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?”

My Tribute to Colin Tench

I recently wrote a tribute to Colin Tench over at the Dutch Progressive Rock Page. I also reviewed his two most recent albums, which he released under the Colin Tench Project banner. While I only ever “spoke” with him via email, he was great to interact with. He was so supportive of Progarchy, which we greatly appreciated. It was truly sad to see him go.

Read my full tribute and review over at the DPRP: http://www.dprp.net/reviews/2018-020/.

RIP Colin.

Happy Easter

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:12-13

Today, and for the past several days, Christians have been celebrating a love so overpowering that it appears absolutely foolish to the minds of man. I’m continually astounded by the fact that God Himself would lay down His life so that we don’t have to spend eternity separated from Him, if we choose to lay down our pride and submit to His perfect plan. In defeating death, Jesus has made that possible. What a magnificent love.

Easter here again. A time for the blind to see.

A Little Haken Goes a Long Way

The last few days have been rough. Grad school. Internship applications. Living in a city. Yuck. For as much as I love being fully informed, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t want to jump in my 33 year old car and drive until I’m miles away from the nearest person. (Here‘s somebody who just about did that – one of the most enjoyable books I’ve ever read.)

Whilst wallowing in this state of mind, a gathering of angels appeared above my head… and they were playing Haken, who seemed to be echoing my very thoughts. This is what they said:

Eyes open wide as I awake
I sense no change within the air
Hope leaves my soul, I paralyse

This world of pain and suffering
Creeps into me and once again
I mourn the loss of innocence

If I could run away
Back to my innocent days

Someone’s calling me
Echoes of a childhood memory
Someone’s calling me
Echoes of a childhood memory

Passages of time
Buried in the chaos of my mind
Chronicles of life
Concealing a truth I left behind

Passages of time
Buried in the chaos of my mind
Chronicles of life
Concealing a truth I can’t deny

Moon begins to rise
Reflecting on a life once sanctified
Night begins to fall
Voices of my youth, immutable

Memories collide
My scattered soul is almost unified
Thoughts are in full flight
Enveloping a wisdom earned with time

Passages of time
Stripping back the layers of my mind
Chronicles of life
Unraveling a truth which I must find

Haken really doesn’t get enough credit for the brilliance of their lyrics. They aren’t obvious, but they are glorious. I always find something new in them. The above lyrics are from their song, “Crystallised.” This song is one of the best prog metal songs in the genre. Haken always seem to lift my spirits. They end the song with nothing but hope and joy:

I have returned
To the springtime in the garden
Seeds are sown, flowers grow
And the child is born again

Filled with delight
And the laughter is contagious
As we dance, as we sing
Celebrating ’til the end

Joy and respite
On the faces of the children
With a smile, realise
That their love will never end

I have received
Affirmation of the spirit
Falling snow takes me home
And the man is whole again

Mind open wide as I awake
I sense a change within myself
Hope feeds my soul I realise

I feel the earth under my feet
Son by my side, I am complete
Pride fills my heart in Paradise

Hearts open wide as I awake
I sense a change within myself
Love feeds my soul I realise

This world of pain and suffering
Ignites in me and once again
Sparks the rebirth of innocence

If I could run away
I’d choose to live for today

Someone’s calling me
Echoes of a childhood memory

The moon will rise
The night will fall
I hold your hand
But you let go

The sun will shine
The snow will thaw
All things must pass
Into the unknown

Escaping the past by embracing the future
Escaping the past by embracing the future
Escaping the past by embracing the future
Escaping the past by embracing the future

It even has Mike Portnoy on the gong!

 

Steve Hackett Makes Everything Better – Even Things That Are Already Awesome! Orphaned Land’s Latest

You gotta love Prog Magazine. They are always introducing me to new things. Orphaned Land, a band of which I was completely unaware fifteen minutes ago, just released a new album yesterday entitled Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs. Steve Hackett features prominently on the track “Chains Fall to Gravity.” The song loosely reminds me of Hackett’s recent solo output before he even begins playing his guitar solo. The entire song is magnificently epic.

Here’s to hoping that the prog gods shine upon Progarchy and send us a review copy!