WATCH ME BREATHE Release New Single,”Garden of Eden”

Garden Of Eden COVER

Santa Cruz, CA – Progressive Pop-Rock Band WATCH ME BREATHE has released their new single, “Garden of Eden,” which is available NOW via The Label Group / INgrooves.


“People have mistaken this for a religious song, but it’s really not. What the Garden Of Eden metaphor really means here is universal place of origin. Some 100,000 years ago, human beings still lived in the natural environment that our bodies and minds evolved to live in. Now, we don’t. We’ve spent the last 100,000 years creating a world that is progressively less and less like any of us. And despite the many ways in which that is a wonderful thing we should be grateful for, I sense there are other, easily underestimated ways in which it confuses and confines us at a primal level. I’m not sure what we do about it, but the song is here simply to pose the question.” – Jake Aaron Ward

Click to Download / Stream ‘Garden of Eden”


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Photo Credit: Natalie Sweeting – Through the Bird’s Eye Photography

From the very beginning, Watch Me Breathe has been all about honesty and authenticity. Lead singer Jake Aaron Ward formed the band in 2017 purely out of frustration. “As a solo artist, I just got fed up with trying to write music only to please other people. Watch Me Breathe is really an experiment that says: what would I write if nobody else was listening?”

The results of that experiment have been surprising. In the short time since the release of their debut LP “The Lighter Side of Darkness” in February 2018, Watch Me Breathe has already accrued well over 150K views on YouTube and over 50K streams on Spotify…and the numbers keep growing.

When it comes to making albums, this particular band has an unusual process not unlike that of Tame Impala or Bon Iver: Ward (a proficient multi-instrumentalist) writes, performs, records, mixes, and masters every song entirely by himself, in his own California home studio. He jokingly explains “I just kind of suck at collaborating.” He cites an eclectic range of influences, including Peter GabrielThe PoliceImogen HeapGoo Goo Dolls, and a whole slew of underground progressive metal bands that have helped shape his unique guitar parts and complex rhythmic patterns. In concert, the band performs as a power trio, with Ward covering guitar and lead vocals, while bassist Ryan Green and drummer/baby brother Carl Ward handle the rhythm section.

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Photo Credit: Natalie Sweeting – Through the Bird’s Eye Photography



RUNESCARRED Releases Official Music Video for “Inviting Rivers”!

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Progressive Metal / Heavy Rock Band RUNESCARRED has released the official music video for “Inviting Rivers,” the first single off of their upcoming LP, The Distant Infinite.

The band will be releasing the album’s second single, “Mammoth,” on Friday, 11/22, with a live watch party on Facebook the following day. Click HERE for additional details.


“‘Inviting Rivers’ keeps a lead foot on the gas pedal yet does not sacrifice one iota of hook in its pursuit of light speed. Great performances from the whole band as everyone is hauling serious ass throughout, and I especially enjoyed throwing a few musical quotes from various Russian composers into my guitar solo. I would say it’s our most direct and concise track yet; I hope everyone digs it!” ~ Tim

Click to Download / Stream “Inviting Rivers” Via The Label Group / INgrooves

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Track List:
1) Hexit
2) Inviting Rivers
3) Minor Progressions
4) Swallow Your Tail
5) Twisting Flesh
7) This Distant Infinite
8) Sorrow Is
9) Poison Oasis
10) Mammoth



Runescarred are a progressive metal and rock powerhouse who, since their inception on June 27, 2017, have made a tremendous name for themselves. Having released their critically acclaimed E.P., We Are, in conjunction with their single “Being God”, the quintet has garnered global praise. Features in Metal HammerLoudwireDecibel, and Power Play are only a few examples of their worldwide notice.

Runescarred has signed with TLG Entertainment for management and distribution, after TLG heard rough mixes for The Distant Infinite. Says TLG CEODenny Sanders, “After hearing the early mixes the band had sent to us we knew they were a band that fit our brand of ‘True Metal’.”

A powerhouse of a stage show, the band has already joined the stage with legends like Metal Church and contemporary peers like Holy Grail. With their debut EP having been a veritable tour de force, the upcoming full length – and accompanying performances – is poised to entertain and earn more praise from fans and critics alike.

With deep connections throughout the underground, and a passion for the road that has rarely been matched, Runescarred sit on the precipice of great things. Embracing the dark realities of humanity, Runescarred’s music continues to explore bleak fantasy worlds and the brokenness of the human condition. Fusing groove with bombast, riffs with sonic poetry and destructive growls with transcendent cleans, there is something mesmerizing and powerful about Runescarred. Just as likely to pull you into the pit as they are to bow a head in self reflection, it’s hard not to be impressed by this Texas metal legion.



MORELAND THE SHOOTING Release Official Music Video for Poignant New Single, “Moreland”


Post Hardcore, Progressive Metal Band MORELAND THE SHOOTING has released the official music video for their single, “Moreland.” Directed by Mike Hale and filmed in Atlanta, GA, “Moreland” is an act of social activism featuring memorials built for victims of gun violence.

The band would like to extend special thanks and recognition to Somber Johnston for her participation in the project.


“‘Moreland’ was written to inspire compassion and relay the human condition of living in the city. It is based on a true story and is dedicated to the victims and survivors of gun violence.”

Download / Stream “Moreland” Online:



Moreland the Shooting offers listeners an unapologetic perspective on life in Atlanta. With a melodic approach to progressive rock, their songs reveal a firsthand account of tragedy and crime all too familiar to those who have walked down the same roads.



Technical Prog Metal Group PAINTED IN EXILE to Release Long-Awaited Album “The Ordeal”

Watch the New “House Of Cards” Music Video, Exclusively via Metal Injection
Pre-Order The Ordeal Here
On Tour with Scar Symmetry, Arsis and Shattered Sun Now
Artwork by Aaron Marsh
After unquestionably solidifying themselves as a band-to-watch in the technical progressive metal scene with 2008’s 3.14 demo and 2009’s Revitalized EP – the latter of called, “a creative fireball of attention-grabbing music,” touted as “mind-blowing” – fans have been eagerly awaiting a full-fledged comeback. After dropping a track here (specifically 2014’s “DM”) and a hint there for the last few years, PAINTED IN EXILE are officially back with their brand new, first full-length album, The Ordeal, set for release on October 28, 2016.
Pre-orders are available for The Ordeal now via the band’s signature progressive sound that further melds classic rock, jazz, classical and even hip-hop influences, The Ordeal transcends far beyond what PAINTED IN EXILE has released to date, fully showcasing the band’s gifted and refreshed line-up.
PAINTED IN EXILE followers and hungry, unsuspecting prog fans won’t have to wait long to hear new music – Metal Injection is currently hosting a music video for the new track “House of Cards”, cut from The Ordeal and directed by Tom Flynn. The cinematic video, which is reminiscent of an intense action film, can be viewed here:
The Ordeal was produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Jamie King, who is recognized for his work with bands such as Between the Buried And Me, The Contortionist, Scale The Summit and other modern progressive metal mainstays. The album was recorded at both Basement Recording Studios in Winston-Salem, NC and The Fidelitorium in Kernersville, NC. Orchestral arrangements on the album were written by Alan Hankers. Additional production and engineering support was provided by PAINTED IN EXILE guitarist Ivan Chopik.
Producer Jamie King states, “This record is a truly great prog rock/metal record. And I’m not just saying that because I was hired to record it. I’m honored to have been a part of it. It will be revered as a classic!”
PAINTED IN EXILE guitarist Ivan Chopik adds, “The ingredients for The Ordeal had been brewing for several years, so we went into the recording process with a specific vision of what we wanted the record to sound like. When the opportunity came up to have Jamie King produce and engineer, it was a resounding ‘Yes’. He’d already worked on some of our favorite albums, so we knew the sonics would be on point. Beyond that, he gave us the environment to stay creative in the studio and pushed us to get our best, real performances. His vision and experience was integral to shaping The Ordeal.”
The Ordeal track listing:
  1.  House Of Cards
  2. Welcome (One And Come All)
  3. The Bazaar
  4.  Jupiter
  5. Transition Wow
  6. DM
  7. Not For Nothin’
  8. Like A Memory
  9. These People
  10.  My Keeper
The Ordeal was fully crowd-funded due to massive fan support via Indiegogo campaign (the band actually surpassed their goal of $15,000).
PAINTED IN EXILE are currently on their first U.S. tour with headliners Scar Symmetryand fellow special guests Arsis and Shattered Sun. See below for all currently confirmed tour dates featuring PAINTED IN EXILE.
Remaining PAINTED IN EXILE Tour Dates with Scar Symmetry, Arsis and Shattered Sun:
9/16/16 Columbus, OH – Al Rosa Villa
9/17/16 Valparaiso, IN – Big Shots
9/18/16 Kansas City, MO – The Riot Room
9/19/16 Fort Worth, TX – Rail Club
9/20/16 Austin, TX – Dirty Dog Bar
Robert Richards – Vocals
Ivan Chopik – Guitars
Marc Lambert – Guitars
Alan Hankers – Piano & Keyboard
Jacob Umansky – Bass & Backing Vocals
Eddie DeCesare – Drums & Percussion

