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June 22, 2015

Progressive/Symphonic Rock Review: Karnataka-Secrets of Angels

Release Date: 30th March 2015
Label:  Immrama Records

The new album from the band Karnataka, Secrets of Angels, has just landed on the review desk and is album No 5 from the band. The debut album was Karnataka (1998), followed by The Storm (2000), then Delicate Flame of Desire (2003) and finally, The Gathering Light (2010). Not the most prolific band, with 7 years between albums 3 and 4 and then a further 5 years between 4 and 5. One reason may be the ever changing personnel within the band. Ian Jones is the only original member of Karnataka from the mid 90’s, and while the same band members recorded Karnataka and The Storm, there was a change for Delicate Flame of Desire, with another female voice added (Anne-Marie Helder) as well as a female guest (Heather Findlay). The Gathering found only Ian still present, Lisa Fury as the vocalist, and new drummer, bass player and keyboard player. 

Secrets of Angels was made with Karnataka as a 5 piece group comprising, Ian Jones (bass keyboards and guitar), Hayley Griffiths (vocals), Enrico Pinna (guitars and vocals), Cagri Tozluoglu (keyboards) and Jimmy Palagrossi (drums). Enrico was also part of the band for the previous album. There is a few guest musicians involved as well. Troy Donockley adds Uilleann Pipes and low whistles, Seana Davey adds harp and Rachel van der Tang and Clive Howard from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra add cello and viola respectively.

The album, Secrets of Angels, is an 8 track album with a running time just under an hour. The shortest track on offer is “Poison Ivy” with a playing time of 4:14 minutes and the longest track is the closing, title track “Secrets of Angels” with a running time of 20:00 minutes.

The opening track, “Road to Cairo” (5:27) races out of the speakers and grabs you firmly by both ears. With a violin introduction, the track then moves into a heavy riff which conjures up little aural glimpses of Kashmir from the Led Zeppelin album, Physical Graffiti. The vocals of Hayley tower over this eastern tinged stunner. What a superb opening track which certainly makes you start to savor what other gems this album has in store.

“Because of You” (4:43) has a gentle piano intro into more of the heaviness, with riffs and orchestral thundering. Crystal clear vocals by Hayley soar with seemingly no effort and carry the track onwards. There is more emotional depth to this track than the previous one, and again a piece of music that hits the “sweet spot” in your mind.

“Poison Ivy” (4:14) fires up with more or the thunderous orchestral sweeps and maintains its pace throughout its 4+ minutes. Track No 4, “Forbidden Dreams” (5:48) is a more laid back entity, at least for Karnataka, and is memorable for that alone. A dip into the heavier, more powerful style of band statement takes the track onwards and embeds the melody deep within your mind. 

“Borderline” (6:19) has a hugely atmospheric start, all dark and ominous, before Hayley’s voice demands attention, all the while backed by almost malevolent strings. The powerhouse of the band, the drums and bass are very obvious on this track. This is another stunningly memorable addition to the album.

“Fairytale Lies” (4:58) is a real change into the land of the ballad, with piano and strings. Hayley’s voice is so clear and powerful, and although the intensity of the track builds rises and falls, the lasting impression is of the gentler side of the band.

The penultimate track, “Feels Like Home” (7:06) has a theme plucked on the harp and when the voice kicks in, you relax into familiar Karnataka territory, although in this track the dark, ominous and malevolent soundscapes are omitted. Replacing these facets is an almost uplifting style of music, but I must admit that these last 2 tracks have not had the same impact that the previous tracks have had.

The finale to the album is the epic length title track, “Secrets of Angels” (20:00). Celtic sounds abound at the start of the track, courtesy of one, Troy Donockley from Nightwish, and an amazing aural soundscape is produced. The voice, when it appears, fits the storytelling scenario like a glove. Tension builds, heralded by the entry of some percussion, and you await the change happening, but you are kept waiting until about the 4 minute mark, when the full symphonic rock of Karnataka is unleashed. The track pulsates this way and that as it passes through each of its’ seven phases, allowing the band members to showcase their skills. A big plus point with “Secrets of Angels” is that the music flows seamlessly through all of its phases whether a full band workout or gentle Celtic areas, and there is always the little theme from the intro putting in an appearance in different ways. This is a true tour-de-force that ends the album on a majestic note.

