Category Archives: Podcasts
Ep. #360 featuring Pain of Salvation

Our first normal broadcast of 2017 brings with it a feature for the first major release of the year, In the Passing Light of Day from Pain of Salvation. I’m not going to spend too much time on the album, because Joe already graced the site with a very insightful review here. While I personally was not turned off by the band’s Road Salt albums, I know many fans were, and if you were one of those people I truly think the band will bring you back into the fold with this release. While my favorite songs may differ from what Joe had in his review, I certainly agree with his overall very strong “A” grade on the album. And what is extra exciting is that American fans may get to see a lot of this material on the road as the band will be doing a full tour! Here are the full dates:

Feb. 7-11 Tampa, FL – Mexico – Cruise to the Edge
Feb. 12 Tampa, FL, The Orpheum
Feb. 14 Houston,TX, The Scout bar
Feb. 15 Dallas, TX, Gas Money
Feb. 16 Kansas City, MO, The Riot Room
Feb. 18 Chicago, IL, Reggies
Feb. 19 Detroit, MI, The Token Lounge
Feb. 21 Toronto, ON, Mod Club
Feb. 22 Quebec, QC, Le Cercle
Feb. 23 Montreal, QC, Le Tulipe
Feb. 24 Buffalo, NY, Iron Works
Feb. 26 New York, NY, The Marlin Room

And finally, don’t forget to buy the album here, and in case you need more convincing, the video for “Reasons” is below for your viewing pleasure.

Next up is some huge news, included in this podcast only thanks to my tardiness. On the broadcast on Wednesday I informed everyone that a new Ayreon album was on the way and it was to be titled The Source. Normally I would post the podcast later in the evening and that’s all we would know, but a day later we’ve got a lot more info, and one of the coolest videos I’ve seen in recent years! The album is due out April 28th and the 12+ minute video of the first track features every single vocalist on the album. You can choose from a myriad of pre-order choices here, and check out the awesome video below.

Although I don’t have much other info, it’s worth noting that April 28th will also see the release of Grimspound from Big Big Train. In more immediate release news Blackfield has the album V arriving on February 10th and you can pre-order that here. Next up is Tim Bowness releasing Lost in the Ghost Light on February 17th (order here), and The Mute Gods releasing Tardigrades Will Inherit the Earth on February 24th (order here). You can check out a track from each of those releases below.

Finally comes the tour news. Iron Maiden and Ghost will be hitting the road together and you can get full info and dates here. And just announced Coheed and Cambria will be touring, playing From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness in its entirety. They will joined by The Dear Hunter, and you can get a full list of dates here.

2017-01-25
Dream Theater – Outcry
Pain of Salvation – On a Tuesday
John Wesley – A Way You’ll Never Be
Ghost – He Is
Iron Maiden – Empire of the Clouds
The Mute Gods – We Can’t Carry On
Pandora – The Way You Are
Tim Bowness – You Wanted to be Seen
Big Big Train – London Plane
Pain of Salvation – Reasons
The Dear Hunter – Mustard Gas
Coheed and Cambria – From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness
Kansas – What’s On My Mind
Yes – Heart of the Sunrise
Pain of Salvation – Full Throttle Tribe
Ayreon – The Charm of the Seer
Threshold – Watchtower on the Moon
Stick Men – Mantra
Trusties – A Dream I Never Had
Blackfield – Oxygen
Symphony X – Wicked
Firewind – Insanity
Pain of Salvation – The Taming of a Beast

Ep. #359: The 2016 Year End Wrap-Up Spectacular

Another year in music has come to a close! As is customary we have put an end to 2016 with an extended six hour wrap-up show, hitting most of the albums discussed in our “Best of 2016” retrospective, and a ton of other material as well. As usual we used musical additions from contributors and listeners to help round out the show and paint a more complete picture of the year. Once again, congratulations to our album of the year, Theories of Flight from Fates Warning! For more, well, I said far too much in six hours, so I’m not going to bore you here, just take a listen and enjoy a share of the amazing music available to you from the past year!

