Steve Hackett Debuts ‘Scorched Earth’ Video

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Steve Hackett opened the new week by premiering the video for his latest single.

Hackett debuted the video for his single, ‘Scorched Earth’ Monday. ‘Scorched Earth’ is the fourth single from Hackett’s new album, Surrender of Silence, which released Friday through InsideOut Music. Hackett premiered the video for the album’s then latest single, ‘Natalia’ late last month. Its premiere was preceded by that of the songs, ‘Fox’s Tango‘ and ‘Wingbeats.’

The ‘Scorched Earth’ video features a variety of contrasting footage that is mean to help translate the song’s message of the damage that humans are doing to Earth. The footage in question includes horses running free in sunlit fields opposite oil refineries, their smokestacks blowing plumes as they work. Fires burning forests contrast a woman running through a sunlit field in her sundress, too.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Scorched Earth’ is a mournful, subdued presentation. Hackett’s vocals form the arrangement’s foundation, with its so sad presentation. The gentle, flowing piano line that accompanies Hackett’s vocals add even more depth and emotion to the song, as does the choral effect that accompanies the pairing. The whole gives the song a sort of progressive rock sense to its presentation.

More information on Steve Hackett’s new single, video, and album is available along with all of his latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.hackettsongs.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/stevehackettofficial

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/HackettOfficial

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Leprous’ New Album Available Now; Band Debuts Video For Album’s Latest Single

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Leprous’ new album Aphelion is out now.

The album released today through InsideOut Music. As part of the band’s continued push to promote the album, it debuted the video for the album’s latest single, ‘Nighttime Disguise’ Friday. ‘Nighttime Disguise’ is the album’s fourth single, following the premiere of the record’s other singles, ‘The Silent Revolution,’  ‘Running Low,’ and ‘Castaway Angels.’

The seven-minute-plus video for ‘Nighttime Disguise’ features the band in studio recording the song through a series of vignettes of the band interacting virtually with its fans. Speaking of discussing things with the fans, the band explained in a prepared statement, that the song actually came to be as a result of those discussions with its fans.

“ ‘Nighttime Disguise’ started as an experiment, where we let the fans join us virtually in the studio, and being able to vote for different parameters to write a song: Time signature(s), key(s), what kind of instruments, vocal style(s) and range, lyrical content etc.,” the band said.  “Our original plan was to have the result as a bonus track, but we ended up so happy with it that we couldn’t let it pass. Sometimes certain limitations force you to think differently and push you to new and more creative directions! This video shows a lot from the week of the songwriting, arrangement and production of ‘Nighttime Disguise’.”

Aphelion is available on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below along with the album’s track listing.

Black 2LP+CD – Unlimited
Ultra Clear 2LP+CD – 500x copies via IOM Webshop & CM Distro
Bright Gold 2LP+CD – 200x copies via JPC
Transparent Light Blue 2LP+CD – 200x copies via EMP
Creamy White 2LP+CD – 400x copies via O-Merch
Deep Blood Red 2LP+CD – 200x copies via Band

LEPROUS – “Aphelion” (56:06)
1. Running Low
2. Out Of Here
3. Silhouette
4. All The Moments
5. Have You Ever?
6. The Silent Revelation
7. The Shadow Side
8. On Hold
9. Castaway Angels
10. Nighttime Disguise

In other news, Leprous has announced a series of live dates in December in support of Aphelion. The tour’s schedule is noted below.

LEPROUS – 20th Anniversary European Tour
01.12.2021 Oslo (Norway) – Vulkan Arena
03.12.2021 Nijmegen (The Netherlands) – Doornroosje
04.12.2021 London (UK) – Electric Ballroom
05.12.2021 Paris (France) – Elysee Montmartre
06.12.2021 Aschaffenburg (Germany) – Colos-Saal
07.12.2021 Vienna (Austria) – Arena
08.12.2021 Esch (Luxembourg) – Rockhal
09.12.2021 Lyon (France) – Ninkasi Kao
10.12.2021 Barcelona (Spain) – Apolo 1
11.12.2021 Madrid (Spain) – LAB
13.12.2021 Milan (Italy) – Live Club
14.12.2021 Aarau (Switzerland) – KiFF
15.12.2021 Munich (Germany) – Technikum
16.12.2021 Berlin (Germany) – Columbia Theater

