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Friday, August 31, 2012

Tim Morse "Faithscience"


Country: USA
Sub GenreSymphonic
LabelAmethyst Edge Productions
Release date: August 31, 2012
Tracklist
1. Descent (2:45)
2. Voyager (9:10)
3. Closer (8:22)
4. Window (1:17)
5. Numb (3:43)
6. Myth (6:40)
7. Found It (8:47)
8. Rome (5:30)
9. The Last Wave (9:45)
10. Afterword (5:26)
11. The Corners (1:56)

Line-up

- Tim Morse / keyboards, vocals, guitars, bass, percussion
- Jerry Jennings / guitars
- Gordon Stizzo / drums
- Jim Diaz / bass
- Sean McMillin / fretted and fretless bass (track 2)
- Bret Bingham / backup vocals (tracks 2 and 8)
- Helen Nelson / backup vocals (track 2)
- Casey Wells / backup vocals (track 2)
- Mark Dean / guitar (track 3, 7, 9), vocals (track 6,7), bass (track 7), drums (tracks 7 and 9)
- Timothy Stanley / cello (track 5)
- Moss Hudson / guitar (track 6)
- David Ragsdale / violin (track 8)
- Danny Barringer / ducimer, auto harp (track 9)
- Spencer Byrnes / trumpet (track 9)
- Jim Hefter / trap drum kit (track 9)
- Marcelle Maldeonado / backing vocals (track 9)
- Levi Dean Miller / voice (track 9)
- Jim Annis / voice (track 9)
- Clayton Argo / voice (track 9)
- Nic Caciappo / bodhram, shaker (track 10)
- Ruby Sketchley / voice (track 11)

Description/Reviews
Faithscience has a classic symphonic prog style. It’s not so retro that it sounds like it was recorded in another era, but it has that early-1970s quality, sounds, and influences of Yes, Genesis, Van der Graaf Generator, ELP, 70s fusion, and more. Many other musicians participate, including David Ragsdale (Kansas) on violin. Probably the biggest surprise of the year, and highly recommended to fans of classic prog. (kinesis)
Media/Samples 
Samples at artist's webpage

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Betrayal at Bespin "Rains"


Country: Finland
Sub GenreAmbient, Post Rock, Post Metal
Release dateAugust 31, 2012
Tracklist

01. Strange Days (05:34)
02. Cherbourg (06:07)
03. Atlantic (05:19)
04. She Had A Death Wish (02:21)
05. Slow Dance (05:12)
06. Marie Celeste (05:00)
07. This Place Is Death (03:41)
08. My Hands Are On Fire (05:23)
09. Ocean Rain (03:23)
10. Moon River (07:17)

Line-up

Eero Hammais, Heikki Hyvänen, Jaakko Lehtinen, Juho Leppänen, Lauri Mattelmäki, Juho Rantanen, Kristian Soini

     Additional musicians:
Bass clarinet and additional baritone & tenor sax on Strange Days and Moon River by Markus Pajakkala
Trumpet on Atlantic and Ocean Rain by Lauri Nykänen
Violin on Strange Days, Cherbourg, Atlantic, Slow Dance and Marie Celeste by Jaakko Mattelmäki and Liisi Uusitalo, Cello by Teemu Mastovaara
Upright bass on Slow Dance by Kari Ylinen
Additional vocals on Slow Dance by Noora Leppänen
Backing vocals on Strange Days by Pekka Nisu


Description/Reviews
Betrayal at Bespin is a seven-piece band hailing from Finland, harbouring a unique and eclectic sound, which ranges from at times minimalistic and ambient, to a heavier prog-rock feel...While many of the songs on ‘Rains’ adhere to a standard tension-release construction, this large ensemble works well together, mixing an array of influences and instruments with a sophistication that departs from the predictability of heavy post-rock bands. Each track is in itself a single entity; however, the well-crafted record manages to achieve an overarching sense of continuity and unity. ‘Rains’ provides a delicate mixture between easy listening and spirited sonorities that make it good background music, or a well-produced record to tune in and deconstruct with intense focus.
Read the whole review by Christine Savage at spaceshipnews.com.au 

Media/Samples 
Bandcamp

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Eloy Fritsch "Exogenesis"


