30 June 2015

Prog Ensemble Kinetic Element Releases Highly Anticipated Second Album “Travelog”


Richmond, VA – One of the most eagerly awaited albums of 2015 has finally been released by prog ensemble Kinetic Element titled “Travelog”! Kinetic Element is a neo/symphonic progressive rock band from Richmond, Virginia that harbors musical roots in classic artists like Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Yes, Asia and Genesis and blends those influences with philosophical and spiritually powerful and uplifting lyrics. They are a known act in the prog rock genre.

Kinetic Element's two principal writers, keyboardist and founder Mike Visaggio and guitarist Todd Russell, began collaborating on new music for the band towards the end of 2013 following the departure of two members. Deprived of the ability to play out, they decided to focus on composing and recording KE's second CD. They began working out sketches to five grand scale pieces of prog rock with founding member and drummer Michael Murray. Soon they had a working model of the album and began recording in earnest.

Says Mike Visaggio, “Although normally I prefer to let listeners ferret it out for themselves, the new album is most definitely inspired by current events. We believe that liberty is what humanity's preferred state of being is. The lyrics of the CD then are understood as standing up for that. The train imagery came to me when I heard the old song 'People Get Ready' which talks about a train to freedom. The design was the result of an image Martin Kornick did for us when we were looking to create a new logo last year, and we just applied that whole concept to the logo image.”

Kinetic Element was formed to perform the music of Mike Visaggio's solo CD, “Starship Universe” which was released in 2006 after Mike was selected to perform at the 2006 Pop Montreal festival. They are now performing selected classic prog and classic rock covers and their new prog pieces they have put together since they formed which comprise “Powered By Light” (2009) and their new CD “Travelog”. The cover art for both CDs was executed by the incomparable Martin Kornick. “Powered By Light” was nominated for Best Debut CD of 2009 by The Prog Awards, which was at that time an Italian reviews website. They were signed to Melodic Revolution Records at ROSfest 2013.

The band is comprised of Mike Visaggio (keyboards); Michael Murray (drums), Todd Russell (electric and acoustic guitar) and Mark Tupko (basses). In May 2008 the original incarnation of Kinetic Element was privileged to be a support act for Circa (featuring Tony Kaye, Alan White and Billy Sherwood of Yes, at Jaxx in northern Virginia), Rare Blend (at Orion Studios in Baltimore, Maryland one of prog's must-play venues), IZZ (who have played every prog festival in America, at the Artomatic festival in Washington, D.C.) In 2009, KE's Powered by Light lineup supported Morglbl (at Capitol Ale House Music Hall in Richmond VA) and in 2010, with Edensong (at Orion again). Kinetic Element opened the nation's longest running prog rock festival, Prog Day, at the Pre-Show on August 29, 2008 with Speechless and again on Sept. 3, 2010 with Jack Dupon. They played The Magic Room in Boston in November 2011 headlining, with support acts Eccentric Orbit and Resistor. In 2015 KE has headlined at Orion Studios again (May 29) with support band Brave, and supported Lo-Fi Resistance at New Jersey Proghouse (June 6). Kinetic Element was featured in Progression Magazine #59 in 2010.

Kinetic Element's new album “Travelog” was recorded by the band at their cavernous garage studio in Richmond VA with Michael Murray performing engineer duties, between December 2013 and February 2015. In May of 2014 bassist mark Tupko auditioned and joined as the band's fourth permanent member.

Unable to find a suitable vocalist in their hometown, Mike Visaggio reached out to their musical friends Odin's Court whose lead vocalist Dimetrius LaFavors agreed to perform the vocals for Travelog and join the group while remaining with Odin's Court. However Dimetrius could not continue due to changes in Odin's Court's schedule, and was forced to cease recording after appearing on three of the five tracks. Riding in to KE's rescue came Michelle Schrotz of Fredericksburg, VA's prog icons Brave, and stellar CProg artist Mike Florio, to record the remaining two tracks.

When Mike Visaggio let it out on Facebook that KE would be seeking a professional prog rock engineer to do the mix, he was approached by Fred Schendel and Steve Babb of prog legends Glass Hammer about engaging them to mix. The resulting collaboration produced the terrific sound you hear on Travelog. They also did the mastering at their studio Sound Resources in Chattanooga TN.

Early in the spring 2015, Kinetic Element was offered a show at New Jersey Proghouse for June 6, and all the production went into high gear in order to have product in hand for that show and another one that was booked for a week previous on May 29 at Orion Studios in Baltimore. Both shows came off well with Mike Florio and Michelle singing. However there are no shows on tap at this time because their vocalists do not live in Richmond, but are available if a suitable concert gig comes KE's way.

Kinetic Element's “Travelog” can be heard in its entirety at:
www.cdbaby.com/cd/kineticelement2 and http://melodicrevolutionrecords.com/album/travelog.

Here's what the press have raved about Kinetic Element:

“The Powered By Light Suite is an enjoyable release, filled with great keyboards work, beautiful melodies and appealing sound. I’m looking forward to the band’s future output.” - Progressive Ears

“This is their latest disc and it will certainly appeal most to the fans of classic progressive rock” - Music Street Journal

“Instrumentally KINETIC ELEMENT is at the top of their game. The driving force behind the group is keyboardist Mike Visaggio who is positively brilliant, some of the most energetic keyboard work I've heard since the Golden Age of Progressive Rock when Wakeman and Emerson were producing their best work. Yes, he's that good. And his surrounding cast of players are equally adept.” - ProgNaut

“Fans of progressive rock in all its forms - including Transatlantic, Neal Morse, Tiles, KDB3 and Proto-Kaw - will find a lot to like here.” - Angelic Warlord

“The musical expressions in this release could only come from highly-intelligent lifeforms. Much of its mimicry is provided by organs, Mellotrons and synthesizers, and its artificial sheen has an uncanny resemblance to Transatlantic.” - Ytsejam

In closing Mike Visaggio has this to impart, “Prog Lives! It keeps us young.”