THE RETICENT Debut New Song: “The Confrontation”

THE RETICENT Debut New Song: “The Confrontation
Dead Rhetoric zine has partnered with Progressive Metal band THE RETICENT for the exclusive premiere of “The Confrontation” from On The Eve of a Goodbye. Stream it at
Grammy nominated Christopher Hathcock has returned with the fourth album from THE RETICENT. Heaven & Hell Records is pleased to announce the October 5th release of On The Eve Of A Goodbye. Pre-order the album at
The album was produced by Jamie King (BTBAM, The Wretched, Scale The Summit), and will be released on limited edition CD with complete lyrics. Check out the official video for album track “The Girl Broken” at this location, as well as “The Comprehension” video here.
This is undoubtedly the most ambitious and intense offering from THE RETICENT to date. An uncompromising autobiographical concept record, On the Eve Of A Goodbye is certain to exceed all expectations, boasting 73 minutes of stirring progressive metal that must be heard in its entirety to grasp the full magnitude.
On The Eve Of A Goodbye is an autobiographical concept album. All of the tracks serve to detail the day before, day of, and day after the suicide of THE RETICENT’s mastermind Chris Hathcock’s childhood friend, Eve.  The songs chronicle his concern for her, her deterioration into self-hatred, and culminates with the tragic act and its aftermath.  Not only a stylistic contrast to previous releases, this album is also intensely more personal than past Reticent albums (which were already emotional purges).  The album is intended to be heard as a single entity rather than a collection of tracks.
“This is an album that is utterly amazing start to finish.” 10/10
 – My Global Mind
“A degree of musical mastery” 
– Jamie King
“An album of incredibly well crafted metal and rock.”
 – Shutter 16
Track Listing:
1. 24 Hours Left
2. The Girl Broken
3. The Hypocrite
4. 19 Hours Left
5. The Comprehension
6. The Confrontation
7. The Apology
8. 10 Hours Left
9. The Mirror’s Reply
10. The Postscript
11. 2 Hours Left
12. The Decision
13. Funeral For A Firefly
14. The Day After
15. For Eve
The album was recorded in order in the span of a few days in the summer of 2015 (with a touch up in November 2015).  Producer/Engineer Jamie King (known for previous work with BTBAM, The Wretched, Scale The Summit, etc.) chose to allow Hathcock to do as he needed in the studio as he felt it added greatly to the emotion of the record.  In fact, on the song “Funeral for a Firefly” when trying to record the lead vocal part, Hathcock made it only two lines in before sobbing hysterically as memories and the trauma he had held back for a decade came flooding to the forefront.  After calming to the point that he could catch his breath, Hathcock told Jamie King that he felt unable to record the song.  Jamie encouraged him to try just one more time and if it didn’t work, they’d drop it.  Hathcock went back into the booth and made it through the entire song with constant tears streaming down his face and his voice cracking and quivering as he went through.  Jamie was so affected by the performance he said he wanted to keep the raw performance – as in no edits to the sound so every sniffle and breath could be heard putting the listener in the booth with the despairing singer.
All music, lyrics, and narration written by Chris Hathcock
All instruments and vocals performed by Chris Hathcock
except the following:
Narration by Carl Hathcock, Juston Green, and Amanda Caines
Female vocals by Amanda Caines
French Horn by Dr. Nicholas Kenney
Trombone and Trumpet by Matthew Parunak
Tenor Saxophone by Andrew Lovett
Produced by Jamie King
Mixed, Mastered, and Engineered by Jamie King at The Basement Studios
Executive Producer: Chris Hathcock

REVIEW: Baroness’ Live EP Delivers a Small Taste of Awesome

Since 2003, Baroness has been one of the most promising acts in metal. Alongside fellow southern metalheads, Mastodon, Baroness have pioneered a progressive metal sound that has sounded much less technical than their peers in Dilinger Escape Plan or Between the Buried and Me. After two critically acclaimed albums in Red Album and Blue Record, Baroness released the 2012 Yellow and Green, an album that furthered their path into metal stardom. 2013 marked the release of Baroness’ short live EP in Studio 4 of Maida Vale for BBC. With four solid tracks in tow, the EP is a nice grab bag of some fantastic recordings from the band, even if it’s not the live recording fans have been anticipating.

Like their former tourmates Mastodon, Baroness’ progressive metal was constantly in strong equilibrium with the sludgy alt rock sound of bands like The Melvins and even early grunge like 80’s Soundgarden. There was certainly a level of speed metal influence, but rhythmic riffs were certainly a key component to Baroness’ sound. Even frontman John Baizley’s melodic bellow has ties to Buzz Osbourne’s low-tuned voice. That low-end melody has made Baroness’ sound remarkably approachable for a progressive metal outfit, and like Mastodon’s, the band’s sound has even managed to crack the radio rock charts. The guys in Baroness are clearly educated in progressive tradition, what with the varied percussion of drummer Sebastian Thomson and the intricate bass cues from Nick Jost. Baroness is a more accessible prog metal that’s just as adventurous, but won’t leave you scratching your head with its intricacies.

All four tracks on Live at Maida Vale: Studio 4 come straight from the band’s 2012 double album Yellow and Green, an album that, while not the breakout success of 2009’s Blue Record, further solidified the band’s reputation in the rise of American progressive metal in the 2000’s. The tracks include the album’s two singles, “Take My Bones Away” and “March to the Sea”, along with “Cocainium” (from Yellow) and “The Line Between” (from Green). The two singles, especially the powerful “March to the Sea”, are fantastic recordings, with enormous choruses and a great rhythm performance on both. The percussion tremors and melodic guitar solos of “March to the Sea” remain one of the band’s best works, a highlight in their discography.

“Cocainium” is a much more subdued recording: quieter, proggier and even a bit jazzier. Baroness still have erupting choruses, though not at the level of their singles. The guitar work from Peter Adams keeps up with the virtuosity of prog metal tradition, with melodic guitar chords and plenty of obscure arrangements displayed. “The Line Between” is probably the weakest track, however. While it isn’t necessarily bad, it doesn’t have any strong hooks, nor does it experiment enough in the progressive department. The rumbling rhythm department picks up the slack, but it isn’t enough to really make “The Line Between” stand out.

The songs themselves aren’t too different from their studio counterparts, but Baroness make an effort to mix things up a bit for this live EP. Songs flow together with instrumental interludes between, sounding like one big consistent concert recording instead of segmented tracklists. Sporadic vocal variations are nice, but it’s not really the live environment the band is best on. For a small BBC performance EP, Live at Maida Vale: Studio 4 is okay, but we’re still awaiting that epic live album from one of modern metal’s most powerful bands.

Baroness aren’t really in their strongest element with Live at Maida Vale: Studio 4, but the music is still as well-composed and performed as you’d expect. The track selection is exceptional, displaying mainstream appeal, but not sacrificing the guts of the band’s sound. It’s a bit more subdued and isn’t as raw as hoped (we’re still awaiting that Baroness live album), but it’s a nice little sampler that will likely convince many to invest in Baroness’ more essential recordings.

THE SAFETY FIRE announce tour with Protest The Hero

As they continue to push the boundaries of technical and progressive metal, THE SAFETY FIRE (London), will be joining Protest The HeroBattlecrossIntervals and Night Verses on five week tour of North American. Tickets go on sale January 24. The band is available for press. Please contact me if you want to check out a show! Here are the dates:








Sat/Mar 8   – JOLIET IL – MOJOES





Fri/Mar 14   – SPOKANE WA – THE HOP





Wed/Mar 19   – TUCSON AZ – 191 TOOLE (SKRAPPYS)


Sat/Mar 22   – AUSTIN TX – RED 7















THE SAFETY FIRE‘s current release, Mouth Of Swords, was released February 2013 on InsideOut Music.  Check out more online:

REVIEW: Scythia Deliver True Prog Metal Majesty

Canada’s Scythia have been pushing their snow-covered cavalry for nearly six years now, touring vigorously across the world and constantly aiming to find their comfort zone in the crowded realm of post-90’s progressive metal. It’s not easy; there are so many subgenres and styles to approach, but with their newest release, the band is finally coming into their own. 2014 is off to one hell of a start, because Scythia’s …Of Conquest is an album loaded from stem to stern with virtuosity, intensity and vision. Barely half a month into the new year and we’re already seeing something we’ll be talking about at year’s end. Scythia are a blistering example of progressive metal done right.

Scythia injects a strong shot of folklore influence into their progressive sound, and while that’s nothing too unusual for the genre, the emphasis on Dio-era power metal mythology is a remarkable shift. In fact, the band’s use of folk/power metal lyricism is a striking inclusion. “Sailor’s Accolade” draws plenty of inspiration from European history with the revving guitars of metal, but the upbeat “pirate” themes of seafaring Celtic songs. Lead vocalist Dave Khan is clearly educated in the work of bombastic metal mavens Iron Maiden, though his belting call does possess a trace of Axl Rose, with equal range, but cleaner delivery. In addition to Khan’s powerful singing, drummer Celine Derval also delivers some truly ascendant vocal performances, such as the amazing opening to “Reflections”, a simmering bit of balladry that erupts into a colossal blitz once Khan re-enters the fray. Even the storytelling “Land of Scythia” emits an aged vibe, one that commemorates a fallen fleet with an acoustic guitar line and Khan’s tremendous vocal chops before bursting into an epic climb. Each song tells a story, one built with exceptionally epic musicianship and, as heard in the stampeding “Army of the Bear”, plenty of charging battlecries.

