Showing posts from May, 2021

Yuval Ron - 2019 - Somewhere in This Universe, Somebody Hits a Drum

(51:55; Wrong Notes) Track list: 1. Somewhere in This Universe, Somebody Hits a Drum 7:11 2. Gravitational Lensing 6:44 3. Kuiper Belt 8:28 4. WiFi in Emerald City 9:44 5. The Discovery of Phoebe 9:58 6. I Believe in Astronauts 9:50 Line-up: Yuval Ron - vocals, guitars Matt Paull - keyboards Roberto Badoglio - bass Marco Minnemann - drums with: Dorin Mandelbaum - vocals Prolusion. German composer and musician Yuval RON used to head a band called Residents of the Future, and this unit released two albums of which the most recent appeared back in 2009. Ten years later Ron returned as a solo artist with the album "Somewhere in This Universe, Somebody Hits a Drum", which was released through the German label Wrong Notes. A label formed by Ron himself from what I understand, and with this album as the first on the label. Analysis. While I understand that Wrong Notes operate more as a marketing tool than as a regular label, at least three albums appear to be official label releases

Temple of Switches - 2020 - The Wings of Mind

(41:17; Temple of Switches) Track list: 1. Melba 5:48 2. Pondering 6:01 3. Freon Suitcase 4:18 4. Living on the Edge 3:10 5. Don't Cry to Me 4:24 6. Curtains 3:00 7. Back Seat 5:36 8. Crusader 4:47 9. One for All 4:13 Line-up: Tenk Van Dool -vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, programming with: Dale Wiser - vocals, bass David White - drums, percussion Clara Hembree - vocals Jim Chavez - vocals Kevin McConnell - vocals, keyboards Gaetano Nicolosi - drums Prolusion. US project TEMPLE OF SWITCHES started out as a band back in 2012, but folded just after the release of their initial album. Composer and musician Tenk Van Dool kept the rights for the band name following this, and have released one EP and one full length album since then. The album "The Wind of the Mind" is the most recent of these, and was self released towards the end of 2020. Analysis. Temple of Switches isn't your typical progressive rock band of course, as it is not strictly a band at this point, and the

Avandra - 2020 - Skylighting

(41:51; Layered Reality Productions) Starting as a one-man project by Christian Ayala and evolving into a full live band in 2017, Puerto Rican quartet Avandra are back with their third album, for which they have signed with Dutch label Layered Reality Productions. They have classified themselves as prog metal with post rock intentions, and that is as good a way of describing them as any, although more of the latter and less of the former with plenty of melodic rock and atmospheric inclinations as well. They were due to play at the Progpower Europe festival in 2020, which of course was cancelled, and it would have been interesting to have heard them in that setting as this album just does not give a good example of what I think they are probably capable of. Written and recorded by Christian in his home studio, the other guys added their parts remotely, and they also utilised the talents of keyboard player Vikram Shankar. This means there was little opportunity for the songs to be deve

Compassionizer - 2020 - Caress of Compassion

(48:25; ArtBeat) Compassionizer is a new band led by Roz Vitalis band leader and keyboard player Ivan Rozmainsky   and is actually named after the 2007 Roz Vitalis album of the same name and is seen as an offshoot of that. As with that release, woodwind plays an important part in this RIO-based album, and while the band name and album title may lead one to think that this album is quiet and delicate, it has far more in common with Art Zoyd than one might imagine from looking at those alone. I have been a fan of Ivan’s music for many years, and have heard a lot of his albums, from his own band and others, and one of the things I have always enjoyed about his music is that he rarely puts himself to the front but often acts as a backdrop for others and that is very much the case again here. However, his delicate piano can sometimes be placed to the fore when it is the right thing to do such as on “Caress of Compassion #1” where he starts the piece before the clarinet comes in to provide

Darwin 2 - 2020 - A Frozen War

(30:59; DarWin) Following on from the debut, ‘Origin Of Species’ in 2019, the second album came out towards the end of 2020. Guitarist DarWin has again joined forces with drummer Simon Phillips (Toto/The Who/Jeff Beck) and singer Matt Bissonette (Elton John, David Lee Roth, Ringo Starr) as the core unit. As with the last album he has brought in a host of stellar musicians to fill out the sound, including bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr Big/ Steve Vai/Winery Dogs), guitarists Guthrie Govan (Aristocrats/Asia/Hans Zimmer/Steven Wilson) and   Greg Howe (Michael Jackson/Justin Timberlake) and keyboard player Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater/Alice Cooper/Black Country Communion) along with Alex Sill (acoustic guitar) and Jeff Babko (keyboards) while The Reykjavik String Quartet also return. The first album was a double CD event, but the second is far shorter, just five songs and 31 minutes long (although it is also available in an extended version where there are a further 9 songs as orchestral