InsideOutMusic, the leading light in today’s progressive rock scene, celebrate their 25th anniversary of being a label in 2018, in what will be one of their biggest and busiest yet. To coincide with this, two of their longest serving artists, Spock’s Beard & Roine Stolt’s The Flower King’s, will head out on a European co-headline tour in Winter 2018.
Spock’s Beard comment: “Spock’s Beard is excited to announce an upcoming Winter tour! It will be a co-bill with Roine Stolt’s THE FLOWER KING’s revisited band, so each show promises to be a great evening of music. We’ve been getting a lot of questions about who will be playing drums on this tour, so at this time let me introduce our new touring drummer, Mr. Mike Thorne, from SAGA! We are really excited to have him on board and are looking forward to seeing you on tour.”
Roine Stolt adds: “Asked to put together a band to go on the road, celebrate our label Inside Out’s 25 year anniversary – I was thinking of the ‘treasure’ that is the music I wrote for The Flower Kings during that same period. I felt compelled to bring out this music for yet another round – and in the process bring in some old friends and some new.
The music is universal – some songs timeless – and by November I hope to have an exciting set-list – to not only celebrate my 1st album and the origin of all things “The Flower King” – but to cover the rest of TFK’s history – and eventually a new tune & a few new faces. Tune up the engine – Time to prog!”
You can find the full list of dates below:
30th November – Cosmopolite, Oslo, Norway
1st December – Kulturhuset Studion, Stockholm, Sweden
2nd December – KB, Malmo, Sweden
4th December – Zeche, Bochum, Germany
5th December – Z7, Pratteln, Switzerland
6th December – La Machine, Paris, France
7th December – De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, Netherlands
8th December – Hedon, Zwolle, Netherlands
9th December – Islington Assembly Hall, London, UK
10th December – Academy Club, Manchester, UK
Formed back in 1993 in Kleve, Germany, the label made their name with acts such as Enchant, Spock’s Beard, Symphony X & The Flower Kings, many of whom they still work with now – a rarity in this day and age. Since that time, the label has played a key & continued role in the survival and resurgence of progressive rock in recent years and has always prided itself on shining a light on leftfield music. Now the band count some of the biggest & most exciting bands amongst their roster, including Dream Theater, Steve Hackett, Devin Townsend, Sons of Apollo, Kansas, Haken, Riverside, Leprous & more. On the label’s 20th anniversary back in 2013, one of the label’s founders, and current label-head Thomas Waber was given the Guiding Light award at the Progressive Music Awards, praising his aforementioned role in the continued celebration of progressive rock.
Many of InsideOut’s longest running relationships will see new albums released in the labels 25th year, including Spock’s Beard’s 13th album ‘Noise Floor’, a new collaborative project called The Sea Within that features Roine Stolt, Daniel Gildenlow & Jonas Reingold (all veterans of the label), a landmark live album from Devin Townsend filmed at a special performance at a Roman Theatre in Bulgaria, a new studio album from Riverside & much more.
This year will also see InsideOut release a whole host of lavish catalogue releases throughout 2018, including the second part of The Flower Kings ‘A Kingdom of Colours’ CD boxsets, a series of Devin Townsend high-end vinyl boxes, a CD collection covering the whole of Enchant’s illustrious career, & much more yet to be announced.
Between the second and third albums, there were some changes in the Perfect Beings camp, most notably the loss of the rhythm section so that the band was now operating as a trio with additional guest musicians. Ben Levin provides drums on the album which was released at the beginning of 2018, but he has since been replaced by Sein Reinart, and while Johannes Luley picked up the bass duties alongside his guitar, he has now happily put aside the four strings for Jason Lobell. This album also sees a much higher use of woodwind and brass, and since the album, they have been joined by saxophonist/ flutist Brett McDonald. Also, they are no longer releasing their music on their own label but have signed with Inside Out, a major step forward in so many ways.
With so much happening on the personal front, it probably isn’t surprising that the band have also created a sound that is different to what has gone before. It took me a long way to come up with a way of best describing the music, but in the end, I felt that the only real description that worked for me was “Yes, distilled and concentrated”. Yes have always been an important aspect of the music, but here Perfect Beings have taken it to a whole new level, much more so than the original band. Johannes has revealed in playing fretless bass, bringing it even further to the fore than Chris Tristram had previously, while Ryan Hurtgen is as powerful, clean and melodic as he has always been, and Jesse Nason is happy to keep it all together with a modern sounding approach to keyboards.
