Archive for Progressive Rock

Marius Tilly – Nebula Rising

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 8th May 2016 by izaforestspirit

Marius Tilly
Nebula Rising
Released 22nd April 2016
Alternative Rock
Released via M.I.G.-Music GmbH

‘Nebula Rising’ is the third album from the German blues rock artist Marius Tilly. His music has been compared to bands such as Robert Plant and Rival Sons. This is a concept album about the universe and outer space. Marius Tilly cites Douglas Adams’s classic science fiction novel ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ and more specifically states that: “The lyrics are a glance on our world from the outer space.”

Kicking off the album is Dinosaur – an uplifting piece of guitar-driven rock that makes you want to get up and dance along to the catchy chorus. Marius has a very distinctive voice which seems to be perfectly suited for both the blues and rock styles. Take Colder Below for example, his vocals adopt a ballad-like, sombre, bluesy tone to match the slower pace and melancholic sound of the guitars. At the opposite end of the spectrum you get the ‘rocking’ and somewhat more cheerful-sounding songs such as Solar Woman – another tune that I could see myself dancing to if I heard it playing at some rock club or bar.

The space theme continues with song titles such as Orion and Revel outer Space. Orion caught my attention due the slightly progressive-sounding instrumental in the second half of the song. Luckily it’s not long until the guitars pick up the pace and the vocals re-emerge marking the return to the album’s predominant style – alternative rock. Slender Man is a bit of an oddity, being the only song on here to feature some distortion in the guitars and the vocals at the start.

In summary, this album offers a variety of different styles all squeezed inside the “alternative rock” pigeonhole. There’s elements of the blues, classic rock and even progressive rock. I enjoyed certain songs more than others but overall the only consistent feature they all have in common is the vocals. There’s too many changes and inconsistencies in the style and structure for me to appreciate the album as a whole.

Iza Raittila

Jartse Tuominen – Untold Stories

Posted in Review with tags , on 12th April 2016 by izaforestspirit

Jartse Tuominen
Untold Stories
Released 18th March 2016
Instrumental Rock with Jazz influences/ Classic Rock
Released via M.I.G Music GmbH

‘Untold Stories’ is the new album from the Finnish rock musician and composer Jartse Tuominen. In addition to his experience as a rock guitarist, Mr. Tuominen has also produced music for movies and TV programs. This particular album was recorded with the help of a few session musicians including Pekka Siistonen on keyboards, drummer Brannen Temple (Dixie Chicks, G3) and bassist Steve Bernal.

So, what we have here are ten tracks of instrumental and predominately guitar-driven rock music with a certain jazz flare. The “jazz” element means that the overall song structure is fairly loose and a lot of the songs resemble a jamming session. The guitar melodies are somewhat unpredictable at times and there’s a sizable amount of experimentation and improvisation in both the pace and the overall style.

The rock ballad Time to Go caught my attention, being one of the slower and more melancholic-sounding songs on here. It features some impressive guitar work and it has that good old, classic rock feel to it without the jazz fusion elements. Then there’s catchy rock’n’roll track Trouble Shuffle which forms a sharp contrast to the other songs on here due to a simple, effective structure and uplifting guitar tunes which leave the listener in a good mood.

In summary, this album is bound to please fans of both classic and progressive rock. Jartse Tuominen has proven that he is a very talented, highly skilled guitar player and composer. I’d think that any decent classic rock bar or lounge would like to add his new songs to their playlist.

Iza Raittila

Mostly Autumn’s “Winter Tour” kicking off today

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 10th October 2014 by Pieni

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Progressive rockers Mostly Autumn have released a new album in June – already their 11th full-length work. “Dressed In Voices” is a conceptual album, regarding the conscience of a killer. Now it’s time to bring that piece to the road and play it with the spirit that Mostly Autumn got us used to. The tour starts today in St. Helens:

03.10.2014 – The Citadel – St Helens

04.10.2014 – Islington Assembly – London

10.10.2014 – Picturedrome – Holmfirth

17.10.2014 – Legends of Rock Festival – Great Yarmouth

28.11.2014 – Spirit of 66 – Verviers – Belgium

29.11.2014 – De Boerderij – Zoetermeer – Holland

04.12.2014 – Norwich Arts Centre – Norwich

05.12.2014 – Manchester Academy 3 – Manchester

06.12.2014 – Robin 2 – Bilston

07.12.2014 – Renfrew Ferry – Glasgow

12.12.2014 – Hull Fruit – Hull

13.12.2014 – Montgomery Hall – Rotherham

14.12.2014 – The Stables – Milton Keynes

15.12.2014 – The Brook – Southampton

Mostly Autumn on Facebook

Echo Us – XII:XII, A Priori Memoriae

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 19th September 2014 by izaforestspirit

