The Flower Kings Debut ‘Broken’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

The Flower Kings debuted the video for its new single this week.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Broken‘ Friday.  The song and video are the first from the band’s forthcoming album Islands, which is scheduled for release Oct. 30 through InsideOut Music.

The video places the song’s lyrics over a variety of images.  The whole is a very psychedelic presentation.  The song’s musical arrangement will appeal to fans of Transatlantic while its lyrical content will reach audiences in its own way.

The upcoming release of Islands will come less than a year after the band released its then most recent album Waiting For Miracles.  That album was released Nov. 8, 2019.

Founding member  and guitarist Roine Stolt talked about the album’s release date in a recent interview.

“All shows and festivals were cancelled and the future didn’t really ‘unfold’ itself like we had hoped,” said Stolt. “To sit out the pandemic with no activities was not an option for us! We can’t be stopped by an evil virus! So, with members living in the USA, Italy, Austria and Sweden, the only way to realize this album, was to use the magic of the ‘net’, sending files around the globe and start building what now has become a mammoth-sized double album of 21 songs.”

The album’s track listing is noted below.

Disc One (49:40)
1 – Racing With Blinders On 4:24
2 – From The Ground 4.02
3 – Black Swan 5:53
4 – Morning News 4:01
5 – Broken 6:38
6 – Goodbye Outrage 2:19
7 – Journeyman 1:43
8 – Tangerine 3:51
9 – Solaris 9:10
10 – Heart Of The Valley 4:18
11- Man In A Two Peace Suit 3:21

Disc Two (43:01)
1 – All I Need Is Love 5:48
2 – A New Species 5:45
3 – Northern Lights 5:43
4 – Hidden Angles 0:50
5 – Serpentine 3:52
6 – Looking For Answers 4:30
7 –Telescope 4:41
8 – Fool’s Gold 3:11
9 – Between Hope & Fear 4:29
10 – Islands 4:12

The double-disc album will release on limited edition 3LP/2CD box; limited edition 2CD digipack, and standard digital.  Pre-sales for Islands are open.

Stolt said of the album’s concept, it is relevant to the world’s current situation.

“The theme of the album is isolation – so the title ‘Islands’ felt like a most relevant title – as much of it circulates around isolation, loss, and the fear of being disconnected,” he said. “Having to face this unexpected pandemic will leave marks on each one of us for a very long time and to lose loved ones forces us to soldier on, learning and growing a stronger version of ourselves in this fragile cycle of life.”

Musically, the aim has been to  create a bigger grand epic piece out of 21 songs – so they are all connected with themes that weave in and out – like the way ‘Sgt Peppers’ or ‘The Lamb’ were built on shorter songs,  but yet linked,” added Stolt. “So view it as one mega song or as 21 separate pieces, it is all  tailored to be listened to as one piece – like a cinematic 90-min. long ride.”

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

 

Websitehttp://www.roinestolt.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/TheFlowerKings

 

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Neal Morse Announces Release Date, Specs For New Album

Cover Art by: Thomas Ewerhard/Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Veteran prog-rock composer/singer/songwriter Neal Morse will release his new album this fall.

Sola Gratia is scheduled for release Sept. 20 through InsideOut Music.  The album is a concept record that focuses on the Apostle Paul.  It came from a discussion that Morse had with his wife years ago, according to comments made by Morse himself in a recent interview.

“I was talking to my wife Cherie about debuting this new piece at Morsefest 2020 (Morse’s annual fan convention in Nashville) and she said she thought it would be good for me to do a solo album,” he said. “ However, I thought she said ‘Sola album’ and – because some of the new ideas involved Paul’s aggressive pursuit of the early Christians, I could see a link to some of the themes of persecution in ‘Sola Scriptura’.”

Sola Scriptura is Morse’s 2007 album about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sola Gratia feaures famed drummer Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, The Winery Dogs, Transatlantic), Randy George (The Neal Morse Band, The Prog World Orchestra, Ajalon), Eric Gillette (The Neal Morse Band, Tree of Life, The Swon Brothers), Bill Hubauer (The Neal Morse Band) and Gideon Klein (Delta Rae, Jewel, The Neal Morse Band) adding their talents to the whole.

