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Friday, 28 March 2014

Adam Gilbert - A Generation Of Forgotten Kings Album Review

 
Piano-based singer-songwriter, Adam Gilbert is back with his band mates Sean O'Flynn (Guitar), Matt Jaworski (Bass) and Brain Prokop (Drums) with the follow up to their first album, 'Fishing For Water' which achieved national airplay and positive press through their alternative rock/pop sound. Their return with sophomore album, 'A Generation of Forgotten Kings' shows a more serious nature and more musical exploration..

Opening and title track, 'A Generation of Forgotten Kings' has a big opening with chants sounding out which are well placed throughout adding to its power and giving an arena feel to it, aided by the structure of the dramatic instruments also and lyrics filled with a positive meaning of unified change. A striking first blow to kick things off!

'How Do We Respond' is an emotional one with high focus on Adam's vocals with largely complex piano work to accompany and lyrics that display doubt and confusion with the appropriate instrumentation and vocal delivery to heighten this. 'On A Hill' keeps things coherent with another piano led offering. This is just lovely to listen to and sit back and relax and revel in with great variations of his vocals from soft to massive bellowing out - both equally effective!

Single, 'Steady As We Go' starts on a nice piano opening and shows beautiful resonance; this almost sounds as though we are living out his daydream in musical form with Adam pulling out his impressive vocal abilities - simple yet stunning!

'A Little Emotion' has more of an upbeat sound and melodies and takes us back to the anthemic elements seen with the opening track whilst embodying the unstable moods of previous songs. For extra power we see the use of some strong guitar work!

The romantic 'Everywhere I Go' has the feel of a soft rock ballad with its vulnerability with some hints of blues and jazz thrown in which all make for an elegant affair. 'We're Accountable' has a sombre sound to it and keeps things consistent and adds to variety with a big ambient sound especially through the instrumentation and as seen in other songs.

'This Old World' truly shows off the wonderful song writing capabilities being unique and treating us to brilliant melodies and vocal layers. 'Better' also displays this well, being very personal and emotional also. 'Do You Want Me Now' highlights Adam's lower vocal range which are superb!

'I'll Hold You In My Arms' perfectly demonstrates how the piano matches his vocal resonance with precision and for this alone it makes it a must hear! Approaching the end, 'Stay Awhile' contains beautifully serious vocals and sounds similar to a hymn and holds tonnes of emotion which has been building up throughout this album and reaches extraordinary heights by the end.

Last track, 'Listen' is also ballad-esque following on nicely, and is striking through its soft quiet vocals to growing powerful loud crashes in instrumentation. This has a dramatic and meaningful ending note and marks a perfect one to end on representing all the finest and hefty qualities we have been graced with throughout.

There is a lot of heart, dedication and attention to detail in this album and is one for all to enjoy with its many depths and moods which are demonstrated through the ever changing turbulence in both Adam's varied and flawless vocals as well as his band mates strong and complimentary instrumentation. This is impressive work which is highly worthy of a listen and based on this I for one can't wait to hear the next musical journey they take us on.



 

 
Listen to the album now here!

https://soundcloud.com/adam22gil/sets/a-generation-of-forgotten

Band Website:

www.adamgilbertmusic.com

Single:

https://soundcloud.com/adam22gil/04-steady-as-we-go

Itunes Link

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/generation-forgotten-kings/id491227981



Saturday, 15 March 2014

Gumshen - Progtronica Album Review

 
 
It can be hard to find music that stands out from all the others within its own genre, but Gumshen from Seattle have got the right idea by entwining elements of various genres into one sound. Can you guess how they arrived at the title of ‘Progtronica’?…
Opening song, ‘Bell Ringer’ has a positive upbeat sound largely made through the use of ambient synth sounds and energetic dance vibes. This one helps prepare us for the eclectic mix of genres to come! There are some nice tempo changes and variations throughout as the track progresses and demonstrates that the band know how to create a good musical arrangement..‘Stipulation’ is an easy listening song with a fun positive feel and has more appropriate and better fitted vocals here which compliment the tone and sound of the song moreso. Again they show good composition and musical arrangement.
 

‘Fine One to Talk’ changes things up dramatically with an air of country and folk aided by complimentary big melodic vocals and a bit more of a downbeat sound. There are some nice serious undertones with the added depth of layered strings and keyboards creating an eerie powerful and ambient sound. This is a stand out track!
 
‘Liquid’ brings us back to the electronic sounds heavily, and has interesting and effective breaks and gaps which work well with the synth sounds. In short it is weirdly wonderful and unique, which pretty much sums up the band! The end again takes a darker and heavier turn again showing off their creative diversity.
The strange ‘Bait & Switch’ has a big powerful dance industrial sound which at times sounds like its malfunctioning with loud outbursts musically and vocally in what is the shortest and quite possibly the most random track featured!
 
