London – Legendary Curved Air lead singer and founding member Sonja Kristina has released a new 2-CD compilation called ANTHOLOGY! This is the FIRST collection of her solo works and draws on recordings from her varied solo albums, along with rare and NEWLY RECORDED EXCLUSIVE TRACKS.
Released by Curved Air Records via Cherry Red, this Anthology has been personally compiled by Sonja, with custom cover art and her personal liner notes.
Says Sonja, “This collection is selected from my recordings outside of Curved Air. My reveries on life and love through the decades and beautiful songs that I have had the privilege to perform and make my own.”
Sonja Kristina, who topped the British Music female vocalist polls throughout the ’70s was the first UK female lead singer fronting a Rock band. She has been the constant flame leading Curved Air through the decades, and a Guiding Light in the Prog scene. Today, vibrant and edgy as ever, Sonja, the original Prog goddess gives a charismatic and highly visual performance. Looking like a glamorous gypsy queen with her flowing red hair and dressed in sparkly black, that signature voice is still as smoky and seductive as ever as she spins around the stage around the excellent musicians who are Curved Air.
Sonja will be on tour both as a solo artist and with Curved Air as it builds up to its 50th anniversary year.
1. FRANK MILLS
2. IF THIS WAS LOVE
3. THE PASSION
4. BABY SONG
5. FULL TIME WOMAN
6. MAN HE COLOUR
7. ONE TO ONE
8. MELINDA (MORE OR LESS)
9. THIS IS NOT A SANCTUARY
11. C’EST LA VIE
1. DEVIL MAY CARE
5. SAN TROPEZ
6. I DON’T BELIEVE A WORD
7. STREET RUN
8. O FORTUNA
9. LOVE CHILD
California-based, Canadian multi-instrumentalist Lucas Lee releases a new record, featuring drumming icon Marco Minnemann (Joe Satriani, Steven Wilson, The Aristocrats, Mike Keneally). The 13-track instrumental rock fusion/ progressive rock full concept album is entitled, Acceptances of Gravitational Collapsing Manifestations.
After two previous records featuring virtuosic drumming by Pat Mastelotto and Tobias Ralph respectively, Lee’s new release continues that trend, this time, with Marco Minnemann behind the kit.
The story of the album is about a society where a powerful state’s appetite for power, along with the perpetual greed of mega-corporations, resulted in their continuous collaborations, forming multiple invasive rulings at the expense of citizens’ livelihoods. As unimaginable as some of the abusive trends were, most citizens lacked any willingness to resist, as they saw any action on their behalf involved changes in their addictive lifestyle behaviors. For the few that had the desire to act, they soon realized that there would be no escape.
Lucas: “I am most excited to be able to have Marco, who is widely seen by fans and peers as one of the most talented and creative drummers in the world, to take time out of his insanely busy schedule to play on my record. I think Marco’s signature energy and power really shine through in this one. As a concept album, there’s a definite flow and cohesion amongst the songs, but they were also written in a way to contain plenty of changes and areas for fun, angular grooves. I also wanted to explore areas of complex dense harmony, so there are elements on that front too. The overall process of putting this record together took plenty of time and effort personally, but the experience has been overwhelmingly positive. Hopefully, listeners will enjoy this record as much as the experience of putting it together!”
CD Track Listing
1. Intro: Dawn of the Black Sun
2. Prelude: The Oregon Trail Crow Invasion Incident 3. Two Eyes for an Eye: Dr. Kunto’s Demise
4. Zjeto’s Ascension
5. Millennial Awakening. Maybe.
6. Above the Law, Pt. 1
7. Preach to Deaf Ears, Pt. 1
8. Preach to Deaf Ears, Pt. 2 9. Gwydion’s Escape
10. 33 Thomas
11. Above the Law, Pt. 2
12. Coda: Kunto’s Qi
13. Outro: Sanctuary
Guitars, Bass, Keyboards/Piano, Violins: Lucas Lee
Drums: Marco Minnemann
CD Catalog: LLEEMQ-04
Street Date: November 8th, 2017
Quadrus Main Composer John Galanakis Releases Video ‘Destroyers Of The Worlds’
John Galanakis had this to say from his Facebook profile:
“Ok folks here it is! The first cinematic soundtrack ‘Destroyers of the Worlds” from my upcoming sci-fi concept album ” The Doom Vanguard” is here.”