A major problem spot with many progressive metal bands in this new age is that the progressive tends to usurp the metal. Very few bands are able to deliver something heavy and intense while also bringing something intricate and complex. Scythia dodge that pitfall masterfully; …Of Conquest is a very heavy album. Khan’s excellent guitar solos in songs like “Reflections” and “Into the Storm” are razor-sharp, but toned to pitch perfection, not unlike those heard in Iron Maiden or Judas Priest. Drummer Celine Derval’s drumming patterns are extremely adaptive (a key feature for progressive metal); beats shift very frequently throughout …Of Conquest, but Derval keeps pace without a second of hesitation, while delivering just as much heated rhythm as jazzy virtuosity. The same can be said of bassist Terry Savage, whose varied musical background allows him to keep tabs with both the melodic and rhythmic ends of Scythia’s spectrum. The album is heavy, but not in the sludgy sense of Mastodon or Baroness. Scythia are able to hone the claws of the Dream Theater side of progressive metal; it’s certainly majestic, but it’s also just as furious.

But Scythia’s strong grip on prog metal tradition is never ignored. In fact, it’s some of the strongest heard from the community in years. The dizzying keyboards of Jeff Black in the end of “Rise of the Kraken” take the jazzy jam feel of King Crimson and jack in a healthy dose of purely metal drum beats, courtesy of Derval. They don’t sound as heavy as Khan’s guitar, but their texture is a welcome inclusion, one that cools the impact of Derval and Savage’s slamming rhythms. The intricacy isn’t used as a crutch for pretentiousness either; Scythia stays very sensibly in classic power metal mythology and the ever evolving world of heavier progressive metal like Dream Theater. The 13-minute stampede of “Path Through the Labyrinth” constantly changes tempo and rhythm, and while it doesn’t reach the most epic of heights of prog rock/metal forefathers, it manages to stay interesting throughout, a feat that many other prog metal bands have failed to achieve.

…Of Conquest is an album rich with progressive and heavy metal fundamentals, but even more impressive is how much these fundamentals are tightened up. The compositions are majestic and epic, but amazingly heavy. The furious vocal charges into battles, the steady keyboard serenities, the hardened guitar solos, the massively versatile rhythm section; every single one of these elements fulfills the satiations of any prog metal album, but Scythia always go one step further. Scythia are a band with so much creativity and virtuosity in their bones that they give even the prog veterans from Europe a run for their money. Just a few weeks into 2014 and we already have an album that’s sure to reach some Top 10 lists by year’s end. …Of Conquest is simply spectacular.

A Tradition Worth Repeating: Fates Warning’s Dark/Light 11th Album

As the first Fates Warning album in nearly ten years, Darkness in a Different Light has a long legacy to fulfill. Alongside bands like Queensryche and Dream Theater, Fates Warning were a definitive progressive metal band, influencing countless other groups in their journey to step beyond speed or doom metal. They fused the epic nature of 70’s and 80’s prog rock with the growing New Wave of British Heavy Metal influence, creating a heavy, but operatic sound. Darkness in a Different Light isn’t going to set the world on fire. It pales in comparison to Perfect Symmetry, but for a band that has taken so much time off from studio recordings, it’s an album that only reiterates what made Fates Warning so influential.

Unlike modern progressive metal bands, Fates Warning (along with their peers in Dream Theater and Queensryche) didn’t revel in their songs. Many of the tracks throughout Fates Warning’s albums aren’t marathons of virtuosity, and Darkness in a Different Light is no exception. Only two songs on the entire album break the six-minute mark, a shocking move for contemporary prog metal, but also a smart return to tradition. The songs are prime examples of progressive musicianship, but even better, progressive songwriting. With so many other bands stretching their songs out to stupidly lengthy tracktimes, Fates Warning trims the fat while still retaining that majesty and expansiveness they’ve established from square one. “Firefly” has great uses of heavy riffs; for a few moments throughout, it actually sounds like a radio-friendly track (mind blown). The same can be said of the chugging guitar rhythms of “Kneel and Obey”: they show virtuosity, but also oust pretentiousness. They are the perfect length.

But don’t think that Fates Warning have gone all mainstream on you; this is still a progressive metal record and these guys can still spread their wings and break convention. The final track, “And Yet it Moves”, is a 14-minute showcase of melodic symphonies, one that isn’t as heavy as you might expect, but its multiple segments emit fascinatingly intricate guitar rhythms and drumming patterns whose intricacies will stutter your wavelengths. Vocalist Ray Adler’s singing is also on full display with “And Yet It Moves.” His operatic beckon is a rising call that eventually settles into the acoustic coda at the end of the track. The guitar solo on “Into the Black” captures a slick speed metal aesthetic, but it’s toned just enough to not sound overly indulgent. Guitarists Jim Matheos and Frank Aresti combine heaviness and quelled elegance to produce a strong highlight on the album and one of the most impressive performances from the band in years.

There is, however, a big chunk in the album that sounds obnoxiously stale. From third track “Desire” to “Lighthouse”, the band’s creativity isn’t on full display. This section blends together too much; those moments of distinctive instrumentation heard in “Into the Black” or “Kneel and Obey” are buried under power chords and surprisingly tame vocals from Ray Adler. After the rhythmic bliss of “Firefly”, this streak of weakness sticks out like a sore thumb. Not even a brief interlude in “Falling” has the potential of breaking up this period of monotony.

Fates Warning have definitely made their mark on progressive metal over the course of their career, so Darkness in a Different Light has a tough set of acts to follow. While it’s not the band’s best performance, the album is fresh and resilient enough to give the younger prog metal mavens a run for their money. Its steady flow of traditional metal musicianship and epic symphonic ideals make the album recapture the long-lost spirit of 80’s prog metal. Fates Warning’s penchant for disguising intricacy with aesthetic elegance is alive and well; even if you were skeptical about a fresh Fates Warning album, Darkness in a Different Light, despite its flaws, is an album that delivers on the band’s legacy.

PROGRESSIVE NATION AT SEA 2014 – The Prog Event Of The Millennium

PROGRESSIVE NATION AT SEA 2014 have confirmed the remaining acts added to complete the final lineup to what will be the biggest event of it’s kind in the history of the PROG genre!

23 bands & artists are on board featuring…

Progressive Nation is hitting the high seas in 2014!  Join us in this inaugural sailing from
February 18th – 22nd 2014 on the luxurious Norwegian Pearl heading from Miami to Great Stirrup Cay and Freeport, Bahamas.  This music festival at sea gives you an experience that a land festival just can’t match. In addition to 4 days in the beautiful Caribbean and all the amenities of a cruise ship; you will enjoy music from morning ’til night with over 40 shows on multiple stages, along with activities, Q&A’s, panels and workshops from your favorite artists.
PROGRESSIVE NATION founder Mike Portnoy elaborates:
“In 2008 & 2009, I created a touring package called “Progressive Nation” and with Dream Theater headlining, we did three full tours (two in North America and one in Europe) that showcased a variety of bands that embraced the spirit and musicality of progressive music.
Well after a 5 year hiatus, I have decided to resurrect Progressive Nation and this time we are taking it to the seas!
But rather than a 4 band bill like previous Progressive Nation tours, we have expanded the bill to OVER TWENTY of today’s greatest progressive bands, musicians and artists!
Myself and my former DT bandmate Derek Sherinian have teamed up with Sixthman (who have done incredibly successful cruises with Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the annual Kiss Cruise to name a few) as well as our friends at Inside Out Music and look forward to a very successful inaugural launch of PROGRESSIVE NATION AT SEA Feb 18th thru 22nd 2014
We are so excited to take part in this historic maiden voyage and look forward to sharing this one of a kind event with fans from all around the world!”

Visit to make your reservation NOW!

This music festival at sea gives music fans an experience that a land festival just can’t match. In addition to 4 days in the beautiful Caribbean, guest will have the opportunity to see their favorite musical heroes perform numerous sets around the many stages set around Norwegian Pearl. And when guests are not attending a performance, a variety of activities hosted by the artists will fill the day.
Progressive Nation at Sea begins at $700 per person plus taxes and fees. Prices include entertainment, meals, and access to Norwegian Pearl’s outstanding amenities, including outdoor pool, hot tubs, rock climbing wall, and fitness center. Fans can read more and sign up for the Progressive Nation pre-sale at
With 15 decks of fun, Norwegian Pearl offers guests access to 13 bars and lounges, 19 dining experiences, one outdoor pool, four hot tubs, and spa treatments to help forget about the world left behind. Onboard concerts aren’t the only things that rock on Norwegian Pearl – passengers looking for more activities can visit the outdoor climbing wall, bowl a few frames at the onboard lanes, or tempt lady luck at The Pearl Club Casino. Progressive Nation cruisers will also have the opportunity to explore the sandy beaches of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, their very own private island getaway. A host of beachside activities and games, the gigantic “Hippo” water slide, and access to food and beverage service will make the stay on Great Stirrup Cay an unforgettable experience.
Forthcoming announcements are scheduled to follow detailing artist-hosted activities, theme night information, contest additions, and activities!  For full details and to sign up for the pre-sale, fans should visit
Progressive Nation At Sea:


MASCHINE reveal first track from debut album & FREE download

The young and hotly-tipped UK-based progressive rockers Maschine are excited to reveal the first track from their debut album Rubidium. This is an edit of album opener ‘The Fallen’, and they are also giving listeners a chance to download it for free. Band-leader Luke Machin had this to say about the track:

“I am pleased to give you all a taster of the album before its release in the form of a free download. The track we’re giving away is the first track from the album. ‘The Fallen’ is certainly a song that has impact from the off and continues to build in its own progressive element.
There is a lot of diversity on the album and The Fallen will certainly appeal more to the Progressive Metal listeners out there.”

