Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Featured Today! "Porcupine Tree,Leaves' Eyes..."

Hello L&D listeners!

Hope you guys enjoying your day so far and here are the bands featured today! \m/

"Porcupine Tree"
Porcupine Tree (UK) - Porcupine Tree is unquestionably one of the most difficult-to-categorize and innovative bands working today. The band is fronted by Steven Wilson, who also is well-known for his work producing other artists, from Swedish progressive metal group Opeth, to Norwegian chanteuse Anja Garbarek. He also has several other projects, including No-Man, Bass Communion, and Blackfield. Porcupine Tree was founded as a self-indulgent creative outlet for Wilson, and the first major release was ‘On the Sunday of Life...’ in 1992, an album of psychedelia and studio experiments which bears little relation to the band's current sound. From here, Wilson expanded the sound, creating the progressive rock/ambient trance fusion on the 30-minute long single “Voyage 34.” One of the only constants in Porcupine Tree’s music is how it continues to evolve and confront the expectations of the band's fans from album to album. In late 1993, the solo project became a band, as Colin Edwin (bass), Chris Maitland (drums), and Richard Barbieri (keyboards) were recruited to enable Porcupine Tree to perform live. Richard had previously been a member of one of the most experimental 80's bands, Japan. The first real band album recorded was ‘Signify’ in 1996, which was followed by ‘Stupid Dream’ (1999), a breakthrough album which saw the band move into a more song-orientated direction. ‘Lightbulb Sun’ continued along that song-oriented tack, but, never content to rest on their laurels, Porcupine Tree changed course again for their next release, shuffling their lineup for the first (and to date, only) time. Chris Maitland departed and was replaced by Gavin Harrison in 2002, as the band signed a new international recording deal with Lava/Atlantic Records. Since then, three major label album releases -- ‘In Absentia’ and ‘Deadwing, and the Grammy-nominated “Fear of a Blank Planet’ -- have augmented the band's renown. Heavier than previous releases, the albums have found favor with older fans and introduced Porcupine Tree to a whole new audience. In 2006, Porcupine Tree moved to the highly successful independent rock label Roadrunner for Europe. Since releasing Fear of a Blank Planet in 2006, the band have also released a number of titles on its own Transmission label, including the EP Nil Recurring, and the acoustic album We Lost the Skyline. ‘The Incident’ is Porcupine Tree’s tenth studio album and like ‘Fear Of A Blank Planet’ – which was an elaborate conceptual piece fuelled by a 21st century cocktail of MTV, sex, prescription drugs, video games, the internet, terminal boredom and subsequent escape – it takes the listener on a thrilling audio journey. In turns haunting, desolate, hypnotic and euphoric, its centre-piece is the title track – a stunning 55-minute musical statement that breaks down into 14 separate and often diverse (though interlinked) vignettes. The tale begins slowly with ‘Occam’s Razor,’ gaining momentum and intensity with ‘The Blind House,’ ‘Drawing The Line,’ and ‘The Incident’ itself, though the group’s masterful manipulation of sounds and textures is never overlooked. The mellowness of ‘The Yellow Windows Of The Evening Train,’ for instance, is accompanied by the gentle crackle of a needle on vinyl – for all his skill as a producer and remixer, Wilson is a staunch supporter of the ‘old’ ways of listening to music. Incorporating both of these styles, ‘Octane Twisted’ somehow batters and seduces simultaneously, while ‘I Drive The Hearse,’ further sweetened by an uplifting guitar climax, is an intoxicating slice of melancholy with which to book-end the record’s 14-piece song cycle. The seeds of the idea that led to ‘The Incident’ came to Steven Wilson as he became caught up in a motorway traffic jam whilst driving past a road accident. “There was a sign saying ‘POLICE – INCIDENT’ and everyone was slowing down to rubber neck what had happened,” he recalls. “Afterwards, it struck me that ‘incident’ is a very detached word for something so destructive and traumatic for the people involved. And then I had the sensation that the spirit of someone that had died in the car accident entered into my car and was sitting next to me. “The irony of such a cold expression for such seismic events appealed to me, and I began to pick out other ‘incidents’ reported in the media and news,” continues Wilson. “I wrote about the evacuation of teenage girls from a religious cult in Texas, a family terrorizing its neighbours, a body found floating in a river by some people on a fishing trip, and more. Each song was written in the first person and tried to humanize the detached media reportage.” Additionally, Wilson delved back into incidents in his own life that had profound affected him, including a lost childhood friendship, a séance, his first love, and the day that he decided to give up secure employment to follow his dream of making music. The album’s epic song, an 11-minute Pink Floyd-flavoured masterpiece called ‘Time Flies’, for instance, begins with the line: “I was born in 1967.” “1967 was possibly the most significant year in the history of rock music; ‘Sergeant Pepper’ by the Beatles and the first albums by Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and The Doors were all released that year,” says Steven. “I found myself wondering whether those facts were significant… maybe it’s why I ended up becoming a musician?” ‘The Incident’ poses a lot of important questions and will give the listener plenty of food for thought. As ever, though, Wilson is loath to provide what he thinks the answers might be. “One of the beauties of music – one of the reasons it’s still the greatest art-form, even over cinema – is that it demands so much of the person that experiences it, as well as those that create it.” ‘The Incident’ is certainly not the kind of album that will be fully absorbed in a single sitting. Indeed, repeated listenings reveal all sorts of hidden detail. “It’s definitely not an album that should inspire a passive response,” proclaims Wilson. Pushed for a more succinct description he calls ‘The Incident’: “A slightly surreal song cycle about beginnings and endings and the sense that ‘after this, things will never be the same again’.” Coming to the recording sessions following his first ever solo album, November 2008’s ‘Insurgentes,’ Wilson admits that the experience of having worked alone affected the direction of ‘The Incident.’ “Possibly because of having done that, this record is darker, more expansive, and more experimental,” he theorizes. “But when I write for Porcupine Tree, I know the sound I’m after.” While ‘Fear Of A Blank Planet’ featured contributions from three special guests – Alex Lifeson of Rush, King Crimson’s Robert Fripp and the band’s live guitarist John Wesley – and ‘Insurgentes’ was also executed with considerable outside help, ‘The Incident’ is slightly unusual for being completely self-contained. Like its predecessor, however, it was self-produced by all four group members. ‘The Incident’ is completed by four standalone compositions – ‘Flicker’, ‘Bonnie The Cat’, ‘Black Dahlia’ and ‘Remember Me Love’ – all housed on a separate CD to stress their independence from the record’s main 14-part suite. As with ‘Fear Of A Blank Planet’, the Wilson-helmed 5.1 mix of which was nominated in the Best Surround Album Award at the 2007 Grammies (eventually losing out to The Beatles’ ‘Love’), Porcupine Tree will be performing ‘The Incident’ in its entirety during the first shows of its next world tour. Porcupine Tree is Steven Wilson, Colin Edwin, Richard Barbieri, and Gavin Harrison....

