Articles by Dave Cooper
Silas Neptune talks to Dave Cooper about his debut album ‘The Scales Of Tahuti’, what it’s like to grow up around the Ozric Tentacles and his “odd mix” of influences.
The Gates Of Tahuti is a richly atmospheric and very welcome addition to the ever-expanding and suspiciously aromatic cloud of Ozric Tentacles-related releases, but it’s also a hugely enjoyable demonstration of Silas Neptune’s prodigious talents.
Evaporate marks a new high water mark for the band. Quite simply, it is their best work to date: it feels more mature, and yet at the same time more adventurous, more ambitious. Emotionally draining, sonically dramatic, Evaporate is the sound of a band who have truly come of age.
Visceral, memorable and satisfyingly dense, ‘Conduit’ is one of 2018s truly essential rock albums, a delight for riff lovers and prog fans alike.
This is a record that’s best approached without the weight of preconceptions. ‘Auri’ is softly spoken and understated almost to a fault. This record has a big heart, and its message is simple. All you have to do is listen.
An almost perfect showcase for their existing catalogue: either perfect consolation for missing out on seeing the band on tour or the perfect souvenir.
‘Faced With Rage’ is comfortably Godsticks’ most uncompromising, confident and ambitious record. Powerful, involving and emotionally satisfying, it builds on the established Godsticks sound and pushes it in new and intriguing directions.
It’s hard to imagine how The Pineapple Thief could have made this set any more comprehensive. For now, at least, it is the last word as a record of the band’s impressive live performances, and marks the closing of another chapter in The Pineapple Thief’s biography. A great summing up of everything that is so enjoyable and cathartic about their back catalogue, ‘Where We Stood’ is a live document that serves newcomers to the band as well as it does established fans.
Lunatic Soul’s new album ‘Fractured’ deals with our disintegrating relationships with ourselves and each other. Dave Cooper caught up with Lunatic Soul’s lynchpin to talk about hope in the face of darkness.
‘Fractured’ is earthbound, yet spiritual; melancholy yet built on hope. It serves as one of Mariusz Duda’s crowning achievements to date, and may just be the boldest and most satisfying Lunatic Soul album so far.
For those who enjoy Waters’ lyrical finesse, bold imagery and the unhurried, highly emotive slow-burn of some of Pink Floyd’s less frequently sailed oceans, this is nothing less than essential.
For established fans, ‘The Optimist’ is simply essential. This is a hugely atmospheric, cathartic and transformative journey to savour.
For the committed fan, this tour is a treat indeed; for those who want to find out what kind of alchemy has made ‘Images And Words’ – and the band that made it – so iconic and influential, it is nothing less than a masterclass in modern progressive rock.
‘As The Stages Burn!’ is as perfect a document of the ‘War Eternal’ tour as Arch Enemy devotees could possibly hope to see and hear, but it has greater significance even than that. It points the way forward for a reinvigorated band, and also serves as the perfect appetizer for new listeners. This is a hugely powerful performance from one of death metal’s most enduring bands, beautifully recorded, mixed and presented. Play it loud.
‘The Night Siren’ is perhaps Hackett’s most openly political work from his entire five decade career: not the politics of parliament, but the politics of humanitarianism. Clearly the current dramas being enacted in countries across the globe have had a powerful impact on Hackett, and this is reflected in what feels like one of his most dynamic and powerful – and personal and emotive – records.
Metallica still know their way around a riff like few others, and the band are on excellent form. This is a hugely enjoyable album from a veteran band who clearly have their eyes set on the road ahead whilst being at peace with their illustrious past.
‘Naturalis’ is the sound of a band really finding its feet; it manages to sound totally cohesive and uncontrived; Maschine have taken a huge step forward with this album. What we have here is one of the most well-wrought and imaginative progressive rock albums to be released this year.
For all its familiarity, there’s enough here that’s new and intriguing to hold the interest of both existing fans and new listeners alike, Sirenia have proved through their longevity and sheer determination that they are not to be underestimated, and ‘Dim Days of Dolor’ is ample proof that they’ve still got plenty to say.
‘Say’ is a confident, polished, wonderfully performed and produced record that showcases Rob Cottingham’s skills as a songwriter and performer, and his new bandmates as perfect foils.
As grandiose, thoughtful and individualistic as long-term listeners have come to expect, ‘The Holographic Principle’ serves as a defining statement, a hugely enjoyable milestone for one of metal’s most ambitious and creative bands. – By Dave Cooper
Crank this record up and it really is just like standing front and center at one of Curved Air’s shows whilst the band play, dancing along a musical precipice. And that is reason enough for this release to be positively essential for Curved Air’s dedicated fans. For everyone else, Tapestry Of Propositions is a glimpse under the band’s bonnet. Even after all these years, there’s still plentiful magic at play. – by Dave Cooper