New US progressive rock group, Ascher, release their debut album ‘Beginnings’ today, March 16th. The album, containing five instrumental pieces and four songs, clocks in at fifty-seven minutes. From the opening instrumental title track to the bonus track closer, “The Instrumental Divide,” the album flows seamlessly through a sonic landscape of guitar-driven rock, vintage keyboard wizardry, and a lofty hook-laden ballad. The instrumental pieces power through enough time signature and meter changes to keep the die-hard prog fan happy while the thought provoking songs reveal a more grounded down to earth feel.
The band features Doug Bowers (Guitars/Keys/Bass/Vocals), Blake Dickeson (Rhythm Guitars), Rob Perez (Lead Guitar), and Kyle Graves (Lead Vocals).
To coincide with the release of the album, Ascher has released video for the track, “What the World Can’t Give,” which you can see here:
The band released their first single, “The Great Divide,” in February accompanied by a video.
Doug Bowers (Ad Astra, KDB3, Vertical Alignment) and Rob Perez (Visual Cliff, Bluesyndrome) have been collaborating on one another’s projects for years. A short-lived band formed in 2021 and disbanded in early 2022 yielded many co-written instrumental pieces that never saw the light of day. Toward the end of 2022, Doug began collaborating with guitarist, Blake Dickeson, fleshing out some musical ideas that Blake had developed over the years, Rob was brought in to add tasty lead guitar to the effort. When Rob suggested that the trio revisit some of the unfinished instrumental pieces, it was decided that a band might be the best expression of their growing repertoire. Thus Ascher was born. It quickly became apparent that Doug was not up to singing the melodies he was writing for his lyrics and the search for a proper singer was soon underway. Rob suggested a singer that he had recently encountered. Kyle Graves was writing lyrics for an upcoming album for Rob and Rob felt he would be a perfect fit for Ascher. Rob was right and the band was complete.
1. Beginnings (6:03) 2. In the Clear Distance (5:07)
RIVERSIDE are set to begin their worldwide touring campaign for “ID.Entity” this Friday, Feb 17th in Tampa, Fl. The tour takes them across North America thru March. Ticket info: https://riversideband.pl/en/gigs
RIVERSIDE – “ID.Entity” – Live 2023:
RIVERSIDE new studio album “ID.Entity” managed to appear in various international sales charts as follows:RIVERSIDE – “ID.Entity” – Chart Positions: Germany: # 4 Poland: # 2 Switzerland: # 6 The Netherlands: # 9 Finland: # 14 Austria: # 22 Belgium: # 97 France: # 155 UK: # 89 UK / Rock Charts: # 3 USA / Top New Artist Albums: # 7 USA / Current Album Sales: # 61 USA / Hard Music Albums: # 9 USA / Current Rock Albums: # 20
“ID.Entity”, the group’s 8th studio album was recorded and mixed in two studios – The Boogie Town Studio in Otwock with Paweł Marciniak and in Serakos studio in Warsaw with Magda and Robert Srzedniccy -, mastered by Robert Szydło and produced by RIVERSIDE’s Mariusz Duda himself. The “ID.Entity” artwork was created by Polish artist Jarek Kubicki. Order “ID.Entity” in its various formats here: https://riverside.lnk.to/IDEntity
RIVERSIDE – “ID.Entity” (53:11) Tracklist: 1. Friend or Foe? (07:29) 2. Landmine Blast (04:50) 3. Big Tech Brother (07:24) 4. Post-Truth (05:37) 5. The Place Where I Belong (13:16) 6. I’m Done With You (05:52) 7. Self-Aware (8:43)
The bonus material appearing on “ID.Entity” includes the instrumental tracks “Age of Anger” (11:56) and “Together Again” (06:29) as well as “Friend or Foe? (Single Edit)” (05:59) and “Self-Aware (Single Edit)” (05:29).
