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Days Between Stations

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Days Between Stations In Extremis album cover
3.96 | 270 ratings | 8 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. No Cause For Alarm (Overture) (3:51)
2. In Utero (5:10)
3. Visionary (10:40)
4. Blackfoot (10:04)
5. The Man Who Died Two Times (4:11)
6. Waltz in E Minor (Dedicated to Peter Banks) (2:04)
7. Eggshell Man (11:56)
8. In Extremis (21:37) :
- Part I: Mass
- Part II: On the Ground
- Part III: A Requiem
- Part IV: Writing on Water
- Part V: Overland
- Part VI: It Never Ends

Total Time: 69:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Sepand Samzadeh / lead, rhythm, lap steel (3), slide (4) & acoustic (7) guitars, tar (7)
- Oscar Fuentes / piano, synths, Rhodes, Hammond, Mellotron, electronic percussion (7,8), orchestration

- Peter Banks / rhythm guitar & textures (7,8), lead guitar (8)
- Matt Bradford / dobro (3)
- Ali Nouri / tar solo (7)
- Josh Humphrey / keyboard effects and textures (2), electronic drums & programming (3)
- Rick Wakeman / Mellotron flute & Minimoog solo (7)
- The Angel City Orchestra / brass (1-3,8) string quartet (6)
- Chris Tedesco: trumpet solo (2,8)
- Tony Levin / bass, double bass (1), Chapman stick (3), NS upright bass (7,8)
- Billy Sherwood / drums, vocals (3,5,7,8), co-arranger (5), co-producer
- Colin Moulding / lead vocals (5)
- Jeffery Samzadeh / Sonati vocals (8)
- The Barbershop Quartet (Pat Claypool, Matt Gray, Eric Orr, David Rakita) / vocals (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Paul Whitehead

2xLP Self-released (2013, US)

CD Self-released (2013, US)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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DAYS BETWEEN STATIONS In Extremis ratings distribution

(270 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams
5 stars This CD starts slowly with two quiet songs that sets the stage for what is coming. The classical arrangements and the floydian guitar gives a symphonic atmosphere. "Visionary" show some techno sound with the synths and it's the first time the vocals made their presence. The synths and the drums are up front, being very dynamic. With "Blackfoot", the guitars have more space and we have some repeated themes, the synthesizers offers a almost hypnotic feel because of the repeated chords. The longest track of the CD so far, starts with some nice acoustic guitar, flute that take you back to the 70's sound of the classic bands. There is some nice arrangements with some exotic guitars. The song is built in a intense crescendo with beautiful piano. The epic song "In Extremis" set a atmosphere close to Philip Glass's music, before the vocals make their entrance with some repeated piano lines in the background. The guitars are shining here, and their is a fascinating passage of aboriginal music that complete the picture of a superb CD.

This CD has all the ingredients to be a classic including some well known guest musicians, like Billy Sherwood, Rick Wakeman, Peter Banks and Tony Levin, which gives to the music it's richness. It's got the 70's symphonic sound influence, but also during his peaceful passages, a atmospheric sound that could serve as a movie soundtrack. The band have succeed to combine some complex symphonic music in the more up tempo pace, with the simplicity of the slower pace passages that still maintains the intensity and emotional level through out the CD.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Days Between Stations has been in my rotation for quite a while now, a surprising work that has me spellbound for a variety of reasons. Firstly, there are some stellar musicians involved in this project, luminary names such as Tony Levin (aka the Master Basster), Rick Wakeman needing no introduction, Billy Sherwood playing drums (and rather well, may I add!) , the amazing Colin Moulding of XTC legend and Peter Banks , for whom this was the least recording before sadly passing away. This is a band led by keyboardist Oscar Fuentes Bills and guitarist Sepand Samzadeh , two talented and creative musicians, offering a seductive mix of various styles and sounds , all well within the classic symphonic sphere of influence.