Echo Us
XII:XII, A Priori Memoriaé
Released: 15th September (The UK), 19th September (Europe), 7th October 2014 (USA)
Progressive Rock
Released via Dust on The Tracks Records

‘XII:XII, A Priori Memoriaé’ is the 4th album from the Portland-based, American progressive rock band Echo Us. The band was formed back in 2000 as a solo project of Ethan Matthews (also in Greyhaven) and the original sound was more electronica than rock. This album is heavily influenced by 1970s progressive rock and artists such as Mike Oldfield.

The tranquil, acoustic guitar driven opening track ‘Vestige‘ features an interesting mix of what sounds like a church choir, random vocal samples with some clean, melodic vocals towards the end of the song. One thing that puzzled me; the same thing which always puzzles me when it comes to progressive music, is that I didn’t even notice when the song changed. Exordium (Apologue) sounds like a continuation of its predecessor with only a handful of differences. For starters, this track has more keyboard elements and the main vocal style is soft and clean – very much akin to that of most progressive rock bands. The guitar structures are complex but melodic and pleasant to listen if you’re patient enough to tune in for the whole eleven minutes.

This pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the album. As is often the case with progressive rock, the songs on here are complex in structure and there is a definite classical influence as well as an experimental flare evident in music. Some tracks such as Solum Vobis (Only You) have that stereotypical progressive rock feel to them due to the predominance of the guitars, whereas others such as the instrumental Memento lean more towards the classical music direction with the choir in the background. Then there are the tracks which combine these two distinctive styles such as Codicillus (From Far Away) which happily mixes electric guitars, keyboards and prog-rock vocals with a choir, harps and flutes. The aforementioned song also features some experimentation with the guitar which sounds a little odd and out of place at times. Then again apparently that’s not unusual when it comes to progressive rock.

While progressive rock has never really been my kind of music, I can definitely appreciate the effort that went into making this album. Ethan Matthews is clearly a very talented composer and a gifted guitar player. ‘XII:XII, A Priori Memoriaé’ is a complex and extremely well crafted piece of music that will undoubtedly be a great addition to any progressive rock fan’s collection. Personally though I’m just not a fan of this style.


Iza Raittila

Order Of Voices premiere video for Hand In Hand

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 12th March 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Yorkshire alternative progressive rockers Order Of Voices have released the music video for their latest single Hand In Hand. The single is taken from the band’s album Constancy which is set for release later this year. The single can be heard below.

Hand In Hand was produced by guitarist Ash Homar and mastered by UE Nastasi (AC/DC, Panic! at the Disco, Lamb of God) at Sterling Sound in New York. Vocalist Leigh comments:

We’ve moved on from the first album, distilled what we do to make it stronger in every sense.  We’re very happy with the results and look forward to people hearing it!

Order Of Voices online:


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Foscor release entire back catalogue digitally

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 6th March 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Dark metallers Foscor have released their entire back catalogue digitally, including the band’s first three albums: 2004’s Entrance to the Shadows’ Village,  2007’s The Smile of the Sad Ones and 2009’s Groans to the Guilty. Each album includes lyrics and information. For the first month, the albums will be available for free download from this location. The band’s back catalogue is also available for streaming on YouTube.

With over a decade in the music scene, Foscor recently announced that the band’s natural musical progression and development has led to a change in style away from the traditional 90’s Black Metal mixed with other classical and modern extreme styles, for which they became know.  Breaking free from the restrictions the genre places on bands has enabled Foscor to expand their sound to include shades of Doom and Dark Rock, majestic interludes and a healthy flirtation with Prog.  Frontman Fiar is quick to point out though that fans will still recognise the distinctive Foscor style, which the band have not rejected, but have made better, and which will be very much in evidence in the band’s newly completed  fourth full-length album Those Horrors Wither.

Currently in search of a label for Those Horrors Wither, Foscor have chosen a somewhat unusual direction with the guest appearances on the album.  Instead of the expected vocals or instrumental solos, the notable guests have written and performed connecting passages between the tracks.

