New Prog Rock Releases

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Johnny Reb, May 7, 2017.

  1. Valen2260

    Valen2260 Active Member

    I'm really enjoying Danny's album too - I wondered whether it would sound like Anathema leftovers but in fact it's an interesting alternative to the day job.

    Here's my take on it from a blog review posted yesterday:

    What’s to like?

    Anathema’s main songwriter branches out with a solo release of deeply personal songs that enhance his reputation as a composer and musician, and touch a chord within the more sensitive of us.

    The low down

    It’s been a good year for Anathema fans, what with a well-received new album The Optimist (which you can read about here), and a well-attended tour to support the album (you can read a live gig review here). But if that wasn’t enough to keep the fans happy, principal songwriter Daniel Cavanagh has now just released a solo album Monochrome.

    Usually when a musician in a successful band releases solo material, it’s usually driven by a need to experiment outside the confines of the band’s trademark sound, or by frustration at material being rejected by the rest of the band. But that’s not really the case here with Monochrome, which Cavanagh describes as a collection of songs that he wanted to release outside of Anathema, purely because the experiences behind the songs are very personal to him and I guess he wanted the finished album to reflect that.

    Interestingly he admits that the songs would have been good enough for the band, and could have been earmarked for another Anathema album, with the rest of the band having given them the thumbs up. “The Exorcist was considered so good by Anathema that the rest of the band would have made this the centrepiece of an Anathema album, taking it from the band was not an easy decision but I am glad I did!

    And once you listen to the opening track, it does feel reassuringly familiar in tone to what you’d expect from an Anathema album, so I can only imagine what kind of soul-searching Cavanagh went through before deciding to release the seven songs here as a solo album. But happily this is one solo album that can be enjoyed without the usual caveats described above, and if you find yourself slowly relaxing into the opening track then you’ll likely stay on for the rest of the album until the final fading notes.

    The songs have been inspired by internal feelings of love and loss, and Cavanagh has pitched the album as “a late night, candlelit feeling, evoking the light of dusk as the summer sun sinks below the horizon, setting the scene for thoughts and meditations that many people will relate to.”

    It certainly feels a little like “comfortable slippers” as the music starts flowing, and given Cavanagh’s considerable contribution to Anathema, it would be hard to escape comparisons. But Monochrome does offer notable alternatives along the way. Firstly, you’ve got Cavanagh being the principal singer, and although his voice lacks some of the presence and potency of his brother Vincent, that frailty works really well in the context of the songs here.

    The music is piano led for the main part, and at times is so gentle and almost hesitant, that it needs that vocal frailty to complement the stripped down sound. Guitars are limited to acoustic strumming or discreet solos, but there’s none of the impassioned riffing associated with Anathema’s material.

    By itself, Daniel’s voice isn’t really enough to carry a whole album, so he plays the first of two trump cards by having Dutch singer Anneke Van Giersbergen take the lead on three of the songs. Van Giersbergen is already well known to the prog community for her collaborations with Devin Townsend and Arjen Lucassen’s Ayreon projects, and her presence is immediately recognisable as soon as she sings her first notes. She has a lovely voice, strong and yet tender, rich and full of presence, and it works wonderfully on the likes of Soho and Oceans Of Time.

    Then comes the second trump card in the form of violinist Anna Phoebe, who guested with Anathema on their acoustic set A Sort Of Homecoming. Again, no stranger to the prog community, Phoebe’s empathic violin contributions to The Silent Flight Of The Raven Winged Hours and Dawn are beautifully judged and performed. If Cavanagh’s piano keys are the monochrome, then Phoebe’s violin brings a layer of tint to the music.

    Cavanagh pretty much plays the remainder of the instruments – piano, guitar, keyboards – but it’s very low key and understated, with the focus being on mood and ambience, rather than a showcase for his multi-skills as a player. And that’s why the album works so well. I’ve never met the guy or watched any interviews, but if this collection of songs is a window to his soul, then I’d imagine he’s a quietly a self-reflective individual.

