BRAINIAC 5 : Back To The Shore

I reviewed their last album here on here in 2017 and their mix of rock, prog, punk, psych and a touch of freak out is still the selling point of this great band. Look for that review to give you a background of this interesting and long-lived band.

We are now presented with eight new tracks that carry on from the previous album and put a smile on my face. Starting off with the punk-fuelled “Long Enough,” the band really gets things going with a ton of energy and gets the foot tapping right away. Next song is the first part of “Back To Shore,” subtitled “A Woman’s Work” that is more folk-rock oriented and has amazing vocals from Chrissy Quayle, and at over eight minutes long, doesn’t feel like it at all. Second, of four parts of the title track is called “This Way,” and has toasting from Oxman, and great harmonica and guitar playing throughout. The bagpipes and female vocals added to this eclectic track work together so well. The third part, “Tribute To Alex Ward” has bongos and a guitar that is perfectly all over the place in style combined with the sax and everything else going on, all I can say is wow! Last part, “The Seal Man” has a great beat and that sax is just incredible. It reminds me of 808 State a bit and the female vocals come in and kick it up a notch. “Elegy” is the shortest track at just over two minutes and is a beautiful instrumental. Back to more rock-oriented music with the catchy “What We Can” and its great beat. Closing things off is “Breaking Up” and its crunchy, punky sound that ends off another great collection of songs.

With another mix of instruments and styles that you would scratch your head at for trying, this band proves how talent can figure it out and make it work beautifully. Every track has its merits and is perfectly played with more than enough emotion and will find a fit on your playlist.

https://www.facebook.com/TheBrainiac5/?fref=ts

http://www.brainiac5.co.uk/

https://brainiac5.bandcamp.com/album/back-to-shore

https://www.facebook.com/RecklessRecords/

https://reckless.com/

HOIA : Scavenger

Prateek Rajagopal returns with his newest album as a solo artist titled Scavenger. The album deals with human-sentimentality concepts like nostalgia, demise, anxiety and the need to “scavenge” to survive; bubbled in fictitious concepts as individual stories. This Mumbai based artist has been playing in the Indian metal scene since 2013 and is the guitarist of Mumbai-based death metal band Gutslit. He also plays with Porcupine Tree bassist Colin Edwin and Polish-drummer Wojtek Deregowski on this EP.

Sounding at times like Pink Floyd, the five songs on this EP are just spectacular and I was amazed at how much I loved them. The vocals are well done and give a lot of feeling and depth to the songs. The musicianship is just perfection. You can hear the talent from these guys pouring from your speakers and it just gives me shivers to listen to such a bunch of great artists. Rajagopal obviously has a great talent and ear for music, especially with the beautiful production on this album. I really can’t say which song I like the best since this is an album that needs to be played all at once, not piecemeal.

Having never heard of Prateek Rajagopal’s solo career before, I can say that he has blown me away and any expectations that I had when I first opened the CD. This is a definite keeper and should be heard by as many people as possible.

https://hoiatv.bandcamp.com/album/scavenger

https://www.facebook.com/hoiatv/

DIG TWO GRAVES : Deathwish

Dig Two Graves is a progressive metalcore outfit from central New Jersey. Combining an eclectic mix of Progressive Metal, Djent, and atmospheric dream pop. Starting back in 2017, Dig Two Graves has been working tirelessly to separate them from the pack in a very crowded genre. By combing a variety of musical styles into their all too often, cliché-heavy genre, this is their debut recording.

The first song is an instrumental that starts off interesting and quiet with some samples then gets a bit irritating with the skipping sound that it takes on. The first track, “As Above” starts off nice and heavy and gets your headbanging with the power and driving force it has. The only thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was the screamed vocals, the clean vocals in the song are far better. I really liked the background to most of the songs, light and lilting music that soothes and then bang, the heaviness hits you like a kick to the groin, but the lilting music is still there in the background. Closer “So Below” is an epic song coming in at over 7 minutes and has everything in it, dream pop, progressive and metal, in your face metal. The song is a perfect end to the album with the band firing on all pistons and giving you the raw emotion and power that you expect from the previous songs. The added female vocals are a perfect addition to the track.

While not being too different sounding from track to track, the band does have potential to get a lot of fans and would probably put on one hell of a show live. While not being huge on the screamed vocals, the intensity and rawness does give this a lot of power and does make it stand out from the other bands with everything mixed up the way that they do it.

https://digtwogravesband.com/

https://www.instagram.com/digtwogravesband/

BRAVE : the calm | the storm

Brave is a six-piece progressive/rock/metal band based in Washington, DC, and play a mix of progressive rock, folk, and metal with female vocals. They have been around since 1996 under the initial name Arise From Thorns, and have released 9 recordings, including 2 recordings under their previous band name.

An album of lush sounds, great production, and terrific playing is what you are in store for on this new album. The songs are just beautiful, with the angelic vocals of Michelle Schrotz giving the songs so much emotion. On the more rocking “Summertime,” she almost has a Dolores O’Riordan sound to her singing. The song has great guitar playing and was a standout to me since it was one of the faster and catchier songs on here. Of course, this isn’t to say that the other songs weren’t good…they were, they were really good, but this one just did it for me. The lighter songs like “Bay Song” really show off the band’s exceptional playing and really make those songs a pleasure to listen to as well.

This is a very mixed album, harder and softer songs all mixed together, soaring vocals, soft vocals, all of it made for a great listen. The power and the gentleness of this band will amaze you and the great songs will lock it in for you…this one is a great trip to take.

Also posted: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2019/02/brave-calm-storm.html

http://www.bravemusic.com/

https://bravedc.bandcamp.com/merch

https://www.facebook.com/bravejamdc/

 

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.

http://securityprojectband.com/go/

https://www.facebook.com/SecurProjectBand/

https://music.7dmedia.com/

https://www.7dmedia.com/

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

https://www.facebook.com/Tomorrows.Eve.official/

https://www.t-eve.com/

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

http://cleorecs.com/

https://www.facebook.com/CleopatraRecords/

http://www.armonite.com/

https://www.facebook.com/armonitemusic

https://armonite.bandcamp.com/