Percorsi is the title of the first full-length album by Italian progressive rock band Plurima Mundi. It’s an independent release featuring vocals in Italian, which is always welcome.
All the music is composed by fiddler Massimiliano Monopoli, who provides one of the key ingredients of the band: the fiery electric violin. Another essential element is vocalist Grazia Maremonti, who has a gorgeous, passionate voice that sounds classically-trained.
The rest of the band provide the rest of the ingredients familiar in progressive rock, including fine keyboard and guitar work.
The lineup includes Massimiliano Monopoli on electric violin; Massimo Bozza on bass; Grazia Maremonti on vocals; Silvio Silvestre on guitar; Lorenzo Semeraro on piano; and Gianmarco Franchini on drums.
Progressive rock band Djam Karet has released another gem. Sonic Celluloid is envisioned as “sound as cinema.” While the description cinematic quickly comes to mind, this is not a richly orchestral album. Instead, Djam Karet treats the listener to 10 tracks where mellotron, real drums and sequencers are mixed with progressive rock and spacey guitars.
The band reveals that Sonic Celluloid has more minimoogs and mellotrons than any of the previous releases. And it’s pretty evident. Fans of mellotron will really enjoy this album.
The lineup on the album includes Gayle Ellett on electric and acoustic guitars, Greek Bouzouki, Moog, Mellotron, Hammond organ & Rhodes; Chuck Oken, Jr. on drums, analog and digital keyboard sequencing and soundscapes; Henry J. Osborne on bass; Mike Henderson on guitar feedback; Mike Murray on guitar atmospheres and piano; and Aaron Kenyon on bass effects.
Djam Karet continues to impress with their forward-thinking vision of progressive music, fusing well-crafted progressive rock with mesmerizing electronics.
Dai Kaht is a great debut album by a Finnish band deeply inspired by 1970s progressive rock and Zeuhl, the innovative progressive music genre developed by French band Magma. Following Zeuhl tradition, the band members have created their own language, which they use in their songs.
Although the band’s sound definitely draws a lot of ideas from Zeuhl, the sound is more rock oriented, featuring two guitar players; it’s less jazzy and operatic than Magma.
The band members have adopted artistic names in their new language: Alemaahr Kempah (Atte Kemppainen) on vocals and bass; Willargh Shirow (Ville Sirvio) on guitar; Zwerie Stöbah (Tommi Ruotsalainen) on rhythm guitar; and Ozamö Sharif (Osmo Saarinen) on drums, vocals.
Dai Kaht is a remarkable Zeuhl album by a talented prog rock band from Finland with a promising future.
French progressive band Yang released its third album, The Failure of Words, earlier this year. Yang is an instrumental rock quartet that incorporates elements from progressive rock, jazz, hard rock, and world music.
Yang’s pieces are impeccable, exquisitely-crafted works, featuring memorable dual guitar and interplay and masterful creative drums. The guitar and bass interactions use various techniques, ranging from parallel melodies to counterpoints, call and response and looped patterns.
The lineup includes Frédéric L’Épée on guitars, keyboards; Laurent James on guitar; Nico Gómez on bass; and Volodia Brice on drums.
Previous albums include A Complex Nature (Cuneiform Records Rune 197, 2004) and Machines (Yang Music VOC1527, 2010).
Italian progressive music band Deelay has announced the release of its self-titled debut album on AMS Records. The Rome-based trio includes Dario Esposito (Il Balletto di Bronzo ) on drums, Federico Procopio on guitar and Roberto Lo Monaco on bass. The three artists are seasoned session musicians.
The band’s style is a mix of progressive rock, jazz-rock fusion, post rock and ambient textures.
Spanish progressive rock band Kotebel has announced the release of its new album titled Cosmology. The new recording will be available in early July.
Cosmology is dedicated to the musical representation of four concepts of the Cosmos. The album includes several parts of a cosmology suite and Cesar G. Forero’s “Mishima’s Dream.” Also featured, a remastered recreation of “Canto XXVIII,” a composition that Cesar wrote for Dante’s Paradiso, a concept album released in 2010 as part of Colossus’ Divine Comedy, a project that featured numerous progressive rock acts.
