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Showing posts from July, 2015

Metal Review: OH-Synemotion (Limited Edition 2 LP Set)

Genre: Metal Release Date: 24 April 2015 Label: Olitunes Website
Olivia Hadjiioannou is the multi-instrumentalist OH. This lady knows how to rock and shred on the six string and it does not stop there. She composes all of her work and plays bass, drums and keyboards and sings. 
Synemotion is her second release. Sleeping World was her first release two years ago; I remember how it got my attention immediately. My expectations were sky high for the new release. I know I should not place expectations upon an artist but when you respect the artist and love what you heard the first time you ever listened it’s hard not to look forward to something new and exciting.
OH was kind enough to send me the limited edition 2 LP set. There were 300 copies produced and only a few are left if you are interested in being one of the select people in the world to own this collectable slice of metal. I was expecting progressive metal but what I got was flat out metal tracks. While diverse and a showcase for the …

Guitar Virtuoso and Composer Stephen Duros To Release Highly Anticipated Concept Album ‘AEAEA’

“This sense of balance between aesthetics and virtuosity is a real measure of talent, and this album displays plenty.” - Culture Court

Oakland, CA - Much to the excitement of music aficionados worldwide, guitar virtuoso and composer Stephen Duros will be releasing a concept album titled ‘AEAEA’ on July 31, 2015! The rippling, rhythmic sounds Stephen Duros coaxes out of his nylon string acoustic guitar has roots in the traditional sounds of flamenco, but he's developed his own style. Bluesy bent notes with a hint of Asia and the Middle East in their tone, octave melodies and rhythms that include suggestions of jazz, reggae, pop and Arab music join the familiar pulse of flamenco's gypsy rumba in his emotionally satisfying compositions.

Stephen Duros performed with Ottmar Liebert from 2006-2009. His playing is featured on Ottmar Liebert’s Grammy nominated album ‘The Scent of Light’ and on his own three solo albums ‘Miranda’, ‘Urban Flamenco’ and ‘Thira’, which won Duros a place on …

UK Acoustic Ensemble Auburn To Release New Album “Mixed Feelings”

London, UK – Much to the excitement of music aficionados worldwide, UK acoustic ensemble Auburn is releasing a new album titled “Mixed Feelings” on September 11, 2015! Last year proved to be a hugely exciting year for the band, who reformed in 2011 after almost a decade apart. With a new album and a major UK tour supporting the legendary Jefferson Starship's 40th anniversary tour, Auburn has been captivating audiences around the country with their unique blend of Americana, blues and roots music.

Fronted by female vocalist Liz Lenten, who's voice has been described as “so sweet it'll make your hair curl” and “husky, with an emotional frailty”, who isn't afraid to show her full range of vocal tones or emotions. With varied influences from Bonnie Raitt, Billie Holiday, Ricki Lee Jones, Amy Winehouse, Kate Bush and Janis Joplin to name a few, Liz's songs grab you melodically, but also tell a story of love and life.

Says Liz about the band's forthcoming album, “It…

New Age Instrumental/Neo Classical Review: Kerani-Equilibrium

Release Date: May 18, 2015 Label: Indie Website
Kerani was influenced and inspired by some of my favorite artists such as Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Kraftwerk, Electric Light Orchestra and Mike Oldfield. It came as no surprise that I immediately identified with her music. 

Equilibrium is dedicated to women and their role in this world and how the artist wants to see a fundamental change, a balance shift or equilibrium transfer to equality between men and women. Turning back the clock to the way things were when the human race began is going to be quite a task but there is hope. Perhaps if we all get on the same frequency with the help of music like Kerani creates we once again can unite so all human beings walk on equal ground.

Kerani played piano and synthesizers on the recording, handled all the female vocal parts, and also arranged, orchestrated and produced. Artist such as this have my admiration and respect and they always have. Then when a work of art is created...something that to…

AndersonPonty Band Featuring Music Icons Jon Anderson & Jean Luc Ponty To Release New CD/DVD “Better Late Than Never”

Los Angeles – One of the most eagerly awaited releases of 2015 by the AndersonPonty Band, featuring music icons Jon Anderson and Jean Luc Ponty, is scheduled to hit the streets early Fall 2015! “Better Late Than Never” is the new album taken from a live performance, and enhanced with innovative production. The package includes a bonus DVD featuring outstanding performances by the band captured in September 2014 at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Colorado.

