Category Archives: News

The Mercy Stone

Video: The Mercy Stone Launch “Wail Song” Clip

Taken from the press release:

A 12-piece experimental rock ensemble, The Mercy Stone has launched a new studio performance video for the song “Wail Song” taken from their album Ghettoblaster. The video is available on YouTube

Founder of the project, guitarist and composer Scott Grady stated, “‘Ghettoblaster’ uses many different genres/styles of popular music with elements of classical composition. With ‘Wail Song,’  I was looking to take The Mercy Stone into a jazzy/funky musical space. A lot of the musical ideas come from the fact that I play a little bit of many different instruments. Once I had a good idea of how the piece would unfold, experimenting and improvising on strings, winds, and percussion helped generate many of its melodic and rhythmic elements. This is one of the most challenging and most fun pieces that we play. Much of the piece fluctuates between meters frequently, so it keeps us all on our toes. Getting everyone in the band to really groove through all of the rhythmic challenges definitely took some time.

The Mercy Stone was founded by Grady in 2016. After spending several years studying music composition in an academic setting, he sought to put his composition chops to work within a project that would have the substance and sophistication fitting for a contemporary-classical concert stage as well as the accessibility that would be palatable to rock audiences. After finishing a master’s degree in music composition in 2015, he spent the next year and a half exploring how to achieve this synthesis. Understanding the pitfalls of music fusion, Grady wished to create a classical/rock hybrid style that was organic, drawing inspiration from his years of absorbing, studying, and performing all flavors of popular music (classic rock, pop, reggae, metal, funk, psychedelic/experimental rock), world music (West African drumming, Flamenco, Eastern European dance music,) along with the Western art music he studied through his years in academia. 

The Mercy Stone recently started work on their sophomore full-length release.

While ‘Ghettoblaster’ was entirely instrumental, this new album will have several tunes with vocals. It will be exciting to share a very different side of The Mercy Stone when all is finished,Grady commented.

Tragul

Sympho Metal Dose: TRAGUL’s “Before I Say Goodbye”

Multi-national Symphonic Metal six-piece TRAGUL released their new single “Before I Say Goodbye” on Friday, April 13th. The lyric video for the song is streaming now via the band’s official YouTube channel. “Before I Say Goodbye” presents an undeniably renewed TRAGUL, which returns with a very catchy melodic song, a rhythm halfway between the modern sound and the traditional power metal that leads to a fresh and melodic metal at its best.

TRAGULkeyboardist and founder Adrian Benegas commented: “The general concept of ‘Before I Say Goodbye’ is related to death or farewell. It could be understood as a spiritual death, a transformation towards another kind of feel leaving behind negative things for something better, a different state of the ‘being.’ Also, it could be understood more directly, specifically speaking about the departure from this world or about the death of a loved one from a first person view (as a farewell). Even if it is a sensitive subject this matter is always there, it’s like a strange feeling of nostalgia and hope about what is beyond this world, the doubt about what awaits us when we take that important step. In one way or another it is undeniable that within us is always the hope to find ourselves with something better, perhaps with ourselves in a state of “pure form”, the “true one” without the “clothing” that we use as human beings.

Benegas describes the creative process for the new single as “very smooth and natural.”

He continues to say: “I started with a rough idea about the song’s subject. Then I created like an atmosphere to support that idea and started to write the final lyric in order to start writing the main melodies. Once I had the main melodies (verses, chorus) it went very fast, I think the most important and difficult parts when you create music are the melodies, the melodies are like the ‘soul’ of a song. Once you find something you like for the melody, the rest comes easily. For the final stage (arrangements, recordings, etc), we found a very easy way to work with the guys. Once I finish the songs (main idea/demo), I send the demo so they can add their arrangements on their own instruments before we start to record the final version. Except for the bass, that is entirely wrote by Oliver, always.

TRAGUL plans to release a few more single by the end of 2018.

True to TRAGUL‘s format we will release our music in a song by song format. Which means, a song every two months with a visual support and available on all the streaming and digital stores around the world. I can’t reveal too much at this moment, but I’d like to mention that we’ve prepared a special song for Halloween (with a dark concept on it), also we will release a cover of a song from a Netflix show. That song was mixed and mastered by a great Hollywood producer who will be revealed pretty soon. I am sure the people will love it,” Benegas concludes.

