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Showing posts from April, 2014

Prog Rock Feature: DIVUS-AURELOA

Divus is a four-piece band from the North West Switzerland, which is dedicated to instrumental music. The friendship the band members have always formed the foundation of their unconventional and experimental way of making music together. The release of their debut work Aureola represents an important step in the band's history.

Aureola by Divus

Queensryche Settle With Tate

28/04/2014 ~ by Martin Kielty
Fired singer loses rights to name but gains exclusive chance to perform Operation Mindcrime albums live. Well-wishers: Tate and his ex-bandmates The two Queensryche factions have finally reached a legal settlement over ownership of the band name following the sacking of Geoff Tate in 2012.

Relationships had broken down between the singer and bandmates Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Michael Wilton, leading to a violent confrontation which saw Tate’s dismissal, and his replacement by Todd La Torre.

The argument went to court, with both parties given the entitlement to use the Queensryche title until a later ruling, or a settlement was reached.

That’s happened just ahead of a return to the courtroom. Jackson, Rockenfield and Wilton will continue under the band name while Tate will be compensated for his share of ownership, and leaves with the rig…

Progressive Rock Review: Clearlight-Impressionist Symphony

Release Date:  March 11, 2014 Label:  Gonzo Multimedia Website
When this particular release for review, Impressionist Symphony by Clearlight, landed on my desk, there was a little light that went on somewhere deep in the recesses of The Ancient One’s mind. Slowly the dimmer switch kicked in and the spotlight slowed and stopped on Clearlight Symphony by Cyrille Verdeaux as an album I had possessed somewhere in the mists of time. Reading a little more info, it was indeed the same band and this new release, Impressionist Symphony, celebrates the 40th anniversary of Clearlight Symphony. With the penny having well and truly dropped, I was very interested to see what changes, if any, had occurred in the interim.

The reasoning behind Impressionist Symphony is to take the influence of some classical composers, such as Ravel, Debussy and Satie, the ethos behind the French impressionist painters and the progressive musical background of Cyrille Verdeaux and see where it led.

Clearlight apparently on…

Legendary Vocalist For The Specials, Neville Staple, Premieres Gritty New Video From His Forthcoming New Album!

Los Angeles, CA - The Original Rude Boy returns! Neville Staple, charismatic vocalist/toaster for one of the most celebrated 2 Tone ska bands ever, The Specials, reclaims his place in the spotlight with a triumphant new album to be released on Cleopatra Records on May 13. Entitled Ska Crazy!, the album features phenomenal cover versions of ska/reggae classics by Prince Buster (“Time Longer Than Rope”), The Slickers (“Johnny Too Bad”), and Max Romeo (“Wet Dream”) plus brand new compositions including “Rude Boy Returns,” “Girl,” and the gritty single “Roadblock,” which will make its worldwide debut in a professionally shot music video that premieres on the syndicated music/pop culture webzine Something Else! this coming Monday, April 28.

From the cinematic opening scenes of urban decay filmed in Neville’s hometown Coventry, England, the video bristles with tension as the song’s melodic hook, a killer horn-guitar combo riff, pulsates over shots of graffiti walls and CCTV cameras, like the…

Progressive Metal Review: Vanden Plas-Chronicles of the Immortals - Netherworld

Release Date: February 25, 2014
Label: Frontiers Records Website
As you may have guessed, Vanden Plas is a German band. They began making progressive metal in the mid-80s in Kaiserslauten, though their first release didn’t come until 1994. They now have nine albums and the original five members (Andy Kuntz, Stephan Lill, Torsten Reichert, Andreas Lill, and Günter Werno) still remain. Their albums tend to be creative and ambitious, as can be seen in 2006’s Christ 0, which was loosely based on The Count of Monte Cristo. It shouldn’t be all that surprising to find out that all of Vanden Plas’s members have been involved in theatre and rock musicals.
In true Vanden Plas fashion, their latest release, Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld is also a striving effort. This time they collaborated with fantasy author Wolfgang Hohlbein for this 56-minute tale. It checks many of the prog-rock clichés (sci-fi themes, soaring vocals, technical mastery, long tracks), but I didn’t find it to be over…

