King Crimson – Radical Action (2016)

King Crimson - Radical Action (2016)

King Crimson - Radical Action (2016) Actually the full title is “Radical Action To Unseat The Hold Of Monkey Mind” and features a comprehensive account of the 2015 live performance in Japan of the ever evolving creative entity that is commonly known as King Crimson.
It has been stated that King Crimson is not so much a band as it is “a way of doing things”. Different incarnations had quite different “ways of doing things” and this recordings are a very expressive audio and visual statement from the current band. The current line-up of King Crimson consist of Robert Fripp – Guitar & keyboards, Tony Levin – Basses & stick, Mel Collins – Saxes & flute, Jakko Jakszyk – Guitar & voice, Gavin Harrison – Drums, Pat Mastelotto – drums and Bill Rieflin – Drums & keyboards. Never saw or heard before three drummers in a rock band playing together! Talking drum get another sense here!
Robert Fripp commented about this 3 CD/1 Blu-ray set that “this is King Crimson….re-imagined”. Some of the material has not been performed live since the 1970s, although the songs were rearranged to suit the current line-up. Read more King Crimson – Radical Action (2016)

Komara – Komara (2015)

Komara – Komara (2015)

Komara – Komara (2015) I started listening this material totally blind. Did not have a clue who these guys are and what kind of experimental/progressive rock they will deliver. The cover art work kind of make me think of Tool (the videos for “Sober” and “Prison Sex” from their brilliantly wicked 93’s “Undertow” album) – but in a bad way. I almost skip the album because this horrible cover. Glad I didn’t!
“Dirty Smelly” have a kind of healthy, driven Faust flavour and starts just like a Nine Inch Nails song left off from the “With Teeth” album or like “Driver Down” from the “Lost Highway” soundtrack. It’s pure alchemy and unleashed Magick! From the second track on I was intensively haunted by the feeling of the Miles Davis/Marcus Miller collaboration “Music from Siesta” (1987). With the last but one track, “Afterbirth” the Faust/Nine Inch Nails feeling it’s back. The best 47 minutes I spend lately and I admit, it’s the only record I’m spinning around ever since. And most probably it will be hard to change it with something else in the near future.
“Komara” it’s an intense, refreshing experience and the living proof that the music it’s not as dead as we might think while we’re listening to the radio.
Then I read the info and I find out who are the guys playing in Komara. Read more Komara – Komara (2015)

Gong – I See You (2014)

Gong – I See You (2014)

Gong – I See You (2014) How old you are? “I See You” will be probably the swan song of this legendary band which spinning around for the last 47 years. Brain-child of Daevid Allen, other notable band members include Tim Blake, Didier Malherbe, Pip Pyle, Gilli Smyth, Steve Hillage, Francis Moze, Mike Howlett and Pierre Moerlen. Others who have briefly played in Gong include Bill Bruford, Brian Davison, Don Cherry and Chris Cutler.
This is an effervescent mixture of progressive, psychedelic and space rock reaching out the border of jazz fusion and other vivid experiments. With a tasteful addition of mythology.
Gong was formed in 1967, after Daevid Allen — at that time a member of Soft Machine — was denied re-entry to the United Kingdom because of a visa complication. Allen remained in France where he and a London-born Sorbonne professor, Gilli Smyth, established the first incarnation of the band. Read more Gong – I See You (2014)

John 5 – Careful With That Axe (2014)

John 5 - Careful With That Axe (2014)

