Recorded in 2009, this album is available in multiple different formats, including swirled vinyl and a CD/DVD set etc. As one may be able to work out from the album title, this is a live run through of one of his most controversial albums, at least when it was first released back in 1973. His previous album, ‘Something/Anything/’ had charted well in multiple countries, and spawned some hit singles, but this saw him undertaking far more inventive paths, something which was exacerbated by his experimentation at the time with psychedelic drugs. Many Todd fans now look back on this very favourably indeed, while I have always felt there is some very strong material contained within but others which are not as good, so a rather inconsistent release.
Needless to say, this means that this album contains the same flaws and strengths as the original, but he has surrounded himself with a strong band and there is no doubt that the crowd in Akron, Ohio, had a great time. Mind you, whether they would say the same about this release would be another matter altogether. Todd has released a great many live albums over the years, both under his own name and Utopia, and I have a few different boxed sets so it can be said I am quite a fan, but what has been done with these recordings is quite unforgiveable. The production is great, as is the performance, but whoever messed with this needs to be sacked. I know that in these days of people using Spotify (I don’t) and shuffling albums (I don’t do that either), there are few of us who like to play an album from beginning to end, but surely when it comes to live albums everyone does? Whoever mutilated this album obviously does not, as what has happened is that each track fades out and then back in again, even though this is taken from a single night performance of a complete album. But worse than that, sometimes as it fades back in, we get a few seconds of the previous song again. Did no-one listen to this? Did Todd sign it off?
The end result is an album which in many ways should be a masterpiece, but instead it is an annoyance, and incredibly frustrating. To me this is a great opportunity ruined – I guess it would be okay if I played it on shuffle, but I can’t bring myself to do so. A real shame. 6/10 Kev Rowland
Detroit-based ‘Progressive Super Metal’ quintet IMMINENT SONIC DESTRUCTION have
unveiled a new lyric video for the title track to their new album, ‘The Sun Will Always Set’. Fans can watch the video (created by Ross Morgan) at the link found here.
The band’s third studio album was released on April 15th and features multiple guest appearances, including Battlecross guitarist Tony Asta and touring cellist for Leprous, Raphael Weinroth-Browne.
Speaking about the track “The Sun Will Always Set”, Tony Piccoli (vocals/guitar) comments:
“This is the best song I’ve ever written. When I write music, I have a vision of what I want the song to be, and with this song I not only met my expectations, I exceeded them. Lyrically, this song is meant to provide comfort in endings. We always find comfort in the next day’s sunrise, and I want people to know they can find comfort in the consistency of the day’s sunset, and that it’ll be OK.”
Watch New Album Title Track “The Sun Will Always Set”
About IMMINENT SONIC DESTRUCTION:Originally formed in 2007 as “mellotrön_”, Imminent Sonic Destruction features the same lineup today that they started with: Pat DeLeon on Drums, Pete Hopersberger on Keyboards & Vocals, Bryan Paxton on Bass & Vocals, Tony Piccoli on Guitar & Vocals, and Scott Thompson on Guitar & Vocals. Imminent Sonic Destruction’s influences range from Genesis, Devin Townsend, Rush, and King’s X, to Pantera, Dream Theater, and Meshuggah.
In 2012 I.S.D. paired up with producer/guitarist ROY Z (Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford, Tribe of Gypsies) and recorded their first full-length album ‘Recurring Themes’. The album led the band to their first national tour, pairing up with Sweden’s PAIN OF SALVATIONand Italy’s KINGCROW. In 2015 they were offered the opportunity to tour with progressive metal legends FATES WARNING, which they acted on, gaining lifelong hardcore fans along the way. In 2016 Imminent Sonic Destruction released their second album ‘Triumphia’, a concept record featuring songs like “The Fog”, and the 23-minute epic “Arborous Calm.” The album of course turned the prog metal world on its head, which led to a tour with Norway’s CIRCUS MAXIMUS, and a co-headlining run with NYC’s EDENSONG.
