Azureth | Yesterday's Future, Tomorrow's Past

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Emerson, Lake & Palmer Kansas Yes

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Rock: Progressive Rock Rock: 70's Rock Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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Yesterday's Future, Tomorrow's Past

by Azureth

Azureth is built around a commitment to compositional excellence, expansive epic melodies, moving musical drama, with deeply poetic, philosophical, well crafted lyrics underpinning a rock solid musical foundation.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Wake The Dragon
Azureth
6:53 $0.99
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2. Searching
Azureth
4:28 $0.99
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3. Man On The Moon
Azureth
4:27 $0.99
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4. TGD - pt. I - Overture
Azureth
5:39 $0.99
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5. TGD - pt. II - The Grand Design
Azureth
6:54 $0.99
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6. TGD - pt. III - Shadow Of A Man
Azureth
7:41 $0.99
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7. TGD - pt. IV - Fanfare
Azureth
5:27 $0.99
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8. TGD - pt. V - Humanity Revisited
Azureth
4:40 $0.99
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9. TGD - pt. VI - The Sleeper Has Awakened
Azureth
6:03 $0.99
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10. Timeless Moments In Sherwood
Azureth
4:22 $0.99
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11. The Lathe Of Heaven
Azureth
5:24 $0.99
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12. Afterglow
Genesis
5:12 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
***Description
Azureth captures the essence of Yes, Genesis and Kansas, distilling them into their very own, more contemporary "Alternative" flavored brand of Progressive Rock, self evident in songs like "The Lathe Of Heaven", while on the other hand quoting the finest aspects of Steely Dan's songwriting and story telling crafts, which can be heard in the poignant space ballad "The Grand Design". All the same, they manage to rip it up with fiery solos propelling the band into high speed exchanges and odd time signatures. This international group of progressive musicians are deeply influenced by the mystical and epic nature of Progressive Rock, the furious rhythm sections and fiery solos of Jazz-Rock Fusion, along with the power and raw energy of Progressive Metal.

This international group of progressive rock musicians are influenced by the mystical and epic nature of of Progressive Rock, the furious and fiery solos of Jazz-Rock Fusion, and the power and energy of Progressive Metal.

***Music Style
Progessive Rock, Fusion, Alternative Rock, Progressive Metal

***Some of our favorite Bands
Yes, Kansas, ELP, The Flower Kings, Jethro Tull, Genesis, Spock's Beard, Al Dimeola, Transatlantic

***Band Members
Kenneth Aspeslåen- Drums, Vocals.
Mark Connors - Acoustic and Electric Guitars.
Stephen Gilbert Rivera - Music, Lyrics, Keyboards.

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Reviews


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Marco Piva - movimentiProg - Italy

Yesterday's Future, Tomorrow's Past" has been (very positively) reviewed
AZURETH – Yesterday’s Future, Tomorrow’s Past
Norway/USA 2004
BlueFish

Simply a masterwork

“Yesterday’s Future, Tomorrow’s Past” (quite a suggestive title, by the way) is the interesting debut album by Azureth (a Norwegian and two Americans) and, as they state themselves on their websites, sounds like a piece of the ’70s appeared 30 years later.

There are some touches reminding of the best (and less dark and redundant) Emerson, Lake & Palmer, together with some Pink Floyd-like suggestions interrupted by passages somehow reminding of King Crimson… but at the same time there’s nothing about which someone could say “Hey, here they copied from [insert the name of a big prog band here]”. No copies for Azureth, only some inspiration from the major names of prog music in those six traces plus, in the centre an excellent six-part suite, “The Grand Design”.

The main character in this concept is an unwilling hero, forced to try to change the course of history in order to save mankind from the destruction mankind itself is bringing forth.

This band really is a revelation, perfectly balanced both amongst the solo parts by the three musicians (Kenneth Aspeslåen on vocals, bass and drums, Mark Connors on guitars and Stephen Rivera on everything with keys, from piano to synth) and for what concerns the relation between instrumental and sung parts, between solos and riffs, or themes; the three of theme have indeed a very good technique, but this record is not a mere display of technical proficiency in playing riffs at unprecedented rhythms or in putting weird notes together: this is an album that has been written in order to give sensations. The fact that this is done by very good musicians of course makes it even more pleasant, but this is not – as unfortunately happens quite often – the main reason beyond the record.

