Darusso Releases News About New Video and Upcoming Solo Album

Progressive Melodic Hard Rock Artists Anton Darusso is in the final stages of releasing “Alternativa” his 2nd solo album, “Alternativa” will feature 14 songs 3 of which are bonus tracks.

According to Anton, “Alternativa” continues where “Medicine For The Soul” left off, the concept behind “Alternative” is to create music that is not about any particular genre, instead its about incorporating many different style’s of music, combing them with a balance of well crafted hooks & beautiful melodies while injecting various styles of vocals from heavy rockers to emotionally charged ballads.

These are songs that will appeal to many commercially, yet stand on their own as an alternative to today’s commercial music.

This is music that comes from the heart and soul.

In the midterm Darusso release 1st promo video from the album, “Memories of You” this is the bonus track version of the song featuring special guest Man e Tulá.

“Memories of You” Video Directed by Sasha Stone (Саша Stone Рыжков)

Catalog Number: MRRCD 22139
Format: CD & Digtal
Alternativa Track Listing:
01. Ride Along
02. Behind the Enemy lines
03. Close your eyes
04. Breaking bad
05. Crash and Burn
06. Go baby
07. Memories of you
08. Not an angel
09. Sorry
10. Those days
11. All night long

Bonus Tracks:
Memories of You (feat. Man e Tulá)
Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen Cover)
Nothing Compares to You (Prince Cover)

Musicians on Alternative:
Anton Darusso: Vocals, Guitars & Keyboards
Esau Silva: Bass
Sasha Stone: Guitars
Marco Castro: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming & Percussion

Special Guests:
Xenia: Guest Vocals on “Sorry”
Man e Tulá: Guest Vocals on “Memories of You”

All songs & lyrics were written by Anton Darusso, except “Those Days” Lyrics written by Anton Darusso & Music by Marco Castro.
Mixing & Sound engineering: Marco Castro

Arrangements: Marco Castro & Anton Darusso

Produced by: Anton Darusso
Co-produced by: Marco Castro

Album mixed, mastered and recorded at AUDIOMACC Studios in San José, Costa Rica.

Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/darussorocks
Official YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Darusso1000
MRR Profile Page: http://mrrmusic.com/anton-darusso/

Also check out Brothers in Arms by Alex Grata & Anton Darusso, Brothers in Arms is nothing short of stunning.

Ayreon | The Source | Album Review & Featured Album Of Week For April 23-30

Ayreon | The Source | Album Review & Featured Album Of Week For April 23-30

 

Label: Mascot Label Group
Release Year : 2017
Country: The Netherlands/International
Genre: Progressive Metal/Rock Opera/Genre Transcending

 

Band Members/Original Cast

Arjen Anthony Lucassen – Electric and Acoustic Guitars/Bass Guitar/Mandolin/Synthesizers, Hammond/Solina Strings/All Other Instruments

Ed Wabry – Drums

Original Cast Members/Vocalists

Editorial Note – The People of Forever are Alphans Alpha until they get to Planet Y where they get the title ‘Forever’ !

James Labrie – Dream Theater- As ‘The Historian’
Tommy Giles Rogers – Between The Buried And Me – As ‘The Chemist’
Simone Simons – Epica -As ‘The Counselor’
Mike Mills – Toehider – As ‘T-H1’
Floor Jansen – Nightwish – As ‘The Biologist’
Hansi Kursch – Blind Guardian – As ‘The Astronomer’
Tobis Sammet – Avantasia/Edguy – As ‘The Captain’
Michael Eriksen – Circus Maximus – As ‘The Diplomat’
Nils K Rue – Pagans Mind – As ‘The Prophet’
Zaher Zorgati – Myrath – As ‘The Preacher’
Tommy Karevik – Kamelot – As ‘The Opposition Leader’
Russel Allen – SymphonyX – As ‘The President’
Will Shaw – Heir Apparent’ Wilmer Waarbroek, Jan Willem Ketelaars, and Lisette van den Berg – Scarlet Stories as ‘The Ship’s Crew’
You … Insert Name Here … as ‘The Audience’

Guest Musicians

Joost van den Broek – ex-After Forever/ex Sun Caged – Grand Piano and Electric Piano
Mark Kelly – Marillion – Synthesizer Solo
Maaike Peterse – Kingfisher Sky – Cello
Paul Gilbert – RacerX/Mr. Big – Guitar Solo
Guthrie Govan – The Aristocrats/ex-Asia – Guitar Solo
Marcel Coenen – Sun Caged – Guitar Solo
Ed Warby – Ayreon/Gorefest/Star One- Drums
Ben Mathot – Violin
Jeroen Goossens – ex-Pater Moeskroen – Flute/Wind instruments

Production 

Lori Linstruth – Photo Stills/Ajren Lucassen & Ayreon Cast

Wayne Joyner – Lyric Videos for Everybody Dies and Star Of Sirrah

 

Track listing/ Album Anatomy
CD 1

Chronicle 1: The ‘Frame’ – 22:22
1. ‘The Day That the World Breaks Down”
James LaBrie, Tommy Karevik, Tommy Rogers, Simone Simons, Nils K. Rue, Tobias Sammet, Hansi Kürsch, Mike Mills,
2. “Sea of Machines”
Rogers, Eriksen, Rue, Simons, Sammet, Allen
3.”Everybody Dies”
Mills, Karevik, Rogers, Allen, Kürsch, Eriksen, Sammet, Jansen

Chronicle 2: The Aligning of the Ten – 21:45
4.”Star of Sirrah”
LaBrie, Allen, Kürsch, Sammet, Rue, Rogers, Eriksen, Jansen
5.”All That Was”
Simons, Jansen, LaBrie, Eriksen
6.”Run! Apocalypse! Run!”
Karevik, Kürsch, Mills, Allen, Jansen, Sammet, Rue, LaBrie
7. “Condemned to Live”
LaBrie, Rogers, Eriksen, Simons, Karevik, Jansen
CD 2
Chronicle 3: The Transmigration -22:33
1.”Aquatic Race”
LaBrie, Sammet, Karevik, Eriksen, Allen, Simons, Rogers,
2.”The Dream Dissolves”
Simons, Jansen, Eriksen, Rue
3.”Deathcry of a Race”
Allen, Sammet, Jansen, Karevik, Zaher Zorgati, Simons
4.”Into the Ocean”
Allen, Mills, Eriksen, Kürsch, Sammet, Karevik, Rue

Chronicle 4: The Rebirth – 21:53
5.”Bay of Dreams”
LaBrie, Rogers, Mills, Eriksen, Rue
6.”Planet Y is Alive!”
Karevik, Allen, Kürsch, Mills, Sammet, Jansen
7. “The Source Will Flow”
Rogers, LaBrie, Simons
8. “Journey to Forever”
Sammet, Eriksen, Kürsch
9. “The Human Compulsion”
Simons, LaBrie, Rogers, Eriksen, Allen, Rue, Sammet, Kürsch, Karevik, Jansen
10. “March of the Machines”
Mills

 

Contact Links 

Ayreon Official Website

Ayreon Official Facebook Page

Ayreon Official Twitter

Ayreon Official YouTube Channel

Mascot Label Group Official Website

Mascot Label Group Official Facebook Page

 

Video Production Personel

Wayne Joyner Artwork, Illustrations &Motion Official Site

Wayne Joyner Artwork, Illustrations &Motion Official Facebook Page

When I was making ‘Star Wars,’ I wasn’t restrained by any kind of science. I simply said, ‘I’m going to create a world that’s fun and interesting, makes sense, and seems to have a reality to it.’

