Frank Zappa

Those Darn Gnomes – Calling Whitetails to a Tuned Bow Review

Those Darn Gnomes – Calling Whitetails to a Tuned Bow Review

“Imagine being at a party with your musician pals. They’re all very accomplished. Suddenly, they decide to put on an impromptu jam. Everybody joins in–like, a dozen people. They decide they’re going to play, oh, I don’t know, some weird number, like from Harry Partch or something. Only they all play a different Partch composition at the same time, and add some slam poetry, pound on some homemade instruments, and one guy starts growling death metal vocals. Now comes the choose your own adventure part: do you sit there mesmerized, in awe of the spectacle unfolding, or do you stand up and leave due to your churning stomach, unable to handle the confluence of disparate styles, rhythms, and sounds? Welcome to Those Darn Gnomes.” Chaos is a ladder.

An Interview with A Forest of Stars

An Interview with A Forest of Stars

“At Bloodstock Open Air 2018, I was able to spend an hour with the Leeds-based progressive black metal Victorian menagerie that is A Forest of Stars. They had just finished their set on the Sophie Lancaster Stage and were riding a wave of adrenaline that placed them in an excitable, energetic, and joyous mood.” A day in the forest…with stars.

Arjen Lucassen – Lost in the New Real Review

Arjen Lucassen – Lost in the New Real Review

A few years back when Guilt Machine released, Arjen Lucassen (of—deep breath—Ayreon, Star One, Arjen Lucassen, Guilt Machine, Galexia, Stream of Passion, Vengeance, Ambeon and a myriad of other projects I probably don’t even know exist) is reported to have said that if he’d had to do it over again, Ayreon would have sounded like Guilt Machine. Whether that was just talk in the build up for a new record or not, it appears that to a certain extent he meant it, as his new Lost in the New Real sounds like the combination of the two projects. On the one hand, Lost in the New Real is a concept record and (faux) double album, featuring the dulcet tones of Rutger Hauer as narrator and “psychologist,” like one would expect from an Ayreon record. However, like Guilt Machine, the record features primarily only one vocalist (Arjen himself), and the music is largely a post-Pink Floyd progressive rock heavy with atmospherics and sweet, but melancholic, melodies. As a fan of Guilt Machine and not of Ayreon, I can say that I was curious to see how this sort of combination would work and I was pleasantly surprised.