Neal Morse announces new solo progressive rock concept album ‘Sola Gratia’

637285055055157355Neal Morse has announced the release of Sola Gratia, his new solo progressive rock concept album, on the 11 September 2020. Originating from a seed planted in his mind about writing a record based on the apostle Paul, Sola Gratia quickly came together at the beginning of 2020. The album sees Neal working with long-time collaborators Mike Portnoy, Randy George, Eric Gillette, Bill Hubauer and Gideon Klein.

The title Sola Gratia of course has echoes of Morse’s 2007 epic Sola Scriptura, about the life of Martin Luther, but was in fact originally the result of a simple marital misunderstanding: I was talking to my wife Cherie about debuting this new piece at Morsefest 2020 (Morse’s annual fan convention in Nashville) and she said she thought it would be good for me to do a solo album. However, I thought she said ‘Sola album’ and – because some of the new ideas involved Paul’s aggressive pursuit of the early Christians, I could see a link to some of the themes of persecution in Sola Scriptura.” 

The music was recorded ‘virtually’ in April 2020 at the height of the Coronavirus lockdown with long term collaborators Mike Portnoy (drums) and Randy George (bass): “It’s the first album we have ever made remotely: I sent them the basic tracks and asked if they wanted to rearrange things, but they just said ‘No, it’s great!’, so they just played to it and sent their parts back over. It wasn’t an easy way to make an album, but creating always has its challenges, no matter how you do it.”

As Morse explains, it was this process that decided that Sola Gratia was to be a Neal Morse album, rather than being credited to The Neal Morse Band: “With the Neal Morse Band, the whole band works together on the writing, and while Eric Gillette plays some guitar and Bill Hubauer has added some keyboards on this one, neither of them wrote – or is singing – on this album.”

Sola Gratia will be released as a limited CD/DVD Digipak (featuring ‘Making-Of’ documentary), Gatefold 2LP + CD, Standard CD Jewel Case and as a Digital Album. The cover art was created by another longtime collaborator, Thomas Ewerhard. 

The full track-listing is as follows:

1.     Preface
2.     Overture
3.     In The Name Of The Lord
4.     Ballyhoo (The Chosen Ones)
5.     March Of The Pharisees
6.     Building A Wall
7.     Sola Intermezzo
8.     Overflow
9.     Warmer Than The Sunshine
10.  Never Change
11.  Seemingly Sincere
12.  The Light On The Road To Damascus
13.  The Glory Of The Lord
14.  Now I Can See/The Great Commission

Neal Morse will debut Sola Gratia live at his annual Morsefest convention on 18 and 19 September 2020. A very limited number of people will be able to attend in person, with the event also being streamed online. More details and tickets are available here: https://nealmorse.com/tc-events/morsefest-2020/ 

Look out for the first track release and pre-order opportunities starting on the 17 July.

 

NEAL MORSE ONLINE:

https://www.facebook.com/nealmorse/

https://twitter.com/nealmorse

https://www.instagram.com/neal_morse_official/

 

INSIDEOUTMUSIC ONLINE:

Pain of Salvation announce details for new studio album “PANTHER”!

PainofSalvation_PANTHER - coverFirmly at the forefront of the progressive rock and metal scenes for nearly three decades now and one of modern rock’s most acclaimed live acts, Sweden’s Pain of Salvation return with a new studio album entitled Panther, due out 28 August 2020 worldwide via InsideOutMusic. 

Panther, the follow-up release to 2017’s In The Passing Light Of Day, was recorded, mixed and produced by Daniel Gildenlöw with Daniel Bergstrand (In Flames, Meshuggah, Devin Townsend) and comes with a comprehensive artwork-theme with illustrations made by André Meister.

PainofSalvation_Panther_Band2_w_creditPain of Salvation’s Daniel Gildenlöw had the following to say about the album: “The making of Panther has taken over two years. I have felt the need to push boundaries, both musically and sonically. Approaching the music from more diverse angles, yet without losing the core identity of the band. Lyrically it coincidentally fits more than ever into current times. When I look at the great artwork drawings that went into the concept, I can only say that I am extremely happy how everything turned out. I can’t wait to share this album with everybody.” 

