Friday, January 30, 2009

illuminatus: The Wrath of the Lambs UK

Straight from Ministry's UK Final World Tour, followed My Ruin's UK and Ireland Tour, illuminatus brings us their new release, The Wrath of Lambs. Nationwide on Anthill/Pinnacle Records, illuminatus has a 2009 European Tour beginning in Italy, then DarkFest in Bologna. illuminatus made their way to the finals of FameCast and were flown to Austin, Texas broadcast live to millions. Illuminatus to date, is the only non U.S. band to achieve this.

illuminatus is: Julio Taylor: Vocals/Guitar, Felix Rullhusen: Percussion, Jon Martin: guitars and Leo Giovazzini on Bass. Their mass of loyal fans, high energy performance, and driving rhythm allowed them to share the stage with: Children of Bodom, Dragon Force, NightWish, Paradise Lost, and Saxon and Skindred.

They have appeared live at UK's Bloodstock and Bulldog Bash, and collaborating with producers such as Harvey Birell (Therapy?, Ministry) and Pete "Pee-Wee" Coleman (AC/DC, Black Sabbath) drew them comparison to bands such as Anathema and Paradise Lost. illuminatus is the ultimate National/International Alternative Band.

A lover of both metal and rock, this 9 track CD is a must have. Every single tune is a power play. Dark sarcasm is present in guitar riffs with maddening percussion reminiscent of 1970's metal rock. The title track, The Wrath of Lambs is a stadium anthem. Julio and Jon keep the starkness alive with Leo on one mean bass. Felix brings it full circle keeping everyone in check. This is a rock instrumental.

Emotion Sickness brings me right back to days of Megadeath, Metallica and System Of A Down. This is by far, my favorite tune. illuminatus manages to intertwine vociferous instrumentals with vocals ranging from soft spoken to wailing. It begins full force and lays it low in between surprising you when you least expect it. This is a hit, standing only behind The Wrath Of Lambs.

Captive State
is a tune that deserves video behind it. illuminatus paints a picture of the state of all nations. They present here the essentials that enforce all famous rock bands. Simplicity and perfection.

This a CD you never wish to cease listening to. Recorded in Nottingham, The Wrath Of Lambs is innovative, raw and what the entire music scene is in desperate need of. Check the guys out my space: and:

Melodic, heavy and intellectual, illuminatus threatens to change the face of music. Join the Revolution, before it passes you by.

Susan Marie
Public Relations
New York USA 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Michio: Así nada más (Germany)

Michio has performed at renowned flamenco and guitar festivals in Germany and abroad. He also performed at the world-famous Festival de Flamenco in Jerez de la Frontera in 2007, the first non-Spanish guitarist ever to be invited there. In May 2007, Michio went back to his classical roots, from The Vienna Conservatory, where he interpreted the famous Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo. His latest CD Así nada más was released with Alameda Production in 2008.

Michio is a guitarist and sought after composer coming to us from Düsseldorf, Germany. He tours Europe and Japan with his Michio Flamenco Project (guitar, bass, vocals, shakuhachi, percussion). He wrote and performed stage music for contemporary dance adaptations of Federico Garcá Lorca's Das Haus der Bernarda Alba and VergissMeinNicht, both directed by choreographer Mei Hong Lin. To date, Michio is the only German artist nominated for The Hollywood Music Awards World Category for his single, Ignition.

Así nada más, Michio displays a global flamenco style in Ignition. He has an absolute understanding of his art in this song. The vocals are a beautiful addition to his playing. Michio manages to go from basic chords to energized strumming to a rapid fire flash of chords in seconds. His playing is magnificent, new, fresh and meditative.

Patito feo is an upbeat classical acoustic tune. The 2nd track on this CD, this is one to get you up and dancing. It is reminiscent of romance, the night. His playing is insurmountable here, speed is redefined through the harmonics and chord structure of Michio.

Viento de cara is beauty. The soft slow progression of acoustics is peaceful. Michio, although playing quite rapidly, manages to bring his guitar down low. The vocals here are in direct response to his playing, much like opera. Listening to this is akin to a conversation between one voice and a guitar, not knowing which is which.

