Lobate Scarp Start Kickstarter for Second Studio Album

Southern California’s Lobate Scarp, headed up by Progarchy’s very own Adam Sears, recently announced a kickstarter to help fund their second studio album. From spacey album art courtesy of David A. Hardy to well-crafted progressive songs, Lobate Scarp deliver on all fronts. The band has announced that Billy Sherwood and Jon Davison of Yes, and Ryo Okumoto Spock’s Beard are scheduled to make guest appearances.   Rich Mouser, whose mixing repertoire includes Spock’s Beard, Transatlantic, and The Neal Morse Band, will once again mix the album, as well as join as a producer. There are multiple pledge levels with different rewards for each level. Definitely check it out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/timeandspace/lobate-scarps-2nd-studio-album 

It’s a tough world out there for any line of work these days. I can only imagine how tough it is to make a go of it in the music industry, particularly in a genre where the fan base is spread so thinly across the globe. Kickstarters give fans of the genre the opportunity to support their favorite artists. If you haven’t heard Lobate Scarp yet, check out their recent EP and their first album.

Album Review: LUNAR – Eidolon

Originality is tough in music, and especially so in progressive metal. So many genres have cross-pollinated over the years that trying to put a unique spin on music usually ends up with going so far off the reservation that coherency can be lost. It’s a shame that “progressive” has become a kind of cliche-ridden sound of its own, hence my temptation is to call Eidolon — the second album by Sacramento’s Lunar — a progressive death metal album. Not in the sense that it uses “prog” tropes, but because it genuinely sounds like a forward step in terms of what can be done with death metal.

I’m not often a fan of likening bands to other bands, because I think unless it’s an intentional throwback or copycat it does a disservice, but the first thing that comes to mind is Opeth by way of Fates Warning and I do not say this lightly. Eidolon has an intensity to it that is organically broken up with occasional clean or melodic sections that never sound out of place; the group — brainchild of drummer and songwriter Alex Bosson — never comes across as hokey or gimmicky.

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Alex Bosson, founder of Lunar

All right, let’s dig in a bit. The musicianship is as tight as any metal release you’re likely to hear this year or any other year. Every member is on top of their game.  And speaking of members, the core of the group is comprised of singer Chandler Mogel, bassist Ryan Price, and guitarist Balmore Lemus, along with already mentioned Bosson on drums. Eidolon also features guest contributions from members of Haken, Leprous, Thank You Scientist, Fallujah, and more.

The guitars layer beautifully, with chunky riffs both alternating and occasionally layering beneath more melodic lines. The rhythm section pounds along, with a bass guitar that fleshes out instead of simply sitting at the root notes, even getting plenty of room to shine on its own (which I appreciate) and a drummer that can handle blistering double bass and blast beats right alongside jazzier sections. All the while we have a vocalist who manages to be perfectly understandable when he growls, by death metal standards anyway, without ever losing that sense of intensity and roughness.

One of the best things about (progressive) metal is that feeling of not knowing what to expect next. Sometimes it’s less enjoyable if it feels like the band doesn’t have a grip on what they’re doing and keep taking left turns to the mood, but once again Lunar succeeds by having each song feel like a distinct entity while never losing the tone of the album as a whole. After the two three “proper” songs (after the instrumental intro “Orbit”), the appropriately named “Comfort” comes in with a melodic and prog-rock/jazz inspired beginning, blossoming into a behemoth of a track that puts acoustic guitar and jazz drumming front and center forming a foundation and building to an explosion of a soothing guitar solo courtesy of Haken axeman Richard Henshall.

At this point you might think you’ve heard all of Lunar‘s arsenal, and you would be all wrong and a bag of chips. The very next track, “Potion,” is way more into the prog rock territory, with underlying acoustic guitar melody and jazz bassline carrying it.

The closing 12-minute epic “Your Long Awaited Void” is like a revue of all the best bits of the rest of the album: heavy riffs, clean vocals mixed with growls, acoustic bits, guitar soloing, in addition to cello-laden atmospherics,…

The word “classic” gets tossed around a lot, but I honestly can’t think of a better word for Eidolon. From front to back and top to bottom, this album is both firmly rooted in death metal with a progressive bend while standing alone atop the mountain. It’s equally headbang heavy and enthralling, music to get in the mosh pit and simply sit in awe of. This is required listening, because there’s nothing else quite like it.

Eidolon is out now and is available from Bandcamp. Check Lunar on Facebook and Instagram.

Yes — “From a Page”: A Nifty Burning Shed Exclusive!