Personally, I have no doubts in listing this “Yesterday’s Future, Tomorrow’s Past” amongst the best prog releases of the year, nor to expect a great future for Azureth: there’s only one more new band that can be compared to them, although their approach is quite different: the Finnish Velvet Desperados. Different styles, but the same originality in composing. And, I hope, the same great future in front of them.

www.azureth.com
StephenR@azureth.com; MarkC@azureth.com; KennethA@azureth.com

Vote: 9/10
9/10: a record that every prog fan MUST have, nearly perfect.
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Harmonie Magazine -France

Azureth is for sure a new unknown who should be taken into consideration
Presenting themselves on their website as a “vintage progressive rock band”, Azureth is for sure a new unknown who should be taken into consideration, one of those groups that begin from scratch with the firm intention to make it. Unfortunately, making it, will mean in most cases, to play on a prog festival before 200 people. Don’t be discouraged because this situation, that never seems to change, ábolit en rien ? the capacity of this movement to regenerate, that will celebrate her 40th birthday in around 3 years if you count 67/68 as the birth year of this current.

I will not wander of from the subject, Azureth has a bit of YES flowing through the air thanks to the Squire like bass playing of Kenneth and the expert playing of the keyboard by Stephen. The slightly veiled voice of K.A. gives the music an undefinable charm of this combo who strongly believe in what they are doing, progressive rock worthy the interest ? and written ????

When one plays and listens to a suite like The Grand Design made up of 6 chapters, one is smashed ? and one listens! The intro Overture contains a small synth line and guitar played with exquisite finesse by Mark C. before becoming a sulfurous condensation ? breaking into an explosive instrumental piece. The synth and the bass form a funny couple in Azureth ???Existing in the mid seventies. The three Americans would have had their place without fail et ….?????

The cover is made up of paintbrush by Linda Smith, an artist who has without a doubt captured the essence of the music of Azureth, a nice mixture of fonts typically progressive and sci-fi.
The three list have their influences with greediness, like Genesis, YES, Rick Wakeman, and moreover Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Gentle Giant. It is clear that al those Lords Prayers??? paternites? are not bandied about? or erodet by the rough playing. Azureth resembles in certain points those brilliant predecessors and if they do nothing but reproduce those cherished formulas in the progressive environment, they do it with an elegant ease and great know-how.
They are not far from the latest work of The Tangent with that apartes ? jazzy (Shadow of a man) and the tasty reprises between Caravan and Pink Floyd. Yes I’m getting excited by naming a bunch of bands that have nothing in common but being progressive but Azureth makes it difficult cause with this disc, at the start of each part, one cannot know in which musical style it will develop at the end.

A true progressive rock disc, isn’t it true? Where the word break takes on it’s full meaning and passing from one genre to another without shocking one second. Azureth confirms itself as a group where you can’t lose a euro but how many times have I said that in the last 10 years in Harmony?

We return to the intro of the article… if you are not convinced yet visit their website where you listen to large bits of their music, believe me, it will surprise you.

Then some more lines with nothing new in it and EXCELLENT.

That’s about it. It has a few question marks but you get the general idea I think.
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Keith Waye - Progarchives

The moment the first few notes played I knew I was going to like it
I discovered this album by listening to the Prog Rock station Aural Moon. The moment the first few notes played I knew I was going to like it and when the CD arrived I gave myself a pat on the back......it's wonderful. If you like your prog rock in the "Classic" style with Sweeping keyboards, soaring, beautiful guitar work great bass lines and time sigs that have you tapping your feet then this album is for you. As I type this I'm listening to the first track "Wake the dragon" and it is superb. Well done Azureth. This album really hits the spot. It's not often that I'd give 5 stars to an album but I have no hesitation this time
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Mark Hughes - DPRP

This track has the lot: varying time signatures, classic organ sounds, a multitu
We have the internet to thank for a lot of things, speedier communications, gigabytes of information at the click of a mouse, excellent prog rock sites (!) and now, it seems, the formation of new bands. How else would a keyboard player from Florida (Stephen Rivera), a guitarist from Texas (Mark Connors) and a drummer / bass player / singer from Norway (Kenneth Aspeslåen) link up? Recorded in different studios in the home towns of the respective musicians, it seems likely that Yesterday's Future, Tomorrow's Past was born out of electronic rather than personal interaction (one wonders if the participants have ever actually met in person!). Whatever the genesis of the album, the results speak for themselves.

