SINGER/MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST ROBERT BERRY TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM “THE RULES HAVE CHANGED” UNDER THE NAME 3.2

One band that I really loved was 3, which was Keith Emerson, Carl Palmer and Robert Berry. Emerson, Berry and Palmer if you will. I LOVED their debut and only album “…To The Power of Three” and was sad that the band broke up after it. Emerson and Palmer reformed ELP once again with Greg Lake, while Robert Berry eventually released some of the material written for a potential follow up on his album “Pilgrimage to a Point.” That album also featured songs intended for a second GTR album as Berry previously replaced Steve Hackett in that band! It’s a really good album.
Now Berry has rebooted 3 as 3.2 and it features some of Keith Emerson’s last work. Here’s the press release from Frontiers about the upcoming album!
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LOS ANGELES– Singer/multi-instrumentalist/producer Robert Berry’s new album, “The Rules Have Changed,” will be released under the name 3.2 on Frontiers Music Srl on August 10, 2018. The full-length album will feature musical contributions by the late Keith Emerson, whom Berry was a bandmate with in the band 3. This is the last musical project in which Emerson was involved prior to his untimely passing in 2016.
A preview of the album, the track, “Somebody’s Watching” has been released today. It is available on all streaming services as well as an instant download with digital pre-orders. Listen to it HERE.
Pre-order the album & stream the single here:
The working relationship between Emerson and Berry began in 1987 when former Yes manager Brian Lane and ELP/Asia member Carl Palmer arranged a meeting between the two prolific musicians. The plan was to form a more melodic, song oriented band, compared to the complex symphonic rock compositions for which ELP was known, which would allow Emerson, Berry and Palmer to follow in the footsteps of the success that Asia and GTR were enjoying during that period.
The result of that collaboration between Emerson, Berry and Palmer was the band 3 and the album “… To The Power of Three,” was released worldwide by Geffen Records in 1988. The first single, “Talkin’ ‘Bout” reached #9 on the Billboard charts and the band successfully toured the U.S. to support the album.
With the success of the first release, Geffen urged the band to go back into the studio to begin work on a second album, but Emerson felt uncomfortable with Geffen’s momentum stifling, inconsistent strategy that ultimately cut the first album’s success short, consequently prompting the band to call it quits. At the time of the band’s dissolution, several songs were already written for the band’s second release with some of the songs later being released on Robert Berry’s solo album, “Pilgrimage To A Point”.
In October 2015, conversations about a new 3 album started between Robert Berry and Frontiers’ President Serafino Perugino as Robert had been speaking to Emerson about releasing the band’s long delayed follow-up album. Berry relayed those conversations to Emerson and in turn sparked revived enthusiasm from him for pursuing the project. The exchange of musical ideas ultimately paved the groundwork for “The Rules Have Changed.”
After Emerson’s death in 2016, Berry was left with Emerson’s final musical ideas for the project. From old cassette tapes, keyboard parts written over the phone and long discussions between the two friends about style, the framework of the album was set and ready to be brought to life.
After several months of grieving and contemplation about what to do with these co-written songs and musical fragments from Emerson, Robert decided to resume work on the material that was created and craft a record that would ultimately be a fitting tribute to Keith Emerson’s musical legacy and at the same time re-energize and update the musical style started with 3 some 30 years ago.
“Keith and I developed together a vision of what the new album would be like, explains Berry. “There were many times over the past 30 years since 3 had come out that Keith either played on a session for me or we just talked on the phone.  The new album consists of some past 3 writing from 1988, some newly written last efforts from Keith, and some songs written exclusively by me after Keith’s death. “
The final result is “The Rules Have Changed,” a reboot of the original 3 project, centered on Robert Berry’s amazing musical talents.
This is a record that deserves to be heard by every fan of the great Keith Emerson and includes many exquisite musical adventures, which every progressive music fan will be delighted to experience and enjoy.
“Every second I worked on writing, recording, and performing those songs I had one thing on my mind,” says Berry. “The phrase… ‘What would Keith do’…drove me, it guided me, it consumed my creativity.  It was so important to me to fulfill our vision for this album. I believe Keith worked through me. I especially felt him with me when I did the solos. The songs we had worked on together but the solos were to be improvised while recording. You will hear his flare coming through on the solos. The solos are played by me, but, at the same time, also by him. I would never say I was even close to being the player Keith was. But I believe you can hear his spirit in the sound and in my playing. I am so proud of this album. I can’t help but think somehow he is proud of the results too.”
3.2
TRACKLIST:
1. One by One
2. Powerful Man
3. The Rules Have Changed
4. Our Bond
5. What You’re Dreaming Now
6. Somebody’s Watching
7. This Letter
8. Your Mark on The World
PRODUCED BY: Robert Berry
SONGWRITERS: Keith Emerson, Robert Berry
ARRANGEMENTS: Keith Emerson, Robert Berry
RECORDED and MIXED BY: Robert Berry at Soundtek Studios, Campbell, CA MASTERED BY: George Horn Mastering, Berkeley, CA
INSTRUMENTATION: Robert Berry
For More Info Visit:
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Komie – “Afterglow”

