Saturday, October 15, 2011

DREAM THEATER Keyboardist Schedules Solo Concert In New York City

Keyboardist Jordan Rudess of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER has scheduled an "Evening With Jordan Rudess" solo concert at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City on November 12.

Rudess in 2009 recorded solo piano versions of some of DREAM THEATER's favorite ballads as well as creating some original, progressive piano pieces for an album called "Notes On A Dream".

Rudess' "The Road Home" CD was released in 2007. Having been influenced by classic progressive acts such as GENESIS, YES and GENTLE GIANT, Rudess revisited some of the great songs from those bands with his own special Jordan Rudess touch. He was assisted on "The Road Home" by a great group of guests, such as Nick D'Virgilio (SPOCK'S BEARD), Kip Winger (WINGER), Rod Morgenstein (WINGER), Ed Wynne (OZRIC TENTACLES), Bumblefoot (GUNS N' ROSES), Marco Sfogli (JAMES LABRIE), Ricky Garcia (LAFEE) and several others.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

CYNIC: New Touring Lineup Revealed

Progressive rock/metal band CYNIC will be joined by Brandon Giffin on bass and Max Phelps on guitar and vocals during the group's upcoming North American and European tours in support of CYNIC's new EP, "Carbon-Based Anatomy".

The dates are as follows:

North America:

Nov. 03 - West Chester, PA - The Note
Nov. 05 - New York, NY - Gramercy (The Metal Suckfest)
Nov. 07 - Worcester, MA - Palladium
Nov. 09 - Montreal, QC - Les Foufounes Electriques
Nov. 10 - Toronto, ON - The Annex Wreck Room
Nov. 11 - Pontiac, MI -Clutch's Cargo - iLounge
Nov. 12 - Joliet, IL - Mojoes
Nov. 13 - St. Paul, MN - Station 4
Nov. 15 - Denver, CO - Marquis Theatre
Nov. 16 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Complex
Nov. 17 - Sparks, NV - The Alley
Nov. 18 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne
Nov. 19 - Seattle, WA - El Corazon
Nov. 22 - San Francisco, CA - Slim's
Nov. 23 - West Hollywood, CA - Key Club


Dec. 03 - The Village, Dublin, Ireland
Dec. 04 - Limelight, Belfast, UK
Dec. 05 - The Underworld, London, UK
Dec. 07 - Baroeg, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Dec. 08 - Divan Du Monde Paris, France
Dec. 09 - Kiff, Aarau, Switzerland
Dec. 10 - Rock'n'Roll Arena, Romagnano Sesia (NOVARA), Italy
Dec. 11 - Gala Hala, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Dec. 12 - Arena, Vienna, Austria
Dec. 13 - Club 202, Budapest, Hungary
Dec. 14 - Randall, Bratislava, Slovakia
Dec. 15 - KD Kyje , Prague, Czech Republic
Dec. 18 - Templet, Lyngby, Denmark
Dec. 20 - P60, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Dec. 22 - Plan B, Moscow, Russia

Support on the North American trek will come from 3 and SCALE THE SUMMIT.

"Carbon-Based Anatomy" will be released on November 11 in Europe and November 15 in North America via Season Of Mist. Unlike last year's "Re-Traced", this new EP consists exclusively of brand new material.

"Carbon-Based Anatomy" track listing:

01. Amidst The Coals
02. Carbon-Based Anatomy
03. Bija!
04. Box Up My Bones
05. Elves Beam Out
06. Hieroglyph

Check out a preview in the YouTube clip below.

The artwork was designed by the great Robert Venosa, the artist behind the covers of CYNIC's previous releases "Focus", "Traced in Air" and "Re-Traced".

Paul Masvidal describes this new EP as "both a philosophical as well as a musical
journey, one that begins in the Amazon jungle on the lips of a shamanic
wisewoman (as portrayed by Amy Correia) and ends in outerspace."

All bass parts on "Carbon-Based Anatomy" were recorded by one-time CYNIC bassist Sean Malone.

