Melodic Revolution Records Releases “Sands of Time A Music Revolution 2006/2021” as Tribute to 15-year Music History

Where has the time gone? We cannot believe it ourselves; it seems like yesterday that launched a record label to give a voice to those that needed to be heard. We discovered Echoes Landing on an old social network and fell in love with their self-titled debut leading to our decision to build Melodic Revolution Records (MRR) to promote that album. The band would later change their name and is better known as Scarlet Hollow who are still with MRR. To date we have released a single, an EP and two full-length releases in addition to two solo albums by these talented musicians. 

This was just the beginning; we now celebrate our fifteenth anniversary with over 100 releases to date.

As a thank you to our supporters old and new, we have assembled a special digital release, “Sands of Time A Music Revolution 2006/2021”.  We hope that this release will provide our listeners the opportunity to rediscover music that you may have forgotten about and discover music you may have never heard. 

We consider all music progressive that has a new and cutting-edge sound and doesn’t follow the formulaic patterns of mainstream music. “Sands of Time A Music Revolution 2006/2021” is a testament that not all great music must be released via mainstream record labels. What you will experience it is an album that represents our slogan “Music you didn’t know you would love”.  The album starts with the very first artist/band that we signed to the label and ends with our latest signing. 

Although the sequencing of the album is straightforward; it was not an easy task to curate the songs for this release. Our first thought was to use the songs that grabbed our attention which resulted in the signing of an artist/band. However, after months of consideration and deliberation, we decided to showcase fan favorites.

This album is an excellent representation of where we started, where we have been, and where we are going. “Sands of Time A Music Revolution 2006/2021” also includes music by many fantastic artists from our sub-label PeacockSunrise Records, which is firmly in the where we are going category. PeacockSunrise Records is a natural progression of us and is still in its infancy but growing fast.

“Sands of Time A Music Revolution 2006/2021” is not for sale, but as of today it is available for full streaming. Each track has a link which will provide more band and album information and in most cases links for more music and ways to support the artist/band. Sadly, some of these artist/bands may no longer be together; they may have morphed into other bands or may not even be in this business of creating music.

We would like to dedicate this release to some people that were very important to us and our history. First, we would like to dedicate this album to Phil Naro who was part of over a dozen releases including DDRIVE, Unified Past, When Friends Come Out and Play, Colin Tench Project, Corvus Stone, King Friday, Kings, Backhand among others.

The second dedication goes out to Colin Tench who released many albums, singles and EPs with Andres Guazzelli, Corvus Stone, The Minstrel’s Ghost, Andy John Bradford’s’ Oceans5, Colin Tench Project, Halo, Transmission Rails and more. 

And to Peter Jorgensen, we had just started our musical partnership earlier in the year with the release Immaterial Witness by his band Phoen1x. There were plans on releasing many more. 

Thank you for sticking with us over the years and being part of this journey. If not for you… MRR and its family of artists would not exist. We look forward to serving you for many years to come.

Thank you for sticking with us over the years and being part of this journey. If not for you… MRR and its family of artists would not exist. We look forward to serving you for many years to come.

Nick Katona President and Founder 
Melodic Revolution Records and PeacockSunrise Records


Released November 21, 2021 

Catalog No. MRRDR 201175 
Album Art by Nick Katona, Zene Háza, Florida 
Ⓒ 2006/2021 Melodic Revolution Records and PeacockSunrise Records. All rights reserved.

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Big Big Train singer David Longdon dead at 56 following an accident

17th June 1965 – 20th November 2021
Big Big Train are extremely saddened to announce the death of David Longdon this afternoon in hospital in Nottingham, UK at the age of 56 following an accident in the early hours of Friday morning. He is survived by his two daughters Amelia and Eloise, his mother Vera and his partner Sarah Ewing.

Sarah Ewing comments: “David and I were best friends, partners and soul mates and I am utterly devastated by his loss. He was a beautiful person and I feel so lucky to have known and loved him.” 

Greg Spawton comments: “We are absolutely stunned to lose David. It is unspeakably cruel that a quirk of fate in the early hours of yesterday morning has deprived him and his loved ones of a happy future together and all of the opportunities, both personal and musical, that awaited him next year and beyond.”