2017-01-04: 2016 Year End Wrap-Up Spectacular
Big Big Train – Folklore
The Dear Hunter – Cascade
Long Distance Calling – Getaway
Messenger – Calyx
Evergrey – Passing Through
Circus Maximus – Flames
Redemption – Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Evermind’s Guest Block
-Enbound – Feel My Flame
-Temperance – Change the Rhyme
-Sunburst – Remedy of my Heart
No More Pain – Paging Mr. Spader
Edge of Reality – Moldy Banana Bread
Eric Gillette – Aftermath
Frost* – Heartstrings
Airbag – Broken
Lee Abraham – Live For Today
Pain of Salvation – Chain Sling~
Karmakanic – Steer by the Stars
Anderson/Stolt – Knowing
Dr. DTVT’s Guest Block
-Charred Walls of the Damned – As I Catch My Breath
-Hammers of Misfortune – The Precipice (Waiting for the Crash)
Thank You Scientist – Mr. Invisible
Haken – 1985
Devin Townsend Project – Stormbending
Ayreon – Mystery
Arjen Lucassen – Daydream Believer^
Avantasia – Let the Storm Descend Upon You
Serious Black – Mirror World
Fates Warning – The Light and Shade of Things
Headspace – Kill You With Kindness
Tiles – Shelter in Place
IZZ – Burn (If You Let It)
Iamthemorning – Lighthouse
Kyros – The Lamb, the Badger, and the Bee
Kansas – Refugee
Dream Theater – Our New World
Jingle.Boy’s Guest Block
-Almanac – Self-Blinded Eyes
-Cloudscape – Thunders of Extreme
-Hemina – Moonlight Bride
-InnerWish – Tame the Seven Seas
-Theocracy – Ghost Ship
Dream the Electric Sleep – Let the Light Flood In
The Fringe – You
Paul Bremner – Warm
The Neal Morse Band – The Man in the Iron Cage
Knifeworld – High/Aflame
Rikard Sjoblom – Realm of You and Me
Dynazty – The Human Paradox
Mob Rules – Somerled
Primal Fear – Angels of Mercy
Marillion – Living in F.E.A.R.
Tilt – Against the Rain
The Mute Gods – Feed the Trolls
Serenity – Follow Me
Section A – Finding the One
Fates Warning – White Flag

Review: Pain of Salvation – In the Passing Light of Day

Band: Pain of Salvation
Album: In the Passing Light of Day
Available: January 13th, 2017 via InsideOut
Reviewer: Joe

Pain of Salvation Website
Buy on Amazon

In the Passing Light of Day: A Surprising Masterpiece in the Wake of Changed Lives

In the Passing Light of Day is quite the milestone record, being the first new Pain of Salvation album in 6 years. It’s also the first proper album with the “new band” following major lineup changes through 2011 and 2012, the first album since Daniel Gildenlow‘s recovery from a near-fatal illness in 2014, and the first album in several offerings where – at least it seems – Daniel Gildenlow is not the primary songwriter on every track. What further cements its significance is the return to the stylistic parameters nearing “progressive metal” that we haven’t heard from the band since 2004’s Be (or, some might say 2002’s Remedy Lane). And, perhaps most importantly, this album is one of Pain of Salvation‘s finest offerings.

The first several songs are some of the most energetic, frenetic, and well composed songs in the Pain of Salvation discography. The album opens with “On a Tuesday”, a 10-minute juggernaut that hardly feels as long as it is. The track seems to deal heavily with Gildenlow‘s near death experience, and while dark subject matter has often occupied space in Pain of Salvation‘s discography, this time it stings with a biting honesty and authenticity. “I close my hands, not in prayer, not in prayer, but in fists,” Gildenlow whisper-sings, just before the song erupts in anger. Overall, “On a Tuesday” is a very well-balanced composition that hits a perfect balance between driven, energetic parts, and softer, more pensive sections.

“Tongue of God” follows with the fake-out. What initially postures as a soft piano ballad i.e., Road Salt, morphs into one of the band’s most potent short anthems; something that takes the Remedy Lane sound and infuses it with the grunge, dirt, and gravel of the Road Salt albums. That formula turns out to be where the album is most effective – it’s not a rehash of Pain of Salvation‘s early days as much as it’s a natural evolution of everything the band have done before. This development continues with next track, “Meaningless”, which is another haunting rocker that manages to carry on this aesthetic despite being  a reworked version of a song from guitarist Ragnar Zolberg‘s previous band, Sign.

We get a break from what amounts to 20 minutes of grungy metal via “Silent Gold”, a piano-driven ballad that features very well-performed and emotive vocals from Gildenlow. But the calm doesn’t last long, as the energy level ramps back up with “Full Throttle Tribe”, another long epic.

