Flying Colors’ brand new album ‘Third Degree’ is out out now via Music Theories Recordings, a division of Mascot Label Group.

In chemistry, when certain galvanizing elements come together, they become quite explosive. In music, when certain galvanizing artists come together, they become Flying Colors. In fact, whenever the five gentlemen who encompass Flying Colors — guitarist Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs, ex-Kansas), drummer Mike Portnoy (Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater, Transatlantic), keyboardist/vocalist Neal Morse (Transatlantic, ex-Spock’s Beard, and a prolific solo artist in his own right), bassist Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, ex-Joe Satriani), and powerhouse vocalist and songwriter Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev, The Sea Within) — are able to conjoin their collective talents, the result is a sweet sonic bouillabaisse that reflects where their inherent mastery of melody intersects with top-shelf progressive musicianship.

And now, Flying Colors soar to even loftier heights with ‘Third Degree’, their third studio album in a decade. ‘Third Degree’ builds upon the genre-bending momentum of 2012’s self-titled Flying Colors and the aural-template ascension of 2014’s ‘Second Nature‘. From the skittery psychedelic/classical turnaround of the lead single ‘More‘ to the Beach Boys-meet-Asia vibe of ‘Love Letter‘ to the deep emotionality of the album-ending, prog-leaning epic ‘Crawl,’ the nine tracks that comprise ‘Third Degree‘ signify just how much Flying Colors are willing to explore new frontiers. “There’s a lot of ear candy sprinkled throughout every song,” observes Mike Portnoy, “and each one takes you on a little journey. As albums go, Third Degree is a complete piece that I don’t think ever overstays its welcome. I think it’s an enjoyable ride from start to finish.

It continues to build upon the deep-rooted musical connection the members of Flying Colors established on their first two boundary-stretching albums. “There’s a real special chemistry between the five of us,” Portnoy confirms. “We keep getting better and better as we get more comfortable and more familiar with each other, and the music itself keeps getting more and more mature.” Adds Steve Morse, “This one, dare I say it, explores new ground for the band. One of my favorites, ‘Geronimo,’ has an upbeat, jazzy, heavy, melodic feel all at once. We just do what makes us smile and sounds good, instead of wondering how critics or program directors will like it. It makes for the best music!
Casey McPherson concurs with his fellow bandmates by noting, “What Third Degree really proves to me is that we have our own sound. There are no egos in this band, and we all want the best parts to come out, which is such a joy for me to participate in. I think that really allows people’s uniqueness to show through.

The first sessions for the record took place at Steve Morse’s studio in Florida in December 2016, wherein seven songs were written. From there, the band members had to scatter back to their other personal and professional obligations, eventually reconvening two full years later in December 2018, when three more tracks were added to the overall Third Degree mix. (The tenth track, ‘Waiting for the Sun,’ will be made available in forthcoming special editions.)

As a songwriter, McPherson is never afraid to confront his feelings head-on, whether it’s the nostalgic bent of ‘Last Train Home‘ or the raw, relatable universality of ‘You Are Not Alone.’

Another progression has been the band’s use of technology to provide industry-leading sound. Third Degree was engineered with the award-winning Harmonic Phrase Analysis and Restoration (HPAR) technology. Developed by the band’s resident mad scientist, Bill Evans, he created HPAR based on the group’s performance styles — resulting in unprecedented fidelity. Flying Colors regular producer Rich Mouser (The Neal Morse Band, Transatlantic) then crafted a sumptuous mix in his inimitable style.

Flying Colors will be releasing their brand new album ‘Third Degree’ on 4th October via Music Theories Recordings, a division of Mascot Label Group.

The latest video released is the album opener ‘The Loss Inside‘. Speaking about the track, Singer Casey McPherson explains “We all go through loss, and the grieving process often comes in waves, I love how musically and lyrically this song represents that process for me.”

The first sessions for ‘Third Degree‘ took place at Steve Morse’s studio in Florida in December 2016, wherein seven songs were written. From there, the band members had to scatter back to their other personal and professional obligations, eventually reconvening two full years later in December 2018.

The future of Flying Colors looks bright as Portnoy adds. “Our mission statement when we came together is still the same now,” he affirms. “It’s the same five guys with extremely different musical personalities and backgrounds coming together into a giant melting pot where it all comes out on the other end with music that’s accessible, melodic, deep, and colorful. That’s always been the goal of this band, and so far, I think we’re three for three.

With ‘Third Degree‘, Flying Colors continue to fire on all cylinders — and, in the process, they also handily prove the third time’s an unquestionable sonic charm.

Track listing:

1. The Loss Inside
2. More
3. Cadence
4. Guardian
5. Last Train Home
6. Geronimo
7. You Are Not Alone
8. Love Letter
9. Crawl

Deluxe CD Bonus Disc
1. Waiting For The Sun (Unreleased Bonus Studio Track)
2. Geronimo (Alternate Instrumental Arrangement & Mix)
3. You Are Not Alone (Alternate Instrumental Arrangement & Mix)
4. Love Letter (Alternate Instrumental Arrangement & Mix)
5. Last Train Home (Alternate Instrumental Arrangement & Mix)
6. Crawl (Alternate Instrumental Arrangement & Mix)

Flying Colors will be releasing their brand new album ‘Third Degree‘ on 4th October via Music Theories Recordings, a division of Mascot Label Group.

