Forever Still @foreverstilldk — “Scars” — free song download

Now available: a free download of the new Forever Still song, “Scars.”

RochaNews: In Search of the Sun

In Search Of Sun
The World Is Yours
Raging Demon Entertainment
7 October 2014
LONDON, ENGLAND – U.K. rising rock/metal quintet, In Search Of Sun, has announced an October 7 release date for its debut album, The World Is Yours, to be released digitally via Raging Demon Entertainment.
Formerly known as Driven, The World Is Yours marks a significant step up in songwriting, production and maturity for In Search Of Sun, with head-bopping beats, epic choruses and ambient soundscapes replacing the groove-laden metalcore roots of its debut EP, ‘A Breakdown of Character.’ The album itself is built upon a foundation that’s been developing over the last three years, with the name change being the final piece of the puzzle in terms of crafting and sealing the band’s identity.
Commented the band, “The World Is Yours has been a while in the making, but it’s a big shift up for us in terms of direction and sound and we can’t wait to get out there and start playing these songs live. Expect an uplifting and hard-hitting journey through groove-ridden riffing and punching beats.”
The World Is Yours was produced by Phil Kinman at MTR Studios (Deadly Circus Fire, Tank, Paul Di’Anno) and mastered by Harry Hess at HBomb Mastering (Cancer Bats).

Track list:

01. The World Is Yours
02. Give In
03. 51 56
04. In Search Of Sun
05. Idle Crown
06. Burn
07. To The Axe
08. Skin
09. Draw The Line
10. The Eyes Behind I

New TransAtlantic Video and the Elegance of Second Nature

Radiant Records posted this just today.  Well worth watching and admiring.

***

Album cover of the year?  Rivaled only by Cosmograf's Capacitor.

Album cover of the year? Rivaled only by Cosmograf’s Capacitor.

Also, though I will offer a proper review soon, let me take this moment to praise the new Flying Colors’ album, Second Nature.  I thought the first album was a great AOR album.  It’s become my oldest son’s favorite album (all of the Birzers love everything Morse does, to be completely honest).  For me, it was amazing, but it should’ve and could’ve been a bit more so.

Not only is Second Nature “a bit more so,” it’s a HUGE bit more so.  I’m not even sure quite how to label it except as proggy-AOR or gospel AOR.

The song writing is excellent, but what really makes the album is the intertwining of McPherson’s and Morse’s vocals.  They seemed a bit stilted as a team on the first album.  On this album, they’ve clearly discovered how to play off of each other, to better the other.

The end result of Second Nature is something that can only be described as elegant.

Mark Judge reviews U2’s Songs of Innocence

u2 songs of innocence

Mark Judge gives us a great commentary on U2’s new album, in the form of a confessional review … and on his birthday, no less!

A taste:

If you were into some bad stuff in the 1980s, and a lot of us were, U2 could confront you like a tough, poetic, and compassionate priest. I remember spending a lost summer at the beach (in a house that would eventually be raided by police) and when I looked up out of the haze, I saw U2 performing “Bad,” one of the greatest anti-drug songs of all time, at Live Aid. The song was about a drug addict who eventually commits suicide. It’s a desperate, retroactive cry for the person to not throw himself away.

Thanks in no small part to U2, I avoided that fate. I gave up the mind enhancers and one night stands and became a Catholic. I also never lost my love for rock and roll, and now, thirty years later, with Songs of Innocence U2 has given us one of the best records of their career. They have kept true to the punk ethos of writing honestly about what’s in your heart and what you see as the truth. The album is smart and dynamic, diverse, and mesmerizing.

Like U2, I’m not afraid of making the grand statement — it’s probably just genetic to the Irish — and I think that Songs of Innocence is needed today. I mean that both in terms of the world and for me personally. America, which was always a source of musical inspiration for U2 as well as a kind of great spiritual hope, seems lost. The great progressive dream has resulted in more economic inequality, and political correctness imposes the kind of burden on free speech and thought that punk came along to destroy.