George Lucas

A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.

Stanley Kubrick

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.

Carl Sagan

My Introduction To The Genius Arjen A Lucassen & Ayreon.

I can remember back in the 2000 shortly after the turn of the new century I strolled into Diamond Head Records with some serious spending money. I was primarily focused on buying music by bands or artists I had never heard of before. I remember picking up Zero Hour’s self titled debut, Explorers Club Age Of Impact, Pain Of Salvation’s One Hour By Concrete Lake, Perfect Element Part 1, Entropia. I was really after Arena’s The Visitor and Pride albums.

As I was flipping the CD’s in the bin for Arena I came across two CD’s from Ayreon. They were both in The Universal Migrator series, Part 1 The Dream Sequencer and Part 2 Flight Of The Migrator. I noticed the utter mass of talent that was on both parts to the Universal Migrator. My curiosity nailed me and I had to go find out what this was. I went home listened to them both in one sitting inside a headset. It not only blew the hell out of my mind, it also converted me into a fan of Arjen Lucassen’s work as a collective. From there I returned back to the record store 2 days later and bought The Final Experiment, Actual Fantasy and Into The Electric Castle. I went down the Yellow Brick Road, Across The Rainbow Bridge, Through The Wormhole and have never returned since.

2017 The Present

Now it is 2017 and Arjen Lucassen has no signs of slowing down as he has returned for his 8th installment with another epic Progressive Rock & Metal Opera, Ayreon The Source. I am continually amazed and impressed of the rosters of talent that Ajren Lucassen is able to recruit for the Ayreon albums. Once again he has managed to recruit the who is who within the progressive rock, progressive metal and even symphonic and power metal communities. With Arjen on this run as far as vocalists are James LaBrie – Dream Theater as ‘The Historian‘, Tommy Karevik – Kamelot/Seventh Wonder as ‘The Opposition Leader’, Tommy Rogers – Between the Buried and Me as ‘The Chemist’ Simone Simons – Epica as ‘The Counselor’, Nils K. Rue – Pagan’s Mind as ‘The Prophet’ ,Tobias Sammet – Edguy/Avantasia as ‘The Captain’ , Hansi Kürsch – Blind Guardian as ‘The Astronomer’ ,Mike Mills – Toehider as ‘TH-1’ Russell Allen – Symphony X as ‘The President’ , Michael Eriksen – Circus Maximus as ‘The Diplomat’ Floor Jansen – Nightwish/ex-After Forever/ex-ReVamp as ‘The Biologist’ Will Shaw – Heir Apparent’ Wilmer Waarbroek, Jan Willem Ketelaars, and Lisette van den Berg – Scarlet Stories as ‘The Ship’s Crew’ , Zaher Zorgati – Myrath as ‘The Preacher’.

To really understand Ayreon’s The Source one should listen to The Final Experiment 1994, Into The Electric Castle 1998 , The Universal Migrator Parts 1&2 and 01011001 2008, as the story line arcs across all those past Ayreon albums. The main emphasis mainly being on 01011001 in 2008. Much like in the Star Wars Series where Episodes 4 A NEW HOPE, 5 THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK & 6 RETURN OF THE JEDI , were all released before their respective prequels EPISODE I THE PHANTOM MENACE, STAR WARS: EPISODE II ATTACK OF THE CLONES and STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH so were Ayreon’s The Final Experiment 1994, Into The Electric Castle 1998 , The Universal Migrator Parts 1&2 and 01011001 2008 were all released before Ayreon’s The Source as it is a prequel of the story of the people of ‘Forever’ Planet Y and how the story was before the events of 01011001 took place.

Brief Biography of 01011001 courtesy of the official Ayreon

The story
Through technological advancement, ‘Forever’, a race of aquatic beings living on Planet Y, has found the secret of longevity. They have advanced to the point that they have become completely dependent on machines and are losing their emotions. A passing comet on a collision course with Planet Earth provides the opportunity to revitalize their race; ‘Forever’ harness the comet to carry their DNA to a new home on Earth. When the comet and Earth collide, the cataclysmic impact exterminates the dinosaurs (the Fifth Extinction), but from the ashes of destruction, humans arise. At first, the experiment with seeded DNA seems successful: through the humans ‘Forever’ vicariously relive the emotions they experienced before the age of machines. In order to help mankind overcome their physical ailments and mental limitations, ‘Forever’ speeds up human evolution. But the result is tragic: people develop a similar technological dependency with their emotions waning just like ‘Forever’ and moral development not keeping pace with their capacity to invent. ‘Forever’ must find a way to save mankind from its imminent self-destruction… or should they?

With Ayreon’s The Source you find some familiar faces that have already participated on previous Ayreon albums such as Ed Warby – Drums, who is basically another band member as much as its creator Arjen Lucassen himself. You also have some Ayreon Alumni returning James LaBrie – Dream Theater as ‘The Historian’, Tommy Karevik – Kamelot/Seventh Wonder as ‘The Opposition Leader, Hansi Kürsch – Blind Guardian – As ‘The Astronomer’ ,Mike Mills – Toehider as ‘TH-1‘ Russell Allen – Symphony X as ‘The President’, Floor Jansen – Nightwish/ex-After Forever/ex-ReVamp as ‘The Biologist’, Simone Simons – Epica as ‘The Counselor’, and Wilmer Waarbroek – Guide Vocalist for Ayreon’s The Theory Of Everything 2013 and part of ‘Ships Crew’ on The Source.

The new talent added to the ever growing Ayreon franchise roster are Tommy Rogers – Between the Buried and Me as ‘The Chemist’ , Nils K. Rue – Pagan’s Mind as ‘The Prophet’ ,Tobias Sammet – Edguy/Avantasia as ‘The Captain’, Michael Eriksen – Circus Maximus as ‘The Diplomat’, Will Shaw – Heir Apparent’, Jan Willem Ketelaars, and Lisette van den Berg – Scarlet Stories as ‘The Ship’s Crew’ , Zaher Zorgati – Myrath as ‘The Preacher’. Some of the newer instrumentalists Arjen Lucassen recruit for The Source are as follows, Paul Gilbert – RacerX/Mr. Big – Guitars, Mark Kelly -Marillion – Synthesizer Solo, Maaike Peterse – Kingfisher Sky – Cello, and Guthrie Govan – The Aristocrats/ ex-Asia – Guitar Solo.

