NTH ASCENSION – ASCENSION OF KINGS – SONIC VISTA MUSIC

 In 2009, drummer Craig Walker was asked to stand in for a local band, where he met keyboard player Darrel Treece-Birch, who was also helping them out. This led to them deciding to start a new project together, and they brought along Darrel’s longtime collaborators Martin Walker (who just happens to be Craig’s dad) and singer/bassist Alan ‘Spud’ Taylor. After the release of a demo, Gavin Walker (Craig’s brother, Martin’s son – are you following this?) was brought in as bassist to allow Alan to concentrate on singing. At the time of the release (2014) Darrel was in two other bands, one of which was Ten (with whom he is still with today), and singer Gary Hughes helped out by engineering and producing Alan, as well as providing some backing vocals. But these guys are a totally different style of music to what Darrel plays in Ten.

Some people will argue that these guys are neo prog, while others may look to crossover, but it is honestly just easier to state that they are a very English sounding prog band. Classic Pendragon has obviously been an influence, but so have some of the more keyboard-oriented pastoral bands of the past, and every time I play the classic “Weight of The World” the vocals remind me of some of the songs from Roger Glover’s ‘The Butterfly Ball’! I think what I like about the album is that there is so little stress within it, it is quite laid back at times, but they know when the guitars need to make an impact without always crunching out riffs. They are all fine musicians but are quite happy to sit back and often let Darrel lead the musical flow while Alan sits over the top of it all with wonderfully melodious vocals. They close with the eighteen-minute-long “Vision” which allows them to musically stretch their wings, yet still, keep it all contained and incredibly melodic. Driving, pastoral yet rocky when they need to be, melodic, musical, this is a really nice album indeed.

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by Kev Rowland

FRED FARELL – DISTANT SONG – WHALING CITY SOUND

This is the sort of album that can only be produced by people who have a wealth of experience behind them, as it is full of the confidence that only comes from the long hours of playing. Here, singer Fred Farell is working with pianist Richie Beirach and Dave Liebman (saxophones, recorder), and together they have produced an album of original material that is laid back, reflective, spiritual, delicate and refreshing all at the same time. No-one here has anything to prove, they just combine in a manner that I found absolutely enthralling in its simplicity and beauty.

Acoustic piano, a gentle sax and vocals that often don’t even have much reverb place on them, it doesn’t get far more stark and sincere than this. Yet, there is a real warmth and depth to what is going on, that belies the fact that it is just three guys gently bouncing off each other to provide an album whose cover art is a perfect reflection of what lies inside. The landscape combines fields with the sea and distant mist, a gentleness that has a strength and power within it. This isn’t the sort of jazz that I listen to often, but rarely have I heard it more controlled and heartfelt than here and is something I have enjoyed considerably.

by Kev Rowland

Landmarq announce new line-up and a few fall shows.

Ok, it’s been a little while coming but LANDMARQ are pleased to announce their shiny new line-up. Woohoo!

Ok, it’s been a little while coming but LANDMARQ are pleased to announce their shiny new line-up. Woohoo!

Line-up change #1
Step forward lead singer, Wolf Campen. A multi-instrumentalist and songwriter himself, Wolf was delighted to get the call following a series of auditions earlier in the year and is now looking forward to working with the band as they begin some fairly intensive rehearsals in preparation for their appearances in October at the Summer’s End Festival and also the Classic Rock Society.

Line-up change #2
However, another change to the line up occurred when drummer Daniel Martin made the decision to move on from the band as he was relocating back to Scotland to start a business producing original artwork.
Now step forward new drummer, Andy Allen. Andy was already known to the band and although fairly busy elsewhere, musically, he was equally delighted to receive the call to join the Landmarq family.

Existing Landmarq members — Mike Varty, Uwe D’rose, and Steve Gee — agree they are very happy to be up to full strength again and are now looking forward to getting back on stage. The band also have plans to release a new album in 2019 with the writing of new material already well underway.