To purchase Kinetic Element's “Travelog”:
http://melodicrevolutionrecords.com/album/travelog
www.cdbaby.com/cd/kineticelement2

CONTACT INFORMATION: bigroad3@gmail.com to correspond with Mike Visaggio.
www.facebook.com/kineticelementband
http://mrrmusic.com/kinetic-element/
www.sonicbids.com/kineticelement
www.kineticelement.com
www.mikevisaggio.com

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

Progressive Metal Review: Unified Past-Spots

Release Date: 11thJune 2013
Label:  Melodic Revolution Records


The band, Unified Past has been around for a fair bit of time, since 1999 in fact, although they existed as an earlier band in 1990, called Labyrinth, including two members who are still part of the band today, although only one has had continuous service. Spots is the sixth release from the band following From The Splintered Present Surfaces (1999), Power of Existence (2008), Breaking Up The Atmosphere (2009), Tense (2010) and Observations (2011). Spots was originally released back in 2013 and has been revamped ahead of the expected 7th album later this year.

The band members for the recording of the album, Spots, were Steve Speelman (bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals), Victor Tassone (drums, percussion, effects and backing vocals) and Dave Mickelson (bass). I hadn’t heard of either Steve or Dave before but had come across Victor as a guest on the self-titled debut album by Corvus Stone. Unified Past certainly show that they have been influenced by Rush and Dream Theater, and seem to have their feet planted firmly in the melodic rock area, albeit with a bit of leaning toward prog metal.

Spots is an 11 track album with a total playing time of around 59 minutes. The majority of the 11 tracks have single word names with the only exceptions being the last 2 tracks. The penultimate track is only a single letter, “G” and the final track is called just that, “The Final.” These 2 tracks are also the shortest, with “G” clocking in at 1:21 minutes and, the longest, with “The Final” running on for in excess of 8 minutes (8:27).  Although Steve and Victor are listed as vocalist and backing vocalist respectively, 6 of the 11 tracks on offer are instrumentals.

The opening track on Spots, “Blank” (5:17) has a short atmospheric build up, only around 18 seconds before the power trio of guitar, drums and bass announce their entry in a fairly forceful way. Seconds later, the vocals appear, and a minute after that the guitar throws in a great little riff which surfaces again later. This opening track is one which moves swiftly along, almost with the feeling that the music is being “kept in check” and not allowed to go careening off in any direction. The song benefits from this restraint being imposed.

“Deep” (5:42) is a slower paced track which still allows some excellent guitar work over the rock solid rhythm engine that is the bass and drums, which underpins the track. “Hot” (4:44) takes a step into the jazz zone with some excellent driving passages and superb guitar themes.

“Seeing” (3:49), “Tough” (8:18) and Age (6:26) move away from the jazz area back to the “classic power trio” playing of the earlier tracks. This then leads on to a series of tracks that are instrumentals, “Sun” (3:48), Big (6:35), “Wet” (5:07) and “G” (1:21).

“Sun” is a short punchy track that drives along, “Big” is a slower tempo and goes through a number of time changes, “Wet” continues the slightly slower style and “G” is a quirky, very short piece, which in reality makes me question the inclusion of the track, as it is just so removed from where the other tracks are at.

The final track, “The Final” (8:26) is another slow burner of a starter, with greater emphasis than before on the atmospherics, created by the majestic keyboards and the superb touch of Steve on the guitar. “The Final” is an excellent relaxed, laid-back track which finishes the album on a very positive note.

In general terms, this is a satisfying chunk of prog metal/power metal, but seems to lack the spark that ignites an album for the listener. This is a pleasant album comprising melodic prog by excellent musicians, but never “hits the heights.” I also tend to find that any album that has many instrumental tracks, or is fully instrumental, needs that special “feel.” Until the run of the 4 instrumental tracks toward the end of the album, I was enjoying the album, but they certainly tested my “staying power.”

Spots is an album that just doesn’t reach out, grab your ears and shout “this is great music!” It is an album that I think I will dip into from time to time and pick a few tracks to listen to. As always, my personal opinion may not be the same as anyone else, so give Spots a few listens and see what you make of it.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks:  Blank, Hot, The Final

Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk
June 30, 2015
Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk



New Age Instrumental Review: Heidi Breyer-Letters From Far Away

Release Date: 2015
Label: Indie

Heidi Breyer’s first encounter with music happened when she was a mere two years old. There, dancing in a paper flower skirt, she and harmony became one. In her newest two CD set, Letters From Far Away you can still see the little girl dancing and smile. In this unique compilation, Heidi has taken two sets of songs and breathed both instrumental and piano solo sound into them. Each set of pieces has its own flavor depending on the mood of the listener. An award winning artist for many of her past works; this is Heidi’s first solo album.

The first piece on the album is “All the Good Things.” Both the instrumental and piano solo versions hold a light that shines deep into the soul of the artist. Music and beauty are one with each unwinding note. The instrumental version holds elegant multi-instrumentation that adds a splash of color I found especially appealing. The sorrowful sighs of string instruments take the listener by the hand and lead them out onto the dance floor to sink into the essence of the music.

