Author Archive: EKK

Exploring the Ambient,New Age, Prog of Netherlands’ Forest Field- Onwards and Upwards!

On Tuesday of this week the soundtrack for my run was Forest Field’s second release Onwards and Onwards and UpwardsUpwards. According to their website……

  • Forest Field is not a band
  • Forest Field is a project
  • Forest Field is lead by Chinawhite guitarist Peter Cox
  • Expect some guests announcements soon…
  • The music is a combination of ambient, new age, progressive rock
  • with vintage sounds like mellotron, piano and organ
  • but also electric and acoustic guitars
  • and bass and drums where the song needs it

The project is the child of Chinawhite guitarist Peter Cox of the Netherlands. Onwards and Upwards is a combination of instrumental tracks (odd-numbered) and vocal tracks (the even-numbered ones). Central theme is “it´s not the falling down, it´s the getting up again” (from Stronger)..All of the instruments are played by Cox with the exception of the Native American flute on the song “Hope”. The flute is played by Sue Straw. The vocals are ably provided by Phil Vincent. I knda’ like the instrumental tracks more than the vocal ones, but I really do like Vincent’s vocals, so I guess it’s really a toss-up. Cox is more than able on all the instruments, but I do think that he is at his best when his guitar is soaring through a track!!

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Exploring the Prog/Post-Rock Music of Tampa’s Tides of Man – Young and Courageous

So far this week  I have run two days, first on Sunday and then again yesterday. Young and CourageousSunday’s run was a struggle, and yesterday’s while only slightly faster was a bit easier! The soundtracks for each run was a progressive rock band. On Sunday  I listened to Tides of Man and their release Young and Courageous and yesterday, the soundtrack was Forest Field and their current release Onwards and Upwards.

Tides of Man is currently an instrumental prog/post-rock band, I say currently because Young and Courageous is an instrumental album but earlier albums had vocals. The vocalist Tilian Pearson left the band in 2010 after the release of the band’s second album Dreamhouse. Since then they have auditioned singers but have yet to find a replacement, hence the release of an instrumental album! The band says that they are in the midst of an identity crisis!

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New Progressive Metal from the US’s Oceans of Night – Midnight Rising!

The latest album from the band Oceans of Night, Midnight Rising, has been in my listening rotation for a few weeks now,  Midnight Risingit’s even been a soundtrack for one of my runs, and it is becoming one of my favorite prog albums! Oceans of Night is according to the band’s website…..

….  a modern rock band – equal parts progressive rock and modern heavy metal, wrapped around powerful vocal melodies and evocative guitar work served with a distinct ambient flavor. Conjuring epic and dynamic music with an cinematic twist, each Oceans of Night release is a dramatic musical experience that demands your undivided attention. With 3 CD’s currently in circulation (and 4 other CDs released eponymously under Scott Mosher) Oceans of Night are forging a brave new path in the world of progressive metal music.

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Exploring the Symphonic Prog of Germany’s Traumhaus – Ausgeliefert and Das Geheimnis!

AusgeliefertSo one of the things that I really like about Prog Rock is that the genre is global in nature, and the bands can virtually come from anywhere in the world!! Typically, most of the vocals are in English making it harder to pinpoint the homeland of the band. That is not a problem with Traumhaus, whose vocals are in their native language – German!! I discovered the band on progstreaming, where I saw their latest release Das Geheimnis (The Secret) I listened for a bit and then went to Spotify to find the album so that I could download it, to listen to it more fully. The album was not a Spotify, I did find though a just released album Ausgeleiffert. The album is a re-release of the band’s self-titled first album, which was released in 2001. The re-re-release includes some new cover art work and two bonus tracks “Die Reise” (The Journey) and Die Andere Seite (The Other Side).

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Exploring the Crossover Prog Rock of Finland’s The Chant – New Haven!

new havenThe album that was the soundtrack for my run on Thursday was New Haven, the latest release from the Finnish crossover prog. band The Chant. The album has been in my rotation for about a week now and it’s one of those albums, that get better with each repeated listen!

The Chant has been around since 1999. First, there were three Jussi Hämäläinen(guitar/vocals), Mari Jämbäck (keyboards) and Ilpo Paasela (vocals), then four when  Kimmo Tukiainen(guitar) joined the group. The final count which has been fairly stable over the life of the band was six, after Markus Forsström (bass) and Roope Sivén(drums) came on board.