You can check out the track here:

Download the track for FREE here:

Maschine – Rubidium
Out 29th July 2013

The album will be available as a limited edition digipak CD with two bonus tracks, and digital download.

Formed in 2008 by guitarist/vocalist Luke Machin at the Brighton Institute Of Modern Music, UK-based prog rockers Maschine are the new young stars on the InsideOut roster. “Young” in this case doesn’t mean inexperienced or amateurish, however, as Machin and bassist Daniel Mash logged in a solid three years as members of The Tangent while preparing to go off on their own with their own brand of music. Now with a fantastic five-piece line-up, the band is ready to make their mark in the progressive world.

Band Line-Up:
Luke Machin – guitar/vocals
Elliot Fuller – guitar
Dan Mash – bass
James Stewart – drums
Georgia Lewis – keyboards/vocals

MASCHINE online:

THE SAFETY FIRE reveal official music video for ‘Red Hatchet’

London-based progressive metal band The Safety Fire recently revealed ‘Red Hatchet’, the fantastic first track to be taken from their forthcoming album ‘Mouth Of Swords’ which is due out on 2nd September, and the reaction has been incredible.
They are now pleased to release the official music video for said track which was filmed and directed by Jamie Carter. Guitarist and producer Derya ‘Dez’ Nagle had this to say about the video: “We had so much fun recording and writing the album in vests and cut offs we thought it would be the best way to capture the energy of the song visually for all the world to see. Also we all have great legs, so it was just an excuse to show off our sexy pins.”

Watch the video here: 

You can also download ‘Red Hatchet’ for FREE over at this page in exchange for your e-mail address:

The band also recently announced tour dates for later this in support of ‘Mouth of Swords’, both in the UK and US & Canada. Find those dates below:

The Safety Fire
 UK Tour – September 2013
4th Sep – London – Upstairs @ The Garage TICKETS:

5th Sep – Nottingham – Rock City Basement TICKETS: 
6th Sep – Leeds – Cockpit 3 TICKETS: 
7th Sep – Glasgow – Audio TICKETS: 
8th Sep – Bristol – The Exchange TICKETS:

US Tour – Sept 2013 
w/ Between The Buried And Me, The Faceless, The Contortionist

09/13 Winston-Salem, NC Ziggy’s
09/14 Knoxville, TN NV
09/15 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
09/16 Jacksonville, FL Brewster’s Roc Bar
09/17 Orlando, FL The Plaza Live
09/19 Houston, TX House of Blues
09/20 Austin, TX The Mohawk
09/21 Dallas, TX House of Blues
09/23 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall
09/24 Salt Lake City, UT Murray Theater
09/26 Mesa, AZ The Nile
09/27 W. Hollywood, CA House of Blues
09/28 San Diego, CA House of Blues
09/29 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory
09/30 San Francisco, CA Regency Ballroom
10/01 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
10/03 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre
10/04 Seattle, WA El Corazon
10/05 Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom
10/07 Calgary, AB The Republik
10/08 Edmonton, AB Starlite Room
10/09 Winnipeg, MB Garrick Centre
10/11 Minneapolis, MN Varsity Theater
10/12 Chicago, IL Metro
10/13 Detroit, MI Majestic Theatre
10/14 Louisville, KY Headliner’s Music Hall
10/16 New York City, NY Best Buy Theatre
10/17 Worcester, MA The Palladium
10/18 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom
10/19 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts
10/20 Cleveland, OH Peabody’s Downunder
10/21 Pittsburgh, PA Mr. Small’s Theatre
10/23 Baltimore, MD Sound Stage
10/24 Asheville, NC The Orange Peel
10/25 Nashville, TN Cannery Ballroom

Buy tickets for the US run here: 

The Safety Fire – Mouth Of Swords
Out 2nd September

‘Mouth Of Swords’ was once again produced by the band’s own Derya “Dez” Nagle (guitar), who previously worked with Frank Turner (MONGOL HORDE), RISE TO REMAIN, and THE HAARP MACHINE. It follows the release of last years acclaimed debut album ‘Grind The Ocean’, which saw them tour the world with the likes Periphery, Between The Buried And Me, Gojira and Protest The Hero amongst others.


Century Media Records: Website | Facebook | Youtube | Twitter | Myspace

Retro Rewind – Tool’s Mindbending Prog Metal Masterpiece

Anytime you discuss progressive metal, the bands that usually come to mind are the more extravagant and elegant ones like Dream Theater or Queensryche or the more complex and rhythmic ones like Messhugah or Between the Buried and Me. While these bands were dominating the world of elaborate polyrhythms and bizarre time signatures in their days, Tool was always an essential cornerstone in the genre. However, you always need to set Tool aside in the long run because at the time, no one sounded like them. Danny Carey’s Rush-inspired drumming patterns mixed brilliantly with the thick and weighted bass tones of Justin Chancellor and Adam Jones’ crunchy guitars, with singer Maynard James Keenan pioneering a blend of soothing melodic singing with a furious scream. Despite having been around for more than ten years, Tool had only released two studio albums during their career at that point, 1993’s Undertow and 1996’s Ænima, with both reaching widespread critical acclaim and classic status. 2001 marked the long-awaited release of the third studio album for Tool and expectations were reaching shockingly immense highs. But Tool remain as a group of very private and humble guys, which makes their third studio album Lateralus even more impressive in the sheer effortlessness of the way these guys perform such superhuman feats of musicianship and songwriting.

Lateralus demonstrates Tool’s official embrace of complexity. While the band’s dark and brooding tone was crystal clear on Ænima, Lateralus is all about intricately arranged rhythms and some of the most unreal musical performances ever documented on disc. The title track alone offers a rhythmic form taking cues from the Fibonacci sequence, a numerical “spiral” pattern displayed in nature and implemented into a heavy and unquestionably sophisticated recording. The time signatures and tempos change very frequently, but in an act of timing that would make Albert Einstein dizzy, the band keeps the pacing and the entire recording sounds natural. As stated earlier, these men are beyond simple musicians. No better example of their genius in rhythm and pacing is “Ticks and Leeches”, regarded by some as the greatest drum performance in the history of music. No disrespect to John Bonham or Neil Peart, but Danny Carey’s opening drum fill alone is no mere fill. He’s keeping a beat, one of the most complex you’ll find. He may be working to the bone, but Carey’s drumming remains a natural feel. The sheer organic nature of the band’s complexity is stunning. No band has come close to the intricacy on Lateralus.

But even if the songs weren’t as polyrhythmic or musically unorthodox, the band still has a careful hand in making their songs dark, textured and toned. Adam Jones’ guitar revs in the single “Schism” walk the line of grinding heavy metal and melodic rock. Opener “The Grudge” offers a belt-out scream from Maynard James Keenan lasting for more than 30 seconds, with the rest of the band offering an ethereal and otherworldly metal sound that lasts from start to finish. Even the more radio-friendly “Parabola” takes perfect control of the melodic/rhythmic merging that the band has made. Keenan’s voice has proven to be a major influence on bands across the board from Chevelle to 30 Seconds to Mars, from Deftones to Karnivool, and for good reason. Whether he’s screaming in “Ticks and Leeches” or echoing a psalm-like sound in “Parabol”, Keenan is a fantastic vocalist, one who can bring beauty and ascendance out at one point and fury and intensity out at another.

Lateralus is quite possibly the most well thought-out progressive metal album ever to hit the top of the Billboard 200. Its tone is accessible and heavy enough to get on rock radio, but the in-depth elaborateness of the songs is clearly what makes the album such an instant classic. If you listen to it for the first time, you’ll be headbanging along to the thunderous drum crashes in “Parabola” or singing along to Keenan’s guttural cry in “Lateralus.” But repeated listens prove amazingly rewarding, as the mind-bending melodic, rhythmic and vocal patterns show the skill of the band and the genre itself. There’s nothing really majestic about how Lateralus sounds; it remains a haunting and almost supernatural album. But the men in this band bring out a sense of promise and optimism toward the art of progressive metal. Their alternative take on what prog metal can be hasn’t just been recognized; it’s been deified. Whether they agree with it or not, Tool set the standard with their third studio album. Musicianship in progressive music is one thing, but songwriting is just as important. In Lateralus, Tool do both near flawlessly.



