Boundless (PREORDER)


"LONG DISTANCE CALLING recorded their new album “Boundless” without a singer, going back to your instrumental core competence as a quartet. If BOUNDLESS sounds like anyone at all, it's LONG DISTANCE CALLING. Four musicians, four totally different but strong characters. ‘Out There’, the opening track on the album, starts as a typical LONG DISTANCE CALLING groover, playing around with indie melodies, but ends with mighty riffs. No wild mix of styles, but a precisely composed and precisely arranged introduction. “Ascending” starts off in an astonishingly fast tempo, and surprises rhythmically in the middle section to then culminate in a grand melody towards the end of the song. ‘In The Clouds’ features classic rock components paired with a dark ‘In The Air Tonight’ vibe. ‘Weightless’ is kind of the opposite experience, tricking you with easy reggae grooves in deceptive safety, before the wild ride starts and stops in Birmingham for an exploding Sabbath memory riff. But the Germans don't only rely on the rough stuff on their sixth album. The main theme of ‘The Far Side’ is reminiscent of melancholic, dark and sinister soundtracks while ‘Like A River’ could be used as the perfect musical background for a modern Jarmusch western with its light Calexico vibe. ’On The Verge’ is driven by finely balanced loops and beats; percussive sounds play a greater role than ever before. “Skydivers” forms the frantic closure with a mix of furious tempo and epic melody lines. LONG DISTANCE CALLING tear everything down and let it blossom again. BOUNDLESS sounds like freedom found again, sometimes weightless, sometimes oppressively heavy. Climb to the summit to tumble down again in free fall. Except that you're suddenly flying up and not down. A counter reaction in order to avoid repetition? Maybe. Be that as it may - it's finally a reason not to be ashamed of German music. Ltd. Edition Hardcover CD Digipak with a 36 pages thick photo booklet."

There are no review yet. Be the first!

Product Review

You must login or register to post reviews.
Laser Pic

customers also bought

  • CD/DVD in a digibook.  The DVD is the complete show and the CD maxxes out due to the time limitations."In May 2012 Anathema released Weather Systems, the most acclaimed and successful album of a career that has spanned over two decades. The album scored high in numerous critics end of year polls around the world and cemented their reputation as one of the most exciting and progressive bands around. Following the release of the album, the band embarked on a lengthy world tour. The European leg of the tour opened with a triumphant one-off show at the ancient Roman theatre of Philippopolis with the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra in September 2012. Directed by celebrated filmmaker Lasse Hoile, Universal captures the magic of the event ."
  • "Norwegians Gazpacho never fail to serve up something a little different, and Molok is no exception: apparently, it is an album capable of destroying the universe. How could this possibly be the case? Well, a strange noise at the end of the record will cause the correction software in CD players everywhere to generate a random number every time the CD is played – and if that number corresponds to the actual position of every electron in the universe, theoretically the universe could come to an end. If that sounds far-fetched, you might want to go away and Google the Quantum Zeno effect. Oh, and don’t tell your mum. She’d only worry. Actually, perhaps it might be safer to play the vinyl edition?Theoretical – and potentially universe-threatening – particle physics aside, Molok is another conceptual offering from Gazpacho, who have been making it a habit of this approach for some time now: their previous five albums have also been conceptual in nature. This time around, the story upon which the album is an early twentieth century fable about a man who notices that whenever the human race worships a god, they are worshipping stone, in some form – the god seems to be chased by his followers into stone, never to return, hence explaining why God seems to have become incommunicado. Consumed by this idea, and by the notion that physics provides a means of projecting the movement of everything in the universe into the past or future, the man builds a machine to calculate the past and future, a machine which he christens Molok. As the machine swiftly becomes self-aware, the man realises that his work may expose things that are best left unknown…Molok is perhaps not as bold and uncompromising in its approach as the band’s previous album Demon was; but then, nine albums into their career, this is a band who no longer have anything to prove. In many ways, despite its subject matter and its often unnerving feel, Molok is a more musically forgiving record. Whilst Demon was a much starker record, its powerful progressive rock tendencies framed by introspective solo spots and restrained duets, Molok is less aggressive and more obviously band-oriented, all of the tracks being very much ensemble pieces all the way through. For those familiar with Gazpacho’s previous work, the general effect is of something that sits almost exactly halfway between Night and Missa Atropos, with some of the flavours of Demon, and the more song-based structure of their earlier albums, notably Firebird. Those not familiar with Gazpacho’s music should expect something that sounds like Pink Floyd and Marillion fed on a diet of post-rock, world music and Balkan folk.Like its siblings, Molok reveals its secrets slowly, almost reluctantly. Gazpacho’s albums tend to be slow-burners that overwhelm on first listen, so loaded with imagery that your mind struggles to find something to anchor itself to until it has heard the record several times, and Molok is no exception. It opens with sinister tribal drumming, but it’s not long before the familiar smoky vocals of frontman Jan Henrik Ohme and the lush keyboard work of Thomas Andersen enfold those familiar with Gazpacho’s sonic universe in a warmly familiar embrace. This first track, ‘Park Bench’, builds from simmering unease to grandiose choruses and a thundering, powerful climax with an ease born of a musical telepathy developed over the years. Swells of organ, church bells and who knows what else join the fray; most bands would fumble juggling these seemingly disparate elements, but in Gazpacho’s sure hands the whole never tumbles out of control.