Gandalf’s Fist will reissue their 2013 album A Day In The Life Of A Universal Wanderer in September featuring new track The Stowaway And The Endless Night.
Gandalf’s Fist Begin Pre-Orders “Universal Wanderer”Special Edition Re-issue
Gandalf’s Fist have announced a special deluxe re-issue of their 2013 space-rock offering “A Day in the Life of a Universal Wanderer”.
The expanded album has been fully remixed and remastered from the ground up, utilizing new performance takes and bringing the release firmly in line with the sonic palette of 2014’s “A Forest of Fey” and 2016’s “The Clockwork Fable”.
The record also features new and re-recorded narrative tracks from British Actor Mark Benton, who had previously worked with the band on last year’s Triple-CD album release.
Completing the package is the brand new, exclusive track “The Stowaway and the Endless Night”, an 11 minute opus originally omitted from the original release, as well as brand new cover art commissioned from German artist Thomas Huth, the man reasonable for the band’s sleeves on the last two releases.
Gandalf’s Fist front man, Dean Marsh, commented:
“This is the album people seem to have been desperate for us to re-release on CD format and we were reluctant to do so until we could finally do it right and do it justice. This is not a pointless ‘CGI-Yoda’ retrospective tinkering, we’ve retained the main core of what we originally created, but now with a bit more sheen and more energy. It now works as a cohesive piece. A real thrill for me was to hear the synth violin sections being re-recorded by orchestral musicians, It’s those little touches that have lifted the record to another level. I think we’ve finally got it to a stage where we’re proud to let it sit on the shelf next to our last two albums!”
“A Day in the Life of a Universal Wanderer (Special Edition)”will be released on 18th September 2017. Pre-orders for the album are now available, including limited edition t-shirt packages exclusive to official pre-orders.
Gandalf’s Fist are a fully self-funded independent Progressive Rock band from the UK.
For more information, promo requests or to arrange an interview please contact:
When I first heard that The Wizards Of Winters’ guitarist Fred Gorhau was going to be putting together a project that would allow him to leave the ‘Christmas Time Only’ cocoon I was elated. I was also in a bit of anticipation of the unknown. To be honest I had only heard him in The Wizards Of Winters and Trans Siberian Orchestra. With his new project Dark Sky Choir it is a return to force of quality old school prog related heavy metal with a very modern and contemporary twist to it.
Make no mistake about it Dark Sky Choir are NOT a reflection or a re-visitation of what is now termed ‘Hair Metal’. I mean back in the day we all had hair whether we were thrash, glam, death, power, progressive or black metal with the exceptions of Rob Halford, Graham Bonnet or UDO Dirkschneider ex- Accept. If there is any visitation of the past with Dark Sky Choir it is the mentality of when bands were out drawing and designing their own fliers to have them wrapped around the local telephone poles of the vicinity of the local club or venue for the show promoted.
‘To you millennials who only know of and rely on photo-shop there was a time when we actually hand drew up fliers and printed them out in mass.’ We did not sit at home on a computer and hope people would show up.’
Dark Sky Choir also is a legitimate reminder that no matter how metal changes and evolves it will always return to its roots. Joining Fred Gorhau on this run are Hollywood How – Vocals, Joe Stabile – Bass and Mike James Sakowski – Drums. There is also a certain creative democracy going on with the album because the listener can hear every instrument come through where they properly need to. This may be a new concept to those millennials who have bought into a cheapened form of compressed music for entertainment. The guitar, the bass and the drums are all allowed to breathe and be heard. Hollywood How -Vocals is also allowed to be heard and tell a actual story with the lyrical content instead of it only serving as background noise or instrumental elements. Yes the album is a return to common sense straight away metal performed with a hint of the progressive.
Yes this is a album that is also a triumphant return to the verse/bridge/chorus/solo that metal enjoyed in the 1980’s and early 1990’s here in America. It is also a return of the style of music you would see on MTV instead of shitty and cheesy reality programs that make no sense whatsoever. Now some brief highlights from every track.
Death Of A Nation
The track Death of A Nation is both a track laden with progressive tendencies met with some heavy social commentary. Hollywood How – Vocals soars up into ranges that are explored by Rob Halford, David Coverdale and Primal Fear’s Ralph Scheepers. Fred Gorhau – Guitars shows us a entirely other dimension of his playing. This is a dimension that is more straight away progressive hard rock/heavy metal than what we have been accustomed to hearing in his other outfit The Wizards of Winter. There is also some powerful spoken word element on this track as well.
Like It Or Not
This track fades in a frenzy of a heavy distorted rhythm based chord progression. It has the signature verse/bridge/chorus with great raunchy heavy instrumental passages in harmony with the high end vocals. The guitar solo really shines through with a wonderful melody from the rhythm section.
