Interview: Ted Leonard of Spock’s Beard & Enchant

Ted LeonardAfter a few years of relative hibernation, Ted Leonard was coming alive when I spoke with him in August of 2013. He had, or was in the process of recording material with 4 different bands. At that time were still studio projects, with only Spock’s Beard having any live commitments. In the time since however, the busy studio man has become a live staple in my concert diet. From a personal perspective, after not having seen Ted live since becoming a fan around 2005, up until 2014, I have seen him perform 9 times since.

For starters, Ted stepped in for Daniel Gildenlow when health issues forced him to sit out the last Transatlantic tour. Then Spock’s Beard made a few appearances on the East coast, and finally Enchant embarked on their first tour in a decade. Ted’s future with Transatlantic is uncertain, but Spock’s Beard is on the verge of a new album, and Enchant has vowed to continue their comeback from a long hiatus, with their next step being some European shows come October.

For a long time I would have considered Ted one of those overlooked gems in the progressive world, but thankfully his recent high profile gigs have allowed him to gain some of the recognition he deserves.

Spock’s Beard Website
Enchant Website

Interview: Ross Jennings of Haken

Ross JenningsIn August of 2013 I found myself able to speak to the singer of what I have long called the prog band of my generation, Haken. When I did that interview, I spoke in the notes about how far the band had come since I had spoken to guitarist/keyboardist Richard Henshall in 2011, and I’m happy to say as I release this podcast in 2015, the band’s success has only continued in a big upward trajectory.

The Mountain, released shortly after my interview with Ross, was hailed as a huge success for the band. They saw themselves playing, and often headlining more and more prestigious festivals, including Progressive Nation at Sea. They then released an EP of reworked demo material, Restoration, in 2014. The following ResTOURation saw the band continue their success in Europe, as well as a headlining slot at the 2015 RoSfest, and their first ever American tour.

The band currently finds themselves writing and recording for their fourth full length release between tour obligations, including an upcoming slot with Between the Buried and Me.

Haken Website

Episode #309: Featuring Beardfish
Beardfish - +4626-ComfortZone

Beardfish – +4626-ComfortZone

This week we travel back to the beginning of the year and take a look at an album that has remained a strong contender for album of the year, +4626-ComfortZone from Swedish proggers Beardfish. The band, known for a steady lineup, little downtime between releases, and an eclectic style was firing on all cylinders for this release. Although perhaps sporting a bit more prog and less heavy than it’s predecessor, The Void, this album has solid enough ties that anyone who enjoyed one is very likely to enjoy the other.

Although I’ve already covered the news of their respective forthcoming albums, it’s worth noting that Riverside, Symphony X, and Royal Hunt all have new videos out which can be viewed below.

I mentioned that Neal Morse is set to release a lot of footage from 2014’s Morsefest festival, and starting July 21st you will be able to pre-order that set here.

In the realm of further out news, I mentioned that Dream Theater will see Metropolis Pt. 1 included in the forthcoming game Rock Band 4, that David Gilmour has plans to tour America in 2016, and that Avantasia is going to return with a new album titled Ghostlights in 2016. The band also plans to tour in support of the album. You can get the available news so far on the album and tour here.

Next up is a trio of new bands for the show. First up is Passes By, from a new Finnish project Grus Paridae, who you can check out here. Next up is the new project from Patrick Moraz (Yes, The Moody Blues) and Greg Alban. The album is entitled MAP, and you can get some more info about that here. Finally, there is American band Kinetic Element, who have just released their second album, Travelog. you can get info on that album and band here.

Finally, a reminder that there will be no show or (music) podcast the next two weeks. I have interviews with Ross Jennings (Haken) and Ted Leonard (Spock’s Beard, Enchant) set to go out in their place. See everyone on August 5th!