‘His Master’s Voice’ is a sinkhole of simmering unease, whilst ‘Bela Kiss’ is positively playful – its jaunty rhythms interspersed with frantic Balkan folk-style breakdowns that really give multi-instrumentalist Mikael Krømer and guest musician, accordionist Stian Carstensen, a workout. Carstensen amply displays the reasons why the band asked him to contribute to the record, whilst Krømer is, as always, Gazpacho’s secret weapon, grounding their modern sound to earth and lending it a timeless, arcane quality. This is music that simultaneously sounds like it was written today, and a century ago: entirely appropriate for the subject matter at hand.‘Know Your Time’ is much more familiar ground: an initially bass-driven progressive rock behemoth that utilises the band’s unerring sense of dynamics to unfurl into a Marillion-esque keyboard-drenched epic that ranks among the very best songs the band have delivered to date. Special mention also has to go to Lars Erik Asp’s drumming, which is particularly powerful here, and Jon Arne Vilbo and Mikael Krømer’s soaring dual-solo spot, that successfully echoes the best work of Marillion’s Steve Rothery, long a touchstone for the band. All this, and the album is barely halfway through.‘Choir Of Ancestors’ returns to a more introspective feel – Ohme’s vocals as intimate and heart-stopping as ever – as the song examines the human ability to keep moving forwards, no matter the odds or the sense of futility. The track acts as an oasis of calm between two more musically ambitious tracks: it is followed by ‘ABC’, which namechecks a number of human endeavours to measure time and man’s place in the universe, showing that Molok’s creator is just the latest in a long line of antecedents.Those listening on CD are given a further treat at this point in the form of the moody instrumental ‘Algorithm’, which possesses a mesmerising groove – it’s a brief but welcome and highly effective interlude between the body of the album and the closing two tracks, which are Gazpacho in excelsis, containing all they do so well. The eerie yet anthemic ‘Alarm’ is positively filmic in its lush storytelling, building to a series of peaks separated by limpid pools of gliding bass and tinkling keys. Once more, Ohme is at his very best here: his highly emotive voice given the space to breathe by the band before lending wings to their musical ambition.Grand finale ‘Molok Rising’ opens with a surprise: a selection of the world’s oldest known instruments, the ‘singing stone’ or Skåra stone and a variety of stone percussion, moose jaws, flutes and stringed instruments, all carefully reproduced and played by Norwegian musical archaeologist Gjermund Kolltveit. Kolltveit’s intriguing contributions flow easily into one of Gazpacho’s darkest tracks to date, equal parts The Doors’ ‘The End’ and Floyd’s ‘Yet Another Movie’. A dark cloud of synthesiser hovers over an icy lake of clattering drums, eerie percussion and chiming guitar as Ohme narrates the grand finale, delivering the coup de grace against a background of clocktower chimes and ticking clocks. Is time running out for us all? No spoilers here for those intrigued by the album’s central conceit – it’s far too good a tale to post a spoiler here – but it’s an ending that will definitely leave you pondering the implications of the tale and most likely have you hitting ‘Play’ again whilst you’re about it. But do let the album finish before returning to the beginning – you wouldn’t want to miss your chance to destroy the universe…Molok is, in its own right, a deeply impressive piece of work. Conceptually intriguing, instrumentally beguiling and emotionally powerful, it’s beautifully composed, played and produced – another practically flawless entry in one of the most consistent back catalogues in modern progressive rock. Like all of Gazpacho’s albums, it rewards familiarity but never loses its initial frisson. As with so much of their work, this is definitely an album best heard in the dark, over headphones with no distractions; it may still sound hugely impressive in the light of day, but away from the sunlight it casts its own very specific and potent spell. History will record this band as one of the most relentlessly adventurous and eclectic progressive rock bands of recent years, but for now Gazpacho remain one of the best-kept secrets of modern progressive rock, and Molok numbers among their finest achievements." - Echoes And Dust
  •  Fascinating new post-rock from this Swedish band sporting at least one familiar name!WALRUS THE BAND: Renowned film music composer and piano player Matti Bye on Hammond & Farfisa Organs, Mellotron and Wurlitzer Piano. The Tiny and Gul 3 member Leo Svensson on Cello and Minimoog. Producer and composer Kristian Holmgren on Electric Bass and Fuzz Bass. Mattias Olsson of Änglagård on drums, with Henrik Olsson of Gul 3 and Harr joining him at their double drum kit, The Sprawl."Exciting new album from Sweden that mixes retro progressive with classic Krautrock sounds. Opening track 'Tromso III' gets the motorik running with a steady beat and analog keyboards layered on top. The real party begins with 'Signals', a haunting organ and violin led piece. Heavy bass and drums propel the track forward in an exciting way. Bleeping synthesizers are dropped on top to create a truly psychedelic atmosphere. But it's the 14 minute 'Spitsbergen' that really places Walrus in the big leagues. Starting out in Ohr music territory, with a decidedly funereal backdrop of organ, synthesizers, bass and plodding drums - the composition suddenly comes alive with an insane and massive fuzz bass attack followed by swirling organ and mellotron . If you don't fly off your couch and put a fist through the wall, then you are... ... legally dead. Very few bands ever capture a perfect moment like that. What a stunning song." - Tom Hayes/Under The Radar CDs
