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/

 

 

Ayreon Specials

All 9000 tickets for the Ayreon Universe shows have sold out within 48H!

Here’s a special message from a very thankful Arjen.

And now for another shameless commercial plug: Mascot is having their annual holiday sale right now!

20% discount on all Ayreon items (except bundles), including the Deluxe Vinyl Editions** of The Final Experiment and Actual Fantasy Revisited, and… pre-orders for the new CD re-issues (to be released in 2017)!

Use code MASCOT2016 in the EU/WWW shop: www.mascotlabelgroup.com/ayreon/holiday-sale
Use code USMASCOT2016 in the US/CAN shop: usa.mascotlabelgroup.com/ayreon/holiday-sale

** Disclaimer: The Deluxe vinyl is only available in the EU/WWW shop.

Arcade Messiah III: Now Streaming

ALBUM PREMIERE: Arcade Messiah dish out a dose of instrumental perfection with “III” http://thesludgelord.blogspot.ie/2016/11/album-premiere-arcade-messiah-dish-out.html

Sludglord Blog are exclusively premiering the Full Album Stream of Arcade Messiah ahead of tomorrows release date, Arcade Messiah III is released on November 25th

Arcade Messiah III Album Preorder – https://arcademessiah.bandcamp.com/album/iii

John Bassett the singer, songwriter and producer of UK Progressive Metal Band KingBathmathas announced the forthcoming release primarily on bandcampof ARCADE MESSIAH III (release date 25/11/16)

The mostly instrumental one man project combines progressive metal with post rock, sludge, doom and stoner rock with Bassett recording all instruments and producing the album himself.  Says Bassett, “Arcade Messiah III has certainly been a labour of love for me, never before have I refined a record to the degree that I have done with this album, I incorporated many new production techniques and have learned a lot from the experience of putting this record together. I’m very excited to release this out into the wild.

Acompanying this release is a music video for track 1 of the album “Revolver” it includes eye popping timelapse visuals of Tokyo at night by darwinfish105
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bm7gPRG4ACc

Arcade Messiah III
(25/11/16) track listing
1. Revolver
2. Citadel
3. Deliverance
4. Life Clock
5. Black Tree
6. Sanctuary

Ayreon Live, September 15-16, 2017

AYREON LIVE ON STAGE FOR TWO EXCLUSIVE SHOWS
Ayreon Universe is happening September 15 & 16 at the 013 venue in Tilburg featuring a special appearance by Arjen Lucassen
Ayreonauts take notice and mark September 15 and 16 of 2017 in your calendars! These are the days that you can experience AYREON LIVE for the first time ever! Ayreon mastermind Arjen Lucassen has chosen the best songs from the Ayreon albums and Star One to create an exclusive live Ayreon show: AYREON UNIVERSE. The show will be performed at the 013 venue in Tilburg by the very best original Ayreon stars. You can expect Floor Jansen and Marco Hietala from Nightwish, Russell Allen (Symphony X), Damian Wilson (Treshold), Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian), Tommy Karevik (Kamelot), Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gentle Storm), and many other original Ayreon singers on stage, as well as an appearance by Arjen Lucassen himself.Regular ticket sales start on Thursday, November 24th at 10.00 am CET via www.ayreon.com/universe.

You, the Ayreon mailing list member, will get the chance to buy your TICKETS in our exclusive pre-sale. We will send you an email with a special link on Wednesday, November 23 at 07:00 AM CET to order your tickets 24 hours in advance of the general ticket sales. This exclusive pre-sale will start at 10:00 AM CET and will end at 23.59 PM CET on November 23.
Watch Arjen tell you all about the Ayreon Universe
There will be no less than 16 original Ayreon singers: Floor Jansen (Nightwish), Russell Allen (Symphony X), Damian Wilson (Threshold), Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian), Tommy Karevik (Kamelot), Marco Hietala (Nightwish), Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), Mike Mills (Toehider), Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gentle Storm), Marcela Bovio (Stream of Passion), Irene JansenRobert Soeterboek (Star One), Edward Reekers (Kayak), Jan van FeggelenMagali Luyten (Nightmare) and Lisette Marije (Scarlet Stories). The hand-picked band of 8 of Arjen’s favorite Ayreon instrumentalists includes Ed Warby (drums), Johan van Stratum (bass), Marcel Coenen (lead guitar), Ferry Duijsens (guitar), Joost van den Broek (keyboards), Ben Mathot (violin), Jeroen Goossens (flutes, woodwinds) and Maaike Peterse (cello).*

The Ayreon Universe live shows will feature songs from all Ayreon albums (incl. from the upcoming release on Mascot Label Group), as well as a selection of fan favorites from Star One.

Ayreonauts, brace yourselves for the ultimate Ayreon concert experience starring the very best of the Ayreon Universe!

AYREON UNIVERSE
Dates:                     Friday 15 September and Saturday 16 September, 2017
Location:                 Poppodium 013 – Tilburg, The Netherlands
Doors:                     7:00 pm CET
Start show:              8:30 pm CET
VIP tickets:             € 85,- (ex. additional fees)
The VIP tickets include an early entrance and a goodie bag with exclusive
Ayreon Universe merchandise.
Regular tickets:       € 55,- (ex. additional fees)
The regular ticket sales for both shows will start on Thursday, November 24 at 10:00 AM CET via the websites of Arjen Lucassen, the 013 venue {click here for 15 september, and click here for September 16} and Ticketmaster {click here for September 15, and click herefor September 16}.
For more information about Ayreon Universe and Arjen Lucassen, please visit Arjen’s websiteFacebook and/or Twitter.

The latest updates on the upcoming Ayreon album (Spring 2017) and order information on special vinyl boxes and Arjen’s catalog on CD and MP3 can be found on www.mascotlabelgroup.com/ayreon.

*Please note that all artist performances are subject to change. Visit www.ayreon.com/universefor the current line-up of Ayreon Universe.