THE DAME // LOSING SIGHT OF WHAT YOU WANT // INDEPENDENT

This is the debut album from Dutch neo-prog band The Dame, which as the name might suggest is built heavily around the female lead singer, Marian van Charante. They have been gaining a lot of attention for their image and style, as apparently they aim to convey a feeling of the Roaring Twenties in what they do, although it must be said that with a download as opposed to a CD that isn’t necessarily apparent. For the most part, the keyboards are actually quite basic and in the background, but given that Thijs de Ruijter is actually the son of the guitarist Stephen and is just 16 years old perhaps that is understandable.

The songs feel like stories, which is very much a positive, and Marian moves between singing softly and bringing in elements of Alanis Morissette with her phrasing. It is pleasant enough, but this just doesn’t shine the way it should. Some of that is down to the arrangements which feel a little clunky at times, and the production which often pushes the snare drum over the top of the guitar. The use of acoustic guitar as an additional rhythm works well, but I can’t get nearly as excited over this as many others seem to be.

6/10 by Kev Roland

TOM SLATTER // SPIRIT BOX // INDEPENDENT

Tom’s last releases was as part of Murder and Parliament and their rather superb instrumental album. Here we find him back to his more usual state of affairs, blackmailing Gareth Cole (electric guitars) and Jordan Brown (acoustic bass, keyboards) to appear with him while he himself provides acoustic guitar and vocals. He describes this set as a collection of four murder ballads, and we get to meet some interesting characters during its 23 minutes. I have long felt that Tom was born in the wrong century, as I can imagine him sat in a dark corner of a pub somewhere as a traveling musician, singing and telling his stories to the brave souls willing to hear it (a bit like his gigs to be fair).

Tom has an incredible sense of humor, and if you don’t believe me then just follow some of his posts on Facebook, and he often portrays a steampunk image but what this all belies is that he is a very English musician and writer who deserves close attention. I haven’t heard all that he has released by any stretch, but everything I have come across has been quite superb. He has a way of telling stories which drag in the listener to sample the wares, with an incredibly complex acoustic guitar. He has become associated with the progressive scene, but he has as much in common with the folk crowd, and I would imagine him going down a storm at the Cropredy Festival. If you have heard any of his material already then I am sure you have lined up to purchase this, but if you are new to his style of English folk prog crossover then you owe it to your ears to find out more. https://tomslatter.bandcamp.com/album/spirit-box

8/10 by Kev Rowland

  

 

Casey McPherson announces new Alpha Rev release ‘Cas.e Sessions, Vol.1’

Casey McPherson, the vocalist for prog rock supergroups Flying Colors and The Sea Within, is pleased to announce the release of a new Alpha Rev album entitled ‘Alpha Rev presents Cas.e Sessions, Volume 1.’  Alpha Rev is the singer/songwriters own project that he has spearheaded since 2005.  The album is a collection of songs written over the course of the last two years as part of the singer’s monthly fan-subscription service, The Cas.e Sessions.

You can see the lyric video for the track “My Evolution” here:

After recording and performing with bands for most of his career, Casey McPherson wanted to do something outside the box, a more in-depth artistic look into life for him… so, he started a music and video experience called the Cas.e Sessions. The Cas.e Sessions explores creating songs around a relevant topic or experience and documents the whole process. Every month, the members of the Cas.e Sessions get a new song, a short documentary around the song, and an online live show, which has allowed McPherson to make a record completely independent, fully funded by the members.

Casey had this to say about the song and album:

“’My Evolution’ captures a lot of what I’ve learned from Flying Colors. I also ended up playing every instrument on the recording so that was a fun challenge. You won’t know what you’re capable of until you try! 

I didn’t intend to release the Cas.e Sessions Volume 1 to the general public, just to the Cas.e Sessions members, mostly because I recorded each song in a day and wasn’t thinking about how it would be received. Maybe that was a good thing? Looking back, I’m very proud of the journey it takes you on!”

The album is available now on digital services and download here: https://alpharev.com/album/914652/cas-e-sessions-volume-1-music
Tracklisting:
1.Changeling
2.My Evolution
3.I’m a Refugee
4.White Matter Recess
5.Everyone’s Charade
6.You Are the Peacemakers
7.Song of Aleppo
8.Write Your Name
9.Help Me
10.Stillness for Humans
Casey McPherson is a singer/songwriter who began his recording career with the band Endochine in 2004.  A year later he formed Alpha Rev and found success in the pop/alternative world with that band’s second album New Morning and that album’s title track. “New Morning” was added on VH1, and it became a top 10 hit on the AAA radio charts, as did “Sing Loud” from the 3rd record “Bloom.”

