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Prog Rock

Spirits of The Dead release their new album on 9 December

Album release: Rumours of a Presence by Spirits of The Dead
Release date: 9 December 2013
Label: The End Records
Listen: on official website

“This is superior stuff, and as a Soundtrack to a trip through imaginary green and pleasant lands, delivers in full" - 7/10 Classic Rock Magazine

"Spirits of the Dead are giving psychedelic rock a welcome with bold colourful brushstrokes and a genuine sense of wonder” - Prog

"Deeply powerful and captivating every second of the way" - Shindig!

"Hallucinogenics may been involved in making some of the music. For fans of King Crimson, Nick Drake and Tame Impala" - 7/10 Rock Sound

Labelled as ‘Norway’s finest psychedelic stoner band’ Spirits of the Dead are ready to unleash their third album Rumours of a Presence, recorded in some of the most isolated parts of Norway.

Sometimes it is hard to be an optimist. Here in the privileged Western world, we live in an age where most people spend their entire lives transfixed by glittering pixels on a smartphone screen, seemingly impervious to everything else that is going on around them, immune to the magic that sparkles and flashes in the air, even dead to the provocative crackle of synapses hidden within their own weather-beaten skulls. But that magic definitely exists. It exists in the music of Spirits Of The Dead, the modern era’s most skilled and soulful psychedelic rock protagonists and the keepers of the ancient flame of altered sonic states. It exists elsewhere too, of course, but Spirits Of The Dead are a band that have taken up permanent residence in the shadowy recesses of restless minds.

These Norwegian seers may seem to fit neatly into that cosy cabal of retrogressive rock ‘n’ roll bands that are in permanent nostalgic thrall to the great guitar-driven works of the late 60s and early 70s, and yes, there is definitely a superficial adherence to that arcane code buried deep within the songs that they have presented to the world thus far. But there is something else going on here, something idiosyncratic and mesmerising, something that defies description and dares the imagination to throw off its shackles to the known and the now. Maybe that magic lurks in the valves and wires of the analogue equipment that gives Spirits Of The Dead their timeless but timely sound. Maybe it lurks in the gaps between the warm, distorted tones that resonate every time this band pick up their instruments and channel their unerring creative pulse. Maybe it cannot be found at all. It matters not, because Spirits Of The Dead have drawn inspiration and solace from a bottomless well of musical inspiration, harnessing the riffs and melodies and subtly intricate arrangements of the fines psychedelic and progressive rock and filtering it all back through the prism of their own brilliant creativity.

This is music that matters and moves. These are songs that surround you like the warmth of a brightly-coloured cloak amid the icy, hostile squall of life’s never-ending blizzard. These are songs that send waves of exhilarating electricity through your bloodstream, causing your heartbeat to quicken and your limbs to flail in breathless pursuit of spectral grooves yet to be tamed.

Sometimes it is hard to be an optimist, but when Spirits Of The Dead are plugged in and letting the magic flow through their fingertips, this moment in time feels like something to be celebrated, the future looks bright and the world is a weird, wild and wonderful place. All you need to do is listen…

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Metallic prog-rock band Arthouse Hours release 'All for One' on July 22

Album release: All for One by Arthouse Hours
Release date: 22 July
Listen: on Bandcamp 

Hailing from St Petersburg, Russia, Arthouse Hours set about creating their breed of metallic prog-rock in 2010. Their ascent to the forefront of the city’s alternative music scene was a swift one, in the wake of a first mini-album release (View of Notre Dame) in 2011. Putting the stress of several line-up changes behind them, the band formerly know as Arthouse In Your Waking Hours locked themselves away in their own custom-built studio, charged with the task of writing and recording their sophomore record. All For One is the brutal result. Armed with a hefty cannon of Russian-born riffs, Arthouse Hours step take a giant step towards worldwide recognition with the UK release of the album on July 22.

Citing multi-era heavy rock, prog, industrial and metal influences such as Yes, Converge, Godflesh and The Fall of Troy, Arthouse Hours wield a steady hand at the production desk too, always careful to allow space for them to nod towards their heritage whilst administering their own force on the proceedings. On tracks like Away they are tormented (“Every season, like a prison”), during Heavily Assaulted, they openly burn bridges (“Relegate beloved ones… I can be alone”), whilst on Like This they find solace in Closure (“Farewell my dear friend”).