RIVERSIDE line-up: (From left to right on photo by Radek Zawadzki) Michał Łapaj – keyboards and Hammond Organ Mariusz Duda – vocal, bass Maciej Meller – guitar Piotr Kozieradzki – drums
The debut album from new progressive rock outfit eMolecule (former Sound of Contact members Simon Collins and Kelly Nordstrom) The Architect is out today!
To celebrate the release of the album, the band have shared the video for the title track and album’s 4th single.
You can check out the video/single for “The Architect” here:
The band remarks: “The Architect” reveals the sinister inner dialogue within the subject of our story. Conflict and anguish stemming from adolescence grind together like gears in his mind as he becomes the embodiment of Avarice.”
“We have long and eagerly awaited the day our debut album The Architectwould be available to the public! Making this concept album has been a vehicle for exploring darkness, redemption and spiritual evolution through music.”
A powerful Prog-Rock album that offers something different from the norm.” Eclipsed
“Cinematic and theatrical, The Architect unspools like a soundtrack for our times.” The Prog Report
“A unique and addictive listening experience.” Sonic Perspectives
TRACKLISTING: 1. eMolecule 10:43 2. The Architect 6:05 3. Prison Planet 4:58 4. Mastermind 8:39 5. Dosed 5:07 6. The Turn 5:56 7. Awaken 5:09 8. Beyond Belief 4:47 9. The Universal 6:03 10. My You 5:27 11. Moment of Truth 6:56
The two long-time collaborators met in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 2005 and have been working together ever since. Originally brought together to work on Simon’s solo career, the spark of creativity between Simon and Kelly was undeniable. They soon began writing original material together, much of which would end up on Dimensionaut.
With a successful progressive rock album under their belts, Simon and Kelly were determined to continue the work they started with Sound of Contact. During the UK production of Simon’s 4th solo album “Becoming Human”, Kelly recorded a demo of the song “eMolecule” in a flurry of inspiration. With this new offering, Simon and Kelly decided their way forward was as a duo and they would pool their best material under the name eMolecule.
In the summer of 2020, Emolecule decided it was time to begin work on their debut album and that it was to be a concept album. Meeting in person at Simon’s studio in Ireland, the duo spent a solid month writing the concept and music start to finish. Over the following months, they completed writing, producing and performing ‘The Architect’ both remotely and together in Ireland.
The Architect features intense, heavy guitar and drum performances as well as deep, atmospheric and emotionally driven arrangements. From start to finish, Emolecule’s first offering captivates the listener with infectious vocals, dynamic guitars and ultra-modern production from the epic opening track ‘eMolecule” to the powerful climax of the closing track “Moment of Truth”. This band and album are set to take the listener to another dimension.
Writer, producer, raconteur, comedian, singer-songwriter, fashion icon and renown hand-model Jason Bieler and the Baron Von Bielski Orchestra has returned once again with Postcards From The Asylum, the follow up to 2021’s critically acclaimed Songs For The Apocalypse.
The Baron Von Bielski Orchestra’s music has been described as Nordic Ambient Post-Classical Satanic Love Songs for Nomadic Peoples Living Above the Arctic Circle catering specifically for those who staff Musk Oxen Rescues and wear hemp based sweaters.
When aggressively prodded for comment The Baron says…“Well, Art is Art, isn’t it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know.”
Postcards From The Asylum features a guest appearances by: •Andee Blacksugar: Blondie, KMFDM, Peter Murphy •Marco Minnemann: The Aristocrats •Todd “Dammit” Kerns: Slash & The Conspirators, Toque •Edu Cominato: Geoff Tate, Soto •Ryo Okumoto: Spock’s Beard, Progject and more
Tracklisting: 1. Bombay 2. Numb 3. Heathens 4. Mexico 5. Birds Of Prey 6. Flying Monkeys 7. Sic Riff 8. The Depths 9. Beneath The Waves 10. Sweet Eliza 11. 9981 Dark 12. Feels Just Like Love 13. Bear Sedatives 14. Deep Blue 15. Human Head
TRANSATLANTIC – the Prog Supergroup of Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt & Pete Trewavas – recently announced the release of a new concert set entitled ‘The Final Flight: Live At L’Olympia’ for the 17th February 2023. It was recorded and filmed in France on the last stop of a tour to promote the band’s fifth and most audacious album to date, ‘The Absolute Universe’. This was the multinational group’s first outing in eight years.
