Thursday, April 24, 2014

URIAH HEEP To Release New Album 'Outsider' In June

Progressive rock legends URIAH HEEP will release their new album, "Outsider", in June via Frontiers Records.
URIAH HEEP's one-off show at Koko, in Camden, London, England on March 4 wwas filmed and released as a live DVD on Frontiers Records in later 2014/early 2015. As well as a host of HEEP classics, the set also included some new songs that will appear on the upcoming CD, following 2011's "Into the Wild", which was the band's highest-charting album since the 1970s in worldwide territories.
Fans attending the show also got a chance of being filmed themselves, not only as part of the audience, but also for some special bonus features to be included on the DVD.
2014 is set to be yet another big one for Mick Box and the band as they prepare to release the new material, and, of course, keep on touring; HEEP has been round the world several times in the last 24 months visiting South Africa, Australia, Asia, North America, South America and East and West Russia. The band headlined the first-ever Planet Rock Stock in December.
HEEP will play the prestigious Sweden Rock Festival in the summer.

The Koko show followed a set of intimate U.K. February dates.

OPETH: Fan-Filmed Video Footage Of ROADBURN Performance

Fan-filmed video footage of OPETH' April 11 performance at the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, The Netherlands can be seen below.
OPETH will release its eleventh studio album, "Pale Communion", on June 17 via Roadrunner Records.
"Pale Communion", which was produced by the band's very own Mikael Åkerfeldt and mixed by longtime collaborator and PORCUPINE TREE frontman/guitarist Steven Wilson, will be preceded by the lead single "Cusp of Eternity" and available for pre-order starting Tuesday, May 6. Pre-orders for "Pale Communion" made via the iTunes Store will receive an instant download of "Cusp Of Eternity", with multiple configurations also available via both the Roadrunner Records webstore and O Merch.
"Pale Communion" track listing:
01. Eternal Rains Will Come
02. Cusp Of Eternity
03. Moon Above, Sun Below
04. Elysian Woes
05. Goblin
06. River
07. Voice Of Treason
08. Faith In Others
In a recent interview with Noisey, Åkerfeldt stated about "Pale Communion": "Normally when I start writing for a record, I'm a bit nervous. You don't know whether or not you're going to be able to come up with something that you like or come up with something at all, to be honest. I was inspired because pretty early on, I wrote a song on the new album — the last song on there, which I ended up being really happy with. So I had some type of guidelines which was more melody, I think."
He continued: "[2011's] 'Heritage' was somewhat deliberately fucked up all over the place because I love fucked-up-all-over-the-place-type music, but I wanted to do something more melodic with this album, so there's stronger vocal melodies and more melodies overall for this album. I was pretty consistent with that frame of mind throughout the writing process, so at least I had a plan with this album, and I normally don't, to be honest."
Mikael added in a separate interview with Metal Assault: "['Pale Communion' is] the next album, so I guess it's closer to ['Heritage'] than, say, the first album. But I'd like to think there's an upgraded sound, and by that I don't mean a modern sound. We were looking at some of the late '70s and early '80s production, and that's what we were going for sound-wise and it's one of the reasons why we ended up recording at Rockfield Studios in Wales, which is a legendary studio where many of our favorite bands recorded. So, musically, I guess you could say it's similar to 'Heritage', but I'd like to think it's more hard rock and metal sounding. We also have something new that we didn't have before in certain songs. I don't really know what it is, which I like. I like to either recognize our sound or to hear something completely new, and I think we have both on the new album."

Asked if he thinks if it would be fair to say that people who liked "Heritage" will like this new album as much as, or even more than, the last OPETH CD, Mikael said: "Yeah, I hope so. I hope everybody will like it, of course. I think it's probably a bit easier to get into because it's a bit more melodic. There's definitely more attention to melodies and I wouldn't say it's an easy-listening album at all, but there's more melody than ever before, not just 'Heritage'. I'm hoping that people who liked 'Heritage' will like this one too and also fans who liked the old shit will hopefully like this one as well, and may be some new fans. You never know."

