Kyros – “Vox Humana”

kyrosThe band Kyros began as Synaesthesia a few years ago and it was essential a solo project of keyboardist/vocalist Adam Warne. Warne hired a band to support the self-titled debut album and eventually the band decided to change its name to Kyros. Yes this sounds a bit chaotic for a new band, and honestly it’s a bit odd in my opinion. But Kyros is an easier name to spell and maybe pronounce.

Kyros does sound like Synaesthesia most because Warne is still very much at the epicenter of the band. His vocals have improved, while his playing is still top notch. The rest of the band are all excellent musicians as well. “Vox Humana” is a double album which is bold for a young band. And as with many double albums, it might have been better served as a single disc.

The title track is the half minute opener of just electronics and tape noise. Can bands just stop having an short intro track that’s a throw away? Next is the aptly titled “Technology Killed the Kids II” which has, you guessed it, too many high tech noises and not enough room for the music to breath. Someone has been listening to Jem Godfrey. It doesn’t do a thing for me. I’d rather listen to Frost*.

The track “Cloudburst” is easily my favorite track on the album and a wise choice as a first single. While it’s a poppy tune, it’s what I call good prog pop. “Persistence of Vision” is another solid, upbeat track that reminds me of Haken. The track is undone by a listless midsection. The song does kick back in but I really wish they had dumped the middle.

The rest of the first disc of “Vox Humana” is along the same lines, decent modern prog in the vein of many other current bands. At times, Warne sounds like a mix of John Mitchell and Jem Godfrey. This just makes me think of It Bites or Frost* or Haken. That’s the issue. Kyros don’t really stand out. Add in that these songs just aren’t as good as the songs of those bands and you see the issue.

Disc two starts off with the clanking “Mind Electric” which walks the line between tuneful and excessive use of technology. Wait. Didn’t I say that about another track? “Speak to Me,” however, is a great track with some awesome keywork from Warne and complementary guitar work from Samuel Higgins and Joey Frevola. It does sound a fair bit like an outtake from “Affinity” with the 80s style electronic drums however.

“Persistence of Perfection” has a majestic intro that I do like a lot. Unfortunately, I lose interest in things midway through the song. “Monster” is a relentless, driving tune that just doesn’t have a strong enough hook. “Hounds” has lyrics that make me cringe, though that’s not the only time for that. “The Darkness Grove” is over before anything happens. “Ego” has horns! While I think that’s cool, it just seems rather sudden and a little out of place. All in all, I think some of the songs just aren’t as strong as they could be.

OK so by now, you assume that I either hate Kyros or they owe me money. Neither is true. In fact, the core of “Vox Humama” is really good and the band have incredible talent. It’s for those reasons that I perhaps have a higher standard for them. They will develop a more unique sound I think. Until then, “Vox Humama” will appeal to fans of modern prog that walks the narrow line between prog rock and prog metal.

Rating: 6.5/10


Disc one:

  1. Vox Humana
  2. Technology Killed the Kids II
  3. Cloudburst
  4. Persistence of Vision
  5. The Lamb, the Badger & the Bee
  6. New Paradigm

Disc two:

  1. Mind Electric
  2. Speak to Me
  3. Persistence of Perfection
  4. Monster
  5. Hounds
  6. The Darkness Grove
  7. Boiling Point
  8. Ego
  9. Dilate


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Pelander – “Time”

pelander-timeMagnus Pelander is best known as the man behind the band Witchcraft. That band blends old school psych rock with prog and even elements of stoner rock and doom. The last two Witchcraft albums, “Legend” and “Nucleus” are flat out amazing. If you don’t know about them, I highly suggest you check them out.

This album is Pelander’s first full length album under his own (last) name and while it isn’t THAT far from the music he writes and records with Witchcraft, it does have a more stripped down, personal vibe to it. “Time” is an acoustic album which has acoustic guitars, flutes and strings. This is Pelander’s “Songs from the Wood.” The Tull influence seems clear to me at least.

“Umbrella” is one track that would pair well with anything Ian Anderson has been doing of late. These aren’t simple acoustic songs though. For example, “True Colour” has different sections and is an epic in its own right. The title track is another favorite of mine, not for least of which is Pelander’s amazing voice which is strong through out (as always).

Kudos to Nuclear Blast for not only releasing Witchcraft’s amazing albums but also letting this very talented man release his first solo album. Prog fans will find much to enjoy on “Time.” It’s a throwback to a time of artistic freedom. And it’s about time. Literally.

Rating: 8.5/10

1. Umbrella
2. Family Song
3. The Irony Of Man
4. True Colour
5. Precious Swan
6. Time
7. Rebecka

Label: Nuclear Blast

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Live Review: ARW (Anderson Rabin Wakeman) at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT on October 21, 2016

14600846_1373277059350780_6201302981095069469_nThe line has been drawn. There are two Yes bands. One owns the name, the other has the heart and spirit of the band. For me, after seeing ARW (Anderson Rabin Wakeman) play live, they are Yes to me. The chemistry between the three Yesmen and their rhythm section of Lee Pomeroy on bass and Lou Molino III on drums was undeniable. They had FUN! And so did the crowd.

