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. Continue reading
As we dash towards the holidays and the end of the year Ghost Cult is feeling good about this season of giving. So we are giving our fans a chance to get to know our partners, peers, and friends from bands in the world of music. They will chime in with some guest blogs, end of year lists, and whatever else is on their minds as we pull the plug on 2015. Today we have Joseph Spiller of progressive metal band Caricature. Caricature put out the acclaimed Shadows: Maxi Single this summer have a full-length in the works for 2016. Here is Joseph’s “Most Topesty Cool Favorite Releases of 2015”.
1. Tigran Hamsayan – Mockroot
How often can an album tote a definite influence of Meshuggah, Dave Brubeck, Keith Jarret, and Porcupine Tree? Add on top that this is still a pure jazz record? Pfffft. This is the sound of someone furthering and redefining a genre.
2. Fetty Wap – Fetty Wap
Yeah, before anyone says it sucks because it’s not metal, listen to this record. Fetty is all hits, all the time. Zoogang knows how to make pop hooks as if it’s in their DNA.
3. Steven Wilson – Hand.Cannot.Erase
Backing band of the century along with the golden god of Prog. Though it gets overly self-indulgent from time to time, Hand.Cannot.Erase is absolutely stunning.
4. Psycroptic – Psycroptic
Do you even riff, Bro? Joe Haley most definitely does.
5. Ghost – Meliora
I never got the hype on this band. I actually disliked almost everything prior to Meliora, but goddamn, did Papa bring that A-game with this heavily Dave Grohl “inspired” record.
6. Abigail Williams – The Accuser
Who doesn’t love a good comeback? Possibly the best thing Ken Sorceron has ever done. Crushing and beautiful with rich song structures. BUY THIS RECORD NOW!
7. Lamb of God – VII: Sturm Und Drang
After all that went on with Randy, the band came back and tell that tale along with snapshot a troubled time in the world perfectly. The riffs and drumming on this record are some of their best to date, and Josh Wilbur killed it on the production side.
8. Baroness – Purple Record
Another “Comeback Record” of sorts. Stronger, more refined, defined. The mesh of only the finest points of Yellow & Green mixed lush instrumentation and what sounds like an intense infatuation with The Cure. This one has it all.
9. Ellie Goulding – Delirium
Though not an immensely technical singer, Goulding has a golden voice. The slight raspiness and harmonically rich tambre makes me envious. This album is LONG for the pop genre, but its all top quality with fantastic hooks meshed with smooth beats and tranquil melodies.
10. Solution .45 – Nightmares In The Waking State
If you don’t know who this band is, we probably cannot be friends. GROOVES
EXTREMELY HONORABLE MENTION:
I’ll be Me – Soundtrack
The delayed release of the soundtrack to the documentary about the legendary guitar player, singer, songwriter, and former member of The Wrecking Crew, Glen Campbell, who has been battling Alzheimer’s Disease for the past few years. This has two live songs from his final tour that will blow your mind considering his state, along with songs from his daughter that will make you cry while your heart flutters. The title track, penned by Mr. Campbell himself as a final letter to his wife and family will give you goosebumps (unless you don’t have a heart.
Progressive music giant Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree, Blackfield, Storm Corrosion) released his new album Hand. Cannot. Erase. (Kscope) back in March, it was a further exploration of storytelling in his art, but on a grander scale. No stranger to putting down amazing concept albums, Wilson’s best recorded work feels like a book; it envelopes you and you cannot put it down. Touring the USA, Wilson’s performances are always a marvel of high musicianship and class. He has a first class touring band behind him as well consisting of Nick Beggs (bass), Adam Holzman (keyboard), Guthrie Govan (guitar), David Kilminster (guitar) and Craig Blundell (drums). Stopping off at the Mesa Arts Center in Arizona, the band played the new album in its entirety, as well as some Porcupine Tree cuts such as ‘Lazarus’ and ‘Sleep Together’. Closing out with the title track from The Raven That Refused To Sing, Wilson left the stage with the audience enthralled. Shot here by Melina Dellamarggio of Melina D Photography, we get to peek into a window of what the performance felt like in person:
After years of following an artist, there is a tendency to feel they may have reached their zenith point, it’s hard to imagine them bettering that effort, or even better creating something entirely new altogether you haven’t heard before. This is the curious case of prog-rock’s modern professor Steven Wilson. His 2013 album The Raven That Refused To Sing (Kscope) was a darkly progressive rock/gothic nightmare musical come to life and one of my favorites in this decade. In typical Wilson fashion, it was achingly gorgeous and not at all pretentious. That’s a hard trick to pull off in this genre, even for the great ones, which he certainly qualifies for inclusion in that rare air. For his new album Hand. Cannot. Erase. (Kscope) he has managed to explore new ground, yet maintain the essence of what defines his art.
