31 January 2015

Rock/Pop Review-Lunocode-C'è vita intelligente sulla terra?

Release Date: July 2014
Label: 7hard/7us

Lunocode is a pop rock band hailing from the cultured shores of Italy. The members are comprised of Perseo Mazzoni (Drums & percussions, backing vocals), Paride Mazzoni (Acoustic Guitars), Giordano Boncompagni (Acoustic Guitars & darbuka), Francesco Rossi (Bass Guitar) and Daphne Romano (Vocals). Other musicians the album include Francesco Briotti  (Piano, Mellotron & synth), Dora Chiodini (Flute) and Narrator: Francesco Anello (actor). 

Emerging in 2011, the band has evolved with their unique blend of theatrical narrative, theological rhetoric, melancholy prose and acoustic artistry. Their unique blend of introspection on the human condition goes beyond the typical and delves into the harder questions. Is there intelligent life on earth after all? Beautiful spoken word is interspersed with “Chi vive veramente,” quickly morphs into “Idea #5” with acoustic guitar strumming, percussion and Daphne Romano’s angelic voice. Man’s unstoppable quest for knowledge and greed for more-never ceasing despite indicators that our very nature could indeed be our biggest downfall.

Latin based languages are simply beautiful. The fact that I don’t speak Italian was a hindrance but the lyrical beauty of the narrative interspersed between the songs was a siren’s call to reach out and grasp his words with my ears and strive to hear them despite the barrier of mere language. “Un atomo nell’universo” spins around in a sound that reminded me heavily of Jethro Tull. Flutes and percussive elements swoon along with Daphne’s voice and take you along for the journey. Down and down into the soil of our world. Our humanity. Our foibles and failings-but also our glory.

“Come una scintilla dalla pietra focaia” is nearly a prayer. The whispered reverence with male and female voices reaching up toward the heavens combined with the acoustic guitar was magnificent. The harder questions prevail but the knowledge that humanity is key to the universe never falters, only the call to be more aware of our actions in the tidal pool of life.

Lunocode is a band of artists. Not just musicians, they take philosophical discussion and make it a production of spoken word, resonance, melodic voice and eloquent instrumentation. Language barriers hold no sway as hands reach up to grasp universal truths. With great power comes great responsibility and sometimes humanity loses sight of that fact. But in our foibles and frailty, there is beauty and truth. I highly recommend this unique album.


4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Chi vive veramente, Un atomo nell’universo, Come una scintilla dalla pietra focaia

Tracks:
Disc One
 

1. Idea, Pt. 1
2. Idea, Pt. 2
3. Idea, Pt. 3
4. Idea, Pt. 4
5. Idea, Pt. 5
6. Idea, Pt. 6
7. Idea, Pt. 7
8. Idea, Pt. 8
9. Idea, Pt. 9

Disc 2
01. Il pallido puntino blu (Live)
02. Prima immagine (Live)
03. Cieli immensi ed immenso amore (Live)
04. Seconda immagine (Live)
05. Chi vive veramente (Live)
06. Domanda (Live)
07. (Non) siamo i migliori del cosmo [Live]
08. Affermazione (Live)
09. Mutar forma (Live)
10....e veleggiar lontano (Live)
11. Una introduzione (Live)
12. Capitolo primo (Live)
13. Un bagliore circolare e blu (Live)
14. Capitolo secondo (Live)
15. L'espressione di una idea (Live)
16. Capitolo terzo (Live)
17. Qualcosa di piccolo e brillantissimo (Live)
18. Capitolo quarto (Live)
19. Un atomo nell'universo (Live)
20. Capitolo quinto (Live)
21. Come una scintilla dalla pietra focaia (Live)
22. E' (Davvero) necessario [Live]

 
DanaWright, Sr. Staff Writer
January 31, 2015
Review Provided By Write A Music Review

29 January 2015

Drum Legends Carmine & Vinny Appice Release New 'Drum Wars Live' Video - “Stand Up And Shout!”


Los Angeles, CA - Drummers and music fans worldwide are buzzing with excitement about the new live CD track and music video by drum legends, brothers, Carmine & Vinny Appice, titled “Stand Up And Shout!” Drumming demi-gods Carmine & Vinny Appice have both had extraordinary careers behind the drum kit, beginning with Carmine’s tenure in such legendary classic rock bands as Vanilla Fudge and Cactus as well as supporting stints with Rod Stewart and Ozzy Osbourne. Meanwhile, younger brother Vinny made his name as a metal drummer for monster acts such as Dio, Black Sabbath and Heaven & Hell.

Check out the new video here: http://youtu.be/pVzzh4MDeok

Recently, these two drum virtuosos have been wowing audiences with their own rock show called “Drum Wars”, featuring not only the hits of their associated bands but also a thrilling series of solos that pit them against each other like the Gene Krupa/Buddy Rich drum battles of yore. Fortunately for us mere mortals, this unique concert experience was recorded in June 2014 at the Iridium in New York and is now available on CD courtesy of Deadline Music and Rocker Records. Along with Carmine and Vinny, the 'Drum Wars Live' CD features Jim Crean, Ethan Brosh and James Caputo!

