Albums / Year

Albums 2019

Artist : Nth Ascension

Album : Stranger Than Fiction

Release Date : 31-05-2019

Added : 24-08-2019

After 'In Fine Initium' in 2016 (see here) which allowed me to discover 'Nth Ascension', 2019 sees the release of a new album, 'Stranger Than Fiction' who is the 4th of the English. In the continuity of 'In Fine Initium', we find the neo progressive style that we knew with always the same influences, 'Arena', 'Marillion' or 'Saga'. 'The Opening' opens the opus in an airy atmosphere with a first half where the keyboards of 'Darrel Treece-Birch' (see his album here) occupy all the space and then a second half where the guitar of 'Martin Walker' come on stage and continues in this psychedelic atmosphere. With the next two tracks, the progressive side is less present, with 'True Identity' first, which offers us a rather classic energetic rock and then with 'Fire in the Sky' where we feel influences from 'Marillion'. The neo-progressive aspect returns with 'Reconciled' which with more than 10 minutes has breaks of tempos and intensity and which has a final with a memorable melody where the singing of 'Michael Alan Taylor' is close to that of 'Paul Manzi' from 'Arena' (see their latest album here). The following 3 tracks are the continuation of the 'Clanan' story imagined by 'Darrel Treece-Birch' in the 2014 'Ascension of Kings' and for the occasion, we are entitled to 24 minutes of pure bliss with first, 'The Gathering', which unfolds its slow and powerful melody and which can make think of the atmosphere of 'Sorrow' of the 'Floyds', then 'Journey's End' embarks us in a progressive piece of more than 15 minutes which will certainly fill all lovers of long progressive developments, and finally, the very short and acoustic 'Lament' where 'Martin Walker' shows all his talent as a guitarist. And it is after more than 50 minutes of listening that the centerpiece of the album 'Sound to Light' of nearly 20 minutes is offered to us with once again all the ingredients of a progressive rich and inventive. In short, the English of 'Nth Ascension' confirm with talent that they have their place in the best neo-progressive formations and, 'Stranger Than Fiction' will, without a doubt, be welcomed by all progressive fans who like tame the albums little by little...

Line Up / Musicians

Michael Alan Taylor (Vocal), Darrel Treece-Birch (Keybords), Martin Walker (Guitar), Craig Walker (Drums), Gavin Walker (Bass)

Artist : Zonder Wehrkamp

Album : If It’s Real

Release Date : 24-05-2019

Added : 22-08-2019

When 'Gary Werkhamp' (member of 'Shadow Gallery' - see here)) and 'Mark Zonder' (former member of 'Fates Warning' – see here -and who participated in multiple projects) released together a studio album, we say that the result should be a progressive metal close to bands like 'Threshold' (see their latest album here) or ‘Dream Theater (see their latest album here). But 'If It's Real' is far away from this style and the 10 tracks it contains are more reminiscent of pop / rock artists of the 80s and we are more between 'Toto' and 'Elton John' than close to bands cited above. Indeed, from the first title, 'I Can not Believe', the chorus takes us a few decades back with 'Alan Parsons Project', then 'If It's Real' and I'd Do Anything', with their slow tempo, continue in this style with 'Gilmourian' guitar tones. With 'Last Place', we are close to the style of ‘Elton John’ and 'Two Years' which follows is certainly the most rock composition of the album. The sequel is like the begining of the album with melodic titles that catch at the first listening like 'Too Late' and 'It's Not the End' which brings us again to 'Elton John' (listen to the chorus that takes some bars of 'Rocket Man'). In summary, 'Gary Werkhamp' and 'Mark Zonder' surprise us with beautiful melodic compositions and very accessible and 'If It's Real' is intended for a general public loving the pop/rock style of the 80s...

Line Up / Musicians

Gary Wehrkamp (Vocal, Guitar, Bass, Keybords), Mark Zonder (Drums)

Artist : Crazy Lixx

Album : Forever Wild

Release Date : 17-05-2019

Added : 18-08-2019

After a very good 'Ruff Justice' in 2017 (see here), the Swedes of 'Crazy Lixx' continue their way with a new album 'Forever Wild' which is already their 6th studio recording. Not surprisingly, they have concocted 10 pure jewels of good melodic hard-rock where we can not help but draw parallels with a certain 'Def Leppard' as in 'Silent Thunder' or 'Ticked' or in 'Terminal Velocity' thanks to choirs very close to those of the British. In the middle of all these energetic titles, some breaks are welcome with the mid-tempo 'Eagle' or the walk 'Love Do not Live Here Anymore' which could be envious in the formations known in this style. In short, as you have understood, if you are a fan of hard-rock 80s, this 'Forever Wild' is for you...

Line Up / Musicians

Danny Rexon (Vocal), Chrisse Olsson (Guitar), Jens Lundgren (Guitar), Joél Cirera (Drums), Jens Sjöholm (Bass)

Artist : Galaad

Album : Frat3R

Release Date : 15-05-2019

Added : 14-08-2019

Already nearly 25 years since the Swiss of the progressive rock band 'Galaad' had not released an album and fans of the 90s are now happy with this unexpected new album 'Frat3R'. We find again this particular atmosphere of a French progressive perpetrated since the 70s by 'Ange' (see their latest album 'Heureux' here) with this subtle mix between the strength of the lyrics of 'Pierre-Yves Theurillat' and the powerful rock melodies that hang immediately and where guitars and keyboards offer us majestic instrumental sections. From the beginning, with 'La machine', all the ingredients are there to embark on a small cloud between tension and relaxation with a first fusion between the guitar of 'Sébastien Froidevaux' and the singing of 'PYT'. After the short instrumental 'Moloch' which highlights the keyboards of 'Gianni Giardello', 'Kim' brings us back to a melody close to 'Decamps' ones, with the voice of 'PYT' which gets closer to that of the ‘Franc-Comtois’. With 'Stone', we hold the major title of the album which with its 9 minutes unfolds in a fabulous crescendo its slow melody. The following scrolls the energetic 'Justice' then the rhythm 'Thank you (puR)', 'Encore' and its first part powerful and fast serving as very good support for a new sharp criticism of our society, the album ending by 'Frater' with his last strong message. In summary, he Swiss of 'Galaad' come back beautifully more than 20 years after 'Vae Victis' on the front of the stage and 'Frat3R' should, beyond the historical fans, reach a public loving progressive rock Francophone...

Line Up / Musicians

Pierre-Yves "PyT" Theurillat (Vocal), Sébastien Froidevaux (Guitar), Gianni Giardiello (Keybords), Laurent Petermann (Drums), Gérard Zuber (Bass)

Artist : Huis

Album : Abandoned

Release Date : 07-05-2019

Added : 16-08-2019

I discovered 'Huis' with the album 'Neither in Heaven' released in 2016 (see here) and 2019 sees the release of a new studio album 'Abandoned'. So we find again the two fellow Quebecers, 'Michel Joncas', at the origin of the group and 'Michel Saint-Père' also a member of the group 'Mystery' (see here) with 9 titles in the continuity of the previous album, that is to say a melodic and refined progressive rock which oscillates between aerial and energetic atmospheres with lengths of compositions often around 10 minutes and beyond. The title track of the album starts beautifully with a melodic crescendo that sounds like 'Arena' (see here), then 'The Giant Awakens' speeds up the tempo with keyboards close to 'Supertramp' and, with 'Caducee' we hold the first long song that unfolds a catchy melody and then continues on a quieter second part. The next title 'Stolen' of almost 12 minutes takes us on a typical composition of an inventive progressive with all the ingredients that any fan of this style looks for, alternations between energetic and quieter parts and real instrumental sections. he following continues in this way with first the short instrumental 'Solilude', very 'Floydian', then, 'Chasing Morning Glory' embarks us for a saga interspersed with two faster parts with a grandiose finale, the instrumental ' Haunting Days' with an introduction to the 'Saga' precedes an epic part with a magnificent fusion of keyboards and guitar and a great final in the form of a decrescendo on the piano with some vocalizations. The album ends with, first of all, the beautiful walk 'We Are Not Alone' with its melody which remains engraved in our head, then 'Oude Kerk III' which one last time, shows us all the talent of this group for progressive long titles. In summary, with this latest album, the Quebecois 'Huis' confirm that they have become a key group of the international progressive scene and 'Abandoned' should be high in the list of the best progressive rock albums of the 2019 year...

Line Up / Musicians

Michel Joncas (Bass, Taurus Bass Pedal), Michel St-père (Guitar), Johnny Maz (Keybords), Sylvain Descôteaux (Vocal, Keybords), William Régnier (Drums) + invités : Éloïse Joncas (Vocal), Gabby Vessoni (Vocal), Jean Pageau (Flute), Serge Locat (Piano)

Artist : Misth

Album : Fallen from Grace

Release Date : 04-05-2019

Added : 27-06-2019

'Misth' is a Swedish progressive rock/metal band that released their first album ’Rise of a New Day’ in 2013 (see here) and 'Fallen from Grace' composed of 2 CDs is their last studio recording. Led by their singer 'Maria Rådsten' who has a real talent to adapt to each composition with a powerful voice that she can modulate to convey emotion when necessary (she was in the 90s one of singers of the Swedish pop band 'One More Time'), They propose us with this opus nearly 1h30 of an accessible progressive with influences as well in metal as in rock. 'The Impossible Dream' begins the album and sums up the style of this formation: first of all, the progressive aspect is brought by different parts which interlock, then the breaks of rhythm are frequent and we go from a sequence energetic with powerful guitar riffs to a definitely quieter chorus with a memorable melody; on the other hand, the sung parts give way to real instrumental parts where guitar and keyboards are put forward. The compositions alternate power with for example 'Moving On' which transports us between East and West or 'Fools of Innocence' and its saturated riffs of guitar, and calmer atmospheres like the mid-tempo 'Silent Night' and its magnificent crescendo where Maria shows the full extent of her vocal palette or 'Future Calling' which is reminiscent of some compositions of 'Karnataka' (see here) or 'Leave Me Alone' 'and its effective melodic lines. But overall, the progressive side is often put forward with longer titles like 'Masquerade' of nearly 12 minutes that embeds us in different moods between power and serenity but also with 'Will not Let You Down' and its refrain who immediately hooks you and his guitar solo 'Gilmourien' or 'Wishing You Well' which closes the album and mixes beautifully different styles and makes us travel between swing, rock and hard-rock. In summary, the Swedes of 'Misth' release a double album of quality between rock and progressive metal with accessible melodic lines, a singer always at the top and a very neat production...

Line Up / Musicians

Maria Rådsten (Vocal), Jörgen Schelander (Keybords), Martin Larsson (Drums), Håkan Granat (Guitar), Olle Bodén (Bass), Fredrik Glimbrand (Guitar)

Artist : Myrath

Album : Shehili

Release Date : 03-05-2019

Added : 23-06-2019

In 2016, 'Lagacy' was for me a good surprise (see the column here) and 2019 sees the Tunisians of 'Myrath' who evolve with among others 'Orphaned Land' (see their latest album here) in an oriental metal style, release a new studio album, 'Shehili'. After a first listen, this last opus continues in the way that they had begun to trace with 'Legacy', an accessible melodico-symphonic metal, effective and catchy with certainly a mixture even better dosed between East and West and which brings even more this festive side that gives you an irresistible desire to move in the rhythm of the music especially as the rhythm section provided by Morgan Berthet is always very appropriate. In addition, 'Shehili' incorporates arrangements of great richness at the instrumental and vocal level and we can note the participation of the Tunisian National Orchestra which allows to further flesh out the compositions. After the short introduction 'Asl' that embarkes us in their oriental universe, these are 5 titles all as catchy as the others that parade with refrains that immediately enter in your head : impossible not to stomp or move the head to the rhythm of music listening to titles like 'Born to Survive', 'Dance' or 'Wicked Dice'. The first rhythmic break comes with the very endearing mid-tempo 'Lili Twil' which is a cover from the Moroccan group, 'Megri Brothers' and the good idea was to keep the lyrics in Arabic for the verses and to translate the chorus into English which will undoubtedly allow to involve a wider public during the concerts. After a 'Holding Back' that embarks us for a remarkable mix between East and West, the second break is brought by the magnificent power ballad 'Stardust' filled with emotion, then, 'Mersal' is a unique but formidable meeting between the metal of 'Myrath' and the tradition of Arabic music brought by the emblematic singer 'Lotfi Bouchnak' and without transition, with 'Darkness Arise', we return to a more hard-rock title with influences of the 70s and the album ends with the eponymous title of the album 'Shehili' which takes us one last time in this oriental universe with yet another memorable refrain. In summary, with this latest album, the Tunisians of 'Myrath' show that they have made further progress and that they have become an unavoidable group of an accessible melodic metal mixing East and West and this 'Shehili', although means the warm wind coming from the desert, should breathe a fresh and festive air all over the planet of metal and is to consume without moderation...

Line Up / Musicians

Zaher Zorgati (Vocal), Malek Ben Arbia (Guitar), Anis Jouini (Bass), Elyes Bouchoucha (Keybords), Morgan Berthet (Drums) + Invités : Pierre Danel (Guitar), Samir Sghaier (Chœurs), Mohammed Lassoued (Chœurs), Skander Ben Abid (Clarinette), Kevin Codfert (Piano, Guitar), Bechir Gharbi, Hamza Obda, Mohamed Gharbi, Riadh Ben Amor (Violins), Orchestre National Tunisien

Artist : Lonely Robot

Album : Under Stars

Release Date : 26-04-2019

Added : 12-06-2019

Between all his projects and his participation as a guest on various albums of progressive rock formations (search 'John Mitchell' in myprogmusic), 'John Mitchell' is busy and 2019 sees the release of the last part of the trilogy of the adventures of the space man, 'Under Stars' whose first 2 episodes were from 2015 ('Please Come Home' - see here ) and 2017 ('The Big Dream' - see the review here). We find again the style of the previous opus, starting with the instrumental 'Terminal Earth' which sets the scene quietly in an atmospheric way, then, 'Ancient Ascendant' is typical of a refined progressive that alternates serenity and power a little in style Arena '. With 'Icarus', we are close to the Germans of 'RPWL' with a memorable chorus (see their latest album here ), and then, the eponymous song of the album makes me think to the atmospheres of 'Phil Collins' in his solo albums of the 80s and John gratifies us in this title of a great guitar solo. Follows 'Authorship Of Our Lives' which continues in this delicate style with reverberations in the vocals that accentuate the atmospheric side as 'The Signal' with keyboards that make the cosmic aspect very well. As for 'The Only Time I Do not Belong Is Now', we return to a quiet atmosphere close to 'RPWL' with keyboards very present and the following titles continue in this direction with the melodic 'How Bright Is the Sun? 'which is very close to' Reach for the Sun 'from the album' The Rpwl Experience 'of the Germans (see here), the album ending with the short instrumental 'Inside the Machine' with again a very 'Floydian' solo then 'An Ending' which closes the trilogy with a purified and melancholic title. In summary, with this latest album from 'Lonely Robot', 'John Mitchell' continues to offer us an accessible, refined and melodic progressive, and like the first two parts of this trilogy, 'Under Stars' should fill all fans of progressive and beyond, is likely to reach a wider audience...

Line Up / Musicians

John Mitchell (Vocal, Guitar, Bass, Keybords), Craig Blundell (Drums), Nick Beggs (Bass), Liam Holmes (Keybords)

Artist : Hardline

Album : Life

Release Date : 26-04-2019

Added : 13-06-2019

After 'Human Nature' in 2016 (see here), the Italo-Americans of 'Hardline' come back with a new album simply called 'Life' and confirms that they are a major formation of melodic hard-rock. The trio 'Alessandro Del Vecchio', 'Johnny Gioeli' and 'Anna Portalupi' are still there but they welcome a new guitarist 'Mario Percudani' who is often remarked in many ways in many titles and a new drummer 'Marco Di Salvia which ensures a rhythm section always very effective. The opus consists of 12 tracks with from one side good melodic hard-rock that immediately enters into your head: impossible to stay marble listening to 'Take a Chance', 'Helio's Sun', 'Hold on to Right ',' Story of My Life 'or' Chamaleon '. And then, they also have the talent to give us beautiful, quieter titles like the power ballad 'Page of Your Life' which must certainly remind some of those of 'Scorpions' or the other ballad 'My Love' where the singing of 'Johnny Gioeli' fills the whole space. We can also note, on the one hand, the cover of 'Who Wants to Live Forever' of 'Queen' in which 'Johnny Gioeli' does not try to copy 'Freddy Mercury' but appropriates it himself totally while keeping the force emotional of the original, and secondly, the last title 'My Friend' which embarks us one last time but this time in an acoustic atmosphere full of sensitivity. In summary, between energy and emotion, there is nothing to throw in this last album of 'Hardline' and 'Life' is advisable to all fans of an accessible melodic hard rock and is to consume without moderation...

Line Up / Musicians

Johnny Gioeli (Vocal), Alessandro Del Vecchio (Keybords, Choirs), Mario Percudani (Guitar), Anna Portalupi (Bass), Marco Di Salvia (Drums)

Artist : Leverage

Album : Determinus

Release Date : 26-04-2019

Added : 15-06-2019

'Leverage' is a Finnish band that mixes different genres between hard rock and metal and had a first career in the early 2000s to 2009 with 3 albums (2 are available in Spotify - see here and here), which reappears after ten years with a new album 'Determinus', a new singer 'Kimmo Blom' and a new guitarist 'Mikko Salovaara', both having taken the crucial role within the formation. At the first listening of this last opus, many names of formations of rock or hard-rock of the last forty years came to my mind because the whole is varied and makes us travel in a patchwork of influences: 'Burn Love Burn' starts the album with an energetic and melodic title that has several parts with several changes of tempo and melodic lines which brings a progressive side to the title, then, with 'Wind of Morrigan' we embark for a catchy composition that mixes Celtic influences and rock close to 'Kansas'. Follow 'Tiger', heavier but still catchy and melodic reminiscent of the style of 'Survivor' in the 80s, then the ballad 'Red Moon over Sonora' allows a break that brings us back to the intonations of 'Kansas'. As for the epic and theatrical 'Mephistocrates', it offers us an instrumental section worthy of the name with a masterful guitar solo and 'Afterworld's Disciple' returns to the style of 'Tiger' and the power ballad 'When We Were Young' (and yes for the over 50 !), brings us back to the 80s and recalls the best compositions that slowly caused the arms to move in the air from one side to another, of an entire audience. The sequel offers the powerful 'Heaven's No Place For Us' and its little mid-title acoustic pause that precedes a magnificent 'Blackmorian' guitar solo, the catchy 'Hand of God' whose instrumental part alternates beautifully with acoustic guitar and electric, then the album ends with 'Rollerball' looking like 'Deep Purple' and, 'Troy', which one last time, embarks us into a memorable melody. In summary, the Finns of 'Leverage' return to the front of the hard-rock scene by offering us an excellent album at once varied, accessible and especially very melodic and 'Determinus' should appeal to a large public who sails between rock and hard-rock whether they be FM, symphonic or melodic...

Line Up / Musicians

Kimmo Blom (Vocal), Tuomas Heikkinen (Guitar), Mikko Salovaara (Guitar), Sami Norrbacka (Bass), Marko Niskala (Keybords), Valtteri Revonkorpi (Drums)

Artist : Qantice

Album : The Anastoria

Release Date : 26-04-2019

Added : 17-06-2019

Five long years that fans of the 'Qantice' French band were waiting for a new record and it is done with 'The Anostoria' released at the end of April. And it was worth the wait because this last album is once again a total success; we already knew their universe well thanks to the first two opus (listen on Spotify The Cosmocinesy and The Phantonauts) and on this side we are not surprised that they are transporting us back to a futuristic world. On the musical side, they are unclassifiable and we could invent a new term, like power metal cinémato-symphonico-theatrical-classico ... (and so on) because, for the life of me, I do not see other formations that look like them. In 'The Anostaria', each composition has an originality that makes it unique and has a high instrumental and vocal richness while remaining very accessible. After the very cinematic introduction 'Gone Astray' led by classical instruments on which is added few notes of electric guitar, 'Once Upon A Sun' is an energetic and fast title which puts us directly in the bath with a first memorable chorus, then 'Without a Hero' continues in this all traced way with beautiful vocal harmonies and alternation between fast parts and other quieter. With 'Petrified Manor' and its slower tempo, the mix of guitar riffs and strings works wonders and 'Rivers Can not Fly' leaves again for a new and joyful title where 'Alexandra Laya' gives us 'a masterful accompaniment to the violin. A break is brought by 'Cosmic Sway' which is much softer and in which the flute brings an air side then 'Little Knight's Oath' mix metal, folk and fantasy film music and 'Fractal Universe' embarks us for a new melody where the Italian tenor 'Riccardo Cecci' forms a beautiful duet with 'David Åkesson'. With 'Krooner' and 'Mad Clowns', these are two catchy titles that make us travel in a swing atmosphere for the first and a mix between musical comedy and circus for the second and 'Timeline Tragedy', of over 9 minutes and built in several parts, is a bit of a summary of all these atmospheres that 'Qantice' mix for the best for this result so original and it is with the epic instrumental 'Farewell at the Edge of the World' that the album ends . In summary, this third album of the French 'Qantice' is a very good surprise 2019 and confirms that they are a group apart within the metal sphere and that they bring each time this unique style made of a patchwork of different genres, but the other side of the coin, is that they risk to be restricted at an informed public and that’s a shame...