Country: Brazil
Sub GenreSymphonic, Electronica, New Age
Label: Musea
Release date: August, 2012
Tracklist
1 - Gaia - (2'46)
2 - Neutron Star - (6'05)
3 - Sunshine - (3'13)
4 - Exogenesis (I. Part One) - (5'36)
5 - Exogenesis (II. Part Two) - (2'30)
6 - Exogenesis (III. Part Three) - (5'02)
7 - Exogenesis (IV. Part Four) - (5'24)
8 - Mayan Temple - (6'52)
9 - Far Above The Clouds - (3'50)
10 - Moonwalk - (6'01)
11 - The Ice Sea Of Enceladus - (2'51)
12 - New Dawn - (4'38)
13 - The Immensity Of The Cosmic Ocean - (6'50)

Line-up
Eloy Fritsch - all synthesizers, keyboards and instruments

Description/Reviews
Eloy Fritsch is the main force behind the Brazilian Neo-Prog band Apocalypse. The tenth Eloy Fritsch CD brings Exogenesis electronic suite in four movements inspired by the genesis of the universe. In addition to this suite that references the first conceptual albums by Jean Michel Jarre, the CD contains more eight individual tracks. Joining the symphonic and electronic, but without forgetting the ethnic instruments, the composer of electronic music uses high technology in the service of emotions to create great music.
Also read the review by Douwe Fledderus at progvisions.net

Media/Samples 
Gaia

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Abigail Palmer "Sow Hope"


Country: USA
Sub GenreProg Folk
Release date: August 29, 2012
Tracklist
1. Sow Hope 3:29
2. Seventh Heaven 4:28
3. Stage 3:46
4. Sizzle Simmer 3:26
5. So Tell Me a Joke 3:17
6. Sweet Strawberry 3:45
7. Stone Muse 3:07
8. Sigh 3:09
9. S'improvisation 8:15
10. Starting Over 3:32
11. Sleep I Do Not 5:01
12. Shifting Sands 4:21
13. Sink Into the Wind 1:52

Line-up
Abigail Palmer - Acoustic and electric harp, vocals, piano, djembe, percussion
         accompanied by
Jacob Abuhamada - Guitar
Brian Weakly - Bass
TagG - Rap vocals
David Sobel - Saxophone
Matt Erlichman - Drum set

Description/Reviews
Abigail's music is very eclectic, creative, and original. She has shades of jazz and celtic style in her music, but she primarily sticks to a progressive feel, seen in her lyrics as well. Abigail also utilizes the beauty of improvisation, and often uses this both in performance and on her album. Abigail's primary instrument is acoustic and electric harp, but she also plays djembe, piano, various percussion instruments, guitar, and sings. On her album she is accompanied by drum set, guitar, saxophone, bass, and rapper vocals. There is a variety of songs and instrumental tracks with no vocals. But every track on the album has different instrumentation and a different feel from the last
Media/Samples 
4 songs at reverbnation

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Michael’s Statement "Beauty of Sadness"


Country: Germany
Sub GenreEclectic, Retro Prog, Avant Prog
Label: Self-released
Release dateAugust 27, 2012
Tracklist
1. Black Sea Incident 8:26
2. Baba Fuma's Tale 11:42
3. Old Road Home 4:27
4. Trees 5:53
5. Crystal Lake 7:35
6. Enter Sadness 17:40

Line-up
Michael Vuckovac (drums, guitar, Mellotron, additional instruments, vocals)
with
Valentin Alvarez (saxophone)
Giulio Cataldo (Grand Piano)
Paul Cecchetti (flute)
Dereck Higgins (bass)
Stefan Grob (guitar)
Peter Jonasson (guitar)
Ray Kurtz (frettless bass)
Art Lip (trumpet, vocals)
Dave Meros (Spock's Beard, bass)
Steve Mills (vocals)

Description/Reviews
The Beauty of Sadness is six-tracks clocking in at fifty-five minutes in total length. Most of these compositions are on the longish side allowing for more than your average complexity. The overall tone is somewhat dark, dramatic and moody with a style that clearly hearkens back to a classic King Crimson feel. More than one of these tracks features a dissonant or angular passage that separates or distinguishes the more melodic segments. While there are vocals, they don’t seem to take over the musical proceedings in any significant way. What truly stands out are the many longer complex and sometimes dense musical passages. Mellotron features powerfully throughout. The vocals, certainly on the opening “Black Sea Incident” [8:26] betray a Peter Hammill or David Bowie tone and style; very emotional and expressive. The ‘Tron  makes it’s mark with massed strings and choirs at every turn. The shortest track “Old Road Home” [4:27] is a slow ballad and features mostly piano, acoustic guitar, fretless bass, with keyboard support. It is open and airy. The longest track is the epic closer “Enter Sadness” [17:40] which opens in grand symphonic fashion, Mellotron a blazing before descending into an angular, minor chord spiral at just past the one-minute mark. From that point on, all bets are off as the music takes on a life of its own; all at once grand and the nest dark and discordant. It is truly “epic.” 
Read the whole review by Jerry Lucky 