Final track, ‘Fragile We Are Castles’ which is also the longest song explores many different genres and is an impressive jamming track that truly shows how versatile the band are, although it predominately focuses on the more prog rock elements and is more serious and perhaps hints at where the band are heading in the future. It is a superb ending track which displays the bands musical freedom and adventurousness! This closer represents the band well and brings together all their best features, making this the best track and a must hear.
 
They have summed up their sound perfectly by calling this album ‘Progtronica’ as their sound is heavily influenced by electric elements but has some brooding and darker prog rock tones which build, develop and ultimately progress, through their great arrangements and compositions. The only problem at times is the lack of coherency and the misplaced vocals which don’t always match the vibe or tones of the song, but really this isn’t much of an issue when looking at the bigger picture. They have a strange and unique sound and there is no denying the band have heaps of skill and aren’t afraid to be daring in their experimental endeavours. Because of their broad range of musical styles this could appeal to the masses as there’s something for everyone in each and every song!
 
 
 
 
If this and their previous releases are anything to go by no doubt the band will be embarking on another experiment in the future and I for one would be interested in hearing what they do next! Check out their sites to keep up to date with the band and to hear their next musical creation!
-written by Carina Lawrence
Originally written by me for Indie Band Guru & can be seen here: http://indiebandguru.com/gumshen-mash-up-of-sound-creates-innovative-music/

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

CalatrilloZ Interview




CalatrilloZ are a operatic metal/progressive rock quintet hailing from London. Indie Guru are working with them trying to get them more exposure – which is something this band certainly deserve as they have created their own inspiring creative sound which is enthralling, exciting and intriguing! Once you give them a listen you will succumb to their charm and awe..
To try and uncover the mysterious and ever intriguing enigmas that comprise the unique and adventurous act that is CalatrilloZ I questioned front man, Zahyin on their latest happenings and events..

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of listening to your music, how would you describe your sound?
 
Our sound is a storytelling blend of different styles under a Metal Umbrella. Maybe an operatic blend of Symphonic Metal and Progressive Rock. Its heavy, but very melodic, and the rhythm varies a lot. Everything works towards being epic and meaningful!


What made you decide to come up with a concept for the band and can you tell us a bit more about it?

It was not actually a decision. More of a happening. As I started writing the songs, I realized they went different places, but with a common element. The lyrics where all metaphors, and there was a very strong storytelling vein to them. I saw this character, Zahyin, as the perfect anti-hero to live those tales and tell them, and so I started weaving the world around this bitter time traveller, and finally came with the Grand Saga of the Evil Marionettes.
In the world of Calatrilloz, Zahyin and his troupe search for five marionettes ( string puppets ) infused with the souls of General Demons; a legacy from the great war between heaven and hell, that took place before humankind came to be. This gang of antiheroes run against time to stop the demons awakening, and thus save the world ( if they are good guys) or take control (if they are bad guys).
And so Calatrilloz the band came to be. Zahyin and four characters of the tale, telling their story through music on a stage.
Make sure one doesn’t miss the criticism of our society hidden in the metaphorical lyrics!


As part of your concept and to add to the mystery surrounding the band, you say you hide your true identities and speak through your characters, with that in mind what interesting things can you tell us about your character?

Zahyin is a time and space traveller. Wherever and whenever he wishes to be, there he is. A boy thrown into manhood by a life of difficulties, a bitter man with a set objective in mind. Zahyin is a man burdened by his own sins, a man that saw the end of times, and decided to change the destiny of mankind, on his own terms. Consider him a cold killer, a merciless strategist. He is also extremely charming and cunning; he is a man who literally saw it all.

You have recently released two new singles, ‘Lords Of Misery’ and ‘A Glimpse At A Fool’s Destiny’ and you have said you will be releasing a new single every month with 8 songs in total, how happy are you with how the songs been received so far? And what made you decide to release the songs like this?

Answering your first question, its hard to break through. The world of music today is taken over by moguls with money, looking for a quick profit than long term quality. That being said, everyone that listens the singles like them, even critiques come out nicely.

The reason to release single by single is explained by the reality of music in these days. Lets say I record an album; I have a big bang and lots of promotion, but soon the album is old news, and nowadays thats two months maximum of exposure. Now, if I release single by single, each of them with their own big band, I got a chain reaction, and a concept album being the end target. Thats the main reason, another is because of our concept soul. Its easier to focus on a story at a time ( a song ) that release everything at once and try and fail to make sense of it all.