A big musical difference between this and the other albums is the use of saxophone (particularly) and other brass and woodwind instruments. Max Kaplan (various saxophones and clarinets) has had a huge role to play on the overall sound of this album, and while the guests don’t feature on every song, where they are used they have an immediate impact. Japanese koto and erdu musicians are used alongside cello, tabla, flugelhorn, flute, bass flute, trombone and the Vienna Symphonic Library, all brought into a musical journey, divided into four movements. It is an incredibly deep album, with a breadth of thought that goes on forever, and at times moves into the modern orchestra soundscape area that is normally thought of as being the domain of Karda Estra. Yet, even with all this going on, it is still an incredibly light album in many ways, one that it is easy to get inside the heart of, which allows the listener to be swept along on an amazing musical journey. It is an album that cries out to be heard on headphones when there is enough time to sit and relax back into it.
This is easily their finest album to date, and I fully expect it to be in my Top Ten albums at the end of the year as I can’t expect to come across many more finer than this. 9/10
LA progressive rock outfit Perfect Beings have just released their latest album and debut for InsideOut/Sony Music, Vier. The album finds the band at their experimental best with a diverse collection of tracks including the first two singles, “Anunnaki – Patterns of Light” and “Vibrational – Mysteries, Not Answers.”
In a new video, members Ryan Hurtgen and Jesse Nason, along with Sean Reinert, (Johannes Luley does not appear in the video) talk about the new album, how Reinert joined the band and upcoming shows.
You can see the video here:
“…their most adventurous record to date.”
“Vier is a fascinating work. Not only does it possess astounding variety and scope internally, but it also expands the group’s formula in stunning ways.”
-The Prog Report
“The genre has been around for so long that you would assume that it’s all been done by now. And then a band comes along that actually pushes things forward and challenges the listener. Perfect Beings are that band.”
-Progressive Music Planet
Guedra – 18:23
1.A New Pyramid
2.The Blue Lake of Understanding
4.Enter the Center
The Golden Arc – 16:47
5.The Persimmon Tree
6.Turn the World Off
8.For a Pound of Flesh
Vibrational – 18:17
9.The System and Beyond
10.Mysteries, Not Answers
11.Altars of the Gods
12.Everywhere at Once
Anunnaki – 18:42
15.Patterns of Light
17.Hissing the Wave of the Dragon
18.Everything’s Falling Apart
About the band:
Singer Ryan Hurtgen originally met Johannes Luley as a client in Luley’s Los Angeles-based recording studio, My Sonic Temple. Luley, who was instantly impressed with his personality, song-crafting skills, and voice, asked Hurtgen to join him on a new project. This new group was going to continue the path Luley’s former band Moth Vellum had set out on. The two became fast friends and soon put together a full band which would also include founding member Jesse Nason on keyboards. After releasing Perfect Beings (2014) and II (2015) to critical acclaim, a few personnel changes occurred that left the band without a rhythm section. The guys decided they wouldn’t be deterred, even by such a major setback. Instead, they hired Minneapolis transplant Ben Levin to play the drums on their next album, with Luley taking over the bass spot in addition to playing guitars. The result is the exhilarating double album, Vier. As the group got closer to completing the record, they approached InsideOut, whose label chief Thomas Waber had shown interest a couple of years earlier. The parties agreed to join forces and release the record in early 2018. Levin dropped out and progressive rock drumming phenom Sean Reinert joined the band to add even more life force to an already powerful and highly skilled group, which also includes Jason Lobell on bass. The band can be seen in its current lineup at RoSfest 2018, early May in Gettysburg, PA.
Perfect Beings are:
Ryan Hurtgen – vocals; piano
Johannes Luley – guitars; bass
Jesse Nason – keyboards
Sean Reinert – drums; percussion
Jason Lobell – bass
Brett McDonald – sax and flute
We are pleased to announce that US band Perfect Beings have been signed to the 2018 edition of ROSfest, and have been scheduled as the second band to play on Saturday, May 5th.
As many in our audience will remember, Perfect Beings were scheduled to play for us in 2016 but had to cancel just prior to the festival due to their bassist and drummer suddenly and unexpectedly leaving the band. Perfect Beings have since regrouped, have a firm new line-up in place and a new album set to be released through noted progressive rock label InsideOut in early 2018. The current incarnation of the band consists of Ryan Hurtgen (vocals, piano), Johannes Luley (guitars), Jesse Nason (keyboards), Pete Griffin (bass) and Sean Reinert (drums, percussion).
Many in our audience were saddened when Perfect Beings had to pull out back in 2016, and we are pleased to inform that the band is now back in a stable and productive mode, and eager to at last be able to perform for the fantastic and renowned ROSfest audience.
Perfect Beings is still one of the most promising US-based progressive rock bands, and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing them play for us, as well as to see them grow into the progressive rock powerhouse they have all the skills and talent to become.
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