“Letters from Far Away” made me think of hidden trunks and discoveries of love affairs long past. Of finding things out about loved ones and realizing they too had lives before us. Both versions of this piece are poignant, with the solo piano version all the more stark for lack of busy instruments in the background. 

“Small Café” was reminiscent of sidewalk cafes where a walk was an adventure and the journey all the more important for the destination at hand. The solo piano version has a peculiar audio thunk at the onset, but it did not detract from my enjoyment of the album. In fact, I have been playing it nonstop since I received it. Think Paris and sipping a coffee or perhaps a walk to an ice cream shop where the seating is outdoors. The physical world and music meet, forever intwined.

Heidi Breyer has given us much to think about in this dual CD experience. In the solo version of Letters From Far Away you get a crisp listen to piano solos with no distraction. This lineup is more stark and clean and provides an excellent stage to set the scene for your mind’s eye. The instrumental portion is the glittering highlight that takes the extra step and illuminates the world. It is the cursive in writing, the curl in your hair and the sweetness as the hot chocolate (or as this is summer- cold mocha) goes down.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: All the Good Things, Letters From Far Away, Small Cafe

Tracks: 
01. All the Good Things (Solo)
02. Small Cafe (Solo)
03. 1960 (Solo)
04. First Impressions (Solo)   
05. Old Photograph (Solo)
06. Touchstone (Solo)
07. Letters from Far Away (Solo)
08. Welton (Solo)
09. Scarborough Fair (Solo)
10. No Man Is an Island (Solo)
11. Starry Pond (Solo)
12. All the Good Things (Instrumental)
13. Small Cafe (Instrumental)
14. 1960 (Instrumental)
15. First Impressions (Instrumental)
16. Old Photograph (Instrumental)
17. Touchstone (Instrumental)
18. Letters from Far Away (Instrumental)
19. Welton (Instrumental)
20. Scarborough Fair (Instrumental)
21. No Man Is an Island (Instrumental)
22. Starry Pond (Instrumental)
 
DanaWright, Sr. Staff Writer
June 14, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews



29 June 2015

Concert Review: Huey Lewis and the News

Huey Lewis and the NewsWith Jamie Kent At Tanglewood
Lenox, Mass.
June 28, 2015

The unseasonable weather did not stop people from filling the grounds at Tanglewood in Lenox Massachusetts on a Sunday afternoon when Huey Lewis and his band arrived.

But before the main act hit the stage a local native named Jamie Kent entertained us. Living in Nashville now, Kent grew up in Northampton Mass. He was thrilled to be on stage and he and his partner Reese Williams performed a fine opening set. Williams played a standup bass with energy and style while Kent strummed his guitar and belted out songs like his was born to be there entertaining us all.

After Kent did his set he left the stage and we took a walk for the break. We saw he was walking around and stopped to speak to him, which many others did as well. He invited us to the merch tent to pick up his CD Embers & Ashes. He was very kind and signed the CD as well as many others for folks that were patiently waiting for him there. Along the way to the tent he told me that he got his website URL www.jamiekent.comwhen was in seventh grade. He must have known he would be using it at some point. 


Jamie Kent is a very talented singer/songwriter that is gracious and humble. I can understand why everyone loves him and wants to be around him. If you want to catch him live go to the Northampton Summer Concert Series (Old Courthouse Lawn) on July 17th to get a taste of his folk, Americana rock music. He is currently working on his new album in Nashville.

I had never had the opportunity to see Huey Lewis live before but I certainly remember how he was pumping out all the hits back in the 80s when I was actually living in the Bay Area from whence he came. He was one of many artists that took advantage of the popular MTV to help make his music reach a worldwide audience via videos. Today of course he is a household name. The current tour is titled While We Were Young, after the new song they recorded. They did play the song and everyone loved it. 

Huey sounds as good as ever and his band is so tight! The brass section really adds a touch of class to everything and gives the music another layer that helps to drive home each song with more impact. 

Huey and his band are rooted in the blues and they know how to lay down a number with emotion and endless energy. They kicked off the proceedings with “The Heart of Rock & Roll” one of their big hits from the early days. After that the crowd was under his spell as Huey and his band rolled out the hits, a few acapella numbers as well as some tasty covers like “Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um” and “But It's Alright.”


After about an hour it was time to say goodbye but we knew it wasn’t over yet, after about 5 minutes of applauding, whistling, hooting and hollering they came back out on stage and gave us four more great songs to complete the set.

Huey assured us he would return to Lenox so I hope to see him back next year; I would not hesitate to go again.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Founder of Write A Music Review, MuzikMan.net, Prog Rock Music Talk, Rate The Tracks and New Age Music Reviews

Set List:
        The Heart of Rock & Roll
        If This Is It
        I Want A New Drug
        He Don't Know
        The Rhythm Ranch
        Back in Time
        Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um
        (Major Lance cover)
        Little Bitty Pretty One
        (Bobby Day cover)
        While We're Young
        Heart and Soul
        (Exile cover)
        But It's Alright
        (J.J. Jackson cover)
        We're Not Here for a Long Time (We're Here for a Good Time)
        Encore:
        The Power of Love
        Do You Believe in Love
        (Supercharge cover)
        Bad Is Bad
        Workin' for a Livin'

28 June 2015

New Age Review: Tina Malia-Bridge to Vallabha

Release Date: July 15, 2015
Label: Indie
Tina Malia is an artist rich in voice and spiritual essence. Her first album Shores of Avalon was critically acclaimed. Her other self-produced albums include Jaya Bhagavan, The Silent Awakening, The Lost Frontier and her newest album Bridge to Vallabha.

