As previously announced, a world-wide premiere of the unique musical project “She” by Caamora will take place on the 10th of March 2008 in Europe and the 13th of May 2008 in USA (via MVD). Caamora represents the partnership of Clive Nolan (Pendragon, Arena, Shadowland) and Agnieszka Swita in a lavish and creative collaboration. The musical version of “She” is based on the classic novel of the same name by Victorian adventure writer H. Rider Haggard. The culmination of the last two year's work with Caamora took place on 31st October 2007 at the Wyspianski Theatre, Katowice, Poland. Spearheaded by Clive Nolan and Agnieszka Swita, this epic production featured also guest musicians: Alan Reed (Pallas) and Christina Booth (Magenta) on vocals, bassist John Jowitt (IQ), Mark Westwood (Neo), Martin Bowen on the guitars, Richard West (Threshold) and Steve Williams on keyboards, and also Scott Higham (Pendragon) on drums. Additional orchestra and choir, eye catching visuals and dramatic stage show formed an ambitious two hour musical journey. The musical landscape of “She” is wide and varied: from the close, intimate sounds of voice and piano to the exhilaration and power of orchestra and choir, the music is intense and colorful. "She" has elements of heavy rock, and moments of pure opera, so is a rock opera. This extensive material is available in the following formats: 2 CD (studio version), DVD (live version), ltd. DVD+2CD (live version), ltd. 2 CD DG incl. a bonus track (studio version), ltd. 3 LP incl. a bonus track (studio version) and a BOX: 2 CD studio, 2 CD live, 2 DVD (incl. bonus DVD with 6 acoustic tracks and extra interview footage). The BOX also includes a special artwork plus 6 unique postcards.
Termin Vox is a young band from Tashkent, playing hard-edged Prog-Metal influenced by King Diamond and Voivod. Their debut release, “Evolution” (CD + DVD), released by IML Records, is now available for purchasing from here, for only $14.
The 22nd edition of Metalmania - the biggest metal fest in Central-Eastern Europe - will take place on the 8th of March 2008 in Spodek Hall in Katowice, Poland. Headliners: Megadeth (USA, main stage) and Stolen Babies (USA, small stage).
Here’s some new news concerning Big Big Train. Our Russian distributors MALS Records have asked if they can re-release our CD from 1997, “English Boy Wonders”. This is great news for the band as that CD was deleted by our then record label Giant Electric Pea a few years ago and we've been looking at options for making this music available again. Rather than simply re-release the album as it was, we thought we'd go back to the existing tapes and brush them up a bit. “English Boy Wonders” was a difficult release for Big Big Train as it was recorded during a period when we were not sure about our future with Giant Electric Pea and, indeed, what direction we wanted to take with our music. We could only afford short periods of time in the studio back then before we had to stop and save some more money to progress the recordings. This led to the album being recorded over a protracted timeframe and, what, with all the uncertainty over the future of the band, “English Boy Wonders” never quite hung together as an album. It was a compromised version what we were trying to reach for. This was frustrating, as the album included some of our best songs. Now, more than ten years on, we think we can make EBW the album it should have been. We're currently going through the process of doing some additional work on each of the songs before we do a complete re-mix. We can now use real organ and Mellotron and, with our additional experience in arranging and recording we can make the songs sound as they should have done. There will also be some bonus material for further aural titillation. An improved version of English Boy Wonders requires an enhanced CD package, so our artist Jim Trainer has been working on some additional paintings for the album. “English Boy Wonders” will be released in the late spring / early summer. In the meantime, we are also working on a brand new album, which will be out in 2009. More news when we have it.
”Nil Recurring”, the new release from Porcupine Tree has been released on Peaceville Records. The mini-album (about 30 minutes of music) was written during the Grammy-nominated “Fear of a Blank Planet” sessions, completed over the summer of 2007, and is now presented as a cohesive, self-contained Porcupine Tree work in its own right. The title track features Robert Fripp on lead guitar, and the album moves through the full Porcupine Tree spectrum of atmospheric ambience, melodic hooks, and crushing riffs. This edition is packaged in a deluxe super jewel case in textured slipcase. Porcupine Tree are regarded as one of the most impressive experimental/ progressive/ psychedelic rock bands to emerge from the UK since their inception in 1991, having enjoyed a successful recording career spanning over 15 years.
