Music News

Børeal Release New EP

Børeal Release New EP

The Colombian Prog-Rock/Alt-Metal band: Børeal, heavily influenced by Mastodon, Baroness, Coheed & Cambria, just released its debut EP: Las Mariposas Agitan Sus Alas, via streaming platforms and a collector’s digipak limited to 300 copies.

Click on the link to pick the preferred streaming platform:
Børeal Release New EP
Børeal does not seek to classify their sound within a single style of rock and metal. The proposal leans towards prog-rock/alt-metal with touches of post-rock, post-metal, rush and some djent.

Their lyrics are framed within a scientific and rational vision of life: the cosmos, nature, existence; not as hazards or whims of deities, or as the result of beliefs and superstitions; for Børeal science and the human intellect are the only ones capable of explaining everything.

Look for them on social media by: @borealcol

Posted by Mark Smith in Music News
Kayak launch video for ‘Mystery’/ first single taken from ‘Out Of This World’

Kayak launch video for ‘Mystery’/ first single taken from ‘Out Of This World’

Legendary Dutch progressive rockers Kayak recently announced they will return with their 18th studio album ‘Out Of This World’ on the 7th May 2021. Now they are pleased to reveal the first single taken from that album, and you can watch the video for ‘Mystery’ here:

Founding member Ton Scherpenzeel comments: “This song is about the, in my view, unfathomable mystery and wonder that is the world around us. No matter what stunning progress science makes, and whatever religion wants us to believe, the essence will always be that: a mystery. Which doesn’t mean we have to stop trying to figure it all out.”
The album is now also available for pre-order, arriving as a Limited CD Digipak, Gatefold 2LP + CD, and as Digital Album. An exclusive blood red vinyl edition is available directly from the band. Pre-order now here:

The full track-listing is as follows:

1.     Out Of This World

2.     Waiting

3.      Under A Scar

4.     Kaja

5.     Mystery

6.     Critical Mass

7.      As The Crow Flies

8.     The Way She Said Goodbye

9.     Traitor’s Gate

10.   Distance To Your Heart

11.   Red Rag To A Bull

12.   One By One

13.   A Writer’s Tale

14.   Cary

15.   Ship Of Theseus


Watch a short teaser for the new album here: 

‘Out Of This World’, the band’s eighteenth studio album, with 15 new tracks, spanning 70 minutes of energetic and incredibly diverse material- though still very much recognizable as Kayak. It is clear that the new found energy has gained even more momentum since Hans Eijkenaar rejoined the group. Although they were forced to cancel all tours because Ton Scherpenzeel suffered a heart attack at the end of 2019, and immediately after that because of the Covid pandemic, we’re hearing a band that, since the demise of Pim Koopman in 2009, has not sounded more together, balanced and motivated. The current line-up of the band is as follows: 

Ton Scherpenzeel – Keyboards, lead and backing vocals 

Bart Schwertmann – Lead and backing vocals 

Marcel Singor – Guitar, lead and backing vocals 

Kristoffer Gildenlöw – Bass, lead and backing vocals

Hans Eijkenaar- Drums 

Kayak History:

KAYAK was formed in Hilversum, The Netherlands, back in 1972, by keyboard player Ton Scherpenzeel and drummer Pim Koopman who struck up a friendship in their early teens after meeting at a local volley ball club. They were committed to writing original material. With loads of melodic, symphonic songs in their pocket they recruited fellow music conservatory student Max Werner (lead vocals) and Johan Slager (guitar). After bass player Cees van Leeuwen joined, the first lineup of KAYAK was complete with the new band being signed by EMI Records being launched as a new supergroup. Their debut album ‘See See The Sun’(1973) featured a minor hit single , ‘Lyrics’, with ‘Mammoth’ and the title track also reaching the top 40. The album sold well in Holland, earning the band significant critical acclaim and developing a growing army of passionate followers. 

