Glass Hammer MOSTLY LIVE IN ITALY

Glass Hammer–America’s finest band and one of the two greatest bands in the world–has just announced its new live release, MOSTLY LIVE IN ITALY. And, it’s a stunner! No progarchist should be without one.

http://glasshammer.com/official-store/

Here’s the video promo–well worth watching (and listening)

https://youtu.be/fShe0a7KP50

Are We Headed Into a Prog Recession?

Has anybody else noticed the relative quiet in the progressive rock world lately? I can’t just be me. Sure, Spock’s Beard has a new album coming out soon (and it is good – I’ve heard an advance review copy), but it seems like all the “big” names are taking it easy. Of course, Mike Portnoy is currently touring with Sons of Apollo as they play their brilliant debut album, so that explains the lack of newer material from his other bands. Even Muse has been quiet lately, although they claim they’re going to record some new music this year. That still leaves me wondering what the heck has happened to Moon Safari, Mystery, or even little known band Persona Grata, whose 2013 album “Reaching Places High Above Me” was fantastic.

Where is everyone? Am I selfishly shouting to an empty room?! ENTERTAIN ME!!! Ok, I’m exaggerating a lot. I know most of these people have full-time jobs and family commitments that keep them from pursuing what they love, but I still see a bit of a genre-wide drought from the more prominent names thus far in 2018.

Continue reading “Are We Headed Into a Prog Recession?”

“The Intention Craft” by Pure Reason Revolution

On Oct 24, 2005, the enhanced CD was released, as catalogue number SonyBMG 6759302. Included were three tracks plus a video:

1. The Intention Craft
2. Sound Of Free
3. Asleep Under The Eiderdown
4. The Intention Craft (Video)

The three tracks were also released on 10″ blue vinyl with a picture sleeve (as SonyBMG 6759306).

Even more rare, there was also a white label, white sleeve 10″ vinyl pressing, exclusively for record company staff, the band, and management (and, confusingly, also numbered SonyBMG 6759306).

The entire album of The Dark Third was then released on April 10, 2006, but without “The Intention Craft” on the UK version.

There, The Dark Third was the nine-track version with “The Exact Colour” and “The Twyncyn/Trembling Willows” as tracks 5 and 8, respectively.

Not until July 25, 2006, was the US version released, which was now a ten-track version (adding “Asleep Under Eiderdown” as a hidden track). This was the version that you (like me) probably know best, with “Nimos and Tambos” and “Arrival/The Intention Craft” swapped in for tracks 5 and 8.

For me, “Nimos and Tambos” was the gateway track. It immediately grabbed me and has never, ever let go since.

In my own playlist, I find the album flows perfectly with the US tracks for 5 and 8 placed immediately after the UK tracks for 5 and 8 respectively.

I call this 12-track playlist “The Definitive Version,” and I wish someone would do a CD reissue with this optimal track order, all on one CD.

As a band we’re fascinated with the questions raised about the origins and meanings of dreams. By the time we die we’ll have spent more than six years of our life dreaming, and a third of our lives asleep, relays Pure Reason Revolution’s lyricist/songwriter Jon Courtney. The Dark Third is kind of a concept album that investigates the supposedly sharp boundary between dreaming and wakefulness, and that perhaps the two states aren’t so different. So begins the surrealistic sonic journey of The Dark Third, Pure Reason Revolution’s explosive debut album. A love of art and a passion for music come together on their debut, where the surreal serves as inspiration for concrete lyrical and musical ideas. Pure Reason Revolution’s sound marries all that is good in rock `n’ roll, an infectious blend of today’s pop sensibilities and classic rock stylings as refreshing as it is timeless.

Other advance singles included: “Apprentice of the Universe” (Apr 19, 2004, with “Nimos and Tambos” as the B-side) and “The Bright Ambassadors of Morning” (Apr 11, 2005, also with a video of the song).

Also preceding the full album was a limited promo sampler:

1. Goshen Remains
2. Apprentice of the Universe
3. The Bright Ambassadors of Morning
4. Bullits Dominae
5. The Intention Craft

More widespread was the sampler Cautionary Tales for the Brave (Oct 3, 2005), SonyBMG 82876725952:

1. In Aurelia
2. The Bright Ambassadors Of Morning
3a. Arrival
3b. The Intention Craft
4a. He Tried To Show Them Magic
4b. Ambassadors Return

“In Aurelia” was also later released as a single (Nov 2005), and on An Introduction to Pure Reason Revolution (July 2006):

1. Nimos & Tambos
2. The Twyncyn / Trembling Willows
3. Asleep Under Eiderdown
4. In Aurelia
5. The Intention Craft

Note how this sampler ends with “The Intention Craft.”

Because The Dark Third is such a startling, unexpected masterpiece that towers above decades of releases, it deserves to be kept in print, but this time in a definitive edition. I would add “In Aurelia” and “Sound of Free” to fill out such a one-disc edition, to 14 tracks.

“Close to the Edge” by YES (Second Spring 9)

close to the edge yes
1972.

“The shape of it is perfect,” Bill Bruford once said of the title track of the 1972 Yes album, CLOSE TO THE EDGE.  It’s hard to dispute Bruford on this.  If Yes wrote a perfect track, it is certainly “Close to the Edge.”  Other songs might be more innovative, more melodic, more complex, or quirkier, but no other Yes song matches the intensity of “Close to the Edge.”

In his own recollections of writing the song, Jon Anderson claims to have been influenced by a dream, and the dreamlike imagery is rather strong.  He also believed it to be a comment on the various Christian churches all vying for superiority, with the song actually introducing a “majestic church organ” with a Moog, itself replaced once again by “another organ solo rejoicing in the fact that you can turn your back on churches and find within yourself to be your own church.”

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Man of Much Metal: Wallachia

Artist: Wallachia Album Title: Monumental Heresy Label: Debemur Morti Records Date Of Release: 13 April 2018 I wasn’t necessarily expecting to like ‘Monumental Heresy’, given the folk metal tag that they seem to have acquired over the years. However, having given the Norwegian band a relatively wide berth over their 26-year career having not been […]

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