Track-listing for the standard edition of the album: 

Accelerator
Unfuture
Restless Boy
Wait
Keen to a Fault
Fur
Panther
Species
Icon 

The Tangent launch ‘Life On Hold’; first single from new album ‘Auto Reconnaissance’

Album_Cover smallThe Tangent, the progressive rock group led by Andy Tillison, recently announced the release of their 11th studio album Auto Reconnaissance on 21 August 2020. The follow-up to 2018’s Proxy, sees them continuing the band philosophy of celebrating the golden age of prog, whilst bringing it to the present and exploring new paths for the music to take in the future. On Auto Reconnaissance, they bend that philosophy to their will, taking in prog rock foot stomping, sublime Jazz, humour, narrative, a modern R&B love song, funk/soul and a 28 minute long emotional epic about the band’s home country of England.

On 26 June they launched the first track, titled Life On Hold, and you can listen now here:

Andy comments: “Life On Hold is  the cheerful up-tempo Prog Rock foot-stomper we chose to kick off our album. It sits alongside pieces we’ve done in the past like GPS Culture and Spark In The Aether, Crisis In Midlife etc and it’s a flavour we do like to return to now and then. This one is influenced by things like that first Asia album, stuff like Kansas and Boston, and the kind of thing that Transatlantic might bang out at you. It’s part of our genetic makeup, but of course only one part. Although there’s a fair amount of accessible tunes on the new album, there’s some seriously deep water around too.  And no, Life On Hold has nothing to do with Lockdowns. It mentions Jean Paul Sartre, which is not normal in foot-stompers. Get it ON!! Bang, and the dirt is gone!”

Auto Reconnaissance will be available as a limited CD Digipak, Gatefold 2LP + CD + LP-Booklet and as a digital album. Pre-order now here: https://The-Tangent.lnk.to/AutoReconnaissance

Andy comments: “I utterly refuse to accept that Progressive Rock Music is some kind of museum piece. It is actually a living and breathing movement that has a past, a present and above all, a future. It once had an album-chart-topping golden age, but the genre was never about that. It has subtly and virally kept itself alive for decades where many new musical genres have risen to glory and faded away.”

For this release, Andy is once again joined by long-time collaborators Jonas Reingold, Luke Machin (who  co-produced the album with Andy),  Theo Travis, and Steve Roberts. Together they bring to life an album that has been influenced by the likes of ELP, The Isley Brothers, Steely Dan, Aphex Twin, National Health, Rose Royce, Squarepusher and Return To Forever amongst others. 

Andy comments of the current line-up: “In the past 6 years the line-up of The Tangent has become more stable than at the beginning. I think that the identity of the Tangent as a “Group” rather than a “Project” started to come together on the album A Spark In The Aether in 2014. Essentially Luke, Jonas, Theo and myself have appeared on the last four albums, and we added Steve Roberts for the tour that supported Slow Rust in 2017 and we’ve settled on this line-up. I hope for a while because I find this unit to be productive, in tune with the band’s purpose and manifesto and a lot of fun to boot. The new album Auto Reconnaissance is the first time that the core band has been identical in structure to its predecessor.  For the first time I feel that everyone is totally onboard with the fusion of Jazz, Prog, Punkishness and electronica that The Tangent likes to cook up. We are a good group of friends and although we don’t meet up often, it’s a real blast when we do. I’ve always considered Ed Unitsky the cover artist to have been a recurring member of the cast – his artwork has been a huge part of our story and although we move away, we always return.”

Auto Reconnaissance will be available as Limited CD Digipak (incl. bonus track), Gatefold 2LP + CD + LP booklet & as Digital Album, all featuring the artwork of Ed Untisky, whose visuals have not been seen on a Tangent album since 2014’s A Spark In The Aether.

Rikard Sjöblom’s Gungfly announce new album ‘Alone Together’

Gungfly - Album_CoverSwedish multi-instrumentalist Rikard Sjöblom is pleased to announce his new album under the Gungfly moniker, Alone Together. Set for release on 4 September 2020, it follows an extremely productive past few years, whether it be working with English progressive rockers Big Big Train, or taking the lead with Gungfly. 

Rikard comments: “I started writing these songs about a year ago but then it took some time to get started with the production because I had two tours lined up, one with Big Big Train in November and then opening solo for The Flower Kings on their European tour in December. After that my focus shifted back to Gungfly and it felt really nice so it all came together pretty fast!”