THE WINERY DOGS: Listen To Live Version Of 'Criminal' From Special Edition of Debut Album

THE WINERY DOGS — the power trio featuring drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB), legendary bassist Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, TALAS, DAVID LEE ROTH) and guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON) — will release two new special versions of its self-titled debut album.

Set for release on April 15, "The Winery Dogs Special Edition" will consist of two-CDs. Disc 1 is the standard album and Disc 2 is entitled "Unleashed In Japan 2013", featuring 10 songs recorded live in Japan during the band's July 2013 tour, including "Criminal", a track previously unavailable in the U.S., along with a 16-page booklet of live photos and lyrics. A deluxe package for die-hard fans will be released simultaneously. "Dog Treats: The Winery Dogs Deluxe Special Edition" will be sold in a box resembling a box of dog treats, and will include the "Special Edition" collection of music, a DVD featuring four music videos and interview footage, demos from the original recording sessions, a "studio diary" written by Mike Portnoy, as well as some unique merchandise unavailable elsewhere.
The aforementioned live version of "Criminal" can be streamed using the SoundCloud widget below.

THE WINERY DOGS' self-titled debut album sold around 10,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released in North America on July 23, 2013 via Loud & Proud Records and in Japan on May 15, 2013 via Victor Entertainment, the CD was mixed by Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX, ADRENALINE MOB, STONE SOUR and STEEL PANTHER.
"Bands like [LED] ZEPPELIN and THE WHO, THE [ROLLING] STONES, and THE BEATLES, CREAM, and [Jimi] Hendrix. I mean, I grew up with that stuff," Portnoy told Voice Of America. "And, although I've been able to pay tribute to it throughout my career with tribute bands and things like that, I've never been in an all-original band that was kind of playing classic rock power trio stuff. That's how I describe this band: just a straight-up rock band."
Regarding the songwriting process for THE WINERY DOGS' album, Portnoy said: "In all cases, the music was the very first element and from there, Richie would start melodies on top of it. Sometimes the final lyrics were there, coming up on the spot, and other times he would take the melodies and write lyrics later. There were a couple of examples of Richie having something and bringing it in. In those cases, like 'Damaged' and 'Regret', we just left them. Because in those two particular cases, the songs were great as they were."

Portnoy was full of praise for his THE WINERY DOGS bandmates, telling Voice Of America: "Billy Sheehan is my favorite bass player on earth and he has been for almost 30 years now. So to work with him and make music with him for me is an honor. And Richie is someone I have the utmost respect for as an artist. I mean, he is just so underappreciated, not only as a guitarist, but as a singer and a writer as well. I think for me, the most exciting aspect of this band is for people to discover Richie that aren't aware of what a musical genius he is."

Bob Moog Exhibition "Switched-On: The Birth of the Moog Synthesizer" Debuts

Switched-On: The Birth of the Moog Synthesizer
The History Center in Tompkins County Debuts 
Bob Moog Exhibition 

Bob Moog and Jonathan Weiss, mid-1960s 
Click for larger image
Ithaca, NY - April 2014... The History Center in Tompkins County, in partnership with the Bob Moog Foundation, has announced the opening of the exhibition Switched-On: The Birth of the Moog Synthesizer.

Illustrating the story of Dr. Robert Moog and the creation and evolution of the groundbreaking electronic instruments bearing his name, Switched-On: The Birth of the Moog Synthesizer provides museum visitors with a wide-ranging, interactive insight into Dr. Moog's inventions and the creative process behind their design and development. 

