Friday, February 24, 2017

SOEN: Lykaia (2017)

For those who aren’t familiar with the name of Soen, I should tell you that is a band with experienced and very gifted musicians, that all of them participated in other famous bands before gathering up and form Soen. So, here you can find ex-members from Opeth, Amon Amarth, Iced Earth, Testament etc.

  Their discography consists of 3 studio albums, with Lykaia, being their brand new one. Since I found out very recently about them, I am not familiar with their previous works so I cannot get into any comparisons.
  When I listen to some “new” Prog Metal bands, every time I found myself thinking how big influence was the music and the style of Tool, and Soen is not an exception.
Their style - to my ears at least – sounds like a mix of Tool with Riverside.
  The truth is that Lykaia is a very good album, but it simply feels like a lot of their ideas are redundant. The guitar playing for example, is top notch, but on the other hand, we have many Prog Metal bands that can play equally well. But there are some “magical” moments that the bands “shines” and there you realize how good musicians these guys are. The album includes some nice compositions, great guitar solos, powerful riffs, clean vocals, but no new ideas, unfortunately. In many cases I found myself wondering, “Where do I know this from”?
  The main problem that this band is facing, is the bitter reality that great musicianship does not equal great songwriting, and although they might have some very solid ideas to develop, they don't really have the ability to capture the listener for an extended period.
  But despite all those things, Lykaia is a good album. The fans of Prog-Metal will definitely enjoy it, not to mention the fans of Progressive Rock and Heavy Metal.
In case you are curious to find out how they sound, just click on the YouTube link below.
            I think I would give 3.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Monday, February 20, 2017

"HRH Prog V special" Prog & Roll Radio Show. (19/3/2017). A small review & the complete playlist...

Hello all!
  Last night we had the "HRH special" Prog & Roll, as I had announced a few days ago.
The whole show was dedicated to the 3-day festival HRH Prog V, that will take place in N.Wales after almost a month. (16-19/3/2017). Both me and my wife will travel from Athens to North Wales in order to attend the festival, and since we will be there, we will grab the opportunity to meet with some musicians that we already "know" from our show.
  As for last night, I believe the show was a fantastic one! We played some really great songs, we had a lot of people listening from many countries once more, and on the top of that, we had many musicians that tuned in and participated on the chatbox. Most of them are members in 
bands that will perform live in HRH, but not all of them!
  So, we had on our chatbox people mostly from Greece, England, Ireland and Germany, including Benjamin Bell, (the keyboard player of Gandalf's Fist), Stefan Hepe, (the drummer of Gandalf's Fist), Jordan Brown (the bass player of Davy O' List), Nicolas Nicolopoulos (the flute/sax player of Verbal Delirium), Pat Sanders, (the keyboard player and leader of Drifting Sun), and at some point near the end Jen showed up, from Melodic Revolution Records.
  As you can understand, most of the conversations were about the festival, the bands, the line up, the hours that the bands will appear on stage, etc... Everybody (including us) was in a great mood, and there were some times that we couldn't speak properly on the microphone, because we couldn't stop laughing.
 I really believe that last night's show was a blast, and everybody had some great time!
Here you can see the complete playlist:

1st Part: HAZE: The Last Battle / THE GIFT: Sweeper of Dreams / PENDRAGON: Paintbox / DAVY O' LIST: Second Thoughts.
2nd Part: STRAWBS: Tears & Pavan / BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST: Child of the Universe – Live / WISHBONE ASH: The King will Come / GANDALF’S FIST: The Circus in the Clearing.
3rd Part: CREDO: From the Cradle / CURVED AIR: The Dancer / ATOMIC ROOSTER: Break the Ice / HAWKWIND: Hassan I Shahba.
4th Part: VERBAL DELIRIUM: Close to You / PANIC ROOM: Velocity / KARNATAKA: Road to Cairo / IQ: Sacred Sound.
 I would like to thank all those who chose to spend their Sunday evening with us, hoping that you enjoyed it. A special thanks to Pat, Nicolas, Ben, Jordan, Stefan and Jen. Guys, it was lovely to have you on our chatbox once more! We'll see you in HRH Prog V festival in almost a month!
Thank you all! 😎

Saturday, February 18, 2017

GFreedom's Juke Box No.186

Good morning everybody! 😎
We have a beautiful and sunny Saturday morning here in Athens, and before start doing anything else, I decided to sit down and write my weekly Top-5 songlist for you.
So, from all the songs I've listened to during this week, I chose the following as the best ones:
CREDO: From the Cradle (Rhetoric - 2005)
CLIVE NOLAN: The Tide of Wealth (Alchemy - 2013)
WISHBONE ASH: The King Will Come (Argus - 1972)
CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX: We are the Darkeners (Bronze - 2016)
EDGAR BROUGHTON BAND: Hotel Room (Single - 1971/Edgar Broughton Band 2004 re-issue)
I will conclude this post as usual, by adding the YT links for the songs included in my list. In case you are interested, just click on the links to listen to the songs right away.
Enjoy the music, and have a beautiful and relaxing weekend.
Thank you.
CREDO: From the Cradle
CLIVE NOLAN: The Tide of Wealth
WISHBONE ASH: The King Will Come
CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX: We are the Darkeners

Friday, February 17, 2017

PROG & ROLL Radio Show presents: HRH Prog V Festival (16-19/3/2017) North Wales.

