VUUR Announces Debut Album In This Moment We Are Free – Cities for Release in October


Dutch vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen is easily one of the hardest working people in music, and an artist that defies being pigeonholed by genre. She will forever be known as the vocalist for melancholic metallers The Gathering, but since striking out on her own in 2007, she has solidified a solo career, recorded and performed multiple times with Canadian metal genius Devin Townsend, launched the prog rock band The Gentle Storm, and recorded an album with Icelandic folk group Árstíðir. This has provided Anneke with a huge catalog to choose from as a live performer, but it has also created a certain amount of confusion amongst her fans which have led to the creation of a new band, VUUR, a new band that features some of the best heavy metal players in the Netherlands.

In early 2016, Anneke decided for the sake of clarity to narrow her musical focus, choosing to go in a folk acoustic direction as a solo artist and in a heavy progressive metal direction as a band vocalist. The name VUUR – translated from Dutch as “fire”, which can also be interpreted to mean “passion” or “drive” – was chosen as a moniker to represent Anneke’s metal side, with the idea that when fans buy a ticket with the VUUR name on it they will be getting her heavy progressive music, while an Anneke van Giersbergen show will be entirely different.

“It’s like I’m searching for contradictions,” Anneke says of splitting her focus in two. “I want the heavy to be really heavy, and the soft acoustic stuff that I can do can be almost silent and inward. I’m trying to find those outer limits. I’m still writing and collaborating with different people, so VUUR’s style is still kind of different from The Gathering and The Gentle Storm. You could say VUUR’s music has the melancholy of The Gathering and certain elements from The Gentle Storm, but it’s darker with fewer folk elements. It’s still melodic and warm, but heavy.”

The Gentle Storm proved to Anneke that fans have been waiting for her to go back to the heavy progressive style of music, which is why VUUR came to be.

VUUR will release their full-length debut in the fall of 2017 produced by Joost van den Broek, who will also be involved in some of the writing and arranging. From there the band will hit stages across Europe and beyond. Make no mistake: VUUR is a band and not a project, meaning that Anneke will focus on new material as well as the heavier side of her previous outings.

“I will always play songs from The Gathering and Devin Townsend because I love them,” she says. “I also know for a fact that people want to hear those songs, so I’ll never leave them out. I also have my absolute favorite songs from The Gentle Storm that I will keep playing. I have such a big outlet to choose from nowadays, it’s such a luxurious position to be in. We should look at VUUR as my ultimate heavy outlet. It’s not a project, which is why when we make the setlist it will include the new stuff and my favorites from my catalog.”

Anneke van Giersbergen – vocals
Ed Warby – drums
Jord Otto – guitars
Ferry Duijsens – guitars
Johan van Stratum – bass

Fans can pre-order the LP here.

Tracklist:
01. My Champion – Berlin
02. Time – Rotterdam
03. The Martyr And The Saint – Beirut
04. The Fire – San Francisco
05. Freedom – Rio
06. Days Go By – London
07. Sail Away – Santiago
08. Valley Of Diamonds – Mexico City
09. Your Glorious Light Will Shine – Helsinki
10. Save Me – Istanbul
11. Reunite! – Paris

Tour Dates

Date Venue Location Tickets
Nov 09 Klub Studio Cracow, Poland
Nov 10 Masters Of Rock Cafe Zlin, Czech Republic
Nov 12 Kesselhaus Berlin, Germany
Nov 13 Markthalle Hamburg (Altstadt), Germany
Nov 14 Essigfabrik Cologne, Germany
Nov 15 La BAM Metz, France
Nov 17 Stereolux Nantes, France
Nov 18 Krakatoa Mérignac, France
Nov 20 La Riviera Madrid, Spain
Nov 21 MEO Arena Lisboa, Portugal
Nov 22 Hard Club Porto, Portugal
Nov 24 Razzmatazz Barcelona, Spain
Nov 25 Le Moulin Marseille, France
Nov 26 LE TRANSBORDEUR Villeurbanne, France
Nov 29 Backstage Munich, Germany
Dec 01 Estragon Bologna, Italy
Dec 02 Z7 Pratteln, Switzerland
Dec 03 L’Aeronef Lille, France
Dec 07 Le Trabendo Paris, France
Dec 08 Biebob Vosselaar, Belgium
Dec 09 The Dome, Tufnell Park London, United Kingdom
Dec 10 Tivoli Vredenburg Utrecht, Netherlands