The AndersonPonty Band has created some breathtaking new musical compositions. “Better Late Than Never” also showcases rearrangements of classic YES hits like “Owner Of A Lonely Heart”, “Roundabout” and “Wonderous Stories”, as well as some of Jean Luc Ponty’s beloved compositions, with Jon’s lyrical vocals and melodies enhancing the music and creating a very special and unique sound such as “Infinite Mirage” a new song incorporating Jean Luc’s classic tune “Mirage”.

YES’s original singer/songwriter for 35 years, Jon Anderson has had …

Progressive Rock: Landmarq-Roadskill

Release Date: 9thJune 2015 Label: Synergy Records Website
This new release by the band Landmarq, is the live CD/DVD Roadskill recorded at the De Boerderij in the Netherlands as part of the 2013 tour. The release can also be viewed as another part of their 25thanniversary celebrations, along with the previously reviewed Origins, A Landmarq Anthology 1991-2014.

The Landmarq band at the time of the concert tour was Tracy Hitchings (lead vocal), Steve Gee (bass, bass pedals + backing vocals), Uwe D’rose (guitars), Daniel Martin (drums) and Mike Varty (keyboards + backing vocals).

Roadskill, the CD, is an 8 track album with a playing time only a couple of minutes short of the 80 minute maximum that a CD can hold before the quality falls away (77:47). The DVD has a couple of extra tracks in addition to the contents of the CD. The longest track on offer on Roadskillis the 3 part “Calm Before The Storm” at 16:33 minutes and the shortest is “Stormbrewing” at under 2 minutes (1:36). All of the track…

Psych/Pop Rock Review: Blurred Vision-Organized Insanity

Release Date:6th April 2015 Label: Cherry Red Records Website
The Ancient One finds yet another new band, Blurred Vision, with their debut release, Organized Insanity, has landed on the review desk. The band have been backed/endorsed by one Roger Waters (yes, one of the founding members of Pink Floyd) which has brought them a fair bit of acclaim, which I have to admit has passed me by totally.

Blurred Vision is a 3 piece band comprising Sepp Osley (vocals, guitar), Sohl Osley (bass) and Ben Riley (drums), although there is a guest also listed on the album information, Joel Lightman (keyboards, vocals). The information from the record company suggests the band has a style that would be classed as prog/psych/pop rock, which seems to be a fairly wide grouping.

Organized Insanity is an 11 track album with a total playing time of around 48 minutes, with the title, and final, track “Organized Insanity” being the longest on offer at 5:30 minutes. At the other end of the scale, the shortest track …

Greg Lake's Legendary 1981 Performance At the Hammersmith Odeon In London To Be Issued On CD & Vinyl

Los Angeles – Purple Pyramid Records will be releasing legendary Greg Lake's live album from the Hammersmith Odeon in London, November 5, 1981, featuring guitar hero Gary Moore on CD & vinyl! The concert recording features ELP and King Crimson classic tracks such as “Lucky Man”, “Karn Evil 9”, “21st Century Schizoid Man” and “In The Court of The Crimson King”, as well as songs from his critically acclaimed first solo album from 1981. As a founding member of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Greg Lake has been a major force in music for over 40 years. He has long been considered a legendary voice and musical powerhouse whose impact changed the landscape of rock and roll. Many simply refer to him as “The Voice”.

The Greg Lake Band made its live debut on one of the biggest stages available to it, the annual Reading Festival in England in August 1981. Much of the set was new to the audience – Greg's first solo album would not be released for another month. But the ba…

Audio Fidelity To Release Mahavishnu Orchestra's “Birds Of Fire” On Limited Edition 4.0 Quad SACD

“...sets out to further define and refine its blistering jazz-rock direction.”