2015-07-15
Beardfish – Hold On
Riverside – Discard Your Fear
Moraz Alban Project – Jungle Aliens
Steven Wilson – Index
Grus Paridae – Passes By
Royal Hunt – So Right So Wrong
Symphony X – Without You
MindMaze – Mask of Lies*
Beardfish – Comfort Zone
The Dear Hunter – Waves
Kinetic Element – Travelog
Pink Floyd – Fearless
Xen – Find a Way
District 97 – Takeover
Neal Morse – The Creation
Beardfish – Daughter
Guilt Machine – Over
Awaken – As the Dark So the Light
Dream Theater – These Walls
Next to None – Blood on My Hands
Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony
Beardfish – If We Must Be Apart (A Love Story Continued)

Episode #308: Featuring MindMaze

MindMazeThis week we take a look at the second album from the Pennsylvania based band, MindMaze. Back From the Edge featured a strong follow-up effort from the band, as well as an impressive list of guest musicians helping out, including Mike LePond of Symphony X. The band is currently getting set to release an EP featuring and named after one of the tracks from Back From the Edge, Dreamwalker. The EP includes an alternate vocal version, a new original track, and a handful of covers. It is only available via pre-order, and you can reserve your copy by scrolling down to the bottom of the band’s online store here.

In other news for the band, drummer Kalin Scheizerhof has left, and several drummers will be filling in during the already planned live shows for the band. As of this time there has been no announcement of a permanent drummer for the future.

Next up, Coheed and Cambria have announced that they will be releasing a new album on October 9th. The Color Before the Sun will be the first album from the band not to be involved with The Amory Wars story, and in fact is not even a concept album. You can check out some more info at the band’s site here, and check out the new video below.

Echolyn is another band with a new album available for pre-order, and if you’re interested in getting your hands on I Heard You Listening, you can do so here.

In this episode we included new music from District 97, and you can get info on them, and their new album In Vaults, here. Also in the new music department is Next to None, who recently released their debut album, A Light in the Dark. You can check out the band here.

Finally, a big thanks to everyone who helped the When Prog and Power Unite podcast get over 5,000 downloads! A little over four months ago when the site was redesigned and the podcast was put into place I could have never expected such a great response to the new media. I hope all you wonderful downloaders enjoy this and future episodes!

2015-07-08
Dream Theater – Metropolis Pt. 1~
MindMaze – Back From the Edge
Coheed and Cambria – You Got Spirit, Kid
Leprous – Lower
District 97 – Snow Country
Nexto to None – Control
MindMaze – Dreamwalker
Vanden Plas – You Fly~
Echolyn – Georgia Pine
Kansas – Icarus: Borne on Wings of Steel
Hasse Froberg – Song For July
Seventh Wonder – Welcome to Mercy Falls
Kingcrow – Eidos
Queensryche – Screaming in Digital
Powerworld – Tame Your Demons
MindMaze – The Machine Stops
Beardfish – Ode to the Rock’N’Roller
Marillion – Forgotten Sons
Dominici – Enemies of God
Ayreon – The Decision Tree (We’re Alive)
Genesis – The Return of the Giant Hogweed
Izz – You’ve Got a Time
Blackfield – My Gift of Silence~
The Flower Kings – I Am the Sun, Pt. 1
MindMaze – End of Eternity

Episode #307: Featuring Kingcrow

KingcrowThis week we take a look across the pond at some action from last week and talk about Italian prog band Kingcrow. They have a new album out called Eidos, which is a clean and clear representation of the band. Whether you are already a fan of the band, or are new to the bunch, the new album certainly offers up a blend of sounds worth checking out.

The big news of the past week has been the unfortunate passing of Yes cornerstone and legendary bassist Chris Squire. Chris was the only Yes member to appear on every Yes album, and was considered the anchor in a storm of member changes throughout the year. Through this turbulence many had some negative experiences with Chris, but nearly everyone agreed that he was a great musical source, and a man that absolutely forwarded how the bass guitar is played. He will be missed, but his influence will easily live on.

In more upbeat news, Lo-Fi Resistance has a new digital only live album out entitled L’Olympia, and you can order it here.

The Dear Hunter is gearing up to release the 4th album in the Act series entitled Rebirth in Reprise, and you can hear the first single and pre-order the album here. You can also watch the video for the single below.

Another band with a new single out is Spock’s Beard. You can hear the opening track from the forthcoming album The Oblivion Particle, Tides of Time, here.

Finally, I mentioned near the end of the show that there will be some quite weeks at the end of July. Due to vacation there will be no live broadcasts or podcasts for July 22nd or 29th.