Media/Samples 
Old Road Home (Official Video)

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Jakob Juhkam "T"


Country: Estonia
Sub Genre: Instrumental Avant Prog
LabelMortimer Snerd Records
Release date: August 22, 2012
Tracklist
1. Sisse / In (2:18)
2. Dorpati Katustel / On The Rooftops Of Dorpat (6:38)
3. Hr Vincent / Mr. Vincent (4:09)
4. Etüüd / Etude (3:55)
5. Mandelbrot / Mandelbrot (2:24)
6. Vaenlase Köök / Enemy's Kitchen (5:37)
7. Raijin / Raijin (2:09)
8. Hulkuri Samba / Samba Of A Hobo (3:52)
9. Juhtum / The Case (4:57)
10. Amatsooni Kaebelaul / Amazon's Lament (4:39)
11. Välja / Out (1:53)

Line-up
All tracks composed, performed, recorded, mixed and mastered by Jakob Juhkam.
    Except:
Drums on 03, 04, 09 – Hans Kurvits;
Marimba on 03 – Lauri Ahone;
Clarinet on 09 – Silver Sepp;
Trumpet, alto saxophone and tenor saxophone on 06 - Mihkel Kallip, Tanel Koho and Roland Mällo

Media/Samples 
Bandcamp

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hess and Franzen “UST Vol. 01”


Country: UK
Sub GenreSymphonic, Soundtrack, Instrumental
Release date: August 14, 2012
Tracklist
1. Ignorance Is A Blessing 03:21
2. Oblivion 02:24
3. The Cat Is Out Of The Bag 02:48
4. We Are Not The Only Game In Town 03:02
5. Height Of Arrogance 02:22
6. In Our Orbit 03:57
7. Strangers In The Sky 03:54
8. A Nice Place Called Earth 03:01
9. Fear Of The Developer 03:04
10. Death Blow 03:30
11. 2 Billion In The First Minutes 03:02
12. Whoosh...Whoosh...Whoosh 03:24
13. Let's Go! Move! 03:05
14. Asymmetric Warfare 03:05
15. Forget Lasers And Robots 03:01
16. Their Weapons Are Our Own Bodies 05:32
17. Thunder Well 04:27
18. 42 Miles Per Second Plate 02:45

Line-up
Hans Hess & Renan Franzen

Description/Reviews
UST Vol 01 is a conceptual sci-fi action soundtrack for a non-existent movie (hence the name Unofficial Sound Track).
     Fans of music from the Enid or Karda Estra will thoroughly enjoy the music on UST Vol. 01. It’s most definitely symphonic in nature.
     UST Vol. 01 features 18 tracks, roughly 59 minutes of music and each of the tracks is relatively short, most around 3-minutes or so. So what you have here, much like any traditional soundtrack, are pieces of music that strive to set a mood or create a mental image, which they do quite well. I couldn’t help myself while listening to start imagining some sort of cinematic scene. In fact I started to play out my own movie, piecing the compositions together to create the story line. Interesting thing is my movie kept changing with each listen. The duo have packed the guitars in their cases and dug out a couple more keyboards in their quest to create these highly orchestrated vignettes. If you didn’t know better, so good are the digital sounds these days, you’d think you were listening to real instruments: all the sounds are there, French Horns, Oboes, cellos, flutes, strings, harps…it’s quite wonderful.
 Read the whole review by Jerry Lucky

Media/Samples 
Bandcamp free download

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Friday, August 10, 2012

William Gray "Silentio"


Country: Argentina
Sub GenreSymphonic, Rock opera
Release date: August 10, 2012
Tracklist
1. Prelude 01:05
2. Crisis 05:38
3. The Gift 06:00
4. Medicine 08:28
5. La Burla 04:43
6. Precious 05:17
7. The Sorcerer 01:35
8. Type Machinae 04:32
9. Auditorium 07:14
10. Dumb 05:17
11. Cursed 07:26
12. The Betrayal 00:55
13. The Search 07:57

Line-up
Fausto Manes - Drums
Maximiliano Rago - Bass
Sebastian Medina - Vocals, acoustic & electric guitars
Federico Ferme - Acoustic & electric guitars
Federico Zanzottera - Piano, Hammond organ, accordion & synthesizers
Juan Manuel Tavella - Sitar, santoor, accordion, guitar, piano, Rhodes & Hammmond organ
Carolina Azcune - Backing vocals

