Opeth – In Cauda Venenum (Nuclear Blast)

There is a kind of divinity in the darkness that has pervaded Opeth's music in the quarter century since their debut album Orchid floated into an unsuspecting world; an unassailable character that somehow prevents it from ever crossing over into the dreaded 'cheesy' territory. It's like an old, chipped stone angel in some forgotten graveyard:..

NOVA CASCADE – A Dictionary Of Obscure Sorrows

You might not know the name Nova Cascade, but gather round and listen... Perhaps best described as a collective around the hub of Dave Hilborne (vocals and keys), the band known as Nova Cascade released their debut album Above All Else around a year ago, and it had much to recommend it. Fast Forward to..

Anthony Phillips …in conversation

One might be inclined to think that an 86 minute album of guitar instrumentals could wear out its welcome and tempt the attention deficient among us to turn it off before it was halfway done. Certainly that has been the case with past releases from some of the flashier players in Guitarland, with their endless..

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..

HUIS – Abandoned (Unicorn Digital)

Michel St-Père is on a roll. His main band Mystery released one of the best albums of their career last year (the tremendous Lies And Butterflies). The band he plays guitar with, Huis, released their third and best album Abandoned this past spring. From Quebec, Huis are a highly melodic band in the neo-prog style,..

DISTRICT 97 – Screens (MindScan Records)

One gets the impression that D97 are not one of those bands who will sound corny in ten or fifteen years' time. Chicago-based heavy prog band District 97 have revealed their fourth studio album Screens, serving up another slab of their uniquely powerful music to the hungry fans that waited four years since their previous..