Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Agalloch song - The Watcher's Monolith

Head over to Stereogum and listen to The Watcher's Monolith from the new forthcoming Agalloch album, Marrow of the Spirit.
The album is scheduled for released through Profound Lore on November, 23rd.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Review: Disen Gage - The Reverse May Be True (2008, RAIG)

This is a very good album, but The Reverse May Be True.

Before I go on with the review, let me quote from here to introduce the band to you:

"DISEN GAGE branched out in 1999 when guitarist Konstantin Mochalov, guitarist Yuri Alaverdyan, and bassist Nikolai Syrtsev were studying at Moscow Engineering Physics Institute. Joined by Eugeny Kudryashov on drums, the quartet started playing out in their native college-club and became known with a surprising quickness due to fantastically fast spread amateur cassettes and their reputation for insanely emotional live performances at various student-festivals. The band's collaborative approach combined the intricate instrumentation of old-school progressive rock, the melodic expressionism of ethno-jazz, and the rough drive of garage-rock. Music-lovers apprehended the band as a phenomenon in local indie-scene, one of a few heirs in Russia to the traditions of instrumental rock. In addition to their work with the band, Mochalov, Alaverdyan and Syrtsev continued working as researchers at the Moscow Institute of Bio-Organic Chemistry, and Kudryashov played with a number of local indie-pop-rock groups. In 2002, tearing apart between their musical and academic interests the band practically stopped concert activity. Two years later, Yuri Alaverdyan left to continue his academic career in Sweden. Nevertheless, the quartet got over the difficulties with the appearance of the crafted guitarist Sergei Bagin, and returned to the active concert practice."

The Screw-Loose Entertainment released by RAIG in 2004, was indeed entertaining with its instrumental guitar-oriented, heavy and quirky rock (sometimes even psychedelic in nature and mood, though not sound), manifesting a variety of influences from King Crimson (Red-era) to more avant-rock leanings. It is therefore, with excitement that I found in my mail a promo copy of their new album released in 2008 (through RAIG as well) with a title that suggests a good portion of healthy skepticism and open-mindedness. Coming in another successfully well made digipack by RAIG, the art work, a collage of drawings and pictures is very fitting the music and atmosphere resounding from the album.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A song to start the day with...

Here's a tune called Troubles In Heaven by the Dutch band Modest Midget taken from their 2010 album called The Great Prophecy of a Small Man.

This tune will put a smile on your face. 

Both my wife and I noted that this tune reminds us a lot of the Israeli band Kaveret.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Review: Roz Vitalis - Compassionizer (2007)

I heard of Roz Vitalis before but never had the chance to listen to their music. This latest release is the first I get to hear and I was looking forward to this, since what I read mostly got me intrigued about them. Roz Vitalis began in 2001 in Saint-Petersburg and have since self-released 4 studio albums, two EP’s and one live release. Compassionizer is their fifth studio album. I got a promotional copy of this album, and am glad to have this opprtunity to explore this band's music and to be able to promote it here and in other places online.

Psychedelic Morning Sounds: Samsara Blues Experiment

Here's a cool tune to open your week to:
Samsara Blues Experiment - Singata Mystic Queen

I think I've mentioned this German psych outfit before, but if you don't recall, please give them a listen. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Review: Normal Love - s/t (2007, High Two)

This is a review I wrote some time back about Normal Love's first album, released on High Two.

It’s all over the place…

Is there a connection between the tunes that the instruments are playing here? For the untrained or the unaccustomed ear, the answer would be no; for my ear or rather brain, the answer is yes. Which points out to a crucial issue here; if you’re unused to this sort of music (at times referred to as Math-rock, Avant-rock etc) and dislike the angular and disjointed sound then you should either avoid this if you find this to be unbearable noise or if you’re interested in getting into this, then look for an easier “way in”.

