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!”
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. Eidolonalso 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.
Madonna certainly isn’t an artist that you would think of when it comes to metal music, yet many metalheads tend to cover the pop goddess’ songs. One of the recent additions to that camp is a Finnish metal band Memoremains who have covered “Sorry,” a song from Madonna’s 2005 album “Confessions on a Dance Floor.”
The group fronted by singer Johanna Ahonen answered our questions about their beginnings in music, the new single, and more.
Let’s start from your early music beginnings. How did your musical career begin? When did you start playing? Which groups have been your favorites? Please tell us something more about your early life.
Johanna: I think that I’ve been singing always, at least, as long as I remember. Singing has been a natural way for me to express my thoughts and feelings. I have performed ever since I was a child, mostly by myself and singing cover songs. Memoremains is the first actual band in which I’m involved. I always wanted to sing in a band and make own music so I can honestly say that Memoremains is the best thing that has happened to me!
Mikko: I’ve done songs for as long as I can remember. I have thousands of demos in my stock over many years. Music has been a part of my life for a really long time. I took my first contact with the piano sometime between the ages of 4 and 5 and drums and other rock instruments came along at around the age of 10.
How did you go about starting Memoremains? Who was the most influential when the band started its musical journey?
Mikko: It’s really hard to determine who did what, because our band is really democratic. However, I had written the first songs of Memoremains before the band was born, so in a way it is possible to think that this is where our band was born. Eemeli and Aapo came along as old musician acquaintances. We found Johanna through an online announcement, just as we found Aleksi. Soon we were playing together and releasing our first song ‘We’re Not Alone.’
How would you describe Memoremains’ music on your own?
Our music is a combination of pop melodies, metal riffs and groovy disco beats. We’ve mixed together elements of different genres and created an own recognizable sound from them.
The new single is a cover of Madonna’s hit “Sorry.” How did you come to an idea to cover this song?
Mikko: Oh, it’s such a great song from the Queen of Pop. Unfortunately it has been forgotten from the general public during these years and we wanted to bring it back to life but in our style. Hopefully, people will find the song and listening to it takes them back to the last decade.
How difficult was it for you to shape this song and make it different than the original? Obviously, originally it is a pop song and you combine these elements with metal, but what would you say is the thing that separates your version from the original?
Mikko: It’s been a fun and creative job that we’ve been excited about. The first step was to internalize the song as our own, that is, to have it feel like our own song. Only through this can a functional cover be obtained. Once the song was thought to be our own, it was easy and fun to work with. But, strictly speaking, our version is faster, more energetic and heavier. However, we have retained the original song’s epic melodies.
What is the most important thing for the structure of your songs? Is it a riff, a melody line, vocal arrangement?
It really depends on which of those elements the song is created from. ‘Ballerina’ was born simply because it sounded like a good name for a song. “Time Is Running Out” was born from the melody of the chorus, and other parts of the song were built around it. In the end, though, the most important element of our music is addictive melodies and engaging rhythms. That’s where our sound comes from.
Recommend us some good metal acts coming from your area.
Mikko: There are so many great bands coming from Finland. We made a European tour together with Resolution 13 which is an alternative metal band from Helsinki. We’ve also been following Escalane, a band from middle-Finland, and their story. I need to bring up also a very original band, Awake Again, from Turku. On our tours abroad we have met many really awesome bands like Austrian Ardenite.
Are you also involved in any other projects or bands beside Memoremains?
Mikko: I play drums in a finnish language metal band called Riesa. The band name means like “ nuisance” or “annoyance”. Go and check it out!
Aleksi: I made own project with drummer Teemu Koski last year called “i Helvete”. It released two long songs and right now I am writing new ones. It is much darker and heavier than Memoremains. I also play bass in one another, unknown band.
So, what comes next for Memoremains?
We strive to make everything that happens even bigger. The goal is to make every release and tour bigger than the last one and there will also be more festivals.
Parliament Owls, a quintet from Canada, have quite a challenge as with any new band playing this stylistically demanding music. They either need to add something exciting and original to the genre, or be so bloody good at delivering captivating rock (that visits quite a few genres) in its conventional form that they stand head and shoulders above the oceans of ordinariness that surround them. While they will not win any awards for innovation, the debut full-length release “A Span Is All That We Can Boast” does in fact rise most convincingly from the latter category, and has enough variation in its six tracks to keep interest levels high.