Zahyin live in action putting on a theatrical masterpiece!




I hear you are working on a music video for ‘A Glimpse At A Fool’s Destiny’, which you have released a short teaser video for, how is it coming along and can you give us a insight into this fantasy tale come to life?

That seems to be a confusion here. The teaser of Glimpse was for the single yet to come. It was a showcase of the song before its release. At the moment, our focus, if we are talking about videos, is to release the saga videos. These are small windows into the tales of Zahyin and their troupe. We are finishing the first storyboard, and soon we will start producing them in series. At first they will be short videos, budget is not ideal, so we need to compromise. When CalatrilloZ gets warmer, I know opportunities will come and I will take them.
Now I must confess, A Glimpse at a Fool’s Destiny is the song for a fantastical videoclip, but my ideas will be kept hidden till I have the chance to output them!

What has the song writing and recording process has been like with the new material?

Some of these songs had demos recorded of them. So we can call them half new, with some actual new songs coming ahead.
Carina, the fact is there was a Calatrilloz before, different from the CalatrilloZ we have now. Before it was careless, four minds trying to move forward by pushing each in a different direction, a gruesome Frankenstein. This time, its different. A Mozart spirit landed , and each melody, each bar, each riff, each second of the song was planned. It felt like writing epicness and majesty. A pleasant appearance with a witty core, elegance and boldness in each and every phrase, not a moment of unintended emptiness.
It felt like my soul as a composer was getting finally satisfied.


You are signed with Glory and Honour record label, how are things going with them so far?

That is something good to talk about. Glory and Honor is no longer our label, in fact it never was. The idea was when the singles came out, we would promote them together. But in between the deal being signed and the singles being released, my world came apart three times in a year, and the whole thing got delayed. Now its no longer a reality.

You are getting a lot of attention and success recently, such as closing deals with promotion agencies, how does this make you feel? And what have been some highlights so far?

I have two ways of answering this question, one like a self promoting looser, making big waves out of a glass of water, or a grounded strategist, seeing things how they really are. Will go always for the second one. This companies invited us to take part with them, but they do come with a cost, nothing comes free anymore, there is no more investment in a world yet to be.
Its thrilling to know that finally we are doing what we should have been doing from the very start; a professional approach. The results are just the beginning, and I am not even close to be satisfied. I will push more and more and bleed water from stone. The real game for a second in the spotlight is yet to start; but I tell you something, once I step in, it will spread beyond imagination.


Have you got any plans for an upcoming tour ahead?

First promotion; we have an US one and a Germany/Scandinavia promotion agencies. We need to raise the attention bar before we endeavor in touring. I have my eyes on North Europe, its the closest to us and I believe they will be charmed by us. And yes, US is a dream. Carina, I just have to put the very hard work first, than collect.

To anyone who hasn’t yet witnessed your live performances, what can attending fans expect from the show?
Ohhh, that will change your idea of a live show. CalatrilloZ dont make speeches, we don’t have beer breaks. From the moment we step in, till the moment we step out, its a show, and the characters of the tale are playing it out for you. Openings, interludes, special effects, the costumes, make-up; no one wants to play after us. They all look lacking.
In other words, I will be giving what I would like to receive; I don’t want to see a couple of dudes playing their music, on their jeans or t-shirts. I don’t to know how they would sound like for the rest of the show in the first five seconds of their first song. Being predictable has its space in American Idol, of X-factor. I want to be surprised with each and every song. And that’s what I am giving in a show. You won’t know what is coming next.


Is there anything yourself or your mysterious character would like to share with us or add?
Yes, and this is important. In this world today, if you like something, shout out loud. There is no way a band like us will break through the barriers imposed by the Pop moguls, if we don’t get the face book likes, the FREE downloads, fans joining the mailing list.
I not asking for money, just for 5 secs, once, to click a like button, to download the Free song, and to vote for us whenever its needed.
Cost you nothing and means the world for us. Or, prepare yourself for a decade of Justin Biebers and shit just like that. Nothing that comes easy can be good!


What else is in store for CalatrilloZ in 2014?
I am yet to find out. We have the eight singles, that will converge in the concept album. a number of Saga videos, telling the stories of the characters, and who knows, maybe soon I will be playing in a stage very close to you.

Interview by me originally done for Indie Band Guru which can be seen here: http://indiebandguru.com/calatrilloz-interview-with-te-time-travelling-progressive-metal-band/

 
I think big things are to come for this band so to keep up to date with CalatrilloZ and their latest music on their site:
http://www.calatrilloz.com/Main.html


Check out a review of their two latest singles:
http://carinasmusicreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/calatrilloz-single-reviews.html