Fans will immediately recognize “Full Throttle Tribes’” Remedy Lane type rhythm and feel, and the callbacks to The Perfect Element style rapping vocals. Unlike the first long song thus far, “On a Tuesday”, “Full Throttle Tribe” does overstay its welcome by a few minutes. The vocals and instrumental feel a bit disjointed, and the song lacks the glue that would otherwise help keep other songs on the album cohesive. But the chorus is solid, featuring an infectious melody and vocals layered sweetly in a way that Gildenlow pulls off so well.

Subsequently, “Reasons” kicks in with one of the heaviest riffs on the album, though it is ironically one of the album’s more progressive and theatrical tracks. Once again, we hear Gildenlow‘s rap-vocals over odd time signatures and heavy riffs, but this time more reminiscent of Be. It’s an intense track, and as uncomfortable as the unwanted epiphany that the lyrics describe.

The pace and general feel of the album changes somewhat here, as the songs become softer for the remainder of the album. “Angels of Broken Things” is a more somber, down-tempo, and haunting number, but its atmosphere slowly builds and coalesces into one of Pain of Salvation‘s most impressive guitar solos yet. “The Taming of a Beast” is overall a livelier track, but akin to Road Salt in terms of an arrangement, with fuzzed out guitars and a vintage-sounding electric piano driving the song. Gildenlow vocally channels Leonard Cohen here, and it works, as should be no surprise to anyone who has heard Pain of Salvation’s cover of “Hallelujah” on Ending Themes. The next song “If This is the End”, is an acoustic ballad that eventually builds into an incredibly concentrated outburst of violence, but it feels somewhat like a prelude to the album’s closer, “The Passing Light of Day”.

Once again, the album takes a turn back to the subject of mortality and Gildenlow‘s illness. A large portion of the song is dominated by a low, soft singing over a minimalist, clean guitar. The mood is nostalgic and remorseful, rather than angsty or angry, and change of pace fits perfectly. “Some candles last an hour/and others one full day/but I want to be like the sun/that steady flame that burns all along”, Gildenlow muses. As the simultaneous admission of ego and one’s own mortality brings the album thematically full circle, the guitars swell into a burst. What follows is almost reminiscent of Devin Townsend Project; Gildenlow‘s voice sores as he delivers lines expounding on the lessons learned from overcoming great personal adversity; a wall of driven guitars scream underneath.

In the Passing Light of Day may have been billed as a return to Pain of Salvation‘s progressive metal roots – and it is – but the album is more of an evolutionary jump forward. The elements that made up albums such as Be, Scarsick and Road Salt are still present, but this time woven back into a more traditional Pain of Salvation format. Additionally, the trauma Gildenlow underwent with his illness is inevitably on full display; changing the music and lyrical themes just as it undeniably changed Gildenlow‘s life. This combo of factors is why In the Passing Light of Day is such a rewarding listen. It manages to push Pain of Salvation forward into new unexplored territory, but fans will be relieved to hear that the music is recognizably Pain of Salvation.

Joe’s Grade: A

The Best of 2016

Another year, another retrospective. When it comes to music this year it’s easy to stew over what we lost. Iconic names like Prince, Lemmy, and David Bowie all left us over the course of the last twelve months. But, as with pretty much any year, there is much to look back fondly on, and so we reflect back on our favorites of 2016. Of all the albums heard this year only two of them made the top 10 lists of all three contributors to the program. The consensus runner up this year is Haken‘s fourth full length album, Affinity, which also spawned a wide range of individual awards. But, there can be only one album of the year, and so…

This year’s consensus choice as When Prog and Power Unite‘s album of the year is Theories of Flight from Fates Warning! This modern progressive metal masterpiece from one of the genre’s earliest applicants completely floored us, coming in at #1, #2, and #7 on our three lists. In addition the album spawned one nod to Jim Matheos for composer of the year, two nods to Ray Alder as vocalist of the year, and a nod to “The Light and Shade of Things” as epic of the year.

During the course of our the podcast you can listen as Nick explains all his picks in detail, and follow-up with an ill and congested Joe running through his top ten of the year. Additionally, if you wish to hear Mason‘s picks explained you can do so here. Be forewarned, due to some current technical limitations on his end the audio is somewhat muddy and choppy, but it’s still always good to hear his take!

A big thanks as always to everyone who tuned in during this past year, and we look forward to the new year in a big way as, on the first Wednesday of the year, January 4th,  we kick off 2017 with our year-end wrap up spectacular. This show will be extended, as always, and will run from 4pm-10pm EST. That’s 9pm-3am UTC. As always we will be playing a lot of the music discussed here, as well as so much more. If you only tune in for one show next year, that’s the one you want!