THE SAFETY FIRE posts new track, “Red Hatchet,” online; reveals album artwork

Last week saw the announcement of London-based progressive metallers THE SAFETY FIRE’s forthcoming sophomore album, Mouth of Swords, and the band is now excited to reveal the first track to be taken from said album. Entitled “Red Hatchet”, this is the first taste of new music since the band’s debut album Grind The Ocean was released last year. Guitarist/producer Derya “Dez” Nagle had this to say about the track: “We are so excited we can finally share some new music with everyone. We are all so incredibly proud of this album and feel ‘Red Hatchet’ is a great introduction to ‘Mouth Of Swords’. Get hyped, stay ajeysie.”



Click the link below to listen to “Red Hatchet”:
You can also download “Red Hatchet” for free here:


Mouth Of Swords is set to be released on September 2nd in Europe and September 3rd in North America via InsideOut Music. See below for the album’s track-listing.


Mouth Of Swords track-listing

1. Mouth Of Swords

2. Glass Crush

3. Yellowism

4. Beware The Leopard (Jagwar) feat. Tommy Rogers (BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME)

5. Red Hatchet

6. Wise Hands

7. The Ghosts That Wait For Spring

8. I Am Time, The Destroyer

9. Old Souls


THE SAFETY FIRE has been documenting the recording process for Mouth Of Swords, so be sure to check out the band’s four recent studio diaries below:

Vest Choir –

Vocal Tracking –

Guitar & Bass Tracking –

Drum Tracking –


Mouth Of Swords was once again produced by the band’s own Derya “Dez” Nagle (guitar), who previously worked with Frank Turner (MONGOL HORDE), RISE TO REMAIN, and THE HAARP MACHINE. It follows the release of last year’s acclaimed debut album,Grind The Ocean, which saw the band tour the world with the likes PERIPHERY, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, GOJIRA, PROTEST THE HERO, amongst others. The brilliant artwork for Mouth of Swords was created by Kim Taylor.



Sept. 4th – London – Upstairs @ The Garage

Sept. 5th – Nottingham – Rock City Basement

Sept. 6th – Leeds – Cockpit 3

Sept. 7th – Glasgow – Audio

Sept. 8th – Bristol – The Exchange



THE SAFETY FIRE announces details for upcoming new album, ‘Mouth Of Swords’



London progressive metallers THE SAFETY FIRE are excited to announce the release of their forthcoming second album, Mouth Of Swords, on September 3rd in North America via InsideOut Music. The band has been hard at work on the album for the past few months, and vocalist Sean McWeeney had this to say about the completion of the record: “Since our first album we’ve all concentrated more on having awesome haircuts and facial hair. Does that go some way to explaining why ‘Mouth of Swords’ is shit hot? Some may suggest so. But all I know is I’m on it and that’s enough for most people. This album is pure gold, and will be priced accordingly.”


Guitarist and producer Derya “Dez” Nagle had this to add about the release announcement and album recording: “I must have said ‘there is no topping WINGER’s 1988 classic ‘Winger” on a daily basis during the recording process. I’ve never been wrong about anything in my whole life, so it was a rather humbling experience to realise that what we were creating was in fact better than WINGER’s 1988 classic, ‘Winger’. I felt like a bozo deluxe. After awhile I came to accept that we had created the best album of all time, ever, in the history of known time. The burden of holding such musical gold was too much for us to handle and the band agreed to release it through InsideOut Music, on September 3rd. I’d like to think the music can speak for itself, but music can’t speak, so I’ll speak on its behalf. Hello. I hope you enjoy me.”


The band is also very pleased to announce the album’s full track-listing, and as you will see below, the brilliant Tommy Rogers from touring partners BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME has provided guest vocals on one track. Full details are below:


Mouth Of Swords track-listing

1. Mouth Of Swords

2. Glass Crush

3. Yellowism

4. Beware The Leopard (Jagwar) feat. Tommy Rogers

5. Red Hatchet

6. Wise Hands

7. The Ghosts That Wait For Spring

8. I Am Time, The Destroyer

9. Old Souls


THE SAFETY FIRE has been documenting the recording process for Mouth Of Swords, so be sure to check out the band’s four recent studio diaries below:

Vest Choir –

Vocal Tracking –

Guitar & Bass Tracking –

Drum Tracking –


Mouth Of Swords was once again produced by the band’s own Derya “Dez” Nagle (guitar), who previously worked with Frank Turner (MONGOL HORDE), RISE TO REMAIN, and THE HAARP MACHINE. It follows the release of last year’s acclaimed debut album,Grind The Ocean, which saw the band tour the world with the likes PERIPHERY, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, GOJIRA, PROTEST THE HERO, amongst others.


New music from Mouth Of Swords will be revealed next week, so stay tuned!



Peaceful Prog – Tesseract’s Atmospheric Altered State



Progressive metal has taken many different forms over the years. While Dream Theater was mixing 80’s thrash with King Crimson-esque arrangements, Tool was taking sludge metal and adding incredibly intricate rhythm patterns. Nowadays, prog metal isn’t as nuanced as it was in the 90’s, but that hasn’t stopped bands like Britain’s Tesseract from pushing the genre forward. Ten years and six vocalists later, Tesseract release their sophomore studio album, Altered State, a mix of polyrhythmic beats and ephemeral soundscapes that might not set the world on fire, but still demonstrates what the progressive metal genre has up its sleeve.

Altered State is the first full release with new vocalist Ashe O’Hara, who replaced the band’s fifth vocalist, Elliot Coleman, after the band’s previous release, the Perspective EP. O’Hara’s voice isn’t what many have come to expect from a metal band. In stark contrast to the growls of Tommy Giles Rogers of Between the Buried and Me or the psalmic hums of Tool’s Maynard James Keenan, O’Hara’s melodic resonance is more akin to Kyo of Japanese metal band Dir en Grey. It’s not a high wail or a baritone bellow, instead walking the line between ascendant and smooth. O’Hara’s vocal style also distinguishes itself from former Tesseract vocalist Daniel Tompkins (who sang on the first Tesseract studio album, One), where harsher and rougher vocals appeared alongside clean melodies. O’Hara’s voice is a fine specimen that cools the burn that many other prog metal vocalists have prided themselves on.

Altered State offers ten tracks divided into four groups, with each group representing a different stage of change the band has undergone since their beginning. Considering that Tesseract has gone through multiple vocalist changes since their inception in 2003, this theme of change is clearly something of significant value to the band. The theme is one rich with ideas, though Altered State doesn’t do as much with it as expected. A major factor in a successful prog metal outing involves extended demonstrations of musicianship and creativity, and while Tesseract definitely deliver on the former, the creative element starts to wane by the last third of the album. The less successful prog metal albums usually sound pretentious, suffering from a longevity that outstays its welcome by the end. While Tesseract don’t overdo it too much on Altered State, it can be pretty difficult to distinguish one song from another. There are a few solid hooks (such as the Of Mind track “Nocturne”) but Tesseract’s atmospheric resonance is what drives Altered State both into realms of the epic and the slightly over-lasting.

Tesseract’s mastery of atmosphere is especially apparent with some great musicianship that, while not of the highest caliber when compared to bands like Between the Buried and Me, make for some wonderful songs that demonstrate a strong skill with their respective instruments. A healthy mix of rhythm and melody contribute to some memorable prog metal songs as well. Tesseract have taken the route of Messhugah when it comes to rhythm, as they’ve adopted the “djent” rhythmic design coined by Messhugah guitarist Fredrik Thordendal. The djent trappings are especially alive in the Of Energy track “Singularity”, an intricate polyrhythmic composition that takes the Messhugah style and adds a clean, atmospheric polish. The moments of innovation may be brief, but make a lasting impression. The use of a saxophone solo by Chris Barretto during the Of Reality track “Calabi-Yau” is brilliantly reminiscent of a King Crimson jam, just heavier and even more epic. While it would’ve been better to see more of these crazy breaks from tradition, Tesseract have taken solid steps forward for both themselves and the modern prog metal field.

Tesseract’s second studio album may not reach the prog metal stratosphere, but Altered State’s defining element of atmosphere mixed with rhythm is something special for the genre. These UK brainiacs prove their reverence for their predecessors, but ambitiously mix their influences together into a prog metal brew well worth their fanbase. The riffs aren’t the focus here; it’s the vibes produced by the low-tone atmosphere that make Tesseract an exceptional progressive band, but by introducing that “djent” rhythm, it becomes something beyond anything they’ve made before. Tesseract don’t abandon the prog metal traditions of intricate arrangements, but Altered State still keeps those fundamentals close to heart. Tesseract have proven that they want to change the prog metal world, and while their second LP isn’t an earthshattering album, it still is a solid listen that is bound to earn them some serious cred here in the States.

Altered State is streaming in full on the Century Media YouTube Channel HERE.

TESSERACT has released a series of trailers as well. They can be viewed below.


