The premiere of the new album by Believe is just around the corner. The band’s second full-length album entitled “Yesterday Is A Friend” will be released by Metal Mind Productions on 19th May 2008 in Europe and 8th July 2008 in USA (via MVD). The CD brings a powerful sound full of faith and melody with some hidden flavors and features 9 stories about love, happiness, freedom, truth, faith - the most important things in everyone's life. The new album was recorded in the following line-up: Mirek Gil - guitars (founding member and main song writer of Collage, ex-Mr Gil), Tomek Rozycki - vocal (ex-Collage), Przemas Zawadzki (ex-Collage), Satomi – violin, Vlodi - drums (ex-Mr Gil), with a few guest musicians: Adam Milosz – keyboards, Winek Chrost – guitar, Krol Wroblewski – flute.
The original line-up of Frogg Cafe is in the studio right now recording their 4th studio album. Last month they laid down the foundation tracks for tunes called Terra Sancta (Sussman), From the Fence (Lieto), and Move Over I'm Driving (Lieto) and in mid-May they are going to attempt to lay down guitarist's Frank Camiola's latest epic called Belgian Boogie Board.
Syrens Call has finally released their new DVD «Live From the Abyss», which contains the 10th anniversary concert of the band recorded on the 3 rd of May 2007 at the Nautylis of Comines, France (2 hours), two bonus features (the story of the band and the making-of of the concert) and a CD with the audio track of the gig. The DVD+CD is presented in a full-colour digipak with a 8 pages booklet.
El Dorado Hills, CA - Models walked the runway to keyboard virtuoso Erik Norlander's song "Neurosaur" in the new Bad Boy Films MTV show "If I Were King" which premiered April 9th. The documentary celebrates the 10th anniversary of Diddy's Sean John fashion line. It offers a private look at one of the most public figures in entertainment. "Neurosaur" was originally released in 1997 on Erik Norlander's debut solo CD "Threshold" and then re-released and remastered on the "Threshold Special Edition" 2CD reissue in 2007 on Norlander's Think Tank Media label, distributed by ProgRock Records / Ryko Distribution . Norlander's strong compositional vision, state-of-the-art production sensibility, command of vintage technology and masterful keyboard technique permanently burned "Threshold" into progressive rock history. Virtuoso keyboardist Erik Norlander was joined by drummer / percussionist Greg Ellis (The Matrix films, Vas) and bassist Don Schiff (Rocket Scientists, Lana Lane) to create a prog rock power trio whose depth and range matched past greats such as ELP, Rush and Cream. In 2007, Erik re-released the astounding 2CD version of "Threshold" complete with 10 bonus tracks and a high-resolution Quicktime video of Erik performing his legendary "Trantor Station" live at the California ProgWest progressive music festival on his famous modular Moog synthesizer. In addition, the Special Edition package includes an ultra-deluxe 20-page full-color CD booklet with extensive liner notes by Erik, rock keyboard icon Keith Emerson, the participating musicians and numerous others contributors associated with the album. "Neurosaur" also appears on Erik Norlander's two live releases, the "Stars Rain Down" CD (2004) and "Live in St. Petersburg" DVD (2006).
Heaven & Hell (Tony Iommi on guitar, Geezer Butler on bass, Ronnie James Dio on vocals and Vinnie Appice on drums) tour announced; first up is a tour dubbed "The Metal Masters Tour". This is an 18 date trek across parts of the US. It starts on August 6th, and ends up August 31st. A complete list of dates:
Wed 06-Aug-08 Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ
Thu 07-Aug-08 Nissan Pavilion, Bristow, VA
Sat 09-Aug-08 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
Sun 10-Aug-08 Nikon at Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY
Wed 13-Aug-08 Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON
Sat 16-Aug-08 Post Gazette Pavilion, Pittsburgh, PA
Mon 18-Aug-08 DTE Energy Music Theatre, Detroit, MI
Tue 19-Aug-08 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL
Fri 22-Aug-08 Superpages.com Amphitheatre, Dallas, TX
Sat 23-Aug-08 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston, TX
Sun 24-Aug-08 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, San Antonio, TX
Wed 27-Aug-08 Journal Pavilion, Albuquerque, NM
Thu 28-Aug-08 Cricket Wireless Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ
Sat 30-Aug-08 Glen Helen Pavilion, San Bernardino, CA
Sun 31-Aug-08 Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA
The other bands on the tour besides Black Sabbath er, Heaven & Hell, are Judas Priest, Motorhead and Testament. Judas Priest will have a new album out, as will Testament, and Heaven & Hell's new album should be well underway.
