For my 1078th music review, I am proud to present Noctorum’s fourth album The Afterlife released in November 2018 on the Schoolkids Records label. Noctorum is a collaboration between guitarist/singer-songwriter Marty Willson-Piper and producer Dare Mason and their first album in seven years. This ten track album features great vocals and instrumental backup with such tracks as The Moon Drips, High Tide Low Tide, Show, A Girl With No Love, Head On and much more. I was very impressed with the performance on this album as well as how it was written and recorded. I am looking forward to hearing their earlier releases to see the growth from their first album to this one. The album is available on CD and gatefold vinyl from Pledgemusic and other outlets.
Survivor is the March 29, 2019 album by Stella Parton, sister of Dolly Parton on the Raptor Records label. This is Stella’s 40th studio album and Survivor addresses different issues from the MeToo movement and drug abuse to Alzheimer’s disease and divorce with with eight original songs (the first in ten years) such as I Press On, The Last Rose Of Summer, Crazy Cradle Of Love, Leavin’ Even and much more as well as two covers Like A Rock (originally recorded by Bob Seger and Wake Me Up When It’s All Over (originally recorded by Avicii). Her voice still sounds as good now as she did back in 1975 when she had her big hit I Want to Hold You (In My Dreams Tonight). This latest album was well written, recorded, performed and produced. It will be available for purchase from Amazon and other outlets where CD’s and digital downloads are sold. I wish to thank Scott Adkins and Makenzie Clayburg with Adkins Publicity for the opportunity to hear and review this album.
ShapeShiftingAliens is the debut album by ShapeShiftingAliens, a Swedish duo, consisting of Niklas Rundquist and J.P Cleve (a producer and composer, live musician and studio musician (guitar) for artists and film). They create the music and the unusual and eccentric videos together with such tracks as Fade Away, Drums Of Bitter Hearts, Love Is A Battlefield, Just A Boy, 100 Miles and much more. I was impressed with how well this album was written, recorded, performed and produced. I am interested in hearing more from this band.
When I Think Of You In A Castle is the April 20, 2018 album by Chicago, Illinois based rock and roll band Post Animal on the Polyvinyl Records label. This band consists of Dalton Allison on bass, Matt Williams on guitar, Jake Hirshland on guitar and keyboards, Wesley Toledo on drums (his father David Toledo is a good friend and drummer for the WannaBeatles) and guitarists Javi Reyes and Joe Keery. This album is classic rock and roll with some Pink Floyd sounds thrown in. This ten track album features such great tracks as Everywhere All At Once, Tire Eyes, Heart Made Of Metal, Castle, One Thing and so much more. I enjoyed this album from start to finish and I was impressed with this amazing performance as well as how it was written, recorded and produced. I am looking forward to hearing much more from this band. You can find this great album from Polyvinyl Records, Bandcamp, Amazon and other outlets where Vinyl, CD’s and digital downloads are sold.
Monogatari is the upcoming album by 45-year multi-instrumentalist, primarily guitar, recording artist Eric J. Confer to be scheduled for release on 9 February 2019 on the Blue Freya Records label. This artist that released many albums in the past as well as performing with Richard J. Baysinger (two albums) as well as vocalist for the melodic Death/Heavy metal band Viggenblot. I was impressed with this album tracks as Angels Cry, Inexorable, Joanne, Rain, The Dead Dance Too and much more. This great artist also known as Xaoslord gave a great performance as well as going a great job writing this album and making sure that this album was well recorded and produced. I am looking forward to hearing his earlier solo material as well material he has performed with other artists.
Home is the 2007 album by multi-instrumentalist Gregory Boyce, known for his heavier releases with his one-man band Boyce. This album is more of a softer side in some aspects with a jazz and fusion feel. I asked Greg the difference between the albums that is by the band Boyce and those released by Gregory Boyce and this was his answer: For the heavier music, he uses the name Boyce and for lighter stuff and fusion, he uses Gregory Boyce. Listening to this great album, I see what he is talking about with such great tracks as the title track Home, Midnight Coup, I Cry, Dreams, Blue and much more. I was very impressed with how well this album was written, performed and recorded. I am looking forward to hearing more of this side of this artist.
Scavenger is the debut album by Hoia, an infusion of musical interests by Prateek Rajagopal, a virtuoso guitarist, budding film composer and writer/producer. After releasing two EPs with HOIA, Prateek is all set to release his debut album titled Scavenger. The record has a more sophisticated songwriting approach compared to his previous releases. Although he is the primary songwriter, Prateek approached Colin Edwin of Porcupine Tree & Wojtek Deregowski (a reputed session musician from Poland) to perform bass and drums respectively. This five-track album features such tracks as Write Across, Escape Orb, the title track Scavenger, and two others. This album was well written, recorded, performed and produced. This album is scheduled for release on April 4, 2019, from Bandcamp and other outlets where CD’s and digital downloads are sold.
One Day Closer To Yesterday is the sophomore album by progressive metal band Shaumaun consisting of Farhad Hossain on Vocals, Guitars, and keyboards, Jose Mora on Bass, Tyler Kim on Guitar and Tanvir Tomal on Drums. Compared to their debut album, this release is a bit more raw and heavy, but the melodies and vocals are never compromised. I was impressed by the soaring vocals and lead guitar work, melodic bass lines, and the technical and groove-oriented drumming on such tracks as Fear Is, Nafsi Ammara, Central Station, Prove Yourself and much more. This release was well written, recorded, performed and produced. I am looking forward to hearing more from this band. This great album will be available for purchase on February 22, 2019, from http://www.shumaun.com and other outlets where CD’s and digital downloads are sold.
Woodstock 2 (or Woodstock two as on the cover) is the second live album released of the 1969 Woodstock festival concert. Woodstock 2 was originally released in 1971 as a double LP set and was re-released as a double CD in 1994. It contains songs that did not make it onto the first Woodstock album. It contains such performances as Theme For An Imaginary Western by Mountain, Guinevere and Marrakech Express by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, and much more. This LP is not as popular as the first one but still a great addition to anyone’s record collection.
Duels is the future EP release by Denver, Colorado-based band Brim Liski, scheduled for release March 22, 2019, on the Latenight Weeknight Records label. It has been seven years since their latest album, their previous one being The Repetitions album in 2012. They released their eponymous “Brim Liski” album in 2009. Brim Liski is a duo comprised of experimental multi-versed digital artist Cacheflowe (aka Justin Gitlin) and Ryan Policky, who is vocalist and producer for renowned prog-gazers A Shoreline Dream. This album of what I call futurepop consists of the tracks The Music Years, the title track Duels, A Different View and Evolution. I was impressed with its unique sound and how well this EP was written as well as how it was recorded, performed and produced. I am looking forward to seeing if this release will be available on CD. This album will be available on March 22nd from Bandcamp (https://brimliski.bandcamp.com/releases) and other outlets.