Friday, April 18, 2014

Moron Police - Defenders of the Small Yard (2014)

1. T-Bag Your Grandma
2. It's Not Cool
3. Grand Theft Bovine
4. Black Woman
5. Steve Jobs Is Dead, But I'm Not
6. Prepopherous, This Prepophery, I will Not Have It
7. Another Song About California
8. Soul Train of the Damned
9. Go Home, Bitch
10. Cabo
11. Welcome to the West
12. Stomp That Goomba

Moron Police is an independent Metal band from Norway. I was contacted by one of the members to check out their record a few weeks back in fact and I'm certainly glad I did.

The 6th track "Prepopherous, This Prepophery, I will Not Have It" is quite catchy, and will likely remind people of Faith No More, but in a good way.

"T-Bag Your Grandma" also leaves quite the earworm after hearing it.

I've checked this album out a couple of times and I can say it is enjoyable.

Beyond those 2 catchiest tracks others that stand out to me are "Go Home, Bitch," "Welcome to the West," "Black Woman" and "Steve Jobs Is Dead, But I'm Not" likely the most.

I feel bad about not including more details for now about this record, but I haven't had the time to listen enough and include notes, as of course life happens time and sleep seem to be at a premium for myself. But as far as self-released records or just records I've been able to hear even just one or two times per bandcamp or another stream in 2014, this is certainly one of the better ones.

I think these guys would appeal to fans of Faith No More or System of Down obviously, and more recent bands like For the Imperium and Destrage. I thought I noticed they even did a gig or two with For the Imperium, so that appeal/connection makes a lot of sense.They do the genre bending (with humor) hard rock/metal pretty well.

If/when time allows,more specifics hopefully will come (look to a Midseason list around June for example, if not before).

Seriously, there's shitty techno in here.
What happens if you take a pinch of Jack Black’s non-existent scruffy beard, add a sweaty glob of bastard metal in the vein of System of A Down then subsequently top it off by boiling it in Frank Zappa’s stinky night potty?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Patrick Moraz with Annie Haslam: 'Soon" (Live)

wow, as one of my favorite pieces of music played by the guy who wrote and played the original, and sung by my favorite female singer, this is very nice.

Fish - Blind to the Beautiful [Video]

not watched yet, just belated passing along.

I have enjoyed checking out A Feast of Consequences though, quite a lot. Although not surprising as most records by Fish I tend to enjoy, but sadly don't prioritize enough for.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Finally an Agalloch Tour COMES TO MINNESOTA!

I am rather happy to finally get to see these guys after I imagine over a decade of touring where they failed to come to Minnesota. Although I've only been a fan for about 7 or 8 years admittedly.

But I can suspect why they are here isn't due to the fanbase here, it has to do with with the PROMOTERS and the nauseating process of sites like Pitchfork talking about Agalloch now.

It shouldn't take that, and in fact, the crowd I fear will include more of the hipster/pitchfork quotient that I am not crazy about. But, I guess beggars can't know.

Because the fact is, they have toured a bunch of times over the last few years even, playing in Nebraska of all places, and Chicago of course, but not in Minnesota. But from memory, Agalloch wasn't on Pitchfork's radar at that point.

Blech, o well. I am still looking forward to this, and it being at The Triple Rock 2 days before my birthday no less.

We are pleased to announce the confirmed first leg of our “Serpens In Culmination” US tour this summer. There is one date that is yet to be manifested but we will announce that as soon as it is confirmed. We are also working on a West coast run.

5.16 - Portland, OR @ Star Theater (w/Lasher Keen, Sedan)
5.17 - Seattle, WA @ Highline (w/YOB, Wounded Giant)
5.23 - Baltimore, MD (Maryland Deathfest)
6.18 - Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock (w/Obsidian Tongue, Blood and Sun)
6.19 - Madison, WI @ High Noon (w/Obsidian Tongue)
6.20 - Chicago, IL @ Reggie's (w/Obsidian Tongue)
6.21 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballrom (w/Obsidian Tongue)
6.22 - Newport, KY @ Southgate House Revival (w/Obsidian Tongue)
6.23 - Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree (w/Vex)
6.24 - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl (w/Vex)
6.25 - Tampa, FL @ Orpheum (w/Vex)
6.26 - Savannah, GA @ Jinx (w/Vex, Blackrune)
6.27 - Raleigh, NC @ King's Barcade (w/Vex)
6.28 - Springfield, VA @ Empire (w/Vex)
6.29 - Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts (w/Jex Thoth)
6.30 - New York City, NY @ Irving Plaza (w/Jex Thoth)
7.01 - Boston, MA @ Brighton (w/Jex Thoth, Obsidian Tongue)
7.02 - Montreal, QC @ La Salla Rosa (w/Jex Thoth)
7.03 - Ottawa, ON @ Mavericks (w/Jex Thoth, Musk Ox)
7.04 - Toronto, ON @ Opera House (w/Jex Thoth)
7.05 - Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theater (w/Jex Thoth)
7.08 - Denver, CO - Gothic Theater

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Casey Crescenzo Presents: Amour & Attrition: A Symphony in Four Movements

4/15/14 11:06PM

Amour & Attrition, odd yet romantic title. I guess it may be made available as early as May for the Pledgemusic backers.

Finally get to see a test copy of the staff music book for my first symphony... As if I even know what I'm looking at. So close to releasing this! Can't contain the excitement to finally have people hear it, and witness music blogs suddenly have an opinion on orchestral music- and find all new ways to call me pretentious and grandiose! �� #cantreadmusic

1/17/14 9:16PM
Here's what I imagine is the 1st of many videos and information that Casey will share about this.

Significant Albums: Dream Theater - Awake (1994)

File:Dream Theater - Awake.jpg

My favorite Dream Theater album, without a doubt.

I've been a Dream Theater fan for most of the time I've been obsessed with music. And  the amount of anecdotes related to Dream Theater I could include here is endless, so those will be attempted to be in limitation.

I bought Awake either the same day, week or within a few weeks of when I purchased a copy of Images and Words on cassette tape in May or June of 1995. The things I recall most about Awake initially were:

1) after really getting into Images and Words, Awake sounded a lot louder/heavier and just darker

2) James LaBrie's vocals were less about the falsettos and clean, operatic kind. But more yelling, that made the band almost sound entirely different.

