Four years since the release of “Disconnected”, Prog Rockers AIRBAG are set to release their fifth full-length album. Titled “A Day at the Beach”, the album will be released on the 19th June on Karisma Records, and today the label has given the band’s many fans a taste of what they can look forward to by releasing a track from the album.
The track is titled “Machines and Men”, and AIRBAG describe it thus: “This was one of the very first songs written for the album. The initial demo was basically just guitars, drums and vocals and during a period of working in the studio, rehearsing, and playing the song live, it slowly evolved into something new and fresh that defined most of the material we were working on. The lyrics describe the facts of war in a cold and objective fashion, only to turn to the spectator with a warning and a chance to look away“.
Hailed as one of the most important bands to emerge from the Norwegian prog scene over the past decades, AIRBAG was formed in the mid-2000s by five high school classmates, which included two of today’s members Asle Tostrup (vocals) and Bjørn Riis (guitars). AIRBAG is a band that is able to blend diverse musical styles and sounds, with a strong narrative listening experience. Today’s lineup also includes Henrik Bergan Fossum (drums) and “A Day at the Beach” will be AIRBAG’s first album as a trio, and will also feature talented guest musicians including WOBBLER’s Kristian Hultgren.
Featuring six new songs recorded during the autumn and winter of 2019-20, and inspired by the resurgence of 1980s electronica, new wave and movie scores, “A Day at the Beach” sees AIRBAG creating a powerful sound combining ethereal soundscapes with their signature guitar driven progressive rock. The result is a stunning selection of songs revealing a mature band looking forward from its already impressive legacy.
Once again teaming up with long-time collaborator and engineer Vegard Sleipnes, “A Day at the Beach” was mastered by Jacob Holm-Lupo and produced by Asle Tostrup and Bjørn Riis. Cover design, is, as always, by vocalist Tostrup.
1. Machines and Men 2. A Day at the Beach (Part 1) 3. Into the Unknown 4. Sunsets 5. A Day at the Beach (Part 2) 6. Megalomaniac
The album is the result of a strong collaboration between all three of us. Having lost two original members since our last album, we were forced to rethink how we write and create new music, but it also allowed us to venture into something new that turned out to be very inspiring.
Lyrically, “A Day at the Beach” is very much a story of us and them, told by a husband, father and brother leaving his family behind into an unknown future. It’s the contrast between the desperate individual struggling to survive and people in power observing at a safe distance.
“A Day at the Beach” will be available in CD, black and coloured vinyls and Digital formats and is now available to pre-order from:
Surveillance NSA is a newly recorded bonus track, the original recording appears on the band’s sixth album Anomalous Propagation released in October 2019
Surveillance NSA explores the concept of Big Brother always watching, and features the wonderful work of lead vocalist Laurie Kurdis, Laurie has recently joined the band as the new lead vocalist filling the void after Heidi Engel’s departure, soon after the release of Anomalous Propagation.
The bonus single for Surveillance NSA will be released soon, Anomalous Propagation was released on October 19th, 2019 in three formats, double CD, Double LP, and High-Resolution Digital and features 11 new songs.
CD Track Listing 01. Red Light Syndrome 02. Surveillance 03. Despoina’s Dagger 04. Queen of Fools 05. Rhizomatic Horizon 06. Deep Web 07. Translucent 08. Defenestrated 09. Love 10. Candlelight 11. Principle Amor
Double LP Track Listing Side One 01. Red Light Syndrome 02. Surveillance 03. Principle Amor
Side Two 04. Despoina’s Dagger 05. Deep Web
Side Three 06. Rhizomatic Horizon 07. Love 08. Translucent
Side Four 09. Defenestrated 10. Queen of Fools 11.Candlelight
In the Studio… Rowen Poole: guitars, synths, lyrics Chris Siegle: bass, synths Heidi Engel: vocals, lyrics Jim Puskar: drums, percussion Jason English: guitars, vocals Laura Martin: pianos, keyboards, synths, vocals
Recorded April 2015 – January 2019 at StarGlider Studios, Gibsonia, PA Engineered and mixed by Rowen Poole Mastered by JK Northrup at Alien Productions Music Studio, Carmichael, CA
And by ‘everything,’ I don’t mean material possessions, money or a big house.