  • "It's been sometime since I've had a Long Distance Calling album cross my desk, nearly five years. The German band returns with their fifth album, Trips, and another new vocalist in Norwegian Petter Carlsen (Pil & Bue). Keyboards, piano and electronic sounds are performed by Marsen Fischer. Yet, as usual, Long Distance Calling's music essentially revolves around instrumental collaboration.In some sense, Trips is familiar territory for listeners. LDC continues to juxtapose atmospheric and etheral soundscapes with brisk and often bracing riffage, with light and lilting vocals floating over them, as least when they see fit to add them. Mostly, Long Distance Calling reminds me of progressive rock past and present. You might hear echoes of Pink Floyd or Kraftwerk, Anathama, Tool, and Muse in their sound. At one time they kind sound like pop infused trance music with an Eighties vibe as with Getaway. Then they can bring some of those crushing riffs in guitar-forward arrangements, feeling both heavy and brisk, even anxious as with Reconnect and Trauma. Yet the latter has one of LDC's characteristic wandering melancholy breakdowns in the middle. And even more rapid fire presence and pace come within Lines, with lighter moments given for the vocals.While it seems most everything is guitar and riff driven, a song such as Momentum is carried by the rippling groove of the drums. Everything else, including the guitars, seems to ride upon the crest of each wave, foaming and churning as the drums cascade along. It's just an example of whole good LDC is at making even instrumental prog rock accessible. Mention should be made of the closing number Flux. It also features much of the LDC signature sound, yet there's something more subdued and gentle about the guitar work in the first half, before it yields to something akin jazz rock fusion guitar. It was a subtle thing to my ears. You might describe it differently. Suffice to say, it's another representation of LDC's sublime and deft song composition. The only bump here is the song Rewind, which basically sounded like, well, nothing. Nothing with vocals that is.Nevertheless, the conclusion to all this is simple. With Trips, Long Distance Calling has delivered another enjoyable album of (mostly) instrumental melodic progressive rock, perhaps even more accessible than past works. Recommended." -
  • Standard edition comes (at the moment) with a slipcase "o" card wrapper."It’s been quite a past few years for the incredible Anathema. Honors have been bestowed upon them, they’ve released an instant classic album in “Weather Systems”, and last year they released one of the best live concert films I’ve ever seen, “Universal”. Anathema is on top of the world, and they are only getting bigger. With all of this on their shoulders, they approach the world once again with their new album, “Distant Satellites”, a fitting name for a massive album. Again, with all of their recent success creating huge expectations, can this band meet such critical reception? Needless to say, Vincent Cavanagh on vocals, Danny Cavanagh on guitar, Jamie Cavanagh on bass, John Douglas on percussion, Daniel Cardoso on drums, and Lee Douglas with her wonderful vocals were all up to the challenge.“Distant Satellites” is a very different album from “Weather Systems”, or anything else they’ve done, for that matter. It is different, yet somehow instantly familiar. It includes everything that makes them Anathema, but adds new and exciting elements to their already excellent formula. If you’ve never heard Anathema, their formula (in their last few albums, anyways) includes soaring guitars, amazingly catchy melodies, spiritual lyrics, and emotional flow both vocally and structurally. They are the masters of melody, and they remain complex and progressive even while being simple and accessible. They are truly masters of their craft.This new album, then, is no different in those terms. The melodies return in force, such as the serene beauty of “The Lost Song” parts 1-3. And, yet, there is something different here. The melodic lines are somewhat more complex, less in-your-face, and more organic. This especially shows in the song lengths, most of them being over five minutes. This allows for more growth and more progression. Indeed, then, the melodies on “Distant Satellites”, while not being as instantly lovable or recognizable, are certainly more difficult and possibly will have a longer “shelf life” in my mind. Yes, the orchestrations seem to be lower key, as well, allowing the vocalists to express themselves more personally then ever.There are other improvements, too. I feel that the musicianship is more fervent and on a higher plateau of difficulty than Anathema has tried. Drummer John Douglas, especially, plays amazingly well from start to finish, accenting the music with awesome pounding and fills. The rest of the band are at their peak, too, with Vincent and Lee being especially great with emotional and meaningful vocal performances.