Arjen Lucassen really has a very esteemed business model and a reputation of such prominence where he can invite people back to Ayreon while bringing newer talent aboard with every Ayreon album. This is a true testament of the extraordinary character and distinguished personal and professional reputation Arjen Lucassen has built for himself over 30 years in the business. With all the talent Arjen Lucassen is able to recruit the economy of such a business model is uncanny. Arjen Lucassen practically and unintentionally has been able to introduce the world to bands they may or may not of heard of due to some talent that appears on a Ayreon project. I am one of them people that was introduced to bands or newer bands through my purchase of a Ayreon album alone.

With Ayreon The Source the listener not only gets a true prequel to prior Ayreon story lines you also have a story that even those new to the Progressive Rock/Metal concept album and Progressive Rock/Metal Opera can easily follow with the booklet provided. Like his last Ayreon album The Theory Of Everything where there were four parts broken up into 20+ minute segments, The Source is broke up in very similar fashion. This time he has broken the album into Four Chronicles, Chronicle 1: The ‘Frame’, Chronicle 2: The Aligning of the Ten, Chronicle 3: The Transmigration and Chronicle 4: The Rebirth. This really sets up a very fluid and easy to comprehend and envision the story like a motion picture movie on the screen in the theater of the mind of the listener. Ayreon’s The Source clocks in at almost 90 minutes. It will require a small bit of time to really enjoy it. If possible I totally suggest using the lyrics within the booklet provided on all its release formats, versions or options whatever you buy. Now a little track by track analysis of Ayreon’s The Source.

Track listing/ Album Anatomy

CD 1

Chronicle 1: The ‘Frame’ – 22:22

1. ‘The Day That the World Breaks Down”

James LaBrie, Tommy Karevik, Tommy Rogers, Simone Simons, Nils K. Rue, Tobias Sammet, Hansi Kürsch, Mike Mills,
In his signature sound Arjen Lucassen quickly creates that distinctive and unique sound that separates him from others who do rock/metal opera concept albums. Within that filter he creates a very sense of urgency with the atmosphere he is creating for the listener and his characters within the production. It appears darkness has enveloped the population of the ‘Forever’ people. In a very warmth voice James Labrie – Dream Theater- As ‘The Historian’ in a very quiet yet polite way sets up a heavy layered dark atmosphere. Soon after the track takes a very heavy guitar driven up tempo chord progression and Tommy Karevik – Kamelot – As ‘The Opposition Leader’ comes in with what appears as a scathing and scolding indictment towards his fellow people of ‘Forever’.

Arjen then changes the chord progressions and time signatures instrumentally to where they will be in perfect harmony with the concern and worry of Tommy Giles Rogers – Between The Buried And Me – As ‘The Chemist’ and Simone Simons – Epica -As ‘The Counselor as they start to reconcile with their plight and current circumstances. Now the people of ‘Forever’ must prepare for a new home planet where they can preserve their way of life civilly,economically religiously and human life itself. Nils K. Rue – Pagan’s Mind as ‘The Prophet’ ,Tobias Sammet – Edguy/Avantasia as ‘The Captain’, each provide confirmation as well as insight. The music is in perfect harmony with the emotions of every character involved. Tobias Sammet – Edguy/Avantasia as ‘The Captain’ , Hansi Kürsch – Blind Guardian as ‘The Astronomer’ ,Mike Mills – Toehider as ‘TH-1’ all begin work on the how to solve the impending apocalypse to come. As the science community of ‘The Captain’, ‘The Chemist’ , ‘The Astronomer’, and Floor Jansen – Nightwish/ex-After Forever/ex-ReVamp as ‘The Biologist’ start work on the exit strategy to leave their current world before disaster strikes, Russell Allen – Symphony X as ‘The President’ and Michael Eriksen – Circus Maximus as ‘The Diplomat’ have a talk.
‘The President’ now consumed in guilt over the impending crisis begins to real beat himself up. ‘The Diplomat’ steps in to try to both calm ‘The President’ down from his guilt and appeal to his humanity. Instrumentally during this time Arjen has almost a bluesy, psychedelic atmosphere he has planted in the background of the dialogue between ‘The President’ and ‘The Diplomat’. This bluesy psychedelic atmosphere is very much like Amazing Flight from Into The Electric Castle in 1998.

Video Courtesy of: Ayreon Official YouTube Channel

2. “Sea of Machines”

Rogers, Eriksen, Rue, Simons, Sammet, Allen

This opens up in a heavily folk laden intro. Soon it takes a very folk ethereal turn where ‘The Chemist’ enters in and in the traditional Ayreon mold gets the double vocal harmony treatment. This makes the opening passage fuller and warmer. ‘The Diplomat’ – Eriksen starts to experience many issues around him. His vocal is very warm and extremely articulate in harmony with the instrumental portion which has heavy elements of the flute. ‘The Prophet’ – Rue keeps having visions and with a very gentle yet high range continues to forewarn the people of what he is seeing. These visions are very similar to those that Ayreon, the blind minstrel, was finally able to see back in the 6th century on Ayreon’s The Final Experiment back in 1995, that was also broken into 4 Act’s as well.

The following excerpt comes courtesy of The Official Ayreon Website

Act I
The receiver of the telepathic messages is Ayreon, a blind minstrel living in 6th century Britain. He’s lived his life in darkness from the day he was born, but one fateful day everything changes — Ayreon can see images. The minstrel believes these visions are sent to him by the Lords of Time. Unaware of how much time there is left before earth is destroyed Ayreon sets out to tell the tale of earth’s demise singing songs of wars, natural disaster, and computer technology. The terrifying tales frighten the villagers who run him out of town.

Much of this track has elements of Ayreon’s The Human Equation/The Theory Of Everything and 01011001 meaning their are some slower melodic mellow areas that build towards heavier more powerful melodic harmonies. Arjen is really good at dropping the tone instrumentally and allowing his guest vocalists breathe and give their own life and character to the very character they are portraying on every track. This track is both a perfect example of that and perfect example of allowing the vocalist to breathe and relationship building with his guest vocalists and musicians. There are many more examples of this to come on the album.

3.”Everybody Dies”

Mills, Karevik, Rogers, Allen, Kürsch, Eriksen, Sammet, Jansen

This track concludes Chronicle 1 ‘The Frame’. This part of the story takes on a more power progressive metal sound with the faster up tempo of power blended with the progressive intricate chord progression and time changes. ‘TH 1’ the computer mainframe or artificial intelligence begins to really accurately analyze and convey just how horrible the situation really is for the people of ‘Forever’. Soon the people of ‘Forever’ come to terms and begin to accept the situation and working towards the solution of survival , yet some start to cynically express their utter doubt such as ‘The Opposition Leader’ and ‘The Chemist’. ‘The President’ even becomes cynical. In this track you can really notice that Arjen Lucassen had Tommy Rogers – Bewtween The Buried And Me as ‘The Chemist’ in mind. Arjen wrote that character to express rage and utter anger and Tommy Rogers supplied the guttural growls to provide for that anger and emotion in ‘The Chemist’. However through all the cynical anger, rage, and fear ‘The Diplomat’ still attempt to try and reason with the people. There is a bit more keyboard passages on a otherwise very heavy and guitar driven Ayreon album. A heavy album that still stays on point with clean and melodic harmonies.

Video Made By Wayne Joyner – Courtesy of: Ayreon Official YouTube Channel Wayne Joyner Artwork, Illustrations &Motion Official Site 

 

Chronicle 2: The Aligning of the Ten – 21:45

4.”Star of Sirrah”

LaBrie, Allen, Kürsch, Sammet, Rue, Rogers, Eriksen, Jansen

Now for those who are lifetime Ayreon fans and followers you are probably asking yourself where is the typical unknown talent that Arjen recruits? The talent that never gets a chance. Some of you expected a vocalist or perhaps a musician. I believe Arjen went a entirely different route. He gave a video making the honour and privilege to create and edit a lyric video for Star of Sirrah here. Wayne Joyner of Atlanta, Georgia USA created a fantastic video for this track. He in fact is Art Director for Prog/Power USA. Therefore for this reason I have decided to withhold my typical commentary on the track and allow this ‘Unknown Talent’ to shine through the video he made for this Ayreon song.

Video Made By Wayne Joyner Courtesy of: Ayreon Official YouTube Channel  & Wayne Joyner Artwork, Illustrations &Motion Official Site

5.”All That Was”

Simons, Jansen, LaBrie, Eriksen

Starts out as a very psychedelic folk track. It is also a symphonic metal dream come true with Simone Simons and Floor Jansen in perfect harmony for the first time on Ayreon. This track picks up some heaviness towards the 2:00 mark. It then drops and another beautiful duet between Simons and Jansen appears again. The various progressive changes in the guitar solos allow the listener to stay on point with the concept.

6.”Run! Apocalypse! Run!”

Karevik, Kürsch, Mills, Allen, Jansen, Sammet, Rue, LaBrie

This particular track really starts off with a blistering opening passage inside the instrumental portion. The instrumental is written and done in such away that it thoroughly give the song a serious sense of urgency. The people of ‘Forever;’ are in a panic at this point. The sense of urgency created in the instrumental is certainly magnified 8 fold with the 8 vocalists on this particular track. Panic, sense of urgency, state of emergency are all eloquently articulated in every vocalist and character they are portraying. This is definitely one of the quicker tracks on The Source. There are a few breaks were it drops but those are not long at all. The fast pace of this track can be equated to The Universal Migrator – Part 2 Flight Of The Migrator where it was the heavier half and Part 1 The Dream Sequencer was the more experimental folky and atmospheric half.

7. “Condemned to Live”

LaBrie, Rogers, Eriksen, Simons, Karevik, Jansen

Slowly starts out with a deep well executed rhythm section that keeps building layers upon layers with various keyboards, deep rhythm section of a semi acoustic guitar will a electric guitar in time and on point in harmony. The vocals are full of warmth that convey fear, disbelief and guilt. The track builds and builds where it eventually has heavy explosions of guitar stringed sections meshed in harmony with rhythm section. The vocals are more ethereal at this point and Arjen Lucassen remains on point with his unique Ayreon cinematic signature sound. This is the last track on CD 1/Side B if you buy the vinyl ,that appropriately closes out the first half of the journey through The Source.

 

CD 2

Chronicle 3: The Transmigration -22:33

1.”Aquatic Race”

LaBrie, Sammet, Karevik, Eriksen, Allen, Simons, Rogers,

Starts off as a isolated vocal harmony almost A Capella. Soon a deep rhythm section takes the track in a very groove laden direction. There is a dynamic exchange between both ‘The Historian’ and ‘The Captain’ will the underlying rhythm section. Then ‘The Opposition Leader’ begins his rhetoric over again with a very drum laden background beat. This is also at the point both instrumentally and lyrically were the people of ‘Forever’ begin their epic odyssey to their new home planet. It is at this time lyrically that the people of ‘Forever’ begin to reconcile they will need a change of habits.This narrative continues with a harmonic dialogue between ‘The Biologist’ and ‘The Astronomer’ . The instrumental portion of this track hold the lyric narrative very accountable emotionally, mentally and spiritually. This is also the first time we hear ‘The Ships Crew’ mini choir of Will Shaw – Heir Apparent’ Wilmer Waarbroek, Jan Willem Ketelaars, and Lisette van den Berg – Scarlet Stories.

2.”The Dream Dissolves”

Simons, Jansen, Eriksen, Rue

Starts out with a synth sound effect created by Arjen himself. He like playing with various synth effects on all his work. Soon the violin comes in with the synth sound effects and the drums. It all creates a really psychedelic atmosphere. There is something of real depth and beauty about the feminine emotion Simone Simons – ‘The Counselor and Floor Jansen – ‘The Biologist’ that really speaks to the soul and heart and the story really takes a very emotional turn here. The track gets heavier with a thick rhythm section before going back to the smooth atmospheric keyboard passage. The track picks up and displays very deep rhythm tones. Mike Eriksen – ‘The Diplomat’ and Nils K Rue – ‘The Prophet’ bring a masculine emotion to balance the track. The guitar solo here is insanely atmospheric in nature.

3.”Deathcry of a Race”

Allen, Sammet, Jansen, Karevik, Zaher Zorgati, Simons

This explodes out of the gate with a powerful and heavy flute that is soon joined with a powerful bass/drum/rhythm guitar rhythmic section. All these melodic forces at once are a immediate wall of sound of sheer heaviness. Soon the track drops to a acoustic chord progression where ‘The President’ address the people of ‘Forever’. Russell Allen has always been a great vocalist of character and emotion throughout his times of participation on Ayreon and this is another confirmation of that. Soon the people of ‘Forever’ begin to enter the vicinity of their new planetary home. The instrumental portions take on a very cosmic space metal element familiar with the Ayreon franchise. The dialogue takes on a cooperative narrative. This is also the first appearance of Zaher Zorgati – Myrath – As ‘The Preacher’. I really liked the way Arjen allowed Zaher Zorgati to sing in his native Arabic, it added another layer of depth and brought something new to the Ayreon franchise. Both Simone Simons and Floor Jansen execute their respective soprano qualities on here as well.