"Leaves' Eyes"
Leaves' Eyes (DE) - Their newest album "Meredead" been on rotation on L&D for a week and is one of the most played bands of the week this is why is a "Featured band" not only of the day of the whole wee/month! ~ In 2011, the most international band in the world released “Meredead”, and once again reclaim the coveted spotlight that will place them at the pinnacle of the symphonic- rock and metal genre. With “Meredead”, Leaves’ Eyes opens a new chapter of Nordic mythology. Their latest masterpiece frees them from all past genre restrictions, allowing them to evolve into a rocking, contemporary, and more enthralling force than ever before. As made evident by the debut album “Lovelorn” (2004), Leaves’ Eyes came into being during a walk in the woods. The musicians are able to convert nature’s impressions into music in an incomparable way. Thorsten Bauer and Mathias Röderer established an exceptional guitar sound with the first album that has been a band trademark ever since. However, it is Liv Kristine’s unique voice that serves as the linchpin in Leaves’ Eyes. On “Lovelorn”, Liv sings about a magical world filled with mermaids, love and tragedy. With this concept album, the band not only enthralls the ears, but in particular the imagination of the listener. The members of Leaves’ Eyes do not merely write songs, their music tells of sagas and legends. Like no other newcomer band, Leaves’ Eyes received exceptional feedback and coverage from the press (including interviews and cover stories). The fanbase continued to grow within a matter of weeks until the numbers filled the hall of the Wave Gotik Treffen 2004, celebrating the band’s stage premier. The spectacular and rapid success of Leaves’ Eyes does not happen without a reason. Every band member had already been gathering professional experience in other musical endeavors for years before joining Leaves’ Eyes. In the mid 90s Liv Kristine’s voice was like a beacon in the gothic scene, while singing for Theatre of Tragedy. The Norwegian band established the marriage of Metal with the female voice, and their club hit “Tanz der Schatten” became synonymous with the direction and expression of a whole musical genre. In addition, Liv Kristine conquered the pop scene and sang the songs to TV hits like “Tatort” and “Schimanski”. In Leaves’ Eyes, Liv is supported by the band members of Atrocity. The metal heavyweights recently earned top honors for being the “most diverse Metal band”. With each and every album, Atrocity sets landmarks. This can be Death Metal (“Todessehnsucht”), “Electro (“Die Liebe”) or epic music “Calling the Rain”). Their series of “Werk 80” albums is a legend of its own and skyrocketed the band into higher chart positions (e.g. position 19 for “Werk 80 II”). Liv calls the members of Atrocity “the best musicians and friends in the world”, having the perfect partners at her side. One year after “Lovelorn”, Leaves’ Eyes made waves with the follow up “Vinland Saga” (2005). The single “Elegy” stays four weeks in the German charts. The elaborate animated video clip was broadcasted by TV stations all over the world and is the adaptation of the album’s concept, which deals with the Viking Leif Eriksson. PRO7 used “Elegy” as the official song for the series “NUMB3RS”. Like the classic composers, Leaves’ Eyes turn legends and tales into songs. The music on “Vinland Saga” invokes the mighty forces of nature and the fighting Vikings in the mind of the listener. Once again, Liv Kristine’s love for heir native Norway shines throughout the compositions and it is clear that her band cohorts also long for the magic this country has to offer. Leaves’ Eyes is not just a studio band, despite numerous chart entries. They play live shows on a regular basis and traveled all over the world to bring their music to their dedicated fans. Since “Lovelorn”, it seems like the band has been on tour forever. In only four