Archive for concept album

ALYEUS-And From The Sky We Fall

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

alyeus5In 2013 Alyeus set out on a bold journey by releasing the Forty Days At Sea, the 1st in the trilogy of concept albums chronicling a story of war, and a struggle for existence. In October 2015, this London, Ontario band released And From The Sky We Fall, the 2nd part of the story.The concept is cool-events in the mythical kingdom of Eleria, forever shape the lives of celestial beings, and the worlds they protect. It is the music however, that is the real story here!

The album opens with ‘The Architect‘, a short instrumental that sets the stage, and bridges into ‘The Archetype‘. an incredibly melodic track, that offers cool changes & transitions, and some alyeus4great double guitar. ‘Aphorisms‘ is wonderfully mood evoking, and delivers a solid bass line, kick ass drumming, and nice harmonies. ‘Rise Of Dissent‘, is another beautiful, instrumental bridge, that takes you into ‘Celestial Descent‘, filled with dynamite guitar, wonderful vocals & harmonies, and some way cool chanting. The piano on ‘Wish You Well (Eleria’s Rift)‘, is perfect, and the harmonies superbly executed.  The synthesizer and guitar on the instrumental ‘Casimir‘ makes the perfect backdrop for the dynamite effects. ‘And From The Sky We Fall‘, my favorite track on the album, delivers great vocals and harmonies within a wonderfully sweet melody, backed by acoustic guitar, and cool synthesizer. At times, this track reminds me of Styx.

alyeus2And From The Sky We Fall is a wonderful ride. Filled with cool effects, eclectic lyrics, acoustic guitar, and I am almost certain there is an electric drill in use here!! The guitar and synthesizer collaboration is exceptional, and I thoroughly enjoyed the underlying spoken word dubbed in. The album is wonderfully written. Wonderfully executed. Wonderfully produced. This is one cool concept album. Do yourself a favour, and check it out, Listen to it in its entirety in one sitting. It is well worth it. http://alyeus.bandcamp.com/

 

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MUST HAVE CANADIAN INDIE ALBUMS-March 2014

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

Spring brings rebirth, and 3 incredible albums that are must haves. Check them out, and jump start the season..

photoTHE MINNOWSLive At The Belfast Barge

Another non-Canadian entry, but just too good not to include here. Aside from Yessongs, Waiting For Columbus and The Last Waltz, I have never been a big fan of live albums but I have to add Live At The Belfast Barge to the list of great live albums. The songs are as wonderful as I remember them, and they stand up to the passage of time. This Irish band is insanely cohesive, and the musicianship, extraordinary. I keep listening, immersing myself in The Minnows, and I can tell you that swimming with the fishes is not a bad thing. This is a must for your collection.

Check out The Minnows:  http://https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Minnows/131768390195614, and get this album.

xprime3XPRIME-The Album

Xprime should be big. They write incredibly melodic songs with amazing harmonies and unforgettable hooks. These are talented musicians who seem to be having fun with every note played. This is a must have album. Give it 4 or 5 listens. At least. Pay particular attention to “To See You Here“, a 70’s pop-folk tune that reminds me of Poco, “Feels Like I’m The Only One“, a way cool song with R & B overtones, and “Early To The Sun“. Check out Xprime’s music, videos, upcoming gigs and where to get this album:  http://http://www.xprime.ca/

alyeus1ALYEUSForty Days At Sea

Alyeus, a London, Ontario band delivers an exceptional concept album with themes that are dark and disturbing, and music that is hauntingly melodic. This is an album that should be listened to in its entirety, from beginning to end at one sitting. If you like progressive rock, and musical themes, you owe it to yourself to check these guys out. Finally, a band that brings back the way cool concept album. You can listen to and purchase Forty Days At Sea here.

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ALYEUS-Forty Days At Sea

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

alyeus3I have always been a fan of progressive rock. Most of my 20s were spent listening to Yes, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, and Flash. My interest in the resurgence of progressive rock bands currently releasing material in Canada, is piqued every time I discover a new one. Alyeus (pronounced Ah-lie-us), another London, On band, released their 12 track debut album, Forty Days At Sea, in September, 2013. As part of a 3 album project, the first release is actually the middle piece of the opus. Only a prog-rock band could make sense in that. Citing Pink Floyd, Dream Theatre, and Black Sabbath among their influences, these guys have a unique take on the genre.