Top 10 Albums of 2016
Nick:
10. Avantasia – Ghostlights
9. Rikard Sjoblum – The Unbendable Sleep
8. Edge of Reality – Vicious Circle
7. The Neal Morse Band – The Similitude of a Dream
6. Thank You Scientist – Stranger Heads Prevail
5. Headspace – All That You Fear is Gone
4. Dream the Electric Sleep – Beneath the Dark Wide Sky
3. Big Big Train – Folklore
2. Haken – Affinity
1. Fates Warning – Theories of Flight

Mason:
10. Hammers of Misfortune – Dead Revolution
9. Karmakanic – Dot
8. Anciients – Voice In The Void
7. Evergrey – The Storm Within
6. Haken – Affinity
5. Redemption – The Art of Loss
4. Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence
3. Dream the Electric Sleep – Beneath the Dark Wide Sky
2. Fates Warning – Theories of Flight
1. Avantasia – Ghostlights

Joe:
10. Headspace – All That You Fear is Gone
9. Circus Maximus – Havoc
8. Iamthemorning – Lighthouse
7. Fates Warning – Theories of Flight
6. Anderson/Stolt – Invention of Knowledge
5. Haken – Affinity
4. Alcest – Kodama
3. Explosions in the Sky – The Wilderness
2. Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence
1. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

Songwriter/Composer of the Year
Nick: Jim Matheos (Fates Warning)
Mason: Matt Page (Dream The Electric Sleep)
Joe: Neige (Alcest)

Vocalist of the Year
Nick: Ray Alder (Fates Warning, Redemption)
Mason: Ray Alder (Fates Warning, Redemption)
Joe: Ross Jennings (Haken)

Guitarist of the Year
Nick: Eric Gillette (Neal Morse Band, Eric Gillette)
Mason: Nick Van Dyk (Redemption)
Joe: Devin Townsend (Devin Townsend Project)

Bassist of the Year
Nick: Connor Green (Haken, Eric Gillette)
Mason: Jonas Reingold (Karmakanic, The Fringe)
Joe: Anton Dang (O’Brother)

Keyboardist of the Year
Nick: Adam Wakeman (Headspace)
Mason: Sigurd Sheie (Hammers of Misfortune)
Joe: Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater)

Drummer of the Year
Nick: Ray Hearne (Haken)
Mason: Josh Mathis (Cyborg Octopus)
Joe: Ray Hearne (Haken)

Song of the Year (Song Under 10 Minutes)
Nick: The Lamb, The Badger & the Bee (Kyros)
Mason: Let The Light Flood In (Dream The Electric Sleep)
Joe: Stormbending (Devin Townsend Project)

Epic of the Year (Song Over 10 Minutes)
Nick: The Light and Shade of Things (Fates Warning)
Mason: Let The Storm Descend Upon You (Avantasia)
Joe: Knowing (Anderson/Stolt)

Disappointment of the Year
Nick: The Astonishing (Dream Theater)
Mason: The Astonishing (Dream Theater)
Joe: Act V: Hymns With the Devil in Confessional (The Dear Hunter)

Comeback Album of the Year
Nick: The Prelude Implicit (Kansas)
Mason: Creatures Watching Over The Dead (Charred Walls of the Damned)
Joe: Kodama (Alcest)

Newcomer of the Year
Nick: Vicious Circle (Edge of Reality)
Mason: Learning To Breathe (Cyborg Octopus)
Joe: Stranger Heads Prevail (Thank You Scientist)

Album Cover/Artwork of the Year
Nick: The Seasons Turn (Lee Abraham)
Mason: Codex Atlanticus (Serenity)
Joe: Kodama (Alcest)

Top 3 Shows/Tours of the Year
Nick:
3. Avantasia (New York City, NY)
2. ProgPowerUSA (Atlanta, GA)
1. Haken & Thank You Scientist (Various)

Mason:
3. Epica (House of Blues Orlando, February show)
2. Weird Al Yankovic (Lakeland Center, Lakeland, FL)
1. Avantasia (PlayStation Theater, NYC)

Joe:
3. Jesu & Sun Kil Moon (Theatre of Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA)
2. Explosions in the Sky (The Fillmore, Philadelphia, PA)
1. Sigur Ros (Academy of Music, Philadelphia, PA)

Top Concert Video of the Year
Nick: The Theater Equation (Ayreon)
Mason: Welcome to Atlanta Live (Seventh Wonder)

