ART AGAINST AGONY’s New EP “Russian Tales” Out on July 22

Art Against Agony

Germany-based collective Art Against Agony announce today their new EP titled Russian Talesscheduled for the release on July 22nd. The ensemble of musicians and artists combine different elements; their instrumental music evolves around progressive metal, experimental rock, jazz fusion and avant-garde.

Speaking about the forthcoming EP, the band commented: “The ‘Russian Tales’ EP gathers all of our experiences from our tour through Russia during the Siberian winter of 2016: Driving 12000km and playing 20 shows in 3 weeks was heaven and hell, with wonderful hospitality & delicious food, marvellous nature & wild animals, but also including insomnia, anxiety & social break ups.

To coincide with the release of the Russian Tales EP, Art Against Agony will embark on a tour across Russia in late July, followed by dates in Brazil in August. For the full list of dates see below.

Russian Tales is available for pre-order from Bandcamp (downloads) and Bigcartel (CDs). A video trailer for the EP can be seen below, and “Coffee for the Queen” single can be heard on Bandcamp here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Russian Tales EP Track Listing:

1. Königsberg Präludium
2. Nothing to declare?
3. Tea for the Dragon
4. Coffee for the Queen
5. Saratov Incident

Art Against Agony – “Against All Odds Tour 2017” live dates:

29.07. Back Luny Festival, Russia
30.07. Kaluga, Russia
01.08. Yelets, Russia
02.08. Voronezh, Russia
03.08. Tula, Russia
04.08. Zelenograd, Russia
05.08. Saint Petersburg, Russia
08.08. Sao Paulo, Brazil
09.08. Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil
10.08. Rio de Janeiro – Botafogo, Brazil
11.08. Petropolis, Brazil
12.08. Rio de Janeiro – Barra, Brazil
13.08. Sao Joao de Meriti, Brazil

Art Against Agony line-up:

the_sorcerer (lead_guitar, philosophy)
the_machinist (rhythm_guitar)
the_surgeon (piano)
the_heretic (bass)
the_malkavian (drums)
the_maximalist (mridangam)
the_architect (photography)
the_switch (live_visuals)
the_harlequin (merch)
the_glasses (japan_supervisor)

Art Against Agony online:

Official website

Facebook

Bigcartel

Bandcamp

Orchid

Opeth’s debut album is a rare blend, it’s good old British metal melody, but decked with prog, folk, black and death metal signatures. It’s the most accessible elements of metal combined with the least. Compositions effortlessly transition from murky black metal ambience into deathly blast beats to melodic folk passages — and they are interestingly devoid of that punk like dissonance which is integral to this genre.

Guttural riffs, acoustic melody, raspy growls and clean vocals – all stitched together into 10 minute epics – it’s basically progressive metal at its intriguing best.

Not surprising that Dan Swanö is the producer, Edge of Sanity is reflected all over the long and meandering eclectic passages. The most infamous ‘Thomas Gabriel Fischer’ like curt grunts is also frequent and numerous. Opeth weaves that Celtic Frost like textures into the more accessible 70s and 80s metal progressions. Orchid is essentially composed of two divergent heavy metal strands, but spun into one grand morbid symphony. Examine long enough and we can discover Black Sabbath to Bathory to jazz elements – even for early 90s metal, this is avant-garde. With drawn out extreme metal sound, but illustrating the quite melodic classic metal roots, Orchid can comfortably slingshot a casual metal listener straight into the abyss of 90s Scandinavian scene.

Symphonic Prog Meets Black Metal

“As Fire Swept Clean the Earth” blends multiple and in a way polarizing influences. Old 70s Genesis is pervasive, but layered with that most infamous variant of Norwegian artistic intensity. Quite like an elegant time warp, the delicate 70s prog intro launches headlong into 360 beats per minute drums and inhumane screams. Transition from the high of symphonic prog into this turbulent abyss cannot be starker.

Lead guitar and keyboards are textbook 70s prog. Enslaved blends that melancholic overtones of ‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway’ with the ferocity of Viking metal. Subtle use of electronica is a wonderful prelude to more relentless drums. But this frenetic pace does eventually get reined in by that towering proggy lead guitar. Even the album artwork mirrors this aesthetic — calmness set atop absolute mayhem.

