Sunday, 13 February 2011
Haunting debut EP from Seattle, Washington.
Alison Doyle's neo classical ambient project Cascadian begins it's life with the 5-track melodramatic beauty that is "Amongst the Trees We Stopped". The piano driven ambient release, made available for free is a haunting splendour of unique atmospheres, idyllic landscapes and slow, hypnotising cascades of fresh neo classical sounds. Alison, who in her spare time is also a talented photographer, captures the beauty of the world around us not only with her camera, but with her music. You can easily hear the background noises of trains, planes and roaring waves weaved into the fabric of this sometimes delicate release. Weaved so well in fact, that the roar of a plane flying above actually manages to add to the ambience.
The EP's highlight for me, asides from the gorgeous piano performances is the tail-end of it. After the first two tracks have lured you in with their haunting, yet tempting charm, the alluring '28 Days Later' score cover of "Hearts for Jim" leads you perfectly into the peaceful and relaxing finale; two tracks, one a solo piano piece, the second a mesmerizing piece for electric guitar, piano and synth. Also, this is really one of those rare releases where the cover art is so well matched to the music, that you find yourself drawn in to that landscape, that place. You can't help but feel like you're actually there and personally, those are the sort of releases that I spend my time hunting down.
I found myself gladly listening to this EP multiple times in succession, all in the name of finding the right words; and to give the right ammount of justice to this remarkable little EP. It's a brilliant debut and I hope to hear more from Alison's amazing project.
Oh and did I mention that it's free?
Ta-ta for now,
1 The Corinthian Sea
3 Hearts for Jim (28 Days Later Score Cover)
4 I Left You in the Dark (Take 1)
Download this incredible debut for free at Cascadian's Last.FM page @ http://www.last.fm/music/Cascadian
Go to http://www.alliedee.com/ for some amazing photography and links to more free music from Alison Doyle.
Monday, 24 May 2010
Third album by sensational Welsh prog-rockers.
Hailing from Cardiff, the Reasoning are a band that are always rising to new heights; from touring with the likes of Marillion, Fish and Wishbone Ash, to recently appearing on BBC Radio Wales for an impressive acoustic session. The Reasoning are climbing the prog-rock ladder and they're rocking all the way...
With Adverse Camber, the band have taken the 'Short but incredibly tasty' approach, with 40 minutes of classic metal riffs intertwined with acoustic rhythm sections, flowing vocal arrangements, subtle and smooth keyboards, diverse basslines and crushing metal drums - all held up by solid song writing, performed to perfection.
On the first listen, I was surprised with the new approach to production. Once the jobs of Dave Meegan (producer of Marillion's "Brave" one of the best albums ever!) and John Mitchell (of It Bites/Arena), now a task taken up by Bassist Matt and Guitarist Dylan, it's obvious that they have picked up some of the techniques of their previous collaborators as most DIY producers tend to do (Take post-Steven Wilson Opeth for instance.) This in turn gives the album that melting pot sound, mixing veteran techniques with Matt and Dylan's flowing, vocal friendly atmospheres, the makings of a very unique record indeed!
What stands out the most for me is the voice of the band's lead singer Rachel Cohen, one of the most unique vocalists you're likely to hear - a gentle breath of fresh air that remarkably compliments a much heavier composition- no coincidence I'm sure, this is more credit to the album’s fine production and Rachel herself. Unlike their past works, Rachel takes on most of the lead vocals, where as regular lead vocalist Dylan and newcomer Maria are involved more in the background with stunning vocal arrangements and beautiful harmonies. The vocals are the thing that got me attracted to this band in the first place and I'm delighted to hear that they keep getting better.
Song-wise, the album's highlight for me is "Script Switch Trigger", featuring some of the band's finest vocal passages, some superb lyrics and gorgeous chord progressions.
A new era for the Reasoning in terms of new members and a new DIY approach to productions, this new album is a step in the right direction for a truly remarkable band. Get it now!
Adverse Camber is available from all good retail stores and the band's official shop.
Also, you can listen to a preview of the record if you follow the link to their homepage.
Peace and potatoes,
Steve Holland 24/05/2010
1. Diamonds & Leather
2. The Nobody Effect
3. The Thirteenth Hour
4. Through the Now
5. Script-Switch Trigger
The Reasoning are:
Rachel Cohen - Vocals & Percussion
Dylan Thompson - Vocals & Guitars
Matthew Cohen - Bass
Owain Roberts - Guitars
Maria Owen - Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
Tony Turrel - Keyboards & Vocals
Jake Bradford-Sharp - Drums
P.S. (Taken from their website) "If you would like The Reasoning to perform an acoustic show at your local venue/pub, etc, then we want to hear from you right now. Please send your request and your contact details to Graeme at Cathedral Management email@example.com - and he will tell you exactly what you need to do next."
Final instalment of rock legend's six-part cover series.
After years of releasing 2 track singles - the a-side a cover song and the b-side an original SW track, Steven Wilson finally caps off his remarkable Cover Version series with a peaceful rendition of Donovan's "Lord of the Reedy River", an airy and gentle cover of SW's most covered artist. As for how this disc fits in with the rest of the series, well it's simple - it's the perfect ending to such a diverse showcase of style and beauty. The first part is a quiet singer-songwriter acoustic piece interspersed with the iconic Wilson guitar solos and moody but moving voice samples. Altogether, a beautiful sound, much like the trickling of water in a gentle stream that cradles the listener. The second is a melancholic masterpiece of pianos, mellotron choirs and possibly the most uplifting chorus Mr. Wilson has ever created, that never fails to sends shivers up my spine. It's just another masterpiece in Steven's never ending catalogue.
This is a final instalment to end all final instalments; you'd be insane to miss it.
Until next time,
Steve Holland - 24/05/2010
Steven Wilson's Cover Version 6 is available from Burning Shed or Headphone Dust in a box set made to house all 6 singles - don't miss out!
1. Cover Version VI
2. An End to End
Steven Wilson - All instruments
Thursday, 15 April 2010
Debut EP from rising Scottish Death Metal quartet
Clocking in at a mere 11 minutes, Cancerous Womb present a refreshingly innovative plate of death metal "hors d'oeuvres", a surprisingly technical, well produced showcase featuring some of the most promising passages of metal that I've heard so far this year.
As the title suggests, Cancerous Womb aren’t afraid to divulge into the sick and the brutal, grabbing the listener by the balls immediately, the EP almost zooms by in a collage of flesh ripping guitar riffs, drums heavy enough to crack one’s skull open, thundering bass and vocals verging on the grotesque (And that’s a good thing by the way!).
What surprised me the most is CW’s ability to showcase so much skill in as little as 11 minutes, the 3 short songs each ripping through a library of very impressive riffs and movements.
It’s sick - yes, but subtle enough to keep your appetite intact, this is certainly more about the music than the gore. And for a mere zero pounds, Cancerous Womb's violent assault is enough to wet the beak of any death metal fan.
Over and out,
Steve Holland - 15/04/2010
2. Up to My Nuts in Guts
3. Austrian Basement
Cancerous Womb are:
Chris - Vocals
Mike - Guitar
G - Bass
Cook - Drums
Head over to http://www.myspace.com/cancerouswomb and send them a message with your name/address for a free copy of this blistering EP.