Most Anticipated Releases in 2017
Nick: Ayreon, Flying Colors, MindMaze
Mason: Ayreon, Byzantine, Enchant, Iris Divine, Jolly, MindMaze, Odin’s Court, Once Human, Pain of Salvation, Seventh Wonder
Joe: Sigur Ros, Pain of Salvation, Flying Colors, Anathema

Ep. #358 featuring The Neal Morse Band

Hello, is this thing on? It’s been awhile, and I apologize to any listeners who have been missing the show over the past few months. First, let me start with some good news; the best of 2016 lists and podcast should be available soon, so keep an eye out for that. In addition the year end wrap up show is scheduled for Wednesday, January 4th. The hours are yet to be determined, but as always it will exceed our usual 3 hour show, probably clocking in at 5-6 hours. It’s the one show a year I suggest people tune into more than any other, as we try best we can to cover all the great music released in 2016.

Speaking of which, one of the more recent 2016 releases was The Similitude of a Dream  from The Neal Morse Band. This is the sophomore release under that specific moniker, though it of course closely resembles a normal Neal Morse release. I really do think the more diverse songwriting does come through in the “band” setting, and it is very refreshing, especially on a two disc release to have multiple singers on the album, most notably guitarist Eric Gillette. I love Neal‘s vocals, but he has released such a large amount of music in a relatively short time that it’s always refreshing to hear other voices. This album was a grower, and it you dedicate the time to give it a few listens I have no doubt you’ll be enjoying it as much as I have. You can order yourself the album here.

Unlike a normal show, where I do try to get a somewhat thorough grasp on all the big pieces of news that have happened in the past week, I’m not going to pretend to present everything that has gone on in the last few months, and am simply going to hit on a few highlights. There are several early 2017 releases we can look forward to starting with In the Passing Light of Day from Pain of Salvation due out on January 13th. You can preorder that album here and check out the lead single below.

Next up we have a couple of live releases to talk about. Already released is A Stone’s Throw From the Line by Big Big Train, and you can grab that here. Coming out January 21st is Scrape Across the Sky from IQ, and you can see a full release about that here.  Also coming out sometime next year is the 2nd studio release from The Mute Gods, Tardigrades Will Inherit the Earth. Not much detail on that yet other than it’s expected in February.  And now in parting I leave you with a fresh Blind Guardian track, “Children of the Smith”, enjoy!

2016-12-14
Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Dreams
The Tea Club – The Magnet
Thank You Scientist – Rube Goldberg Variations
Blind Guardian – Children of the Smith
Pain of Salvation – Meaningless
The Dear Hunter – The Revival
The Neal Morse Band – Draw the Line
The Neal Morse Band – The Slough
The Neal Morse Band – Back to the City
No More Pain – Paging Mr. Spader
Jolly – Joy
Shadow Gallery – Christmas Day
Big Big Train – Wassail
IQ – The Road of Bones
Ayreon – Epilogue: The Memory Remains
Marillion – Slainte Mhath
The Mute Gods – Nightschool for Idiots
Voyager – A Beautiful Mistake
The Neal Morse Band – The Road Called Home
The Neal Morse Band – Sloth
The Neal Morse Band – Freedom Song
Coheed and Cambria – Domino the Destitute
Symphony X – The Accolade
David Gilmour – On an Island~
Moon Safari – The World’s Best Dreamer
Wisdom of Crowds – Radio Star
Helloween – I’m Alive
Bruce Dickinson – Darkside of Aquarius
Coheed and Cambria – Apollo II: The Telling Truth

Ep. #357 featuring Edge of Reality

Edge of RealityAs I had suspected shows have been few and far between, but that comes with a hidden benefit of lots of exciting goodness being packed into each episode. For one, tonight’s show featured the fantastic second album from Edge of Reality, Vicious Circle. This is a release for everyone who wants all the normal guitar driven prog goodness they can handle with the extra flavors of humor and eccentricity for good measure. You can check out more of the album and buy it from bandcamp here.

Then of course there is one of the reasons there have been so few shows recently. I spent the better part of one week following Haken and Thank You Scientist through Canada and the United States, and then the better part of another week experiencing my first ProgPower USA. I talk about my trip and the festival in brief during the podcast while playing music from many of the associated bands. Check out news on next year’s festival here or simply watch the roster video for days 3 and 4 below.

And no show would be complete without lots of new music. Let’s start with a pair of more recent releases, The Storm Within from Evergrey and The Dear Hunter‘s new album Act V: Hymns With the Devil in Confessional. Scratching itches in two separate areas of the music community both albums have been very well received thus far. You can buy the Evergrey here and The Dear Hunter here.

