Some statistics, just for fun

Here’s a list of the 25 most visited pages on my blog, my little corner of the web, in the past 30 days. From the looks of it, older bands attract a lot of attention still, given the high Track-of-the-day scores for e.g. Genesis and Jefferson Airplane. I’m glad to see though that newer efforts, like Oceans5, Tiger Moth Tales and Edison’s Children have high scores as well. Let’s see in a month what things look like then – and I’m pretty sure some other things on this little site of mine have changed as well then. 🙂

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Prog Rabbit courtesy of Sonia Mota

 

TotD: Genesis – Supper’s Ready 94
TotD: Beardfish – Ode to the Rock ‘n Roller 86
Oceans5 – Return to Mingulay 79
TotD: Tiger Moth Tales – Tigers in the Butter 68
TotD: Jefferson Airplane – Somebody to Love 63
Thank you all! 61
Edison’s Children – The Final Breath Before November 54
TotD: King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black 52
Night of the Prog @ Loreley, 17-19 July 2015 51
Track of the Day: Steve Hackett – Man in the Long Black Coat 45
ToYD: Dream Theater – Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding 40
TotD: Murky Red – Wild Flower 32
ToTD: Minstrel’s Ghost – Camelot 29
TotD: Aphrodite’s Child – The Four Horsemen 25
TotD: Pain of Salvation – Linoleum 25
TotD: Focus – Sylvia 24
Album Review: Torn Apart – Franck Carducci 24
Track of the Day: Fractal Mirror – Stars 23
ToTD: IQ – From the Outside In 22
L’Albero del Veleno – Le Radici del Male 21
TotD: Grobschnitt – Solar Music 19
Track of the Day: Pain of Salvation – Falling Home 19
ToTD: Corvus Stone – A Stoned Crow meets the Rusty Wolff Rat 19
ToTD: Cailyn – Jupiter 16

Track of the Day: Bjørn Riis – Stay Calm

Lead guitarist of Norwegian Airbag, Bjørn Riis, must be a great fan of late 70’s Pink Floyd, judging by the sound of his album Lullabies in a Car Crash, released in November 2014. A wonderful album, for which I’ll do a full review in a short while. For now, let’s start by making Stay Calm, from this first solo album, Track-of-the-day. This one is close to the sound of Airbag itself, and the title of the album seems a clear indication that despite his solo efforts, co-founder Riis has not given up on his band activities just yet.

Track of the Day: Pain of Salvation – Falling Home

Pain of Salvation is a progressive rock band from Sweden, who have been around since the mid 1990s. Headed by singer/guitarist Daniel Gildenlöw, they started out as a progressive metal band, venturing into more progressive experiments between 2004 and 2010. The 5 octave vocal range of Gildenlöw, combined with the heavy, yet where necessary melodic sound of the band may be an acquired taste to some, but will win over many a progressive rock and metal fan.

falling home

After a year of illness and recovery in 2014, when people feared for his life and the future of the band, Pain of Salvation are back in 2015. Track-of-the-day is the freshly released video for Falling Home, title track of last years cover album. I did a Track-of-the-day with them earlier, but this is to celebrate the return of Daniel Gildenlöw.

Dot on the horizon

 

Horizon shot at the source of the Sava river (Slovenia)

Horizon shot at the source of the Sava river (Slovenia)

There’s a dot on the horizon
And I don’t know what it is
Yet is my destination
the point that I must reach

There’s a dot there in the future
That I’ll reach but don’t know when
Yet it is where I’m headed
Leaving lot’s of past behind

There are people in the present
Who are all part of my past
In going on I’ll hurt them
Through that I hurt myself

There’s a dot on my horizon
A point I’ll surely reach
And I know that when I get there
I’ll find the hurt, as friends

There’s a dot on the horizon
To which the road is far from clear
My love for life will guide me
Through anger, smile and tear

Track of the Day: Fractal Mirror – Stars

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1261962020 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]

Fractal Mirror are a Dutch/American band who play, as they say themselves, pop/rock music with progressive influences. Two of the band have been working together since the mid 80’s, and in 2013 they finally released an EP and an album. In 2014, they released a second album, Garden of GhostsThis one has received quite good feedback in the first two months, and is being played on online progressive rock stations frequently.

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Adopting a distributed recording approach (two members live in The Netherlands, two in the US), they managed to create a more than decent album, full of with keyboard heavy, atmospheric rock. A track the band themselves are quite fond of, is the closing track of the album: Stars.

Track of the Day: Gong – Fohat Digs Holes in Space

All life must come to an end, but some will live forever. Today, Daevid Aellen, founder of both Soft Machine and Gong announced that he has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer, and has at most 6 months to live. A sad day for fans of Soft Machine and Gong, but Aellen asked them to start letting him go, and be prepared for the inevitable.

