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New Album: OBSCURA, A Valediction, with Jeroen Paul Thesseling on Bass

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New Album: OBSCURA, A Valediction, with Jeroen Paul Thesseling on Bass

Germany-based metal band OBSCURA launch the trilogy concept on a stunning new album “A Valediction”.

The group’s first (sixth overall) album for Nuclear Blast pivots on many fronts. Advanced, elegant, and yet refreshing, “A Valediction” sums up past endeavors effortlessly as it gazes with purpose and conviction into the future. OBSCURA are fan-renowned and critically acclaimed for challenging and then expanding upon norms. From “Cosmogenesis” (2009) through “Diluvium” (2018), the band flourished and made significant progress in a musical genre unprepared for a creative shot of German invention. “A Valediction” spearheads OBSCURA into a new era of extreme metal.

Guitarist/vocalist Steffen Kummerer founded OBSCURA in 2002. Early on, he set out to improve, redefine, and push forward. Under his self-label creation, the Bavarian released debut album “Retribution” (2006), followed by heavy touring throughout Europe. Word quickly spread that a brand-new band from the south of Germany was on the rise. Buzz lead to a deal with U.S.-based Relapse Records. The first record out was “Cosmogenesis”. In Europe, Metal Hammer Germany awarded the album 6/7 while in the U.S., “Cosmogenesis” hit the Billboard charts at #71. The cross-continental praise and fevered momentum landed OBSCURA on high-profile tours in Europe, North America, and Japan. 

When follow-up “Omnivium” arrived in 2011, they upped their chart success (Billboard #11; Media Control #14), received more accolades from publications like Terrorizer, Rock Hard,

and Decibel, had another massive round-world tour cycle, while enhancing and making progress on their clever brutality. OBSCURA further developed their sound on “Akróasis” (2016). Moored by jaw-dropping tracks like ‘Sermon of the Seven Suns,’ ‘Ode to the Sun,’ and the title track, “Akróasis” elevated OBSCURA to the highest levels of international renown, having climbed up the Billboard charts (#5) as well as earning top marks in Rock Hard (8.5/10), Metal Hammer Germany (6/7), and Revolver (4/5). The Germans toured the world yet again, playing over 100 shows in support of “Akróasis”. 

OBSCURA’s most significant accomplishment was, however, just around the corner. The final part of a tetralogy, “Diluvium” (2018), fiercely pursued OBSCURA’s multi-album transformation into musical innovators and metal powerhouses. Music videos for the title track, ‘Emergent Evolution’ and ‘Mortification of the Vulgar Sun,’ in concert with a substantial interest in virtuosic, forward-thinking metal, posited OBSCURA in the good graces (yet again) of the worldwide press in addition to rocketing up, for the very first time, the official album charts in Germany (#58) and Switzerland (#93). The Germans also topped out at #3 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart with “Diluvium”.

OBSCURA‘s stats have been impressive: Twenty years active; six highly prized albums; over 600 shows on four continents. Worldwide fan and press engagement—the videos for ‘The Anticosmic Overload,’Akróasis,’ and ‘Diluvium’ have over 4.5 million views—is only getting stronger the longer OBSCURA continue to offer up and interact with (via play-throughs and member/gear spotlights) their very captive audience. This is only the tip of Kummerer’s custom ESP guitar, however. A Valediction finds OBSCURA turning the page to a new chapter in the band’s evolution. A year in the works, the songwriting sessions followed a new approach, where the framework was relaxed, allowing new inspirations, imagining, and opportunities to arise. Songs like the opening epic ‘Forsaken,’ the ’80s-tinted ‘When Stars Collide’ (featuring Soilwork/The Night Flight Orchestra frontman Björn Strid), the brutal groove of ‘Devoured Usurper,’ the ethereal artistry of ‘Heritage,’ and the fleet-fingered title track benefitted compositionally (refined structures) and aesthetically (more dynamism) from OBSCURA’s restyled songwriting stratagem.

OBSCURA wrote, recorded, and finalized “A Valediction” during the pandemic. The stipulations of working during this time allowed OBSCURA to work cross-country, tracking each respective part—drums, guitar, and bass—in national studios across The Netherlands, Austria, and Germany. Once the pieces were completed, the recordings were shipped off to award-winning producer Fredrik Nordström and Studio Fredman (In Flames, Architects) in Gothenburg, Sweden, where Kummerer and Münzner completed vocals and acoustic guitars using custom-built ENGL amps. Nordström was also tapped to mix and master. The final result is a deeper, heavier, yet more rounded production.