Now we’ll move onto a pair of upcoming releases. First up is The Prelude Implicit, a new album from Kansas following the departure of Steve Walsh. You can check out the new video below and preorder the album here.

Next is a double album from The Neal Morse Band due out November 11th called The Similitude of a Dream. Mike Portnoy has gone all-in declaring this one of the absolute greatest albums in his career, and we can only hope it lives up to the hype. You can watch the first single below and preorder here.

Swinging now to the dark side of things Ghost have released a new album called Popestar, and the lead single can be seen below. You can order the full album here.

Finally, Dream Theater have released a new version of their track “Our New World” featuring vocalist Lzzy Hale. Check it out!

2016-09-21
Dream Theater – The Glass Prison
Edge of Reality – Cupcake
Evergrey – Someday
Ghost – Square Hammer
Lord – Redemption
Stream of Passion – Haunted
Spock’s Beard – Tides of Time
Thank You Scientist – The Amateur Arsonist’s Handbook
Haken – The Endless Knot
Dream Theater – Our New World feat. Lzzy Hale
Pyramaze – Disciples of the Sun
Circus Maximus – Abyss
Blind Guardian – And the Story Ends
The Neal Morse Band – Long Day/Overture
Kansas – Visability Zero
Edge of Reality – Moldy Banana Bread
Vanishing Point – Tyranny of Distance
The Gentle Storm – Shores of India (Storm)
Fates Warning – Valley of the Dolls
Serious Black – Mirror World
Green Carnation – Light of Day, Day of Darkness (Edit)
Devin Townsend – By Your Command
Edge of Reality – Into the Shadows
The Dear Hunter – Cascade

Ep. 356 featuring Dream the Electric Sleep

Dream the Electric SleepThis week we turn to the American heartland for our featured album, the third album from Dream the Electric Sleep, Beneath the Dark Wide Sky. The trio has always excelled at pounding out powerful albums with soulful groove and energy, and continue that trend with the latest album. You can buy the new album here.

Arjen Anthony Lucassen recently (re)released an album he did years ago, but is now finally taking proper credit for, Strange Hobby. It’s a collection of older psychedelic tunes for your listening pleasure. It can be gotten here.

Next up is Karmakanic who have just released their fifth album, DOT. You can check out that album’s longest track in this week’s show, and then buy the album here.

Tilt is a band we saw debut on the program a few weeks ago, and they have since released a new video from their new album Hinterland. You can check that out below and then buy it here.

2016-08-10
Evergrey – Distance
Dream the Electric Sleep – Let the Light Flood In
Arjen Anthony Lucassen – I Want You^
Thank You Scientist – A Wolf in Cheap Clothing
Karmakanic – God, the Universe, and Everything Else No One Cares About, Pt. 1
Magic Pie – According to Plan
Dream the Electric Sleep – Flight
Airbag – Returned
Tilt – Bloodline
Thank You Scientist – Cavern
Tesla – Save the Goodness
Von Hertzen Brothers – Trouble
Vanden Plas – Rainmaker
The Gentle Storm – The Greatest Love (Storm)
Blind Guardian – Into the Storm
Pyramaze – Ancient Words Within
Dream the Electric Sleep – Culling the Herd
Shadow Gallery – Pain
Riverside – Artificial Smile
Supertramp – School
Phideaux – Thank You For the Evil
Moon Safari – Mega Moon
Labyrinth – Crossroads
Dream the Electric Sleep – The Last Psalm to Silence
Dream the Electric Sleep – All Good Things

Ep. #355 featuring Anderson/Stolt

Anderson StoltWhenever notable musicians come together, from simple duos to larger supergroups, I’m inevitably struck by two questions: Will the style of this music be a merging of sounds I’m already accustomed to? And will the quality be worth it to pull these guys away from their normal musical endeavors? In the case of The Invention of Knowledge from Anderson/Stolt the answer to both questions is yes. For better or worse there is no Asia here, no bold new direction carved out when the pieces added up to the sum. If you asked someone to imagine Roine Stolt‘s guitar playing on a classic Jon Anderson era Yes album, they’d probably come close to what was done here, and would likely be just as pleased as well. To say something is as you’d imagine is probably a bit boring, but also makes it a safe bet for your enjoyment, so go ahead and grab the album here.