The band’s first trailer release can be view here:

Their second trailer here:

Their third trailer here:

Their final trailer here


LEPROUS launches video clip for “The Cloak” on Metal



Norwegian prog metallers LEPROUS will release their new album, Coal, on May 28th in North America (May 20th in Europe) via InsideOut Music. In anticipation of this release, the band is now premiering the album’s first video, “The Cloak,” on Metal Shot by David Solbjørg of Twichty Films (, fans can watch the video here:


In regards to the video, LEPROUS comments:

“While we’re anxiously waiting to release ‘Coal’ to the public, another taste of it is coming your way. A while back we announced a video was in the making, and now everything is ready for your eyes and ears. ‘The Cloak’ is our second music video, and we’re extremely excited to finally release it! Enjoy!”


For another preview of Coal, please check out the previously released album track “Chronic” here.


Coal track-listing:

1. Foe

2. Chronic

3. Coal

4. The Cloak

5. The Valley

6. Salt

7. Echo

8. Contaminate Me


Chosen as the backing band for former EMPEROR frontman and countryman Ihsahn (a progressive black metal musician and legend in his own right), LEPROUS has, despite their young age, tried it all– which is clearly reflected in their music. For every part PAIN OF SALVATION and KING CRIMSON one may hear, there is an equal amount of SHINING (NO) and DEVIN TOWNSEND in the mix, with hints of KATATONIA and OPETH in amidst sparks of PORCUPINE TREE and PINK FLOYD.


To pre-order Coal, please visit CM Distro for the album in a variety of formats.


LEPROUS – Tour 2013:

Presented by Rock Hard Magazine & IntromentalSupport band on first part of the tour (September): TBA

Support band on the second part of the tour (October-November): BLINDEAD (Poland)

9.06.2013 Trondheim (Norway) – Rockheim

9.07.2013 Bergen (Norway) – Garage

9.13.2013 Oslo (Norway) – John Dee

9.14.2013 Sandnes (Norway) – Tribute

9.15.2013 Drammen (Norway) – Buddy

9.16.2013 Skien (Norway) – Parkbiografen

9.17.2013 Göteborg (Sweden) – Musikens Hus

9.18.2013 Stockholm (Sweden) – Debaser

9.20.2013 Helsinki (Finland) – Nosturi Club

9.21.2013 St. Petersburg (Russia) – A2/Sputnik

9.22.2013 Tallinn (Estonia) – Tapper Club

9.25.2013 Warsaw (Poland) – Progresja

9.26.2013 Krakow (Poland) – Kwadrat

9.28.2013 Copenhagen (Denmark) – Beta2300


10.17.2013 Prague (Czech Republic) – Nova Chmelnice

10.18.2013 Vienna (Austria) – Replugged

10.19.2013 Bratislava (Slovakia) – Randal Club

10.20.2013 Budapest (Hungary) – A38

10.21.2013 Bucharest (Romania) – Silver Church

10.22.2013 Sofia (Bulgaria) – RBF Club

10.23.2013 Belgrade (Serbia) – Dom Omladine

10.24.2013 Ljubljana (Slovenia) – Orto Bar

10.25.2013 Milano (Italy) – The Theatre Club

10.26.2013 Pratteln (Switzerland) – Galery

10.27.2013 Genova (Italy) – Muddy Waters

10.29.2013 Barcelona (Spain) – Razzmatazz

10.30.2013 Murcia (Spain) – 12&Medio

10.31.2013 Madrid (Spain) – Caracol

11.01.2013 Porto (Portugal) – Hard Club

11.02.2013 Lissabon (Portugal) – Side B

11.04.2013 Toulouse (France) – Les Saint Des Seins

11.05.2013 Lyon (France) – Ninkasi Kao

11.06.2013 Frankfurt (Germany) – Das Bett

11.07.2013 Nijmegen (The Netherlands) – Doornroosje

11.08.2013 Paris (France) – Le Divan Du Monde

11.09.2013 London (UK) – Underworld

11.10.2013 Oostende (Belgium) – Jeugdhuis Ohk

11.11.2013 Essen (Germany) – Turock

11.12.2013 Hamburg (Germany) – MarX


LEPROUS – Festivals 2013:
6.08.2013 Sölvesborg (Sweden) – Sweden Rock Festival (
6.21.2013 Clisson (France) – Hellfest (

6.28.2013 Helsinki (Finland) – Tuska Open Air (

7.6.2013 Bangalore (India) – Bangalore Open Air (
7.21.2013 Tolmin (Slovenia) – Metal Dayz Festival (
8.01-03.2013 Wacken (Germany) – Wacken Open Air (
8.092013 Josefov (Czech Republic) – Brutal Assault Festival (
8.16-17.2013 Saint Palais Sur Mer (France) – Crescendo Festival (

LEPROUS line-up:
Einar Solberg – synth/vocals
Tor Oddmund Suhrke – guitar
Øystein Landsverk – guitar
Tobias Ørnes Andersen – drums

LEPROUS online:

Energy Crisis: Artizan’s New Album Doesn’t Take The Plunge

Florida’s Artizan have been going on their power/melodic metal journey for five years now, and they’ve had a good amount of time to steadily define their sound of expansive and epic tracks. Artizan’s latest metal record, Ancestral Energy, aims to continue their bout at huge, huge vocals and rhythmic riffs. But as the band steps into the murky world of prog, you can tell there a sense of uncertainty and hesitance to take that plunge. Ancestral Energy is a nervous album, where that ambitious drive to explore new ideas is padded with back-and-forth pacing, which ultimately makes the album repetitive and far too uninteresting to recommend.

Artizan singer Tom Braden’s reverence for bands like Iron Maiden is crystal clear in his voice. That power metal resonance is ascendant and packs a solid amount of endurance (the guy can nail those lengthy vocal passages with stamina to burn). However, something that has made other bands in the metal field so interesting is that shocking sense of unchained and fearless virtuosity. Braden is a fine vocalist, but Ancestral Energy doesn’t offer much credit to go on for it. He sits among a steady, but overly weathered vocal range. You won’t find any sort of screeching banshee calls in the vein of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson or Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, nor will you find any low metal bellows like former Killswitch Engage vocalist Howard Jones. It never reaches the realm of grating, but it’s a wasted opportunity. Range is something that can prove a power metal vocalist’s chops; Artizan’s lack of any sort of left-turn surprises makes each song sound repetitive and uninteresting.

This concept continues further into the musicianship; it sounds pedestrian. Artizan don’t seem to be pushing any envelopes with Ancestral Energy. The songs themselves don’t lack a very steady structure, but the repetitive riffs, shockingly underwhelming solos and derivative rhythmic patterns tear down the album’s quality. The fact that a majority of the songs on Ancestral Energy clock in at over five minutes makes the album sound much longer than it should be. While metal tracks since the very beginning have been known for being longer than typical radio singles, when the songs themselves focus on such simplistic and repetitive setups, you can’t help but feel bored, and that’s the biggest issue with Artizan’s latest record: it’s very one-note. The tracks are drawn out and don’t take advantage of their lengthiness. If you’re going to make such long songs, you need to make them interesting all the way through. Ancestral Energy doesn’t do that and it hurts it severely.

Ancestral Energy allegedly tries to channel the spirit of progressive and power metal simultaneously, but the progressive side is incredibly under-utilized. Bands that earn the moniker of progressive metal are famous for twisted time setups, intricate note patterns and an unbridled sense of skill with their respective instruments. Artizan don’t make any sort of…well…progression with Ancestral Energy. Simply changing a time signature here or there does not a progressive song make. The title track does a better job at proving their progressive chops, with sectioned verses and, most importantly, a sense of consistent interest. The left turns throughout the album seem shoved into “Ancestral Energy,” which makes for an epic closer, but a very unbalanced overall product. (Props, however, to ex-Iced Earth singer Matt Barlow, who makes the title track’s vocal performance even better).

In juxtaposition, “You Can’t Take the Metal” is an exception to this prog-metal formula. The song’s faster pace stands out among the exhausting marathon tracks off the rest of the album, giving the song a prime state as a radio friendly track. The solos are more melodic and the rhythms are much more interesting. However, this still doesn’t excuse the rest of the album from being so bland and uninteresting.

Ancestral Energy is one of those albums that sticks to the bare bones elements of the genres it attempts to utilize. Sadly, the lack of any significant effort in the music or songwriting is something that can’t go unnoticed. It’s sad, because the ten-minute closer “Ancestral Energy” seems to be where the most effort was sent. Though it’s a great progressive metal track that also captures that power metal scope, the rest of the album is so drawn out and uninteresting that as a whole, the album can’t come with a truly confident recommendation. Artizan’s latest album comes with its own sense of confusion. In an effort to make masterful tracks like “Ancestral Energy” and even “You Can’t Take the Metal”, Artizan has padded the album with hesitant and repetitive compositions that drag down the album’s quality considerably.

THE CUSTODIAN Signs With The Lasers Edge New Album Necessary Wasted Time Due Out June 18th

Artwork and Tracklisting Revealed
THE CUSTODIAN is the UK’s newest and most exciting progressive rock band. Formed in late 2012, the band is already primed to release their debut offering Necessary Wasted Time June 18th via The Lasers Edge.


The band is lead by British musician Richard Thomson, better known as the vocalist of progressive metal group Xerath. The project was initially started in a bedroom in Warwickshire and has now, after several years of lying dormant due to other commitments, become a fully fledged band ready to take the prog rock world by storm.