My parents, David and Judith, celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary today. Fifty years of sticking together through thick and thin, through good times and bad. And they have everything that I consider to be the important stuff; huge hearts, gratitude, humbleness, a giving attitude, unconditional love for their family and friends and the wisdom to work through whatever life throws at them.
Holed up at home for the foreseeable future, we can’t celebrate this important milestone in the way we intended. But last autumn, we made a music video together. Unusual, I know! I don’t know many musicians who have done this but my song, Take me out in Your Old Bread Van, was written about their relationship.
When they were courting, many moons ago, my dad used to take my mum out in his old bread van, with a rocking chair for a passenger seat. It must have been a rocky ride for sure – but he knew how to show her a good time.
They also got married on April Fool’s day – before Midday. I love their complete lack of superstition. And it was certainly no prank as here we are, 50 years later, celebrating their love with a burst of colour, love and lots of happiness.
I invite you to join with me today, in celebrating not only their lasting love, but the love we can share with everyone who is precious to us at this time.
Who is special in your life? Write back and tell me something you love about them. Let’s fill our thoughts, conversations and actions with L O V E today!
Devin Townsend is pleased to announce the release of ‘Empath – The Ultimate Edition’ on June 5th, 2020. This comprehensive version of 2019’s acclaimed album contains the original record and bonus disc across 2 CD’s, plus 2 Blu-Ray discs. The first blu-ray contains the 5.1 Surround Sound mix by Devin, with visuals for the full record, plus a stereo visualiser. The second blu-ray contains a raft of bonus material, including ‘Acoustically Inclined – Live in Leeds’, a recording from his April 2019 acoustic tour where he performed tracks including ‘Love?’, ‘Deadhead’, ‘Thing Beyond Things’ & more.
It also features the full Empath Documentary, a ‘Genesis 5.1 Mixing Lesson’, a full album commentary & more. The four discs sit inside a beautiful art-book that contains new liner notes and images from the making of the album.
Devin comments of the new 5.1 surround sound mix: “On a technical level, I guess I have always been dissatisfied with the basic ‘stereo’ format in which the type of music I make gets presented in. Whether its headphones, computer speakers, stereos (or basically anything currently), I have had to figure out ways to get the work to function through TWO speakers. I hear things in a particularly orchestrated way, and with the amount of information that typically gets recorded per song, the result has been the dubious ‘wall of sound’ that I keep ending up with. But my intention has never been to make an oppressive experience, but rather something that is immersive and vast.
Making it work in two speakers just simply doesn’t quite work for the vision. Although I’ve managed to get the point across, (to varying degrees), things always have to compromise to make it all fit. Making the drums speak at the same time as orchestra, cymbals, guitars, choirs, synths etc.…all with my voice on top, ends up with every conceivable frequency fighting for breathing space between those two speakers.
Therefore, I asked the powers that be in my business world, to tolerate one more ‘kick at the can’ when it came to Empath. I wanted to attempt a surround mix and follow the original vision of it being an immersive, multimedia experience for people in the ways I could best achieve at this stage. And although it’s still pretty ‘dense’, with four more sources for the sound to come from, I feel its significantly closer to the original vision here.”
CD1: 01 – Castaway 02 – Genesis 03 – Spirits Will Collide 04 – Evermore 05 – Sprite 06 – Hear Me 07 – Why? 08 – Borderlands 09 – Requiem 10 – Singularity: Adrift 11 – Singularity: I Am I 12 – Singularity: There Be Monsters 13 – Singularity: Curious Gods 14 – Singularity: Silicone Scientists 15 – Singularity: Here Comes The Sun!
CD2: 01 – The Contrarian (Demo) 02 – King (Demo) 03 – The Waiting Kind (Demo) 04 – Empath (Demo) 05 – Methuselah (Demo) 06 – This Is Your Life (Demo) 07 – Gulag (Demo) 08 – Middle Aged Man (Demo) 09 – Total Collapse (Demo) 10 – Summer (Demo)
Devin will head out on a Summer festival run mixed with club shows in Europe, which includes a headline appearance at Bloodstock Festival in the UK.