The third video released from the album is ‘Love Letter‘ on which Neil Morse says; “Love Letter was definitely a labor of love by all of us. I love the shared lead and background vocals and Steve’s guitar solo is great of course. It’s a really nice lighter side of the band especially when compared to some of the heavier things that are on the Third Degree record. Very happy with this one! Kudos to Christian Rios for a great psychedelic lyric video!

Adding, Mike Portnoy says, “Love Letter shows the pop side of Flying Colors that we always try to incorporate. I love that all 3 of us share the lead vocals on this one: Casey on verse 1, Neal on verse 2, myself on the bridge and all three of us on the Choruses… The animated video really captures the old psychedelic technicolor pop 60’s & 70’s vibe of the song and is absolutely one my favorite videos I’ve ever been a part of!

The first sessions for ‘Third Degree‘ took place at Steve Morse‘s studio in Florida in December 2016, wherein seven songs were written. From there, the band members had to scatter back to their other personal and professional obligations, eventually reconvening two full years later in December 2018.

The future of Flying Colors looks bright as Portnoy adds. “Our mission statement when we came together is still the same now,” he affirms. “It’s the same five guys with extremely different musical personalities and backgrounds coming together into a giant melting pot where it all comes out on the other end with music that’s accessible, melodic, deep, and colorful. That’s always been the goal of this band, and so far, I think we’re three for three.

With ‘Third Degree‘, Flying Colors continue to fire on all cylinders — and, in the process, they also handily prove the third time’s an unquestionable sonic charm.

You can pre-order the album here: https://smarturl.it/Flying-Colors.

Track Listing
1. The Loss Inside
2. More
3. Cadence
4. Guardian
5. Last Train Home
6. Geronimo
7. You Are Not Alone
8. Love Letter
9. Crawl

Deluxe CD Bonus Disc
1. Waiting For The Sun (Unreleased Bonus Studio Track)
2. Geronimo (Alternate Instrumental Arrangement & Mix)
3. You Are Not Alone (Alternate Instrumental Arrangement & Mix)
4. Love Letter (Alternate Instrumental Arrangement & Mix)
5. Last Train Home (Alternate Instrumental Arrangement & Mix)
6. Crawl (Alternate Instrumental Arrangement & Mix)

Following the release of his new album ‘Behold Electric Guitar, Paul Gilbert will be taking to the road and playing 9 shows through the UK in September.

The Illinois born, Mr. Big co-founder and Racer X star is now on his 15th solo studio album and continues to enthrall. His latest album was released on Music Theories Recordings in May and received a wave of critical praise with Planet Rock Magazine calling it “immaculate”, Classic Rock lauding its “fret-scorching fireworks” and Powerplay calling him an “astonishing talent” amongst others.

Talking about the upcoming tour, Gilbert says; “After a month of touring in the USA, my band and I are deep into the songs, and warmed up for our upcoming shows in Russia, Europe, and the U.K.! One of my best moments was when my old Racer X bandmate, Bruce Bouillet came to a show and afterwards wrote, ‘Paul and his band killed it… I’ll go so far as saying this is the best I’ve seen him play.’ Thanks Bruce! And thank YOU. See you on tour!”

Paul Gilbert‘Behold Electric Guitar’ September UK Tour

Tickets available from
paulgilbert.com/tour

Mon 16 Sep – The Fleece, Bristol
Tues 17 Sep – Riverside, Newcastle
Weds 18 Sep – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Thurs 19 Sep – Academy 3, Manchester
Fri 20 Sep – Sub 89, Reading
Sat 21 Sep – Engine Rooms, Southampton
Sun 22 Sep – O2 Islington Academy, London
Mon 23 Sep – The Mill, Birmingham
Tues 24 Sep – Crauford Arms, Milton Keynes

After his recent move to Portland, Oregon, Paul set out to connect with the best and grooviest musicians in the area, and record an album in his brand new hometown. Brian Foxworth (drums) and Asher Fulero (keyboards) were both obvious choices to play Paul’s mix of rock, blues, jazz, and pop flavors. When Paul’s regular Portland bassist Kelly Lemieux was unavailable (due to his touring with Buckcherry), Paul reached out to New Orleans bass legend, Roland Guerin. Roland came to Portland weeks before the recording dates for intense rehearsing and arranging sessions.

Official Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Review: Michael Romeo- War Of The Worlds / Pt. 1

Music Theories Recordings / Mascot Label Group (July 27th 2018)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

I’m sure most of your are familiar with the name Michael Romeo, founding member of progressive metal band Symphony X. Well in this release Michael delves into the depths of symphonic metal.

I’ll say from the start, if your not a fan of widdly widdly guitar then this release is probably not for you. Having said that, those guitar connoisseurs among you will absolutely love it!