As a child both of Malia’s parents encouraged her musical growth. She has become an accomplished singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and sound engineer focusing on the healing energies of folk, world music, dream pop and sacred sounds. In Bridge to Vallabha Malia incorporates sacred chants in Sanskrit, Hebrew, Gurmukhi and English.  Instruments included in the album are nylon string guitar, Rhodes piano, charangon, vibraphone, lap steel guitar and cello.

I first heard Malia when she released Shores of Avalon nearly fifteen years ago. Her musical style and clear voice resonated with me on a deep level and the album is one I continue to play to this day. Her newest work is less in the Celtic/Goddess realm and more universally spiritual. While I can’t understand most of what she sings in this album, the chanting is a healing force just the same.

“Om Sarve” is the first song on the album. It is a blend of world music and melodic resonance that captures the imagination. Lilting vocals and strumming notes caress the ear into sublime bliss. Oceans of sound flow over you and the day retreats just a bit, letting you wallow in the tidal pool of Malia’s angelic voice. 

“Ek Ong Kar” begins with the textured sounds of the jungle. Chirping insects, birds and the croaking of frogs intersperse with percussive elements and chanting. The repetitive nature of the piece reminds me of sitting across from a friend as a child playing patty cake and trying not to be the one who misses the hand. A joyful song, it resonates with youth and vitality.

“Long Time Sun” is performed in English. Sweet and languid, Malia’s voice sweeps along guiding the listener toward a path of peace and tranquility. This song, more than any of the others reminds me of why I fell in love with this artist so many years ago. She has a purity of sound and a creative spirit. The vocals are interspersed with piano and the twang of a lap steel guitar.

Tina Malia is an artist with a rich background. She uses elements of pop, folk, world music, new age and sacred chanting to craft an audible landscape to enchant the listener across boundaries of language and time. Her voice is crystalline and with the textured instrumentation of her work Bridge to Vallabha is an album not to be missed.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Om Sarve, Ek Ong Kar, Long Time Sun

Tracks:
 

01.Om Sarve
02.Ima Adama
03.Sita Ram
04.Shivo Hum
05.Kol Galgal
06.Ek Ong Kar
07.Yoweino
08.Om Namo Narmadev
09.Oushadhim
10.Long Time Sun
11.Karpura Gauram

DanaWright, Sr. Staff Writer
June 25, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

25 June 2015

Men With Ven Single Review



A group of Deptford market traders have taken it upon themselves to spread awareness about prostate cancer. The 3-some were hit by a tragic loss of a friend due to the disease and were inspired to create a song in his honour.

‘Check Your Prostate’ is a comic ditty with in depth instructions relating to the preservation and defence of your prostate. At times unseemly, the track does not hold back in its intimate detail of the male anatomy. 

The tracks main quality is that it presents a serious issue in a humours way whilst also being catchy and musically astute, Men with Ven are an acquired taste but their message and their persona’s are so endearing it would be hard not to love them.

Watch here:




Live:
July 4: Hutstock, Whitstable

Links:

24 June 2015

Twisted Sister's Dee Snider Featured On New CD By Dual Female Fronted Power Trio TANG


“TANG Rocks!” - Dee Snider

NYC - One of the hottest releases of 2015 is undoubtedly the new album by dual female fronted alternative metal power trio TANG featuring a guest appearance by legendary Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider! Titled “Blood & Sand”, TANG's new CD features a duet with Dee Snider on the track “Reign of Blood”!

Says guitarist Denny Colt, “Bonnie knew Dee from back in the day when they both did the club circuit...I hooked up with Dee when I was in Van Helsing's Curse with him..so we have quite the connection. He's a really nice guy & did such a great job on the duet with Bonnie on 'Reign of Blood.'”

Hailing from New York, TANG features Bonnie Parker on Vox & Bass and Denny Colt on Vox, Lead Guitar & Keyboards, and have been trading phrases back and forth in their own ripping style since 1999. Mark Edwards, formerly of Criss Angel & Burning Star, now brings skull-splitting drum beats and a monster attitude. TANG has toured Europe, Canada and the US opening shows for such artists as Crucified Barbara, Girlschool, W.A.S.P., Dokken, Hammerfall, Helloween, Dee Snider, Symphony X and many, many other cool bands.

Denny played guitar, toured & recorded in Dee Snider's “Van Helsing’s Curse”, the gothic rock orchestra. Bonnie & Denny have currently played, toured & recorded, with Corky Laing from Mountain in his new band “Corky Laing & The Memory Thieves”. They are also working with Corky in Finland, writing, recording & performing on a rock opera called “Playing God” which was presented in Helsinki in 2014. The opera was presented in the US in April 2015 at Yale University & Hunter College.

“I love the total rock vibe of the new TANG CD! It’s real, it’s vital - it’s brilliant.” - Corky Laing

TANG is featured in the new Fred Carpenter film, “Charlie Mantle”, performing their song “Crashing”. The film debuted summer of 2014 and stars Armand Assante, Sean Young and Robert Funaro. Says Bonnie, “TANG was in the film performing the song in a Russian mob club as the lead character, Robert Funaro (of The Soprano's), is at the end of his dirty cop career & everything is 'crashing' down around him. Great concept by director Fred Carpenter!”