This entire CD is beyond typical guitar playing, let alone flamenco. This is music to relax to, drive for hours with, dance to, work alongside, love with, and most importantly; to soak up the gifted presence of Michio.

If you play, wish to or are an aficionado of music at all, you need to get this CD. Please go to: Michio is well aware of the difference between playing and feeling. He is one with his guitar, allowing the listener to become an active part of his 12 track dreamscape entitled, Así nada más.

Susan Marie
Public Relations
New York USA 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

MENEW: Of The Future (Canada)

Menew comes to us from Toronto, Canada where they began their study of music. Pronounced Men-u, they have shared the stage with U2 on their Vertigo Tour, worked with Rick Parashar (Pearl Jam, Bon Jovi), and Scott Mathews (Elvis Costello, Eric Clapton), as well as shooting a video with Hans Uhlig (George Lucas' cinematographer) while still in their twenties.

Menew is: Shade: Vocals/Guitar, Key: Piano/Synth and Nathan Samuel Philip: Percussion and backing vocals. They released their latest CD Of The Future on the RedCore Label while kicking off the NxNE Music Fest in Toronto. The NARAS Committee placed Of The Future on the short list for 4 Grammy awards including: Album of the Year, Best Rock Album, Best Performance by a Duo or a Group and Best Video for their single, This Isn't Real.

The title track, The Future, begins with an eclectic mix of driving percussion and mean guitar riffs that transcend into perfection with the additon of vocals. The harmonizing is pristine. Shade's guitar and Nathan's drums meld, only to rise then fall with Key stepping in with subtle piano. This tune is a hit, this is the one that will have people grabbing this CD, seeing them in concert and on the radio. It is simply . . . what music is bleeding for.

The first single, This Isn't Real, manages to take that perfect mix of pop and rock and make it their own. This tune is reminiscent of the early days of MTV where music was raw and unfiltered. Upbeat, pure and thunderous, Menew thrives on reviving an endless sound, one that the industry is in desperate need of. Check out their YouTube Channel: Video is top notch and absolute.

Heaven Knows, enters with a military drum roll continuing throughout. Keys march in much like an organ or harpsichord. Vocals join the two in this requiem of sorts. Heaven Knows is a testament to something lost, left behind, a look to the past. The funeral march technique applied is sufficient for the content of the tune. It sets you up for melancholy yet is far from sad. A harmonica cries during the end. The diversity of Menew is outstanding.

The Official 2009 Of The Future Tour is under way with an appearance on David Letterman. Check the website for more information: and myspace: I am in awe of these guys and their music. I have not stopped listening since they sent me the CD. This is what music is meant to be, contrary to the title of the first single. Menew IS . . . 100% Real.

This IS . . . Of The Future.

© Susan Marie 2009
New York USA

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Music of Michael Horsphol (Australia)

Lu'Ella Unveiled: A New Earth Rising

Michael Horsphol brings us originally composed music in his 8 track CD entitled: Lu'Ella Unveiled: A New Earth Rising. He gives his inspiration to nature, the countryside of Northern Tasmania, Australia. Michael is inventive, using digital multi sampling of acoustic orchestral, ethnic instruments and choirs. Artwork, composition, mixing, and production is done solely by Michael who has completed soundtrack work for film productions.

The first track Lu'Ella Unveiled is an orchestral vocal journey seated in a dimly lit theatre simultaneously roaming the wilderness. Michael incorporates that soundtrack "feel" with additions of flutes, orchestra and vocals. It is reminiscent of nothing I have heard.

Gloria Natura is by far my favorite. This is a modern twist to the classical Ave Maria. This is the most calming peaceful song. Instead of taking away from old themes, as most modern does, Michael ADDS to this, bringing forth a "New World" quality that is missing in the original.

Blue Wings is stunning. This IS the gift of flight through music. The bass is full and rich, with a surround sound quick tempo as if you are in front of an orchestra. Listening to this sets me faraway over craggy embankments, on turbulent seas; to transcend this plane, inside a science fiction film, a forest glen, the sky. Blue Wings is a masterpiece.

