Everyone’s perspective of what they enjoy while watching a live performance is subjective. Some like to have that big splash of energy being thrown at them, others simply like to watch a well-played performance by their favorite musicians. In rare cases, you get to have both moods in the same set, particularly when we talk about instrumental music and that is precisely what The Aristocrats bring in their latest live album Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. The trio composed of Marco Minnemann on drums, Guthrie Govan on guitars, and Bryan Beller on bass released a live album that showcases perfectly what is “The Aristocrats live experience” is. The combination of comical glimpses in their jamming sessions, lots of musical influences, and the extreme dexterity of each of the musicians in their instruments is the order of the day in their live performances and you can listen to all of this in this album.
It’s been twenty-two years since Liquid Tension Experiment, the Progressive Metal supergroup formed by Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic, The Winery Dogs) John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), and Tony Levin (King Crimson), released a record after their critically acclaimed album Liquid Tension 2 (Magna Carta). In this new album entitled LT3 (InsideOut Music) these musicians prove once again why they are part of the biggest bands in the genre and why they are considered to be among the best in their respective instruments and their craft.
Every album that Moonspell releases explores a different facet of their Gothic Metal style, sometimes responding to the one before it in a constant tug-o-war between darkness and light. Their thirteenth album, Hermitage (Napalm Records), is no exception. In contrast to the grandiose symphonics of 2018’s 1755, the band opts for a scaled-back, atmospheric approach with more Prog influence thrown in than usual. It seems to invoke the band’s early vibe without going full throwback and also reminds me of Tiamat or Opeth in spots.
It would be an understatement to say that Steven Wilson’s sixth full-length album continues down the more commercialized path that was established on 2017’s To The Bone. While that album has ultimately proved to be a simplified variation of its predecessors in hindsight, The Future Bites opts for a very different approach as the guitars are downplayed and Pop and Electronica influences completely take over. It’s far removed from the Prog dog days of Porcupine Tree but also not unprecedented when you consider No-Man’s Synthpop side. Continue reading
Analyzing the evolutive process of an artist of a band tends to be a journey full of debacles and details that are indeed interesting. Taking into consideration the personal issues that every artist deals with while writing an album is a very impactful and important aspect of how the final product comes out and one thing is for certain, COVID-19 and all that we lived through 2020 will be a heavy influence in all the albums that we listen to this year. Soen’s Imperial (Silver Lining Music) is no exception. An album as captivating as their last effort Lotus (Silver Lining Music), the Swedish band is expanding what could already be considered their signature sound: strong, beautiful, and catchy ballads that mix heavy sections here and there. Maybe, as mentioned, it is because of all the different situations that everyone went through last year that made the band go through a route that is perceived as sentimental but, more than anything, it feels real.
Progressive music fans rejoice! Long missed supergroup Liquid Tension Experiment, featuring Jordan Rudess and John Petrucci of Dream Theater, former Dream Theater co-founder Mike Portnoy, and prog-rock legend Tony Levin of King Crimson is a go! Jordan posted a picture of the members all together wearing masks that spells out “LTE3.” In a 2019 interview with Jordan promoting his solo album and a new Dream Theater album, he told Ghost Cult it would happen when the time is right. It would seem the pandemic is that time for their first new album in 20 years! Check out the post and our interview with Jordan below.
I want to open this review by saying that the talent and obvious skills of all the musicians involved in this record is undeniable, these are musicians that have been proving over and over again why they are recognized as some of the top artists in their genre and why they have the following they have. Having said that, this solo album by John Petrucci (Dream Theater) was not for me. And though we can argue that this kind of album is for a specific sector in the Progressive Metal realm, I truly cannot digest music that is made to show off the skills that “x” or “y” musician has in their instrument and that is my perception of Terminal Velocity (Sound Mind Music/The Orchard).
I assume it’s easy to look back at the aughts and be dismissive of the entire decade particularly from the perspective of metal or punk fan. Nu-Metal was slowly being phased out as any goodwill from the previous decade had eroded and acts like Simple Plan and Good Charlotte made everyone realize that maybe the idea of Pop-Punk was a mistake. But those who kept their ear close to the ground knew better than to become jaded. Hard rock was alive and well and young bands were doing very exciting things. Young bands like Between the Buried and Me with their seminal Alaska (Victory Records 2005/Craft Recordings 2020).
Ghost Cult caught up with progressive music legend and keyboardist/producer Derek Sherinian, (Sons of Apollo, Black Country Communion, ex-Dream Theater) to chat all about this new solo album, out this week, September 18th, via InsideOut Music. Derek discussed the new album, working with special guests such as Tony Franklin, Jimmy Johnson, Billy Sheehan, Joe Bonamassa, Zakk Wylde, Steve Vai, Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal, Kiko Loureiro, Derek’s approach to composition, how he lays down guest tracks for bands around the world every day from his home studio, his with mentor and friend Simon Philips, covering Buddy Miles, a hint at future Sons of Apollo plans, discussing his keyboard heroes from history, and a cool story about Patrick Moraz. Pre-order the album here: https://dereksherinian.lnk.to/ThePhoenix and check out our chat. Continue reading
We caught up with Gina Gleason of Baroness to discuss their upcoming Gold & Grey full album Livestream event on September 10th, 2020 (buy tickets here), and a bunch of other stuff in the Baroness universe. She chatted about how she and the band have been coping under lockdown with no touring, how her town of Philadelphia is fairing with the virus and protests, her thoughts on live streaming and the success of some bands such as Code Orange, how the band writes together, the depth of Gold & Grey (Abraxan Hymns), why that album lends itself to a full album performance, how much new material the band has been working on during this time, the influence of Pink Floyd‘s Live At Pompei film had on the album, the need for artists spaces live Culture Lab LIC at The Plaxall Gallery, her covers jams with Two Minutes To Late Night, and much more. Buy Gold & Grey here and check out our chat. Continue reading