David joined Big Big Train in 2009, immediately making a significant impact with that year’s The Underfall Yard album. He proceeded to record a further eight studio albums with the band, including the forthcoming Welcome To The Planet, as well as fronting the band for a series of highly acclaimed concerts from 2015 onwards. In addition last year he released an album with the late Judy Dyble under the name Dyble Longdon. On the day before his accident he had been in the studio working on a new solo album.

“David made a huge impact on my life both musically and personally,” Spawton continues. “I loved him like a brother and already feel his loss very deeply. He was a true creative visionary with extraordinary depth of talent. But above all he was a first rate and very kind man. His family, friends, BBT bandmates and crew will miss him terribly.”

The band’s Welcome To The Planet album remains scheduled for release on 28th January 2022. A further statement regarding the band’s 2022 concerts and other activities will follow in due course.

The band and their management request privacy for David’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time.

A GARDENING CLUB PROJECT – THE BLUE DOOR – MELODIC REVOLUTION RECORDS

In many ways it is hard to realise that up until the 2017 reissue of ‘The Gardening Club’, originally from 1983, Martin had only been recording a few albums over the years for his own interest, concentrating instead on his day job of illustrating. That reissue and consequent interest has lit a fire under this septuagenarian which puts many musicians half his age to shame. Since then we have had two more albums by The Gardening Club, multiple EPs by A Gardening Club Project, and now here is their first album. The line-up is Drew Birston (fretless, acoustic and Moog bass), Wayne Kozak (soprano saxophone), Kevin Laliberte (drum programming, keyboards, and gut string guitar), Sari Alesh (violin) and Martin (vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, bass). Mention must also be made of the extensive wonderful illustrations Martin has provided for the 24-page full colour booklet which also contains the lyrics.

When I first read a review of the original ‘The Gardening Club’ I was incredibly intrigued, and soon got my own copy and consequently wrote a review saying just how much I enjoyed it. It was only after that had appeared that Martin tracked me down and we became friends, so I loved his music before I knew him. I need to put that out there, as many will be aware that Martin has since provided the wonderful designs which adorn my books ‘The Progressive Underground’, and I don’t want you to think I am biased. I have always believed in being honest in my reviews, as there is too little time in this world to spend on bad music, so I say what I think (although of course my opinion may change over time), and I know that Martin and I would have a private debate if I ripped this to pieces, but if that is what I felt then that is what I would say (I did once have a keyboard player tell me we were still friends after I had slated his latest release as he understood where I was coming from). However, this is not a debate I need to have with my fellow ex-pat, as to my ears this is the most complete album he has released to date.

When starting with Martin’s work I always think back to two very different artists, namely Roy Harper and Camel, as he manages to bring them together in an incredibly compelling manner. He also likes to keep pushing the boundaries, and by using different musicians to those in The Gardening Club he has done just that. For the most part this is Martin, Drew, and Kevin, but somehow, they manage to create the feeling of a much bigger band, and while everyone involved in this release recorded in different studios, there is a togetherness which defies belief. They bring middle eastern themes in when the time is right, slip into symphonic prog at others, back into singer songwriter, and that there are no real drums are not noticed just because there is so little percussion on the album at all. The a capella layered introduction to “The Turning of the Glass” is simply delightful, while the phased electric guitars in the background add to the acoustic picking in the foreground.

Throughout this album there are surprises, as the band move in different directions, staying true to their core yet also understanding there is a need to keep shifting so the listener never knows what is going to happen next, just that they are in the presence of beauty. The first time I listened to this I played it back-to-back three times, and each time I gained more from it. Since then, it has been a regular, as there is something magical about this, with a complex simplicity, or simple complexity, which means the listener is transported to a time and place where nothing else matters apart from the music.If you have never discovered the incredible music of Martin Springett, then now is the time to do so, if not sooner.  

10/10 Kev Rowland

TRANSATLANTIC THE ABSOLUTE UNIVERSE – FOREVERMORE – INSIDE OUT

In September 2019 the four-piece of Neal Morse (vocals, piano, Hammond organ, Minimoog, Mellotron, acoustic guitar, charango), Roine Stolt (vocals, electric & acoustic 6- & 12-string guitars, ukulele, keyboards, percussion), Pete Trewavas (vocals, bass) and Mike Portnoy (vocals, drums & percussion) met up to discuss what would be their fifth album. After a couple of weeks of working on material and mapping out songs each musician returned to their own studio to work on the recording. It was during this period that the album kept growing, and discussions were had as to whether this should be a double or single CD. Pete and Neal favoured the shorter version while Roine and Mike preferred the longer, so in the end they decided to do both. But it is important to understand that one is not a shorter/longer version of the other in that there are alternate recordings, new recordings, and even different singers on the single album.