2015-07-01
Yes – Close to the Edge
Kingcrow – Adrift
Rush – How It Is
Lo-Fi Resistance – Fly
Dream Theater – Machine Messiah~^
The Dear Hunter – A Night on the Town
Kingcrow – Slow Down
Symphony X – The Accolade
Rush – Xanadu
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
Transatlantic – And You and I~^
Kingcrow – Open Sky
Headspace – Daddy Fucking Loves You
UFO – Rock Bottom
Kingcrow – Fading Out, Pt. 4
Rush – Losing It
Magic Pie – Introversion
Proto-Kaw – Relics of the Tempest
Thought Chamber – A Legend’s Avalon
Kingcrow – The Deeper Divide
Iron Maiden – Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Episode #306: Featuring Evergrey

EvergreyThis episode, taped early, on Monday, June 22nd, takes an unusual look back into 2014 for our featured album. It is one that Mason and I both had ranked as the runner up for album of the year, and both complimented for its stellar songwriter and powerful vocals. Evergrey‘s Hymns For the Broken was hailed by many fans as a huge return to glory for the band, and the album has seen a big push of promotion in response. Several videos have already been released, and now, 6+ months later, they have a new video out which can be viewed at the bottom of this post.

In more current release news, or correctly speaking, in forthcoming release news, Iron Maiden has set a release date of September 4th for their album The Book of Souls. You can read the band’s full press release here.

2015-06-24
Rush – Animate~
Evergrey – King of Errors
Threshold – Paradox~
Wisdom of Crowds – Frozen North
Muse – The Globalist
Star One – The Earth That Was
Savatage – Miles Away
Evergrey – Archaic Rage
Iron Maiden: Reunion
-Ghost of the Navigator
-New Frontier
-These Colours Don’t Run
-Coming Home
Magic Pie – Tears Gone Dry
Devin Townsend Project – Divine
Von Hertzen Brothers – Hold Me Up
Evergrey – Black Undertow
Pyramaze – When Black Turns to White
Electrocution 250 – Dr. Fluffels
Peter Gabriel – Red Rain
Planet P Project – Levittown
Subsignal – The Size of Light on Earth
Asia – Time Again
Kansas – Nobody’s Home
Jethro Tull – Cup of Wonder
Marillion – Heart of Lothian
Evergrey – Hymns For the Broken

 

Episode #305: Featuring Pyramaze

PyramazeBefore getting to our regularly scheduled discussion, first, an announcement! There will be no live broadcast on Wednesday, June 24th. That broadcast will instead take place on Monday, June 22nd. The podcast will be unaffected, and posted Wednesday evening as usual.

With that out of the way, this week we took a look at the new album from Pyramaze, Disciples of the Sun. This is the bands fourth album, and the first since 2008. After having a string of high profile vocalists, the band has now chosen to bring a lesser known name into the fold, Terje Haroy. It will be interesting to see if the new album can re-ignite the band, which in addition to the long hiatus and new vocalist, are also fighting the departure of two of their original members. I’d say this album certainly puts them back on the right track.

There was also a few worthwhile announcements to share, including the release of a new Kaddisfly album on June 21st, and a new Spock’s Beard album on August 21st.

Kaddisfly

Spock's Beard

2015-06-17
Spock’s Beard – Day For Night
Pyramaze – Disciples of the Sun
Nocturnal Rites – New World Messiah
Labyrinth – Thunder
Transatlantic – Suite Charlotte Pike
Edguy – The Piper Never Dies
Pyramaze – Genetic Process
Magic Pie – King For a Day
Leprous – Moon
Pyramaze – Fearless
Fates Warning – Shelter Me
Kaddisfly – Empire
Von Hertzen Brothers – Black Rain
Gavin Harrison – Cheating the Polygraph^
Camel – Lady Fantasy
Ayreon – Ride the Comet
Circuline – Stereotype
3RDegree – Apophenia
Winery Dogs – You Saved Me
Jolly – Ends Where it Starts
Pyramaze – Perfectly Imperfect
Rush – Hemispheres

Interview: Scott Mosher of Oceans of Night

mosher, scottBack in 2011 I had the pleasure of speaking with Scott Mosher, the composer and multi-instrumentalist for California based band Oceans of Night. Talking to a “jack of all trades” musician is always a treat, as the range of musically relevant topics is always greater the bigger hand someone has in something. While writing, recording multiple parts, producing, and promoting has to be exhausting on a single musician, I imagine the result is also all the more rewarding.

When we spoke Oceans of Night had just released their second album Domain, though Scott had put out many solo albums prior to that. Since then the band has released another studio album, Midnight Rising, in 2014. Scott has always made his music available directly available from his site and at a very reasonable price, and as such I hope you visit the page below and support this wonderful artist.

