After such a fine introduction to the albums that have soundtracked our 2023 (Part 1 – 75-41), we now get into the belly of the beast and plunge on through the never, a testament to the diversity and abundance of alternative and heavy music that availed and impressed us this year. So, without further ado (fewer words, more riffs…)Continue reading →
“Niiiiiice”,says Louis Balfour – you know, the jazz critic in The Fast Show comedy sketches. Well, Soen’s Memorial (Silver Lining Music) is niiiiiice – a decidedly serious sandwich full of delights, earworms, and all-around expertise.
Welcome, my friends to the album you know. These are Broadway musical-level compositions. Everything about Edward Reekers’ The Liberty Project (Music Theories Recordings / Mascot Label Group), a prog-opera bedecked with an ensemble cast is big, bombastic, colourful, and expansive.
This latest release from Neal Morse certainly doesn’t lack ambition – a prog rock opera, the sixteen tracks run for an hour plus, and this is only the first part of his musical version of the Biblical tale of Joseph, the coat of many colours, dude.
It’s only been two years since the release of the first album from Saigon Kick’s guitarist, Jason Bieler. Containing an eccentric mix of music accompanied by a star-studded cast of other musicians, Bieler created an experimental medley of rock and progressive sounds. Now Bieler is back with the rest of The Baron Von Bielski Orchestra to do it again and delve even further into the peculiar sounds previously explored. While the debut dipped its toes into the eccentricity, it seems the band are looking to fully submerge. The main question lingers, whether it is odd for art’s sake or just odd for odd’s sake.
Homer’s The Odyssey is an ancient, epic Greek poem that follows hero Odysseus on his perilous ten-year journey home from the Trojan War (that’s enough Wiki cut and pasting – Ed). Now The Anchoret, new Canadian titans of progressive metal, deliver a musical odyssey of their own.
Wizard Tattoo are ostensibly a solo outfit from Indianapolis led by multi-instrumentalist Bram the Bard who released a four-track self-titled EP last year which has now been followed up with the Fables of the Damned (Self-Released) full-length debut which I currently have in my possession and am about to review.
Mirror To The Sky (Inside Out Music) is Yes’ 23rd album and sees them in somewhat of a productive patch, coming just two years after the previous offering The Quest. Steve Howe is on production duties and is the only surviving member from the band’s heyday after the sad passing of longtime drummer Alan White last year. Despite this Mirror… is undeniably Yes, from the punchy bass lines, fantastical lyrics, and soaring vocals to the dramatic orchestration, long Prog Rock epics, and the obligatory Roger Dean artwork.
Covet’s latest American tour in support of their latest album Catharsis, started in April in Portland, OR, and recently came to a successful close this May in Santa Cruz, CA. I was able to experience Covet for the first time along with supporting acts ScaryPoolParty and Alto Palo in Phoenix, AZ, during which I was excited and curious to see how each of these bands would blend together.