New Nth Ascension Album – Ascension of Kings

The eagerly anticipated 2nd album from UK prog band Nth Ascension is finally here! Available on CD from Monday the album comprises entirely new material including the epic ‘Vision’ which stole the show at the recent Electric Garden Prog Festival. You can buy the album at ProgMegastore here.

A teaser for the album can be found below. A Digital release of the album will follow shortly and will be available from all major digital retailers.

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Machines Dream – 100 Afternooons (Bonus EP)

Machines Dream - 100 Afternoons EP Cover100 Afternoons: The Bonus Tracks for Immunity

Those who bought the deluxe edition of the new Machines Dream album Immunity, will be receiving five bonus tracks as a digital download. The deluxe edition is still available to buy here.

Entitled ‘100 Afternoons’, you can think of the collection as a Mini-Album, an EP, or simply five extra songs.

Craig West from Machines Dream explains that “these songs were the outsiders, from both the first and second albums. We felt that while they were good or at least interesting songs, they didn’t seem to fit the sound, flow or style of the full length albums.”

A Poor Turn For The Soul was a song I wrote around the same time as Battersea Transcendental, but it seemed too close to Battersea, so it was cut. They began in the studio around the same time, and while Battersea came together quickly, Poor Turn didn’t seem to sound right. When we revisited it, we took a different approach. Instead of his usual pianos and strings, Brian used some really interesting synthesizer sounds, and instead of my usual heavy rhythm guitars, I used a fuzz sound. Once Rob added his chord treatment, the song found a new life, and has become my personal favourite.”

“The music for A Stone’s Throw was written in between the first and second albums by Brian, Ken and myself during a jam session, but I could never seem to find lyrics or a melody for it, so it sat and waited. One day I referred to it by title at rehearsal and Ken said ‘is it about Israel / Palestine?’ ‘No’ I replied, ‘but it can be’. The plight of children who have nothing to do with politics or religion but who become the victims of both is something that I feel very strongly about, so that’s what went into these lyrics. The only side the song takes is the side of a child, who is not getting the life they deserve as a result of the environment they were born into. As they grow up, they become moulded by that environment. Children are the worst casualties of war.

Jupiter was a song I wrote many, many years ago, and which we had played live a few times, but again, it didn’t seem to fit our sound. Also, the lyrics were about feeling discarded by someone, which also felt at odds with the words on both albums. I felt I had left my angry relationship songs behind years ago, and this felt like a throwback to the band I was in before Machines Dream. It’s fun to play, and fun to scream out ‘I will destroy you!’ at the top of one’s lungs. Nick Jackson from IT is a fan of this track and feels it should have been on an album.

Keep Your Head Down started as a jam, and has stayed pretty close to it’s original form. In a lot of ways it’s just an excuse to have fun and let Rob and Brian solo. It was never on an album because we felt it lacked substance, and while being a hell of a lot of fun to play, wasn’t a great song. Having now finished it in the studio, we are finding we appreciate it more now. When he heard the song, our manager Eugene asked if this was our Incommunicado or Garden Party because of the Mini-Moog that drives the song. Yes. That Mini-Moog is absolutely my tribute to early Marillion! The part was originally a piano part, but when Brian was not looking I reassigned the sound. Shameless tribute? Fun jam? Excuse for soloing? Yes to all of the above.

Trading Stars For Solitude is a different story. This is the oldest song in the collection. It was written by the first version of the band, featuring myself, Ken, and Brian along with our original bass player Marco and original guitar player Shayne. From the beginning the song was divisive. I loved the track. Ken did not. Brian was ambivalent. When Shayne and Marco left, we tried it out with Keith, who was the guitarist on the first album. It did not suit the sound of the band at the time, so it was abandoned. When we talked about recording some old, unreleased tracks as a companion to Immunity, I included this track without telling anyone. I asked Rob to keep the spirit of the original guitar, but re-invent it. He came up with four interlocking guitar parts which just brought the song to life. I held back all the other instruments until the keyboard solo, and the song finally worked! I played it for the other guys and even Ken admitted he did not dislike it as much as before. At this point the song only had my guide vocal. We were trying to finish the song so it could be released with Immunity, but I had a bad cold and could not sing. Jake was in the studio recording backing vocals, and offered to take a crack at the song. What he did with it was better than anything I could have done. The song is about choosing family ahead of money, fame or any other artificial accolade. There is a sincerity in Jake’s vocal that just works beautifully with the words and the sentiment.

