Author: Paul Whimpenny

Features writer and album reviewer. Fan of all music from Vivaldi onwards with a predilection for classic and progressive rock from the 1970s.

Jesse Damon – Damon’s Rage (AOR Heaven)

The lasting impression listening to this album is of a master craftsman who knows what he is good at and takes great joy in delivering it. If the name Jesse Damon rings a bell and you can’t quite place it then there‘s a massive hint in the title of his new album: Damon’s Rage. If..

Apotheus – The Far Star (Black Lion Records)

With The Far Star, Apotheus have created a fascinating and original concept album that cuts across the progressive, progressive  metal and melodic death genres. Put your hand up please if your favourite band is from Portugal. No takers there, I suspect, unless you happen to be a big fan of the Fado. OK, put your..

MANTRA – MEDIUM (FINISTERIAN DEAD END)

It is a joy to see that progressive music is alive and well and there are bands like Mantra that are pushing the progressive boundaries rather than settling for rehashing the past. Let me start with a very minor gripe: the band’s name. Spotify identifies 35 bands/artists with this name and that’s excluding dozens of..

STEELWINGS – BACK (SLIPTRICK RECORDS)

If you like an hour of good honest rock and roll then you won’t go wrong listening to this one. It really is extraordinary how Sweden seems to be churning out quality rock bands like hot cakes these days. Here is yet another one although they are not actually that new. Back in the late..

GIANT DWARF (SOUND EFFECT RECORDS)

This band could go a long long way.... Giant Dwarf are a new band from Perth, Australia, and this their eponymous debut album is an absolute gem. Musically, they plant their flag firmly in stoner territory with the stars of that genre (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age) being a visible influence along with the..

Chris Rea – One Fine Day (Rhino)

One Fine Day provides an intriguing snapshot of an artist at a pivotal moment in his career. Chris Rea first emerged in 1978 thanks mostly to the US hit single Fool If You Think It’s Over from his debut album. Eventually he would go on to hit the big time in the mid-late 80s with..

HAWKWIND – ALL ABOARD THE SKYLARK (Cherry Red)

Opener  Flesh Fondue ... might well be the best song Hawkwind have written in this millennium Hawkwind don’t lack a sense of humour. Their previous album, the serious sounding Road To Utopia, was in fact a relaxed and sometimes humorous reworking of Hawkwind classics along with brass and string accompaniment.  Now their latest effort, All..

ISSUN – Dark Green Glow (Spinnup)

Compared to its size, Germany seems to have under achieved in terms of its contribution to rock music, with only the Scorpions becoming truly global stars. That heavy rock tradition has continued with bands such as Accept and Helloween but looking in the progressive space then the ground starts to look a little thin. RPWL..

Steve Howe

Amongst Steve Howe’s projects, The Steve Howe Trio is his vehicle to experiment in a more intimate musical environment with a focus on jazz influences. The new album from The Steve Howe Trio, New Frontier, will be released on September 27th so we decided this was a good time for Velvet Thunder to touch base..