Skip to main content

November 2016 Roundup

And we arrive in late November. We'll jump quickly to the personal situation, and then wrap-up. Fortunately I did secure a position at the beginning of the month, as indicated last month. It's a global director role, which requires extensive travel - not only internationally but also to Baltimore, where the company is based. It's a huge responsibility that I've taken on, which is exactly what I strove for. As such, I need to "put the toys away" for awhile. Free time now comes at a premium. I was fortunate to start near the Thanksgiving holiday, which is allowing me to close out a few things in the interim. We also have the Christmas season around the corner, and that should allow me a bit more time to play around. But otherwise, I'll need to go silent for a bit. None of this stops me from collecting and listening (much abbreviated perhaps), but the more "time consuming" projects will need to be put on ice for now. A couple of weeks ago, I sent out a note to the Purple Peak Records d-list delaying the sale into early next year. The sale is completely built and ready to go. I just need a free non-holiday weekend to host it.

A few quick updates, minus hyperlinks, and off I go. I plan on being back in December with a similar quick update.

I also hope to get a few more postings up on here during the weekends, as well as on UMR.

----New albums of interest to be released soon

3rd Ear Experience - Stones of a Feather (USA). Nov 21. UTR A-List band. Excellent space rock band that I've yet to feature.

Accordo dei Contrari - Violato Intatto (Italy). UTR A-List band.

Dungen - Haxan (Sweden). Nov 25. UTR A-List band.

Gosta Berlings Saga - Sersophane (Sweden). Dec 16. UTR A-List band.

Pocket Size (Stockholm) - Vemood (Sweden). Dec 1 (LP only). UTR A-List band.

Shaman Elephant - Crystals (Norway). Dec 9. Don't know this band but the description reads very well, so I'll probably buy it sound unheard.

Universal Totem Orchestra - Mathematical Mother (Italy). Dec 17. UTR A-List band.

----UTR A-List band albums that are here (or on the way) but haven't heard yet

Corima - Amaterasu (USA) I'm very excited about this one!

Corsair - One Eyed Horse (USA) A really cool proggy hard rock band from Virginia. I haven't featured them yet, but hope to eventually. Another one of those great Shadow Kingdom bands that are flying way too far under the radar. I'm way behind myself.

Elephant9 - Silver Mountain (Norway)

Eye - Vision and Ageless Light (USA)

Goat - Requiem (Sweden)

Humus - Whispering Galleries (Mexico) This is from 1999, and was released on LP only (in Italy), but I finally secured one. I have a rip on CD-R, so I guess technically I've heard it.

Iron Maiden - Book of Souls (England) Haha - well, I never got around to buying it until now.

Patchwork Cacophony - Fire of Cups (England) Ben Bell's latest work promises to be great!

Purson - Desire's Magic Theatre (England)

Sammal - s/t (Finland) This is the debut album. We've already featured the second.

Sun Dial - Mind Control (England) First released on LP in 2012, now on CD via Sireena of Austria.

Syd Arthur - Apricity (England) The reviews have been middling to great, but I have hope.

Vespero - Lique Mekwas (Russia) I have a large posting ready to go for this incredibly great band. But I've been waiting to hear this new one... forever it seems.

Wolf People - Ruins (England) Another one I'm very excited about based on the early reviews.

various artists - Trip Wave 2 (Russia) From Trail Records. The first comp was awesome. Cannot wait to hear what else they came up with.

----Hopeful UTR A-List band albums that are here (or on the way) but haven't heard yet

These are bands I've never heard before, but the descriptions read most promising.

Avatarium - The Girl With the Raven Mask (Sweden) I'm a big Candlemass fan, and this seems to point to our progressive world mixed in. Hoping for great things here.

Bocca Della Verita - Avenoth (Italy)

Experimental Q2 - Reflux (Romania) 2014 album from the superb 70s band once known as Experimental Quintet. I've been completely negligent in reviewing this one. (Update: Turns out this album is an archival release from 1978. Nevermind! It's quite good though).

Cary Grace - Tygerland (England) One of the primary reasons why I stopped taking promos. I discovered this in a pile a year after she sent it. I'm very sorry Cary! I owe you big time.

Messenger - Illusory Blues (England)

Promenade - Noi Al Dir Di Noi (Italy) 

Zhaoze - Intoxicatingly Lost (China) Well, I called it didn't I? China is the next big thing in progressive rock. Another promo that I've been entirely negligent about. Sorry Alex!

----UTR A-List band albums that I've heard recently but with no notes to speak of

Fates Warning - Theories of Flight (USA) Fantastic new album from the band that pretty much invented prog metal, before the term became bastardized.

Legend - The Dark Place (England) This album was released in 2013, but wanted to call it out anyway. They really snuck this one in didn't they? This is the Legend from Jersey, perhaps the greatest of the original NWOBHM bands. And this new one is just as great. Don't miss it.

Manilla Road - The Blessed Curse (USA) One of my all-time favorite metal bands. Love that epic style. I first bought Crystal Logic in 1983 (still have that LP copy) and every album since and before. Mark Shelton continues on wonderfully with his unique vision. I really need to get a page up for them.

Synaptik - The Mechanisms of Consequence (England) Incredible tech thrash formed from the ashes of the equally great and obscure Inner Sanctum. Alan Tecchio (Watchtower) guests on vocals.

Tusmorke - Fort Bak Lyset (Norway). 3rd album and a nice return to form. And I like that they exploited their "Norwegianness" this time. I hope to update their entry here eventually.

----UTR albums that I still need to purchase as if I actually have time to hear them...

Consorzio Acqua Potabile - Coraggio e Mistero (Italy) New album with Alvaro Fella (Jumbo!) on vocals. This could be very special.

Cherry Five - Il Pozzo Dei Giganti (Italy)

Delirium - L'Era della Menzogna (Italy) One of my favorites of all the 70's Italian bands

Electric Orange - Misophonia (Germany) New one. Auto-buy

Fatal Fusion - 3 albums (Norway) Haven't heard but they come recommended

Il Fauno di Marmo - Canti, racconti e battaglie (Italy) Been out for awhile, just haven't picked it up yet

Flor de Loto - Árbol De La Vida (Peru) Hopefully they're dropping the metal (not their forte I'm afraid) and going back to the psychedelic. Wait and see.

Ingranaggi della Valle - Warm Spaced Blue (Italy) Auto-buy

Kaipa DaCapo - Dårskapens Monotoni (Sweden) I definitely want this

Korai Orom - 2013 (Hungary) I fell asleep on this band. Always reliable.

Mad Fellaz - II (Italy) I really enjoyed the debut. Need to get a page up

Marchesi Scamorza - Hypnophonia (Italy) Another band whose debut is excellent

Merry Go Round - s/t (Italy) I'm a sucker for hard rocking prog bands

Moogg - Italian Luxury Style (Italy) Auto-buy

Sun Dial - Made in the Machine (England) Just came out

Supay - Senales (Peru) Another quality A-list band I feel asleep on. This is already 3 years old!

The Winstons - s/t (Italy) Haven't heard but comes recommended

Witchwood - both albums (Italy) Haven't heard but they come recommended

Wucan - Sow the Wind (Germany) Haven't heard but comes recommended

Zanov - Open Worlds (France)

And there's way more than this that I've just tabled for now.

---

All of the above is in addition to all the great reissues, archival releases, and originals from the classic LP era that I feature on UMR. Too much stuff....

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ramp / ['ramp], Germany

News: We have news straight from Stephen Parsick (see comments). I will just paste it in here with embedded links. Thanks for kindly mentioning ['ramp]'s work here -- I'd like to point out, though, that ['ramp] celebrated the 20th anniversary of their very first live concert last year by releasing "synchronize or die" on CD "SoD" will be followed by a release on 2x12 in February 2018 (check Adasonia Records).['ramp]'s latest release "no sleep 'til wilmersdorf" is due for release in May 2018. Both albums are firmly rooted in Berlin School territory (or Bielefeld School, as I like to call it). (ed: LOL)

Website Samples
Location: Bielefeld, Nordrhein-Westfalen

Overview: Ramp started out as pure play Berlin School electronic band, and one of the best at that. They later moved to a style they referred to as "doombient" (which apparently they have trademarked). I haven't heard these myself, but as you see in the comments,…

Kenso, Japan

Website
Facebook

No new updates from Kenso since 2015.

Kenso - s/t. 1980 Pam (LP); 1995 Arcangelo (CD)
Kenso - II. 1982 Pam (LP); 1993 King (CD); 2002 Pathograph (CD papersleeve)
Kenso - s/t (aka III). 1985 Nexus (LP; CD); 2011 King (CD papersleeve)
Kenso - Sparta. 1989 Crime (CD); 2009 Pathograph as Sparta Naked (CD)
Kenso - Yume No Oka. 1991 King; 2011 Pathograph (CD papersleeve)
Kenso - Esoptron. 1999 King (CD); 1999 Musea (France CD)
Kenso - Ken-Son-Gu-Su. 2000 Pathograph (CD)
Kenso - Fabulis Mirabilibus De Bombycosi Scriptis. 2002 Nexus (CD); 2002 Vinyl Magic (Italy CD)
Kenso - Utsuroi Yuku Mono. 2006 King (CD)
Kenso - Uchi Naru Koe Ni Kaikiseyo. 2014 King (CD)

There are many other live and archival releases from the band, though I only own Ken-Son-Gu-Su. All the other entries above represent their studio albums. There's also a 14 CD box set on King that contains all their studio albums through 2012, as well as a handful of live recordings.