The EP is called 100 Afternoons because that was a name we had done some gigs under as a side project from ourselves, featuring most of the band members, but doing other non-Machines Dream songs. 100 Afternoons means the spare time you have that you don’t allocate to more important things. The time you put into napping, or perhaps writing some extra songs that never go anywhere. When we talked about a name for the collection, Brian suggested 100 Afternoons, taking the old side-project name and giving it to the extra songs. Since it was part of our own history, we thought it was a good idea.

We have enjoyed rediscovering these unusual songs, and we hope you will enjoy them as well.”

Machines Dream: 100 Afternoons
Craig West: Lead vocals, rhythm guitar, bass guitar
Brian Holmes: Keyboards
Ken Coulter: Drums
Rob Coleman: Lead guitar
Jake Rendell: Backing vocals, lead vocals on ‘Trading Stars For Solitude’

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November update

2014 is turning out to be a seminal year for Sonic Vista Music. As some of you may know,our plans were to release 4 new albums in Q4. We’re still on track although the IT album will now be a 2015 release. The other 3 albums are well on schedule:

Dropshard - SilkDropshard – Silk, this album is now released in CD and Digital Format and we’re already well on track to recover expenses from sales. Silk was featured album on Tony Romero’s show at House OF Prog. Listen to the podcast here. We’ve supplied a batch to wholesale and are continuing to see traffic at the progmegastore site and also the band’s aurovine page.

Machines Dream - Immunity Album CoverMachines Dream – Immunity is the 2nd album to be released on Sonic Vista in 2014. Currently in manufacturing the album has been getting rave advance reviews. It was featured in a 2 hour special on the Prog Mill last week. Craig West provides a fascinating insight into the making of the album. Learn how Pink Floyd’s Animals and The Genesis album And Then There Were Three contributed to the project by listening to the podcast here: Part 1 : Part 2
Progmegastore has the album for sale here.

Nth Ascension - Ascension Of Kings Album CoverNth Ascension – Ascension Of Kings Hot on the heels of the MD album we have the 2nd Nth Ascension album. Although officially the second album, it could be argued that this is their true debut as the eponymous previous record was really only a demo. The epic track Vision (debuted at the last Electric Garden Prog Festival) closes the album at 20 mins plus!
We expect to have delivery of the album soon and it can be pre-ordered at Progmegastore.

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Machines Dream – New Album ‘Immunity’ Now On Presale

Machines Dream Press Photo for Immunity

Machines Dream? They may well do. This progressive rock band from Northern Ontario certainly dared to do just that by first recording and then releasing a self-titled album in 2013.

It has topped the Aurovine Independent Music Chart since then and been picked up for play by a host of mainstream and Internet-based radio stations on every continent garnering plaudits from all quarters.

Now the follow-up album Immunity has been completed and is due for release late October/early November. Pre-Order it here.

A pre-sale has been organized to help pay for manufacturing and marketing. The more pledges obtained means we can spread the word about the band to more people around the world.

It’s that simple.

There are various options available ranging from a digital download of the album to a DeLuxe package with a t-shirt and bonus EP.

The single Broken Door has been released as a free download to give a flavor of the album.

Learn more at http://www.fundervine.com/project/machines-dream-immunity-album-presale

 

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Dropshard release remixed & expanded Anywhere But Home

Dropshard album cover - Anywhere But Home Remixed and Expanded

Dropshard’s classic 2011 album Anywhere But Home has been released as a remixed and expanded version. The full suite has been lovingly remixed by the band and additionally we are treated to an acoustic version of A Cold Morning and a brand new track Climb Mountains.