Line Up / Musicians

David Åkesson (Vocal, Choirs, Trompette), Tony Beaufils (Guitar, Banjo, Bouzouki, Keybords), Alexandra Laya (Violin), Christine Lanusse (Bass), Aurélien Joucla (Drums) + invités : Riccardo Cecchi (Vocal), Dimitri Halby (Flute), John Lang (Bagpipe), Justine Descamps (Hautbois), Arnaud Condé (Flute, Basson), Kevin Codfert (Piano), Tomaz Boucherifi-Kadiou (Bombarde)

Artist : Alan Parsons

Album : The Secret

Release Date : 26-04-2019

Added : 25-06-2019

It was about fifteen years ago that 'Alan Parsons' had not released a solo album and his activity was more oriented in the production with for example one of the latest in 2017, his collaboration with 'Steven Wilson' for the last 'Blackfield' (see here). 'The Secret' is a bit like the album that historical fans always hoped to see released and after his past electronic experiments that did not really conquer the crowds, there is no doubt, any amateur of 'Alan Parsons Project' in the 70/80, will recognize the style of the English because this opus is resolutely turned to its original group. First, it's a concept album whose theme revolves around magic and, from the begining, 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice', which is the cover of the symphonic piece 'Paul Dukas' and which has been democratized by the film from Disney 'Fantasia', plunges us into this fantastic universe of illusions. Then, it is with 'Miracle' that we find the melodies that accompanied us in the 70s and 80s, for example in 'Eyes in the Skies' to quote the best-known album, and 'As Lights Fall', after a short orchestral introduction, continues in this characteristic style with this rhythmic which is the hallmark of Alan Parsons'. With 'One Note Symphony', it's the other facet of the compositions of the English that is put forward, the meeting between the symphonic and the pop and which was especially present on an album like 'The Turn Of A Friandly Card’. The following continues to offer songs accessible at first listen as the romantic 'Sometimes' and beautiful ballads 'Soiree Fantastique', 'Years of Glory' or 'I Cant Get There From Here' which brings us back to the atmospheres of 'Since the last Goodbye' from the album 'Ammonia Avenue' of 1984, but also 'Fly to Me' which, with its vocal arrangements and the singing of 'Mark Mikel' brings us back a few years before with the 'Beatles' or still, 'Requiem' which is very jazzy and brings a real diversity to the whole. In summary, with 'The Secret', 'Alan Parsons' returns to his first project and offers us an album filled with beautiful compositions that will undoubtedly delight historical fans but which can also reach a large audience through very accessible melodies...

Line Up / Musicians

Alan Parsons (Vocal, Guitar, Keybords)+ Invités : Ian Bairnson (Guitare), Andy Ellis (Keybords), Angelo Pizzaro (Piano), Carl Sorensen (Drums), Dan Tracey (Guitar, Keybords), Danny Thompson (Drums), Guy Erez, Jake Shimabukuro (Ukulélé), Jared Mahone (Vocal), Jason Mraz (Vocal), Jeff Kollmann (Guitar), Jeff Peterson (Bass), Jordan Huffman (Vocal), Lou Gramm (Vocal), Mark Mikel (Vocal), Michael Fitzpatrick (Cello), Nathan East (Bass), Oscar Utterström (Trombone), Pat Caddick (Piano), Pj Olsson (Vocal), Steve Hackett (Guitar), Todd Cooper (Vocal, Saxophone), Tom Brooks (Keybords, Piano), Tony Rosacci (Guitar), Vinnie Ciesielski (Trompette), Vinnie Colaiuta (Drums)

Artist : Avandra

Album : Descender

Release Date : 26-04-2019

Added : 20-08-2019

I take you away to 'Puerto Rico' for Avandra's second album, 'Descender', which flirts with a progressive and melodic progressive metal with already a surprising maturity and an ability to tackle with joy to this style not necessarily accessible at first. From the first two titles, which are one for a total of more than 12 minutes, we have already the full extent of the talent of these Puerto Ricans who embark us in their melodic world with tempo changes and successions between powerful parts and others quieter, the piano being often used. Overall, several plays are needed as with 'The Narrowing of Meaning' where several parts follow each other with many changes of tempo. The title track of the album is unquestionably 'Adder's Bite' which with more than 13 minutes shows several faces with first acoustic part with Spanish influences, then continues in the fifth minute with raging riffs of electric guitar until a final that returns to a quieter atmosphere. The last title 'QE', much more atmospheric, demonstrates the ability they have to tackle all kinds of styles. In summary, The Puerto Ricans of 'Avandra' offer us a progressive metal to tame little by little and 'Descender' should please everyone who loves a varied and sought after progressive...

Line Up / Musicians

Christian Ayala Cruz (Vocal, Guitar, Keybords), Luis Javier Rivera Guilbot (Guitar), Adrián Arroyo Schuck (Drums), Gabriel Rodríguez Martinez (Bass)+ Invités : Christopher De Léon Jones (Guitar), Richard Henshall (Guitar), Israel Romero Pérez (Guitar), Kevin Moore (Keybords), Daniel Schwartz (Percussions)

Artist : Pristine

Album : Road Back to Ruin

Release Date : 19-04-2019

Added : 08-06-2019

After 'Ninja' in 2017 (see here), the Norwegians of 'Pristine' come back with a new studio album 'Road Back to Ruin' and continue in the way they had traced with the latest opus. We find influences of the 70s between blues, rock and hard-rock starting with an energetic 'Sinnerman' with a central keyboard solo very 'Purplulien' and the confirmation that ‘Heidi Solheim' is still at the top with her voice. The eponymous title of the album that follows takes us back to the beginning of 'Led Zeppelin' with a slow tempo and a very heavy sound where Heidi still shows the best just like in 'Bluebird' with its swaying rhythm and then 'Landslide' is a blues/rock that the 'Stones' wouldn’t have denied. The first break is brought by the beautiful ballad 'Aurora Skies' quite bare where Heidi embarks us on a small cloud, then the energetic side restarts again with 'Pioneer' which is a classic hard-rock but so effective and has a memorable chorus. The following scrolls the powerful 'Blind Spot' and its tormented rhythm, 'The Sober' which sends us back to an effective 70s hard-rock, then, the very sensual blues, 'Cause and Effect', where Heidi demonstrates once again that she can also compete with the best blues singers, 'Your Song' and its country style and finish a super-vitamin 'Dead End' and on the Spotify version a live version of 'Ghost Chase' from the album 'Ninja' which allows to realize the live quality of this band. In summary, the Norwegians of 'Pristine', led by 'Heidi Solheim' who once again demonstrates that she can tackle all repertoires, release an excellent album that takes us back a few decades back with an irreproachable modern sound and 'Road Back to Ruin' is a summary of different styles of the seventies that should appeal to all those who love this period but is also accessible to a wide audience...

Line Up / Musicians

Heidi Solheim (Vocal), Espen Elverum Jakobsen (Guitar), Anders Oskal (Keybords), Åsmund Wilter Kildal Eriksson (Bass), Kim Karlsen (Drums)

Artist : The Skys

Album : Automatic Minds

Release Date : 19-04-2019

Added : 05-07-2019

'The Skys' is a Luthuanian rock band that has already over 20 years of existence with only 4 album releases and 'Automatic Minds' is their 5th studio recording. With each release, they surround themselves with artists of the progressive scene and one can quote the guitarist 'Snowy White' who shot with 'Pink Floyd' in the 70s (and 'Roger Waters' often appealed to him during several decades) and 'Rob Townsend', who is the saxophonist of 'Steve Hacket' (see the album 'At The Edge Of Light' from early 2019 here). They evolve in a melodic rock tinted with progressive where 'Jonas Čiurlionis' and 'Božena Buinicka' provide a remarkable vocal duo as in the melancholic 'Singing Tree' and can recall the complicity between 'Olivia Sparnenn 'and' Bryan Josh 'of' Mostly Autumn '(see their latest album here). 'Get Rid of This' opens the album with melodic lines close to the 'Floyds', then, the eponymous title of the album continues in this way with a title that is much more progressive with changes of tempos and style and especially a Hispanic section where 'Glenn Sharp' intervenes beautifully. Follows the epic and energetic 'The Guardian of the Water Tower' which softens in the 2nd part, then, 'Templar's Last Stand' with his keyboard solo in the style of 'John Lord' takes us back to the '70s and' Love of Life 'is a beautiful ballad interspersed with a more unbridled instrumental part. As for 'Dry Water', we embark on a disturbing atmosphere between East and West where the guest 'Durga Mc Broom' gives us beautiful vocalises. Finally, 'Dead End' is a bit of a summary of what the Luthuanians have offered us so far with a typical progressive song that alternates the sung and instrumental parts with tempo breaks and the album ends with the short 'Communication' a little more all-purpose. In summary, the Lithuanians of 'The Skys' released an album full of catchy and varied titles that should appeal to an amateur audience of progressive rock melodic...

Line Up / Musicians

Jonas Čiurlionis (Vocal, Guitar), Božena Buinicka (Keybords, Vocal), Justinas Tamaševičius (Bass), Ilja Molodcov (Drums) + Invités : Snowy White (Guitar), Neil Taylor (Guitar), Glenn Sharp (Guitar), Durga McBroom (Choirs), India Carney (Choirs), Justin Klunk (Saxophone), Rob Townsend (Saxophone)

Artist : Loonypark

Album : Deep Space Eight

Release Date : 17-04-2019

Added : 06-06-2019

After 'Perpetual' in 2016 (see here), the Polish group 'Loonypark' releases a new album 'Deep Space Eight' with a new female singer 'Magda Grodecka' who replaces 'Sabina Godula-Zając'. They continue to offer us a delicate and refined progressive rock with melodies close to bands like 'Mostly Autumn' (see here), the Brazilians of 'Fleesh' (see here) or 'Brave' (see here ) to name just three in my latest reviews. 'We Do not Wanna Die' starts the album with a first touching performance of Sabina who has a powerful voice while remaining light and airy and that fits perfectly with the mid-tempos and beautiful melodies which are often melancholic. Follows the ballad 'The Space Between Us' with beautiful melodic lines then, 'Time Lines' accelerates the pace at the beginning of the title and then returns to an atmospheric ambiance on the second part with a very nice guitar solo and ends as he had begun. The following scrolls a new ballad 'Believe', 'Little Girl' reminiscent of the melodic lines of 'Karnataka', 'Are We Alone' which hardens the tone in a more removed tempo and some guitar riffs, the album is ending with the longest titles on the album, first of all 'Afraid of Tomorrow' which slowly unfolds its beautiful melody in an airy atmosphere and then 'Odyssey' which alternates several atmospheres between melancholy and lightness. In summary, the Poles of 'Loonypark' release a quality 5th album that reflects their trademark with beautiful accessible melodies and 'Deep Space Eight' should be appreciated by lovers of a peaceful and airy progressive rock that are fans of the formations mentioned above...

Line Up / Musicians

Krzysztof Lepiarczyk (Keybords), Piotr Lipka (Bass), Grzegorz Fieber (Drums), Magda Grodecka (Vocal), Piotr Grodecki (Guitar)

Artist : tRKproject (The Ryszard Kramarski Project )

Album : Mr Scrooge

Release Date : 17-04-2019

Added : 19-06-2019

The Polish 'Ryszard Kramarski' is not a stranger to progressive rock fans because he is the founder of 'Millenium' whose last 2 releases date from 2017 with the album '44 Minutes ' (see my review here) and 2018 for the EP 'MMXVIII' (see here) but also has a solo project 'The Ryszard Kramarski Project' and it's in this context that 'Mr Scrooge' comes out, 2 other albums have already been released in 2017 'Music Inspired By The Little Prince' (see my review here) and 2018 'Sounds from the Past' (see here). In this project also appears 'Grzegorz Fieber', the drummer of 'Loonypark' (see their latest album released recently here). This last opus is inspired by the Christmas tale 'A Christmas Carol' by 'Charles Dickens' and the different compositions go through the story of Ebenezer Scrooge'. On the musical level, we find the style that we knew on the other albums, namely, a melancholic and melodic progressive rock with references of groups like of course 'Millenium' or 'Loonypark' but also 'Mostly Autumn' (see here) or 'Karnataka' (see here) or 'Fleesh' that I recently discovered (see here). 'Karolina Leszko' continues to enchant us with her soft and subtle voice that goes perfectly with the harmonious compositions as for example in 'My Old Friend' where her vocals on the last part are a real pleasure (if you like her voice, she just released a piano voice album in Polish here) and the guitar solos of 'Marcin Kruczek' are still masterful in a very 'Gilmourian' style, 'Ryszard Kramarski' allowing it to express himself in instrumental parts worthy of the name as in the first part of 'First Spirit'. I could quote all titles but it would be a long review because there is no title below another, then, enough talk, the best is to press the play button and get carried away by these beautiful melodies. In short, this last album filled with emotion, melancholy and refinement of the solo project of 'Ryszard Kramarski' is still a total success and 'Mr Scrooge' is to be recommended to all those who privilege in progressive rock the side soft and melodic...

Line Up / Musicians

Ryszard Kramarski (Keybords, Guitar), Marcin Kruczek (Guitar), Grzegorz Fieber (BAtteire, Percussions), Karolina Leszko (Vocal), Krzysztof Wyrwa (Bass)

Artist : Solarus

Album : Darkest Days

Release Date : 12-04-2019

Added : 23-05-2019

'Solarus' is a symphonic metal band of Canadians that have just released their second studio album, 'Darkest Days', the first opus 'Reunion' dated from 2017 (see here). From the first listen, we find influences of the leaders of this style and the singer 'Sarah Dee' has all the qualities with a powerful voice in the energetic compositions but also in the quieter titles and she shows them to us from the first titles : after the instrumental opening title, the first 2 tracks 'My Darkest Days' and 'Limbo' put us in the bath with catchy melodic lines and powerful guitar riffs; then, something rare enough to emphasize, a first piano ballad/voice arrives in 4th position with a beautiful performance of Sarah who demonstrates that she knows, while keeping a powerful voice, transmit emotion in this song. Follows 'Arrival', close enough to 'Limbo', then 'Dear Savior' is a power ballad reminiscent of the melodic lines of 'Within Temptation' and besides, I feel like I hear 'Sharon den Adel' in the chorus, 'Embers in the Rain' and 'My World' then take us back to a powerful and rhythmic metal while keeping effective melodic lines just like the 'Requiem for the Fallen (Pt. II) ', the album ending with a wonderful ballad 'The Final Hour' and by a last energetic and fast title 'In Memoriam (Immortal)'. In summary, the Canadians of 'Solarus' released a good symphonic metal album, and we hope that in the near future, that they will build their own personality to open to a larger audience because this second opus 'Darkest Days' shows that they have all the qualities and capabilities to achieve this...

Line Up / Musicians

Sarah Dee (Vocal), Lucas McArthur (Guitar), Nich Longe (Drums, Percussions), Mark Feeney (Bass)

Artist : Aaron Lewis

Album : State I’m In

Release Date : 12-04-2019

Added : 10-06-2019

'Aaron Lewis' persists and signs in his new country life because after 'Sinner' in 2016 (see here), here is his little brother 'State I'm In' which came out early April. He embarks us for 10 compositions of country which only him holds the secret of and which include this little extra that make all melodies out of time. Listening to 'Reconsider' or 'It Keeps On Workin' or 'God And Guns', we have the impression to have already heard them somewhere and even if the texts are quite black, all titles have some something authentic that brings us back to the roots of this style deeply rooted in American culture. In short, 'Aaron Lewis' continues his way in the country track he began to draw with 'Town Line' in 2011 and 'State I'm In' is an album for all the fans of this traditional style and timeless...

Line Up / Musicians

Aaron Lewis (Vocal, Guitar) + Invités : Wyatt Beard (Chœurs), Ron Block (Guitar), Jim "Moose" Brown (Keybords), Pat Buchanan (Guitar), Buddy Cannon (Chœurs), Melonie Cannon (Chœurs), Sidney Cox (Chœurs), Suzanne Cox (Chœurs), Tony Creasman (Drums), Paul Franklin (Guitar), Vince Gill (Guitar), Kevin Grantt (Bass), Ben Haggard (Guitar), Ben Isaacs (Chœurs), Sonya Isaacs (Chœurs), Jamey Johnson (Chœurs), Ben Kitterman (Dobro), Alison Krauss (Chœurs), Brent Mason (Guitar), Danny Parks (Guitar), Mickey Raphael (Harmonica), Michael Rojas (Hammond, Piano), Bobby Terry (Guitar), Dan Tyminski (Guitar, Mandolin, Chœurs)

Artist : Protean Circus

Album : Rhymes in the Voice of River

Release Date : 10-04-2019

Added : 21-06-2019

'Protean Circus' is an Italian band that was born in 2016 and released their first album 'Rhymes in the Voice of River' which is inspired by Breton legends but at first listen, we find different influences between rock and hard- rock with symphonic and progressive components and they are part of the tradition of Italian bands like 'Premiata Forneria Marconi' (see their latest album here) but also are influenced by the main bands of progressive music of the 70’s. From the first title 'Ancient Rhymes', we are embarked in almost 8 minutes of progressive music, cut into several parts with breaks of rhythms and melodic lines. Follows 'The Vision', which starts in acoustics and unfolds a beautiful melody with a memorable chorus like 'Whisper' which is a semi-acoustic ballad. With 'Wild Waves', the pace is accelerating and the guitar game makes me think of the first 'Dire Straits', then, 'Deception is Revealed' is in a hard-rock in the style of the 70s with a beautiful instrumental part very unbridled in the second part mixing jazz, rock and hard-rock. The following makes us return to a calm atmosphere with 'Imprisoned' which grows in power on the end, then, 'Alone' is much more progressive in the approach with first a rhythmic with breaks of tempos and a crescendo at the end of the title and which becomes again calmly and which takes again the theme of departure on the end. The progressive aspect is also present in 'The Land of Fortress' which despite its rather short duration is built in several parts and alternates moods folk and rock and finishes on an instrumental part whith beautifull keyboards and guitar solos, then, 'The End of the King' is an energetic and catchy title flirting once again with hard-rock but the main title of the album is without context the final 'A Mild Immortal Nymph of River' which summarizes well the album and who embarks us for a progressive and symphonic saga of more than 12 minutes with several interlocking parts and a masterful final solo, in short, the title which includes all the ingredients that every amateur of progressive researches and which gives an irresistible desire to repress the play button when the last note sounds. In summary, the Italians of 'Protean Circus' release a first album varied and full of good surprises, which should make them known fairly quickly in the progressive sphere because 'Rhymes in the Voice of River' is to advise to all lovers of a progressive and accessible rock...

Line Up / Musicians

Daniele Imperioli (Vocal), Marco Cutini (Guitar), Lorenzo Zanelli (Guitar), Andrea Piacentini (Keybords), Simone Todini (Bass), Luca Cutini (Drums)

Artist : Julian Sas

Album : Stand Your Ground

Release Date : 05-04-2019

Added : 25-05-2019

Like many blues artists right now (see 'John Mayall' here or 'Joanne Shaw Taylor' here or 'Walter Trout' here), the Dutchman 'Julian Sas' is releasing a new album which is a return to the sources of the blues and which has been recorded in a very short time to keep this energy which characterizes lives. And, as Julian himself says, these new titles came naturally during jam sessions and this time it's the music that has come to us without a long process of composition. And, this is totally confirmed from the first title 'Runnin' for the Money' which is a critical of the power of money and a first tempo that makes us swing to the rhythm of the music and this gift of Julian to imbricate his voice with his guitar. So we sail through authentic blues with first some catchy titles like 'Stand Your Ground', 'Get on Up' or the blues/rock 'These 18 Wheels' with these sounds of the Hammond organ which takes us few decades back, but also with melodic and sensual jewels that convey a real emotion like 'Do not Let Me Down' and this cry of the heart, 'Anything' that captivates us all in this long air title and which is reminiscent of the guitar feeling of 'Mark Knopfler', or the classic but incredibly effective 'Howlin Wind'. In summary, 'Julian Sas' joins this band of artists who do good by offering us a classic but authentic blues and 'Stand Your Ground' is still an album to consume without moderation...