3) This album was rather LONG. I recall the cd copy I bought included a white inserted sheet that was a survey and also a way to join a fanclub or mailing list of some kind. I may be mistaken, but it was either on said white insert or somewhere in the booklet it said "this cd is 74 minutes and 56 seconds, and includes the maximum amount of tme that can fit on a single compact disc" or something along those lines.

But with the impression I got from it, and especially how I was so into Images and Words and eventually When Dream and Day Unite (and the Majesty Demo), I honestly did not get all that much mileage out of this album when I first got into Dream Theater.

I think it was my sensitivity to yelling vocals and even some of the guitar tones being darker.

But I suppose it was maybe within the next 2 years, I began to go back to it and started to enjoy Awake more. Not as much as the others, including the newly released EP A Change of Seasons in 1995. But my ears and taste eventually warmed up to the heavier sound.

I recall even a band like Superior whose debut album Behind I also purchased around that time, due to reading a ton of hype about it on 1 or more of the Dream Theater sites/email lists and through the CD Import company Impulse Music, I also couldn't get into initially, mainly due to how heavy it sounded. I recall once describing it "this is just piano with thrash" lol.

But I suppose at the point I saw a ton of praise of this record among fans in the late 90's, including how much better it was received than Falling Into Infinity, I began to go back to it more and more and started to love it, some 3 or 4 years later at least.

And eventually it came to become my favorite.

Track List:

1. "6:00"   Kevin Moore 5:31
"Six O'Clock on a Christmas morning. Six O'Clock on a Christmas morning"
Enjoyable opener track, which I always associate with an Alarm going off.

The chorus "melody walks through the door, and memory flies out the window. Nobody knows what they want, until they finally let it all go"

That opening snare part, I probably associate with Portnoy maybe more than any other song he ever wrote/played on.

This song, as I finally began to appreciate Awake, was a track that set the tone for the Awake *sound*. From LaBrie's style of yelling/screaming and tone, to the tone Petrucci used. And I think given how different it was from their other records, it caused me to shy away initially, but be able to appreciate with time.

This song features some of Kevin Moore's more odd textures, that sometimes did sound like an alarm clock or something.

"Inside..coming outside..Inside..coming outside...Come Outside"
 JP solo fits really well at that point.

"So many ways to drown a man. So many ways drag him down. Some are fast and some take years and years.  You can't hear what he's saying when he's talking in his sleep. He finally found the sound but he's in too deep."

"melody walks through the door, and memory flies out the window. Nobody knows what they want, until they finally let it all go...but don't cut your losses too soon, cause you'll only be cutting your throat. And answer a call while you still hear at all cause nobody will if you won't!"

I always liked Kevin Moore's lyrics, and this song is a good example why. The emotion and therapeutic nature always worked. I also think the use of samples with "I know all about the honor of god Mary Jane" among them, also works maybe greater than any of the samples he captured and used on Images and Words.

2. "Caught in a Web"   James LaBrie, John Petrucci 5:28
This song probably received the most radio airplay from this record, maybe due to its length and it has sort of a accessible riff and breakdown. I remember thinking this sounded like Extreme or some other late 80's hair metal.

I JP was interested in emphasizing his use of darker toned and less-clean sounding riffs on this record. Whether that was just his personal approach, or some influence from some of the power-chord driving music out there at the time (grunge? I would hope not, but I guess I would not be shocked to learn).

Try to push me 'round  The world some more  And make me live in fear  I bare all that I am  Made of now 
Attractive I don't care 'cause even when I danced with life  No one was there to share 

Does this voice the wounds of your soul? Does this voice the wounds of your soul? 

LaBrie does some seriously fast vocal work on this verse, which often stands out to me but also I rarely understood much of it, until the line about voicing the wounds of your soul. It then leads to the fun bridge where the band have this great building groove., going up an octave or something. JP stands out and makes you want to bang your head.

I think the climax of that \m/ JP part I frequently think-of with JP/DT and with other bands. That riff and a riff he wrote in "Voices", are as I see them, signature to John Petrucci's style. And it may be countless of example of other guitarists who've borrowed or been directly influenced by them.

The ending groovy riff with Kevin Moore's layering really ends this track well.

Caught in a Web is one of those tunes that doesn't seem so amazing, just based on the chorus I think of it for, but after it's over, I always tend to appreciate it a lot more.

3. "Innocence Faded"   Petrucci 5:42
This became one of my favorites, after sort of forgetting about it initially.

The quiet acoustic or bassline? lead into the line is wonderful

Some will transcend spinning years  One as if time disappears 

Another track I hear the 80's Metal element, even down to the vocal chanting harmonies.

Callow and vain Fixed like a fossil, shrouding pain Passionless stage Distant like brothers 
Wearing apathetic displays Sharing flesh like envy in cages Condescending Not intending to end 

LaBrie does some of his best clean falsettos on this verse. I always heard him say though "not intending to HEAR" but like many singers, his ability to just create tone and timbre, as opposed to clearly annunciate certain words, really does impact the sound and quality of the music itself.

Beginnings get complicated  The farther we progress Opinions are calculated Immune to openness 

Beyond the circle's edge We're driven by her blessings Forever hesitating Caught beneath the wheel 

Innocence faded The mirror falls behind you  Cynically jaded The child will crawl to find you.

Labrie and Petrucci stand out again on this last verse. Where it starts out quieter and the dynamics lead to wonderful last verse. LaBrie even does his share of just chanting which at least on this album and the early Dream Theater music, I totally love (I know many do not, but I do like my share of 80's Metal/ falsetto vocalists).

Then one of the coolest outros the band has ever made comes in. The riff from JP and the call and response from Kevin Moore totally works on it. It again almost calls for the the horns. Portnoy's upbeat snare pattern and JP just makes the most of this section. It's so energetic and almost happy sounding.

4. "A Mind Beside Itself: I. Erotomania"   (instrumental) 6:44
A nice tight composition, but still the chops are shown in great form.

The name of this track always through me off, but here's at least 1 definition per Wikipedia

Erotomania is a type of delusion in which the affected person believes that another person, usually a stranger, high-status or famous person, is in love with him or her.

I will admit to have had this to an extent. I suppose it's not of the belief said stranger loves me, but I believe I'm in love with said stranger. Celebrity crushes, etc.