Based on interviews with family members, colleagues, and contemporaries, including Herbert Deutsch, Bernie Worrell, Shirleigh Moog, David Borden, and many more, the exhibition provides a unique view into the creative genius of Bob Moog, one of the founding fathers of modern electronic music. With rare Moog instruments such as a vacuum tube theremin, a Trumansburg-era Minimoog, and one of only three R. A. Moog Company PMS-15 amplifiers ever sold, Switched-On: The Birth of the Moog Synthesizer will be the first major exhibition on Bob Moog and Moog Synthesizers to occur in the region, and will run through May 31st, 2015.
R A Moog Co PMS-15 Amplifier  Click for larger image

Robert Moog came to Ithaca, NY in 1957 to begin his PhD work at Cornell University. He founded the R.A. Moog, Co. in the late 1950s, selling theremins and theremin kits throughout Ithaca. In 1963, Moog opened a storefront for his small factory in nearby Trumansburg, NY. It was there that the Moog modular synthesizer and the iconic Minimoog were born. The factory grew to become a mainstay in the region until Moog sold the company in 1971, and the new owners moved it to Williamsville, NY.

Switched-On: The Birth of the Moog Synthesizer tells the story of Moog's Trumansburg years, through the oral histories of those who knew him, worked with him, and shared his path in shaping a revolution in sound, technology, and music.

More information on the exhibition can be found at

Dutch Rock Legends FOCUS Release New Album 'Golden Oldies' On April 14, 2014

Dutch Rock Legends FOCUS Release New Album 'Golden Oldies' On April 14, 2014

London, UK – Dutch rock legends Focus will be releasing their eagerly awaited new album on April 14, 2014. Titled 'Golden Oldies', the new release features re-recordings of classic Focus tracks, featuring “Hocus Pocus”, “Sylvia”, “House Of The King” and others. Focus has recently embarked on a world tour in support of their forthcoming album.

Thijs Van Leer explains, “Producing 'Golden Oldies' is tricky. Both the die hard Fans and the 2014 Focus-members were having doubts about this enterprise, because we didn't know if the recent recordings would match the original material, notwithstanding the fact that we had so much fun in doing the session, quick, romantic, virtuoso, full of funny moments & profoundness; But... the final mix turns out to be fantastic and we all are proud to release this album at our earliest convenience!! Halleluya!!!”

With their unique brand of progressive rock, Focus manifested themselves at the start of the '70s as the most successful and appreciated of all the Dutch pop-rock exports. Fronted by founding member Thijs Van Leer, and best known for their hits “Hocus Pocus”, “House of The King” and “Sylvia”, the iconic Dutch music masters are back with their new album, which is guaranteed to please their legions of fans!

After a comeback in the early 2000's, the band has gone from strength to strength, with their last studio album 'Focus X' still receiving considerable support from music fans across multiple genres. Along with Thijs van Leer on vocals, flute and keyboards, back on the drums is beloved Focus drummer Pierre van der Linden, who joined the group on their second album 'Moving Waves' in 1972.

Internationally renowned for his rhythmic skills, Pierre remains a defining factor in the Focus sound. Bassist Bobby Jacobs, who comes from a well-acclaimed Dutch musical family and guitarist Menno Gootjes, who participated in Focus at an earlier stage, complete the band's current line-up.

Most recently, the group's 1972 worldwide hit “Hocus Pocus” was featured in the major motion picture 'Robocop' starring Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton.