Northern Kings is Finland’s premier symphonic power metal supergroup, featuring four operatic male vocalists performing classic tracks in their own unique symphonic rock style. The 4 members are all successful frontmen in their own right; singing in a handful of the biggest Finnish metal acts of recent times (Nightwish, Ter?sbetoni , Tarot, Sonata Arctica and Charon). Their new record “Reborn” features, among others, critically acclaimed awe inspiring covers of Electric Light Orchestra’s ‘Bring Me Down’, Phill Collins’ ‘In The Air Tonight’ and Peter Gabriel’s 1986 classic ‘Sledgehammer’.
Vocalist/guitarist Scott Von Heldt (who has worked with members of White Zpmbie, Bad Company and more) has just released the first single entitled "Unraveling the Nothing" from his upcoming solo release. Says Scott: "The musical style is heavy and ethereal with influences in the vein of Tool, Isis, Opeth, Gojira etc with the lyrical concepts focused on promoting self-expression, environmental consciousness, spiritual growth and all things positive while using the powerful medium of metal”.
The Gourishankar 2003 CD “Close Grip” has been available since April 15, 2008. The Gourishankar have made their entrance in the Progressive Rock world with a bang with the release of “2nd Hands” on Unicorn Digital in 2007. The Band had previously recorded and independently released an album called “Close Grip” in 2003. It was re-released on Unicorn Records on the 15th of April 2008. The album contains 7 songs plus a bonus track.
The Nova Project has finished post production on their new CD “Live at
Cafe Acoustic” (video production of that concert begins next week). Selected cuts and Nova bios in English, French and German are available on their MySpace page.
Artificial Eye today announced the forthcoming 25th July UK theatrical release of Lou Reed's “Berlin”. Directed by Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), "Lou Reed's Berlin" documents the world premiere of "Berlin" when it was originally filmed at St. Anne's Warehouse, New York City in December 2006. The film will be shown at the Curzon Soho and Curzon Renoir cinemas in London from 25th July, and will also open in Edinburgh and Nottingham, and other selected cinemas around the UK. This highly anticipated film follows Reed's forthcoming "Berlin" UK June concerts – Belfast Waterfront (24th June), Edinburgh Playhouse (25th June), Nottingham Royal Centre (26th June) and London Royal Albert Hall (30th June).
Mastermind has teamed up with the Mindawn Online Music Service to make their entire catalog available digitally for the first time. "This is not a decision we've made lightly", says guitarist/composer Bill Berends. "There are as many online music services as there are hoops to jump through to use them". Indeed services such as iTunes, Rhapsody, & emusic only deal with select labels or aggregate distributors, not to mention crippling DRM (Digital Rights Management), embedded mp3 licensing fees, or even worse; the Real Audio format. "We wanted to streamline the process as much as possible, from our instruments to your ears with no middle men”. Since Mindawn began as a progressive rock music service, it seemed the obvious choice. "We are also very concerned with the level of audio quality the consumer receives and mp3 is at best a flawed format", Berends continues. "Once your ear picks up on the coding artifacts it can drive you insane. I really can't see asking serious coin for an album of mp3 audio, even if the music is well worth the price. Mindawn is the only digital music service we are aware of that offers CD quality audio". Tape traders, bootleggers, and audiophiles have been using FLAC for years because of its superior quality. "FLAC delivers exact CD quality audio and we want the buyer to get the very best quality possible". So it would seem, do other discerning artists. King Crimson offers FLAC downloads on their DGM (Discipline Global Mobile) website for example, as does Timo Tolkki (Stratovarius) who is currently offering his new rock opera in the FLAC audio format. As bandwidth increases, we believe this will be the way of the future. Mindawn also offers the Ogg Vorbis format which sounds great and is DRM and license free. "It sounds much better than mp3 to my ears”. That being said, Mastermind may offer some titles as mp3 downloads simply because the market demands it "but our back catalog and anything else we may release in digital-only format will surely be made available in FLAC audio format". Much like many artists of the day, to lure potential buyers and appease music starved Mastermind fans, the band will be releasing several digital-only titles from their large archive of live shows and unreleased material. Plans are also in the works for a concert DVD release of some kind in the near future.
Metalmania Festival 2009:
Friday, 7th March 2009, Zlin (CZ), Novesta Hall
Saturday, 8th March 2009, Katowice (PL), Spodek Hall
As every year, the Festival will take place in Poland and in Czech Republic. The 23rd edition of the Metalmania Festival will guest over 20 bands that will perform for thousands of metal freaks. The Metalmania Festival has a long and great history. Running for over 20 years, it has become the biggest and the most important metal festival in East Europe. The recent edition of the Festival, which took place on the 7th March (in Czech Republic) and 8th March 2008 (in Poland), gathered on one stage such great bands as Megadeth, Dillinger Escape Plan, Satyricon, Overkill, Vader, Immolation, Artillery, Flotsam And Jetsam, and Marduk, to name a few. Each edition is very well documented, as the show in Katowice is recorded and released as DVD+CD compilations.