John 5 - Careful With That Axe (2014) Little wicked John is back and although he’s not playing with the matches, he’s guitar it’s on fire! I thought it’s his guitar, but just like that it might be an axe or a rifle as well – after all we’re living some strange and violent times!
Definitively John 5 is one of the most virtuoso and versatile guitarist of the modern rock/metal scene and he had a major contribution to the body of work of some influential artists such as Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie. “Careful With That Axe” it’s a guitar album, he’s sixth solo album following “The Art of Malice” released 4 years ago, but it’s a quality and enjoyable throughout album consist of 9 songs plus intro. Complex and technical guitar solos and chain-saw riffs are both deadly weapons in the arsenal of John 5. The music it’s a vivid mixture of neo-classical virtuoso moments with Malmsteen and Satriani resonances and wicked, heavy guitar riffs.
While “Flight Of The Vulcan Kelly” reminded me of “Flight of the Bumblebee” by Rimsky-Korsakov, the very next “Jerry’s Breakdown” it’s a bluegrass/country flavored acoustic rundown. You never know with John 5 what’s coming up next and that it’s truly wonderful! Read more John 5 – Careful With That Axe (2014)

Animals As Leaders – The Joy Of Motion (2014)

Animals As Leaders - The Joy Of Motion (2014) It is the third album by instrumental progressive (metal) group Animals as Leaders, introducing new drummer Matt Garstka along guitarists Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes. Three years after “Weightless” the band sound fresh and feels explosive. Wicked riffs, complex rhythmic structures and build-up, nice harmonic breakdowns and surprising turns are all part of their arsenal. Although I like jazz and instrumental jazz albums, I generally don’t like instrumental rock albums. Animals As Leaders have the creativity and intensity to capture my attention and it’s always a pleasure to take the ride through their albums. Song by song they build-up vivid, unexpected spaces and the mixture of sounds and styles their perform it’s outside the box, above genres. Between the subtle shades of “Air Chrysalis” and the heavy tones of “Tooth And Claw”, Animals As Leaders mix and merge Read more Animals As Leaders – The Joy Of Motion (2014)

Cynic – Kindly Bent to Free Us (2014)

Cynic - Kindly Bent to Free Us (2014)

Cynic - Kindly Bent to Free Us (2014) Label Cynic as a metal band it’s at least ignorance. They grew out of that box pretty quickly and although they merged technical death metal and influences with jazz and progressive rock elements, their music was always something special and different. “Kindly Bent to Free Us”, their third full-length album, it’s a flawless mixture of modern sound and classic, progressive rock flavor with some jazzy reflections. Have some sort of King Crimson and Pink Floyd type of timeless and shiny (brilliant 🙂 ) feel.
The current line-up consist of veterans Paul Masvidal – vocals & guitars, Sean Reinert – drums & percussion and longtime, mainly studio collaborator Sean Malone – fretless bass, chapman stick.
Engineering by Jason Donaghy (Rob Zombie – Hellbilly Deluxe 2), mixed by R. Walt Vincent (Pete Yorn, Liz Phair, Tommy Keene and Jonathan Elias’ The Prayer Cycle), mastered by Maor Appelbaum (Adrenaline Mob, Sepultura, Halford, Armored Saint, Cathedral , etc), featuring the art work of Robert Venosa (among other works, the pre-sketches and conceptual design for the movie Dune), “Kindly Bent to Free Us” it’s a psychedelic sci-fi trip. Read more Cynic – Kindly Bent to Free Us (2014)

Joe Satriani – Unstoppable Momentum (2013)

Joe Satriani Unstoppable Momentum (2013) I’m not one of the unconditional fans of the modern guitar virtuosos. My guitar heroes were (and still are) Hendrix, Zappa, Page, Iommi, etc. More recently Buckethead and several more jazz oriented guitar players as Aram Bajakian or Marc Ribot. But I admit, I was quite into “Flying in a Blue Dream”, it was an album I loved and I still do. Although I had listen almost each and every album he played on, including the G3 project and the hard rocking Chickenfoot, I always find at least a couple of great songs, nice passages, interesting parts on his works.
Satriani came into focus when one of his first students, Steve Vai started mentioning his name quite often. His students included Kirk Hammett of Metallica, David Bryson of Counting Crows, Kevin Cadogan from Third Eye Blind, Larry LaLonde of Primus and Possessed, Alex Skolnick of Testament, Rick Hunolt (ex-Exodus), Phil Kettner of Lääz Rockit, Geoff Tyson of T-Ride, Charlie Hunter and David Turin. During the G3 tours, which he founded in 1996, he invited and collaborated with several famous guitarists such as Vai, LaLonde, Timmons, Steve Lukather, John Petrucci, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, Brian May, Patrick Rondat, Paul Gilbert, Adrian Legg, Steve Morse and Robert Fripp.
“Unstoppable Momentum” is the fourteenth studio solo album by Satriani and it’s scheduled to be released on May 7. He will tour the album with Marco Minnemann on drums and Bryan Beller on bass. The album was recorded by Joe Satriani – guitar, production, Mike Keneally – keyboard, Vinnie Colaiuta – drums, Chris Chaney – bass and engineered and co-produced by Mike Fraser. Read more Joe Satriani – Unstoppable Momentum (2013)