Thomson, commented on the band’s signing to The Lasers Edge:


“We are extremely proud to be joining The Lasers Edge family. Not only is their roster exceptional but working with Ken and the team has been a superb experience for us. They take huge pride in what they do and more importantly the enthusiasm they have for the development of their bands is fantastic. We look forward to making some great music with them and bringing it out on the road as soon as possible!  ”


Label head Ken Golden explained how the signing of THE CUSTODIAN came about:


“An unexpected e-mail from a mysterious band named THE CUSTODIAN caught my attention.  I started to listen to their debut album Necessary Wasted Time…and I kept listening…and listening.  In short I became addicted.  Rich Thomson and crew are creating the type of forward thinking music that helps define the fabric of The Laser’s Edge.  I’m very excited to present THE CUSTODIAN to a worldwide audience.”

The band takes influence not only from prog rock, but anything and everything else that fits. Expect lots of beautiful acoustic passages, warm synth, tasteful leads, complex drumming and great production.


The album was recorded by the band in their home studio, mixed by Danish producer Jacob Hansen and mastered by Bob Katz. The artwork was created by British artist Colin Marks of Rainsong design.



Richard Thomson: Drums, Vocals, Synth

Michael Pitman: Bass, Vocals

Owain Williams: Lead Guitar

Nariman Poushin: Electro Acoustic Guitar


For More Info Visit:


INTRONAUT Reveals Third Studio Update Video

Los Angeles post metal proggers INTRONAUT have just revealed a new studio update video.  While previous in-studio episodes focused on the drum and guitar tracking processes, post metal prog lords INTRONAUT turn our attention to vocal tracking in the third and final episode. With mixing mastery completed by Josh Newell, INTRONAUT’s Sacha and David take over Trench Studios in Corona, CA to lay down vocals for the new album ‘HABITUAL LEVITATIONS,’ due out next week, March 19, 2013 via Century Media Records. All studio videos can be seen below:


Studio Video #1:

Studio Video #2:

Studio Video #3: 


Exclusive pre-orders are available via CM Distro, including a CD/t-shirt bundle which is available here. INTRONAUT has premiered four tracks from the forthcoming album so far.  The premiered tracks can be heard below:


“Milk Leg” –

“The Welding” –

“The Way Down” –

“Sore Sight For Eyes” –


For more information on INTRONAUT, visit:

LEPROUS completes work on new album; reveals title and release dates

After finishing off a very eventful past year of promotions for their previous album release, Bilateral, acclaimed Norwegian progsters LEPROUS entered the studio to start recording their next album after wrapping up their “European Progressive Assault” headlining tour in September/October 2012.

This new album is entitled Coal, and it will be released on May 20th in Europe and on May 28th in North America via InsideOut Music.

LEPROUS singer/synth-player Einar Solberg comments about the release:

“With our upcoming album ‘Coal,’ I feel we are one step closer to a personal expression. Heidi Solberg Tveitan and Vegard Tveitan of Mnemosyne were the producers of this album, together with LEPROUS. They helped us a lot with reaching the full potential of the songs, and the album would not be equally good without their expertise. 
Jens Bogren and Tony Lindgren @ Fascination Street Studios mixed the material and have made this album shine like nobody else could. 
 I see less interest in defining music than in creating music, but I will give a short overview on what to expect…
‘Coal’ is a more melancholic and darker album than the more playful ‘Bilateral’. By darker I don’t mean more aggressive, but more severe. There is still a big range in the dynamics, but no jumping between different moods within a song. We cannot wait to show this album to the world!”

Check out a studio-video from the drum recording sessions for
Coal here:
In support of this upcoming release, LEPROUS has already confirmed a string of prominent summer festival appearances (Wacken, Hellfest, Tuska, etc.):

16.03.2013 – Porsgrunn (Norway) – Folkets Hus / Break The Ice ’13
21.04.2013 – Tilburg (The Netherlands) – 013 / Roadburn Festival – Afterburner (
27.04.2013 – Amstelveen (The Netherlands) – Headway Festival (
08.06.2013 – Sölvesborg (Sweden) – Sweden Rock Festival (
21.06.2013 – Clisson (France) – Hellfest (
28.06.2013 – Helsinki (Finland) – Tuska Open Air (
21.07.2013 – Tolmin (Slovenia) – Metal Dayz Festival (
01.-03.08.2013 – Wacken (Germany) – Wacken Open Air (
09.08.2013 – Josefov (Czech Republic) – Brutal Assault Festival (
16.-17.08.2013 – Saint Palais Sur Mer (France) – Crescendo Festival (

LEPROUS line-up:
(pictured from left to right)
Tor Oddmund Suhrke – guitar
Øystein Landsverk – guitar
Einar Solberg – synth/vocals
Tobias Ørnes Andersen – drums


THE FLOOD INSIDE, the newest effort from Germany’s LONG DISTANCE CALLING is available now via Superball Music.  With a discography comprising of nearly all instrumental material in the vein of Pelican, Russian Circles or Isis, THE FLOOD INSIDE is a landmark for the band, being the first release to feature a full time vocalist.

“…one of their strongest records.” —

“…atmospheric, progressive…” —

“…with new frontman Martin “Marsen” Fischer, the music has reached another dimension, only enhancing the energetic enigma…” —


LONG DISTANCE CALLING also teamed up with PROG Magazine (UK) to premiere the music video for their track for “Tell The End.” Directed by Carlo Oppermann from Abitious.Films, the video can be seen here:


THE FLOOD INSIDE is available at iTunes, Amazon and other digital retailers:




01. Nucleus

02. Inside The Flood

03. Ductus

04. Tell The End

05. Welcome Change

06. Waves

07. The Man Within

08. Breaker

09. Black Hole


For more information on LONG DISTANCE CALLING, visit:

THE SAFETY FIRE to enter studio in March

Progressive metallers THE SAFETY FIRE will enter London’s The Dairy studio in mid-March to record their sophomore album and follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut, Grind The Ocean. This currently untitled release will be produced again by the band’s own Derya “Dez” Nagle (guitar), who previously worked with Frank Turner (MONGOL HORDE), RISE TO REMAIN, and THE HAARP MACHINE. In regards to this upcoming album, Dez comments:


“We are extremely excited to be heading back into the studio to record the follow-up to our debut album, ‘Grind The Ocean.’ We have done some amazing tours in the last year and have really grown as a band. We are just really hyped about the new material. It has been great to get into this creative headspace. I’ll try to avoid all the usual band clichés of saying how this album will be ‘heavier and more melodic than the first,’ but what I will say is this will be the best album of all time. Ever.”


To purchase THE SAFETY FIRE’s debut, Grind The Ocean, please head over to CM Distro or iTunes; if you still haven’t heard the album, click here to watch the video for the album track “DMB (FDP).” Read on for a few reviews of Grind The Ocean:


“Right now the UK progressive metal scene is extremely healthy, and the emergence of THE SAFETY FIRE is about to provide another boost.” — METAL HAMMER


“Complex forwarding thinking metal…You have to be pretty damned good to stand out from the crowd these days. London crowd THE SAFETY FIRE do so by using the oldest trick in the book – by writing proper, solid songs.” — ROCK SOUND


“If you’re on the lookout for great progressive metal in 2012, these guys come highly recommended.” — GUITAR


“‘Grind The Ocean’ is soothing yet fierce, familiar yet unexpected, and a great debut.” —HEAVY BLOG IS


“THE SAFETY FIRE’s music is dynamic and diverse throughout each song, able to capture and maintain a listener’s attention across their multiple 6-minute epics.” — METAL




American Progressive Metallers IMMINENT SONIC DESTRUCTION are pleased to announce that they will be embarking on a North American tour this May supporting Sweden’s Pain of Salvation. ISD will play a show in Atlanta, GA on April 28th before hitting the road with Pain of Salvation May 1st in West Springfield, VA. The dates are currently scheduled to run through May 11th in Minneapolis, MN. Additional dates are expected to be announced shortly.

Frontman Tony Piccoli commented on the upcoming tour:

“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us, and we’re looking forward to making a lot of new friends and fans!”

IMMINENT SONIC DESTRUCTIONreleased their debut Recurring Themes in 2012. The album was produced by Roy Z (Halford, Bruce Dickinson), and features nine original tracks that showcase the band’s vocal harmonies soaring over original progressive-metal riffing, melodic compositions and the rhythms of ex-Tiles drummer, Pat DeLeon. Recurring Themes was financed entirely by the band andis available for purchase via the band’s website, iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Lasers Edge, Dearborn Music and is now available through Nightmare Records.

IMMINENT SONIC DESTRUCTION is the brainchild of Detroit-based guitarist, vocalist and metal innovator Tony Piccoli. Influenced by the raw power of bands such as Strapping Young Lad, Meshuggah and Pantera , as well as the disciplined complexities of progressive groups like Dream Theater and Genesis, Piccoli set out to change the face of metal. His blend of crushing guitars, ethereal overtones, a combination of vocal styles and wonderful melody are wrapped in subtly complex time signatures, skull-crushing guitar riffs, and melodic hooks so memorable that you will need surgery to get these songs out of your head.