“Distant Satellites” is different in more meaningful ways, too. Utilizing post-rock/metal structures is nothing new for Anathema, but they really do perfect them here, as on “Dusk”, a dark, climactic song. Yet, there is a sense of continuity between tracks, too. This is obviously the case between the three parts of “The Lost Song”, but it’s also apparent throughout the album, as if Anathema is telling us a story, convincing us of our true selves and our connection with the universe and with each other.This album is wonderful in the first half, but my excitement reached new heights in the second half. Anathema has taken it upon themselves to change things up a bit. They wanted to progress their sound, but make it all seem so natural. So, in the second half, the album climaxes with one of the best songs, simply called “Anathema”. But then, we are thrown for a loop somewhat, as “You’re Not Alone” features a hefty portion of electronic vibe. It’s great, but the best is still to come.Next, “Firelight”, a darkly ethereal instrumental track that is completely electronic, is thrust upon us, and is followed up by what may possibly be the best song Anathema has ever produced, “Distant Satellites”. This track combines everything that has ever made Anathema great: soaring melodies, climactic structure, gentle spirituality, amazing vocals, and now an electronic beat that is both complex and catchy. Vibrant, mesmerizing, and pure, this track elates me every time I hear it. It takes this album, and my heart, to new heights. The album finishes with a gentle ballad that just seems so fitting, yet it still has the strong electronic influence.So, is “Distant Satellites” a winner? In every way! Is it their best album? I don’t know; it has the potential, but it might take time, just like “Weather Systems” did. What I can tell you is that this new album is more mature, more progressive, more interesting and eclectic, and less formulaic then anything Anathema has crafted yet. It does sacrifice some accessibility and some instant likability for these things, but I respect their decision massively, and I fully expect to see “Distant Satellites” at the tops of many lists at the end of 2014." - Progulator
  • "In May 2012 Anathema released Weather Systems, the most acclaimed and successful album of a career that has spanned over two decades. The album scored high in numerous critics end of year polls around the world and cemented their reputation as one of the most exciting and progressive bands around. Following the release of the album, the band embarked on a lengthy world tour. The European leg of the tour opened with a triumphant one-off show at the ancient Roman theatre of Philippopolis with the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra in September 2012. Directed by celebrated filmmaker Lasse Hoile, Universal captures the magic of the event ."
  • Klone is a French band that has been kicking around for 20 years.  Their sixth album, Here Comes The Sun, finds them changing course adding a more progressive element to their sound.  The music is very melancholy but spacious...quite beautiful in fact.  Think in terms of the mellowest Riverside tracks, Katatonia's unplugged release, Anathema.  In fact quite a bit of this has a similar vibe to their French compatriots Cloverseeds.  Very immersive sounding music that is predominantly about mood but as you scratch your way past the veneer you'll hear all the progressive elements that are lurking underneath.  Quite superb and a 2015 top 10 candidate.  BUY OR DIE!"One spin of this disc and the irony of the album title will loom large; ‘Here Comes The Sun’ is not a record full of funeral doom, black metal or brutal death but the content is certainly dark, bleak and paints vistas in the mind of the listener upon which it would be difficult for the sun to penetrate and cast it’s warm glow.The Poitier-based quintet have been steadily building a following over the course of their 20 year career, with previous albums garnering a fair amount of praise and critical acclaim in the process. However, with ‘Here Comes The Sun’, their sixth album, French progressive rock/metal band Klone have arguably created their finest moment to date, an intense and melancholy affair that isn’t afraid to bare its teeth when the need arises.Klone are not a band that has been content to stand still and recreate the same album each and every time. But then neither has their evolution been full of stark contrasts; instead the talented Gallic bunch have appeared content with a slow and gradual evolution that has seen them shake off a large amount of their more extreme heavy metal influences in favour of a more challenging, almost minimalist mélange of styles centred around more rock-based climes.Sitting at the heart of the music on ‘Here Comes The Sun’ is vocalist Yann Ligner who has a very intriguing style. On the one hand, he has a fragile-sounding clean approach that’s full of emotion and fleetingly reminiscent of Jonas Renkse of Katatonia. On the flip-side, Ligner is able to belt it out with some real power. It’s here that the gravel in his voice becomes apparent and, coupled with his phrasing and intonation, he heavily calls to mind the late Kurt Cobain. Given the fact that I have a strong dislike for grunge, it surprises me quite how much I enjoy Ligner’s voice. Having thought upon it long and hard for a few days I think it comes down to a combination of factors: there’s variety in Ligner’s delivery that shifts to suit the changing moods of the music and perhaps more crucially, I connect with the strong compositions themselves unlike with the vast majority of grunge.And that brings me nicely onto the subject of the music itself which I have to admit is of the highest order. In fact, in the form of ‘Nebulous’, ‘Here Comes The Sun’ features one of the very best songs that I have heard in 2015 so far. It’s one hell of a piece of music which has got me thoroughly addicted. Beginning quietly with a magnificent bass line overlayered with some subtle guitar melodies, it soon delivers a chorus to die for. Ligner croons over a hook-filled and inspired section of music that is achingly beautiful, poignant and catchy as hell. The mid section of the song introduces