But this track being the 1st part of "A Mind Beside Itself" suite, I guess I enjoy the textures that come in, namely what Kevin Moore was using. They are so clean sounding. I picture sort of floating above a landscape. Some environment video footage would work incredible with it (and I'm sure has been made). I also love how they bring in "The Silent Man" theme eventually, foreshadowing.

Also I know its been mentioned by some fans, the guitar solo JP has at the end, at one time, was thought-of as his most difficult. The runs are so rhythmic. Just hearing how Portnoy doubles along him in parts.

5. "A Mind Beside Itself: II. Voices"   Petrucci 9:53
A loved epic by many, the opening in-your-face from JP is what I mentioned above, sort-of a trademark riff or riffs that I have often and may always think of him for.

I always think of a spider with this song and the opening line.

"So Speak. I'm right herrrrre. She used to say to me"

"Judas on the ceiling. The Devil in my bed. I guess Easter's never coming. So I'll just wait inside my head"

Like a scream but sort of silent. Living off my nightmares
Voices repeating me Feeling threatened? We reflect your hopes and fears

Voices discussing me Others steal your thoughts They're not confined within your mind

the almost grindy guitar riff that comes into the verse after that course is great. "It says it right here on my Crucifix."

then later the line repeated "others steal your thoughts they're not confined to your own mind" which follows this dark yet almost dreamy part with Kevin Moore's keys and the sample "I don't want to be here cause of my suffering....did you know that reality is immaterial. This is not reality"

Another example of Kevin Moore's talents at capturing and using samples (assuming it was Kevin who did). The build in that section is just so intense. But in dynamic fashion, a slow/softer section follows including some interesting lyrics

Is there fantasy in refuge? God in politicians Should I turn on my religion? These demons in my head tell me to

I remember specifically on the 2000 Fanclub CD they captured LaBrie singing live "God in Billy Clinton" which I probably will always associate with that line, more than the actual lyric itself, lol. But the part after that verse

Seen my diary on the newsstand Seems we've lost the truth to quicksand 
It's a shame no one is praying 'Cause these voices in my head keep saying

Love, just don't stare Reveal the word when you're supposed to
Withdrawn and introverted Infectiously perverted
Being laughed at and confused Keeps us pleasantly amused enough to stay

is probably my favorite part of this song. It is incredibly sad sounding, almost like someone being tortured by their nightmares, or by dark fantasies they have, but maybe are ashamed to admit they do. And the Petrucci guitar solo is another that totally fits. I've seen some people say it's his best, and I actually would have a hard time arguing with. It's kind of David Gilmour-ish in some ways. Such emotion and it almost has a crying-out element to it.

Maybe I'm just Cassandra fleeting Twentieth century icon bleeding
Willing to risk salvation To escape from isolation

I'm witness to redemption Heard you speak but never listened
Can you rid me of my secrets? Deliver us from Darkness?

This last verse is like a ride, the way the rhythm section keeps moving and getting bigger knowing the end of the story is near. It almost reminds me of like in a horror movie and the main character is running to escape from the villain and is almost there. But then in the final chorus, the ending lines:

Don't expect your own Messiah This neverworld which you desire Is only in your mind

kind of tells me it was all just a dream (or nightmare).

I guess I also think of the cover art for Awake and this song most. It's sort of it like a dark, fantasy or horror story, not incredibly unlike many classic horror or dark fantasies. It's an escape to a darker world, that you sort of think is real, but ultimately is only real in your mind. But for some, that is more than real enough.

6. "A Mind Beside Itself: III. The Silent Man" (music: Petrucci) Petrucci 3:47
I once told a friend, The Silent Man is like DT doing "More Than Words" by Extreme, which looking back on it seems incredibly silly. But the purely acoustic piece sort of fits in a small way by that comparison (and time this came out, being not that long after said Extreme tune).

But this song gave John Myung the name given as a running joke, been known to the fans as the "silent" member of the band. He even seems to have a pretty *silent* presence on this track, lol.

But within the "A Mind Beside Itself" Suite, this fits as a calm/cool down piece. Voices is such a ride, a light, softer, almost happy sounding piece made sense. Is it Dream Theater sounding like a singer/songwriter band? I suppose a little.

The strings or cello? I have always enjoyed on it. The lyrics I can take or leave ironically, as this track is more about mood and a calm down before the next round of intensity.

7. "The Mirror"   Mike Portnoy 6:45
Quiet of The Silent Man, to the extremely thick and heavy of this tune. This probably was the song that made me think of Dream Theater more as a "Metal" band, rather than a heavy prog band. The riff is just so thick and grindy, and almost evil sounding.

In fact having Kevin Moore's keys contrast to it kind of allowed me to accept the tone that Petrucci used to set the mood.

I suppose I think of this track for the melody that Kevin Moore plays before the verse leading up to and before the word "Hypocrite." It has almost a christmas-bells element of back and forth, or a bit like Run Like Hell from Pink Floyd, but it's kind of an ear worm.

It's time for me to deal Becoming all too real, living in fear Why did you lie and pretend?

This has to come to an end I'll never trust you again It's time you made your amends Look in the mirror my friend

Great chorus and then another great sample capture with a woman speaking "Everything you need is around you The only danger is inside you"

The next verse has the line "Racing the clock to please everyone All but the one who matters the most" which I'll admit hits my brain frequently. Like going to work in the morning or trying to avoid being late for something like a party or a dinner with people (something I always have and likely will, but thankfully have at least gotten better about, especially just for my job).

But I do sometimes think I do race the clock for others interests or hopes for me, rather than my own personal interest. I used to think the greatest thing to ever happen to me would be to go to bed and wake up every morning with concern about what time it is. Be an Entrepreneur or make my own schedule always. At least have FLEX time, but that probably always will be wishful thinking. But especially when I 1st heard/got into this song, that line hit home for me certainly.

How in the hell could you possibly forgive me? After all the hell I put you through

Even in a fictional sense, this line was something I found impossible to forget.

As this song ends, the haunting piano part that Kevin Moore plays for about 10 or 15 seconds I always get goosebumps. One of my favorite parts of this song and album. So haunting, and the slow build that has some of the those grindy riffs with a whammy bar and Kevin Moore's echoing keys segue so well into "Lie."

