Saturday, July 4, 2015

CD Review: Consider The Source Finish Their "World War Trio" With Double Album

Progressive rock band Consider The Source are closing out their "World War Trio" with the final two parts. Part 1 was released earlier this year (review: jpsmusicblog.blogspot.com) and parts 2 and 3 were released back in June as a two disc set packed with amazing instrumental rock music. The trio of John Ferrara, Gabriel Marin and Jeff Mann have certainly made a defining statement with these albums as it showcases a new pinnacle of musicianship for this band.

Disc 1 (of the two disc set) begins with the heavy metal pounding of "Aquarians," while "Many Worlds Of Disapproval" has a more intricate structure to the song's overall delivery. These two openers only sets the stage for the ten-minute epic "This Dubious Honor," as the smooth, melodic tone introduces their Middle Eastern influences into this tempo changing wonder. Another amazing track on the first disc is the eleven-minute sonic adventure of "You Are Obsolete." They close out "World War Trio Part II" with the Middle Eastern infused rhythm of "Brother Nature" and the gentle flow of "40% Gentleman, 60% Scholar."

The second disc starts out with the heavy influence of jazz fusion of "A Monument To Compromise (Faux Clarinet)" as the band lay down a sonic weave of sounds that will definitely peak your curiosity. One of the oldest songs in this trio of releases is "Ninjanuity" as you can hear the band, especially guitarist Gabriel Marin enjoying their improvisional freedom. The giant sixteen-minute music epic entitled "So Say We All" is broken up into three pieces as to better absorb the different textures to each piece as each one can certainly stand on it's own. The set closes with the lighter, Middle Eastern rhythm-filled "Tsim Sha Tasui" and the mellow tone of the ballad "You Are Disappearing."

Consider The Source are currently on a U.S. tour which run to the end of September. To find out more about Consider The Source and their latest release "World War Trio Parts II & III," please visit considerthesourcemusic.com.

Friday, July 3, 2015

CD/DVD Review: Landmarq Releases Live Album From Netherlands Concert In 2013


British progressive rock band Landmarq are celebrating their 25th anniversary with the release of their new live album titled "Roadskill: Live In The Netherlands." It was recorded during the band's last tour in 2013 and features eight of the band's greatest, most exploratory songs that will take you on a great journey of sounds. Led by the vocals of Tracy Hitchings, the band has never sounded better as their symphonic, progressive style plays perfectly in a live setting.

The new live album begins with some "Turbulence" as the song starts out with hard rocking opener, before slowing down to allow keyboardist Mike Varty to share the spotlight with Hitchings' vocals. Their is a mystical feel to the music of Landmarq as displayed in twelve-minute "Glowing," while "Prayer (Coming Home)" is a wonderful concise piece of inspirational music. The album closes with the eight-minute "Entertaining Angels" which is a great progressive rock song that floats along the same stream as later-day Pink Floyd.

Included with this CD is a live DVD recorded of the entire concert and also features interviews with the band. It was released at the beginning of June through Cherry Red Records. To find out more about Landmarq and their latest release "Roadskill: Live In The Netherlands," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/landmarqtheband.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

CD Review: Rock Band Finger Eleven Follow "Five Crooked Lines" On Latest Release

Canadian hard rock band Finger Eleven will be releasing their sixth studio album entitled "Five Crooked Lines" on July 31st through Bicycle Music Company. This album has been five years in the making and is looking to capitalize on the success of their past three albums. This is also the first album to feature new drummer Chris Powell.
 
The new twelve song release begins with the heavy rock feel of "God Of Speed" as the band sounds refreshed and energized. Finger Eleven lock into a great hard rock/blues groove with "Criminal," led by Powell's powerful drumming especially on the follow-up "Save Your Breath." The album's first single, "Wolves And Doors" has that mainstream modern rock flair for success as they let up on the aggressiveness just slightly. They then get dark and dirty on the title song "Five Crooked Lines" as the song contains that balance of intensity and irresistibly. The album closes with the energetic attack of "Sensory Eraser" and the slow blues/rock of "A New Forever."
 
Finger Eleven are hitting the road for a U.S. tour beginning July 9th. To find out more about their new album "Five Crooked Lines," please visit fingereleven.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

CD Review: Joy Williams Leaves The Civil Wars Behind And Heads For "Venus"

Singer/songwriter Joy Williams just released her latest studio album "Venus" on June 29th through Columbia Records. It is her first solo album since the breakup of The Civil Wars and it showcases a more modern pop flair than her past adventures.
 
Beginning with the dance beats of "Before I Sleep," Williams uses her voice to control the song's meaning by expressing her power during the chorus. She gets a smooth R&B groove flowing through "Sweet Love Of Mine," before heading into the dance/pop gold of the album's lead single "Woman (Oh Mama)." She does not forget her years with The Civil Wars as she gently delivers "One Day I Will" and "What A Good Woman Does" as her voice soars. The highlight of the album is "Until The Levee" as Williams pours all her emotions into her performance of the song's lyrics. The album closes with the gentle touch of "Welcome Home" as you find yourself pressing repeat, in order experience her "Venus" album once again. To find out more about Joy Williams, please visit her website at joywilliams.com.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

CD Review: Pianist Heidi Breyer Brings Us The Grace And Elegance Of "Letters From Far Away"

British born pianist Heidi Breyer recently released her latest album "Letters From Far Away." She presents her new album in two forms with two discs, one is a solo piano instrumental and the second is with full orchestration. The theme of this new release is a tribute to the lives of two people who fell in love in a Post World War II Europe. The album title, "Letters From Far Away" becomes the subject of these wonderful instrumental pieces.
 
The mood of the solo piano disc draws more meaning and passion to the songs as you reflect on the simplicity of one single instrument. Heidi had this original idea for the album as her talents and musicianship is enough to carry the songs. The piano instrumental disc has a more complete feel to the storied songs as heard in "Small Cafe" and "Old Photograph." The addition of strings and brass showcases a different perspective to the music as more of a movie soundtrack, while the piano solo disc feels like a first person perspective of the meaning behind the songs. The gentle touch of "Starry Pond" displays the delicate touch Heidi puts into her complete performance. To find out more about Heidi Breyer and her latest release "Letters From Far Away," please visit her website at heidibreyer.com.