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This release is exclusively available from Burning Shed’s official Yes store.
From A Page contains the complete works of the Benoît David, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Oliver Wakeman and Alan White incarnation of Yes and features four previously unreleased studio tracks plus the Live From Lyon 2009 recordings (including the Japanese only bonus track Second Initial).
Oliver Wakeman has personally overseen the preparation of the studio recordings (from 2010) which were mixed by Karl Groom and mastered by Mike Pietrini).
3CD in clamshell box with 2 16-page booklets – one including new artwork from Roger Dean and sleeve notes by Oliver Wakeman and the other being an expanded and redesigned Live In Lyon booklet.
Oliver Wakeman says, “Following Chris Squire’s passing, I felt that the new music we’d created, but not released, should be heard and not sit unfinished on a shelf. And with Steve, Alan and Benoit’s enthusiasm for the project, I am proud to know that this music will get to see the light of day and, hopefully, be enjoyed by Yes fans as a piece of previously hidden Yes history.”
CD1
Studio Recordings
1. To The Moment (6.09)
2. Words on a Page (6.18)
3. From the Turn of a Card (3.24)
4. The Gift of Love (9.52)
CD2
In The Present Live From Lyon
1. Siberian Khatru
2. I’ve Seen All Good People
3. Tempus Fugit
4. Onward
5. Astral Traveller
6. Yours Is No Disgrace
7. And You and I
8. Corkscrew (Acoustic Solo)
9. Second Initial (Acoustic Solo)
CD3
In The Present Live From Lyon
1. Owner of a Lonely Heart
2. South Side of the Sky
3. Machine Messiah
4. Heart of the Sunrise
5. Roundabout
6. Starship Trooper
Recorded in Lyon December 1st 2009
Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White, Oliver Wakeman, Benoit David

Big Big Train News: Live Video & More …

Straight from the horse’s mouth …

We will be releasing our new Blu-ray on 6th December.

The Blu-ray was recorded at our run of sold out shows at Cadogan Hall, London and features the best version of every song performed at the concerts, providing a full set-list from our 2017 shows.

The digipak includes a 20 page booklet.

There are two bonus performances and the Blu-ray features stereo and 5.1 mixes.

Region free.

Reflectors of Light (the Blu-ray companion to BBT’s 2018 Merchants of Light CD/vinyl set) is now available for pre-order from Burning Shed and The Merch Desk.  The Reflectors of Light track list:

Folklore Overture
Folklore
Brave Captain
Last Train
London Plane
Meadowland
A Mead Hall in Winter
Experimental Gentlemen (Part Two)
Swan Hunter
Judas Unrepentant
The Transit of Venus Across the Sun
East Coast Racer
Telling the Bees
Victorian Brickwork
Drums and Brass
Wassail

Bonus tracks:
The Transit of Venus Across the Sun (with reprise)
Summer’s Lease (recorded live at Real World studios)

Nellie Pitts’ Merch Desk also has plenty of swag from Big Big Train’s just-completed UK tour (signed tour posters, programmes, t-shirts, turntable slip mats, beanies and bamboo fans) too!

— Rick Krueger

Premiere: LUNAR Launch New Single “Comfort” Featuring HAKEN’ Guitarist Richard Henshall

Sacramento based progressive metal project LUNAR are back with a new single from the sophomore studio album Eidolon, out on November 8th via Divebomb Records. Premiering today is animated video for “Comfort” which features guest appearance by Haken’s Richard Henshall, who laid down an enticing guitar solo. Watch the video below.

Alex Bosson, drummer and founder of LUNAR, commented:

I’m very excited to get to debut the song ‘Comfort’ from the new album.  Already, this early on, it seems to be a fan favorite. I think it has a good diversity with some aspects of pop, rock and, of course, metal and I think it turned out really well. Plus getting to have a guest solo by Rich Henshall of HAKEN is a big honor for me. The video was done by Miles Skarin of CRYSTAL SPOTLIGHT and he did such a phenomenal job! I hope everyone out there enjoys the song and the video as much as I do!

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Alex Bosson

LUNAR has been around since 2013. Bosson and guitarist/singer Ryan Erwin’s goal to create the genre-defiant music resulted in releases of a debut EP Provenance (2014) and a full-length album Theogony (2017).

In the Spring of 2018, Erwin unexpectedly passed away, but Bosson decided to continue on the project using this tragedy as an inspiration. The resulting release, Eidolon, is a concept album based around the cycle of life and death, and the stages of grief endured by those left behind. 

The core line-up besides Bosson features bassist Ryan Price and singer Chandler Mogel, who previously appeared on Theogony, in addition to NovaReign’s guitarist Balmore Lemus. Eidolon also includes guest contributions from members of Leprous, Haken, Caligula’s Horse, Fallujah, Thank You Scientist, among others.

Stream a video for “Comfort” below, and pre-order Eidolon from Bandcamp here.

Eidolon track listing:

  1. Orbit
  2. The Cycle Starts Again
  3. Surrender
  4. Comfort
  5. Potion
  6. Hypnotized
  7. Your Long Awaited Void

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