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Exploring the Symphonic Progressive Rock of Netherland’s – Minor Giant – On the Road

Minor Giant albumOne of the albums that has been in my listening rotation for a while now is the debut album of a symphonic rock/progressive rock band from the Netherlands Minor Giant, and with each listen I like the album more and more.

The first seeds of the band were sown in 2010 when at 16 years old the founder of the band Rindert Lammers composed and recorded several instrumental symphonic progressive rock tracks. Then in 2011 Rindert posted an instrumntal demo to Soundcloud, soon thereafter vocals from Christiaan Bruin (Sky Architect, Chris) were added to the track. The second seeds were sown when Rindert sent out a call for musicians to join him to record an album! The first musician to respond was drummer Roy Post, who became a co-leader of the band. Post handled the organization and communication end of the band’s business allowing Lammers to focus creating the music! Finally the seeds germinated when bass player Harry den Hartog (ex-PBII), guitar player/vocalist Jordi Repkes and keyboard player Jos Heijmans joined the duo of Lammers and Post. After meeting on the studio and working on two tracks, the band the group clicked and Minor Giant was formed!!

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Exploring the Dynamic Jazz Piano of Hiromi Uehara – Alive!!

Hiromi's Alive

Originally posted at Let’s Explore Jazz

So while I did really enjoy all of the albums on the Jazz playlist that I created yesterday. There was one album though, that caught my attention very quickly and  that was Alive by Hiromi! The album was released on June 17th on the Telarc label and currently the album is No, 37 on the JazzWeek Chart and No 11 on the Billboard Jazz Chart. Alive is Hiromi’s ninth studio release and her third release as Hiromi’s  Trio Project.  The current trio features: Simon Phillips on drums and Anthony Jackson on bass. Her first four releases were as Hiromi, For the next two releases guitarist David Fiuczynski  joined the group and the band became Hiromi’s Sonicboom.  As a composer Hiromi blends a variety of musical genres like post-bop, progressive rock, classical, and jazz fusion,  into her compositions. Wait prog rock? Does she have a page at ProgArchives….Yes, she does, she is included in the Jazz/Rock Fusion sub-genre. From her biography at ProgArchives….

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Exploring Neo Prog from the United States’ Roy Strattman – The Lie of the Beholder!

Lie of the BeholderThis morning I took a moment and gave a quick listen to a few of the albums now on progstreaming, I picked two, found the albums on Spotify, put them on the iPhone and listened today. The two albums were from Roy Strattman: The Lie of the Beholder and Mike Kershaw’s Ice Age. Of the two I listened to more of Strattman than Kershaw, so I guess I’ll begin there.

The Lie of the Beholder is the first album produced by Roy Strattman under his own name, prior to this release Strattman has been, since 2002, the sole guitarist and joint composer for the band Little Atlas.Little Atlas has released five albums the last being 2013’s Automatic Day. The last four albums have fairly high ratings at the ProgArchives.

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Exploring the Music of Spain’s Kant, Freud, Kafka – No Tengas Miedo – Symphonic or Not!

KantFreudKafkaAfter my run last night, I was pretty much physically drained, I took a shower, ate and then wrote a post at Me, Myself, Music and Mysteries. After that, I was going to write about my run and its soundtrack, which was the new album from The Royal Southern Brotherhood. While I was getting ready to write that post, I went to look up something about a prog band that I listened to earlier in the day Rite of Passage. wasn’t having much luck finding information, so I went to progstreaming, where I first saw their album. While I was browsing for the Rite of Passage album, I noticed another album No Tengas Miedo from Kant Freud Kafka. I went to Spotify found the album and gave it a listen and really liked the music. I set out to find more out about the band, off to ProgArchives. I ended up at the ProgArchives forum where there was a discussion among the leaders of the various sub-genre groups, whether or not, the band belonged in the Symphonic sub-genre. As I was listening, I was agreeing that the band was not symphonic, but more fusion/jazz oriented, but definitely prog and definitely good! Here is what I learned at New Prog Rock Releases…..

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2014 Progressive Metal from Iran – Whispers in Crimson – Suicide in B Minor!

Suicide in B MinorThis morning I was reviewing the new progressive rock albums that have been released in June. Among the releases was Suicide in B Minor by Whispers in Crimson which was released on June 24th. What made the album particularly interesting to me was,  the band hails from Tehran in Iran. I knew that progressive metal had a strong following in the Middle East, but I also thought that it was difficult to produce metal music in Iran, which is actually pretty much the case according to the founder of Whispers in Crimson  Amirali Nourbakhsh,  who in the band’s biography at their bandcamp site says:

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