4/28/2013 The Local – Atlanta, GA

IMMINENT SONIC DESTRUCTION With Pain of Salvation and Kingcrow
5/01/2013 Empire – West Springfield, VA
5/02/2013 House Of Rock – White Marsh, MD
5/05/2013 The Marlin Room @ Webster Hall – New York, NY
5/07/2013 Le Cercle – Quebec City, QC
5/08/2013 Foufounes Electriques – Montreal, QC
5/09/2013 The Mod Club – Toronto, ON
5/10/2013 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
5/11/2013 Station 4 – Minneapolis, MN

For more information on Imminent Sonic Destruction, please visit:


THE CENTURY MEDIA FAMILY is proud to announce the launch of its official Spotify app offering over 20 million Spotify users access to tons of entertaining and informative features from the most successful and fascinating acts in metal, prog, rock, punk and hardcore.

One of the app’s primary features are playlists which are continuously updated by both artist and label contributors. Some of the first playlists to be spotlighted are by Anders Friden (In Flames), Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost), Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) and Bleed From Within. Check out playlists to see who inspired your favorite artists and who they’re currently listening to.

For fans that are more genre inclined, each label from THE CENTURY MEDIA FAMILY is featured with its own section. Each label will list brand-new releases, news pieces, tour dates and offer shopping capabilities directly from CMDistro.

THE CENTURY MEDIA FAMILY consists of primary rock and metal label Century Media Records (In Flames, Lacuna Coil, Arch Enemy), prog leaders Inside Out Music (Devin Townsend, Steve Hackett, Riverside, Transatlantic), alt prog label SuperBall Music (Trail Of Dead, Dredg) and punk rock specialists People Like You Records (Broilers, Mad Sin).

So, check out our new label app and enjoy the diversity and quality of our artists and labels in the best possible way on Spotify:



About Spotify
Spotify is an award-winning digital music service that gives you on-demand access to over 20 million tracks*. Our dream is to make all the world’s music available instantly to everyone, wherever and whenever they want it. Spotify makes it easier than ever to discover, manage and share music with your friends, while making sure that artists get a fair deal.

Spotify is available in 17 countries: USA, UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, Luxembourg, Australia and New Zealand, with more than 20 million active users, and over 5 million paying subscribers.

*Number of tracks licensed globally. Catalogue size varies per market.

AEON ZEN Releases Second Video in “Top 5 Riffs” Series

English progressive-metallers AEON ZEN released their third opus Enigma to the word one week ago today onNightmare Records / Sony / RED. It is an ambitiously creative and powerful concept album featuring nine continuous tracks that show the obvious strengths of the band, plus two bonus tracks available on the CD version only. Enigma is available on CD and Digital Download at your favorite North American vendors.

Today AEON ZEN is pleased to present the second in their series of their “Top 5 Riffs” series. The second video in the series features vocalist Andi Kravljaca and his “Top 5 Vocal Riffs”, check it out:

Andi commented on the video:

“The vocals on any AEON ZEN record are always a cacophonous spectacle of layers, harmonies and characterizations done by some of the best voices in the business – and, of course, me. Nowhere is this more evident than in our latest offering – Enigma. Join me, if you will, in an exploration of the five places on Enigma where the vocals really make the album shine.” the online home of Guitar World Magazine, is hosting an exclusive stream of Enigma. Hear it HERE.

Don’t miss the bands “Top 5 Guitar Riffs” Video HERE.

Four years after their formation and having released two albums AEON ZEN are continuing from strength to strength, bringing their own brand of creative, complex, melodic progressive metal to fans all over the world, along with their highly energised live shows.

Enigma was produced by founding member Rich Hinks, AEON ZEN pushes the boundaries even wider from beautiful to brutal incorporating their own technical groove prog style and their early influences of Dream Theater, Metallica, Opeth and Cynic to create their own unique sound and identity.

Rich Hinks – Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Andi Kravljaca – Vocals
Matt Shepherd – Guitar
Shaz – Keyboards
Steve Burton – Drums

Enigma Tracklisting:
1. Enter the Enigma
2. Artificial Soul
3. Divinity
4. Seven Hills
5. Warning
6. Turned to Ash
7. Still Human
8. Eternal Snow
9. Downfall
10. Survival (Bonus Track)
11. Time Divine 2.0 (Bonus Track)

Enigma features guest vocals by:
Nate Loosemore (Lost In Thought)
Atle Pettersen (Above Symmetry)
Jonny Tatum (Eumeria)

For More Info Visit:

Andy Winters Premieres “Somewhere Else To Disappear”


Andy Winter has been behind several noteworthy releases in the more progressive and avant-garde spectrum of the Norwegian post-black metal scene. His style of subdued, classically influenced progressive metal is probably not quite what most people think of when they hear the words Norwegian and metal mentioned together, as his music features a far more classical and progressive influenced sound than the groups of his usual co-collaborators.

He founded his first band in 1998, the quartet known as Winds, which consists of members from several well-known bands on the Norwegian metal scene (Mayhem, Arcturus, The Kovenant, Khold, etc.). From there he went on to form Age of Silence in 2004 (with members from Borknagar, Solefald, etc.). He has since participated on two records with Subterranean Masquerade and one with Self Spiller, in addition to recording a full length album with Sculptured (the side project with several members from the American folk metal band Agalloch).

Having kept busy making several records with his main bands throughout the 2000s, in addition to an instrumental piano EP as a solo artist, he started working on a new full length effort in 2008. His vision for this recording: To collaborate with some of the various musicians he had crossed paths with over the years, through his work in his own projects as well as some of the new friends encountered through being a The End Records artist for over a decade.

The result is “Incomprehensible” – a full-length album featuring the following tracks and vocalists:

1. Reversed Psychological Patterns (Agnete M. Kirkevaag of Madder Mortem)
2. My Illusions Are My Own (John Haughm of Agalloch)
3. Perfection Is The Blank Page (Kjetil Nordhus of Tristania, Trail of Tears & Green Carnation)
4. Somewhere Else To Disappear (Dan Swanö of Nightingale & Bloodbath)
5. Through The Eyes Of A Surrealist (Lars A. Nedland of Borknagar, Solefald & Age of Silence)
6. Far Beyond Autopilot (Heidi S. Tveitan of Star of Ash & Peccatum)
7. The Transversal Conjecture (Paul Kuhr of Novembers Doom & Subterranean Masquerade)
8. Back To Square Two (Lars E. Si of Winds, Before the Dawn & Sensa Anima)

Also appearing are Jan Axel von Blomberg (Mayhem, Arcturus & Winds), Carl August Tidemann (Winds & Arcturus), Øystein Moe (Winds & Ulver), Don Anderson (Agalloch & Sculptured) and Mike Young (The Devin Townsend Project). The album was produced by Andy Winter himself, mixed by Shaun Thingvold, mastered by Maor Appelbaum and features artwork by Travis Smith.

Having continued his approach of always applying a very genre-defying style, “Incomprehensible” is yet another unmistakable and unique record from Andy Winter, and one that provides a different experience altogether when compared to anything else in metal, or indeed most music.

VOIVOD streams new album, ‘Target Earth,’ on

On January 21st in Europe and January 22nd in North America, Canadian progressive metal pioneers VOIVOD will release their 13th studio album, Target Earth! To hear the album in its entirety, please head over to for the album stream:

To pre-order Target Earth, please visit iTunes for a digital copy or CM Distro for the album, plus a special bundle that includes the CD and an exclusive t-shirt.

Recorded at producer Pierre Rémillard’s Wild Studios in Quebec and mixed by Sanford Parker (PELICAN, NACHTMYSTIUM), Target Earth features artwork by drummer Away (Michel Langevin), who used color schemes from each one of the band’s previous albums to make this new masterpiece. The album brings back original bass player, Blacky (Jean Yves Thériault), marking his first recordings with the band since 1991’s Angel Rat. It’s also the first to feature guitarist Chewy (Daniel Mongrain), who cut his teeth playing guitar to the late Piggy’s (Denis D’Amour) riffs, and thus has matched his style to a tee. VOIVOD, as a full group, hadn’t sat down to write a record together since 2003’s self-titled album. The end result harkens back to the group’s late 80s output and after 30 years together as a band, one of their best yet.

AEON ZEN New Song Available for Streaming

English progressive-metallers AEON ZEN are back with their latest opus entitled Enigma, which is an ambitiously creative and powerful concept album featuring nine continuous tracks showing the strengths of the band, as well as two bonus tracks. Enigma will be released January 22, 2013 on Nightmare Records. The album is available for pre-order on Amazon and the Nightmare Records Website.

Today the band has unveiled another track from Enigma. Noisecreep is hosting an exclusive premiere of the song “Downfall”. Get a first listen to the song HERE.

AEON ZEN’s video for the song “Divinity” can be seen here:

Four years after their formation and having released two albums AEON ZEN are continuing from strength to strength, bringing their own brand of creative, complex, melodic progressive metal to fans all over the world, along with their highly energised live shows.

Enigma was produced by founding member Rich Hinks, and is set to push AEON ZEN’ssound to new limits, from early influences of the likes of Dream Theater, Metallica and Opeth, to creating their own unique sound and identity.