Watch TANG's new video:


Now much to the excitement of their fans worldwide, on September 1, 2015, TANG is releasing their new CD “Blood & Sand”!

Says Denny, “TANG is currently promoting the release of 'Blood & Sand' doing shows in the tri-state area. We are talking with promoters in Europe, Scandinavia & the US about setting up a tour. Our first CD, 'Mental Pollution' was on a Swedish label, Raw Power UK, and we toured Scandinavia to support it. The tours were very successful culminating with TANG performing at the Sweden Rock Fest.”

TANG:
Denny Colt - Guitar, keys & vocals
Bonnie Parker - Bass & vocals
Mark Edwards – Drums

To purchase TANG's “Blood & Sand”:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/blood-sand/id978043771
http://www.tangnyc.com/merch

www.tangnyc.com
www.reverbnation.com/tangnyc
www.facebook.com/tangnycusa

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

23 June 2015

Rock-Pop Review: Gordon Weiss-It’s About Time

Release Date: June 8, 2015
Label: Gornpop

Gordon Weiss has a new album out titled It’s About Time. I find that title very appropriate considering it has been 7 years since he released his last recording. However I think there can be more than one more meaning in that song. Once again musical/studio wizard Jeff Canatta provides his talent in the production phase of the album as well as contributing musically.

Weiss is the kind of artist that wears his influences on his sleeve and those influences are ingrained in his soul, you can hear it in his music. He plays guitar, piano, bass, keyboards, balalaika and percussion throughout the album. His talent is quite apparent and his voice is very distinctive. 

The first two tracks come bursting out of the gate with energy and a decisive direction. “The Ugly Inside” is an excellent way to kick off the album showcasing the all-around talent of Weiss. Its highly energetic approach and fast pace get in you in the right frame of mind and essentially set you up for what is to come. “I’m Your Fan” (featured on RateThe Tracks) is a radio ready pop-rock tune with all the essential elements. With lyrics and music to match it makes for the perfect ear candy.

“Sticky Thoughts” is drama and truth set to the perfect musical setting. The piano, bass and drums are the screen the actors portray their characters upon. It’s not hard to see this kind of thing in your mind’s eye. Only good music is able to produce the proper images that the words suggest and I find the music of Mr. Weiss to be an appropriate answer to that question. In other words, he gets the job done very well. 

My ears and senses always appreciate a multi-talented artist like Gordon Weiss. “About Time” is another great tune that dives into the conceptual piece of this recording. I liked the way the song builds up slowly then launches into a faster paced guitar with an organ, bass and drums to drive it to the next level. Then when it reaches a climax it steps back and slows down for further introspection then forces you to listen closer to the words. It is the perfectly crafted pop-rock track and it pays tribute to the fab four nicely.

There are complex tracks such as “Thanks I Get” and “Spinning ‘Round” that offer several layers of instrumentation and apexes of sound that are remarkably entertaining and progressive. It shows a musician/songwriter in his element bringing all of the talents he has to the forefront to create virtual musical magic. If you can recall The Beatles album Rubber Soul and how they were changing and getting more complicated with their presentations, then perhaps when you hear those two tracks and find parallels.
What I truly love about covering artists like Weiss is I never forget. They leave me with a great impression and always touch base to let me know there is some new music to enjoy.

It’s About Time never disappoints, it is consistently solid throughout, the words and music tell a story and it makes you want to hear it all over again. It is funny how he says in the “Great Imitator” “If I wrote Hey Jude, would they say it's too Beatley?” Well it works for me and I like the way he slides that in there to remind you from whence he came. This is great pop-rock album that deserves more than one spin.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: The Ugly Inside, I’m Your Fan, About Time
 
Tracks:

01. The Ugly Inside
02. I'm Your Fan
03. Saccharin, Aspartame, Splenda, You, & Me   
04. Sticky Thoughts   
05. About Time
06. The Great Imitator
07. Thanks I Get
08. Spinning 'round
09. My Love Still Grows

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder

June 23, 2015

Review Provided By Write A Music

22 June 2015

Progressive/Symphonic Rock Review: Karnataka-Secrets of Angels

Release Date: 30thMarch 2015
Label:  Immrama Records

The new album from the band Karnataka, Secrets of Angels, has just landed on the review desk and is album No 5 from the band. The debut album was Karnataka(1998), followed by The Storm (2000), then Delicate Flame of Desire (2003) and finally, The Gathering Light(2010). Not the most prolific band, with 7 years between albums 3 and 4 and then a further 5 years between 4 and 5. One reason may be the ever changing personnel within the band. Ian Jones is the only original member of Karnataka from the mid 90’s, and while the same band members recorded Karnataka and The Storm, there was a change for Delicate Flame of Desire, with another female voice added (Anne-Marie Helder) as well as a female guest (Heather Findlay). The Gathering found only Ian still present, Lisa Fury as the vocalist, and new drummer, bass player and keyboard player. 

Secrets of Angels was made with Karnataka as a 5 piece group comprising, Ian Jones (bass keyboards and guitar), Hayley Griffiths (vocals), Enrico Pinna (guitars and vocals), Cagri Tozluoglu (keyboards) and Jimmy Palagrossi (drums). Enrico was also part of the band for the previous album. There is a few guest musicians involved as well. Troy Donockley adds Uilleann Pipes and low whistles, Seana Davey adds harp and Rachel van der Tang and Clive Howard from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra add cello and viola respectively.