The ambient, atmospheric rock that filled arenas in the 1970s, wafts through this album on waves of hard rock. Forty Days At Sea is filled with wonderful changes and transitions. There are beautiful harmonies, particularly the operatic sounds on “VII“. The guitars are amazing, playing hard alyeus2rock riffs over progressive instrumentation. The riff in “Triton’s Horn” is reminiscent of Steve Howe, while the power chords convey the energy of this band. There are cool effects, and some amazing bass on “The Chambers” and “The Keeper“. The vocals are cool, laying somewhere between Geddy Lee and Jon Anderson, and the drumming is spectacular throughout.  The music is incredibly melodic, with wonderful themes woven in. There are way cool tempo and time signature changes.The use of instrumentals throughout the album, serves to set the mood for the next theme. Pay particular attention to “Dreaming In Waves“, and “Elysium“, which evokes shades of Yes’ Tales From Topographic Oceans. The coolest song on the album, “Forty Days At Sea“, is a great song in any genre.

alyeus1Alyeus delivers an exceptional concept album with themes that are dark and disturbing, and music that is hauntingly melodic. This is an album that should be listened to in its entirety, from beginning to end at one sitting. If you like progressive rock, and musical themes, you owe it to yourself to check these guys out. Finally, a band that brings back the way cool concept album. You can listen to and purchase Forty Days At Sea here.

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YOUNG BENJAMINS-Less Argue

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

Once every now and again, I hear a band that truly impresses me with their music. Out of Saskatoon,  Young Benjamins have not only impressed, but have excited and elated as well. As the follow up to their 2012 Ep, Bones, their album Less Argue was recently released on Dollartone Records. Recorded at Avenue Recording Studios in Saskatoon and mixed in Athens, Ga by John Keane, of R.E.M. fame, this blend of folk, alternative rock, pop and blues results in an exceptionally well crafted album.

yb1The Colonial Pt.1” incorporates tribal drumming, crisp, clean, subtle guitar riffs, and some very eclectic vocals by Vaero Poulin. “Out There (In The Wild)” is an up tempo song, with a country-blues sentiment. The strong vocals by Neusha Mofazzali are wonderfully set outside the instrumentation. The violin creates and maintains the mood for this song. “Jasper, AB” contains military drumming, great transitions, a catchy hook and violin, used to settle the heavy rhythm section. In “Move, Move“, the violin again plays a major role by creating not just feelings, but layers and texture within the song.”Young Argument” with its heavy drumming allows the vocals to be centre stage, while “Less Argue” , has great harmonies and melody lines that are framed by violin and keyboards. “Green Eyes“, at less than one minute long, is a wonderfully simple folk song with acoustic guitar, a catchy melody and strong harmonies. The vocal styling of “Oh Marie“, puts the emphasis on the melody, lyric and voice. The song has great drum rolls and  melancholic violin. Something here makes me think of Great Big Sea. Could this be the the new Canadiana? “The Solace“,  an instrumental, is melodic and soothing with its incredible violin. What a beautiful piece of music! The best track on the album, “Common Thief“, opens with classic rock drums that are quickly quieted by the violin. There are great drum shots and wonderfully played guitar scales integrated into the song. This is as much rock as these guys will muster. The echo effect on the female vocal halfway through the song creates an almost angelic sensation. There are several changes in tempo and time signature and a great ending. “The Colonial Pt 2” brings closure to the album. It plays as a more up tempo adjunct to “The Colonial Pt. 1”, as if the message is complete. It is a happier tune, perhaps providing closure for the band as well. Have I been listening to a concept album?yb

Young Benjamins have a unique style and a unique approach to songwriting. They have the ability to use music to create mood and conjure images. . There is a middle-eastern influence throughout that integrates so well. These guys are incredibly talented. They can write and play, and they have a great feel for their music. One of the most uniquely creative bands I have heard! If you’ve ever wondered why Burton Cummings was ‘Runnin’ Back To Saskatoon”, the answer could very well be to hear bands like Young Benjamins.”Less Argue” is full of life and it is fun!  This is clearly the band’s album, the album that they wanted to make. Add this to your must have list.

To hear Young Benjamins, click on this link:

http://exclaim.ca/MusicVideo/ClickHear/young_benjamins-less_argue_album_stream

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