Insatia| Phoenix Aflame | Album Review August 2017

Insatia  Phoenix Aflame | Album Review August 2017

Label: Pitch Black Records
Release Year: 2017
Country: USA/Canada
Genre: Progressive/Power Metal

 

Band Members

Zoë Federoff – Vocals
Dave Ablaze – Bass
Kaelen Sarakinis – Guitars
Daniel Millan – Drums

Guest Musicians

Ivan Moni Bidin – Keyboards

 

Contact Links 

Insatia Official Website

Insatia Official Facebook Page

Insatia Official Twitter

Insatia Official YouTube Channel

Pitch Black Records Official Website

Pitch Black Records Official Insatia Profile

Pitch Black Records Official YouTube Channel

Throughout my adventures into writing reviews of albums here at Power Of Prog, it is no secret that I do reviews on bands that are fronted by women. I believe that women have just as much a equal contribution into progressive rock, progressive metal and just music in general. Therefore when I met Insatia’s Zoe Marie Federoff on Facebook I was highly interested in their new release for 2017 Phoenix Aflame on Pitch Black Records. Insatia are a North American powerhouse with members from both the USA and Canada. Although they are from North America they provide the listener with a more European flavour of progressive power metal.

Insatia are like a Second Generation Nightwish meets Lacuna Coil with heavier power metal elements found in Blind Guardian, Avantasia and Gamma Ray. This is a type of band that could easily play a Female Metal Voices Festival and turn around and play at Wacken Open Air with the right circumstances. Now a little track by track analysis of Insatia’s Phoenix Aflame.

 

Intro Land Of The Living opens up almost in a traditional world music vocal. Zoe Federoff certainly channels the inner Enya with chat style vocals. Soon the rest of the band joins her and the vocals along with the instrumental half serve a heavily pastoral purpose.

Act Of Mercy transitions quite seamlessly and smoothly with a spoken word section before the instruments kick in again. With a mid range in speed the band utilizes various chord changes to craft together a balance of both progressive and power metal passages. The vocal echoes also are allowed to breathe where the listener can hear them come through. The chord progressions rest more in progressive metal than power metal in the latter parts of this track.

Memory Of A Sapphire explodes with a fury of strings between the really heavy rhythm guitar riffs and the beautiful crystallize keyboards of Ivan Moni Bidin. At times it sounds like a blend of Blind Guardian on the power metal end meets Vanden Plas on the progressive metal end. This is loaded with various guitar solos, rhythm guitar portions that are all anchored by the bass/drum rhythm section. Zoe Marie Federoff does a wonderful job here singing on perfect time to both the stringed sections and rhythm sections. Kaelen Sarakinis – Guitars really channels his inner Emppu Vuorinen (Nightwish) on the rhythmic side to the guitar.

Video Courtesy of :Pitch Black Records Official YouTube Channel )

Sacred opens up with a violin induced classical metal chord progression. This is soon accompanied by the crunchy raw rhythm guitar section. Soon the entire instrumental half kicks in and makes this a more neo classical delight. The rhythm section is very heavy handed while the keyboard lends a beautiful atmosphere perfect for a power metal style track. There are some progressive metal elements with various time signatures and frequent changes in the rhythmic section. The violin section adds a symphonic flare to the song a well.

We Are The Gray opens up with a nasty tuned down drum based rhythm section that is accented perfectly with a classical keyboard atmosphere to accompany it. The rhythmic portion of this one is very clean and easy to follow. The keyboard and other stringed atmospheres allow for actual emotion to come through and be shown. The band uses overdubbed backing tracks to really make the vocals feel warmer. The guitar solo is also allowed to breathe in its various stages.

Phoenix Aflame is obviously the namesake track to the entire album. It starts out with a furious fury of really heavy guitar chord progressions. The entire opening passage is seriously blistering. There is a beautiful Hammond Organ style keyboard running parallel to the blistering guitar and rhythm led passages. This is one of the heavier songs on the album. It is also very progressive in nature with various time changes and chord progressions much in the vein of Kamelot or SymphonyX . The bass really bleeds through as well.