The album, Secrets of Angels, is an 8 track album with a running time just under an hour. The shortest track on offer is “Poison Ivy” with a playing time of 4:14 minutes and the longest track is the closing, title track “Secrets of Angels” with a running time of 20:00 minutes.

The opening track, “Road to Cairo” (5:27) races out of the speakers and grabs you firmly by both ears. With a violin introduction, the track then moves into a heavy riff which conjures up little aural glimpses of Kashmir from the Led Zeppelin album, Physical Graffiti. The vocals of Hayley tower over this eastern tinged stunner. What a superb opening track which certainly makes you start to savor what other gems this album has in store.

“Because of You” (4:43) has a gentle piano intro into more of the heaviness, with riffs and orchestral thundering. Crystal clear vocals by Hayley soar with seemingly no effort and carry the track onwards. There is more emotional depth to this track than the previous one, and again a piece of music that hits the “sweet spot” in your mind.

“Poison Ivy” (4:14) fires up with more or the thunderous orchestral sweeps and maintains its pace throughout its 4+ minutes. Track No 4, “Forbidden Dreams” (5:48) is a more laid back entity, at least for Karnataka, and is memorable for that alone. A dip into the heavier, more powerful style of band statement takes the track onwards and embeds the melody deep within your mind. 

“Borderline” (6:19) has a hugely atmospheric start, all dark and ominous, before Hayley’s voice demands attention, all the while backed by almost malevolent strings. The powerhouse of the band, the drums and bass are very obvious on this track. This is another stunningly memorable addition to the album.

“Fairytale Lies” (4:58) is a real change into the land of the ballad, with piano and strings. Hayley’s voice is so clear and powerful, and although the intensity of the track builds rises and falls, the lasting impression is of the gentler side of the band.

The penultimate track, “Feels Like Home” (7:06) has a theme plucked on the harp and when the voice kicks in, you relax into familiar Karnataka territory, although in this track the dark, ominous and malevolent soundscapes are omitted. Replacing these facets is an almost uplifting style of music, but I must admit that these last 2 tracks have not had the same impact that the previous tracks have had.

The finale to the album is the epic length title track, “Secrets of Angels” (20:00). Celtic sounds abound at the start of the track, courtesy of one, Troy Donockley from Nightwish, and an amazing aural soundscape is produced. The voice, when it appears, fits the storytelling scenario like a glove. Tension builds, heralded by the entry of some percussion, and you await the change happening, but you are kept waiting until about the 4 minute mark, when the full symphonic rock of Karnataka is unleashed. The track pulsates this way and that as it passes through each of its’ seven phases, allowing the band members to showcase their skills. A big plus point with “Secrets of Angels” is that the music flows seamlessly through all of its phases whether a full band workout or gentle Celtic areas, and there is always the little theme from the intro putting in an appearance in different ways. This is a true tour-de-force that ends the album on a majestic note.

This album, Secrets of Angels is a superb release and shows that Karnataka have undergone a slow evolution to get to this point. With so many personnel changes this achievement has certainly had obstacles to overcome, but I think that it is safe to say, that the band of Hayley, Ian, Enrico, Cagri and Jimmy, have finally “nailed it.”

My advice is very simple, and that is to listen to the epic final track, “Secrets of Angels” and you will soon be on your way to purchase the album. This is one of the best albums that I have heard so far this year, and I have heard a lot of albums this year.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Road To Cairo, Borderline, Secrets of Angels

Tracks:
 

Road To Cairo
Because of You
Poison Ivy
Forbidden Dreams
Borderline
Fairytale Lies
Feels Like Home
Secrets of Angels


Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk
June 22, 2015
Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

19 June 2015

Pianist and Composer Heidi Breyer Releases A Breathtaking New Album “Letters From Far Away” Featuring Legendary Will Ackerman


“The music is at once technically breathtaking and emotionally intimate. A rare and wonderful combination.” - Will Ackerman

Frenchtown, NJ - Pianist and composer Heidi Breyer has released a breathtaking new album of unparalleled beauty titled “Letters From Far Away.” The new release is a double solo and piano instrumental album and Heidi’s debut production alongside legendary Will Ackerman (Founder Windham Hill Records) and Tom Eaton. The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont and Studio Sound in LA.

Says Heidi, “ 'Letters From Far Away' is my musical interpretation of a handful of experiences in the story of one couple, each from different countries, who met in 1960 and after 5 years apart, against all odds, walked the rest of their lives together. It is also about love in all it's forms, how love is the common denominator that transcends time and links the generations over the course of decades. It is the one thing that connects us all.”

Winner of ZMR Best Instrumental piano Album 2012, Nominated ZMR Best Holiday Album 2011, Winner of ZMR Best Instrumental Piano Album 2010 and Best New Artist 2010, Heidi Breyer has four albums to her credit – Winter Light 2009, Another Place and Time 2010, Beyond The Turning 2012, Letters From Far Away 2015. She has performed on stages worldwide and opened the first ever live ZMR Awards show performing with Premik Russell-Tubbs (Sting), Jill Haley and Michael Ronstadt. Her music has been featured on many compilations including the Grammy Nominated Album for Best Spoken Word, “The Storm King” an Auto Biographical Narration by the late Pete Seeger, Produced by Jeff Haynes, also The Gathering (West River Records), Many Miles Music (Seattle based label) and Sounds of The Circle by Suzanne Doucet. British born and conservatory educated at Trinity College of Music in London, Heidi Breyer now resides in the artistic community of Frenchtown, NJ, an inspiring setting where she composes her music, prepares for her multi-media concerts, teaches and manages the business of world-renowned Russian painter, Alexander Volkov.