8. "Lie"   Moore 6:33
As this song comes in, I used to associate it with "The Mirror" maybe even more than the whole "A Mind Beside Itself "Suite. "The Mirror" was written by Portnoy and "Lie" by Kevin Moore, but I swear the two tracks seem to be part of a suite in the same way as AMBI, at least to me.

Lyrically even in some ways. Like the confession of a Lie is the outcome/confession of the therapy of looking into the mirror and asking about a situation, incident, or something being kept that is not 100% honest.

Musically though, like The Mirror, this tune is quite riffy. The guitars and echoing keys with what sounds like an oscillator being the pitch.

"And I'm trying to get out of a shadow of doubt 'Cause I don't know if I know you ..Don't Tell Me, You Thought of Me"

This part and the way it builds is actually rather groove-oriented. The way the drums and keys and the rhythm LaBrie sings that section in. I actually was just sort of reminded of a band like Faith No More hearing it again.

Mother Mary quite contrary Kiss the boys and make them wary 
Things are getting just a little bit scary  It's a wonder I can still breathe

Never been much of a doubting Thomas But nothing breaks like a broken promise
You tell me 'bout your two more coming But once is just enough for me

It's repeated in this next verse, but with Kevin Moore's lyrics, they often stand out with some of the terms and references. "Doubting Thomas" and the wording of "Mother Mary Quite Contrary," sounding sort of religious. His lyrics always worked on a poetic level, and "Lie" is one good example of that.

"Your town, I'm all alone And I just can't stare at the phone I wanna talk about lifelong mistakes You can tell your stepfather I said so"

This line is rather family-oriented. Dark, sort of a domestic conflict in a way. And I suppose the *lie* that the song is titled for could be again being yelled about. It also does remind me of various family stories, namely I've seen in movies and television.

The Petrucci solo is darker in tone, but with Kevin Moore's organ-sounding lead in, is like of an explosion of sorts. The rhythm section supports with the continued groove. Which after a minute or so, I swear the riff that JP uses is a reference to "The Mirror" in a subtle way.

9. "Lifting Shadows Off a Dream"   John Myung 6:05
Another perfect dynamic which follows the incredibly dark Lie to the beautiful textures of a ballad of sorts. I remember years later hearing that U2 was a big influence on this song (and the band), and ever since I have heard U2 in a cool way on this track

"Moved by desire and fear He takes a few steps away"

"She can turn a drop of water, into an Ocean"

This tune I never was blown away by, but its always been a tune I enjoyed, and through the years, it has become a little bit of a forgotten gem, given the band have not played it live nearly as much as many other tunes from Awake. However, on their current tour, which to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this album, I believe they are.

EDIT: I finished(unedited) up to this point over a week ago, and due to a nasty cold that hurt my ability to do much but work + sleep, and the girlfriend's schedule/being almost always at the girlfriend's place, a location I frankly struggle to do any writing in here. I have not been able to finish this.

But the final 2 tracks are the peak of not only this record to me, but maybe of Dream Theater's musical output.

My free time has admittedly been spent watching College Basketball and Masters golf as well. 

I shall edit this properly soon, and continue on with this project, but the above is my somewhat delayed excuse of some kind.

Also, the "M" key on this rather new laptop of mine is not functioning too well, so that hasn't exactly helped matters.

10. "Scarred"   Petrucci 10:59

I adore this track, and would easily say it's an all-time favorite song of mine among all music. One-of, if not my favorite Dream Theater songs as well.

11. "Space-Dye Vest" (music: Moore) Kevin Moore 7:29
The floating synth on this track is probably my favorite part, and maybe favorite moment of any Dream Theater or Kevin Moore work. It is incredibly dreamy and almost out-of-body-like.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Anathema - Distant Satellites (2014)

4/10/14 10:30PM

track 9?

Track Listing
01. THE LOST SONG part 1
02. THE LOST SONG part 2
03. DUSK (dark is descending)
05. THE LOST SONG part 3
08. FIRELIGHT [instrumental]

4/9/14 12:04PM

For what it's worth: a Tracklist has already been posted on Wikipedia:

The Lost Song part 1 5:53
The Lost Song part 2 5:47
Dusk (Dark Is Descending) 5:59
Ariel 6:28
The Lost Song part 3 5:21
Anathema 6:40
You're Not Alone 3:26
Firelight 2:42
Distant Satellites 8:17
Take Shelter 6:07

3/28/14 11:56AM

June 9th. Title, artwork, Steven Wilson mixing confirmed. WHBWH I do prefer to WS a bit, so the fact Steven was involved with WHBWH might favor this one. Granted, Weather Systems is still a terrific record.

Also below is a new 24 minute interview with Danny (I haven't checked it out yet).

KScope Link


ANATHEMA return in June with distant satellites, their brand new studio album.
Due to be released on 9th June via Kscope, distant satellites is the highly anticipated follow up to 2012’s Weather Systems, recorded at Cederberg Studios in Oslo, with producer Christer-André Cederberg.
The beautifully ethereal artwork was created by Korean new media artist Sang Jun Too and based around his ‘Distant Light’ Installation
The band released a statement on their new album:
“distant satellites is the culmination of everything Anathema been working up to so far in our musical path. It contains almost every conceivable element of the heartbeat of Anathema music that it is possible to have.
There is beauty, intensity, drama, quietude, and extra musical dimensions that the band have previously only hinted at. All built on the song writing chemistry of Daniel, John and Vincent ~ and the haunting voice of Lee Douglas.
Produced and mixed once again by our very own Christer-André Cederberg (Weather Systems, Universal) and with some songs also mixed by the unassailable Steven Wilson, It’s a special and unique release for the band.
ANATHEMA hopes the fans get as much joy from listening to and feeling the music as we did in creating it.”

3/16/14 11:30AM

I just saw this on the dreamtheaterforums, and while the band have not officially announced this, given this t-shirt is for sale and the wording "Distant Satellites" is printed on the front like some of the other Anathema shirts, it wouldn't be so surprising to have that be the title and the cover art be what is on the shirt as well.

So I'm going with this at least for now. Hopefully the band and KScope will post something soon with it and more details like a track list.

Here's a new interview with Vincent Cavanagh where he talks little bit about the timing/progress of Anathema's  new record, although this interview doesn't include a lot of specifics, but the fact they are mixing this album in Chicago and there's something interesting coming with it, a documentary, etc.