“After a bunch of friends and fans gave us a bunch of footage and photos from our 'Drum Wars' shows we decided to put together a video from our live CD. The 'Stand Up And Shout' video is a good representation of what 'Drum Wars' is – a kick-ass show!” - Carmine Appice

Here's what's being said about the new video:

“A full force drum battle complete with showmanship, sight gags, musicianship, power and sibling rivalry, captured on video.” - Radio Chick. Talk show host NYC

“STAND UP AND SHOUT. Powerful and relentlessly appealing! A Metal Anthem with overtones of DIO and Cactus from two of the most powerful drummers in the world.” - Allan Handelman, Show and Syndicated Show “Rock Talk”. www.ifitrocks.com

“Stand for Vinnie... Shout for Carmine... Drum Wars thunders with double the power and double the punch! Drum Wars battles through the legendary drumming brothers' catalog and rocks you with shock and awe!” - A.J. Fritz Host of Fritzrocks WLVR FM

“This percussive pair will pulverize you with their paradiddles during Drum Wars on stage and on CD. Experience it while you can!”  -  On The Air & In The Wind, Fingers

“Drum Wars is a quick, fun listen that freshens riffs and energizes lyrics while keeping the songs relevant and fast paced. It's an easy beginning to end listen.”  - Orlando Mornings 943 The Shark,  Brian Orlando, Morning Show Host 943 The Shark

For those unsure of their ability to withstand the aural assault that the Appice brothers bring, a free downloadable track from the album has been made available on the Rocker Records website. Visit here: http://rockerrecords.bandcamp.com/

“When me and Vinny play together we push each other to our limits. Either while drum battling or playing great songs from our history on this CD, while backed up with a great band behind us!” - Carmine Appice

“A CD of great music and drums that punch with power and energy.” - Vinny Appice

More 'Drum Wars Live' tour dates are currently in the works for March and beyond. Also, coinciding with the 'Drum Wars Live' CD release was a series of European shows featuring both Carmine & Vinny performing alongside a jaw-dropping list of metal vocalists and musicians. Dubbed the Metal All-Stars, this year’s crop includes Geoff Tate formerly of Queensrÿche, Dave Ellefson of Megadeth, James LaBrie of Dream Theater, and lots more!! For details, visit:
http://www.metalallstars.com/

This January, Vinny Appice will be embarking on the Extreme Guitar 2015 North American Tour featuring Uli Jon Roth, Vinnie Moore, Craig Goldy, Elliott Rubinson, Vinny Appice, Mark Boals!

Extreme Guitar 2015 North American Tour Dates
Jan 21 Ramona, CA
Jan 22 Anaheim, CA
Jan 23 Hollywood, CA
Jan 24 Las Vegas, NV
Jan 25 San Jose, CA
Jan 26 Portland, OR
Jan 27 Seattle, WA
Jan 29 Moorehead, MN
Jan 30 Spring Lake Park, MN
Jan 31 St Charles, IL
Feb 01 Chicago, IL
Feb 02 Detroit, MI
Feb 03 Toronto, ON
Feb 04 Cleveland, OH
Feb 05 Hartford, CT
Feb 06 Londonderry, NH
Feb 07 Pougkeepsie, NY
Feb 08 New York, NY
Feb 09 Springfield, VA

For more information:
www.vinnyappice.com
www.drumwars.com

www.carmineappice.com
www.drumwars.com
www.cactusrocks.net
www.therodexperience.com

To order the 'Drum Wars Live' CD on Amazon: http://geni.us/1HXY

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com
Carmine & Vinny Appice are available for interview - please contact Billy James at Glass Onyon PR

Symphonic Progressive Review: Rocket Scientists-Refuel

Release Date: 9thDec 2014
Label: Think Tank Media

Having previously reviewed Rocket Scientists, a symphonic prog band from USA, with the release of their 2 track EP, Supernatural Highways, it is with a great deal of anticipation, that I have the new full length release, Refuel, on my desk for review.

Rocket Scientists is a 3 piece outfit which is expanded by guest musicians when required, with the core trio being, Marc McCrite (vocals, guitar), Erik Norlander (keyboards, vocals) and Don Schiff (Chapman Stick, bass guitar, cello, viola, mandolin). Guesting on the Refuel album are, Greg Bissonette (drums), Emily McCrite (vocals), John Papenbrook (trumpet), Rich Hoffman (piccolo trumpet), Eric Jorgensen (trombone) with Lana Lane and Kelly Keeling providing vocals on tracks 12 and 9 respectively.

Refuel is a 16 track album with a total playing time of around 79 minutes. The final four tracks are classed as bonus tracks, being as they are tracks that are already contained in the main body of the album, but appear without the crossfading. The longest track on offer on Refuelis track 10, “Rome’s About to Fall” at 8:15 minutes with track 8, “Reconstruct,” the shortest at 1:29 minutes.

The opening, and title, track, “Refuel” (2:13) is a short band workout that seems to just put layer after layer of sound to start and then allows an amazing passage of keyboards (Erik), followed by guitar acrobatics (Mark), all suitably “nailed down” by the bass (Don). This is a short track that simply demands you to listen to the rest of the album.

“She’s Getting Hysterical” (6:05) grabs your ears from the word go and proceeds to take you on a simply amazing aural journey. There are hooks galore, superb echo vocals, deep powerful vocals, an amazing motif that appears several times, mainly keyboard based, but toward the end, the motif appears played on a trumpet. The keyboards are simply sensational over this track.

“Martial” (3:41), “Regenerate” (4:33), “Reconstruct” (1:29), “Cheshire Cat Smile” (5:25), “Galileo” (5:05) and “The Lost Years” (5:59) would all fit into the “ear grabbing” category, all being up-tempo with sweeping synths and excellent guitar riffing. Each track is filled with those hooks that, even after only one play, have managed to get inside your head, almost without your knowledge.

The other tracks, “It’s Over” (6:25), “The Fading Light” (7:29), “The World Waits For You” (4:20) and “Rome’s About to Fall” (8:15), while not the same up-tempo status, nevertheless has hooks which are a little more subtle, which befits the gentler pace of these tracks.

The final four tracks, mentioned earlier as extras, with no crossfading, have very slightly different running times, but only by a few seconds.

This album was featured on my radio show, “She’s Getting Hysterical” and “Rome’s About To Fall” from the album and the long “Traveller On The Supernatural Highways” from the recent EP release and there were several comments about the amazing music being broadcast.