Afterglow Album Cover_4000Guitarist Ron Komie is Komie and he emailed me about doing a review for this album. Right away I recognized his name. As someone who reads (and somehow remembers) all liner notes over the years, I wrote him back and asked if he was on Asia’s “Then and Now” album. He laughed and said that was a million years ago. True, but that memory made me want to check out his music.

You see, on that Asia album there were 3 brand new songs with 2 different guitarists. Steve Howe and Mandy Meyer were both long gone so it was Steve Lukather of Toto, Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and a guy named Ron Komie. So he had to be good to hold his own with all of these guys. Now all these years later, I am left wondering “was Komie too good to be in Asia?” Because his album “Afterglow” is filled with incredibly tasteful playing and great songs.

The first thing that I noticed when the lead track “Cirrus Flow” kicks off is how bright it sounds. There’s an inherent beauty to the way Komie plays. It’s that way through out “Afterglow.” It’s the choice of notes rather than the number. This is not to say that he can’t peel off a serious run. He can and does but even those are well placed. Refer to the licks on “Cirrus Flow.” There’s also plenty of atmosphere on tracks like “Driftwood.” It’s how the notes are played in addition to which ones.

There’s a diversity to the album as well. From tranquil moments to more upbeat driving moments (“Rush” is one of those), “Afterglow” has it. There’s so many great moments that each time I listen, I hear more of them. Downside? Once again, I am never keen on electronic percussion/programming like on “Breathe You In” but it’s a minor complaint since the playing is once again sublime.

Stylewise, Komie reminds me of people like Steve Hackett, Steve Rothery, Phil Keaggy and Jeff Beck. The melody is paramount to Komie. Many guitarists could stand to listen to “Afterglow” as a lesson plan. This is how it’s DONE. “Afterglow” is a clinic without being showy. I should mention the backing band is solid as well. They keep everything very tight like on tracks like “Power Surge” which needs just a bit of punch without being too obvious.

By the time I get to the gorgeous “Skyburst” and the funky closer “Aeon Shift,” I am always surprised that it’s done. As a listener, it’s really east to get lost in “Afterglow.” I am also thinking back to “Then and Now” by Asia and what could have been. Komie would have been a great fit. Instead he followed his own path, a path that I need to now go back and track. Komie’s latest album “Afterglow” is a feast for your ears: a positive light of instrumental greatness.

Rating: 9.5/10

Tracklist:

1.Cirrus Flow
2. Driftwood
3. Breathe You In
4. Rush
5. Eyes of Innocence
6. Power Surge
7. Afterglow
8. Inhumanly Possible
9. Moonstruck
10. Pieces of Me
11. Aurora Dawning
12. Skyburst
13. Aeon Shift

To order “Afterglow,” click here: smarturl.it/KomiePreOrder
Release Date: 8 June, 2018
Facebook: www.facebook.com/KomieRocks

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Alkaloid – “Liquid Anatomy”

Alkaloid-Liquid-AnatomyAs if the first album by supergroup Alkaloid wasn’t amazing enough, the band is back (finally!) with the followup, “Liquid Anatomy” and somehow they have outdone themselves. Alkaloid features a lineup of incredibly talented musicians that have played in bands like Blotted Science, Obscura and Necrophagist. So the band was going to be fully realized and their debut album “The Malkuth Grimoire” was going to be well executed.

