Dario | Nov 15, 2023 | 0
The mid of September arrives with a colorful bunch of releases
Releases of the Week 37/2023 with The Chronicles of Father Robin, Zhorhann, Psygnosis, Alkaloid, Night Verses, Deadly Carnage, TesseracT & Steve Hackett
48 Releases in total, with 8 handpicked diverse Highlights: Norwegian Prog Rock with The Chronicles of Father Robin, French Instrumental Jazz Rock with Zhorhann, French Instrumental Post Metal with Psygnosis, German Experimental Death Metal with Alkaloid, more instrumental awesomeness, from the US this time with Night Verses, Italian Post Black Metal with Deadly Carnage, British Djent with TesseracT & finally British Prog Rock Royalty with a new Steve Hackett live album!
Discover them now through the Bandcamp links in the list below or in our weekly updated Spotify playlist. Subscribe now: https://theprogspace.com/rotw-playlist
The Chronicles of Father Robin - The Songs & Tales of Aiorea Book I: The Tale of Father Robin (State of Nature)
The Australian prog rock triumvirat consisting of The United Progressive Fraternity, Unitopia and Southern Empire already released their inofficial trilogy of 2023 albums in short succession. As for Norwegian prog rock royalty, we already had a fantastic third album from analogue synth/keyboard centered trio Ring Van Möbius in the form of “Commissioned Works Pt. II – Six Drops of Poison”, and Jordsjø have just announced their seventh album “Salighet” for October release. Right in between comes the debut album of The Chronicles of Father Robin, 30 years in the making: “The Songs & Tales of Aiorea Book I: The Tale of Father Robin”. Featuring members of Wobbler, Tusmørke and also Jordsø among others, this could be dubbed as a sort of supergroup, or super-project of Norwegian prog rock. The first part of a trilogy, Book I contains everything we love about folky, whimsical, fantasy-soaked Norwegian forest prog. A whole host of analogue synth sounds galore (having Wobbler mastermind Lars Fredrik Frøislie and Jordsø’s Håkon Oftung on board certainly helps with that aspect), flutes, an epic tale told over four expansive compositions ranging between 8 and 15 minutes (plus two short intros)… And the best thing is: you can already order the entire trilogy in a fancy 3LP box set directly from the band’s website right here. Otherwise you’ll have to wait for Karisma Records ro release Parts II and III digitally, but until then you have plenty of fantastic Norwegian prog rock to listen to. “The Songs & Tales of Aiorea Book I: The Tale of Father Robin (State of Nature)”, new albums from Tusmørke, Pixie Ninja, Ring Van Möbius, Jordsø… Lots of relaxed strolls through ‘Eleision Forest’ and ‘Twilight Fields’ with Unicorns, Fair Maidens and Father Robin himself guaranteed!
Zhorhann - Ainsi Parlait Hominina
Easily the most exciting and most unexpected surprise release of the week comes out of France with Zhorhann’s debut album “Ainsi Parlait Hominina”. Genre tags include, but are not limited to, Rock in Opposition, Jazz Fusion, Jazz Metal and even Jazz Punk. The raw punk-y spirit reminds me a bit of the dearly missed fellow Frenchies of Taal, albeit decidedly less folky. Kind of like a less oriental, jazz based instrumental version of the mysterious Aussies of BAK. Equal parts deeply philosophical as the album title suggests, yet very much tongue-in-cheek musically, the trio concocted an exhilaratingly fun album and I can’t wait to witness this musical madness live. How about a world tour with the High Castle Teleorkestra? I think that would be a perfect musical fit!
Psygnosis - Mercury
After having spent a terrific weekend into Ayreon’s Universe, Psygnosis’ “Mercury” was the first album I listened to from this release week, and it turned out to be the right choice, as it allowed me to take another round through our solar system before returning to earth… Having been formed in 2009 by guitarist Rémi Vanhove, the French progressive atmospheric death metal band changed their musical direction in 2015 by becoming an instrumental quartet and joining forces with cellist Raphaël Verguin, which is clearly an important piece of their unique sound. The five new songs, that span over a playing time of 56 minutes, are incredibly dense and mesmerizing, sometimes harsh with black and death metal elements, sometimes quiet and peaceful, but always naturally interwoven to a huge, marvelous sound experience, with guitar and cello often overtaking the melody lines. The drumming spectrum goes from blast to light electronic beats, but also covering many nuances in between. If you want to learn more about “Mercury”, check out Bob’s in-depth review here: https://theprogspace.com/psygnosis-mercury/ . Or you just take a seat and enjoy the ride with Psygnosis’ wonderful music.
