Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

prog rock

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.





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



Genre: Prog Rock

Release Date EU: May 18th, 2018


CD review SPOCK'S BEARD "Noise Floor"

Veröffentlicht am 10. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Spock's Beard, News, Hardrock, Rock, Prog Rock, Prog Metal, Noise Floor, CD Review, InsideOut

CD review SPOCK'S BEARD "Noise Floor"
(8/10) Spock’s Beard was founded in 1992 by the Morse brothers, Neal and Alan. It was in 202 when Neal Morse left the band, focusing on some other projects he had in the pipeline. The 2003 release “Feel Euphoria” was the first one with Nick D’Virgilio on vocals and the question at that time was, if Spock’s Beard could continue with the winning streak the band had during the first era. The answer is: ‘yes’. Spock’s Beard never unveiled any bad album and the prog outfit was always a sight for sore eyes on bigger festivals like Sweden Rock and Prog Festival at Lorely, Germany.  However, the records from the first era had a wider commercial reach with a same level of quality included.
Spock’s beard records are a treat for ears and mind with the new album not starting a different pattern.
“Noise Floor” is the title of the next Spock’s Beard record, an album that comes as a double CD. While disc number one is about “Noise Floor” it’s the “Cutting Room Floor” that adds another four tunes to the total on disc 2. 
The band doesn’t change direction when it comes to the 13thstudio album. It is more that the quintet developed their sound and trademarks step by step without deciding for dramatic changes. One thing though is very different compared with the predecessor. Earlier mentioned founding member Nick D’Virgilio, who left the band in 2011, is back and next to the regular line-up Spock’s Beard stretched their sound by adding violins, a cello player and an English horn to the mix, giving their songs a wider frame and some nice twists.
To zoom in on some songs only is not what should be done with "Noise Floor". It's the entirety rather than a specific tune that creates enthusiasm.
However, to describe a bit of what can be expected of this Spock's Beard release, I will use "What Becomes of Me' as an example. The ticking of a clock introduces the tune, followed by some soulful guitar melodies. Sometimes I had to think about Deep Purple while there were other moments that reminded me of Pink Floyd. As with the earlier releases also this time songs are used for transporting feelings and the fact that we have skilled musicians at work widens the spectrum and adds possibilities to do so. Adam Morse and band mates always put the focus on songs and songwriting, in which all musicians are included. Spock's Beard was never a band that put the spotlight on individual skills and experience. It is the passion for music, the willpower to write excellent songs and the emotional depth that creates a base for this album as well as for the earlier releases.
‘13’ might be a sort of unlucky number for some, but definitely not for Spock’s Beard. Their 13thlongplayer showcases again the high level of musical skills when it comes to each of the band members and the band itself. It also feels like the return of D’Virgilio added some extra enthusiasm to the band, which makes “Noise Floor” to an exciting progressive rock album fully in line with earlier releases. If you’re a Spock’s Beard fan, the new album will be another highlight in your prog rock collection and folks that are passionate about well-crafted and approachable progressive rock music will like this album.


Disc 1 - Noise Floor

  1. To Breathe Another Day

  2. What Becomes Out of Me

  3. Sombody's Home

  4. Have We All Gone Crazy Yet

  5. So This is Life

  6. Box of Spiders

  7. Beginnings

Disc 2 - Cutting Room Floor

  1. Days We'll Remember

  2. Bulletproof

  3. Vault

  4. Armageddon Nervous

Label: InsideOut Music

Genre: Progressive Rock

Release Date EU: May 25th, 2018

CD review IHSAHN "Àmr“

Veröffentlicht am 1. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Àmr, Ihsahn, Black Metal, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, Rock, Avangarde, Contemporary, Spinefarm Records

CD review IHSAHN "Àmr“

(9/10) Like with the earlier releases Ihsahn delivers another curveball when it comes to new album. It is hard to predict what you get with a new longplayer done by this extraordinary creative mind. The only thing that's for sure is that an Ihsahn album contains music that isn't from the shelf. It’s music and sounds that stretches the limits and challenges fans, listeners and maybe even Ihsahn himself.

The opener „Lend Me the Eyes of Milenia“ shows the entire spectrum of Ihsahn musical creativity. Synthizers kick off the song and you have to double check if you‘ve started the right disc. After some seconds sounds get swept by evil vocals that go together with the mentioned keyboards. A few more seconds and things become crystal clear. Welcome to Ihsahn‘s new masterpiece. Hoarse vocals and an unholy vibe characterise an excellent songs that include all you could wish from a new Ihsahn album.

The dark beauty with this longplayer is the cross-genre approach of the former Emperor frontman. Harsh black metal elements are interacting with melodic parts in a perfect fashion and even melodic anthems like „Sámr“, build on bigger soundscapes, fit into the context of „Àmr“.

The moment you have the feeling of having identified the patterns of this album it‘s another twist that opens another sound pattern.

„Àmr“ includes many aspects of contemporary metal music. There isn‘t one moment on the album that doesn‘t positively surprise you as a listener. „Marble Soul“ for example begins gloomy and with a hellish grin before things turn into a catchy chorus that reminds of prog rock. „Wake“ is another tune that‘s build on a similar approach. Raw black metal and progressive moments make the song sound like a black metal version of a Devin Townsend track.

As on „Arktic“ it‘s musical genius, unbound passion, a creative flow and a lot of willpower ton stretch borders, making this longplayer to a fascinating release that shows the fact that metal can be extremely creative and divers.





  1. Lend Me the Eyes of the Millenia
  2. Arcana Imperii
  3. Samr
  4. One Less Enemy
  5. When You are Lost and I Belong
  6. In Rites of Passage
  7. Marble Soul
  8. Twin Black Angels
  9. Wake
  10. Alone (Bonus) (Poem by Edgar Allan Poe)


Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Progressive Avangarde Black Metal

Release Date EU: May 4th, 2018


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.





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



Genre: Progressive Metal

Release Date EU: April 20th, 2018


SUBSIGNAL unveils a new song from "La Muerte"

Veröffentlicht am 20. April 2018 von Markus W. in Subsignal, Prog Rock, Prog Metal, News, Video, La Muerte, Gentle Art Of Music

SUBSIGNAL unveils a new song from "La Muerte"

Soundscape architects Subsignal worked on a new album entitled "La Muerte". The longplayer will hit the shelves on May 25th and comes via Gentle Art Of Music.

Artwork, tracklist and a new video have been unveiled and here they are:

  1. 271 Days
  2. La Muerta
  3. The Bells Of Lyonesse
  4. Every Able Hand
  5. Teardrops Will Dry In Source Of Origin
  6. The Approaches
  7. Even Though The Stars Don't Shine
  8. The Passage
  9. When All The Trains Are Sleeping
  10. As Birds On Pinions Free
  11. Some Kind Of Drowning

DEVIN TOWNSEND announces ERAS Part 1 vinyl collection

Veröffentlicht am 19. April 2018 von Markus W. in Devin Townsend, News, Prog Metal, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Prog Rock, InsideOut

DEVIN TOWNSEND announces ERAS Part 1 vinyl collection
Devin Townsend has announced a series of high quality, lavish vinyl collections under the name of ‘ERAS’. The first in this series is released 08th June 2018 and features the quadrilogy of albums that came out during the period of 2009-2011 when the Devin Townsend Project was first created. 
The boxset comes with 7LP’s and includes the albums KI, Addicted, Deconstruction and Ghost, marking the first time that the latter two have ever been available on vinyl, while the former have been long out of print. All albums come in gatefold sleeves on 180g vinyl, and have been specially remastered for the format to guarantee the best possible sound and listening experience. The sturdy 2-piece box also includes an LP-booklet that features complete lyrics, liner notes and comments from Devin, and is limited to 2000 copies worldwide. There will be a total of 4 boxsets released over the course of the next few months.
Devin comments: “The Devin Townsend Project, although it went further than I had originally planned, began life as these four albums. Ki, Addicted, Deconstruction and Ghost. The music evolved in line with a period of intense personal growth, and the albums in chronological order were meant to illustrate that change. The amount of people involved with this was extensive, and the journey was one that defined my career in ways I cannot over express. These four albums are really what the Devin Townsend Project was about.
I have been asked repeatedly over the last few years to provide these albums on vinyl, in one set. So we took this opportunity to put together 'ERAS', which is the definitive vinyl box-set encapsulating this period of my life and work that I am exceptionally proud of. As always, this wouldn't have come to fruition without the support of the tremendous audience who has allowed it to flourish, so respect to both yourselves, the people involved, and the music itself, we present to you; 'ERAS'. Thank you for allowing me to continue to do what I do. Devin Townsend”

