The title track from “Madness and Magic”, the upcoming album from Prog Rockers ARABS IN ASPIC, is the song that Karisma Records have chosen to release as a single today. Drawing their inspiration for both the title and subject matter from EDGAR BROUGHTON, the band had this to say about the track:
“Madness and Magic” is a description of how helpless one becomes when suffering from serious illness. Putting one’s life in the hands of others is frightening, especially when so heavily medicated that the boundary between reality and fiction is blurred. It gets particularly bad when it turns out the expertise is unable to relate to the human aspect of the situation. The song was written after a meeting with Doctor Death, who clearly was affected by working with people on their last journey.
Based in Trondheim, Norway, ARABS IN ASPIC is a band with a lineup that has both the skill and musical knowledge to perform a variety of styles, ranging from classic rock to funk, pop, prog, heavy rock, bossanova and a capella, all rooted in what is known as the “Golden Era” of rock.
Jostein Smeby on Guitars + vocals, Stig Jørgensen on Organs + vocals, Erik Paulsen on Bass + vocals, Eskil Nyhus on Drums + cymbals and Alessandro G. Elide on Percussion + gongs, are an ensemble who create a distinctive sound that is best described as a sweet mixture of loud, heavy guitars and drums, 12 string acoustics, funky bass and percussion, screaming Hammond organs, soft Rhodes, Mellotrons and 70’s Synths, topped with plentiful vocal harmonies.
“Madness and Magic” will be the seventh full-length album from the Prog Rockers, and recently the band let fans know more about what went into making it, and the subject matter:
“Madness and Magic” is the first Arabs in Aspic album written for two drummers, with more acoustic guitar parts than previous albums. All the music was written and arranged in our studio and carefully put together like a puzzle with 50,000 pieces, to take the listener on a journey through life’s “Madness and Magic”, both musically and lyrically.
The lyrics for “Madness and Magic” reflect on how easily both children and adults are affected in the digital age, but also how helpless we are when we have to put our lives in the hands of specialists. Many ideas came up after a brief meeting with Doctor Death. The message of “Madness and Magic” is up to the listener to decide. For you are capable of thinking for yourself, right?
With ethereal artwork by Julia Proszowska, tracklisting for the “Madness and Magic” is as follows:
1. I Vow to Thee, My Screen 2. Lullaby for Modern Kids, Part 1 3. Lullaby for Modern Kids, Part 2 4. High-Tech Parent 5. Madness and Magic 6. Heaven in Your Eye
“Madness and Magic” will be released on the 12th June and will be available in CD, black vinyl and Limited Edition Green and Yellow Splatter vinyl, and Digital formats, and is now available to pre-order at:
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:
With their debut full-length album “Gospel of the Vile” set for release on Dark Essence Records on the 6th March, Norwegian Doomsters DWAAL have revealed a video for the track “Like Rats”, which can be seen on YouTube at https://youtu.be/0mnjFGVplic
“Gospel of the Vile”, which the band describe as “A punch in the throat followed by a soothing caress, followed by another punch in the throat“, will be available in CD, Digital and Double Vinyl formats, as well as T-shirt bundles, and with artwork by Anders Johnsen and band photos by Endre Lohne, tracklisting for “Gospel of the Vile” is as follows:
Gospel of the Vile
Obsidian Heart Burns
The Whispering One
Of the album itself, DWAAL recently had this to say:
“The making of “Gospel of the Vile” has involved an intense process of members leaving, new ones coming in, while slowly building a monolith. We feel the struggle has been worth it.
Our producer and engineer, Morten Øby from Taakeheimen Studio, has been patient through all this, and never gave up on the vision. Helping us give life to the material and always focusing on bringing out the best in us.
The music is definitely rooted in Doom Metal, bearing also clear inspiration from Post-rock, traditional Metal and the ambience of Black Metal. Resulting in a massive sound, with moments of both brutality and beauty.
The album concept is based on depicting humanity’s embracing of its inner darkness and the decline into a more primal state – With songs like “Gospel of the Vile” and “Obsidian Heart Burns” at the center of the lyrical universe.
“Gospel of the Vile” is an album that challenges you to endure its every movement. That’s a pretentious statement of course, but we truly feel it will be worth it when the last notes of “Descent” fades out.
We hope that the album reaches everyone who is willing to give it a chance. 2020 will hopefully be an amazing year for Dwaal. With upcoming concerts already booked, and more to come, it carries the hope of lifting us to another level.”
Aside from an appearance at the by:Larm Festival in Oslo in February, DWAAL will also be at Hulen in Bergen on the 7th March ahead of their release concert on the 12th March at Vaterland in Oslo .