Prog rock band Stick Men has revealed the fourth phase of its Prog Noir tour. The concerts will take place in North America from August 12 to September 4, 2017. The album Prog Noir was released in late 2016.
Stick Men includes Tony Levin on stick and vocals; Pat Mastelotto on acoustic and electronic drums and percussion; and Markus Reuter on Touch Guitars AU8, soundscapes and keyboards.
Prog Noir Chapter 4 Tour:
Sat, Aug 12 – Schenectady, NY (The Van Dyke)
Sun, Aug 13 – Asbury Park, NJ (The Saint)
Tue, Aug 15 – New Hope, PA (Havana)
Wed, Aug 16 – Newton, NJ (Newton Theater)
Thu, Aug 17 – New York, NY (The Iridium)
Fri, Aug 18 – Pawling, NY (Daryl’s House)
Sat, Aug 19 – Natick, MA (Natick Center For Arts)
Sun, Aug 20 – Portland, ME (One Longfellow Square)
Tue, Aug 22 – Northampton, MA (The Iron Horse)
Wed, Aug 23 – Burlington, VT (Higher Ground)
Thu, Aug 24 – Montreal QC, Canada (Cafe Campus)
Fri, Aug 25 – Quebec City, QC, Canada (Auditorium du Cégep Garneau)
Sat, Aug 26 – Ottawa, ON, Canada (The Rainbow)
Sun, Aug 27 – Toronto, ON, Canada (The Garrison)
Tue, Aug 29 – Buffalo, NY (Waiting Room)
Wed, Aug 30 – Cleveland, OH (The Beachland Ballroom)
Thu, Aug 31 – Indianapolis, IN (Irving Theater)
Fri, Sep 1 – Chicago, IL (Reggie’s)
Sat, Sep 2 – Milwaukee, WI (Shank Hall)
Sun, Sep 3 – Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI (Callahan’s)
Swedish singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Nad Sylvan has risen to the top of the progressive rock scene because of his solo work and collaborations with Steve Hackett and Roine Stolt. The Bride Said No is his new solo album and continues the story he initiated with the acclaimed Vampiric album Courting The Widow.
The Bride Said No still has plenty of first class symphonic progressive rock inspired by 1970s bands like Genesis and UK. However, The Bride Said No adds a music theater element and masterful vocal interplay between Nad and his guest lead vocalists Tania Doko and Jade Ell.
Nad Sylvan is a generous vocalist. His albums always provide plenty of space to the virtuoso instrumentalists that participate in his recordings. The most noticeable difference I find in The Bride Said No is that there is less mellotron than in the previous album. However, keyboard lovers don’t despair, Nad and his colleagues provide plenty of succulent synth solos and majestic keyboards throughout the album.
For prog rock guitar fans, track 5 ‘What Have You Done” is true delight. Nearly half the piece features two outstanding, hats off epic electric solos. The first is by the grand master of progressive rock guitar, Steve Hackett. The second solo is by the equally talented Guthrie Govan (The Aristocrats, Asia, Erotic Cakes). But there is more. If you manage to filter out the guitars (which is hard to do because they’re so good), you’ll notice remarkable bass work underneath by yet another master, Tony Levin.
Although Nad Sylvan’s vocals are superb throughout the album, on track 6, ‘Crime Of Passion,’ Nad stands out even more, delivering all vocal parts, lead and backing vocals. Guitars also play a leading role with Steve Hackett again, along with another regular collaborator, one of the busiest and finest guitarists in the prog world, Sweden’s Roine Stolt.
Another favorite is ‘A French kisses in an Italian Café,’ a beautiful laid back song with a trip hop beat that captivates you right away. It’s enriched with beautiful orchestrations by Nad Sylvan, Steve Hackett’s fabulous guitar, Tony Levin’s masterful Chapman stick and bass, and the delightful backing vocals.