Gungfly - Band_Photo_3Alone Together saw Gungfly recording as a trio, with brothers and previous collaborators Petter and Rasmus Diamant on drums and bass respectively. “It was a lot of fun playing both keyboards and guitar because I had come up with a lot of nice parts but I knew early on that I wanted to make the album with the brothers on drums and bass – luckily they were very up for it!” This ‘power-trio’ have focussed on the rock this time, and you can hear that loud and clear: “I didn’t want to smother the production with layers upon layers of keyboards and bells and whistles but instead tried to keep it prog rock with the focus on ROCK. I wanted every instrument to mean something in the mix.” This is evident on tracks like Happy Somewhere In Between and the 13-minute epic Traveler, where Gungfly have never hit harder.

Alone Together will be available as a Limited CD Digipak (with 2 bonus tracks), Gatefold 2LP + CD & as Digital Album. The album cover features a painting by American artist Kevin Sloan (The Flower Kings). Rikard comments of the piece: “I had just written lyrics for the song ‘From Afar’ and was looking at Kevin’s paintings when I came across this one and I couldn’t believe the connection, particularly the lyric “A million eyes watching glimpses of each other’s lives”.

Track-listing:

1.     Traveler
2.     Happy Somewhere In Between
3.     Clean as a Whistle
4.     Alone Together
5.     From Afar
6.     On The Shoulders Of Giants
7.     Grove Thoughts (Bonus Track)
8.     Shoulder Variations (Bonus Track)

Rikard Sjöblom is perhaps best known as the multi-instrumentalist frontman of Beardfish, who established themselves as one of the most consistently brilliant modern-day progressive rock bands over the course of eight studio albums. In recent years, he has also become known for his work with English progressive collective Big Big Train, playing live with them as well as performing on their recent studio albums. 

GUNGFLY online:

https://www.facebook.com/rikardsjoblom/
http://www.rikardsjoblom.com/

INSIDEOUTMUSIC online:
www.insideoutmusic.com
www.youtube.com/InsideOutMusicTV
www.facebook.com/InsideOutMusic
www.twitter.com/insideouteu
www.myspace.com/insideoutlabel

The Tangent announce new album ‘Auto Reconnaissance’ 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Tangent, the progressive rock group led by Andy Tillison, are pleased to announce the release of their 11th studio album Auto Reconnaissance on the 21 August 2020. The follow-up to 2018’s Proxy, sees them taking the band philosophy of celebrating the golden age of prog, whilst bringing it to the present and exploring new paths for the music to take in the future. On Auto Reconnaissance, they bend that philosophy to their will, taking in prog rock foot stomping, sublime jazz, humour, narrative, a modern R&B love song, funk/soul and a 28 minute long emotional epic about the band’s home country of England.

Andy comments: “I utterly refuse to accept that Progressive Rock Music is some kind of museum piece. It is actually a living and breathing movement that has a past, a present and above all, a future. It once had an album-chart-topping golden age, but the genre was never about that. It has subtly and virally kept itself alive for decades where many new musical genres have risen to glory and faded away.”

For this release, Andy is once again joined by long-time collaborator Luke Machin (who also helped produce the album), Jonas Reingold, Theo Travis, and Steve Roberts. Together they bring to life an album that has been influenced by the likes of ELP, The Isley Brothers, Steely Dan, Aphex Twin, National Health, Rose Royce, Squarepusher and Return To Forever amongst others. 

Andy comments of the current line-up: “In the past 6 years the line-up of The Tangent has become more stable than at the beginning. I think that the identity of the Tangent as a “Group” rather than a “Project” started to come together on the album ‘A Spark In The Aether’ in 2014. Essentially Luke, Jonas, Theo and myself have appeared on the last four albums, and we added Steve Roberts for the tour that supported ‘Slow Rust’ in 2017 and we’ve settled on this line-up. I hope for a while because I find this unit to be productive, in tune with the band’s purpose and manifesto and a lot of fun to boot. The new album ‘Auto Reconnaissance’ is the first time that the core band has been identical in structure to its predecessor.  For the first time I feel that everyone is “in tune” with the fusion of Jazz, Prog, Punkishness and electronica that The Tangent likes to cook up. We are a good group of friends and although we don’t meet up often, it’s a real blast when we do. I’ve always considered Ed Unitsky the cover artist to have been a recurring member of the cast – his artwork has been a huge part of our story and although we move away, we always return.”  