Musically the album is a tour de force. Again teamed with incredible players to flesh out his vision, Wilson and crew run the gamut from progressive rock spectacle, gentile pop sensitivity, tone-poems with funky beats, and even the occasional aggressive section to get the blood boiling and the goose-flesh all prickly. From Moog solos from out of 1975, to pastoral backing vocals, and breathy woodwinds, the chops on all the tracks are tight. The lead cut ‘First Regret – 3 Years Older’ is a “kitchen sink” affair with all the sound elements you come to expect here. The title cut is a triumph in every way that never needs to roar to be felt and understood. I half expected ‘Perfect Life’ to be an interlude, but it grows into a complete song by its end. ‘Routine’ is as good a ballad as we’ve heard in a long-time. ‘Home Invasion – Regret #9’ has an amazing stutter-step riff and some other motifs that could have been from lost ELP or Yes songs. ‘Transience’ with its madrigal lilt and ‘Ancestral’, falling back to a trip-hop world sinewy vocals and flute licks are polar opposites, but together they are mighty. The final piece, entitled ‘Happy Returns’ marks the end of the album and deals with the finality death, but manages to sound sunny in disposition and philosophy.
Where The Raven… was mysterious and downright grave emotionally, the new album is poignant and uplifting almost all the way through. Even in somber moments, the songs have an underlying feeling of hopefulness that defies the melancholy. Another concept album in his repertoire, this one is based on the true and tragic story of Joyce Vincent, 38, who died at home and went undiscovered for two years. The themes of each song are specific enough to the tale, but have a universal message in each one for the listener. Like Tom Waits or Peter Gabriel before him, Wilson is a master delivering the unbridled beast of a song in a beautiful package, ready to be explored. And we’re always ready to learn from the master.
Progressive rock and metal legend Steven Wilson has dropped further details of his upcoming opus Hand. Cannot. Erase. (Kscope) on March 3rd. In addition to his astounding solo career, Wilson is best known for his band Porcupine Tree, Blackfield, and his frequent collaborations with Opeth, as well as being an in demand producer, and re-mastering genius of classic rock and prog albums.
Wilson has announced that the second leg of his upcoming tour will see him cover the USA and Canada.
The 2nd leg of Steven Wilson’s 2015 ‘Hand Cannot Erase Tour’ will cover the United States and Canada. For more information about the tour including dates and where to buy tickets, please visit here –http://stevenwilsonhq.com/sw/tour-dates/
You can pre-order Steven Wilson’s new album “Hand Cannot Erase” here –http://smarturl.it/HandCannotErase
“We are currently developing a show that I hope will raise the bar both musically and visually from previous tours, with a set list based around the new album, as well as casting the net further back into my songwriting past for a few surprises” – Steven Wilson
Thursday, May 21 Albany, NY The Egg
Friday, May 22 Boston, MA Berklee Performance Center
Saturday, May 23 Harrisburg, PA The Whitaker
Tuesday, May 26 Washington, DC 930 Club
Thursday, May 28 Philadelphia, PA Keswick Theater
Friday, May 29 New York, NY Best Buy Theater
Saturday, May 30 New York, NY Best Buy Theater
Thursday, June 04 Chicago, IL Park West
Friday, June 05 Chicago, IL Park West
Saturday, June 06 Madison, WI Barrymore Theater
Tuesday, June 09 Denver, CO Boulder Theater
Friday, June 12 Anaheim, CA The Grove
Saturday, June 13 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern
Sunday, June 14 San Francisco, CA The Warfield
Tuesday, June 16 Portland, OR Aladdin Theater
Wednesday, June 17 Seattle, WA Neptune Theater
Friday, June 26 Toronto The Danforth Music Hall Canada
Saturday, June 27 Montréal Montréal Jazz Festival Canada