For a band with so many recordings, an…

Dungen, Sweden

News: Dungen's next release is a collaboration with NYC based Woods, and is titled Myths 003. Release date is set for March 16, 2018. I'm not familiar with Woods, who have been around for ~15 years, but it appears they operate in the indie pop, folk, lo-fi areas. Doesn't sound like my thing on paper, but the Dungen effect could alter the outcome. We'll see.

Website Samples Facebook
Location: Stockholm

Overview: Dungen are certainly the most popular of the European late 60s and early 70s psychedelic revivalists. Lead by Gustav Ejstes, himself a child of the 80s and 90s and a fan of hip hop and popular culture, perhaps he was better suited to relate to the upcoming hipster generation. His ability to tap into the very best of his parent's generation has lead to great success - even internationally, as Dungen's albums have sold quite well even in the USA, despite singing in his native tongue. All of the albums are highly melodic, often times based on Swedish folk them…

Taipuva Luotisuora, Finland

News: Taipuva Luotisuora have returned in 2017, after a two year break, playing live concerts well into the summer. No word yet on a new album.

Facebook Website Samples
Location: Turku

Overview: Taipuva Luotisuora started as an Ozric like band before incorporating post rock and space rock elements in their sound.

UMR notes

Scherzoo, France

News: According to a September post on Facebook: "Scherzoo was in the studio in August to record the eight titles of their 4th album, and everything went great! The album is currently in the mix."  I never did hear the 3rd album, being somewhat spooked by the second one. Certainly a band I continue to follow however and welcome any chance I can to hear them.

Website Facebook Samples 
Location:  Lyon

Overview: Scherzoo's sound is somewhere between avant prog and Zeuhl, whereas Thollot's solo works scratch the avant angle and add in some Heldon like electronic rock.

UMR notes

Malady, Finland

News: Malady have announced their second album will be released February 2! It's titled Toinen Toista and will be released on Svart as was the debut. I'm most excited about this one, as their debut is excellent.
Samples Facebook
Location: Helsinki

Overview: If you like the music of Finland circa 1973, you'll love Malady. They've captured the essence of another era perfectly.

UMR Notes

Homunculus Res, Italy

News: New album out February 15th! Titled Della Stessa Sostanza dei Sogna.

Facebook Samples
Location: Palermo, Sicily

Overview: Homunculus Res are a tremendous new Canterbury styled band from Italy that have perfectly captured the spirit of another era. Brilliantly mixing melody and complexity, with a jazzy undertone.

UMR notes

Elephant9, Norway

News: Elephant9 are set to release their 5th album (on Feb 16) entitled Greatest Show on Earth (who remembers that fine early 70s UK band?). Label says: "On this, their fifth studio album, they are back to the core trio of their two first albums, with Ståle Storløkken (keyboards), Nikolai Hængsle (bass) and Torstein Lofthus (drums). "The Greatest Show On Earth" displays some truly astonishing playing and is a more dynamic, structured and focused album with all tracks clocking in between five and seven minutes." Hmmm, not liking that guitarist Fiske is not around anymore, but OK, let's see what they come up with.

Facebook Samples
Location: Oslo

Overview: If you like overdriven Hammond organ and Rhodes piano - completely fuzzed out to the maximum - all immersed within interesting instrumental compositions, then Elephant9 are for you. Their last 2 albums feature former Landberk / current Dungen's guitarist Reine Fiske, and have started to move into a 1970 era …

Free System Projekt, Netherlands

News: As noted on this site in April, Free System Projekt's first album in many years did indeed come out (entitled Five Suns).

Website Samples
Location: Huizen (east of Amsterdam)

Overview: Of all the current bands playing in the retro Berlin School of sequencer based electronic music, Dutch ensemble Free System Projekt may be the closest in imitating the original pioneers. Especially the Tangerine Dream variant from 1974 to 1977.

UMR notes

Sammal, Finland

News: We have just received word that Sammal will release their 3rd album, titled Suuliekki, on March 9th. This must be "Finnish retro prog 2018 winter", as this follows Malady's own announcement for February. The more the merrier of course....

Facebook Samples
Location: Turku

Overview: Sammal are a modern band playing in the "retro prog"style, and who have a done great job to date of recreating the 1972 Finnish landscape.

UMR notes