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The mind that came up with the Pothead Pixies will be no more, but the creatures that sprang from it will live on forever. David, todays Track of the Day is dedicated to your life’s work – Fohat Digs Holes in Space, from the brilliant album Camembert Electrique, released in 1971.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wxh6dPnTj4

TotD: Grobschnitt – Solar Music

While the Krautrock scene was raging in Germany in the eary 1970s, there was also a band named Grobschnitt. Not a typical kraut band, like Faust or Amon Duul (they were even mentioned as a Yes-clone at some point) they produced an eclectic mix of Kraut, symphonic and psychedelic music, with the highlight being the release of Solar Music Live. A brilliant live album released in 1977 – evolving around a piece cold Solar Music that had evolved over a number of years (first appearing on 1974’s Ballerman).

One of my favourite albums of all times – and a good candidate for a track of the day. Here’s Solar Music I, in one video with Food Sicore, the second track on the album. Please note the brilliant rhythm section, with co-founder Joachim “Eroc” Ehrig on drums and Wolfgang “Popo” Jäger on bass.

As can be seen on the bands web site: all 14 albums will be re-released in February 2015, by Universal music. Each CD will be filled with 79:10 seconds of brilliant music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0hxIk0S-9M

TotD: Edison’s Children – Light Years

Edison’s Children I already introduced in my review of their album The Final Breath before November yesterday – so Eric Blackwood and Pete Trewavas need no further introduction here. However, I forgot to mention that they actually managed to make the crackle of a vinyl album part of their CD. It’s very audible on the intro of this track, Light Years, which is therefore Track-of-the-Day.

Edison’s Children – The Final Breath Before November

In a dark, North American forest, infested with British bass players, live a people of creatures (could we call that a creatle?) called the Morphlux. Their leaders, Pete Trewavas and Eric Blackwood lead them into haunting you – preferably at night, and even more preferably in a very loud, melodic and muscially layered fashion. Once they get to you, you will never, ever be the same…..

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What Morphlux are exactly, and why they are so scary is unclear to me, even after hearing the album The Final Breath Before November of Edison’s Children a million times. What I do know, however, is that their leaders, or at least inventors, mentioned above have created a great musical spell around them, over a period of several years. Pete Trewavas, mainly known as bass player for Marillion and Transatlantic, and guitarist Eric Blackwood both are actually multi-instrumentalists. On this album, they take care of all guitars, keyboards, synths, v-oud and something called paraglider guitar…. on this album they are accompanied by Touchstone and DeeExpus drummer Henry Rogers, and on some tracks backing vocals (haunting backing vocals even!) are provided by Wendy Farrell-Pastore, who is also responsible for all the photography on the artwork for both albums of the band..

The albums 15 tracks actually are only three tracks, one of which is a 67-minute epic – Silhouette. The opening track,  Final Breath, starts slowly and builds up to the point where keyboard and bass form a pulsing foundation for a flute, until the vocals come in. On this track, the voice of Eric Blackwood reminds me of David Bowie, one of the many vocal similaraties in his reach. On the second track Light Years, that changes, as Pete takes with a vocal sound that reminds me of some tracks on Fish second album. This track is a somehow catchy tune, based around a repeating pattern, but switches into a more haunting piece at the end (a separate track called Light Years I. the fading). The lyrics of this one introduce Silhouette, the long epic that follows, and consists of 13 tracks on the CD. This epic contains too many different things to go past all the tracks, but after a few listens it becomes clear that at least musically, they form a consistent piece. Some themes return (The Morphlux, Second coming of the Morphlux, The Clock Strikes November) or simply flow over into each other (The Morphlux, I am Haunted). Also, all parts are composed and orchestrated in a similar fashion, making it blend together in a way that is sometimes symphonic, but often also psychedelic in a way that reminds of Pink Floyd, or Eloy. Key elements: the always melodic, but supporting bass of Pete Trewavas, melodic guitar solos by Eric Blackwood, a lot of synths and orchestration, and vocals that range in sound from David Bowie to Fish, but also Wayne Hussey (lead singer of The Missionfor example Eric’s part of Where where You).

It’s hard for me to describe everything on this album in detail, there’s too much to hear to do that. That makes the album not easy to access, but for those into symphonic or psychedelic music, with a soft spot for the backgrounds of the two main members of Edison’s Children, this is an adventure well recommended.

ToTD: Fish – State of Mind

There is no reason to introduce Fish, the man who got his nick name writing Marillion lyrics in the bath tub. He left Marillion in 1988 to pursue a solo career, starting with the album Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors

In 2015, he is doing a tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of Misplaced Childhood. After that, he has promised to release one more album before retiring from music in 2017. He will be missed on stage, but his records will keep the memory alive.

Track of the day is State of Mind, from that his debut solo album, with great fretless bass work by John Giblin.