Unusual that the lyrics do contribute to the grim atmosphere, because it’s actually decipherable — “I close my eyes. As Fire Swept Clean the Earth. Nothing left to strangle. As the cords were torn from our hearts”.

Enslaved is arguably among the most accomplished metal bands, but even for them, the aesthetics of this track is an unmatched creative act. We can safely state; abstraction of the quirky melodic aspects of a ‘Selling England by the Pound’ and placing it within the context of 90s extreme metal has now been accomplished – with captivating surgical precision.

Death – The Sound of Perseverance

Whether it’s songs like “Cosmic Sea” or “Trapped In A Corner”, Death always traversed a unique musical terrain. Deriving from intricate thrash structures, they took Celtic Frost like blueprint to unprecedented heights – made it more threatening and bleak. But, instead of the more gruesome death metal attributes like blast beats, atonality and deeper growls — Death emphasized coherent structural progression and melody.

‘The Sound of Perseverance’ (1998) is a genuinely dazzling confluence of these early influences and more. It’s well-tailored to quickly envelop a progressive metal disciple or a death metal-head. The record straddles this beautifully complex ground between progressive musical sensibilities and sheer sonic savagery of extreme metal. At the margins of these two demanding genres, Death successfully crafts this exquisite bridge from a Dream Theater to a Morbid Angel. This overall immersive experience can be elegantly summarized in Chuck Schuldiner’s own lyrics: “touch, taste, breathe, consumed”.

DeathSOP-1998.jpg

Widely varying transitions are graceful and numerous. Baffling how an At The Gates like guitar imprint runs into a razor steel Priestly guitars, finally exploding into an Obituary like mid-paced chugging. The good old signature riff-drum pattern of Death is also omnipresent. ‘The Sound of Perseverance’ acknowledges the progressive side to Death, and does that without significant deviations from their death metal roots. Essentially the same old harsh melodic guitar tones, screaming vocals and scathing leads interleaved with intricate passages — but now restructured into a progressive death symphony.

While firmly grounded in thrash roots, over the years, Death pursued a guided musical trajectory of progressive refinement. Emphasizing that crucial New Wave of British Heavy Metal artistry and sophistication – it’s essentially Iron Maiden’s melody reconciled with Hellhammer like brutal force. This constant duality in Death’s composition was always shifting in a progressive direction. So, for the longtime fans, ‘The Sound of Perseverance’ must have been a lot like the very last song from the record – “Open my eyes wide to see a moment of clarity”.

 

Damian Wilson News

I’m not privy as to the reasons why this happened, of course, but it makes me terribly sad.

It doesn’t get much better than Wilson-fronted Threshold in this world of sorrows.

Threshold’s last three albums (2 studio and 1 live) have been some of the best in rock history, frankly.

Threshold-March-of-Progress

DEPARTURE FROM THRESHOLD

Damian Wilson’s statement regarding the departure from Threshold:

Unfortunately this is not a mutual decision, but I respect it. After I had recorded the album and committed to the tour I was informed that Threshold were going to continue on without me. They have every right to make this choice, although it is difficult to part ways with a group of people you’ve shared so many experiences with.
I really enjoyed the past decade recording and touring with Threshold and wish them all the best for the future, with the hope we might work again on projects somewhere down the line.
The label Nuclear Blast are amazing, and with the wonderful support of the fan base the whole journey of being the frontman for Threshold has been fantastic.

Chicago Prog: Fire Garden Live, Nov. 30

15042257_971287016308790_832954814397367632_o
Led by mastermind, Zee Baig.

Fire Garden Live at Martyrs’ with Sonus Umbra and Erzulie

Recommended for the fans of Progressive Rock, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson, Pink Floyd.

Venue: Martyrs’ Chicago
Date: Wednesday Nov 30, 2016
Tickets: $7
Doors: 7:30 PM

Erzulie 8 PM – 8:50 PM
Fire Garden 9:10 PM – 10:00 PM
Sonus Umbra 10:20 PM – 11:10 PM 

Tickets at
http://martyrslive.com/wed-nov-30-8pm-7

Come and enjoy great music, venue and atmosphere.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1678754159103385/