HAKEN will release their 1st live album in June

Veröffentlicht am 16. April 2018 von Markus W. in Haken, L-1ve, News, Rock, Prog Rock, Live, InsideOut

HAKEN will release their 1st live album in June

HAKEN are extremely pleased to announce the release of their first ever live album, titled ‘L-1VE’ and scheduled for release on the 22nd June 2018. Following the release of the bands much-acclaimed fourth studio album ‘Affinity’, they embarked upon their 10th anniversary tour across Europe & North America. Recorded and filmed on the 13th April 2017, at the legendary Melkweg venue on the Amsterdam stop of that tour, this represents the band’s first ever live document with tracks from across the bands discography.

“The release of official live material is a project that is long overdue and we know our existing fans have been crying out for this for some time now. Whilst we have filmed and recorded many shows in the past we have always felt there were elements of our shows that could be improved 'visually' before we documented and immortalised this for the world to see and that the timing for a live release never felt right for us. This is just our nature as creative people to be so extremely self-critical and constantly strive for perfection. It is largely due to the will of the people that the idea of this project became a reality. Both the band and the label were inundated with emails requesting a live release in some shape or form, and it was actually rather flattering, so giving the people what they wanted just felt like the right thing to do.”

‘L-1VE’ will be released as a 2CD/2DVD Digipak package & as digital download. The DVD will include 4 bonus tracks filmed at ProgPower USA 2016 that also includes Mike Portnoy’s cameo appearance on gong, as well as all of the official videos from the ‘Affinity’ album. The main show and the bonus material on the DVD are also mixed in 5.1 surround sound.



  1. affinity.exe/Initiate
  2. In Memoriam
  3. 1985
  4. Red Giant
  5. Aquamedley
  6. As Death Embraces
  7. Atlas Stone
  8. Cockroach King
  9. The Architect
  10. The Endless Knot
  11. Visions


DVD Bonus Material

  1. Falling Back to Earth
  2. Earthrise
  3. Pareidolia
  4. Crystallised

CD review CHAOSTAR "The Undivided Light"

Veröffentlicht am 31. März 2018 von Markus W. in Chaostar, The Undivided Light, Classic, Rock, Ambient, News, CD Review, Season Of Mist, Prog Rock

CD review CHAOSTAR "The Undivided Light"

(*/10) Chaostar is an outfit, hailing from Greece. The band is the brainchild of Septicflesh guitarist Christos Antoniou who founded Chaostar in 1998. The band was meant to be a side project since the main effort and time went into Septicflesh. Over time the project turned into a band that released so far four longplayer that were as genius and distracting.

Chaostar is differs quite a lot from the main band. The quartet is far more experimenting with sound, getting far deeper into classic music. Screaming guitars and furious solos aren’t what you should expect of “The Undivided Light”. The album, as well as the earlier releases, is orchestral and experimental, all framed by a classic approach that includes some rocking elements.

The guitarist is an academy trained composer who finished his study of classic music with honours and distinction. Antoniou contributes with these skills to a certain extend to Septicflesh songs but Chaostar gives him a far wider playing field for new sounds.

To pick out a few songs of this unconventional album is a mission impossible. The album needs to be seen as a holistic piece of music, featuring intensive and expressionist music. The four musicians stretch the boarders and built their songs on orchestral arrangements and Androniki Skoula’s mezzo-soprano. String instruments and horns are no strangers to Chaostar, enriching songs like the 10 minutes masterpiece “Silent Yard”. Also the heavy drumming, that’s part of this tune shows the width of Chaostar’s sound.

