft (capacity 650. For comparison, Center Stage hold about 1050. Not a huge difference). These are changes that had to be made as the first two days didn’t sell out.

Day 1 also got a band announcement in Power Quest. They will be performing their album, Magic Never Dies, in its entirety. A Prog Power USA exclusive.

Day 2 sounds like it will be unchanged and remain in Center Stage. But no bands have been announced yet.

Evergrey (Sweden) 9:15pm-close

Wow. Just… wow. My first time ever seeing them. So powerful and emotional. And the songs selected were like they were picked just for me. So, I guess there IS a band where I like all the hits. 😂

I had two songs at the beginning to be up front for, and so glad I got Weightless. And being right there and hearing the audience singing along with the chorus just gave me chills. I was in heaven again for a while.

And throwing a Touch of Blessing in the Encore was icing on the cake!

There was another funny little joke where Tom mentioned how many times they had been there and joked about wanting more money. Milton, one of the festival organizers (and all around great guy) handed Tom a card from the audience. Tom read it out to the crowd as he chuckled. I paraphrase: This card entitles the holder to 1 free show with 9 shows purchased”. Lmao!

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So there was day 2 in the can. What an amazing day. I thoroughly enjoyed day 1. Day 2 kicked it to the next level for me. Come on day 3!

(Review for Days 3 and 4 will be coming next week)

 

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ProgPower USA 2019 – Day One

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Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019 – Day 1:

(All photos taken by me. Had some settings issues so they are what they are)

For setlist info, see here (Thanks to whoever did this!): https://www.setlist.fm/festival/2019/progpower-usa-xx-5bd71fe4.html

So, next year, I’ll have our room booked starting the day BEFORE the festival. Oddly, Atlanta traffic was fine, 30 miles north, not si much. I was late to pick up my badge as a sponsor (sponsoring MaYaN for days 1 and 2) but the incredible people that run this fest worked with me and got what I needed!

Grabbed lunch with some of the ProgPower family at the new I-Gianna Grill and then hit up Publix for some necessities (snacks and crap we really don’t need) for the weekend, ran into another brother from ProgPower and then headed to our room. Long, unnecessary story short, we were about 15 minutes late for the While Heaven Wept set.

I had heard While Heaven Wept years ago but with all the onslaught of new music, I kind of lost track. But it seems there is a reason for that. Up until a few weeks ago, the band hasn’t existed for years. So this was a special set!

Me-band

You see, almost every year, the fest can run into issues with the Visa process for getting bands into the country. I’m not going to pretend to know the ins and outs of this process, but from what I have gathered the gov department that handles this process is a bit of a crapfest. And sadly, Day 1 seemed to take the brunt of this. The line up we have here is vastly different then originally planned. But that is ok (even though I am still a little sour for not getting my DIGGY DIGGY HOLE crowd sing-along. (Can we still do it?), the guys that run the fest, Nathan and Milton were on it! And got stellar replacements!

While Heaven Wept (USA) 4-5pm

Part of this was reaching out to While Heaven Wept and they jumped on it and got the band together, some of which I learned last night are from a band from Virginia called Brave, who I really need to check out now. They even had a student of one of the band members on guitar… massive opportunity for that one! So they all got ready for this show in about two weeks. And not easy stuff to play. And you know what? I didn’t even notice. They were awesome and nailed the set. For anyone not familiar, they are kind of a epic progressive metal band. Definitely check them out!

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Quick break and jumped in the signing line for Sanctuary. Always great seeing these guys! Saw them when they came through Atlanta a few months ago with Halcyon Way (oh… also seeing Halcyon way in Texas next week. How fortuitous). Twice is nice!

Theocracy (USA) 5:30-6:30pm

Jumped back in for Theocracy. They are a local band here to Georgia, and were a fantastic choice to fill in for another band that had Visa issues. They tore through a great set of Theocracy classics and the crowd loved it. This was also my second time seeing them, lol! Also saw them with Halcyon Way last time too. Different show. I’m sensing a pattern.