Alkaloid - Numen
Staying in Season of Mist land, German Progressive Death Metal experimentalists of Alkaloid are back with their third full length album. Actually a double album with the expansive length of 70 minutes, “Numen” features eleven diverse songs between musical experimentation, Death Metal aggression, neo classical high speed runs and surprisingly catchy hooks. Alkaloid dive into a Lovecraftian cosmos, like Blut Aus Nord, yet with an entirely different musical outcome. “Numen” is not your standard Tech Death/Progressive Death Metal record, but then again Alkaloid never were a standard band to begin with. Prone to experimentation, the supergroup with (ex-)members of high calibre Extreme Metal bands like Obscura, Dark Fortress, Blotted Science, Triptykon or Eternity’s End to name but a few, certainly stands out from the crowd and delivers a highly entertaining, massive slab of their very own unique, diverse brand of Extreme Prog Metal. Also, I want more vocalists exploring sub bass territories like Morean occasionally does. It really adds an eerie, ominous, otherworldly dimension to the music.
Night Verses - Every Sound Has A Color In The Valley Of Night
This week Night Verses, an instrumental trio from California, released their long awaited album, “Every Sound has a Color in the Valley of Night: Part 1”, which made me very excited, as I really enjoyed the new direction the band took, after parting ways with their vocalist and becoming an instrumental band, with “From the Gallery of Sleep” (2018). The band consists of guitarist Nick DePirro, bassist Reilly Herrera, and drummer Aric Improta, continuing their journey with their new album, evolving their style and composition. Personally I am a big fan of Aric Improta, who is not only an outstanding artist, but also is very creative behind the kit. And Nick DePirro masterfully uses his guitar effects to create the surreal and very trademark Night Verses sound.
One great thing about Night Verses and this album in particular is their ability to create instrumental music that doesn’t get boring. It goes heavy, like in ‘Karma Wheel’, and then moves to a more chill post-rock sound in ‘Love in A Liminal Space’, and finishes off with the great Tool-inspired track ‘Seance’, featuring none other than Justin Chancellor himself. Night Verses are truly masters of their art. Amazing, almost inhumane drum grooves, remarkable bass lines and melodic, sometimes heavy guitar riffs make this album a must-listen for all lovers of instrumental prog and post rock/metal. They know when to be intense and when to give us a break, and each section doesn’t overstay its welcome. They worked on an already solid foundation laid in “From the Gallery of Sleep”, and, in my opinion, created an even more consistent album.
The only criticism I have for this album is that it’s only 33 minutes long – but I am excited to hear Part 2, when it comes out.
Deadly Carnage - Endless Blue
Deadly Carnage is not a Death Metal band, despite their slightly gory name. Deadly Carnage is an Italian Post Black Metal band from Rimini and with “Endless Blue”, they’ve just released their fifth album. Lyrically, “Endless Blue” is heavily inspired by Japanese folklore tales, as reflected in the music video to the first single ‘Swan Season’ as well as in the gorgeous artwork. And the music is just as gorgeous, focusing on the melodic, ethereal side of doomy Post Black Metal and should surely appeal to fans of bands like Alcest or Lantlos. The addition of an actual whale song in ‘Blue Womb’ makes the experience all the more immersive.
Tesseract - War of Being
TesseracT are back with a bang! The british Djent innovators took their time perfecting “War of Being”, their sixth full length album over the last five years and the massive end result speaks for itself. Crystal clear, yet crushingly heavy where it needs to be, the production quality of “War of Being” is absolutely stellar, as was to be expected. Daniel Tompkins pulls out every register and nuance in his awe-inspiring vocal performance, including quite a lot more harsh vocal parts again, which will satisfy the old school fans. In that regard, “War of Being” is a bit like a mix of the old and the new, but in the end, it is most certainly more than the sum of its parts, and sees the five-piece from Milton Keynes once again spearheading a genre they helped form even way before the release of their classic debut album “One” twelve years ago. An album no fan of modern Prog Metal and Djent will want to miss this year.