Video Courtesy of: Pitch Black Records Official YouTube Channel )

Not My God starts off with a heavy classically based piano section. The opening really leads the listener into a very beautiful power ballad full of emotion. I stress ‘Power Ballad’ because it is both really heavy with the various progressions and very much a ballad at the same time. This is a more modern ‘Power Ballad’ instead of one you would find in 1980’s to early 1990’s AOR/Hard Rock. It rests more in a song like Kamelot’s The Haunting.

Captor And The Captive is another song that opens up with a lush classical piano melody much like a ‘Power Ballad’. Soon it opens up much like a heavy progressive metal chord progression. I hear a lot of influence from a Dream Theater’s Another Day at the start. Soon this levels out into more of a power metal melody that is met with a light pop sensibility. This is a ‘Gateway’ song for a newer listener or fan to power metal or progressive metal. This is a song that is excellent for live sets to draw more newer fans as well is retaining the current fan base.

Velvet Road opens up with a beautiful acoustic passage that is met with very angelic vocal inspired opening passage. This song reminds me a lot of what you would hear out of the singer-songwriter community. This has a beauty about it due to its unplugged nature. This also allows the lyrical story to be front and center due to its unplugged nature and emotion. This even has a 16th Century Renaissance style about it.

Healer Of Hatred starts off with a very blistering opening chord progression. This is also the final track on the album. The band does a great job with this finale to Phoenix Aflame. This is blistering straight away neo classical power metal in its very essence. With heavy charging rhythm guitars that follow beautiful drum blast beats this is a true headbanging tour de force on all levels. The rhythm section in harmony to the guitar solos add to the beautiful atmosphere to this song.

There is obviously no doubt that Insatia have all the tools and talent for a steadfast career in this style of heavy progressive power metal. With the right promotional mechanism and time they will be major players on the world scene. They are also proof that this kind of metal will be around for at least another generation to come. Another thing that I like about this album was that the band made it short and sweet and to the point. That is something they will benefit from due to this being a sophomoric effort. Considering all this I give Insatia’s Phoenix Aflame a very strong 4.75/5 .

Haken Release New Video ‘Lapse’ In Advance Of North American Tour

Haken Release New Video ‘Lapse’ In Advance Of North American Tour

Haken are set to hit the road in North America later this month for their Haken 10th Anniversary Tour. In advance of that, the band have released a brand new animated video for the track ‘Lapse’, taken from last year’s critically acclaimed album ‘Affinity’ and created by Miles Skarin at Crystal Spotlight.

Continued Below Video

The band comments:

“Lapse was one of the first tracks we wrote for Affinity. Now more than a year since the album’s release, it’s great to finally give this song a chance to stand out on its own, as it’s one of our favorites!”

The band continues

“Visually, we wanted to maintain a consistency with our videos for ‘Initiate’, ‘Earthrise’ and ‘The Endless Knot’, so we returned to Miles Skarin at Crystal Spotlight to complete the series. The video incorporates a 3D motion capture technique (previously used on Frost*’s ‘Numbers’ video) to tie in with Affinity’s themes of artificial intelligence/consciousness.”

‘Haken X’ Tour North American dates

with special guests Sithu Aye (except Atlanta and Mexico)

AUG 23- DETROIT, MI @ THE SHELTER
AUG 24- TORONTO, ON @ LEE’S PALACE
AUG 25- MONTREAL, QC @ CLUB SODA
AUG 26- QUEBEC CITY, QC @ SALLE MULTI
AUG 27- BOSTON, MA @ BRIGHTON MUSIC HALL
AUG 29- COLUMBUS, OH @ SKULLY’S MUSIC DINER
AUG 30- CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH @ THE GROG SHOP
AUG 31- PITTSBURGH, PA @ REX THEATER
SEP 01- PHILADELPHIA, PA @ FOUNDRY @ THE FILLMORE
SEP 02- NEW YORK, NY @ HIGHLINE BALLROOM
SEP 03- WASHINGTON, DC @ ROCK & ROLL HOTEL
SEP 05- DURHAM, NC @ MOTORCO MUSIC HALL
SEP 06- ATLANTA, GA @ PROGPOWER USA XVIII
SEP 10- MEXCO CITY, MX @ EL PLAZA CONDESA
SEP 12- ANAHEIM, CA @ THE HOUSE OF BLUES
SEP 13- SAN FRANCISCO, CA @ SLIM’S
SEP 14- W.HOLLYWOOD, CA @ THE ROXY THEATRE
SEP 15- LAS VEGAS, NV @ BACKSTAGE BAR & BILLIARDS
SEP 16- SALT LAKE CITY, UT @ URBAN LOUNGE
SEP 17- DENVER, CO @ MARQUIS THEATER
SEP 19- ST.PAUL, MN @ AMSTERDAM BAR & HALL
SEP 20- MILWAUKEE, WI @ SHANK HALL
SEP 21- INDIANAPOLIS, IN @ THE EMERSON THEATER
SEP 22- ST.LOUIS, MO @ DELMAR HALL
SEP 23- CHICAGO, IL @ BOTTOM LOUNGE