LEPROUS – Live 2022:
17.06.2022 Clisson (France) – Hellfest
25.06.2022 Valkenburg (The Netherlands) – Midsummer Prog Festival
16.07.2022 Cremona (Italy) – Luppolo In Rock
20.08.2022 Bristol (UK) – ArcTanGent Festival
More shows to be announced soon…

More information on Leprous’ new single, and video is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.leprous.net

Facebookhttps//www.facebook.com/leprousband

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/leprousband

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Steve Hackett Tells A Gripping Story In His Latest Single, Video

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Steve Hackett debuted the latest single from his new album this week.

Hackett premiered the video for his new single, ‘Natalia’ Thursday. The song is the third single from Hackett’s forthcoming album, Surrender of Silence, which is scheduled for release Sept. 10 through InsideOut Music. Its premiere follows that of the album’s first two singles, ‘Fox’s Tango‘ and ‘Wingbeats.’

The animated video follows its titular character as she is reborn time and again in Russia, only to keep being killed at the oppressive hands of the nation and its powers. Stylistically, the video presents a look that is comparable to so many videos from Sabaton, though the two acts’ videos were crafted by different companies.

Hackett discussed the song and its video in a prepared statement.

“The weight of the Russian nation – my music at its most Slavic, inspired by all those stunning Russian classical composers and telling the story of that emergent nation with its struggles for power. Natalia is a Russian Everywoman, constantly thwarted by a series of oppressive regimes,” he said.

The lyrical content featured in ‘Natalia’ is interesting because for all intents and purposes it really is a concept song in itself. That is because it tells a story. The way in which it ends (which will not be revealed here) leaves the door open for a continuation, showing even more, its concept style presentation.

The musical arrangement featured in the song incorporates elements of compositions composed by some well-known Russian classical composers as part of its rich, deeply moving composition. The whole makes the song’s arrangement a unique composition that will keep audiences engaged and entertained in its own right.

More information on Steve Hackett’s new single, video, and album is available along with all of his latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.hackettsongs.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/stevehackettofficial

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/HackettOfficial

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Evergrey Joins Napalm Records Roster

Photo Credit: Patric Ullaeus

Progressive metal band Evergrey has a new label home.

The band has signed a new record deal with Napalm Records. The announcement was made through a news release distributed Thursday. Specifics of the deal were not announced in the press release.

The band commented on the new deal through a statement noted below.

“We are very excited to announce that Evergrey signed with Napalm Records!,” the statement reads. “Given the success of our recent albums we feel certain that Napalm have the power that will bring us to the next level. We have lots of exciting news to share soon so stay tuned!”

Evergrey released its most recent album, Escape of the Phoenix in February through AFM Records. The record was the band’s fourth for that label, following the releases of Hymns for the Broken (2014), The Storm Within (2016), and The Atlantic (2016). Prior to the release of those records, Evergrey also release albums through Steamhammer/SPV and Insideout Music.

More information on Evergrey’s new record deal is available along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://evergrey.net

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Evrergrey

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/evergreysweden

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.worpress.com.  

Leprous Announces Details For Live, Full Album Preview Of Its New Record

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Leprous’ fans will get a special preview of the band’s new album next week.

The band announced Wednesday, it will hold a livestream even Aug. 25, two days ahead of the release of its new album, Aphelion. The livestream event will preview the album live. The even will feature not one but two live full performances of the album by the band/ The first performance is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. CEST (EU time zone) and the second at 7 p.m. EDT (US Time Zone).

Tickets for the livestreams are available here. Ticket bundles (with merchandise or album) are available here.

Aphelion is scheduled for release Aug. 27 through InsideOut Music. The album has produced the singles, ‘The Silent Revolution,’  ‘Running Low,’ and ‘Castaway Angels.’ The album’s track listing is noted below.