Line Up / Musicians

Julien Sas (Vocal, Guitar), Roland Bakker (Keybords), Fotis Anagnostou (Bass), Lars-Erik van Elzakker (Drums)

Artist : Lion Shepherd

Album : III

Release Date : 29-03-2019

Added : 12-05-2019

I discovered 'Lion Sheppherd' with their 2nd album (see here) and 2019 sees the release of a new album that simply bears the name of 'III'. In the line of 'Heat', they embark us again for a journey in their progressive universe made of a patchwork of influences that we must gently tame listening after listening : 'Uninvited' starts the album with ethnic singings and unfolds an atmospheric mood that begins quietly and that grows and strength on the end of the title then falls back to finish with some piano notes. With 'Good Old Days', it's a slow but powerful track that brings back psychedelic influences of the' 60s / 70s and 'What Went Wrong', in an aerian ambiance, reminds me of some rhythmic sections and melodic lines of 'Sting' (once again, listening to the singing of 'Kamil', I have the feeling to hear the English) and 'Vulnerable' continues in this calm and serene atmosphere with a hardening close to progressive metal on the 2nd part of the title, fully instrumental. Follow 'World on Fire' which mixes oriental and electronic sounds and offers alternating between calm and powerful parts, then change of scenery with 'Fallen Tree' which is a semi acoustic title with a throbbing rhythm and a beautiful vocal performance of Kamil. The end of the album offers us a surprising 'Toxic' with an alternation between a latino rhythm and a psychedelic tempo with a very 'Floydian' final solo, then, 'The Kids Are Not All Right' brings us back to rock influences of seventies with an introduction highlighting the strings of the Atom String Quartet 'and finally, the melancholic' Nobody 'and the ballad' May You All Live in Fascinating Times' and its changes of intensity close the album in a very beautiful way . In short, the Poles of 'Lion Shepherd' continue in the way they began to trace with their previous recordings, combining progressive rock, atmospheric and traditional sounds, mixing acoustic and electric and 'III' is an album of quality that reveals itself, little by little, listening after listening...

Line Up / Musicians

Kamil Haidar (Vocal), Mateusz Owczarek (Guitar, Oud, Bouzouki), Maciek Golyzniak (Drums) + invités : Atom String Quartet (Cordes), Robert Szydlo (basse), Lukasz Damrych (Keybords)

Artist : Avalanch

Album : The Secret

Release Date : 29-03-2019

Added : 14-05-2019

'Avalanch' is a heavy metal band created in the '90s by the Spanish guitarist 'Alberto Rionda' and which had a first period when they were mostly popular in Spain. Their last album 'Malefic Time Apocalypse' dates already from 2011 and it is with new artists that 'Alberto Rionda' has relaunched 'Avalanch' with among others, 'Israel Ramos', from the band 'Amadeus' which now officiates as a singer but also the American 'Mike Terrana' known to have been the drummer of an impressive number of artists including 'Tarja' (they released together 'Beauty & the Beat' here) . This new album has been released in 2 versions, one in English ('The Secret') and the other in Spanish ('El Secreto' - see here) and we can say that with this new line up, the result is a total success with a succession of powerful and melodic titles that catch you immediately. From the beginning, 'The Oracle' and 'Demiurgus' are two energetic tracks with melodic lines quickly assimilated, then, we believe with 'Caduceus' to have the first ballad of the album with a piano/voice introduction but the tone hardens at the end of the first minute and we embarked for a new powerful composition with changes of pace bringing a slight progressive touch. The following is the image of these first titles with a break brought by the semi-acoustic 'Old Soul' whose theme is none other than the adagio of the Concerto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra and which is transformed into a magnificent power ballad. In summary, the Spaniards of ‘Avalanch', with this new line up, released a very good metal album, melodic and accessible and, this in 2 versions, which will undoubtedly allow them to open to a wider and international audience...

Line Up / Musicians

Israel Ramos (Vocal), Alberto Rionda (Guitar), Mike Terrana (Drums), Jorge Salán (Guitar), Manuel Ramil (Keybords), Dirk Schlächter (Bass)

Artist : Crea

Album : Dwarves & Penguins

Release Date : 29-03-2019

Added : 18-05-2019

'Crea' is a Swedish progressive rock band that I discover only now but which has already thirty years of existence. They are influenced by the progressive currents of the last fifty years and we can here and there to do some parallels with formations like 'Marillion' or 'Pink Floyd', their sounds take us a few decades back with keyboards that are put forward. The short instrumental that debuted the album, 'The March of the Penguins' (rhythmic images very well the title), already shows keyboards sounds close to 'ELP' sonorities, then, change of style, with 'Some of Us' which takes us to a calm title in which 'Peter Gren' brings a nice serenity thanks to his singing that perfectly matches the atmosphere but also has a gift to pass emotions with his guitar in a very beautiful ‘Floydian’ solo at the end of the title. The following titles scroll 'Shattered Vision' and 'Second Thoughts' that make me think of the atmospheres of 'Saga', 'Millenium' is a beautiful melodic ballad without real progressive component, then, with 'The March of the Dwarves' which is an instrumental title, we return to a progressive style made of several parts with a rhythmic frame that once again expresses very well a march, and finally, 'Walk into Bright Lights' and 'Barbarossa' which close the album and which are the longest titles, embark us on neo-progressive with the same references between 'Marillion' and 'Saga'. In summary, the Swedes from 'Crea' are releasing a quality album with some progressive components and 'Dwarves & Penguins' is to be recommended to all those who appreciate the formations of the 70s/80s like 'Pink-Floyd' or 'Genesis’ and those of the 80s/90s like 'Saga' or 'Marillion'...

Line Up / Musicians

Peter Gren (Guitar, Keybords, Vocal), Anders Karlsson (Keybords), Nicke Bjerke (Bass), Sonny Johansson (Drums), Tomas B (Keybords) + Invité : Roland Vocalra (Choirs)

Artist : Starquake

Album : Time Space Matter

Release Date : 29-03-2019

Added : 04-06-2019

You are looking for a return in the '70s with a sample of the best in rock and hard rock of the day: here is 'Starquake', which is the project of the German 'Mikey Wenzel' who released a second studio album 'Time Space Matter' after 'Time That Matter' in 2015 (see here). The first title sets the tone with an introduction where the Hammond organ recalls 'Deep Purple' and continues in an atmosphere mixing influences of 'Uriah Heep' for the energetic side and 'Styx' for the central instrumental part. With 'Goddammaddog', the folk atmosphere of the introduction gives way to an energetic melody with a chorus that goes into your head without letting go, then 'Jack' continues in this way with always the same references. Next are 4 tracks, 'Matona Mia Cara', which takes us on a short, offbeat break in a church song, 'Time - It's Always Now', which goes back to unbridled hard-rock, 'Space - Lost Souls', second title quirky. in an atmospheric atmosphere, then 'Matter - And The Giant was gentle' gathering various influences with a theme close to 'Jethro Tull'. But the main title of the album is without contest 'A Never Give Up Suite', lasting 17 minutes and embarking us for a saga of the seventies with all kinds of influences as diverse as 'Deep Purple', 'Uriah Heep', 'Bruce Springsteen', 'Focus', 'Emerson, Lake & Palmer' or 'Pink Floyd' and even a few incursion into Jazz. In summary, with this latest album of his project 'Starquake', 'Mikey Wenzel' offers a patchwork of references to the 70s and 'Time Space Matter' is recommended to all those who love major rock and hard-rock bands of the seventies...

Line Up / Musicians

Mikey Wenzel (Vocal) + Invités : Jan "Donkey" van Meerendonk (Drums), Alex Kugler Guitar), Andi Pernpeintner (Hammond)

Artist : Elessär

Album : Kósmos

Release Date : 28-03-2019

Added : 27-05-2019

'Elessär' is an Argentinean symphonic metal band that is already a dozen years old and which released its second studio album 'Kósmos', which in Greek is a harmonious order and I quote the group on their bancamp page : "This harmony or order is nothing more than an extrapolation of our experienced inner states from which we interpret the world and open ourselves up to it. Therefore, it’s up to us to decide whether to live aligned with our current state in which we can conceive the world as an orderly whole, or, on the contrary, as a complete chaos dominated by our Ego". It is with this album that I discover them and, first of all, they did not do things halfway because it’s about 65 minutes of symphonic metal with incursions in the progressive and power which is offered to us : from the first title 'Ultimate Escape', we embark on a powerful and energetic title with an important role of keyboards and with the singing of 'Alejandra Barro' who has nothing to envy to the best female singers of the genre and which offers a real instrumental part in the middle of the title with keyboards and guitar that send each other the ball. Follows 'Impetus' which, after an acoustic introduction, is fast and powerful in a first part with a memorable chorus and which turns into a grand mid-tempo on the end with great reinforcement of keyboards and which shows that the group also knows how to vary the moods inside a composition. The same goes for the following 2 tracks, first with the symphonic instrumental 'Introducing the Majestic' and then 'Afraid', which is a powerful remake of the catchy theme, which offers a beautiful central part with an Argentine tango that totally blends into the whole title. The sequel shows us that they are also very comfortable in softer compositions with firstly the beautiful ballads 'Eternity' and 'Inside' then 'Truth' which embarks us in a power ballad with a classical melody but a formidable efficiency, the album ending with a new melodic jewel 'Inside The Kósmos' where 'Alejandra Barro' enchants us one last time. The other more energetic compositions of the second part of the album are also remarkable with the eponymous title of the album and its catchy melody reminiscent of 'Nightwish', then 'The Way' which begins in an electro-metal mix and which undergoes beautiful changes of tempos and which makes it one of the most varied titles, then, 'Be Still' which mixes symphonic and progressive metal with several nested parts. In short, the Argentineans from 'Elessär' have reached a maturity that will certainly allow them to play in the major league with rich and varied compositions and this last album 'Kósmos' should make happy among fans of symphonic metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Alejandra Barro (Vocal), Howen Rava (Guitar), Joshua Rava (Drums), Rafael Uribe (Bass), Sebastián Barrio Martín (Keybords)

Artist : RPWL

Album : Tales From Outer Spaces

Release Date : 22-03-2019

Added : 04-05-2019

It's been almost 5 years since the Germans of 'RPWL' had not recorded a studio album, 'Wanted', which was the sequel to 'Beyond Man and Time', being their last opus in 2014 (see ici) and 2019 sees the release of 'Tales from Outer Spaces' which was eagerly awaited by all fans of the band and is inspired by science fiction and tells stories of extra -terrestres. Known in their debut to make covers of 'Pink-Floyd' ('Cymbaline' being still played in concert and they recorded in 2016 'The Man and The Journey' - see here ), their first studio album 'God Has Failed' which contained the magnificent 'Hole In The Sky' has already almost 20 years and listening to the first title of the latest opus, 'A New World', there is no doubtfully, we recognize the particular style of the group, with a slow tempo and an air melody, the singing of 'Yogi Lang' bringing this quiet force well known to fans and instrumental passages are always dotted with beautiful 'Gilmouriens' guitare solos. Following 'Welcome To The Freak Show' which continues in this planing atmosphere and 'Light of the World', with its melody that you immediately enter the head to never leave you brings a symphonic side with the use of keyboards imitating strings , simple but very effective solos transporting us on a small cloud. The sequel is like those first titles with 'Not Our Place to Be' which sees the participation of 'Guy Pratt', the bassist of 'David Gilmour', 'What I Really Need' and its similarities with 'Roses' , then with 'Give Birth to the Sun' which continues in this atmospheric atmosphere with a long, central multi-drawer instrumental part, and the album ending with the ballad 'Far Away from Home' which once again demonstrates this talent for touching melodies as they have done in the past with such titles as 'Crazy Lane', 'Farewell' or 'Breathe in, Breathe out'. In summary, the Germans of 'RPWL' continue to do some made in 'RPWL' and, despite the parallel that we all do with 'Pink-Floyd', have forged their own style over the years and, 'Tales From Outer Spaces' only reinforces the fact that they are an unavoidable group in progressive, melodic and atmospheric music...

Line Up / Musicians

Yogi Lang (Vocal, Keybords), Karlheinz Wallner (Guitar), Markus Jehle (Keybords), Werner Taus (Bass), Marc Turiaux (Drums) + Invités : Guy Pratt (Bass), Torsten Weber (Guitar), Manni Müller (Drums), Bine Heller (Chœurs), Carmen Tannich Wallner (Percussions)

Artist : Battle Beast

Album : No More Hollywood Endings

Release Date : 22-03-2019

Added : 06-05-2019

After 'Beast In Black' with their new album 'From Hell with Love' (see here), it's the turn of 'Battle Beast' to release a new studio recording 'No More Hollywood Endings'. On one side, you have a singer with a particular tessitura, 'Yannis Papadopoulos' ('Beast In Black') and on the other the singer 'Noora Louhimo' who has nothing to envy to the figures of prow of the female singers of metal, but in any case, we will not be able to remove this common point : the two Finnish formations have the talent to offer us melodic compositions which attract you from the first listening with a keyboards on the same level than guitar riffs. As for 'Battle Beast', with 'No More Hollywood Endings', it's a series of hits that go by one after the other: 'Unbroken' opens the ball with a first energetic title with a heady chorus, then 'No More Hollywood Endings' and 'Eden' are two melodic jewels that give you a great form. The sequel does not weaken with the very eighties 'Unfairy Tales', then 'Endless Summer' also brings us a few decades back with a 'Tina Turner' side, and, we can say that until then, all the titles could be singles but the second half of the album continues in this way with 'Piece of Me' and 'I Wish', the first title demonstrating the talent of Noora in a powerful and furious song and the second, a power ballad that also confirms that she also knows how to soften her voice to make beautiful pass emotions. Note that this is the version with 2 bonuses that is available in Spotify with a 2nd ballad 'Bent and Broken' and My Last Dream 'which are at the same level as the rest. In short, even if the Finns of 'Battle Beast' do not revolutionize the metal, 'No More Hollywood Endings' is filled with little melodic jewels that are to be enjoyed without moderation and should appeal to all those who love a melodic metal and accessible...

Line Up / Musicians

Noora Louhimo (Vocal), Pyry Vikki (Drums), Joona Björkroth (Guitar, Vocal), Juuso Soinio (Guitar), Eero Sipilä (Bass, Vocal), Janne Björkroth (Keybords, Vocal)

Artist : Appearance Of Nothing

Album : In Times of Darkness

Release Date : 22-03-2019

Added : 10-05-2019

'Appearance Of Nothing' is a Swiss progressive metal band that releases its 4th studio album 'In Time of Darkness'. The two founders 'Omar Cuna' and 'Marc Petralito' are still there but it's now 'Manuel Meinen' and 'Albert Ibrahimaj' who officiate on guitar and 'Ronnie Wolf' on drums. With this opus, they offer us a progressive metal not necessarily accessible at first listen but overall very melodic: 'Inside These Walls' is a very good introduction and shows all the talent of this progressive aspect with a rhythm section that ensures regular tempo changes and we can already note the presence, accompanying the clear singing, of 'Christian Älvestam' growls which will be present throughout the titles but still appropriately. Follows 'The Black Sea' which starts calmly with an acoustic guitar and the cello of 'Tina Guo' (who had made a remarkable performance with 'Joe Bonamassa' - see here), then who develops a first part rising in power until a rupture for a calm section then it is again a brutal rupture for a second powerful section where one finds some growls and the final offers a beautiful melody embellished with a remarkable guitar solo. With 'Storm', it is an alternation between heavy jerky riffs and a melody line that immediately enters into your head and highlights the singer 'Anna Murphy', ex 'Eluveitie', and who has recently founded a new group 'Cellar Darling '(see here), then,' Erase ', after a long introductory crescendo, develops a powerful theme with changes in tempos and intensity. The second part of the album features a powerful 'Deception' which is softened on the finale by a new heady melody, the powerful mid-tempo 'Disaster (Sweetest Enemy)' which sees the participation of singer 'Devon Graves', then 'Lost' which brings electronic sounds and sees the return of Anna for a new duet with Omar and the album ends on the 9 minutes of 'The Huntress' with a fast and powerful central part with growls and solos of keyboards and guitar that surrounds two beautiful melodic quieter parts and which ends in decrescendo on a repetitive theme. In summary, the Swisses of 'Appearance Of Nothing' release a very good album presenting all the ingredients of a progressive metal imaginative, varied and melodic, and as often enough in this style of music, 'In Times of Darkness' requires repeated listenings to tame it completely...

Line Up / Musicians

Omar Cuna (Vocal, Bass), Marc Petralito (Piano, Keybords), Ronnie Wolf (Drums), Manuel Meinen (Guitar), Albert Ibrahimaj (Guitar) + Invités : Anna Murphy (Vocal, Choirs), Tina Guo (Cello), Christian Älvestam (Growls), Devon Graves (Vocal)

Artist : Bonnie Tyler

Album : Between the Earth and the Stars

Release Date : 22-03-2019

Added : 21-05-2019

'Francis Rossi' is a very busy man right now, because, just after 'We Talk Too Much' with 'Hannah Rickard' (see here), he participated in the new album of an iconic 1970s/80s singer, 'Bonnie Tyler', who is back on the international stage (her latest album 'Rocks & Honey', already released in 2013) and who is taking the opportunity to celebrate her 50-year of career. For this last opus, she offers us 3 duets with longtime friends, 'Rod Stewart', 'Cliff Richard' and so 'Francis Rossi' and she is also surrounded by many other artists (see the complete list below). We find the scratchy voice that has accompanied us for several decades with titles that have been around the world and the 14 new tracks are in the style of the British with attractive melodies from the first listen, in styles that range from international variety to rock : the opus is divided between energetic titles like the very rhythmic 'Slow Walk', the boogie/rock 'Someone's Rockin' Your Heart' written by 'Francis Rossi' and 'Bob Young', the duet with 'Rod Stewart', 'Battle of the Sexes', the other duet with 'Cliff Richard', 'Taking Control' or 'Do not Push Your Luck', but also quieter titles such as mid-tempo 'Hold On' who is in the style of the 80s and beautiful ballads in which she excels as 'Seven Waves Away' written by the 'Gibb' family, or the stripped piano/voice 'Older', or the title track of the album or 'To the Moon and Back '. In summary, 'Bonnie Tyler' celebrates her 50-year career with an album that offers melodic and very accessible songs, and 'Between the Earth and the Stars' brings us back to the 80s style with a mix of pop, rock, soul and international variety...

Line Up / Musicians

Bonnie Tyler (Vocal), Francis Rossi (Vocal, Guitar), Cliff Richard (Vocal), Rod Stewart (Vocal), Miriam Stockley (Chœurs), Kevin Dunne (Bass), Bob Jenkins (Drums), Bob Huff (Guitar), Ray Russell (Guitar), Matt Prior (Guitar), David Mackay (Keybords, Bass, Choirs), Richard Cottle (Percussions, Keybords, Saxophone), Miriam Grey (Chœurs), Claire McInerney (Saxophone), Laurence Cottle (Bass, Trombone), Leon Cave (Drums), Paul Hirsh (Keybords), Geoff Whitehorn (Guitar, Nichol Thomson (Trombone), Adam Linsley (Trompette), Tom Walsh (Trompette), Brian Cadd (Chœurs), Daz Shields (Drums, Percussions, Chœurs), Ian Lynn (Bass), Ian Stuart-Lynn (Piano, Keybords), Lorraine Crosby (Chœurs), Stuart Emerson (Chœurs), Amy Wadge (Chœurs), Claudio Corona (Organ), Tom E Morrison (Bass, Guitar, Keybords)

Artist : Inhepsie

Album : Onirique

Release Date : 22-03-2019

Added : 02-06-2019

'Inhepsie' is a French band formed already 18 years ago by 'Cathy Bontant' and 'Jean Suire' and who define themselves as making atmospheric metal. They have just released a new album 'Onirique' and it is with this last recording studio which is their 4th album that I discover them. From the first listening, I think it would be reductive to limit them to atmospheric metal because they mix with French song, melodic and symphonic styles, the writings of the lyrics in the ‘language of Molière’ in the form of poems bringing an offbeat side, often melancholic but very endearing. First, after the short instrumental introduction 'Intro', 'Ode a la nuit’ opens the ball with a powerful and melodic symphonic section that precedes the clear and aerial singing of 'Cathy Bontant' and it is precisely this subtle alchemy that makes the particularity of ‘Inhepsie'. Follows 'The other reality' which reminds me of what 'Therion' has done in 'Les Fleurs Du Mal' by 'metallizing' French songs, then 'Est-ce Important' is a melancholic composition that combines beautiful way the serenity of the piano and the power of guitar riffs that are also found in 'L’instant égaré' or 'Onirique'. We will also note titles like 'L'indifférence' built in 2 parts which brings a slight progressive aspect, the mid-tempo ' Oublier qui je suis' flirting with symphonic metal as 'Funambule', the album ending with 'Regrets' with one last memorable melody. In summary, while many metal formations try to copy the tenors of the genre, the French of ‘Inhepsie' show us very beautifully that they have forged their own style that could be called 'poetic metal' and this last album 'Onirique' is recommended to all those who love a refined metal combining power and serenity...