When I first fell in love with U2s music in the 1980s, I had my heart set on being a writer. I was from an Irish family that idolized Joyce and Yeats, which is probably why Bono fit so well into our pantheon of greats. For a time the dream of being a writer came true, but the reality of the digital revolution has made it a profession that can no longer be sustained. There is intoxicating freedom, but it simply doesn’t pay any longer. I have to take Bono’s advice. I have to surrender.

And yet, inside me is still that punk rock spark of hope — the idea that you can in fact do it yourself, keep your soul, flourish spiritually, and survive. It’s a feeling U2 addresses in “Cedarwood Road,” one of the best tracks on Songs of Innocence. It’s a recollection of how the band formed.

Haken video — the band plays “Darkest Light” from Restoration EP

HAKEN plays “Darkest Light” (OFFICIAL VIDEO). Taken from the Restoration “EP”.

Great vocals throughout, but the best part is truly the instrumental freakout in the back half.

The “EP” drops on Oct 27:

The track list and playing times are as follows:

  1. Darkest Light (6:44)
  2. Earthlings (7:52)
  3. Crystallised (19:23)

The final track is a no holds barred epic including guest ‘cameo’ appearances by Pete Rinaldi (Headspace) and Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic / Flying Colors).

Have you noticed that everyone is releasing “albums” these days that are the length of double LPs? (See the new Slash, for example!)

And that “EPs” are now the length of LPs? (Like you, Haken!)

Not that I’m complaining, right?

A high quality problem…

Too many notes, Mozart!

Karisma: Bjorn Riis’s Forthcoming Solo Album

Bjørn Riis

Lullabies in a Car Crash

Karisma Records

3 November 2014

A 1,000 years ago, this guy would have terrorized your monastery.

A 1,000 years ago, this guy would have terrorized your monastery.  Now, he wields the guitar rather than the double bladed axe.

OVERVIEW

Airbag lead guitarist and main song writer Bjørn Riis is releasing his debut solo album, “Lullabies in a Car Crash”. The album is very much a personal statement, with lyrics dealing with fear of abandonment, alienation and loss. It’s also homage to many of Bjørn’s musical influences.

Bjørn is one of the founding members, the lead guitarist and main songwriter of the highly successful Norwegian band Airbag. Their three releases have all received great reviews worldwide and all become favourites among fans all over the globe.

“Lullabies in a Car Crash” feature six songs with a coherent and thematical composition. Bjørn’s soulful guitar playing and low-key vocals creates a rich listening experience. Although Bjørn as a guitarist have developed his own sound with a unique tone and his own technique over the years, the playing and tone are reminiscent of David Gilmour, Steven Rothery and Steven Wilson. As a singer this is the first time he takes the lead, normally doing the backing vocals in Airbag. His singing style is in the area of the mellow vocals of Tim Bowness and Nick Drake.

In addition to playing with Airbag, Bjørn is a highly respected guitarist within the guitar community, where he has a huge fan base. His guitar page “Gilmourish.com” has, with more than 40 million hits in total and an average of 150000 hits every week, become a centre for gear and music discussions online.

“Lullabies in a Car Crash” feature Airbag’s Henrik Fossum on drums and Asle Tostrup providing loops and effects. Long-time Airbag collaborator Vegard Sleipnes has co-produced the album together with Bjørn. The album is mastered by Jamie Gomez (Orgone Studio).

TRACKLIST

1. A New Day

2. Stay Calm

3. Disappear

4. Out Of Reach

5. The Chase

6. Lullaby in a Car Crash

Band website: www.bjornriis.com

Label website: www.karismarecords.no

Glass Hammer Live!