'No Cause for Alarm' is one of the finest introductions ever expressed in prog, an instantly searing orchestral rumble, mixing classical themes and electronic touches (featuring mellotron sounds and massive amount of synthesized keyboards) and getting the adrenalin level pumped up, ready for action. Somehow, I have the feeling I have heard this all my life, it's that good! Segueing into 'In Utero' is a sumptuous initiative, a seamless penetration of sophisticated sounds and incredible sonic restraint as Sepand carves some scouring electric leads amid the dense textured orchestrations. There is a very slight early Genesis feel, like the impending doom on 'Watchers of the Skies' but this is tempered with a trumpet 'like effect that is pure genius. This bleeds into the pulsating 'Visionary' epic, a 10 minute deep space jam that shows off some wicked playing by all participants, shoved hard by a typical Levin onslaught on the Stick and the bass, with Sherwood hitting his skins with bold fury while he sings in his rather hushed style. A delicate piano break only enhances the mystery, along with a dobro solo that simply astounds by its mere presence, reminiscent of the 'Us and them' section on Dark Side of the Moon! Immediate flow into the harder-edged 'Blackfoot', another 10 minute psychedelic romp that flutters wildly as Samzadeh delivers some almighty six-string work while Levin really cooks up a hurricane with his pal Sherwood drumming like an unhinged madman. The Stick solo is simply mind-blowing as Levin navigates the piano ripples with supreme confidence and masterful composure. This is impulsive, beastly, passionate and perfectly executed symphonic mood music of the very highest order. Sepand then sticks us with a massively scalding slide solo that would make Steve Howe blush with unmitigated envy! Oh yeah, that good!

After all these fireworks, a little respite was necessary and what comes up next is a thunderous surprise, something almost like a lost Phil Manzanera track, 'The Man Who Died Two Times' has that quirky British eclectic prog-pop feel that is absolutely infectious , led by XTC vocalist Colin Moulding and ably supported with some sizzling backing playing. The chorus of 'black suit, black tie, all over the edge' has that Eno vocalized silliness that characterized the early Manzanera catalogue. Four minutes of genius!

In homage to Peter Banks, who will be guesting on the final two epic tracks, the Angel City Orchestra composed a two minute purely classical ode to the famous guitarist, entitled 'Watz in E Minor'. These little ditties rarely have any effect but there it's simply spectacular. The arguably highlight track is the massive 'The Eggshell Man' a nearly dozen minutes of mellotron-infested magic , with Ant Phillips-like vocalizings, Levin on the upright bass, Banks and a variety of guitar texturings, the arsenal of splendid keyboards played by Oscar Fuentes and cameo solos by Rick on Mellotron-flute and a breathless Mini-Moog solo for the ages as the caped wonder does some hypnotic work on the ivories. To add a little more spice to the banquet, a Tar solo by guest Ali Nouri (Tar is a Persian stringed lute-like instrument) just to keep you enthralled and excited. This is dreamy atmospheric symphonic prog of the finest quality, both resourceful and grandiose. Oh, and yes, lots of mellotron! Even Sherwood's vocal work is of the highest order, very impressive piece of music!

But why try to be cute when you can provide a coup de grace to really anoint this special album with eternal glory and kill it off with a 21 minute epic slice of magic. A six-part suite gives this recording its title and does a supreme job in establishing its recommendation. This just has it all, from demonic organ introductions ('Mass'), moody piano and funeral march surrealism to screaming guitar duels between Sepand and Peter, all kept in tight formation by cannonading bass and powerful drum fills. The choir bellows 'On The Ground' with conviction and supreme density. 'The Requiem' section conveys both love and pain, with a hopeful a wish to 'Writing on Water', where a higher sense of synthesized delirium takes over and shoves the piece into upper psychedelia, Banks and Samzadeh exchanging axe licks. Though along piece, the segments are exciting enough to keep the interest level very acute, never quite knowing what will surge from the next curb. In my view, that is one of the predominant standards one looks for in prog, constant creativity, freshness and explosions of sounds and textures that will keep the heart racing on and on'.Various themes are revisited (the Eggshell man, the forlorn trumpet) with great success, a fitting recap for all the pleasures between the folds of this musical matrix. The choir farewell sends the soul into heaven.

This is a successful project that took some time to absorb by its uniqueness and gets high praise for variety, dedication to symphonic exuberance, intense musicianship and overall entertainment value. Give it some well-deserved respect by spinning it a few times in a variety of environments and hear the music bloom before your ears. A definite winner at death's door, RIP

5 Peter Banks

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Featuring
Peter Banks, Tony Levin,
Colin Moulding (XTC),
Billy Sherwood,
and Rick Wakeman" is definitely enough to pique anyone's curiosity--and I'm glad it did cuz within In Extremis are some real gems for songs. While DAYS WITHOUT STATIONS are officially made up of Oscar Fuentes Bills and Sepand Samzadeh, and the contributions of the above artists--especially Levin, Sherwood and Banks--are worthy of superlatives, it is truly the core of Bills and Samzadeh that deserve the greatest praise here.