Line Up / Musicians

Cathy Bontant (Vocal, Keybords), Jean Suire (Guitar), Adrien Rougé (Guitar), Daniella Coulon (Bass), Dany Ladrat (Drums)

Artist : Eris Pluvia

Album : Tales from Another Times

Release Date : 22-03-2019

Added : 29-05-2019

We go to Italy with the band 'Eris Pluvia' which has not a very important production activity since its first album in 1991, because it was necessary to wait 2010 for a second album 'Third Eye Light' and 'Tales from Another Times' is their 4th studio album after 'Different Earths' that I reviewed in 2016 (see here ). We find this peaceful atmosphere and air brought by the flute of 'Roberta Piras' from the first instrumental track 'When Love Dies' then, 'Lost in the Sands' continues in this atmosphere that can recall groups of progressive 70s / 80s and for my part, the melodic lines remind me of 'Barclay James Harvest'. The title that follows, 'The song of Jeanne' is the longest title of the album and embarks us for a quiet and serene progressive saga of more than 17 minutes with, first of all, a first part where 'Roberto Minniti' shares the singing with 'Ludovica Strizoli' and ends with a 'Floydien' guitar solo, then begins a very refined second part with some keyboards that are gradually joined by the flute of 'Roberta Piras', an acoustic guitar and then the song of Ludovica, the suite moving towards an atmosphere between pop and folk to finish with an instrumental decrescendo with keyboards, guitar and flute. 'The Call of Cthulu', the 2nd long title, continues in this progressive style bringing a heavier atmosphere, and the instrumental 'Last Train to Atlana' takes us back to an aerial flute/acoustic guitar ballad , and finally, the final title 'The Hum', which is the 3rd long title with more than 14 minutes, is certainly the most progressive and the most varied with several changes of tempo and intensity, always keeping this atmosphere light and serene. In summary, the Italians of 'Eris Pluvia' come back with a very good album by embarking us on their world very influenced by the 70s and 'Tales from Another Times' is advisable to all those who love the formations of that time like 'Barclay James Harvest' or 'Renaissance' (see their last live here), or the psychedelic side of ‘Pink Floyd’...

Line Up / Musicians

Alessandro Cavatorti (Guitar), Marco Forella (Bass, Piano, Keybords, Drums), Roberta Piras (Flute), Roberto Minniti (Vocal) + Invité : Ludovica Strizoli (Vocal)

Artist : The Treatment

Album : Power Crazy

Release Date : 22-03-2019

Added : 31-05-2019

If you're looking for some authentic hard-rock that comes straight from the '70s/'80s, I've got what you need with the latest 'Power Crazy' album from the English of 'The Treatment' which could be a cross between 'AC / DC', 'Status Quo' and 'ZZ Top'. From the start, 'Let's Get Dirty' puts us in the bath with a mid-tempo where 'Tom Rampton' recalls a certain 'Bon Scott', then 'Rising Power' continues in this way in a rhythm of hell that gives you the desire to stomp, the title that follows 'On the Money' always with the same energy and reminds the rhythm of 'ZZ Top'. And it continues with a 'Bite Back' that would not be denied by our friends of the Kangaroos’s country, then, the first well-deserved break comes with 'Luck Of The Draw' which could be a mix of 'The Jack' of AC / DC 'and AB Blues' from 'Status Quo'. The sequel is like this album debut with compositions as energetic as each other and always with the same irresistible urge to headbang and stomp until the last title 'Falling Down' which has nothing to envy to 'Down Down' or 'Caroline' of 'Status Quo'. In summary, 'The Treatment' offers us with these 12 compositions a concentrate of dynamite and 'Power Crazy' is recommended to all those who are hard-rock fans of the 70s / 80s and who are fond of the groups mentioned above...

Line Up / Musicians

Tom Rampton (Vocal), Tagore Grey (Guitar), Tao Grey (Guitar), Dhani Mansworth (Drums), Rick 'Swoggle' Newman (Bass)

Artist : Joanne Shaw Taylor

Album : Reckless Heart

Release Date : 15-03-2019

Added : 28-04-2019

After the beautiful 'Wild' in late 2016 (see here), 2019 sees the American 'Joanne Shaw Taylor' release a new album 'Reckless Heart'. With this latest opus, she continues in the path of the previous one and she invested herself in writing almost all 11 titles. So we find this authentic blues-rock, declined in all its forms, with always this voice that transmits a real emotion as in the compositions that smell a sensual blues-rock like the title track of the album or 'I've Only Lonely' or 'I've Been Loving You Too Long'. 'Reckless Heart' is certainly more optimistic with energetic titles and this since the introduction with 'In the Mood' where Joanne is having a great time with a guitar solo with accents much more rock than blues. With compositions like the energetic 'Bad Love' and her masterful guitar solo, 'Creepin' and reminiscence of 70s hard rock bands, or 'All My Love' with her catchy guitar playing, she shows the extent of his talent and the acoustic titles 'Break My Heart Anyway' and especially the last very nude 'Jake's Boogie' in a very contemporary blues, acoustic guitar / voice, confirms that she has this gift to be able to adapt to any style. In summary, 'Joanne Shaw Taylor' released a new album even more varied than the previous ones and, even if she stays faithful to its blues roots, demonstrates in the best way that it has the ability to tackle all styles like a certain 'Joe Bonamassa' has already showed many times...

Line Up / Musicians

Joanne Shaw Taylor (Vocal, Guitar)

Artist : Roman Rouzine

Album : Humans

Release Date : 15-03-2019

Added : 16-05-2019

'Roman Rouzine' is an emeritus guitarist who, after 'Genesis of Delirium' in 2014 (see here) releases a new album 'Humans'. He continues to be influenced by neoclassical currents by mixing electric guitar with orchestral music with a sensitivity that is undoubtedly linked to his Slavic origins. All his opus are fully instrumental and his great strength is to highlight the electric guitar that replaces the singing because he has this gift to make it 'sing' and to convey all kinds of feelings. The result is quite bluffing because it embeds us in titles that all transpire a palpable emotion and this, of entry with the first 3 compositions 'Drama', 'Aura' and 'Mad Circus' which transport us on a small cloud with solos where he perfectly masters his art, the technique of guitar being totally at the service of the interpretation to transmit to the listener a pleasure of listening which, for my part, often brought me this little thrill so characteristic (The central part of 'Aura' reminds me of a certain 'Ritchie Blackmore' in 'Mistreated' from the live 'Live in Europe' in 1976). With 'Lacrimosa', he uses the theme of 'Mozart' in the introduction to revisit the excerpt of the 'Requiem', then, 'Pulse' is more joyful with an alternation between Western and Eastern influences, then, with 'ATO', we return to a dark subject, the war in Ukraine orchestrated by the Russians which is of a formidable emotional force just like 'Disgrace' with its slow tempo where his guitar does wonders, the album ending with 'Hidden Faces' with its beautiful alternation between tension and relaxation, 'Reminiscence' which brings us back to orchestral music with grandiose choirs and finally 'Rebirth' which concludes the album on a more optimistic note. In summary, 'Roman Rouzine' releases a quality instrumental album with this gift to give a real soul to his guitar, and, 'Humans' is recommended to all those who love mixing melodic metal and classical music...

Line Up / Musicians

Roman Rouzine (Guitar), Elvis Slonina (Bass), Jyhell (Guitar), Laura Nicogossian (Piano), Quentin Regnault (Drums)

Artist : Francis Rossi, Hannah Rickard

Album : We Talk Too Much

Release Date : 15-03-2019

Added : 19-05-2019

After the 2 'Aquostic' released in 2014 (see here) and in 2016 (see here) with the late 'Rick Parfitt' ( see his album here) and the acoustic at the 'Royal Albert Hall' in 2018 (see here), 'Francis Rossi', at the dawn of his 70 years, released a new album with 'Hannah Richard' who was already part of the projects 'Aquostic'. Listening to this new album, I found the soft side of 'Status Quo' which has accompanied me for several decades and even if the general public knows more the energetic boogie/rock of 'Status Quo', we know less titles (dear to 'Francis Rossi') which have 'this festive side that is good for the soul' and which, for me, have been part of the discography of the group since the 70s as well as standards : from the first title 'I'll Take You Home', the introduction brings me back without a certain nostalgia to the 'Cross That Bridge' of 1988 (see here) with of course the country side who replaced the boogie/rock style but in both cases is still festive. With 'But I Just Said Goodbye', I find the melodic lines of 'Fine Fine Fine' already from the album 'Quo' of 1974 (see here) and 'Waiting for Jesus' is the typical example of songs like 'Marguerita Time' of 1983 (see here) or 'Invitation' of 1986 (see here) or 'Going Down For The First Time' of 1989 (see here). In all the compositions, we feel this happiness and this complicity to play together to offer us simple but effective and catchy melodies from the first listening and which give you the desire to sing in unison. In summary, 'Hannah Rickard' and 'Francis Rossi' give us a great time with this country style that has similarities to 'Status Quo' melodies and, therefore, 'We Talk Too Much', beyond the important fan base of 'Quo', is intended for a large audience who loves festive songs that all have something timeless...

Line Up / Musicians

Hannah Richard (Vocal, Violin), Francis Rossi (Vocal, Guitar), Clark Coslett-Hughes (Bass), Gary Twigg (Bass), Leon Cave (Drums), Paul Hirsch (Keybords), Richard Cottle (Keybords), Henry Senior Jr (Guitar), Joe Harvey-Whyte (Guitar)

Artist : Fleesh

Album : Across The Sea

Release Date : 13-03-2019

Added : 02-05-2019

'Fleesh' is a Brazilian duo formed in 2013 and who have just released their 3rd studio album 'Across The Sea' and who in addition to that has also recorded two albums of covers, one of 'Rush' (see here) and the other one, of 'Marillion' (see here) and they do not stop there because you can see other videos on their site as beautiful as the others (see here with among others, 'The Final Cut' of 'Pink Floyd' that gives goosebumps). So I discover them with this latest opus, and this is the first concept album of the duo that deals with the different stages of depression, I quote the group: “Lots of people around us have been struggling with it and we see a lot of people that don't quite understand what's going on, they think it's not a big deal... So, we wanted to show how these people feel. To do this, we had several conversations with people we know to understand how they feel, we did a lot of research and read a lot of stories. So this album is entirely based on real facts”. On the musical level, after listening to 'Across The Sea', I found the entire universe of formations that I particularly like 'Mostly Autumn', or 'Karnataka' to name just two. First, 'Gabby Vessoni' gives us a beautiful vocal performance and her voice is reminiscent of singers like 'Hayley Griffiths' (ex 'Karnataka' see here) or 'Olivia Sparnenn' from 'Mostly Autumn' (see their latest album here) or even less well-known but who also have a real talent, like 'Marta Glowacka' from the band ‘Anamor' (see here) or 'Laetitia Chaudemanche' from the band 'Weend'ô' (see here ). Then, the compositions of 'Gabby Vessoni' refer to different influences of progressive music through the ages, and, the result is a peaceful and sensitive rock that flows quietly and brings a real serenity to the listener because, beyond Gabby's masterful voice, that conveys all the feelings and transmits a beautiful emotion, the instrumental parts are also in this continuity with beautiful guitar solos in a very 'Gilmourian' style. In summary, this 3rd Brazilian studio recording of 'Fleesh' is a very nice trip in a calm and serene progressive atmosphere and if you like the groups they like as 'Pink-Floyd' or 'Marillion' but also more like 'Mostly Autumn' or 'Mystery' (see their latest album ici ), you should be seduced by 'Across The Sea'...

Line Up / Musicians

Gabby Vessoni (Vocal), Celo Oliveira (All Instruments)

Artist : Joost Maglev

Album : Alter Ego

Release Date : 08-03-2019

Added : 30-04-2019

After a first LP in 2016 that marked me (see here), the Dutchman 'Joost Maglev' puts it back with a set of guests, some of whom are well known in the business world. Progressive rock starting with 'Arjen Anthony Lucassen' (see the latest live of ‘Ayreon’ here) but also 'Mark Bogert' from the band 'Knight Area' (see their latest album here) or 'Annie Haslam' from the band 'Renaissance' (see their latest live album here), 'Sebas Honing' still part of of adventure (see his album here). It took me several listenings to tame the different titles because, even if some are more accessible than others, they all bring references to a multitude of artists and currents all this being mixed to make something of unique. From the beginning, 'Marie Doesburg' accompanies us with 'Lucid' in an airy atmosphere like 'Vangelis' had done, then, without real transition, 'Angel' takes over for an energetic rock with keyboards reminiscent of the band 'Saga' and choruses reminiscent of 'Styx', then 'Corpus Christi', after a powerful and fast introduction, calm down for a slow tempo that unfolds a catchy melody, and then the sequel sees various accelerations and fallouts follow until a few quick measurements for a rather abrupt end. The following title 'Ever After' changes again with a magnificent ballad where 'Annie Haslam' brings his aerial voice in addition to Joost's singing and is gaining momentum for an instrumental part with a beautiful guitar solo and with a line melodic repeated until the end, the fade out (which I generally do not appreciate), being in this case well used. With 'Judith Episode II', which is one of the most accessible titles, I have the impression to hear melodic lines that could be a cross between 'Arjen Anthony Lucassen' and 'Queen'. A new change of style with 'Alter Ego' that brings us back to a marriage between the 'Beatles' and 'Electric Light Orchestra', then, 'Burning Girl' embarks us in progressive metal with tensions and relaxation throughout the title which makes it one of the highlights of the album. Without transition, 'Demon' makes us return to serenity with a power ballad that starts very calmly and offers a crescendo until a sudden break for a final with some piano notes and sound effects, the album ending as he started, with 'Dreams' and the heavenly voice of 'Marie Doesburg' in a symphonic atmosphere. In summary, this last album of 'Joost Maglev', composed of a patchwork of different genres, is finally of an exceptional richness if you take time to tame it listening after listening and 'Alter Ego' should please to all fans of progressive music loving mixing genres and eras...

Line Up / Musicians

Joost Maglev (Vocal, Tous les instruments) + invités : Mark Bogert (Guitar), David Clarkson (Drums), Valensia Clarkson (Instruments, Choirs), Ben Craven (Guitar), Marie Doesburg (Vocal), Annie Haslam (Vocal), Sebas Honing (Guitar), Arjen Anthony Lucassen (Guitar), Stefan Maas (Drums), Joop de Rooij (Piano), Faried Verheul (Guitar)

Artist : 'Ain

Album : Flor d’Elixir

Release Date : 05-03-2019

Added : 15-05-2019

After the very good album of ‘Elitania' (see here), Mexico is still on the front of the symphonic metal scene with ''Ain' (do not forget the apostrophe before Ain which is a latinization of 'ayin meaning the eye) which is a duet consisting of mezzo-soprano 'Elena Garnes' and keyboardist 'Francisco Velasco' to which have been added several guests (see below). Although already close to 9 years of existence, 'Flor d'Elixir' is their first studio album and at the first listening, we are embarked on a symphonic style both powerful and melodic with Elena's lyric singing which can reminds 'Tarja' and in 'Time's Embrace' the choirs of the 'Panthea Choir Ensamble' bring an original encounter between metal and classical (Be Careful, in Spotify, there is a reversal between 'Black Lake' and 'Time's Embrace'). Several compositions have oriental melodic influences like 'Nacre Moonlight' or 'Adonia', others are more classic like mid-tempo 'Those Lost Things' and the melodic 'Winterheart', 'Black Lake' and 'Sleeping Alone', others are calmer as the power ballade 'Nieve Negra' or the magnificent 'Lake Black II' in Piano / Voice acoustics but the title track of the album is without contest 'Oracle' which is an epic saga closely of 15 minutes in the style of what 'Christofer Johnsson' can do with 'Therion' and which sums up the album by itself with a mix of classic and metal. Note that the Spotify version offers us two additional titles, the power ballad 'Vigourus Spring' and the magnificient 'Hidden' completely out of step with the rest because it is a sensual and stripped piano/voice between blues and jazz in which Elena shows all her talent with her clear voice. In summary, ''Ain' is a very promising new project mixing different styles of metal and 'Flor d'Elixir' can be recommended for all lovers of symphonic metal who like formations like 'Therion' or 'Epica'...

Line Up / Musicians

Elena Garnes (Vocal), Francisco Velasco (Piano, Keybords) + Invités : Nishad George (Guitar), Christophe Godin (Guitar), Paco Oso Morales (Bass), Koen Herfst (Drums), Ana María Pimentel Arámbula (Vocal), Romina Guardino (Chœurs), Panthea Choir Ensemble (Chœurs), Felipe A. Souza (Guitar)

Artist : Opus Aeterna

Album : Ad Vitam Aeternam

Release Date : 04-03-2019

Added : 14-04-2019

'Opus Aeterna' is the project of a Frenchman living in Mexico City who mixes classical music with electric instruments and drums. Although he talks about metal, we are far from saturated guitar riffs and the melodic lines are essentially influenced by baroque and classical music with ubiquitous choruses and if we made a parallel with certain compositions of 'Christopher Johnson' from the 'Therion' who also mixes classic and metal (see his latest titanic work 'Below Antechrist' here), one could say he's the soft side of 'Therion'. Each title could be a reference to classical musicians but, it seemed to me that only the 'Ave Maria' was that of 'Gounod' and that the other compositions are original. We thus navigate through classical melodies where classical instruments and choruses predominate as in 'In Saecula Saeculorum' or 'Funereal Concerto' with an entirely classical first part and which sees the electric instruments appear quite late in each title. Globally, the ensemble is very accessible with mostly slow tempos where the choirs accompany the melody. In short, if you like mixing classical choruses with electric instruments and groups like 'Therion' are familiar to you, you should adopt 'Ad Vitam Aeternam' which should be soon followed by a new album for the summer will call 'Peccata Mundi'...

Line Up / Musicians

Flow (Tous les instruments)

Artist : Mostly Autumn

Album : White Rainbow

Release Date : 01-03-2019

Added : 09-04-2019

'Sight Of Day' was for me one of the musts of the 2017 year (see here) and the end of 2018 saw the release of the new album of 'Mostly Autumn', 'White Rainbow' but it's only on March 1st that the first CD is finally available on streaming platforms. This last album has a particular resonance because, after the disappearance of his companion 'Liam Davison' (listen to his solo album of 2011 here), 'Bryan Josh' decided him to pay tribute with compositions of extraordinary emotional strength and from the first listening, I was completely caught by these melancholic melodies that triggered me repeatedly this thrill so characteristic and despite the duration of about 1 hour and 20 minutes, when the last chords of 'Young' arrive, we only want to press the play button again. 'Procession' starts the album with Irish bagpipe (Uillean Pipes) from the guest of honor 'Troy Donockley' and is a slow funeral procession to introduce the long title 'Viking Funeral' and its different parts that alternate melancholy and rage to better transmit these two feelings to us during the loss of a loved one and who has a very 'Floydian' final of great strength. The ballad 'Burn' follows with the appearance of ‘Olivia Sparnenn' who, from the first chords, carries us on a small cloud and continues to enchant us with the following title 'Run for the Sun' whose guitar solo final increases the slider of emotion one more step and the next title 'Western Skies' continues in this emotional highlight by adding a more progressive aspect to the second part of the title. The following scrolls the very melodic 'Into the Stars', 'Up' with its progressive structure, 'The Undertow' which is the only title written by 'Chris Johnson' and the short and stripped 'Gone', but the main piece is, of course, the eponymous title of the album of almost 20 minutes which alone is worth the purchase of this CD and which contains all the ingredients of an intense progressive mixing various influences with among others a first part very 'Floydien'. On the ray of magical moments, I could quote the first chorus of 'Olivia Sparnenn' at 9.40' which takes over from 'Bryan Josh' and which gives me goose bumps every time I listen to it : just Beautiful. After this intense moment, the last title 'Young' pays a last tribute but this time starting in a very bare way to keep only the substantive marrow of the music and ends this opus in the most beautiful way. In summary, as you will understand, 'White Rainbow' is much more than a simple album because, beyond the simple listening, it is necessary above all to feel it in the deepest of oneself and, if it is your case, you will have the wonderful surprise to live moments of a beautiful emotional intensity...