LEPROUS – “Aphelion”
1. Running Low
2. Out Of Here
3. Silhouette
4. All The Moments
5. Have You Ever?
6. The Silent Revelation
7. The Shadow Side
8. On Hold
9. Castaway Angels
10. Nighttime Disguise

Aphelion will release through a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below.

Black 2LP+CD – Unlimited
Ultra Clear 2LP+CD – 500x copies via IOM Webshop & CM Distro
Bright Gold 2LP+CD – 200x copies via JPC
Transparent Light Blue 2LP+CD – 200x copies via EMP
Creamy White 2LP+CD – 400x copies via O-Merch
Deep Blood Red 2LP+CD – 200x copies via Band

In other news, Leprous has announced a series of live dates in December in support of Aphelion. The tour’s schedule is noted below.

LEPROUS – 20th Anniversary European Tour
01.12.2021 Oslo (Norway) – Vulkan Arena
03.12.2021 Nijmegen (The Netherlands) – Doornroosje
04.12.2021 London (UK) – Electric Ballroom
05.12.2021 Paris (France) – Elysee Montmartre
06.12.2021 Aschaffenburg (Germany) – Colos-Saal
07.12.2021 Vienna (Austria) – Arena
08.12.2021 Esch (Luxembourg) – Rockhal
09.12.2021 Lyon (France) – Ninkasi Kao
10.12.2021 Barcelona (Spain) – Apolo 1
11.12.2021 Madrid (Spain) – LAB
13.12.2021 Milan (Italy) – Live Club
14.12.2021 Aarau (Switzerland) – KiFF
15.12.2021 Munich (Germany) – Technikum
16.12.2021 Berlin (Germany) – Columbia Theater

LEPROUS – Live 2022:
17.06.2022 Clisson (France) – Hellfest
25.06.2022 Valkenburg (The Netherlands) – Midsummer Prog Festival
16.07.2022 Cremona (Italy) – Luppolo In Rock
20.08.2022 Bristol (UK) – ArcTanGent Festival
More shows to be announced soon…

More information on Leprous’ new single, and video is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.leprous.net

Facebookhttps//www.facebook.com/leprousband

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/leprousband

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Transatlantic Reveals “The Absolute Universe 2022 Tour” Dates

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Transatlantic will hit the road next year in support of its latest album.

The band made the announcement in a news release distributed Monday. The document states the band will launch its tour, which is in support of its latest album, The Absolute Universe (2021), April 15 in Glenside, PA. The North American leg of the worldwide tour is scheduled to run through April 30 in in Cross Plains, TN before the band winds things down with the “Cruise to the Edge 2022 from May 2-7.

Following some down time after the North American leg of the tour, the band will head overseas and launch the tour’s UK/European leg on July 22 in Sibiu, Romania. That brief tour is scheduled to run through July 28 in Paris, France.

Drummer Mike Portnoy offered the following comments about the tour’s scheduling.

“Between releasing our latest album in the middle of a worldwide pandemic & shutdown, and the already difficult task of trying to align our different schedules even in the most normal of circumstances, it was uncertain if Transatlantic would ever get to play any shows in support of The Absolute Universe,” he said. “But now with the world slowly re-opening and the band already committing to a few one-off appearances in 2022 (Cruise To The Edge, Morsefest and a Festival in Romania), we’re excited to announce we were able to wrangle up some headlining shows surrounding these one-offs! (April in North America and July in EU/UK) 

Portnoy added, “These are the ONLY shows we will be doing in support of The Absolute Universe so if we can’t make it to your area, it may be worth traveling to come see us and share these special shows with us. While we wish we could do a full proper tour, getting to play ANY shows for this album is an unexpected treat that we weren’t sure would ever happen…so better late than never!”

The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.