British eclectic rock band Anathema have been exploring a broad range of musical horizons over the nearly 25 years of their existence and have traveled a greatly diverse stylistic journey. While they’re not heavy on a sonically superficial level as they were in their early death/doom metal days, there’s still a large section of fans of rock and metal fans that can appreciate the band’s modern-day approach towards creating and portraying their art. After completing an overwhelmingly successful and long-awaited first ever tour of the United States last fall, they have returned to these shores for another run of dates, this time as main support to Finnish goth rockers HIM. The House Of Blues Sunset Strip in West Hollywood played host to the first show of this tour on Friday March 7th, and about 30 minutes before Anathema took the stage, I sat down with vocalist/guitarist Vincent Cavanagh to discuss the tour, mixing stages of the next album, and more. Enjoy the insightful conversation below, along with live photos from the LA show.

Vincent, you were here in Los Angeles on your first ever US tour a few months ago and today you’re starting another tour. How are you doing?

Feeling good. It’s been a really strange and bizarre day in a good way, I suppose. We’re right in the middle of making our album. We’re in the mixing stage right now and this morning we were given some news that I had to basically finish one of the tracks. That’s what I’ve been doing for the best part of today. In truth, we should really be in the studio right now. But we’ve decided to come on this tour for various reasons, number one I guess was the opportunity to go out with our friends, finally in the US. Ville has asked us to come out with them to the US three times now, so it was like, if we couldn’t do it this time it would almost be rude, you know. So we didn’t want to do that, plus the fact that we have faith in our producer to finish the mixes because he’s been there since the beginning. But at the moment, today basically I’ve been working all day on the mixes. I’ve been mixing tracks and getting them ready for the final push. I have some of the session on the laptop. So, the gig today is actually secondary for me. It’s actually the easy part of the day. But if I appear to be in a somewhat contemplative mood, it’s because I’m somewhere in the middle of the album, mixing down this song, and the gig itself is going to be bizarre for that very reason. But I think it’s good. It’s almost like a distraction from my day. I can get in there and just have fun for 45 minutes.

That’s an interesting situation to be in. The gig is something you don’t even have to think about. I guess it’s almost like muscle memory.

Muscle memory. Exactly, that’s what it is. I remember even when I was 17 years old and doing gigs, I was always happy to do it and I was never nervous. The trick is to not think about it too much and don’t expect anything either. For me, it’s just getting on and letting it happen right there, not thinking about it. Be in the moment as much as you can possibly be and try to enjoy it!

You did the headline tour recently and played at the El Rey with Alcest and Mamiffer. Did you even expect to be back so soon? 

I guess not! Had things just flowed normally into the next headline tour, I guess we would have been back in amount a year, so around early next year. But this opportunity came around. We have new management and he’s working us hard. I said to him, ‘Listen, we’re in the middle of mixing, so for me it’s a compromise to break up the mix and come on tour in the middle of it.’ But he told us that we had to do it, and I didn’t really listen to him. I still didn’t want to do it. But then I listened to the producer explain how it was going to be done. We actually got a studio booked in Chicago in a couple of days, so we do the first three gigs in Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Francisco and then Danny and I fly to Chicago where we’re going to work in a studio to finish mixing and we’ve got two more dates after that to do recalls. But it’s almost done as it is anyway, so we’re pretty confident it’s going to be absolutely right. If we weren’t confident enough I don’t think we would be here but at the moment if we can do both, it’s perfect for everybody, I suppose. And it’s cool to be out with our friends. We’ve known HIM for years, they’re really, really nice guys and they treat us really well. Their crew is fantastic and they have no ego about them whatsoever. They’re just a cool rock band who’s here for the right reasons.

So you were confident of being able to do both the touring and mixing at the same time.

Well exactly, yeah. Specially having the studio booked in Chicago is going to help a lot. It’s pretty cool the way it’s going at the moment. There are some very intense things happening behind the scenes. I can’t really talk too much about it because it will all be revealed in a interview/documentary kind of thing which will be coming out on the album and we’ll explain it all on that.

You’re a support act for HIM on this tour. Do you think their crowd is already familiar with Anathema in terms of the musical style and everything, or do you have to play a show that’s very different from your headline shows in its overall vibe?

I’m not sure what it’s like in America, but in the UK we’ve played with HIM a number of times and their crowd were great to us. I mean, after all we’re a bit of a rock band ourselves, you know. We’ve been known to experiment, of course, and we’ll continue to do so. But we’ve got some rock songs too. I just think if you’ve got good tunes, you sound good and you play well, you’re going to do OK. Doesn’t matter who you’re playing for. If we were playing in front of a Slipknot audience I’m not sure that would go down too well but with HIM it’s fine.

Obviously over the years you’ve traveled quite a journey of musical styles. Where do you see it going with the next album and what path do you see it taking, moving from ‘Weather Systems’ to the next step?

It’s a very difficult thing to put into words in terms of what your music actually is. It’s becoming more diverse, I guess. The way I see it is, our music has grown from a nucleus outwards and it’s continuing to expand. It’s like its own little universe in a way. It’s just expanding in all directions and I think that’s the way it’s going to be. There are lots of things we want to do in our music that we haven’t done yet, but when we write music we don’t really think about that. It’s just a case of it coming out of us in a certain way where we just don’t have to think about it too much and we just do it naturally. It always changes, so you can be the same writer and the same person but you could write two completely different things on the same day. It all depends on what happens. And then what you choose to do for the whole band and for the whole record, you just choose the best stuff you’ve got, really. You make the best possible of collection of songs that you can do, you call it an album, give it away and then it’s not yours anymore (laughs). It’s everybody else’s, and that’s fine because that’s a part of the process. But at the moment the next album is still ours and we’re holding on to it for dear life, clutching onto it like a newborn baby and being very, very careful with it. When it’s done, it’s easy. We never really stopped creating anyway. Even when we’re in the studio doing an album, we’re still writing stuff. It kind of never stops. So in answer to your question, we don’t know where it’s going. It just happens.

Is this musical progression a reflection of your own musical tastes?

I would say it’s a reflection of us as people. But definitely, our musical tastes are very, very diverse, far more diverse than the music we put out. I listen to plenty of stuff that I would never want Anathema to sound like (laughs), but I guess it’s a reflection of who you are as an individual, how you express yourself and how you grow with your music. Every time you’ve done something it really teaches you something about yourself and how you can do things. You learn all the time about your own music. We never want to repeat ourselves, ever. So that also forces the evolution because if we do a song and it sounds like something we’ve done before, we’ll scrap it. Or if we come up with a song that sounds like it could have been written five years ago, we don’t do it. Everything we do has got to be fresh, now and new.