Dates and Times to be updated if necessary 

Haken Official Website 

Haken Official Facebook Page

Haken Official Vevo on YouTube

Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius Release HYSTERIA Single & Music Video From Upcoming Album

Electric Violinist & Singer Joe Deninzon Amplifies Muse’s Passionate Song

HYSTERIA is a Wagnerian/Queen-esque cover of Muse’s 2003 hit. The song is going to be on the upcoming Stratospheerius album, GUILTY OF INNOCENCE, out September 29 on Melodic Revolution Records, the leading North American progressive rock record label.

The Video was Directed by musician Dave Milone (of Radio 4), the video for HYSTERIA features a dramatic performance of the band punctuated with explosions. Deninzon says the explosions represent “Someone who has had enough! Feeling hopeless frustration with the current state of the world, breaking out of a bad relationship, or someone held back from their dreams and ambitions, a prisoner in their mind or in a literal sense…or both!”

Joe is a huge Muse and Queen fan, and pays tribute to both bands in their version of this song, “The original was so perfect that we wanted to reimagine the song entirely!” The single features singer Melanie Mitrano, the first time Stratospheerius has ever had an operatic soprano guesting on any of their recordings.

Fusing influences by artists as diverse as Tool, Tom Morello, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Jack Bruce, Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius are contenders for being the biggest deal in prog that you’ve never heard! Writes Cleveland.com’s Peter Chakerian, “He may not be a ‘household name’ (yet) but he’s kind of a big deal.” Adds Progressive Rock Central’s Angel Romero, the group “combines solid songwriting and tradition with extraordinary electric violin work and the sounds of the future.”

Special guests on GUILTY OF INNOCENCE include guitarist Alex Skolnick (Testament, TSO), keyboardist Rave Tesar (Renaissance), and vocalist/guitarist Randy McStine (The Fringe, Stu Hamm).

For updates on digital store links such as iTunes, Amazon, visit both the Melodic Revolution Records and Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius’ Facebook and YouTube pages.

The Single is Available at; | Amazon USA | Amazon UK | Amazon Japan | CD Baby |

Listen on Spotify http://spoti.fi/2v3J6re

Melodic Revolution Records “Music Is Our Voice.”


Label and Media:

Melodic Revolution Records
Nick Katona: nick@melodicrevolution.com

Introducing The Supergroup Sons Of Apollo!

For the past few months, rumors have been circulating about a new secret project including former Dream Theater members Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian. Now, the time has come to make the grand and highly anticipated introduction to their new band, SONS OF APOLLO.

Reuniting to form SONS OF APOLLO, Portnoy and Sherinian have joined forces with Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses), Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) and Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Journey, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force).

Their debut album, PSYCHOTIC SYMPHONY, will be released 20th October on InsideOutMusic/Sony Music. An album teaser can be seen on InsideOutMusic’s YouTube page here: https://youtu.be/kPN2DttzlZQ

www.sonsofapollo.com
www.facebook.com/SonsOfApollo1
www.Twitter.com/SonsOfApollo1

On September 29th 2017 Gentle Giant will release “Three Piece Suite.”

Gentle Giant—Three Piece Suite is a specially curated selection of songs and compositions from the band’s first three albums (Giant, Acquiring the Taste, Three Friends) presented in both 5.1 surround sound and stereo. There are nine tracks from the albums, plus a pre-debut song, remixed by Steven Wilson. The choices were determined by the limited availability of multitrack master tapes from the era. Only a few songs from each album are known to exist as multi-tracks, with the rest presumably lost.

