Trans-Siberian Orchestra – ‘Letters From The Labyrinth’ [Review]

Trans Siberian Orchestra - Letters From The Labyrinth

Comparing albums to rollercoaster rides is one of the greatest reviewers’ clichés of all time. But when it works, it works. Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s first full-length set of new material since 2009 is nothing if not riddled with twists, turns, loops and breathtaking tangents.

At the same time, the rollercoaster cliché doesn’t completely cover it. Think of Letters From The Labyrinth as an entire theme park, and you’re closer to the mark. For the first time in Trans-Siberian Orchestra history, this album’s overall theme is shrouded in mystery – although it has been revealed that it’s based on previous album Night Castle, as well as “…a dialogue between the wisdom of the past and the hopes for the future, via a correspondence between a child and an old friend of the child’s grandfather.”

The overarching theme of Letters From The Labyrinth is intended to be revealed through Read more…

Posted on 29 November 2015

Jordan Rudess – ‘The Unforgotten Path’ [Review]

jordan rudess the unforgotten path album review

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Outside his day job as Dream Theater’s resident keyboard wizard, Jordan Rudess has long been a prolific solo artist in his own right. From out-there electronica (frequently enabled by Rudess’s own range of personalized apps) to the most delicate of solo piano performances, Jordan Rudess has journeyed from the depths of tradition to the ever-expanding outer limits of musical possibility, inviting listeners along for the ride.

The results are, unsurprisingly, consistently beyond world-class. The Unforgotten Path is a collection of improvisations based on timeless melodies that Rudess has repeatedly Read more…

Posted on 17 November 2015

Submotion Orchestra – ‘III’ [Review]

Submotion Orchestra

Since the release of third album Alium last year, Submotion Orchestra have become firm TMMP favourites. Their expensive-sounding and ultra-modern combination of dub, jazz, classical, soul, and electronic elements has soothed, calmed, stirred, and inspired an evangelical fanbase for the past six years. On this instrumental EP, a set of three precision-honed tracks, Submotion Orchestra show no signs of slowing down or holding back.

Whether you’re a dyed-in-the-wool muso, casually curious passer-by, or just Read more…

Posted on 13 September 2015

The Dear Hunter – ‘Act IV: Rebirth In Reprise’ [Review]

The Dear Hunter

Before you press play on this album, you’d better brace yourself. This is for three reasons:

1) The Dear Hunter have been going for five studio albums and a series of nine EPs now, so it’s safe to say this band is a bit of a Big Deal;

2) The Dear Hunter’s main project is a six (or rather VI)-act story, in the process of being presented over the course of six/VI albums. Act III: Life And Death was released back in 2009 – and so this album, Act IV, has been six years in the making, and fan anticipation (fanticipation? …maybe not) has been at fever pitch for a long time now;

3) Act IV: Rebirth In Reprise is beyond epic.

This is an absolute rollercoaster of an album, launching into ultra-rich Biffy-Clyro-crossed-with-Queen harmonies which soon give way to forest-party-falling-down-the-stairs folk and an inquisitive orchestral section. As opening statements go, Rebirth is pretty damn unique – a very rare statement in today’s musical climate. Then we get pitched into Read more…

Posted on 04 September 2015

Agent Fresco – ‘Destrier’ [Review]

Agent Fresco

There’s more to pain than just pain itself. Extended periods of serious suffering are not always stable and uniform; the experience can contain many subtle emotional shades. There may be periods of calm, relief, joy, and hope mixed in amongst the darkest of dark moments – and Destrier demonstrates this fact in musical form.

Fuelled by the brutal beating of vocalist Arnór Dan Arnarson at the hands of two strangers, and sharing its name with Read more…

Posted on 17 August 2015

Matt Emery – ‘L For Luna (Turtle Rework)’ [Review]

Matt Emery

Things have been a tad intense on TMMP recently – so here’s something much more chilled.

Matt Emery made a real impact during a recent live set supporting Portico at Read more…

Posted on 29 April 2015

Portico (ft. Jono McCleery) / Sea Stacks / Matt Emery [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 13/3/15]

portico press shotThis past Friday night, Guildford’s residents were offered a prime opportunity to catch three fascinating acts in the act of creating incredible music. It’s rare to experience a gig crammed this full of uncategorizable music – but then, the Boileroom isn’t your average venue. Kudos first has to go to the booking brains behind this show; that kind of talent isn’t Read more…

Posted on 14 March 2015

Speaker Face feat. Rachel Sermanni – ‘Vertical’ [Review]

Screen shot 2015-01-16 at 13.19.53I’ve never heard anything quite like this.

The automatic response to the unfamiliar is often to find a quick way to dismiss it, to chuck it in the metal box labelled Read more…

Posted on 16 January 2015

TMMP’s Top Albums Of 2014

The “death of the album” has been declared many times in recent years – but nonetheless, musicians keep making them and are showing no signs of stopping (and thank God for that!). Almost a decade and a half into the twenty-first century, there still exist bands and artists capable of composing immersive, engaging, and fully satisfying collections of songs that stand up to repeated, unshuffled listens. Here are fifteen of them. Read more…

Posted on 29 December 2014

Submotion Orchestra / LV feat. Joshua Idehen [Live Review – Concorde 2, Brighton, 15/11/14]

Submotion-Alium-Dan-Medhurst-High-Res-JPG V2If you love diversity, Brighton (aka Camden-on-Sea) is damn near perfect. Its top alternative music venue, the Concorde 2 – situated next door to the beach – hosted batshit crazy prog-metal mentalists SikTh on a school night last week. Now, just a few days later, a mixed-bag crowd of dub lovers are filing in to spend Saturday night the right way – enjoying music that moves the hips as much as the head. Read more…

Posted on 17 November 2014

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