In 2012, he was approached by Flying Colors manager Bill Evans at the suggestion of drummer Mike Portnoy, who was a fan of McPherson’s band Endochine.  The singer joined Portnoy, Neal Morse, Dave LaRue and Steve Morse in Flying Colors, who released their debut album in 2012 and the follow-up Second Nature in 2014.  This unexpected entry into the world of progressive rock introduced McPherson to a whole new audience.  In 2018, he recorded a few tracks on the debut self-titled album by new prog supergroup The Sea Within, featuring Roine Stolt, Marco Minnemann, Jonas Reingold, Tom Brislin and Pain of Salvation vocalist Daniel Gildenlöw.  McPherson has since replaced Gildenlöw as the group’s full-time singer. The Sea Within are set to appear on the upcoming Cruise to the Edge, Feb, 4th-9th in Tampa, Florida.

Currently, McPherson is working with Flying Colors on the group’s 3rd studio album. He is planning an upcoming solo progressive rock album and will continue to release albums under Alpha Rev and as a solo artist.

Tim Bowness – announces new solo album ‘Flowers At The Scene’

Following the release of 2017’s Prog Award-winning album ‘Lost In The Ghost Light’, Tim Bowness returns with his fifth solo album ‘Flowers At The Scene’ on March 1st, 2019. Produced by no-man, the album is a vibrant collection of 11 strikingly diverse songs.

Tim comments: “’Lost In The Ghost Light – which was always intended as a one-off – felt like a perfect conclusion to a particular way of writing and working. In the wake of that, Flowers At The Scene very much feels like a press reset.

It was an exciting project to put together and it was great working closely with old sparring partners, Brian Hulse, and Steven Wilson. Steven was initially brought in to mix the album, but very quickly he was doing far more and developing production ideas alongside Brian and I. Listening to pieces such as Not Married Anymore, Borderline and The War On Me, we both felt that the project had more than a hint of the spirit of no-man and it became obvious that this was a no-man co-production rather than a Bowness/Wilson one.

Elsewhere, the likes of Fates Warning’s Jim Matheos, Colin Edwin, Dylan Howe, and Tom Atherton delivered some incredible performances and it was a delight to get Peter Hammill, Kevin Godley, Andy Partridge and David Longdon involved.

Peter and Kevin were two of my favorite singers growing up and I’ve been a long-term fan of XTC, so it was genuinely a thrill to hear their excellent contributions.”

Representing the duo of Tim Bowness and Steven Wilson’s first joint production in over a decade, the album features performances from an extraordinary cast of players including Peter Hammill (Van Der Graaf Generator), Andy Partridge (XTC), Kevin Godley (10cc), Colin Edwin(Porcupine Tree), Jim Matheos (Fates Warning/OSI), David Longdon (Big Big Train), co-producer Brian Hulse (Plenty), Australian trumpeter Ian Dixon, and drummers Tom Atherton and Dylan Howe. The Curator, David K Jones, violinist Fran Broady, and Charles Grimsdale also guest.

Mixed by Steven Wilson and mastered by Steve Kitch (The Pineapple Thief), the album’s artwork is once again by Jarrod Gosling. ‘Flowers At The Scene’ will be available as CD, LP + CD & as a digital album.

The full track-listing is as follows:

1) I Go Deeper (4.15)
2) The Train That Pulled Away (4.04)
3) Rainmark (4.15)
4) Not Married Anymore (3.30)
5) Flowers At The Scene (3.04)
6) It’s The World (3.03)
7) Borderline  (3.45)
8) Ghostlike (5.08)
9) The War On Me (3.47)
10) Killing To Survive (3.59)
11) What Lies Here (4.00)

Tim Bowness is primarily known as vocalist/co-writer with no-man, a long-running collaboration with Steven Wilson.

In addition to releasing six studio albums and a documentary DVD with no-man, Tim has worked with popular Italian artist Alice, Mercury Prize-nominated Banco De Gaia, Robert Fripp, Peter Hammill and Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera (amongst many others).

Tim recorded the album Flame (1994) with Richard Barbieri (Porcupine Tree/ex-Japan), and co-produced/co-wrote Talking With Strangers (2009) for Judy Dyble (ex-Fairport Convention).

