In the middle of the Corona crisis Haken release an album called "Virus" as if they had a premonition of the upcoming pandemic. Lyrically extremely exciting, it follows an extremely hard and uncompromising path musically. Is the band putting their prog claim on the back burner with this? Which virus got Haken there?
The times of Corona are hard enough for all of us. Now, with their new album "Virus", Haken are putting their finger in the wound even more. But unintentionally, because the album was written as a sequel to its predecessor "Vector" (2018) long before the Covid 19 pandemic. It tells the further story of the "Cockroach King", who first appeared on the album "The Mountain" (2013) in the track of the same name, one of the most famous and fascinating songs of the band. We felt songwriter, guitarist and keyboarder Richard Henshall as well as the hook virus.
In Lower Saxony they are shooting musically sharp lately! The band around singer and pianist Simon Moskon thinks in large format. Their progressive folk is putting the pedal to the metal. "Once Upon A Time" lives up to its name as a musical spaghetti western with a lot of pathos, harshness and queen-like choirs. The third album of the North German trio is his most elaborately produced work so far. How much western ethos and campfire romanticism is in "Once Upon A Time"?
Who does not remember the pleasant shiver when watching old "Dracula", "Frankenstein" or Edgar Allan Poe movies? The horrifying "grimaces" of Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee or Vincent Price are etched in the collective memory. Now the Welsh band Magenta is dedicating an album to these eerie mimes.
While multi-instrumentalist Rob Reed, singer Christina Booth and guitarist Chris Fry had set even more modern accents on their last album "We Are Legend" (2017), the band once again falls back on the classic prog sound for the setting of the life stories of six legendary actors. In an interview with eclipsed, Magenta mastermind Reed spoke about his enthusiasm for old horror flicks and the current status of progressive rock.
eclipsed: "Hammer Horror" is the name of a song by Kate Bush. Apparently, you're inspired by old creepy hams too, Rob?
The Moving Oos were already quite successful in the first decade of the new millennium, but for some inexplicable reason and after three albums, they have taken leave in 2010. The fact that the three main musicians Per Borten, Frank Reppen and Haakon-Marius Pettersen do not reinvent rock'n roll on the side or full-time with bands like Spidergawd or Cadillac, Blood On Wheels and Turbonegro, but they do make it a little more interesting and exciting, may have been one of many reasons for the end of the band. In 2019, however, a reunion took place, and the project has been on stage with eight musicians ever since.
The Swedish Louise Lemón is a charming and highly sensitive young lady, but without doubt as a painfully intense artist she is also a real drama queen. It is not for nothing that the press awarded her the title "Queen of Death Gospel". Her soul life, which she likes to reveal with her music, resembles a constant exorcism - to drive out her own inner demons, which make especially the love life so difficult. On her current EP, appropriately titled "Devil", you can be a witness to this "exorcism".
eclipsed: Louise, are you actually happy with the label "Queen of Death Gospel"? Or to put it another way: Where do you see yourself in relation to a genre?
Louise Lemón: I think it's a very nice way of describing what I do as an artist, because it captures the inner core and not just the sound or a particular genre. At the same time it is also very poetically expressed.
Most recently, the Americans Steve Babb and Fred Schendel had great success with their project Glass Hammer. The genre-ironic story about the time-traveling prog nerd Tom on "Chronomonaut" (2018), for example, amused the otherwise sometimes very serious retroprog fan community. Now Glass Hammer return to their roots. Already their 1993 debut "Journey Of The Dunadan" was inspired by Tolkien. On "Dreaming City" the "Sword & Sorcery" factor (subgenre of fantasy literature) is now also extremely high. And also musically they have come up with some new ideas. In any case, everything is ready for the prog round table.
eclipsed: How you doing in Corona times, Steve?
With their pithy lap-steel, slide and acoustic guitars the two sisters Megan (31) and Rebecca (29) Lovell already accompanied Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Bob Seger or country superstar Keith Urban and made their songs swing powerfully. But the musical epicentre of the two Graces from Atlanta, Georgia, who have been calling Nashville their home for quite some time now, is their own project Larkin Poe. The "soulmates", as Megan and Rebecca like to call themselves, have always been docile students of the original blues.
It is not new that Paul Banks likes to have a series of flings alongside his band Interpol. But he seems to be serious about his new project Muzz. Besides Banks, the group consists of drummer Matt Barrick from The Walkman and the Fleet Foxes and guitarist Josh Kaufman from the folk band Bonny Light Horseman. All three musicians have known each other for a long time. It was never really a question of whether they would get together, only when that would happen.
"Matt Barrick reconnected Paul and me," Kaufman recalls. "At least on a creative basis. As friends, we were always in touch anyway. But Matt worked separately with Paul and me on different projects. The word 'organic' might be a little overused, but that's how it feels now that the three of us are doing something together."