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Showing posts from 2015

Holiday/New Age/Classical Review: Jennifer Thomas-Winter Symphony

Release Date: November 20, 2015 Label: Tickled Ivory Music Website
Jennifer Thomas is a talented multidimensional artist. She is a composer, pianist and violinist with a lot of respect coming from her peers in the industry. With Winter Symphony she takes tradition and several genres and creates a magnificent soundtrack. The album is titled appropriately as it is a shimmering and magical journey. At times certain parts did remind me of Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I knew after hearing the first track that this recording was going to be prolific and moving.

The curtain opens to a spectacular unraveling of sound and color with “Angels We Have Heard On High (feat. The Ensign Chorus),” and the chorus indeed sounds like it was heaven sent.
The brilliance of “Carol of the Bells” opens the door to the Holiday with parts of a legendary track that come alive with cascading piano and orchestrations. Classical and New Age music merge with tradition for an entirely new universe of music for a listener to…

Prog Metal Band Odin's Court Release Deathanity (R3)

Progressive Metal for fans of Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, Devin Townsend, Porcupine Tree, Iron Maiden, King’s X, Metallica, HIM, and Journey, Enchant, Queen

Baltimore, MD - USA based progressive rock and metal band Odin's Court's announced the re-release of their 2008 album Deathanity (R3) for March, 1 2016. Deathanity (R3) is a “reboot” of the original ProgRock Records album, consisting of a remix (original recording), new recordings (e.g., vocals), and a re-master.

Band leader Matt Brookins commented on the decision to revisit Deathanity: “This was an important album to the band – we worked hard independently, and then shopped it to labels. It was picked up by ProgRock Records (2008), and to date remains our best selling and most popular release. While we were, and still are, proud of what we did, there are some factors that made us want to revisit and improve the quality of the album…mainly, the addition of Dimetrius LaFavors (lead vocals), but also my improvements as an eng…

Progressive Rock Review: Gazpacho-Molok

Release Date: 23rd October 2015 Label: KScope Website
Originally appearing back in 1996 the Norwegian band, Gazpacho, has gone from strength to strength and has now released studio album no 9, Molok. The debut album, Bravo, appeared in 2003 and the band has released an album every 1-2 years since, so have maintained a steady output of excellent material. Molok follows on fairly quickly from the critically acclaimed, Demon, from 2014, and takes the band another step up on the progressive ladder.

The band line-up has been amazingly consistent since the original core members of Jan Henrik Orme (vocals), Jon-Arne Vilbo (guitars) and Thomas Anderson (keyboards and programming) started out and then added Michael Kromer in 2001 (violin and mandolin), Kristian Torp in 2005 (bass) and Lars Erik Asp in 2010 (drums). This line-up has been present on the last four studio albums.

Molok has been described by Thomas Anderson as “Molok is about a man somewhere around 1920 that decides wherever anyone wors…

Audio Fidelity To Release "Colors of the day - The Best of Judy Collins" on Quad 4.0 Hybrid SACD

“This is Collins at her finest.”

Camarillo, CA – Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity will be releasing the ultimate “best of” collection by folk legend Judy Collins on Quad 4.0 Hybrid SACD. Colors of the day - The Best of Judy Collins first arrived in record stores in 1972. The recording features Collins' earliest, most time-honored recordings. The song that propelled the album sales was her number one hit, “Both Sides Now,” an alluring Joni Mitchell tune that dominated the charts for months.

Collins' voice is remarkably beautiful, her phrasing, her ability to enunciate and her vocal range place her in a category by herself. Her amazing talent is on full display in this excellent collection that includes Collins' explorations into folk-pop, country-pop (“Someday Soon,” an Ian Tyson classic), British folk (“Sunny Goodge Street,” The Beatles “In My Life”), and gospel (“Amazing Grace”) that clearly show her eclecticism.

The thoughtfully programmed collection includes the …

New Age/Classical Review: David Lanz & Kristin Amarie-Silhouettes Of Love

Release Date: October 6, 2015 Label: Dkl Records Website

Grammy nominated David Lanz has been thrilling fans for decades. His newest album with Kristin Amarie, Silhouettes of Love is a jazzy blend of classical and New Age sound.

“The Soaring Heart” is the first piece on the album. Filled with chimes, bells, string, piano movements and the playful sound of Kristen’s voice as she highlights the already perfect multi-instrumental experience. This track is a landscape of audible artistry and one I never get tired of listening to. Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

“Circles Round the Moon” begins with tender piano movements and the kiss of chimes. Kristen’s voice descends watching over her loved one like an angel. She hears her love singing, melodies drifting by as she ponders whether it is stardust or merely a dream. This song is a tender fairy tale of moments buried deep in the night as her true love’s arms wrap her in his embrace.

