Few bands have a longer or more storied career with When Prog and Power Unite than Haken. Our program was broadcasting the band even prior to the release of their debut album Aquarius. Here we are 10 years later and the band have just released their fifth album Vector, so no surprise we are featuring it on this week’s episode. The album has an intentionally heavy approach and doesn’t let off the gas much at all during its forty-five minute run time. The band is currently on tour through North America and will tromp through South America and Europe next year. You can find information on ordering the album and those tour dates at the band’s site here.
Headspace – Fall of America
Bent Knee – Holy Ghost
Leprous – From the Flame
Haken – Nil By Mouth
Anathema – Thin Air
Fates Warning – Another Perfect Day
Queensryche – Prophecy
Phideaux – Metro Deathfire
Coheed and Cambria – Love Protocol
Riverside – Wasteland
Flor De Loto – Quinta Dimension
Beardfish – Roulette
Haken – Veil
Shadow Gallery – Room V
Steven Wilson – Arriving Somewhere, But Not Here
Dream the Electric Sleep – Let the Light Flood In
In the Presence of Wolves – Man of the Times
Blind Guardian – Another Holy War
Star One – Human See, Human Do
Toehider – Whatever Makes You Feel Superior
Geddy Lee – Working at Perfekt
Erik Norlander – Heavy Metal Symphony
Planet P Project – Join the Parade
Marillion – White Russian
Haken – A Cell Divides
Another year, another new prog festival. Now in its second year I got to visit ProgStock in Rahway, NJ for the first time this past weekend. Myself and many friends were drawn by the rare chance to see IQ stateside. We ended up seeing a variety of amazing music, with a nice combination of local acts, well known headliners, and some rare or unusual sets to round things off. One of the artists performing at the festival was Canada’s Mystery, whose latest album Lies and Butterflies is our featured album this week. Released over the summer and debuted at Night of the Prog in Germany the album has pleased the fan base and was delivered in full at ProgStock.
Along with the featured album and a lot of songs from the festival we covered a few new albums we didn’t get to last show such as those from Michael Romeo and Spock’s Beard. In addition we opened with the second new single from Haken‘s forthcoming album Vector which can be seen below. Also this past week Coheed and Cambria released their new album The Unheavenly Creatures, and a video from that is included as well.
Haken – Puzzle Box
Mystery – Looking For Something Else
Cell15 – Street Lights
3rDegree – The Future Doesn’t Need You
Coheed and Cambria – Black Sunday
Ayreon – Castle Hall
Michael Romeo – Black
Orpheus Nine – Eightfold Way
Dave Kerzner – Static
Saga – On the Loose
Phideaux – From Hydrogen to Love
Mystery – Chrsalis
Enchant – Juggling Knives
IQ – From the Outside In
Riverside – Acid Rain
Spock’s Beard – Somebody’s Home
IZZ – Can’t Feel the Earth, Part IV
Evership – Silver Light
Mystery – Something to Beleive In
Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Trilogy
Shadow Gallery – Room V
Hello there, it’s been quite a while! As I’ve eluded to during previous shows life has changed a lot for me over the past year or so. I took a new job with a much longer commute and a heavier workload. My girlfriend and I purchased our first house and have since stocked it with two more cats bringing our total up to four. And, I’ll admit, I’ve been feeding my gaming urge substantially more as well. All this has not only taken up a significant amount of time, but has made it increasingly difficult to do a scheduled broadcast every week.
Let me just say I’ve always prided myself in the prep for my shows and the three hour window of broadcast is only part of the time dedicated to each episode. There is preparing the set, preparing detailed notes and links to go with the set, promoting the show, then doing the show, then preparing the post and podcast, and finally promoting after that is released. With work, travel, and new home issues to attend to being able to broadcast at the end of the day just didn’t happen with enough frequency.
Initially I was going to put the show on an indefinite hiatus, and I suppose we unofficially had that as our last podcast was from May, however I feel like we have a possible avenue to move forward with this show that I’ve been doing nearly 10 years at this point.
Into the foreseeable future we’re going to be focussing on podcasts and new formats for the show, to be recorded and released as time permits. We will continue to do reviews and interviews. We will continue to do music mixer discussions about current and general topics. We will continue to bring new and exciting music to your ears. The difference is now it won’t happen every Wednesday. It’ll happen when we are sparked and want to bring you something. I foresee some shorter more focussed musical podcasts hopefully getting into more depth on artists. I’m also open to new ideas and formats as we push ahead.
As for the very immediate future here is what’s on the docket. Mason has a review in the works for the upcoming Iris Divine album The Static and the Noise. I’m going to be doing a show to recap my recent trip to the Netherlands to see the historical Ayreon performances. I’ll be doing a similar show as well focused on my experiences during Haken‘s recently concluded 10th Anniversary Tour here in North America, hitting on their involvement in The Shattered Fortress as well.