    I did read a recent interview where he discretely referred to a period of depression in the run-up to writing Anathema’s current album, and for some reason I was strongly reminded of this in the song Oceans Of Time. Speaking from personal experience, depression is an incredibly painful thing to go through and it never truly leaves you, but I’d like to think that Cavanagh has found some degree of release and happiness through writing these songs, recording them on his terms, and finally sharing them with us.

    And yes, in true Anathema fashion, Monochrome had me wanting to shed tears at several points, not really knowing why, but just feeling that way. I guess the music here has a universal spirit that reaches deep into some of us, and triggers a sense of internal exposure and vulnerability that some of us will embrace in a rare moment of self-awareness. But then music should be able to move you, whether it makes you sad or happy, and it certainly helps me appreciate ‘the moment’.

    But Monochrome is by no means a miserable album – far from it – and many of you will simply find it a relaxing experience to kick back to. And for those of us that like happy endings, the album closes with an optimistic track titled Some Dreams Come True!

    If you’re an Anathema fan, then Monochrome is going to be a winner and you’ll probably end up lobbying Daniel to include some of its songs in future Anathema shows. If you’re not familiar with their music, it doesn’t matter, because Monochrome stands up well as an album in its own right and is a very enjoyable late-night listen.

    Just keep a box of tissues to hand.
     
    LivingForever and Matt S like this.
  2. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
  3. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
    Colibris, by Sahara (progressive / art rock, female-fronted, full-length, physical CD & vinyl LP available, released October 27, 2017, Saint Caprais De Bordeaux, France)

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    Favourite track: Felicidade
     
  4. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
  5. Wounded Land

    Wounded Land Forum Resident

    Just a heads-up that the Possible Worlds album is now streaming at Progstreaming:

    Listen to progstreaming


    Lots of cool stuff at that site. Worth your time even if you don't dig my stuff!
     
  6. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

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    Serbia
  7. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
  8. Norco74

    Norco74 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Earth
    Excellent, one of this year’s best, IMO.
     
    anduandi and Svetonio like this.
  9. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
  10. chargrove

    chargrove Forum Ghost Hunter

    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    There was a HUGE difference between their first two albums. I preferred the first. Is this different or similar to one of those?
     
    Svetonio likes this.
  11. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
    Stylistically it's still to be the 70s-like Symphonic rock. However, From Silence to Somewhere is Wobbler's best album so far; a masterpiece of the genre IMO.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
    ponkine and anduandi like this.
  12. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
    Ankaa, by Serious Beak (instrumental progressive rock / djent, full-length, physical CD / vinyl LP available, released November 3, 2015 , Sydney, Australia)

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    Favourite track: Main Sequence (Dacelo novaeguineae)
     
  13. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
  14. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
  15. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
    Life In Space, by Nik Turner (space rock, full-length, physical CD / vinyl LP available, released September 1, 2017, England, UK)

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    Favourite track: Sectets Of The Galaxy
     
  16. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
  17. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
    Retrograde Motion, by Solar Sons (progressive metal, full-length, physical CD available, released November 1, 2017, Dundee, UK)

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    Favourite track: Retrograde Motion
     
  18. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  19. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  20. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
    Dreamscape, by Pacifica (progressive rock, 3-track EP, released November 11, 2017, Leeds, UK)

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    Favourite track: Worlds Apart
     
  21. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
    Formations, by Pale Moon (instrumental progressive metal / djent, 6-track EP, physical CD available, Melbourne, Australia)

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    Favourite track: 11:00
     
  22. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
    Migraciones, by Un Festín Sagital (ambient folk, full-length, limited edition cassette available, released May 12, 2017, Región Metropolitana, Chile)

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    Favourite track: Migraciones
     
  23. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
    Oceanarium, by Deluge Grander (symphonic rock, full-length, released November 15, 2017, Silver Spring, Maryland)

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    Favourite track: The Blunt Sun and the Hardened Moon
     
  24. ponkine

    ponkine Forum Resident


    This is W O N D E R F U L
     
    Svetonio and calgary669 like this.
  25. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017

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