Thieves' Kitchen are proud to announce the impending release of their fourth CD, ”The Water Road”. The new album will be the first to display the immense talents of new member Thomas Johnson (formerly of Anglagard) on keyboards. Aside from this change, the line-up remains identical to 2003's “Shibboleth”, but also features a number of additional textures provided by guest musicians. Anglagard alumnus Anna Holmgren has contributed numerous stunning flute passages, original Thieves' Kitchen bassist Paul Beecham plays saxophone and oboe, and cello makes an appearance courtesy of Stina Pettersson. Furthermore, vocalist Amy Darby introduces a wide range of further instrumentation including recorders, clarinet, harp - and even Theremin and spoons. “The Water Road” was recorded primarily at Rob Aubrey's Aubitt Studios - highly renowned amongst the progressive fraternity in the UK - whilst the Anglagard connection is further enhanced by the use of Mattias Olsson's studio in Stockholm, Sweden, where Thomas recorded copious Mellotron parts along with Optigans and Orchestrons. The move away from 'in house' recording has also enabled drummer Mark Robotham to employ acoustic drums on this album, for the first time as opposed to the electronic skins previously utilized by the band. This especially complements the increased use of fretless bass by Andy Bonham. Instrumentation is one matter, but what of the compositions? Founder member and guitarist Phil Mercy has formed a prodigious writing partnership with Thomas and the material thus produced is definitely the finest of the band's career. From the delicate piano intro to the 21 minute opener 'The Long Fianchetto' to the triumphant, symphonic strains of the album's eponymous closing track, the band's music has taken on a whole new dimension. The music ranges from quasi-orchestral passages in 'Fianchetto' to the psychotic, breakneck fusion of 'Om Tare'. Long-term fans of the band are not forgotten either with the prog-fusion stylings of material such as 'Tacenda For You', but this contrasts delightfully with the crazed folk of the 4 minute 'Returglas' - almost a single. Meanwhile Amy's voice has taken on a whole new richness and maturity along with the lyrics certainly being her best yet, running the whole gamut of emotions from defiance to introspection and poignancy. The album will be available through the usual channels towards the end of March.
The new Van Der Graaf Generator album is titled "Trisector" and will be released by Charisma / Virgin / EMI at the tail end of March. Lineup: Peter Hammill (vocals; guitars, bass; keyboards), Hugh Banton (organ, piano, keyboards), Guy Evans (drums).
Forthcoming live performances:
27 March 2008 - RNCM, Manchester, UK
29 March 2008 - Rosignano, Livorno, Italy
31 March 2008 - Melkweg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 April 2008 - Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, UK
3 April 2008 - Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, UK
6 April 2008 - Gouveia ArtRock Festival, Portugal
20 April 2008 - B1, Moscow, Russia
A new Pallas DVD ”Moment to Moment" is to be released by Metal Mind Records on April 15. This Scottish outfit is one of the very first bands of the neo progressive movement of the early eighties. The DVD features a great spectacle, beautifully adorned with wonderful lighting and intriguing visuals, filmed at the atmospheric venue of Wyspianski Theater in Katowice, Poland in late October 2007.
Tigermoth Records are proud to announce the release of ”Metamorphosis”, the fourth studio album from Magenta on April 21st. Without abandoning the sense of melody and dynamics that remain the Magenta trademark, Metamorphosis sees the band taking a darker, more intense path with powerful, sometimes disturbing subject matter. “I think this album is going to surprise a lot of people”, says Rob Reed. “It will challenge many people’s preconceptions of what Magenta are, and what we are capable of musically. Most of it was written on guitar, so some of the material is heavier than before, whilst retaining most of the elements of the Magenta sound.” The album also marks the band’s return to long-form pieces of music, with two 20 minute-plus songs, namely Metamorphosis, the title track, a disturbing tale of a serial killer with a split personality, and the album opener The Ballad of Samuel Layne, which follows the thoughts of a soldier in the World War One trenches as he prepares to go into battle. Rob also comments that with guitars and real strings dominating the arrangements there are fewer keyboards than previous albums: “Watch out for some brilliant performances on the record”, he says. “Christina’s vocals are just astonishing, Tim Robinson delivers a virtuoso performance on drums and Chris Fry has pushed the bar even higher than usual with some amazing lead guitar. I have no doubt that this is, by far, our finest album to date”. The album was recorded at Big Studios in South Wales, and mixed by Rob Reed and Tim Lewis at the legendary Rockfield Studios near Monmouth in Wales. Rob has written all the music with lyrics by Steve Reed and the stunning artwork is by Killustrations. The album will be released on April 21st, but will be available from March 22nd from the Magenta shop via their website. Track listing: 1. The Ballad of Samuel Layne [20:17], 2. Prekestolen [03:43], 3. Metamorphosis.[23:15], 4. Blind Faith [6:01]. Lineup: Christina (lead vocals), Rob Reed (keyboards, guitars, bass, recorder, backing vocals), Tim Robinson (drums), Troy Donockley (Uilleann pipes) Chris Fry (lead guitar), Martin Rosser (guitar) and Stephan Rhys Williams (backing vocals).