However,  if you do, then you'll find much pleasure in this album!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Review: Tupolev - Memories of Björn Bolssen (2008, Valeot)

From Vienna come Tupolev, an interesting quartet with regards to the instrumentation: piano, bass, electronics, cello and drums. The calmness and peaceful atmosphere emanating from Memories of Bjørn Bolssen (released on Valeot) may remind some of Sigur Ros' soothing style. Tupolev create a very relaxing ambience, with some jazzy, rock, electronic and classical tinges occasionally added. The approach and performance is minimalist and leaves room for the listener's interpretation, feelings, and reaction to come into play when absorbing it. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Review: Hills - Hills (2009 LP on Intergalactic Tactics Records; CD reissue 2010 Sulatron)

Hills Hills album cover
Hills are a psychedelic rock band from Sweden, comprised of the trio of Hanna, Kalle and Pelle who each play an assortment of instruments on the album.
Intergalactic Tactics Records released this self-titled album in 2009 in a limited run of 300. A CD reissue came out on Sulatron in 2010.
I got to know this band through a recommendation in the Progressive Ears music forum. Having listened to the two tunes on their myspace, I was able to get the album from Kalle from the band for review.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Review & Spotlight: Voice Of The Seven Woods - s/t (2007, Twisted Nerve)

Voice of the Seven Woods is a project created and lead by Richard (Rick) Tomlinson, a Manchester based musician with Chris Walmsley. He has released several 7", EP's and CD-R's and a full length in 2007. Also, look out for his newest release, Voice of the Seven Thunders.

Voice Of The Seven Woods picture
To describe the music, here's a quote from Rick himself: "Pentangular acidic folk polymath fuses Turkish psych and Krautrock influences...". As one online review proclaims, the s/t EP is a "plundering a record collection that evidently includes sizeable jazz, tropicalia and Krautrock sections for inspiration".

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Two Streaming Albums - Titan & Ehnahre

Titan's new album, Sweet Dreams is up for streaming here
Awesome psychedelic rock, faster and more aggressive this time.

Ehnahre's new album, Taming the Cannibals, is up for streaming here.

Tim Smith Tribute Album

This was posted by Kavus Torabi on Progressive Ears:

"Hello PEople,

As some of you may know Tim Smith, frontman of Cardiacs, composer, producer, genius and dear friend suffered a massive heart attack in 2008 that has left him in an extremely fragile state. Despite some of the rumours that have been circulating he is not well on the road to recovery. Two and a half years later, he is still in hospital and we really want to get him home.

We have put together a tribute album to raise money in order to hopefully do that.

It's called Leader Of The Starry Skies and will be released on the 6th December through Believers Roast.

Rather than 'straight' covers it features re-workings of Tim's songs by the likes of Steven Wilson, Oceansize, Milk and Honey Band (featuring Andy Partridge), Max Tundra plus many ex/ current Cardiacs members and the so called 'Cardiacs Family', including William D Drake, North Sea Radio Orchestra, Knifeworld, Ultrasound and many more.

As an incentive to pre-order, all CDs bought before the release date will be given another album's worth of material that didn't fit on to the main release.

It is crucial that we get the word out as far as we can. If you are a fan of Tim's music or any of the bands involved please share the link above.

I'll be guesting on Steve Davis' Interesting alternative Show on Monday 25th October between 10pm and 12am (GMT+1) I'll be talking about the album and playing a couple of sneak previews.

Many thanks and lots of love.


And here's one of my favourite songs by the Cardiacs - Fiery Gun Hand from Sing to God.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A band in the Spotlight: Tuvalu (Finland)

Tuvalu are a Finnish band I just stumbled upon while browsing Prog Archives' 2010 top albums list. I was intrigued enough by the cover art work (I know, how shallow of me...) to listen to their myspace (word of advice: some douche put a comment on their page with horrible sounding music that starts playing automatically as the page loads, so be sure to scroll down to the comments and pause it).

Boy was I pleased and surprised to hear their music! A heavy, sharp sound with catchy tunes.

Tuvalu are a four-piece formed in 2003. They have four releases to date, 1 EP and 3 LP's. I have downloaded from Amazon their EP and last two LP's.
Let me recommend in particular their last s/t album:
Tuvalu Tuvalu album cover
 Read the review of my friend Eetu here

Their lineup:
Annina Antinranta -Vocals
Antti Harmainen - Guitar
Jussi Oskari - Bass
Jussi Matikainen - Drums

Here are videos of the band:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Review: Aranis - RoqueForte (2010, Altr0ck)

Aranis Roqueforte album cover
Aranis, the Flemish ensemble led by double-bassist Joris Vanvinckenroye, keep on evolving on their fourth album, RoqueForte, released on the fantastic Italian label, Altr0ck. While the first two albums provided beautiful chamber music with strong rhythmic backbone and some folk-ish tendencies, the third album presented more ambiance as well as vocalization.
In this album, they are joined four guests, Ward De Vleesschouwer (piano), Stefan Wellens (viola), Pierre Chevalier from Present and Univers Zero (piano) and Dave Kerman from 5UU’s, Thinking Plague and various other projects (drums and percussions). You’d think that adding drumming to their music would change their sound dramatically, but that is not the case at all. Dave Kerman’s drumming is subtle and not dominative and mingles perfectly with the rest of the instruments. In fact, it sounds as if the percussions were always a part of the band’s sound.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Review: Sky Architect - Excavations Of The Mind (2010, Galileo)