New Age Instrumental Review: Peter Calandra-Inner Circle

Release Date: May 1, 2014 Label: pcm Website
Peter Calandra is a New York based keyboardist, composer and producer. His talents range from soundtracks in film, television and several Broadway productions, teaching Masters level music classes in music technology and he has several albums to his credit. Inner Circle is a tribute to the fans and family that have been with Calandra through his long and highly successful musical career. Contributing artists on the album include: Joy Askew (vocals and vocal sampling), Tom Barney (acoustic bass),Ralph Farris (violin, viola), Kathy Halvorson (oboe), Kathleen Nester (flute and piccolo), Peter Prosser (cello), Stomu Takeishi (fretless electric bass) and Peter Calandra (piano, electric keyboards, percussion, as well as all digital sequencing, composition and programming).

 “Inner Circle” is the title track to the album. Working with the son montuno and tumbao rhythms of Cuban music, Calandra combines them with String Quartet writing, using the harmo…

Styx 'Paradise Theater' Album To Be Released On Limited Numbered Hybrid SACD!

“Styx's high-water of the greatest albums in rock history.”

Camarillo, CA - Styx fans rejoice with the release of the band's critically acclaimed album 'Paradise Theater' on limited numbered Hybrid SACD by Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity. Styx's 10th album, the 1981 release 'Paradise Theater' was the band's fourth consecutive triple-platinum album. A resounding success, 'Paradise Theater' was their greatest commercial triumph and their only #1 album. It remains one of the best examples of the convergence between progressive rock and AOR which typified the arena rock sound of the top groups of the late-seventies and early-eighties such as Journey, REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trick and Kansas.

Styx was a great group of talented musicians - Dennis DeYoung, Tommy Shaw, James Young, Chuck Panozzo and John Panozzo. The album included three Billboard Hot 100 hits, “The Best of Times,” “Nothing Ever Goes As Planned” and “Too Much Time on My …

New Judas Priest Track "Redeemer of Souls"

Rock Review: Red Dragon Cartel-Self Titled

Release Date:January 28, 2014
Label: Frontiers Records Website
Jake E. Lee is no stranger to the rock game. He made a name for himself in the 80s as the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne on 1983’s Bark at the Moon and 1986’s The Ultimate Sin. After being fired from Ozzy’s band, he went on to form Badlands with Ray Gillen, which lasted from the late 80s into the early 90s. He released his first solo album in 1996, the well-received A Fine Pink Mist. He stayed relatively quiet going into the new millennium and the years that followed, releasing solo albums in ’05, ’07, and ’08.However, things could not remain the same forever.
Jake E. Lee is back with a bright new band called Red Dragon Cartel.Red Dragon Cartel is Jake E. Lee (guitar), Ronnie Mancuso (bass), Darren James Smith (vocals), and Jonas Fairley (drums, backing vocals).Their self-titled debut also features Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander, Iron Maiden’s original vocalist Paul Di'Anno, Rex Brown from Pantera, Five Finger Death Punch drummer…

Cleopatra Makes 2014 The Year Of Amon Düül II!

Deluxe Vinyl Versions Of 5 Classic Amon Düül II Titles And The Long Awaited Release of Their First Album In 20 Years Will Leave You Simply Düülirious!

Los Angeles, CA - On April 29, Cleopatra Records will roll out a series of limited edition deluxe vinyl re-issues of 5 landmark albums by one of the most influential experimental rock bands of all time, iconic German underground music legends Amon Düül II! Each album has been meticulously put together with digitally remastered audio made specifically for these re-issues, 180 gram colored vinyl packaged in glue-on heavyweight chip board jackets, and sequentially numbered. The first 2 re-issues to appear will be the spectacular 1969 debut album Phallus Dei and the hugely influential 1972 classic Wolf City. The following month will see the release of the 1971 double LP Dance Of The Lemmings, followed in June by 2 more - 1973’s Vive La Trance and an extra special lenticular jacket printing of the group’s masterpiece, 1970’s double LP Yeti, w…

Eric Clapton's 'Journeyman' Album Feat. George Harrison, Chaka Khan, Daryl Hall, Robert Cray, Phil Collins and others Now Available On Hybrid SACD

“ of the greatest rock/blues guitarists on the planet!”