Unicorn Digital is proud to announce that Quebec Progressive Rock band Direction has just signed a deal with the label for the release of their new album entitled “EST” This is the fourth album by Direction and it was released on May 10th 2008.
The first CD from Snarling Adjective Convention entitled ”Bluewolf Bloodwalk was released on Unicorn Digital April 25th 2008. Snarling Adjective Convention was originally the brainchild of William Kopecky and Roger Ebner. During listening sessions for their dark ambient project Yeti Rain, the duo discussed the possibilities of forming a sinister avant-garde funk ensemble that would combine elements of free jazz, metal, prog, ambient, and groove. The band also features Joe Kopecky on guitars, Craig Walkner on drums and Dan Maske on keyboards, trumpet, flute and percussion.
World-class fusion trio Spaced Out will hit the stage this September at FMPM 2008. Formed by bassist Antoine Fafard and originally having the name Cortex, several different line-ups came and went before the group were signed to Unicorn Digital to release their first (self-titled) album in 2000. They were the first band on Unicorn Digital, apart from label founder Michel St- P?re's own Mystery, and are to this day one of its most popular and best-selling groups. Drummer Martin Maheux has been there since 1998, while guitarist Mark Tremblay has been with the group since the live dates following their second album, entitled “Eponymus II”. Two studio albums have followed in recent years, 2003's “Slow Gin” and 2006's “Unstable Matter”, which was the heaviest to date, allowing touches of metal to fuse with the jazz and rock influences already present. During this time the group has stayed active in a live setting, performing at NEARFest, as well as the Crescendo Festival in France. Two live DVDs are available to demonstrate their prowess. The material for the next Spaced Out studio album has been composed and is now being recorded. The new pieces will offer the high energy music that you might expect from the band. Funky elements are more present than ever and the production will be at a top level. The album will be released by the end of 2008.
Michel St-Pere says: “It was with much anticipation that I went to see Jelly Fiche at the Lion d’Or on Tuesday, March 18 2008. Mid-week shows are always a bit complicated for me to attend, but I would not have missed this one for the world! This performance was in honor of the official launch of their first album, entitled ”Tout Ce Que J'ai Reve”. I was looking forward to see what the Jelly fiche folks had in store for us. All I can say is that I wasn't disappointed because it was just a magnificent concert, but I expected no less from them, judging by the quality of their acclaimed performance at FMPM 2007. I was most happy to see the Lion d'Or packed with over 150 people, the atmosphere was truly electric! The evening began with the opening act, renowned pianist Andre Delage, playing Genesis classics on the piano. He presented only three numbers, One For The Vine, Firth Of Fifth and The Musical Box, for a mesmerizing half-hour that was worthy of an enthusiastic standing ovation from the crowd at the end. Andre played with passion, giving his own twist at times to the legendary tunes. Around 8:30, time for Jellyfiche, two screens with back projection at each side of the stage, presenting spellbinding images throughout the performance. They performed their new album in its entirety , including Tout Ce Que J'ai Reve, Les Arbres, Cach? au Fond Plus Haut, Source Infinie, In Vitro, Dans La Peau D'un Autre, parts 1 & 2, La Fontaine and La Cage des Vautours/Liberte. Their music, highly melodic, psychedelic at times, is inspired by the songwriting of Harmonium, and the eerie musical arrangements of Pink Floyd. The musicianship is impeccable, from Eric Plante's exquisitely precise keyboard and saxophone work, to Jean-Francois Arsenault's Gilmour-inspired, blistering guitar solos and Syd's powerful and emotional vocals. Kudos also go to Sylvain Auclair on bass and Matt Bergeron on drums for their excellent work accompanying the trio. One of the few prog bands in Quebec to sing in French, Jellyfiche brings back the glorious atmosphere of the era when Harmonium, Contraction, Morse Code, Maneige and Pollen were masters of the airwaves, packing auditoriums where they played.
This summer will be the 10th anniversary of the release of ”Destiny?”, the third album by Montreal band Mystery and last one recorded with singer Gary Savoie After the release of Mystery’s latest album “Beneath the Veil of Winter’s Face”, tracks from the Destiny sessions were transferred into Illusion Studio’s computer and the new mix was in the work. Michel St-Pere says about this project: “Not only this album brought Mystery to a new level, but it also started the whole Unicorn Records adventure. But I was not satisfied with the mix and after mixing “Beneath the Veil of Winter’s Face”, I knew I could bring “Destiny” to a new level. The new mix sounds great and this album deserves to be heard the way it was meant to be. The 10th anniversary edition of “Destiny” will be released in the summer of 2008, while the band is recording a new album and prepares to do some live shows.
