Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Black Mountain - In the Future (2008)

In the Future is the second album by Black Mountain, which was released January 21, 2008. It follows their eponymous debut album which was released in 2005. A "limited edition" of the album was released on the same day with 3 bonus tracks on a second disc. The album art was designed by keyboardist Jeremy Schmidt, who was influenced by Storm Thorgerson's work. - Wikipedia 

Stephen McBean - Vocals, Guitar
Amber Webber -Vocals
Jeremy Schmidt - Keyboards
Matthew Camirand - Bass
Joshua Wells - Drums

1. Stormy High (4:32)
2. Angels (3:07)
3. Tyrants (8:00)
4. Wucan (6:01)
5. Stay Free (4:29)
6. Queens Will Play (5:15)
7. Evil Ways (3:25)
8. Wild Wind (1:42)
9. Bright Lights (16:37)
10. Night Walks (3:55)

Nachtmystium - Assassins Black Meddle Part I (2008)

Assassins: Black Meddle, Part 1 is the fourth full-length album by Chicago band Nachtmystium. It was released via Century Media Records in the United States on June 10, 2008, and by Candlelight Records in Europe on June 23, 2008.The album contains such experimental musical flirtations as saxophones and other non-black metal musical "meddling".The album's subtitle itself incorporates the title of Pink Floyd's 1971 breakthrough album Meddle, while the album's opening track, "One of These Nights", is a homage to the Meddle's "One of These Days".According to the Chicago Tribune, Blake Judd, the band's founder, claims the idea for the album's name came from his desire to reestablish Nachtmystium's image in the music community. He states, "The idea of 'Assassins' is that an assassin kills, gets rid of or destroys something. It's not directly about us. We want to assassinate all these preconceived notions about where the metal community feels we belong in music and want to do our own thing. And what we do is black meddle.

Blake Judd - Lead Guitars, Vocals
Jeff Wilson - Rhythm Guitars
Zion Meagher - Bass, Backing Vocals
Tony Laureano - Drums, Percussion
Chris Black - Keyboards, Programming
Bruce Lamont - Saxophone

1. One of These Nights (1:50)
2. Assassins (8:07)
3. Ghosts of Grace (4:49)
4. Away from the Light (2:19)
5. Your True Enemy (4:15)
6. Code Negative (6:48)
7. Omnivore (5:05)
8. Seasick (Part I: Drowned at Dusk) (4:52)
9. Seasick (Part II: Oceanborne) (2:48)
10. Seasick (Part III: Silent Sunrise) (4:12)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Yakuza - Samsara (2006)

Samsara is the third album by Yakuza and their first for Prosthetic Records. In eastern religious and philosophical paths, Samsara is the idea of constant rebirth and suffering, which one's goal is to ultimately escape. Some literally translate it as "wandering on." Staying deeply rooted in a genre all its own, YAKUZA’s existence lies on a metal base with progressive flair, while somehow also incorporating elements of jazz, world beat, and post-rock ambience. Influence is also noted from King Crimson, John Coltrane, Tortoise, and Napalm Death.

James Staffel - Drums, Percussion, Keyboards
Matt McClelland - Guitars, Vocals
John E. Bohmer - Bass
Bruce Lamont - Saxophones, Clarinet, Vocals, Effects

1. Cancer of Industry (3:02)
2. Plecostomus (3:37)
3. Monkeytail (5:23)
4. Transmission Ends...Signal Lost (1:37)
5. Dishonor (5:19)
6. 20 Bucks (5:01)
7. Exterminator (7:25)
8. Just Say Know (2:57)
9. Glory Hole (6:57)
10. Back to the Mountain (9:02)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

TesseracT - Perspective EP (2012)

Perspective is the second EP by British progressive metal band TesseracT and will be released on May 21, 2012. The EP is not a metal record; instead renditions of four songs from One, a new edited version of "Eden" called "Eden 2.0" and acoustic versions of the songs Perfection, April, and Origin. It also includes a cover of Jeff Buckley's "Dream Brother". It is the band's first and only release with vocalist Elliot Coleman who left the band in June, 2012 weeks after the release of Perspective. The cover is very similar to the bands album "One" but the actual Tesseract is blue and "sparkly" as opposed to One where it is grey. - Wikipedia