A number of years and one pandemic later, I.S.D. are poised to release their third full-length album, ‘The Sun Will Always Set’. The new album was produced by Nick Hagen, guitarist of Michigan-based progressive metal band ENTRANSIENT. With Nick at the helm, I.S.D. was able to fully actualize the album the new LP in the way they intended. TSWAS features the heavy riffs, non-standard arrangements, and vocals you’ve come to expect from I.S.D., but in fresh new contexts. The new record features guest appearances from guitarist Tony Asta of BATTLECROSS, cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne of LEPROUS, vocalist Lady Luna from LADY LUNA AND THE DEVIL, and vocalist Kevin Wroebel of DRAGGED BENEATH.
IMMINENT SONIC DESTRUCTIONare: Peter Hopersberger – Vocals, Keyboard Tony Piccoli – Vocals, Guitar Scott Thompson – Guitar Pat DeLeon – Drum Bryan Paxton – Bass, Vocals
Pure Reason Revolution recently announced their fifth studio album ‘Above Cirrus’ which will be released on May 6th, 2022 via InsideOutMusic. This is the follow-up to 2020’s ‘Eupnea’, which was the band’s first record since reuniting in 2019. This time around, Jon Courtney, Chloë Alper & Greg Jong (who returns as a full-time members for the first time since the ‘Cautionary Tales For The Brave’ EP) find themselves adapting to a world that is radically changing before their eyes, and on this new record, exorcising the isolation and uncertainty in search of something greater.
The band recently completed their first European tour in nearly 13 years, and ahead of the new album’s imminent release, they have launched a video for the latest track ‘Dead Butterfly’. Watch it now.
PURE REASON REVOLUTION – Dead Butterfly (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
Jon Courtney comments: “We started living on some land in Brandenburg in a small primitive hut. It was a safe place with all that was going on around. We spent a lot of time on our patch in nature & one day my daughter came across an in injured, dying butterfly. She was sorrowful to see it die & we couldn’t help. The track stemmed from that. This thing of absolute beauty, passing away. Then we stumble across a caterpillar. Discovery, creation & life breathes on.
This probably sees us at our heaviest. Bring Me The Horizon meets Smashing Pumpkins meets Fleetwood Mac.”
Of the recently completed tour, the band commented: “We’re really pleased with how the tour went & still have to pinch myself it was possible after multiple postponements! Fan feedback & interaction is incredibly important; seeing headbanging heads, nodding heads or even just the people that let the music wash over them…whatever type of fan you are, a huge thank you to all that came along & inspired us. As the album release approaches we’re excited to launch ‘Dead Butterfly’ at your ears! Hope you enjoy the track along with the dazzling video from Thomas Hicks. “
On ‘Above Cirrus’, the band continues many of the musical through lines that fans have come to expect; maintaining a balance between somber reflection and intrepid exploration, leading listeners through a shapeshifting collection of seven tracks that evoke a range of emotions. On the songs ‘Our Prism’ and ‘New Kind of Evil’, the energy reaches magnificent heights of guitar-led catharsis, rivaling the best efforts of acts like Tool and Filter, while offerings in ‘Lucid’ and ‘Dead Butterfly’ meld the group’s keyboard-centric song-structures with vast, epic soundscapes. But, unlike its predecessor, ‘Above Cirrus’ is far from a narrative driven concept record. As Jon confides, each song, while fueled by his personal journeys and the condition of modern times, is truly its own device. Reflecting on the lyricism of the record, he adds:
“Often my writing occupies itself with relationships; how we can be so tender/loving with each other in one instance, days later or even in a few flashes we’re tearing each other apart. The sublime & the savage/vicious. The music reflects this light & shade dynamic shift too. Our world shrinks through lockdowns/restrictions & strain is intensified. However, the end message is one of optimism – affirmation we’ll get to the end of this surreal chapter & be stronger together. Through the turbulence, we’ll help each other through the darkness.”