Released in February 2021 to unanimous praise, ‘The Absolute Universe’ came in two alternate formats; an abridged 64-minute record known as ‘The Breath Of Life’, and a companion piece entitled ‘Forevermore’ that added a further four songs, clocking in at an hour and a half. Though the foundations of both were shared, each format featured lyrics and music independent of the other.
However, when Transatlantic finally hit the road they opted to perform a third format of the album, a full-bells-and-whistles, 96-minute Blu-ray culmination of both takes known as ‘The Ultimate Edition’ that had been released in 5.1 surround sound. Following that segment of the show Transatlantic took a short intermission and returned to the stage for a rollercoaster trawl through the remainder of their lavish catalogue. From the first note of ‘Overture (The Absolute Universe)’ through to the medley based around the first two Transatlantic albums that closes the evening, the performance comprised 3 hours of music in total.
“Ever since the start of this band we have played for three hours, so that’s something we’re all used to,” states drummer Mike Portnoy, who grins whilst describing his own experience as “butt-numbing”. However, Roine Stolt is ready to admit that this time felt very slightly different.
“It was a great tour,” acknowledges the guitarist and multi-musician, “but when you include our spot at Morsefest [where besides performing ‘The Absolute Universe’ the band also revisited their 2009 album ‘The Whirlwind’ and revised a cover of Procol Harum’s ‘In Held (’Twas) In I’ that had featured on their debut from 2000, ‘SMPTe’] I felt the challenge of learning, or re-learning, three-and-a-half hours of music before leaving Sweden. Now that I am getting slightly older, I was a little worried about playing for that long – it requires a lot of concentration: ‘Is this one in 7/8 or 9/8? Maybe we’ll play it in 13/8 and in a different key?’ But of course, once we got out there onto the stage, those thoughts went straight out of the window.”
With a chuckle, vocalist and keyboard wizard Neal Morse reveals that as the tour found its feet Transatlantic threw an additional curveball. “We started playing songs slightly differently to the way you’ve heard them on ‘The Ultimate Edition”, he grins. “So what you get with this live album is similar, but essentially it’s a fourth version [of the record]. When you play live, from night to night it helps to keep things fresh by jamming a bit and changing things up as you go. There are a few examples of that, for instance, the beginning of the last section that starts with ‘Belong’ is quite different than the record – partly because we couldn’t remember it! So we made up a new structure.”
“We’re always as well prepared as we can be but in a way Transatlantic is kind of a show band” points out bassist Pete Trewavas. “Playing alongside Mike who is a powerhouse on the drums, there is this raw power. If he wants to raise the energy that’s what we do. We’re all taking solos here and there, though we get the songs across we’re all showing off as much as we can”.
Filmed by Paul Green (who also shot their ‘Whirld Tour 2010: Live in London release), and mixed by longtime collaborator Rich Mouser, this set will be available as a Special Edition 3CD+Blu-ray Digipak (incl. 5.1 surround sound) & as a Gatefold 180g 4LP release. Both feature artwork by Thomas Ewerhard & photos by Nidhal Marzouk.
1. The Absolute Universe Intro 2. Overture 3. Reaching For The Sky 4. Higher Than The Morning 5. The Darkness In The Light 6. Take Now My Soul 7. Bully 8. Rainbow Sky 9. Looking For The Light 10. The World We Used To Know 11. MP Intro 12. The Sun Comes Up Today 13. Love Made A Way (Prelude) 14. Owl Howl 15. Solitude 16. Belong 17. Lonesome Rebel 18. Can You Feel It 19. Looking For The Light (Reprise) 20. The Greatest Story Never Ends 21. Love Made A Way 22. The Whirlwind Suite 23. NM & RS Intro 24. We All Need Some Light 25. The Final Medley
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