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Sanctuary (US) “Refuge Denied” 7-8:30pm

Up next was a band that was a bucket list band of mine for a LONG time. They took the stage and played the setlist I saw a few months ago, which is a great one. Starting off with a couple of newer tracks before tearing into Refuge Denied in its entirety. Now, Refuge isn’t my favorite Sanctuary album, Mirror holds that title, but it is still a fantastic album. And Joseph Michael just helps seal the deal and bring it to life.

Where I was sitting, people behind me were expressing how much they were blown away. I let them know who he was and what his other band was. Overheard phrase: “The dude is a god!” Agreed. Vocally anyway… don’t smite me Joseph! The rest of the band were freaking killer too!

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During prep for the fest, my wife wasn’t grabbed by Sanctuary while we were listening on a drive for a trip, but she was kind of distracted too. (This is her first time at this festival so she is pushing through like a trooper). But she was really into Sanctuary live and is definitely now a fan.

Insomnium (Finland) 9:15pm -close

Oh, Insomnium… what can I say? They put on a killer set… seen them a few times so far and I STILL haven’t heard Winter’s Gate in its entirety live. Gah! But they tore through some classics of theirs too. This band is just tight. And the vocalists were fantastic. I’m not a big fan of all growl bands, and for the most part, they are… there are clean vocals too, but they aren’t often, but Insomnium just work for me.

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And just like that, Day 1 was over. And what a day it was. For a day plagued with Visa issues, even having a replacement band having to be replaced, it was stellar! Days 2-4 have a lot to live up to! But bring it!

Shout out to Milton and Nathan and crew for putting on a stellar Day 1!

More Photos!

Day Two, coming soon!

 

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Charlie Cawood – “Blurring Into Motion”

BEM076 - Charlie Cawood - Blurring Into Motion

One element that allows many music albums work for me as a whole start-to-finish listening experience is the way they can take me on a journey. For a while I can escape the everyday and sonically travel someplace else, if I choose.

Charlie Cawood’s Blurring Into Motion contains mystical sounds, invoking the music of a long-forgotten time that honored the natural world. It is an aural travelogue and fits the bill perfectly for my voyaging needs.

Mr. Cawood’s last album, The Divine Abstract(my review is here)was a wonderful journey for me. I was looking forward to this new release and I am wowed by the artistry on display in this recording.

Mr. Cawood is known as an in-demand musician, a master of things with strings, working with groups such as Tonochrome, Knifeworld, Lost Crowns and My Tricksy Spirit.

This is an album of compositional works, mostly instrumental. Two tracks feature vocals by Marjana Semkina of Iamthemorning.

I would say the style of the performance here is modern classical, with hints of folk and progressive rock. There is a natural and organic feel to the compositions, even with the electronic instruments involved. Ms. Semkina’s voice thoroughly complements the instrumentation on the tracks she is featured on.

My favorite track on the album is the gentle album closer Voice of Space, where the instruments come together in a beautiful balance to help the listener imagine an excursion through the skies.

The songs on Blurring Into Motion flow in a delightful way, nothing seemed off or out of place. A perfect album for a sonic trip. I didn’t want to skip a track, and the album didn’t feel too short or too long.

It takes a brave human nowadays to release a work of art with a sole name attached. Reviewers and fans alike rise up with their “hot takes” and sling barbs at the artist when perhaps a few added listens would help the music be understood more.

I was taken in immediately with this music, and from this listener’s point of view there is nothing to criticize here. Perhaps if I were a musician, I could find fault, but I am not. I hear players joyfully performing the pieces they were given. The music contained herein engaged me and made me pay attention.

You may feel like this album is “not your thing”, but I hope you will give a listen (or two) and see if you, like me, are taken on a sonic journey to someplace else.

Also – my kudos to Mr. Cawood for including so many female performers on this recording. This is great to see. Thank you!