Visit Michael by going to: and check out Lu'Ella Unveiled: A New Earth Rising. The jacket is phenomenal, emblazoned with a majestic sunset overlooking the vast sea. This CD is multi educational/cultural. It can be used for meditation, education in schools, college level digital track courses, and most definitely, for all spiritual enlightenment.

Lu'Ella Unveiled: A New Earth Rising is THE next soundtrack for a Major Motion Picture. This is fresh, exciting. It IS . . . Earth meets Cinema.

© Susan Marie 2009
New York, United States

Monday, September 29, 2008

Melissa Kate ~ Blind Faith (New York)

The next up-and-coming jazz and blues artist with a little bit of soul can be heard on "Blind Faith" by Melissa Kate. TM International produced this 8 track solo debut. Recorded at Pharoah studios through Van Taylor Production, this compilation showcases various renowned artists.

Melissa studied Barbershop, Classical, Opera and Musical Theatre. She was trained classically by Mr. Robert Wells and studied with Mr. Amuso who provided her with the basics of Jazz. Melissa became engulfed in the NYC Jazz scene and has performed at the World Trade Center, Swing 46, Pops Is Tops, the American Lindy Hop Championships, and at Louie Armstrong's house.

Melissa Kate is an international vocalist and began her artistic development with the award winning Taylor Made Jazz through Van Taylor Production. She is a powerhouse in Jazz, Blues, R&B and pop. Melissa now performs with The George Scott Big Band, travels internationally with Taylor Made Jazz, and has now come into her own with The Melissa Kate Project. Melissa has performed for the Armed Forces Entertainment, The Langston Hughes Institute, the M&T Plaza Concert series and the Buffalo Music Awards and continues to enlighten crowds internationally.

Melissa gives thanks to the musicians who have helped her artistically and support her such as:

Van Taylor, Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Inductee: keys/lyricist/production/manager, Walter Kemp III: keys, Jerry Livingston, 2008 Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Inductee, Jerry Sampson and Richie Valentino on bass, Jeff Nixon, Ron Walker, David Comtois and Nelson Thomas on guitar, Will Holton on Sax, Mike Crimes and Tim Webb on percussion and Flick Williams on vocals and keys.

A jazzy blues backbeat is apparent on the title track, "Blind Faith." Sultry vocals rise with percussion and bass keeping time behind her with the addition of horns. "Midnight Blue" is pbeat with traces of 80's discotheque to get you up and dancing. Her lyrics are in depth, her presence shining and her vocal range is to be envied. Accompanied by The Melissa Kate Project, this CD is a must for all music aficionados.

Melissa Kate can be found at: Melissa Kate . Grab her solo debut at: CD Baby. I had the pleasure of experiencing Melissa with Taylor Made Jazz and the Melissa Kate Project as she belted out vocals with a stage presence that invites you in like a warm embrace. Melissa is a positive light in this world and continues to support charitable causes. You can catch Melissa performing every Monday evening at The Historic Colored Musicians Club with The George Scott Big Band. The Melissa Kate Project on November 7, in NYC to benefit Artfully Aware. Please access her website above for more information.

I suggest you do not miss her. She is a star, following shadows . . . trying to see her way to the light.

Buffalo Select Chorus 2008 CD Release Righteous Babe Foundation (New York)

The Buffalo Select Chorus performed their 3rd Annual Concert June 4 at 7PM in Asbury Hall at Babeville. The recital and reception was free and open to all wishing to participate in the upcoming 2008-2009 Buffalo Select Chorus. This concert was recorded by the Righteous Babe Foundation and is now available on CD.

Sponsored by the Righteous Babe Foundation, it is the only chorus made up of Buffalo high school students, with nine different schools represented. The Buffalo Select Chorus is a talented, dynamic group that has persevered despite challenges for funding in the arts in the Buffalo schools.

In the spring of 2005, Linda Appleby (creative director and vocal instructor), along with Susan Mann Dolce (executive director) and other interested community members and parents set out to create a citywide Buffalo Public High School Chorus to begin that fall. The group would have weekly practices, play in a variety of venues over the year, have a final concert and reception, and produce a professional recording for use in the college application process. What resulted from their efforts was a selection of eight talented individuals from three Buffalo Public High Schools who gathered to rehearse once a week for six months.