LANDMARQ live dates 2018:
Sat 06 Oct, 2018 – Summers End Festival
Sat 20 Oct, 2018 – Classic Rock Society

Ten Jinn’s John Strauss Talks About Upcoming Release ZIGGY BLACKSTAR (A Tribute to David Bowie)

During the time we were working on the most recent Ten Jinn release, Sisyphus, came the very sad news about the passing of David Bowie.  At the time (though we were very busy with working on the album and dealing with the upcoming release in 2017) I suggested to the other Ten Jinn members that as soon as Sisyphus was completed, we should record a David Bowie tribute record before preparing for live shows or recording the next Ten Jinn Record, Worlds (the Four Worlds of the Hopi). While I was very excited about the prospect of playing live again and getting on to Worlds (I even completed the first draft of the score) I felt very strongly about taking this detour in order to pay my respects to an artist, who was probably the single most important influence in my development as a musician in general and vocalist in particular.


John and Ken in the studio mixing Sisyphus, October 3, 2016

Choosing the songs for the record was not an easy thing (as there are so many great Bowie tunes) but one thing we decided on right away was to avoid any of the major hits from the 1980s or things we thought a lot of other people might do. Since I was the one doing the lead vocals on the record, the band mostly supported me in the suggestions I made. At one point I thought it would be really cool to do a version of Blackstar, but since it was from Bowie’s last album, it seemed perhaps a bit disrespectful to do so soon after his death. In the end, we decided on material mostly from the 1970s with a couple of tunes from the late 1990s thrown in. All of the songs on this record have deep meaning for me and, in no particular order, include:

ZIGGY BLACKSTAR (A Tribute to David Bowie) Track List
1) Alladin Sane,
2) Future Legend
3) Diamond Dogs,
4) Life on Mars,
5) Fame,
6) I’m Afraid of Americans,
7) Dead Man Walking, and
8) Rock and Roll Suicide.

Ten Jinn have launched a snippet of Life on Mars from the upcoming album ZIGGY BLACKSTAR (A Tribute to David Bowie) on SoundCloud

Ten Jinn released their fourth album “Sisyphus on CD at the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg, PA during Rosfest: May 5th, 2018. 

Sisyphus was originally released in Europe as a digital-only album in 2017.

About The Album
Sisyphus is an eight-part programmatic work that tells the story of the founder and King of Corinth after whom it is named. Because of affronts to the gods while alive, Sisyphus was condemned in death to spend eternity in Hades rolling a boulder to the top of a mountain, only to have it roll back down each time he completed the task; this also speaks to the essay, “The Myth of Sisyphus,” by Albert Camus, who used the myth as a means to comment on the senseless, repetitive drudgery of modern life.

Originally written as a classical work (a symphonic poem for string orchestra and piano) the Ten Jinn production involved reworking the piece to include the addition of rock instrumentation. We got the idea to add vocals to make it more consistent with earlier Ten Jinn albums, and the plan was then to fill out the record with other new material; however, at one point during the process we decided to do an instrumental mix and use it as a “flip-side,” instead, because we wanted to include a version that was representative of the original idea, which had its own unique “flavor.”

The Band
John Paul Strauss: Lead and backing vocals, Keyboards
Mark Wickliffe: Drums, Bass & backing vocals
Ken Skoglund: Guitars & backing vocals
Mike Matier: Guitars

What the Critics are saying.
is it classical or prog? The answer is yes. All that’s missing is more of the same, which hopefully will come sooner than later from this seriously underrated act.
4 1/2 out of 5 Stars
– John Collinge, Progression Magazine

If you enjoy the band Enid, you will enjoy this one as well, and won’t get bored a minute here.
4 out of 5 Stars
– rdtprog, Prog Archives

Sisyphus is now available on all platforms and where all good music is sold!
Bandcamp: https://tenjinn.bandcamp.com/album/sisyphus
CD Baby: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/tenjinn
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ten-Jinn/e/B000APGCJI/digital
GardenShed Japan: http://www.gardenshedcd.com
iTunes:https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sisyphus/1193004539