Beginning with “Cocobolo,” Parliament Owls expertly marry the math rock histrionics of The Dillinger Escape Plan to the noise rock sensibilities of Melvins. The band doesn’t joke about with long intros, and like to get on with the business at hand, with only one track clocking at almost seven minutes. This makes for a more urgent and also provides a much more organic feel to the band’s playing.
In addition to The Dillinger Escape Plan and Melvins you can undoubtedly hear the massive influence of Cult of Luna, Mono, Mastodon, Between the Buried and Me, all the major names, but Parliament Owls somehow manage to put a unique stamp on this rather derivative framework.
Parliament Owls have risen far above the sum of their influences, and delivered a very fine rock album. Check it out!
Bedroom composing and producing has been on the rise in recent years. Drummond, a young songwriter from NewYork, has just launched his second EP “In Sand” in June.
There’s a real sense of movement in each of the three tracks here. “Submerge” feeds the ear a lovely set of liquid guitar chords, tasty synths and irregular rhythms, while “Root” laces its main melody and harmonies with bustling, positive energy.
The closing title track features extensive lead guitar that complement a busy drum kit and the tracks build confidently rather than hurtling towards their crescendos.
It’s tough to ignore the incredible versatility, technical prowess and emotion in the lead guitar’s phrasings. Talented musicians often overload their music with impressive, yet characterless fretboard acrobatics. Thankfully, Drum does not subject his audience to the same ordeal. The solos are wholesome yet light, devastating yet controlled. His sound is smooth, well-rounded, and, at its core, brimming with delightful energy. The record puts listeners into motion—they can soar and eventually reach a celestial landscape, sweating from the trip and anticipating the next step in this young guitarist’s growth.
When it comes to music, you can’t beat a hypnotic bass line or an electrifying drum solo, something that songwriters and musicians take pride in delivering the best of the best to create songs that can live on forever. However, did you know that as well as making some incredible music that some of our favorite musicians and singers have many other strings to their bows in the shape of some not-so-secret skills that you may not have necessarily known?
When you think of Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden, you think of a rock legend, but as well as flying high in the charts, Bruce also flies high in the skies, too, as a qualified pilot. After having a trial flying lesson in Florida, Bruce got the “flying bug,” and he now could be your pilot on your next private flight!
Are you impressed? As well as being a pilot and a rock legend, Bruce is also a talented fencer, too, and historically, Great Britain’s seventh-best fencer.
Rock stars have a reputation for their outrageous acts and outlandish behavior, so you may be surprised to learn that these days, Blur bassist Alex James has swapped his wellies from performing at Glastonbury to wearing his wellies on his own cheese farm. Alex has dedicated a significant amount of his time to developing his dairy range, and, in fact, you might be surprised to know that his own brand of cheese was voted “Best Goats Cheese” at the 2008 Cheese Awards.
What goes quite well with cheese? Wine, of course! If there ever was a dream collaboration, then for sure Alex should do this with the American rock band Train, who have developed their own brand of wine. They developed the Save Me range in conjunction with the San Francisco Wine company. There are links to their songs in their wine range, which includes a red wine named after their top hit, “Drops of Jupiter.”
As well as achievements in the food and beverage industry, many of our favorite singers and musicians also demonstrate their talents in other areas. Singer-songwriter and musician Imani Coppola is also a talented artist and has seen her work exhibited in New York. Imani is not alone when it comes to talented musicians who paint. The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood and Bob Dylan are both incredible artists, and the late great David Bowie was also a prestigious painter and sculptor, too. Rock legends The Eagles are a celebrated band all over the world for their incredible back catalog, which includes possibly their best-known hit, the legendary “Hotel California.” As well as being a great lyricist, Glenn Frey developed quite the reputation for his card skills and often used to participate in games of poker. According to legend, Glenn, along with Don Henley, were “avid card players,” playing on a regular basis — not necessarily in their own homes, but elsewhere in the likes of tour buses, hotel rooms and even backstage at concerts.
One other singer known for his poker playing hobby was Lemmy, who was the lead singer of Motörhead. His band created the “Ace of Spades,” which is an absolute rock classic and widely considered to be a song that inspires professional poker players before a game.
These musical stars reinforce that, in fact, regardless of age, that it is never too late to try and learn something new or indeed develop existing talent. It also demonstrates that age should never be a barrier to starting a new career. Hands up for those who want to become a prog-rock musician as a new career! It would mean we would have to review your album, though! Still interested in changing your life? Form an orderly queue now!
Maastricht, the Netherlands-based experimental rock quartet Kalika are releasing their sophomore EP “Data Religion” via Progarchy. Stream the EP in full below.