Camarillo, CA - Much to the elation of Eric Clapton fans across the globe, Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity has released Clapton's 'Journeyman' album as a limited numbered edition Hybrid SACD! Eric Clapton is a true legend. 'Journeyman' reached #16 on the Billboard album chart and became Clapton's first solo studio album to go double platinum. Like any of his best albums, there is no grandstanding to be found on 'Journeyman''s simply a laid-back and thoroughly engaging display of his virtuosity. The album was heralded as a return to form for Clapton, much of it has an electronic sound, mostly influenced by the 1980s rock scene, but it also includes blues songs like “Before You Accuse Me,” “Running on Faith,” and “Hard Times.”

“At the center of it all is Clapton's guitar work...stinging blues and soaring pop.”

There is an all-star assembly of guests: Dire Straits keyboardist A…

New Age Instrumental Review: John Luttrell-The Dream Exchange

Release Date: May 1, 2014
Label: Independent Website
John Luttrell is a composer, singer-songwriter, producer, and performer. His original compositions range from ambient instrumentals to solo piano and guitar to progressive rock. He is the founder of OtterSong Records and Atmospheric Music and he has a series of solo releases as well as group projects that has released over the years.John has written the score and created original soundtrack music for several films, documentaries, and multimedia projects. 

The Dream Exchange is his new release and the best way to describe what you will hear is auditory bliss and atmospheres to set the mind, body and soul at ease, a literal musical cloud of beauty and grace. All tracks are composed, performed, and produced by John Luttrell, except “Interstellar Dust” co-written by John Luttrell and David Veirs and the album mastering is by Bryan Carrigan.

For those interested in gear here is a list of what John used on the recording:  Guitars - Fender Strat…

Pixies Stream New Album Indie Cindy

UK Punk Legends The Deviants Back Catalog Gets Reissued On Gonzo Multimedia

London, UK - Much to the excitement of punk rock fans around the globe, Gonzo Multimedia is reissuing the legendary Deviants back catalog. The Social Deviants were founded by singer/writer Mick Farren in 1967 out of the Ladbroke Grove UK Underground community, featuring Pete Munro on bass; Clive Muldoon on guitar, Mike Robinson on guitar and Russell Hunter on drums. The band shortened their name to The Deviants after Munro and Muldoon left and were replaced by Sid Bishop on guitar and Cord Rees on bass. With the financial backing of Nigel Samuel, the 21-year-old son of a millionaire, whom Farren had befriended, the group independently recorded their debut album 'Ptooff!', selling copies through the UK Underground press before it was picked up by Decca Records.

Rees left the band in June 1967 to be replaced by Farren's flatmate Duncan Sanderson and the band released a second album 'Disposable' through the independent label Stable Records. When Bishop married and left…

Alternative Rock Review: There Will Be Fireworks-The Dark, Dark Bright

Release Date: November 22, 2013
Label: Comets & Cartwheels Website
You’ll likely need to do some digging to find out more about Glasgow’s There Will Be Fireworks, but, based on their latest release it won’t be long before you know more about Nick McManus, Gibran Farrah, David Madden, and Adam Ketterer. The Scottish four-piece’s second full-length, The Dark, Dark Bright, is full of promise and influence, and leads one to believe that there are endless possibilities for this band going forward.
The first track I heard from There Will Be Fireworks was the extremely powerful track “River.” It’s a heavy and emotional song, but if you are looking for an album full of songs like it, you will likely be disappointed. You may want to look to the first single, “Youngblood” or “Here Is Where,” to get a better sense of what more of the album is like. While I don’t think there is a song better than “River” (it would be a tall order to top it), there are several good songs that fall into these indi…

International Prog Ensemble Sontaag To Release Epic Space Opera

In the grand tradition of high concept progressive rock comes an epic cross-media hybrid where cerebral science fiction meets visceral rock ‘n’ roll. Sontaag’s eponymous debut album has been described as ‘the space opera that Pink Floyd never wrote’, ‘a modern-day Tubular Bells’, ‘a prog-rock War Of The Worlds’, but no reference point or sound-bite nails its seamless combination of space rock, narrative spoken word, and evocative ambience quite as neatly as ‘sonic cinema’. Recorded in New York City and London, co-produced and mixed by Youth (Killing Joke, The Fireman) for Big Life Management, ‘Sontaag’ is a stunning and immersive listening experience. An evolutionary progression combining cutting edge sounds with classic dynamics, adapting the rock experience for today’s digital environment.