Camarillo, CA - Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity is releasing the classic fusion album Birds of Fire by the Mahavishnu Orchestra as a limited edition Hybrid 4.0 Quad SACD. Birds of Fire is Mahavishnu Orchestra's second album. It was released in the first half of 1973 and is the last studio album released by the original Mahavishnu Orchestra line-up before the group dissolved. The album became a major crossover hit, rising to number 15 on the pop album charts, and it remains the key item in the slim discography of the first Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Although it has much of the screaming rock energy of the band's first album, Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire is audibly more varied in texture, even more tightly organized, and more musical in content. A remarkable example of precisely choreographed, high-speed solo trading - with John McLaughlin, Jerry Goodman, and Jan Hammer all of one mind, suppor…

Rock/Contemporary Review: John Wetton and The Les Paul Trio-New York Minute

Release Date: 2ndMarch 2015 Label: Primary Purpose Website
John Wetton is an English singer, songwriter and bass player who has been part of several iconic bands, including Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash. He formed UK after leaving King Crimson and also fronted the supergroup, Asia. John has also managed a successful solo career, with many studio and live albums to his name. This album, New York Minute, is one of those live albums, dating back to 14th October 2013 at the Iridium Club in New York, and appears to have been recorded to highlight prostate and testicular cancer.

The musicians involved in the recording of this album are John Wetton (vocals, guitar), with The Les Paul Trio, comprising Lou Pallo (guitar), Nikki Parrott (bass) and Rodney Holmes (piano).

New York Minute is a 9 track album with a running time of around 37 minutes, which in todays’ cd market is a little on the short side. The longest track on offer is the finale, “Battle Lines” with a pl…

Chris Braide, Ash Soan & Lee Pomeroy Launch This Oceanic Feeling With Debut Album “Universal Mind”

London, UK - New exciting three-piece This Oceanic Feeling, fronted by prominent singer/songwriter and producer Chris Braide, has announced the release of their debut album Universal Mind on 17th July 2015 through Cherry Red Records.

Chris and drummer Ash Soan had developed a strong musical connection as founder members of The Producers with Trevor Horn, before Braide moved to the US in 2009. When they linked up again, the old chemistry was still there and the idea of forming a new band immediately took shape.

The muse was swiftly awakened and an album’s worth of new songs came to life, the lyrics facing the unresolved dualism between fake and real self and their eternal fight for dominance. “It's a positive album, one that I'm proud of and one that I had to make” - says Braide enthusiastically.

Outstanding bassist Lee Pomeroy was called to join Chris and Ash in their distinctive creative venture and This Oceanic Feeling was born. Braide compares the album’s sound to ‘The Police …

Rock Review: Kwame Binea-Shakedown EP

Release Date: July 17, 2015 Label: Indie Website
Kwame Binea’s debut Shakedown EP gives potential listeners a chance to focus in on a positive message backed by great music.

The first track “Let Go” features a driving back beat, stinging guitar leads punctuated by a horn section and the deeply emotive and rich vocal tones of Binea. This kicks things off on an upbeat note and the rest of the tracks follow that lead.

There are trumpets, saxophones, and background vocals to compliment the lead singer but it’s the conglomeration of it all together that makes all the musical magic happen.

“Hang On” is very similar in tone as the first track and it has parts that really rocks with leads from the guitar that cut like a razors edge. Binea sings “Hang on little brother, save your soul.” This track moves along like a locomotive down the tracks and it never lets up for a second. I like the momentum that carried over from the first track over into this one.

“Little Lady” changes the pace and approach. T…

Hard Rock Review: Lucifer’s Friend-Awakening

Release Date: April 6, 2015 Label: Cherry Records Website
There is nothing like the sound of some good hard rock to start the day.Founded in 1969 when British singer John Lawton moved to Germany and met the other founding members of Lucifer’s Friend, Peter Hesslein, Dieter Horns, Peter Hecht, and Joachim Reitenbach.With a career that spanned the seventies and early eighties, this hard rock band was not afraid to experiment with their sound, by incorporating progressive rock, heavy metal, and jazz into their music.After decades of silence, they have reunited with John Lawton (vocals), Dieter Horns (bass), and Peter Hesslein (guitar) of the original line-up returning, and Jogi Wichmann (keyboards) and Stephan Eggert (drums) round out the band. Awake

ning is a two-disc compilation album featuring ten songs from their former albums, and four songs of new material.This album gives a nice overview of Lucifer Friend’s career.There are songs from 1970’s Lucifer’s Friend (“Ride the Sky,” “Toxic Sha…