This album, Secrets of Angels is a superb release and shows that Karnataka have undergone a slow evolution to get to this point. With so many personnel changes this achievement has certainly had obstacles to overcome, but I think that it is safe to say, that the band of Hayley, Ian, Enrico, Cagri and Jimmy, have finally “nailed it.”

My advice is very simple, and that is to listen to the epic final track, “Secrets of Angels” and you will soon be on your way to purchase the album. This is one of the best albums that I have heard so far this year, and I have heard a lot of albums this year.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Road To Cairo, Borderline, Secrets of Angels

Tracks:
 

Road To Cairo
Because of You
Poison Ivy
Forbidden Dreams
Borderline
Fairytale Lies
Feels Like Home
Secrets of Angels


Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk
June 22, 2015
Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

June 16, 2015

NYC Prog Ensemble Consider The Source To Release 2CD Set “World War Trio (Parts II & III)”


NYC - Much to the excitement of Prog fans worldwide, NYC trio Consider the Source is releasing the second installment of their epic, three part grand vision, World War Trio. Following the dense, nearly 24 minute, five part composition that comprised World War Trio (Part I), this double album begins with the trio of masterful technicians' progressive rock, metal and jazz foundation, then draw from Middle Eastern, Indian and Eastern European traditions - balancing shifting moods and tempos, cerebral and emotional jabs and intellectual and primal pursuits - into a dynamic and cinematic audio experience that has been described by one critic as “the soundtrack to an alien invasion”. A relentless touring schedule has won the band a fervent following from California to Israel, with fans ranging from jam-band hippies and jazz cats to metal headbangers and prog aficionados.

Watch Consider The Source's new video here:


Recorded at Bunker Studio in Brooklyn, funded by a successful Indiegogo campaign, “World War Trio” is Consider The Source's first release in four years and their first recording with drummer/percussionist Jeff Mann, whose recent addition has supercharged the band’s chemistry. “World War Trio” spans three discs and a universe of sonic territory. Their masterful improvisation, frenetic energy, and unique blend of progressive rock and Middle Eastern music have brought them worldwide acclaim, and a rigorous global tour schedule has forged them into a fearsome live band.

“When we decided to go back into the studio, we made a pact to go all in emotionally, physically, temporally and mentally. This piece was a rite of passage for us and we are beyond excited to share it with you, our fans. We ask that when you listen to this album, please do so in an undistracted environment, preferably in headphones or high quality speakers. We have tried to capture unique emotions that cannot fully come across while listening on laptop speakers. Thank you so much. We hope you enjoy.” - CTS

Formed in 2004, Consider the Source features Gabriel Marin on fretless double-neck guitar, bassist John Ferrara, and drummer/percussionist Jeff Mann. Called “the guiding light for his generation of six-stringers”, Marin channels the mystical fury of McLaughlin and Coltrane into wailing melodies, kaleidoscopic soundscapes and boneshaking riffs. With a background in classical musics both European and Indian, and an instinct for avant-jazz and destructive metal, Marin's hypnotic fusion of styles is ever unpredictable. Ferrara's propulsive, percussive attack, equally suited to simple grooves and impossible chords, can ground the music or launch it into space. His madcap gumbo of slap bass, Indian rhythms, earthy minimalism and complex tapping constantly pushes into strange new worlds, whilst still dropping thick booty-clap beats. Underneath them lies Mann's rolling thunder; dense rhythmic architecture built from pure swagger and bounce. Half double-bass prog-metal, half crackle-pop Buddy Rich swing, with African and Balkan swirls, Mann's muscular, freewheeling polyrhythms are the engine fuel for CTS's multiversal mischief. Even when not improvising, The trio's music is always a conversation, a roiling stew of dynamic interplay. Each member of Consider the Source
alternately leads and follows, spars and assists; in any single song, alliances are made and broken, bargains struck and divorces finalized.

Touring from coast to coast, as well as Europe and the Middle East, has not only earned the band thousands of fans, but has allowed them to perform with a wide variety of well-known artists, including Victor Wooten, Wayne Krantz, King Crimson Projekt, Kris Myers (Umphrey’s McGee), Wyclef Jean, Andy Statman, Matt Darriau (Paradox Trio), Oteil Burbridge, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Dumpstaphunk, Keller Williams, George Porter Jr., Jeff Sipe, Panzerballet (Germany), Eatliz (Israel), Freak Kitchen (Sweden), Morglbl (France) and many others. They have performed at numerous festivals and events including Gathering of the Vibes (Connecticut), Peach Fest (Pennsylvania), Summercamp (Illinois), Catskill Chill (New York), Aura Music & Arts Festival (Florida), Jazz Fest (New Orleans), Burning Man (Nevada), Head For The Hills Festival & SXSW (Texas), Rootwire (Ohio) and the The WerkOut (Ohio), to name a handful.

Here's what the press have been raving about Consider The Source!

“Mesmerizing World Metal…” - Melissa Giannini – Village Voice

“Welcome to a new age in music. If you want a truly unbelievable, face-melting, head-banging musical experience, Consider the Source is for you.. jaw-dropping live performance that no other band can touch. ” - Headspace Magazine

“Pulling off music that is this complex is akin to walking a tightrope in high winds. Making all of it groove, move and breathe organically is an even more-daunting challenge. Rarely is music this progressive so . . . well, sexy and exotic are the words that come to mind. Music for the brain and the body, then.” - Buffalo News

“Intense jams, showcasing their diversity and pushing their instruments to the proverbial limit” - Relix Magazine

“If you’re curious as to what the kids are listening to in the Big Apple, Consider The Source may provide the answers.” - Earvolution

“They created monstrous sounds that they themselves could barely control and ate the crowd alive.” - Upstate Live

“A shimmering prog-rock opus” - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Having seen them live, I completely understand why people are so fanatical about them. They were amazing.” - Guilt Free Pleasures

“Impressive improvisational skills and signature Middle Eastern motifs.” - Jambase

To purchase Consider The Source - "World War Trio (Parts II & III) DBL CD:   bit.ly/WorldWarTrioPartIIPartIII
“World War Trio EP (Part 1)”: http://considerthesourcemusic.bandcamp.com ;

For more information: 
www.considerthesourcemusic.com
www.facebook.com/ctsmusic
www.twitter.com/cts_music
www.youtube.com/considerthemusic

Techne Records
kyle@technerecords.com

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

June 13, 2015

Rare & Highly Sought After Coloursound Recordings By Brainticket Founder Joel Vandroogenbroeck Released In An 18CD Box Set!


Los Angeles, CA - At long last, the first ever CD release of Brainticket founder Joel Vandroogenbroeck’s much sought after Coloursound recordings presented in a limited edition, sequentially numbered 18CD box set! These rare recordings were released anonymously throughout the ‘70s and early ‘80s on the German-based Coloursound label, which specialized in ambient soundscapes for use in film and television, and have gone largely unheard except by those who know them to be some of the most progressive, awe-inspiring masterpieces Joel VDB ever committed to tape! The Coloursound Box also features meticulously recreated artwork from the original Coloursound LPs plus personal reflections on each album by Joel himself alongside additional liner notes by music historian Dave Thompson! The entire package is available now courtesy of Purple Pyramid Records.

Belgian-born Joel Vandroogenbroeck was playing jazz in Switzerland when he found inspiration in the new sounds emanating from German krautrock artists Amon Duul II, Can, and Tangerine Dream. Under the influence of these groups, Joel and guitarist Ron Byer recruited drummer Wolfgang Paap and formed the trio that would become Brainticket. The group’s 1971 debut album Cottonwoodhill immediately ran into a storm of controversy for its association with psychedelic drugs. The album came with a warning label that insisted you should "only listen once a day to this record. Your brain might be destroyed,” which led to the album being banned in several countries including the USA.

From then on, Brainticket’s reputation as a band of experimentalists at the forefront of underground, avant-garde music had been solidified. Following the death of Bryer, Brainticket regrouped for 1972’s Psychonaut followed by Celestial Ocean, which told the after-life experience of Egyptian kings traveling through space and time. Released in 1973, the album was hailed as the definitive Brainticket experience and earned the band their greatest acclaim. And Joel has continued to explore new creative avenues over the decades, releasing more albums under the Brainticket moniker, including his most recent offering Past, Present & Future, which was released in February of this year by Purple Pyramids. The Coloursound Box is sure to please fans of Brainticket as well as fans of adventurous, avant-garde music!

DISC 1: Images of Flutes in Nature
DISC 2: Biomechanoid
DISC 3: Contemporary Pastoral & Ethnic Sounds
DISC 4: Meditations Vol 1
DISC 5: Meditations Vol 2
DISC 6: Birth Of Earth
DISC 7: Lost Continents
DISC 8: Open Air Impressions
DISC 9: Computer Blossoms
DISC 10: Industrial Retrospect
DISC 11: Mesopotamia Egypt
DISC 12: Joel However
DISC 13: Middle Ages
DISC 14: Southeast Asia
DISC 15: Digital Project
DISC 16: Video Games & Data Movements
DISC 17: California - Industrial & Scenic Moods
DISC 18: Brainticket Remix 88

Order the box set from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Coloursound-Box-Limited-500-Copies/dp/B00W4L0PFS

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com

CLEOPATRA RECORDS, Inc.
11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025
www.CleopatraRecords.com

June 12, 2015

Cherry White Set To Precede New EP ‘Staring at the Sun’ With Stylish Single ‘Drifter’

‘Drifter’ to be released 1st June, followed by EP on 8th June

Folding the old school songwriting smarts of Fleetwood Mac into the contemporary edge of the Raconteurs, London based four piece Cherry White are an immediately impressive proposition. Their in your face indie-blues sound is highlighted by great hooks and high energy, blending genres in a way that sets them apart from more pigeonholed bands.

Currently building a buzz with their live shows in and around London, Cherry White have now taken to the studio to record a brand new EP, ‘Staring at the Sun’. Inspired by life in London during this austerity era, surrounded by the greed of the wealthy, the tracks circle around an aspiration to reach higher and achieve their goals in the music industry and beyond.

The EP is led out of the gate by single ‘Drifter’, which will be released on June 1st, one week prior to the full EP:  https://soundcloud.com/cherrywhitemusic/drifter

Engineered at Bark Studios by the excellent Brian O’Shaughnessy (Primal Scream, The Firm, My Bloody Valentine), the EP does a fantastic job of capturing the frenetic energy of a band who thrive on a live environment.

Cherry White’s live reputation was cemented at ‘Togfest’ in 2014, where their festival debut to a huge crowd was so well received they immediately sold out of albums. Having also taken to the stage at some of London’s top venues, including The Troubadour, Hope and Anchor (Islington) and Covent Garden Arts Theatre, their reputation in our fair capital is beginning to grow. Further afield, a BBC Wales live session a number of years ago proved there’s life outside the city for this eclectic group.

And with the single and EP on the way, Cherry White will be working harder than ever to make sure that reputation continues to grow into the music career they deserve.

Links:

June 10, 2015

Highly Anticipated Prog Metal album on the way from Deadly Circus Fire: ‘The Hydra’s Tailor’



12 track album due on June 16th through Musicarchy Media

Described by Metal Hammer as “one of the most imaginative and formidable” prog bands currently plying their trade, Deadly Circus Fire are a London based band who thrive on getting stronger and stronger in their battle with the mainstream. Their sound has been compared to the likes of Tool, Mastodon and Deftones, mixing heavy guitars with melodious moments to create something special.

And it does take something special to turn heads at publications like Metal Hammer, as well as Classic Rock, who described Deadly Circus Fire as “one of the most striking young prog metal bands to come on the scene in the past couple of years". For a taste of what Deadly Circus Fire are all about, here’s the video for album track ‘House of Plagues’:


It’s clear that Deadly Circus Fire are a band who will make a mark on the metal music scene. They’ve already supported huge cult band Skindred on a European tour, counting it among their career highlights so far. They also previously caused quite a stir by performing in zombie clown make up.

In time though, the music of Deadly Circus Fire has evolved to speak for itself, making a huge impact both live and in the studio without the need for such on stage histrionics.

For more on the album, check out the video link below.


Links: