Wasteland denotes a new stage in the career of Polish rock band Riverside after the death of its founding member and guitarist Piotr Grudziński. Although they are labeled a progressive rock act, the band delivers a mix of dark, melancholic rock, a pop-leaning ballad, and irritating prog metal.
From a progressive rock perspective, the highlights include the poetic and eerie opening track The Day After; the second half of Acid Rain after they ditch the metal riffs and get into an irresistible groove; and the forward-thinking Guardian Angel where vocals, acoustic guitars and piano are combined with soaring electric guitars and electronic ambiance.
The band includes Mariusz Duda on vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, and electric guitar; Michał Łapaj pn keyboards, Hammond organ, theremin, backing vocals; and Piotr Kozieradzki on drums.
The album 27 Faces of a Broken Heart features an impressive collection of guitarists. All the tracks are basically variations of the same song, composed by American guitarist and airline pilot Ramin Partovi. He created this musical piece during a very difficult time of his life and invited some of the finest guitarists in the rock and fusion scene to perform and record variations of this song.
Musically, the album has strong fusion, rock, progressive and blues elements and each version features spectacular guitar solos and a formidable rhythm section, plus a great bass solo.
The core band includes Ramin Partovi on guitars, Carl Verheyen on guitars, Simon Phillips on drums and Jimmy Johnson on bass. The guests include famous guitar players as well as lesser known players who are nonetheless highly skilled and equally good.
27 Faces of a Broken Heart opens with the original track by Ramin Partovi and then it’s followed by the multiple variations featuring the following guitarists: Yussi Wenger, Brent Mason, Jinshi Ozaki, Tom Kolb, Jon Reshard, Scott Henderson, Andy Becht, Ervin Toucet, Ernesto Homeyer, Erick Walls, Doug Rappoport, Masta Edwards, Carl Verheyen, McCoy Mason, Jeffery Marshall, Robin Siedschlag, Brent Mason’s second version, Brad Bailey, Oz Noy, Jeff Richman, Mike Stern, Gabriel Forsman, Mark Lettieri , Dean Brown, and Giuseppe Vasapolli.
27 Faces of a Broken Heart is a fascinating concept album showcasing the remarkable talent of Ramin Partovi, his friends and musical heroes.
Project Patchwork II – Re / Flection (Progressive Promotion Records, 2018)
Re / Flection is the latest release by Project Patchwork, a musical endeavor by German multi-instrumentalist and composer Gerd Albers. Re / Flection is a concept album that addresses several topics that Alberts is interested in: community, faith, first love, aging and death, refugee issues, populism among others.
The album is an ambitious melting pot where Albers mixes rock, smooth jazz, pop, hard, heavy and progressive rock. Highlights include the Peter Collins’ Genesis-inspired “Fear of Loss,” the acoustic “Last Horizon,” and the prog-folk of “A winter’s Tale.”
Re / Flection features various musical guests, including keyboardist Marek Arnold, guitarists Martin Schnella, John Mitchell, Markus Steffen, Stephan Pankow and vocalist Larry Brodel.
Cairo – $@Y [Say] (Heavy Right Foot Records, 2016)
Say is the debut release of rock band Cairo, the latest project of British keyboardist and vocalist Rob Cottingham, not to be confused with American progressive rock band Cairo.
Even though Cairo is described as a progressive rock band, it is yet another project where tired heavy metal riffs permeate the music. Rob Cottingham does great work in terms of effects, atmospheres, keyboard solos, the addition of spoken word and forward-thinking electronics, but it gets lost in a wave of predictable heavy metal and hard rock guitars and pop vocal hooks. I’ve said it before, how about a prog mix for progressive rock fans and a heavy metal mix for metal fans.
The band includes Rob Cottingham on keyboards and vocals; Rachel Hill on vocals; Lisa Driscoll on vocals; James Hards on electric and acoustic guitars; Paul Stocker on bass and acoustic guitars; and Graham Brown on drums and percussion. Guests: John Mitchell on backing vocals and Nick Yarris on spoken word.
“Devil on an Indian” by American rock band The Raptor Trail is a concept album about a young man that struggles with his American Indian heritage after being raised in a Christian family. The story mirrors the experience of multi-instrumentalist Matt Meyes. Although he has paternal and maternal Native American ancestry, he was raised by a white Protestant family.
Musically, The Raptor Trail crosses various rock genres with ease. The band plays a mix of classic rock, hard rock and sometimes ventures into progressive rock (“Wolf Medicine”) and other territories like in the piece “Dream Catcher” that has a trance-like tribal ambient feel.
The Raptor Trail’s sound is characterized by the outstanding vocals and remarkable solo guitar work of John Meyer, as well as the sound of a new hybrid instrument named guijo. The guijo was developed by Matt Meyes. It has an electric guitar body and a banjo neck.
The album ends with an apocalyptic explosion of the sun featuring a mix of rock band instrumentation and numerous sound effects.
The lineup includes Gene Bass on drums and percussion; Matt Mayes on vocals, guijo, acoustic guitars and banjo; and John Meyer on lead and background vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, and bass.
Acclaimed rock musician John Wetton passed away this morning, Tuesday, January 31st, 2017, after a long battle against colon cancer.
John Wetton was born on June 12, 1949 in Willington, Derbyshire. He became famous as vocalist and bassist of pioneering progressive rock band King Crimson in the early 1970s. John wetton rec orded three albums with King Crimson: Larks’ Tongues in Aspic (1973), Starless and Bible Black (1974), and Red (1974)]
At the end of the 1970s, Wetton formed progressive rock supergroup UK together with Eddie Jobson (Curved Air, Roxy Music and Frank Zappa), Allan Holdsworth (Tempest, Soft Machine, The New Tony Williams Lifetime and Gong) and Bill Bruford (Yes and King Crimson). UK released two now classic progressive rock albums, UK (1978) and Danger Money (1979).
In the early 1980s, John Wetton was one of the founders of the highly successful FM-radio oriented rock group Asia. The group released the hit song ‘Heat of the Moment’ in 1982.
John Wetton also enjoyed a fruitful solo career, including the album Battle Lines, and formed iCon with Asia bandmate Geoff Downes. In 2006 the original line-up of Asia got together again and toured the world several times to promote four new studio albums.
John Wetton had been planning to tour with Asia for the band’s upcoming US arena tour with rock band Journey and, after the success of his solo Studio Recordings Anthology, continue working on the ongoing re-issue program of his solo albums through his own Primary Purpose label.
Drumer Carl Palmer released the following statement: “With the passing of my good friend and musical collaborator, John Wetton, the world loses yet another musical giant.
John was a gentle person who created some of the most lasting melodies and lyrics in modern popular music. As a musician, he was both brave and innovative, with a voice that took the music of ASIA to the top of the charts around the world. His ability to triumph over alcohol abuse made him an inspiration to many who have also fought that battle.
For those of us who knew him and worked with him, his valiant struggle against cancer was a further inspiration. I will miss his talent, his sense of humor and his infectious smile.
May you ride easy, my old friend.”
John is survived by his recently wed wife Lisa and 18 year old son Dylan, brother Robert and mother Peggy.
The very last studio song of John Wetton’s career was the closing track on the Asia album “Gravitas” and included the lyrics “Think the best of me, till we meet again.”
“Waves” is a four-track EP by guitar maestro and composer Lelio Padovani. He plays instrumental guitar rock with a progressive edge. Picture Steve Vai or Joe Satriani playing progressive rock-oriented music.
Padovani plays all the instruments on the album and experiments with various guitars. On ‘Time Traveler’ he plays a guitar melody envisioned as a movie score of a guitar player who travels across time using various guitar techniques.
On ‘Siren Song’ you’ll hear a fabulous mix of three guitars playing a melody. Padovani indicates that three are better than one in the liner notes.
‘Sunday’ features admirable solo guitar work and was recorded during a quiet weekend, allowing Padovani to unwind.
The last piece, ‘Waves’ is an experiment based on Rhys Chatham’s concept. Chatham is an American avant-garde musician who created the concept of a guitar orchestra. Here, Lelio Padovani generates a remarkable wave of electric guitars, creating a fascinating cacade of sound featuring numerous guitar layers.
Lelio Padovani plays guitars, bass, drums, synthesizers and virtual string machine.
Justin Hayward is set to release a DVD titled “Live in Concert at the Capitol Theatre” on September 23rd, 2016. The intimate live performance features the legendary Moody Blues vocalist, guitarist, and composer.
The concert captured on video took place on October 20, 2014 in Clearwater, Florida. It was videotaped by award-winning filmmaker and composer David Minasian.
The DVD includes the bonus music video The Wind of Heaven
Greg Lake, the memorable vocalist and bassist for King Crimson and Emerson Lake and Palmer, moved away from progressive rock in the 1980s. He recorded two albums, Greg Lake (1981) and Manoeuvres (1983) that feature 1980s-style AOR rock, hard rock and pop, with the typical reverberating pounding drums of the era.
Both albums are now available, remastered, as a two-disc set. The best part of the songs on Disc 1 are the guitar solos by the great Gary Moore (who passed away in 2011). Disc 1 has three bonus tracks that feature members of popular rock band Toto.
Disc 2 includes a great progressive rock song, “I Don’t Know Why I Still Love You” that has an Emerson Lake and Palmer feel, including majestic electric organ and synths by Tommy Eyre, fretless bass by Tristram Margetts and grand percussion by Ted McKenna. This band had a great potential as a progressive rock act, but the early 1980s was a cruel era for progressive rock in the UK.
The CD booklet includes extensive liner notes and interviews with Greg Lake.
Croatian guitarist and composer Andreas Šala, who performs with bands Subscale, The Ralph and If And When We Die, has released a play-through video for the song “Hue” taken from his upcoming solo album Pleasure Dome.
Šala plays Wreck Guitars’ BlueMorpho 6 in the video. “I wanted to make a solo record for quite some time now but I just couldn’t decide in which direction I want to take it. But when I got my hands on the BlueMorpho melodies just started to pour out of me and I knew what I had to do. I felt like a kid again,” says Šala.
Pleasure Dome will be different from the albums Šala releases with Subscale and The Ralph in that is more ambient and minimalistic. “I wanted to do something a bit different. For the past 5 years I was composing mostly metal for The Ralph so I wanted to take a step back. I’m a huge Joe Satriani fan (and 80’s/90’s instrumental music fan in general) and I always liked “bigger than life” melodies so it seemed like a logical step to make a guitar driven instrumental album.”
Progressive rock, jazz-rock fusion, ambient electronic music and beyond