Rating: 10/10

Tracklist:
Dance Of Time
The Stars Turn
Falling Into Blue
Abyss Of Memory
The Dark Within
Blurring Into Motion
From Pure Air
A Severed Circle
The False Mirror
Flicker Out Of Being
Between Two Worlds
Voice Of Space

Charlie Cawood – acoustic, electric and classical guitars, acoustic bass, bass VI, handclaps

Guest:
Marjana Semkina – vocals on Falling Into Blue and Flicker Out Of Being

Performers:
Alice Barron – violin
Georgia Hannat – violin
Maddie Cutter – cello
Robyn Hemmings – double bass
Julie Groves – flute, piccolo
Emily Susanne Shapiro – clarinet
Ben Marshall – cor anglais
Robyn Hemmings – contrabassoon
Lucy Brown – French horn
Nathaniel Dye – trombone
Maria Moraru – piano
Elen Evans – harp
Beibei Wong – vibraphone
Catherine Ring – glockenspiel
Evan Carson – bodhran, percussion
Steve Holmes – minimoog, bass synth

Composed and orchestrated by Charlie Cawood, except ‘Falling Into Blue’ and ‘Flicker Out Of Being: music by Charlie Cawood & Marjana Semkina; lyrics by Marjana Semkina.

Art by Mark Buckingham

Release date: September 6, 2019
Label: Bad Elephant Music
Bandcamp: charliecawood.bandcamp.com/album/blurring-into-motion
Website: www.charliecawood.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/charliecawoodmusic
Twitter: www.twitter.com/CharlieCawood
Instagram: www.instagram.com/charliecawood

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Sonata Arctica – Talviyö

Sonata Arctica - TakviyoThis band doesn’t really need an introduction as most in this realm of music have heard them and already developed an opinion of them… multiple times even. And, man, do those opinions vary wildly. I could be way off base, but I’m going by what I’ve seen and heard. I see a lot that feel their early stuff is their best and nothing since The Days of Grays has lived up to that era. Fewer like all their output, and even fewer actually like this latter era. What’s reality? I don’t know. But I do know that what feeds into these opinions is true.

The band we have today is a bit of a different style from where they started. They were more of a power metal band early on and have added more progressive leanings as they go on. For myself, my favorite albums are The Days of Grays and the follow up, Stones Grow Her Name. But I come from a view point of the more melodic the better. Now… I will say, that I was never really able to get into The Ninth Hour. Nothing much seemed to click with me on that one.

So, now you know where I am coming from with what I say about this release. And what is on offer here is definitely more melodic than the last album, to me anyway. And a lot catchier.

But I’ll go ahead and say it: don’t go expecting a fast, power metal affair here. Not a whole lot anyway. I read in an interview that they were going for an album more inline with the last few releases. And that is what I hear here, for the most part. I hate to do so, but you will see the phrase “mid-tempo rocker” a LOT in this review.

Things start off with Message from the Sun followed up by Whirlwind. Tracks that easily sound like they could have fit on the The Days of Grays or Stones Grow Her Name. Message starts off calm but gets rocking. But maybe not to the early power metal days a lot of fans hope for. But it works for me.

You’ve no doubt already heard the next track, Cold. If not, check it out below. It makes sense that it is one of the first singles released as it is one of the more upbeat and catchy tunes. Though, like a lot of their content recently, more laid back than what used to be expected from them. More of a mid-tempo rocker, really. Funny thing: normally, I don’t read YouTube comments (there is a reason people call them toxic) but I scrolled down on this one upon release and was surprised to read a particular comment that really turned out to be true. This song, while good, sounds a lot better if played back at 1.25x the speed. Kind of sounds like more old school Sonata. So maybe if you listen to the whole album at this speed the fans of the older material may find something they like too? Lol. I’m sure parts would sound weird, though.

Up next we Storm the Armada, which SOUNDS like it should be a fast-paced track of raging Sonata of old. But, alas, it is another mid-tempo track. Decent enough.

The Last of the Lambs is a slower ballad built around percussion mostly, almost sounding like a James Bond song is about to start at the beginning, but overall, definitely isn’t that. This one is dialed WAY back. But it fits the subject matter. And they follow that up with another mid-tempo rocker in Who failed The Most? Good song to sing along to with its catchy chorus.

