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
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.
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.”
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.
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
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
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 Šala, guitarist and composer who plays with bands Subscale, The 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.
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.
Founded in 2010 by metal veteran Redouane Aouameur, Lelahell 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.
Prog Sphere teamed up with Argentine progressive metal purveyors Fughu for a mini documentary discussing about progressive scene today, its future, bands and Progstravaganza. Watch the video below.
We have recently announced the first Progstravaganza CD edition, that will include many great features. First of all, besides the sampler in digipack, this compilation will include a printed version of the Progstravaganza magazine filled with interviews, reviews, specials, commentaries, and more. The smiler will be distributed through mail-order stores, labels and distributors all over the world. One of the bands off the sampler will get an opportunity to release an album through Prog Sphere. The selection of the band will be managed through a public poll, and the band that wins most votes will be the winner. Also, all bands-participants of the sampler will be promoted through Prog Sphere Promotions for the period of six months.
Artists interested in taking part on the physical edition of Progstravaganza compilation can e-mail Prog Sphere at email@example.com
The nineteenth edition of Prog Sphere‘s Progstravaganza progressive rock & metal compilation series brings 39 bands. 38 bands are for the first time on the Progstravaganza compilation, as Eyot previously took part on Progstravaganza VI. Having said that, there are 430 bands in total that paraded through the Progstravaganza compilation series.
Progstravaganza XIX is titled Convergence, and the album art was once again done by amazing artist Chris van der Linden from LindenArtwork. Speaking about the sampler’s name and design, Chris said:
“With the successful Progstravaganza sampler series nearing its 20th edition milestone, we thought it would be nice to call this edition Convergence. Things have been gradually come into form, getting better with each release. Prog Sphere and all the bands have continued to work hard to deliver something stellar with each new compilation, and I wanted to reflect that journey and grand feeling into the artwork. Something mysterious is going on, something big, pulling strong, drawing ever closer…”
As you noticed, we are nearing the 20th edition in the series, and we are thinking of doing something special for that occasion. The bands interested in taking part on Progstravaganza XX (to be titled later) can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
But for now, let’s focus on Progstravaganza XIX and great 39 tunes it brings. Check them below and head over to our Bandcamp to grab this sampler.
Prog Sphere’s Progstravaganza progressive rock compilation series has reached its eighteenth edition with the release of the brand new sampler titled Transforma.
Transforma brings seventeen songs, building another varied sampler of the world’s underground progressive music. Check out great tunes from Jason Rubenstein, Ethereal Riffian, Killcode and fourteen other artists, download the sampler and make sure to share it with your friends.
In the meantime, Prog Sphere is open for the music submissions for the next Progstravaganza compilation which will be released later this month. Artists interested in submitting their music can contact Prog Sphere at the well-known e-mail address: email@example.com
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