Refuel is a return to the sound that the Rocket Scientists are known for. On offer on this album, are the solos, from all the main musicians, the pop elements and the prerequisite key-changes that followers of Rocket Scientists will be on the lookout for. They will not be in any way disappointed with what they hear on Refuel, the huge swathes of majestic keyboards from Erik Norlander, excellent guitar work by Mark McCrite and that perfectly pitched and matched bass provided by Don Schiff are all here.

Refuel is an album that demands to be played over and over to really appreciate the majestic release that it is. Both “One to Buy” and “The Experience will last Forever” stickers adorn the cover and I can almost guarantee with 100% certainty, that upon hearing Refuel, it will be purchased and have a special little place on your CD shelves.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: She’s Getting Hysterical, It’s Over, Rome’s About To Fall

Tracks:
Refuel
She’s Getting Hysterical
Martial
It’s Over
Regenerate
The Fading Light
The World Waits For You
Reconstruct
Cheshire Cat Smile (feat Kelly Keeley)
Rome’s About To Fall
Galileo
The Lost Years (feat Lana Lane)
It’s Over (no crossfade)
Regenerate (no crossfade)
Reconstruct (no crossfade)
Cheshire Cat Smile (no crossfade)


Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk

January 29, 2015

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk



Melodic Rock/Heavy Metal Review: Allen-Lande-The Great Divide

Release Date: October 21, 2014
Label: Frontiers Records

There isn’t anything like a super group and you can never have enough super groups, especially in the rock and metal genres.  Formed in 2005, Allen-Lande gets its name from its two prominent vocalists, Russell Allen of Symphony X and Jørn Lande formerly of Masterplan.  The project was spearheaded by Magnus Karlsson who served as the producer, songwriter, and main instrumentalist, handling the guitars, bass, and keyboards for the group’s first three albums.  Following Karlsson’s departure, former Stratovarius guitarist Timo Tolkki took over his role, with Jami Huovinen providing the drums and percussion.  The Great Divide is their first album in four years, and I think that it will be a divisive one.

“Come Dream with Me” is indicative of the pros and cons of this album.  On the one hand, the vocals are fantastic and really shine, and, on the other hand, the music is largely forgettable and lackluster.  Though there are a few very good songs on the here and “Down from the Mountain” is one of them.  It is more heavy metal than hard rock and it has more life than the other songs, which helps it to stand out from the pack. Also, the vocals and music are both on point. “In the Hands of Time” is another solid song that suffers the same problems as the opener. 

“Solid Ground” is hopeful song with a thrilling chorus, and a vocal performance that shines yet again.  “Lady of Winter” is the real gem of the album.  The song has great ambience and atmosphere and stellar vocals.  There is a nice musical build-up at the beginning, and the guitar and keyboards keep everything together the rest of the way.  There is a special energy in this song that takes it to the next level.  “Hymn to the Fallen” drums make their presence felt during the opening, and I wish they kept the relentless sound for the whole song, because I think that things putter out as the song goes along and fail to match the intensity of the beginning.

With its heavy sound and just phenomenal vocal performance, “The Great Divide” is stellar title track and makes for a strong spot in the album’s latter part.  The blandness of “Reaching for the Stars” is saved slightly by its sweet guitar solo. Bringing the album to a close, “Bittersweet” is solid ballad with powerful vocals and some sweet guitar work.

The Great Divide is a good album with some problems.  There is no denying the fantastic vocals that dominate the album; however, the music does leave a lot to be desired.  Sure, there are a few very fine songs on the album, but just not enough to make for a completely satisfying album. It is not a bad way to spend fifty minutes, and I bet many fans of Allen-Lande will enjoy it, but it is not the type of album that I would be rushing to recommend. 

3.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Down from the Mountain, Lady of Winter, The Great Divide

Tracks:
01. Come Dream with Me
02. Down from the Mountain
03. In the Hands of Time
04. Solid Ground
05. Lady of Winter
06. Dream about Tomorrow
07. Hymn to the Fallen
08. The Great Divide
09. Reaching for the Stars
10. Bittersweet

 
Brian McKinnon-Write A Music Review Sr. Staff
January 29, 2015
Review Provided By Write A Music Review

28 January 2015

Cleopatra Records To Release Two Rare Live Albums By UK Prog Legends Renaissance!


Los Angeles, CA - Cleopatra Records will be releasing two rare live albums by UK progressive rock legends Renaissance. The first release on February 3rd is 'DeLane Lea Studios 1973'; a captivating live-in-the-studio recording from Renaissance performing to a small gathering of friends at the historic DeLane Lea Studios in London (used by everyone from The Beatles to Queen, Jimi Hendrix & Pink Floyd). Beguiling vocalist and ingenue Annie Haslam leads her group through nearly the entire fourth album 'Ashes Are Burning' with special guest appearances by Wishbone Ash's Andy Powell and folk singer Al Stewart!

Track List:
1. Can You Understand
2. Let It Grow
3. Sounds Of The Sea
4. Carpet Of The Sun
5. At The Harbour
6. Ashes Are Burning (with Andy Powell and Al Stewart)
7. Prologue

To purchase Renaissance 'DeLane Lea Studios 1973' CD: http://geni.us/1fQp
iTunes: http://geni.us/1oAT

Renaissance's 'Academy of Music 1974' will be released on March 31st and is an astonishing live performance of the ensemble at the height of their career. The concert showcases the band's latest release at the time 'Ashes Are Burning'. Unlike other prog-rock groups, Renaissance forwent much of the technology in favor of acoustic instruments and orchestral arrangements. Electric guitars and synthesizers were seldom used, giving the band's music more of a symphonic sound.

DISC 1
1. Can You Understand
2. Black Flame
3. Carpet Of The Sun
4. Cold Is Being
5. Things I Don’t Understand
6. Running Hard

DISC 2
1. Ashes Are Burning
2. Mother Russia
3. Prologue

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158

27 January 2015

French Music Legends Magma To Play Select North American Dates Spring 2015!


