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Showing posts from February, 2012

Steven Wilson - Catalogue/Preserve/Amass

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OK, cards on the table - I'm a big fan of Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson, and therefore this "review" if I can call it that, has left all objectivity at the door.

After pre-ordering this a week or so ago, when I got home this evening there it was waiting for me. No doubt I will carry it around with me for days and days, playing little games, like not looking at it for a whole day, and then...looking at it to see if I still liked it...I'm sure I will. The more I look at it, the more I like it.....hang on, haven't I heard that somewhere before?....

Ahem...where was I? Oh yeah, the new live album from The Man With No Shoes is a document of the European leg of last year's tour, and as such features the band that I saw back on Halloween last year. Adam Holzman's classical and jazz piano runs are a positive embellishment to opener No Twilight Within The Courts Of The Sun, along with Aziz Ibrahim's spiky guitar fills, also prominent in Sectarian. Strangel…

Vaiping - Industrial Workers Of The World

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From Stavanger in Norway, industrial noiseniks Vaiping forge raw beats through the metal presses and the production line issues forth a concept album in oil-stained overalls, pounded out to the hard rhythms of the burgeoning industrial revolution in the first decades of the twentieth century.

In keeping with the imagery of the production line, the rhythm is constant and implacable, the only short respite given by the Salvation Army. The ceaseless use of robotic beats owe a large debt to Kraftwerk initially, and latterly to the more modern electronica of Depeche Mode, and musically this is an unrelenting trip along the conveyor belt of heavy industry, occasionally counterpointed by short synth melodies. Transatlantik is pure Radio-Aktivität era Kraftwerk, with a slight twist in that the German vocals are sung by the dispassionate female voice of Ann Karin Både. I'm sure I've heard the early melody line in Victory, or something very similar to it on a Kraftwerk song, and the ong…

Herd Of Instinct - Herd Of Instinct

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Four years in the making, this self-titled debut by Texas’ Herd of Instinct was, in my humble opinion one of the very best progressive releases of 2011, and criminally ignored. Mark Cook and Mike Davison who between them play almost every type of guitar and guitar synth treatment you would care to imagine are backed up by the powerful polyrhythms and percussion of Jason Spradlin, who on Vibrissa is also credited with “Low synth drone”. Like it!
Having been around for a while the boys have managed to call on the services of such luminaries as Gavin Harrison (who seems to crop up everywhere these days) and Pat Mastelotto, and a crowd of others, who between them contribute drums, electronica, mellotron, keyboards, more electric guitars of every kind, bouzouki, flute, and synth. Special mention must be made of Kris Swenson, who like Mark and Jason is a former member of 99 Names Of God. She contributes the only lyric and the beguiling and gorgeous vocal to Blood Sky.
The music is a verita…

Fourteen Twentysix - Every Line

<a href="http://fourteentwentysix.bandcamp.com/track/every-line-ft-mick-moss">Every Line ft. Mick Moss by Fourteen Twentysix</a>

I don't normally bother with singles, but this is a fine piece of post-rock-pop from Dutch experimentalists Fourteen Twentysix, featuring Mick Moss of Antimatter. A collision of Depeche Mode's darker bits with Anathema's brooding prog introspection and The Blue Nile's knack for an off-kilter melody, this song bodes well for the soon-come album In Halflight Our Soul Glows. Free to download too.

Watch this space!

Trettioåriga Kriget - Efter Efter

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Formed near Stockholm back in 1970 Trettioåriga Kriget (Thirty Years War) were founder members of Sweden's fledgling prog and hard rock scene, and they released five albums between the self-titled debut in 1974 and Kriget in 1981 before splitting up. Long regarded as a classic of the genre, their second album Krigssång (War Song) stands the test of time well. Regarded as highly influential on latter day Swedish proggers Änglagård and Anekdoten and others, the band reformed in 2003, and 2011's Efter Efter (After After) is the third album since then and concludes a trilogy of themed releases.

I'll confess to not having heard the other two albums in the trilogy, Elden Av År (Fire Of Years - 2004) and I Början Och Slutet (The Beginning And The End - 2007) so I can't say how this album links to the other two, but suffice to say the sound they produce here is far less edgy than on Krigssång, the only other album of theirs I own, but that was put out back in 1976 so a mellow…