Spirit Of Rock Presents the 2019 Ramblin’ Man Fair just added two more names to its already impressive lineup. Acclaimed rockers Airbourne join the bill, along with young Country renegade Jesse Dayton. This is with a lineup already led by Foreigner, The Darkness, Black Stone Cherry, The Wildhearts, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Living Color, Anathema, Riverside, Beth Hart, Richie Kotzen, Orange Goblin, The Obsessed, Crobot and more! Ramblin man takes place at Mote Park, Maidstone, Kent UK on 19th, 20th& 21st July 2019. Continue reading
If there is one thing that recent Progressive Rock acts have done, it is once and for all putting to bed the notion of the genre being predominantly style over substance, with a reliance on over-playing as opposed to having heart. A completely unfair assessment from day one of course; even just a cursory listen to the contemporary Prog Rock leaders such as Riverside, Steven Wilson, and The Pineapple Thief shows both an unwavering sense of emotion and a balance of challenging yet accessible song structuring. Continue reading
More bands have been announced for the Blues, Folk and Prog Rock extravaganza that will be the Spirit Of Rock Presents Ramblin Man Fair 2019. Anathema, Riverside, and Pain Of Salvation (all joining the “Prog In The Park” day) join already announced headliners Foreigner and Beth Hart. The fest takes place at Mote Park, Maidstone, Kent UK on 19th, 20th & 21st July 2019 and tickets are on sale now. Continue reading
It is often found that from tremendous despair comes profound and reflective art. It is such a tragedy that seems to hang over the current works of one Mariusz Duda; that being the unexpected death of Riverside guitarist and close friend Piotr Grudziński in 2016. Outside of Riverside, Duda took his own personal grief to creating last years phenomenal Lunatic Soul release, Fractured (Kscope), a release that saw the ambient outfit to new experimental heights across an emotional spectrum from pure desolation to showing signs of hopefulness. Continue reading
Founded in 2008, Lunatic Soul is the musical alter-ego of Riverside frontman and bass player Mariusz Duda. Duda has poured his heart and soul into the new album, Fractured (Kscope), which reflects what seems to have been a turbulent time in his personal life as well as the current sociopolitical climate in general. Continue reading
Polish and English progressive rock and metal quartet Disperse returns to present their third studio album Foreword (Season of Mist). This band may take inspiration from bands such as Pink Floyd, and Dream Theater, but it ends up with a very modern sound , in some parts similar to pop bands such as Kensington, but with a more progressive bent to their music. Continue reading
It was in 2013 and across the next couple of years that Chilean proggers Aisles would all of a sudden hit the radars of the wider Prog community with an impact with their third album 4:45am (Presagio Records); a splendid release which showed particular homage to Rush amongst other prog greats. That it did so without aping too much and bringing in their own identity showed that they were ones to really watch for. Now, with latest effort, the double-sided Hawaii(Presagio Records), that potential proves more than realised.
With a concept which depicts the establishment of space colonies after the loss and destruction of Earth, and the exploration of new artistry of this future time; Hawaii showcases a much richer soundscape which, when digging deeper, reveals more contemporary influences and wider directions than on previous releases.
The familiarity of Rush and Van Der Graaf Generator sit alongside the at times melancholic likes of Steven Wilson and the otherworldly air of Sound Of Contact and even the uplifting but brooding of Riverside. Once again though, rather than a cocktail of strong and maybe polarising influences; Hawaii is a bold and unique experience with a sound which is wholly theirs. Sebastián Vergara’s voice proves very distinctive and versatile, perfectly complimenting the album’s various moods; emphasised further with the smooth guitar work of Rodrigo Sepúlveda and Germán Vergara. A rich palette and layering and atmosphere makes for newly discovered nuances with various listens and matches up with the explorative story arc.
With a fast growing audience since the release of their third album, Aisles have backed up an increased interest with their boldest, packed and strongest album to date. As a long player it of course will prove time-consuming, but Hawaii proves a compelling and effortless listen otherwise and should prove one of the biggest surprises for many people this year. An essential listen for anyone partial to the ways of prog.
Word has come down that Piotr Grudzinski, the guitarist of Polish progressive rock band Riverside has died suddenly, according to a release from the band. He was 40 years old. No further details are available at the moment but we will continue to track the story. We send our condolences to family and friends at this difficult time.
After the glorious weather of the Saturday, Sunday at Ramblin’ Man greets us with rain. Lots and lots of rain and some dampened (chortle chortle) moods. As a result the arena certainly seems noticeably emptier than yesterday; but alas, duty calls. Even Sweden’s Blues Pills and their brand of psychedelic, 60s rock can’t perturb the downpour. Despite their suiting to sunnier climes however they go down a storm (!), as Elin Larsson showcases her massive, Janis Joplin-esque voice.
Despite the grim weather, Icelandic rockers Solstifir have a sizable turnout. Their presence on the main stage and the warm welcome they receive is incredibly gratifying. In spite of their short set, their performances of what has become their signature song, ‘Otta’ will hopefully elevate them further into the rock arena. Which, judging by today’s performance, they will most definitely deserve.
