Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Australasia “Sin4tr4” (EP)

Country: Italy
Sub GenrePost Rock, Post Metal, Ambient
LabelGolden Morning Sounds
Release date: July, 2012
1. Antenna 02:56
2. Spine 04:23
3. Apnea 02:38
4. Scenario 02:26
5. Satellite 02:53
6. Retina 03:06
7. Fragile 03:55

Gian (guitar +synths)
Rico (drums)

The one particular thing that truly captures 100% of my attention these days are bands that are able to take uncommon or unlikely combinations of genres and make something truly beautiful with them. Well Australasia has done just that with their latest release ‘Sin4tr4‘, a 7-track 22 minute musical odyssey that combines ambient post-rock with harsh blast beats and melodic death metal. While there are elements that are definitely post-metal to be found here as well, the band has no problem stepping up a notch above that by pealing back the more textured heaviness to create a more straight forward melodic death sound. 
Read the whole review at postrockstar.com


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Monday, July 30, 2012

Amaze Knight "The Key"

Country: Italy
Sub GenreProgressive Metal
Format: CD, digital
Release dateJuly 2012

  1. Imprisoned (Shadows Past) 10:26
  2. Restless Soul 08:58
  3. Heartless 09:47
  4. Liberation (The Reflection) 08:54
  5. Liberation (A New Day) 09:34

Christian Dimasi - guitar
Michele Scotti - drums
Fabrizio Aseglio - vocals
Matteo Cerantola - bass

Progressive metal is the name of the game by this Italian quartet, and following fairly closely in the tradition of veteran band Dream Theater at that. Although this band does have a bit more going for them than many other bands described in such a manner, the fact that their compositions are a tad more structurally sophisticated than many other bands exploring this type of progressive metal arguably the most important part of it.
 Read the full review by Olav Martin Bjørnsen at progarchives.com


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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Il Giardino Onirico "Perigeo"

Country: Italy
Sub GenreArt Rock, Symphonic, Progressive Metal
Label: Self-released, Lizard Records
Release date: July 25, 2012
1. B.S.D. (10:42)
2. Utopia Planitia (11:46)
3. Agosto (8:57)
4. Amigdala (9:07)
5. Perigeo (11:16)

- Stefano Avigliana / guitars
- Emanuele Telli / synths, keyboards
- Dario Hakim / synths, effects
- Ettore Mazzarini / bass
- Moscatelli Massimo / drums
- Marco Marini / narrative voice

5 long instrumental tracks with visionary atmospheres, between symphonic and psychedelic modern progressive rock. Pink Floyd and Eloy meet Porcupine Tree and Anathema!!
Excellent keyboards and guitars work, sometimes with a heavy approach, sometimes with simphonic and space-ambient trips (Lizard Records).
entire album online


Crazy World "The Return Of The Clown"

Country: Finland
Sub GenreRetro Prog, Rock opera
LabelPresence Records
Release dateJuly 25, 2012
1. Every Good Wish All To You 10:10
2. I Think I Saw My Brothers Eyes 4:57
3. The Clown In A Swing 5:36
4. You're So So Vain 7:56
5. Pearls Before Swine 3:41
6. She Could Be Your Mother 3:56
7. From Son To Father 3:51
8. Clown's Gotta Go 4:39
9. Mrs Politician 6:05
10. The Return Of The Clown 8:55
11. Lay It Down 3:26
12. Since I'Ve Been Loving You (Live) 11:00
13. The Clown In A Swing (Live) 5:31

Bass, Vocals – Lauri Porra (Stratovarius)
Drums, Percussion – Anssi Nykänen (Pekka Pohjola)
Guitar, Vocals, Piano – Timo Kämäräinen
Hammond B3, Moog, Mellotron – Esa Kotilainen (Wigwam, Jukka Tolenen, Tasavallan Presidenti)
Vocals, Harmonica – Mika Järvinen (Five Fifteen)

