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CD review GAZPACHO "Soyuz"

Veröffentlicht am 14. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Gazpacho, Soyuz, News, CD Review, KSCOPE, Rock, Prog Rock, Art Rock

CD review GAZPACHO "Soyuz"

(9/10) Norwegian progressive sound architects Gazpacho are prepared for releasing their newest studio album entitled “Soyuz” in May this year. “Soyuz” follows the 2015 release “Molok” and offers again a firework of sounds from beginning to end.

The Norwegian sextet convinces again with extraordinary soundscapes and big melody lines. The combination of both, together with high musical skills, lead to 48 minutes of progressive rock music that shows the entire beauty of this genre.

Kept in a bit of a melancholic undertone songs like “Soyuz One”, the epic “Emperor Bespoke” and calm “Fleeting Things” stand the entire spectrum of Gazpacho's sound. Each of the eight tunes has so much feel weaved in, with the music being the emotional carrier of a story that comes with each of the tunes too.

Gazpacho decided to go for a holistic approach that includes more the only music. The band builds a story around their releases and it’s the newest treat that comes with the philosophical thinking of beautiful moments that can’t be kept. “Soyuz” is the capturing of different stories, all living up to the mentioned theme, which they have in common. The doomed space capsule Soyuz is one of the stories, also being the name-giver for the entire album, while it’s “Sky Burial” that addresses the Tibetan Buddhist funeral practice. These are just two examples out of eight chapters that are all worth to dive into. 

“Soyuz” is art rock with an inclusive approach. Music, lyrics and sound go together in a collaborative way, leading to a beautiful sonic journey that offers a lot for ears and mind. “Soyuz” stands for the complete picture of Gazpacho’s music, songs that stand-out by their emotional depth and musical perfection. Gazpacho- and prog-rock fans welcome this release already and I can recommend it too; also for fans that normally prefer music to be loud and heavy.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Soyuz One
  2. Hypomania
  3. Exit Suite
  4. Emperor Bespoke
  5. Sky Burial
  6. Fleeting Things
  7. Soyuz Out
  8. Rappaccini

 

Label: KSCOPE

Genre: Prog Rock

Release Date EU: May 18th, 2018

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/Gazpacho.Official.BandPage

www.gazpachoworld.com

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CD review TESSERACT "Sonder"

Veröffentlicht am 22. April 2018 von Markus W. in TesseracT, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, News, Modern Metal, KSCOPE, CD Review, Alternative Metal

CD review TESSERACT "Sonder"

(8/10) TesseracT from Milton Keys, UK worked hard over the last months to get their forth album ready to be shipped to the record stores. April 20th this year will be the day when "Sonder" will be released and it's another well-crafted piece of work.

The fourth delivery of British riff architects features eight songs with some being more cinematic interludes while others are longer masterpieces of progressive metal music. The opener "Luminary" kicks-off the longplayer with an ease. The song starts calmer before it evolves to a modern prog-rocker that comes round the corner very well.

"King" is next and things start to get longer. Seven minutes of multi-layered metal power is what you get to hear. The track has an oppressive vibe esp. due to the strong bass line that's weaved in. The darker vibe with some powerful screams breaks due to some more silent sections that create an exciting mixture of aggressiveness and peaceful elements. Tesseract creates some arcs of suspense that are thrilling.

A soulful moment is entitled "Orbital" which is a harmonic bridge towards "Juno", the next longer tune on "Sonder". Downtuned guitars start the song that belongs to the heaviest ones on this excellent longplayer. With an almost funky approach TesseracT spices-up this well-done masterpiece that's booming from beginning to end.

The pattern of a loud and calm interplay comes back with "Beneath My Skin" before "Mirror Image" takes over the scene with some atmospheric keyboard sounds. The track doesn't belong to the loudest ones on "Sonder". Actually it's mainly the opposite with TesseracT showing the soulful aspect of their music. There are some heavy outburst though, but those are more the pepperoni on the pizza. Loundess slowly returns with the raging "Smile" with its complex rhythmic approach before it's up to "The Arrow" to close a challenging but also exciting album that proves the fact that complex music can be thrilling for non-musicians too.

"Sonder" is the next cornerstone in TesseracT's musical career. These guys have great musical skills, are real craftsmen of progressive music and have a really good sense for melodies at command. This album is definitely to recommend and listening to it as for sure no waste of time.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Luminary
  2. King
  3. Orbital
  4. Juno
  5. Beneath My Skin
  6. Mirror Image
  7. Smile
  8. The Arrow

 

Label: KSCOPE

Genre: Progressive Metal

Release Date EU: April 20th, 2018

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CD review DANIEL CAVANAGH "Monochrome"

Veröffentlicht am 23. Oktober 2017 von Markus W. in Daniel Cavanagh, Anathema, Anneke van Gieersbergen, Anna Phoebe, New, Rock, Prog Rock, Kscope

CD review DANIEL CAVANAGH "Monochrome"

(9/10) Sometimes you don‘t have to be loud to get heard. Sometimes it‘s the calmer tones that reaches your ears and hit your soul. It‘s not only frantic riffs or a grooving rhythm section that makes the difference. Piano and a gentle singing acoustic guitar can do an excellent job too, reducing music to its essence.