North America dates:
April 15th • Glenside, PA – Keswick Theater
https://www.axs.com/events/409822/an-evening-with-transatlantic-tickets
 
April 16th • Montclair, NJ – Wellmont Theater
https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/02005AFEFC0F7014
 
April 18th • Quebec City, Quebec – Palais Montcalm
https://palaismontcalm.tuxedobillet.com/main/transatlantic
 
April 19th • Montreal, Quebec – M Telus
https://www.ticketmaster.ca/event/31005B03CBCC1934?lang=en-ca&brand=mtelus
 
April 21st • St Charles, IL – Arcada Theater
https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/4311193/transatlantic-stcharles-the-arcada-theatre?_ga=2.14751414.123937637.1628201559-79101957.1628201559
 
April 23rd • Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theater
https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/09005B05AF17211D
 
April 24th • Berkeley, CA – UC Theatre
https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/4360146/an-evening-with-transatlantic-berkeley-the-uc-theatre
 
April 29th & 30th • Cross Plains, TN – MorseFest 2022
 https://www.eventbrite.com/e/morsefest-2022-tickets-164759830087
 
May 2nd to 7th • Cruise To The Edge 2022
https://cruisetotheedge.com/book-now/
 
UK/Europe dates:
July 22nd – Sibiu, Romania – ARTmania Festival
 
July 24th – Cologne, Germany – E Werk
https://www.myticket.de/de/transatlantic-the-absolute-universe-2022-tour-tickets
 
July 25th – Tilburg, Netherlands – 013
https://www.ticketmaster.nl/event/272933?CAMEFROM=013&brand=nl_013web
 
July 27th – London, England – O2 Forum Kentish Town
https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/1F005AFE183A8DE7
 
July 28th – Paris, France – Olympia (ON SALE ON AUG 18TH)
www.olympiahall.com/evenements/transatlantic/

More information on Transatlantic’s new tour and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.transatlanticweb.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/TransatlanticMusic

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/transatlantic99

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Leprous Debuts New LP’s Latest Single, Video

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Leprous is giving audiences another preview of its next album.

The band premiered its new single, ‘The Silent Revolution’ Friday, along with its companion video. The song is the third from the band’s forthcoming album, Aphelion, which is scheduled for release Aug. 27 through InsideOut Music. Its premiere follows that of the album’s first two singles, ‘Running Low,’ and ‘Castaway Angels.’

The musical arrangement featured in ‘The Silent Revolution’ is in direct contrast to those featured in its predecessors. At the same time, the staccato notes on the guitar, the sharp, crisp sound from the drums, the keyboards and rich vocals are in their own way familiar for the band’s established audiences.

By comparison, the musical arrangement featured in ‘Running Low’ boasts a sort of blues rock influence while ‘Castaway Angels’ is an even more in-depth work. The song starts soft and introspective, but gradually builds to a strong climax in its finale that hits listeners so hard.

No information was provided about the lyrical theme in ‘The Silent Revolution’ in the press release announcing the song’s premiere. Though a rough interpretation from what can be deciphered hints at a deeply introspective message.

The video for ‘The Silent Revolution’ is a simple presentation. It features the band members in a studio setting that seems to mimic the look of a live stage. The new song plays over the video to give the video the look of the band performing live.

Aphelion will release through a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below along with the album’s track listing.

Black 2LP+CD – Unlimited
Ultra Clear 2LP+CD – 500x copies via IOM Webshop & CM Distro
Bright Gold 2LP+CD – 200x copies via JPC
Transparent Light Blue 2LP+CD – 200x copies via EMP
Creamy White 2LP+CD – 400x copies via O-Merch
Deep Blood Red 2LP+CD – 200x copies via Band

LEPROUS – “Aphelion” (56:06)
1. Running Low
2. Out Of Here
3. Silhouette
4. All The Moments
5. Have You Ever?
6. The Silent Revelation
7. The Shadow Side
8. On Hold
9. Castaway Angels
10. Nighttime Disguise

In other news, Leprous has announced a series of live dates in December in support of Aphelion. The tour’s schedule is noted below.