Paris, France - One of music's most innovative and eclectic ensembles Magma will be performing select North American dates beginning in April 2015! Swirling riffs in odd time signatures, theatrical choir arrangements, heavy and distorted pulsing bass guitar, bombastic and minimalistic (sometimes both at the same time), dark and brooding, adventurous and angelic, jazzy or classical, but always with the highly innovative and original drums of founder and main composer Christian Vander. On the forthcoming US dates the legendary ensemble will be performing selections of new and classic Magma music!

“MAGMA is happy to return to the United States to play for Americans. We know you are passionate, respectful and curious about music. We find you to be generous and open. It will be a joy for us to see you this year.” - Christian Vander

Magma was founded in Paris in 1969 by Christian Vander, who derived his inspiration from a "vision of humanity's spiritual and ecological future" that profoundly disturbed him. Vander was a self-taught musician, who received some tips from drum legend Elvin Jones. In the course of Magma's first album, the band tells the story of a group of people fleeing a doomed Earth to settle on the planet Kobaïa. Later, conflict arises when the Kobaïans, who are descendants of the original colonists, encounter other Earth refugees. A distinguished aspect of Magma's music is that Vander actually invented a constructed language, Kobaïan, in which most lyrics are sung. Later albums told different stories set in more ancient times; however the Kobaïan language remained an integral part of the music. Reportedly, Christian Vander is also highly influenced by the work of jazz legend John Coltrane. “For my work, it is still Coltrane who actually gives me the real material to work on, to be able to move on.,” says Vander.

Magma:
Christian Vander
Stella Vander
Isabelle Feuillebois
Hervé Aknin
Benoit Alziary
James Mac Gaw
Jérémie Ternoy
Philippe Bussonnet

Magma US tour dates:
April 2 – Venue - Vancouver, BC
http://bplive.electrostub.com/event.cfm?id=141752&cart
April 3 – Crocodile - Seattle, WA
April 4 – Aladdin Theater - Portland, OR
https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/772633?utm_source=os
April 6 – Echoplex - Los Angeles, CA
http://www.attheecho.com/event/772815
https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/772815?utm_medium=bks
April 8 – Slim's - San Francisco, CA
http://tickets.slims-sf.com/events/476797
April 10 – Reggies - Chicago, IL
https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/772697
April 11 – Brighton Music Hall - Boston, MA
http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/01004E3A2260DA49
April 13 – Le Poisson Rouge - New York, NY
http://lepoissonrouge.com/lpr_events/magma-april-13th-2015/

For more information: 
Magma official website
http://www.magmamusic.org
Magma official Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/MAGMA/123777837633298?fref=ts
www.youtube.com/user/MagmaOfficialTV

Seventh Records:
http://v2.seventhrecords.com/en/
magma.officiel@gmail.com

North American Booking:
http://www.nanotear.com

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

23 January 2015

Progressive Rock/Metal Review: The D/A Method-Janissaries EP

Release Date: 24 December 2014
Label: Indie
While listening to The D/A Method and their EP Janissaries (that was dropped last Christmas Eve) I thought of bands like Opeth and Metallica and a few others along the way. It is like these bands had offspring and then there was The D/A Method.

Well let me tell you it works, and very well I might add. In three tracks they make their mark and I am certain if you like progressive rock and or metal you will love this music. 

This band of brother’s hails from Karachi Pakistan but they sound like they could be from New York or Boston, but that doesn’t matter because music is so universal. The only thing that separates them from where I sit is an ocean and a touch of their own culture within their music. 

If the world was like a gathering at a concert there would be world peace and harmony. No lines drawn in the sand and all prejudgments disappear in this world. I have been thinking about this a lot lately and when I heard that the band was from Pakistan it all came home to me in a heartbeat. Then they just blew me away and once again all those realizations about the beauty of music hit me square between my eyes.

The lead off and title track “Janissaries” is a killer 9 plus minutes of straight ahead progressive metal. It rocks, it stops, it starts, and then it takes you on a trip to the stratosphere of musical delight. When you hear the word EP you immediately think that it’s going to be short stay in the pleasure zone. The fact that this is prog makes it a worthwhile and a lengthy enough spin to leave you satisfied but wanting for more, which is a good thing too.

“Brave” (an excellent Katatonia cover) is over 6 minutes of hard rockin’ prog metal and Alvida Live at Satellite Recording Studios” and just shy of 5 minutes and it offers some nice passages of music influenced from their country and it again rocks and rolls its way into your heart. These days its 60 minutes plus for a regular release but this was so good that it did not disappoint at all in regards to the timeframe. I do want to hear more from this band without a doubt. The lead off track is hard to top but the succeeding tracks are solid and present the true colors of this promising band.

Give The D/A Method a good listen, I promise you won’t regret it.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Track: Janissaries

Tracks:
1.Janissaries
2.Brave (Katatonia Cover)
3.Alvida Live at Satellite Recording Studios 


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Prog Rock Music Talk Founder
January 23, 2015
Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

22 January 2015

Progressive/Holiday Review: Trans-Siberian Orchestra-The Christmas Attic LP

Release Date: October 21, 2014
Label: Audio Fidelity

Trans-Siberian Orchestra or what I like to refer to simply as TSO, have been one of my favorite progressive rock bands over the years for their original and engaging stories and amazing live shows. I have had the privilege of seeing them live twice and realized that was the only way to really appreciate this great band. They have accumulated a nice catalog of releases over the years as well.

Their second album The Christmas Attic originally released in 1998 was made available for the first time on this stunning 2 LP 180 gram vinyl set late last year by Audio Fidelity. Last year was also the first time they brought their recording to their lavish stage sets across the globe. I am sure it was a magnificent thing to witness.