Arriving in a landscape where music, books and movies often co-exist on a single handheld device, ‘Sontaag’ represents a seamless fusion of the finest elements of all three.

Sontaag features Richard…

Country Review: Johnny Cash-Out Among The Stars

Release Date: March 25, 2014
Label: Legacy Website 

Johnny Cash has been gone since 2003 and so has his wife June Carter Cash. Their love for each other was so strong that Cash died a few months after his longtime soul mate passed. That kind of devotion and love is a direct reflection of each artist and their music. Johnny was a legend when he was alive and his legacy has continued to grow since his passing. The man and music continue to gain in popularity with the passing of time. Now that one of the most famous music couples are Out Among The Starsthe music lives on forever. All the tracks on this new release are previously unreleased which is likely the most exciting factor for country music fans and followers of Cash’s career.
From 1981-1984 Cash recorded the tracks for this new release and Billy Sherrill was on hand to produce. John Carter Cash gave an intro in the CD booklet and called it Visions, allowing those of us from the outside to look inside to see what it was like to be the…

NC Americana Music Artist Tokyo Rosenthal To Host Syndicated Radio Show

Chapel Hill, NC - Rock & Sock Records recording artist, Tokyo Rosenthal, has been selected to host a weekly, syndicated radio show featuring live performances by Americana singer-songwriters. The show, aptly titled "The Tokyo Rosenthal Program", will be recorded "live to disc" beginning June 5th. Distribution of the program will be worldwide.

The show will emanate from The Pittsboro Roadhouse in Pittsboro, North Carolina before a live audience. Pittsboro is situated adjacent to "The Triangle" of North Carolina which includes Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh.

The format will have "Toke" as the performing host as well as weekly guests from all over the country. Rosenthal likes to say that the program will be akin to the old "Johnny Cash Show" on TV. "I will be opening the show with a couple of tunes before bringing on the guests," said Rosenthal. "And before the evening is over I'm sure there will be some jamming as…

tonechaser Gear Review: Marshall Class 5 Head - Review & Demo

Ever since the small amp phase really got into motion, major amp companies have been pumping out small, low-wattage versions of classic amplifiers. Marshall's answer to this craze was the Class 5, which they advertise as a mini plexi in both sound and feel. However, just because it looks like a mini plexi doesn't mean it lives up to that reputation. Wanna know more? Read on.

Features & Build
Built in a small yet solid headshell, the Class 5 looks just as good and feels just as durable as any Marshall head out there. I was surprised at how light it felt, even compared to some other mini amp heads. The smaller "Marshall" logo does well to complete that plexi look, and the simple layout harkens back to a time when there was very little in the path between our guitars and speakers. A TMB tone stack and a non-master volume is all that is needed to control this all-tube monster, fueled by 1 EL84 and 2 ECC83 tubes. The version I purchased is the one with the…

Blues Guitarist Eli Cook To Release New CD Featuring Guest Appearances by Leslie West, Pat Travers, Harvey Mandel, Artimus Pyle, Vinny Appice, Tinsley Ellis, Rod Piazza, Eric Gales and members of Gov't Mule & Double Trouble

“Eli is on his way!” - Leslie West

Los Angeles, CA – Much to the anticipation of blues music aficionados worldwide, acclaimed blues guitarist Eli Cook will be releasing his new CD titled 'Primitive Son' on April 29, 2014 on Cleopatra Records. Making this eagerly awaited release even more exciting is the inclusion of legendary guest artists such as Leslie West of Mountain, Pat Travers, Artimus Pyle (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Harvey Mandel, Eric Gales, Reese Wynans of Double Trouble, Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio), Tinsley Ellis, Rod Piazza and Jorgon Carlson of Gov't Mule! The legendary Son House (1902-1988) was known to say “Blues is a feelin’”. Eli Cook’s music expresses that same raw honesty in a unique blend of contemporary and old-school styles, creating an original sound at the fore-front of modern Blues and Rock.

Says Eli, “ 'Primitive Son' is a mix of modern and old-school blues with contemporary topics and an emphasis on lyricism and arrangement in an …