Arashk — Ustuqus-al-Uss
((Not on label) , 2008, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01Arashk is presented as an Iranian three-piece instrumental unit covering multi-guitars, bass, keyboards and drums, though more correctly in recorded form it’s mostly the vehicle of multi-instrumentalist and composer Salim Ghazi Saeedi, with the support of guitarist Pouyan Khajavi and drummer Shahram Khosraviani. On this, their third release, their sound is all over the map, often embracing elements of metal, jazz, heavy symphonic prog, surf, traditional themes and more – the nine cuts here offer ambitious juxtapositions of various forms and styles, an impressive but often fortuitous workout that would probably be better served by a bit more focus in one area or another. In addition, the production tends to be a bit on the demo-ish side. All that said, Saeedi is an excellent composer with an interesting and unique perspective operating in a progressive rock context, and that brilliance shows up often enough throughout these nine tracks, caveats notwithstanding.
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more