Acle Kahney - Guitar 
Jay Postones - Drums 
James Monteith - Guitar 
Amos Williams - Bass, Backing Vocals
Elliot Coleman - Vocals

1. Concealing Fate Part Four - Perfection (3:46)
2. April (4:31)
3. Concealing Fate Part Six - Origin (4:55)
4. Dream Brother (5:17)
5. Eden 2.0 (4:28)

Madrugada - Madrugada (2008)

Madrugada is the sixth and presumably final studio album by the Norwegian rock band Madrugada. It was released by the band's own label, Malabar Recording Company, on 21 January 2008. The album was produced by Madrugada and John Agnello who also produced the band's 2001 release The Nightly Disease as well as My Midnight Creeps' second album Histamin. The album was largely recorded in May 2007 in Water Music Studios, Hoboken, New Jersey and the Magic Shop, New York. Finishing touches and mixing was done in Svenska Grammofon Studio in Gothenburg, Sweden. Even though guitarist Robert Buras died before the album was done, Hoyem and Jacobsen continued with the release of the album. Buras' part was already recorded when he died, and the rest of Madrugada stated that finishing the album was like therapy. - Wikipedia

Sivert Hoyem - Vocals
Robert Buras - Guitar
Frode Jacobsen - Bass
Jon Lauvland Pettersen - Drums
Mikael Lindqvist - Piano, Keyboards
Simen Vangen - Drums

1. Whatever Happened to You? (5:40)
2. The Hour of the Wolf (4:29)
3. Look Away Lucifer (5:13)
4. Honey Bee (5:35)
5. New Woman/New Man (4:22)
6. What's on Your Mind? (4:03)
7. Highway of Light (6:38)
8. Valley of Deception (5:09)
9. Our Time Won't Live That Long (5:55)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Mars Volta - Noctourniquet (2012)

Noctourniquet is the sixth studio album by American progressive rock band The Mars Volta, released on March 26, 2012 on Warner Bros.. Produced by guitarist and songwriter Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, it is the band's first studio album to feature drummer Deantoni Parks, and the first not to include contributions from long-time keyboardist Isaiah "Ikey" Owens and guitarist John Frusciante. Inspired by the children's nursery rhyme, Solomon Grundy, and the Greek myth of Hyacinthus, Noctourniquet is a concept album, with vocalist Cedric Bixler Zavala stating, "It's about embracing life for what it should be. There's a view of the elitist lifestyle - that being an artist is unattainable. I'm trying to write this story that reminds people that we're all artists. Vocalist and lyricist Cedric Bixler-Zavala stated that the album's title stems from a story he is writing, entitled The Boy With the Voice in His Knives. He also mentioned on his YouTube channel that he may release the story in a form of graphic novel, with the art contributed by visual artist Zeque Penya. Regarding Noctourniquet's aesthetic, Rodriguez-Lopez noted, "For myself, it was definitely keeping things concise. At first, I had a rule that I was only gonna play four notes per song, but that kind of went away after a while. But it was definitely about limiting the guitar, and just taking all those parts and arranging them for other instruments—mainly the keyboard." Rodriguez-Lopez described the album as "the end of an era," in terms of how he dictates his bandmates recording contributions. Upon the album's release, bassist Juan Alderete noted, "We recorded a lot of it three or four years ago, so it’s hard for me to remember everything. It’s not like I have a lot of time in the studio. Omar just sits me down and wants to get it over with. This one more than ever." - Wikipedia

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Guitar, Keyboards, Synths, Bass 
Cedric Bixler-Zavala – Vocals, Lyrics 
Juan Alderete – Bass Guitar 
Deantoni Parks – Drums 