Thematically, the album centres around an individual under stress. Our protagonist goes through a break up with the object of his desire. He has conflicting thoughts on this, that frequently turn to dreams. He later questions whether he has actually experienced loss, instead acquiring something that is much bigger - a realization dawns that life must go on. On it goes. 

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New double A side single from Syd Arthur

Single release: double A-side from Syd Arthur, Ode To The Summer / Edge of The Earth
Release date: 11 March
Label: Dawn Chorus Recording Company
Listen: on official website

Praise for debut album On An On

'Dorothy begins with a calmative wash of heat-have guitars, then cedes to a lazy, joined at the hip groove that's a small marvel of poise and subtlety.... Enchanting' - Mojo

‘Dizzyingly intricate… they bristle with energy and ideas’ - Q

‘Strong compositional ideas… a careering piece’ - Uncut

‘Absurdly talented’ - Word

‘Syd Arthur are sons and heirs of those Canterbury musicians who did sometimes whimsical, sometimes intense things with psychedelic and progressive rock’ - The Guardian

‘Staggeringly good. It will take something exceptional to beat On An On to Prog Album Of The Year’ - Classic Rock  

When Syd Arthur emerged in 2012 with their debut, self-recorded, self-produced, self released album On An On, it didn’t take long for them to meet with critical acclaim. Hailed as natural successors to Canterbury’s famous folk-prog sound, they not only connected with fans of Caravan, Soft Machine and Gong, but with fans of contemporary artists like Tame Impala, Devendra Banhart and Wolf People. Rave reviews across Q, Mojo, Uncut and The Guardian followed. With the release of the single Dorothy in late 2012, the band had their first taste of UK radio support, scoring plays across Radio 2, 6 Music, XFM, Amazing Radio, NME Radio, Q Radio and more. 

Greatly inspired by the sonic pioneers of the late 60s and early 70s, they have patiently learned how to engineer, produce and mix themselves, using an innovative hybrid of analogue and digital techniques. They seamlessly mix bucolic, retro reveries, devastating blasts of precision controlled riffing, sweeping folk, fleet-fingered mandolin work and a musical vocabulary that’s as fluently conversant with world music as it is the time signature twists of many progressive artists. 

The band then finished their 2012 with a sell out headline show at Communion’s club night at The Wilmington Arms, recorded a live session for Daytrotter, were invited by Qthemusic.com to write an in depth blog on world music and received a full page ‘High Hopes’ feature from Classic Rock (who also included Edge of The Earth as one of their Best Tracks of 2012). On Boxing Day, Paul Weller and Bradley Wiggins presented a Radio 2 show of their favourite songs, during which Weller picked Ode To The Summer. He also talked the band up in Uncut magazine in their My Life In Music column (Dec 2012) and even invited them to support him live in Europe. 

It’s live that Syd Arthur really continue to impress: their intricate, high-energy live sets, which to date include Glastonbury and Secret Garden slots, have resulted in a large following emerging - one that is also blossoming in Europe as they continue to pick up tours in France, Belgium, The Netherlands and most recently Italy. For their latest dates, please see below.  

Syd Arthur UK and Ireland Tour

Headline UK and Ireland Tour dates, Feb 2013 are as follows:

9th - BREWERY ARTS CENTRE - KENDAL
Adv Tickets: £7.50 Doors: 8pm
http://www.breweryarts.co.uk/music/listing/syd-arthur

10th - THE MAZE - NOTTINGHAM
Adv Tickets: £6 (£4 NUS) Doors: 8pm
http://www.wegottickets.com/event/197835

11th - OPORTO - LEEDS
http://oportobar.co.uk/

12th - BAND ON THE WALL - MANCHESTER
Adv Tickets: £7.50 Doors: 7.30pm
http://bandonthewall.org/events/3720/

13th - BROADCAST - GLASGOW
Adv Tickets: £7 Doors: 8pm
http://www.pclpresents.com/shows.html

14th - ROISIN DUBH - GALWAY
http://www.roisindubh.net

15th - WHELANS - DUBLIN
Adv Tickets: €6 online, €8 on the door Doors: 7pm
http://www.communionmusic.co.uk/live/

19th - LOUISIANA - BRISTOL
Adv Tickets: £6 Doors: 8pm
http://www.wegottickets.com/event/197838

20th - SEBRIGHT ARMS - LONDON
Adv Tickets: £7 Doors: 8pm
http://www.communionmusic.co.uk/live/ 

21st - STICKY MIKES FROG BAR - BRIGHTON
Adv Tickets: £7 Doors: 8pm
http://www.communionmusic.co.uk/live/

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