Anathema‘s Danial Cavanagh knows all this and went through all the mentioned phases. Starting in the territory of death metal with Anathema many years ago the musical fate led him to areas where the beauty of soulful sounds shines in the spotlight.

This time the British musician doesn‘t release songs with Anathema. He took the challenge of working on a solo album entitled „Monochrome“. A glimpse on the artwork shows the musician with a sort if grim face expression, without any reasoning since the album should lead to a smile of satisfaction.

„Monochrome“ is built on seven songs, all being actually very colourful. Closing the eyes enable the listener to dive into beautiful pictures drawn by the sound of music.

What gives the album a wider approach is the inclusion of Anneke van Giersbergen and Anna Phoebe. Giersbergen’s powerful but also  soulful female voices make songs like „This Music“ and „Soho“ to terrific compositions with touching emotions and it’s Phoebe’s violin that adds another dimension to “Soho”, “The Silent Flight of the Raven Winged Hours” and Dawn”. In this context I also would like to mention the well-crafted interaction between loud and sensitive, being a crucial factor for adding a positive tension to the album.

„Monochrome“ is a fantastic album with seven gigantic compositions. Things end far too early with the cinematic closer „Some Dreams Come True“. Even though this song stands for the end of the album it also allows the listener to go back to start for a second, third, fourth,... time for another round of this exciting trip through the beauty of music.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Exorcist
  2. This Music
  3. Soho
  4. The Silent Flight of the Raven Winged Hours
  5. Dawn
  6. Oceans of Time
  7. Some Dreams Come True

 

Label: Kscope

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: October 13th, 2017

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CD review ANATHEMA "The Optimist"

Veröffentlicht am 17. Juni 2017 von Markus W. in Anathema, News, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, Rock, Kscope, CD Review, Alternative Rock

CD review ANATHEMA "The Optimist"

(9/10) Quite some years ago Anathema went through a meta(l)morphosis, moving step by step from being doom death outfit to one of Europe's finest alternative rock bands. Albums like "Alternative 4" and "A Natural disaster" belongs to the best the band ever released with the new longplayer fitting perfectly into this context.

"The Optimist" is the name of the new studio output, a masterpiece featuring eleven new compositions that are jaw-dropping good. Anathema's music is more than just songs, all together leading to the tracklist of an album. Each of these tunes in itself is a little treat for ear, mind and soul.

The starting point to this new story is a location well-known by Anathema fans. "32.63N 117.14W" are the coordinates of Silver Strand Beach, the place where the optimist disappeared at the end of the 2001 release "A Fine Day to Exit". In this sense the new disc bridges a period of 16 years, continuing in the here and now with beautiful soundscapes and big arcs of melodies.

"The Optimist" is not just and album. These songs are art, music that comes with an enormous emotional depth and a high level of inspiration. Regardless if it's the rocking songs like "Leaving it Behind", the beautiful title track or the light-hearted "Can't Let Go", things are done just in perfection by the Cavanagh brother and band mates. This album use more than the standard fashion. Here we are talking about cinematic music being a kick start for your own product of  imagination. What supports this approach is the contribution of soundtrack composer Paul Leonard Morgan who was brought into picture by producer Tony Doogan. It feels like this collaboration added an extra layer to Anathema's soulful music, captured on "The Optimist".

To sum up: "The Optimist" is the highly anticipated new album of Anathema, a band that belongs to the best alternative rock music can offer. This album is everything but no musical fast-food. This record comes with a rich offer which makes it to an exciting one, underlining the importance of the band in contemporary European rock music.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. 32.63N 117.14W
  2. Leaving it Behind
  3. Endless Ways
  4. The Optimist
  5. San Francisco
  6. SpringfieldGhosts
  7. Can't Let Go
  8. Close Your Eyes
  9. Wildfires
  10. Back to the Start

 

Label: KSCOPE

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: June 9th, 2017

 

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ANATHEMA reveals cover and tracklist of the upcoming album

Veröffentlicht am 24. März 2017 von Markus W. in Anathema, Rock, Prog Rock, Prog Metal, News, Kscope

After Anathema’s 2012 award-winning album Weather Systems and 2014’s spellbinding Distant Satellites, the ambient rockers are back with their eleventh full-length, The Optimist. Due for release on 9th June through Kscope The Optimist will soon reveal some of the darkest, most challenging and unexpected music the sextet have put their name to.