The rain proves a problem for the Prog Stage particularly as its shallow shelter fails to protect equipment (and band members) from the downpour. For Knifeworld sound problems would prove very detrimental as many of their instruments (and backing vocals) seemingly fail to come out of the PA at all. Kavus Torabi’s drawling, quirky vocals are always clear, but their complex and diverse structures are damaged severely, such as on ‘Send Him Seaworthy’ where its prominent Bassoon sections sounded completely nonexistent.
The Blues Tent enjoys a significant audience for the day, bolstered by those seeking shelter from the rain; as a result catching Aaron Keylock proves impossible, but from the outside he sounds on fine form. Over at the Prog Stage, The Pineapple Thief play a triumphant set which balances between their more delicate songs such as ‘Magnolia’ and their rockier kin of the likes of ‘Alone At Sea’ with great fluidity, showing their dexterity and understated diversity, proving a highlight of the entire weekend.
There’s a lot of love for Polish lads Riverside, and with good reason. Since the release of Shrine of New Generation Slaves (InsideOut) they have worked their way into the hearts of countless devotees. Their set today is nothing less than triumphant, seemingly able to bring the sunshine despite the clouds, lifting the spirits and smiles of the now rather soggy crowd. Their delight at the live setting is obvious, playing with gusto and passion compositions such as ‘Hyperactive’, ‘O2 Panic Room’ and ending with an immaculate rendition of ‘We Got Used To This’. This has to be one of the performances of the weekend.
Finally the rain eases and the sun shines through, creating a beautiful and apt scene for Alcest and their melancholic but gorgeous shoe-gazing take on prog. Despite his very reserved, even shy nature, Niege grows each time into his role as the band’s centerpiece, talking at greater lengths and showing genuine appreciation to the crowd. Mixing their earlier black metal orientated songs with the latter, softer elements, their set is one of pure majesty and hypnotic beauty that completely draws everyone in. Closing with a mesmerizing “Deliverance”, the band gradually leave the stage, finally with Niege as he turns, humbled by the rapturous response.
Possibly one of the most anticipated performances from the weekend comes from Seasick Steve. He arrives on stage dressed in garb that you wouldn’t find out of place on a lumberjack, and unassuming persona makes him even more endearing to the huge crowd in front of him. He regales tales of the origins of his many handmade instruments to the amused crowd, who are seemingly baffled that he can produce such music from such rickety creations. Songs like ‘Thunderbird’ and ‘Walkin’ Man’ transform the ordinary to the extraordinary.
Very few people are as iconic and instrumental in the world of Prog rock as Ian Anderson, and, while his legacy needs not reiterating, today his performance is certainly enjoyable but far from perfect. Brimming with an ever present enthusiasm and his quirky sense of humour and personality, Anderson is a joyous presence with sadly but expectedly some signs of wear and tear setting in. What really detracts however is the ill fitting, over the top style of guitarist Florian Ophale which doesn’t seem to make sense. Given a spot to show off, Ophale certainly has skill but his virtuoso performance does not match to the rest of the set at all, as if a last minute addition. Songs like ‘Agualung’ are simply timeless and can never fail, but the presence of Ophale leaves too sour a taste.
Marillion are one of those bands that seem to have always been there. It would be difficult to imagine the progressive rock scene without them, as they are the reason why many in the crowd are here today. Opening with the fifteen minute marvel that is ‘Gaza’, Steve Hogarth and co prove their longevity. Their set is filled with relatively new tomes, the post pre-1995 entry being ‘Sugar Mice’ but to the delight of the crowd. Steve Hogarth’s stage-based eccentricities and his unique vocal style (apparently unaffected by time) are on top form. Much of the set comes from their latest release, ‘Sounds That Can’t Be Made’, arguably their best yet. The crowd sings ‘Power’ as though it was their last breath, and as they close all too soon with ‘The Invisible Man’; it is clear that Marillion reach stretches beyond the progressive world.
WORDS: CHRIS TIPPELL & SARAH WORSLEY
Polish progressive band RIVERSIDE have released the new trailer for their upcoming album Love, Fear And The Time Machine (InsideOut Music) You can video the trailer at this link or below:
Releasing on September 4th, Love, Fear And The Time Machine is the bands 6th studio album features cover artwork by longtime design-partner Travis Smith/Seempieces (Katatonia, Opeth, Nevermore)
The band is tour in advance of the album drop, including this coming weekends’ “Night Of The Prog” festival in St. Goarshausen, DE on July 18th. Other bands appearing this coming weekend at NOTP include IOM labelmates Pain Of Salvation, Steve Rothery, Steve Hackett, Haken, Kaipa, Beardfish, Anneke van Giersbergen / The Gentle Storm, Neal Morse and many more. Get tickets here: http://www.wiventertainment.de/projekte/21-notp.html
RIVERSIDE – Love, Fear and the Time Machine track listing
1. Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened By a Hat?)
2. Under the Pillow
4. Caterpillar and the Barbed Wire
5. Saturate Me
7. Discard Your Fear
8. Towards the Blue Horizon
9. Time Travellers
10. Found (The Unexpected Flaw of Searching)