Glass Hammer w/ special guests: Anton Roolaart Band [April 25,2015]

Who: Glass Hammer w/ special guests: Anton Roolaart Band

http://glasshammer.com | http://antonroolaart.com

When: Saturday , April 25, 2015 | 7:30PM Show | 6:45PM Doors

Where: Roxy & Dukes | 745 Bound Brook Rd, Dunellen, NJ (map)

Cost: Online Presale $32 (includes $2 processing fee)

Walk-ups Day of Show $40(Cash Only)

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS


Glass Hammer

http://glasshammer.com

Glass Hammer

Glass Hammer is an American progressive rock band from Chattanooga, Tennessee. They formed in 1992 when multi-instrumentalists Steve Babb and Fred Schendel began to write and record the Tolkien-themed concept album “Journey of the Dunadan”. While many musicians have appeared on Glass Hammer albums over the years, Babb and Schendel have remained the core creative force of the band. Both play a variety of instruments, but Babb is better known as the bassist while Schendel is the primary keyboardist. And though they also sing, a number of other vocalists (most notably Michelle Young, Walter Moore, Susie Bogdanowicz, Carl Groves and Jon Davison) have also handled lead vocal duties through the years.

Lyrically, Glass Hammer is inspired mostly by their love of literature (most notably Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and John Krakauer) and Babb’s love of Victorian prose and medieval mythology.

Musically, they lean towards 70’s driven symphonic rock, focusing on epic-length songs anchored by Babb’s distinctive bass guitar work and strong keyboard playing from Schendel; specifically Hammond organs in the tradition of ELP. They have a superb melodic flow to the music they make, encapsulating real power and dynamics without ever becoming overpowering. Their most apparent influences are ELP, Genesis, Gentle Giant and, to a less noticeable extent, Camel. Fans and critics are usually quick to attest that Glass Hammer have managed to combine those influences into a unique style all their own.

Glass Hammer Live Quebec 1

Critically acclaimed albums have continued to flow from the Glass Hammer studio, with the most successful and noteworthy being “Chronomtree” (2000), “Lex Rex” (2002), “The Inconsolable Secret” (2005) and “IF” (2010). Vocalists and fan-favorites Carl Groves and Susie Bogdanowicz took a temporary hiatus from the band after 2009 and vocalist Jon Davison took over as lead vocalist for three studio albums; “IF”, “Cor Cordium” and “Perilous”. Kamran Alan Shikoh joined the band at the same time taking on the role of guitarist. Both Shikoh and Davison remain in the group currently, though Davison has also assumed the role as front-man for Yes. This led to Carl Groves rejoining the Glass Hammer in 2013 for live performances and recording. Aaron Raulston joined at the same time as drummer for the group. Susie Bogdanowicz rejoined in late 2013 and is slated to appear along with Raulston, Groves and Shikoh in 2015 concerts.

Glass Hammer’s 2014 release “Ode To Echo” features performances by many of the band’s vocalists, including Bogdanowicz, Young, Moore and Davison, though Carl Groves handles the lion’s share of the vocal duties.

Other prog musicians and rock artists have made contributions to Glass Hammer projects, including Jon Anderson of Yes, Arjen Lucassen, Rich Williams and David Ragsdale of Kansas, Rob Reed of Magenta and Randy Jackson of Zebra. Glass Hammer has also appeared with The Adonia String Trio and performed two concerts (2006-2007) with 120 plus member choirs from Belmont University and Lee University.
Currently, Glass Hammer is in the studio recording their sixteenth studio album which is set for release in early 2015. The current live lineup for the band is Babb, Schendel, Groves, Shikoh, Raulston and Bogdanowicz.

http://www.glasshammer.com
https://twitter.com/GlassHammerProg
https://www.facebook.com/glasshammerband
https://www.youtube.com/user/ghprog

