Review: Project Sapiens – Here We Are

Project Sapiens - Here We Are album art

“Here We Are” is a debut EP release from a Copenhagen-based alternative/progressive metal act Project Sapiens, comprised of five songs.

Kicking off with the title track, “Here We Are” hints its diversity. Elements ranging from hard rock, heavy metal to Opeth-influenced Prog Metal and alternative motifs are included. 

There is definitely potential here, and “Uprising” and “My Prison Cell” prove that. The transition between different parts is rather smooth. “Anger” starts with a very nice melody provided by a clean guitar of Poul Jakobsen and clean vocals by Mads Rahbaek. The guitar riffs that can be heard on this one, and throughout the record, are another highlight and an element that makes difference. Closing “Keepers of the Realm” starts very atmospherically, but it doesn’t take too long to become a hybrid child of Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Porcupine Tree.

What is important here is that Project Sapiens made a brave step to produce a release that is stylistically very different, and with the experience called “Here We Are” I’m sure that they will take the best out of it and use that knowledge on their next release.

“Here We Are” is available here.

Best Compilation Albums of the 1990s

Though I’m a prog man at heart, I like to think of myself as open to all forms of music.  Granted, I have yet to hear a single country or rap song that I like, but I certainly love much of classical and symphonic, jazz, and various forms of rock.  One thing I miss in the rock world are compilation albums.  I definitely don’t mean “greatest hits” packages.  I mean albums that contain songs by various artists coming together for a particular purpose.  Usually, this purpose was for movie soundtracks, but not always.

Looking at my own collection–however limited–it looks to me that the best of these came out in the 1990s.  I will admit, though, that my love of these specific compilation albums might have much to do with some happy nostalgia for a pre-9/11, far more innocent world.

Here are my favorite four from that time period.

until the end of the world
Before it’s too late. . .

4. “Until the End of the World”–a soundtrack for the Wim Wenders film of the same name.  The album features songs–every one of them good–by a number of artists I would never listen to, otherwise, such as Depeche Mode, Lou Reed, and T-Bone Burnett.  Even the major bands that appear–such as Talking Heads, Nick Cave, and U2 give it their best.  My favorite song, by far, is “Calling All Angels,” performed by Jane Siberry and K.D. Lang.

Continue reading “Best Compilation Albums of the 1990s”

Review: Remark – Keep Running

Keep Running

REMARK’s second offering Keep Running is an affirmative new chapter in a book already filled with trials and tribulations. You only need to look at the striking album cover to gain a sense of what you’re in for – grunge that bounces from heavy to soft, to everything in between. You’re in for a ride.

Whilst you may typecast the realm of grunge to bands such as Soundgarden and Alice In Chains, from the outset, REMARK put a modern twist onto an already formidable genre to dip into. ‘Comeback’ opens with your stereotypically sexy distorted guitars, before plunging into elements of alternative rock that bring it bang up to date. The same can be said for its partner ‘Purple Haze’. Its emotionally thirsty in lyrical content, which is backed up by self-assured punk-like guitar tones.

Although the 1990s nostalgia is laid so bare it could slap you in the face, the EP’s lead lines and riffs are contemporary additions that create a positive genre bending journey.

REMARK have truly come up trumps with this record, with two closing songs — both covers by Tears for Fears and Alex Clare — supporting that statement. Keep Running is infinitely catchy and brings back a genre that the original greats still hold the crown to, but rethinking it in a way that makes it accessible to the masses.

Honest, compelling and obsessively alluring, Keep Running is a masterpiece in post-grunge. Head over to Bandcamp to stream / download the EP. REMARK are also on FacebookYouTube, and Instagram.

Two more from the Elephant


Finally I have unpacked the trunk of album reviews that backed up last year, and this reviews catches up on two albums Bad Elephant released back in October last year, and which are worth having a listen to, before they unleash the new Tom Slatter album on the unsuspecting world.

bem035-album-cover

The Far Meadow: Given the Impossible

 

Formed back in 2014 this is the first album on Bad Elephant from London based 5 piece, The Far Meadow and was released back in October last year.

As is common with so many of the wonderful artists signed to Bad Elephant, the band defy categorisation, veering from traditional progressive sounds to folk and back with a dazzling array of performances and sounds that make this an excellent album to listen to.

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Threeviews

Afternoon Progarchists, as someone who writes for a variety of different sites I find myself getting sent diverse and eclectic albums to listen to, all of which roughly fall into the margins of the progressive genre, and today I have three radically different releases, all of which have been bouncing round my brain as I ride the mean streets of Bristol on the bus to and from work. Two are freshly minted (one so fresh it’s not even officially released yet – but it’s one hell of a pre-order!) and one EP which has been out for a while, so without further ado, lets introduce today’s picks.

verity

Verity Smith – Parenthesis

http://www.veritysmith.net

I first encountered Verity at the Classic Rock Society Awards back in 2014 where she was performing as part of Clive Nolan’s Alchemy musical, where she played the parts of Jane Muncey and Jessamine and was truck by her vocal prowess and stage presence.

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After 15 Years, RADIOHEAD is Back!

moonshapedpool
Radiohead’s best album since 2001.

I remember very well the day I bought Radiohead’s OK COMPUTER.  I was living in Helena, Montana, for the year, and I made a not atypical trip down to my favorite weirdo store, Hastings, to get some comics.  You know, the usual batch of Batman and sci-fi titles.

While there, I spotted a stack of CDs labeled something like “prog for a new era.”  Intrigued, I had to check them out.  They turned out to be the Radiohead cd, OK COMPUTER.  Money was rather tight in those days, so I decided to get the cd rather than the stack of comics (I bought just two comics on that weekly trip—such restraint!).

As with almost every other American my age, I had heard Radiohead all of the time during their “Creep” days.  Not only had American alternative radio played the G-verion of “Creep” nonstop, but then Tears for Fears did a cover of it.  It was everywhere in the early 90s, a defining song for the alternative rock movement.

Continue reading “After 15 Years, RADIOHEAD is Back!”