For TSO it’s all about the visuals that go with music, or the visuals that dance to the music if you will. After growing up in the age of vinyl and seeing the digital world take over its meaning has become more important to many people including an entirely new generation ready to embrace the format. It’s is a nice thing to see happening. This is a gorgeous set with 2 sturdy 180 gram vinyl LPs remastered beautifully with a stunning and colorful 12 page booklet with all the lyrics and artwork housed in gatefold sleeves. Rock, progressive, and classical all intersect with a powerful punch throughout this release.

I think this band has reached its goal of providing a rock opera with progressive music many times over. By the time The Christmas Attic (the second of a trilogy) was released they had a successful formula that has grown and developed over the years into something far beyond what they could have imagined or hoped for.
Wherever you may reside on this planet you cannot help but feel the joy and wonderment of the Holiday season when you listen to music like this. If you are a fan of concept albums and interesting rock music you will simply love TSO and what they have to offer.

Packages like this are a treasure to behold in this day and age of multimedia and digitized delivery systems. You can hold it in your hand, admire it, and listen to the clean and warm purity of music set to a vinyl disc. I suppose it does help to be a fan of their music but you cannot deny the essence and meaning when it is presented this way. Audio Fidelity knows how to get it all right and they appreciate the best ways in which to release a classic album. Each and every track is important and they all fit together like a musical storybook should.

The Christmas Attic will hold you spellbound with its ebbing and flowing tides of energy, across the board you get all the atmospheres that could possibly be associated with such a story. Don’t miss out on this special numbered and limited edition release!

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: ALL

Tracks:
Disc One

SIDE ONE:
1. The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve           
2. Boughs Of Holly               
3. The World That She Sees           
4. The World That He Sees           
5. Midnight Christmas Eve           

SIDE TWO:
1. The March Of The Kings/Hark The Herald Angel   
2. The Three Kings And I (What Really Happened)   
3. Christmas Canon               
4. Joy/Angels We Have Heard On High       

Disc Two


SIDE ONE:
1. Find Our Way Home           
2. Appalachian Snowfall           
3. The Music Box               
4. The Snow Came Down           

SIDE TWO:
1. Christmas In The Air           
2. Dream Child (A Christmas Dream)       
3. An Angel's Share         


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Prog Rock Music Talk Founder
January 22, 2015

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk



21 January 2015

10th Anniversary CD Reissue & First Time Vinyl Release Of The Landmark Pink Floyd Tribute Album Back Against The Wall!


Los Angeles, CA - In 2005, Purple Pyramid Records released one of the most ambitious and extraordinary undertakings in music history, a monumental gathering of progressive rock superstars including members of King Crimson, ELP, The Doors, Jethro Tull, Yes, Toto, Styx and others who came together to recreate Pink Floyd’s epic art rock opera, The Wall! Produced by the multi-talented Billy Sherwood and dubbed Back Against The Wall, the project garnered tremendous praise and earned its place among discerning fans of both Pink Floyd and the prog rock genre as a whole. Now, 10 years after, on January 20th Purple Pyramid proudly presents a 10th anniversary re-issue of the CD set featuring all new artwork and 5 bonus remixes. Plus, for the first time ever, this amazing recording will be available on vinyl in a deluxe gatefold jacket 2LP set! Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of rock music history - get Back Against The Wall!

To order the 2CD set: http://geni.us/EfM
To order the 2LP vinyl set: http://geni.us/Fsk
To download on iTunes: http://geni.us/1tWf

DISC 1
1. In The Flesh? feat. Adrian Belew, Alan White & Steve Porcaro
2. The Thin Ice feat. Ian Anderson & Tony Levin
3. Another Brick In The Wall Part 1 feat. Steve Morse & Billy Sherwood
4. The Happiest Days Of Our Lives feat. Billy Sherwood & Vinnie Coliauta
5. Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 feat. Fee Waybill, Ronnie Montrose & Mike Porcaro
6. Mother feat. John Wetton, Adrian Belew & Alan White
7. Goodbye Blue Sky feat. Steve Howe & Billy Sherwood
8. Empty Spaces feat. Billy Sherwood & Robby Krieger
9. Young Lust feat. Glenn Hughes
10. One Of My Turns feat. Tommy Shaw
11. Don’t Leave Me Now feat. Tommy Shaw & Robby Krieger
12. Another Brick In The Wall Part 3 feat. Steve Lukather & Tony Levin
13. Goodbye Cruel World feat. Billy Sherwood & Tony Levin

DISC 2
1. Hey You feat. John Wetton, Steve Lukather, Tommy Shaw & Alan White
2. Is There Anybody Out There? feat. Adrian Belew & Billy Sherwood
3. Nobody Home feat. Rick Wakeman
4. Vera feat. Tommy Shaw & Steve Howe
5. Bring The Boys Back Home feat. Billy Sherwood & Jay Schellen
6. Comfortably Numb feat. Chris Squire & Alan White
7. The Show Must Go On feat. Adrian Belew & Vinnie Coliauta
8. In The Flesh feat. Billy Sherwood, Steve Porcaro & Vinnie Coliauta
9. Run Like Hell feat. Jason Chefe, Dweezil Zappa & Tony Kaye
10. Waiting For The Worms feat. Billy Sherwood, Tony Levin & Vinnie Caliauta
11. Stop feat. Billy Sherwood
12. The Trial feat. Malcolm McDowell
13. Outside The Wall feat. Billy Sherwood
BONUS TRACKS
14. Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 (Electro Remix)
15. Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 (House Remix)
16. Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 (Radio Remix)
17. Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 (Dub Remix)
18. Comfortably Numb (Blackburner Remix)

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com

CLEOPATRA RECORDS, Inc.
11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025
www.CleopatraRecords.com

Featured Track: The D/A Method-Janissaries

The D/A Method hails from Karachi Pakistan and however far you may be away from where they reside, there is no distance between them, listeners, and their own brand of progressive rock. Music is universal like that, its makes us one world, a union of souls with a love for music.

With their recently released taster EP Janissarieswhich is the focus of this feature, they serve up over 9 minutes of rockin' progressive diversity. I think if they were looking to show what they bring to the table this was a good choice.

The track features marvelous instrumentation, an ever changing pace and fantastic vocals. It's the whole package. This clearly defines progressive rock in every way.

MuzikMan Rating: 5/5 

 
More About The D/A Method:
https://www.facebook.com/TheDAMethod

The D/A Method are:
Umair Dar
Talha Alvie
Usama Siddiq
Istvan Csabai

The D/A Method is a progressive rock band from Pakistan. With its members having spent significant portions of their lives in both Pakistan and the West, the band combines influences from classic rock, grunge, and metal with a touch of traditional Pakistani flavor to create their unique, progressive sound.

19 January 2015

Stoned - A Psych Tribute To The Rolling Stones - 14 Shining Stars Of The Neo-Psych Scene Reinterpret Classics From The Rolling Stones!


Includes performances by Clinic, The Vacant Lots, Celestial Bums, Allah-Las, Pure X, The Tulips, Tashaki Miyaki, and more!

Los Angeles, CA - EVERYBODY MUST GET STONED!…Dylan declared in ‘66 just a year or so after The Rolling Stones got their initial hit of major commercial success with arguably the most addictive song of all-time “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.” It was their first international #1 single, and a high they would chase (and catch!) for the next 4 decades as they would go on to create one of the most mind-blowingly potent canons in modern music. But if you think you've plumbed the depths of the Jagger/Richards pharmacy, just wait until you hear what the newest psych rock junkies do to these well-known tonics. From The Vacant Lots’ stimulating take on “She Smiled Sweetly” to Clinic’s hallucinogenic version of “I Know It's Only Rock & Roll (But I Like It),” these young bands take Stones classics to places they’ve never been before. The full album entitled Stoned - A Psych Tribute To The Rolling Stones featuring 14 tracks will be available everywhere starting January 20 from Cleopatra Records.

The Allah-Las, like many of the bands featured here, dug deep into the Stones vast catalog for their cover of the 1963 gem “Stoned.” Meanwhile, Barcelona quartet Celestial Bums declared, “We are very honored that we got the chance to do that since for us The Rolling Stones is probably the best rock band in history. We chose ‘Child Of The Moon’ for being quite an unknown song that at same time has an amazing essence of their psych period.” L.A.-based trio Tashaki Miyaki shares, “Covering a song by such a legendary band was a bit daunting. We delved a little deeper into the Stones catalog to find something less heard that would compliment our band's sound. ‘Take It or Leave It’ seemed like the right vibe.” Of course, more well-known songs such as “Sympathy For The Devil,” “Gimme Shelter,” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” also got the psych remake treatment with astounding results. Available on both CD and vinyl, Stoned - A Psych Tribute To The Rolling Stones has the cure for the musical boredom that ails you!

1. Lorelle Meets The Obsolete - What A Shame
2. The KVB - Sympathy For The Devil
3. Shiny Darkly - Under My Thumb
4. Yeti Lane - Sway
5. Clinic - It’s Only Rock & Roll (But I Like It)
6. Sons Of Hippies - Gimme Shelter
7. The Vacant Lots - She Smiled Sweetly
8. Celestial Bums - Child Of The Moon
9. Tashaki Miyaki - Take It Or Leave It
10. Allah-Las - Stoned
11. Pink Velvet - (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction [CD ONLY]
12. Pure X - Beast Of Burden [CD ONLY]
13. Cheval Sombre - As Tears Go By
14. The Tulips - Wild Horses

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com

CLEOPATRA RECORDS, Inc.
11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025
www.CleopatraRecords.com

Metal Review: Jørn Lande and Trond Holter-Dracula Swing of Death

Release Date: January 27, 2015
Label: Frontiers Records
Jørn Lande is one of hard rock’s most prolific artists. With over thirty albums with varying projects, his voice and range are among the most versatile in the industry. His newest album, Dracula Swing of Death is a journey into the dark and light that haunts men’s souls and the legend behind the conflicted individual we knew as Dracula. Both in stories and in history Dracula was a figure both feared and loved for his fierce determination and vicious cruelty. Join Jørn Lande on vocals, Trond Holter on guitar, Thomas Bekkevold on bass and Christian Svendsen on drums as Jorn brings you Dracula Swing of Death.

If I were going to imagine a rock opera based on the myth and legend of Dracula, I could think of no better voice to go with the hard rock version than Jorn and his band. The gripping vocals and intense musical imagery brings the listener deep into the sometimes misunderstood world of Dracula. If you follow the legend, Dracula was a warrior for Christ until the one person he loved the most was taken from him in an act of betrayal so foul he sold his soul to the devil. His goal? Make every son and daughter of God pay for his misery. Add that to music and you have Dracula Swing of Death. 

The album opens up with the historic “Hands of Your God” where the scene is set. Brazen guitar work and raw vocals give voice to the despair and frustration Dracula experiences as his love is taken from him and a new chapter of his undead life is born. Bitter, blood dripping, no holds barred revenge is on the menu and no man, woman or child is exempt from his sights. The sound set is brought to life with the airy crashing of waves and thunder. The clang of bells and an old fashioned guitar sequence lull the listener into the story and all the rage held within. Scrabbling for his existence, Dracula consumes humanity. It is a judgment day filled with Hellfire.

The second piece on the album is one of the more widely known songs. “Walking on Water” sees Dracula embracing his new role as the purveyor of death and immortality. Darkness has taken him. There is no soul left and nothing save for the rage consuming him from within. Wearing the devil’s mark, he promises damnation for all. The grinding vocals give a shiver down the spine as the true face of evil begins to emerge, purely shameless in his glory and grandeur. 