Ismo’s Got Good Reactors…. what a song title. This one gives us a rollicking, up-beat instrumental that sounds like Sonata Arctica covering a Trans-Siberian Orchestra song but with their signature sound. Great tune.

Demon’s Cage starts off calm and then cranks into the same song style from the last track and then goes through a few moods: calmer verses, rocking chorus, angry riffs, calmer again… overall another mid-tempo rocker.

A Little Less Understanding is a good, more upbeat song (check it out below). Great harmonies and melodies present here. Another great song to crank up and sing along with and a good reason it was one of the early singles.

The peak of the album for me is in The Raven Still Flies With You. It has a more theatrical feel and a great atmosphere to it. And it is yet ANOTHER mid-tempo rocker.  But, man! That chorus and those keys! This song itself feels like an album closer! Epic sounding. Love it!

We end with The Garden. The last time I heard an album end with a track by this name, it blew me away (Rush). So, from my personal perspective, this is a bold move. What is presented here is basically a calm-ish, 6 minute or so waltz. Another bold move to close out an album in this way. It’s a good tune. Beautiful, actually. And being the third longest song on the album, it just adds to the overall calmness on this release. Which doesn’t seem like the GREATEST idea. But it is what it is.

It may sound like I’m complaining here, but I’m not really. It is a really good album! Their best? Nope. The Days of Grays still holds that title for me. And if you haven’t been happy with the last few albums of theirs, you might not be happy with this one either. But who knows! I still feel it is worth checking out.

Rating: 8/10

Tracklisting:

1) Message From The Sun
2) Whirlwind
3) Cold
4) Storm The Armada
5) The Last Of The Lambs
6) Who Failed The Most
7) Ismo’s Got Good Reactors
8) Demon’s Cage
9) A Little Less Understanding
10) The Raven Still Flies
11) The Garden

Release Date: September 6th  2019

Label: Nuclear Blast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sonataarctica/

Website: http://www.sonataarctica.info/

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Disillusion – The Liberation

Disillusion - The Liberation - front cover- smallAnd here we are with yet ANOTHER band that I wasn’t familiar with but seems to have been around for years… their first demo was in 1995! But their first studio album wasn’t until 2004, when they released Back to Times of Splendor. After listening to this latest one, I kept hearing that the albums by this band seemed to differ somewhat. So, I went back and listened to the first two. The first one was a more prog melodic death metal affair and a pretty solid album. The second one, Gloria, went in a more industrial route and kind of didn’t feel like the same band. While I do like that second album, I didn’t like it as much as the first. So where does that leave us? Here we are, 13 years later and a new album has finally arrived.

Since their beginning, the band has gone through many line up changes, but always with Andy Schmidt as the core. From Wikipedia regarding this album: Andy apparently “isolated himself to a small cabin in the woods somewhere in the Czech Republic for 3 weeks to work undisturbed on new songs” using money they raised from their Patreon service they setup. The album creation process got delayed a bit and the line up changed during this time as well. Now with the band, along with Andy, are Sebastian Hupfer and Ben Haugg on guitar, Felix Tilemann on bass and Josh Saldanha on drums.

So how does this new album fare? Man… that cabin in the woods process paid off!

You know how you follow a band for years, and then it takes them a long time to come out with a new album but it turns out to be a huge letdown? All that anticipation just built up and all your expectations shattered? (And no, I am NOT referring to TOOL here). Well… I can tell you, that if I had known and followed this band from the beginning… and waited 13 years for this one… I would have been in sheer ecstasy with The Liberation. As it is, coming in new to the band, I am blown away by this. It is a masterpiece to me. One song in particular, has so highly resonated with me that it has edged itself up to Song of the Year territory. This album is that good. If I had to describe them, as heard on this album, using other bands as comparisons, I would say they sound like a cross between Opeth (both eras), Insomnium, and even some Green Carnation and a touch of Pink Floyd… and hell… throw in some Tom Waits too.