The Levin Brothers: A Review

levinbros

On September 9, renowned musicians (and brothers) Tony and Pete Levin released their first album together.  Although Tony is primarily a rocker and Pete primarily a jazz musician who has played with some rock bands, this album is strictly classic jazz.  Both brothers (and their supporting musicians) shine on this album, as Tony yet again amazes with his bass work and Pete does a wonderful job on piano and keys.  And what more would you expect from two classy Boston guys? My first impression after listening was how I wished I could be in a nightclub chatting with some pals enjoying music like this. The album just has that kind of atmosphere. While listening, you’ll probably be tempted to tap your feet and say, “Play it again, fellas.” I highly recommend this album for anyone who is interested in jazz, especially the classic jazz scene of the 1950s. There is a great mix of slow paced, relaxing piano driven songs and up tempo, sax and percussion driven pieces that will make you want to swing. Here are some of my favorites:

Bassics: the first song features the acclaimed drummer Steve Gadd, and this is primarily a bass and percussion driven track anchored by Gadd’s steady rhythms and Tony’s melodic bass

Brothers: a faster paced piece featuring excellent keyboard work from Pete and the usual fine bass work from Tony

Havana: played with some Spanish flair and even features some scat singing

Gimme Some Scratch: saxophone (played with dexterity by Erik Lawrence), one of my favorite instruments, really shines on this song

If you’re searching for some classic jazz music from a classy group of guys (who also happen to be extraordinary musicians), then this is an album certainly worth adding to your collection. You can support the Levin Brothers by visiting their website: http://thelevinbrothers.com

 

 

RochaNews: Burnt Belief

BURNT BELIEF OFFERING FREE “ETYMOLOGY” BONUS TRACKS WITH FIRST 200 ALBUM PRE-ORDERS THROUGH BURNING SHED AND JONDURANT.COM

Instrumental collaboration between U.K. bassist Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) and U.S. guitarist Jon Durant out October 21 on Alchemy Records

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COHASSET, MA – World-renowned bassist Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree, Metallic Taste of Blood, Ex-Wise Heads) and guitarist/composer Jon Durant have once again teamed up under the moniker Burnt Belief for the release of a new album of progressive ethno-ambient fusion instrumentals, titled Etymology. Etymology, due out on October 21 via Alchemy Records, can be pre-ordered now through Burning Shed at: https://www.burningshed.com/store/exwiseheads/collection/19/ and JonDurant.com at: http://jondurant-com.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/burnt-belief-etymology in addition to Amazon.com at: http://www.amazon.com/Etymology-Burnt-Belief/dp/B00NAZX8BA/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1410294068&sr=1-1&keywords=burnt+belief. The first 200 pre-orders through Burning Shed and JonDurant.com exclusively will receive a download code to receive five Etymology bonus tracks, including unreleased music from the two musicians’ individual libraries and collaborative works.

Come release day, Etymology will also be available at CD Baby, iTunes and other digital outlets.

For a taste of the new, 11- track offering, an Etymology teaser video can be seen on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/aa0yLjSHr3Q.

“We feel like we’ve progressed within our shared approach, including some new harmonic, rhythmic and melodic elements,” commented Jon Durant.

“Much of our compositional approach remains consistent from the first Burnt Belief record,” he added. “For instance, a number of the pieces began as ambient cloud guitar atmospheres, which Colin would then explore and find rhythmic grooves to play over or with the clouds. Then, I would maybe re-arrange, construct melodic ideas, and send back to Colin for further input from him. In this way, the pieces evolve, sometimes very far from their original state.”

The compositions which unfold across Etymology‘s 70 minutes showcase the duo’s fruitful symbiosis and clear developmental path across their shared musical landscape. Assimilating diverse elements ranging from polyrhythms, deep ECM styled atmospherics and even angular nu-jazz abstraction, the result is an immersive, multi-layered and engrossing documentation of a remarkably sympathetic musical connection.

Etymology is further enhanced by sensitive, deep electric violin performances from highly regarded classical musician Steve Bingham, also known for his evocative work with U.K. art-rock band No-Man.

The album’s title is a metaphor for the pair’s working methodology, in which compositions evolve from an initial germ of an idea into a fully realized piece. The resulting work is often very different from its original concept yet still maintains the initial elements at its core.