Watch a lyric video for “Before I Say Goodbye” below, and follow TRAGUL on Facebook for future updates or visit their official website.

TRAGUL line-up:

Adrian Benegas – Keyboards

Zuberoa Aznárez – Vocals

Steve Conley – Guitars

Diego Bogarín – Guitars

Oliver Holzwarth – Bass

Sander Zoer – Drums

Barry Weinberg

Hear Barry Weinberg’s Single “Beyond the Astral Sky”; “Samsarana” Album out in January

South Florida based musician and songwriter Barry Weinberg is set to launch his Prog Rock influenced album Samsarana in January 2018, but the musician is today announcing the imminent release of the first single.

The single, “Beyond the Astral Sky,” is an anthem, gorgeous track with soaring vocals. The song is the first in the series of singles taken from Samsarana, a release that sees the musician exploring through a number of styles evolving around Prog Rock.

About “Beyond the Astral Sky” Weinberg says: “This song is very personal to me and actually one of the first songs I had ever written for the album.  For years, this was purely a classical guitar piece with lyrics that I would play on my acoustic, but as I started to record it, I started experimenting with electric leads over the acoustic phrases and vocals and it evolved into what it is today.

Lyrically “Beyond the Astral Sky” is about hope in the face of despair. As Weinberg explains:

It’s about that experience when you look around yourself, your life and the world you’re in, and get overwhelmed by the chaos, destruction, darkness, confusion, stress, hardship… and yet, in that moment of utter despair, you can look up at a star or into a child’s eyes, and although surrounded by darkness, you can begin envisioning a different world, a different life, a different future that’s inspiring, joyful, empowering. This is how we make change in our lives. This is how we make change in the world. Acknowledging and owning the darkest parts of ourselves and our lives that we hate and shifting our attention to a new intention, our ideal, our vision. It’s the light dot in the center of the dark part of the Taoist yin/yang symbol. This is where I was at when I wrote this song and this where the main ‘character’ is at in the story of ‘Samsarana.’

Stream “Beyond the Astral Sky” below. More information about the upcoming album Samsarana will be revealed in the coming weeks.

For more info visit Barry Weinberg’s official website.

Other links:

YouTube

Soundcloud

ReverbNation

Facebook

ART AGAINST AGONY Announce "Russian Tales" EP

ART AGAINST AGONY Announce “Russian Tales” EP

Germany-based collective Art Against Agony announce today their new EP titled Russian Talesscheduled for the release on July 22nd. The ensemble of musicians and artists combine different elements; their instrumental music evolves around progressive metal, experimental rock, jazz fusion and avant-garde.

Speaking about the forthcoming EP, the band commented: “The ‘Russian Tales’ EP gathers all of our experiences from our tour through Russia during the Siberian winter of 2016: Driving 12000km and playing 20 shows in 3 weeks was heaven and hell, with wonderful hospitality & delicious food, marvellous nature & wild animals, but also including insomnia, anxiety & social break ups.

To coincide with the release of the Russian Tales EP, Art Against Agony will embark on a tour across Russia in late July, followed by dates in Brazil in August. For the full list of dates see below.

Russian Tales is available for pre-order from Bandcamp (downloads) and Bigcartel (CDs). A video trailer for the EP can be seen below, and “Coffee for the Queen” single can be heard on Bandcamp here.

Russian Tales EP Track Listing:

1. Königsberg Präludium
2. Nothing to declare?
3. Tea for the Dragon
4. Coffee for the Queen
5. Saratov Incident

Art Against Agony – “Against All Odds Tour 2017” live dates:

29.07. Back Luny Festival, Russia
30.07. Kaluga, Russia
01.08. Yelets, Russia
02.08. Voronezh, Russia
03.08. Tula, Russia
04.08. Zelenograd, Russia
05.08. Saint Petersburg, Russia
08.08. Sao Paulo, Brazil
09.08. Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil
10.08. Rio de Janeiro – Botafogo, Brazil
11.08. Petropolis, Brazil
12.08. Rio de Janeiro – Barra, Brazil
13.08. Sao Joao de Meriti, Brazil

Soul Enema

SOUL ENEMA’s “Of Clans and Clones and Clowns” Out on June 23

Israel-based Progressive Metal band Soul Enema is announcing a release date of the upcoming album  titled Of Clans and Clones and Clowns. Out on June 23, the album is now available for pre-order from Bandcamp and iTunes.

