Thursday, February 14, 2013


Season Of Mist has announced the signing of Australian progressive extreme metallers NE OBLIVISCARIS. The band stands on its own by infusing its metal with western art
music, jazz, and flamenco. With adventurous, progressive and nuanced
compositions often exceeding ten minutes in length, NE OBLIVISCARIS adds profound depth to a musical proficiency which reaches the highest levels.

Said NE OBLIVISCARIS in a statement: "For us as a band, signing to Season Of Mist, one of the best independent metal labels in the world, a label which
roster includes some of our all time favorite bands and influences, is
quite surreal.

"We worked for many years to get our debut album, 'Portal Of I', out there for the world to hear and for its reception to have been so
overwhelmingly positive, and for a label like this to not only love our
music, but believe we can go places in the worldwide metal scene is
incredible. It is one of those things that just gives us even more
motivation to keep composing and performing and trying to take Ne
Obliviscaris as far as we can to as many people across the world as

"We're currently in the middle of writing our next
album with plans to record late 2013 and we can't wait to get it out
there to the world and take that next step in partnership with Season Of Mist."

NE OBLIVISCARIS has toured Australia alongside SOILWORK, SUFFOCATION, PSYCROPTIC and more. The band has also played several revered festivals like ProgPower, Bloodline and Sonic Forge.

With its first demo, "The Aurora Veil", in 2007, NE OBLIVISCARIS garnered significant word-of-mouth within the metal underground. Last year, their independently released debut album, "Portal Of I", showcased their unique array of influences and dynamic songwriting, and sent shockwaves through the metal underground once again.

Renowned Guitarist Steve Howe To Host 'Cross Styles Music Retreat' August 19-23 At Full Moon Resort In New York's Catskill Mountains


AUGUST 19-23

Renowned guitarist Steve Howe is set to host the first Cross Styles Music Retreat from August 19-23 at Full Moon Resort in the heart of the “Forever Wild” Catskill Forest Preserve, just one half hour west of Woodstock, New York. Guitar players of all ages, levels and styles are invited to join Steve Howe and other guest guitar instructors for this unique music camp--the first of its kind for the longtime Yes guitarist and founding guitarist for supergroup Asia. After a full day of activities, evenings at the retreat will culminate with intimate, once-in-a-lifetime jam sessions.

“This year I’m getting back to doing some solo dates, and the Cross Styles Music Retreat is an extension of that,” Steve explains. “I'll be enjoying the different things the event will demand of me, as opposed to just doing shows. It's a wider breadth of 'guitarness,' and it indulges me in my singular fascination--the guitar. Hopefully, my team and the audience can do a little mingling and learn more about each other.”

Throughout the Cross Styles Music Retreat, Steve will lead workshops that explore the development and technical aspects of his playing, writing, recording, and performing. Steve will also perform selected pieces, and discuss influences and experiences. A Q&A session and meet & greet are also planned. To complement the event, Steve will be joined by two other fine guitarists, Ray Matuza and Flavio Sala, who will each provide in depth advice and analysis to explore and learn from.

“As I'm self-taught and don't read music, I come at doing workshops from a different perspective than many who teach,” Steve adds. “I’ll be bringing my experience to the fore through performances, interactions with campers, and daily master classes.”

The camp’s itinerary and guests--including fingerstyle and jazz guitar aficionado Ray Matuza, Italian classical guitarist Flavio Sala, and Martin Guitar’s Dick Boak--reflect Steve’s own genre-bridging approach to the instrument.

From his early days in the late-‘60s London psychedelic scene to pioneering work with eminent prog-rockers Yes and Asia, countless collaborations, and nearly 20 solo albums, Steve Howe has embraced both acoustic and electric guitars--and fretted instruments of all varieties. Named Guitar Player magazine’s “Best Overall Guitarist” for five straight years from 1977-1981, Steve has expanded the boundaries of rock guitar over the past half-century, incorporating classical, jazz and country techniques into his writing and playing.

Ray Matuza brings over 35 years as a performer, educator and writer to the Cross Styles Music Retreat. In addition to work with Steve Howe, Ian McDonald (King Crimson, Foreigner) and others, Ray is a regular contributor to Fingerstyle 360 online guitar magazine, and an aficionado of fingerstyle and jazz techniques. Ray will offer workshops on finger exercises and scales, improvisation, practical use of harmony and chord construction, and methods of efficient practicing, as well as overseeing the daily jam sessions.