1. The Whip Hand (4:49)
2. Aegis (5:11)
3. Dyslexicon (4:22)
4. Empty Vessels Make the Loudest Sound (6:43)
5. The Malkin Jewel (4:44)
6. Lapochka (4:16)
7. In Absentia (7:26)
8. Imago (3:58)
9. Molochwalker (3:33)
10. Trinkets Pale of Moon (4:25)
11. Vedamalady (3:54)
12. Noctourniquet (5:39)
13. Zed and Two Naughts (5:36)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Jeremy Irons & the Ratgang Malibus - Bloom (2011)

The grand return of the krautrock, and other similar musical pharmaceuticals, have yet again entrenched itself in many peoples ears. It is music with a retrospective way of thinking that takes its listeners on adventurous excursions deep into one's mind. Music that aims to broaden your horizon and consciousness. JI&TRM will make an impact on you in the same way with their album Bloom an innovative and highly personal take on the psychedelic rock and the very use of its many components and elements. As the indicating seriousness of the first line of the opening track reveals... "It's not a joke this time. I'm leaving reality for sure." Bloom is their second album released on Transubstans Records, preceded by Elephanta which was released in 2007. JI&TRM employ 60’s/70’s psyche grooviness threaded through a singer/songwriter pattern in the vein of Jeff Buckley. The spirit of this American musician wanders through this 50 minute album. If nothing else, you would agree that the vocal style of Karl Apelmo is reminiscent of Buckley’s, who is certainly one of the best vocalists, in my opinion. The Ratgang Malibus’ psychedelia is rather more simplistic. Calling for Buckley’s spirit in the opening Elefanta starts the pilgrimage to a reverse time vertigo. Throughout the album’s flow, Jeremy Irons together with the Ratgang Malibus make constant turnouts heading back from Buckley’s trippy vortex to Zeppelin worship in the closing track, Fernando. Meanwhile, numbers like Skin Deep, Cosmo Tropic and IAOA revoke the bluesy hard rocking vibe, while Tales of the Future is setting the pace in the most straightforward sort of way. Golden Hours, together with the title track is another paying tribute to Jeff Buckley’s amazing work.

Karl Apelmo – Vocals, Guitars
Mikael Pettersson – Guitars
Viktor Kallgren – Bass
Henrik Persson – Drums

1. Elefanta (04:49)
2. Skin Deep (09:34)
3. Tales of the Future (05:07)
4. Golden Hours (05:06)
5. IAOA (07:18)
6. Bloom (05:42)
7. Cosmic Tropic (04:07)
8. Fernando (09:00)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Giant Squid - Metridium Fields (2004)

Metridium Fields is technically the second release by San Francisco-based doom metal outfit Giant Squid. The material on the album was originally released in 2004 as a self-released album entitled Metridium Field, but after signing with The End Records in 2005, the band decided to re-record the entire album and re-release it as their debut for the label. It was released on August 22, 2006, and brought the band critical acclaim and a devoted fanbase. The titular song is named for Metridium, a genus of sea anemone. - Wikipedia

Aurielle Gregory – Vocals, Guitar, Banjo
Aaron Gregory – Vocals, Guitar, Banjo, Theremin
Bryan Beeson – Bass
Michael Conroy – Drums
Tim Conroy – Trumpet

1. Megaptera in the Delta (0:50)
2. Neonate (6:39)
3. Versus the Siren (9:24)
4. Ampullae of Lorenzini (9:16)
5. Summit (6:39)
6. Eating Machine (0:55)
7. Revolution in the Water (5:33)
8. Metridium Field (21:09)

The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation - Egor (2012)