4.”Into the Ocean”

Allen, Mills, Eriksen, Kürsch, Sammet, Karevik, Rue

This comes in very smoothly from Deathcry of a Race with a heavy metal bluesy style much like a Deep Purple Mark 2 sound especially Space Truckin’. The Hammond style keyboard and deep rhythm section are a match made perfectly for all the vocalists involved. For vocalists such as Russell Allen and Mike Mills. The very instrumental sound also allows the listener to see Mike Eriksen, Hansi Kursch, Tobias Sammet, Tommy Karevik and Nils K Rue on a another melodic dimension that they would not otherwise hear in their respective bands Circus Maximus, Blind Guardian, Avantasia/Edguy, Kamelot or Pagan’s Mind. Arjen Lucassen seriously channels Ritchie Blackmore on many levels here. The Hammond Organ in the spirit of the late great Jon Lord, is the unsung hero on a instrumental level.

 

Chronicle 4: The Rebirth – 21:53

5.”Bay of Dreams”

LaBrie, Rogers, Mills, Eriksen, Rue

Starts out with a very electronica element much like Arjen Lucassen executed on Ayreon’s Actual Fantasy album in 1996. They keyboard atmospheres blend gracefully with the warm vocals of James Labrie and Tommy Roger’s double tracked vocals. The people of ‘Forever’ make their final descent to their new Liquid Home. The track soon picks up on the heaviness and we hear Mike Mills, Mike Eriksen and Nils K Rue all in their respective vocal elements.

6.”Planet Y is Alive!”

Karevik, Allen, Kürsch, Mills, Sammet, Jansen

This starts out with a very heavy lush Hammond atmospheric synth with a perfectly complimentary rhythm section to match it. This is very heavy on the drums and this is where the utter depth of Ed Wabry comes into play. The People of ‘Forever’ begin to really take inventory of their new home on Planet Y. They begin to explore what they can use or can not use to sustain life on their new home. Hansi Kursch’s emotional proclamations really shine on this track. The isolated guitar solo is a thing of beauty and really adds another atmospheric payer to the song and album in general. The calm and additionally heavy atmosphere’s both respectfully allow ‘The Capatain’ – Tobias Sammet and ‘The Biologist’ – Floor Jansen to breathe and articulate to the listener their view of the new world.

7. “The Source Will Flow”

Rogers, LaBrie, Simons

Starts off with a very oceanic liquid effect along with graceful keyboards passage. Tommy Roger’s – ‘The Chemist’ has some really warm clean vocals that set up ‘The Historian’ – James Labrie with grace. The beautiful vocals of ‘The Counselor’ – Simone Simons really are spot on with the main narrative.

8. “Journey to Forever”

Sammet, Eriksen, Kürsch

In the very elegant A Capella style ‘The Ships Crew’ Will Shaw – Heir Apparent’ Wilmer Waarbroek, Jan Willem Ketelaars, and Lisette van den Berg – Scarlet Stories really set the table for the melodic and harmonious feast to follow. ‘The Ships Crew’ also show a beautiful sign of optimism towards their new home Planet Y. Soon a lush acoustic guitar comes in and the cooperative dialogue between the ‘The Captain’ and ‘The Diplomat’ really display for the first time in a while a spirit of union, a spirit of community and affirmation.

9. “The Human Compulsion”

Simons, LaBrie, Rogers, Eriksen, Allen, Rue, Sammet, Kürsch, Karevik, Jansen

The second to the last track has a very profound signature present on all Ayreon albums. This signature being a multi vocalist epilogue or finish. It is a way to both display all the vocalists again and like a Rock Opera on a stage serves as the ‘Curtain Call’ and ‘Final Bow’ to ‘The Audience’ You .

10. “March of the Machines”

Mills

Much in the tradition of The Final Experiment, Actual Fanatasy, Into The Electric Castle, The Universal Migrator, The Human Equation and 0101101, Arjen Lucassen utilizes ‘TH 1’ – Mike Mills to a very futuristic finish to the journey that is Ayreon’s The Source.

 

There is no doubt whatsoever that for the last 25 years Arjen Lucassen has been the ‘Undisputed King’ of the Rock/Metal Opera. Arjen Lucassen is the modern day George Lucas/Isaac Asimov/Carl Sagan/Stanley Kubrick/ meets Bach/Beethoven/Pete Townsend and Ritchie Blackmore set to music, melody, vision and imagination. Ayreon’s The Source is also one of the most tangible conceptual rock/metal albums in the last 25 years. Whether you are a lifetime fan of Ayreon or a newer fan of Ayreon, The Source is a excellent introduction to the newer listener and a solid validation to the lifetime fan. I give this a 6/5 stars and it is easily the front-runner/contender for my Album of The Year 2017 list.

 

Kayak to Release Journey Through Time A 21 CD ​COMPLETE STUDIO ALBUM BOX SET COLLECTION

In June Universal will release a Kayak box entitled ‘Journey Through Time’. Included are all sixteen studio albums that have been released so far, plus two bonus CD’s and even a special wallet for the new album ‘Seventeen’, to be released in October. No less than 21 CD’s with corresponding original artwork, labels and vinyl look.

​The box will be released in a limited edition. All albums that were issued as vinyl LP’s will be remastered from the original studio mastertapes.​

​In juni verschijnt bij Universal een Kayak oeuvre box onder de titel ‘Journey Through Time’!. De box omvat alle zestien studio albums die tot nu toe zijn verschenen, plus twee bonus CD’s en zelfs een speciale plek voor het nieuwe album ‘Seventeen’ dat in oktober verschijnt. Niet minder dan 21 CD’s met bijbehorende originele artwork, labels en vinyl look.

​De box zal worden uitgebracht in een gelimiteerde oplage. Alle op vinyl LP’s uitgebrachte albums worden geremasterd vanaf de originele studio mastertapes.