Internationally acclaimed classical guitarist Flavio Sala has toured and given master classes on four continents, and created and curates the annual International Web Music Talents competition. In his workshops, Flavio will introduce techniques and fingering for classical and flamenco guitar.

Dick Boak--author, guitar designer, and archivist for Martin Guitar--will offer an interactive history of the 180-year-old guitar company. He’ll be showcasing several important examples of instruments in the evolution of Martin acoustic guitars, including some from Martin’s priceless museum collection and some of the prototypes from Martin signature model collaborations with Steve Howe. His presentation will focus on Martin’s colorful history, the development of the modern acoustic guitar, Martin’s historical contributions to the definitive acoustic guitar design, artist signature model collaborations, and on specific guitar shapes, sizes and tonewoods that lend themselves to particular musical genres.

Additional guest instructors for the Cross Styles Music Retreat will be announced soon. For more information and to reserve your spot, go to:

Cross Styles Music Retreat offers a variety of pricing options, based on the variety of available accommodations. Packages are on sale now at, and start at just $1195, including lodging, access to all workshops, seminars, gourmet meals, performances, and camp activities.

All activities will be held at Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY, which features an eclectic array of comfortable, rustic country-inn accommodations as well as primitive camping. All accommodations are just steps away from daily camp activities. Guests can enjoy the spring-fed swimming pool, on-site access to the Esopus Creek, and explore the splendors of the Catskills on the nearby network of hiking trails. Dedicated to the celebration of nature, music and the arts, this one hundred-acre wonderland of mountains, fields, and streams is a world of its own.

Cross Styles Music Retreat is part of the successful Music Masters Camps Series ( held at Full Moon Resort.

Steve Howe
(photo by Glenn Gottlieb)


Lifeforce Records has announced the signing of Northern Californian progressive metal instrumentalists ABNORMAL THOUGHT PATTERNS. The band's new album, "Manipulation Under Anesthesia", will be released in the spring.

In 2008, Jasun Tipton (guitars and keys) wrote and recorded the 12-minute instrumental "Velocity And Acceleration", the track that would ultimately lead to the founding of ABNORMAL THOUGHT PATTERNS. Upon hearing the song, Troy Tipton (bass) expressed his desire to put together an instrumental band. The Tipton brothers looked no further than longtime drummer and friend Mike Guy to provide the rhythmic foundation for ABNORMAL THOUGHT PATTERNS. The three members then headed to the studio and tracked seven songs for CynNormal Lab Recordings.

Prior to forming ABNORMAL THOUGHT PATTERNS, the trio was for many years the backbone of prog-metal powerhouses ZERO HOUR, releasing five albums, including the landmark 2001 epic "The Towers Of Avarice". The band landed ZERO HOUR gigs alongside such notable bands as OPETH, CYNIC, SYMPHONY X, ALL THAT REMAINS, THE HUMAN ABSTRACT and LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT, in addition to multiple successful European tours and three appearances at America's premier progressive metal festival, ProgPower USA. The Tipton brothers have also been guest columnists on the popular guitar enthusiast web site Chops From Hell, and have released two instructional videos.

Commented Lifeforce Records CEO about the signing: "It is definitely not the easiest to go through a huge pile of demos and nothing can better describe it than what Season Of Mist founder Michael Berberian just recently said '...That’s the equivalent of Mordor — a dark place
where we don’t usually go unless we really have to.... However, I made
my way through and it was that not very substantially looking demo that
caught my attention after the first few tunes... Thank god (or whoever
was responsible for) that I listen through pretty much everything being
sent to Lifeforce... I'm still blown away by the sheer technicality these guys have in their fingers and I truly believe the Tiptons are guitar mutants! :)"

Added Jasun Tipton: "We'd like to thank Lifeforce for this awesome opportunity. The band is very pleased with the new material as 'Manipulation Under Anesthesia' is truly the thoughts and sounds of ABNORMAL THOUGHT PATTERNS."


Dutch classical guitarist Thomas Zwijsen's album "Nylon Maiden" will be released in Japan on March 27 via a new deal with King Records. The CD contains unique arrangements of IRON MAIDEN tracks on classical guitar.