  I'm writing this piece in order to inform you about the forthcoming special Prog & Roll Radio Show.
On this Sunday (19/2/2017) we will dedicate the whole show to HRH Prog Festival and the bands that will participate in it. HRH Prog is a 3-day festival, that will take place at Pwllheli in North 
  Both me and my wife will travel from Athens especially for this festival, and that's why we decided to dedicate our next show to it. We already contacted some bands and artists in order to invite them in our chatbox, and as it seems we are going to have some of them with us. I don't know yet who and how many, but the only sure thing is that some memebers of the bands that will play live there will be in Prog & Roll's chatbox on this Sunday.
  For this special and kind of unique show, we prepared an excellent playlist, including songs by some very famous and some not so famous bands,and I'm pretty sure that our listeners are going to have a very nice time. In case you are wondering about the bands that are included in the festival's line up and therefore in this Sunday's Prog & Roll, take a look at the concert's poster on the right.
 So, if you are free on this Sunday afternoon, tune in to Prog & Roll. You will not regret it!
  I would like to remind you that Prog & Roll is a live bilingual broadcast, and it begins at 20.00 UK time.
The only thing you'll have to do is to click on the following link at the time of the show:
I hope to "see" you there!
Thank you! 😎

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

MIKE OLDFIELD: Return to Ommadawn (2017)

  Mike Oldfield is back! You know, the extremely talented musician who recorded some real masterpieces in the past, like Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge, Ommadawn,  etc.
So, after  a series of rather unsuccessful albums, (that had nothing to offer really), he decided to surprise us with this new brilliant album!
  Return to Ommadawn includes two long suites, which brings to memory the vinyl days. One song for each side of the vinyl edition of the album. (Those who grew up with vinyl albums know perfectly well what I’m talking about).
So, what we have here, are the two parts of the same suite, both instrumental and beautiful.
  Mike Oldfield is playing a big variety of instruments, including guitars, piano, bouzouki, banjo, accordion, mandolin, glockenspiel and percussions, among others.
  There is a strong “essence” of traditional English and Celtic music spread throughout the album, and that is something I think is wonderful, and improves the listening enjoyment. (Well, mine at least).
  The structure and the changing  tunes and motives of these two songs give the impression of different songs, but the truth is that it is always the same song; which keeps coming back to the repeatable main theme every now and then.
  I don’t know about you, but personally speaking I was kind of impressed. And although it is too early, I have the feeling that Return to Ommadawn is going to be one of the albums that will make the difference this year! To those that can appreciate this kind of music at least.
  If you want my advice, find/buy the album, put it on your device, (PC, CD, vinyl player, or whatever  device you use), pour a glass of wine, sit comfortable, and get ready for a beautiful "travel", having Mike Olfield’s music as the soundtrack. You will definitely enjoy it!
                                4.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Monday, February 13, 2017

PROG & ROLL Radio Show (12/2/2017). A small "review" and the complete playlist.

Hello all!
  Last night Prog & Roll Radio Show was on air once more, and today here I am, in order to tell you a few things about it and write down the show's playlist.
  When we started preparing last night's playlist, we wanted to make it somehow "different". We played a lot of "Prog" or Prog-related stuff lately, so we thought that it would be nice to add some bands and music genres or sub-categories that we don't play so often.
  We begun with a half-hour tribute to Black Sabbath, in order to honor them for their contribution in music. So, we begun out show with Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, followed by 3 more of their songs, covered by other bands.
After that, we changed the music style completely, as you will see in the list that follows. Also, the 4rth and last part was including only one song, taken from Mike Oldfield's brand new album. 
 We had a good crowd listening once more, and in our chatbox we had people from Greece, Englad and Mexico. We had more who were just listening, but I don't have any idea where they were listening from.
 Here you can see the complete playlist:

1st Part: BLACK SABBATH: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath / KUYSS: Into the Void / SOLITUDE AETURNUS: Heaven & Hell / METALLICA: Sabra Cadabra.
2nd Part: FRUMPY: Indian Rope Man / BLACK WIDOW: Lonely Man / THE 5TH DIMENSION: Aquarius-Let the Sunshine in / CHICAGO: In the Country / MIKE BLOOMFIELD  & AL KOOPER: Stop.
3rd Part: RALPH Mc TELL: Streets of London / SANDY DENNY & THE STRAWBS: Sail Away to the Sea / DONOVAN: Hurdy Gurdy Man / THE BEATLES: Strawberry Fields Forever / THE KINKS: Village Green / TIM BUCKLEY: Phantasmagoria in Two.
4th Part: MIKE OLDFIELD: Return to Ommadawn Pt.1
I would like to thank all those who chose to spend their Sunday evening with us. I hope you had some nice time, and enjoyed the whole thing.
We are preparing something unique and interesting for next Sunday, but I will not reveal anything right now. I will inform you about it with a post here, at some point during the week.
Thank you very much!