Marbin Spring Tour 2017

L2R: Dani Rabin (guitar),  Blake Jiracek (drums),  Danny Markovitch (sax), Jon Nadel (bass).
MARBIN SPRING 2017 TOUR
DANI RABIN guitar
DANNY MARKOVITCH sax
JON NADEL bass guitar
BLAKE JIRACEK drums
MARBIN, one of the biggest treasures and musical talents found by MoonJune’s honcho Leonardo Pavkovic, is a progressive instrumental jam-jazz-rock-blues-fusion band based in Chicago, IL, with a unique story that stands out in today’s music world. With a do-it-yourself approach and encouragement by Mr. Pavkovic, MARBIN started touring extensively in 2011, bringing their original instrumental music to every part of the United States. Through word of mouth, MARBIN has gained tens of thousands of devoted fans all over the world, and has sold tens of thousands of albums. MARBIN has released six albums: Marbin (2009; self-release), Breaking the Cycle (2011; MoonJune), Last Chapter of Dreaming (2013; MoonJune), The Third Set (2014; MoonJune), Aggressive Hippies (2015; self-release; marketed by MoonJune), and Goatman and the House of the Dead (2016; self-release; marketed by MoonJune).
“The hardest working band in America! Averaging 250 shows a year!”
“Far from being just another jazz-rock fusion band, Marbin occupies their own stylistic space. More an instrumental rock band than a jazz fusion band, Marbin’s music seems to come from the guitar hero world of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Joe Bonamassa. But there’s a good deal of other stuff going on in their music. Steeped in blues, surf, and the folk music of their native Israel, in addition to jazz- rock, Marbin consistently avoids easy pigeonholing. Part of this is due to the fact that the band is based on the musical partnership of two virtuosos: guitarist Dani Rabinand saxophonist Danny Markovitch. People stopped thinking of saxophone as a virtuosic lead instrument in rock music decades ago, but Markovitch seems determined to change that view single- handedly.” – Dave Wayne, All About Jazz
“Jazz-fusion, rock, folk, blues, prog-rock, bits of heavy metal, and straight jazz…it’s all here folks in one nice little package. [Marbin is a] band that needs to be on your immediate radar if they aren’t already.” – Pete Pardo, Sea Of Tranquility
“Danny Markovitch might not be the best driver in the world, but he can play a heck of a sax, he is a monster.” – Allan Holdsworth (R.I.P.)
“Guitarist Dani Rabin and saxophonist Danny Markovitch generate lightning fast unison choruses and dynamic solo sprees atop the rhythm section’s tight, razor-sharp focus.” – Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz
​​​​​​​”Marbin is a crazy talented group making music hard to pin down but easy to appreciate. – Victor Aaron, Something Else
“Let’s just say I’m completely blown away from this group and their albums.” – Zachary Nathanson, Music From the Other Side of the Room​​​​​​​
MARBIN SPRING 2017 TOUR
For tickets and info: http://bandsintown.com/marbin
MARBIN debuts at the premier NYC club THE IRIDIUM on May 3.
For all USA booking inquires: marbinmusic@gmail.com
For all International booking: noanoamusic@moonjune.com
Marbin’s Website: http://www.marbinmusic.com
No better way to discover MARBIN than watching their video clips.
Click for the PLAY LIST: www.goo.gl/le2l3G
TO GET CDS + DOWNLOADS go to: www.cdbaby.com/Artist/Marbin
Or click on the below image.
For those who like to shop on Amazon: www.goo.gl/bcGZ8N (CD + Download)
​​​​​​​MARBIN is working on their new BandCamp page to be relaunched soon! Stay tuned.

Tiles Update April 22nd

Hello members of the Tiles Files mailing list…

All of a sudden we find ourselves well into 2017 – with five months elapsing since our previous newsletter!  Where does the time go?!  Naturally, much has happened since we last checked in, but we’ll wait for the next issue to get caught up on some storytelling.

We would be remiss, however, not to announce ‘Pretending 2 Run’ has been nominated for two Detroit Music Awards (May 5th):

Outstanding National Small / Independent Label Recording
Outstanding Video / Limited Budget

But as gratifying as these nominations are, more importantly, we’ve got some live shows to publicize!!

••• Right around the corner is our return to Chicago Friday, April 28th with Sonus Umbra & Fire Garden at Reggies (http://www.reggieslive.com/show/tiles/) — more details are available on our Tour Dates page (http://tiles-music.com/live/)

…and on the near horizon in our back yard…

•• Friday, May 19th opening for Yngwie Malmsteen at St. Andrews Hall in downtown Detroit:
http://www.saintandrewsdetroit.com/EventDetail?tmeventid=0800527C4148DB0A&offerid=44938

•• Friday, June 23rd opening for Fates Warning at the Token Lounge in Westland, MI (west of Detroit):
http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=7324575&pl=token

•• Friday, July 7th opening for King’s X at the Magic Bag in Ferndale, MI
http://www.themagicbag.com/concerts-magicbag/king-s-x-hide-july-7-2017-hide

…and out & about this summer…

 Friday, July 14th at Howard’s Club H in Bowling Green, OH https://www.facebook.com/HowardsBG/ with:
Fire Garden (http://firegardenmusic.com/) &
Monstrosadus (http://www.monstrosadus.com/)

Saturday, July 15th at the Evening Star in Buffalo, NY https://www.facebook.com/EveningStarConcerts/ with:
Fire Garden (http://firegardenmusic.com/) &
Turning Virtue https://www.facebook.com/turningvirtue/

We hope to see you at one (or more) of these shows – and stay tuned for the next newsletter (destined to appear much sooner)!
*****
Video Interviews:
If you haven’t yet had a chance, follow the link below where we’ve collected all five-parts of our interview series on the making of ‘Pretending 2 Run:’

*****Here’s where art and commerce collide:

Don’t forget to visit our website http://www.tiles-music.com for more news and don’t miss the “Resources” section for the Tiles Files Newsletter with plenty of behind-the-scenes recording activity.  Also of interest is the “Press” section with our new biography and assorted promotional materials.

Music & Merchandise

Preview songs and buy digital versions or CDs from the record company’s store at https://lasersedge.bandcamp.com/ *or…* get the CD from your favorite retailer *or…* buy directly from us at http://www.tiles-music.com/store/.

And…, check out the new P2R shirts in various styles and colors:
http://www.tiles-music.com/store/

Be seeing you!

Tiles guitarist Chris Herin presents Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull with his very own copy of “Pretending 2 Run”. Ian makes a guest appearance on the song ‘Midwinter’ delivering one of his instantly recognizable flute solos (quite a long one too!).  Read more at http://jethrotull.com.
“Pretending 2 Run” is now available!  The diverse 96-minute, 2-disc concept album spins a dark tale of betrayal & redemption and features guest appearances from Ian Anderson, Mike & Max Portnoy, Mike Stern, Adam Holzman, Colin Edwin and others!  All copies bought through http://tiles-music.com/store/ are signed by the band…

We met up with Mike Portnoy after the recent Winery Dogs show in Detroit and he kindly agreed to say a few words about Pretending 2 Run – in print and in person! Mike and his son Max both make guest appearances (individually and together) on Stonewall and Fait Accompli.

Mike writes about Pretending 2 Run:

“Tiles have delivered another very diverse album and continue to push the boundaries of Progressive Rock. The list of special guests is amazing and I am proud to present my very first recorded drum duet with my son Max.”

