Brighteye Brison are a name I had heard of before, but this is the first time actually hearing their music. Well, and if I tell you that there are 3 songs on this album, that clock in at almost 67 minutes, I think most of you (when not already familiar with the band) will know exactly what this is about. Yup, progressive rock it is.
I must confess I am usually not a big fan of lengthy tracks. Mostly because they often give me the feeling of a bunch of individual ideas being forced together, “because long songs are so popular amongst the fans”.
Yet when they really flow, and transitions and time signature and arrangement changes are made in a way that I find logical, these songs can work.
So now the question is; how are these 3 songs delivering? Well, let me first say that I really like the multi-part vocals from the Swedish quintet. They sound influenced by bands like Gentle Giant, Yes, Kansas and the like. Also their sound, with a great balance between keyboards and guitars is really up my alley. Especially since the music is melodic and not unnecessary complicated.
Having said that; the first few spins did not convince me that all the tracks and parts flow in a natural way. At least to me.
Of course this type of music needs time and a lot of listening. So over time I might feel different.
Still, lots of good stuff to enjoy, and overall interesting enough to make me want to investigate previous releases.
Ex Touchstone and now Cairo frontman Rob Cottingham first surfaced with Behind The Orchard Tree in 2002, which was in essence the start of Touchstone. And this release is a new version of that album, an “itch that needed scratching”.
New in many ways: new programming of drums, bass and sequencers. The mighty John Mitchell on guitar and Rob’s daughter Kerry adding vocals, etc.
Not having heard the original, I cannot compare. For people familiar with Touchstone and or Cairo, this sounds familiar. In songwriting and of course because of Rob’s vocals. Also, when the female vocals share the spotlight, the comparison to his bands are even more evident.
Having said that, this is still an interesting album. The man knows how to write a tune… And having John Mitchell on board will always raise the bar. Even when the keys carry lots of the arrangements, the guitar maestro still manages to catch some light.
It turns out there have been a few changes to the songs too. One track was ditched in favour of adding an orchestral version of Hero. And a new song in the shape of Out Of Time was added. Completists might like to know 😉
A very enjoyable album that current fans will lap up. And people who like diverse and melodic progrock, should check this one.
Basically consisting of Korey Ross (guitars and compositions) and Carter Lane (singer and lyricist), Volte has released their debut independently. I have been listening lots and lots to this album the last couple of weeks. And it is one of those albums that gets better with every play.
A great singer who is able to deliver catchy melodies, powerful riffs, and damn tasty guitar solos. In all honesty I do recall that I wasn’t all that convinced at first listen. But like I said, over time, the album proved its worth. I did find that opener Fire Away, with it’s spoken intro, is a bit of a strange way to lure listeners in. To me, that spoken word does not add much, especially since the song itself is a better way to get familiar with the band. Because lovers of melody and or competitive guitar solos will get a lot of what they like on this album. Many songs on here have hit quality if you ask me. Just listen to tracks like The Weekend, Burn The Ships, Hostage or Breathe, and you will hear what I mean.
And a bonus is that the album is varied, with enough mood changes to keep you interested. So they stay far away from being a one trick pony.
For an album that mixes grunge influences with more contemporary rock styles, this is very convincing and an album that deserves a big audience!
No matter how hard I try, I just cannot seem to get the backlog in album reviews finished. One of the reasons might be Phil Vincent, because the man that never sleeps just keeps releasing new music. And this time it is with his UK buddies from Legion.
After some problems with their previous record company, they are now part of the Rock Company family and have delivered a damn fine album if you ask me. This time bordering into melodic metal, with Phil taking care of the melodies and vocal harmonies and trusted sidekick Vince O’Regan handling guitar duties. And boy does he shred his way through the 10 tracks on offer.
Kicking the album off in high gear with Nothing To Me, the band prove they have left the past behind and moved forward. Back with a vengeance so to speak. The sound is meaty, with a punchy bass and drums giving you enough oomph to go with the energetic songs. Riff after solo the band sound on fire and take no prisoners.
I know some people are afraid Phil is saturating his fanbase with all these releases. But when the outcome is this good, who cares…
Bring it on! Well, we already know there is no stopping Phil 😉
If you think the cover of this album hints a bit at Country or Americana music, you would not even be very wrong. But the funny thing is, it is basically a progressive rock album! Although the prominent use of acoustic guitar, as well as some harmonica, flute, banjo, mandolin and violin, adds that different flavour to the album.
The album is a concept based on the childhood life of singer Saskia. And with 9(!) additional musicians featured, it will not come as a surprise that this sophomore effort is as diverse as you’d expect.
The thrill of it however, is that this is a very enjoyable discovery. There are several excellent songs on the album, and for me no filler in sight. The way their influences and inspirations are used in a prog rock setting has taken me by surprise and I find myself enjoying the album over and over.
