Friday, August 23, 2013

New Magenta Album Coming Sept 2; New Video

Magenta are back with their 6th album, and the first video cut from it sounds great! From the sound of this track and most of their previous album it seems they've recovered from their encounter with the dark side (their 4th album Metamorphosis), although this album, entitled "The 27 Club," does seem to have a bit of a mystical death theme to it: it loosely deals with how many well-known musicians have died at the age of 27. This single is edited from a 12-minute epic found on the album. It's got the same great orchestral keyboard textures and writing that we've come to expect from Magenta, and of course Christina Booth's great voice and Chris Fry's distinctive guitar.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

New Setna Album "Guerison"—With Neom Vocalist

Modern French Zeuhl* band Setna released a new album a couple months ago, titled Guerison. Their first album, Cycle 1 (2008), was very good. I was very excited to learn that this new album features the amazing vocalist  from another new Zeuhl band Neom (in that band he also plays guitar, and he's amazing at that too).

The video below shows some footage of the band in the studio recording and mixing the album. Fortunately for us Americans they don't talk a whole lot; we just get to see and hear them making some amazing music.

*For those not familiar with Zeuhl music, it is a sub-genre of bands inspired by the style of the band Magma and the compositions of that band's leader, Christian Vander. The music tends to be influenced by jazz, rock (mostly in the energy and instrumentation, less stylistically), and 20th-century composition techniques, and often features choral or operatic vocal parts. I will be writing quite a few Zeuhl posts in the future, as it has become one of my favorite genres.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New Niacin Album "Krush"

John Novello, Dennis Chambers, Billy Sheehan. Amazing jazz/rock fusion band that set out to feature the sounds of the Hammond B3 (hence the name Niacin - B3 Vitamin). This is their 6th studio album, all of which are amazing. Sure, it might not be all that classical, but I have to depart once in a while, especially when it's Jazz.

Here is an official post from the label of the first track on the CD.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Trevor Rabin: Jazz Fusion Album "Jacaranda," featured on "The Score"

Yes, that's right. It's jazz fusion. And it's very good. This is what Trevor playing a guitar with no pop influences with a bit of jazz thrown in can sound like, and I must say I love it! I'm not a big fan of his 80s pop tunes, but I really liked parts of Talk—especially "Endless Dream." When I found out he had done a new solo album I must say I was a bit skeptical, but I was also a bit excited; after all, his film scores have been sounding pretty exciting. And then I heard reviews that said the new album leaned toward jazz fusion, and I was even more intrigued.

It definitely doesn't disappoint (well, it might if you're looking for "Owner"—no repetitive pop riffs here!). The CD is a nice ecclectic mix of jazz and rock guitar playing, along with one track, "Rescue," featuring very nice female vocalizations and orchestrations remixed from one of his soundtracks, and a very nice piano solo as well (yes, you heard me right—a very well played, nicely composed 4 minute piano piece!) that leans more toward classical. I've really enjoyed this CD! 

After listening it again today I went and found a nice video Trevor has made for one of the tracks. Check it out:

Also, Trevor was recently featured on "The Score," A weekly radio show from Portland Radio station exploring film music. It's an hour-long show featuring interview snippets, segments of his movie scores, and the Jacaranda track "Rescue" almost in its entirety. doesn't have the show archived on their site, but you can find it on google; here is one radio station that has it as of the writing of this post: A Conversation with Trevor Rabin 12-27.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Kotebel - Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble

I recently learned of this very talented Spanish band with strong modern classical influences. I'll just let this amazing feature video containing excerpts from the recording of their newest album speak for itself (The DVD comes with the full version of this DVD, which is the studio recording of the full Concerto).

In addition, here is a very nice live video from the 2007 Gouveia Art Rock festival:

They've released 5 albums since their formation in 2000. Learn more at

Friday, February 8, 2013

Amarok - Progressive Rock / World Music from Spain

Just found a great live video from the 2005  Gouveia Art Rock festival of one of my favorite bands that I wanted to share. Amarok is a band from Spain that plays music combining instruments and influences from all around the world with a bit of progressive rock and classical flavoring. On their most recent CD, Sol de Medianoche (2007) they even did an excellent rendition of Keith Emerson's Abaddon's Bolero! Perhaps this music appeals to me so much because I enjoy playing my Native American flutes so much and play with a couple friends that play instruments like djembes, didjeridoos and cellos. In any case, enjoy the video! Be sure to watch it to the end—there's a great didj solo!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Anglagard Album: Viljans Oga

The Swedish band Anglagard made a big impact in the prog rock world with their debut album Hybris in 1992, and its followup Epilog in 1994. Both albums contain mostly instrumental, dense music heavily influenced by compositional techniques typically found in classical music, and feature woodwinds in addition to rock instrumentation. Unfortunately, apart from a live album released a few years later, the band went silent.

Until now.

In 2012 Anglagard released their long awaited third studio album. Entitled Viljans Oga, It contains 4 lengthy, beautifully composed tracks and is a worthy successor to their earlier albums.

The have also been performing live at a number of venues. Here is the best live recording I could find of them on YouTube. Enjoy!