Named after the Hindu goddess Kali, on “Data Religion” Kalika tackle the theme of technology as a tool which can manipulate people pretty effectively. Singer and guitarist Prannay Sastry previously commented: “Today, personal data is freely available to the big data hoarders and is regularly misused. The EP examines a world in which things have gone wrong and there is a divide between the haves and have-nots of all this data. This divide is one of ownership – the data horders own the have-nots, leaving them powerless.“
Transferring a myriad of emotions through the six-track release, Kalika depicts the moments of darkness, happiness, as well as melancholy. About the EP’s flow, Sastry had to say the following:
“We wanted to subvert the narrative arc that a lot of albums have by starting with the darker songs and ending on a lighter note. We carefully curated the order and the flow of the tracks so that the listener can go on their unique journey.“
“Data Religion” is out today; stream it below. Follow Kalika on Facebook and Instagram.
Look to Windward is a progressive rock/metal studio project by London-based musician Andrew McCully who has released two studio albums, two EP’s and a single since 2010. The latest release is this year’s full-length album entitled “In Fantasy.”
In an interview for Progarchy, McCully talks about his project, the scene, and more.
Let’s start from your early music beginnings. How did your musical career begin? When did you start playing? Which groups have been your favorites as a young man? Please tell us something more about your early life.
My earliest memories of performing music were learning the recorder and clarinet before receiving a birthday present of an electric guitar in my early teens. That started it all really. I was also singing in choirs throughout school. I grew up surrounded by music performance. Then around the age of 11 I connected with a close friend over mutual music tastes and we continued to share and listen to music together leading to writing and performing on our own in high school when we recruited a drummer from my jazz group, Jono Sawyer.
I have rather distinct memories of 4 albums from my youth that really started to define my interests and passion for rock music. The first was Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by The Smashing Pumpkins (which was the first album I ever bought). I still regularly listen to this masterpiece. Then came Metallica’s Reload (a strange one to start with I know) and Ok Computer by Radiohead (which remains my favourite album). And then I can’t leave out first hearing Dream Theater’s Scenes from a Memory when I was 15. I don’t listen to them anymore really but it opened up an entire world of prog related music to me.
How did you go about starting Look To Windward?
LTW began as some basic riff experiments with my friend and collaborator Ben Morley, and we created our first track out of that (which I believe was Forest Is Moving from the first album Fortunes Haze). We were looking for a way of exploring all the epic prog-metal ideas we were talking about and without the ‘restrictions’ of having a band to play it live we went nuts. The first album grew over 2 years of messing around and I’m proud of what we made. There was a lot of self taught music production done along the way.
In the beginning, did you have some “fixed” tempo in composing songs or everything was a product of jamming, improvising?
A bit of both I think. Sometimes I might tackle a song with a specific feel in mind or I might just be jamming with my guitar and find something I like. Then it’s a case of slowly building up the layers and melodies on top of this.
How would you describe the music from your new album “In Fantasy” on your own?
Progressive Rock with elements of Metal, Alternative Rock and Pop I think. I was trying to focus more of clarity and structure for this album, not to say I don’t value the unrestrained, layered intensity of my first 2 releases.
What was your approach to writing the album like?
Much like it has been in the past. Just lots of exploration. I would say that I threw out more ideas this time around though. Either because it was harder to generate ideas I was happy with or because I was being stricter in regards to my desired sound for the album.
You pay attention to atmospheric and ambient elements in your music. How important it is for the structure of your songs?
Dynamic contrast is integral to Look To Windward’s sound. I love creating the flow between great intensity and ambient calm. I’d say the structure of the songs in this regard is what I pay attention too the most!
How do you see the prog rock/metal scene today?
I have mixed feelings about it. There are artists doing genuinely interesting things but a lot of what is called progressive is rather stagnant and derivative. Particularly in metal, where copying a certain sound has become quite widespread. I’m guilty of it myself. When the technique of locking your kick drum in with a de-tuned guitar chug works so effectively it’s hard not to dip into that well. When you look back at how far the genre came from the 80’s into the 90’s and early 2000’s you want to see that kind of innovation now. There are small pockets of innovation but it isn’t genre wide yet.
Do you consider yourself a part of any specific cultural movement, however peripheral?
I’m probably part of the movement of DIY musicians creating fully realised music at home. The tech allows 1 person to take on the role of a full band. That’s why it was important for me to get as many guest musicians performing on the album as I could. It elevates the music beyond what I could do myself. Devin Townsend is the model I aspire too here.