1. No Cause for Alarm (Overture) (3:51) opens the album with some appropriate bombast (especially considering the lineup). However, in my opinion, it is the orchestral work that steals the show on this instrumental. The bass, drums, and rhythm guitar work are a bit too choppy and disintegrated--as if the players are reading their parts from song sheets from two or three totally different songs. It is the keyboard work and orchestration that make this interesting and keep it flowing and coherent. As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to call the drum contributions here a total negative?they are quite distracting. (7/10)

2. "In Utero" (5:10) is basically a soundtrack piece that uses synths and orchestral instruments as a set up and support for one long and totally awesome electric guitar solo. Love the muted trumpet "background" play. (9/10)

3. "Visionary" (10:40) is the album's first epic and one heck of a song. Here we are treated to some amazing drumming, awesome lead and harmonized vocals, incredible melodies, brilliantly cohesive band play, and awesome solos. The synth solos in the third and fourth minutes are gorgeous--though it is the bass and drums to which I am constantly drawn to pay attention. Around the five minute mark the chorus melody is getting a bit repetitive and boring, but we are, fortunately saved by another foray into solo world. The next section of vocals (harmonized and then multiple vocal lines woven together) is brilliant, beautiful--all the while an awesome lead guitar is soloing in the background! Intense! Then at 7:10 everything drops out to leave a vascillating synth wash decaying away until a pretty arpeggiated piano begins a chord sequence to support a banjo/dobro-like instrument's solo. This is pretty much prog heaven! (10/10)

4. "Blackfoot" (10:05) is an instrumental that begins with slow, rhythmic, dramatic piano play. The piano is then joined by lead guitar and bass and drums in an equally dramatic, equally powerful fashion. Basically the song is one long set up for some rather extraordinary soloing--first by the lead guitarist (though the supporting drum play is certainly quite impressive as well) to the four minute mark, at which point there is an ominous shift in power to bass play (on Chapman Stick) and a fuzz guitar lead. The drums continue to impress me so much! At 5:30 a very easy going piano solo is given space (and us some breathing room) before some awesome synth soloing begins in the beginning of the seventh minute. At 8:10 a slide guitar screams to the fore letting loose on one heck of a solo--goose bumps galore! This is simply one astounding, perfect prog epic--despite being an instrumental. (10/10)

5. "The Man Who Died Two Times" (4:11) is a song in which I find the singing, pace and melody awkward and, to me, too poppy--especially considering its subject matter. It almost sounds like a weak (or tongue-in-cheek) ASIA imitation. (6/10)

6. "Waltz in E Minor (Dedicated to Peter Banks)" (2:06) is a classical piece composed for and performed by some chamber strings. Nice piece. (8/10)

7. "Eggshell Man" (11:58) is a pretty good song with lots of pleasurable sounds, instruments, and themes which, unfortunately, fail to congeal and flow into a cohesive whole and fail to draw me in very deeply. The first 4 minutes actually feel exactly as if they came from a BIG BIG TRAIN song from any of that band's past four albums. The fifth minute is also quite like BBT except for the drums. But this is no BBT facsimile, as evidenced by the sitar in the sixth minute, the organ in the seventh minute, the Russian-like speeding-to-crescendo section in the ninth minute, and then the crashing drums, Russian folk guitar strumming and big synth solo in the tenth minute. (8/10)

8. "In Extremis" (21:03 ) begins almost like a MIKE OLDFIELD piece--"Incantations" or "Hergest Ridge." When the vocals eventually join the music it begins to take on a BIG BIG TRAIN/PINK FLOYD feel--which is only exaggerated when the solo guitar takes over in the eighth minute. The organ-held lull at 8:25 is effective as breathing space after that crescendo of percussives and electric guitar. By 9:30 the song has leveled off and a nice vocal section leads us slowly into a long instrumental section in which keyboards and dueling guitars are blaring away at the highest caliber of emotion and melody--for five and a half minutes! The final three minutes are made a bit bombastic by the domineering drum play/sound but it also contains some outstanding weaving of melody lines from both the instrumentation and the voices--including some great vocal harmonizing. (9/10)

Despite some average songs or parts of songs, the highs of this album are among the best stuff I've heard this year--"In Utero," "In Extremis," and, especially, the 10-minute 'twins': "Visionary" and "Blackfoot."