The album consists of 7 tracks, 3 of which are in the epic-ish range of 12 minutes or so. And the lyrics are so beautiful and so poetic that I just feel the need to pull a small quote from each song. Not something I normally do.

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“I am an echo
a lightless beacon in a cutting storm”

In Waking Hours is a shorter intro to the album that eases us into things with some calming guitar and orchestration before ripping into the metal of Wintertide (see the video below). This is a good lead off track for the album, and the first “epic” that encapsulates everything the band are about. Metal that sounds like you are standing out in a frozen tundra, gravelly spoken words that lead into harsh vocals and great harmonies. You can just feel the epicness in this track. They even throw in some vocal layering of a few lines representing the chaotic nature of that portion of the song before settling back into calmness for a bit. The guitar on this track, and the album as a whole, is just gorgeous.

“I’m staring at the firmament
from mires of regrets”

The Great Unknown starts off as more of a death metal onslaught but has a beautiful chorus and then turns into a bit of a light Opeth/Pink Floyd-ish sound for a while… again, with beautiful guitar work.

“My hands are cold, my soul it feeds
on failure and catastrophe”

A Shimmer in the Darkest Sea delivers us one of the most melancholy choruses on this album and I do love me some melancholy. Another winner of a track.

“beneath the calm, beyond facades
under heaven’s morrowsun
in whispers and with seagull tongue
a tale is being sung”

The Liberation, the song,  has tons of rage and harsh vocals and some fantastic orchestration. Probably the track with the most growls per minute. 😁 But still with the great harmonies in the choruses. We also get another nice Opeth/Pink Floyd like interlude that then builds into an epic conclusion and is the perfect lead in to the next track…

“still wrapped in echoes
you stare across the sea
turn to new horizons
wherever they lead”

Time to Let Go is the song I alluded to at the beginning that has easily shot into my top 5 songs of the year. So poetic and so melodic. This song is just perfect to me. The Pink Floyd-ishness comes through a lot to me in the verses here. And some freaking beautiful guitar work in the short interlude before ripping back into the chorus. I. Cannot. Stop. Listening. To. This. Song. I can’t tell if it is genius or not holding this back from being the first single. But it is definitely my favorite of the stellar bunch.

“tonight we are like stars revolving
tonight we are in deepest craving
tonight, we light the empyrean”

The last epic of the album is The Mountain. It seems a story of two companions traveling through the mountains that have to depart one another. I honestly cannot tell if one is dead or not. But either way, the lyrics are so powerful and helps the song go through it’s many moods for this tale. The orchestration is lush and gorgeous and the ever present wind blowing just tops off the imagery so beautifully. It all paints the picture of this hellish wintry mountain landscape so well and makes me feel like I am there.

So… do I like it? Let’s just say I haven’t hit the pre-order button so fast yet this year. I cannot say enough good things about this album. If you like any of the bands I reference above (except Pink Floyd. I don’t think many PF fans would go for the harsh vocals), check it out!

Rating: 10/10 – yeah. I think this is a masterpiece.

Tracklisting:

1. In Waking Hours  (2:03)
2. Wintertide  (12:37)
3. The Great Unknown  (5:49)
4. A Shimmer in the Darkest Sea (7:14)
5. The Liberation (11:54)
6. Time to Let Go (5:42)
7. The Mountain (12:18)

Release Date: September 6th, 2019

Label: Prophecy Productions

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/disillusionBand/

Website: https://disillusion.de

 

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ANATHEMA announce signing to the Mascot Label Group At the Science Museum, London ahead of their performance at Space Rocks

Anathema have left Kscope to sign with the Mascot Label Group. Here’s the press release and photos.

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Anathama @ Science Museum with Mascot Label

Anathema with Ed van Zijl (MLG CEO) at the Structural Thermal Model of the BepiColombo – Science Museum, London
Photo (c) Will Ireland

UK Show
Sat 21st Sept – Space Rocks, Indigo at the O2, London – Tickets

Mascot Label Group are thrilled to announce the signing of Anathema, ahead of their performance at Space Rocks, London on 21st September.

