Ever since I first started listening to Coheed And Cambria, I have been caught. Not only with the music, but also with the fact that a guy (Claudio Sanchez) comes up with a storyline, and is able to fill a whole bunch of albums based on that. And even adding a comic to go with that. As it also is a kind of SciFi theme, there is a faint resemblance to the Star Wars Saga in terms of conceiving a story and start telling it. Yeah I am a bit of a geek.
So now the band is back with The Afterman Saga. In between getting this and writing the post, the successor has already been released, so no rest for the wicked I guess. What I don´t understand is the emo tag C&C sometimes get. To me this is progressive music with some alternative touches. Okay, some people might find it hard to get into Claudio´s voice, but I am loving this. Be it on the more explosive tracks like Mothers Of Men or Holy Wood The Cracked, or the more contemplative stuff like The Hollow, The Afterman or Substraction, I always enjoy the musicianship on offer. Good songs, good melodies and especially in the lighter stuff some chilling moments due to the beautiful arrangements.
So no doubt that new album will find it’s way into the collection as well. Great stuff as always!
In my mailbox landed this introduction to Dutch alternative rock hopefuls Staton. Introduction, as this is a 4 song EP to get things into gear. And from the looks and sound of it, tempo will raise surely! Coming across as the bastard children of Muse, the mighty Pure Reason Revolution, and some other names that I am too lazy to look up right now. But what I do know is that bonus points are earned by the performance of singer Lara Mol. Here we have a girl that, while having a timbre that reminds me a bit of No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani, (in my humble opinion) is able to maximise her delivery by using every trick in the book. And her book is lengthy and she knows it by heart. Really impressive! But it is a quintet, and with 3 of the guys adding backing vocals, there is more to the band.
Judging from the people involved I am not alone in thinking this. Not only has the band been on a tight touring schedule, they also managed to pull producers Ken Stringfellow (REM, Posies) and JB Meijers (de Dijk) on board. So on to a full release then, but first head on over to their website and get to know them!
It is not often that an EP gets some words on these pages. But in case of new Dutch band Sylvium I am only happy to oblige. And maybe even stranger when one knows this is instrumental progressive rock… But if you are still reading, then let´s go on.
This EP has 3 songs on it, Crash, Media and Solution. And with a playing time of 21 minutes (in some genres that is an album´s worth) you can do the math, songs of about 7 minutes each. What I like about it is that the band do not shy away from experimenting with moods, arrangements, tempo´s and even the odd use of soundclips from probably TV. The way more ambient moods are morphed into classic progressive rock with lots of groove, guitar and Hammond is really worthwhile. Porcupine Tree you say? Or Pure Reason Revolution? Yeah, I guess that could be a reference.
An interesting way of getting to know the band and something anybody into the bands mentioned, progressive rock and or more ambient music, should give a try!
One of the joys of doing this, is the opportunity to bring unknown music to the fore. Well this is another perfect example of that. But first a question: do you think a band consisting of cello, upright bass, clarinets, drums and vocals can a) rock, b) sound like nothing you have ever heard before, or c) is something special?
Well, to me the right answer is d) all of the above. This outfit looks too crazy to work, but in reality this kicks major ass. Unique in many ways, yet rocks your socks off easily. The use of the German language does not distract at all (for me understanding that is easy, but that will not apply to everyone). It is a pity German is also the only language in which they correspond in booklet and website, but I am guessing that market is big enough for them to exist viably.
So if you like your music with a twist (think a mixture of progressive rock / metal / alternative / classical) and are not afraid to listen to songs you do not understand the lyrics of, but enjoy groove, melody and just powerful music, this might also be a great discovery for you. Go check it out! (I put a video from this album here a while ago).
Okay, so you are one of those people that likes to challenge himself (you could be female as well of course)? You fancy running a marathon, even if you have not trained for it? You think King Crimson is mainstream? You love to listen to complex music, go to bed and still wake up with energy pouring?
Well, then this must be right up your alley!
Russian band Infront use deceivingly simple cover art, but their music is far from that. King Crimson is a reference, although I feel that Infront uses a bit more distorted guitars. And this is all instrumental music, with the ‘mental’ part playing a big role.
And hey, I am all for trying to raise the bar, broaden the horizon and expanding existing limits. And these dudes (no band info, so I hope I am correct) are really experts on that front. And the fun thing is, this music becomes inescapable after repeated play! With all that craziness and seemingly direction-less noise, they still manage to trap you to wanting to hear it again.
So definitely not for unadventurous people, but sure worth tracking down! For a limited time you can get their music for ‘name your price’, so better take advantage of that! Just follow the link below.
This CD has been lingering around for quite a while, but finally the time proved right to listen to it. Or should I just be honest and confess its number came up One of the MelodicRockRecords releases of Andrew McNeice´s MelodicRock.com so you expect something close to melodic rock. Duh…
Well that may be the case yet I think Fenrik Lane have an appeal beyond that crowd. To me, a lot of this music is at home with the more modern rock crowd, and maybe even with those on the alternative side of it.
Don´t get me wrong, this is rock, catchy as sugar for the innocent child, and little to no screaming. A lot of vocal interplay though. Some songs just breathe the other influences. And you know what, that is just fine by me. Very well done on every level. The trio of Knut Glesnes (vocals and guitar), Christer Unneland (drums and backings) and John Erik Soltvedt (bass, backings, piano and additional guitars) sound mature. As if this is just one in a string of albums, though I do believe it is their first..
So a lot to enjoy here. Songs with hooks and melodies. Variety in abundance (a track like Cover Your Eyes could be picked up by U2 lovers…) so definitely one to pick up. Maybe you should check with the label if the recent sale is this going on. You are not only doing yourself a favour, but help Andrew keep the site alive as well. A worthy cause if any…
Fabrizio Borgosano from Coral Riff Management was so kind as to send me some CD´s of artists he is working with. The first being Mano-Vega with their 2010 release Nel Mezzo.
The band choose to stick to their native language (Italian) so everything from lyrics to booklet is in a language I understand only small parts of. Regarding the booklet (and website from Coral Riff) that is a bit of a pity. But regarding the music, that does not hurt me at all. The moods they create transcend language (music again proving to be universal).
Bearing a mixture of progressive rock with a lot of alternative touches a la Porcupine Tree, you are sure to get an album that requires your attention. The suspense in tracks like opener Ondanomala is so immense you can sometimes touch it. Dreamy piano parts are entwined with synthesiser sequences and the vocals will do about anything it takes to deliver their part and suck you into the song. Next track La Prova Del Vuoto is much more heavy, though the piano and keyboards still claim their part. As you will expect, arrangements are carried out with a lot of detail and the dynamic range is immense.
So an album that comes recommended for anyone with a taste for intricate music that you will hear new things in even after numerous spins. Impressive!