The album has been released through Sonic Vista’s parent company Aurovine and is available in digital form worldwide including iTunes, Amazon, Juno Download and Google Play Music.

You can also get the album by pre-ordering the new album Silk at their Fundervine page.

The band’s first two EP’s DSI and DSII will also be released worldwide in March on the Aurovine EX label.

http://dropshard.aurovine.com

 

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IT – New Album (Over 4 years since Departure!)

IT Departure Prog Rock CD DVD It was 2009 when IT released the superb double CD/DVD album Departure. The ensuing years established the band (and album) on the prog circuit and the album became a neo-prog benchmark.

The album gained consistent acclaim at the authoratative Prog Archive website establishing a 4 out of 5 rating from 20+ reviewers

Since then we’ve had live shows including new songs, recording sessions, videos and even a studio renovation project. So what can we gleen about the progress of the new album?.

A glance at the band’s Facebook page reveals the following snippets of information:

May 2013: The band play 2 shows in London followed by The Electric Garden Festival. New songs including Revolution are aired.

June 7th, 2013: Nick is in Canada and travels to an old abandoned house with filmmaker Melissa Connors to shoot some video for the new album/dvd.

July 16th, 2013: Nick is back in Harrow and spends the day in the studio with Andy going through new material, the Canadian video, Video from the live shows and adding bass tracks to some of the new songs.

August 6th, 2013: Jam session goes really well. 2 or 3 final songs for the new album are starting to take shape.

August 29th, 2013: “Superb writing/arranging day with Nick and Andy at the Spacehouse. I think we have our centre piece for the album!”

September 23rd, 2013: 2 solid days of tracking guitars for the new IT album with Andy Rowberry!

IT guitar tracking with Andy Rowberry

1st October, 2013: Bass session at Spacehouse including bass for the new centrepiece long track.

23rd October, 2013: “Day 3 of editing week! Newly recorded parts are taking shape. Exciting to hear the songs getting closer to their final sound. The best part is cutting out all the stuff that’s not needed. Leaving only the essentials.”

26th October, 2013: Filming video for the new album!

Spacehouse video shoot

21st November, 2013: Statement from Nick – “Hello folks! Lots of drum editing going on. Will Chism has been laying down superb performances on the remaining long track for the album, plus 4 bonus tracks. Getting them to the next level with the rest of the album and then we’re on the straight away. Turning out to be an even bigger project than Departure was. The irons are in the fire. Everything is starting to really take shape. Peace, Nick. x”

2nd December, 2013: Final recording of drum tracks for main album and bonus tracks.

January 2014: Studio renovations!

February 2014: Come on guys, it’s time for another update!!

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Machines Dream – New Reviews for eponymous debut

Machines Dream Prog Reviews

The stunning debut album by Machines Dream continues to garner some great reviews:

Red Headed Flea
http://www.redheadedflea.co.uk/album/machines-dream-highly-tuned-prog-rock/

Multigroove (German)
http://www.multigroove.de/barry.html

We think it basically translates to this:
“MD are a Canadian Prog band. Their first album  was released 2 years ago, which begs the question “why did it take so long to be available in Germany?”.

“There are clear similarities to Blackfield (before its “Welcome to my DNA” accident) with the heaviness of Porcupine Tree.  Toronto Skyline is already one of my favourite songs of the year.”

“I give this album my highest score of 5. Welcome to my island!”

And finally from Russia (with help from Google translate) – This is an illegal site but they gave it 8.5 out of 10 so hey ho!!
We found this

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Dropshard offer fantastic rewards on new album!

Dropshard are using the crowdfunding platform Fundervine to offer fantastic rewards for sponsors of their new album Silk. Become Co-Producer of the album, Attend the release party with front row seats or simply get a copy of the new album and also a remixed version of the stunning first album Anywhere But Home.

Click the image below to find out more:

Dropshard Silk

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