Line Up / Musicians

Olivia Sparnenn (Vocal, Percussions), Bryan Josh (Vocal, Guitar), Iain Jennings (Keybords, Hammond), Chris Johnson (Guitar, Vocal), Andy Smith (Bass), Angela Gordon (Flute, Keybords, Vocal), Henry Rogers (Drums) + Invité : Troy Donockley (Flute, Uillean Pipes)

Artist : Tim Bowness

Album : Flowers At The Scene

Release Date : 01-03-2019

Added : 10-04-2019

The releases of 'Tim Bowness' follow each other and after the very good 'Lost in the Ghost Light' in 2017 (see here), it's the turn of' Flowers At The Scene to take shape. He continues to offer us a style between pop and rock and this last album contains compositions less accessible than the previous one and it took me several listenings to draw all the richness, perhaps due to deeper melodies and sonorities more contemporary. As usual, he has invited an impressive number of artists from different backgrounds with a certain 'Steven Wilson' (see his latest live here) who participates to 'It's The World' which is well in the style of English. In general, the atmosphere is close to Tim's and Steven’s 'No-Man' project (see the album ‘Schoolyard Ghosts’ here) with rather melancholy titles but where classical instruments are not only accompaniments but fully integrate and bring the atmosphere of the title, as with the strings in 'The Train That Pulled Away' with the feeling of finding the tempo of the rails when on a train or the atmospheric 'Borderline', where the trumpet accentuates this sensation of weightlessness, or still 'Ghostlike', with this tension accentuated by the heavy and repeated rhythm section. In summary, 'Tim Bownes' invites us, with this latest album, to a beautiful journey filled with emotion and great musical richness, mixing several styles between art-rock and atmospheric and 'Flowers At The Scene' is recommended to all those who favor a calm and melancholy style...

Line Up / Musicians

Tim Bowness (Vocal) + Invités : Peter Hammill (Vocal, Guitar), Andy Partridge (Guitar), Brian Hulse (Guitar, Keybords), James Matheos (Guitar), Kevin Godley (Vocal), Ian Dixon (Trompette), Aleksei Saks (Trompette), Colin Edwin (Bass), David K Jones (Bass), Tom Atherton (Drums), Dylan Howe (Drums), Charles Grimsdale (Drums), David Longdon (Flute, Choirs), Steven Wilson (Keybords), Alistair Murphy (Arrangements), Fran Broady (Violin)

Artist : Cats In Space

Album : Day Trip to Narnia

Release Date : 01-03-2019

Added : 11-04-2019

After 'Scarecrow' in 2017 (see here), ‘Cats In Space’ come back to earth in 2019 to offer us a new album 'Day Trip to Narnia' : they continue to give us a happy and bubbly 70/80 rock with ubiquitous choruses and the references to the groups mentioned in my previous review are still part of the trip but we could add some like the wacky side of 'Cheap Trick' with the short 'She Talks Too Much' or 'Queen' with the beautiful melody of 'Tragic Alter Ego' or the 'Beach Boys' with 'Silver and Gold' and its very seventies choruses or' Elton John 'with the beautiful ballad' Chasing Diamonds'. The second part of the album is the story of 'Johnny Rocket' in 7 episodes which is a little in the same register as the musical 'Starmania' of 'Luc Plamandon' and 'Michel Berger' of the late 70s (is the name of 'Johnny Rocket' not an allusion to 'Johnny Rockfort' of 'Starmania' ?). In any case, everything was written to reflect the 70s with a 'Thunder In The Night' reminiscent of the 'Bee Gees' with 'Saturday Night Fever', which brought together rock and the fashion style of this time, the disco. In short, with this latest album, the 'Cats In Space' make us travel back in time and this 'Day Trip to Narmia' with very accessible and varied melodies should reach a wide audience who loves the period of the seventies...

Line Up / Musicians

Paul Manzi (Vocal), Greg Hart (Guitar, Choirs), Steevi Bacon (Drums, Choirs), Dean Howard (Guitar, Choirs), Jeff Brown (Bass, Choirs), Andy Stewart (Keybords)

Artist : Mike Tramp

Album : Stray from the Flock

Release Date : 01-03-2019

Added : 26-04-2019

It's been more than 20 years since the Danish 'Mike Tramp' started a solo career in parallel with his participation in 'White Lion' whose last album 'Return to the Pride' already dates from 2008 and his last studio album of 2017 (see here). Mixing song and rock, he continues the tradition of this style as did artists like 'Bryan Adams', 'John Mellecamp', 'Elton John' or 'Bruce Springsteen' and it is this latter name that comes to my mind when listening to 'Dead and Ride', the ballad 'Homesick' or 'Live It Out' that have melodies terribly effective and immediately catch and are well in the style of the American. But beyond this aspect, it also delivers us a more dense title 'End of War' of more than 8 minutes which alternates several tempos and which comes out of a classic construction and which brings a slight progressive side. In summary, 'Mike Tramp' offers us an 11th album very enjoyable to listen to and continues to maintain the style of rock artists of the 80s, I quote: « I am a torchbearer of my musical heroes. The seed they planted in me keeps growing and I keep going on and on »...

Line Up / Musicians

Mike Tramp (Vocal, Guitar), Morten Buchholz (Keybords), Søren Andersen (Guitar), Dane Jesper Haugaard (Bass), Morten Hellborn (Drums)

Artist : Bryan Adams

Album : Shine A Light

Release Date : 01-03-2019

Added : 27-04-2019

At the same time as 'Mike Tramp' (see here), Canadian 'Bryan Adams' is releasing a new album 'Shine A Light', the latest 'Get Up' dating back to 2015 (see here). For over 40 years, this is the 14th recording studio and this latest opus contains 12 songs for a short duration of 35 minutes. As he accustomed us in the past, this offering contains energetic nuggets that catch you at the first listening with effective melodic lines where you can’t help to move your head to the rhythm of the music, and this, from the first title of the album, then, with the fast 'Part Friday Night Part Sunday Morning' country-style, or 'Driving Under the Influence Of Love' and his boogie rock tempo reminiscent of 'Status Quo' or 'All Or Nothing' and his guitar riff reminiscent of 'AC / DC' or the very sixties of 'No Time From Love' or 'I Could Get Used To This' and his chorus to sing loudly. He also knows how to change atmospheres with quieter titles such as the beautiful ballads 'Talk To Me' and 'Whiskey In The Jar' or mid-tempos 'That's How Strong Our Love Is' mid-tempo where he shares the singing with 'Jennifer Lopez' and 'Do not Look Back' with its melancholic side. In short, the singer and guitarist with the hoarse voice that accompanied us for several decades returns on the eve of his 60 years in a way to the essence of a rock, catchy and authentic, and offers us a quality album, effective and very accessible : to consume without moderation...

Line Up / Musicians

Bryan Adams (Vocal, Guitar), Johan Carlsson (Bass, Guitar, Piano), Mickey Curry (Drums), Keith Scott (Guitar), Josh Freeze (Drums), Jim Valalnce (Keybords), Phil Thornalley (Bass) + Invité : Jennifer Lopez (Vocal)

Artist : Elitania

Album : INRI

Release Date : 28-02-2019

Added : 18-04-2019

We go to the homeland of 'Marcela Bovio' (see his latest solo album here), Mexico with the symphonic metal band 'Elitania' which has just released its 2nd studio album 'INRI' after a very noticeable 'Templos de Cristal' in 2015. 2018 saw a major change of line up with the arrival of new singers, mezzo-soprano 'Katherine Lara' and tenor 'Marco Muñoz' and new instrumentalists' Edgar Torres' and 'Victor Hernandez' on guitars and 'Sergio Cruz' on bass, the rest of the group being composed of the original 3 members, the composer and baritone 'Cristobal Aguilar Basulto', the soprano 'Yesenia Jacobo' and the drummer 'Kevin Molina'. They continue to offer us a symphonic and epic metal with a variety in singing brought by their four registers that they use either in lyrical or in clear vocals and with instrumental arrangements mixing classical sounds brought by the keyboards and the power of the metal brought by the riffs of electric guitars. With 12 tracks for a total of 83 minutes of listening, after the instrumental introduction, usual in this style, which can be reminiscent of the composer 'Dvorjak', titles, all as melodic as each other, scroll : 'Promoteo' opens the ball with a first lyrical performance and we already make a first parallel with 'Therion' (see their latest album here); 'Aztlán' adds a layer and this time, the grandiose melody makes me think more of the Russians of ‘Imperial Age’ (see their latest album here) and the mid-tempo 'Anhata' continue in this style with beautiful choirs in the slow part while 'Cuando la Noche Abraza and Cielo' brings us back to a melodic symphonic close to 'Nightwish'. Follows the catchy 'Más allá de las estrellas' which precedes the magnificent ballad 'Samsara' which has nothing to envy to the most beautiful ballads of 'Therion' and which has a majestic chorus and powerful which give you goose bumps. The following scrolls 'Venus' which is certainly the most extreme title of the album with grawls and with a masterly rhythm section, then 'Las estrellas no brillarán jamas' which is close to a grandiose symphonic power metal with a progressive construction in several parts and which precedes the 2nd ballad 'Adiós' with a first part where piano and strings accompany a majestic lyric song, and which takes power in the continuation of the title. And it is already after 55 minutes of intense listening that we discover the dish of resistance of the album, the two parts of 'In Memorium' of about 29 minutes and which show the epic and progressive side of this group and his composer 'Cristobal Aguilar Basulto' who embark us for a saga, with first part 1, which could be described as mini metal opera, then the second which is more turned, at first, towards an epic power metal alternating growls and lyrical singing and which settles down for a more quiet part accompanied by the instruments of the orchestra and with a real opera final. In summary, although ‘INRI' will be intended certainly for a informing audience loving symphonic metal mixing classical lyric singing and the power of electric instruments, the Mexicans of ‘Elitania' have still climbed a stair and confirm with this latest album which has an extraordinary density and richness, that they are now at the same levels as the tenors of the genre...

Line Up / Musicians

Yesenia Jacobo (Vocal), Kat Lara (Vocal), Cristobal Aguilar Basulto (Vocal), Marco Muñoz (Vocal), Victor Hernandez (Guitar, Grawls), Edgar Torres (Guitar), Sergio Cruz (Bass), Kevin Molina (Drums)

Artist : MoodMan

Album : Man of the New Age

Release Date : 28-02-2019

Added : 08-05-2019

After 'Benjamin Simpson' and his album 'Broken Figurines' (see here), here's a Polish artist 'Witold Rolnik' who releases his first studio album 'Man of the New Age' and which is a concept album that addresses topics related to life in the 21st century and this desire that we all have to live better in our current world. If I mentioned 'Benjamin Simpson', it's because these two artists have one thing in common : they are influenced by the progressive rock of the '70s and by listening to the first eponymous title of the album of 'Witold Rolnik', I found myself in a world familiar with this atmospheric ambiance that envelops you in a delicate way and quietly unfolds a beautiful melody with alternating tensions and relaxation with of course the name of 'Roger Waters' that comes immediately to mind and who brings back to the compositions of the American. The whole is a series of melancholy compositions but above enough optimistic in this atmospheric atmosphere where the music is there to serve the lyrics as in 'I'm Stuck Here' and this feeling of being stuck in the routine of the daily life is very well rendered by a haunting and repetitive melody but grows on the end to image a possible freedom. In summary, the Polish 'Witold Rolnik' releases a promising first album that already shows all his compositional talents, and, as I said for 'Benjamin Simpson', certainly has all the abilities to forge his own name and evolve to not to get stuck with this label of too much 'Waterian' influences...

Line Up / Musicians

Witold Rolnik (Vocal, Guitar, Piano, Keybords) + Invités : Paweł Korbacz, Jan Mazurek, Paweł Pełczyński, Sergiusz Suporn, Karolina Supron, Hania Sztachańska, Aleksandra Maćkowiak, Katarzyna Nowak, Joanna Stach, Jakub Frydrych, Bartek Kucz, Stanisław Supron

Artist : Delain / Visions Of Atlantis

Album : Hunter’s Moon / The Deep & The Dark - Live

Release Date : 22-02-2019

Added : 30-03-2019

With this chronicle I gathered 2 albums of symphonic metal that were released the same day, first of all the new 'Delain', 'Hunter's Moon' which includes 4 new titles and 10 live tracks recorded during the last tour 'The Dance Macabre Tour' (see their latest studio album here), and the latest live album of' Visions Of Atlantis', 'The Deep & The Dark - Live', (see their latest studio album here) which is the concert given at the last tour of 'Symphonic Metal Nights'. For me, these two bands have this same overflowing and communicative energy on stage and each concert is a real communion with the public.

Regarding 'Hunter's Moon' of 'Delain', before returning to the studio for the recording of the 6th studio album and to make us wait, they offer us 4 new titles with first a magnificent 'Masters of Destiny' which is pure 'Delain' with breaks between powerful symphonic parts and others quieter and 'Charlotte Wessels' offers a high-end vocal prestation. The other 3 tracks are a energetic 'Hunter's Moon' where 'Timo Somers' brings growls we not used to hear in the past with 'Delain', then the short 'This Silence Is Mine' which is very rich at the instrumental level and finally 'At Kills' which moves away from the symphonic for a more solid title with again growls and a rhythmic close to the industrial metal. The sequel is a best off of live tracks with the last 2 albums best represented and shows all the mastery in concert with an irreproachable sound and the intervention of 'Marco Hietala' of 'Nightwish' on several titles allows beautiful duets with ' Charlotte Vessels' (see also their beautiful live to celebrate their 10 year career here).

Regarding the live of 'Visions of Atlantis', it is taken almost from the entire last album (except 'Prayer to the Lost', which I regret his absence from the live but we console ourselves with the magnificent 'The Last Home' and an even more touching performance in public of 'Clémentine Delauney' than in the studio album, the French having really taken the place she deserves for many years to become one of the best symphonic metal female singers). With these new compositions, the short set of 48 minutes shows all the dynamism that can deploy this band in concert with accessible powerful and fast titles as the first one, the eponymous title of the last album that puts you right in the bath. This tour was also a bit special considering the passage of witness between the singer 'Siegfried Samer' who was integrated in the group since 2013 and who goes to new adventures with 'Dragonfly' (see their latest album here), and the newcomer, the Italian 'Michele Guaitoli' who is no stranger since he is still one of the members of the Italian group 'Temperance' (see their latest album ). Without making any comparison, I will simply say that the new duet in singing works as well as the old one and this live makes it possible to realize it better since the 2 singers sing each one part of the set.

In summary, these two albums are two condensed of positive energy and show how these two formations have the talent to transmit it to their audience and are made for the stage, and if you like this style, I strongly advise you to go see them in concert, nothing can replace the live atmosphere...

Line Up / Musicians

Delain :
Charlotte Wessels (Vocal), Martijn Westerholt (Keybords), Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije (Bass), Joey Marin de Boer (Drums), Timo Somers (Guitar), Merel Bechtold (Guitar)

Visions Of Atlantis :
Clémentine Delauney (Vocal), Siegfried Samer (Vocal), Michele Guaitoli (Vocal), Christian Douscha (Guitar), Herbert Glos (Bass), Thomas Caser (Drums)

Artist : Dream Theater

Album : Distance Over Time

Release Date : 22-02-2019

Added : 01-04-2019

3 years after the fabulous 'The Astonishing' (see review here) which stimulated much attention from the mucial reviewer, the Americans of 'Dream Theater' released a new album 'Distance Over Time' bringing their studio discography to 14 in thirty years which is a good average given the richness of each new album. At the first listening, I naturally tried to compare it to its predecessor which makes no sense because each album of 'Dream Theater' must be taken as something unique and this 'Distance Over Time' is simply a continuation in this melting pot of influences transformed into Progressive Music. Indeed, for this album, it is appropriate to take each title individually and not in a set as for a concept album because there is not really a common frame: 'Unthetered Angel' is a driving title with a construction filled with tempo breaks which already highlight 'Mike Mangini' in the rhythm section. 'Paralyzed' that follows is a mid-tempo slowly unfolding its melody in a rather heavy atmosphere and 'Fall Into The Light' is one of my favorite songs with a calm melodic part of the band a little like the style of 'Lanvall' from 'Edenbridge' which is sandwiched between two more powerful ones with a beautiful keyboard solo at the end of the title reminiscent of the golden age of hard rock in the 70s. With 'Barstool Warrior', it's is the typical example that shows the expanded influences of 'Dream Theater' because the calm and serene melody with melodic lines is reminiscent of 70/80 rock bands. With 'Room 137', a change of style with a catchy rhythmic that juxts a heavy mid-tempo part containing a nod to 'I'm The Walrus' of the 'Beatles' and in 'S2N', it's a mix of hard-rock with the bass that leads the dance and progressive passages where keyboards and guitar offer us beautiful solos. The end of the album scrolls a 'At Wit's End' with drawers and beautiful melodic passages, the beautiful ballad 'Out Of Reach' which gradually grows to fall on the end and finally, 'Pale Blue Dot' which is an epic piece of over 8 minutes that makes me say definitely that we can not limit' Dream Theater 'to a progressive metal tag, so they take us in multiple styles up to an instrumental section at the beginning of the 2nd part that flirts with contemporary music, and finally, 'Viper King' much more classic that brings us back to a hard rock close to 'Deep Purple'. In short, as you will understand, 'Distance Over Time' is still an album of great richness that is revealed slowly, listening after listening, and which shows all the creativity of this out of the ordinary group that surprises us with each release and which makes 'Dream Theater' one of the pretender for the podium of the leaders of progressive music...

Line Up / Musicians

James LaBrie (Vocal), John Petrucci (Guitar), John Myung (Bass), Jordan Rudess (Keybords), Mike Mangini (Drums)

Artist : Rhapsody Of Fire

Album : The Eighth Mountain

Release Date : 22-02-2019

Added : 03-04-2019

Difficult to navigate in all evolutions between the group of 'Luca Turilli' and 'Fabio Leone' and that of Alex Staropoli ', especially since 2018 which saw the original reformation of the band 'Rhapsody' for the '20 Anniversary Farewell Tour 'World. In short, the keyboard player 'Alex Staropoli' is since 2011 the leader of 'Rhopsody Of Fire' and the line up now consists of the new drummer 'Manu Lotter' and new singer 'Giacomo Voli' and Alessandro Sala 'on bass and 'Roby De Micheli' on guitar (the latter 2 being already present on the album 'Into The Legend' of 2016). But, in any case, the historical fans of all groups containing 'Rhapsody' will certainly be delighted of this last album because the only thing that has not moved, is this so particular style of an epic symphonic power metal born in the 90s. Indeed, we can not be wrong, we are in 'Rhapsody' pure juice with fast and powerful songs with great reinforcements of choirs and melodies that enter into your head without letting you go, all this with the two new artists who quickly integrated, on the one hand 'Giacomo Voli’ who has a powerful voice who knows adapt perfectly to each composition and secondly, 'Manu Lotter' which ensures the rhythm section in a beautiful way. Between all this ardor and to allow welcome breaks, the Italians offer us quieter titles with first a melodic 'White Wizard', nevertheless quite fast but without the double pedal, 'Warrior Heart' with its medieval intonations, the epic and symphonic saga 'March Against The Tyrant' which alternates moods with an acoustic guitar that looks like a 'Stairway to Even' then a rise to power and a final that falls as it started, and for finish the ballad 'The Wind, The Rain, The Moon' which also shows that 'Giacomo Voli' is very comfortable also in restraint and knows how to transmit emotion. The album ends with a new epic saga, 'Tales Of A Hero's Fate', which sums up the album very well and where we find at the end of the title the inimitable narrator 'Christopher Lee' who had already participated in the past to several albums of 'Rhapsody'. In short, the Italians of 'Rhapsody Of Fire' come back to the front of the stage with the same passion and, even if they still use the same old good recipes, deliver what they have always done best : this new album 'The Eighth Mountain' should fullfill all the fans historical and beyond all fans of a power metal fast, epic and symphonic...