While many of the artists featured on this record work with Morse in The Neal Morse Band, he [Morse] explained that the album was still going to be a Neal Morse album instead of Neal Morse Band album.

“With the Neal Morse Band, the whole band works together on the writing, and while Eric Gillette plays some guitar and Bill Hubauer has added some keyboards on this one, neither of them wrote – or is singing – on this album,” he said.

Sola Gratia will be available as CD/DVD digipack (including making of documentary); 2LP/CD combo pack; CD and digital release.  Thomas Ewerhard created the album’s artwork.  The record’s track listing is noted below.

 

The full track-listing is as follows:

1.Preface
2.Overture
3.In The Name Of The Lord
4.Ballyhoo (The Chosen Ones)
5.March Of The Pharisees
6.Building A Wall
7.Sola Intermezzo
8.Overflow
9.Warmer Than The Sunshine
10.Never Change
11.Seemingly Sincere
12.The Light On The Road To Damascus
13.The Glory Of The Lord
14.Now I Can See/The Great Commission

 

Sola Gratia will receive its official release Sept. 18 and 19 at Morse’s annual Morsefest.  Due to COVID-19 regulations, a limited number of people will be able to attend.  Tickets are available here.

Pre-orders for Sola Gratia will open July 17.

More information on Neal Morse’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:

 

Website: http://nealmorse.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nealmorse

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nealmorse

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://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.

Spock’s Beard Offers Audiences Another Solid Live Effort In ‘Snow Live’

Courtesy: Radiant Records/Metal Blade Records

On Aug. 27, 2002, veteran prog-rock outfit Spock’s Beard released what has since come to be known by the band’s fans as one of its most pivotal albums when it released the simply titled, yet complex concept album Snow. The two-disc record was the last for then front man Neal Morse, who left the band for a solo career not too long after its release. Just this month, the band re-visited that seminal album when it released its new live recording Snow Live in stores and online. The recording marks the first time ever that Spock’s Beard has ever performed the album in full in a live setting. That in itself is the bedrock for the recording’s presentation, and will be discussed shortly. Just as important to note in examining the recording is the band’s performance thereof. This will be discussed later. Rounding out the most important of the recording’s elements is its collective bonus material. It will also be discussed later. Each element noted here is important in its own right to the whole of the recording. All things considered, Snow Live proves to be another solid live effort from one of the most respected names in the prog community.

Spock’s Beard’s latest live recording Snow Live is hardly the band’s first live recording. Even with that in mind, it can be said easily that this latest live effort from one of the prog community’s most respected names is another solid effort from the band. That is due in no small part to the very fact that it presents the band performing what has become one of its seminal works in whole for the first time ever in one special setting. The setting in question was the latest installment of former front man Neal Morse’s Morsefest. It is somewhat fitting that the band united members past and present in that setting for the performance considering the importance of Morsefest and of Snow. That combination makes the performance a collective show of unity from the band that shows in itself an appreciation for the fans and their respect for Snow. It all combines to make this first-of-its kind performance from Spock’s Beard that much more important. Audiences will especially appreciate the concert’s production values throughout. The audio was expertly balanced throughout, which says plenty considering the size of the venue and that the concert was performed indoors. Recording live shows indoors always presents its own challenge because sound has only so far to go. Those who handled the concert’s sound both in production and post are to be commended for their work here. The same can be said of those responsible for handling the concert’s video production. The work of all involved makes this all too important concert for devout Spock’s Beard fans that much more that much more important and enjoyable. Of course as key as the concert’s very set list and related productions values are collectively to this recording, they are only one part of what makes the recording such a solid effort from Spock’s Beard. The band’s performance of its set list is just as important to discuss in examining its presentation as the show itself.