Jon Anderson sounded amazing. He can hit every note as he did at any point of his career. Yes music just isn’t Yes music without him singing it. Whether it was classics like “And You and I” or “Heart of the Sunrise” or 90125 deeper track “Hold On,” Jon was in TOP form. In addition, Rick Wakeman is Rick Wakeman…still. The man is incredible and his solos were mindblowing. His piano work on the ABWH track “The Meeting” was simply beautiful.

Trevor Rabin is shaking off 20 some years of rust, at least in that he hadn’t played live in years. His playing was awesome and powerful. He seemed to forget his own lyrics during “Lift Me Up” and the band seemed a little lost at one point but other than that, Rabin was so refreshing. I’ve missed him. With all due respect to Steve Howe, Rabin is just my preference. He is a nice guy and can play any of Howe’s parts.

It was interesting that he avoided playing the acoustic intros to “And You and I” and “Roundabout” was perhaps a way to thumb his nose at Howe who has never been kind to him in the past. Bassist Pomeroy did his best Chris Squire (including solid backing vocals) and did a monster job on “The Fish.” Molino got a drum solo prior to “Lift Me Up” and my jaw literally dropped. The guy can really play!


One of the coolest parts of the show was Rabin and Wakeman coming out into the audience to trade solos next to the soundboard! Wakeman had a keytar and they clearly had a blast, as did the audience. VERY cool moment. Would I have liked to have heard “Changes” or anything from “Talk”? Definitely. But I am not sure what I would have dropped to make room. It was over two hours of incredible music from an incredible band. That was Yes.

Perpetual Change
Hold On (with ‘Solid Time of Change’ lyrics spoken intro)
I’ve Seen All Good People
Drum Solo
Lift Me Up
And You and I
Rhythm of Love
Heart of the Sunrise
Long Distance Runaround
The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)
The Meeting
Owner of a Lonely Heart (with ‘Make It Easy’ intro and inter-weaved during solo/outro)


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Marcela Bovio – “Unprecedented”

coverVocalist and violinist Marcela Bovio is often associated with progressive music: She is the frontwoman of the symphonic progressive metal band Stream of Passion (the band is currently on their final tour) and collaborated with bands such as Ayreon, The Gathering, MaYan, The Gentle Storm and Epica. This year, Bovio started a crowdfunding campaign to fund her very first solo album, “Unprecedented”, and the campaign reached 448% of the original goal in two months. The album contains ten songs in English and Spanish for string quartet and voice, produced by Joost van den Broek and recorded live in the Netherlands.

Honestly, I could stop my review here. The aforementioned facts speak for themselves. And here is the reason why her crowdfunding campaign has probably been so successful: Anyone who knows Marcela Bovio as an artist also knows that nothing she puts out could ever be just average or even disappointing.

“Unprecedented” is no exception. Yes, one could definitely call it a classical album, but that is irrelevant. It is the actual music that sounds magnificent. Marcela Bovio’s vocal performance is striking, but also minimalist at the same time, but above all, she sings in the most genuine and touching way, which is very hard to find. And no, I don’t exactly understand Spanish and can only guess what the lyrics mean, but believe me: You will be able to feel every single word.

All ten tracks on “Unprecedented” sound beautiful and each one has its own character. “Dime” is a quite rhythmic song and stands out against all the other tracks. “Powerless” and “Alicia” have the most beautiful melodic themes and “Saboteurs” is particularly exciting towards the bridge and the ending. “Stars” is just magnificent: It is the only song with operatic vocals, and Bovio sings in literally indescribable heights (I couldn’t figure out the pitch of the highest notes, even though I tried). Finally, “The One” builds up very nicely and is probably the most dramatic song on the record.

This album shows that you don’t always need several guitars, drums, keyboards, a full orchestra and a choir to make an album sound complete. After all, music is all about emotion, and “Unprecedented” is full of it. If you like classical music, get this album now. If not, still give it try – it may surprise you.

Rating: 9/10


01. Hay Amores
02. The Treasure Hunter
03. Found!
04. Dime
05. The Cartographers
06. Powerless
07. Alicia
08. Saboteurs
09. Stars
10. The One


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Blind Ego – “Liquid”

GAOM BE Promo_Sleeve_047_RZ.inddBlind Ego is the solo side project of Kalle Wallner of RPWL. Being a big fan of RPWL, I had meant to check out the last Blind Ego album “Numb” but of course I got distracted by the pile of music that happens to me. So I was glad that Wallner decided to release another Blind Ego album and that it showed up in my review queue.

First off, Wallner is one of the most underrated guitarists on the planet. He has the feel of David Gilmour (of course) but has an added gear that Gilmour doesn’t have or use. One of the nice things about “Liquid” is that it’s more of a prog metal album versus the prog rock that RPWL plays. The songs are all well written, well arranged and have killer hooks.

So what’s my issue with it? Well, there are multiple vocalists which isn’t a bad thing necessarily. The problem is that one vocalist is fucking amazing, Arno Menses of Subsignal (huge fan of his voice) and the other, Erik Ez Blomkvist, I find incredibly annoying. Blomkvist does every cheesy over emotive move in the book and on “Never Escape the Storm” he tries way too hard to sound bad ass. It just never works.