LEPROUS – 20th Anniversary European Tour
01.12.2021 Oslo (Norway) – Vulkan Arena
03.12.2021 Nijmegen (The Netherlands) – Doornroosje
04.12.2021 London (UK) – Electric Ballroom
05.12.2021 Paris (France) – Elysee Montmartre
06.12.2021 Aschaffenburg (Germany) – Colos-Saal
07.12.2021 Vienna (Austria) – Arena
08.12.2021 Esch (Luxembourg) – Rockhal
09.12.2021 Lyon (France) – Ninkasi Kao
10.12.2021 Barcelona (Spain) – Apolo 1
11.12.2021 Madrid (Spain) – LAB
13.12.2021 Milan (Italy) – Live Club
14.12.2021 Aarau (Switzerland) – KiFF
15.12.2021 Munich (Germany) – Technikum
16.12.2021 Berlin (Germany) – Columbia Theater

LEPROUS – Live 2022:
17.06.2022 Clisson (France) – Hellfest
25.06.2022 Valkenburg (The Netherlands) – Midsummer Prog Festival
16.07.2022 Cremona (Italy) – Luppolo In Rock
20.08.2022 Bristol (UK) – ArcTanGent Festival
More shows to be announced soon…

More information on Leprous’ new single, and video is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.leprous.net

Facebookhttps//www.facebook.com/leprousband

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/leprousband

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Steve Hackett Takes On Social Inequalities In New Single, Video

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Steve Hackett premiered the video for his latest single this week.

The former Genesis guitarist premiered the video for his new single, ‘Fox’s Tango’ Thursday. The song is the second single from Hackett’s forthcoming album, Surrender of Silence, which is scheduled for release Sept. 10 through InsideOut Music. Hackett premiered the video for the album’s lead single, ‘Wingbeats‘ July 2.

The ‘Fox’s Tango’ video is presented as a TV screen with contrasting images, such as a homeless man on the street and rich, affluent people smiling in the sun as they walk off of a private jet; flooding that has destroyed homes in Asia, while Americans smile happily among flowers in the U.S. and other powerful visuals.

The visuals are presented as Hackett’s single plays over it all. The song’s musical arrangement is a rich, blues-based composition that also features plenty of classic rock influence. The somber mood set through the song’s musical arrangement does well to help translate the message in the visuals and the song’s lyrical theme.

Speaking of the lyrical theme, Hackett talked about the song’s lyrical theme in a prepared statement.

“A protest song at life’s inequalities – in other words, the poor versus the rich,” the statement reads. “With current conflicts, if we can’t learn to share the land, we’ll find ourselves sharing the graveyards. A song for an unbalanced world. Fox’s Tango has my playing at its angriest. I really let rip here!”

More information on Steve Hackett’s new single, video, and album is available along with all of his latest news at:

Website: https://www.hackettsongs.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stevehackettofficial

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HackettOfficial

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Prog-Rock, Transatlantic Fans Alike Will Agree The Band’s New Album Was Worth The Wait

Courtesy:InsideOut Music

More than seven years after the release of its then latest album, Kaleidoscope, prog rock super group Transatlantic returned this year with its fifth album, The Absolute Universe.  The then long-awaited album has since proven to be quite the interesting presentation from the band – Mike Portnoy (Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings), Neal Morse (ex-Spock’s Beard, The Neal Morse Band, Yellow Matter Custard), and Pete Trewavas (Marillion).  One key point of interest in this latest offering from Transatlantic is its very presentation.  This will be discussed shortly.  The arrangements that are featured throughout the expansive record add their own level of interest to the record.  They will be discussed a little later.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.  It will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this album.  All things considered, they make The Absolute Universe a unique new addition to this year’s field of new rock albums.

Transatlantic’s recently released fifth album, The Absolute Universe is a presentation that its fans and those of the band’s members will agree is itself absolutely interesting.  That is proven in part through the album’s presentation.  The presentation in question is that of a concept record.  The catch here is that while the expansive recording is a concept record, it is not the typical presentation that audiences expecting a story-based concept album will expect.  Rather, it is based on one, central theme, according to Portnoy.  Portnoy said in a recent interview of the concept, “The storyline is about the struggles facing everyone in society today.”  Stolt expanded on Portnoy’s comments, stressing, “We didn’t start out with the idea of this being conceptual. The way things work with us is that we have a load of ideas, and these are developed spontaneously when we meet up. Everything happens in the moment.”  So essentially what audiences get in this album is a concept record that technically is concept in the loosest sense of the word possible.  That aside, the fact that the songs’ lyrical themes are so accessible and do in fact work with the noted overarching theme here, it all combines to make the record unique in this aspect.  Case in point is ‘Swing High, Swing Low.’  This song is clearly about the myriad emotional ups and downs that a person experiences daily in life.  ‘The World We Used To Know’ is just as clear.  It is a person commenting on the state of the world today.  This is something that every generation does.  To that point, it is just one more way in which the album’s overall presentation generates a certain engagement and entertainment and just the tip of that proverbial iceberg.  The arrangements that are featured throughout the album add their own layer of interest to this presentation.