Billed as as a 'rock opera', The Return of the Clown is a story about a motorcycle riding carnival clown and his son, and the booklet is set up much like a comic book and gives a little insight to the storyline. The music is '70s inspired prog & hard rock, as the band draws on influences such as Deep Purple, Yes, Uriah Heep, The Beatles, Jethro Tull, Genesis, and Pink Floyd. If you love plenty of guitar & keyboard solos, then you've come to the right place, as both Kamarainen & Kotilainen make their mark in a big way. Kotilainen, who should be no stranger to fans of Finnish progressive rock, lends his Hammond B-3 organ, Mellotron, and Moog passages all over this album, giving a song like "The Clown in a Swing" a real Deep Purple/Uriah Heep feel with the Hammond, and "I Think I Saw My Brothers Eyes" more of a Pink Floyd vibe thanks to some spacey Moog lines. Through it all, singer Jarvinen sounds fantastic, his rich, melodic vocals hitting the mark and portraying each character in the story. Check out his crafty delivery on the rocking "You're So Vain", a tune also noteworthy for plenty of scorching, wah-wah licks from Kamarainen, who does his best Mick Box impression. "She Could Be Your Mother" has a folky hard rock feel, a neat mix of Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, complete with ultra-catchy vocal hooks, and the awesomely addicting "Clown's Gotta Go" rages with an intensity that is like a meeting of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Cheap Trick, with Kotilainen's Hammond leading the charge. The rock opera concludes in fine prog-rock fashion with "Mrs Politician", "The Return of the Clown" and "Lay It Down", complete with plenty of vintage styled keyboards, melodic vocals, some rousing riffs, and lush atmosphere. (Pete Pardo at seaoftranquility.org)


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Eternal Essence "A Light In the Distance"

Country: USA
Sub GenreProgressive Metal
LabelMondo Tunes
Release date: July 24, 2012
01. Rise Above (4:55)
02. Within a Dream (5:03)
03. From Green to Grey (5:08)
04. Live for Today (3:51)
05. Riven (7:25)
06. ...And Servitude (4:24)
07. Cool Gentle Rain (5:45)
08. Epiphany (6:00)
09. Driving the Spear (4:50)
10. A Tragic Subconscious (13:37)
11. Let You Go (3:49)

Maria Vastano (lead vocals)
Gary Hoffman (guitar, flute, backing vocals)
Greg Rosenblit (piano and synths)
Matthew Rib (bass)
EJ Luna (drums)

To my ears, much of the music found here on "A Light In the Distance" sounds like an American companion to the female-fronted symphonic metal movement that currently enjoys popularity in Europe. Anyone familiar with bands like Within Temptation, Nightwish or Epica will have a good idea what I'm talking about. For those unfamiliar with that genre, I would describe it as a more lush, orchestral and often 'theatrical' variation on prog-metal - music where you're just as likely to hear a classical piano as a chunky guitar riff. The emphasis is definitely more on melody and song-structure than speed or aggression. And white Eternal Essence never goes quite as elaborate as Within Temptation does with their monk choirs and string sections, they do create a very full, symphonic sound within their five-piece format.
Read the full review by  Jeff Matheus at prognaut.com

Rise Above
Live For Today

Web page

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Cosmic Dead "The Exalted King"

Country: UK
Sub GenrePsychedelic, Space Rock, Krautrock
LabelCosmic Eye Records (vinyl)
Release dateJuly 23, 2012 (digital), March 25, 2013 (vinyl)
1.The Exalted King 34:07
2.Anatta 15:30
3.Anaphora 20:40

Julian Dicken: drums
Omar Aborida: bass
James T. McKay: guitar
Lewis Cook: synthesizers

From the Icarus-like trance ascension of opener "The Exalted King", the band enters to a deeply mindblowing interplay between trip-rock experiments and cosmic ambition. Each album side is uninterrupted, a continuous stream of deep spaced out zones recalling the rich tones and pulse of your early 70s kosmische heroes with latter day stoned-out psychedelia. Sometimes wandering in silently dark semi-acoustic mysteries of the cosmos, and in the next moment orbiting to walls of sound with outer space echoes and alien atmospheres. The Cosmic Dead know how to ride the edge of groove and gently cut back to spacey atmospherics to superb effect. The record explodes their sound in all directions; spacier, trippier, headier and far more expansive than ever.
Revivalists have attempted to capture and modernize the sound, and retro enthusiasts have grappled in authenticity, but The Cosmic Dead are beyond: they are that sound! It's music floating so naturally that immediately puts the listener into a state where time seems to disappear. They invite you to experience intense flashbacks of tribal british space rock and 70's krautrock bubbled through a psych filter.