As the album progresses, a story is told, ending finally with “Under the Gun.” Doomed by his temptation Dracula despairs of his endless path as he is joined by a female vocalist. Love and blood join as a shadowy romance eternal in darkness push the couple on their jagged path through guitar riffs and a beat that will haunt your dreams.

This album was like watching a movie. All the great elements of the perfect show are all right here. Impassioned characters fighting against their fates, love, darkness and some kick ass music to fall into. If this album were a drink, it would be a salted caramel mocha. Salty and sweet at the same time, with a hidden punch that livens the blood. Jørn Lande and Trond Holter have outdone themselves with this production and any horror lover is going to want to have this in their collection. Dracula fan that I am, I fell in love with the cinematic nature of the vocals and the strong instrumentation behind it. There is a swing in this album to be sure, just watch the turns on the dance floor…you might slip in a pool of blood.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Walking on Water, Hands of Your God, Under the Gun  

Tracks:
01. Hands of Your God
02. Walking on Water
03. Swing of Death
04. Masquerade Ball
05. Save Me
06. River of Tears
07. Queen of the Dead
08. Into the Dark
09. True Love Through Blood (Instrumental)
10. Under the Gun

 
DanaWright, Sr. Staff Writer
January 19, 2015
Review Provided By Write A Music Review

18 January 2015

Rock Fusion Review: Dave Matthews Band-Recently – Two 10” 180 Gram Vinyl EPs

Release Date: November 28, 2014
Label: Legacy

For the vinyl lovers of Earth, Record Store Day is an amazing time filled with limited edition vinyl releases from some of our favorite bands. And not only do we get one day in April, but we get a second day on Black Friday. The Dave Matthews Band has been a part of Record Store Day for a few years now, releasing their Live Trax series in chronological order. However, on Black Friday 2014, DMB rolled out a very special 10” 180 gram vinyl edition of their first EP Recently, along with a second disc containing the hard to find “Pumpkin Recently” Promo EP. It comes in a gatefold jacket with the two different covers, and you will find a download code on the inside so you can get MP3 version of the music as well. A nice little surprise, considering this may be one of the only ways fans will get the Promo EP in any form.

Although many of the songs found on the EP can be heard on their debut album Remember Two Things, there is still plenty to be enjoyed from here from fans and collectors alike. For instance, there are two different edits of the title track. There is a radio edit of “Tripping Billies” that chops nearly 4 minutes off the Remember Two Things version, but still retains what I would consider essential listening material, including Carter Beauford’s phenomenal drum skills. Intimate acoustic versions of “Warehouse” and “Dancing Nancies” show these tracks in some of their earliest incarnations before making the big time on DMB’s major label release Under the Table and Dreaming. Finally, explosive versions of “All Along the Watchtower” and “Halloween” showcase the raw talent of the band even in their earliest days.

Aside from being a cool collector’s item (and the easiest way to snatch up the rare Promo EP), DMB’s vinyl release of Recently is an incredible value. Two 180 gram 10” records, a nice gatefold jacket, an MP3 download code, and over 40 minutes of breathtaking music make this an item fans shouldn’t miss. The price may seem a bit steep, but it is well worth it.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Halloween, Tripping Billies,  Warehouse

Tracks:
Original EP
01.Recently (Edit 2)
02.Dancing Nancies
03.Warehouse
04.All Along the Watchtower
05.Halloween

Tracks 2 and 3 are live acoustic versions performed by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds.

Promo EP
01.Recently (Radio Edit)
02.Ants Marching (Radio Edit)
03.Tripping Billies (Remember Two Things Radio Edit)
04.The Song That Jane Likes (Radio Edit)

 
Austin Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Contributor
January 18, 2015

Review Provided By Write A Music

17 January 2015

Space Rock Review: 3rd Ear Experience-Incredible Good Fortune

Release Date: 29thAugust 2014
Label: Indie

3rdEar Experience is a new band to me, but as always there is that feeling of nervous anticipation just before the music escapes from the speakers. The band has been described as a “genuine” space rock band, who record musical improvisations in a little studio in the highlands of Joshua Tree/Mojave Desert. The band has already released 2 albums, Peacock Black (2013) and BOI(2013), prior to this release, Incredible Good Fortune.

The band is currently a 6 piece group with some guests also involved in the recording of the current release. Amritakripa (synth, voice), Robbi Robb (guitars, voice), Jorge Bassman (bass), Erik Mouness (drums, percussion), Alan Swanson (keyboards) and Eric Ryan (guitars) form the basic band with John Whoolilurie (saxophone), Billy Shire (mouth organ), Roger Arnold (flute), Bobby Moses Nichols (guitar) and Don Lombardo (percussion) also helping out. In effect, 3rd Ear Experience is more of a project or collective as the line-up depends on which musicians are, or are not, available at the time. 

Incredible Good Fortune is a 5 track album with a running time of around 76 minutes, making it a fairly long album. The shortest track on offer, track 4, “White Bee” is still over 8 minutes in length (8:12) with all the other tracks in excess of 10 minutes, and the opening track, “Tools,” being the longest at 19:33 minutes.

“Tools” (19:33) has a very gentle guitar passage as an intro with some subtle synth tweaks in the background. The powerhouse of the band, the drum and bass pairing, starts to fill in the spaces until the track is motoring along. The guitar then comes to the fore again with a mesmerizing repetitive riff and the overall feel to the music thus far is very spacey, almost like a cleaned-up version of those space veterans, Hawkwind.  There appears a superb lead guitar passage which soars above everything and carries the track onwards. Soon time is made available for the organ and it delicately weaves in and out of proceedings. The track gives the feeling that there are some pre-arranged bits but there is plenty of leeway for some out and out improvisation. This is one of those tracks that seems to give more to the listener with repeated plays and the entrance of the sax was entirely unexpected. A slight nod to a more heavy rock styling creeps in and maintains the listener’s interest. It is difficult to easily express what this track is all about, but floaty, spacey and sometimes heavy, seems just about right.

