Alan’s second solo album picks up where the celtic sweep of his debut left off. But this time there’s a harder -edged incisiveness more reminiscent of his work with Pallas. The acoustic under-pinning of the last album takes a back seat behind driving guitars and exuberant keyboards.
Lyrically it’s angry and direct, covering everything from the frustrations of struggling and moribund relationships to the rise of the post-truth narcissist.
As well as vocals Alan provides guitars, basses, drum programming and bass pedals, with Mike Stobbie and Scott Higham returning on keys and drums respectively.
There are also contributions from Jeff Green (lead guitar), Lazuli’s Claude Leonetti (Leode) and Steve Hackett (HarmonicA) Additional vocals come courtesy of Magenta’s Christina Booth, Harvest’s Monique Van Der Kolk and Weendo’s Laetitia Chaudemanche.
Another of the major figures of progressive rock has left us; John Wetton passed away yesterday after a long illness. My Twitter feed was flooded with tributes both from fans and from fellow musicians. I never met him myself, but a lot of people I know knew him personally, and he was much loved as a person as well as a musician.
John Wetton is of course best known for King Crimson in the 1970s and Asia in the 1980s. The three albums he recorded with King Crimson, “Larks Tongues in Aspic”, “Starless and Bible Black” and “Red” remain landmarks in the progressive rock canon, pushing the envelope for what a rock band could be with a level of improvisation previously only seen in jazz, then switching gears with gorgeous elegaic ballads. “Starless”, which closes “Red” remains on of the greatest pieces of rock music ever recorded.
The supergroup Asia were an altogether different beast, sometimes dismissed as too commercial by genre purists, their polished sound emphasising Wetton’s songwriting and soaring voice, and that self-titled début remains a classic. And then there were all the other bands over the years, Family, the short-lived UK, and stints with Roxy Music and Uriah Heep.
So farewell John, and thanks for all the music. His bandmate in Asia, Geoff Downes has asked us all to listen this song in his memory.
Poland’s Riverside are to return to the live arena with an extensive European tour with an as-yet unnamed guest guitarist bringing them back up to full strength.
During “Towards the Blue Horizon Tour” we will play in a new live line-up with a guest guitarist who will make our music sound the way it should, not only because he’s a great musician but, most of all, because he’s got the kind of modesty and humility about him which has always been very important to us on stage. Additionally, we’re going to present a lot of compositions which we have not played live before. Our concerts will also be filled with emotions we haven’t felt before. Together with you, we want to dive into this and make each composition sound more mighty than ever.
We’re becoming a different band, more mature, more serious, more experienced. Piotr is gone, but he will always be with us and we are still a live band. Which we’re going to prove soon during our “Towards the Blue Horizon Tour”.
The band have announced 27 dates across April and May, including three in the UK, in Edinburgh (Liquid Rooms) on May 19th, Bristol (Beirkeller) on May 21st and London (Islington Assembly Hall) on May 22nd. A further tour will follow in the Autumn.
Ayreon premiere a 12-minute epic from their forthcoming science-fiction prog-opera “The Source”, which features all eleven guest singers and sees mainman Arjen Lucasson indulging in some deep guitar and keyboard nerdery.
Disappointingly only two of the eleven singers involved are women this time, but both of them are big names.
Russian chamber-prog duo Iamthemorning have been added to the Prog Stage on Sunday 30th July at The Rambiin’ Man Fair. And though not yet confirmed on the website, Summer’s End have posted on Twitter that they’ll also be the Friday night headliners on October 6th
Disappointingly for many prog fans, especially those who bought full weekend tickers before the bill was announced, the Prog Stage at RMF is just on the Sunday this year, with a hard rock stage taking its place on the Saturday. Fortunately single day tickets are available.
Emerald Mind plays a unique mixture of power and progressive metal with one of the most professional female vocalists on the Russian metal scene Svetlana Vysotskaya.
The band released a new video for the song “Astronaut In Her Space” from their second album “Civilization”. This song draws parallels between the depths of the universe and a human mind. One person explores the other one like a spaceship, drifting among the space. Anyway even if you are far from philosophy you can just enjoy powerful riffs, catchy melodies and exceptional vocal of beautiful Svetlana!
Give it a listen, and see what you think. Catsuits seem to be back in fashion again. I blame Space Elevator.