While that album may have been expected, the next bit of news certainly was not. It seems that the Swedish sensation known as Beardfish have decided to call it a day. They were truly one of the first bands of their Scandinavian eclectic prog style that I followed, even before the much more well known The Flower Kings, and their regular output has been a constant source of enjoyment over the years. Seeing them live was always a blast, and I think the joy and purity they brought to the stage will be sorely missed by the prog community. Check out the full release below.

After a longer hiatus and some disagreements and various difficulties within the band we have decided to call it quits. This was not an easy choice to make. Beardfish has always been our main musical outlet – a proper garage band – the kind that meet up in the rehearsal studio and try out new material together for long, massive sessions at a time. Some of the best times of our lives have been spent together on the road, in the studio and just hanging out.

Growing up, having families and all that has made that particular way of working very difficult, leading to long periods where we haven’t been able to rehearse.. And we LIKE to play.

We’ve had a very good run though; eight albums in fifteen years, nine if you include “The early years” (ten if you count “The Sane Day” double album as two!). We’ve toured with some great bands. We’ve met amazing people and found friends in places we’d never been before.We want to thank everyone who has supported us throughout the years, you guys are fantastic and the prog community is a very special place to be a part of.

We spent our youth and our early adulthood as Beardfish and we grew up within the band.. Individually we will now venture out into other musical projects. No matter what, Beardfish has been very special and we will all hold it close to our hearts, but right now it’s time for new adventures.

“So real, it’s surreal”
A Love Story – The Sane Day (2005)

Beardfish
Rikard, David, Robert & Magnus

Edge of RealityThe last bit of news comes from our friends in Edge of Reality, who have announced August 30th as the release date of their second album, Vicious Circle. Here is what the band had to say:

Ladies and gentlemen, the day has arrived. We are proud to announce the release date of our second album! We shall unleash Vicious Circle upon the earth August 30th. Pre orders are available now on bandcamp here.

If you want the physical copy in your hands a week early, come get it right from us at our release show at Mercy Lounge Thursday, August 25th!

We can’t wait for you to hear it!

And here is a teaser video for you!

Finally, as I mentioned during the show, we may soon be experiencing a higher than normal amount of show cancellations and/or a temporary hiatus. We hope you stick with us through the troubles and join us on the other side!

2016-07-13
Beardfish – The Gooberville Ballroom Dancer
Anderson/Stolt – Invention
Edge of Reality – Aggressive Tip-Toeing
Pink Floyd – In the Flesh
Rush – Something For Nothing
Shadow Gallery – The Archer of Ben Salem
Rikard Sjoblom – The Realm of You and Me
Beardfish – South of the Border
Big Big Train – Brooklands
Fates Warning – Another Perfect Day
Anderson/Stolt – Everybody Heals
Marillion – Hotel Hobbies
Marillion – Warm Wet Circles
Marillion – That Time of the Night
Beardfish – The Platform
Karnataka – Road to Cairo
Pyramaze – The Birth
Lo-Fi Resistance – Program
James LaBrie – Invisible
Beardfish – Hold On
Anderson/Stolt – Know…

Ep. 354 featuring Fates Warning

Fates WarningOver thirty years into the game and yet Fates Warning are continuing to show why they deserve to keep the moniker of progressive metal pioneers. Their new album is Theories of Flight, and I’ve seen more than one longtime fan of the band praise it as their best yet, topping such classics as Parallels and A Pleasant Shade of Gray. From a personal perspective I can safely say it will be a very strong contender for album of the year, and Jim Matheos will put himself in competition for the guitarist and songwriter of the year. His compositions over the last decade with a variety of projects have been nothing short of stellar, making him an icon of the last century as well as this one. If you are a prog-metal fan I  guarantee this is going to be one of the album you need to hear this year. You can buy the new album here, and keep up with Fates Warning here. You can also enjoy a video of “White Flag” below.

Levin Minnemann RudessWhile Jim may have the guitar covered, our next bit of big news features three individuals who are all masters of their various domains as well. Tony Levin has taken bass and other low-end instrument duties with an almost endless list of individuals, but his best known longtime collaboration is with Peter Gabriel. Marco Minnemann is a highly sought after drummer, and one who has added his distinct touch to most of Steven Wilson‘s solo catalog. Lastly, Jordan Rudess is the man who has been playing keyboards and any other instrument he can find or invent with Dream Theater for over 15 years.

Together those individuals make up Levin Minnemann Rudess, and on July 15th the trio is set to release From the Law Offices of Levin Minnemann Rudess. This is their second album together, and this episode features a world premier of some music from the album. Listen to the podcast for your very first chance to hear “Back to the Machine”. Then you can head on over here to pre-order the album, or watch below for a little more info from the band.


Making their debut on the program tonight was Tilt, who are composed of members from Fish‘s solo band. Their new album Hinterland is available now from their bandcamp here, and you can check out the album there before you buy it!

On the news front, we have some info on a new Flying Colors record. Here is what Mike Portnoy had to say in a recent interview with One on One.

We’re pencilled in to reconvene in December and begin writing, so that’s the plan. We’ll start writing at the end of this year, we’ll possibly have something out by 2017. We’ll see how the process goes when we get under way in December.

In other Mike Portnoy news, he has announced that he’ll be performing Dream Theater‘s 12 Step Suite for the first time in its entirety on board Cruise to the Edge 2017. You can read more about that here.

2016-07-06
Fates Warning – Seven Stars
Dream Theater – These Walls
Peter Gabriel – Shock the Monkey
Steven Wilson – Happy Returns/Ascendant Here On
Levin Minnemann Rudess – Back to the Machine (World Premier)
Flying Colors – The Storm
Anderson/Stolt – Knowledge
Fates Warning – The Light and Shade of Things
Ayreon – Trauma~
Tilt – Hinterland
Wisdom of Crowds – Radio Star
Haken – Darkest Light
Coheed and Cambria – In Keep Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
Queensryche – Eye9
Fates Warning – White Flag
Porcupine Tree – Piano Lessons
Levin Minnemann Rudess – The Blizzard
Spock’s Beard – I’m the Guy
Kyros – The Lamb, The Badger and the Bee
Beardfish – The Hunter
Helloween – Keeper of the Seven Keys
Airbag – Broken
3rDegree – Incoherent Ramblings
Fates Warning – The Ghosts of Home

Ep. 353 featuring Eric Gillette

Eric GilletteWhen I first saw Eric Gillette perform live, it should have come as no surprise, given the other members of the Neal Morse Band, that he wasn’t a one trick pony. That show saw him perform flawlessly on several instruments, as well as deliver backing vocals, showcasing I think a very under-recognized voice in prog. I was so impressed with his performance I named him my guitarist for the year in 2015, and of course quickly picked up his first solo CD, Afterthought. Now he’s brought in some guests and is showing off his songwriting chops on his sophomore release, The Great Unknown. He brought everything one might expect, and more, namely Conner Green, Diego Tejeda, and Thomas Lang. You can check him out and purchase his music here.

Next on the agenda is a tour for the ages. Especially if that age is younger prog fans. A bill that showcases a transatlantic pairing of the best of the UK and America is hitting the United States in August and September. Haken and Thank You Scientist together! A full list of dates can be seen below!
Haken Thank You ScientistNext up on the docket are some items we’ve talked about a good bit. Ayreon‘s The Theater Equation is out in some areas, and you can grab that here, while Anderson/Stolt‘s Invention of Knowledge can be grabbed here.

Now let’s move onto some important kickstarters and pre-orders, starting with the bands and people who are more likely to be eating ramen without your help. First up is Iris Divine, who are funding their second album The Static and the Noise. This is a follow up to one of the great metal debut’s the US has seen recently, and has very little chance to disappoint. You can help them here.

Next up is The Dear Hunter, who are now accepting pre-orders for Act V: Hymns With the Devil in Confessional. You can hear the first single here and pre-order the album here.

Finally, we have Levin Minnemann Rudess, and their sophomore release, From the Law Office of Levin Minnemann Rudess. You can pledge towards that here.

Finally, in general news, we have a pair of big names making waves. First up, Steven Wilson returns to America to continue touring. You can check out his updated dates here.

And then there is the end of a 16 year studio hiatus for Kansas, as they’ve announced they will be releasing The Prelude Implicit on September 23rd. You can read the full release on that here.

2016-06-22
Peter Gabriel – Red Rain
Eric Gillette – The Aftermath
Thank You Scientist – Absentee
Haken – Portals
Anderson/Stolt – Invention
Ayreon – Pain~
Ayreon – Mystery~
Iris Divine – Fire of the Unknown
Levin Minnemann Rudess – Marcopolis
The Dear Hunter – Gloria
Eric Gillette – Escape
Anderson/Stolt – We Are Truth
Big Big Train – Telling the Bees
Kansas – Lightning’s Hand
Steven Wilson – My Book of Regrets
Eric Gillette – Damage is Done
Transatlantic – Duel With the Devil
Rush – A Farewell to Kings
Sylvan – Strange Emotion
Dredg – Sanzen
Eric Gillette – All I Am

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