Finally, aside from this tour and the finishing touches on the album, what plans do you have for the rest of the year?

After this tour I’m going to be home for a couple of months and I’m looking forward to a welcome break from everything. I’ll still be busy behind the scenes of course, with interviews and things like that, but as far as actual touring goes, it’s just a couple of gigs in the summer for European festivals and then we start major touring in the autumn in the UK, then we go to the rest of Europe. Then probably early next year we’ll be back in the US. In the meantime I’m looking forward to getting home, being in my new house with my girlfriend and my cat, my new studio which I just finished, writing some more music and doing something completely different to Anathema. I’m looking forward to having my life back for a little while. I have to take those moments whenever I can because I’m a very busy person and I don’t often get a chance to live my life. So I can’t wait to do that just for a little short time.

3/1/14 10:28AM

Vague/Brief Update:

Recently, Anathema's singer/multi-instrumentalist Daniel Cavanagh announced that the band has been working on its 10th studio album, and that it is scheduled for release in May of this year.

Cavanagh stated that he was influenced by Radiohead and Atoms for Peace, and that some tracks will have a slightly more electronic feel. He also talked about a possible short acapella song. He says the next album will follow the same path than the previous two, but he stated that, on those past releases, the band has played it a bit safe, and that Anathema plans to gradually shift away from that on the next few albums.


this may be from a mailing list or something, and not that I have anything against Sputnik music, but it's a bit lazy to not at least include an actual SOURCE or link.

However, other than the May part, pretty much the other details in this post were known, at least for those who checked out That Drummer Guy's interview with Danny last September. I guess the Radiohead/Atoms for Peace and electronic influence doesn't concern me given it's not actually Thom Yorke singing, but, obviously no guarantees.

But if this record is being released in May, I would think more details will be announced pretty soon.

12/6/13 3:50AM

This is just a brief heads up about their upcoming new album, which is supposed to be coming out in the Spring or maybe Summer of 2014.

Weather Systems and We're Because We're Here were both outstanding records, so naturally there's some reasonable hope for this next record as well.

Here's a few brief clips per their Facebook.

Post by ANATHEMA - official band page.

Post by ANATHEMA - official band page.

Antemasque: The Mars Volta reunion?

Cedric + Omar + Flea plus one of the many drummers TMV used after Thomas Pridgen left.  I'm still curious about Zavalaz, but who knows, this might be a good new direction for the 2 of them working together, although I thought Noctourniquet was quite good, so if this new music resembles that much, I'd probably dig it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Opeth - Pale Communion (2014)

June 17th, 1st single May 6th. Steven Wilson is mixing (and singing some harmonies).

edit: From Steven Wilson on FB

For the first part of the year I’ve been doing a lot of mixing work for other artists, something I always find very inspiring.

The new Opeth album Pale Communion was mixed into stereo and 5.1 at my studio in February. I also sang harmony vocals. It’s by no stretch of the imagination a metal record but it’s still plenty heavy and a great piece of work - for me the epic orchestrated ballad “Faith in Others” that closes the album is Mikael Åkerfeldt's finest achievement to date. Pale Communion is released by Roadrunner Records on 17th June. It’s also the first Opeth album to be recorded and mixed in higher resolution 96/24. I hope Roadrunner will release a high res format, but I don't know their plans on that.

At the start of the year I mixed the new solo album by my long term friend and collaborator Tim Bowness. Abandoned Dancehall Dreams mainly consists of songs Tim wrote with a no-man record in mind, and was recorded with members of the touring band, so the material definitely has that DNA. The album is released by Inside Out Music on 23rd June.

Other mixes I have done recently are 4 songs on the forthcoming ANATHEMA - official band page album Distant Satellites, released by Kscope on 9th June, and one song on John Wesley’s fantastic new album Disconnect, which was just released by InsideOut. 

From here on I'm focusing on writing more material for my next album, which I plan to record with my band in the Summer. More news soon…

Opeth has announced the release of their hugely anticipated eleventh studio album. Pale Communion arrives everywhere June 17.

Pale Communion, which was produced by bandleader Mikael Åkerfeldt and mixed by longtime collaborator and Porcupine Tree frontman/guitarist Steven Wilson, will be heralded by the lead single, “Cusp of Eternity,” and available for pre-order starting Tuesday, May 6. Pre-orders made via the iTunes Store will receive an instant download of “Cusp of Eternity,” with multiple configurations also available via both the Roadrunner Records Webstore and O Merch.

The new material finds Opeth once again challenging the boundaries of extreme music. In a recent interview with VICE’s Noisey, Åkerfeldt stated, “I wanted to do something more melodic with this album…there’s stronger vocal melodies and more melodies overall…I was pretty consistent with that frame of mind throughout the writing process.” Recently, Metal Injection’s Greg Kennelty broke down Pale Communion in a track-by-track review, exclaiming, “This record knows exactly what it's doing and nails it through and through…one of my favorite records of 2014. If not my favorite record of 2014.”

The track listing for Pale Communion is as follows:

1. Eternal Rains Will Come
2. Cusp of Eternity
3. Moon Above, Sun Below
4. Elysian Woes
5. Goblin
6. River
7. Voice of Treason
8. Faith in Others

Previously posted info about it

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fjokra - Infinite Loops (2014)

Great tune! Man the more I hear from this band, the more intrigued by them I get. I like the little plot in the video as well.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Nomia - Iron and Rust (2014)

This sort of came out of nowhere for me, as I have them *liked* on Facebook, and have been a fan of Nomia since 2006 I recall. Mainly knowing them fro their familiarity with the great Minnesota band Between Two Skies.

And I remember it was Halloween of 2008 they submitted per their Myspace page, a 3 track Demo/EP that was really good. Very riffy and dynamic, like a lot of Post-Rock I suppose. But it stood out a lot, so much so, I really was excited to hear more fro them.

And I know they've played plenty of gigs (many of which I knew about but couldn't make), and I recall a year or 2 ago I found something else from them online, but I think it may have been some older stuff (I'd have to look in my HD)

But this debut record of theirs is being released on July 15th, and 2 of the tracks are up already and available for download with a Preorder.