Walking By Myself
This track here is the standard ballad. For those who were not there or this is still alien to you, the power ballad usually showed up on a album around the second, third or fourth song into the album. It standard ballad fashion this opens up with a beautiful lush acoustic guitar to create a more classical chord progression. The band does a great job painting a beautiful guitar oriented atmosphere for the ballads lyrical content. The guitar solo is spot on with the instrumental off the atmospheric layers.
Die Young (Maybe He Wanted To)
This one is almost a straight away power metal track. Its charging and galloping guitar in harmony with a rather fast bass/drum rhythm section really establish it as one of the faster and heavier songs on the album. In the midst of the fast chord progressions there are some breaks to take the song into a heavier layer. The guitar solo reminds me a lot of Uriah Heep meets Iron Maiden. There are some layers of progressive metal sprinkled throughout this track. The backing vocals serve more as a echo vocal than melodic vocal.
This one starts off on a more old school doom metal chord progressive passage. It contains some very heavy handed and deep doom like rhythm section between the bass/drum/guitar. Even the lyrical content reminds me more of a Black Sabbath Children Of The Grave. The guitar channels Tony Iommi quite well. The bleak instrumental definitely works in perfect harmony with the brooding lyrical material. Part of me feels like I am listening to Trouble meets Iron Maiden on this one. This is definitely a unique tribute of original material to Black Sabbath.
The Sails Of Charon
This one opens up with a blistering down tuned guitar passage. There are breaks in between the rhythm section and the lead guitar. Those breaks allow the song to breathe and grow into itself naturally. A lot this track reminds me a lot of Savatage’s Hall Of The Mountain King both instrumentally and lyrically. The vocals even soar like Jon Oliva’s at times.
Cry For The Legions
This opens up with a blistering thunderous frenzy of layer upon layers in the chord progressions. This track is very heavily progressive induced with the way it builds various layers upon layers on the instrumental half of this. The chorus takes a slight anthem form with the backing vocals. This track is definitely one of those that is designed for fist pumping.
Show No Mercy
This another track that opens up with the galloping Iron Maiden style rhythmic progression. This also is a track that builds layers upon layers. It carries both traditional heavy metal elements with light progressive metal elements. It does take a few breaks to allow the song to breathe so the listener can digest it. The guitar solo is one raunchy beast driving straight away which works very well for the soaring vocals.
This is the final song on the album and subsequently the end of the journey for now. This track is half a ballad style track and half a straight away traditional metal track. This is also the only instrumental on the album. The rhythm section and stringed sections still do a wonderful work telling their own story throughout the instrumental composition. Some of the elements we have come to know of Fred Gorhau from The Wizards of Winter project shine through on this track more so than the other tracks on the album.
I approached this album with some reservation and caution. It exceeded all of my expectations. This is definitely not a clone of The Wizards of Winter nor does it sound dated where it can easily fall through the cracks and branded as a nostalgia album. This does visit a era of metal many have forgotten about but maintains very modern and updated elements. The updated elements definitely prove this album is not your father’s metal but is also very modern to be your metal as well. With this project Fred Gorhau now has something he can work with on a year round basis without being pigeonholed to a specific time of year like he does with The Wizards Of Winter. I give Dark Sky Choir Dark Sky Choir a 4.5/5.
Ritchie Blackmore has gotten over his bad feelings about Deep Purple, and he’d play with them again if he was invited, he’s said.
The guitarist co-founded he iconic British outfit in 1968 and played a leading role in all lineups until they split up in 1975. He took part in the reunion of the Mark II band lineup in 1984 but quit in 1993 – and spent many years making negative comments about his former colleagues.
Asked about his feelings for the band now, Blackmore told The Guardian that he “bears no malice” and that he’d agree to work with them if he received an invitation – but he added: “It’s probably not probable, though.”
His revamped version of Rainbow are about to release their first recordings, and they’ll perform four dates in the U.K. next month. Though it would appear that his career is enjoying a purple patch – and despite a comment he recently made about his daughter making him laugh – he remains determined to avoid having any fun.
“I work very hard at not having fun,” Blackmore noted.
“I don’t think the world is a fun place. I’m very content in my own mind – but fun, I’m not too sure about. I don’t quite know what fun is. I don’t know why I should walk around with a perpetual grin on my face, saying everything’s wonderful. I just don’t fit into the fun area. A lot of musicians go, ‘That was fun.’ I like to think that music is very serious. It’s not fun. I’m not one of those guys that likes jamming with people and having fun. Music is too serious. I don’t feel like I can relate if I’m having fun.”
Still, he’s grateful for some things.
“It’s hard work and it’s really gratifying to do,” he said. “But fun? Fun is where someone tells a joke and they laugh for 10 seconds. Music’s much deeper than that.”