The story on this album takes place on the distant future were mankind is on the brink of destruction by some alien race who lives in a parallel universe. Humanity stands no chance of fighting the Xenos attackers and falls back deep into the core of Kepler 2.0 where it builds enormous galactic ships to fight back the destroyers of the worlds. Those ships are powered by powerful entities called “The heart of the ship” and they act both as a source power and adviser for repealing the alien attack. If you are interested you can find more on my official web page. “
Earlier in the year Power Of Prog reviewed John Galanakis other out Quadrus with their debut conceptual album Entropia. You can read that by clicking here.
London – The Keith Emerson Estate is pleased to announce the re-release of the celebrated album of Keith Emerson keyboard (and rare) pieces, Emerson Plays Emerson, which has long been out of print and a collector’s item.
The re-release uses a fresh transfer of the master tapes by Abbey Road, a 2017 remaster, and artwork from the original art files. The booklet contains the liner notes in English, Italian, and German.
The re-release is the Estate’s own imprint label Emersongs, via Cherry Red.
The members of Keith’s family have personally overseen the preparation of this re-release and they are also preparing to approve a music transcriptions book of the album for release in early 2018. The family is focused on celebrating and enhancing Keith Emerson’s musical legacy and supporting projects which further the appreciation of his life’s work…
Keith’s eldest son, Aaron said of the release: “Since the passing of my father, we have been inundated with requests for a reissue of the album ‘Emerson Plays Emerson’. This album was a labor of love for Dad, so we decided to go with the original artwork to stay as true to the original as possible as we understand how happy Dad was with it. I know he would be happy with this re-issue, so on behalf of myself, Jo and my boys, of Damon and his family, of my mother Elinor, and of my father’s fiancé Mari, and with thanks to Daniel Earnshaw, Martin Darvill and Stewart Young for all their hard work, we hope you enjoy it!”
When Opeth returned in 2011 with the release of Heritage many believed that the death of true extreme progressive death metal had come to a end due to the lack of growls to balance out the cleaner vocals. Many people did not know where a suitable replacement or a new hero band would come from or if it was going to return at all. Little did people know that one of the answers to this very question would come from Opeths neighbouring country of Sweden, Finland. The band out of Finland would be Perihelion Ship.
Last year I discovered these guys and was totally mindblown by their strong independent debut titled A Rare Thunderstorm In Spring. With haunting Hammond Organ and Mellotron style keyboards over a traditional progressive death metal sound, Perihelion Ship would be one of those very bands that kept the progressive death metal sub genre alive and well. Not only are Perihelion Ship one of the answers to that void left by Opeth, they are very serious contenders to take the throne as the kings of that brand of progressive death metal which Opeth left vacant. This could not be more true with the bands second album and sophomoric effort To Paint A Bird Of Fire.
To Paint A Bird Of Fire sees Perihelion Ship mature quite quickly within under the year since they debuted with A Rare Thunderstorm In Spring. To Paint A Bird Of Fire builds upon the rock solid foundation laid with A Rare Thunderstorm In Spring. In some areas To Paint A Bird Of Fire is quite a bit more abrasive and aggressive than A Rare Thunderstorm In Spring, especially with the guttural growls. The growls are more a blackened death vocal this time around. This will be pointed out and highlighted as this review moves forward. To Paint A Bird Of Fire has 6 very unique tracks yet they all remain in a tightly and sometimes very unpredictable objective. It is book ended by New Sun and New Sun? leaving the listener either the illusion or appearance that this could be a two part epic broke up deliberately to conveying a unspoken point. Now a few highlights from the album with a track by track analysis.
New Sun starts out as a post modern extreme progressive doom style chord progression. This is met with haunting Hammond style organs creating a very dark atmosphere that allows the deep bass chord progression to explode. The song starts to assault the senses of the listener in a beautiful brutal passage. The band always has a very cunning ability to weave in 1970’s pure progressive concepts with the mellotron and Hammond styled organs with the various modern time signatures both in the rhythm section and the guitars. This song quickly demonstrates the bands uncompromising approach to pure progressive rock and to transcribe it through the filter of today’s modern progressive metal elements. The band certainly storms out of the gate with a very tight cohesive vision and execution of sound.
Bird Of Fire begins with a very eerie dark Hammond Organ chord progression that forms a very dark atmosphere. Soon that recedes and a full all out assault of all instruments forms a deep thunderous melodic rhythm section with the clean vocal first. Thereafter the band takes the listener through a roller coaster of various time signatures and chord progressions before the death growls come in and change the complexion of the track.