Besides those two, Aaron Brooks of psych rockers Simeon Soul Charger does a solid job on the closing track “Speak the Truth” but again, I kept wondering how it would sound if Menses sang it. It would have sounded better. The instrumental track “Quiet Anger” is a favorite and it points out that maybe no vocalists were needed for ANY of the songs. Panzerballet’s Heiko Jung supplies some SICK bass on the track.

With a few tweaks, “Liquid” could have been an album on my best of 2016 list. The music and melodies are THAT strong. I do hope people check out this album because maybe you’ll like Blomkvist more than I do. But regardless of that, Kalle Wallner shows that he is a great songwriter and multi dimensional guitarist. “Liquid” has no ego attached to it, blind or otherwise.

Rating: 8/10

1. A Place in the Sun
2. Blackened
3. What If
4. Not Going Away
5. Never Escape the Storm
6. Tears and Laughter
7. Hear My Voice Out There
8. Quiet Anger
9. Speak the Truth

Label: Gentle Art of Music

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Consider the Source announce special run of ‘RADIOHEAD’ SHOWS

consider-the-source-winter-tourThe progressive/fusion trio Consider The Source will be playing an unmissable set of Radiohead covers at five special shows this fall, when they open for space rock band Papadosio. The ‘Radiohead sets’ are back by popular demand, after featuring in a number special festival sets during the summer.

When choosing the set list, which includes classics such as Paranoid Android and Reckoner, the band’s aim was to select songs that they not only love but that would also allow them to inject the progressive and world influences that are integral to Consider The Source’s unique sound.

“We decided to cover Radiohead because they are one of our favorite rock bands and their compositions are interesting and ripe for interpretation” the band reveals. “We feel that our approach to writing is in ways similar to theirs, so we felt at home making these songs our own.” 


Consider The Source – Show Details (supporting Papadosio)

October 27th – Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh, NC

October 28th9:30 Club in Washington, DC

November 11th – Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY

November 18th – The Music Farm in Columbia, SC

November 19th – The Music Farm in Charleston, SC


For ticket links and a full list of tour dates please visit:


Consider The Source

Drawing from progressive rock, fusion and jazz, with alien sounds soaked in Indian and Middle Eastern styles, Consider The Source blends disparate parts into a striking, utterly original whole. Dubbed “Sci-Fi Middle Eastern Fusion”, the band’s music strikes a rare balance between cerebral and emotional, intellectual and primal. Even when not improvising, their music is always a conversation, a roiling stew of dynamic interplay. Each member of Consider The Source alternately leads and follows, spars and assists; in any single song, alliances are made and broken, bargains struck and divorces finalized.

The latest release from Consider The Source, “World War Trio (Parts 2 & 3)” (2016) is available at

For more information on Consider The Source, please visit:

For more information on Papadosio, please visit:

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Anciients – “Voice of the Void”

I found out about Anciients right after they released their debut album “Heart of Oak.” It was one of those accidental findings where I saw the cover art, read the title and decided to check them out. I was completely blown away by “Heart of Oak,” so “Voice of the Void” was one of my most anticipated releases of the year.

The good news is that Anciients have delivered once again. Usually if a band has a fully developed sound on their debut, the sophomore album winds up being a disappointment. Anciients still sound like they did on the first album. They remind me of a mix of Mastodon and Opeth. Imagine if Mastodon were still very progressive and Opeth still sounded like they did back in the day. That’s Anciients.

The band can flat out PLAY. Riff after motherfucking riff, amazing solos throughout, powerhouse drumming, strong clean vocals and brutal harsh vocals. The onslaught starts with the opening track “Following the Voice” which is a good representation of the damage that Anciients can inflict. The song is followed by not one but two epics: “Buried in Sand” and “Worshipper.” These are my two favorite tracks because they showcase everything that the band can do. They are massive sounding, have a lot going on and these are GREAT songs.

The closing epic “Incantations” is another favorite because it starts out quiet before it attacks. Similarly, “Serpents” is mellow to start before it kicks in but it’s more “user friendly” with no harsh vocals. One similarity between this album and their debut is the use of an “oasis” type song in the middle of the album. “Descending” is the acoustic based instrumental that gives the listener a reprieve before “Ibex Eye” takes over.

The one criticism that I have of “Voice of the Void” is regarding “Ibex Eye.” IT FADES AT THE END! I hate when heavy bands do that. Give me the ending of the song. I know it must have one!! Still, it’s a great song despite that. The bottom line is that Anciients have done it again. This is another well produced, multi-layered, heavy yet melodic album. If one were to ask me how I like my prog metal to sound, “Voice of the Void” is a damn good place to start!

Rating: 9.5/10

1. Following The Voice
2. Buried In Sand
3. Worshipper
4. Pentacle
5. Descending
6. Ibex Eye
7. My Home, My Gallows
8. Serpents
9. Incantations

Label: Season of Mist

Posted in atmospheric metal, death metal, extreme metal, progressive metal, stoner metal | Tagged | 2 Comments