Lyrically, “A Valediction” is layered in structure and meaning. The word ‘valediction,’ by definition, deals with goodbyes and farewells. In a way, this is auf wiedersehen to the four-part album series while also addressing complex topics of Kummerer’s personal life. Instead of obscuring issues of loss, death, and abandonment in metaphor and allusion, the German laid bare his torment across songs like ‘Forsaken,’ ‘Solaris,’ ‘In Unity,’ ‘The Neuromancer,’ and ‘In Adversity.’ But for every line of desperation, he also offers positivity. Indeed, new beginnings—physical, emotional, or environmental—can provide light in the darkness. Lauded artist Eliran Kantor (Testament, Helloween) was brought on board to visualize the leitmotif. The bronze-themed colourway Kantor used exemplifies OBSCURA’s resistance to individual and sonic corrosion.

In 2021, OBSCURA will lighthouse their musical prowess, thematic complexity, and lyrical ambition on “A Valediction”. The group continues to be a beacon for change. No doubt OBSCURA’s new stats will amaze, but what they’re focused on is the release of “A Valediction” and then taking it on the road. Several high-caliber tours of Europe, North America, and Asia are planned through to 2023, with routes are in the works for the band to visit Australia, South America, and beyond. Truly, there is no band quite like OBSCURA. “A Valediction” proves that persistence, perseverance, and enterprising minds can achieve anything. Welcome to the next level!

Visit online at realmofobscura.com

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Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents

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Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents

Mark Egan, Cross Currents…

It is exciting every time I get a new album from Mark Egan as he is such an amazingly versatile player and I never know what to expect (except for excellent artistry!) In his latest release, Mark has teamed up with Shawn Peyton on drums and Shane Theriot on guitar to bring us “Cross Currents”.

This collection of eleven tracks transports me to the Gulf Coast (New Orleans specifically). Mark’s fretless basses lay down a solid groove and lots of juicy solo work for this rootsy collection of funk, ambient, swamp-rock, second line, ballads, Cajun and even Indian Raga.

This trio is super-tight and the musicianship is flawless as each member has ample opportunity to shine. Even though each player is very talented in their own right, I feel that the collective energy is greater than just the sum of the players on this album. Each musician contributed to composing music for this project but the lion’s share are Mark’s original pieces.

I spent the summer of 1981 in New Orleans and this wonderful music takes me back to those fond memories. I participated in a wacky raft race on Lake Ponchatrain and this opening track elicits images of fun, sunshine, music, and great food.

This is another superb album that everyone will enjoy. Get your copy today! Cross Currents is available online at Amazon.com. Visit Mark online at markegan.com.

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New Project: NEMESIS CALL Announce “Kingdom of Shred” Album

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New Project: NEMESIS CALL Announce "Kingdom of Shred" Album

ALBERTO RIGONI’s New Project NEMESIS CALL Announce “Kingdom of Shred” Album, Feat. Super Talented Guests Such as Mike Terrana, Alexandra Zerner + Many Others

Worldwide known Italian bassist and composer ALBERTO RIGONI (soloist, BAD As, Kim Bingham, Vivaldi Metal Project, etc.) announces the new album “Kingdom of Shred” of his new project NEMESIS CALL. 

Alberto says: 
“Even if my latest album “Unexpected Lullabies”, dedicated to my newborn Vittoria Parini Rigoni, was released on June 4th 2024, I felt the need to compose new music (yes, I really can’t stop!). This time will be quite challenging because I’m willing to release an instrumental shred/prog/rock/metal/melodic album, that will feature many talented top-notch musicians such as drummer Mike Terrana, Alexandra Zerner, Alexandra Lioness, Aanika Pai (11 years old!), Keiji by Zero (19 years old!), SAKI and many others TBA/TBC). It won’t be easy to manage all such great musicians but I will make it! Are you ready to face a new prog experience? The album will be released in Digipack CD and in high-quality digital format approximately at the beginning of 2025 or maybe for Christmas!.”

As an independent artist, Alberto Rigoni has launched a fundraising campaign to support the project. Support at www.albertorigoni.net/nemesiscall. 20% of the income will be donated to Lega del Filo d’Oro (www.legadelfilodoro.it/it), an Italian association that helps deaf and blind children!

Visit online at www.albertorigoni.net | albertorigoni.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/albertorigonimusic | www.badas.rocks

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New Album: Los Lonely Boys first new album in 11 years, Resurrection

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New Album: Los Lonely Boys first new album in 11 years, Resurrection

Today, Los Lonely Boys announce the release of their first new album in 11 years.

Out August 2nd via BMG, Resurrection marks a return to form for the GRAMMY-winning, multi-platinum trio of Texican brothers, who have performed everywhere from the GRAMMYs telecast to the World Series to recent tours with The Who. Lead single “Wish You Would” conjures the group’s classic sound, combining breezy guitar leads with hard-earned doses of wisdom.

“It’s something we think people need to hear—especially the youth,” says bassist/vocalist Jojo Garza, speaking on “Wish You Would” and Resurrection. “When we’re young, we think we have it figured out. When you get older, you start to see things differently. Having kids of our own, we see their ambitions and ideas of what they want to be, so we want to be good parents. The message is, ‘Be careful what you wish for. There could be a false light, and we don’t want you to get hurt’.”

After an extended break from recording, Los Lonely Boys are making a triumphant return with Resurrection. Rejuvenated and more cosmically attuned than ever before, the album rekindles the sonic fire that bonds the Los Lonely Boys brotherhood, while also paying respects to Texas legends like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Freddy Fender, among others. The album was recorded at guitarist/vocalist Henry Garza’s home studio in St. Angelo, TX, and El Paso’s Sonic Ranch (Fiona Apple, Bon Iver, Snarky Puppy etc), and mixed live in Chicago by Chris Gelin at Opus Audio Labs. 

This year Los Lonely Boys will also celebrate the 20th Anniversary of their self-titled debut, which reached double-platinum status and yielded the gold-certified, generational smash “Heaven,” which earned them a GRAMMY Award for Best Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and performance on the awards telecast. The brothers’ follow-up Sacred bowed at #2 on the Billboard 200, paving the way for fan favorites ForgivenRockpango, and Revelation. Along the way, Los Lonely Boys collaborated with legends such as Santana, Willie Nelson, and Dr. John. 

Even as they’ve been away from the studio, Los Lonely Boys have continued to tour tirelessly for decades, and this year they’ve hit the road again for an extensive, months-long run across the US. They will also perform on select shows alongside long time friends Los Lobos. Find tickets here. Pre-order Resurrection

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New Album: Alberto Rigoni, Unexpected Lullabies

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New Album: Alberto Rigoni, Unexpected Lullabies

Alberto Rigoni, Unexpected Lullabies…

ALBERTO RIGONI Springs Surprises on “Unexpected Lullabies” Album, Out Today!

Today, Italian bassist and composer ALBERTO RIGONI has released his new solo album “Unexpected Lullabies” via Sliptrick Records, containing songs that are half-sweet and half rock-metal. The album is produced and partially composed by Alberto Rigoni and it’s dedicated to Vittoria Parini Rigoni and all newborn babies. 

Alberto shared: “There are no just tragedies in this world, life is going on!”

Album Design and Artwork created by Mark Barrett at elmtreecreative.co.uk

Among the various bass used one belonged to Randy Coven for the recording of Ark – Burn The Sun. Alberto searched it for years since he’s a great fan of Randy (Rest in Peace and Power)!

Tracklist:
01. Vittoria
02. Fly Me To The Moon
03. Azzurra
04. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
05. Out Of Fear
06. Veni Laetitia
07. Nenia
08. Slap Lullaby
09. Saga
10. Vicky
11. Ocean Traveler
12. Strangers In The Night
13. Peaceful
14. Un uomo che voga

Order the album at deadpulse.com/product/alberto-rigoni-unexpected-lullabies/

This album promises to be a collection of auditory wonders, each track a testament to Rigoni’s genius and his ability to transcend musical boundaries. Featuring a symphony of guest musicians alongside Rigoni’s virtuosic bass, Unexpected Lullabies is poised to be a beacon for lovers of music, an invitation to explore the depths of creativity and emotion. What makes ‘Unexpected Lullabies’ even more exciting is the assembly of musical titans. The album features the legendary bassist Michael Manring, the keyboard wizardry of Alessandro Bertoni (of the Graham Bonnet Band) and Vitalij Kuprij (known for Artension and Trans-Siberian Orchestra), and many more yet-to-be-revealed guest artists.

Alberto Rigoni is:
Alberto Rigoni – Bass | Plus various guest musicians

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New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

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New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

The Chilean bassist, producer and sociologist, Ben Mortiz, celebrates the launch of his latest studio work, “MORENO” an album that mixes jazz, soul, and funk following the characteristic Latin style of  Mortiz. The artist completely produced the album under the label “Fallen Lab Records” in the south of Chile.

“MORENO” brings deep and smooth sounds, expressing a sophisticated and elegant Latin vibe. You will find meditative harmonies and joyful melodic voices. The record’s core is the human vibration that Mortiz feels from the Latin American music. The Caribbean rhythms and strong Latin percussions are the musical glue in every song that emerges with the force of the electric bass.

“MORENO” creates a real connection between corporal reactions and mind sensations, always in reference to the originality of Mortiz to fuse modern and classic Latin sounds.

For more information, visit online at danielbenmortiz.com/

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