Kicking off with an intro that wouldn’t be out of place in a Star Wars film, Mr Romeo soon makes it obvious where his roots lie.

I’ll be honest and say I have to be in the mood for symphonic metal, but catch me at the right time and there is an increase in volume shall we say. Those increases were quite frequent during the various playbacks of ‘War Of The Worlds / Pt. 1‘, the production leading to a decent sound full of depth and atmosphere.

Listening to the robot effects at the beginning of ‘F*cking Robots‘ is an experience on headphones, even more so up-scaled through a home cinema system, making it one of my favorites out of the ten tracks on offer. The current single ‘Djinn‘ is shall we say a little daring as a single coming in as it does at a nearly seven and a half minutes long. But it so highlights the vocal talents of Rick Castellano. Boy can he hit notes most of us could only almost manage in tight trousers.

With a run time of some 50 minutes, this album certainly doesn’t short change you, leading you as it does through the mind of H.G. Wells. There are influences aplenty with more than a nod to my favorite classical composer Holst. It’s almost the Planets Suite meets Conception meets Savatage.

To sum up, this is an album I discovered I enjoyed far more than I expected. It is without doubt a labour of love by Romeo and here’s looking forward to Pt 2.

 

Internationally acclaimed guitar hero Michael Romeo has announced the release of his solo album, ‘War of the Worlds / Pt. 1’, on July 27th via Music Theories Recordings / Mascot Label Group.

The wildly ambitious 10-song disc sees the founder, chief songwriter and prime mover of the progressive titans Symphony X furthering his reputation as one of the world’s preeminent axe slingers and composers of adventurous, multi-faceted orchestral metal.

It’s me putting all the things I love about music in a blender,” says Romeo. “Somebody might listen to it and say, ‘What is this guy thinking?’ But it’s all about being creative and having a good time with it.

No doubt there will rapturous responses from Romeo’s longtime fans. While ‘War of the Worlds / Pt. 1‘ brims with the kind of thrill-seeking guitar chops that have placed the Garden State shredder in numerous “all-time greats” lists, it also offers some unconventional twists: Along with classic metal textures, Romeo pays homage to film score giants Bernard Hermann and John Williams, and there’s even some surprising EDM/dubstep elements guaranteed to turn heads – all of which makes for an enthralling and immersive journey.

Recalling the forbidding tone of the notorious H.G. Wells novel that inspired its name, Romeo casts the lead track, ‘Introduction‘ as a precursor for what is to follow. The dark, symphonic instrumental (equal parts Bernard Herman and Gustav Holst) gives way to the pummeling metal double-header of ‘Fear the Unknown‘ and ‘Black,’ on which Romeo’s rifftastic twists and turns are ably assisted by Rick Castellano’s soaring vocals.

A startling change-up occurs with ‘F*cking Robots‘, a striking mash-up of digital blurps, bleeps, DJ-like scratches and ace guitar madness. “My fans might think I’ve lost my mind on this one,” the axeman jokes. But just as quickly, he floors the six-string goodness on ‘Djinn‘, an epic, theatrical rock roller coaster on which the rhythm section of John “JD” DeServio (bass) and John Macaluso (drums) provide a muscular backdrop for the guitarist’s elastic soloing and Castellano’s full-throated vocal chops.

The lush balladry of ‘Believe‘ is a big-hearted respite from the shards of molten metal, but Romeo whips out the doomsday riffage on ‘Differences‘ and ‘Oblivion‘, both chock full of widescreen hooks and synapse-altering solos.

Closing out the set is the cinematic musical odyssey ‘Constellations‘, which sees guitars and keyboards majestically taking flight into a kind of heretofore unseen otherworld. “That one probably took the longest to create of all the songs on the record,” Romeo recalls. “It wasn’t just the recording – it was the writing and scoring. I had to break out the pencil and paper on that one. But I couldn’t be happier with the results. It really ends the album on a powerful note.

Romeo recorded the bulk of ‘War of the Worlds / Pt. 1‘ over a year-and-a-half period in the comfort of his home studio (nicknamed “the Dungeon” by his wife) in Hazlet, New Jersey. The project gave him the perfect opportunity to work with the rising Long Island star Castellano, a singer he’s had his eye on for some time, as well as fellow Jerseyans Macaluso and Black Label Society member DeServio. “JD and I went to high school together,” Romeo notes. “We always wanted to do something together, so this was the perfect opportunity. The planets finally aligned, and we were able to work together. It was great to have him play on it.

Symphony X fans have been waiting two decades for an honest to goodness Michael Romeo solo album (not counting his 1994 demo recording, The Dark Chapter, which was released in several countries), and the arrival of ‘War of the Worlds / Pt. 1‘ will be no doubt be cause for celebration. And the guitarist promises a sequel – “Most of Part II is already finished,” he says, “It just needs a few vocals, a couple solos, a few tweaks here and there. I want people to absorb the first one for a while, and then we’ll put out the second record. They’ll complement each other, but they’ll also be a bit different.