GEOFF TATE And Former Bandmates Reach 'Amicable' QUEENSRŸCHE Settlement

QUEENSRŸCHE guitarist Michael Wilton has confirmed that singer Geoff Tate — who was fired from the Seattle progressive rock band in 2012 after fronting it for three decades — and his former bandmates have reached a settlement in their legal battle over the rights to the group's name.
Speaking to the Allentown Music Examiner, Wilton was asked when fans can expect a resolution of the legal case involving the two versions of QUEENSRŸCHE. "That's coming up," Wilton said. "What I can say is that both sides have reached an amicable settlement and it's now just a matter of time. There will be an official press release, but for now, you'll have to wait."
Wilton also revealed that the Todd La Torre-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE is continuing work on material for the follow-up to last year's self-titled effort. "We've already begun the process for the next album," he said. "We have probably six songs demoed so far. We're taking it in a direction suited to what we do as QUEENSRŸCHE but maybe a little more progressive and heavier. The thing is, you never know what you really have until it's complete. It's like carving a piece of clay and seeing how it turns out. You peel off the layers until you get to something really cool."
Tate and his wife, Susan, QUEENSRŸCHE's former manager, filed a lawsuit in June 2012 asking the judge to award them the rights to the band's name in exchange for Tate paying Eddie Jackson (bass), Michael Wilton (guitar) and Scott Rockenfield (drums) the fair market value for their interests in the QUEENSRŸCHE companies. Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson filed a countersuit against the Tates in which they accused Geoff of creative obstruction and violent behavior, and Susan Tate of questionable business practices.
While ruling against Tate, the presiding judge determined that there was no legal hurdle in Tate also using the name with an all-new lineup of musicians. "I don't see any reason that Mr. Tate can't have the benefit, if he gets other members, of whatever name he uses of using the brand," Superior Court Judge Carol A. Schapira said during the July 13, 2012 court hearing. "I think [doing that would be] inherently confusing, although I'm sure the market can get these things sorted out," she added.
Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson last year accused Geoff Tate of "continu[ing] to harm the QUEENSRŸCHE brand" since the Tates' original lawsuit was filed in June 2012. In a court document, they wrote: "The newest self-titled QUEENSRŸCHE CD release by the [Todd La Torre-fronted version of the band] entered the U.S. charts at #23 and continues to get 9-out-of-10-star reviews and is still selling very well on a weekly basis around the globe. In comparison, Geoff Tate released his own QUEENSRŸCHE CD in April of [2013] titled 'Frequency Unknown' and depicted as F.U. on the cover, which entered the charts at #82, received very bad reviews around the world, and has slowed to almost no more weekly sales. [The Todd La Torre-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE's] new CD even outperformed the last two CDs of them with Geoff Tate, selling more in a month than the 'Dedicated to Chaos' CD has since its release in 2010, and charting much better than both that album and the previous one, 'American Soldier'. Thus, the return to the classic sound [Tate's former] bandmates have made with the new CD and live shows has been met with overwhelming success."
They added: "Geoff Tate also chose very poorly in hiring live musicians that have shown that they are not capable of representing the correct performances of the QUEENSRŸCHE music legacy, and he was constantly replacing them. He has been offering his low-quality version of QUEENSRŸCHE to the promoters at a much reduced rate, as low as $10,000 per night, when, in fact, [his former] bandmates have done their best to keep the authorized QUEENSRŸCHE at an average of well over $20,000 per show this entire year. However, this becomes harder and harder with Geoff Tate's sub-par band and cut-rate pricing that continues to be damaging to the QUEENSRŸCHE brand and legacy no matter who ultimately wins control after trial."
In an interview with The Oakland Press, Rockenfield said said that "negotiations are ongoing between Tate and the singer's former bandmates and "there's still time for anything to happen between now and [the start of the trial]."

"I think our confidence is pretty high," Scott said. "There's a lot of legal stuff you have to deal with, but we just feel good and look at it as a light at the end of the tunnel and keep playing shows and making music. I think when you do that, the right decision will be made in time."

International Prog Ensemble Sontaag To Release Epic Space Opera

International Prog Ensemble Sontaag To Release Epic Space Opera

In the grand tradition of high concept progressive rock comes an epic cross-media hybrid where cerebral science fiction meets visceral rock ‘n’ roll. Sontaag’s eponymous debut album has been described as ‘the space opera that Pink Floyd never wrote’, ‘a modern-day Tubular Bells’, ‘a prog-rock War Of The Worlds’, but no reference point or sound-bite nails its seamless combination of space rock, narrative spoken word, and evocative ambience quite as neatly as ‘sonic cinema’. Recorded in New York City and London, co-produced and mixed by Youth (Killing Joke, The Fireman) for Big Life Management, ‘Sontaag’ is a stunning and immersive listening experience. An evolutionary progression combining cutting edge sounds with classic dynamics, adapting the rock experience for today’s digital environment.