The musical arrangements that are featured throughout The Absolute Universe are of interest because of the various influences that are evident throughout.  From one song to the next, the songs show influence not only of the band members’ own work past and present, but also evidence of vintage prog influence.  Case in point is ‘Heart Like a Whirlwind.’  The layered keyboard line immediately lends itself to comparisons to works from Emerson, Lake & Palmer as well as hints of The Flower Kings.  At the same time, audiences can also clearly hear a Spock’s Beard influence here when the keyboards are joined with the guitars and vocal harmonies.  On another level, the influence of The Neal Morse Band is just as evident.  The addition of the classical music tributes peppered throughout the album makes for even more interest here.  One can ever argue that there are hints of influence from Transatlantic itself at other points here.  Simply put, the arrangements featured here are everything that audiences have come to expect from this band.  Taking this into consideration along with the album’s unique presentation, the album gains even more interest.  It sill is not the last of the album’s most important elements.  The album’s production puts the final touch to its presentation.

The production that went into The Absolute Universe is important to examine because of its role in the album’s general effect.  As noted, there are a lot of influences exhibited within each song.  What’s more, there is a lot going on in each arrangement in terms of items, such as instrumentation, dynamics, and even vocals.  The production in each song pays off because it takes all of that into account.  The result is that each song evokes a wide range of emotions and thoughts from listeners as they remain engaged and entertained in each composition.  Considering the impact of the record’s production, its featured arrangements, and its very approach, the whole presents itself as a truly unique new offering that any prog-rock fan and Transatlantic fan will find interesting.

Transatlantic’s latest album, The Absolute Universe is a presentation that will appeal to any prog-rock fan as well as those of the band.  That is proven in part through the band’s approach to the album.  The approach taken to the album is that of a concept record that defies the standard definition of a concept album.  Rather than being story-based, it is a concept album that instead centers on one overarching theme.  The musical arrangements that are featured throughout the album add their own interest to the album.  That is because of the diversity that they show in regards to their influences.  There are hints of vintage prog influence as well as the influence of the band’s own work and that of the band members’ own projects.  The production of those arrangements rounds out the most important of the album’s elements, as it brings everything together.  The production ensures that everything is balanced in each song, thus evoking the fullest emotional response and impact.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the album a work that prog-rock and Transatlantic fans alike will agree was worth the wait.  The Absolute Universe is available now.

More information on Transatlantic’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.transatlanticweb.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/TransatlanticMusic

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/transatlantic99

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

LTE’s Latest LP Is The Latest Contender For The Top Spot Among 2021’s Best New Rock Albums

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

More than two decades after the release of its then most recent album, prog rock super group Liquid Tension Experiment officially returned Friday.  The band – Mike Portnoy (drums), Jordan Rudess (keyboards), John Petrucci  (guitar) Tony Levin (bass) – released its new aptly titled album Liquid Tension Experiment 3 Friday through InsideOut Music.  The eight-song instrumental album spawned three singles ahead of its release.  Those songs are but a glimpse into the album, too.  The 61-minute presentation offers hints of the band’s existing catalog and something in another direction throughout, too.  ‘Beating The Odds is just one of the songs featured in the recording that shows a new creative direction from the band in its latest outing.  It will be discussed shortly.  The band’s updated take on famed composer George Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ is another change in direction for the band in this outing.  It will be discussed a little later.  Showing even more, the change in direction in this record is ‘Chris and Kevin’s Amazing Odyssey,’ which comes just past the record’s midpoint.  It will also be discussed later.  Each note song proves the album’s growth, and in turn, engagement and entertainment.  When they are considered along with songs, such as ‘Shades of Hope,’ ‘Hypersonic,’ ‘The Passage of Time,’ and the album’s two remaining songs, the whole makes the album in whole a work that is a welcome return for Liquid Tension Experiment and that is among the best of this year’s new rock albums.