Anathema, led by brothers Daniel and Vincent Cavanagh, along with drummer John Douglas, singer Lee Douglas, bassist Jamie Cavanagh and keyboardist Daniel Cardoso began recording The Optimist in the winter of 2016 at Attica Audio in Donegal, Ireland and then finished at Castle Of Doom studios in Glasgow with producer Tony Doogan [Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian, Super Furry Animals] at the helm. Vincent elaborates on Doogan’s influence on the recording process “he suggested that we record as a live band, which we hadn’t done for years. Having played a few tunes on the last tour, we were ready for that. Tony wanted to capture that energy you can only get with everyone facing each other… it makes a big difference. He was a superb guy to work with and I learned a lot making this record”

The idea for The Optimist was born from the front cover artwork of the band’s 2001 album A Fine Day To Exit Daniel Cavanagh explains “I suppose you might say the album is semi-autobiographical because this time we used a surrogate,” he says, of the character that is The Optimist “We put sound, feelings and crucially, our own hopes and fears into another person and made him the subject of the songs then weaving my own internal monologue into the narrative of The Optimist. It was John’s idea to write a narrative, so I took A Fine Day To Exit as the starting point”. Vincent elaborates further on the earlier album’s artwork influence “The guy who disappeared – you never knew what happened to him, did he start a new life? Did he succumb to his fate? It was never explained. The opening track title is the exact coordinates for Silver Strand beach in San Diego – the last known location of The Optimist – shown on the cover of A Fine Day to Exit.”

To continue the theme further, the band brought back designer and illustrator Travis Smith to create the artwork for The Optimist. The artwork was created from a series of photographs Smith took on a West Coast road trip.

With the character’s unresolved destiny the three song writing members, meticulously brought the unfinished story to an end – and most strikingly of all – one which is decided by the listener.

 

Tracklist:

  1. 32.63N 117.14W [01:18]
  2. Leaving It Behind [04:27]
  3. Endless Ways [05:49]
  4. The Optimist [05:37]
  5. San Francisco [04:59]
  6. Springfield [05:49]
  7. Ghosts [04:17]
  8. Can`t Let Go [05:00]
  9. Close Your Eyes [03:39]
  10. Wildfires [05:40]
  11. Back To The Start [11:41]
ANATHEMA reveals cover and tracklist of the upcoming album
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CD review BLACKFIELD "V"

Veröffentlicht am 24. Februar 2017 von Markus W. in Blackfield, Rock, Prog Rock, Hardrock, News, CD, Ambient, KSCOPE, Steven Wilson

(9/10) “V” marks, how could it be different, the fifth album of the genius cooperation of Aviv Geffen and Steven Wilson. These guys started their collaboration after Geffen, a big fan of Porcupine Tree, invited the band to Israel for a concert. What start in 2000 led to the two musicians working on some first songs together resulting in the “Blackfield” album that was published in 2004.

Blackfield stick, with the exception of “Welcome to My DNA”, to a numbering of their record and therefore it’s a logical consequence to entitle this longplayer “V”.

The two iconic musicians deepened their cooperation with each longplayer, being supported by Seffy Efrati, Tomer Z. and Eran Metelman.

The album starts with a classic intro named “A drop in the Ocean” which an atmospheric piece of music that brings some calmness into nowadays hectic life. “Family Man” is next and provides a more rocking vibe. The song never gets really loud, but it reaches a level of intensity that is outstanding. What surprises is the fact that each of the tunes in “V” is very spot-on. You might expect long epical tunes on such a record but not in this case. Two tracks go above a four minutes length while the rest stays within a framework of 3-4 minutes.

There are more of these beautiful rocking anthems on “V”. “We’ll Never be Apart” is one of them and “Later” unveils the rocking passion of the duo.

Next to their tunes there are the soulful moments like “Sorrys”; songs built on beautiful melodies and wide soundscapes that makes each of these numbers to a delicious acoustic experience. Like with intro, these songs are best while taking you earphones, and closing your eyes. The music will take you to a cinematic journey that comes with a lot of emotional depth. Fragile moments next to powerful sections provide the listener with a constant arc of suspense from beginning to end.

“V” is Backfields’ fifth studio longplayer and it’s hopefully not their last. This pair of experienced and passionate musicians brings beauty in this grayish world. Excellent music done by outstanding musicians. Two thumbs up.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. A Drop in the Ocean
  2. Family Man
  3. How Was Your Ride
  4. We’ll Never be Apart
  5. Sorrys
  6. Life is an Ocean
  7. Lately
  8. October
  9. The Jackal
  10. Salt Water
  11. Undercover Heart
  12. Lonely Soul
  13. Fromm 44 to 48

 

Label: KSCOPE

Genre: Progressive Rock

Release Date EU: February 10th, 2017

CD review BLACKFIELD "V"
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