The promising band’s second album represents an interesting and varied combination of influences, including 14 tracks mixed an mastered by legendary Jens Bogren (Opeth, Devin Townsend, Paradise Lost, Symphony X).

Soul Enema has issued a statement on the forthcoming album saying:

Looking back it took a lot of time and effort to create ‘Of Clans and Clones and Clowns,’ and the final result brings the feeling of a real accomplishment. It was a long, complicated process, constantly laden with a myriad of good reasons to give up or compromise. It probably couldn’t be any different, as our goal was a mature, well-produced statement, consistent in quality throughout, and at the same time versatile enough in its various moods, styles and approaches.

A creative and diverse Rock/Metal album, exploring vast melodic and rhythmic territories — from ABBA to Zappa, from King Crimson to King Diamond, between East and West and way beyond — in true progressive fashion. Like any reflection of the world we live in, it takes a wild ride over a wide emotional spectrum: sad, funny, perfectly sane, totally insane, very direct, quite obscure, and everything in between.

Of Clans and Clones and Clowns also features guest contributions from Ayreon’s Arjen Lucassen, Yossi Sassi (ex-Orphaned Land, Yossi Sassi Band), Sergey Kalugin and Yuri Ruslanov (from leading Russian proggers Orgia Pravednikov).

The band commented: “We had a great honor of featuring the instrumental talents of these,  as well as other wonderful musicians. Our next aim was to ensure that all of these components  work in the final picture, and that’s the reason why we welcomed one of the best guys on the list to mix and master this work — Jens Bogren. It deserved the best possible treatment, just as you as a listener deserve the best possible quality. The mixing process was far from trivial, and it took some effort to shape everything our way – clear and powerful enough, yet not overproduced. So, if you like what you hear, please order yourself a CD, or the highest quality digital download, to have it the way we really meant it to sound – full-scale and uncompromising. We hope you will have your own exciting experience with the album!

Soul Enema released a few singles from Of Clans and Clones and Clowns,  as well as a brand new teaser announcing the album. See the teaser below.

Of Clans and Clones and Clowns is out on June 23th, and it can be pre-ordered from Bandcamp or iTunes. Visit Soul Enema’s official website for more information, and follow them on Facebook.

Of Clans and Clones and Clowns

Of Clans and Clones and Clowns Track Listing:

1. Omon Ra

2. Cannibalissimo Ltd.

3. Spymania

4. Breaking the Waves

5. The Age of Cosmic Baboon

6. In Bed With an Enemy (ft. Y. Ruslanov, S. Kalugin)

7. Last Days of Rome

8. Dear Bollock (Was a Sensitive Man)

9. Aral Sea I – Feeding Hand

10. Aral Sea II – Dustbin of History (ft. Yossi Sassi)

11. Aral Sea III – Epilogue(ft. Sergey Kalugin)

12. Octopus Song

13. Eternal Child (ft. Arjen Lucassen)

14. Of Clans and Clones and Clowns

Soul Enema line-up:

Noa Gruman – vocals

Yoel Genin – guitars

Michael Rosenfeld – bass, sitar, violin

Dor Levin – drums

Constantin Glantz – keyboards, programming, songwriting, production

Bandolirium

BANDOLIRIUM to Release Debut Album

Argentinian Prog-Tango Metal act Bandolirium, led by bandoneon player Amijai Shalev, are set to release their self-titled debut album this Friday, May 12.

Although there were tries in the past to blend Tango and Progressive Metal together, Bandolirium’s approach to this idea goes a few steps further by including a bandoneon—a type of square concertina popular in Argentina—in their music.

About the idea to create Prog Metal music with the inclusion of the instrument, Shalev commented: “I feel it’s a natural result of the music I listen to and my personal background. Great part of being a composer is finding the unique combination that we are and the way we see our environment. Living in Buenos Aires, this combination seems obvious to me, it hasn’t been done before just because people have a tendency to keep on doing the same stuff. In Prog Metal you hear very often rhythms and melodies from different cultures, so if we want to do Argentinian Prog Metal, Tango is a great inspiration, also using the bandoneon in metal parts is interesting because the sound is similar to keyboards but you can work the dynamics of an acoustic instrument, and of course for Tango audience the metal sound is something new.”