The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation is a strange entity, straggling the line between a true musical vehicle and a bizarre side-project. An offshoot of the popular Dutch act The Mount Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, TMFDC began as an ambitious experiment to create murky and unwieldy soundtracks to silent films, such as Nosferatu and Metropolis. Yet the alter ego morphed into something else entirely, something more fleshed out and self-aware. Boasting their self-proclaimed "mutant jazz" sound, the band has released several albums filled with dark ambient soundscapes and jazz-lite elements. Until now, however, the band has always felt like a side-project; a mere vessel for the Darkjazz's more experimental leanings. But with its fourth record, Egor, the Doomjazz Corp. has crafted a bold and vivacious record that is as dark and perplexing as it is beautiful and brilliant. Egor, for all intents and purposes, seems much closer to a Mount Kilimanjaro record than any of its predecessors. Featuring a less drone centered sound, the album draws influences from a wide array of ambient
and jazz. It still retains the "free form" aesthetic that has been prevalent in both bands' works, utilizing it to give the album a very organic and spontaneous feel. Strings and brass play a much larger role than before, and the ghostly vocals reappear to give Egor that special eerie sound that the band is known for. Even with the solid instrumental work, the album's strength lies in the stunning atmosphere. A palpable tension hangs in the air at all times, even at the most lulling and comforting of moments. It's nigh indescribable, like a nagging thought in the back of one's mind. This energy permeates the record, managing to be more affecting than most records could ever hope to be.

Charlotte Cegarra - Vocals
Eelco Bosman - Guitar
Ron Goris - Drums
Sarah Anderson - Violin
Hilary Jeffery - Trombone
Jason Kohnen - Bass
Gideon Kiers - Electronics

1. Elevator of the Machine (16:36)
2. Knock By the Stairs (13:05)
3. Cosmonaut (Rasputina) (22:19)
4. Glass Is Destroyed (16:51)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ancestors - Of Sound Mind (2009)

Los Angeles-based heavy-psych quartet Ancestors have, as their name suggests, thoroughly absorbed the work of their late-'60s and early-'70s forebears. They tend to go for a doomy, psychedelic sound reminiscent of Deep Purple, Meddle-era Pink Floyd and Uriah Heep rather than the amped-up stomp of Grand Funk Railroad or Hawkwind's spacy explorations. Their first release, Neptune with Fire, contained only two songs in just under 40 minutes, and was more about mood than aggressive forward movement. This follow-up, quite clearly designed to be heard on double-vinyl as it includes four lengthy pieces, features as much organ as guitar, and the vocals are sometimes a hoarse roar and other times are delivered in a group singalong style that recalls rock bands affiliated with cults, like Ya Ho Wha 13. The drums even have that early-'70s cardboard-box sound. The long tracks are bracketed by short fragments: "Not the Last Return" is 90 seconds of aimless piano, while "A Friend" offers three minutes of synth squiggles and drones leading into the nearly 18-minute "The Trial," which starts off a Floydian guitar jam and becomes almost Mastodon-heavy toward the end. Another piano piece, this one over six minutes long, introduces the album's final cut, the aggressive "The Ambrose Law," a very Uriah Heep-like rave-up that takes the disc out on a high note. Though there are no new ideas here, Ancestors have cherry-picked the best ones from 35 years ago, and longhairs who think rock music's been on a downward slide since 1975 will love this album. 

Justin Maranga - Guitar, Vocals 
Nick Long - Bass, Vocals 
Jason Watkins - Organ, Piano, Mellotron, Vocals 
Matt Barks - Moog Synthesizer, Guitar, Vocals 
Daniel Pouliot - Drums

1. From Nothing (1:01)
2. Mother Animal (14:32)
3. Not the Last Return (1:29)
4. Bounty of Age (13:45)
5. A Friend (3:06)
6. The Trial (17:34)
7. Challenging (6:26)
8. The Ambrose Law (13:32)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Steven Wilson - Grace for Drowning (2011)

Grace for Drowning is the second studio solo album by Steven Wilson, producer, songwriter, and frontman of Porcupine Tree. It was released by Kscope Music Records on September 26, 2011. After the release of his first solo album, Insurgentes, Steven Wilson spent time on a number of his other projects. These include Porcupine Tree's album The Incident in 2009, Blackfield's third album Welcome to My DNA, on March 28, 2011, and an on-going project with Mikael Akerfeldt (the leader of the band Opeth) named Storm Corrosion. However, amongst these projects, in 2010, he announced that he had started working on his second solo album as well. - Wikipedia