The band’s performance of its landmark 2002 concept album deserves just as much credit in making the concert watchable as the show itself because of the effort clearly put in by the band members. Between interacting with one another on stage and with the audience through something as simple as a facial gesture or invitation to be part of the show from the floor, the band shows throughout, its dedication to its fans and to properly translating the album from studio to stage. It pays off, too. Audiences will be impressed to experience that effort firsthand, and in turn will agree that said effort is something that must be experienced firsthand to be truly appreciated and understood. Keeping this in mind, audiences will agree in seeing the band’s performance for themselves that said performance goes a long way toward strengthening the recording’s presentation and making it enjoyable for the band’s fans. That performance, even as important as it is to the recording, is not the last of the recording’s most important elements. The bonus material included in the recording rounds out its most important elements.

The bonus material featured in Snow Live includes an extensive hour-long presentation of behind-the scenes material and a nearly 40 minute encore set from Morsefest 2016. The songs and the audiences’ full engagement makes the encores that much more entertaining for home viewers, ensuring even more their engagement and entertainment. The band shows just as much dedication to the music and the fans here, too, as in the concert’s main feature, making the encores that much more entertaining. The behind-the-scenes featurette includes an in-depth interview with the band members and an intimate audience ahead of the band’s concert. The interview session includes discussions on the band members’ influences, the creative process in the studio, lineup changes and much more. There are also some more intimate on-camera moments with the band members that offer their own insight including Morse’s own discussion on his conversion to Christianity and its impact on his life. Seeing Morse’s genuine emotion as he discusses the change is moving to say the least. Between those discussions and the others not directly noted here, and the bonus encores, it goes without saying that Snow Live offers plenty of enjoyable and engaging bonus material. When that bonus material is considered along with the recording’s main feature and the band’s performance thereof, the whole of those elements makes Snow Live that much stronger of an offering from Spock’s Beard; an offering that will easily reach every one of Spock’s Beard’s fans.

Spock’s Beard’s latest live recording Snow Live is a critical addition to the band’s already extensive body of work. It presents what is one of the band’s most influential albums being performed live in whole for the first time ever. What’s more, the album is presented by the band’s members past and present. That show of unity in performance of the album sends its own strong message that fans new and old alike will appreciate. Speaking of the band’s performance, the energy and emotion put into each song’s performance strengthens the concert’s presentation even more. It translates the album expertly from studio to stage while also showing the band’s dedication to presenting a fully enjoyable and immersive experience for audiences. The bonus material included in the concert’s recording puts the finishing touch on the recording with its hour-long interview session and nearly forty-minute encore set. Each noted element plays its own important part in the whole of Snow Live‘s presentation. All things considered, they make the recording another solid effort that Spock’s Beard fans old and new alike will enjoy. It is available now in stores and online. more information on Snow Live is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.spocksbeard.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/spocksbeard

Twitter: http://twitter.com/spocksb

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‘Morsefest 2015’ Release Date, Specs Announced

Courtesy: Radiant Records/Metal Blade Records/SONY

Courtesy: Radiant Records/Metal Blade Records/SONY

The Neal Morse Band will release its latest live recording next month.

Morsefest 2015 will be released on Friday, March 24, 2017.  The extensive concert recording will be released on separate 2 Blu-ray and 2 DVD + 4 CD sets and on digital platforms including iTunes.  Both will be released via Radiant Records via Metal Blade Records/SONY.

Pre-orders are available online now here.  A trailer for the upcoming release is available here. The concert was recorded over the course of two nights in 2015 and spans more than five hours.  It features from some 38 musicians including drummer Mike Portnoy.

The show includes complete performances of Sola Scriptura and Question, songs from Morse’s time with Spock’s Beard (featuring vocal performances from Nick D’Virgillio) and Transatlantic and more.

Morsefest 2015 includes as bonus material an hour-long documentary.  It features candid footage from the band, crew and other musicians

More information on Morsefest 2015 is available online now along with all of Neal Morse’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.nealmorse.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nealmorse

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nealmorse

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://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.