The Award winning Alternative Rock masters have released 11 studio albums of fearless and uncompromising beauty. Ever since their debut ‘Serenades’ in 1993, they’ve refused to be pigeonholed and have continuously evolved;  all the way up to their most recent studio album, 2017s conceptual masterstroke ‘The Optimist’,  which revealed some of the darkest, most challenging music they ever put their name to, as well as a series of live albums and compilations.

Led by brothers’ Daniel (Vocals, Guitar, Keys) and Vincent Cavanagh (Guitar, Keys, Vocals) along with John Douglas (Percussion), Lee Douglas (Vocals) and Daniel Cardoso (Drums), they will be heading into the studio in 2020 to work on a new album.

The band will be performing a special one-off set at Space Rocks at the Indigo at the O2, London on Saturday 21st September entitled The Space Between Us. They will be using unique visual imagery from the European Space Agency (ESA) in collaboration with multimedia artists Kristina Pulejkova. The set promises to be a musical and visual extravaganza. The event will also feature Tim Peake (ESA Astronaut), Shahrzad Timman (Robot Engineer), Suzie Imber (Solar System Explorer) and Lucy Hawking (Author) amongst others as well as music from Anathema, Amplifier, Voyager and Anna Phoebe. You can get tickets and find out more here

To mark this occasion the band descended on the Science Museum, London to sign the contract with Mascot Label Group CEO, Ed van Zijl in front of ESA’s Structural Thermal Model of the BepiColombi; which is currently on a seven year journey to Mercury, in one of the most challenging planetary missions ever launched. You can find out more about the BepiColombo and the Science Museum’s exhibition here.

Talking about the signing to the label, Ed van Zijl says; “One of the great innovative British rock bands! Over the years they have been able to progress musically, artistically and naturally into the future as only the strong ones can. I am very excited to have the band now join the MLG family and taking the next step together with us.”

The bands’ manager, Andy Farrow of Northern Music Company said; “After 9 years and 4 albums with Kscope whom I would like to personally thank for all their work on the band, when the band came on to the market again I received quite a lot of offers, of which we whittled down to labels we were going to take a meeting with. I found that Ed and his team at Mascot had a very refreshing outlook to releasing albums and building bands. I had previously met the people in the UK, Dutch and NYC offices when they were pitching for another of my acts and remember being very impressed by them and I’m delighted to be working with them on Anathema’s next release in 2020.”

Danny Cavanagh also said; “We are all extremely excited to announce our new contract with Mascot Label Group. This is the beginning of a new adventure for us and we are looking forward to a wonderful partnership with Mascot in the coming years. I would particularly like to pay tribute to Kscope for their unwavering support and great work over more than a decade. They’ve been a big part of our lives and we say thank you very much to all the staff there. Of course we owe a debt of gratitude to Andy Farrow, Jasper at Northern Music Company for excellence in management and guidance. Last but not least a huge thanks to the fans, without whom, none of this is possible.”

Vincent Cavanagh also spoke about the signing, saying; “I’d like to give my thanks and respect to everyone at Kscope who we have had the pleasure of working with for the last 9 years. They always gave us complete creative freedom and always supported everything we wanted to do as a band. They’re great people and a lot of fun to work with. Looking forward to the next adventures with the guys at Mascot.”

The Mascot Label Group is an independently owned Record Company with a roster that includes; Joe Bonamassa, Black Stone Cherry, Black Country Communion, Beth Hart, Von Hertzen Brothers, Ayreon, Paul Gilbert, VOLA, Crobot, Monster Truck, Flying Colors, The Magpie Salute, Kris Barras Band, Bootsy Collins, Stray Cats, George Benson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, Jordan Rudess, Michael Romeo, Walter Trout, Gov’t Mule and many more.

Anathama @ Science Museum with Mascot Label

Anathema with Ed van Zijl (MLG CEO) at the Science Museum, London
Photo (c) Will Ireland

See more on Anathema here:

Anathemamusic.com
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