The album will be released as Limited CD, Gatefold LP+CD & as Digital Download, featuring beautiful cover artwork by artist Jill Tegan Doherty, who previously created the cover for ‘Eupnea’. Pre-order now here: https://purereasonrevolution.lnk.to/AboveCirrus
English alternative progressive rock band The Pineapple Thief will release an album titled Give It Back on May 13th via Kscope. This is an album of newly recorded, re-worked classic tracks, that now feature drum legend Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson), from the band’s impressive catalog.
The Pineapple Thief is one of the leading lights of Europe’s experimental rock domain, led by post-progressive mastermind Bruce Soord and reinforced by Gavin Harrison (King Crimson) on drums.
In the lead up to their extensive forthcoming 2022 European and US tour (23 Feb through to June) in support of their latest studio album ‘Versions Of The Truth’, The Pineapple Thief present ‘Give It Back’ which is due for release on the 13th May through Kscope.
‘Give It Back’ is a new album featuring 12 new versions of earlier works including songs taken from the albums ‘Little Man’, ‘All The Wars’, ‘Tightly Unwound’. The band has completely re-recorded all of the tracks to complement brand new Gavin Harrison drum parts and new song arrangements. The result of this process is a unique release of reworked songs which showcases the evolution of The Pineapple Thief. Bruce Soord explains the idea behind the album “Gavin went through the entire TPT back catalog and picked out some songs he felt we could revisit. As soon as I heard what Gavin was doing, it inspired me to completely rework the songs too. Gavin would suggest adding new parts, chopping things around, bringing in extra verses and I was completely open to all of it. I also ‘closed the story’ lyrically on a lot of the songs which I felt were left too open-ended. It was a lot of fun to do, even if it felt a little strange at times going back in time.”
The Pineapple Thief – Give it Back (Rewired) [Official Lyric Video]
Gavin Harrison comments “When I first started working with The Pineapple Thief I had only played on the album “Your Wilderness”, so when the time came to play live, I obviously had to approach quite a few songs I didn’t know and hadn’t played before. Having spent some years in King Crimson (where this challenge was often presented to me), Robert Fripp suggested that you should approach every song as if it were new regardless of when it was written. So with the blessing of The Pineapple Thief, I developed my own take on some of the earlier material. As the tours went by, I got curious about their huge back catalog and found myself listening through and applying the ‘old song/new song’ process and imagining how I could (sometimes radically) rework them – initially just for the purposes of finding other songs to play live. However, Bruce encouraged me to go as far out as I wanted (including writing whole new sections) – after all, the original already existed – so why not breathe new life into these earlier songs? This isn’t a compilation album or any kind of selected ‘best of’ record – but rather the tunes that gave me inspiration to rearrange, rework, rewire.”
The title track from the album is the first single to be released on 22nd February. Bruce explains“One of the first songs that Gavin picked out from the back catalog was Give it Back. We completely re-recorded and re-worked the entire piece. It feels like a completely new song and it’s already part of our live set.”
The ‘Give It Back’ album artwork has been created by Carl Glover.
Big Big Train has recruited Alberto Bravin as lead vocalist following the tragic death of David Longdon in November 2021.
Based in Trieste in Italy, Bravin’s career includes performing around 200 shows with progressive rock legends PFM between 2015 and January 2022, both in Italy and internationally, singing lead and backing vocals and playing keyboards.
Alberto Bravin says: “I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to join Big Big Train. I was already a huge BBT fan and am looking forward to play my part in taking this great band forward while also honoring the memory of David Longdon.”
Big Big Train bassist and founder Gregory Spawton comments: “Before Covid-19 hit, Nick D’Virgilio and I had both seen Alberto perform with PFM. We were very impressed with his abilities as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist and therefore approached him earlier this year.
