Past Romance and Yearly Yearning of Those Who Know

I have been very excited recently, because American progressive/avant-garde metal band Subterranean Masquerade is getting close to releasing a new album – one that I have been waiting for since their previous and only full-length release in 2004. It was an absolutely stunning and very unique experience, blending progressive rock with doomy metal and all sorts of psychedelic jazzy elements, and has remained one of my favourite albums to this day.

Judging by their recent single, titled Home, this upcoming new album will not be a disappointment. The titular song takes a few listens to get into for an old fan of the band, but does become a stunning piece when the new and somewhat colder soundscape really sinks in. The album also contains an awesome The Mission cover and a track that was cut from the previous album, which is a nice bonus. In conclusion, my hunger for more Subterranean Masquerade is growing!

Written by Those Who Know.


My future is living in the past

Now that the year has changed, we will take the time and take a brief look at some of our favorite 2013 releases. It should be noted that all of us are still actively purchasing albums from the past decades, hence a majority of the new releases are unfortunately being neglected each year due to the lack of both time and money. Thus, in addition the new releases we did actually obtain and enjoy in 2013, we will also pick up some of the 2013 albums that we did not have time for, but which all seem very interesting.

  1. Anoushka Shankar – Traces of You
Traces of You is the sixth studio album by sitar virtuoso Anoushka Shankar – the daughter of the most legendary sitar player, Ravi Shankar. The style here is somewhere between her previous work: grounded in Hindustani Classical music with influences of electronic and pop music. The British producer Nitin Sawhney has done a great job here and the album features three songs with Anoushka's half-sister Norah Jones on vocals and piano which are all very pleasant ear candy.

  1. Ernst Reijseger, Harmen Fraanje & Mola Sylla – Down Deep
I saw this trio perform in a jazz festival and I was so taken back by their music and energy that I just had to purchase their album on the spot – and I haven't been disappointed. The trio consists of a cello, a piano and African percussions and singing, and the music is as exciting as the ensemble. Mixture of jazz, western art music and African influences, Down Deep is a unique and beautiful mixture.

    3. Houria Aïchi – Renayate
The previous album by this interesting Algerian Berber singer along side with the French fusion group L'Hijaz'Câr was the first ever album post we ever did. Her new album is a bit more traditional as she is accompanied by all Algerian quartet and each track pays tribute to the most prolific Algerian female singers. Overall a very interesting release both musically and from an ethnomusicological point of view. 

    4. The Ocean – Pelagial
Pelagial is the newest release by the post-metal giant The Ocean and it has hit the charts with outstanding reviews, top scores in almost every one! It has two sides, one with lyrics and one purely instrumental the second side being mixed a bit differently. As a whole, this album is their best one to date. It takes you to a ride from the surface of post-metal to deeper and deeper towards the deepest and toughest sounds that this German/Swiss ensemble can offer.

  1. Miguel Ángel Cortés – El calvario de un genio
The flamenco guitarist from Granada returns with his third solo album. Once again he showcases his sensibility and taste he has over his instrument and music. Playing is pitch perfect as always but never self-purposeful. The compositions themselves are evident evidence of the growing maturity of the composing of one of the best flamenco guitarists out there.

Living in the past:

  1. Zbigniew Preisner & Lisa Gerard – Diaries of Hope
The scores Mr. Preisner did for the films of the great Krzysztof Kieslowski are among the most superb film scores in the history of cinema, and who could stand not in awe once hearing the majestic, dark, mournful and deep contralto of Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance? Team these two together and we have one 2013 release I am dying to acquire.

  1. Kayhan Kalhor & Erdal Erzincan – Kula Kulluk Yakisir Mi
I saw this fantastic duo perform live during a world music festival and my appreciation for them has grown enormously since that. I have listened to their first album in and out countless times so when the new album was announced, I got pretty excited. Unfortunately, I have not got my hands on the disc yet because my local record store has had some trouble with their distributor. I still have very high hopes on this one.

