First confirmations for ARTmania Festival 2018: Steven Wilson, Leprous, ROME, Zeal & Ardor, Distorted Harmony

Steven Wilson, Leprous, ROME, Zeal & Ardor, Distorted Harmony are the first artists confirmed for the 13th edition of ARTmania Festival, that will take place between July 27-28, 2018, in the Large Square of the medieval citadel of Sibiu. In 2018, the festival wishes to once again offer, during the two concert days, a varied line-up that presents music fans with some of the best-known artists of the moment.

Steven Wilson, brought for the first time in Romania by ARTmania Festival, is a name that requires no presentations. Founder of the well-known band Porcupine Tree and other successful musical projects, the English artist is one of the renowned and prolific names of the international music scene – a true icon who, in almost half a century, has left, through his creations, his mark on various music genres from progressive, psychedelic and more.

He writes, records and produces music from when he was 10 years old, his first contact with this art being at the age of 8, when he started listening to Pink Floyd (Dark Side of The Mood) alongside his father, and to “Love to Love You Baby” album by Donna Summer. Also, at this age he started experimenting and developing musical productions techniques. His first compositions saw the light of day during the 80s, decade when Wilson launched two projects that made his entrance in the professional musical world: Porcupine Tree, which was exploring the psychedelic and progressive rhythms and the bold approaches of music in the 70s, and “No Man”, the result of his long term collaboration with Tim Bowness.

Things started evolving rapidly with Porcupine Tree, the second album, Up the Downstair (1993), was appreciated by “Melody Maker” as a psychedelic masterpiece […], one of the albums of the year. The next works have drawn more press attention as well as appreciation from critics and fans, the band being considered by many voices as the “Pink Floyd of the nineties”. “In Absentia”, released in 2002 by a known label (Lava Records, USA) entered European charts and it is still one of the 3 best sold albums by Porcupine Tree. Also, it received the “Best Made-For-Surround Title” award at the Surround Music Awards (2004). The next release, “Deadwing” (2005) received the “Album of the Year” award at the Classic Rock Magazine Awards as well as the “Best Made-For-Surround Title” award. The “Incident” (2009), the tenth studio album was nominated at the Grammy Awars and was later followed by a sold-out tour on some very well-known stages: Radio City Hall (New York), Royal Albert Hall (London). All these translated in their acknowledgement in  2010 of Porcupine Tree, founded by Steven Wilson, as the best-known “underground” band in the world,.

Since 2003, Steven Wilson started composing and producing music under his own name, his new works including approaches and novel musical treatments applied to songs by famous artists like Alanis Morisstte, ABBA, The Cure, Momus, Prince or Donovan. Stylistically speaking, this allowed Wilson to extend his musical palette with new genres like electronic music or “noise music”.

His first solo album, “Insurgentes” (2008), included 10 songs that entwine a large array of rhythms and styles, from ballads to hymns, to “industrial noise” and  to “dark” approaches, all these resulting in an album with various and surprising textures, recorded in studios all around the world – from Mexico to Japan or Israel. His second solo album, “Grace for Drowning” (2011), was nominated at the “Best Surround Sound Album” at the 54th edition of the Grammys and featured in charted in German, Dutch, British or Polish music tops.

Some of his most memorable projects that must be mentioned is the collaboration with Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth, collaboration that resulted in the album “Storm Corrosion”, featuring strong atmospheric rock influences and dark orchestral arrangements, inspired by Stott Walker and Talk Talk, artists the two admire. (Talk Tals – 1981-1992 is a British synthpop/new wave band, prominent in the 80s and know for hits like Talk Talk, Today, Such a Shame, My Foolish Friend”, „Life’s What You Make It” etc.)

Apart from his compositions, Steven Wilson became known as a musical producer as well, being praised for the high standard of his words. Some of the artists who have worked with him include Opeth (for whom he produced/mixed 4 albums), Anathema, the Norwegian artist Anja Garbarek and Israeli star Aviv Geffen.

In 2012. Steven Wilson won the Guiding Light award at the Progressive Music Awards, as an acknowledgement of his important contribution to the development of the international music scene.

Leprous return to an ARTmania event after a seven-year absence. The band is the newest sensation of progressive metal, one of those rising stars of the Norwegian music scene. It’s a visionary band, not afraid to experiment or surprise and defy any attempt of fitting into a mold. In a world where the progressive genre offers so many options it takes a lot of courage and personality to catch people’s eyes. And Leprous is one of those bands.