Line Up / Musicians

Giacomo Voli (Vocal), Alex Staropoli (Keybords), Roby De Micheli (Guitar), Alessandro Sala (Bass), Manu Lotter (Drums)

Artist : Imperia

Album : Flames of Eternity

Release Date : 22-02-2019

Added : 05-04-2019

Four years is the cruising speed of Imperia album releases because, after 'Tears Of Silence' in 2015 (see here), 'Flames of Eternity' is the fifth album since 2004. The band of the front woman 'Helena Iren Michaelsen' continues to offer us melodic and refined symphonic metal mixing power and serenity which is their trademark from the beginning. From the first title, 'The Scarred Soul', the fans are not disoriented with this mid-tempo mixing electric instruments and orchestra and which varies in intensity between the verses and the chorus. With 'Fear Is an Illusion' and 'Unspoken Words', the rhythm accelerates to offer on the one hand growls responding to the song of Helena', and on the other hand, a melody which immediately returns you in the head and that should be well welcomed in concert. The following alternates energy and melancholy, with the rise of the slow tempo of 'Book Of Love' where Helena shows once again at the end of the title all her talents as a soprano, then, the fast 'Blinded' that certainly would not been disavow by 'Tarja', the beautiful melancholy ballad 'Invisible Tears' with very beautiful arrangements that can recall the atmosphere of 'Spirit Chase' or 'Broken Wings' from previous albums, 'Otherside' mixing power and melancholy enhanced by a magnificent solo of violin, the beautiful 'Beauty Within' with folk intonations and a beautiful duet of Helena with the singer 'Oliver Philipps' of Everon' who had participated in the project 'Phantasma' (see here), the album ending with the energetic 'My Guardian Angel', 'The Ocean' with oriental intonations, the very s tripped and beautiful piano/voice ballad 'A Crying Heart', as 'Lanvall' and 'Sabine Edelsbacher' had done in the 'Voiciano' project (see here) and an equally neat cover of 'Mother' from the album 'A Woman Diary Chapter 1' from Helena's second project 'Angel' (see here). In summary, 'Flames of Eternity' confirms all the talent of this group that knows how to vary the atmosphere between power and serenity and which represents for me the accessible side of a melodic and elegant symphonic metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Helena Iren Michaelsen (Vocal), Jan Örkki Yrlund (Guitar), Gerry Verstreken (Bass), Steve Wolz (Drums)

Artist : Professor Tip Top

Album : Hybrid Hymns

Release Date : 22-02-2019

Added : 07-04-2019

After a very good 'Life Is No Matter' in 2017 (see here), we find again the Norwegians of 'Professor Tip Top' with a new album 'Hybrid Hymns'. As in the previous opus, they bring us back to this so particular style between psychedelic and progressive rock of the 70s with always the same references that come to mind, 'Barclay James Harvest', 'Pink Floyd' or 'Alan Parsons Project' and some incursions in electronic music in very short titles as in the two 'Black Holes' and 'Light Generator' or the hypnotic 'The Dogs Are Coming' very Floydien with its heady melody. But most titles are ballads full of serenity like 'An Akward Choice', 'Machine Emotions' or 'Turing Machines' that give us the impression of listening to an album of 'BJH'. With 'Data Mining' which is still very quiet, we have the right to a jazzy part at mid-title, the instrumental 'Passion' looks like 'Focus' first period and 'The Final Night' returns one last times to these seventy influences. In summary, the Norwegians 'Professor Tip Top' continue their merry way by offering us a new quality album still influenced by the psychedelic rock of the 70s and if you like the groups mentioned above or if you need a well-deserved break, 'Hybrid Hymns' is made for you and is a harmless anti-depressant to consume without moderation...

Line Up / Musicians

Svein Magnar Hansen (Vocal), Sam Fossbakk (Guitar, Keybords, Vocal), Stein Høgseth (Bass), Charles Wise (Drums)

Artist : The Room

Album : Caught by the Machine

Release Date : 22-02-2019

Added : 16-04-2019

'The Room' is a rock band founded in 2010 that has just released its third album 'Caught by the Machine'. At the first listening, we find group influences like 'Saga', 'Marillion' or 'Arena' with a less developed progressive side because the compositions have rather classical couplet/chorus structures but globally, the whole is accessible thanks to melodic lines easily assimilated as in the energetic 'Bodies on the Road' or in 'Broken' that brings us back to the 80s or with 'Just Walk Away' which starts in mid-tempo and accelerates on the end of the title. However, some tracks come out of this scheme with 'The Golden Ones' and the ballad 'Vanished' and their instrumental part in the middle of the title, then 'Drowning in Sound', which takes us on for almost 9 minutes in a theatrical atmosphere. theatrical enough where there are changes of tempo and intensity and sees the singer 'Kim Seviour' of the group 'Touchstone' make a brief appearance and finally, 'It's not my Home' with a first part with a nice swaying rhythmic and then a rise in power with magnificent alternations between sung and instrumental parts. In summary, 'The Room' releases a quality rock album with accessible melodies and 'Caught by the Machine' is recommended for a public loving melodic rock with some incursions into the progressive music...

Line Up / Musicians

Martin Wilson (Vocal), Steve Anderson (Guitar), Eric Bouillette (Guitar, Violin), Mark Dixon (Keybords), Chris York (Drums), Andy Rowe (Bass) + Invités : Kim Seviour (Vocal), John Mitchell (Choirs)

Artist : Rhys Marsh

Album : October After All

Release Date : 22-02-2019

Added : 20-04-2019

The Englishman 'Rhys Marsch' continues his solo career by releasing his 3rd album 'October After All'. He marries the melancholy song with some progressive touches and multiple influences ranging from jazz, to more contemporary sounds to pop through the ages. Listening to the first track 'River' puts us in the general mood of the album with an effective melody and a fairly conventional structure verse/chorus and 'Long Way Back' that follows brings a jazzy side with the interventions of a saxophone and of a trumpet. 'Golden Lullaby' continues in this airy and delicate style and 'Ride The New Wave' pursues in this direction but varies in intensity due to bring to the forefront of keyboards layers. The suite offers the semi-acoustic ballad 'The Butterflies', 'Let It Be Known!' bringing a heavier sound with beautiful vocal harmonies, 'One Hundred Memories' returning to a refined atmosphere with its slow tempo, then 'The Summer Days' is cheerful at first part and darker in the middle of the title while '22' we brings back to a melancholy melody where we find again the trumpet that accentuates the atmospheric aspect, the album ending with the 7 minutes of '(It Will Be) October After All' which slowly unfolds an air melody embellished on the end by a languishing saxophone. In summary, if you like quiet and melancholic moods with slow tempos, this latest album 'Rhys March' is for you and is to listento in a quietly place to unwind from an exhausting day...

Line Up / Musicians

Rhys Marsh (Vocal, Tous les instruments) + Invités : Arve Henriksen (Trompette), Kåre Kolve (Saxophone), Rohey (Choirs), Silje Leirvik (Choirs), Anders Bjermeland (Choirs), Tim Bowness (Choirs)

Artist : Mortanius

Album : Till Death Do Us Part

Release Date : 22-02-2019

Added : 22-04-2019

'Mortanius' is a duet composed by singer and guitarist 'Lucas Flocco' and bassist 'Jesse Shaw' who started their career in 2013 and have just released 'Till Death Do Us Part' which is their first long studio album, several EP having emerged previously. They define themselves as doing progressive power metal and one could add neoclassical influences with the use of keyboards with classical organ or harpsichord sounds. Another peculiarity is the singing of 'Lucas Flocco' which is recognizable between a thousand and has a voice quite acute and nasal which may be disconcerting for some but, for my part, even if it does not fit into the boxes of a classical song, has this difference that he exploits thoroughly and which finally agrees well with the style. 'Facing the Truth' opens the album with the shortest title and sets the scene with an energetic title that offers a first melody that enters into your head immediately. But it is in the following 3 tracks that one realizes that 'Mortanius' is also a progressive metal formation with 'Disengage', which starts in a calm way and remembers sonorities of 'Therion' and which alternates fast tempos where the double pedal is used and others much more quiet as in the middle of the title where we are entitled to a long instrumental passage long and melodic with the highlighting of keyboards and a nice guitar solo . 'Jaded' continues in this direction with the singing of 'Jonas Heidgert' in addition to 'Lucas Flocco' but the main piece of the album is 'Till Death Do Us Part' of more than 18 minutes which is an epic saga in several parts which starts calmly in a relatively classical atmosphere and which proposes changes of rhythm and power and melodic lines always very accessible bringing us quite often to neoclassical and this without any weariness throughout the title. The last more anecdotal title is a cover of 'Wham' also showing the attachment to a more pop style that they have slightly 'metalized'. In summary, 'Till Death Do Us Part' is an album which has to be tamed listening after listening and which finally shows great richness in the arrangements and beautiful instrumental parts: to advise all fans of an accessible progressive power metal who like the long developments...

Line Up / Musicians

Lucas Flocco (Vocal, Choirs, Guitar), Jesse Shaw (Bass) + Invités : Ollie Bernstein (Guitar), AJ Larsen (Guitar), Leo Figaro (Vocal), Jonas Heidgert (Vocal)

Artist : The Claypool Lennon Delirium

Album : South of Reality

Release Date : 22-02-2019

Added : 24-04-2019

'The Claypool Lennon Delirium' was born a few years ago from the association of 'Sean Lennon' (son of 'John Lennon' and 'Yoko Ono') and 'Leslie Edward Claypool' while they were playing together with their respective bands 'The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger' for Sean and 'Primus' for 'The'. From this collaboration, a first album was released in 2016, 'Monolith of Phobos' (see here), which already showed strong influences from early psychedelic and progressive formations 70's with references to the early period of 'Pink-Floyd' with 'Syd Barrett' and 2017 confirmed this tendency to pay tribute to this golden period of psychedelic with the release of an EP 'Lime & Limpid Green' (see here) with covers of 'Pink Floyd', 'The Who' and 'King Krimson'; 2019 sees the release of a new studio album, 'South of Reality' which continues in this style but adding references to the period of the sixties with obviously nods to the 'Beatles': from the first title' Little Fishes', they mix a light pop with psychedelic intonations with a very successful fusion between these two styles, then 'Blood and Rockets' continue in this way with a song alternating wonderfully a hopping tempo and a slower one that brings us back to the 'Abbey Road' period of the 'Beatles' with references to 'Sun King'. The following is the image of these first 2 titles often with the crazy side of this era of liberation of morals with psychedelic arrangements that take us a few decades back. To this, as the 'Beatles' did, they add influences from other cultures with 'Cricket Chronicles Revisited' where we go on a journey between India and the East. In summary, this collaboration between the two Americans embarks us in the time machine to destination of the 60s / 70s and 'South of Reality' is recommended not only to all lovers of psychedelic but also to an audience much wider because all these compositions are not only very accessible but have also a wonderfully delirious side which, for my part, I adhere completely...

Line Up / Musicians

Sean Lennon Leslie (Vocal, Guitar), « Les » Edward Claypool (Vocal, Bass) + Invités : Paulo Baldi (Drums)

Artist : John Mayall

Album : Nobody Told Me

Release Date : 22-02-2019

Added : 25-04-2019

After 'Walter Trout' in early 2019 and his 'Survivor Blues' (see here), it's still a monument of music that has just released a new album 'Nobody Told Me', I named 'John Mayall' who at 85 years old continues to enchant us with always the same generosity and the same desire to transmit this always intact passion of blues. For this XXth album to not deceived me, I will not try to recount all his albums), he surrounded himself with talented artists of the six-string with among others 'Joe Bonamassa' (see his latest album 'Redemption' here) and her faithful guitarist 'Carolyn Wonderland' (see her latest album here). Not surprisingly, we are embarked on compositions that smell an authentic blues with titles that make you move to the rhythm of music and this from the beginning with for example 'What Have I Done Wrong' where we are already on a small cloud between the song of a young man of 20 years of John (with 65 years of experience !) and the feeling of 'Joe Bonamassa' which gives us the thrill from the first notes of the guitar solo . The whole is a mix of energetic tracks like 'That's What Love Will Make You Do' or 'Like It Like You Do', others more mid-tempo like 'Delta Hurricane' or 'It's so Tough' and others even more calm and sensual like 'Evil and Here to Stay', 'Distant Lonesome Train' or 'Nobody Told Me'. No need to add, place to music and as they say: 'enjoy'!

Line Up / Musicians

John Mayall (Vocal, Guitar, Harmonica), Billy Watts (Guitar), Greg Rzab (Bass), Jay Davenport (Drums) + Invités : Alex Lifeson (Guitar), Carolyn Wonderland (Guitar), Joe Bonamassa (Guitar), Larry Mccray (Guitar), Little Stevie Van Zandt (Guitar), Todd Rundgren (Guitar)

Artist : Avantasia

Album : Moonglow

Release Date : 15-02-2019

Added : 25-03-2019

Being used to the z7 concert hall near Basel, I never had a hard time finding places for different artists that I saw for some years, but here, the arrival of Avantasia 'scheduled with 2 dates in April 2019 already showed since more than one month the mention 'ausverkauft' (sold out) for the 2 dates, something we are not used to seeing in this beautiful room in Pratteln in Switzerland. Fortunately for me, a third concert was added after the first 2 because, after a 'Ghostlights' that had made a lot of noise in the metal sphere 3 years ago, 'Tobias Sammet' has again hit hard with his new album 'Moonglow' and if we read the comments on the past 3 years, we think that for an artist who had no taste for music, it has been largely arranged since ! As usual, it is a host of prestigious guests who participate in this album in which Tobias tells his own life and this constant pressure not to meet the expectations of the public. We are reassured for this pressure because, from the first title, 'Ghost in the Moon' embarks us in an epic fresco of almost 10 minutes with beautiful melodic lines and many changes of atmosphere where something is always happening and proves once again that 'Tobias Sammet' is an outstanding composer who always offers us great richness in vocal and instrumental arrangements. For short, despite a duration of an hour and ten minutes, all titles follow without any weariness and each brings its own personality and the various guest singers participate greatly because Tobias always has this talent of choose the right voices according to the type of composition, for example in the beautiful eponymous title of the album where, 'Candice Night' that we usually hear in another style (see the last album from 'Blackmore's Night' here), brings her beautiful aerial voice. Also noteworthy in this diversity of genres, the 'Maniac' cover of the 'Flashdance' musical comedy of the '80s, which has been slightly metalised and where 'Eric Martin' of the band 'Mr. Big' (see their latest album here) performs a great vocal performance. In summary, this new 'Avantasia' which is already the 8th (if we count one for the two parts of 'The Metal Opera'), is still a very nice surprise for the beginning of 2019 and shows all the talent of 'Tobias Sammet' to compose a clever mix of metal styles that go from power to melodic through speed, progressive and symphonic, all this to make something unique...

Line Up / Musicians

Tobias Sammet (Vocal, Bass, Keybords), Sascha Paeth (Guitar, Bass), Michael Rodenberg (Keybords, Piano), Felix Bohnke (Drums) + Invités : Ronnie Atkins (Vocal), Bob Catley (Vocal), Candice Night (Vocal), Eric Martin (Vocal), Geoff Tate (Vocal), Hansi Kürsch (Vocal), Jorn Lande (Vocal), Michael Kiske (Vocal), Mille Petrozza (Vocal)

Artist : Beast In Black

Album : From Hell with Love

Release Date : 09-02-2019

Added : 26-03-2019

'Beast In Black' is a project of the Finnish 'Anton Kabanen' who, after his leaving from 'Battle Beast', who he was the founder, has created this new band with the singer 'Yannis Papadopoulos' who brings a real plus to the band because it has such a wide register that one has the impression that he could appropriate all the styles. How to say, 'Beast In Black' is sort of a kind of hybrid creature that is a cross between the variety of the 80s brought by the use of synthesizers and the power metal brought by the riffs saturated with guitars. Listening to the begening of some titles, such as 'From Hell With Love', 'Sweet True Lies' or 'Die By the Blade', we are very far from the metal but a few seconds later, the power of the guitars is there to remind us that 'Beast In Black' is there to deliver us energetic compositions 'for feet', as the French artist 'Goldman' would say. As an example, the first 3 compositions set the scene with melodies that take you away and get into your head immediately. The rest continues in this style and I come back on 'Die By the Blade' which starts from a disco base which has been accelerated and 'metalized' and whose result is quite surprising. Of course, they also offer us a well-deserved break with the ballad 'Oceandeep' where 'Yannis Papadopoulos' also shows that he knows how to use his voice of head and this of beautiful way. We can note also 2 covers at the end of the album, 'Killed by Death' from 'Motorhead' and 'No Easy Way Out' from the soundtrack of 'Rocky IV' ('Robert Tepper'), both transformed to taste of the day. In summary, 'From Hell with Love', is an album filled with hits to consume without moderation and if you are a fan of metal and that the fact of metalizing melodies of international variety does not put you off, go ahead listen this last album of ' Beast In Black '...

Line Up / Musicians

Anton Kabanen (Vocal, Guitar), Yannis Papadopoulos (Vocal), Kasperi Heikkinen (Guitar), Mate Molnar (Bass), Atte Palokangas (Drums)

Artist : Against Myself

Album : Unity

Release Date : 08-02-2019

Added : 18-03-2019

'Against Myself' is a Spanish symphonic metal band that has already released 2 albums which the latest 'Odyssey to Reflexion' dates from 2015 and 2019 to see the release of a new studio recording 'Unity' which shows a great evolution and which allows to compete with the tenors of the genre like 'Xandria' (see here), 'Beyond The Black' (see here), 'Sirenia’ (see here) or 'Diabolus In Musica' to quote compatriots (see here). Indeed, 'Unity', of 65 minutes, is of a great richness with orchestrations and instrumental arrangements highlighting an impressive work. First, with the instrumental introduction quite common in this kind of album, we are seduced by the fact that the Spaniards have made a full-fledged composition (which is not always the case in the symphonic metal ) that sets the scene in an epic and grandiose atmosphere and is a real introduction to the following title 'Unity' which begins quietly and explodes at about 1 minute for a first melodic title very catchy where all the ingredients of a epic symphonic metal are there. After this powerful and energetic start, 'Hero's Soul' continues in this way all traced with a new title which will certainly be taken again in concert, then 'Over The Clouds' brings with its 7 minutes a progressive component with its ruptures of tempo and intensity while remaining epic thanks to always grandiose choruses. The following continues in this style with 'Demons', 'The Wanderer' and 'Kill to Live' with their unbridled rhythmic sections interspersed with the beautiful ballad 'Crystal Tower' for a welcome break. But the major title of the album is without contest 'Oniros' which is a progressive fresco at the same time epic and melancholic of more than 15 minutes with breaks of intensity and atmosphere and with its magnificent final which passes from a power grandiose to a last minute completely stripped down with some piano chords and a few hints of ‘Irene Villegas'. In summary, with 'Unity', the Spaniards of 'Against Myself' return in a very nice way on the front of the symphonic metal scene and this last album should appeal to all those who are fans of this style of music...

Line Up / Musicians

Carlos Alcalde (Keybords), Irene Villegas (Vocal), Raúl Plaza (Bass), Charly Carretón (Drums), Sergio Culebras (Guitar) + invité : Diego Teksuo (Vocal)

Artist : Razzmattazz

Album : Hallelujah

Release Date : 08-02-2019

Added : 20-03-2019

Listening to the first title 'A Gun for Hire' from the last album 'Hallelujah' from the Germans 'Razzmattazz', my foot started to beat on my own and I found myself a few decades back with a hard rock sound well known. In fact, you take a good dose of ‘AC/DC' and a bit of 'Status Quo' and you get 'Razzmattazz' with unadorned titles that smell like real hard rock and are played with crazy energy. Everything is therefore implemented to spend a good time with 10 compositions that knock your socks off and make you headbang from the first chords and with their guitar riffs go to the basics of hard-rock. In short, 'Razzmattazz' released an album for all hard-rock fans of the 80s and 'Hallelujah' is to consume without moderation...