CYNIC last year parted ways with bassist Robin Zielhorst and guitarist Tymon Kruidenier due to the "logistical challenges of maintaining a band that is half
based in The Netherlands and the other half in the United States"
(drummer Sean Reinert and Masvidal live in California).

CYNIC last fall completed Decibel magazine's inaugural Hall Of Fame tour. Historic in every sense, the trek, dubbed "Re-Traced / Re-Focused Live", saw the band performing Hall Of Fame album "Focus" in its entirety, along with tracks from the group's lauded second album, "Traced in Air", and more. Direct support came from progressive masters INTRONAUT and DYSRHYTHMIA.

In May 2010, CYNIC released "Re-Traced", featuring reinterpretations of four songs from the group's critically acclaimed "Traced In Air" album as well as a previously unreleased song.

THRESHOLD Begins Recording New Album

British progressive metallers THRESHOLD have entered Thin Ice Studios (DRAGONFORCE, PENDRAGON) in Surrey, England to begin recording their ninth album. "We've got
about 75 minutes of music at the moment so there's plenty to do," said
keyboard player Richard West, who is producing the CD alongside guitarist Karl Groom. "I'm very pleased with the way this album is coming together," added Groom. "It is particularly good to see contributions in writing from more bandmembers."

THRESHOLD's new album marks the return of the band's original vocalist Damian Wilson (HEADSPACE, STAR ONE) who rejoined the group in 2007 following the departure of Andrew "Mac" McDermott, who sadly passed away in August.

THRESHOLD's previous studio album, "Dead Reckoning", was released in 2007 and featured guest vocals by Dan Swanö (NIGHTINGALE, BLOODBATH). The CD entered the charts at position 64 in Germany, 95 in The Netherlands and 37 in the U.K. (rock chart).

THRESHOLD's new CD will be released in early 2012 through Nuclear Blast Records.


Damian Wilson - Vocals
Karl Groom - Guitar
Richard West - Keyboards
Johanne James - Drums
Steve Anderson - Bass
Pete Morten - Guitar


Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Official NEARfest Press Release
October 12, 2011


We are very happy to announce that the North East Art Rock Festival will return in 2012. Over the last several months, we have thoroughly discussed what it would take for another edition of NEARfest to become a reality. This was new ground for us, so we took our time, had long, heart-felt conversations, and even put feelers out to bands we thought would make for a solid lineup – one worthy of NEARfest's legacy and, more importantly, the expectations of the progressive rock community whom has been so unbelievable supportive over the years.

Scheduled for June 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, 2012, NEARfest will once again be staged in beautiful Baker Hall at Lehigh University's Zoellner Arts Center in Bethlehem, PA. We are very happy to be able to continue wonderful relationships with both the concert venue and the host hotel, the Comfort Suites Bethlehem. We will also once again be join forces with the Bethlehem Brew Works to create a delicious one-off beer for NEARfest weekend.

So now the question is: "Who will be playing?!" Well, we can't tell you quite yet, though we are working on finalizing the lineup as we speak. We are also working on some other cool ideas for the weekend's festivities. Once we have o's umlauted and eyes crossed, we will reveal the bands... and not before. So you still have time to debate who might be playing.

We are glad to be able to bring NEARfest back and we hope you will join us next June. As always, be sure to visit us online at for all the latest information and where you can join our Yahoo mailing list, mingle with us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and participate in the discussion forum.

Stay tuned for further updates!