“The Undivided Light” is a counter project to mainstream. This music has nothing to do with cheesy melodies and catchy choruses. This longplayer is a distinctive one that leads to irritation and euphoria. You have to be open-minded though since this album takes time and attention. “The Undivided Light” is no musical fast-food, being served on a 43 minutes car right. It’s a tasteful composition that unveils its beauty step by step.


(*/10) (Since the album is far beyond standard there's no rating)



  1. Tazama Jua
  2. Blutbad
  3. Stones and Dust
  4. The Undivided Light
  5. Mέμνησο
  6. Silent Yard
  7. Ying & Yang


Label: Season Of Mist

Genre: Classic Ambient Rock

Release Date EU: March 23rd, 2018



Christos Antoniou: trigger, synth, orchestration

Androniki Skoula: vocals, lyrics

Charalampos Paritsis: electric violin

Nikolaos Velentzas: drums, percussion

Guest musicians:

Kiara Konstantinou: cello

Vahan Galstyan: duduk

Stella Valasi: santur

George Emmanuel and Greg Eleutheriou: guitars on "Ying and Yang"

Nikolaos Velentzas: guitars on "Blutbad"

Margarita Stadler: girl's voice on "Blutbad"



CD review BARREN EARTH "A Complex Of Cages"

Veröffentlicht am 29. März 2018 von Markus W. in Barren Earth, Death Metal, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, News, CD Review, Century Media, A Complex if Cages

CD review BARREN EARTH "A Complex Of Cages"

(8/10) Finnish Barren Earth aren’t a newcomer in metal. The band, hailing from Helsinki, Finland, debut in 2010 after having inked a deal with Peaceville Records. “Curse of the Red River” was the first out of three longplayers the guys released up to date.

Three years after “On Lonely Towers” hit the shelfs, it’s “A Complex of Cages” that will be a delight for fans of progressive metal as well as for death metal supporters. The new album is number two for Century Media, featuring nine new songs of epical length. Barren Earth isn’t looking for a quick and easy knock-out. The sextet focusses on longer songs that unite progressive influences from the 70’s with harsh growls.

Just listening to the music gives an impression of listening to bands like Dream Theater. Guitars and keyboards create big soundscapes that are melodic and full of dynamics. Hard-hitting drums and a booming bass create the solid foundation and it’ the partly clean vocals that doesn’t make you think about death metal. To balance the feeling of complex harmony Barren Earth adds deep growls to their sound. These moments add arcs of suspense to the mix and act as a wake-up call in case you lost yourself in multi-layered song structures.

The cornerstone of the new album is entitled “Solitude Pith”, which is a ten minutes song. Sami Yli-Sirniö, also known from Kreator, and Janne Perttilä can show all their virtuosity on the six-string while singer Jón Aldará is still a lucky strike for the outfit from Helsinki. This guy is a real master of his trade.

This centerpiece is surrounded by not less exciting tunes like "Zeal" and Spire". I wouldn’t say that the differences between the new album and “On Lonely Towers” is huge. Barren Earth continues what they can do best – merging two styles into something excellent. It is more that the new longplayer is a kind of natural next step and it’s the details that shine.

Barren Earth’s premier on Century Media is a good one. Fans of bands like Paradise Lost and Opeth should check out this album – if you don’t have it on your list already anyhow.





  1. The Living Fortress
  2. The Ruby
  3. Further Down
  4. Zeal
  5. Scatterprey
  6. Solitude Pith
  7. Dysphoria
  8. Spire
  9. Withdrawal


Label: Century Media

Genre: Progressive Death Metal

Release Date EU: March 30th, 2018


CD review KINO "Radio Voltaire"

Veröffentlicht am 18. März 2018 von Markus W. in Kino, News, Rock, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, InsideOut, CD Review

CD review KINO "Radio Voltaire"

(9/10) In German language there‘s a term called ‚Kopfkino‘ which means something like ‚inner cinema‘ if translated to English. Now, I don‘t know the exact background of Kino‘s name but what I do know after having given "Radio Voltaire" some loops is that the four guys create a kind of 'Kopfkino‘ with their sounds and songs.