some post-rock influences before the track reaches its conclusion via another burst of the chorus. It sends shivers down my spine every time and I cannot speak highly enough of this song.Importantly, the remaining nine songs on the album are no slouches either, although I have to say that the cover of ‘Summertime’ that closes the album is my least favourite moment. It’s an interesting version of the classic upon which Klone have stamped their personal mark, but I’m simply not a fan of that song if I’m being entirely honest.In terms of the original material on offer, ‘Here Comes The Sun’ opens up with ‘Immersion’, a real grower of a track that starts off with a quiet melody and modern sampled sounds over which Ligner puts in a mesmerising performance. Big, hypnotic and ominous metal riffs join the fray as the track inexorably builds towards its conclusion. Post-rock/metal influences loom large but it is the power of the driving central riff that carries the song wonderfully without ever fully succumbing to the explosion of sound that threatens to materialise. I’m not normally a fan of brass instruments in my rock music but Mattieu Metzger’s lead saxophone actually adds another positive dimension upon its entry towards the tail end of the track.A feature of Klone’s music is an impressively strong rhythm section, courtesy of drummer Florent Marcadet and bassist Jean Etienne Maillard. Both put in impressive performances but it’s Maillard that catches the ear most of all, thanks to some intricate and genuinely inventive bass work throughout the entire album. I could pretty much pick any song but just take ‘Fog’ as an example of what I’m referring to.‘Gone Up In Flames’ is the closest that Klone get to the mainstream thanks to a cheeky, almost up-beat melody. It is also here that the aforementioned grunge influences come most to the fore. ‘The Drifter’ has a demonstrable prog rock vibe that is vaguely reminiscent of the likes of Riverside and more recent output from Long Distance Calling. Once again the bass is prominent within a very atmospheric composition that benefits from a strong sense of melody and a clever use of shifting dynamics which allows the track to ebb and flow smoothly. ‘Gleaming’ is an instrumental piece that is heavily influenced by recent Katatonia, especially in the tone and delivery of the lead guitar lines courtesy of messrs Guillaume Bernard and Aldrick Guadagnino. However, despite its short length it covers a lot of ground including a brief dabble with ambient sounds.This ambient influence is largely understated within ‘Here Comes the Sun’ but is never far from the surface, meaning that many of the songs are interspersed with gentler, calmer moments to increase the sense of bleak drama that pervades throughout. ‘Come Undone’ is another personal favourite thanks to another gorgeous central melody whilst ‘Grim Dance’ is basically a monster that smoothly blends the best elements of the band and distils it into a single track. The original material is then concluded with ‘The Last Experience’. The longest track on the album, it is also one of the darkest and most claustrophobic, culminating in a post-rock crescendo which comes crashing down in a jarring and deliberately uncomfortable dystopian-esque blaze of static noise.Despite the bleak and grim visage, as the album concludes, I am also left with a vague sense of hope and maybe, going back to the title of the album, it’s here where the glimmer of the sun can be glanced. It may be fleeting and gone in the blink of an eye but it’s definitely there. And perhaps, therein lies the magic of this album. On ‘Here Comes The Sun’, Klone have combined brilliant songwriting, unfaltering execution and a willingness to experiment both musically and lyrically to create a collection of diverse, challenging and evocative soundscapes for the modern world. Highly recommended." - Man Of Much Metal
  • ANATHEMA, one of the U.K.'s most cherished and critically acclaimed rock bands, will release a live Blu-ray/audio collection titled "A Sort Of Homecoming" on October 30 via Kscope. Directed by Lasse Hoile (Steven Wilson, KATATONIA, OPETH), "A Sort Of Homecoming" is a stunning concert film of ANATHEMA's homecoming show on March 7, 2015 in the spectacular setting of the Liverpool Cathedral. The concert was described by Prog magazine as "a once-in-a-lifetime experience that words can barely do justice.""I'm really happy that this night in particular has been preserved," commented ANATHEMA guitarist/vocalist Vincent Cavanagh. "As anyone from Liverpool will tell you, to be given the chance to play the Anglican Cathedral is monumental and a huge honor. The place is absolutely huge. Just look at the cover, it was like doing a gig in Erebor!"Having previously worked with ANATHEMA on the acclaimed "Universal" concert film, Lasse Hoile captured the 100-minute acoustic set in high definition against the sensational backdrop of Liverpool Cathedral. Featuring 15 songs selected from the albums "Distant Satellites", "Weather Systems", "We're Here Because We're Here", "A Natural Disaster" and "Alternative 4", the "Anathema Acoustic" trio of Daniel Cavanagh, Vincent Cavanagh and Lee Douglas were joined by rhythm section John Douglas and Jamie Cavanagh, alongside their very talented close friend David Wesling on cello who also played on "Hindsight" (2009) and "A Moment In Time" (2006). For this exclusive performance, the band was also joined by the renowned violinist Anna Phoebe on a haunting rendition of "Anathema". The audio has been produced and mixed by Christer-André Cederberg who worked on "Distant Satellites", "Universal" and "Weather Systems", with the cover and booklet artwork featuring the stunning photography from the show and behind the scenes by longtime collaborator Caroline Traitler. This is the first ANATHEMA live release to feature a 5.1 audio mix, engineered by Bruce Soord.