I admit to having been a bit wary of this CD at first, a progressive band using fantasy artwork and having an opening song about dragons seemed rather too much of a prog cliché for 2004. However, putting aside the subject matter, Wake The Dragon clearly states the progressive agenda for the album. This track has the lot: varying time signatures, classic organ sounds, a multitude of synths, an engaging guitar riff and some quite frantic drumming all mixed together to produce a track that sounds like the 1970s never ended. Particularly the 1970s of Yes as Wake The Dragon contains snippets 'inspired' by just about every classic Yes song whilst maintaining an overall originality and it has to be said, being extremely well done. However, this is obviously a deliberate tribute to the band, and in particular Rick Wakeman, as they point out in the rather lavish lyric booklet available from the band's website (however, you'll need a password, provided when registering the purchased CD, to access it. Well worth it though as it is quite a work of art!).

After the opening prog onslaught, Searching offers some lighter relief being a more laid back number with some nice layered harmonies that provide an ideal complement to the acoustic guitar. Man On The Moon has a more ELP type arrangement, again, an acoustic guitar holds the song together whilst flights of keyboards zoom off in every direction and the drummer does his stuff in the background (and does it very well one might add). The weakest element is vocalist Aspeslåen (the only non-native English speaker in the band!). Lacking real power and straining on the higher notes, he is not helped by sometimes being placed too low in the mix. The music really needs a strong and forceful vocal presence which functions almost like another instrument. However, this is not a major sticking point, the musicianship of the trio more than compensates for any inadequacies in the singing.

Labelled as a mini rock-opera, The Grand Design is a concept "lamenting the present unrelenting course of humanity and a reluctant hero whose job it is to change the course of history". The suite in six parts, with a combined running time just shy of 40 minutes, kicks off with an instrumental overture that reminds me somewhat of Triumvirat, particularly in the synth lines. Having the melody line performed by the bass at the end of the song is a clever idea and throughout the playing is of the highest quality. The Grand Design serves as an introduction to the concept and is rather restrained, except for the spoken preamble (a quote by Albert Einstein) that is rather too quickly spoken for ease of listening. Keyboards to the fore in Shadow Of A Man with a classically-tinged piano intro leading to a short vocal section (which has a 12 note melody refrain that, coincidentally, is identical to that found in Back In The Game by Gillan) followed by a mass of keyboards and guitar before ending in a reprise of the vocal section and a final piano flourish. A very good song and one that stands up taken outside of the concept as a whole. The instrumental Fanfare tips a nod to ELP around about the time of Trilogy while Humanity Revisited links to the final section, The Sleeper Has Awakened, which, is about the hero accepting his lot and embarking on his epic journey (or so it says in the lyric book!) Not sure I am entirely convinced by the lyrical content, or even understand it (I was thrown by the inclusion of an native American Indian chant at the end) but probably need to read the lyrics closer. All in all, an interesting suite that has its moments but is possibly not as cohesive and convincing as a concept as one would have envisaged.

More "prog nonsense" (as IQ would say!) with Timeless Moments In Sherwood and the dragon from Track 1 now fully awake and wandering around the forest of the title. Thankfully as an instrumental we are spared a lyric. Again, keyboards dominate and the guitar, except when soloing, is pushed a little too far back to make any significant contribution, which is a shame. But it is a pleasant enough ditty as it is. The Lathe Of Heaven plods along without really getting anyway and is one of the weakest tracks on the album. A good guitar solo at the conclusion was marred by the continual repetition of the song's title and the ending was a trifle too abrupt. Final track is a cover of Afterglow by Genesis. With added allusions to Dance On A Volcano this is a quite sympathetic rendition of a classic song, enhanced by a good guitar solo but lacking in some of the warmth of the original.

Although perhaps not as musically broad as the band seem to think (they state their musical style to be a blend of progressive rock, fusion, alternative rock and progressive metal) Azureth have come up with a decent album that has no pretentions other than being a progressive rock CD drawing on influences from the classic era of such music. As such they can't be faulted and if that is your bag then there is plenty on offer here. With, of course, added dragons.

Conclusion: 7 out of 10
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