Foscor online:


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Pronoid release new single

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 7th November 2013 by Pieni

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Progressive rockers Pronoid have released a new song called “Another Day, Another Kill”. It’s available at the usual places – iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud – but if you check it out at the latter, you’ll be able to see the lyrics as well:

Their latest album “Far From Grey” is also available on Spotify, an album which produced the following video:

Pronoid online:

First eight bands confirmed for ProgPower Europe 2014

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 4th November 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

ProgPower organisers recently announced the first eight band’s for the 2014 European edition’s line-up. The announcement was made during the ProgPower 2013 After Party. The first eight bands to be announced are: Pagan’s MindJollyHeadspaceChimp SpannerAeon ZenTenebrisProspect and Vulture Industries. The bands were announced with the following video:

Airbag reveal artwork and track list for 3rd album “The Greatest Show On Earth”

Posted in News with tags , , , on 17th September 2013 by Pieni

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Norwegian prog-rockers Airbag are completing the making of their 3rd album “The Greatest Show On Earth”, whose 50 minutes of emotions will be distributed by the following six tracks:

1. Surveillance (part 1)
2. Redemption
3. Silence Grows
4. Call Me Back
5. The Greatest Show on Eart
6. Surveillance (part 2-3)

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This album seems to have a rougher and heavier edge, yet without changing the original Airbag identity. Here’s a teaser of what’s to come, taken from the band’s YouTube channel:

Airbag online:

Karisma Records

Airbag – All Rights Removed [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 31st October 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Airbag
Album: All Rights Removed
Release year: 2011
Genre: Atmospheric Progressive Rock

“All Rights Removed” is the second album by Norwegian atmospheric progressive rockers Airbag. The band all ready have a strong following in their native country Norway as well as a large following in Poland, which is proven by the fact their song “Colours” was featured – for four months – in the top ten list of Polish national radios. The new album is described to be much darker and more atmospheric than their debut album.

”All Rights Removed”, the title track, is the first part of the album. Beginning with a typical rock sound which progresses as the vocals are introduced, which are a reminder of U2. The guitars have a hint of an older Pink Floyd and the percussion fits in perfectly with the guitars. The guitar solo has a cool sounding spaced out tone to it, giving it that extra edge compared to the rest of the guitar work. “White Walls” brings about a new atmosphere with it, feeling like a Pink Floyd meets A-Ha composition. The vocals are strong, full of emotion and conviction. The percussion elements helps keep that laid back feel to the music as well. The one thing that makes this song truly complete is the soulfully performed solo.

The third song of the album comes about in the form of the light yet haunting sounds of “The Bridge”. Some sections of the song make the listener feel as if they’re listening to Anathema though the song does retain its own unique sound as well and the vocals keep the emotion flowing throughout the song. “Never Coming Home” has a dark and solemn sound and atmosphere, sort of like My Dying Bride and Anathema. The vocals don’t fit in well with the dark sound, causing unintentional disharmony. The introduction of the guitars brings back some form of harmony to the track, fortunately enough. the use of acoustic guitars adds a subtle and almost hidden dynamic to the song, keeping it versatile and fresh. The solo leads the track is a powerful yet saddening finish.

”Light Them All Up” is definitely the most interesting song on the album. There’s a beautiful use of a violin that creates a haunting and mystifying atmosphere that entrances the listener’s ears and captivates the soul. The album finishes with “Homesick”, beginning with an acoustic section mixed with vocals that feel as if they’re overpowering the guitar. As the song progresses, new elements are introduced like more melodic guitar sections played on electric guitars mixing with the acoustic sections. The percussion instrumentation adds some excitement to the music, as do the vocals.

Though the album contains only six tracks, it’s one of the most impressive pieces of musical craftsmanship to come out of Norway since the days of Edvard Grieg. Each track is so masterfully composed and played, that Airbag have shown that it’s the quality of the tracks – not the quantity – that matters.


Dry Pilot – Dry Pilot [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 28th June 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Dry Pilot
Album: Dry Pilot EP
Release year: 2011
Genre: Progressive Rock

Dry Pilot are a Leeds-based progressive rock band with all three members originating from Brildington, East Yorkshire. Though being a fairly young band, they have risen to acclaim in the Leeds underground music scene. Their self-titled debut EP is the first in what is hopefully a long line of releases.

The EP begins with “The Need For Money”, a song title that a lot of people can relate to. The beginning section is a genius mixture of guitars and impressive drum work. The vocals are strong but not overly powerful, which is fortunate. The riffs become slightly more technical as the song progresses yet staying simplistic at the same time. Already the EP is at a great start which does beg the question, can the rest of the EP live up to “The Need For Money”. ”Bended Knee” comes next with the answer and that answer is… Yes! It begins with more a funky kind of riff which will no doubt make people want to get up and dance along. Again, the vocals are powerful and the drums are precise to the beat. As the song progresses, it just gets better and better.