The people who dig heavy Post Rock will likely want to check this record out this Summer.

Iron and Rust cover art

1 Palisades
2 Ad Infinitum
3 Kingmaker
4 The Precipice
5 Fire is Born
6 A Windswept Tree
7 Iron and Rust

Minneapolis' NOMIA have been destroying the eardrums of audiences throughout the Midwest for the past 8 years with a vibrant blend of ambient guitars backed with an alternately restrained and crushing rhythm section. On their debut full length, Iron and Rust, NOMIA seamlessly merge achingly beautiful melodies reminiscent of post-rock giants Mogwai with the epic intensity of instrumental metal outfits such as Russian Circles. The result is an aesthetic all its own, straddling numerous genres while defying precise categorization. NOMIA’s ambitious debut, recorded and produced by Adam Tucker, manages to be simultaneously beautiful, powerful, and massively loud.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Timbre - Sun and Moon (2014)

4/5/14 8:30PM

not new, but this is amazing. The instrumental section around 3:40 is breathtaking. Can't wait to hear this record.

6/20/13 8:47AM
Today is my birthday, and wow, what a cool way to wake up and find out Timbre somehow raised nearly $5,000 in the last 24 hours to reach her goal!


I suspect the last few pledges may have been rather large, and to push her over the hump being just $5 past the $10K

Regardless, this is awesome to see and look forward to. Now I almost expect a masterpiece, which I'm sure Timbre is capable of, but with the needed amount of cash, this record can be made purely as she sees fit, and thus, that much greater.

6/8/13 11:39AM

Keep at it Timbre! $5800 left to go in the next 12 days. You Can Do It!.

Just to remind people who don't know Timbre, it's songs like this show how brilliant her music is.

5/7/13 5:55AM

the write-up below is from the Indiegogo Campaign. $10K in about a month-and-a-half. I think she can do it, but $10K is not nothing.

It sounds and I'm sure will be amazing. Double album at that. And it'll be coming in 2014 of course.

"St.Cecilia" sounds like it would be worth having this album for alone.

"Sun and Moon"

Art does not exist alone... art creates art.

This is the idea behind my newest project, "Sun and Moon". This double disc record explores the deep connection between classical music and modern songwriting. One disc, "Sun" will feature songs written with my band, songs about friendship, love, grief, nature, even a song based on a children's fairy tale (more on that later!). The other disc, "Moon", will feature a variety of classical music that I've written, from a harp and oboe duet, to a piece for full orchestra, choir, harp, and solo soprano (me!).

Both discs will feature many of the same musicians. Themes and ideas will pass back and forth between them, playing with ideas of dark and light, day and night. My desire is to show that classical music and "popular music" are deeply connected, as they have always been. Classical music and popular music each have their depth, their energies, their forms of communication, and together they can speak to us in even deeper and more beautiful ways.

I grew up in a completely classical world, listening to only classical and choral music until I was in my teens. I have sung classically from as early as I could stand up and make sounds, and have played harp classically for 20 years. I have been composing for a few years as well, and have had my pieces performed in cathedrals all over the world, including Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and St Peter's Basilica in Rome. I have also performed vocally with composer Eric Whitacre in Carnegie Hall for the premiere of his choral cycle, "The City and The Sea."

 Over the past 7 years, I have slowly found my way into a new world of popular music, writing songs  with my band and playing with a ridiculously diverse collection of bands, from people like mewithoutYou, the Chariot, Brooke Waggoner, to bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs and Jack White of the White Stripes. I have found a deep undercurrent of passion and art that connects these worlds, and I want to help my listeners plunge into the depth of those waters with me. 

I believe this album will introduce many listeners to classical music in a new way, in a way that can be attached to and felt. I also believe this album will take listeners into different depths of spiritual and emotional experience, as the different kinds of sounds take them to new places. I believe in this record, and I know I will be more proud of it than anything I have done yet! 

I also believe that the way we think about making music is changing. Music is not a commodity to be made and sold and consumed. Music is a form of deep expression, something that moves between souls, back and forth. I am so passionate about the idea of partnering with listeners. I am making this for you, to communicate with you, to share with you... and I cannot make it without you.


Our ideal budget for this album $20,000. That seems like such a big number, but recording an orchestra and choir(100 +people) is not something an independent artist often undertakes. We have set our minimum goal at $10,000, but to be able to go beyond just tracking and actually master, print, and promote this album, we need $20,000. We have already invested around $5,000 into it so far, and had to stop due to lack of funding. We will be starting back up in June if this fundraiser is successful!

Money will go towards:

-Tracking in Nashville and in Cincinatti

-Paying musicians (orchestra, choir, guest musicians)


-Engineering and mixing fees


-Printing (super expensive for a double disc)



The CRAZY thing with this whole project is that fact that I even have the opportunity to write for an orchestra and for a world-renowned a capella choir. I have a beautiful relationship with my alma-mater, Trevecca University, and their music department is working on this project with me. So few composers get the chance to even hear their music performed. This is a ridiculously rare opportunity and I am SO grateful! It should cost $50,000 or more to record 2 different orchestral pieces and two a capella choral pieces, in freaking CATHEDRAL. The fact that we are able to do this for only $20,000 is a little crazy. 


All perks include early download of album! 

In keeping with this idea that art creates art, we have partnered with friends from all over the U.S. to create unique pieces of art inspired by "Sun and Moon", which you can claim with a donation to our project! There will also be crochet art made by our cellist, Patrick Rush. We will be using crochet lace doily designs as apart of the album artwork, and those doilies are among the rewards!

Here are the art pieces we have available:

We also have lots of other goodies, including early downloads of the album, cover songs, house shows, even a piece of my harp. hahaha. but for real.

Just to be clear, we still have at least a year of work to do on this album, including a symphony premiere in november, which will be recorded for the album. All art rewards will be sent out once the fundraiser is over, but all music rewards will be dependent on the album release date. (approx July 2014)

If we don't reach our goal, we will keep working to put this album out ourselves! It might just take a while longer...

 More About The Album: 

"Sun and Moon" will explore many ideas of dark and light, of the mysteries of the unknown and the joy of exploring those places. 

