Archive for tales from topographic oceans

DRUCKFARBEN-Second Sound

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

druckfarben3I recently received a copy of the new album Second Sound, by Toronto band Druckfarben, and I have spent the last 3 days repeating the same 2 words: Freakin’ amazing!!

The 8 track album is filled with cool keyboards, great drum shots, and wonderful harmonies. The guitar is dynamite, offering wonderfully subtle riffs, and blistering solos. The melodies are insanely good, fused with beautiful harmonies. The bass lines are intricate and subdued.  The instrumentation, rich and varied. Piano, organ and synthesizer appear throughout. I heard banjo, and mandolin. The arrangements are spectacularly full, and layered with texture.

 

druckfarben1Two tracks merit special mention. “Long Walk Down“, a sweet, melancholy ballad with a Klaatu-esque feel, delivers a wonderful melody with a spectacular vocal track. “Second Sound“, without a doubt, the best progressive rock track I have heard in 40 years, is reminescent of Yes: Somewhere between “Siberian Khatru” and “The Gates Of Delerium“, with shades of Tales From Topographic Oceans. This suite offers incredible keyboards including some interesting piano and organ, and way cool violin, that wanders from classical to rock to western themes. The instrumentation in this track is wonderful. There are cool changes and transitions, and a kick ass guitar solo. There are sweet melodies and terrific harmonies. The song ends with  beautifully arranged acoustic guitar.

 

I am not certain why this band has been a mystery. These musicians are insanely talented. It is an impressive work. Standing out is Phil Naro’s vocals.The style, the sound, the inflection, had me thinking Jon Anderson. Second Sound offers wonderful musical themes in an array of movements that are woven together in layers to create an incredible musical journey. This is way cool arena rock, out of the 1970s, with a 21st century bite. Druckfarben is the real deal.

Check out Second Sound  here:  https://www.facebook.com/druckfarben/app_204974879526524

 

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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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WHO WAS FIRST?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

I haven’t been to a large venue concert in a long time. I refuse to pay several hundreds of dollars for a ticket and honestly, there is really no one that I want to see. It did however, start me thinking about the first concert I went to. Truth be told, I just can’t remember. I don’t know if it is the years of illicit substance use or age induced memory failure. Or a little of both.  Sadly, I just can’t remember!

BDGRSMBAnd so, writing about my first concert is clearly an impossible task. What about my most memorable concert? Well, there was Badfinger at the old O’Keefe Centre, Spirit at the old Victory Burlesque Theatre, Tommy James, The Band, The Grateful Dead, Clapton, Jethro Tull, Harrison, and a litany of others to choose from. What would make a concert the most memorable? Well, for starters, remembering it! And so the dilemma began. I remember generalities, but no details. I remember going to see Steve Miller. I remember it was just after the release of the Book Of Dreams album. I remember Norton Buffalo was the opening act, it was at Maple Leaf Gardens and that I ate a gram of gold Lebanese  about 30 minutes before show time. Well, now i know why i can’t remember anything else!

yesAnd so, the highlight reel in my head began playing, reviewing every concert I could remember attending. I saw Yes on at least 2 occasions.  The 1st tine was following the release of Close To The Edge. I remember almost nothing. The other was the Tales From Topographic Oceans tour. I remember sitting 4th row, floors at Maple Leaf gardens. Pretty sure we were on opium. I remember bright lights, dry ice, and Jon Anderson emerging from darkness about halfway through the introduction of the “The Revealing Science Of God“.

genesisI saw Genesis, not the And Then There Were Three version, but the real Genesis, with Peter Gabriel. You know, “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway“, genesis. I saw Queen, right after the release of Sheer Heart Attack and remember nothing.

It was suggested that I write about the 1st concert I remember. I couldn’t tell you what that was. Another suggestion was t write about the last concert I attended. Not surprising, I can’t remember hat either. Had I known this would happen, I would have attended concerts in alphabetical order, beginning with AC/DC and ending with ZZ Top. The only certainty in my concert going days, is that I never saw The Beatles. Now, that I surely would have remembered.

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