“Transparent” has a more drum orientated introduction which is soon accompanied by the bass and guitar. The riffs are intelligently played, blending well with the technicality of the drums and bass, making for a truly superior track. The vocals bring a very emotional feel to the track as well. This one is certainly the best one of the EP. The EP comes to end with “See Me, I’m Gone” which just carries on the musical genius found on the other tracks. The riffs are well composed and the drum sections are brilliant. “See Me, I’m Gone” is certainly chart topping material.

The debut release of any band is usually the defining factor of how well a band will fare in the future. Well, Dry Pilot are certainly going to fare brilliantly in the future. This EP is proof of it. Each track is better than the last, combining strong vocals with genius riffs and great drum work. Dry Pilot are clearly a band to keep an eye – and ear – out for. On stage or on recordings, there are a band that impresses!


Nico Davidson

Nordagust – In The Mist Of Morning [2010]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on 18th June 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Nordagust
Album: In The Mist Of Morning
Release year: 2010
Genre: Progressive Rock

Musically, Norway is known for its infamous black metal scene, however there are some rising stars in the other music scenes of Norway and one of those rising stars are the progressive rock band known as “Nordagust”, whom take their name from the mythological spirit of the North wind. Their most recent release is “In The Mist Of Morning”.

The title track, “In The Mist Of Morning” is the first track of the album beginning with a gentle keyboard intro which is gradually accompanied by a slow paced guitar riff. The drums gently join in at the same time as the guitar. The vocals are soft yet powerful, blending well with the music. The keyboard sections add a very calming yet eerie atmospheric feel whilst the guitar riffs are very melodic. This track conjures up images of a mist hanging around the mountain ranges of Norway and along the coast. One couldn’t ask for a better track to begin the album.
“Expectations” is the second track, carrying on the eerie atmosphere created by the keyboard sections. Again, the vocals are soft yet powerful whilst the guitars are, again, melodic and are heavier and more rocky than the previous track in some sections. The drums seem to have more of a part on this track as well. The track is beautifully and well composed. Next is “Mysterious Ways”, beginning with a dark and terrifying keyboard section mixed with some strange sounds. The guitar riffs are slow but strong and melodic in some sections. However, the drums are the thing that stand out most about this track as they match up to the guitar riffs for strength and power. “Mysterious Ways” certainly sets a mystifying atmosphere and feeling.

”In The Woods” begins with the intelligently combined sound of running water and a slow guitar riff, setting a calm mood. The riff is masterfully composed and played. The keyboard section brings a more dramatic sound to the track, making ever more enjoyable to listen to. The only downside to this track is the lack of bass, vocals and drums. “Elegy” seems to carry on from where “In The Woods” finishes. The guitars are soft yet sorrowful, whilst the drums are too light, almost been fully overpowered by the guitar riffs in some sections though they do increase in power and strength is other sections of the track. The vocals, however, make up for the lightly played drum sections, bringing a new level of power to the track. The keyboard sections are brilliant.

“Forcing” is one of the more aggressive sounding tracks of the album. The riffs seem to have more bite than the previous tracks whilst maintaining their melodic flair. The drums and keyboards virtually match the guitar riffs for power, strength and heaviness. The lack of vocals on this track is disappointing but nevertheless it is still an immense track. The next track is “Frozen” which seems to continue on from “Forcing”. The keyboard sections seem to dominate this track for the first minute. The vocals contrast well with the guitar and keyboard sections, while the drums beautifully switch from light to heavy throughout the track, making it more interesting.

“The Tide” begins with a very synth/keyboard orientated intro which is soon accompanied by a wonderful guitar section. The vocals work well with the keyboard sections. The drums are masterfully played throughout the track. The second to last track, “Make Me Believe”, begins with a very dramatic and tense keyboard section. The guitar riff that follows adds a certain brilliance to the track. The vocals are still going strong. The track has some very powerful sections, which contrast greatly with the more lighter sections. The final track of the album is “Elegy Epilogue”. The intro is very atmospheric, whilst the piano section is very calm and soothing. It is a beautiful end to a great album.

”In The Mist Of Morning” is a testament to the talent and musical genius of “Nordagust”. The album is very atmospheric and melodic and captures the very soul of Norway while at the same time retains the progressive rock sound. This is a great addition to any progressive rock fan’s collection.


Nico Davidson