years, the band traveled through four continents, 34 countries and played 222 concerts. Fans from South America, North America, Australia, and Europe prove that a love for music transcends all borders. This comes as no surprise, as the band comprises members from Germany, Norway, and North America. The Live DVD “We Came With the Northern Winds / En Saga I Belgia” (2009) entered the German DVD charts at number 11. This exclusive package documented the exceptional history of the band. In addition, the DVD features the legendary concert at the Metal Female Voices Festival 2007. This headline show presented the fans with an impressive Viking longship on stage. “Njord” continued the triumphs of the band. The album’s first single “My Destiny” soon became the successor to the anthem “Elegy”. Liv Kristine may sing “I’m falling into the deep”, but she truly aims for the stars. “Njord” was praised by fans and critics alike as an epic masterpiece and made it to the top 30 of the German charts. One again, the musicians had let go of the conventional to reinvent themselves. More complex and characteristic than ever before, yet modern and unpredictable, the album took the listener by surprise. Leaves’ Eyes perfected the union of classical and metal with the help of the Lingua Mortis orchestra directed by Victor Smolski. The English traditional “Scarborough Fair”, as well as the Irish, Old English, French, and Norwegian lyrics explored the yet undiscovered territories of their unique musical landscape. The band’s live performances were as equally successful throughout Europe and North America as their studio effort. Only one and a half years later, Leaves’ Eyes releases their fourth studio album and delivers their most impressive work thus far. “Meredead” may well turn out to be the most important album in the band’s history. With a top-notch production by Alexander Krull, Leaves’ Eyes have come close to achieving perfection by combining all their best qualities. The epic feel of “Njord”, the direct approach of “Vinland Saga”, and the unique folk touch of “Lovelorn” come together on “Meredead” to create this masterpiece. “Meredead” unleashes a tidal wave that will leave the music world breathless. The opening number, “Spirits’ Masquerade” impressively showcases the endless possibilities inherent in the symphonic metal genre. More than ever before, folk instrumentation refines the album’s varied sound. The epic tracks, “Étaín” and “Sigrlinn”, lyrically recount the mysticism of past cultures and are supported by uileann pipes, which also catapult the listener into this very magical world. Liv Kristine’s first-class vocals on the more traditional songs, “Nystev” and “Kråkevisa”, lead the way to her Norwegian homeland. The latter makes use of the Scandinavian nyckelharpa, or keyed fiddle. The flawless rock song “Velvet Heart” walks a fine line between clear structure and epic atmosphere. With the chilling new interpretation of “To France”, Leaves’ Eyes evokes the tragedy and emotion of Mike Oldfield’s classic track. Leaves’ Eyes, along with a choir and an army of guest musicians, delivers top-notch entertainment. Maite Itoiz and John Kelly (Elfenthal), Carmen Elise Espenæs (Midnattsol), the Norwegian Anette Guldbrandsen, and Viktor Smolski’s brilliant Lingua Mortis Orchestra serve to further enrich this masterpiece. Yet, Leaves’ Eyes has always offered more than just a musical broadening of the horizon. Liv Kristine’s use of Old English and Norwegian lyrics narrates fascinating sagas, bringing the listener even closer to a long-forgotten era. Whether a gentle ballad or an opulent opus, the tracks are direct and to the point. With the band’s strength and courage, as well as an unorthodox variety, Leaves’ Eyes has unequivocally reinvented itself. Refusing to be categorized, Leaves’ Eyes dictates its own direction, and with “Meredead” ultimately achieves symphonic metal perfection.