New York band Celestial Oeuvre’s new (their second) studio CD is being mixed right now at Studio Illusion by Michel St-Pere. The mix is almost finished and the CD entitled “This Mortal Coil” will be released in the summer of 2008.
The 2008 edition of the FMPM will take place September 13th and 14th at the Salle Pierre- Mercure of the Pierre Peladeau Centre, in Montreal. Musique ProgresSon (ProgQuebec) and Unicorn Digital are now pleased to present the complete lineup for this year's edition, which includes four international groups: Banco del Mutuo Soccorso (Italy), Univers Zero (Belgium), Riverside (Poland), and Knight Area (Holland), and three groups from Quebec: Charles Kaczynski , Spaced Out and Interference Sardines, all performing on Saturday September 13 and Sunday September 14, and also Premier Ciel who are performing on Friday September 12, as part of the FMPM pre-show.
In recent years, a growing movement of bands has started to reclaim and reinvent aspects of the Progressive genre, stripping it of its excess and cliches. Bands have been re-establishing the movement's original desire to experiment with eclectic musical sources and sonic possibilities in order to produce something meaningful in the here and now. The scene has divided into a variety of sub-genres, with acts including Porcupine Tree, Radiohead, Amplifier and Oceansize being deemed nu-prog, Muse, Opeth and Mars Volta spearheading the hugely popular prog-metal movement, Rain Tree Crow, No-Man and Air developing ambient prog, and Neon Neon and Dalek establishing the prog-hop genre. Added to the cinematic post-rock of Sigur Ros, Godspeed You Black Emperor and Tortoise, and the soul prog of Lewis Taylor, strands of Progressive influence have been instrumental in creating some of the most vital and exciting new music of the last two decades. In establishing a dedicated Post-Progressive label, K-scope will provide a home for this evolving, flexible and adventurous style of music without boundaries. A division of Snapper Music, the home of Peaceville Records (Opeth, Katatonia, Gallhammer, and My Dying Bride), K-scope launches in May 2008 with new albums from its first signings The Pineapple Thief and No-Man. The Pineapple Thief are an acclaimed 4-piece fro m Somerset fronted by songwriter Bruce Soord. The band's powerful new album, Tightly Unwound (released June 2nd), looks set to elevate TPT to a new level, and build on the success of their previous independently issued albums. No-Man is Tim Bowness and Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree). The duo will return on May 12th with their sixth studio album Schoolyard Ghosts (the first since 2003's Together We're Stranger). The album sees the band expand its sonic palette by collaborating with the likes o f ex- American Music Club pedal steel ace Bruce Kaphan, King Crimson's drumming powerhouse Pat Mastelotto, Porcupine Tree's Colin Edwin and Gavin Harrison, and the London Session Orchestra (arranged by Dave Stewart). Already blessed with a sizeable cult following, the band's striking and emotional debut on K-scope is likely to bring No-Man to an even wider audience. The legendary Porcupine Tree will be reissuing various back catalogue items through K-scope over the coming year. With a combination of exciting new and established talent, K-scope hopes to provide a focused and creative nurturing point for the continually growing and diverse post-progressive scene.
Odin’s Court is a Maryland, USA band that was initially formed by Matt Brookins in 2001. For the first 2 years the band struggled to find their sound, playing covers and originals ranging from classic rock to modern metal and everything in between. Over the years they honed their sound and live show, opening for such notables as Symphony X, Spock’s Beard, King’s X, Kamelot,
Enchant and more. They will be opening for Circa on May 2, 2008 in Springfield Virginia. “Deathanity” displays why Odin’s Court is difficult to fit into a genre: ambience, dynamics, and soul are combined with complexity, groove, and energy in a song oriented structure, to create a unique, surreal landscape. Including a configuration similar to that of the classic Pink Floyd album “Dark Side of the Moon”, “Deathanity” utilizes saxophone and backing female vocalists, and includes a palate scattered with spoken vocal clips and vast ranging sound effects. Special guest vocalists include Tom Englund (Evergrey) and Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica).
As previously announced Metal Mind Productions will release first DVD by Par Lindh Project. The DVD entitled "Par Lindh Project in Concert – Live in Poland” presents the footage from the band’s outstanding performance at Wyspia?ski Theater in Poland, which proves the band’s virtuosity as well as cleverness in devising remarkably intelligent compositions. Apart from the show the DVD also includes an interview with Par Lindh, photo gallery, biography, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and more! “Par Lindh Project in Concert – Live in Poland” DVD will also be available in a special DVD+CD limited swing case edition with a CD with audio material recorded at the show! The official release day is scheduled for 12th May in Europe and 13th May 2008 in USA (via MVD).