After a series of successful albums and several hit singles in their homeland KAYAK was on the verge of an international breakthrough in 1977 when the single ‘Want you to be Mine’, from ‘Starlight Dancer’ achieved chart success in the U.S, peaking at #55 in the Billboard Charts. KAYAK was even voted Most Promising Band of the Year by the influential American music magazine Record World. Due to the fact that charismatic lead singer Max Werner wanted to fill the vacant position of drummer meaning the band was suddenly without a lead singer, making it impossible to embark on an American tour. KAYAK focused on finding a vocalist instead. The search began with advertisements placed in British magazine ‘Melody Maker’, spotted by Edward Reekers, a huge fan of the band since the early days. Passing the audition with flying colors he became the new frontman for KAYAK and with the addition of two female singers the band returned to the recording studio to create their 6th album, the award winning ‘Phantom of the Night, which turned out to be their commercial peak. The blend of progressive rock and immaculate pop brought them phenomenal success. The album went to number one on the charts, reaching platinum status and ‘Ruthless Queen,’ became their highest charting single, (#4 in the Dutch charts). 

The next album, ‘Periscope Life’ (1980), was similar in style and recorded in Los Angeles. It consolidated KAYAK’s position as one of Holland’s most popular bands.

With their next effort, ‘Merlin’ (1981), KAYAK returned to its original progressive and symphonic rock roots, with a suite about the legendary medieval magician on side A. Many music fans considered this a milestone in the bands career. Personal and musical struggles within the band however led to a break up in 1982. The first era of KAYAK ended after the release of the semi live album ‘Eyewitness’. 

The next chapter in KAYAK’s career began in 2006 with ‘Kayakoustic’, presenting the now seven-piece band in an intimate setting.In the new millennium KAYAK was resurrected after an 18 year pause and came back with the strong symphonic crossover album ‘Close to the Fire’ (2000) with again Pim Koopman on drums and Max Werner on vocals. Unfortunately, due to ill health Max was soon forced to leave, with ex- Vandenberg singer Bert Heerink, who already joined the band on stage, taking over. With Heerink three studio albums were recorded, including the rock opera’s ‘Merlin – Bard of the Unseen’ and ‘Nostradamus – The Fate of Man’, their most ambitious efforts yet. The rock opera’s, dominated by longer, prog-based compositions, also showed KAYAK’s theatrical side with an extended cast of singers and dancers contributing to an impressive first rate live experience. It also marked the return of Edward Reekers and introduced Cindy Oudshoorn as first female lead singer. 

2008 was an important year celebrating their 35th anniversary and embarking on a large tour taking the group to the theaters and clubs. ‘The Anniversary Box’, a DVD containing the Paradiso concert as well as a collection of fan chosen tracks is released. 

The tragic, unexpected death of drummer and composer Pim Koopman one year later in the middle of the ‘Letters From Utopia’ tour almost led to KAYAK’s downfall, but two years later the group re- emerged with Hans Eijkenaar on drums and the album ‘Anywhere But Here’, dedicated to Koopman. After a period of two years preparing and recording the new rock opera ‘Cleopatra- The Crown of Isis’ was released in 2014. Shortly before the tour, lead singers Reekers and Oudshoorn unexpectedly and inconveniently announced their departure, leaving the band in disarray. But as they say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and like the proverbial cat with nine lives – in 2018 KAYAK came back with a vengeance and ‘Seventeen’. 

Look out for more information on the bands 18th studio album ‘Out Of This World’ in the coming months

KAYAK online 


Posted by Mark Smith in Music News
Jamstack Gears Up to Release Second Generation of the World’s Most Portable Amplifier

Jamstack Gears Up to Release Second Generation of the World’s Most Portable Amplifier

The first model revolutionized the way we think of amplifiers, the second generation will revolutionize the way we think of musical collaboration and creation.

Jamstack is gearing up for the release of the second generation of the portable/attachable Jamstack Amp, with a whole new app and software to change the way musicians play, record, and share their music. The JS2 will interact with your smartphone to control 1000’s of tone settings, creating sound quality and volume you won’t believe can come out of such a tiny amplifier. Jamstack CEO and Dragon’s Den Alumnus Chris Prendergast spent over a year digitally recreating the world’s best gear, circuit by circuit, to create the most realistic virtual gear experience on the market.