Liquid Tension Experiment’s latest album, Liquid Tension Experiment 3, is a presentation that will appeal to the band’s established audience base.  In the same note it will appeal to fans of the band’s members and their primary projects just as much.  That is due in large part to the songs featured in this recording.  The songs in question show evidence of songs from the band’s existing catalog as well as works that show some growth from the band.  One of the most notable of the songs that exhibits that growth comes in the form of ‘Beating The Odds.’  The six-minute-plus composition is not the wildly energetic style composition that audiences have come to know from the band.  Rather, it combines a variety of tones and influences, beginning with a very Rush style guitar intro to open the song.  From there, listeners can hear distinct influence from Dream Theater’s early days prior to Portnoy’s departure from the band.  At the same time, there is also a hint of Spock’s Beard influence through the combination of Rudess’ work on keyboards and Petrucci’s guitar performance.  At times the influences remain separate, and at others join together for one unique whole.  Through it all, the balance in the influences is handled expertly, a tribute to the record’s production.  The end result of that controlled chaos is a work that brings out the best of the bands that have influenced this band’s members in one complete work that boasts its own standout identity as a prog-rock opus.

‘Beating The Odds’ is just one of the songs that serves to exhibit the growth from Liquid Tension Experiment in its latest album.  The band’s updated take on George Gershwin’s timeless jazz classic, ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ is another clear example of the successful change in the band’s new album.  It is a complete change of pace for the band, taking on a jazz classic instead of any rock composition.  Gershwin’s original composition is present here.  There is no denial of that fact.  At the same, the song gets a nice change of pace in this rendition.  Petrucci’s subtle guitar opening mimics the piano line that opens the original so well.  The addition of the synthesized string arrangement at points throughout is a nice tribute to the original in its own right.  It actually does well to sound like the real thing, even being synthesized.  What’s more, the Joe Satriani-style approach that Petrucci takes along with his own style as the song progresses adds even more to the approach.  Much the same can be said of Rudess’ keyboard performance throughout, and that of Portnoy.  The whole of the group’s work here is such a rich presentation.  It is a dramatic change of pace for the band this time out and such a successful risk.  It is just one more example of what makes the album so successful.  ‘Chris and Kevin’s Amazing Odyssey’ — which comes in the record’s second half — is yet another example of the album’s strength.

‘Chris and Kevin’s Amazing Odyssey’ is notable because it is so starkly unlike anything that these musicians have ever crafted collectively and with their primary acts.  The whole thing starts off with Levin using what sounds like a bow on his bass, as if it was a standup bass.  Portnoy’s accents on the toms sound random, but are in fact complimentary to Levin’s work.  The subtle addition of the occasional keyboard effect makes for its own unique touch here.  The whole experimental work immediately comes across as a distinctly avant-garde type composition, yet is still so engaging because of that experimental, free form type composition.  It is another wonderful example of how much the band has branched out this time out and how that willingness to try something new has paid off.  When it is considered with the other two songs examined here and the more familiar sound exhibited through other songs featured here, such as ‘Shades of Hope,’ ‘Hypersonic,’ ‘The Passage of Time,’ and the album’s two remaining songs,  the whole of all of that content makes the album in whole a welcome return for Liquid Tension Experiment and an equally impressive new addition to this year’s list of top new rock records.

Liquid Tension Experiment’s first new album in more than two decades and first since the release of Spontaneous Combustion – released in 2007 (almost 15 years ago) by three quarters of LTE under the moniker of Liquid Tension Trio – is an impressive new offering from these  musical mates.  It proves that from start to finish with a solid combination of familiar content and plenty of material that takes chances and takes the band in new directions.  Those newer songs are all examined here.  When they are considered with the rest of the album’s works, the whole makes LTE 3 a work that every prog-rock fan will welcome.  It is proof positive that good things really do come to those who wait.  LTE 3 is available now.  More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/ltexperiment.  

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