In Mourning – Afterglow – Album Review

Artist: In Mourning Album Title: Afterglow Label: Agonia Records Date Of Release: 20 May 2016 In Mourning is a name that that have flitted around the very edges of my consciousness for a few years now. ‘Afterglow’ however, takes the Swedish quintet out of my personal periphery and re-positions them at the very forefront of […]

https://manofmuchmetal.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/in-mourning-afterglow-album-review/

A Sense of Foreboding

So Album 18 from Marillion finally has a release date (9 September) and a title – and the latter is a surprise. Here’s Steve Hogarth’s explanation:

What’s in a name?……

All worthwhile human impulses come from love. And all negative and destructive human impulses come from fear.

This album is called F*** Everyone and Run or F.E.A.R.

This title is adopted not in anger or with any intention to shock. It is adopted and sung (in the song “New Kings”) tenderly, in sadness and resignation inspired by an England, and a world, which increasingly functions on an “Every man for himself” philosophy. I won’t bore you with examples, they’re all over the newspapers every day.

There’s a sense of foreboding that permeates much of this record. I have a feeling that we’re approaching some kind of sea-change in the world – an irreversible political, financial, humanitarian and environmental storm. I hope that I’m wrong. I hope that my FEAR of what “seems” to be approaching is just that, and not FEAR of what “is” actually about to happen.

fear

Genesis Revisited II

Reinterpreting the much-loved classics of one of the seminal 70s prog bands is a sensitive business, even if you are one of those responsible for creating said classics in the first place. Tinker too much and you risk losing the essence of what made those classic songs so good; change too little and people will question the point of the exercise.

The former criticism was levelled at Steve Hackett in some quarters when he released the first of his Genesis retrospectives, back in 1998. Fourteen years on, he charts a safer and more successful course with this follow-up album, opting for a more subtle treatment of seventeen Genesis songs across the 2 hours 23 minutes of a double CD. He also find space to revisit four songs from his lengthy solo career.

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The Tangent: Le Sacre Du Travail

A brief update on Brad’s post from yesterday, regarding Andy Tillison’s new project for The Tangent.

The new website is up and running at http://www.thetangent.org/ as of today and is taking ‘pre-pre-orders’ for the new album, entitled Le Sacre Du Travail. According to Tillison, the new work is The Tangent’s “deepest foray yet into the world of classical/orchestral music” and draws inspiration from Stravinsky’s The Rite Of Spring. Intriguing, to say the least – and when you consider that Andy is hoping to involve the likes of Theo Travis, Jakko Jakszyk and Big Big Train’s Dave Longdon, the prospect becomes positively mouthwatering!

The notion of pre-pre-orders is an interesting one and mirrors what Magenta did with their last release, Chameleon. Essentially, you pay more for the album up-front and, in return, get access to digital versions of the tracks as they develop. Andy is right to point out that this isn’t for everyone, but if you are a music nerd then what better way to get inside the head of a musician you admire?

Andy has posted an 8-minute clip of his initial demos for the new work:

I’ve pre-pre-ordered and have already received a link to a longer 22-minute demo. When I’ve had the chance to have a proper listen, I’ll post some thoughts here.

Beneath The Waves

Cover art for Kompendium's "Beneath The Waves"Fellow Progarchists, may I commend to you the newly-released Beneath The Waves, by Kompendium? I’ve had this on pre-order for a while. The CD/DVD arrived this weekend and it’s truly wonderful.

Kompendium is a side-project of Magenta’s Rob Reed. Beneath The Waves has been under development for three years – which comes as little surprise when you consider the ‘cast of thousands’ involved in making it. Amongst the players, we have: Steve Hackett, Francis Dunnery, John Mitchell, Nick Barrett and Jakko Jakszyk on guitar; Gavin Harrison and Nick Beggs providing the rhythm section; Mel Collins, Troy Donockley and Barry Kerr on sax, pipes and whistles; and Dave Stewart providing string arrangements for the London Session Orchestra.

Vocal contributions are no less impressive: the English Chamber Choir; Synergy Voices; Magenta’s Tina Booth; soprano Shan Cothi and tenor Rhys Meirion; Angharad Brinn and Steve Balsamo filling the lead vocal roles.

So what’s it like?

If you are familiar with Magenta, you will recognise Rob Reed’s handiwork, but Magenta’s classic prog sound has been blended very successfully with symphonic and celtic/folk elements. At times, it feels almost as if Mr Reed has been channelling Mike Oldfield – not a bad thing if, like me, you are an Oldfield fan. There are big, dramatic soundscapes here, worthy of a film score. The vocal and choral work is very fine indeed. There are many layers to explore, and I’m going to enjoy peeling them back over the coming weeks!

There are several tracks up on Youtube that will give you a good feel for the music, but a good place to start is the EPK video: