Howdy, guest writer SirPent here,
Since the admins are too ‘busy’ to do a roundabout for Sigh’s new album, Heir to Despair, I’ve been granted the “gift” of a whole review post!
Heir to Despair was released last month and hyped up by the band telling people that they’ll hate it, even if they like the single… Due to that great advertising, I immediately had to purchase it!
I find it a very strong, sizzling album on the whole that’s still very much in keeping with their jauntily-eerie signature sound. The theme this time being particularly based around ideas of insanity, depicted fittingly by the cover art; though I do find it much less concise/thematic than other albums such as In Somniphobia and Graveward. However, I am reluctant to criticise this as it may very well be the point of the record.
It’s finally here: the biggest cinematic event of the year – Prog Talk’s 2018 Q&A!
Join the English representatives of Prog Talk (Leth, Cerpin and SirPent) as they traverse around Leicester for a few pints, engage in a bit of banter and answer those elusive questions in life:
What is the album of the year? What is the best Rush alum? Who is the most attractive Prog Talk admin? How can Dream Theater be fixed? Plus many more!
I’d like to personally apologize for both the lateness of this video and its recording quality. Technology was very much against us at the meetup as I am a Luddite, so this year’s Q&A somehow being a step down from last years in almost every aspect – though I have tried to salvage it in the editing
Hopefully you’ll still find it engaging nonetheless!
If you have any feedback regarding the format, editing or filming, please let us know so we can take it on board for next time. As exasperating as editing this was, I quite enjoyed doing it and I want to persue more video-based projects like this in the future
Most importantly, what are YOUR answers to the questions we got asked? Do you agree to any of the answers we brought up? Are we talking out of our behinds? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
Eyebrows hit the roof when Gazpacho themselves ask us to be patient when listening to their new record. In all fairness, they’re right in doing so.
Soyuz, the Norwegian art rock outfit’s tenth studio album, has slipped from the vice of an overarching narrative that has held their post-Night albums together so tightly. 2009’s Tick Tock heralded the adversities of Antoine de Saint-Exupery; 2014’s Demon spoke in whispers of satanic possession and 2015’s Molok threatened the very universe itself. Here, Soyuz is simply tied together by the idea of life’s fleetingness. You would assume Soyuz to be a rather modest addition then, given Gazpacho’s impressive history.
However, Soyuz doesn’t struggle in finding something to present to us – in fact, there’s too much the album tries to offer, and it takes a lot of patience to let it all sink in.
To carry on with my Kate Bush worship from my last article, I’d like to give a few thoughts on her last studio record, 50 Words for Snow. Then after all this, I promise I’ll move onto gorging myself on another artist’s discography, okay?
Kate Bush is perhaps Britain’s greatest female musician, maybe even the world’s, and it’s not hard to imagine why, given her myriad of hit records and high critical acclaim. Though she’s best known for singles ‘Wuthering Heights’ and ‘Running Up That Hill’, her extensive catalogue of albums is, on the whole, some of the finest works in all of art pop.
50 Words for Snow, released back in 2011, shows her full transformation from the hotblooded pop diva in her 1978 debut, The Kick Inside, to a more mature and tender songwriter. The album is one of restraint that embodies the spirit of winter with an utmost beauty, showing Kate at her most graceful. Simply put: 50 Words for Snow is as far from pop as Kate Bush has dared to venture, but her artistry has reached its peak.
“I’m sure this new Prog Talk article is worth the wai- oh bloody hell, it’s another ‘Beyond the Wall’ post isn’t it?..”
Now hear me out:
In between binging Kayo Dot records, Cerpin’s latest addiction has been none other than the queen of art pop herself – quite fitting given that my last review was of Iceland’s answer to Kate Bush. Since it’s been so long since the last installment, too, I thought the best way to celebrate this woman’s work would be via a new ‘Beginner’s Guide To’ flowchart.
Not only do I implore you explore Kate Bush‘s discography – I demand it.
Many progressive rock fans would look more towards Kate Bush‘s colleagues David Gilmour or Peter Gabriel as their idols in the genre, but Kate Bush’s groundbreaking experimental approach to pop music and artistry in music is far more ‘prog’ than people care to admit.
The end is finally here! Cerpin Taxt’s Best Albums of 2017 sees its conclusion with my favourite five albums of 2017. If you’ve followed Part the First and Part the Second, you can probably guess as to what this article’s subjects entail. Unlike the other two parts, however, I’ve decided to rank this final section. I was originally against it, but I’m not alien to bailing on initial intentions – the numbers here mean very little though, as these are the five most essential listens of 2017 that I implore you to listen to.
As an addendum, I’d also like to give an honourable mention to Benjamin Clementine’s eclectic album I Tell a Fly that I’ve only just heard coming into 2018. I’m still coming across excellent albums from 2017, so who knows – I could end up redoing this Album of the Year list next year with completely new records!
Without further ado, here are my favourite albums of 2017:
It’s time for the second installment of Cerpin’s Best Albums of 2017, following last week’s Part the First that included Arca, Bent Knee, Leprous, Motorpsycho and Saagara’s latest records plus a plethora of honourable mentions. Part the Second brings another five excellent records from last year that are a nose ahead of the previous albums, but just below my favourite five records of 2017 that will be resolved in Part the Third.
Remember that these albums are in no particular order, unless explicitly stated! So without further ado, here are my next favourite records of 2017:
2017 seems to have come and gone in a flash; though truth be told, I’m not all that sad about it.
Obvious political blunders aside, last year felt a little bleak, musically speaking at least. A large number of albums that I had highly anticipated triggered only a lukewarm reaction from me, even those beyond the progressive genre. Even the records that I found most compelling this year are a far throw from how captivated I was by 2016’s Blackstar, Spirit Phone and my other favourites. Maybe I’ve just missed out on some of the hottest albums from 2017? Maybe I’ve just grown bitter with age? Probably the latter.
Cynicism aside, there have been a lot of great albums from 2017, and it’s really been difficult to rank one over another. As such, my ‘Album of the Year’ list this year is split into three tiers: Part the First, Part the Second and Part the Third, where each subsequent group of 5 albums exceeds the last, but the albums listed are in no particular order.
It’s taken me a long time even to make these groups as the lines between them are extremely blurred, so don’t take the groups as gospel – I highly encourage you to listen to each and every album in this AOTY list if you haven’t done so already!
You can’t go very long in a conversation about art pop before the name ‘Björk‘ springs up. Whilst progressive rock fans look more towards Kate Bush as the heralding maiden of the genre, it would be greatly amiss not to appreciate Björk‘s contributions to experimentation, artistic expression and technological innovation in pop music over the past few decades.
From the youthful energy in Debut‘s electropop to Vespertine’s sensual microbeats and from Medúlla‘s primal a capella to Vulnicura‘s emotionally-devastating string section, there is very little in Björk‘s solo discography that hasn’t experimented with a wide variety of styles, instrumentation and themes. Cue Utopia – Björk‘s latest album that explores the use of woodwind instrumentation and, quite unsurprisingly, circles the theme of paradise.
Those of you who know me personally know how much I anticipate each Björk release, so what did I think about it now that it’s released? More importantly, what did you think about it? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below the review, but without further ado – let’s talk Björk:
Well, maybe not ‘ghost’ per se, but his hologram.
The Zappa Family Trust has announced a collaboration with Eyellusion to produce a hologram of the deceased musician Frank Zappa to perform in future live shows alongside (living) former bandmates.
Ahmet Zappa has also teased at the premise of a full performance of ‘Joe’s Garage’ featuring the virtual Frank.
You can read the full announcement here
On a completely unrelated note, the Zappa Family Trust has suffered internal strain between Frank and Gail Zappa’s children since Gail’s passing. Ahmet and Diva Zappa allegedly hold a larger proportion of shares and control than Dweezil and Moon Zappa. The biggest controversy surrounding this debacle is Dweezil Zappa’s ‘trademark violation’ of his band ‘Zappa Plays Zappa’, in which the guitarist covers his father’s work.
Dweezil Zappa has since changed the name of his latest tour to ‘50 Years of Frank: Dweezil Zappa Plays Whatever the F@%k He Wants – The Cease and Desist Tour’ to avoid further legal from the Zappa Family Trust.
You can read more about the events surrounding the Zappa Family Trust here
But here’s the question: should a musician be brought back from the dead, either through necromancy or the wonders of technology, for the purpose of performing more live shows? Is this a genuinely well-intentioned premise from the Zappa Family Trust or are they only in it for the money? Will Frank Zappa’s hologram ever perform with Tupac’s hologram? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below – let’s talk ghosts!