Sky Architect Excavations of the Mind album cover

Sky Architect presents their eclectic and heavy brand of progressive rock in their first album, Excavations of the Mind, through Galileo Records. This young five-piece Dutch band has released in 2010 an album recorded in 2008, which showcases the band skills and love for progressive rock. For me, they manage to take what is good about prog-rock and present it in a modern fashion, style and sound (not that I don’t like the so-called “retro-prog” groups). 

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Band in the Spotlight: Fonderia (Italy)

You know those albums that seem to come out of nowhere, from bands you know nothing about that seem to conquer you immediately with their fresh sound, beautiful melodies or magical ambiance?

You don't? Hmmm... then maybe give a listen to Fonderia before you keep reading. You might feel it.

Then come back and read after the jump.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Review: Rational Diet - On Phenomena and Existences (2010, Altr0ck)

I recently posted my review of Rational Diet's 2008 album, At Work.

After the jump you can read my review of their latest album, released through the wonderful Italian label, Altr0ck.

Expect reviews of the other three recent releases on Altr0ck coming soon:
Aranis - RoqueForte
Yugen - Iridule
Picchio Dal Pozzo - A Live

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A band in the Spotlight: Naima (Spain)

Here is a band I was not expecting to "fall for". While I love various forms of Jazz and some bands and musicians in this vast "scene" have released albums that are favourites of mine, I was not prepared for the impact that Naima would leave on me.
I discovered them while browsing through CD Baby's jazz offerings when I encountered this album called Uno from a Spanish quartet.

More after the jump

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Review: miRthkon - Vehicle (2009)

The first I've heard of miRthkon was through their self-released their EP The Illusion Of Joy in 2006, which was a pleasant surprise. Here we have the band's first full length, Vehicle, released through the Italian label Altr0ck, responsible for other wonderful albums by bands such as Yugen and Rational Diet.

Read the rest after the jump

Friday, October 8, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Review: Il Ruscello - Paesaggio Solare (Estate 1972) (2009)

Il Ruscello is an Italian three-piece band I discovered through Prog Archives, and more specifically, through the mentions of this band and album by my friends Jim and Andrea over there who are Italian Prog experts.
After the jump you can read my impression of their 2009 release, Paesaggio Solare (Estate 1972).

News: Grayceon signs to Profound Lore and releases new album in 2011

From here:

"Profound Lore is proud to announce that we will be releasing the third full-length album from Bay Area progressive chamber-rock/metal band GRAYCEON.  A trio comprised of cellist/vocalist Jackie Perez Gratz (GIANT SQUID, ASUNDER, AMBER ASYLUM, and most recently lending her services to the new AGALLOCH album), guitarist/vocalist Max Doyle and drummer Zack Farwell (both from Bay Area metal band WALKEN), GRAYCEON are a band who create really unique and massive epic odes that combine doomy prog-rock Voivod-esque virtuosity with a heavy chamber neo-classical/neo-folk  pedigree making this wondrous trio, as Skyscraper Magazine claimed, “One of the most original, creative, and earnest bands of the post-everything glut.”

The band are currently finishing putting the final touches on what will undoubtedly be their strongest release to date and one which will be slated for an early spring 2011 release date.  For more info you can check out the band HERE. "

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Review: Procosmian Fannyfiddlers - Requiem Fatigue (2009)

Procosmian Fannyfiddlers are a seven-member Norwegian band, formed in 1995 in Trondheim. Their music is an eclectic mix of folk and rock presented a humorous fashion and at times very intricate form. Here's my impression of their 2009 release and my first listening experience of this Norwegian group.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Review: Eksi Ekso - I Am Your Bastard Wings (2008)

Dramatic rock (in a good way)

Eksi Ekso, is made up of "leftovers" from two previous bands, On Fire and The Burning Paris, and in 2008 this Bostonian Sextet presents their first offering, I am Your Bastard Wings. Having no knowledge of both of the ancestors to this band, I came with a clear head and prepared to see what they have in their stock. I must say it was a pleasant discovery.