Description/Reviews
William Gray continues to astound us all through its musical evolution. This spectacular second album boasts all the essential condiments for current Progressive Rock: stylistically wide-ranging, and high quality in the string and vocal arrangements
Media/Samples 
Bandcamp

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Lee Wanner "Kids Today And Their Loud Jazz Music"


Country: USA
Sub GenreJazz, Fusion
LabelLittle League Records
Formatdigital, cassette
Release dateAugust 10, 2012 (digital), June 21, 2014 (cassette)
Tracklist
1 .Why Are They Doing This to Me? (8:17)
2. Only Audrey Would Know (4:59)
3. Become the Universe (8:04)
4. Dancing Sirens (5:39)
5. Grief (4:11)

Line-up
Lee Wanner - guitars
Marco Minnemann - drums
Ric Fierabracci - bass
Laura Vall - vocals

Description/Reviews
Kids Today And Their Loud Jazz Music is the first album by Hollywood based guitar virtuoso Lee Wanner (of Rejectionary Art). This explosive jazz-fusion/jazz-metal album, spanning over six tracks bursts with energy, technique and musicianship.
"Kids..." showcases Lee Wanners sheer compositional and playing abilities, featuring a backing band of Marco Minnemann, Ric Fierabracci on bass (Chick Corea, Dave Weckl) and Laura Vall (The Controversy). Each musician shines brightly, bringing new dynamics to the jazz-fusion playing field and pushing the boundaries to create something truly special. 
Media/Samples 
Bandcamp

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hoverplain "Senza Confini"


Country: Italy
Sub GenreSymphonic
Release dateAugust 4, 2012
Tracklist
01 Intro 0:49
02 Mr.vertigo 4:48
03 La musica 3:42
04 Due gocce 4:02
05 A Te (Avvocata nostra) 3:54
06 Nelle braccia della notte 4:17
07 Graffi di verità 3:23
08 Il gioco della vita 4:50
09 Antares 2:26
10 Tra lo spazio e il tempo 5:02
11 Io & te 3:23

Line-up
Lorenzo Frati - Bass/Guitars/Voice
Filippo Fontana - Keyboards/Guitars
Donato Rossetti - Guitars
   With:
Roberto Tiranti - Voice (track 2; 3; 5; 8)
Emiliano Bassi – Drums

Description/Reviews
Hoverplain were born from the artistic union of three musicians from Cremona. Their music develops a spontaneous sound that blends together heavy metal, acoustic rock and progressive, sung in Italian, for an unique and personal style, difficult to approach to already existing bands. The knot that binds the friendship and the feeling among the three musicians is tight and clear: writing songs first of all to dream, without any limits on the music genre, and trying to express wishes, ideas, feelings through music and words, working hard on arrangements and sounds, following as much as possible their own culture, experience and taste, and never forgetting the search for an intense inspiration in the words and intelligent and original solutions in the music.
The Hoverplain (the plain suspended) is the more artistic side of our Po Valley, the spiritual side that’s now slowly disappearing. The Hoverplain is suspended in the air, between the earth and the sky, between good and evil, and it’s full of adventures and challenges to overcome…

Media/Samples 
Il gioco della vita
Mr.Vertigo

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Flicker "How Much are You Willing to Forget?"


Country: UK
Sub GenreArt Rock, Progressive Rock, Alternative
Release dateAugust 1, 2012 (digital), January 28, 2013 (CD)
Tracklist
1.Intro 01:46
2.Go 03:02
3.Out There 06:00
4.My Empty Head 06:43
5.Counting Time 07:31
6.Everywhere Face 04:37
7.Falling Down 05:50
8.Breathless 08:20
9.Is This Real Life 06:35

Line-up
Ellis Mordecai (Lead vocals/guitar)
Andrew Day (Guitar)
Peter Coussens (Bass)
Vaughan Abrey (Drums)

Description/Reviews
This release is indeed a welcome addition to the continuously growing number of excellent prog albums that seem to have been released since I started writing reviews. The band have produced an extremely interesting debut album, which at different points, “doffs its hat” to bands such as Pink Floyd and early Genesis, while not merely copying them. I would also liken them to Edison’s Children, not so much in the sound, but more in the structure and feel of the music.

I have listened to How Much Are You Willing To Forget, many times over the last week or so, and it is filled with amazing melodies, superb musical skills and can swing from very sparse melodic passages, to almost “wall of sound” passages. Credit must be given to the band (and the producers of the album) for an album where the musicians do not ever give the impression that the music was forced or rushed. Each of the tracks presented is allowed to evolve at its own pace.
Read the full review by  Jim Lawson at muzikreviews.com

Media/Samples 
Bandcamp

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