Dream Theater to enter studio in 2018 for ‘New Album’
During the recent stay in Budapest, Dream Theater singer James LaBrie talked in recent interview.
The band is mostly focused on touring by the end of the year. LaBrie said:
“We do this tour for the rest of 2017 and in 2018 we’re gonna make a new album. And we’re pretty psyched because we’re already know what we’re gonna do. But I’m not gonna tell you. [laughs] It’s really important for us that the new album will be our best effort. It should be who we are at that particular moment. We still want to create something that’s better than what we did before. That’s what keeps you interested in what you do. But if along the way we feel that there is another album we should recognize once again, then we’ll do it.“
He also added:
“We’re just planting seeds for now. We’re just putting some stuff together but it’s pretty cool what’s happening. The real nuts and bolts aren’t gonna happen until we’re done touring. Then we will go to a studio and be together every day just to write songs. But we have a lot of ideas already.“
Later in the year I will be doing a 25th Anniversary Retrospective of Dream Theaters Images & Words, 15th Anniversary Retrospective of Dream Theaters Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence right here on Power Of Prog.
Whatever fell from the cosmic sky, it landed in our home town Berlin. And is ready to take your mind on a beautiful journey. Bringing Earthless-level Heavy Psych into the local scene! Taking you into the endless universe, the lonely desert and the depth of the ocean as relaxing sounds and moody melodies will go along with you on this journey. Do you smell it? It’s time for another take off !
To understand a band like Germany’s Cosmic Fall in the present, we must take a journey to Germany’s ‘Krautrock’ past. The very definition to ‘Krautrock’ is ‘Cosmic-Rock’, very contrary to how it was labeled in the United Kingdom. The term “krautrock” was originated by English-speaking music journalists as a humorous name for a diverse range of German bands whose music drew from sources such as psychedelic rock, the avant-garde, electronic music, funk, minimalism, jazz improvisation, and world music styles. You could say that ‘Krautrock’ had a wild west mentality with a broad and vast range of experimentation. Largely divorced from the traditional blues and rock and roll influences of British and American rock music up to that time, the period contributed to the evolution of electronic music and ambient music as well as the birth of psychedelic improvised long form jam band rock, post-punk, alternative rock and New Age music. Important acts of the scene include Amon Dull ii, Can, Kraftwerk, Neu!, Ash Ra Tempel, Tangerine Dream, Popol Vuh, and Faust.
Cosmic Fall definitely falls in line with this rich tradition of improvised jam band songs that are practically played out more than a premeditated write, record, produce process. This form of progressive/psychedelic rock depends more on all the sum of the parts of the instruments to produce a unified wall of sound instead of the instruments coming in off the hands of virtuoso’s with intricate interchanges in time signatures. It allows for every instrument to both breathe and be heard allowing the listener to decide how they will absorb and digest the individual compositions. In modern time bands like Cosmic Fall, Oresund Space Collective, Earthless, Pharaoh Overlord, Hydria Spacefolk, to name a few have really opened up different dimensions of progressive/psychedelic rock that have not recently been tapped until now.
Cosmic Fall’s Kick Out The Jams is a bold and ambitious follow up to their debut album First Fall released back in 2016. Although the band were gracious enough to send me the physical CD copy I am reviewing the Digital Bandcamp Edition with the extra track Purple Weed. Kick Out The Jams Digital Bandcamp Edition contains 3 more mind expansive tracks over their debut First Fall taking the album to just about 90 minutes. Keep in mind Cosmic Fall are only a three man unit but this does not deduct from the vast huge wall of sound they are capable of. Now allow me to analyze this vast expanse of music track by track.
Saturn Highway is a monster 19+ minute epic that opens the album gracefully. This track immediately paints a picture that the listener is experiencing space travel on a deep interstellar level. The guitar opens it with a very heavy 1970’s psychedelic chord progression on the lead and the drums and fuzzy stoner style bass come in and pick up the rhythm off the guitar lead. The guitar also serves in a heavily atmospheric induced capacity during this time. The band already displays in uncanny prowess to add layers upon layers with the instruments at their dispose. Mathias Rosmann – Guitars has a intricate knowledge of guitar pedals and the various sounds they make possible. The same can be said for Klaus Fredrich – Bass. Their effective work on the bass and guitar pedals allow for the track to move forward creating a wall of various progressive and psychedelic atmospheric layers.
Daniel Sax – Drums really has a very flexible vibe about him top adjust to the various chord progressions from the bass and guitars. At about the 8:50 mark the entire composition takes on a strong interstellar echo as if the journey into space gets deeper and deeper to where it takes a subtle break. About the 11:11 mark the track starts to build again with layers upon layers. There is a brilliant isolation with the drum beats and soon the fuzzy style stoner bass comes into compliment the drums. The remainder of the track remains on point towards their objective of quality improvised psychedelic space rock with some heavy elements.