Line Up / Musicians

Peter Ucik (Bass), Tom Schaupp (Vocal, Guitar), Ulf S. Gokeler (Drums), Wolle Heieck (Guitar, Vocal)

Artist : Within Temptation

Album : Resist

Release Date : 01-02-2019

Added : 10-03-2019

The new album 'Resist' from 'Within Temptation', whose release was postponed to 1 of February, was eagerly awaited by all the fans, their last album 'Hydra' already dating from 2014, the group having decided to take a well-deserved break after 20 busy years and this break has been beneficial to 'Sharon Den Adel' who released a solo recording 'My Indigo' in 2018 (see here). Although we read here and there that 'Within Temptation' has changed its style to be more pop, by listening to the first track 'The Reckoning', it is absolutely not this qualifier which comes to me first because the power is still there but the style has evolved to a more modern sound clearly highlighting keyboards and electronic sounds, guitar riffs being relegated to the background. The title that follows 'Endless War' continues in this evolution with a melodic line much closer to what we knew and the symphonic aspect, certainly much less marked, still appears by small touch in the form of grandiose choirs as also in 'Supernova'. The set shows us that 'Within Temptation' always has this talent to offer us accessible melodies that immediately enter the mind and that Sharon always has this voice that she can modulate perfectly according to the moods and the choice of titles for their next concerts may be quite complicated because it is difficult to find a title that has no potential to be interpreted in public. In summary, with this last album 'Resist', I will simply say that the Dutch of 'Within Temptation' sign on a certain continuity by looking for new sounds in the air of time which will undoubtedly allow them to on the one hand, to keep their historical fan base and, on the other hand, to win others and why not, popularize an accessible metal so that it becomes recognized by the general public like the ‘AC/DC’ Australians did for the hard-rock in the 80s...

Line Up / Musicians

Sharon Den Adel (Vocal), Robert Westerholt (Guitar), Martijn Spierenburg (Keybords), Jeroen van Veen (Bass), Ruud Jolie (Guitar), Stefan Helleblad (Guitar), Mike Coolen (Drums) + Invité : Jacoby Shaddix (Vocal), Anders Fridén (Vocal), Jasper Steverlinck (Vocal)

Artist : Opera Magna

Album : Del Amor y otros Demonios

Release Date : 01-02-2019

Added : 12-03-2019

'Del Amor and Tros Demonios - Acto III' is the last act of the trilogy started in 2014 and just released in early February 2019. The 3 acts are now gathered in an album of 1 hour and 20 minutes and the cover is now complete with a merge of the 3 covers of the EPs to make a complete fresco. For those who missed the previous episodes, 'Del Amor y otros Demonios' is a concept album in 3 parts of the Spanishs of ‘Opera Magna' who evolve in symphonic and epic power metal and the theme revolves around the feelings and emotions of human being. The first 2 EPs were marked by a mix of influences from opera as well as film music, all of which was metalized in a powerful and epic style. The third act is therefore the logical continuation and the Spaniards continue in this epic and grandiose atmosphere: the short introduction 'Requiem por un Vivo' brings us back to Mozart's sacred music and is reminiscent of certain passages in the Requiem. 'Mi Reino, El Olvido' that follows, starts like a musicof western with grandiose choruses that give way to a metal part enough speed that can recall the various projects of 'Luca Turilli' (see the album 'Prometheus - Symphonia Ignis Divinus' here). With 'Una Piedra en Dos Mitades', after a 3-minute instrumental introduction reminiscent of big-budget movie music, vocalizations by Spanish soprano 'Marta Barbe' introduce a part where Jose shares the singing with Marta in a tragic operatic atmosphere that offers a grandiose crescendo on the end. Follows 'In Nomine' which returns to a more classical powerful symphonic metal with grandiose choirs on the 2nd part of this last act ends with 'Lo Soñado Y Lo Vivido' of more than 11 minutes which is the culminating point, where 2 parts melancholic piano / voice surrounds 8 minutes which contain all the ingredients of a grandiose power metal that 'Opera Magna' has implemented in this trilogy. In summary, the Spaniards of ‘Opera Magna' confirm that they are the spearheads of a very particular kind quite common in the Mediterranean countries that are Spain and Italy but reserved for an informed public who loves this mixture between the power metal and the classical music and, with the last act of 'Del Amor y otros Demonios', they complete in a very beautiful way this ambitious work which can be now listened to integrally...

Line Up / Musicians

Jose Vte. Broseta (Vocal), Enrique Mompó (Guitar), Adrià Romero (Drums), Javier Nula (Guitar), Alejandro Penella (Bass), Rubén Casas (Keybords) + Invités : Mata Barbe (Vocal), Miguel Ángel Franco (Vocal)

Artist : Karfagen

Album : Echoes From Within Dragon Island

Release Date : 01-02-2019

Added : 14-03-2019

The Ukrainian 'Antony Kalugin' has been busy the last 2 years with the last 'Karibow' (see here) and the two parts of 'Messages from Afar' released under 2 names different projects, 'Karfagen' (see here) and 'Sunchild' (see here). The beginning of the year 2019 saw the release of a new album of 'Karfagen' which lasts an hour and a half and is inspired by the poet 'Robert Louis Stevenson' known for writing 'The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde' and who is the author of many novels and short stories, 'Antony Kalugin' having taken up some of his poems including, among others, 'The Country of Tales' and 'Little Earth'. From the beginning, these are the 3 parts of the master piece of the album, 'Dragon Island Suite', of about 54 minutes (just interspersed with a short title 'My Bed is a Boat') in which we embark on an imaginative and captivating musical journey, and exceptionally rich with all that we can find in progressive rock with the use of different classical instruments and a construction in drawers in which it is good to get lost and where the instrumental parts with multiple influences are numerous The rest of the album is mainly instrumental tracks with 'Flowing Books' which can recall some 'Focus' tracks in their first period, 'Winter Rock' which is an acoustic track full of sweetness, the suite of the 2 'Incantation' which are very varied instrumental titles and which make us travel through an atmospheric musical landscape, a summary of the 'Dragon Island' suite with certain instrumental passages chosen, 'Across the Dark We Steer' which is an orchestral composition, the album ending with the ballad 'Alight Again'. In summary, it is still a rich album that offers 'Antony Kalugin' and 'Echoes From Within Dragon Island' should please all fans of a sought progressive rock which has to be discovered little by little and filled with various and varied influences...

Line Up / Musicians

Antony Kalugin (Keybords, Vocal, Percussion, Flute), Max Velychko (Guitar), Oleg Prokhorov (basse), Viktor Sirotin (Drums), Tim Sobolev (Vocal), Olha Rostovska (Vocal), Sergey Obolonkov (Vocal), Sergii Kovalov (Accordion), Roman Gorielov (Guitar), Alexandr Pastuchov (Basson), Maria Baranovska (Violin), Elena Kushiy (Flute), Igor Solovey (Cor Français), Tatiana Kurilko (Cor Anglais), Kostya Shepelenko (Drums), Michail Sidorenko (Saxophone), Georgiy Katunin (Lyra à roue), Olga Vodolazhskaya (Vocal,Guitar)

Artist : Anubis

Album : Lights Of Change (Live In Europe 2018)

Release Date : 01-02-2019

Added : 12-04-2019

after the very good 'The Second Hand' in 2017 (see here) and 'Different Sories' (see here) which was covers of their titles in acoustics and which had been registered to be able to finance their 2018 tour, the Australians of ‘Anubis' celebrate their 10 years of existence with a double live album which is precisely a summary of their European tour 2018 with a first recorded part at the 'Loreley Amphitheater' in Germany (see video above), and a second at a small club in Holland where they took over their entire album that had made them known internationally 'A Tower of Silence' . We find throughout these two hours and a quarter of concerts a best of their discography in this progressive atmosphere, melodic and atmospheric with an impressive live sound that makes the 2nd recording quite close to the original studio. In short, 'Lights Of Change' is a nice gift for all fans and beyond, a good way for those who do not know 'Anubis' to discover them in a sample of what they have produced so far...

Line Up / Musicians

Robert James Moulding (Vocal, Guitar, Percussions), David Eaton (Keybords, Bass, Vocal), Douglas Skene (Guitar, Vocal), Dean Bennison (Guitar, Vocal), Anthony Stewart (Bass, Vocal), Steve Eaton (Drums)

Artist : Cosmic Rain

Album : Seekers

Release Date : 30-01-2019

Added : 23-03-2019

'Cosmic Rain' is a Swiss group which, after a first EP in 2017 'Utopia', released a studio album, 'Seekers', on the beginning of 2019. Their style draws its influences in several decades of progressive and mix rock, hard rock and metal. The short instrumental 'Cadiz Ouverture' serves as an introduction to 'Sils-Maria' which embeds us in a typically progressive title with different tempos and an alternation of tensions and relaxation, the title ending with a magnificent guitar solo. 'Dimensional Gate' continues in this register with accessible melodic lines and a new guitar finale worthy of 'Steve Hackett' (see his last album here). Follow 'The Power That Be' and 'The Marmor Cliffs' which are more classic titles in the structure but we return to the progressive with 'The Journey and its Tones' of 10 minutes, which mix different ambiances very far from each other with, firstly, a first acoustic part with beautiful melodic lines, then, change of scenery, with a short heavy and powerful section accompanied by grawls, and it is then a new break that brings us back to a much quieter part where the arpeggios of guitar accompany the singing of 'Laurent Nigg' in a mid-tempo which accelerates and takes power on the end of the title to fall back with some chords sung. In summary, the Swiss of 'Cosmic Rain' released a very good first album mixing different styles and 'Seekers' should appeal to all those looking for diversity in progressive music...

Line Up / Musicians

Laurent Nigg (Vocal, Guitar), Arnaud Bosch (Keybords), Willem Jochems (Drums), Marc Joray (Bass)

Artist : Benjamin Simpson

Album : Broken Figurines

Release Date : 29-01-2019

Added : 22-03-2019

Apart from a short presentation on the very good site 'New Prog Releases', the latest album of 'Benjamin Simpson', 'Broken Figurines' do not make the buzz on the web but this young American has already released 2 solo albums and 'Broken Figurines' is the latest in date. Also note that he has also a project with the band 'Mother Fore' (see here). At the first chords, even if the production is still to improve, I found myself in a well known atmosphere with very strong references to 'Roger Waters' in the period 'The Wall' and 'The Final Cut' and after in his solo albums. The eponymous title of the album consists of 3 parts, firstly a reference to the rhythm of ‘One Of These Days’ mixed with 'Waterian' melodic lines, then the second part takes up the theme in a intimist way, with piano accompaniment, in the manner of the melodic lines of 'Vera' in 'The Wall' and finally, with the last part, the theme comes back and it’s mixed with a sampled speech which obviously recalls the political attacks of Roger and in general, Benjamin commits himself in the same way as his model. The rest of the album brings us back to this parallel with for example 'Society of Playing Cards' and a double singing or 'Flower Sequence' with this phrasing on the acoustic guitar inherited from the great tradition of the American song or 'Condemmed’ and this so characteristic voice screamed. In summary, with 'Broken Figurines', it's impossible not to refer to the iconic 'Roger Waters' : 'Benjamin Simpson' shows his whole attachment to the American artist and, given these early compositions, he has largely the capacity to evolve to not stay in the shadow of the master but to find his own way to forge his own style...

Line Up / Musicians

Benjamin Simpson (Tous les instruments, Vocal) + Invités : Lucas Adcock (Guitar), Henry Rose (Bass), Ben Keating (Drums)

Artist : Dooren

Album : The Darkest Days

Release Date : 28-01-2019

Added : 28-03-2019

While 'Within Temptation’ with their latest album have tried new sounds (see here), some continue in the way that the Dutch had traced in the early 2000s and 'Dooren', a newly created Brazilian group, is one of them. Composed of the female singer and lyricist 'Ludmila Reis' and 'Celo Oliveira' who is the orchestra man because he composes, plays all the instruments and has also done the mixing, 'The Darkest Days' is their first studio album. After a first listen, not obvious that the metal tag is the most appropriate because we navigate between rock and symphonic metal and the metal side is brought only by the saturation of guitars but the rhythm is in the majority made by mid-tempo and some titles are clearly symphonic rock, see atmospheric, like 'Hideplace', 'Mistake', 'No Man's Land' or 'The Darkest Days'. The compositions like 'Drifting Away', 'Mirror Image', 'Pieces' or 'Masquarade' could be the soft side of bands like 'Delain' or 'Xandria', the most energetic title being 'Rise and Fall'. Overall, they have a talent for beautiful melodic lines and 'Ludmila Reis' brings a real emotion in the ballads 'Hyperbolic' and 'A New Sand' which are remarkable. In summary, the Brazilians of 'Dooren' are coming out with an album that could be described as light, airy symphonic metal and filled with accessible melodies, which should appeal to a relatively broad audience who would like to try out the metal by coming in by the very soft side of this style...

Line Up / Musicians

Ludmila Reis (Vocal), Celo Oliveira (Tous les instruments)

Artist : Inglorious

Album : Ride to Nowhere

Release Date : 25-01-2019

Added : 26-02-2019

After 'Inglorous' in 2016 (see here) and 'II' in 2017 (see here), the English of ‘Inglorious' released a third album 'Ride To Nowhere'. They continue in the way they had traced in 2016 and 2017 : energetic hard rock of the 80s where we always recognize 'Deep Purple' or 'Whitesnake' (The voice of 'Nathan James' contributes a lot). So it's still moving so much, the songs are all accessible and effective from the first listening and we navigate between energetic compositions like 'Where Are You Now?', 'Freak Show' or 'Time to Go' (the introduction has something of 'Black In Black' from ‘AC/DC') but also other more mid-tempo like 'Never Alone', 'Liar' or 'I Do not Know' where you can not help but move your head in rhythm, not forgetting the two power ballads 'I Do not Know You' and 'Glory Days' which has something of 'Soldiers of Fortune' from 'Deep Purple'). In short, this third chapter of the English of ‘Inglorious' is in the continuation of the first two and if you are a fan of a good 70s hard rock with a modern sound, you should be served...

Line Up / Musicians

Nathan James (Vocal), Andreas Eriksson (Guitar), Drew Lowe (Guitar), Colin Parkinson (Bass), Phil Beaver (Drums)

Artist : Steve Hackett

Album : At The Edge Of Light

Release Date : 25-01-2019

Added : 24-02-2019

For all music enthusiast, it always has this quest to discover the album that provides intense happiness and remains forever etched in his memory. For my part, after the magnificent 'The Night Siren' in 2017 (see here), the latest 'Steve Hackett', 'At The Edge Of Light' went straight into my essential collection from the first listen. We refind throughout the album, this magician of harmony who continues, at 68 years old, of exploring and mixing, for the best, various influences to make something unique that we could just call 'World Music' and this by inviting artists who bring a real authenticity with their traditional instruments. In the first 2 minutes of 'Fallen Walls and Pedestals', we embark on an exotic musical landscape with already some magic notes of Steve's guitar. Without transition, 'Beats In Our Time' which follows is very 'Gilmourian' on the beginning and unfolds a melody with a kind of quiet force : we continue the journey in this atmosphere filled with serenity that accelerates on the end with a rythmic section of bass used as a support for a new masterful guitar solo. Then with 'Under the Eyes of the Sun', it is, I quote Steve, 'a celebration of the wonder and majesty of the bright, towering rocks of desert wilderness' with a dismal central part where the instruments traditional 'Duduk' and 'DidgeriDoo' reinforce this dark atmosphere to image the passage of the sun in the shade to return to the light and continue on the starting theme and finish in a very contemporary wave of ropes. As for the 'Undeground Railroad', I continue to quote Steve, it 'beautifully express the heartfelt pain of those who suffered slavery in America's Deep South' with beautiful breaks in rhythms and alternations between tensions and relaxation to end in a joyful singing influenced by gospel. We change of decor with 'Those Golden Wings' which is a tribute to Steve's wife 'Jo' and which starts with an air worthy of the greatest romantic classics, which is built in several parts each transmitting their share of emotion and which, musically, is certainly the title that most intertwines classical music and progressive rock. With 'Shadow and Flame', the journey continues in India with typical sounds, traditional and electric instruments cohabiting for the best for an amazing blend of tradition and modernity while 'Hungry Years' changes completely with a title influenced by the 60's with beautiful vocal harmonies by Steve and ‘Amanda Lehmann’. The album ends with 3 rather different style titles but they are one, first of all, 'Descent' with its rhythmic, reminiscent of the 'Bolero' of 'Ravel' but much darker because, according to Steve, 'takes us on a powerful descent into the darkest of places where we meet our deepest fears and nightmarehe’; follows the deeply tormented and symphonic instrumental 'Conflict', on which Steve offers a virtuoso accompaniment to the guitar, and the last composition 'Peace' brings us back to the light with a 'Queenest' melody and ends the album with a magnificent positive message of hope. Note that we should mention all the people who participated in this album because Steve also has the talent to surround himself with renowned artists of the progressive scene but also artists bringing their culture and this greatly contributes to the success of this album. In summary, I would simply say that with this new album of 'Steve Hackett', I have reached this musical grail to which any music lover aspires and, even if all this remains very subjective, I also wish all those who are like me, perpetual searchers of musical nuggets, the same happiness, even if it is not for this album precisely...

Line Up / Musicians

Steve Hackett (Guitar), Durga McBroom (Vocal), Lorelei McBroom (Vocal), Amanda Lehmann (Vocal), Nick D’Virgilio (Drums), Simon Phillips (Drums), Sheema Mukherjee (Sitare), Gulli Briem (Drums, Percussions), Malik Mansurov (Tar), Jonas Reingold (Bass), Paul Stillwell (Didgeridoo), Rob Townsend (Saxophone, Clarinette, Duduk), John Hackett (Flute), Gary O’Toole (Drums), Roger King (Keybords), Ben Fenner (Keybords), Dick Driver (Cantabass), Christine Townsend (Violin, Alto)

Artist : Ancient Bards

Album : Origine (The Black Crystal Sword Saga, Pt. 2)

Release Date : 25-01-2019

Added : 25-02-2019

Their last album 'A New Dawn Ending' already dates from 2014 and the Italians of ‘Ancient Bards' took more than 4 years to release its successor 'Origine' which is the following of their saga started with ‘The Alliance of the Kings’ in 2010. In spite of all this time, the recipe is still well-honed with symphonic power metal telling stories drawn from legends in an epic, powerful and melodic style. But the great strength of the Italians is that, unlike certain groups of the genre that use and abuse a little too much of the double pedal which can lead to saturation, the latter opus, brings a certain variety inside the compositions with structures more sought after and with variations in the rhythm section that are welcome. Even the fastest titles like 'Impious Dystopia' or 'Titanism' have slower parts with the use of grandiose choruses. We can also note titles mixing power and romantic like 'Fantasy's Wings', 'Aureum Legacy' or 'Oscurità' and, of course, they do not forget the ballads with 'Light' placed at the end of the first part of album. But the highlight of the album is of course the last title of almost 15 minutes 'The Great Divide' which is an epic fresco where the Italians deploy all their expertise and put all the ingredients of a flamboyant symphonic power metal as they have done in the past with 'A New Dawn Ending' or 'Hope Dies Last'. In summary, with 'Origine', 'Ancient Bards' still offers us a flawless album that puts them back on the front of the stage and should appeal to all those who are fans of epic and symphonic metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Sara Squadrani (Vocal), Daniele Mazza (Keybords), Claudio Pietronik (Guitar), Martino Garattoni (Bass), Federico Gatti (Drums), Simone Bertozzi (Guitar)

Artist : Secret Rule

Album : The 7 Endless

Release Date : 25-01-2019

Added : 27-02-2019

After 'The Key To The World' released at the end of 2017, the Italians of 'Secret Rule' released their 4th studio album 'The 7 Endless' in early 2019. Always in a fairly classic symphonic metal, they surf on the wave of tenors of the genre like 'Within Temptation', 'Beyond The Black', 'Delain' or 'Xandria' with compositions with accessible melodic lines from the first listening. From album to album, the level of the compositions approaches more and more of the groups mentioned above with a progression also at the level of the production. 'The 7 Endless' refers to the fantastic graphic novel 'The Sandman' by 'Neil Gaiman' and we navigate in the world of the British writer and draftsman. On the music side, it's a catchy symphonic metal and from the begining 'The Endless', with its introduction choruses, is a reminiscent of 'Xandria', then 'Birth' is a faster title while 'Dream' is more classic and reminds of some title of 'Within Temptation'. The following scrolls catchy melodies as in 'Alone' or in 'Hidden into a Dream' or in ‘Destruction’ and we have to wait until the end of the album to have calmer compositions with first 'Delirium' which starts slowly and which accelerates on the end and then the last title 'The Awakening' for the only ballad of the opus. In short, the Italians 'Secret Rule' is a very pleasant album to listen to and 'The 7 Endless' is recommended to all fans of symphonic metal and groups mentioned above...