04.06.2020 Sweden Rock Festival – Solvesborg (SE) 05.-07.06.2020 Rock Im Park – Nürnberg (DE) 05.-07.06.2020 Rock Am Ring – Mendig (DE) 10.06.2020 Majestic Music Club – Bratislava (SVK) 10.06.2020 Mystic Festival – Krakow (PL) 11.06.2020 Nova Rock – Nickelsdorf, (AT) 13.06.2020 The Roman Arenas -Bucharest (ROU) 14.06.2020 Mixtape 5 -Sofia (BGR) 15.06.2020 A38 – Budapest (HU) 18.06.2020 Copenhell – Copenhagen (DK) 20.06.2020 Graspop Metal Meeting – Dessel (BE) 21.06.2020 Hellfest – Clisson (FR) 23.06.2020 Rockhal – Esch-sur-alzette (LUX) Co-Headline with Meshuggah 24.06.2020 Xtra – Zurich (CHE) Co-Headline with Meshuggah 26.06.2020 Rock The Night Festival – Rivas-Vaciamadrid (ES) – CANCELLED 28.06.2020 Tuska – Helsinki (FI) 29.07.2020 MetalDays, Tolmin (SLO) 30.07.2020 Wacken Open Air – Wacken (DE) 05.08.2020 Brutal Assault Festival – Jaromer (CZE) 07.08.2020 Bloodstock Open Air – Walton-On-Trent (UK) 09.08.2020 Into The Grave – Leeuwarden (NL) 12.08.2020 Summer Breeze, Dinkelsbuhl (DE)
“We are really excited for our fans to be able to get a taste of what is to come from ‘The Absence of Presence,'” says KANSAS lead vocalist Ronnie Platt. “I think people will really be surprised by the album. ‘The Absence of Presence’ shows the band firing on all cylinders.”
March 30, 2020 – KANSAS, America’s legendary progressive rock band, will release their highly anticipated new studio album “The Absence of Presence” on June 26, 2020.
The Absence of Presence Track Listing: 1.) The Absence of Presence2.) Throwing Mountains3.) Jets Overhead4.) Propulsion 15.) Memories Down the Line6.) Circus of Illusion7.) Animals on the Roof8.) Never9.) The Song the River Sang
Billboard.com first announced the new album during an exclusive interview with KANSAS drummer and “The Absence of Presence” co-producer Phil Ehart: http://bit.ly/KansasBillboardTAoP. “The Absence of Presence” will be available for pre-order on April 17.
“The Absence of Presence” follows-up 2016’s “The Prelude Implicit,” which debuted at #14 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart. KANSAS has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, and is famous for classic hits such as ‘Carry On Wayward Son’ and ‘Dust in the Wind’ to the progressive epic ‘Song for America.’
“The Absence of Presence,” released by Inside Out Music, features nine all new tracks written by the band, produced by Zak Rizvi, and co-produced by Phil Ehart and Richard Williams. KANSAS’s signature sound is unmistakable throughout. The album showcases Ronnie Platt’s towering vocals, David Ragsdale’s searing violin, Tom Brislin’s dazzling keyboards, Williams and Rizvi’s electrifying guitar riffs, Ehart’s powerful drums, and Billy Greer’s rocking bass.
“We are really proud of the album ‘The Absence of Presence,'” comments KANSAS guitarist, producer, and songwriter Zak Rizvi. “Making a new KANSAS album sets a very high musical standard that is expected from our fans. From rockers, to progressive epics, to ballads, there is something on this recording for everybody.”
“The Absence of Presence” will be released June 26, 2020, on Inside Out Music and is distributed by The Orchard. The album will be available on CD, Double LP 180 Gram Vinyl, Limited Edition Deluxe CD + 5.1 Blu-Ray Artbook, and digitally on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and all other streaming services. Pre-order opportunities will be available starting later this spring at KansasBand.com and Amazon.com
KANSAS will debut a song off “The Absence of Presence” this summer during Foreigner’s Juke Box Heroes 2020 Tour. More songs off the album will be performed during this fall’s Point of Know Return Anniversary European Tour. For more information on KANSAS, “The Absence of Presence,” The Point of Know Return Anniversary European Tour, The Point of Know Return Anniversary Tour, or the Juke Box Heroes 2020 tour, please visit: www.kansasband.com