Steve Hackett - Foxtrot at Fifty + Hackett Highlights: Live in Brighton
There’s not much I can say about the legendary Steve Hackett that wasn’t said before. Even at 73, the distinguished British gentleman and guitarist extraordinaire is touring non-stop and releasing countless (live) albums, often featuring both his solo music and classic Genesis albums. This newest features a complete rendition of “Foxtrot”, celebrating the 50th anniversary of this legendary Prog album. It is Disc 1 though I am slightly more excited about: eight carefully selected Highlights from Hackett’s own solo career. Those “Hackett Highlights” prove a worthy reminder of just how accomplished a songwriter and composer in various genres Hackett really is, ranging from energetic prog rock to more of a contemporary classical avantgarde. Add to that his flawless guitar performance with his signature tone full of sustain and vibrato, alongside a more than capable band of highly accomplished players in their own right with Roger King on keyboards, Pete Townsend on various woodwinds, the fantastic rhythm section of Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings) and Craig Blundell (Steven Wilson, Frost*) plus the inevitable Nad Sylvan, and you got yourself a mandatory addition to every serious Prog Rock collection with “Foxtrot at Fifty + Hackett Highlights: Live in Brighton”. And I just can’t get over how epic ‘Shadow of the Hierophant’ is with that neverending outro. It might even challenge Opeth’s ‘Deliverance’. Now who’s gonna get me a 10 hour loop of that?
More releases for 15 September, 2023
- Baroness - Stone (Abraxan Hymns) Bandcamp
- Explosions in the Sky - End Bandcamp
- Poor Genetic Material - Elsewhere Bandcamp
- Behold... The Arctopus - Interstellar Overtrove (Sept. 13) Bandcamp
- Nick Fletcher feat. Anika Nilles - Quadrivium
- Molybaron - Something Ominous (Inside Out Music)
- Shade Empire - Sunholy (Candlelight Records) Bandcamp
- Agabas - A Hate Supreme (Sept. 16, Vinter Records) Bandcamp
- Chorosia - Stray Dogs EP (Grazil Records/Kvlt und Kaos Productions) Bandcamp
- Vrajitor's Tenebrarium - E.N.L.D. (Avantgarde Music) Bandcamp
- Opium Moon - Where Are We Gathered (Downtown Artists) Bandcamp
- AKKU Quintet - Kinema Bandcamp
- Great Falls - Objects Without Pain (Neurot Recordings) Bandcamp
- Fabricant - Drudge to the Thicket (Profound Lore Records) Bandcamp
- Blood Incantation - Luminescent Bridge EP (Century Media Records)
- Tomb Mold - The Enduring Spirit (20 Buck Spin) Bandcamp
- Altarage - Worst Case Scenario Bandcamp
- Tar Pond - Petrol (Prophecy Productions) Bandcamp
- Tideless - Eye of Water Bandcamp
- Torpor - Abscission
- Blood Oath - Lost in an Eternal Silence (Caligari Records) Bandcamp
- Lark - Antarctica (Sliptrick Records) Bandcamp
- Gridlink - Coronet Juniper (Willowtip Records) Bandcamp
- Cognizant - Inexorable Nature of Adversity (Sept. 11, Nerve Altar) Bandcamp
- Blind Equation - Death Awaits (Prosthetic Records) Bandcamp
- I Satan - The Eld Tentament EP Bandcamp
- Atomicos - Fins Up! Bandcamp
- Magnus Børmark - Alt Er Her All Tid
- Orson Wilds - This Burning House (We All Fell Asleep In) EP (Take This To Heart Records) Bandcamp
- Woods - Perennial (Woodsist) Bandcamp
- Phosphene - Transmute Bandcamp
- Árstíðir - BLIK Bandcamp
- C.O.F.F.I.N - Australia Stops (Goner Records) Bandcamp
- Infernal Throne - Caelum Et Infernum (Theogonia Records) Bandcamp
- Ronnie Romero - Too Many Lies, Too Many Masters (Frontiers Music)
- Resolve - Human (Arising Empire)
- N∆EON TE∆RDOPS - Testimony (Apollon Records/Love OD)
- New Model Army - Sinfonia (earMusic)
- SEVEN)SUNS - One of Us Is the Killer (Silent Pendulum Records) Bandcamp
- The Dear Hunter - Act I: The Lake South, The River North (Live from Seattle, WA)