Oceans of Night Website

Episode #304: Featuring “The Prog of 2005″

Porcupine TreeThis week we have a very special episode for everyone. I’ve always looked back at 2005 as one of prog’s finest in the new millennium. A multitude of artists released landmark albums that year, and for years after I continued to judge a new stock of releases against that year. With that in mind this episode had two parts. The usual update of new material, and a trek 10 years back in time to revisit 2005.

Some unfortunate news came to my attention during the broadcast as well. Former ProgRock.com owner Shawn Gordon has recently suffered a heart attack, and has decided that he is going to shut down TheRecordLabel.net. When this program came to ProgRock, Shawn was still in charge and very helpful and welcoming. We wish him all the best in his recovery and future endeavors, and hope you will consider helping clear his inventory during his closing sale here.

A more upbeat bit of news involves Sonus Umbra. The Chicago based band is working on their new album and has decided to crowdfund it. You can support them here.

I hope everyone enjoys this nostalgic look back! Had so much fun with it you may very well see a 2006 centered show next year, or perhaps a 1995 centered show later this year!

2015-06-10
Riverside – Volte-Face
Redemption – Scarred
Shadow Gallery – The Archer of Ben Salem
Forgotten Suns – In Harm’s Way*
Magic Pie – Silent Giant*
Neal Morse – In the Fire
Roine Stolt – Everyone Wants to Rule the World
Phideaux – Ruffian on the Stairs
Muse – Reapers
Parzival’s Eye – Out on the Street
Von Hertzen Brothers – Sunday Child
Porcupine Tree – Arriving Somewhere But Not Here
Pendragon – No Place For the Innocent
Dream Theater – These Walls
Coheed & Cambria – Apollo II: The Telling Truth
Rush – Between the Wheels~
Evergrey – Recreation Day~
Leprous – The Flood
Pyramaze – Back For More
Kamelot – Moonlight
Circus Maximus – Glory of the Empire
James LaBrie – Pretender
Deadsoul Tribe – A Flight on an Angels Wing
Echolyn – The End is Beautiful

Episode #303: Featuring Leprous

LeprousAnother week, another podcast. During the live broadcast the show had just shy of 2,500 podcast downloads, but as of this posting we’ve broken the barrier! Thank you very much to everyone downloading, listening, and hopefully continuing to support all the great prog and metal music of the world!

That said, let’s take a look at what will hopefully help push us ahead to 5,000 and beyond! This week we travel to Norway and have a look at the dark and brooding band Leprous. They have just released their 5th album, The Congregation. I think those who liked the band’s previous effort Coal will really enjoy this one. I was not personally thrilled with the previous effort, but I see The Congregation to be a refined and improved version of that general sound. You can check out the band here, and order the new album here.

I made mention of a pair of crowdfunding projects currently running. The first of those was for a symphonic tribute to Haken, and you can support that here. The second was for the next Royal Hunt album, and you can contribute to that here.

There was also some new artists being played on the show, and if you’d like to know more about them, you can check out Magic Pie and Circuline. I also mentioned that Pyramaze has a new album out, and you can grab that here.

Finally, it seems as late that no week would be complete without a new Muse video, so here are two more for you!

2015-06-03
Angra – Newborn Me
Leprous – The Price
Gavin Harrison – The Pills I’m Taking^
Nordic Giants – Futures Dark
Parzival’s Eye – Long Distance^
Von Hertzen Brothers – The Destitute
Magic Pie – Trick of the Trade
Circuline – Return
Leprous – Third Law
Muse – The Handler
Symphonic Theater of Dreams – Premonition^
Royal Hunt – Hard Rain’s Coming
3RDegree – Memetic Pandemic
Soul Secret – On the Ledge
The Contortionist – Ebb & Flow
Leprous – Triumphant
Thrice – Promises
Pyramaze – The Battle of Paridas
Bruce Dickinson – Welcome to the Pit
Iris Divine – Prisms
Symphony X – The Eyes of Medusa
Leprous – Red
The Tangent – Codpieces and Capes
Pendragon – The Last Waltz~
Neal Morse – The Truth Will Set You Free
Geddy Lee – Working at Perfekt
Karmakanic – Two Blocks From the Edge
Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused to Sing

Next Page