You might not have heard of Kino before even though the debut was published in 2005. "Picture" is the title of Kino's first album from 13 years ago, followed by "Radio Voltaire" in 2018.

Kino is the mainly the brainchild of John Mitchell, also known from Lonely Robot. The singer and guitarist had the intention to start working on a new Lonely Robot album which was from a timing perspective not optimal and it was the label that came up with the idea of the sophomore Kino album. Mitchell got excited by the idea and reached out to the other main member of Kino, Pete Trewavas from Marillion. The guys met and it didn't take a long time of convincing.

With these two founding members being on board, things started to move rather quickly, leading to eleven songs that ended up on the highly acclaimed second Kino longplayer.

Kino creates on „Radio Voltaire“ a universe of sounds of which each note is an individual star and it‘s the totality of all stars that makes this album shine. Each of the songs is well-crafted and thought through from beginning to end. What sounds like a very rational approach reflects just one part of the story. John Mitchell and Pete Trewavas add a solid portion of emotions to their songs too which balances mind and soul.

„Radio Voltaire“ contains songs that are built on more than just one layer. These tunes reflect the musical expertise of the two drivers of Kino and shows that progressive rock music doesn‘t need to be overly intellectual neither it‘s a stage to solely present musical savvy. The music on „Radio Voltaire“ is entertaining as well as it demands attention of the listener. It‘s not musical fast-food you get served. It‘s a tasty experience that comes with a high entertainment factor. Good stuff for ears and mind.





  1. Radio Voltaire
  2. The Dead Club
  3. Idlewild
  4. I Don't Know Why
  5. I Won't Break So Easily Any More
  6. Temple Tudor
  7. Out of Time
  8. Warmth of the Sun
  9. Grey Shapes on Concrete Fields
  10. Keep the Faith
  11. The Silent Fighter Pilot


Label: InsideOut

Genre: Progressive Rock/Metal

Release Date EU: March 23rd, 2018


CD review AYREON "Ayreon Universe - Live"

Veröffentlicht am 16. März 2018 von Markus W. in Ayreon, Ayreon Universe, Live, Rock, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, Hardrock, News, Mascot Label Group, CD Review

CD review AYREON "Ayreon Universe - Live"

(10/10) There are musicians were you wish their music would be as big their ego and you have musical passionistas like Arjen Lucassen, iconic composers that got the gift of an endless flow of creativity combined with musical skills to realize these ideas and dreams. The Dutch guitarist has been part of so many bands and projects that it's hard to keep track of all of them. Things started with Bodine, a band from Den Haag, before the first international success came with hardrock outfit Vengeance. Especially "Arabia" included already some multilayered sounds and more complexity than what fans got to hear with the predecessor "Take It or Leave It". 

After having left Vengeance the 2m tall guitarist had several projects in the starting blocks of which Star One and Ayreon are the most important ones. Ayreon debut in 1995 with "The Final Experiment", with eight additional longplayers that followed. "The Source" was the latest studio album to date, a record that saw the light of day in 2017. Even though the band released excellent longplayers it stayed a studio project, mainly due to huge number of guest musicians that have been involved in the various productions and the complexity of bringing such an awesome group of people together on stage. 

2015 was a kind of turning point when it comes to live ambitions for Ayreon. "The Human Equation" got a live production, leading to four shows at Nieuwe Luxor Theater in Rotterdam. One of these shows has been recorded and the release of a live DVD/CD some months later gave all Ayreon fans a chance to be part of this unique moment. It feels like these shows acted as a trigger for more. Fans were highly enthusiastic and the four Rotterdam shows have been the kick-start for the Dutch guitarist to go even bolder when it comes to live ambitions.