Key tracks for me are Reverie, On My Way and especially the epic Paradise Road. Great melodies, killer hooks and instrumental sections, dynamics used to perfection, etc. So even when Yes and Genesis are cited as inspirations, this is in no way an outdated memory trip. No, it is fresh, vibrant and authentic.
Incredible that this is an independent release. The 71 minutes and 12 racks fly by! Anyone with a love for quality music should at least give it a try.
Of course this is not a 1974 CD, but the 2019 remaster of an album that is considered to be one of the best Norwegian prog albums ever.
Now the problem with such a claim is, that when you are not familiar with the original album, there will be no emotional ties to the album. And time is not always kind to such an album either.
Well, on to the album then. When listening to this, it is easy to hear why they were seen as the Norwegian counterpart to Yes. You hear similar polyphonic vocals, extended instrumental parts, a prominent bass, tempo changes and various solos. And of course long compositions with diverse arrangements.
So I have no doubts that people into the original will love it is now again available, even on vinyl. And it is clear why the album is held in such high regard. Both the songwriting as well as the playing are on par with their far more well known colleagues. So no problems there.
But it is clearly an album of it’s time, no matter how good the remastering was done. Yet when you consider how many prog addicts keep returning to the classics, that is not a bad thing either. This will sit effortlessly along all their beloved albums…
How do you get people to buy a live album from you (after 4 studio albums) when you have not yet reached the premier division of power / prog metal bands? Well, you could add a bonus DVD with the concert. You ‘d also have to make sure the band is on fire during the show. And last but not least, you’ve got to have the songs that the fans of bands like Royal Hunt and Symphony X lap up.
Italian band Stamina, with principal songwriter and guitar player Luca Sellitto at the helm, decided to just do all that!
Recorded at their September 2018 concert in Zgierz, Poland, this album serves not only as a fine introduction to the band for those not yet familiar with them. It also is a clear statement that all around the world there are still bands delivering quality music.
The 9 songs on the audio CD and the DVD are packed with very convincing performances from all involved. Not just the guitars, everybody (drums, bass, keys and vocals) gets to shine in their mix of power metal, progressive metal and some touches of fusion here and there. There are also a couple of bonus features included on the DVD.
I’ve read online that there were some concerns about “fixing things up” afterwards, but Luca has assured me that everything you hear was recorded on that very day.
All that is left to say is that I was so impressed with this album, that I had to have their studio albums too. Says enough me thinks!
When I was reading the press sheet coming with this album, I got a bit sad and ashamed that, in this day and age, sometimes it is still a struggle for people to reveal their sexual identity. For me, it should be normal for each and every one of us to be who we are!
But okay, this is about music, so let’s have a look at what we have here. A self produced debut by Freya, who wrote the songs, sings and plays guitar and got help on keys, bass, saxophone and flugel horn (!). The music is described as a mix of neo-soul, R&B and hip-hop with jazz. Now site regulars will wonder how this ended up on these pages, as these are not styles I enjoy hearing.
Well, then the good news is, yes, I hear elements of this in the music. But centre stage for me are the sultry vocals of Freya, accompanied by “popified jazz” songs, if you know what I mean. The combination of her great singing, with the jazzy guitar and very tasty and groovy bass parts makes me forget the programmed beats (I assume). Making this something I can enjoy listening to.
So there you have it, sometimes you have to look beyond your borders and discover that in every genre there will be artists that are able to make you question your own “rules”. And that is always a good thing.
Here a track that many mums and dads will be able to relate to. Or just another chance to get to know Chinawhite‘s latest album that is way too good to be ignored 🙂
Different was released in 2018 and the CD is available from the label and all formats are available in all good stores and platforms.
In the press sheet I read that this Norwegian band is influenced by old horror movies, German 70’s synth music, Norwegian jazz, Swedish folk, campfires, fantasy novels and nature. Resulting in murky apocalyptic forest prog? Mhm, how does that translate to this album then?
Well, in my humble opinion, I am hearing a band that has its roots deep in Seventies progressive / symphonic music. Think of a cross between In The Court Of The Crimson King, Genesis and early Jethro Tull. Nothing more, nothing less. So for people who are stuck listening to early Genesis, Yes, Tull and the like, they will get a kick out of this. Because the trademarks are all there. Flute, mellotron, acoustic guitar, dynamic outbursts, you get the picture.
To me, while I can enjoy listening to this, I am just not getting excited about it. It is fine if you want to keep reliving the past, but I prefer to move on. Don’t get me wrong, this is done with taste and a certified love of the sound many people still adore. So if that is your thing, enjoy. I prefer a bit more originality and identity.