Three Piece Suite is available in the following formats:
*A two-disc digipak containing 96/24 animated Blu-ray plus CD.
*A single disc digipak CD.
*A two-disc gatefold LP in180g high-end vinyl.
*A digital download of the two disc Blu-Ray plus CD version.

Gentle Giant’s Three Piece Suite includes the songs “Giant,” “Nothing At All,” and “Why Not” from the first album Giant.
“Pantagruel’s Nativity,” “The House, The Street, The Room” from the second album Acquiring The Taste.
“Schooldays,” “Peel the Paint,” “Mr. Class And Quality,” and “Three Friends” from the album Three Friends completes the list of the original recorded material.
The band and Steven Wilson are including a previously commercially unreleased song “Freedom’s Child” taken from the first recording sessions with legendary producer Tony Visconti.

The liner notes by Interviewer Anil Prasad include reflections from Gentle Giant’s members about the writing and recording sessions.

Steven Wilson and Tony Visconti share their incredible observations about the early days of this unique collection of timeless music from one of progressive rock’s most influential bands.

Tony Visconti recounts:
“I was a very optimistic young man in 1970…I thought music like theirs would save the world from mediocrity. I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into it. I championed their cause by becoming sympathetic to the point where I temporarily joined the band for both albums. I modified their arrangements and pulled off some stunning audio effects that gave their sound more depth and immediacy. The band knew I was on their side. I remember there is a great feeling of camaraderie during the sessions.”

Steven Wilson explains:
“To create the new mixes, I used Logic as the software and Universal Audio plug-ins, which provide emulations of classic analog outboard effects, channel strips, and old mixing desks…I used these tools to clean things up and bring out some more clarity, detail, and definition in some of the instrumental interplay. There was never a question of trying to outdo the original mixes, but offer different perspectives on them.”

Tony Visconti continues:
“In our own way, we’ve touched the ears, minds, and hearts of thousands of true believers.”

The band members, collectively, feel there are still good reasons its fans continue to enjoy Gentle Giant’s music and why it continues to be discovered by new generations.

For fans of Gentle Giant, Three Piece Suite is a must have. For fans of great musicianship and progressive rock, this is an incredible insight into the earliest days of this legendary band.

Pre-Order Links for Amazon & iTunes to be announced at https://www.facebook.com/gentlegiantband/.

Blu-ray BD50

The Steven Wilson Remixes
Giant
Nothing At All
Why Not?
Pantagruel’s Nativity
The House, The Street, The Room
Schooldays
Peel The Paint
Mr. Class and Quality?
Three Friends
Freedom’s Child

Audio Formats:
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
96/24 5.1 LPCM
96/24 Stereo LPCM

Instrumentals
Giant
Nothing At All
Why Not?
Pantagruel’s Nativity
The House, The Street, The Room
Schooldays
Peel The Paint
Mr. Class and Quality?
Three Friends
Freedom’s Child

Audio Format:
96/24 Stereo LPCM

Original Album Mixes
96/24 Stereo LPCM

Gentle Giant
Giant
Funny Ways
Alucard
Isn’t It Quiet And Cold?
Nothing At All
Why Not?
The Queen

Acquiring The Taste
Pantagruel’s Nativity
Edge Of Twilight
The House, The Street, The Room
Acquiring The Taste
Wreck
The Moon Is Down
Black Cat
Plain Truth

Three Friends
Prologue
Schooldays
Working All Day
Peel The Paint
Mister Class And Quality?
Three Friends

CD
Giant
Nothing At All
Why Not?
Pantagruel’s Nativity
The House, The Street, The Room
Schooldays
Peel The Paint
Mr. Class and Quality?
Three Friends
Freedom’s Child
Nothing At All (Steven’s 7inch Edit)

VINYL (180g High-End Vinyl 2 disc Gatefold Sleeve)
Side 1:
Giant
Nothing At All
Side 2:
Why Not?
Pantagruel’s Nativity
The House, The Street, The Room
Side 3:
Schooldays
Peel The Paint
Side 4:
Mr. Class and Quality?
Three Friends
Freedom’s Child
Nothing At All (Steven’s 7inch Edit)

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