The bastion of progressive, challenging and heavy music in the world, Kscope is celebrating ten years in business in 2018! Cheers! To help us celebrate, music industry veteran Simon Glacken of For The Lost PR has shared his favourite releases from the Kscope label.
For The Lost is a new PR company but I’ve had the pleasure of working with a large chunk of the Kscope roster since 2012 and so here some of my favourites releases from the label from the past decade.
Anathema – Distant Satellites
Released back in 2014 there were a lot of expectations for this record especially with it following the amazing and well received ‘Weather Systems’. Starting with tracks ‘ Lost Song Pt 1’ and ‘Pt 2’ was such an impactful way of opening an album. You can also hear the band gradually bringing in more electronica elements to their sound which would continue on last year’s The Optimist. The fact their fanbase is still growing after 30 years is a credit to the quality of music they are still able to put out.
TesseracT – Polaris
TesseracT are the rising stars of the progressive metal scene. Despite having released 4 albums they are still very much seen as future prospects and festival headliners in the metal world and they took another step by headlining the Dogtooth stage at Download this year. It’s exciting to think where they will be in the next 5 years. It was a tough call between this album and their latest ’Sonder’ but I sided with this one as Martin Grech makes a special appearance on the track ‘Hexes’.
Gleb Kolyadin – Gleb Kolyadin
Most people will know Gleb as the pianist from Russian progressive rock/chamber pop duo Iamthemorning but his debut self-titled album ended up being one of the biggest surprises of 2018 in the prog world. Featuring a ton of guests such as Gavin Harrison (King Crimson / Porcupine Tree), Nick Beggs (Steven Wilson), Steve Hogarth (Marillion) and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), there were high hopes for his album but I don’t think people expected it to be as good as it ended up being. I wouldn’t be surprised if it appears in a lot of prog fans’ end of year lists. Seeing him perform at the recent Kscope anniversary show last month with Steve Hogarth was magical too.
Mansun – Attack of the Grey Lantern
Back in 1997 when this album was released and reached number 1 I was only about 14 years old so getting to work on this re-issue in 2018 was a strange one to get my head round. The record sounded amazing when I first heard it all those years ago and it still holds up to this day. It’s definitely the first and only time I’ve worked on a re-issue of an album I listened to as a teenager unless Green Day plan on calling any time soon.
Godsticks – Faced with Rage
Probably one of the more underrated bands on the Kscope roster and their latest album ‘Faced with Rage’ was an all you can eat buffet of great riffs. They may also be one of greatest bands to emerge from Cardiff since Catatonia.
Ulver – Messe I.X–VI.X
Kscope seems like the perfect sort of label for a band such as Ulver whose sound have continued to evolve and change over the years. The music for this release was originally commissioned by Norway’s House of Culture back in 2012 and is rich in dark electronic, experimental soundscapes alongside a full symphony orchestra. Probably one of, if not the bleakest release ever on Kscope.
Steven Wilson – Hand.Cannot.Erase
It would seem a bit controversial to put together a list of the best albums of Kscope and not mention this chap. There are a lot of Steven Wilson/Porcupine Tree albums to choose from from the Kscope vaults but there are so many ridiculous moments of Hand.Cannot.Erase that I have to go with this one.
The Pineapple Thief – Your Wilderness
TPT are another Kscope band that continues to get bigger despite forming all the way back in 1999. This album saw drummer Gavin Harrison join the fold and his involvement has helped elevate the band on all levels and bring the best out of Bruce Soord and co. They just played their biggest UK show to date at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London.
Se Delan – The Fall
Se Delan is a lo-fi, new wave project from Crippled Black Phoenix members Justin Greaves and Swedish singer Belinda Kordic. There was also a sort of haunting country music feel to the album so hearing The Fall was a really pleasant surprise.
Wisdom of Crowds – Wisdom of Crowds
Wisdom of Crowds was a project from The Pineapple Thief’s Bruce Soord and Katatonia vocalist Jonas Renkse resulting in a spectacular debut album back in 2013. I was lucky enough to catch their only UK live performance at the 5th Kscope anniversary show at the Garage in London. Since then there has been talk of a follow-up album but as both men are so busy with their other bands, it’s hard to know if/when this might happen though fingers crossed it does.