“Heidi Breyer continues to amaze with her evolution as a composer and as a performer. The range of styles represented in Letters From Far Away is considerable, but like the outer planets in our solar system, these are held together by the gravity and persuasion of Breyer's Artistic Voice.” - Will Ackerman, Grammy winning Guitarist, Producer, Imaginary Road Studios and founder of Windham Hill Records.

And now, in 2015, Heidi has released her most stunning achievement to date, the new album “Letters From Far Away”! Says Heidi, “I wrote the entire collection with the intention of releasing my first piano solo project. But in the very first session the opportunity for some major counter-melody from other specific instruments was revealing itself to me. The main instrumental voices that I was imagining were cello, violin, guitar and English Horn, mostly because I have worked with these sounds before and have an understanding of their capacity for expression within my music. Clarinet was non-negotiable on Small Cafe. Every time I hear that instrument it propels me back in time and for that piece as with all others, it was the only option. Then saxophone, french horn and bass guitar...all came very naturally...

“Will Ackerman has amazing perceptual awareness. He has mentored me for several years now, both in regard to my music and helping me to further discover and push my own development as an artist. He knows when to step back and when to guide. As this project progressed he was clearly observing my need for specifics...not just instrumentally but also melodically, harmonically and rhythmically and yet he also knew when to bring forth his knowledge and experience for the better. Along with Tom Eaton's own depth of production experience, I think we made a pretty good team! All the session players I work with are in their own right top-shelf artists. Many of them are on all of my albums. They really listened, understood and interpreted accurately and delivered, in my opinion, flawlessly. The list of players I worked with (and hope to again) include but are not limited to Eugene Friesen, Jill Haley, Charlie Bisharat, Gus Sebring, Mark Schulman, Will Ackerman.”

Here's what's being said about Heidi Breyer's “Letters From Far Away”:

“ 'Letters From Far Away' is a love story that began more than five decades ago across the briny Atlantic. For the world, it was a time of new beginnings. For the lovers it was the birth of something so inexplicable that neither poets with their rhymes, nor philosophers with their thoughts could define it. Until now. It would take extraordinary music to explain it. Enter pianist Heidi Breyer. She takes on the monumental task of telling a story that does not appear in known fairytales, but in the chronicles of the heart. Using her incredible composition skills, she offers not one, but two eleven-track disks of solo piano and its companion instrumental pieces. She takes on the role of bard, storyteller, musician, and singer – a modern day Scheherazade. The contemporary music is twenty-two glimpses into the history of lovers that came from two different worlds and whose devotion was strong enough and endured long enough to build a single world of love. Let us meet the lovers.” - RJ Lannen, Zone Music Reporter

“A new release by Heidi Breyer is always worth waiting for, but this time she has out done herself and her deeply meaningful creation of Letters from far Away, will be regarded by her fans and the followers of piano based music, as real raising of the musical bar, her many listeners, of which I urge you to be one of, will be deeply moved for an eternity by this incredible release.” - Steve Sheppard, OWMR

“Heidi Breyer's 'Letters From Far Away' is an amazing collection of lovely piano based music. I particularly loved the idea of having a double CD set- One with Solo Piano versions and the other with subtle arrangements. Being a musician I could see the tremendous amount of attention to detail that has gone into the writing and performance. As a pure listener, I loved the option to chose which CD to listen to based on my mood. Overall a fantastic musical experience and I wish Heidi all the best for this wonderful work.” - Ricky Kej, Grammy Winner Producer, 2015 of New Age Album of the year, (Winds of Samsara)

“Heidi has provided us with a treasure trove of beautiful recorded music, as well as an upcoming fifth CD to look forward to. Heidi Breyer is a truly remarkable instrumentalist and composer whose expressive and melodic range is impressive, as is her emotionally evocative touch on the keyboard. Letters From Far Away is musical storytelling at its best and illuminates the talents of a rising star in the piano world. - Michael Diamond, Music and Media Focus.”

“Heidi's music is the perfect synthesis of academia and passion. This is music informed by years of study and a rich life. The music is at once technically breathtaking and emotionally intimate. A rare and wonderful combination.” - Will Ackerman

In closing Heidi has this to impart, “Music is an elixir for life, love, catharsism and general well being. Always has been and always will be... My music is written to nourish and combat the impact of today's crazy, restless world, but it is not music for meditation relaxation...I do not strive to help empty the mind through musical meditation. There is a lot of great New Age Music that already does this successfully. I present an alternative perspective, deliver a brief but thoughtful departure to another life imagined through the music, and bring the listener back through the same escape route to reality, feeling a refreshed and grounded in their real lives. I believe the New Age music genre is breaking through to a new era at the very moment it is needed. We know that certain types of music are a part of most peoples daily balancing act. But in addition, we are observing that our human psyche is evolving and we are using our core (our soul, our intuition) to guide us more and more and not just our 5 known senses (that tell us the immediate things)...I believe our instinctive leaning toward New Age music contributes to that 'beacon'. It is music for our lifestyles. It is one of the facets of the balancing act that we will become more and more reliant upon, almost medicinally. I for one, know that I am someone who can help in that regard. So the message is...check out New Age Music. Check out all of my music and see how it can truly help you.”

