Lance King – “ReProgram”

 Posted by on October 5, 2019 at 18:54  No Responses »
Oct 052019

What would we become if allowed to grow into our own passions? Lance King raises this tantalising question right off the bat in his second solo album, “ReProgram” that was released on 29 March 2019. His concern for the death of a child’s creativity is underscored in the music. I hear the dread in the volleys of driving kick drum and plaintive keyboards, while the guitars point accusatory fingers at a dystopian status quo where conformity trumps originality.

King delivers a compelling performance in “Pointing Fingers”, and I can hear why his tenor has graced the likes of Pyramaze and Balance Of Power: liquid ease. I’m in love with Kim Oleson’s guitar work on “Stand Your Ground”. It is no doubt tempting to follow the vocalist ever upward into the song’s crescendo and then lose yourself in soloist heaven, but not Oleson. He plays with both feet firmly rooted in the ground. His modern tone suits King’s voice to a tee, and when he does solo it is technical and melodic at the same time – and with just the right amount of restraint. I’d also like to acknowledge how the keyboards were played in this song. Oleson and/or Fred Colombo played counterpoint to the rhythm guitar in a way that brings the sequencer to the fore. Not so much that it becomes a lead instrument but rather that it adds to the overall urgency of the track.

“Technology” celebrates how technological advancement puts the means of musical production into anyone’s hands and while this democratisation is to be admired, King also poses the question, “Where will it all end?” Made in an instant, and shared in an instant in a world that is media hungry. This critique of consumerism is akin to that found in Porcupine Tree’s “Fear Of A Blank Planet”. Continue reading »

Jul 272017

The wait is over! After over three years, the Danish prog masters Anubis Gate will release the successor of highly acclaimed, “Horizons,” on September 1st via Nightmare Records. The new album will be entitled “Covered In Black” and the band shared its cover artwork created by Nikos Marko, tracklist and some other details in a statement.

It was produced by Kim Olesen and Jacob Hansen.

It says: “What would have been mature was to make an album resembling our previous album Horizons, going with the beautiful feel-good vibe of that album (though its topics were not all that feel-good).” Continue reading »

Jul 172017

Anubis Gate‘s seventh album “Covered in Black” will be released to the world on Nightmare Records on September 1st.

With six highly acclaimed albums, what can be said about a seventh album? It would be easy to say the following: It is our most mature album. Or how about this: We built on everything that came before it and added new twists and turns. Or this is our most accessible album perhaps.

But that wouldn’t be quite true. In fact it might even be quite untrue. Except for the part about building on past experiences, since everybody does that.

What would have been mature was to make an album resembling our previous album ‘Horizons’, going with the beautiful feel-good vibe of that album (though its topics were not all that feel-good) Continue reading »

Myrath – “Legacy”

 Posted by on March 15, 2016 at 16:34  No Responses »
Mar 152016

MyrathLegacy_4e7Sometimes starting a cover band as teenagers leads to something much bigger.  Myrath, which means “Legacy”, started out as a cover band in their teen years in France and Tunisia, playing mostly death metal covers to start, then Symphony X covers.  The band released an ep in 2005 and in 2006 opened up for Robert Plant and Adagio, eventually leading to the Kevin Codfert of Adagio becoming producer for the band.  Their first album Hope was released in France in 2007 and was well received by critics.  Their second album Desert Call, was released on BIS Records in France, and American Nightmare Records in the US, both of which have ties to Sony distribution and helped introduce the band to a wider audience.  Tales of the Sands (2011) further increased the status of the band and gained the band opening slots for Dream Theater, HIM, WASP, Orphaned Land and Tarja as the band toured the world.  As Legacy comes out the band will be touring Europe opening up for Symphony X and is looking to arrange tours in North America, Asia, and the Middle East.

“Jasmin” opens up the album sounding much like something straight out of a Middle Eastern adventure movie and the symphonic elements blend right into the beginning of “Believer”, which also manages to retain the middle eastern flavor for a while.  For those uninitiated in the sounds of Myrath, they are often described as “Oriental Metal” or something similar.  Personally, that doesn’t really help me very much, so in my view I hear them as symphonic power metal with middle eastern elements.  In general, there is a very high level of orchestration that provides an epic feel to the songs, which tend to build into soaring choruses all backed by a power metal rhythm section.  Continue reading »

Voyager – “V”

 Posted by on June 9, 2014 at 18:13  No Responses »
Jun 092014

voyagervcdOkay so I have never been a big fan of mixing electronics with rock music, but over the last few years as my musical horizons have grown and having a keen interest in broading my musical spectrum I have learnt to except and embrace a lot more than what I would have entertained as a teen or even a young 20 or 30 something adult. Okay I am giving my age away a bit, but dang who cares, let’s get back to focus on the latest band that popped up on my desk to review.

I think the whole electronic introduction into heavy music has been on a steady climb after the past decade, harking back to bands like Hawkwind and some other 70’s rock bands that incorporated synthesized music into their sound with some impressive if not hypnotic effect. So for me its done a full circle embrace, and with the latest gadgets and synthesizers available there are some interesting concepts out there, and some bands that are pulling this combination of rock or metal music mixed up with synthesizers  with style, giving new breathe to rock music in general.

This brings me to the Australian progressive heavy rock band Voyager, who drip with pop sensibility. They arrive with their latest work entitled, V, which is their fifth release. Details concerning the release dates of this album are as follows: digitally worldwide on 2nd June 2014. Physical releases will be June 2nd in Aus (Bandcamp exclusive)/UK (Code 7), North America (Nightmare Records) on June 3 and June 27th (MBM) in Europe. So digitally it’s out there to go and grab now. Continue reading »