1. Chromatique

2. Dissemble

3. Précis

4. Hraunfossar

5. Convergence

6. Rivulet

7. White Keys

8. Not Indifferent

9. Hover

10. Chimera

11. Squall

Edwin and Durant first teamed up for Durant’s 2011 album Dance of the Shadow Planets, a wholly live in the studio documentation of their nascent musical chemistry centered around Durant’s atmospheric compositions and featuring also the talents of violinist Caryn Lin and multi-percussionist Jerry Leake.

The follow-up to Dance of the Shadow Planets, 2012’s eponymously titled Burnt Belief, was distance recorded, but a fully collaborative compositional affair with Edwin taking equal responsibility for the writing process. Having confidently cemented their working methods and musical connection with the well-received Burnt Belief, the duo undertook some live dates in the U.K. and Ukraine with Kiev-based female vocal duo Astarta (as Astarta/Edwin), a project Colin has been working on for some time, but presently on ice due to the current instability in the country.

Energized by working together in a live environment again in late 2013, Edwin and Durant reconvened to create the present album, Etymology. Whilst still retaining the strong sonic identity laid down on Burnt Belief, Etymology represents a considerable expansion and natural evolution of their sound, not least because of the additional input of three marvelous drummers (Vinny Sabatino, Dean McCormick and Jose Duque) to complement and reinforce the programmed electronic rhythms.

“Colin and I both felt that after two records utilizing hand drums exclusively, it was time to change it up and go with a live drum kit to augment Colin’s rhythm programming. It ended up giving the pieces a much harder edge to them, and this in turn allowed me to push my guitars a little more over the top.”

Follow Burnt Belief on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/BurntBelief and Twitter at: @BurntBelief3 for more information on Etymology.

Burnt Belief online…

www.facebook.com/burntbelief

www.twitter.com/BurntBelief3

www.alchemyrecords.com

www.colinedwin.blogspot.com

www.jondurant.com

About Jon Durant…

Guitarist Jon Durant brings a unique sense of texture and melody to his instrument. His distinctive “cloud guitar” soundscapes and engaging lead work have graced numerous CD recordings and film soundtracks. As executive producer of Alchemy Records, he produces recordings for internationally acclaimed artists in his small Massachusetts studio. Along with longtime collaborators Tony Levin (bassist with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel), percussionist Vinny Sabatino, pianist Michael Whalen, and guitar/synth master Randy Roos, Jon has recorded with electric violinist Caryn Lin, percussionist Jerry Leake, singer/songwriter Porter Smith, soul singer Ray Greene (Tower of Power) and many others. Etymology is Jon’s third recording with Colin Edwin.

About Colin Edwin…

Colin Edwin is best known as a founder member and bass player of the internationally successful progressive rock band Porcupine Tree. In addition, he has a long running collaboration as Ex-Wise Heads with avant multi-instrumentalist Geoff Leigh (Henry Cow/Hatfield and the North) with six albums blending ethnic, world music, improvisation and ambient and experimental influences. Colin is also a member of Metallic Taste of Blood, a genre-defying group whose intense and cinematic music draws from dub, metal, progressive, free jazz and ambient music. In 2013 Colin recorded the critically acclaimed bass duo album Twinscapes with Italian bassist Lorenzo Feliciati.

Imagination Head–the Latest Sensation from Atlanta

Imagination Head from Atlanta.  Featuring, it seems, men who look like David Byrne and Midge Ure.

Imagination Head from Atlanta. Featuring, it seems, men who look like David Byrne and Midge Ure.