The new app will give players the ability to play along to any music on their smartphone, record music directly onto their device, and share and collaborate with other users. Its unique 2-way wireless capabilities turn it into a bluetooth speaker – making it the world’s best Bluetooth speaker for its size and the world’s only stereo wireless amplifier for networked audio – for listening to music from your phone, your home stereo, your entertainment system, or on-the-go. The small speakers pack a punch with their custom 2.5” drivers and 30W output, at a volume you won’t believe can come from a package only weighing 1.78 lbs, earning its place as the world’s smallest true modelling amplifier.

Jamstack 2

With the increase in guitar sales during the pandemic, the folks at Jamstack have kept in mind the needs of players – from beginners to pros – who are learning, practicing, recording, and collaborating from home, and they are the only amp to offer seamless 3rd party app integration. The Jamstack is designed for ‘acoustic-level’ portability, encouraging electric players to pick up and play their instruments with the same ease as an acoustic instrument.

Jamstck 2

About Jamstack:

In 2018, Jamstack’s first portable, attachable guitar amplifier hit the scene after four years of product development. The idea first came to Chris Prendergast – a high school coding teacher and guitar player – who was frequently frustrated by not being able to play his electric guitar without lugging a mountain of gear wherever he went. After a successful crowdfunding and Dragon’s Den campaign, the JS1 ended up earning over $2 million in sales. The Jamstack 2 – which comes with a 3x increase in power, performance quality, and all-around enhanced user experience – was launched on Indiegogo in November 2020, reaching its funding goal in under 10 min, and raising over $200K. Customers can still go to the Indiegogo page to pre-order the JS2 with special perks, and are encouraged to sign up for the newsletter where secret perks are released to their followers.

Posted by Mark Smith in Guitar Gear News
Devin Townsend Announces ‘Devolution Series #1 – Acoustically Inclined, Live in Leeds’

Devin Townsend Announces ‘Devolution Series #1 – Acoustically Inclined, Live in Leeds’

Launches pre-order and ‘Hyperdrive’ video

Devin Townsend is currently working on new material for upcoming albums, and for a current lack of touring possibilities and encounters with fans on the road he decided to do a series of live albums, quarantine albums, and generally interesting projects that keep people entertained while he’s busy on his next larger releases. 

Devin comments: 

“So we bring to you the ‘Devolution Series’: a grouping of oddities and interesting material that I would like people to hear, but don’t necessarily want to present as a ‘major release’.

The series will include all the quarantine songs and concerts, as well as various live shows from the past few years.

The first release is a remixed and remastered version of the ‘Live in Leeds’ show that was originally on the ‘Empath’ Ultimate Edition. It was a cool acoustic show that deserves to be heard I think, so we can use this as an introduction to the series.

I’m am currently deep in the writing of my new projects and am very excited to be doing so. Thanks for facilitating my ability to do that, and I hope you enjoy the ‘Devolution Series’.” 

The ‘Live in Leeds’ show has previously only been released in video format, and “Devolution Series #1 – Acoustically Inclined, Live in Leeds” now marks the audio release of said show. It will be released on March 19th 2021.

As a warm-up to this release, check out the ‘Hyperdrive (Live in Leeds 2019)’ video here: 

“Devolution Series #1 – Acoustically Inclined, Live in Leeds” will be available as Ltd. CD Digipak, 180g Gatefold 2LP (incl. the album on CD) and as Digital Album and as of now it is up for pre-order, so make sure to grab a copy here: 

DEVIN TOWNSEND “Devolution Series #1 –

Acoustically Inclined, Live in Leeds” track listing:

1. Intro (06:30)

2. Let it Roll (03:48)

3. Funeral (08:17)

4. Deadhead (07:51)

5. Ih-Ah! (04:44)

6. Love? (08:06)

7. Hyperdrive (04:27)

8. Terminal (04:58)

9. Coast (04:37)

10. Solar Winds (03:25)

11. Thing Beyond Things (04:34)



Posted by Mark Smith in Music News
Rod Rodrigues unveils new track “La Première Expérience”

Rod Rodrigues unveils new track “La Première Expérience”

As the year of 2020 drew to a close, guitar extraordinaire Rod Rodrigues released another blistering track, the expansive “La Première Expérience”. The song will be part of Rod’s new full length album, entitled “Tales of a Changing Life”, to be released on the second half of 2021.

