Posts Tagged ‘KScope’

For nearly twenty years, Gazpacho have reigned as the kings of atmospheric and affective art rock. That’s certainly no small feat, as the subgenre is full of wonderfully moody, ornate, and emotional artists; yet, none of them manage to achieve the same level of exquisite baroque resonance and hypnotically introspective weight as the Norwegian sextet. As a result, they never fail to provide awe-inspiring examinations of the human condition, and their latest observation, Fireworker, is no exception. It is undoubtedly among their greatest achievements, as well as one of the most profound pieces of music you’ll hear in 2020.

Listen to ‘Fireworker’ here:

 

Conceptually, the album follows the band’s tradition of blending grand philosophical quandaries, stimulating literary leanings, and haunting personal turmoil. In a way, it acts as the culmination of the themes and techniques that’ve decorated earlier collections, combining the fatalistic isolation of Night and Missa Atropos; the ill-fated narrative drama of Tick Tock and Soyuz; and the hefty theological/scientific contemplations of Demon and Molok. Beyond that, its central premise (that humanity has always been controlled by an infallible and omniscient creature determined to propagate at any cost) means that Fireworker comes across like the overarching umbrella under which all of its predecessors occur.

Keyboardist Thomas Andersen elucidates: “There’s an instinctual part of you that lives inside your mind, separate from your consciousness. I call it the ‘Fireworker’ or the ‘Lizard’ or the ‘Space Cowboy.’ It’s an eternal and unbroken lifeforce that’s survived every generation, with a new version in each of us. It’s evolved alongside our consciousness, and it can override us and control all of our actions.” In order to get us to do what it wants, he clarifies, the “Fireworker” will silence the parts of our mind that feel disgust or remorse so that we’re unable to stop it. The conscious part of our mind, Andersen notes, will actually “rationalize and legitimize” those thoughts and actions so that we never discover the beast behind-the-scenes. No matter how we feel about ourselves in terms of identity, accomplishments, and value, we’re all just vessels—or “Sapiens”—that the creature uses until it no longer needs us. “If you play along,” Andersen explains, “It’ll reward you like a puppy and let you feel fantastic; if you don’t, it’ll punish you severely.”

KSCOPE – 7th February 2020

James Wells

Inescapable is Godsticks’ fifth studio album, and on it, the central focus is emotion. The accompanying blurb reports how the band ‘found themselves wanting a definitive theme running through Inescapable, without turning it into a concept album, of being more open, more personal and ultimately one that shines an inquisitive light on Charles’s struggle with inner demons which gave the songs a new level of intimacy’.

The first and most striking thing about Inescapable is its range. Opening with lead single ‘Denigrate’ which features TesseracT’s Daniel Tompkins, Inescapable announces its arrival in strong style, and not for the last time am I reminded of Alice in Chains – not because they sound like them so much, as the way they weave their melodies and vocal harmonies, the drawling, elongated vowels, and squirming darkness in the chords themselves: metal that’s not metal.

The nine-minute ‘Change’ slows the tempo and ups the angst, before the pairing of ‘Breathe’ and ‘Time’, both of which are altogether more succinct, counterpart one another nicely, the former being delicately wrought, the latter packing some punch, with sinewy lead guitars and chunky riffage that drive the album to dynamic straight-up rock finish.

AA

Godsticks – Inescapable

Godsticks open 2020 with their new and most accomplished studio album, Inescapable. Their mix of heavy rock, progressive and alternative metal with a dynamic range of angular riffs and emotional depth will leave listeners reeling. The band’s sound has refined over their releases on Kscope, beginning with the technically astounding metal on Emergence to the more industrial and progressive-influenced Faced With Rage. Now, with Inescapable, the band have channelled their energy and technical ability into the melody, phrasing and vocal performance, allowing emotion to take centre stage.

The band found themselves wanting a definitive theme running through Inescapable, without turning it into a concept album, of being more open, more personal and ultimately one that shines an inquisitive light on Charles’s struggle with inner demons which gave the songs a new level of intimacy. “Lyrically, I’ve always shared personal thoughts, feelings and experiences but in a very ambiguous way. For Inescapable – in a conscious effort not to repeat ourselves – I thought I’d be a little more self-reflective and perhaps examine some of my inner demons. I have a strange relationship with music, and especially playing guitar. I would struggle to survive without either, but equally they have made my life mentally torturous because my own self-worth is completely wrapped up in them. I used to be very much a perfectionist in my early years, and whilst some people may wear that as a badge of honour, I eventually viewed it as huge heavy weight dragging down. It was a long time before I arrived at the realisation that perfection was impossible to achieve.” elaborates Darran Charles.