Steven Wilson - Vocals, Keys, Autoharp, Harmonium, Percussion, Bass Guitar, Piano, Electric Guitar
Theo Travis - Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet
Dave Kerzner - Sound Design
Tony Levin - Stick, Bass Guitar
Jordan Rudess - Piano
Pat Mastelotto - Drums
Steve Hackett - Electric Guitar
Trey Gunn - Warr Guitar, Bass Guitar
Sand Snowman - Acoustic Guitar

Disc I: Deform to Form a Star
1. Grace for Drowning (2:06)
2. Sectarian (7:41)
3. Deform to Form a Star (7:51)
4. No Part of Me (5:45)
5. Postcard (4:29)
6. Raider Prelude (2:23)
7. Remainder the Black Dog (9:27)
Disc II: Like Dust I Have Cleared from My Eye
1. Belle de Jour (2:59)
2. Index (4:49)
3. Track One (4:16)
4. Raider II (23:21)
5. Like Dust I Have Cleared from My Eye (8:01)

Van der Graaf Generator - Still Life (1976)

Still Life is an album by Van der Graaf Generator. It was originally released in 1976. The album cover shows a Lichtenberg figure. Jonathan Barnett of New Musical Express, describing the songs on the album, wrote: "They start off with the kind of morbid over-sensibility, y'know.. smart ass existientialist one-liners like that, accompanied by furtive, lurching manic melodies that emphasise the personality disorientation of the whole thing." - Wikipedia

Peter Hammill - Vocals, Guitar, Piano 
David Jackson - Saxophone, Flute 
Hugh Banton - Organ, Bass, Mellotron, Piano 
Guy Evans - Drums, Percussion

1. Pilgrims (7:12)
2. Still Life (7:24)
3. La Rossa (9:52)
4. My Room (Waiting for Wonderland) (8:02)
5. Childlike Faith in Childhood's End (12:24)

Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother (1970)

Atom Heart Mother is the fifth studio album by English progressive rock band Pink Floyd, released in 1970 by Harvest and EMI Records in the United Kingdom and Harvest and Capitol in the United States. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London, England, and reached number one in the United Kingdom, and number 55 in the United States charts, and went gold in the U.S. in March 1994. A re-mastered CD was released in 1994 in the UK, and in 1995 in the US. The album cover appears in Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange. The piece is a progression from Pink Floyd's earlier instrumental pieces such as "A Saucerful of Secrets" and even earlier, "Interstellar Overdrive". The "Atom Heart Mother" suite takes up all of side one, and is split into six parts, featuring a full brass section and choir which take most of the lead melody lines, while Pink Floyd mainly provide the backing tracks; a reverse of the 1960s pop music practice of using orchestration as the background, and putting the rock band in front. However, there is one section where a bluesy electric guitar solo by David Gilmour takes the lead. Critical reaction to the suite has always been mixed, and all band members have expressed negativity toward it in recent times. But they appear to have been enthusiastic about the suite in the early 1970s, taking a full brass section and choir on tour just for the purpose of performing this piece; a move which caused the tour to lose money. A later arrangement without brass or choir, and pared down from 25 minutes to 15 by omitting the "collage" sections and closing reprise of the main theme, remained in their live repertoire into 1972, performed in concerts that also previewed The Dark Side of the Moon. June 2008 saw Ron Geesin perform "Atom Heart Mother" with Italian tribute band Mun Floyd over two nights as part of the Chelsea Festival. Geesin introduced it with a history and slide show. The performances featured full choir, brass and noted cellist Caroline Dale, who has worked with David Gilmour. The second night saw Gilmour join Geesin on stage for the performance. The song was extended to over 35 minutes and received many excellent reviews. Side two opens with three five-minute songs: one by each of the band's three resident songwriters, and closes with a suite with sound effects primarily conceived by Nick Mason, but credited to the whole group (and based mostly on musical ideas by Gilmour). Therefore, this album's concept is similar to their previous Ummagumma album, in that it features the full band in the first half, and focuses on individual members in the second half. Roger Waters contributes a folk ballad called "If" which he would play frequently at live shows in support of his Radio K.A.O.S. album, more than a decade later. This is followed by Rick Wright's brass-heavy "Summer '68", a critique of the "rock 'n' roll" lifestyle that would soon become characteristic of Pink Floyd. Next is David Gilmour's "Fat Old Sun", for which a 15 minute extended arrangement spent two years as a key part of the band's live set, and is a staple of Gilmour's various solo tours. The final track, "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast", is divided into three segments, each with its own descriptive title, joined by dialogue and sound effects of then-roadie Alan Stiles preparing, discussing, and eating breakfast. A slightly re-worked version was performed onstage only once on 22 December 1970 at Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield, England with the band members pausing between pieces to eat and drink their breakfast. - Wikipedia