  • "Founded in 1999 and evolving into a band that main man Bruce Soord has called “greater than the sum of its parts”, The Pineapple Thief have  never been afraid to challenge the vision that they are a prog band. One which has existed  on the periphery awaiting the real breakthrough moment. Their 11th studio album sees them setting an ‘ever onward’ course.Following the bite sized chunk trials of 2014’s ‘Magnolia’ with its more mainstream orientation, comes the album described as “a joy to make.” Not often you hear that making an album has been effortless.  Perhaps inspired by the drumming contribution of the excellent Gavin Harrison, fresh from his experiences with King Crimson, or the clarinet contributions of Supertramp’s John Helliwell, or even the string quartet and four piece choir, they combine to cast a different hue  on  the The Pineapple Thief canvas.  With Darran Charles from Godsticks adding some guitar, it’s an all star cast that alongside the core unit, have combined  to create  an album which adds to their already inventive catalogue of work.Bruce Soord’s recent collaborations and production duties, particularly with the darker progressive and metal tendencies of Opeth and Katatonia, and in particular the latter’s acoustic adventures, may have also had an influence and played their part in his thinking. Fans may also be encouraged to hear he’s rediscovered his progressive roots which all adds up to what  on paper has the potential to drive TPT into another dimension.  Not only does it sound good, with Soord’s growing reputation as a 5.1 specialist doing wonders with the sonics, but it looks good too. The album concept gets played out in Carl Glover’s expansive artwork which compliments the musical and lyrical journey of a parent and child,  unfolding slowly   to chronicle a  tale of love, fear, estrangement and reconciliation.Soord has called ‘No Man’s Land’, the track assigned as the album teaser, “a tale of two halves.  It’s short but progressive and 100% The Pineapple  Thief”  – an apt description  which applies  to much if not all of ‘Your Wilderness’. It’s preceded by ‘In Exile’ which not  only sets the scene but, possibly with the help of the distinctive yet subtle Harrison drumming,  moving TPT into the frame as the band most likely to take up the mantle from oner of Harrison’s old bands – another PT, Porcupine Tree.  The void created by their regrettable  absence in the wake of the Steven Wilson solo career juggernaut  could well be on the way to being filled.A wistful ‘That Shore’   takes a turn towards the delicate and fragile, echoed on ‘Fend For Yourself’ with the Helliwell clarinet floating over the low key choral backing. Intense without being overbearing , it all fits with the album template yet for those who like their progressive music  to run a little longer there’s ten minutes of ‘The Final Thing On My Mind’ to dissect. Easy to say it’s the centrepiece because of the extended format but in all honesty it is an impressive composition. After building for four minutes, it could easily draw to a close to be another ‘short but progressive’ number, but it finds a natural conclusion in an extended arrangement which develops towards a second crescendo involving the sort of dynamic intensity which rarely pays a call, yet  allows for a more significant  impact when it does. The emphasis remains on the unpretentious and creation of atmosphere containing moments of controlled energy; a pattern which is at the core of an absorbing and introspective set which flows gently through  the forty minute playing time.The Pineapple Thief seem to be  making an art form of the short but progressive style, stepping up to the plate for consideration as a band who have slowly developed into genuine contenders." - Louder Than War
  • CD/DVD edition in a mediabook.  The CD contains one bonus track.  The DVD has hi-res audio in surround and stereo mixes."Katatonia have, over the past 20 years, achieved the rarest of things: they have evolved without alienating their entire fanbase. From blackened death metal roots with of Dance Of December Souls to darkened, progressive excellence with Dead End Kings, the Swedes have gone from crushing screams to melancholic laments, and entertained our dark hearts for over two decades. They’re now back with their tenth full length The Fall Of Hearts.Katatonia followed the 2012 Dead End Kings album cycle with an acoustic reworking of the record, plus a live release of the band playing cuts from their twenty year career – acoustic and stripped down – at London’s Union Chapel. If we didn’t know better we’d think they were avoiding the studio. Some things have changed in the Katatonia camp since the last full length however: a new drummer and guitarist have joined the fold, and whilst the band haven’t leaped into nu metal or anything, there are obvious changes.Over two decades, Katatonia have honed their sound to an instantly distinguishable one. From the first few seconds of “Takeover“, Jonas Renske’s unique vocal drops in and there can be no doubt. Its slow intro melts into a cascade of swirling guitars and double kicks – a good omen for what is to come. Lead single “Old Heart Falls” hearkens back to Dead End Kings with its melancholic, vocal-driven approach, and it meanders through its duration with palpable ease. The lead guitars and bass, along with the infectious vocal hooks and generally bright guitar playing, complete one another.One of the heavier cuts from the record, the crushing rhythms of ”Serac“ offer a welcome variation from the mid-tempo melancholy. Both Anders Nyström and newbie Roger Öjersson shine, trading guitar lines effortlessly between the heavy riffing and incalculably intricate picking. Elsewhere, hand drums and flutes are teased, but it’s with “Pale Flag” that they truly get to shine; acoustic guitar lines interjected with a wistful bass line act as a lullaby for the world- worn and weary heart.With a band like Katatonia who’ve spent each and every album evolving