Karl Marx Was A Broker – Alpha to omega director’s cut (2013)

Karl Marx Was A Broker is such an interesting choice for a band name, isn’t it? Got this album from the Italian independent label fromScratch Records and it’s an excellent ride into experimental, ground-breaking alternative rock/metal. It’s a vivid and dynamic blending of different tastes and styles from jazz and psychedelic to the so-called match rock and progressive metal, but it’s also a bridge over time, one foot is on the solid ground of the 70’s while the other kicking down the doors to the future.
Strong riffs, powerful grooves and interesting build-ups make “Director’s Cut” an exciting and memorable listening. This is practically the rearranged version of the previous album (based only in bass and drum), it adds new instruments and sonorities given by a new band member’s entry, Stefano Tocci. The powerful rhythm section of KMWAB is now reinforced and reached with guitar and synth’s riff and with sequencer tracks. Read more Karl Marx Was A Broker – Alpha to omega director’s cut (2013)

The Flaming Lips – The Terror (2013)

The Flaming Lips – The Terror (2013) This feels and sounds pretty much like a dark, modern, minimalist, but soulful Pink Floyd album. Maybe with a healthy addition of King Crimson taste. It has something from that glowing, thirsty 70’s spirit, but sound fatter, feels like nowadays. “The Terror” is the thirteenth studio album by The Flaming Lips, and it’s to be released the April 1st 2013 worldwide and April 2nd, after a four year gap.
Lead vocalist Wayne Coyne describes the album’s general idea on the band’s official site: “We want, or wanted, to believe that without love we would disappear, that love, somehow, would save us that, yeah, if we have love, give love and know love, we are truly alive and if there is no love, there would be no life. The Terror is, we know now, that even without love, life goes on… we just go on… there is no mercy killing.”
Well, this is quite a dark vision, but a realistic one. I guess. There is no love left in this world, it was all sold or stolen and although, eventually, there is love between two people or small groups as a family, there is definitively no more love between humans generally. So, yeah, I kind of get it, feel it. Everybody for himself and against everybody else. Read more The Flaming Lips – The Terror (2013)

Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused To Sing (and other stories) (2013)

Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused To Sing (and other stories) (2013) Third and deadly? The restless guitarist of Porcupine Tree, and beside involved in a million and one projects and collaborations, plus full time mixer, remixer and producer, it’s back with his third solo album which will be released on 25th February 2013. Alan Parsons (best known for his work on Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon”) engineering the album and we’ve got a quite colorful and dynamic mixture of King Crimson, Rush and Jethro Tull. Probably not accidentally, currently Wilson is remixing the back catalogue of King Crimson from 1969–84 into MLP (Meridian Lossless Packaging) 5.1 and new stereo mixes, as well as remixing the back catalogue of Jethro Tull.
So, the presence of Theo Travis (flute and saxophone) it’s not really surprising. Travis has made ten albums as leader, composing and arranging most of the material; and he has also worked with Robert Fripp, Gong, The Tangent, Bill Nelson, Bass Communion, No-Man, David Sylvian, Harold Budd, John Foxx, Burnt Friedman and Dave, Richard Sinclair, and Porcupine Tree. But this is a full all star release featuring exclusively well respected and acclaimed musicians. Read more Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused To Sing (and other stories) (2013)