Auto Reconnaissance will be available as Limited CD Digipak (incl. bonus track), Gatefold 2LP + CD + LP booklet & as Digital Album, all featuring the artwork of Ed Unitsky, whose visuals have not been seen on a Tangent album since 2014’s A Spark In The Aether. The full track-listing can be found below:

1.     Life On Hold
2.     Jinxed In Jersey
3.     Under Your Spell
4.     The Tower Of Babel
5.     Lie Back & Think Of England
6.     The Midas Touch
7.     Proxima (Bonus Track)

Andy Tillison – Vocals, Lyrics, Keyboards, Composer
Jonas Reingold (The Sea Within, Steve Hackett Band) – Bass Guitar
Theo Travis (Soft Machine, David Gilmour, Travis-Fripp) – Sax & Flute
Luke Machin (Maschine, Francis Dunnery Band) – Guitar
Steve Roberts (David Cross Band, ex Magenta, Godsticks) – Drums

The Tangent online:
www.thetangent.org
https://www.facebook.com/groups/alltangentmembers/

Pure Reason Revolution – new album ‘Eupnea’ out now

Pure Reason Revolution - Eupnea

Pure Reason Revolution’s first new studio album in nearly 10 years, Eupnea, is out now. 

The long-awaited return from the band, sees them harking back to their earliest days, while rolling in all of the musical experiments and experience they’ve gathered in the intervening years. 

To celebrate the band have launched a video for the track Ghosts & Typhoons. Watch the Thomas Hicks-created video here: 

Jon Courtney comments: “In 2018 Chloe & I chatted in a London café about the notion of reforming Pure Reason Revolution. Although we’ve already done our first live show back, today feels like it’s really real. Close to the heart experience kick-started the genesis & we stuck to our manifesto of creating under no restrictions, no boundaries. The result was ‘Eupnea’ & we hope you like it. “

Eupnea is available as a Limited CD Digipak, Gatefold 2LP + CD (with etching on Side D) and as a digital album. Get your copy now here: https://PureReasonRevolution.lnk.to/Eupnea 

Jon Courtney and Chloë Alper recently sat down to discuss the new record and how it came together, and you can watch them chat all things Eupnea in this brand new interview.

Image result for pure reason revolution

Pure Reason Revolution originally parted ways in November 2011 following touring in support of their 2010 album Hammer and Anvil. Since then, Jon Courtney started Bullet Height and released their debut album No Atonement in 2017, while Chloë Alper began a new band called Tiny Giant as well as playing live with the likes of Charli XCX and James. 

The band originally formed back in 2003, releasing their much-loved debut album The Dark Third in 2006 via Sony BMG. They went on to release the albums Amor Vincit Omnia in 2009 and Hammer and Anvil in 2010. 

PURE REASON REVOLUTION online:

https://www.facebook.com/purereasonrevolution/

https://twitter.com/prr_official

https://www.instagram.com/purereasonrevolution_official/ 

INSIDEOUTMUSIC online:

www.insideoutmusic.com

www.youtube.com/InsideOutMusicTV

www.facebook.com/InsideOutMusic

www.twitter.com/insideouteu

Haken announce new album ‘Virus’

Haken have revealed that their new studio album Virus, the follow-up to 2018’s acclaimed album Vector, will be released on  5 June 2020. By way of introduction, the band have recorded a special video message to give some background to the album.

The band have also released the album’s first single and opening track Prosthetic, with a video directed by Vicente Cordero. They comment:

“Prosthetic was the first song we completed during the Virus writing sessions and we always felt it would be the perfect opener for the album. It’s a very guitar heavy track with its roots in 80’s thrash riffing, but with the unconventional rhythmic twists and turns we often like to explore in Haken. We sadly never had a Jeff Hanneman and Robert Fripp collaboration, but this song at least draws on inspiration from them both!

Lyrically the song is a bridge between our two albums Vector and Virus. The message was brilliantly brought to life by video director Vicente Cordero, who also beautifully captured the live energy of the band in a way that both enhances the song, and perfectly sets the scene for what’s to come.” 

Since releasing Vector in October 2018, Haken have completed headline tours the world over, played sold-out shows across Europe and North America as support for Devin Townsend and picked up a PROG Magazine award for their efforts too! All the while, they have been quietly, secretly working on the follow-up album, entitled Virus.

Once again, Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood has mixed what is perhaps the most eclectic Haken album to date, with the 7 tracks revealing hints of influences from multiple genres, all intertwined with Haken’s own recognisable sound.