Tim Bowness released his fourth solo album, ‘Lost In The Ghost Light’ last year through InsideOutMusic, garnering the best solo reviews he has ever received and reaching #5 in the official UK rock chart. It also picked up Best Cover Artwork at the prestigious annual Progressive Music Awards 2017.

Definitive Editions of All Three Legendary “Phenomena” Rock Concept Albums – OUT NOW!

Featuring Glenn Hughes, Brian May, John Wetton, Mel Galley, Don Airey, Cozy Powell & Others! 

London – Phenomena is a rock music concept conceived by record producer Tom Galley and brother, Whitesnake guitarist Mel Galley and directed by Wilfried Rimensberger. Contributors were leading rock musicians such as Brian May, John Wetton, Glenn Hughes, Don Airey, Mel Galley, Neil Murray and Cozy Powell amongst others.

Phenomena’s production of rock songs based on a story line running through a whole album, attached to artworks and other multi-media aspects was credited for the “return of the concept album” in the 1980s. Phenomena released three albums in the 1980s and early 1990s, and had a number one hit single in South America with “Did It All For Love,” while the album charted across Europe, in Japan and Brazil.

The creator of Phenomena, Tom Galley, said of the re-releases: “I’m happy to see the release of these original recordings. And being in touch with the involved artists, I know they are looking forward to see this happening too. Together with previously never seen material the 3 albums are well presented.”

The promo video, produced by Wilfried Rimensberger, for the #1 hit single  “Did It All For Love” is on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Ir4zpL4xh78

PHENOMENA 1

“Phenomena” is an all-star million selling album from 1985, created by Tom Galley, and features:

Glenn Hughes
Cozy Powell
Mel Galley
Neil Murray
Don Airey
Ric Sanders
John Thomas
Ted McKenna

This DEFINITIVE EDITION has received 2018 remaster and the booklet features new liner notes, including new comments from Tom Galley, who has provided the newly written track by track descriptions.

PHENOMENA 2

“Phenomena II – Dream Runner” is from 1987, created by Tom Galley, and features the HIT SINGLE “DID IT ALL FOR LOVE” which was a #1 across South America, along with artists:

John Wetton
Glenn Hughes
Mel Galley
Neil Murray
Ray Gillen
Max Bacon
Richard Bailey
Michael Sturgis
Scott Gorham
Toshihiro Niimi
John Thomas
Kyoji Yamamoto
Leif Johansen

The booklet features new liner notes, including new comments from Tom Galley, along with alternative artwork and rare pictures. Album Cover by Tim Davies (Tim Elcoch).

PHENOMENA 3

“Phenomena III – Innervision” from 1993 completes the all-star Phenomena trilogy, as created by Tom Galley, and features:

Brian May
Scott Gorham
Michael Sturgis
Keith Murrell
Leif Johansen

The booklet features new liner notes, including new comments from Tom Galley, who has supplied the originally intended front cover artwork, which appears for the FIRST TIME EVER!

To purchase:
Amazon CD: http://geni.us/Phenomena1
iTunes: http://geni.us/Phenomena1dig

Amazon CD: http://geni.us/Phenomena2
iTunes: http://geni.us/Phenomena2dig

Amazon CD: http://geni.us/Phenomena3
iTunes: http://geni.us/Phenomena3dig

The Neal Morse Band – The Great Adventure pre-orders Now Available

THE GREAT ADVENTURE
THE NEAL MORSE BAND PRESENTS THEIR LATEST DOUBLE CONCEPT ALBUM DUE OUT JANUARY 25, 2019 ON RADIANT RECORDS VIA METAL BLADE WORLDWIDE

NEAL MORSE: Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Guitars
MIKE PORTNOY: Drums, Vocals
RANDY GEORGE: Bass
ERIC GILLETTE: Guitar, Vocals
BILL HUBAUER: Keyboards, Vocals

The Great Adventure Continues…

“Let the great adventure now begin…”; the closing lines of The Neal Morse Band’s last and widely acclaimed 2016 album The Similitude of a Dream (TSOAD), have proved to be strangely prophetic.

The band faced the enviable problem (like Pink Floyd, The Eagles and many other great bands before them) of having to follow up a hugely successful album, as drummer Mike Portnoy explains, “How do you follow an epic double concept album??? Well, create another epic double album!! I always knew topping The Similitude of a Dream was going to be difficult, if not impossible, as I held it in such high regard… but I am absolutely blown away with what we have achieved here! We’ve created the ultimate companion to TSOAD.”