“Beatrice and Dante” is a song based on the Divine Comedy written by…

Holiday Music Review: Various Artists: The Classic Christmas ‘80s Album

Release Date: October 2, 2015 Label: Legacy Recordings Website
It is that time of year again.Lights, Christmas trees, wreaths, and Christmas songs, because it cannot be the Christmas season without the music.Sony’s Legacy Recordings has put together a Christmas album full of songs from the ‘80s, and appropriately titled it The Classic Christmas ‘80s Album.It features an assorted cast of successful ‘80s talents, including Whitney Huston, Run-D.M.C., Hall & Oates, The Pointer Sisters, and many more covering such Christmas classic as “Do You Hear What I Hear?,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” and “Run Rudolph Run” to name a few.
Opening up the album is the new wave band The Waitresses of “I Know What Boys Like” fame.Their Christmas song, “Christmas Wrappings” has classic written all over it.The song has a nice blend of modern and traditional and it is just so catchy and infectious from the very beginning.Patty Donahue’s vocals are beautiful.It is the perfect pop/post-punk holiday song.Following it i…

Holiday Review: Celtic Thunder-Classic Christmas Album

Release Date: October 2, 2015 Label: Sony Legacy Website
Celtic Thunder has been brightening spirits with their amazing vocals and world class performances since their inception in 2007. Current members include Neil Byrne, Emmett O'Hanlon, Emmet Cahill, Colm Keegan, Keith Harkin, Ryan Kelly, Damian McGinty, Paul Byrom and George Donaldson. This compilation of holiday music is a must for any fan. “Carol of the Bells” is the first tune on the album. It is a twisting musical confection that is pure holiday magic. Crisp tones, joyful voices, melodic music ranging from horns to chimes and floating string and the jingle of bells all combine for an elemental introduction to this wonderful album. It was composed and written by Mykola Leontovych and Peter J. Wilhousky.

“In the Bleak Mid-Winter” was composed and lyrics created by Gustav Holst and Christina Rossetti. Performed with Celtic textures at the onset, the piece quickly morphs into a piano movement with light musical flutterings in the b…

Goldbringer 'Telling The Truth' Review

Goldbringer is a musical project that marries avant-garde with rock music. Their album ‘Telling The Truth’ is a piece of sonic brilliance. Although the record is rooted in rock music its electronic influences and compelling melodic build ups make it a colourful, multifaceted opus of energy driven magic.
The songs have an excellent structure and carried by the powerful delivery of vocalist Bone as well as the bashing riffs of heavy guitars this album is swamped with intensity and potential. The melodies are a melting pot of sophisticated chord changes that positively affect both the heart and the brain.


Novacaine New EP Review

With their new EP ‘Noughts and Crosses’ hardcore rockers Novacaine have demonstrated musical excellence mixed with technical proficiency.
‘Noughts and Crosses’ is a dynamic piece of hard rock underlined by powerful and muscular guitar sounds as well as a blasting storm of thunderous vocals. While all in all a heavy record, the song ‘Closure’ shows that Novacaine are perfectly capable of hitting a more contemplative and slightly softer tone, albeit remaining in the realms of darkness as so evidently suggested by the song title of the opening track ‘Kill You’.

‘Noughts and Crosses’ will be available from 18th December

'Trio' By Neil C Young - Review

‘Trio’ is Neil C Young’s newest release and a follow up to the fantastic fusion album ‘Encemble’. Jazz guitarist Young is a legend in his own right and this EP proves how full of potential he is. Instrumental jazz has never been hotter and up to date. The three songs ‘Aguas Calientes’, ‘The Darned’ and ‘Hydrant’ are a powerful appraisal of rhythm, touching on the fusion of jazz with 70s funk.
It’s a record that is best enjoyed with a dry martini, somewhere in a smokey corner of an old-fashioned bar. It’s a perfect blend of melancholic nudges and modern production techniques.

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Progressive Rock Review: Billy Sherwood-Citizen

Release Date: 6th Nov 2015 Label: Frontiers Records Website:
The list of areas in which Billy Sherwood is involved, is little short of staggering, as he is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer, producer, engineer, mixer, solo artist, current bass player with Yes and an independent producer. He has, however, found time to record his eighth solo album, Citizen, released recently. His debut album was released back in 1999 (The Big Peace) and even with his involvement with many projects, also releasing albums, he has averaged a solo album every 2 years on average.

The list of guest artists helping out on this album reads like a “Who’s Who” of the progressive fraternity. On keyboards we find such luminaries as Rick Wakeman, Jordan Rudess, Tony Kaye, Geoff Downes and Patrick Moraz, on guitars appear Steve Hackett, Steve Morse and John Wesley, violin provided by Jerry Goodman and vocals by Colin Moulding, Alan Parsons and Jon Davidson. Billy Sherwood contents himse…

Instrumental/New Age/Classical Review: Tim Neumark-Galaxy-Solo Piano, Op.6

Release Date: May 1, 2015 Label: Indie Website
Tim Neumark’s sixth release Galaxy-Solo Piano, Op.6 came out this May. The solo piano works of this talented musician are starting to stack up and it is most impressive. This is the second album I have had the pleasure to enjoy since the 2014 recording Storm.
Most recently we featured the beautiful track “Starlight” on Rate The Tracks. This would serve as an excellent introduction to this album and a fine way to pull you into the entire project. This is very straight forward solo piano music that consist of parts new age and classical while doubling as a meditation guide or relaxation tool. Everyone needs to retreat from a hard day of work and let all of the stress and worrying role off your back and melt away. I wish I could just carry this calm and assuring feeling with me everywhere I went and with everything I do. When I hear music like this it provides a course to take and then I have the hope that I can attain that state of being.
The ide…