Progressive Metal and Tango have a lot in common, the intensity and drama especially, but even specific rhythms that are used in metal are found in tango.

Bandolirium has previously released a cover of Metallica’s classic “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Shalev said: “I think that our version of ‘For whom the Bell’ tolls is an example how close tango and metal (in this case thrash) can get.”

About the creative process of the self-titled album, Amijai said: “I composed all the parts with scores at home, a very intimate process, for the drums I only wrote a reference and our drummer, Marcos Edwards, composed the real drums. While rehearsing we made the changes and corrections; there were many of them. It was a very interesting work, we learned a lot doing it.”

Bandolirium is out on May 12th.

Bandolirium is:

Amijai Shalev – bandoneon
Marcos de Cristobal – guitars
Matias Brandauer – bass
Marcos Edwards – drums

Bandolirium online:

Website

Facebook

Bandcamp

About Bandolirium:

The best definition for Bandolirium is instrumental Prog Tango-Metal. This project aims to express a contemporary sound rooted in the city Buenos Aires, combining tango elements with metal sound and prog music. The group was founded in Argentina in 2016 by Amijai Ben Shalev who is also the composer and arranger.

Synaptik band

SYNAPTIK’s New Album “Justify & Reason” Out in March

British heavy metal five-piece Synaptik recently announced the re-release of debut album “The Mechanisms of Consequence,” arriving as a heavier remixed album due out on January 30th.

The Norwich men show no signs of slowing down as they are also set to make a huge impact in 2017 by following that debut with the release of sophomore album “Justify & Reason,” due out March 10th.

For U.S. fans, it’s a double dose of metal as the remixed album and the new record “Justify & Reason” will be released as a double album directly via Divebomb Records.

Synaptik describes “Justify & Reason” as: “A collection exhibiting real finesse, true technicality but not at the expense of neck-snapping riffs and a progressive air that’s both bracing and intimidatingly menacing.”

1. The Incredible Machine
2. Human / Inhuman
3. Conscience
4. White Circles
5. Esc Ctrl
6. A Man Dies
7. As I Am As I Was
8. I Am The Ghost (intro)
9. Your Cold Dead Trace

ABRAHAM SARACHE Playing Songs from "The Gardener" in Amsterdam's Volta on June 24

ABRAHAM SARACHE Playing Songs from “The Gardener” in Amsterdam’s Volta on June 24

Multi-instrumentalist Abraham Sarache, who recently released a new album titled The Gardener, will play a special release show in support of the album at Volta in Amsterdam on June 24th. The show will be recorded for a future live release.

The Gardener is an alt/progressive rock concept album with the inclusion of folk instruments like ukulele and Venezuelan cuatro. To express the feelings involved, different kinds of voice registers are provided: from a soft, melodious or whispered voice to raspy voice. Various pads and synthesizers are used to give depth and warmth to the songs where an acoustic guitar with a low tuning predominates. A multicultural composition on the instrumental level and a progressive rhythmic base create an exquisite atmosphere of imbalance and peculiarity.

The philosophy behind the album is based on the fact that in any interpersonal relationship, whether it is a friendship or a romantic connection, there is a duality between the one that participates in an active way (The Gardener) and the one that does it in a passive way (The Flower).

All of us at some point of our lives have a role of a gardener and in other moments we are flowers,” Sarache commented.

We can all identify ourselves as the Gardener when we talk about a person we were looking after because we liked him or her, we wanted to know more about this person or we just wanted to spend more time with them, no matter what. We simply did everything possible to make things work.

On the other hand, we have been also in situations when someone was interested in us in a special way, but the feeling was not mutual. We still wanted to maintain a relationship because we liked other aspects of that person’s character. To this behavior I refer to as the Flower,” he continues.

“The Crush: Eyes of Fire” which opens The Gardener was awarded as the Best Alternative Rock Song by The Akademia Music Awards in May 2015. Sarache released a video single for the song, and he commented: “This is a very special video for me. My first video as a solo artist showing parts of my everyday in Madrid and Margarita Island where concept album The Gardener was conceived and recorded.