A very solid 4 stars: truly an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Prog fans will note many familiar names snatching up guest spots on Days Between Stations' second album, which is a testimony to the strength of the material here - their debut album didn't exactly provoke an explosion of publicity, but they've clearly produced something here to interest and intrigue the likes of Billy Sherwood, Tony Levin, XTC's Colin Moulding and Yes veterans Rick Wakeman and Peter Banks.

It's a particularly notable release since Banks' guest spots on the epic title track (and the scarcely less ambitious Eggshell Man) were amongst his very last studio sessions. Not only did Peter's death before the album's release add a streak of irony to the "thoughts of a dying" man concept, but it also gave Days Between Stations the unexpected challenge of presenting an album capable of standing as a respectful monument to Peter, an accomplishment which they just about pull off. This is pretty solid stuff, all told, though don't expect anything which will upstage the more famous material the guest artists have been involved with.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In Extremis (2013) is the second album of the American duo Days Between Stations. Released in May the album has plenty of celebrities as guest musicians, including in the cover department.

The artwork of the CD, as I mentioned, was done by the Brittish artist Paul Whitehead, that is famous for his covers for Genesis (Trespass, Nursery Crims & Foxtrot), Van Der Graaf Generator (H To He Who Am the Only One & Pawn Hearts), Le Orme (Smogmagica, Elementi & L'infinito) among many others.

In the musical side the album has, besides the duo Oscar Fuentes Bills (keyboards) and Sepand Samzadeh (guitars), many stars. To begin with we have Tony Levin (bass) and Billy Sherwood (drums and lead vocals) in all the tracks. Then we also have Peter Banks, Matt Bradford, Colin Moulding, Ali Nouri, Jeffery Samzadeh, Rick Wakeman, Josh Humphrey and Chris Tedesco. All those guests alone would be able to drag much attention to In Extremis (2013).

On my opinion In Extremis (2013) is a extremelly well written album with absolutelly great music all the way through, especially in 'Eggshell Man' and the suite 'In Extremis'. Fantastic keyboards and guitars are all over the album and Tony Levin bass is also something to pay attention to.

When it comes to the drums, I wouldn't say they are bad, Billy Sherwood did a good job drumming. But, as ALL his producings, the drums sound has his 'trademark', so you can expect the mid 90's drum sound with FAR TOO many effects, specialy in the cymbals. They are really annoying sometimes.

But I honestly cannot say that the aforementioned fact would ruin the album. Not at all. 5 years in the making and you have many good moments to enjoy, specially in the Symphonic Department.

Review by Progulator
3 stars What happens when you put Peter Banks, Tony Levin, Colin Moulding, Billy Sherwood, and Rick Wakeman together? You get a band with big names and high expectations. Oftentimes the result is a huge disappointment. Luckily, however, In Extremis wasn't one of them; I was instantly excited by the first track, "No Cause for Alarm," which showcases some mega- bombastic orchestration and heavy work from the rhythm section. In other words, this cast of stars gets off on the right foot. From here we basically get an album which is full of nice groove and a sort of ambient, almost neo-prog atmosphere. "In Utero" works great as spacey background music, "Visionary" showcases nicely textured guitars along with some fantastic drumming along with Levin's top notch bass playing, and "Eggshell Man" turns out to be one of the strongest tracks on the record with lots of variety, moving from pastoral and folky acoustic sections to powerful sitar, mysterious Russian sounding folk influences, and a powerful, screaming synth solo which moves the piece to a heavy and moving ending. While there are some moments which recall much of what I don't like about the neo-prob vibe, particularly "The Man Who Died Two Times" with its poppy Asia-esque leanings, the album certain has some brilliant and epic moments, such as "In Extremis," which opens up with epic choir harmonies leading to an ominous organ before really getting started with some fantastic lead vocals and otherworldly moods laid down by drums and leads guitars. In the end, while the various members of Days Between Stations have produced their best work elsewhere, this is certainly an album that die-hard fans of these accomplished musicians can pick up and not feel disappointed.

Latest members reviews

5 stars To be honest, since the eponymous debut in 2007 we all knew this band had the potential for greatness, but as the years drew on that premise appeared less and less attainable. I'm happy to say that the wait was worth it, as cliche as that sounds, because not only has the follow-up eclipsed the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1106026) | Posted by Frans | Friday, January 3, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have a hard time with this policy at PE of what amounts to a warning that pops up whenever somebody gives an album 5 stars, to me if I really like something I'm going to give it what I think it deserves, and this new album from Days Between Stations gets the full 5 stars from me, it is fantastic. ... (read more)

Report this review (#965788) | Posted by RJN | Tuesday, May 28, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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