The final song on the album is the most theatrical, with attention-grabbing interplay between Nad Sylvan and his female guest vocalists. It’s prog rock meets neosoul. This track has a hidden song. There are over 2 minutes of silence and then a pop song appears.
The lineup includes Nad Sylvan on vocals, keyboards, guitars, orchestrations; Jade Ell on vocals; Sheona Urquhart on vocals and saxophone; Anders Wollbeck on keyboards, programming, orchestration and additional sound design; Tania Doko on vocals; Jonas Reingold on bass; Nick D’Virgilio on drums and percussion; Tony Levin on Chapman Stick and bass; Doane Perry on drums; Alfons Karabuda on waterphone; Steve Hackett on guitar; Guthrie Govan on guitar; and Roine Stolt on guitar.
The Bride Said No is another captivating forward-thinking progressive rock album by the multi-faceted and talented Nad Sylvan.
Tree Tops – Ghosts Don’t Dance with Shoes (indie release, 2017)
Ghosts Don’t Dance with Shoes is the debut album by a very promising rock band from Knoxville, Tennessee called Tree Tops. Their sound is an exciting mix of guitar-led jam rock, progressive jazz-rock, funk and even some occasional Frank Zappaesque humor and zaniness.
The band’s line includes Jon Mann on drums and percussion; Cory Smith on guitar and vocals; David Webb on guitar and vocals. Additional musicians: Chris Pope on keyboards and Jack Willard on bass.
Roger Waters, the musician and composer famous for his work with Pink Floyd, will be touring North American in the next weeks. Waters will be performing material from Pink Floyd classic albums such as Dark Side of the moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall as well as new material. Waters has a new album titled Is This The Life We Really Want?.
Roger Waters Us + Them North American Tour 2017
05/26 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
05/28 Louisville, KY KFC Yum! Center
05/30 St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center
06/01 Tulsa, OK BOK Center
06/03 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
06/04 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
06/07 San Jose, CA SAP Center at San Jose
06/10 Oakland, CA Oracle Arena
06/12 Sacramento, CA Golden 1 Center
06/14 Phoenix, AZ Gila River Arena
06/16 Las Vegas, NV T-Mobile Arena
06/20 Los Angeles, CA Staples Center
06/21 Los Angeles, CA Staples Center
06/24 Seattle, WA Tacoma Dome
06/27 Los Angeles, CA Staples Center
07/01 San Antonio, TX AT&T Center
07/03 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
07/06 Houston, TX Toyota Center
07/08 New Orleans, LA Smoothie King Center
07/11 Tampa, FL Amalie Arena
07/13 Miami, FL American Airlines Arena
07/16 Atlanta, GA Infinite Energy Arena
07/18 Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum
07/20 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
07/22 Chicago, IL United Center
07/23 Chicago, IL United Center
07/26 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
07/29 Milwaukee, WI Bradley Center
08/02 Detroit, MI The Palace of Auburn Hills
08/04 Washington, DC Verizon Center
08/08 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
08/09 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
08/13 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
09/07 Newark, NJ Prudential Center
09/11 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
09/12 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
09/15 Uniondale, NY The New Coliseum
09/16 Uniondale, NY The New Coliseum
09/19 Pittsburgh, PA PPG Paints Arena
09/21 Cleveland, OH Quicken Loans Arena
09/23 Albany, NY Times Union Center
09/24 Hartford, CT XL Center
09/27 Boston, MA TD Garden
09/28 Boston, MA TD Garden
10/02 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
10/03 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
10/06 Quebec City, QC Videotron Centre
10/07 Quebec City, QC Videotron Centre
10/10 Ottawa, ONT Canadian Tire Centre
10/16 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
10/17 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
10/22 Winnipeg, MB MTS Centre
10/24 Edmonton, AB Rogers Place
10/28 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena
Progressive rock, jazz-rock fusion, ambient electronic music and beyond