Not only was that album filled with excellent tech death metal but also plenty of melody and great riffs. With “Liquid Anatomy,” Alkaloid have taken all of that and gone SO MUCH FURTHER! Every time I think that someone can’t do something new and fresh, along comes an album like this one. It starts with “Kernel Panic” which is mindblowing. Why? It has riffs that sound like Discipline era King Crimson, or even Yes’ “Changes” (as pointed out correctly by my buddy Rod Millan) which yield from time to time to outright death metal. And it WORKS! If you’ve wondered what Crimson might sound like if they messed with death metal, here it is.

From there, Alkaloid keep things going with “As Decreed By Laws Unwritten” which is equal parts Gojira and Morbid Angel. Groove metal meets prog metal while grind riffs into the fucking ground. This is one of my favorite tracks. You might get a concussion from this one. Speaking of Morbid Angel, the next track is called “Azagthoth” presumably after their guitarist Trey Azagthoth. But it has an interesting vibe to it. Very Middle Eastern and the mix of acoustic with thick heavy guitars is a great dichotomy.

The title track also has a bit of an acoustic vibe while transitioning easily to heavy riffs. “In Turmoil’s Swirling Reaches” is a dizzying track and “Chaos Theory And Practice” is almost off the fucking rails at times. The band really go everywhere you can go on one album. There are times within the same track that they sound like different bands. But it’s still all cohesive.

The final track is an actual epic. Yes I mean a LONG one, almost 20 minutes. Despite all of what comes before it, nothing can properly prepare you for “Rise Of The Cephalopods” which has everything including the kitchen sink in it. THIS is what prog metal bands are supposed to do and as with any great long track, it doesn’t FEEL long. That’s a testament to how well the band do their transitions and arrangement.

Alkaloid have an album that points the direction that progressive metal should explore. Anything goes as long as the songs are good. These songs are all GREAT. “Liquid Anatomy” is a modern day metal masterpiece that merges tech death metal into prog metal better than anyone has done to this point. Yes, this is that good and yes, you need to listen to the link below. Right now.

Rating: 10/10

Tracklist:

1. Kernel Panic
2. As Decreed By Laws Unwritten
3. Azagthoth
4. Liquid Anatomy
5. In Turmoil’s Swirling Reaches
6. Interstellar Boredom
7. Chaos Theory And Practice
8. Rise Of The Cephalopods

Label: Season of Mist
Release Date: 18 May 2018
Website: www.alkaloid-band.com
Bandcamp: alkaloidsom.bandcamp.com/album/liquid-anatomy

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Subsignal – “La Muerta”

Subsignal_GAOM058_thumbnailTLDR: After listening to this one, I immediately pre-ordered it.
    Subsignal are back with their 5th album “La Muerta” that is once again very song oriented. This time out they lean on their melodic/AOR side a little more than their prog side, though there are prog moments to be found for sure. And the melodies and harmonies on display here are fantastic (as expected)!
    Production duties were handed to Yogi Lang and Kalle Wallner of RPWL on this one. The album as a whole has that airy feel that I love and just feels right while sitting outside on a warm evening with a favorite beverage. Would love to hear this performed at an open air venue someday. Unfortunately, it seems that they have succumbed to the loudness war once again but try to not let that detract too much from the enjoyment of this album as it isn’t that bad. I know a lot of people don’t really care about this anyway. I’m just picky.
    The album is a hefty 53 minutes with the longest track clocking in at 7:23. This prompted me to look back at their other releases time wise, and found they seem to alternate a bit. So maybe the next will be of epic length? Eh… Not enough to even begin speculating. On to the new album!
    We start things off with a short intro track, “271 Days,” that I’m sure means something to the band but seems like it could have just been part of the title track. Maybe it is present to give a little prog taste before “La Muerta,” which really starts things off right. Great catchy chorus with a complex instrumental section. Good idea for a single. The album version is over 2 minutes longer than the radio single that was released and has some tasty lead guitar that is missing from the single. This is followed up by another potential single in “The Bells Of Lyonesse.” Catchy track.
    “Every Able Hand” starts of with a great synth line that heads into a nice little complex intro followed by a little carnival-type music (think Jordan Rudess style at the most inopportune time in some of the longer instrumental sections with Dream Theater). Not really fond of that style but they make it work here. The keys are prominent on this track with some great guitar work that leads into a very Yes like verse toward the end. Actually, this whole song reminds me a bit of Yes. But with more of an edge.
    A little break is given in the form of an acoustic guitar interlude called “Teardrops Will Dry In Source Of Origin.”  They do have a way with song titles. Very moving, but short piece that is beautifully played. That is followed up by “The Approaches.” Yet another song that reminds me of Yes at times. Especially the vocals and the Wakeman style keys. Still very Subsignal though! “Even though the Stars Don’t Shine” has an upbeat 80’s style synth and rhythm track with an instrumental section showcasing their prog sensibilities. Great song.
    “The Passage” is the longest track on the album and as expected has some of the proggiest moments showcased. Big sounding intro and the band really stretches out here where they have the room to do so. “When All The Trains Are Sleeping” and “All Birds on Pinions Free” brings us back into the melodic catchy rock arena. I’m going to get booed for this [editor: BOO! -Rob], but I got a bit of a Counting Crows vibe off of “All Birds on Pinions Free” (am I showing my age?). It is a bit heavier than that, though. Plus, I’ll listen to this one again! A nice little bonus to this track is a Lifeson guitar tone ala Red Sector A that just feels right.
    “Some Kind of Drowning” is a very Anathema-esque track, with Marjana Semkina (Iamthemorning) and Arno on vocals along with piano by Markus Jehle (RPWL). It builds to an interesting industrial noise sound that plays along with the chorus. This is making me want to go back and listen to more Iamthemorning big time. Killer track and a very melancholy, and beautiful, way to end the album… but it works! Honestly, it all works!
    This album is honestly full of singles and I hope it goes a long way in getting the band some much needed exposure. Time will tell but they have made a great effort to that end with this release. More power to them!
    Highlight tracks for me: The Bells of Lyonesse, Even Though The Stars Don’t Shine, All Birds on Pinions Free, Some Kind of Drowning.

 

Rating: 8/10

Tracklist:
  1. 271 Days
  2. La Muerta
  3. The Bells Of Lyonesse
  4. Every Able Hand
  5. Teardrops Will Dry In Source Of Origin
  6. The Approaches
  7. Even Though The Stars Don’t Shine
  8. The Passage
  9. When All The Trains Are Sleeping
  10. As Birds On Pinions Free
  11. Some Kind Of Drowning

Label: Gentle Art Of Music / Soulfood
Release Date: 25 May 2018
Facebook: www.facebook.com/subsignal
Website: www.subsignalband.com

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Full Album Premiere: The Slyde – “Awakening”

It’s always my effort here at Progressive Music Planet to bring you new music. And I am happy to host the full album stream for “Awakening” by Canadian prog rockers The Slyde. Below is the press release from the band. Enjoy!


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Following up with 2017’s EP release “Back Again”, Canadian melodic proggers The Slyde return with their first full length effort titled “Awakening”.  The band (formerly known as just Slyde) will drop ten tracks of the intricate, contrapuntal prog rock they’ve honed over the last decade on May 18, 2018. Pairing up with us at Progressive Music Planet, we’re are excited to share the full stream album premiere of “Awakening”.

Links:

 

Posted in modern prog, progressive metal, progressive rock | Tagged | 2 Comments

Amorphis – “Queen of Time”

Amorphis - Queen Of TimeAmorphis are one of my favorite bands. While that might make this seem like a bias review, the truth is I hold my favorite bands to a very high standard. With Amorphis, I keep waiting for them to release a bad album. It never happens and that streak continues with “Queen of Time.” “Queen of Time” is yet another great album and one of the best albums that Amorphis have ever released. Why?

