SECURITY PROJECT: Contact

The previous albums Live 1 and Live 2, the group had been fronted by Brian Cummins, on this new album, new lead vocalist Happy Rhodes takes over after been a guest vocalist on a previous tour. The set list here is almost completely repeated from Live 1, but with the new vocalist, things aren’t a carbon copy of the previous album.

On this album, you not only get Gabriel’s songs, but you also get Kate Bush’s “Mother Stands for Comfort” which is very well done by Rhodes. “I Don’t Remember” is an amazing song that got the hair on my arms standing up with the impeccable sound and the incredible performance. The crowd is very quiet during the songs but is audible at the beginning and the end of the tracks. This makes for a very nice listening experience where the band is the focus, not the crowd noise. “I Have the Touch” is another song that I just loved and can’t get enough of.

Between the vocals and the amazing playing, this gives both the band and Gabriels songs a perfect platform. The band has so much talent that with every new CD that I hear from them, I love the band more and more, and my appreciation of Peter Gabriel’s music becomes larger.

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TOMORROW’S EVE: Mirror of Creation III – Project Karros

This band from Saarbrucken, Germany has put together their brand new fifth album and third part in their Mirror of Creation series of records. This prog band has elements of classic ‘80s bands mixed with more modern sounds and it works out well.

The album has soaring vocals throughout that just bring back the ‘80s and bands that really had vocalists who put their all into melody and really let loose. The band is tight with ripping guitar playing, flowing bass and bombastic drumming that gives such power to these songs. The production is great, with a crisp sound that gives the listener a chance to hear the emotion behind the incredible playing. Maybe not as prog rock sounding as what most people think, ambling songs, lilting, pretentious music, this has experimentation in sounds and hard and heavy mixed into the songs in such a way that if you like hard music, you will be able to get into this. Not one spoiled song, nothing out of place, everything played with conviction and energy, just what I wanted from them and they delivered in spades.

With so much going for them, it’s a no-brainer, you need to get this album, play it loud, this isn’t any quiet fest kiddos, and this is a killer. I hope that they don’t take too long in following this up and that they just keep on going with the same force as on this one. As they say on the killer opening track, “Welcome To The Show.”

Also posted: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/search?q=Tomorrow%27s+Eve

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ARMONITE: And The Stars Above

 

This band from Pavia, Italy has been around since 2015 and has put together their new album of instrumental prog rock. Basically, a duo, Jacopo Bigi (acoustic and electric violin), and Paolo Fosso (piano and keyboards) have added a bunch of people to this album to give it the sound that they were striving for. The album also includes Colin Edwin (bass), Giacomo Lampugnani (double bass), Corrado Bertonazzi (drums), Maria Chiara Montagnari (voice), Diletta Fosso (child’s voice), Marcello Rosa (cello), Quartetto Indaco (string quartet): Eleonora Matsuno (violin), Jamiang Santi (violin), Francesca Turcato (viola), and Cosimo Carovani (cello), and finally Jacopo Bigi also plays viola, and ukulele on “By the Waters of Babylon,” whistles on “Freaks” and plays both violins and viola on “A Playful Day.” Whew!

As you can see, what a group of people on here, and not totally instrumental, but vocals used very carefully and sparingly on the album. Starting off with violin and sweet vocals, the album gets going to a great effect with added piano and then the band kicks in and get things going in a rock-oriented vein that is catchy and thrilling. The instrumentation on this album is just unbelievable, with so much going on and in such different ways that the blend is simply intoxicating and will give you goosebumps. The album has a beautiful flow to it, going from one song to the next and carrying you on a journey that you never want to end. The production is perfect, giving the sounds the space that they need to be heard and having fullness to the mix.

This band is unique and will have you wanting more and more from them as you listen to the haunting sounds they produce. This is something special that you won’t find in any other band, they have hit the jackpot on this one.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/04/armonite-and-stars-above.html

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STARING INTO NOTHING: Power

This progressive rock trio hails from Orange County, CA and consists of Steve Rogers (piano, keyboards, lead and backing vocals), Savannah Rogers (guitar, lead and backing vocals), and Kurt Barabas (bass and guitars). The album also features the additional musicians: Matt Chamberlain (drums), David Levita (guitars), Jamie Muhoberac (keyboards), Pop Levi (backing vocals), and Andrea Meli (backing vocals).

With political lyrics and tight musicianship, the band gives listeners an earful that makes repeated listening very easy. You get hints of ‘70s prog mixed with ‘80s and current sounds that make for a nice mixture of sounds that never gets boring. This has so many songs that stand out that it’s hard to pick one or two, it’s like a collection of the best songs or at least a band that put a lot of thought into what they recorded instead of just trying to pack a ton of songs on a release. The one-two punch of “Puritans” and “School Daze” must be one of the best starts to an album that I’ve heard in a long time. So catchy and played with conviction, I had a hard time going onto the rest of the album until I played them a few more times. “The Pendulum”, “Heads And Tails”, and the lead single “Big Brother,” are more of the standouts on the album. There is also an 18-minute opus on the record entitled “Towers” that is an amazing song that needs to be listened to with headphones on to get the full effect. With beautiful production from Mark Needham, this sounds clear, crisp and full of life.

All I can say is that if you need something new to listen to, grab this and ignore your preconceived idea of overwrought prog, this has depth and is brimming with emotion, plus lyrics that will get you thinking…how can that ever be a bad combination?

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/11/staring-into-nothing-power.html

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FRACKTURA: Oculus

This progressive rock trio from Cincinnati, OH features Karis Tucker (voice), André Machado (8-string guitar, bass), and Henry Conde (synth, piano). Guest musicians include Julio Oliveira on drums, Ander Peterson on saxophone, Soojin Kim on piano, and with lyrics by Diogo Oliveria. With 2016 being the official start of the band, this new EP continues on and expands from the first single “Reality.”

Oculus is meant to be listened to in one sitting to absorb its power and meaning with the main theme being about reconciling the individual’s outer persona with their inner self-running through the four songs on the EP. Opener “You” starts a capella and then the piano comes in to make a song that reminds me of a Depeche Mode quiet piece. “Gold Spectrum” is an avant-garde jazz piece with wailing and squawking sax and discordant sounds that bring to mind the Contortions. “The Fear Peddler” has a more straightforward sound than the previous song and adds some interesting spaciness in the sound, kind of like drifting in the sky-high above the earth. Finishing with “Identidade,” a quiet, yet powerful song that has sweet vocals and a haunting piano that grabs your ears and pulls you into the depth of the song.

A very interesting EP that will have you putting on your headphones to listen to so that you don’t miss one bit of sound that they have produced here. From beauty to quirky and back to the beauty all in under fifteen minutes, and fifteen minutes that you will no doubt be listening to again and again.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/11/fracktura-oculus.html

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NEGATIVEHATE: Solipsis

Negativehate began in 1995 and have had a lot of ups and downs and especially lineup changes, but the one thing that remained after all of this was the guarantee of music that is challenging and full of emotion and talent. Based in Monroe, NY the band is comprised of Mike Stewart (keys, vocals), Eric Stewart (bass), Chuck Scandura (guitar, vocals), Sergio Sanchez (drums), and Freedom Scheyd (guitar, backing vocals).

The music is a mix of many styles; ambient, prog rock, alternative, and post-metal, but it all seems to work in their favor creating a sound that will astound and confound in places. The songs are mostly long and do have meandering parts like “The Expansion of the Universe (via magnification of the infinitesimal)” does, but you find yourself just going along and floating during those moments and then when it gets heavy and the growled, almost death metal vocals come in, it fits perfectly. The songs on the album are conceptualized after a story of the same name also written by the band, so it has a definite meaning to it and actually makes for a great listen. This is not an album to throw on and party along to, unless you have really weird parties….and I want to party with you! This is one of those listen to it in one shot to get the full effect of the music, even though you will find tracks that stand out more for you like I did with “The Expansion of the Universe (via magnification of the infinitesimal)”. The songs do flow from one to the next without a lot of difference between them, but that’s not a complaint, it just makes the whole thing work in ways that most just can’t seem to do.

Give your ears a treat and freak them out a bit with the time changes, vocal variations and other non-traditional sounds on here and let them grow and evolve into something better than just holes where sound goes in, but turn them into something special and lovely, but demented at the same time. A great listen and one that just seems to get better the more I listen to it.

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AURGANIC: Distant Echoes & Close Encounters

Aurganic is an experimental electronic/alternative studio project of two long-time friends Michael Kossov and Leo Pisaq. Originally high school classmates, they were members in a number of local punk rock bands until life and distance separated them for a number of years. They reconnected musically in 2010 finding a lot of common ground. This time it was electronica, art rock, and jazz that dominated the ideas. The reunited duo recorded instrumental sessions in New York and worked on their completion via internet resulting in a self-titled EP. Rooted in friendship, the project proved its longevity with four independent releases to date. Hailing from the Toronto/New York area, Aurganic’s sound revolves around experimental electronic elements blended with rock, post-rock, progressive rock and indie rock ingredients.

“Signs” has multi-layered vocal harmonies, intelligently placed electronics, and some crunchy guitar drives and starts off the album on a definite high. “Empires” has a Muse feel to it, but without sounding like a copycat with the electronics and guitars creating a great mix that makes the track stand out. “Invincible (In The Shadows)” has strong harmonies and continues the high quality of the previous songs. “Levitate” is a fantastic electro-pop song and is one of the best tracks on the album filled with great tracks. “Distant Echoes” has a slow melodic vibe that gives a nice change to the album, and also has great guitar playing. “Shaman” is a ballad with vocals electronically treated, acoustic guitar and very able drumming. The closer “Close Encounters” is an all-instrumental track that shows off the progressive leanings of the band and makes for a great ending to a fun album.

With various styles and textures, this album really gives the listener something to sink their teeth into and an exciting listen that makes you want to hit the play button again. Go out and give your ears a treat and pick this one up.

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/10/aurganic-distant-echoes-close-encounters.html

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