“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.
Trevor’s Head are self-described as the most exciting thing to come out of Redhill, Surrey in three centuries. Without being a local, a quick investigation suggests little of note from the town bar the Foundling Museum setting up a school in the 1920’s and the construction of the M23 Motorway nearby during the seventies (thanks Google) and very little else of note, so this is most certainly a tongue in cheek boast. It is one that certainly sells the band short however as evidenced on the intriguing genre-melding on display on their latest album A View From Below (APF Records).Continue reading
This experimental Chicago band has been toying with the dark sonic corners for over twenty years. It’s been eleven of those years since we have had a new album from Yakuza, and it is good to dive back into their land of twisted shadows. The focus has shifted to a more deliberate brand of heavy, that places them not far from the sonic zip code of older Mastodon. The differences are fewer guitar pyrotechnics and a much darker trajectory than the Atlanta progsters. Bruce Lamont’s baritone moan carries a hint of anger as the opening track is framed with dissonance.