And here he is live and in person – unrehearsed, improvised and in just one-take:

https://youtu.be/vQd-iDVoI3A

King Of Agogik | Morning Star | Album Review April 2017

King Of Agogik | Morning Star | Album Review April 2017

 

Label: Saustrark Records
Release Year: 2017
Country: Germany/International
Genre: Neo Progressive/Progressive Rock/Prog Experimental

 

Band Members
Hans Jorg Schmitz – Creator/Percussion/Keyboards/Guitars/Bass
Dago Wilms – Guitar/Bass
Gary Farmer – Rickenbacker Bass
Steve Unruh – Flute/Violin
Pantelis Petrakakis – Bass
Andrew Marshall – Spanish Guitar
Phillip Schmitz – Keyboards/Piano/Voice
Peter Simon – Woodwinds
Erik Vaxjo – Mellotron
Chip Gremillion – Keyboard
Scott Taylor – Ulliann Pipe
Kathrin Daniel – Voice
Viktoria Papen – Voice

King Of Agogik Morning Star is inspired by the poetry of Christian Morgenstern.

Tracklisting
Veils Open…
..To The Place Of Origin
Mother Of Depth
The Art Of Make~Up
Suprema Lex
Ignes Fatui
A Visit To The Mouse Barber
The End Of Dithyramb
Curtain Call

 

Contact Links 

King Of Agogik Official Website

Saustark Records Official YouTube Channel

 

con·cept al·bum
noun
a rock album featuring a cycle of songs expressing a particular theme or idea.

Meaning From Mirriam Webster Dictionary

Definition of concept
something conceived in the mind : thought, notion
an abstract or generic idea generalized from particular instances the basic concepts of psychology the concept of gravity

Throughout its 45+ years, it seems that progressive rock and metal have given birth to some of if not the absolute best concept albums or conceptual albums. The part of the world you live in bring both of those titles to a ever growing and never-ending sub genre within our class of music. Some believe you have to have a concept album loaded up with all lyrical content as to follow the main story or objective of a concept album. I said this before here at Power of Prog and will say it again. Although I still have a love for concept albums loaded up with lyrical content I also love conceptual albums where the majority of the content is instrumental.

I find it rather ignorant and arrogant to believe a instrumental concept album can not be just as potent on the screen in the theater of the listener’s mind. The instrumental concept album I believe really got going with Mike Oldfields Tubular Bells Alan Parson’s Project I Robot 1977, Pyramid 1978 , Eve, 1979,  Rick Wakemen’s Journey To The Centre Of The Earth 1974, etc. were all albums that really broke some serious ground where albums like this review of King Of Agogik’s Morning Star would be possible today in 2017. I even had two Melodic Revolution Records Featured Albums of August 2016 that I reviewed. Those being Melodic Revolution Records Featured Album August 2016 Leon Alvarado The Future Left Behind and Melodic Revolution Records Second Part Feature Album August 2016 Darrel Treece Birch No More Time   

Now in April 2017 I have the honour to review King Of Agogik’s Morning Star by German drum virtuoso Hans Jorg Schmitz. King Of Agogik was a special experimental project that Hans Jorg Schmitz set out to create and develop in 2006. Morning Star is the sixth album in this melodic franchise. Morning Star is inspired by the poetry of Christian Morgenstern. Who is Christian Morgenstern you ask?

 

Christian Otto Josef Wolfgang Morgenstern (6 May 1871 – 31 March 1914) was a German author and poet from Munich. Morgenstern married Margareta Gosebruch von Liechtenstern on 7 March 1910. He worked for a while as a journalist in Berlin, but spent much of his life traveling through Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, primarily in a vain attempt to recover his health. His travels, though they failed to restore him to health, allowed him to meet many of the foremost literary and philosophical figures of his time in central Europe.
Morgenstern’s poetry, much of which was inspired by English literary nonsense, is immensely popular, even though he enjoyed very little success during his lifetime. He made fun of scholasticism, e.g. literary criticism in “Drei Hasen”, grammar in “Der Werwolf”, narrow-mindedness in “Der Gaul”, and symbolism in “Der Wasseresel”. In “Scholastikerprobleme” he discussed how many angels could sit on a needle. Still many Germans know some of his poems and quotations by heart, e.g. the following line from “The Impossible Fact” (“Die unmögliche Tatsache”, 1910)

 

This may have been created by a drummer but make no mistake this is a very profound melodic artistic expression. The album ranges from classic neo progressive elements, heavily melodic chants, heavy melodic instrumental metal and thought provoking spoken word portions with some social commentary. Therefore there is a wide spectrum of elements within the progressive rock and metal standards. This is also one of those albums that will require both a open mind and a few spins to pick up on the main objective to the concept. I would like to explore and point out some highlights from King Of Agogik’s Morning Star on a track by track analysis.

Veils Open

Peter Simon – Oboe , Phillip Schmitz – Piano/Keyboards , Hans Jorg Schmitz – Drums/Keyboards/Guitar

This opens up with a very heavy keyboard progression that sets up the first of many atmospheric elements on the album.From there a sound effect of a phone rings and you hear a dialogue between two men. Soon after that the drums come in and make a abstract construct through what sounds like a regressive filter with a spoken word element blended right into it. The track bleeds seamlessly into the next song The Unavoidable Wayfare …

The Unavoidable Wayfare …

Hans Jorg Schmitz – Drums/Keyboards/Guitar’s , Dago Wilms – Ryhthm & Solo Guitar , Gary Farmer – Rickenbacker , Steve Unruh – Flute & Violin , Peter Simon – Woodwinds , Phillip Schmitz – Piano , Erik Vaxjo -Melltron , Viktoria Papen – Voice, Chip Gremillion – Keyboard

This transitions seamlessly off Veils Open. It opens up with a beautiful atmospheric effect done on keyboards and quickly goes into a beautifully unorthodox Arabic Scale done with well disciplined woodwind instrument that soon explodes into a Neo Progressive harmony between the drums, keyboards and a neo progressive guitar. The heavy new progressive instrumental harmony has a slight progressive metal element to it. The track soon drops where the Arabic Scale starts taking the track in and out of odd time signatures and chord progressive passages. The drums are more in time with the Arabic Scale that seems to be the dominating factor throught the track. It also takes on a heavily Mellotron induced melody that allows the track to maintain its unique quality. Each and every turn and layer upon layer chord progression and time signature is building towards what I believe to be the second part of a multi tracked 24:34 minute track followed by the following track , …To The Place Of Origin. Parts of the next half of this track remind me a lot of 1980’s Neo Progressive elements of a Jan Hammer meets Shamall with a lot of intricate keyboard progressions in harmony with the insane clinic Hans Jorg Schmitz seems to be putting on. The helicopter effects are something very unorthodox where they fit nicely into a surround sound system. This ends with some insane intricate changes between the drums and keyboards.