"Kill The Romance"
Kill the Romance (FIN) - An amazing band in constant rotation on L&D don't forget to request it! Kill the Romance was founded in Finland in the beginning of the 2004. The band performs diverse modern metal and delivers aggressive songs blended with catchy melodic parts. In July 2004, the band recorded their first self-entitled EP which got some great reviews from all over the world. Self-entitled EP was good enough to convince the Finnish metal “agents” and Kill The Romance was chosen from over 150 unsigned bands to play in the first Finnish Metal Expo happening. In June 2005 Kill the Romance released their second 4-track EP called “Logical Killing Project”. Once again, the press liked it and “Logical Killing Project” gained a good amount of “demo of the month” nominations in different magazines and webzines. After the release the band toured heavily in Finland and played eg. in Tuska Open Air metal festival and Nummirock metal festival. In 2006 Kill the Romance released their third EP called “Cyanide”. “Cyanide” was chosen to “demo of the month” in biggest Finnish music magazine Soundi. In same time Kill The Romance was also chosen from hundreds of demo bands to play in Wacken Open Air Metal Festival's bands battle final in Finland. In fall 2006 Locomotive Records inked a deal with Kill the Romance. Debut album "Take Another Life" was released in Europe and USA in March 2007. After the release Kill the Romance toured in Finland, Germany and Switzerland. In March 2010 Kill the Romance started to record their second album. The album called "For Rome And The Throne" will be released in March 23th 2011 via Inverse Records. "For Rome And The Throne" is definitely the most diverse in group´s history. Aggressive and heavy songs blended with catchy melodies are now flavored with some keyboard layers and acoustic parts to give some depth.

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Keep'n Metal \m/

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