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Jason Blake presents Rift and Reckoning feat. Raphael Weinroth-Browne

Jason Blake presents Rift and Reckoning feat. Raphael Weinroth-Browne

Prolific Chicago-based Warr guitarist Jason Blake has teamed up with cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne to create a modern string duo album unlike any other on the “Candles Burn” EP, set for release April 5th on 7d Media, the label operated by former King Crimson member Trey Gunn.

The first taste of this new EP is ‘Rift and Reckoning’, and we’re happy to present the video for it in an exclusive premiere.

“This song has an emotional component to it that I really like and Raphael’s playing perfectly captures the tone of this part of the story.”

About the video, Blake says:

“Working with Fumihito on this video was a pleasure. I had a general idea for the storyline, but wanted the visuals to be much more. He succeeded in creating the perfect accompaniment to the song.”

Here’s Rift and Reckoning:

Jason Blake feat. Raphael Weinroth-Browne – Rift and Reckoning

When not performing and recording with his progressive metal band Aziola Cry, Jason Blake is extremely productive as a solo musician, having released nearly a dozen solo titles over the past three years alone. His first solo release of 2024 comes in the form of the succinct and absorbing “Candles Burn” EP. Evenly split between progressive rock and classical chamber music, “Candles Burn” tells a tale of redemption, with the unique and mesmerizing sounds of his touchstyle Warr guitar style intertwined with the skillful work of cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne (Leprous, Musk Ox, The Visit).

Jason Blake began composing material for what was going to be the follow up to 2023’s “Subsequent Ruins” album which saw him paired with drummer Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani, Necrophagist) when he realized that this music could be something different.

He elaborates:

“I really liked how the music had a natural flow to it. It told its own musical story. I also thought that it sounded interesting by itself and only needed the addition of a single instrument. Being a fan of cello music and specifically the work of Raphael made it an easy choice for the direction the album should take.”

For the three-song EP, Jason Blake used his semi-hollow Artisan Warr guitar in order to match the acoustic tone of the cello. His guitar parts were recorded and engineered by Amery Schmeisser at Gravel Road Recording in Chicago, who also mixed the album using Raphael Weinroth-Browne’s cello contributions which he self-recorded at home in Ottawa. The tracks were mastered by Andy VanDette (Rush, Porcupine Tree) and the record was completed with artwork by Robert Booth and design by Fumihito Sugawara / Fumanstudios.

Blake elaborates:

“One of my first bands was a string trio and I have always wanted to return to this sound. This music is an exciting closer step into the world of classical chamber music. Working with Raphael was perfect because he was able to match the exact mood that I heard for these songs.”

When asked about his participation in the project, Weinroth-Browne states:

“On the monumental “Candles Burn”, Jason Blake synthesizes elements of instrumental prog and metal and expertly orchestrates them on a single instrument, the Warr guitar. This piece is a testament to both his creativity and virtuosity, traversing a wide range of musical landscapes over its runtime. “Candles Burn” is a multi-movement work that should appeal equally to fans of modern prog and contemporary classical music.”

“I had the pleasure of composing and performing cello on this record and felt inspired by Jason’s playing to create melodic lines reminiscent of Indian classical music as well as aggressive syncopated rhythms, wild improvised solos, and Opethian harmonies. Collaborating with Jason on “Candles Burn” stretched me as a player and composer and I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with him on such an epic and exciting piece.”

Jason Blake has also been nominated in the 2023 Progspace awards for Performance Of The Year: Non-Traditional Rock Instrument alongside Raphael Weinroth-Browne in the same category.

“Candles Burn” acts as a bridge between “Subsequent Ruins” and what Blake has in store for his next progressive rock album, which is likely to be released later this year amidst additional solo material and a new Aziola Cry album.

JASON BLAKE 2 by Amy Schwartz

Jason Blake (Picture by Amy Schwartz)

About the Author


Co-Founder of The Progspace - Dario discovered the world of Prog upon hearing "Shine on you crazy diamond" for the first time at the tender age of 12 around the turn of the millennium. Coming from a musical family and brought up with classical music, this seemed to be the logical next step. Attended the school of from 2002, delving into both directions: catching up with the history of already more than 30 years of progressive music as well as always staying up to date with the newest prog sounds. He loves meeting like-minded people and enjoying live music at a concert somewhere in Europe.

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