  1. Orphaned Land – All Is One
These Israeli prog metallers totally rocked our socks off with their 2004 release Mabool. Even tough its' successor, The Never Ending Way of OrWarrior was not as tight, it as still a pretty solid and good album. I am willing to give their new album a fair chance because I still believe that they have a ton of potential.

  1. Marc Sinan – Hasretim: Journey to Anatolia
A musical road movie/record through Anatolia which searches the cultural identity and roots of traditional Turkish and Armenian musicians sounds like a release tailor made for me. Not only being a musical record but also an ethnomusicological document makes this multimedia release all the more exciting.

  1. Kayo Dot – Hubardo
This band has been one of our favorites for a very long time and I personally regard their debut, Choirs of the Eye as one the best albums of all time. Period. I have heard that this album is their best since their debut and while writing this post, I am asking myself the crucial question: Why do not I own this album already!?


Happy New Year and Some News Concerning the Future of the Blog

Greetings to all the readers!

First, we would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. We hope you all the best and thank you cordially for the past year. Second, we are excited to announce some changes that you will be seeing briefly in this blog. We will continue to write in depth album reviews every second week as before. In addition, we will be introducing other segments of varying themes and lenght on the page in order to offer you all more interesting pieces to read and enjoy. As we all know, one must contantly conjure up more content if you want to make it in the cruel world of Internet and please the insatiable and impatient mass with attention span to digest only microcosmic texts... But all kidding aside, we'll hope that the new content will be of the best quality we can offer. Finally, we have been planning a make over to the general appearance of the page. Let's make this year something special!


24. I bless the rains down in Africa





Happy Holidays!

23. But Amelia is asleep in winter. There are only prayers in a secret house

maudlin Of The Well is an American avant-garde metal group which has become well-known among connoisseurs of music for their unique, progressive, challenging and daring musical style. Their companion concept albums Bath and Leaving Your Body Map (2001) are their ageless legacy. We have on numerous occasions wondered how come their composition, entitled brilliantly Birth Pains of Astral Projection, is such a perfect single piece of music that we have ever heard. It is a perfect demonstration of the compositional ingenious and stunning imaginative originality of the band’s leader Toby Driver. The track opens with a smooth segment with hints to blues and jazz and features also a nice saxophone solo. The song takes a surprising turn as it jumps in to a exciting esoteric heavy metal mood with a mysterious guitar pattern, whispers and growl vocals. Again, the track takes a unexpected turn when it goes back to more peaceful pop/rock mode featuring the soothing vocal performance by Toby Driver and one the best guitar solos of all time! It is not just the guitar solo and how it evolves but also the musical frame which the band creates for the solo, that gives it a gorgeous dramatic power. As a cherry on top of the cake we have the cryptic lyrics of Jason Byron. You just has to hear the composition to fully appreciate its’ magnitude.


22. And tears that fall are blood from the heart, from the moment that we part

Mostly Autumn is a celtic-influenced progressive pop/rock band. The guitarist and singer of the band Bryan Josh wrote and dedicated this song, along with the rest of their of first album, for his father who had recently past away. We see the song as a perfectly appropriate for the last Advent Sunday when some people take the time to remember and honor those loved ones who have left this world for the next one. In this song you can hear the sincerity of the grief but also the love for a passed away relative. In addition, song closes up with a epic and gorgeous guitar solo.

21. We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.

Nowadays there is on-going discussion about whether or not video games are a form of art or do they at least the qualities of being art. One recent game that certainly speaks in favor of this argument is the fantastic adventure/fantasy game Journey developed by Thatgamecompany in 2012. Game lacks of any specific plot and features a robed figure traveling in a desert as he or she travels towards a distant mountain. The game has no text nor dialogue and the only way of communication and interaction between the character and its’ surroundings is a musical chime. The game has both extraordinary visual and conceptual beauty in it and to accompany that, Austin Wintory has composed a stunning soundtrack. This is the first track, Nascence which is also featured on the menu screen and it captures perfectly the tone, and above all, the beauty of the game.