RING VAN MÖBIUS – PAST THE EVENING SUN – APOLLON RECORDS

Sometimes, just sometimes, I come across an album that makes me wonder whether or not the world isn’t actually going to hell in a handbasket, and that there is still hope for music after all. This album has absolutely no right to exist in 2018 at all, let alone be a brand new release, as it sounds as if it has been sat in a vault for the last 50 years and has just been discovered. The line-up of Thor Erik Helgesen (Hammond L100, Fender Rhodes, Mellotron, Clavinet D6, Moog Satellite, Korg MS20, vocals), Håvard Rasmussen (bass, effects) and Dag Olav Husås (drums, timpani, percussion, effects), along with guest Karl Christian Grønhaug  (saxophone) have created something very special indeed.

Musically they have been influenced by Atomic Rooster, ELP, The Nice, Van der Graaf Generator, Peter Hamill, King Crimson, Gabriel-era Genesis and Yes, among others, and have then taken the influences and combined them into something very special indeed. Just three songs, but the album is forty minutes in length, and of course ,it has been released on vinyl as well as other mediums – it would have been wrong not to do so. I have very little information about the band, but according to their Facebook page they are from Karmøy, Norway, and produce “Progressive rock straight from 1971, but made today.” No guitar, but there just isn’t room for any, as Thor has obviously been heavily influenced by Emerson and Crane, producing some stunning organ, while Rasmussen provides the supporting role favoured by Lake (no vocals or guitar though), while Husås is a stunning drummer who has obviously been heavily influenced by Palmer. Grønhaug doesn’t play all the time, but when he is involved he takes the music to a whole new VDGG/Colosseum level.

Musical, melodic, drenched in nostalgia, I just love this album and could listen to it all day. From the artwork, through to the very last note, this is a very special album indeed. There aren’t many details available on this album, but try https://www.apollonrecords.n

  • Kev Rowland

Italian Prog Metal Band Vitriol Announce New Guitarist

Time for a new update from our headquarters…

Months ago, our guitar player Fausto De Bellis decided to quit the band for personal reasons.

 

 

Today, after careful considerations, we’re proud to announce the name of our new guitar guy: MICHELE DI LAURO.

Michele is a great musician (check him out with his other band Minraud) but most of all he is a long-time friend, a special person with a unique energy that will surely make a difference. We are honored he accepted our proposal to join the band and we can’t wait to share with you something new with him on guitars.

Michele’s entrance is the first step of a new path that will lead us to our next full-length release and back to intense live activity.
We will update you over the next days about this, and we will try to amaze you with some more surprises from “Into the silence I sink”, a record we want to be heard again with the addition of some interesting details, according to our vision.

Stay tuned!

—————————————

ITA:

Alcuni mesi fa Fausto De Bellis ha deciso di lasciare la band per motivi personali.

Oggi, dopo un periodo di riflessione, i Vitriol danno il benvenuto a Michele Di Lauro alla chitarra. Michele è un grande musicista (ascoltatelo nella sua band Minraud) ma soprattutto un grande amico di lungo corso, una persona speciale dotata di un’energia unica che, siamo sicuri, farà la differenza. Siamo davvero onorati che abbia accettato la nostra proposta di entrare a far parte della band e non vediamo l’ora di farvi ascoltare qualcosa di nuovo con lui alla chitarra.

L’ingresso di Michele è il primo passo di un nuovo sentiero che ci condurrà all’uscita del nostro nuovo album e alla ripresa dell’attività live. Nei prossimi giorni cercheremo di darvi degli aggiornamenti, ma vorremmo anche provare a stupirvi con alcune sorprese tratte da “Into The Silence I Sink”, un album che desideriamo farvi ascoltare ancora con attenzione aggiungendo dei dettagli, a nostro parere, interessanti.

Stay tuned!

Vitriol’s criticaly acclaimed album Into The Silence I Sink was released in 2012

Band Members

Gabriele Gozzi : Lead Vocals
Michael Di Lauro: Guitars
Francesco Lombardo: Bass & Vocals
Michele Panepinto: Drums & Vocals

Links

| Website | Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Youtube | MRR Profile | ReverbNation |

 

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