Lucassen planned to do one show at 013 in Tilburg under the banner of "Ayreon Universe", this time, in contrary to "The Theater Equation", arranged by Lucassen himself in cooperation with Joost van den Broek. Ayreonauts all over the world got extremely excited by this news and it was pretty soon obvious that one show would not do the job. Two more concerts have been added, all being sold out in no time too and even a try-out show in a smaller set-up got the 'sold-out' sign very quickly.

Fortunately for all the lucky ones who witnessed this unique moment in rock as well as for all the other fans of Lucassen's excellent music this special event was captured on film and tape. It will be end of March this year when Music Theories Recordings / Mascot Label Group brings this show right into peoples living room in various formats.

In total 16 original singers (list se below) have been involved during these three shows in April 2017, performing 28 songs from Ayreon (plus two from Star One) which led to more than two hours of exciting rock and metal, performed to perfection.

Songs played that night captured the entire Ayreon journey in rock. The debut "The Final Experience" was present with three songs, all in the first half of the show, and also latest highlights ("Everybody Dies" and "Star of Sirrah") from "The Source" have been performed. The main focus though was on the 2008 record "01011001" and "The Theory of Everything" from 2013. Five songs each made it on the impressive setlist while it was the Star One classic "The Eye of Ra" rounded of a terrific night. 

Arjen Lucassen succeeded with 100% when it comes to his ambition of creating a special evening of music. Passion and a strong willpower were the key to mount such a brilliant production. "Ayreon Universe" lifts the bar when it comes to concerts and live recordings. To coordinate so many musicians, on stage and from a production perspective, is an enormous effort. Everybody involved in this concert experience - musicians and fans, cherished all the hard work. It was a unique moment, a once-in-a-lifetime event, that every fans of rock & metal music should have been seen and listened to. This live release is big and needs to have a pole position in every serious collection of rock.





CD 1:

  1. Prologue
  2. Dreamtime
  3. Abbey of Synn
  4. River of Time
  5. Prologue: The Blackboard
  6. The Theory of Everything, Part 1 & 2
  7. Merlin's Will
  8. Waking Dreams
  9. Dawn of a Million Souls
  10. Valley of the Queens
  11. Ride the Comet
  12. Star of Sirrah
  13. Comatose
  14. Day Sixteen: Loser
  15. And the Druids Turn to Stone

CD 2:

  1. The Two Gates
  2. Into the Black Hole
  3. Actual Fantasy
  4. Computer Eyes
  5. Magnetism
  6. Age of Shadows
  7. Intergalactic Space Crusaders
  8. Collision
  9. Everybody Dies
  10. The Castle Hall
  11. Amazing Flight
  12. Day Eleven: Love
  13. The Eye of Ra


Label: Music Theories Recordings / Mascot Label Group

Genre: Progressive Rock

Release Date EU: March 30st, 2018



  • 5-Disc Earbook with 2CD, 2DVD and Blu-ray
  • Blu-ray
  • 2DVD
  • 2CD
  • 3LP (Black vinyl)
  • 3LP (Limited edition gold vinyl - Ayreon webstore exclusive)



  • Floor Jansen - Nightwish
  • Damian Wilson - Threshold
  • Hansi Kürsch - Blind Guardian
  • Tommy Karevik - Kamelot
  • Anneke van Giersbergen - The Gentle Storm
  • Marco Hietala - Nightwish
  • Jonas Renkse - Katatonia
  • Mike Mills - Toehider
  • Marcela Bovio - Stream of Passion
  • Irene Jansen - Ayreon
  • Robert Soeterboek - Star One
  • John Jaycee Cuijpers - Praying Mantis
  • Edward Reekers - Kayak
  • Jay van Feggelen - Ayreon
  • Maggy Luyten - Nightmare
  • Lisette van den Berg - Scarlet Stories



  • Ed Warby - Drums
  • Johan van Stratum - Bass
  • Marcel Coenen - Lead guitar
  • Ferry Duijsens - Guitar
  • Joost van den Broek - Keyboards
  • Ben Mathot - Violin
  • Jeroen Goossens - Flutes, woodwinds
  • Maaike Peterse - Cello


Veröffentlicht am 7. März 2018 von Markus W. in Between The Buried And Me, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, News, Sumerian Records, Rock, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock


(9/10) Between The Buried And Me started in 2000 and since then the quintet released a few albums, featuring progressive metal that stretches the boarders. 