The Sad Mountain opens up with thunderous blast beats that are soon met with the melancholic atmosphere created by the synths. The rhythm section goes to further and darker areas of melody in harmony with the clean yet somber vocals. The band have a uncanny ability to use the bass both as a melodic and percussive instrument. Jouko Lehtonen – Bass Guitaris gradually establishing himself as one of modern progressive metal’s best bass players. This also sees the growth and maturation of Andreas Hammer – Guitar, Vocals starting to come into his own as a powerhouse progressive metal frontman. He is also a firm reminder of a younger Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth or Jonas Renske of Katatonia. Perihelion Ship definitely remain on point and objective this far into the album.
River’s Three opens up with a beautifully played acoustical guitar that creates a dark and once again yet somber atmosphere. Jani Konttinen’s – Hammond Organ, Mellotron orchestration of simulated wind instruments is a delightful brainstorm that yields a beautiful melody alongside the beautiful acoustic guitar. This track is a great track that it allows the listener to breathe and begin to digest the album.
Wind Of No Echoes continues to demonstrate the bands atmospheric side. Once again semi acoustic guitars alongside the beautiful keyboards give the album a particular sound signature where it is starting to become part and parcel to the brand of the band. That melancholic vibe before a wall of extreme bliss seems to be how the band likes to approach things at times. This is also accompanied with heavy rhythm section provided by the bass and drum. Then without notice the band changes up the atmosphere briefly yet with taste as not to disturb the listening experience. Through all the heavy passages there is a spoken word section that is met with some of the most venomous and sinister blackened death vocals I have heard in quite sometime. The sheer anger in the vocals is perfectly matched with the instrumental half of the track.
New Sun? This track goes well into the world of extreme progressive metal with some equally as heavy psychedelic elements to it. This is also the longest track on the album. It really explodes out of the gate with a heavy progressive and melodic unity within all the instruments. The deep rhythm sections are still in play as well as the intricate guitar chord progressions. The clean vocals are very strong on this one and are articulated quite well. If this is a continuation of the first song New Sun there are not any reprisal areas that lead the listener that way. The death growls certainly kick in perfect harmony with the deep double blast beats of the drums. The psychedelic portion comes with a wicked and sinister laugh that reminds me a lot of Porcupines Tree’s Voyage 34 when the main character Brian goes on that bad LSD trip. The mellotron style keyboards lend a heavy psychedelic vibe to those laughing spots. With this being the final track on the album it finishes very tight, professional and strong.
Last year I went on record and called Perihelion Ship’s A Rare Thunderstorm In Spring the best extreme progressive metal’s strongest debut album of all time. I also remember giving such praise to the pioneering independent spirit to that album. For a band to return just little under a year like Perihelion Ship has now done with To Paint A Bird Of Fire is another lofty feat in of itself. To Paint A Bird Of Fire is yet another full length album and it demonstrates the band’s ability to mature a lot in such little time since their debut A Rare Thunderstorm In Spring. Due to the band’s quick maturity and non inhibition of exploration I am giving Perihelion Ship’s To Pain A Bird Of Fire a strong 5/5. This could possibly be my progressive metal album of the year.
The idea behind this release was not only to help raise funds and help for friends, neighbors and the families of Texas, Right on the heals Harvey we saw more devastating hurricanes both Irma and Maria were also Catagory 5 Hurricanes that created havoc killed people and displaced 1,000’s more. There were a few other very devastating incidents including Typhoon Noru and two earthquakes in Mexico City. Our goal with this project is not only raising as much money as possible for the victims and families but to also maintain focus on all those devastated by the recent catastrophic events with this release long after the media moves its focus onto another sound bite.
There are two ways you can help and in return for your help you will receive a digital copy of “A Lack of Empathy: The American Dream”.
You can donate how every much (There is, however, a Minumum) you want for any track or full album from the There Is Hope Records Bandcamp Store, all money from sales minus Bandcamp/PayPal service charges go directly to Music For Relief.
We will give out a free copy A Lack of Empathy: The American Dream to anyone that sends us proof of helping those in need whether it be a donation receipt to a local charity/charity of their choice or a photo of them on the ground helping out in some way.
From all of us involved in this project thank you! Please share this