Line Up / Musicians

Angela Di Vincenzo (Vocal), Andy Menario (Guitar), Michele Raspanti (Bass), Nicola Corrente (Drums) + Invités : Andrea Ciccomartino (Vocal), Christian Ice (Keybords), Gabrielle Chiararo (Narration), Marco Roberto Capelli

Artist : Viana

Album : Forever Free

Release Date : 25-01-2019

Added : 28-02-2019

After a first album under the name 'Viana' (see

Line Up / Musicians

Stefano Viana (Guitar), Bryan Cole (Vocal), Terry Broke (Choirs), Anna Portalupi (Bass), Adam Ernst (Drums), Francesco Marras (Guitare), Pasquale India (Keybords), + Invité : John Roth (Guitar)

Artist : Gathering Of Kings

Album : First Mission

Release Date : 25-01-2019

Added : 02-03-2019

'Gathering Of Kings' is a project of the Swedish 'Ron Dalghreen' to release an 80s influenced rock album with a set of prestigious guests with among others 'Erik Martensson' who gravitates in many groups (see here or here or here), 'Nalle Påhlsson' the bassist of 'Therion' and 'Treat' (see the last album of 'Therion' here) or 'Björn Strid' the singer of 'The Night Flight Orchestra' (see here). With this superteam and compositions of the talented 'Victor Olsson' (Saffire) except 'The Runaway' which is a reprise of the brothers 'Gibb' interpreted in the 80s by the band 'Carola', it is a uninterrupted sequel of melodic hits which alternate rock and hard-rock melodic, AOR and power ballads. To name just a few, I'll mention the catchy 'Love Will Stay Alive' for its catchy chorus, the mid-tempo 'Endless Paradise' melodic, the magnificent power ballad 'Passing Rain' reminiscent of the best of 'Scorpions' 'or a' Long Way From Home 'that takes me back some 30 years back to the golden age of the AOR with, admittedly, a certain nostalgia so much it's well done. In short, needless to add something, this first mission of the Swede 'Ron Dalghreen' is perfectly fulfilled and for all lovers of melodic rock of the 80s, you can go with your eyes closed because 'First Mission' is to consume without moderation...

Line Up / Musicians

Victor Olsson (Guitar, Keybords), Alexander Frisborg (Vocal), Apollo Papathanasio (Vocal), Björn Strid (Vocal), Chris Laney (Keybords), Efraim Larsson (Drums), Erik Martensson (Guitar), Erik Wiss (Keybords), Henrik Sethsson (Choirs), Jens Westin (Vocal, Guitar), Jonas Källsbäck (Drums), Martin Sweet (Guitar), Nalle Påhlsson (Bass), Richard Larsson (Keybords), Rick Altzi (Vocal), Robban Bäck (Drums), Stefan Helleblad (Guitar), Tobias Jansson (Vocal)

Artist : Walter Trout

Album : Survivor Blues

Release Date : 25-01-2019

Added : 06-03-2019

After a wonderful 'We're All In This Together' in 2017 (see here), 'Walter Trout' returns with his three friends and two guests including the former Doors guitarist 'Robby Krieger' releasing a new album 'Survivor Blues' where he choiced12 tracks that are not necessarily some standards but which sweat all an authentic blues and this obviously with a master's touch because, when it's not his guitar that transports us, it is his voice that affect us : from the beginning, we find ourselves on a small cloud with 'Me, My Guitar And the Blues' which, just with the few words of its title, sums up well the universe of 'Walter Trout' and who embarks us from the first chords. It would be necessary to quote all the titles but it’s useless to heap up even morebecause the best is still to press the play button and to be carried by this good blues which is at the origin of many styles of modern music. In summary, with this latest album, 'Walter Trout' and his companions show us once again that despite all the health problems they have all gone through (hence the name 'Survivor Blues'), they always have the fishing to offer us these magical and timeless moments ...

Title List :
Me, My Guitar And the Blues : Jimmy Dawkins (Jimmy Dawkins / Rick Miller)
Be Careful How You Vote : Sunnyland Slime (Albert Luandrew / Sunnyland Slim)
Woman Don't Lie : Luther "Snakeboy" Johnson
Sadie : Theodore Taylor
Please Love Me : B.B. King (Jules Bihari / B.B. King / Riley King / Jules Taub)
Natures Disappearin : John Mayall
Red Sun : Joel Poluck
Something Inside Of Me : Luther Barns (Elmore James / James Sehorn)
It Takes Time : Otis Rush
Out of Bad Luck : Magic Sam (Al Benson / Samuel Maghett)
Going Down to the River : Mississippi Fred Mcdowell.
God’s Word : J.B. Lenoir

Line Up / Musicians

Walter Trout (Vocal, Guitar), Sammy Avila (Hammond, Choirs), Johnny Griparic (Bass), Michael Leasure (Drums, Choirs) + Invités : Sugaray Rayford (Vocal), Robby Krieger (Guitar)

Artist : Adventure

Album : New Horizons

Release Date : 25-01-2019

Added : 16-03-2019

In twenty years, 'New Horizons' is the fourth Norwegians' album of 'Adventure' which evolve in a rock of the 70s and can recall groups like 'Uriah Heep' for the energetic side but also 'Jethro Tull' for the rock/folk side. Therefore, if you are looking for novelty, go your way because we navigate in sounds and a song that make us go back 40 years. After a short instrumental introduction of very felted keyboards, 'Destiny' sets the tone by embarking us in an energetic rock where we find ourselves in the period of 'Firefly' of Uriah Heep ', then Horizon' of more than 7 minutes shows a more progressive aspect with several parts in a slower tempo. With 'Eirene (Godess of Peace)' we return to the sound of the seventies and it could be a cross between 'Uriah Heep' and 'Jethro Tull' (listen to the flute solo at 4.15), then, 'You Belong' is again a calm composition that reminds me of the beginnings of 'Status Quo' in the late 60s before they evolve to their own style. The continuation continues in this return to the 70s with among others, the short instrumental 'With Tears in their Eyes' which is very vintage, 'Lighthouse' which returns to the progressive alternating quiet parts with other more powerful but also changes of tempo, 'Here to Stay' more classic with 'Elen Cath Hopen' on vocals, 'In Search Of (A New Life)' with a beautiful duet of 'Kjell Myran' and 'Elen Cath Hopen' which reminds me of the beautiful complicity that can have 'Bryan Josh' and 'Olivia Sparnenn' of 'Mostly Autumn', the album ending with the beautiful ballad 'Refugee' still tinged 'Uriah Heep'. In short, as you will understand, the Norwegians of 'Adventure' take us back, in a very beautifully way, from few decades back with beautiful melodies easy to access and 'New Horizons' is therefore recommended to all fans. amateurs of this period who do not necessarily seek novelties at any price in the music...

Line Up / Musicians

Odd-Roar Bakken (Keybords), Terje Flessen (Guitar), Terje Craig(Bass, Vocal), Alf-Helge Lund (Drums, Percussions), Elen Cath Hopen (Vocal, Choirs, Keybords), Kjell Myran (Vocal)

Artist : Vangelis

Album : Nocturne

Release Date : 25-01-2019

Added : 21-03-2019

As we say, no transition, after the chronicle of the last 'Razzmattazz' very close to ‘AC/DC’, here is a slightly different artist who already has a few decades of career behind him, I named 'Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou', known to the general public by his stage name 'Vangelis' and who released a new album 'Nocturne' at 75 yars old after 'Rosetta' which dates from 2016 (see here). This album is a bit particular because he decided to revisit on the piano and keyboards some emblematic compositions of his long career and this in a intimate atmosphere but also by adding 11 novel titles. And it must be said that the magic operates from the first title because beyond the nostalgia that caused me many shivers in known titles as 'Love Theme' taken from 'Blade Runner' or ‘La petite fille et la mer’ tiré de ‘l’Apocalypse des Animaux’ or 'Main Theme' taken from 'Chariots of Fire' or the famous 'Conquest of the Paradise' from the film of the same name, we recognize the footprint of this outstanding composer in all the unpublished compositions that embark us on a sweet journey of intimacy, poetry, the feeling of being out of time and which must all recall some memories to all those who have loved 'Vangelis' in the previous decades. In short, these nocturnal walks are highly emotional and this refined and intimate interpretation lends itself very well to the atmosphere of this sensitive artist who has accompanied us for many years with all these musics that have all something timeless and eternal...

Line Up / Musicians

Vangelis / Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou (Piano, Keybords) + Invité : Irina Valentinova-Karpouchina (Piano)

Artist : Motis

Album : Deglingo

Release Date : 18-01-2019

Added : 08-03-2019

The French of 'Motis', whose first album 'A Chacun Son Graal' is already 20 years old, have just released, in early 2019, a new studio recording 'Deglingo'. In the great tradition of French bands that marry folk and progressive rock with poetic but also militant lyrics, this latest album is no exception to the rule and continues to embark us on these compositions which captive as well for their endearing melodies but also for these simple and straightforward words that so obviously show the problems of which man is the only one responsible and this without ever taking part; ‘La fièvre de l’or’ asks us this simple question: what is the point of this desire to have more and more? With 'Cavale' and 'Peut-être', 'Motis' puts itself in the place of people who suffer in their country from war or oppression and who have only two choices and who try to choose the least worst : to continue to suffer on the spot without knowing when it will stop ('Peut-être') or to try to flee their homeland without any hope to have a better life ('Cavale'). The following offers us a catchy 'Somnambule', a melancholic 'The distance' that encourages us to go to the front of others, a bouncy 'Deglingo' and the magnificent 'Monsieur machine', where 'Emmanuel Tissot' has chosen well are partner of singing, in the person of 'Christian Décamps' because it is the kind of text that could very well have been written by the leader of ‘Ange' (see the album 'Heureux' here), the album ending with an instrumental ‘L’effet overview’ which marries tradition with progressive in a beautiful way. In summary, the Jurassians of 'Motis' continue their merry way by offering endearing tunes and beautiful lyrics that tell the wounds of our world a little ‘délingué’ (like broken in French) and this last album should appeal to all those who love mixing French song, folk and progressive rock...

Line Up / Musicians

Emmanuel Tissot (Vocal, Bouzouki électrique, Mellotron, Organ Hammond), Tony Carvalho (Drums, Chœurs), Martial Baudoin (Bass, Chœurs) + Invités : Delphine Tissot (Vocal), Christian Décamps (Vocal)

Artist : Slug Comparison

Album : When You Were Living Here

Release Date : 16-01-2019

Added : 22-02-2019

'Slug Comparison' is the project of 'Doug Harrison' who is also the guitarist of the Canadian band 'Fen' (see here) who evolves in a progressive rock/metal style. When you first listen to this first album 'When You Were Living Here', it is difficult to find a specific style because it is a mix of different influences between pop, rock and hard-rock with fairly standard compositions, between 3 and 5 minutes : 'Exactly What You Do' starts the album with an energetic rock, then 'Hyperslump' is a catchy title and light close to a pop of the 90s. Suit 'Let Some Light' which is semi acoustic and whose melodic lines are accessible and 'Fine With It' is the first ballad where Doug shows us all his singing talent. The sequel continues to flirt with beautiful melodies between pop and rock like the slow ballad 'When You Were Living Here' full of emotion or 'So Ya Got a Great Guitar' which is unbridled rock, or the latest song 'One More Step' with melodic lines, his catchy tempo and his beautiful rhythm section. In summary, 'When You Were Living Here' is a varied album mixing different styles with accessible compositions but also more sought-after passages and 'Slug Comparison' should please all those who navigate between songs, pop and rock...

Line Up / Musicians

Doug Harrison (Vocal, Guitar, Piano), Randall Stoll (Drums), Mike Young (Bass), Sam Levin (Guitar, Choirs), Jeff Caron (Bass), Rod Senft (Drums), Scott Young (Bass), Jeremy Tardif (Choirs), Tatyana Dobrowolski (Choirs), Scott Archibald (Choirs), Nando Polesol (Choirs), Bonnie and Shauna (Choirs)

Artist : Dark Moor

Album : Origins

Release Date : 16-01-2019

Added : 01-03-2019

With 'Dark Moor', we do not really know what to expect at each album release and the last, 'Project X', released in 2015, was not very well received by all critics because it saw the Spaniards take a new musical direction that was not to everyone's taste but which, for my part, even if I had not completely adhered, showed this quality to challenge themselves. With 'Origins', we go again in another direction with a folk component which we weren’t accustomed. From the first title, with 'Birth of the Sun', it starts in a happy atmosphere with a catchy melody that puts you right in the bath, then, 'The Specters Dance' is more classic but keeps this folk component in the instrumental parts. 'Crossing Through Your Heart' that follows is a hit with its chorus that enter in your head and with 'Raggle Taggle Gypsy' which is the cover of the traditional song Scottish, we return to folk music with the use of a bouzouki. Change of scene with 'In The Middle of the Night' which begins as a title of 'Rainbow' but whose melody flirts with the international variety of the 80s then 'And for Ever' is the first ballad in a celtic style. The rest continues in this pathwork of genres with beautiful melodies and additions of folk components, the whole all remaining far from the power metal tag that the band had and it is not the very beautiful last acoustic ballad 'Green Lullaby' that will Say the opposite. In summary, the Spaniards of 'Dark Moor' surprise us once again with this new album very endearing which sees appearing a folk components with accessible compositions mixing song, pop, folk, rock and hard-rock...

Line Up / Musicians

Alfred Romero (Vocal), Enrik Garcia (Guitar), Dani Fernández (Bass), Roberto Cappa (Drums) + Invités : Pablo Sancha (Piano), Luigi Stefanini (Hammond), Mara Boston (Chœurs), Marcos Campos (Bagpipe), Patricia Alcocer (Violin), Xosé Liz (Bouzouki, Requinta), Alfonso G. Blanco (Guitar)

Artist : Damian Wilson/Adam Wakeman

Album : Stripped

Release Date : 11-01-2019

Added : 03-03-2019

They had already feast us with 'The Sun Will Dance in Its Twilight Hour' released just a year ago (see here) and now for our greatest pleasure they come back back with a new album 'Stripped' that they recorded after their acoustic tour 2018 in this live atmosphere they had just experienced. In addition to their respective compositions, they take up emblematic titles with, among others, a 'Life on Mars' of 'David Bowie' to give us goose pimples, as much for what it reminds us (I speak for people over fifty years) but also by this stripped-down interpretation that brings us back to the heart of the matter of this composition. We refind also 2 compositions already present on the previous opus 'Laugh In Time' and 'The Sun Will Dance in its Twilight Hour' in another interpretation. The parallel with artists like 'Cat Stevens' that I had already mentioned in the previous review is always present certainly due to the tessitura of Damian who in addition to having an exceptional voice is a wonderful storyteller. The whole is filled with a palpable emotion with titles like 'Disciple' or the magnificent 'Soldier' and the mixing of their two voices is a treat in 'Seek for Adventure' (already present on 'Weir Keeper's Tale' just like 'People Come And Go'). In summary, this 'Stripped' is in continuity with the previous opus, and Damian and Adam continue to embark us in this hushed atmosphere filled with emotion which is certainly the best antidepressant for those who want to decompress from the everyday life stress...

Line Up / Musicians

Damian Wilson (Vocal, Guitar), Adam Wakeman (Vocal, Guitar, Piano)

Artist : Lost In Grey

Album : The Waste Land

Release Date : 11-01-2019

Added : 04-03-2019

After 'The Grey Realms' in 2017 that had struck me (see here), I was looking forward to the release of his little brother 'The Waste Land' which came out early 2019. And I was not disappointed because, listening after listening, we find this concept where music is inseparable from the story with the 3 characters, Patrick, Lillian and Odessa still held respectively by 'Harri Koskela', 'Anne Lill' and 'Emily Leone' (see the presentation of the theme made by Anne here) and for the occasion, they invited several artists that you can discover in the you tube video here). As I already mentioned, 'Lost In Grey' has created a unique style and is intended for a metal audience that is open to a variety of genres as each title has its own atmosphere and they have this talent to shake up habits : first of all, from the start, we could expect in this kind of album to a symphonic instrumental introduction but, on the contrary, they choose an energetic title 'The Waste Land' which sets the scene in a very effective way with already a beautiful vocal level demonstration. It is with following title 'Expectations' where 'Nele Messerschmidt' intervenes in a masterful way (see the last album of 'Elvellon' here), that we have the most this fusion between classical music with the use of a piano and strings and the power of metal giving a emotional force brought by this contrast between strength and serenity. Follows 'Unohdukseen Katoaa' which is sung in Finnish and in which emerges a grandiose atmosphere which is reinforced by imposing choruses and a remarkable vocal work, then the beautiful ballad '1992' adds some emotion with a melody that is in tune with the theme of losing a loved one. The sequel takes us into a very melodic and catchy 'Far Beyond and Further' which deals with the greed of humans that makes us run to our ruin but who is fundamentally optimistic and hopeful in the ability of the human being to know evolve towards more wisdom, then, 'Wolves Among Men' takes us into a strange and theatrical atmosphere that still highlights the beautiful complicity between the different vocal parts. Finally, 'Prelude for Emptiness' which is a semi-instrumental title filled with serenity with magnificent choruses serves as an introduction to the last title of more than 12 minutes 'Drifting in the Universe' , the master piece of the album, which embarks us in an epic saga with all the ingredients that we have found before and with a grand final that rises to power to fall back and then regains some power with a heady final melody to finish quietly with some piano notes. If you want more details on each title, Harri and Anne recorded three videos to present them here, here and here. In summary, the Finns of 'Lost In Grey' continue in their creative process that merges music and history into a unique work and if you like to mix rather distant genres such as symphonic and metal as could be has been done by groups like 'Therion' (see here) or 'Mayan' (see here), you'll be probably captivated by 'The Waste Land'...

Line Up / Musicians

Anne Lill (Vocal), Harri Koskela (Vocal, Keybords), Aapo Lindberg (Bass), Emily Leone (Vocal, Violin), Miika Haavisto (Guitar), Waltteri Väyrynen (Drums) + Invité : Nele Messerschmidt (Vocal), Andi Kravjlaca (Vocal), Timo Haikonen (Guitar), Lasse Nyman (Guitar), Tero Kalliomäki (Lyra)

Artist : Brave

Album : The Calm / The Storm

Release Date : 08-01-2019

Added : 15-03-2019

'Brave' is an American band whose last album 'Monuments' dates back to 2008 and which comes back in the front of the scene with a new album released in early 2019, 'The Calm / The Storm'. Known for mixing rock and progressive metal, their style fits more with this new album in line with bands like 'Karnataka', 'Mostly Autumn' or 'Panic Room' because this last album has a rock component more marked even if the guitar riffs are present and bring some power always in opposition to the sweet voice of 'Michelle Schrotz'. 'I Will Wait' which starts the album is the perfect illustration of this contrast that works perfectly. The following two tracks 'Mystery' and 'A thousand Miles of Sand' continue in this style and the melodic lines can recall the groups mentioned above. The following scrolls the instrumental 'No Gravity' where the violin of 'Suvo Sur' brings a folk side, the energetic 'Summertime' which is more rock, the short and beautiful acoustic ballad 'Bay Song' to return then with 'Race to the End' to a heavier sound where the saturated guitars accompany 'Michelle Schrotz' and the singer of 'While Heaven Wept', 'Rain Irvin' who form a wonderfull duo. The album ends in a light style with the acoustic 'November', a heavier 'Electric Ravens' but alternating serenity and power (the electrical cover of 'Three Ravens' of 2014 here) and the semi-acoustic 'Feel the Rain' which closes the opus beautifully with a last interpretation of 'Michelle Schrotz' charged with emotion. In summary, the return of 'Brave' is a real success and the title 'The Calm / The Storm' summed up very well the album because we navigate between quiet titles and other more powerful but their style is more like a accessible rock without real progressive components and probably intended for a wide audience...

Line Up / Musicians

Ben Kelly (Bass), Matt Kozar (Guitar), Michelle Schrotz (Vocal, Keybords), Scott Loose (Guitar, Ukulele, Keybords), Suvo Sur (Violin, Keybords), Trevor Schrotz (Drums) + Invité : Rain Irving (Vocal)