White Stone opens up with a very heavy psychedelic progressive passage that is more rooted within 1960’s style psychedelic rock. The track is very up tempo with plenty of well crafted fuzzy rhythm based guitar and bass. The drums completely carry the vast up tempo that the guitar and bass set up quite eloquently. About the 3:02 mark the track begins to taper off peeling back the layers towards a subtle finishing passage.
Earthfull This is another lengthy epic and longest song on Kick Out The Jams clocking in at 21+ minutes. It begins with a very deep bass drum complimented perfectly by a deeply down tuned bass drum and bass rhythm section. The guitar comes in more as a lead again running congruent with the deep rhythm section. The opening minute reminds me heavily of the band Earthless’ Sonic Prayer from 2007’s Rhythms From A Cosmic Sky.
The chord progressions on the guitar are also a very heavy 1960’s influenced progression in the vein of Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane meets Robby Kreiger from The Doors.Mathias Rosmann – Guitars has a very intricate knowledge and ability to use both guitar pedals and a wammy bar to produce the maximum sound distribution with minimal energy. The bass/drum rhythm section give the listener the appearance of a well choreographed dance between the fingers on the bass fret board and the tom tom, hi hat, snare combinations the drums continue to experiment with. This track has some serious stoner rock fuzzy passages throughout it. From a free flow improvised perspective this track has heavy Earthless and Oresund Space Collective influence all over it. About the 10:00 mark the track starts to take a more Lo-Fi minimalist approach very much in the spirit of Can, Popol Vuh and Faust from ‘Krautrock’s’ past. Cosmic Fall are not shy on full experimentation which makes for a very unique listening experience. At about the 14:40 mark the band allows the ‘objective listener’ a strong sense in floating into deep interstellar space. It also allows breathing room for the listener to digest the epic before picking back up again at the 16:00 mark where the band takes a more heavy prog approach.
Purple Weed is the bonus track on the ‘digital version only’of Kick Out The Jams which is what I am using for this review. It starts out like it is a cut away from another song. It opens more with a bridge style passage instead of a traditional genesis where they star off simple and proceed to build layers upon layers. The opening also captures the band in a more straight away psychedelic rock passage. This track does break and takes on another direction around the 2:30 mark allowing for the listener the choice to breath and digest or be alert and anticipate. Cosmic Fall have a unique and distinctive way of allowing the listener a choice of how they want to experience the music. The ambiguous jester within is very on point with the music as well.
Interstellar Junction in a strange backhanded way is probably the bands ‘most’ tangible track to attract people that are new to the band and their genre of progressive/psychedelic rock. It starts very up tempo with straight away 1970’s stoner/psychedelic chord progressions. Think Amon Dull ii meets Can meets Vanilla Fudge. The passages are very heavily progressive laden with various psychedelic atmospheres. This one is also recorded and performed live and is one of two on the album. This track also gives the listener the impression that there are two distinctive personalities on the album. Those personalities being of course, psychedelic and progressive. The last three tracks are more progressive/stoner hard rock than the previous four which are more experimental.
Stairway Jam starts out with a very seriously deep down tuned bass. Soon the methodical and sometimes off timed drums come in and start building a very organic rhythm section. Within that rhythm section and its progressive thunder comes the guitar that is allowed to breathe and take a more front and center approach, allowing the rhythm section of the bass/drums to lead it into various layers and dimensions. This jam takes on some very very heavy fuzzy chord progressions like those from the late 1960’s to middle 1970’s when psychedelic rock carried some heavier doom style elements. In the middle the rhythm section takes a more laid back approach and the guitar is allowed to take the listener on a strange , yet genius, cosmic journey towards the inner-space of the mind of the audience.
Cosmic Conclusion starts out with some seriously heavy hi-hat to tom – tom back to hi-hat drum blast beats. The drums immediately start out more in the aesthetic of doom metal in a very odd progressive kind of way. They literally even take the bass and make it initially as a percussive instrument until they both balance out with a more melodic rhythm section. The bass/drum rhythm section elegantly produce such a thunderous wall of sound that if envelopes the fullness of senses within the listeners audio pallet. For the most part this is a straight away heavy progressive/psychedelic track.
With the rich progressive rock and psychedelic rock heritage from Germany, Cosmic Fall has managed to create their own unique and distinctive sound that separates them from other bands of the genres. They maintain a creative minimalist sound while allowing the fullness of the instruments speak for itself. Kick Out The Jams certainly will give the band a ever growing fan-base while giving the band a much fuller live set. I give Cosmic Fall’s Kick Out The Jams a 5/5for integrity to the genre.