into something bigger and better, it becomes a herculean task to craft a song that could encapsulate every single nuance that this band ever were. Closing track “Passer” begins with a breakneck pace, that after the sombre affair that is its predecessor, it’s sure to make sure that you’re still paying attention. The ebb and flow between soft and heavy passages is nothing new to this band, or to metal as a whole, but its intention is to create a more intense effect for the listener, and here, with the help of immediate and frantic guitar sweeps, Renske’s vocal soars one final time.The Fall of Hearts is undoubtedly Katatonia; a perfect blend of their legacy with enough space left in the material for growth in both tone and songwriting. This marks their tenth album and what an album it is: Katatonia’s brand of progressive-edged darkness continues unparalleled and unmatched through a combination of depth, character and calculated menace – The Fall of Hearts could well be one of the best records of 2016." - The Monolith
  • Hardbound mediabook edition with one bonus track."I haven't had anything similar on my musical plate for a while, so Gazpacho's eighth album Demon was an interesting, beautifully surprising and absolutely brilliant variation. Again Gazpacho mixes progressive sounds with electronic elements and folk instrumentation with the addition of dynamic riffing and amazing vocals. The outcome is a unique sound that is quite inimitable and rare to find. How much you enjoy the new record will mainly depend on how you respond to this incredible mix and the singing style used by the vocalist. Anyway Gazpacho rules, especially at night.I'm a great fan of these guys and for those of you that still don't know who they are, Gazpacho is a band formed in Oslo, Norway in 1996 by childhood friends, Jon-Arne Vilbo and Thomas Andersen, along with Jan-Henrik Ohme - later joined by Mikael Krømer, Lars Erik Asp and Kristian Torp; they released their debut album Bravo in 2003.Demon, the upcoming record, is a concept album based on the true story of a manuscript found in an apartment in Prague where the writer, a previous resident, had detailed his chase of an evil, “The Demon”. Demon is for sure full of emotion and humanity and the way the Norwegian band reproduces in music the diabolical story and the psychosis of the protagonist is wonderful.The story is told in four parts and it starts with 'I've been walking – part 1' and it couldn't start in a better low-key fashion way. There’s something disarmingly powerful about loud vocals from Jahn Henrik Ohme that add incredible depth to a song. The intermittent piano notes are just perfect and the delicate violin sound is like a nice shade of color you don't notice on painting but that painting wouldn't be the same without it. A great bonus.The second part of 'I've been walking' – that is the third track of the album – starts exactly where the first movement of the piece ends but adding a dark shadow to the overall atmosphere. There are still vocals but now are slower and they mix perfectly with the other instruments. The bass is gorgeous and the way the song turns into a more ambient and atmospherical dimension is great. It's such a damn good track and together, 'I've been walking' parts I and II, might be the best tunes that Gazpacho has ever written.The mix of sounds of the opening track changes completely in 'The Wizard of Altai Mountain' becoming electronic in the first part of the track and turning into a sort of gipsy or Yiddish sound in the second half. We are all crossing lands pursuing the demon.The story ends with 'Death Room' and the motifs of the 'The Wizard of Altai Mountain' come back like creating a circle with that song. Oriental sound, progressive rock and folk are all mixed together and the resulting fusion sound is incredible. I rarely make direct comparison among artists but this time I cannot avoid to think of Radiohead's music mixed with folk elements to create an intricate yet beautifully original tone. Other times they make me think of the Scandinavian prog-rock band Airbag but again Gazpacho find their way to be definitely unique.The story ends here and Demon too, a captivating and intriguing album that is absolutely brilliant. I like the way it flows song by song and the variety of sounds blended in it. Such experimentalism is the proof that the Norwegian guys are really talented and they deserve to be considered one of the best progressive rock bands on the scene today.Demon is an album that requires time and patience to be understood and to gain the listener's estimation and it will reward open minded audience. Play it in the dark to fully experience its great music." - Echoes And Dust
  • Riverside vocalist Mariusz Duda returns with his fourth Lunatic Soul project.  Duda plays all the instruments except drums which are handled by Indukti's Lawrence Dramowicz.  The last Lunatic Soul album, Impressions, was an all instrumental effort that explored ambient and post-rock territory.  Walking On A Flashlight Beam is a bit similar but Duda does provide vocals from time to time.  Like all of the Lunatic Soul albums that preceded it, WOAFB has a very dark and mysterious vibe to it.  Duda is moving away from exclusively using acoustic instruments.  Textural electronic keyboards predominate and I'm pretty certain he plugs his guitar in as well.  This is another one of his albums that will suck you in.  