637208216169870091

Longtime Haken collaborators, Blacklake, have designed the visuals and artwork and the album will be available as a Limited 2CD, Standard CD, Gatefold 2LP + CD & as Digital Album. Pre-order now here: https://haken.lnk.to/Virus

The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock – 3rd Edition

mailBack in print for 2020! The definitive record guide to the progressive era of rock music, Strawberry Bricks presents a comprehensive discography with reviews of 500+ albums, with band histories, musical synopses, key tracks and critical commentary, all presented in the historical context of a timeline. Beginning in 1967 and continuing through 1982, a generation of musicians took rock music in directions unforeseen as they charted what would become known as progressive rock. From art rock to krautrock, from England to Germany to Italy and all across Europe, Strawberry Bricks offers a candid reappraisal of rock’s most cerebral genre. Also for this edition, Matt Howarth has revisited his original artwork from the first edition of the book.

Says Charles, “The newly written Prologue offers a historical perspective of the pretext to the progressive era, beginning post-WWII, while the Epilogue offers a current perspective on progressive rock since the early 80’s. I’ve also spent a good deal of time fact-checking every detail in the book, including song titles and artist names. Further, this edition has been professionally edited and peer reviewed, all to make this as exacting and rewarding a book as the music it covers. Strawberry Bricks is another narrative on the classic era of progressive rock, one with hopefully a novel and candid outlook on the genre, its albums and the men that made it one of the most interesting chapters in rock’s history.”

With 212 more reviews, 210 more pages, completely fact-checked and professionally edited, and with a full index, the third edition is a substantial upgrade to owners of the first edition of the book. For owners of the second edition, Matt Howarth once again revisits his original artwork for Strawberry Bricks. Enjoy the music!

Praise for Strawberry Bricks:

“In Strawberry Bricks Charles Snider gives us a history of progressive rock from 1967 to 1982 through his astute, colourful and insightful entries on a personal selection of over 500 albums – and not always the obvious choices. He acts as an informed and trustworthy guide leading the reader on a fascinating journey through the genre.” – Mike Barnes, A New Day Yesterday: UK Progressive Rock & The 1970s

“Snider’s research is impeccable, his writing style enjoyable and it’s hard to fault the inclusion of any of the hundreds of albums he covers.” – Kev Rowland, The Progressive Underground

“Most impressive! I can see it’s phenomenally well researched. Well done.” – Hugh Banton, Van der Graaf Generator

The 3rd Edition of “The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock” was released on March 27, 2020. Available directly from http://strawberrybricks.com/the-book, and from Amazon.com (including UK, JP and the EU). Published by http://www.strawberrybricks.com/ via Kindle Direct Publishing, an Amazon company.

To purchase from Amazon:
Amazon.com: https://amzn.to/39eAui9
Amazon.co.uk https://amzn.to/2JaeQkA

For more information: http://www.strawberrybricks.com/

Godsticks premiere new track & video -‘Surrender’

With their latest and most accomplished album to date Inescapable due out on 7 February, Godsticks present their second single and video “Surrender”. 

Godsticks mix of heavy rock, progressive and alternative metal with a dynamic range of angular riffs and emotional depth will leave listeners reeling and with Inescapable, the band have channelled their energy and technical ability into the melody, phrasing and vocal performance, allowing emotion to take centre stage. 

CF19692A-DA00-4CAC-86D3-FE29F0129BC4Inescapable will be released on CD, LP & digitally on 7 February through Kscope and is available to PRE-ORDER HERE NOW 

(“Denigrate” is available as an instant download on digital pre-orders – “Surrender” will be available on 31 January)

Toundra release second video from upcoming new album

Spanish instrumental rock band Toundra, are in the preparation for the February 28th release of their new album ‘Das Cabinet Der Dr. Caligari’, an original soundtrack based on the German silent horror film of the same name that turns exactly 100 years old in 2020.

The band have just premiered a new single and video, available in all platforms that can be watched here:  

This is the second extract of the movie that has been presented already. The first one, “Akt. 1” is still available here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4UQx2F2SLs

The pre order has already started, please check the exclusive bundle packs here: https://Toundra.lnk.to/DasCabinetdesDrCaligari

There has also been a tour announced this week, a unique opportunity to watch the movie while the band performs the album in it’s entirety.

28.02.20, Madrid, Teatros del Canal, tickets soon
06.03.20, Zaragoza, Las Armas
07.03.20, Barcelona, Aribau Multicines, tickets, www.cafekino.es
15.03.20, Siegen, Vortex
16.03.20, Hamburg, Knust
17.03.20, Jena, Kassablanca
18.03.20, München, Backstage
20.03.20, Darmstadt, 806qm
21.03.20, Martigny, Caves Du manoir
22.03.20, Stuttgart, Club Zentral