While they are different albums, they are also the same, which makes it hard to write different reviews for each one, but life is never easy is it? When Transatlantic first came together more than 20 years ago I was blown away, as this was the first prog supergroup of the new generation and ‘SMPT:e’ is still a delight to listen to. Here we had musicians from Spock’s Beard, Marillion, The Flower Kings and Dream Theater combining in a way which brought in influences from all these bands, taking the music in a vast symphonic manner which was both massively over the top yet also contained simple to understand melodies.

Given all those involved are also in other active units, Transatlantic have never been the most prolific of bands, and it has been six years since ‘Kaleidoscope’, which in itself was five years from ‘The Whirlwind’ while that was in itself eight years on from ‘Bridge Across Forever’ (although Morse had removed himself from popular music during that period as he concentrated on his Christianity). Morse feels this album has more in common with ‘Whirlwind’ than any other, while Trewavas states simply that it is the best thing they have ever done, and he may just be right. Transatlantic have a reputation of pushing boundaries and limits, sometimes extending where they might be better of trimming, which I am sure is due much to the influence of Stolt as this is something he has also been guilty of The Flower Kings. Yet in recent years they have definitely cut back, and the same is true here with this band, as while the album is 90 minutes long, there are 18 songs and only 3 of them are eight minutes or longer. This means we get shifts in approach far more often, and while at times it feels more like one continuous piece of music than a series of songs, there is no doubt that they are shifting melodies and lyrical ideas.

Since this band came into inception, I have often wondered what Trewavas thinks when he goes back to the day job, as I would take any Transatlantic album over any Marillion album released during the same timeframe as here we have a band that really is taking symphonic prog in new directions, lifting the listener. The 90 minutes of this release just fly by and listening to this version it is hard to imagine how it could work in a more abbreviated form. Transatlantic are back, and it is a masterpiece.

10/10 Kev Rowland

TONY ROMERO’S VORTEX – NOISE MACHINE – MELODIC REVOLUTION RECORDS

Tony Romero is probably best known as being a long-time DJ on the best internet radio station around, House of Prog (in full disclosure I’d better mention that I also review for the site). He has long had an interest in all forms of progressive rock music, has interviewed literally hundreds of stars within the scene, and when it came time for him to record his debut album, he was able to bring some of those into assist. One of those is Steve Bonino, whose input into the album is considerable, providing vocals, bass, keyboards, guitar as well as working with Tony on mixing, arranging, and producing the album. Tony provides keyboards throughout, although he is also assisted in that regard by Robert Schindler while there are also three guests who are on one track each, namely singers Liz Tapia and Sophia Baird and guitarist Peter Matuchniak.

Tony is the only person who appears on every track, as one would expect, and this is very much his album, working to combine his interests in different types of music. This means that although he has involved musicians I very much admire, they have been working with his guidance, so this is very much a Romero release as opposed to Bonino etc. Tony has an approach to keyboard playing which I understand, but to be honest am not a huge fan of, which means I am coming to this review being able to appreciate what is taking place while not actually enjoying it. This is because Tony is coming into prog from an area of electronica, so the keyboards being used have sounds and styles from the Eighties, and while there is some guitar, there isn’t enough for me. The keyboards can be quite staccato as opposed to sweeping, which can be at odds to the vocals.

There are also quite a few instrumentals on the album, and Robert Schindler’s keyboard solo on “House Arrest” sounds like a shredding guitarist, but it is played against sounds which to my ears don’t work as well as they might. However, I am also fully aware that this is because I am not a fan of this style of music as opposed to anything wrong with the music itself. The music has been well performed and recorded, but it is just that I am not the target audience. I truly hope that Tony manages to get this to the right listeners, as it is definitely more electronica than progressive, and it is always interesting to find people releasing music that is somewhat unexpected.  

7/10 Kev Rowland