Highly recommended." I'll come right out and say that Lunatic Soul's new album "Walking on a Flashlight Beam" was my most anticipated album of 2014. Why? Well, Mariusz Duda (of Riverside fame) has created such a brilliantly natural sound in his side project that it has become one of my favorites, not to mention my family's, as well. We simply can't get enough of the acoustic, airy atmospheres combined with the dark, throbbing feelings that swing between transcendence and despair. Lunatic Soul's first three albums are masterpieces of emotion and epiphany, and so any follow-up would have to be something special. Duda, however, has delivered in the most unexpected, brilliant ways possible."Walking on a Flashlight Beam" (WOAFB) is an experience that is as much about lyrics and feelings as it is about music. You need the whole picture in order to understand it truly. Duda has been very forthcoming with theme for this album, as it seems to be rather personal. This album is about those people that prefer to shut themselves in their rooms/homes in order to immerse themselves in the creations of others: films, books, music, games, etc. I think it strays between this setting, however, and the same type of person that shuts themselves up, preferring to create art in private.Like I said, this theme is important to the music. WOAFB is full of bleak tension, cold sublimation, and beautiful simplicity. Duda was inclined to create this album with a wide variety of ethnic instruments, tones, and sounds; from cold trance beats contrasted against radiant acoustic guitar to world music influences combined with a new addition to the sound palette of Lunatic Soul: a subtle, heavily distorted electric guitar that crafts some charging, tumbling grooves. Duda has really expanded the sound of his pet project, and it impressed me to no end to hear the vast variety of sounds that were able to come together into a unified, cohesive mix. Sometimes it feels like Duda has gone post-rock, such as in the opener "Shutting out the Sun". Sometimes Duda simply sings a beautifully wrought melody, as in the spectacular "Treehouse" or one of my favorites, "Gutter" (the chorus will be in your head for weeks). Yet, sometimes Duda just wants to lay down an incredible bass-driven instrumental section, as in the winding, complex "Pygmalion's Ladder".Every track really feels just right. "Cold" feels, well, cold. It feels bare and desolate, with a simple melodic line added to enhance the stark feelings present. Duda is so good at expressing emotion in his music. Yet, this album has really impressed upon me how good he is at creating instrumental sections, as this album is full of them. The supremely subtle title track is an amazing example of this, as Duda builds and builds layers and layers of melody, harmony, tone, and effects. In the end, this album is so concentrated and makes so much sense from track to track that I can barely pick a favorite.This might be my album of the year. Don't be surprised if it is. I know I sound like a Duda fanboy (which I kinda am), but this album reaches the heights of the last three, and then expands on them. Incredibly catchy, wonderfully complex, and darkly eclectic, "Walking on a Flashlight Beam" is a journey into a confined consciousness of creativity, privacy, and enigmatic genius. Duda has once again proven his capabilities." - ProgArchives
  • The Custodian is a new British post-progressive rock band formed by Richard Thomson, vocalist for cinematic death metal band Xerath.  Unlike Xerath, The Custodian is an outlet for the more melodic, rock oriented writing from Thomson.While there are moments in the album that harken back to old school bands like Genesis and Yes, the music of The Custodian is contemporary in sound.  Necessary Wasted Time is an album full of dynamics - light and dark shadings balancing acoustic vs electric, heavy vs pastoral.  While atmospherics and tension are a strong component of the album, the band demonstrates their adept musicianship offering up long instrumental passages to complement the emotion filled vocals.  When needed the band unleashes some complex electric runs.The Custodian's debut should deeply resonate with fans of Steven Wilson, Riverside, Pineapple Thief, and Anathema.Necessary Wasted Time was mixed by noted engineer Jacob Hansen and give the full audiophile mastering treatment from Bob Katz. 
  • Ambient/prog reworking of Dead End Kings arrives in a limited edition 2 disc digibook.  You get the CD version as well as a DVD featuring a 5.1 and 24 bit hi-resolution stereo mix."After last year’s successful release of their 9th full-length Dead End Kings, Katatonia have returned with a special release entitled Dethroned and Uncrowned. This album is special for two reasons. Firstly, it was brought to life with the help of the so-called ‘Katatoniacs’; that is, the fans were the ones who financed this project through a pledge campaign the band had set up where fans could pledge for various album formats and other items such as drumsticks, lyric sheets, posters, backdrops and even one of Anders’s old guitars. Needless to say, the pledge campaign was highly successful and reached its goal in four days. Secondly, the album is special music-wise, as it contains the same tracks that were found on Dead End Kings, but all of them have undergone a major makeover. As Katatonia wrote on their website: ‘the drums will be dethroned and the distorted rhythm guitars will be uncrowned’. What they have basically done is that they have kept the vocal lines intact but have experimented with the rest of the music, creating stripped-down, semi-acoustic versions of the songs with the focus on ambience and atmosphere, showcasing the band’s progressive song-writing talent. Katatonia have masterfully and rather elegantly transformed the songs into totally different entities and have given themselves as well as the listeners the opportunity to discover different aspects of each track, by adding little interesting details or emphasizing some parts that were not as noticeable as in the previous version, like the Jan Johansson-esque piano touches in ‘Leech’, or the 70s prog vibe in ‘Dead Letters’. All in all, Katatonia have managed yet again to create a beautiful, melancholic and touching piece of work that will certainly fulfill the expectations of the majority of their fans. Those who were not very keen on Dead End Kings (if such people exist), might enjoy some of the songs in their new versions, and, who knows, they might even appreciate that album a bit more after listening to this." - Metal Recusants