The Japanese CD version of "Nylon Maiden" will contain two bonus tracks and the Japanese digital version will contain three bonus tracks.

"Nylon Maiden" Japanese version track listing:

01. Aces High
02. Rainmaker
03. The Trooper
04. Dance Of Death
05. Can I Play With Madness
06. Blood Brothers
07. The Clairvoyant
08. Wasting Love
09. Wasted Years
10. The Clansman (featuring Blaze Bayley)
11. The Talisman (featuring Tony Newton)

Bonus tracks:

12. Phantom Of The Opera
13. Run To The Hills

Extra bonus track digital download:

14. The Evil That Men Do

Zwijsen just finished a South American tour with Blaze Bayley (WOLFSBANE, IRON MAIDEN) and is currently on tour through Europe, promoting "Nylon Maiden" and their latest joint effort, "Russian Holiday". Later this year, Zwijsen and Bayley will tour in Australia.

Graphic Novel Artist Forms New Progressive Rock Project

Graphic novel artist forms new progressive rock project, After his art being commissioned by former members of King Crimson.

Specimen13Graphic novel artist and percussionist Denis Rodier has joined forces with ex-Talisma guitarist Martin Vanier to release their own progressive rock musical project called Specimen13.
On February 19, 2013, Specimen13 will release their debut EP Echosystem, which features guest performance from Levin and Mastelotto as well as progressive rock heavyweights Trey Gunn and Markus Reuter. Produced by Reuter and Unsung Productions, the EP also features Unsung artists Adrian Benavides and Alex Dowerk.
The initial EP features powerful eclectic Prog Rock similar to the contemporary stylings of Tool, Porcupine Tree, and the more recent works of King Crimson.
The release of Echosystem is the introductory phase of the Specimen13 project. To build on Vanier and Rodier’s creative synergy, the latter will add his years of graphic novel and visual art experience to take the project in multimedia directions.
Rodier has begun work on a complete graphic novel to accompany the project. The novel will be serialized on the web and plans to develop Web TV type videos to accompany the music are also on the table. Specimen13 is at work on a full length CD as well, which, more than likely, will feature the same team of all-star collaborators.
German prog rock site Babyblaue Seiten wrote of an early release copy of the EP: “Echosystem is …impressive. Industrial rhythms, jagged guitar riffs, powerful soundscapes, scratchy bass and Touch guitar runs whirl lively and powerful. Sounds are mixed up in quite a breathtaking manner. It is powerful, intricate, modern, entertaining progressive rock of the modern age.”
Rodier is a graphic novel author that has collaborated on some of the most popular American comic series in history, such as Batman, Captain America and above all, Superman. It was his work in these publications that earned him his greatest accolades, particularly the story of “The Death of Superman”, best seller and winner of numerous awards Since 2008 Denis has been busy on his own series L’Ordre des Dragons and L’Apogee des Dragons, published in Europe by Soleil Editions.

PAIN OF SALVATION announces North American tour dates

PAIN OF SALVATION announces North American tour dates

Photo credit: Linda Ã…kerberg

After several years of waiting, PAIN OF SALVATION is finally returning to North America! Check the dates below to see when the band will be coming to a city near you:

May 1st--West Springfield, VA @ Empire
May 2nd--White Marsh, MD @ House of Rock
May 4th--Gettysburg, PA @ Rosfest **PAIN OF SALVATION only**
May 5th--New York, NY @ The Marlin Room at Webster Hall
May 7th--Quebec City, QB @ Le Cercle
May 8th--Montreal, QB @ Foufounes Electriques
May 9th--Toronto, ON @ The Mod Club
May 10th--Chicago, IL @ Reggie's
May 11th--Minneapolis, MN @ Station 4

This tour will coincide with the band's upcoming album release via InsideOut Music, which features newly recorded acoustic versions of classic PAIN OF SALVATION songs. More details about this special album project will be announced soon, so stay tuned!

PAIN OF SALVATION's latest album, Road Salt Two, entered the official national charts in the following European countries upon its release in Fall 2011: Sweden #24, The Netherlands #82, Finland #31, and Norway #51 in its second week (first week was at #94). To purchase Road Salt Two, please visit CM Distro or iTunes.