Arriving in a landscape where music, books and movies often co-exist on a single handheld device, ‘Sontaag’ represents a seamless fusion of the finest elements of all three.

Sontaag features Richard Sontaag (composition, instruments, concept, co-production) and Ian Fortnam (story, lyrics, voice, concept).

‘Sontaag’ is a cross-generic space rock grand opera: a transcontinental project fast-tracking contemporary music into a cinematic future by refusing to recognize boundaries geographic or stylistic. Imagine stratosphere-scraping Pink Floyd dynamism powered beyond the boundaries and constraints of gravity by the propulsive sonic energy of a visionary Youth production job; a Star Wars saga psychedelicized by the vivid ambient shades of an Orb sound palette.

Sontaag is evolving rock for the cybernautic age and the digital environment by adapting and applying audio-visual and spoken word elements holistically, progressively… super-sonically.

Voyage beyond trad-rock constraints, shame faux modernity with inclusive, multi-dimensional progression and embrace the ever-expanding horizons of cyber-sonic possibility.

Pucker up and kiss… the apocalypse.

SONTAAG: “Sontaag”
Esoteric Antenna EANTCD 1031
Released: 28th April 2014

1. Empyrean
2. The Great Harmodulator
3. Spaceshifter
4. Harmodulation
5. Minor Keys of Anguished Weeping
6. Serena Serenarum
7. Sorush
8. Interstellar Genocide
9. Chokuto
10. Glissandor
11. The Skull-Scraping Caterwaul
12. Aftershock
13. Memoria Tenere

SONTAAG on the internet:

Tim Bowness reveals details of 'Abandoned Dancehall Dreams'

Tim Bowness reveals details of 'Abandoned Dancehall Dreams' plus UK tour dates  

Tim Bowness
recently revealed he had signed to InsideOutMusic for the release of his forthcoming second solo album 'Abandoned Dancehall Dreams' on the 23rd June 2014. The record will be released as Limited edition 2CD Digipak, 180g Gatefold LP (incl. album on CD) & digital download and the beautiful cover art can be found above.

The full track-listing is as follows: 
1.    The Warm-Up Man Forever
2.    Smiler At 50
3.    Songs Of Distant Summers
4.    Waterfoot
5.    Dancing For You
6.    Smiler At 52
7.    I Fought Against The South
8.    Beaten By Love

Bonus Disc  
1. There Were Days (Smiler At 52, Grasscut Mix)
2. Sounds Of Distant Summers (Songs Of Distant Summers, Richard Barbieri Mix)
3. Singing For You (Dancing For You, UXB Mix)

4. Abandoned Dancehall Dream
5. The Sweetest Bitter Pill
6. The Warm-Up Man Forever (Band Version)
7. Songs Of Distant Summers Part 1 (BandVersion)
8. Songs Of Distant Summers Part 2 (Band Version)

Tim has also announced two UK shows for July where he will perform with his band Henry Fool, playing tracks from the new solo album, as well as No-Man and Henry Fool material. Those dates can be found below:

11th July - Borderline, London TICKETS:

12th July - The Wesley Centre, Maltby TICKETS:

'Abandoned Dancehall Dreams' was produced by Bowness and mixed by Steven Wilson. It also features performances from Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree), Anna Phoebe (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) and members of the No-Man live band (Stephen Bennett, Michael Bearpark, Pete Morgan, Steven Wilson, Andrew Booker and Steve Bingham).

Tim Bowness is primarily known as vocalist/co-writer with the band No-Man, a long-running collaboration with Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree). In addition to releasing six studio albums and a documentary DVD with No-Man, Tim has worked with popular Italian artist Alice, Robert Fripp, Hugh Hopper (Soft Machine), OSI and Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera (amongst many others), and is a member of the bands Henry Fool and Memories Of Machines.