“Talented and musically adventurous” -Latest Disgrace

“Any fan of Built to Spill, The Shins, or Cake will want to hear Imagination Head. Their indie palette is at once accessible and unique [...] weaving a dreamy undertone to peppy melodies” -The Moon and Pluto

“A smart, ambitious band with the ability to flesh out their themes both formally and lyrically” -Little advances

“Imagination Head takes traditional aesthetics and breathes new life into them” -Ohmpark

***

September 16, 2014 -

Imagination Head’s indie psych-pop induces a mellow, creeping euphoria. They’re experts at fusing ’80s British post-punk with subtle space-rock flourishes, creating a mysterious sonic shroud over their impressive songs and masterfully crafted pop arrangements. Lyrically, the band’s songs grasp at untethered freedom while lamenting the doldrums of modern life. Imagination Head’s music is the rabbit hole to Wonderland—a drug to awaken the uninitiated. And their adventurous, infectious sound has landed them on bills with indie-rock contemporaries The Octopus Project & The Orwells.

The Atlanta-based band’s new album, Chromataverse (out Nov 1), is a departure from Imagination Head’s psych-folk roots, exploring an edgier, more guitar-driven sound in which the studio is a lab for experimentation, a place for songs to evolve as the recording process unfolds. With the help of producer Damon Moon (Iron Jayne, Rrest), they’ve utilized space echo, tape hiss and a slew of other analog toys to build their neo-New Wave soundscapes. The journey presented here by J.R. Wicker (guitar, lead vocals), Erin Wicker (keys, vocals), Jason Bogart (bass), Puma Navarro (drums) and Vince Gray (lead guitar) is a bold call for revolution filtered through Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.  “This album is a warning,” J.R. says. “The American Dream is constantly dangled in front of your face as you work overtime for nothing in particular, waiting a lifetime in line for your turn. But it’s your fate to avoid the trap—to rise above it.”

Imagination Head recorded Chromataverse at East Atlanta studio The Cottage, which—while within the city limits—provided a secluded, escapist environment, the band’s breaks often spent trekking through the adjacent woods along the ridge of an abandoned rock quarry, soaking up the hushed, primal vibe. The sessions for the new album were fast-paced, spontaneous and mostly live, capturing the feel of the band’s electrifying live sets, before carefully adding layered sonic texture to each track. The album would have been ready sooner, but with Erin nine months pregnant, they had to take a break.

“The Cottage was like a clubhouse,” Erin says. “We were able to concentrate and play in a stress-free environment, but the baby was crushing my lungs the whole time, so I had to come back later, after he was born, to finish my vocals. After the album was mixed, when he was just a few months old, he was crying and J.R. played him one of the new songs and he actually stopped crying. I guess he’s as much a part of this record as anyone.”

Imagination Head is rooted in the relationship of J.R. and Erin Wicker. They met in Memphis, and before long were musically—and romantically—entangled. In the early days, Imagination Head was a collaboration between just them, working as a psych-folk duo. They recorded their first album, The Stale and the Sparkly Air, with a few Memphis friends rounding out the sound. The couple eventually relocated to Atlanta, and made the transition to five-piece band with the album ON/OFF. The current lineup solidified in 2012 with the release of LP Plastic Heart.

J.R. and lead guitarist Gray most often are the ones who bring song ideas to the band, who then collectively fleshes them out, building bridges between disparate parts. “Our workshop is based around modern technology,” Gray says. “When I have an idea, I just record it on my phone and send it to everyone in the band. Sometimes, the ideas comes fast and have to be acted on. ‘Disconnect,’ from the new album, seemed to just explode into existence just days before we began recording.”

This immediacy also drives songs like “Rat Trap” and “Break the Chain,” their message that of a constrained society opening up to the freedom of space. “Mars” practically cries out for listeners to join the expansive exploration of dreams and the cosmos, while “Moon Sings Dance” beckons them to take this epic journey with the band, leaving behind the tired pop convention of verse-chorus-verse.

Chromataverse is the sum total of Imagination Head’s underground evolution—atop their folk-duo foundation, building a vibrant, danceable, electro indie-rock opus.

-Baby Robot Media

For further info: wickerjr@yahoo.com

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