Very sincerely,

Chad Hutchinson
Rob LaDuca
Kevin Feeley

Monday, October 10, 2011

MIKE PORTNOY: Seeing DREAM THEATER Go On Without Me 'Breaks My Heart'

Drummer Mike Portnoy (ADRENALINE MOB, DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD) was interviewed on the latest episode of VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show", which premiered on Saturday, October 8. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On what led to his departure from DREAM THEATER:

"The quick Reader's Digest version is, like any musician will tell you, being in a band like being in a marriage, but actually, being in a band is like four marriages —
you're not married to one person, you're married to four people. So,
like any marriage, you go through bumps. I'll just say that I think we
could have used a break. 'Cause 25 years without a break is a long time. I can't name any bands that have been together 25 years — boom, boom,
boom, write-record-tour, write-record-tour — without taking a break. And I love the guys — we're brothers, and it was really hard for me to even suggest it. But I love the baby — DREAM THEATER is my baby, it's my child — but sometimes a marriage stays together for the sake of the
child and not necessarily the sake of the relationship. I'll always love the baby; I guess I kind of fell out of love with a couple of the
wives. But I just wanna say that I didn't wanna leave the band. I said,
'Look, 25 years is a long time. Let's just take a year or two and then
come back together.' The fans would be excited, we would be refreshed.
And they didn't wanna wait. So I either had to go unwillingly and start
the next record or step aside."

On whether his involvement with AVENGED SEVENFOLD played a role in his decision to leave DREAM THEATER:

"No. Well, that could have played into [the other members of DREAM THEATER] not wanting to wait anymore, but the fact of the matter is when I was playing with AVENGED, DREAM THEATER had just finished up 14 months [of touring], and after a 14-month tour, we'll always take a few months off. But I was talking about a year or
so. And AVENGED played no part in my decision. To be completely
honest, I had been thinking about it for awhile. And the writing was
kind of on the wall, internally. There were two moments of clarity for
me that happened before this went down that I knew maybe it was time for a break. One was I was out one night in New York with you guys
[referring to 'That Metal Show' hosts Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson. — Ed.]. I was out when FOZZY played. We were out, we went and saw [FOZZY singer Chris] Jericho, our good friend, and the AVENGED guys were there with us that night, and the ANTHRAX guys were there, and Vinnie Paul [PANTERA, HELLYEAH drummer] was there, we went out for dinner with Jericho and Bumblefoot [GUNS N' ROSES guitarist], the ZO2 guys… I remember going for dinner with all these guys — you guys and Jericho and the ANTHRAX guys. I looked around and I said [to myself], 'None of the DREAM THEATER guys really know any of these people who are, like, my best friends.'
And I was, like, 'Man, I guess I've really grown apart. I have a whole
different circle that I move in.' And the other moment was, it was the
very last show of the DREAM THEATER tour, we were in Tokyo. We
had just spent 14 months on the road. It was the last show of the tour
and we had a band and crew dinner at the hotel after the show. And we
were all feeling sentimental — it's the end of the run; the band and the crew, everyone's tight — and without naming names, one of the
bandmembers showed up to dinner with headphones and iPod and sat at the
entire dinner listening to his iPod rather than socializing with us. And I said to myself, 'Something's gotta change.' I thought the band
needed a shakeup, I just didn't think it was gonna be removing myself
that was gonna do it."

On whether there is any chance at all of him going back to DREAM THEATER one day:

Whether or not that will happen, I don't know. It's up to them, really.
I would absolutely love to be reunited with the guys in a couple of
years, but you know, who knows what's gonna happen with them right now?!
So, really, it's up to them and where they go. In the meantime, I
really don't want people to think that I'm lingering on this; I'm only
answering it because you've asked me. . . It's been difficult for me to
even talk about this. And people think… 'cause there'll be Blabbermouth headlines… I'll pour out my heart and soul trying to explain this so
people understand, and yet these web sites will reduce it to a shocking
blurb and just trying to strike up controversy. The reality is, this is a heartbreaking thing for and I miss and love those guys, and that was my band for 25 years. So it's a hard thing for me to stand and see
[them carrying on] without me. I used to joke with those guys all the
time. I was like, 'Guys, if I die in a plane crash, don't go on without
me. Don't say, 'He would have wanted us to continue.'' I used to say,
'That's basically saying, 'Well, he's completely replaceable.' So I used to joke about that all the time. So now when I see a DREAM THEATER without me, I've gotta be honest — it breaks my heart. There's the Blabbermouth blurb right there. Oh, God, I'm doomed. Oh, man."