“Gospel of the Vile” is now available to pre-order from:
Moved by the devastating Australian wildfires, Heavy Metal musician KEVIN STORM, has recruited a plethora of fellow musicians, including VULTURE INDUSTRIES frontman Bjornar Erevik Nilsen and Dark Essence Records artist and video producer COSTIN CHIOREANU, to form AUSTRALLIANCE to take part in a single released to raise money for the Wires Wildlife Rescue (https://www.wires.org.au) which will receive any and all proceeds from the single.
You can buy, or donate as much as you want, for the single, titled “Can’t shut it off”, directly from Kevin on Bandcamp at www.kevinstorm.bandcamp.com
Romanian musician, artist and video producer COSTIN CHIOREANU, has also created a video for “Can’t shut it off” which can be seen at https://youtu.be/wXnuXmsY-lI
According to Kevin the song “starts as the loudest scream of despair yet ends with a sigh of hope,” and he explains how not just fellow musicians, but also major companies involved in the metal scene, including Norway’s Dark Essence Records, and the metal community in general, rallied to his call to produce produce “Can’t shut it off”:
My name is Kevin Storm, I am a professional heavy metal musician that tours the globe and last Sunday the news of Australia’s wildfires had me in tears. I couldn’t sleep and wrote the lyrics in 5 minutes, and the day after started recording a charity song during a 10-hour live stream. After this I started inviting fellow musicians to contribute.
The whole thing grew out of hand as the community started to gather around it and in one week we had 16 musicians, some VERY well known in the heavy metal community, who all contributed to a heartbreaking song that is mixed in one of the best recording studios, backed by major companies And so much more is happening in the campaign.
The song ends in a 24 piece-choir and musicians taking part include:
Kevin Storm – Lyrics and Songwriting, Guitars, Keys Shawter (Dagoba) – vocals Bjornar Erevik Nilsen (Vulture Industries) – vocals Daniël de Jongh (Textures) – vocals Cammie Gilbert (Oceans Of Slumber) – vocals Louis Soenen (Fields of Troy) – additional vocals Nils Courbaron (Sirenia) – guitar lead Chris Gedge (Mocha Metal) – additional guitar Eligio Tapia (Crepuscle) – additional guitar Christina Earlymorn – Dermon (Finsterort) – additional guitar Veli-Matti Kananen (Kalmah) – keyboards, bass Frank Schilperoort (Dictated,..) – drums Carmen Agtsteribbe – additional vocals Harri Koskela (Lost in Grey) – choir Anne Lill (Lost in Grey) – choir Emily Leone (Lost in Grey) – choir
Drums for “Can’t shut it off” were edited by Daniel Medley at Ten South Sounds and was mixed by Bjornar Erevik Nilsen and Mastered by Herbrand Larsen at their Conclave and Earshot Studios in Bergen, Norway.
“Leker for barn, ritualer for voksne”, which translated means “Games for children, rituals for adults”, is based on two musicals for children, “The Bridge to the Other Side” and “The Root of All Evil”, and consists partly of Tusmørke’s take on traditional Norwegian children’s songs, and partly on new material by the band.
Noted for its eccentricity, and not shy about trying new and unusual things, TUSMØRKE is quite happy to admit about “Leker for barn, ritualer for voksne” that “Not everyone who took part in the plays completely understood what they were doing. Neither did everyone in the audience. But here it is, in all its gory glory as the collegium of dashing adventurers and explorers of the unknown reaches of history, known to the unwashed masses under the pseudonym TUSMØRKE, have yet again brought fresh fever from the stars”.
“Leker for barn, ritualer for voksne” is set for release on the 29th November, and will be available in CD, Digital, Black Vinyl and Limited Edition White Vinyl formats, all of which include a 16 page lyric booklet, which, according to the band, “May, or may not, explain the plot”.
With artwork by Thore Hansen, track listing for “Leker for barn, ritualer for voksne” is as follows:
Bro bro brille 9. Velkommen til Hades
Per Sjuspring 10. Kharons vise
Kjerringa med staven 11. På den ytterste nakne øya
Ta den ring 12. Jeg gikk meg over sjø og land
Tornerose 13. Den tolvte Baal
Bjørnen sover 14. Gamlas seierssang
På Torneroses slot 15. Eventyret er ute
Sjubidubidu Sju 16. Du og jeg og vi to
USMØRKE’s lineup consists of Benediktator on Bass, vocals, Glockenspiel and percussion, Krizla on Flute, vocals, electronics and percussion, The Phenomenon Marxo Solinas on Minimoog Model D, Korg CX3, William de Blaise on harpsichord, Steinway & Sons Grand Piano, Hohner Clavinet D6, Mellotron M400, Hammond C3, Wurlitzer 200 and Solina String Ensemble, and HlewagastiR on Drums and percussion. With its members drawn from bands like WOBBLER, JORDSJØ and ALWANZATAR, it is easy to understand why TUSMØRKE can make use of such a staggering variety of instruments.
“Leker for barn, ritualer for voksne” is now available to pre-order from:
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