For the upcoming show at Volta in Amsterdam on June 24th, Abraham Sarache will be joined by Dutch alternative/progressive rockers Amikdla. The Gardener is available now from iTunes and Spotify. Visit Abraham Sarache’s official website here.

Andreas Sala

ANDREAS SALA Launches Guitar Playthrough for New Song “Hue”

From PR wire:

Andreas Šala, guitarist and composer who plays with bands SubscaleThe Ralphand If And When We Die, released a play-through video for the song “Hue” taken from his upcoming solo album Pleasure Dome. Watch the video on below.

Asked about the inspiration for the new song and the album overall, Šala who plays Wreck Guitars’ BlueMorpho 6 in the video, said: “Well I wanted to make a solo record for quite some time now but I just couldn’t decide in which direction I want to take it. But when I got my hands on the BlueMorpho melodies just started to pour out of me and I knew what I had to do. I felt like a kid again.

Pleasure Dome differs from the albums he releases with Subscale and The Ralph in that is more ambient and minimalistic. “I wanted to do something a bit different. For the past 5 years I was composing mostly metal for The Ralph so I wanted to take a step back. I’m a huge Joe Satriani fan (and 80′s/90′s instrumental music fan in general) and I always liked “bigger than life” melodies so it seemed  like a logical step to make a guitar driven instrumental album,” Andreas continues.

As mentioned, Andreas uses Wreck Guitars’ 6-string model BlueMorpho. “I was going for a blend of a old-school ’80s lead sound and modern rock/metal sound. I record everything digitally so I have more room to manipulate the sound later on in the mixing process. The guitar goes straight into my audio interface (an old-school E-MU 0404USB) with nothing in between. I use mostly Ignite Amps products — Emissary for the amp simulation and NadIR for loading the cab impulses. For the cab impulses I use mostly Catharsis‘ IRs. BlueMorpho is loaded with Dolezal pickups which are pretty hot and punchy which was great for tracking rhythm guitars.

Watch a playthrough video for the new song “Hue” below, and follow Andreas on YouTube. Make sure to check Andreas’ other band The Ralph on Bandcamp and Facebook.

Visit Wreck Guitars official website and Facebook page.

Lelahell

Death Metallers LELAHELL Run Indiegogo Campaign

Alif is the title of the second studio album by Algerian death metal trio Lelahell, for which the band recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. The campaign is active for three weeks; you can head to the campaign’s page and support the band in reaching the goal what will allow them to raise the funds for the album artwork, album’s production, production of a music video and a band merchandise.

The founder of the band, singer and guitarist Redouane Aouameur commented: “Our campaign is running since 5 weeks and will end in 3 weeks. We expect to get at least 50% of the requested amount this will help us to have a very good quality record mixed and mastered in the Hertz Studio, the sound that will perfectly feet to this album.”

The title of the album is inspired by the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. In Arabic, alif is the first letter in the alphabet, and it is used in Arabic calligraphy to determine the size of the following characters. Lelahell say they chose the title as this album “will be the main musical reference of the next upcoming releases.”

The trio’s new album, Alif, is slated as the group’s second full-length album and third release since the band’s formation in 2010. Lelahell are set to record at Hertz Studio in Poland under the guidance of well-known producers — the Wiesławscy brothers.

Support Lelahell by donating through the Indiegogo campaign, and follow them on Facebook for future updates.

About Lelahell:

Founded in 2010 by metal veteran Redouane AouameurLelahell is an Algerian death metal band hailing from Algiers. The trio comprises of Redouane “Lelahel” Aouameur (guitars, vocals), Ramzy Curse (bass) and Slaveblaster (drums). Lelahell have released one EP, Al Intizar (Goressimo Records, 2012), and one full alubum, Al Insane… The (Re)birth of Abderrahmane (HPGDP, 2014). The band also launched a documentary in 2016 titled Highway to Lelahell – An Algerian Metal Documentary, available for streaming on YouTube, presenting viewers with a solid history lesson on Algeria’s metal scene. The band have also embarked on three European tours, and also participated in festivals in Europe.