Two snapshots of the album:

"Nycteris Sees the Sun" will be a song on the "Sun" album, and is inspired by a story written by George McDonald, "Day Boy and Night Girl- the Romance of Photogen and Nycteris" ( Photogen has lived entirely in light, and Nycteris has lived entirely in darkness, not knowing the other half of reality even exists. They meet, and must learn to see and love what they fear in the other. Nycteris, the girl, decides that the sun is more real than the moon, that she must KNOW this light, even if it destroys her.  My interpretation of her story expresses her decision to move from the dark of the cave that she knows into the pain and the glory of light. The music moves from a quiet, dark, contemplative sound then suddenly bursts into the frenzy of her joy and pain. Its one of my favourite songs I've ever written!! 

"St Cecilia: an Ode to Music" will be on the "Moon" album, and is written for full orchestra, choir, harp, and soprano solo. It was premiered in april 2012 and was the most incredible night of my life thus far. It explores the language of music, and again draws parallels between two worlds, this time between the natural and the spiritual. Here are my liner notes about the piece from that night:

 "St Cecilia" encompasses a series of concepts that are incredibly important to me as a composer and as an individual. It speaks of the transcendent nature, the spiritual language of music that reaches beyond what can be seen with our eyes or felt with our hands.

 “St Cecilia” also touches on a concept that has enraptured me: the unspeakable Name of God. In ancient Israel, "YHWH" represented the name of God that was beyond speaking, unknowable. Ephesians 3:19 says that we can "know this love that surpasses knowledge". That idea has always resonated with me, that we can know what is unknowable. We cannot fully quantify God, but we can know Him. We cannot fully define God, but we can experience Him. I think this is the unknowable knowing.

 I believe that if God exists, He is the ultimate form of all that is good. He is Love, He is Light, He is Joy. What I centered on for this piece is the idea that He is Beauty. All that is beautiful is a broken form of Him. And so, when we make something beautiful, we are pointing to and experiencing Him.

 These ideas came together for me in this... When we make music, music that is truly beautiful, we are speaking His Name. In song, we can speak the Unspeakable Name of God. We can participate in the mystery of His beauty, and actually hear Him sing back to us.

 St Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians. Christian legend says that as she was martyred, she sang praises to God. She died singing, and heard angels singing with her. I was struck with this, the closeness of the two worlds, joined by song. The piece begins with a plea for her to pray for us, with the hope that we too would experience God and touch heaven through music as she did.

 Other Ways You Can Help

Please use the share tools to pass this around to your friends! Together, we can make something completely new!

3/15/13 11:00PM

1 of the new songs "Chicago Pier," which sounds outstanding.

Timbre - Chicago Pier - Whalehead Sessions from Love Greatly on Vimeo.

11/9/12 2:09PM

I am excited to announce that WE GO INTO THE STUDIO TOMORROW!!!! We're driving to Cincinatti tonight and in the morning, Mason will start putting down our sweet beats!! Haha ;) Thus begins our new album "Sun and Moon" !!!!!!! #timbresunandmoon

 Pretty excited to hear this. 2010's Little Flowers is breathtaking at times, and having seen her twice this past year in my home state, including just over a month ago where she played 1 of the new pieces, my optimism about this record couldn't be higher.

The only thing is, she mentioned to myself and my friend John who was there as well, she has enough music for a double album, but she also didn't really know for sure when it would be coming out. Perhaps due to the fact she may want to release a double album, it may take all of next year to finish, thus perhaps a 2014 release.

But regardless, it's great news she is finally going into the studio to record it.
She is rather active on social media, so I imagine updates will be happening and bumps of this entry in the coming week/months when more info is certain. 

Very cool that both her and Brooke Waggoner have albums coming soon, for my and others female orchestral-oriented pop/rock/etc music fix. 

Opeth: A Biography coming

I am interested in this, certainly. A lot of members in and out, stylistic changes and their influence on Metal, Death Metal, Progressive Metal and swedish music, etc.

To celebrate 25 years of making glorious music, Mikael and the band have teamed up with Rocket 88 to create the first official Opeth book.For the first time the whole band have told their story – and they’ve included the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of life in Opeth – in their own words. There are also contributions from former members, label bosses, management, producers and the people who’ve been there with Opeth during their amazing career.Opeth’s long and winding story is illustrated throughout with rare and previously unseen images of life on the road, on stage, in the studio and hanging out at various locations around the world. You couldn’t get closer to Opeth than in the pages of this book.

The Antlers - Familiars (2014)

I'm just passing this along, but not with huge hopes or anything about it. The new song, while it isn't bad, doesn't necessarily have my interest in this band what it was when I loved Hospice a few years ago.

I suppose I give them the 1-album stumble rule, but I consider the likes of St.Vincent, Russian Circles and many others, and I'm still way more skeptical than hoping they will capture my passion for their music again, as not only was Burst Apart pretty forgettable, but the EP they released in 2012 I think I dismissed even sooner.

But, that being said, I know there are folks who enjoy them and will want to know about this new record of theirs. Hopefully they bring back the extreme falsettos and the textures (they did use trumpet I noticed on the single below), less of the slowcore elements.
We're beyond thrilled to tell you that our new album, Familiars, will be released on June 16th in UK via Transgressive Records and June 17th in US via ANTI-. 
Here's the first track, "Palace", with a film by Hana Tajima.

With love,
Peter, Michael, & Darby

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Three: 2014 Singles on the 3rd of each month (1st being "Sugarlife" 4/3/14)

4/2/14 11:04PM

good tune, not incredibly different for Three, but it's catchy and energetic. I am curious if any of these singles will feature any string arrangements as in chatting with Joey last year and in the past, he loves the string arrangements from Kiss Kiss (and Vuvuzela), and he mentioned how he'd like to work with Josh Benash from those bands at some point.

But that being said, this is a nice new track that should tide us fans over until May 3rd.

3/16/14 8:41PM



There's even a Facebook event setup for this. But as that says, April 3rd "Sugarlife" drops and every month, at least the goal is to release a new song, on the 3rd day of said month.

Rather unique way to go about releasing new music, a little like Imogen Heap has done over the last 3 or 4 years.

This should be pretty sweet.

Also it might be worth adding, they added a cool new t-shirt to their online store
which probably will help produce the release of their next record, and even the cost of even recording and mixing/mastering these new singles, which I'd imagine will be released digitally at 1st.