"Automata I" is the band's newest album, number eight on an impressive list of records that saw the light of day earlier in time and it's the debut for Between The Buried And Me, publishing an album via Sumerian Records.

"Automata" is a two level rocket with the first strike being available in the record stores on March 9th. Simply entitled "Automata I" the album comprises of six new songs, mostly with epical length.

The tunes on this new album are built on a plot that addresses the topic of dreams and the question of what would happen if mankind finds a way to broadcast these dreams for entertainment. The band uses a protagonist to frame the story of transmitting dreams into the open, which is a dark story with a more positive ending.

"Condemned to the Gallows" breaks first ground. The six and a half minutes opener is an impressive piece of music. It shows the entire width of Between The Buries And Me's sound universe. Acoustic guitars create a peaceful atmosphere that's swept with a heavy guitar riff and extreme vocals. The greatness with this tune is the complexity that still comes with a melodic approach. 

The most spot-on track on the album is entitled "House Organ" which is a less than four minutes riff attack that's loud and sinister. After such a blast it's a "Yellow Eyes' that bring back complexity. The song reminds partly of Dream Theater with far more extreme vocals. Like with the opener it's again the interaction of chaotic structures, loudness and calmer moments that create an excellent arc of suspense throughout.

The ten minutes closer is introduced by a short interlude entitled "Gold Distance". The final chapter of this first delivery , "Blot", basically combines all you have heard before. Progressive song structures, heavy riffing, furious leads, hash vocals and harmonic sensitivity create a total that keeps its fascination for more than just one spin.

"Automata I" is an unconventional album, full of ideas and creaticvity, that brings good stuff up to surface. The album keeps a high level of excitement from beginning to end, which makes it to one of the better releases in 2018. 





  1. Condemned to the Gallows (6:34)
  2. House Organ (3:41)
  3. Yellow Eyes (8:44)
  4. Millions (4:43)
  5. Gold Distance (1:01)
  6. Blot (10:27)


Label: Sumerian Records

Genre: Progressive Metal

Release Date EU: March 9th, 2018


CD review DUKES OF THE ORIENT "Dukes of the Orient"

Veröffentlicht am 23. Februar 2018 von Markus W. in Dukes Of The Orient, Asia, AOR, Prog Rock, News, CD Review, Rock, Hardrock, Frontiers Music

CD review DUKES OF THE ORIENT "Dukes of the Orient"

(8/10) Very often it’s the pairing of singer and guitarist that leads to a new band or project. Here things are slightly different since Duke Of The Orient is the banner for a collaboration of singer and keyboarder.

Vocalist John Payne, known from his time with Asia and GPR, teamed-up with American keyboarder Eric Norlander (Last In Line, Lana Lane) to work on a debut album entitled “Dukes of the Orient”.

The starting point of Dukes Of The Orient is the year 2007 as “Asia Featuring John Payne”. The band continued even though keyboarder Geoff Downes left and transformed into Dukes Of The Orient over time.

With such a history in mind you can guess what kind of sound to expect from this debut. Indeed, it’s an excellent ‘Asia album’ that Asia never wrote. “Dukes of the Orient” is full of lush melodies and catchy harmonies, both based on dominant keyboards and excellent vocals by Payne.

This longplayer revitalises the ‘Asia-sound’ of the eighties with superb songs that will be a delight for AOR fans and rock fans that are fascinated by records such as “Asia” and “Aqua”.





  1. Brothers in Arms
  2. Strange Days
  3. Amor Vincit Omnia
  4. Time Waits For No One
  5. A Sorrow’s Crown
  6. Fourth of July
  7. Seasons Will Change
  8. Give Another Reason


Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: AOR

Release Date EU: February 23rd, 2018

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 20 > >>