“We know that David is irreplaceable and we miss him deeply both musically and personally,” Spawton continues. “We were very clear that we didn’t want to bring someone into the band who would seek to mimic David; that just felt fundamentally wrong. Instead, we wanted someone who could do justice with their own musical skills and personality to the songs that David sang for Big Big Train as well as being able to help to drive the band forwards. From his first audition singing some BBT classic songs and subsequently his work on some new material that we’re working on, we’re confident that we’ve found the right person in Alberto.”
“Aside from Alberto’s great voice and all-around musical skills, it was also vital for us to find the right personal fit, particularly after being struck with David’s sudden death,” drummer Nick D’Virgilio comments. “We flew Alberto to London several weeks ago so we could hang together for a few days and the chemistry immediately felt right.”
Alberto was born in Trieste, on Italy’s north-eastern border with Slovenia.
His involvement in music began at the age of three when he started taking piano lessons. Later on, he developed an interest in electronic keyboards and synthesizers and this paved the way for his love of progressive rock music.
At the age of 17, Alberto began studying opera singing at the Trieste Conservatory and after a couple of years, he moved to London where he graduated in modern singing. Alongside his singing and piano playing, Alberto is also a self-taught guitarist, bassist, and drummer.
After his studies in London, Alberto returned to Trieste where he opened his own recording studios (Echoes Recording Studios) and released two albums (Sinestesia and The Day After Flower) with his band Sinestesia (featuring Alberto, Roby De Micheli, Alessandro Sala, and Paolo Marchesich of Rhapsody Of Fire). Both albums were produced by Franz Di Cioccio of Italian progressive rock legends PFM – Premiata Forneria Marconi. Alberto also recorded and mixed Rhapsody Of Fire’s eleventh album, 2016’s Into The Legend.
In 2015 Alberto joined PFM (alongside Marco Sfogli) as a singer and additional guitarist and keyboard player. With PFM he played around 200 shows, both in Italy and worldwide, and released two albums (2017’s Emotional Tattoos and 2021’s I Dreamed Of Electric Sheep). Alberto is a Beatles fanatic and at the same time a progressive rock and metal aficionado.
Big Big Train is pleased to confirm that their two previously announced UK shows in September 2022 will take place. In addition, the band has scheduled six further shows for September in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and France.
Keyboardist/vocalist Carly Bryant is unable to tour with the band in September 2022 for family reasons. “After over two years of being part of Big Big Train and involved in two studio albums, I was extremely keen to go on the road with the band. However a recent change in my family situation means that sadly I cannot be away from home in the autumn,” Bryant explains. “I love being part of BBT and will be on stage with the band at the earliest opportunity when my family commitments permit.”
Alongside Bravin, D’Virgilio, Spawton, and longstanding guitarist Rikard Sjöblom, the Big Big Train line-up for the September 2022 shows will consist of guitarist Dave Foster, violinist/vocalist Clare Lindley, keyboardist Oskar Holldorff and the Big Big Train brass section led by Dave Desmond. Holldorff leads Norwegian band Dim Gray, whose debut album Flown was much acclaimed last year and who are preparing to release their second album later this year.
“Oskar came to our attention from his work with Dim Gray and is another tremendous talent to involve in Big Big Train,” Sjöblom says. “We’re very grateful to him for stepping in while Carly is unavailable. It’s also exciting that Big Big Train is becoming an increasingly international band – in September we will have an American, a Swede, an Italian, and a Norwegian on stage with the Brits.”
During the September tour, Big Big Train will be playing material from various stages of their career and also one new song.
“We were originally scheduled to play live shows in spring 2020 but then Covid-19 derailed our live plans repeatedly and since then we’ve prepared numerous different setlists,” Sjöblom continues. “We’ve released two full albums since we last played live and are spoilt for choice with the setlist for September.”
“In addition to our UK shows, I’m really looking forward to getting back into continental Europe,” D’Virgilio adds. “As well as visiting the prog strongholds of the Boerderij and Z7, we thought it would be cool to play some smaller venues in France and Germany as we re-establish BBT as a live band. We can’t wait to get out and play again and show what this band can do!”
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