Their music is a compilation of styles, like progressive rock, jazz or pure metal, featuring influences from classical music composer or other different artists like: Björk, Muse, Porcupine Tree, Massive Attack, Ulver, Opeth or Radiohead. The band’s first album, Tall Poppy Syndrome (2009), Bilateral (2009) or Coal (2013) caught the attention of the press and public appreciation, while the 2015 Congregation brought them the opportunity of a world tour. Their latest album, Malina (2017) was enthusiastically received by critics and was appreciated as a complex mix of polyrhythmic sounds, entwined with incisive lyrics, a melancholic atmosphere and melodic vocal passages. The album represents a change in the musical and visual direction, being completely different from the works the band has accustomed its fans. This is one of the reasons for which recording this album took four times longer than any of their previous works.

During their career, Leprous has played alongside some of the well-known artists in the international music scene like Amorphis, Therion or Opeth.

ROME will play for the first time on the ARTmania Festival scene, the band being considered with of the most important names in the neofolk and martial industrial genre. Founded in 2005 by the Luxembourg native Jerome Reuter, this musical project has become known as an “architect of melancholy”, a central theme in ROME compositions.

ROME va urca pentru prima dată pe scena ARTmania Festival, fiind considerată una dintre cele mai importante trupe ale genului de neofolk și martial industrial. Înființat în 2005 de

The stage name is derived from its founder, while the songs’ influence comes from authors like Jacques Brel, Leo Ferre, Albert Camus or Jean Genet.

ROME creates cinematic musical landscapes, with a special identity, entwining passion for history and the depths of poetry with a music of acoustic inspiration, featuring lines from the French chanson to dark wave, from the bitter and anguished notes of English post-punk, to dark ambient, apocalyptic folk, acoustic rock or cold wave. All these are featured in complex and unusual musical arrangements that turn ROME works into a memorable and surprising musical experience. Next year, the band will release a new album and song from this one will be played during the ARTmania Festival show.

Zeal & Ardor, a premiere for Romania, is an avant-garde metal project, founded in 2014 by Swiss musician Manuel Gagneux (known also thanks to Birdmask, a chamber-pop project he was also involved in). Zeal & Ardor already has an album launched, Devil is Fine, and its music represents the meeting point of various musical genres: a mix of avant-garde metal with spiritual influences and tribal rhythms, deepened by black metal and surprising rhythm changes imprinted by experimental rock.

Distored Harmony, for the first time in Romania, is one of the best-known progressive bands in Israel, that become famous thanks to their modern approach of classic progressive metal. Founded in 2010 in Tel Aviv by Yaov Efron (producer and keys), Yogey Gabay (drums), the band has already released 2 albums: Utopia (2012) and Chain Reaction (2014) and are working of their third and have already taken the stage at important European and American festival like ProgPower Europe (2016), Haunted Sky Festival or ProgPower USA (2017).

Passes for the ARTmania Festival 2018 are already available in Kompostor, Eventim, My Ticket and Iabilet networks with at a special price of 150 lei, valid until December 2017. Starting with January 2018 the price for one pass will be 190 lei

ARTmania Festival is a platform dedicated to promoting all forms of artistic impression inspired by rock culture, that has been established as a regional promoter of contemporary musical projects. ARTmania means more than just concerts of international and local artists. Music is the base component that started everything, but it is just a part of the experience the festival wishes to offer Romanian and international art lovers.

As the longest rock festival in Romania and one of the traditional brands in the regional cultural scene, ARTmania has outlined its own identity through a bold concept an a special medium: the Large Square of one of the most beautiful medieval citadels in Eastern Europe – Sibiu citadel.

At the same time with the ARTmania Festival, Sibiu will also host the East European Music Conference (July 26-28, 2018), the most important conference dedicated to the Romanian musical industry. After the first edition when 400 people, guests and attendees, from the local and European cultural society, exchanged ideas and shared conclusions, the second edition continues innovating the local market of such events with an avantgarde program: Romanian Music Export. Therefore, the first entrepreneurial Romanian program will start alongside the second edition of EEMC, aiming to promote and export musical talents and will be also available for conference guests and attendees.

ARTmania Festival, supported by Kaufland, is founding member of AROC – The Romanian Association of Concert and Cultural Events Organizers, that brings together as founding members the most important Romanian promoters: Emagic, Events, Electric Castle, Summer Well, and Twin Arts among others.

 

 

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