Yes and Avatar

It has come to no surprise to those who have seen Avatar and seen the inspiration of Roger Dean’s Yes artwork. Yes has been known for their artwork that often depict gorgeous, colorful worlds that feature futuristic settings with a natural tone. Both the film Avatar and a majority Yes’ lyrical and musical output has been very nature based, making the influence perfect.

Music Reviews Progressive Rock

Spock’s Beard – X

Spock’s Beard has continued to press on, despite the diminished fan base over the years. With a lesser, but loyal fan base the band chose to use crowd funding to pay for studio time with an early limited 5,000 run pre-order edition with retail and digital editions at later dates. The crowd funding idea worked tremendously for Marillion, and many other bands have taken similar steps and may be the only way long-tail bands with a specific niche can survive. This independent choice in production of their tenth album is another wake up call for bands to being to realize the eventual change in tides when distributing music, particularly to retain control and ownership.

X is a pivotal moment for Spock’s Beard. The fourth album after Neal Morse left, certainly recorded during a time where fans of Spock’s Beard have retreated to a scarce few who remain loyal. For those who have stuck with the band, even pre-ordering the album will be fully rewarded with the band’s most solid release to date.

News Progressive Metal

Porcupine Tree “Bonnie The Cat” Music Video Premiere

“Bonnie The Cat” off the The Incident has been given the music video treatment. This ultra wide screen edition is currently only available on the Porcupine Tree RoadRunner Records site, which you can find here.

It certainly has a very Tool-like style which fits perfectly with Porcupine Tree‘s Tool-meets-Pink Floyd musical blend.

Music Reviews Progressive Metal

Demians – Mute

Demians was the surprise progressive metal newcomer of 2008 with Building An Empire. Focused on intense, densely layered dynamics, mastermind Frenchmen Nicolas Chapel created a lucid and ethereal experience. Met with critical acclaim, Chapel employed a live band and opened for acts such as Anathema, Marillion, and Porcupine Tree. Demians‘ new release, Mute picks up where their debut left off. While the albums features far more, and far heavier tunes, the lyrics appear to be more upbeat than their previous release.

Chapel delivers tense, ever-building sequences that only resolve at the right moments. Opening tracks “Swing of the Airwaves” and “Feel Alive” properly encompass the unique sound and style of Demians “Overhead”
“Rainbow Rus” has a sludgy bass rhythm over a haunting single note piano melody.

Music Reviews Progressive Metal

Pain of Salvation – Road Salt One

Pain of Salvation‘s seventh studio album Road Salt One features the band experimenting with a more low-key production style which may come to a shock for many fans. Regardless, Road Salt One has taken the band to a completely new direction, while continuing to supply their exclusive brand of progressive metal. This raw, un-mastered release has several tunes featuring some deep, bluesy fuzz and and even folkish elements, woven into a hyperlinked narrative story saturated in socio-economic themes.

For the limited edition owners, the first track “What She Means To Me” offers a brief prologue before the band slams into the groove of “No Way” with the bluesy guitar fuzz and passionate vocal cry placed into the forefront. The blues aspect continues into the melodramatic “She Likes to Hide”.