“La Première Expérience” is the culmination of Rod Rodrigues’ evolution as an artist, and its seeds date back to 2012, when he did his first international trip. Leaving his homeland of Brazil to visit France inspired him and gave Rod a first taste of what it was like to live in a different environment. The guitarist, now based in Toronto, borrowed elements of French music and jazz to compose this spacious and evocative track. The homage to Paris can also be seen on the cover of this single, and also on its music video.

Rod’s focus from now on will be on the Progressive Melodic style, where he is not worried about playing a million notes per second, but where melody is the main point. That idea is prominently showcased on “La Première Expérience”, where he wears the influence of other guitar heroes such as Steve Vai and Andy Timmons on his sleeve, but drives his creative efforts onto new and unexplored avenues. For Rod, the importance does not lie on a barrage of notes, but on the feelings that his guitar playing evokes.

Accompanying Rod Rodrigues on “La Première Expérience” are Rodrigo Abelha on drums, Bruno Ladislau on bass and Milo Andreo on keyboards and piano. The guitars were recorded at Bianzeno Studio in Toronto, Canada, and the track was edited by Diego Pereira at Diehouse Studio – Brazil. Mixing was done by Renato Osório in Brazil, and mastering by Tony Lindgreen (James LaBrie, Marty Friedman, Opeth) at Fascination Street Studio, Sweden.

“La Première Expérience” will be released on December 15 2020, and the cover art for the single was done by Gus Avancini. A music video, produced by Toronto 360, and all the links to buy this song will be made available on Rod Rodrigues’ social media accounts and on his website, as shown below:

La Première Expérience (Official Music Video):



Posted by Mark Smith in Music News
New Music Video From Major Moment Titled ‘The Flood’

New Music Video From Major Moment Titled ‘The Flood’

The story behind ‘The Flood’…

Being independent artists for us means being fully involved and invested in all aspects of creating a unified vision behind what we stand for as a band. It sure is overwhelming at times and comes with some challenges, but it also allows us to expand our creativity to formats beyond just audio, whether it’s album art, designing merch or directing music videos. That’s exactly what happened with “The Flood” and the music video for it. We started planning it back in January of 2020 (the final version of the song was still months away, we were working with a pre-production demo), when we first pitched our idea to Tyler Ayers of Reverly Studios, the director of our music video. We thought it was next to impossible to make our vision a reality, with all the technical aspects of it, but Tyler simply called our idea “genius” and said we had to do it.
It then took us over 6 months of planning and 4 more months of editing and post-production to get it to where we are today.

From flooding the room with 6000 gallons of water dyed pitch black, to real black caviar, to 16 crew members that all helped to make our original artistic vision come true, it’s been a wild ride, and Major Moment’s most ambitious project to date. We seriously couldn’t wait any longer to share it with everyone, and are proud to present you “The Flood”, as we always wanted you to experience it…


Apple Music:





Other Streaming:

TikTok: @majormoment

Official Website:

Posted by Mark Smith in Music News
New Release: Keep Me Down – Breathe

New Release: Keep Me Down – Breathe

Blending influences such as Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd, Breathe marks a change in styles for Keep Me Down.

Mark Smith said –

The Breathe writing session started off on the piano which is pretty unusual for me. This took me in a different direction compared to when I write on the guitar. While I was writing it I actually thought it might not feature guitars at all but then I got out my new Schecter Nick Johnston signature model and the Gilmour style licks seemed to come pouring out.