As a taster, they’ve released a video single for ‘Denigrate’. Watch it here:

Godsticks are supporting the new material beginning in April with a UK tour followed by summer festivals

2/4/2020 – Cardiff – Fuel Rock Club

3/4/2020 – London – Black Heart

4/4/2020 – Manchester – Gullivers

5/4/2020 – Edinburgh – Opium

Godsticks

Following the announcement of IAMTHEMORNING’s new studio album The Bell, due for release on Kscope on 2nd August, the Russian duo, comprising of virtuoso classical pianist Gleb Kolyadin and charismatic vocalist Marjana Semkina have premiered the first single to be taken from the new opus ‘Ghost Of A Story’.

You can watch the video for ‘Ghost of a Story’ here:

Following the announcement of IAMTHEMORNING’s new studio album The Bell, due for release on Kscope on 2nd August, the Russian duo, comprising of virtuoso classical pianist Gleb Kolyadin and charismatic vocalist Marjana Semkina have premiered the first single to be taken from the new opus “Ghost Of A Story”.

Marjana explains more on how “Ghost Of A Story” fits into the album’s song cycle “’Ghost of a Story’ starts the second part of the song cycle that is The Bell, and we decided to launch it with a brighter note to have a bigger contrast with all what comes after. It’s a song about awakening, reinterpreting and questioning yourself and the world and looking for deeper meanings. It’s a song about how pain dims with time – about the fact that in the end, every tragedy that we suffer through is just a drop in the ocean of suffering of men – that we survive anyway. "Nothing feels real, these scars won’t heal – Nothing’s worth tears, it was alright from very start"

The live studio clip was filmed by the band’s long-time collaborator Eggor Kree at Lendok studios in St Petersburg.

The duo’s dedication to writing forward-thinking and thought-provoking music sees them create a new album of impressive depth and playability. A modern blend of rock, classical and folk, The Bell makes use of 19th Century song cycles – a style established by Schubert – that cohesively tells 10 individual stories. Vocalist Marjana Semkina explains in more detail “The Bell is divided into two parts but each song is a story in its own right, all of them are fuelled by human cruelty and pain caused by it. Cruelty is the central theme of the album – together with all the different ways we respond to it and cope with it. This album is multi-layered and is, in many ways, a journey inwards, taking us inside of a mind of a person suffering from abuse or neglect or open hostility of the society or a specific person.

“Aesthetically, the album is based on themes taken from Victorian England’s art and culture, but more in a way of turning our attention to the fact that at its core, humankind isn’t making much progress in terms of emotional maturity.”

The Bell was recorded in March 2019 across Russia, the UK and Canada in several studios: Mosfilm in Moscow; Lendoc and Red Wave in St Petersburg; Noatune in London; The Studio at Sunbeams, Penrith; and Union Sound Company in Toronto. With engineering and mastering handled by Vlad Avy. 

The album features the track “Blue Sea” which featured in demo form on the band’s studio film Ocean Sounds.

The album’s beautiful cover artwork was created by the band’s favoured collaborator Constantine Nagishkin. Marjana explains the imagery “on the cover is a safety coffin bell – it’s a 19th century idea born from people’s obsessive fear of being buried alive, having been provoked by a lot of press attention to supposed cases of premature burials across the country.  and the fact that Edgar Allan Poe frightened many readers by vividly describing the premature burial phenomenon in his short stories.

“One of the inventions to escape such a terrifying ordeal was a so called “safety coffin” that existed in many different configurations, including the one that had a bell attached to the gravestone with a thread that was attached to it and went all the way underground into the coffin so that the when the poor soul awoke  and  on realizing  he’s been buried alive, could ring to let the people outside know what has happened.

“Although the idea is a bit morbid I feel there is hope in the artwork too – no matter how low you are or desperate you think your situation is, you can still call for help, but more than that you have to call for help if you need it”.

In recent years, French atmospheric rockers Klone have built their name on making music that’s as deeply introspective as it is sonically powerful. Le Grand Voyage, the band’s first release for UK post-progressive specialists Kscope on 20th September, is an album brimming with that sense of searching and self-discovery, its 10 tracks living up to its name in unabashed no-stone-unturned existential exploration.

“Our music allows the listener to travel and ask, ‘What is the spirit? What is the matter?’ and those kinds of questions,” says guitarist Guillaume Bernard. “The title refers to the wandering of the mind. It all came our singer [Yann Ligner] who came up with something in English like ‘The Great Journey’. We all liked the meaning but weren’t sure how it sounded. Eventually we realised it would be easy enough for people to translate and understand in our native tongue.”

Much of the inspiration on forthcoming singles ‘Breach’, ‘Keystone’, and ‘Hidden Passenger’ came from pondering the great philosophies of life, those eternal unanswered questions like who we are, where we are going and, ultimately, what happens next. It was the uncertainty and confusion surrounding mortality, the notion that something or nothing awaits us, which felt like an unlimited creative playground for the French art-rockers.

You can watch the video here: