Kaipa – Children of the Sounds

I first discovered Kaipa about a decade ago when I was really into The Flower Kings and was exploring their various side projects. The Flower Kings frontman Roine Stolt was a member of Kaipa during the late 70s (when he was only 17), and during their reformation in the early 2000s, but left after their 2005 album Mindrevolutions. Children of the Sounds, out on September 22nd, is now the eighth album since Kaipa’s return, and thirteenth overall.

The dynamic between Patrik Lundström’s and Aleena Gibson’s vocals is quite powerful and something that has always stood out to me … Read more

The Mercury Tree – Permutations

The Mercury Tree is one of the rare bands that has managed to constantly grow and improve with every record they put out. On their fifth record, Permutations, they are barely recognizable as the same band that created their radio-friendly alt-rock debut nearly a decade earlier. Permutations is an extremely dense and challenging listen that demands and rewards multiple listens; it is one of the rare records which combines technicality and innovation with a strong emotional core.

Bandleader Ben Spees has been the only constant throughout the band’s discography, and he manages to be the lead vocalist, guitarist and … Read more

Anderson/Stolt – Invention of Knowledge

Press_Cover_01The Flower Kings is a band that really helped carry the torch in the 90’s that bands like Yes lit during the 60’s and 70’s, taking that style of Progressive Rock to a new level and continuing to help it grow. So it’s quite a treat to hear a collaboration between the leader of The Flower Kings, Roine Stolt, and the former lead vocalist of Yes, Jon Anderson. If you’ve ever wondered what a new Flower Kings album with the vocalist from Yes would sound like, Invention of Knowledge is it, as Anderson/Stolt make a perfect combination! As much as … Read more

AJ Froman – Phoenix Syndrome

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“Retro” is a term that to some, applies solely to bands that are derivative, stagnant, unoriginal, uncreative, and too mired in the past to produce anything of value, like your dad’s bar band. I must say that retro psychedelic progressive rockers AJ Froman prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this is not true at all on their latest release, Phoenix Syndrome (well, not necessarily true, anyway).

Everything here sounds like it could have plausibly been written and recorded in the 1970s. The riffs, bass lines, and synths wouldn’t sound out of place at all. I mean no disrespect by that … Read more

Rikard Sjöblom – The Unbendable Sleep

I’ve been into the progressive rock band Beardfish for a while, my favorite album of theirs being their two parter “Sleeping In Traffic.” I also enjoyed their latest album 4626+Comfortzone quite a bit. So I was excited to hear what the band’s frontman Rikard Sjöblom had in store for his second solo album “The Unbendable Sleep”.

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Rikard’s unique and catchy melodies paired with his distinct vocals makes for some interesting music to say the least. This album flows well but also goes unexpected places. One of which being a short interlude track “Building A Tent For Astor” which is a … Read more

Serious Beak – Ankaa, an overanalysis of

After their wildly acclaimed debut album “Huxwhukw” back in 2011, we didn’t hear much from Australia’s psychedelic progressive band Serious Beak. I was much delighted when they announced a sophomore album under the name of Ankaa and released a single for it, “Red (Laniocera hypopyrra)”.

First of all, “Ankaa”, from my best suppositions, comes from the Arabic العنقاء, al-ʿanqā’, which means “the phoenix”. Now, a Phoenix is a mythological bird related to the sun, and that lives cyclically. Ankaa is also a star, otherwise known as α Phoenicis, a rather common binary star that will … Read more

Nylithia finally announce Hyperthrash!

After years of waiting – the album was first announced and teased in 2011 with the song Trainsaw – Hyperthrash now has an official track listing and release date: 21 November 2015. I’ll put the track listing below. There’s also a new song, “Razor”, to stream. However, in my opinion, it’s not as good as any of the others that the band already showed us: Trainsaw, Immersed in the Maniacal, Vein of Creation, and Hyperthrash, but it’s still a really good tune.

You can pre-order the album now on their bandcamp page, or wait patiently for the songs to stream … Read more