…….To The Place Of Origin

Hans Jorg Schmitz – Drums/Keyboards/Guitar’s , Dago Wilms – Ryhthm & Solo Guitar , Gary Farmer – Rickenbacker , Steve Unruh – Flute & Violin , Peter Simon – Woodwinds , Phillip Schmitz – Piano , Erik Vaxjo -Melltron , Viktoria Papen – Voice

Again in appropriate concept fashion this track bleeds seamlessly off of the previous track The Unavoidable Wayfare …… It transitions so smoothly that it gives the listener the true audio illusion that it is the second part of a multi tracked 20+ minute epic. It begins with a beautifully orchestrated acoustic guitar in harmony with the flute and violin. This sets up for a more folk style atmosphere in the vein of more of Jethro Tull meets Camel meets Big Big Train. The violin eloquently done reminds me a lot of Robby Steinhardt of Kansas, especially dust in the wind. The guitar builds layers upon layers to meet in harmony with the rhythm section. The neo progressive folk progression allows the listener time to breathe and begin to absorb the album more on a soulful level. It is one of the more symphonic and orchestral laden tracks on the album providing depths of even classical music. The middle section is is a real roller coaster of emotion with the various time changes and those Arabic Scale instrumental reprisals to remind you you of the conceptual spine of the album. The drum and rhythm section continues its beautifully intricate exchanges of various chord progressions and time signatures and synth atmospheres. This track finishes with a elegant female spoken word telling a story over the drum beats in harmonic balance.

Mother Of Depth

Phillip Schmitz – Fender Rhodes, Hans Jorg Schmitz – Keyboards and Carillion

This begins with a gracefully done harmony of various keyboard and Carillon harmonies forming a deep toned atmosphere. The atmosphere created is quite dark in nature however serves as a bridge track Navde.

Nayde

Kathrin Daniel – Voice , Hans Jorg Schmitz – All Instruments

This track keeps on point with the more darker and deeper atmospheres on the album. There is a very articulate spoken word section in both German of a poetic nature. The instrumental atmosphere is quite psychedelic in nature.

The Art Of Make~Up

Hans Jorg Schmitz – Drums

This is a perfect storm of epic drum proportions. The symphony of hi hats blending with snares and eloquently in harmony with cymbals is a dream for listeners who really love drums and tight rhythm sections. Playing sometimes in odd time signatures there is a little blend for the most objective mind and progressive purist at once.

Suprema Lex

Hans Jorg Schmitz – Drums, Dago Whilms – Guitar & Bass , Peter Simon – Oboe

This begins with various effects as if the listener has been transported to a war zone. This is a all out audio assault on the senses. With deep rhythm sections and dark and heavy handed neo progressive metal elements with police sirens effects, this is certainly a track that will get the attention of the listener for sure. It includes parts of Winston Churchill’s infamous speech following the all out assault of Nazi Germany during the start of World War 2. From there it runs a series of spoken word segments over some good solid progressive hard rock. Fragments of spoken word nature of President John F Kennedy and various other world leaders throughout history are very upfront and present with a vast amount of social commentary. The instrumental atmosphere remains very very aggressive towards the finish line of the track.

Ignes Fatui

Dago Whilms – Guitars , Scott Taylor – Keyboards/Bass/Guitar

Begins as a very folk driven acoustic ballad. One that may come out of the regions of say Scotland or Ireland as it steadily takes on heavy layers of Celtic elements. The guitar and Celtic elements remind me very heavily of Dave Bainbridge and IONA or even Mostly Autumn.

A Visit To The Mouse Barber

Pantelis Petrakakis – Bass , Hans Jorg Schmitz – Drums

Opens up with a heavily funk driven bass chord progression in harmony with various percussive cymbals giving the track very unorthodox and fresh sounds. The drums and bass take on a far more melodic narrative here. Even more so than a percussive narrative. This is another track that is a rhythm section lovers dream come true.

The End Of Dithyramb

Gary Farmer – Bass , Dago Whilms – Guitars, Peter Simon – Woodwinds, Steve Ubruh – Fute & Violin, Andrew Marshall – Spanish Guitar, Hans Jorg Schmitz – Drums/Keyboards/Guitars

This begins with a healthy rich Spanish/Latin chord progression along with various percussive elements to present this 20+ minute epic. Once again Hans Jorg Schmitz has a very intricate understanding of layering various time signatures and effects on a composition. Soon the violin takes it into more of a traditional classical atmosphere. The violin even at times allows some Far East Orient elements loose. Soon the piano, drums, bass, and guitars take the listener on a unorthodox and unpredictable journey of sonic excellence. It is as if Santana and Yes got together to develop a Latin Progressive Rock composition with a slight flavour of Jethro Tull with the presence of the flute. This track is like a perfect balance and blend of Jethro Tull’s Aqualung meets Yes Tales Of Topographic Oceans meets Santana – I, II, & III.

This track is also like Bach or Beethoven on drums writing one of their classic symphony scores. This takes on qualities of traditional progressive rock with some heavy Celtic and World influence to even some cosmic elements from a RUSH 2112 meets Tangerine Dream’s – Zeit 1972. All the instruments are very clearly heard both on their own accord and in the collective harmony of things. Hans Jorg Schmitz has written this very complementary so his guest musicians can really be heard. That is a tougher task than many think it is. It also takes a humble and gracious soul to do that for guest musicians. The breathing space each of his guest has on this track is just a remarkable feat.

The last five minutes of the track is much like a straight away, 1970’s era classic rock acoustic track in the vein of Blind Faith’s Can’t Find My Way Home, however in a instrumental fashion. Soon the sweet rhythm sections and atmospheres that have been the standard for Morning Star start to really bring it home for the listener. The elements in their collective really come together to perfectly compliment the last and final track Curtain Call.

Curtain Call

Dago Whilms – Guitar, Phillip Scmitz – Piano/Keyboards, Hans Jorg Schmitz -Drums/Keyboards/Guitar

Is very appropriately named for the last and final track on Morning Star. The journey is about over however not until it is ended properly. It is a full reprisal track that ends much like it began back in the first track Veils Open. The same narrative is pumped through a more abstract filter with a much more melodic atmosphere serving as the backbone. It ends in a very ‘Pink Floydian’ matter with the guitars. You can hear many of the elements in this short track that you heard through the entire journey of the album.

King Of Agogik is some of the very best instrumental work that I have heard since great instrumental albums as Ayreon’s Actual Fantasy, Liquid Tension Experiment 1 & 2, Gordion Knot 1 &2 and even the two from Melodic Revolution Records I featured last year, Leon Alvarado The Future Left Behind and Darrel Treece Birch No More Time . King Of Agogik is very groundbreaking with every release. It is a perfect album for those interested in a quality instrumental progressive rock album and it will also suffice the progressive purist at the same time. This is on my list already as a contender for Instrumental Album of 2017 at least. I do hope to see some more social media presence on this franchise. It is worth the time to invest social media presence such as Facebook or Twitter. Credit goes to Chip Gremillion who shared a few copies with me making this review possible. I am giving this a strong 5/5.

 

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