David Gilmour – Guitars, Bass Guitar, Drums, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals 
Nick Mason – Drums, Percussion, Tape Editing, Tape Collage 
Roger Waters – Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Tape Effects, Tape Collage, Vocal 
Richard Wright – Hammond Organ, Piano, Mellotron, Farfisa Compact Duo Organ, Orchestration, Vocal 

1. Atom Heart Mother (23:44)
2. If (4:31)
3. Summer '68 (5:29)
4. Fat Old Sun (5:22)
5. Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast (13:00)

Porcupine Tree - Deadwing (2005)

Deadwing is the eighth studio album by British progressive rock band Porcupine Tree, released on March 28, 2005. It quickly became the band's best selling album to date, though was later surpassed by Fear of a Blank Planet. The album is based on a screenplay written by Steven Wilson and Mike Bennion, and is essentially a ghost story. Wilson had expressed the intention to eventually have this film script made into a movie. The album produced two singles, "Shallow" and "Lazarus". "Shallow" also appeared in the movie Four Brothers. It can be heard as background music in a bar. The album also produced three music videos for "Lazarus", "The Start of Something Beautiful", and "Glass Arm Shattering". The album includes collaborations with King Crimson's Adrian Belew, who plays guitar solos on the title track "Deadwing" and "Halo", and Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt, who adds vocal harmonies on "Deadwing, "Lazarus", and "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here". He also plays the second guitar solo on "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here". - Wikipedia

Steven Wilson - Vocals, Guitars, Piano, Keyboards, Hammered Dulcimer, Bass Guitar
Richard Barbieri - Keyboards and Synthesizers 
Colin Edwin - Bass Guitar 
Gavin Harrison - Drums and Percussion 
Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth) - Backing Vocals, Second Guitar Solo
Adrian Belew (King Crimson) - Solo Guitar

1. Deadwing (9:46)
2. Shallow (4:17)
3. Lazarus 4:18)
4. Halo (4:38)
5. Arriving Somewhere But Not Here (12:02)
6. Mellotron Scratch (6:57)
7. Open Car (3:46)
8. The Start of Something Beautiful (7:39)
9. Glass Arm Shattering (6:17)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Swans - My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky (2010)

My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky is a studio album by Swans released on September 23, 2010; it is their first studio recording in 14 years. Swans founder Michael Gira funded the recording of this album by creating the limited-edition album I Am Not Insane and chose several collaborators from previous Swans line-ups as well as his side project Angels of Light to record and tour for this album. My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky has received positive critical feedback for the return of Swans as well as the rich spiritual themes of the lyrics. - Wikipedia

Michael Gira – Electric Guitar, Vocals
Christoph Hahn – Electric Guitar, Mouth Harp
Thor Harris – Drums, Percussion, Vibes, Keyboards 
Chris Pravdica – Bass Guitar 
Phil Puleo – Drums, Percussion, Dulcimer 
Norman Westberg – Electric Guitar, E-bow 

1. No Words/No Thoughts (9:24)
2. Reeling the Liars In (2:20)
3. Jim (6:46)
4. My Birth (3:52)
5. You Fucking People Make Me Sick (5:08)
6. Inside Madeline (6:36)
7. Eden Prison (6:03)
8. Little Mouth (4:12)