Thank you as always to those that have always listened live, downloaded podcasts, and given your feedback and support to the show. I hope we can continue to connect into the future and help one another to enjoy all the beautiful music out there for us.
It was November 2015 onboard the Norwegian Pearl that I first learned about the project that would become Nova Collective. Richard Henshall, guitarist and songwriter of progressive metal shooting stars Haken was telling me about an upcoming trip to America with ex-Haken keyboardist Pete Jones in order to work with Between the Buried and Me bassist Dan Briggs on an instrumental outing. Matt Lynch from Cynic would round out the quartet, and now more than a year after they got together The Further Side is finally available to fans.
Over fourteen minutes we discussed this exciting new project, as well as Richard‘s involvement in Mike Portnoy’s Shattered Fortress, as well as a brief look back and forward from the Haken camp. For those interesting in hearing more from Nova Collective you are free to peruse two tracks from the album below.
For those who may not know, Cruise to the Edge is one of several music festivals that has taken to the seas in recent years. Having now been on two of these Yes branded cruises, as well as Progressive Nation at Sea, I will continue to say that these water based festivals are the single best festival experiences you can have, along with also most likely being the most expensive. Through this episode we have music from many of the bands that performed, as well as commentary on the cruise and the individual shows. Information on the next Cruise to the Edge has already come out on Facebook, and it will expand to 5 days at sea through early February 2018. Keep an eye on their site here for more information in the future.
Finally, while I usually use album art or promotional photos with the episode, tonight I’m taking one from the cruise experience. Even though it’s not credited on the photo, I happen to know this one was taken by the awesome Joel Barrios of Norrsken photography. Chances are you’ve seen some of Joel‘s music related work at some point, and he did a fantastic job shooting on the cruise, so if you fancy please give his Facebook page a like here.
Dream Theater – The Glass Prison
John Wesley – Once a Warrior
John Lodge – 10,000 Light Years Ago
Flying Colors – Kayla
Transatlantic – We All Need Some Light
Haken – Celestial Elixir
Pain of Salvation – In the Passing Light of Day
District 97 – Death By a Thousand Cuts
The Neal Morse Band – Sloth
Bad Dreams – Closer
Spock’s Beard – On a Perfect Day
Yes – Into the Lens
Frost* – Numbers
Stick Men – Plutonium
Genesis – Firth of Fifth
Liquid Tension Experiment – Acid Rain
Dream Theater – The Shattered Fortress
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
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
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
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
3. Avantasia (New York City, NY)
2. ProgPowerUSA (Atlanta, GA)
1. Haken & Thank You Scientist (Various)
3. Epica (House of Blues Orlando, February show)
2. Weird Al Yankovic (Lakeland Center, Lakeland, FL)
1. Avantasia (PlayStation Theater, NYC)
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
As 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!
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
When 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!
Next 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.
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.
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
There are some albums I discover because I do this show, and others that I’m glad I have this show for. Being able to continue to support Haken in their endeavors is a huge pleasure many years later, and having an album as good as Affinity makes it easy. If you missed it, you can check out my review of the album here, and listen to my discussion with Diego here. With those items aside, there isn’t much more I can say about the album than please buy it! You can grab yourself a copy here.
I mentioned during the show that Pain of Salvation are working hard on releasing a new version of Remedy Lane, paired with the full performance of the album last year. You can get more info straight from the band here, as well as some info on their next studio album.
Long Distance Calling have released their new album Trips, and you can grab yourself a copy of that here.
Finally, the first song from the new Frost* album, Falling Satellites, is finally here! Check out the video below and pre-order the album here.
Thank You Scientist – Feed the Horses
Haken – 1985
Frost* – Heartstrings
Lee Abraham – The Unknown
Messenger – Nocturne
Long Distance Calling – Rewind
Haken – Red Giant
Pyramaze – Forsaken Kingdom
Iron Maiden – The Clairvoyant
Black Sabbath – Fairies Wear Boots
Pain of Salvation – Rope Ends
Morglbl – Brutal Romance
Leprous – Restless
Haken – The Architect
Borealis – Black Rose
Persephone’s Dream – Android Dreams
Pendragon – Guardian of My Soul
Haken – Earthrise
Diego Tejeida has been working the ivory for Haken from nearly the beginning, and has seen his sound evolve with the band. As we discussed in this 25-minute interview, that’s no easy task. We talked about his process for developing the tones you hear on each record, which goes well beyond picking from the usual pre-packaged sounds. We of course talked a lot about Haken‘s forthcoming album, Affinity, which is due out on April 29th. I mentioned in my review of the album all the new styles and sounds seen on this record, and now have a much deeper appreciation for them than I already did.
We also spoke about the evolution of the songwriting in the band, the addition of Conner Green on bass, and playing live, including some discussion of Haken‘s upcoming European and North American dates. Not one to be accused of using clickbait, let me say, no, there are no set American dates, yet, but they will come! And, as we discussed in the interview, you can watch the first track, “Initiate”, below!