For starters, the band have THEIR sound. No one else sounds like Amorphis and on “Queen of Time,” they take that core progressive metal, folk metal style and add to it. Producer extraordinaire Jens Bogren pushed the band more than ever and while the band has said it was challenging to make the album, the results speak for themselves. The songs are tight, strong on melody and epic as fuck.

Part of that epic sound comes from Bogren having the band add orchestration to some of the sounds. It takes an already massive sounding track and just pushes it to be cinematic. Yes you have the classic Amorphis sound on tracks like the opener “The Bee” but tracks like “Heart of the Giant” and “Pyres on the Coast” are something out of a movie. It’s clear this was the next logical step with their sound.

“Queen of Time” has some absolute classic songs on it for sure. “The Golden Elk” has become a favorite of mine, with the chorus stuck in my head as I am typing this right now. And who else but Amorphis would have a song called “The Golden Elk”?!? “Wrong Direction” is another great, infectious song that ranks with anything that the band has ever done. “Amongst Stars” has Anneke van Giersbergen guesting on it and while I am usually against guest vocalists, Anneke FITS what Amorphis does. Plus she can hold her own with Tomi Jousten, who sounds as amazing as he always does!

Jousten has one of the best voices that I have ever heard. He has a great clean vocal and a death vocal that you can always understand. The perfect example is “Daughter of Hate” where he is absolutely spitting venom during the chorus and it is incredible. What a performance. Speaking of performances, original bassist Olli-Pekka Laine is back with the band and I love how easy it is to pick out his parts in the mix. He is pulling double duty now since his own band Barren Earth released an album not long ago. It’s great to hear him with Amorphis again though.

There’s not a bad note to be found on “Queen of Time.” Amorphis should be considered one of the best bands in progressive metal. Honestly I think they are far more consistent than Opeth, for example. “Queen of Time” is a true progressive metal masterpiece that is absolutely essential for anyone who loves the genre. Amorphis raised their game eventhough they didn’t need to and THAT is the sign of genius.

Rating: 10/10

Tracklist:

1. The Bee
2. Message In The Amber
3. Daughter Of Hate
4. The Golden Elk
5. Wrong Direction
6. Heart Of The Giant
7. We Accursed
8. Grain Of Sand
9. Amongst Stars
10. Pyres On The Coast
11. As Mountains Crumble
12. Brother And Sister

Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: 18 May 2018
Website: www.amorphis.net
Facebook: www.facebook.com/amorphis

Posted in folk metal, progressive metal | Tagged | 1 Comment

Distorted Harmony’s 3rd album – Album cover and release date revealed

They’re baaaaaaaaaaaack! Distorted Harmony return with their third album “A Way Out.” Below is the full press release and album artwork!

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A_Way_Out_Album_Cover_preview

The 3rd album by the Modern Prog Metal band Distorted Harmony is scheduled to be officially released on July 19th, 2018 as a self-release.

The album, titled “A Way Out”, will consist of 11 tracks.

Special limited edition in digipak CD format with 3 extra acoustic tracks of songs from previous albums, will be available during the early birds pre-sale.

This is the first album to be released with the new expanded line up to include 2 guitarists:

Michael Rose – Vocals

Amit Plaschkes – Guitars

Yoel Genin – Guitars

Iggy Cohen – Bass

Yoav Efron – Keyboards & Programming

Yogev Gabay – Drums

 

Yoav Efron –

“This time it’s personal. It’s about the ‘we’, the ‘us’ and the ‘I’ and how they manage to intertwine inside my head. Emotions, they define us, how we perceive and handle the feelings we can but mostly can’t control; Loneliness and anger, fear, despair and even hope play a major role in our lives as individuals and as a society, it’s both a strength and a weakness – this is why we’re special and cursed.

“A Way Out” deals with such emotions, my own (mostly). It’s heavy and aggressive, quiet and afraid and it may even get political ”

 

Pre sale on the official site: http://bit.ly/AWayOut_PreSale

 

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