This week, a lot of new music. I was pleasantly surprised to receive the new Shadow Circus single this week. It's their first release since the excellent "Shadows & Screams", an album that received considerable airplay on my show, and it doesn't disappoint. I decided to play the shorter song, simply to give you a taste, but the second track, Rise, is a small epic, well worth picking up.
Lithuanian band The Skys just released their new album Colors of the Desert and it also is an excellent release. On the less complex side of the prog spectrum, it nonetheless holds beautiful songs with great melodies. Welsh band Magenta also just released their new CD Chameleon. With great songs, and the beautiful voice of Christina, Magenta delivers an album, if not full of surprises, at least consistent with their recent releases. As for Airbag's sophomore album, All Rights Removed, it is a much better album than their previous one, which is saying something since "Identity" was excellent.
Other notable releases: The Mercury Tree's Pterodactyls is great, and Matt Stevens' guitar work on "Relics" is flabergasting! Pandora's Sempre e Ovunque is great Italian prog and Majestic, with a three song CD, each over 10 minutes long, delivers a great album with a classic sound. Sweden's Simon Says released a compilation album of songs that mostly appeared on "Various Artists"' albums over the years.
Lastly, Peter Gabriel's New Blood has undeservedly received some negative reviews. Some have said that "Gabriel covers Gabriel badly", but I say that, contrary to his previous covers album "Scratch My Back", this album keeps the spirit and mood of the original songs. Gabriel's voice, as always distinctive, is put front and center, not buried by a band, and the emotions are felt even more profoundly in these versions. Some of the stand-out tracks could be heard on the radio show.
The playlist was:
1- Daddy's Gone, by Shadow Circus (Rise EP, 2011)
2- Walking Alone, by The Skys (Colors of the Desert, 2011)
3- Lethal Kiss, by The Skys (Colors of the Desert, 2011)
4- Red, by Magenta (Chameleon, 2011)
5- Guernica, by Magenta (Chameleon, 2011)
6- All Rights Removed, by Airbag (All Rights Removed, 2011)
7- Never Coming Home, by Airbag (All Rights Removed, 2011)
8- San Jacinto, by Peter Gabriel (New Blood, 2011)
9- The Rhythm of the Heat, by Peter Gabriel (New Blood, 2011)
10- Darkness, by Peter Gabriel (New Blood, 2011)
11- Pterodactyls, by The Mercury Tree (Pterodactyls, 2011)
12- Velociraptor, by The Mercury Tree (Pterodactyls, 2011)
13- Octarine, by The Mercury Tree (Pterodactyls, 2011)
14- Sempre e Ovunque, by Pandora (Sempre e Ovunque Oltre il Sogno, 2011)
15- Mosaic, by Majestic (Labyrinth, 2011)
16- Up, by Matt Stevens (Relics, 2011)
17- Sand, Part II, by Matt Stevens (Relics, 2011)
18- Relic, by Matt Stevens (Relics, 2011)
19- Minds of Mortal Men, by Simon Says (Siren Songs, 2011)
As always, if you love the music, purchase the CDs from the artists by following the links above, or through your favorite retailer.