Released on Saturday 1st of August, Breathe is available now on all of the major streaming services.

Listen now on Spotify

Posted by Mark Smith in Music News
New Single: Laura Mazon Franqui- Un Dia de Noviembre

New Single: Laura Mazon Franqui- Un Dia de Noviembre

Laura Mazon Franqui Delivers Retrospective & Melodic Classical Guitar Single ‘Un Dia de Noviembre’

Laura Mazon Franqui releases her newest soothing, emotional, and uplifting classical guitar single “Un Dia de Noviembre.” The Cuban native delivers a simple, yet message-heavy instrumental led by an emotion-drenched guitar progression. The release offers pure beauty that will mesmerize listeners from the press of play. With its high and low notes, the song will take listeners into an introspective musical journey. Through the difficult times the world is going through due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Laura Mazon Franqui’s “Un Dia de Noviembre” will bring comfort from a musical perspective. The song is elegantly arranged to put listeners in a state of trance. The track covers Leo Brouwer’s soundtrack for Humberto Solas’ film “Un Dia de Noviembre.” The film is one of Cuba’s most renowned cinematic pieces which is directed by one of the biggest Cuban filmmakers. For Laura Mazon Franqui, “Un Dia de Noviembre” is a piece that brings nostalgic memories as well as delivers a message of life, meaning, and connection. Make sure to check out the release, and add “Un Dia de Noviembre” to your playlists.

Laura Mazon Franqui- Un Dia de Noviembre

About Laura Mazon Franqui

Augustine Artist Laura Mazon is praised as “An accomplished guitarist of Hispanic Latino descent” (Digital Journal) and a performer who “plays the guitar with majesty and sensitivity to color and nuance” (Adam Levin), Born in Cuba, Laura Mazon Franqui is a Hispanic Internationally awarded guitarist determined to explore the guitar possibilities into the contemporary context. As a performer, feminist, millennial, fashionista, trendsetter, rebel entertainer and performer, she seeks to break boundaries between the popular(electrical/acoustic) and the classical styles and to take the instrument to a higher level of reception to new audiences and generations. Innovation and Art integration are the words that drive her as a mission. Since age ten, Laura has been an active guitarist, participating numerous masterclasses with some of the biggest names in the guitar world, performing at hundreds of venues around the world in countries such as Cuba, Spain, Ecuador, and the United States and engaging in multiple recording collaborations for the music industry, as well as television and cinema and being part of numerous festivals and competitions. Innovation and Art integration are the words that drive her as a mission.


Posted by Mark Smith in Music News
Paradise Lost Release First Album Trailer For Obsidian

Paradise Lost Release First Album Trailer For Obsidian

Nick and Greg discuss “Fall From Grace”

The book has been closed but the story continues: Paradise Lost sharpen their pens and add another chapter to their dark, gloomy history of death, doom and gothic metal. In difficult times, the British legends from Halifax, Yorkshire are the drug that numbs the pain, the lover that takes away the sorrows, the story that craves to be told. “Obsidian”, the new album from Paradise Lost, will be released on 15th May.

Continue reading →

Posted by Mark Smith in Music News
Devin Townsend – Empath – The Ultimate Edition Announced For Release 5th June 2020

Devin Townsend – Empath – The Ultimate Edition Announced For Release 5th June 2020

Devin Townsend is pleased to announce the release of ‘Empath – The Ultimate Edition’ on 5th June 2020. This comprehensive version of 2019’s acclaimed album contains the original record and bonus discs across 2 CDs, plus 2 Blu-Ray discs. The first blu-ray contains the 5.1 Surround Sound mix by Devin, with visuals for the full record, plus a stereo visualiser. The second blu-ray contains a raft of bonus material, including ‘Acoustically Inclined – Live in Leeds’, a recording from his April 2019 acoustic tour where he performed tracks including ‘Love?’, ‘Deadhead’, ‘Thing Beyond Things’ & more. Continue reading →

Posted by Mark Smith in Music News