To purchase:
For Albums - http://heidibreyer.com/?page_id=237
For Songs and Albums - http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/heidibreyer2

For more information: http://heidibreyer.com

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

Review - All This Noise – Seven Billion Like You



With a title like “Seven Billion Like You” it would be easy to assume that All This Noise are a predictable band, but then you’d be wrong. Having been compared to The Cure, Depeche Mode and Radiohead it is evident All This Noise are a force to be reckoned with!

Their new single is a heady mix of drone like electronica and squealing guitar rock. Driving bass lines and pounding strums lay the foundations for soaring vocals and ripping guitars. “Seven Billon Like You” has the infectious quality of a Brit Pop tune whilst implementing modern production techniques to create something truly original.

B-Side ‘The Return’ retains the same electro undertones that appear iin ‘Seven Billion Like You whilst also being an original product of the bands imagination. Although more monotonous and drone like than the previous track, ‘The Return’ hooks the listener on impact and is probably more of song of interest rather than something to be listened to for pleasure. All This Noise are a fantastic band and hopefully they’re next release will be as fantastic as this one.

‘Seven Billion Like You’ is out now!


For more info check them out here: 





18 June 2015

Deadline Music To Release Anthology By Hard Rock Legends AXE - “Rock 'n' Roll Party In The Streets”!


Los Angeles - Much to the excitement of rock fans worldwide, Deadline Music will be releasing a 2CD blockbuster career retrospective from one of the unsung heroes of classic hard rock who toured with every major metal act from Iron Maiden to KISS to Mötley Crüe, the indomitable AXE! The anthology includes the band's biggest hit single “Rock 'n' Roll Party In The Streets,” plus select cuts from the much sought after first 2 studio albums and much more!

AXE was formed in 1978 from the ashes of a band called Babyface and began recording their first album, “AXE” in 1979 and started a tour that lasted until 1984. Their second album, “Living On The Edge”, followed in 1980. In 1981, AXE changed labels and recorded “Offering” for ATCO Atlantic featuring the hit “Rock and Roll Party In the Streets.” The song reached #59 on the Billboard charts of the most-played-songs in 1982, and became a nationwide rock anthem. After 19 months of touring with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, the Scorpions, ZZ Top and Motley Crue, it was time to record the fourth AXE album - “Nemesis”. Continued success meant more touring. Band leader Bobby Barth was seriously injured in a car crash that led to the disbanding AXE and later joining Blackfoot. After his stint with Blackfoot, Barth took his talents to Australia to join Angry Anderson (Rose Tattoo), hitting the Top 5 on the Australian charts.

The reformed 1997 AXE line up featured former Frank Zappa vocalist Bob Harris, Bobby Barth on guitars, Edgar Riley Jr on keyboards and original drummer Teddy Mueller plus bassist Blake Eberhard, and keyboardist Rob Lowe. To his credit, Bob Harris has performed with some of the greatest artists in the music industry. Covering vocals and keys for Frank Zappa, he proved his ability as an outstanding musician and writer. Blake Eberhard is one of Colorado's premier studio and live bassists. He joined AXE after being hired by Barth for several recording sessions, and added a new dimension to the AXE sound. In the interim period between the band's split and the reformation, Edgar Riley Jr had worked with Frank Zappa and had also played with several unidentified bands in the Southern states of America and Teddy Mueller had got involved in the publishing industry.

“AXE has been one of the greatest musical and personal adventures in my life. However, it was always bitter sweet, because the tragic death of Michael Osborne created the space that I later filled. I will always be thankful to my friend Mark Pinske for introducing me to Bobby Barth. From the start he (Bobby) mentored me into the band's style and graciously included me in the writing process, and became one of my dearest friends for life. AXE has always been about the music - not the hype - and I feel honored to be a part of it.” - Bob Harris

A brand new AXE album, “AXE (Twenty Years From Home)” was released in September 1997 featuring re-recorded versions of choice tracks from each of the first four AXE albums, plus two from the recently released V record. For their 2001 album “The Crown” the group inducted new personnel guitarist Danny Masters and drummer Christian Teele. AXE would release a limited edition mini album “Live In America 1981” to commemorate their European 2001 tour dates. In the mid-2000's, AXE reformed again including singer Bob Harris and adding new members, Brad Banhagel, David Landes. The band toured throughout the US and Europe.

Now AXE fans worldwide are rejoicing with the pending release of AXE's “Rock 'n' Roll Party In The Streets – The Best Of”!

DISC 1
1. Life's Just An Illusion
2. Hang On
3. Sympathize
4. Forever
5. Back On The Streets
6. Battles
7. Living On The Edge
8. Fantasy Of Love
9. First Time, Last Time
10. Carry On
11. Running The Gauntlet
12. For A Little While
13. Rock 'n' Roll Party In The Streets*
14. Steal Another Fantasy*
15. Jennifer*
16. Burn The City Down*
17. Now Or Never*
18. Holdin' On*
19. Silent Soldiers*
20. BONUS TRACK: Bad Sometimes

DISC 2
1. Heat In The Streets*
2. Young Hearts*
3. All Through The Night*
4. Eagle Flies Alone*
5. Let The Music Come Back*
6. Masquerade*
7. Magic (In Our Eyes)
8. Heroes and Legends
9. Burn Me Once Burn Me Twice
10. Where There's Smoke, There's Fire
11. Any Place On This Highway (Is Home)
12. The Crown
13. Good Times
14. Torturous Game
15. Foolish Deception
16. BONUS TRACK: No Heroes

*Re-Recorded Versions

To purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Party-Streets-Best/dp/B00W4L0O36

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

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