The new album – appropriately entitled The Great Adventure – is exactly that: a perfect companion piece to TSOAD’s partial retelling of John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress.

Morse admits that the band’s original intentions on re-entering the studio were largely to produce something very different from what has resulted. However, as the writing and recording process unfolded, it gradually became clear to the band that the unerring direction in which the music was heading was to build upon the work already completed in TSOAD, again using the space that the broader canvas of the double album format provides. Bassist Randy George explains, “I was sure that the follow up to TSOAD should be something quite different, but you have to follow your heart and go where the music wants to go.”

True to the album’s title, the creative process was indeed a ‘great adventure.’ Unlike many previous Morse albums, which have often been recorded in around a week, as many as 21 days of initial recording were laid down by these prolific and world-class musicians, producing an abundance of top quality material – enough for an album lasting well over two hours. This meant some ruthless decision-making: some already completed songs and characters had to go, and with studio time running out, new links and ideas were being composed and recorded up to the eleventh hour. “A lot of work and re-work has gone into this,” says Morse, “but I know that some of the most successful and far-reaching albums I’ve been involved with have been just like that – Sola Scriptura and Spock’s Beard’s Snow album come to mind.”

Another key question that had to be addressed was how to pull all the ideas together into a coherent whole. In the end, what unlocked this ‘adventure’ for Morse was the realisation that The Great Adventure needed a new voice and perspective. This time, it is that of the Pilgrim’s abandoned son, a younger, perhaps angrier, voice than was heard on TSOAD, as George explains, “The Great Adventure is nothing short of a miracle: it’s similar to TSOAD in concept and form, but it’s tougher and deeper in tone! It’s a very powerful work and I look forward to playing it live!”

The Great Adventure has everything that fans would expect from a Neal Morse Band album, and more: rock, metal, classical and jazz elements appear throughout, as well as some killer melodies, all played faultlessly by some of the greatest rock musicians on the planet. Says Morse, “This band continues to amaze me! I have to say it was a little daunting to follow up The Similitude of a Dream, as it was such a special album and it delivered every night at our concerts. But The Great Adventure is everything that I hoped it would be! I listened through it yesterday and I was in tears at the end!”

TRACKLIST:

Act I:

Chapter 1 (12:50)
1. Overture
2. The Dream Isn’t Over

Chapter 2 (23:48)
3. Welcome To The World
4. A Momentary Change
5. Dark Melody
6. I Got To Run
7. To The River

Chapter 3 (17:59)
8. The Great Adventure
9. Venture In Black
10. Hey Ho Let’s Go
11. Beyond The Borders

Act II:

Chapter 4 (18:13)
1. Overture 2
2. Long Ago
3. The Dream Continues
4. Fighting With Destiny
5. Vanity Fair

Chapter 5 (30:57)
6. Welcome To The World 2
7. The Element Of Fear
8. Child Of Wonder
9. The Great Despair
10. Freedom Calling
11. A Love That Never Dies

Watch  “Welcome To The World” lyric video

The Neal Morse Band will take the new album on tour worldwide in early 2019: it promises to be a great adventure indeed.

The Neal Morse Band will take the new album on tour worldwide in early 2019: it promises to be a great adventure indeed.

The Great Adventure will be available in three formats:
– 2CD package
– 2CD/DVD Special Edition featuring behind-the-scenes video clips of the making of the album.
– 3 Vinyl LPs: RADIANT EXCLUSIVE – WHITE VINYL! (Purchase includes audio CDs.)

 

PRE-ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW!

SPECIAL PRE-ORDER OFFERS:
– Free audio download of the first single “Welcome to the World” with ALL pre-orders.
– We will randomly pick 50 people who order in the first 24 hours (9:00 AM CST on 12/4 – 9:00 AM CST on 12/5) to receive this free exclusive framable graphic autographed by all of The Neal Morse Band!
– Enter a drawing to win the Mike Portnoy master notes from the recording sessions – autographed by Mike! Drawing to take place on December 11th.

PLUS: Three more songs from the album will be released shortly as videos (release date TBA). As they are released, those three songs will be made available as free audio downloads to all who have pre-ordered the album in any format! (You will later receive an email with a download link.)

 

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