“One” (18:09) has a spacey start with bass and synths setting the aural scenario with a haunting riff playing and a slow build-up to a full band workout. The upfront driving bass and drums with the tweaking/twiddling synths again lean toward the sound of Hawkwind. The very dreamy, echoed vocals suit this track perfectly. There is a terrific contrast between the driving and the quieter passages within this track. This track seems to follow the first with the feeling of pre-arranged and improvised areas. Both guitar and synth get a chance to shine before the long atmospheric fade-out.

“Parsley” (17:33), has a stunning guitar and eastern style rhythmical drumming setting the scene for the third long track. Guitar driven early on in the track, there is then a passage if very intriguing Indian style chanting before allowing the guitar back in. Synths behind the chanting work very well as the track launches into a frenzy. The track swings between Eastern and Western sounds before there is another long fade-out.

The shortest track, “White Bee” (8:12) starts with percussion and swathes of synths with an almost ethereal like vocalization. This is a much gentler floating track and is very relaxing. Lulled into a false sense of security, the band seem to waken up and crank up the volume to take the song out, as it slowly returns to the more gentle starting point.

The final track, “Shaman’s Dream” (11:31), has a synth start which leads to a full band involvement and at times, the music seems almost at odds with itself but the superb playing of all involved ensures that this does not happen. Some extremely powerful Native American chanting appears but is soon replaced by a driving guitar. The chanting passage returns for a second time and then the sound seems to be stripped back and the vocals give a hint of Bowie, before the full band strives to take the band out.

Incredible Good Fortune was an unexpectedly pleasant listening experience. The sound ebbed and flowed throughout, constantly drawing the listener in and maintaining the interest. It is not always a good thing to describe a band as sounding like another, but 3rd Ear Band, on this display are the nearest thing I have heard to Hawkwind for a very long time, and the musicians should take that as a huge complement.

Have a listen to this album and you will find yourself going out to hunt down and buy a copy.  This is an excellent album by a very interesting band.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Shaman’s Dream, Parsley, Tools

Tracks: 
Tools
One
Parsley
White Bee
Shaman’s Dream

 
Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer ProgRock Music Talk

January 17, 2015

Review Provided By Write A Music Review

15 January 2015

Classical/Heavy Metal Review: McCormick Percussion Group-Between Rock and A Hard Place

Release Date: January 13, 2015
Label: Ravello Records

The McCormick Percussion Group is headed up by Robert McCormick, who is the Director of the group and Corey Harvin plays guitar while Ciro Scotto, John Cage and Dan Senn are the composers. It is an interesting collaboration and the music they create on Between Rock and A Hard Place (Plugged & Unplugged) is fascinating.

The idea of classical music meeting heavy metal is nothing new however I felt listening to this purely instrumental take on that expression to be quite attention getting. The focus is more on the percussive side of the equation however, the use of the guitar and other instruments make for some thought provoking soundscapes, it’s like listening to a movie rather than watching it yet different things jump in and out of your mind while it’s playing.
The only track under 5 minutes is “Composition for Three Voices” then at the opposite end of the spectrum is “Unplugged” clocking in at a beefy 16:24. They never bite off more they can chew regardless of the time invested into any one track.

This is very progressive music, not progressive like legendary groundbreaking bands like Yes or ELP but with the same idea and goals of intermingling two genres to come out the other side with a digestible end product for the ears. The lead off track is titled  “ I. Hard Light-Hybrid Night” It is a good warm up for what is to come. It serves as a strong introduction for a suite of compositions that have you listening over and over at first out of curiosity then that turns into awe and pure enjoyment. This will not be for everyone but what progressive music is? It depends on your taste, mood and personal preferences, just like purchasing any other product, the choice is yours. I choose to explore and expand my listening experiences and this was the perfect album to engage my senses and push me forward, to be more progressive with my ears.

“II. On Death Ground” is a bit more moody and intense, kind of like the soundtrack you would hear during a suspenseful segment of a movie. It jumps back and forth and flows like an effortless stream down a mountain. Nothing sounds forced or difficult although it may sound like cacophony at times it does all come together and make sense but it may take a few listens to get to that point of understanding. This is why I feel the first three tracks are the most important. This is the foundation to the fortress of sound being built before the story coalesces then comes to an end.

“III. Onryõ” takes you down a different road and combines some lighter parts with the hard edged guitar sounds in a much different way in that the pace is like a musical stutter step. The percussive back end holds it all together and keeps a steady rhythm so everything else seems to fall into place somehow. Trying to explain what you hear is not always the easiest thing to do but in the end it’s all dependent on the listeners view and personal aural filter if you will.

If you like progressive, fusion, experimental and or metal this is something you need to hear then decide for yourself if it is something you want more of or if the journey should be over after one trip. I took more than one trip and expect to take some more. There is a lot to process here and that is the beauty of it. 

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: I. Hard Light-Hybrid Night, II. On Death Ground, III. Onryõ

Tracks:
 

1. Between Rock and a Hard Place: “I. Hard Light-Hybrid Night”  (Ciro Scotto)
2. Between Rock and a Hard Place: “II. On Death Ground”  (Scotto)
3. Between Rock and a Hard Place: “III. Onryõ  (Scotto)
4. Between Rock and a Hard Place: “IV: Mjölnir (Crusher)”  (Scotto)
5. Five  (John Cage)
6. Rivus  (Dan Senn)
7. Between Rock and a Hard Place-Unplugged  (Ciro Scotto)
8.Compositions for 3 Voices  (John Cage)


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder

January 15, 2015

Review Provided By Write A Music