The Righteous Babe Foundation took notice of these amazing singers and the need for more support to grow this fledgling group. The use of the restored Asbury Hall at The Church (now Babeville) was made available for weekly rehearsal and as primary performance space. Asbury Hall has become a Monday night "home" for Buffalo Select Chorus!

The Chorus has grown exponentially to thirty students, and in partnership with the Righteous Babe Foundation, will continue its mission: to provide a venue for Buffalo High School students to expand their vocal skills while offering actual performance experience under the tutelage of certified music teachers and professional musicians. This program of excellence will also be saying goodbye to many graduating seniors.

Please visit: to get a hold of this outstanding performance composed of Buffalo High School students and musicians. Buffalo Select Chorus was showcased on Think Twice Radio: Click the link to hear them rehearse, view pictures and connect to the mentors, musicians and students who make Buffalo Select Chorus a much desired investment.

Amanda Nagurney - Gettin' Out Of This Town (New York)

Raised in Western New York, Amanda Nagurney began vocal lessons at the age of seven. Her previous band, Copperhead Road, released a six track CD, entitled, "Gettin Out Of This Town" in 2008. Copperhead Road consisted of: Amanda Nagurney: main vocals and lead/rhythm guitar, Sarah Baumgarden: vocals, Tim Webb: percussion, Shpike McLean: bass and vocals, Joe Childs: lead guitar and vocals, Kevin Hatton: steel guitar, fiddle, mandolin, dobro, acoustic and vocals, and Buffalo Hall of Fame inductee, Jim Ehinger, on keyboards.

The first track lays down some country and western roots. "Gettin Out Of This Town," blends folk with electric guitar and percussion creating a rock-pop sound. The lyrics speak of Amanda's travels to Nashville and this tune will get you out of your seat and onto the floor when you hear: "Nothin's gonna stop me in my cowgirl boots."

"Goodbye Doesn't Mean Forever" is a ballad that has a background country flavor in the slide that mimics the soaring vocals. "Rock That Country" is a track that jolts you alive. Guitar riffs and percussion can be picked up alongside undertones of R&B. "Don't Ask Me To Love You" takes the listener back to 80's pop which then gets blended with a jazzy back beat. The vocals are perfection as Amanda sings: "I'll dance with ya baby, but don't ask me to love you." In "Never Break My Heart," there is a lovely slide intro with soft-spoken vocals.

Amanda has toured the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville and recorded at the infamous Ryman Auditorium. She has opened for The John Corbett Band, The Locash Boys, Sammy Kershaw, Joe Nichols, Phil Vassar, and Miranda Lambert.

She is a rising star waiting to get out of this town.

McCarthyizm ~ Victor's EP (New York)

Before the terms "underground" and "alternative" became mainstream, McCarthyizm was pounding out a blend of 60's garage and 80's rock with undertones of Celtic folk. Buffalo's own has shared the stage with the The Goo Goo Dolls, 10,000 Maniacs, Eddie Money, John Waite, They Might Be Giants, The Smithereens, The Proclaimers, Spirit of the West, The Crash Test Dummies, and Lowest of the Low.

This 6 piece rock/pop mix has traveled the Northeast enlightening Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New York City, Boston, Toronto and LA. They have earned numerous Music Awards and have taken Best Original Rock Band for 2006 and 2007 for the Buffalo Music Awards.

McCarthyizm consists of: Joe McCarthy: lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Paul Ceppaglia: guitar, mandolin, vocals, Dave Mucha: bass and vocals, Joe Suplicki: percussion, Helen Butler: fiddle and Nate Schneekloth on keyboards.

"Mt. St. Michel" begins with a sweet guitar riff that portray Joe's vocals pristine. Percussion, bass and keys follow melding a lyrical orchestration of language and history with Helen on fiddle spiraling you directly into a city of lights. "Victor's Morning" is an anthem. War like and tribal, lead in percussion causes one to raise that fist in the air. All members are represented and electric. Bass, fiddle, guitar, and keys scream simultaneous to a backdrop of cheers and shouts. This is rock, pop, and folk all in one tune.

These are only two tracks from the Victors EP.

Contact McCarthyizm at: and also on my space at:

McCarthyizm defies any genre. Every tune is different than the last, and to fully appreciate their talent to the fullest, grab this CD and listen to the lyrics. Each one of them stand alone musically with the ability to craft words into sound creating something that needs to be witnessed LIVE.

Scribe for the Tribe ~ Musick

Scribe for the Tribe is a local acoustic/electric power trio based in Buffalo. "Musick," was released in December of 2007. Scribe for the Tribe consists of: Charlie Forness on lead vocals, guitar/lyricist, Joe Garrigan on bass and Steve Wellenc on percussion/graphic design.

When I first saw them as a trio I became awestruck. If you have ever followed the progression of a single band, you build an inner sense of pride. Scribe for the Tribe has done just that for me. They are making it, have made it, and they are performing. It's phenomenal.

"Mess In My Wake" is where you get a taste of percussion. The reverb on drums with chord changes is ethereal. Lyrically, this tune takes you deep within yourself. "I sit around . . . I sit around now while my soul stagnates . . . I been around I been around while the world deflates . . . and I see the light . . . "

"Heaven" stands out from the rest on this compilation. This is a tribute to the one who shares Charlie's life. His wife, Nichole. Upbeat and jazzy, the listener is left with the notion that the act of of coming home is Heaven. The harmonizing here is lovely. This is pristine.

Scribe for the Tribe is essentially, an acoustic poet, a rock bassist and a metal percussionist combined into the force of one band. Each of them are prodigious musicians. Together, they create something quite singular. Poetry and jazz incensed with blues accelerated through metal.

Get a hold of the guys at: "Musick" is a masterpiece scattered with bongos, drums, bass, harmonies, acoustics, poetry and soul. To see them live is the only way to experience all of this combined.

Standing on the sidelines, I chronicle Scribe for the Tribe as unconventional, monumental and absolute.

Phantasm ~ Clever Cunning Actor

Platonic idealism is the theory that the reality around us is a reflection of a higher truth. The truth, Plato argued, is the abstraction. That abstraction, IS Phantasm. Get ready to enter a new realm. One that is powerful, intricate, and beautiful with clever colors dancing together in a pale moonlight.

Phantasm consists of: Steven Ross, lyricist, vocals, lead guitar; Jay Yachetta, percussion, graphic design; and Aaron White on bass. This trio has performed from Buffalo to Ohio and I was lucky enough to see them LIVE in Buffalo performing Clever Cunning Actor. Recorded at Disaster Studios in Erie, PA, this 12 track CD is phenomenal.

The fifth song on the album, "Two Left Feet," sets you on a roller coaster ride with a funky, jazzy back beat. This tune is ripe with continuous movement interspersed with hard rock, metal and turntables. Ross' vocal range is to be envied. In a second, he is able to switch from high-pitched screeching to low tone speaking. This trio is a powerhouse apparent in the chorus: "We've come to blow your minds, with our napalm flavor and rips of doom."

The 8th track, "Hey Star," is the path of all artists and corporate America. Yachetta starts us out with a laid back high hat with Ross on vocals and White growling in with his bass. As the tune progresses, drums, vocals and bass elevate in precision. When you listen closely, you can see how in tune the three of them are with one another. They are the same while performing. 100% in control.

"Divide. Conquer. Repeat." showcases all three of these talented individuals. This is my favorite tune. Ross leads alongside tones and turntables with White's steady bass. Yachetta jumps right along with the rise and fall of the vocals. All three of them are tight. Percussion is bold and tribal. This is an anthem.

The last track, "Polyethylene Death Dream," is a masterpiece. Rarely do you see musicians perform with an intense range of talent timing at 15:43. It is difficult to describe everything heard in this tune, let alone the entire CD. There are soundscapes throughout, especially in the end.

In order to experience the utter beautiful madness that is Phantasm, visit them at:

I suggest you do not miss them.