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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Afforested "Surviving Remnants Of The Medieval Greenwood"

Country: UK
Sub Genre Instrumental Prog Folk
Release date: July 7, 2012
1. Salthaga 02:01
2. The Commoner's Right Of Pannage 03:15
3. To Freedom On A Palomino Palfrey 03:02
4. Cloudesley's Unbeatable Aim 03:06
5. As He Flew From The Trysting Tree With A Yaffleing Call 01:43
6. Sir Fouke's Old Haunt 04:03
7. Leaving Barnsdale For The Last Time 06:59
8. Gamelyn's New Crown 03:48
9. Another Game Of Pluck Buffet 02:59
10. If I, From An Oak Apple, Had Emerged 01:22
11. The Fallow Faun And The Mogshade Of June 03:16
12. Eadric The Wild 02:04

Alex Betts / Keyboards, Drums, Flute, Recorder, Whistle & Percussion
Jonathan Betts / 6 & 12 String Acoustic Guitars, Bass Guitar & Mandolin

Damn, look at that title. I’ll bet you can’t guess what kind of music this is. For you uninitiated, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to the world of Progressive Folk Rock, a place where lutes, puffy pants and Medieval European music collide with vintage analog synthesizers and drum kits. You’re going to hear lots of acoustic stringed instruments and a few nice picked acoustic guitar solos (when do you hear those in prog music?). You’re also going to experience unique, imaginative percussion and punchy basslines, and an impressive collection of vintage and/or vintage-sounding leads and pads that add a lush texture to the album and augment the folk instruments nicely. I particularly enjoyed the song structure, which seems to ebb and flow constantly and will keep listeners on their tones. Lots of abrupt changes and good use of dynamics – the listener will really get the feeling that they’re listening to a performance, not just a collection of songs. No vocals on this one; this is 100% proggy folky nonsense, and it’s pretty wonderful.(Markus Cueva at progulator.com )
Also read a review by Jerry Lucky 



Sunday, July 1, 2012

Imagery "The Inner Journey"

Country: Brazil
Sub GenreProgressive Metal
Release date: July 1, 2012
1. Fourth Secret (4:50)
2. Imagery (5:57)
3. Perception (6:13)
4. Start The War (4:01)
5. The Rain (5:46)
6. Show Me (3:37)
7. Stranger (4:43)
8. Last (8:12)

Joceir Bertoni - vocals and guitars
Ricardo Fanucchi - bass
Luciano Neves - drums
Henrique Loureiro - keyboards

Rayburn "Your Mind"

Country: USA
Sub GenreCrossover
Release date: July 1, 2012
1. Your Mind 3:16
2. Working My Way Upstream 5:26
3. Hey Friend 4:01
4. Gotta Be Ready to Die 6:25
5. Sunset 2:13
6. Farmer 4:57
7. The Trail Is Gone 2:13
8. Summer Showers 3:41
9. Saltless Tears 5:00
10. See My Eyes 4:29
11. Said I Love Only You 7:41
12. America 2:30
13. Stand 5:42
14. Righteous Man 5:22
15. Steam Shuffle 3:20
16. It's Time Again 2:13

Robbie Carder - Drums (”Righteous Man”)
Mack Price -  Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Arrangements
Mack Price, V -  Electric Guitars, Vocals (”Gotta Be Ready To Die”, “Said I Love Only You”)
Jackson T. “Steve” Stephens, Jr. -  Background Vocals, Keyboards, Arrangements
Sydney Price (”Sunset”, “Summer Showers”) - Vocals
Vicky Hampton, Kim Keyes, Russell Terrell -  Background Vocals
Shannon Forrest - Drums
Eric Darken - Percussion

Some say: "The greatest 70′s band you never heard of"
     Back in the early '70s the band were signed to a division of RCA Records, but the label wound up never releasing any of their material, and after the death of one of their members the band soon splintered. However, back in 2009 the band reunited  and now here three years later they've put together Your Mind, completed with the help of producer Ben Fowler and a 26-person orchestra.
     The influences of Yes, Gentle Giant, Vanilla Fudge, Steely Dan, Steppenwolf, Deep Purple, and ELP still remain here, so look for those great vintage sounding keyboards, but the orchestra and lush female vocals in spots adds a nice modern touch.
     Your Mind is just solid and enjoyable throughout, with expert instrumentation, powerful vocals, and most importantly memorable songs.
Entire album online at youtube

Web page