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Prog rock legends Kansas announce 'The Absence of Presence' & here are our first impressions of the album preview

The five-song album trailer runs the gamut from prog rock wizardry to heartfelt ballads, and Kansas's 16th studio record will be released on June 26 this year
The band Kansas (Courtesy of artiste)
The band Kansas (Courtesy of artiste)

Carry on, my favorite sons! The legendary American progressive rock band, Kansas recently revealed that they would be dropping their latest studio album 'The Absence of Presence' on June 26, 2020. Kansas has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, and is famous for their classic hits such as ‘Carry On Wayward Son’ and ‘Dust in the Wind’. On March 30, Kansas gave their diehard fans a sneak preview of what they can expect to hear on their 16th studio offering, courtesy of a sampler video that provided five audio highlights from the new record.

Kansas’s unmistakable sound is heard throughout this new album, which features Ronnie Platt’s vocals, David Ragsdale’s violin, Tom Brislin’s keyboards, Richard Williams and Zak Rizvi’s guitar riffs, Phil Ehart’s drums, and Billy Greer’s bass. “We are really excited for our fans to be able to get a taste of what is to come from ‘The Absence of Presence,’” Kansas lead vocalist Ronnie Platt was quoted as saying in a press release. “I think people will really be surprised by the album. ‘The Absence of Presence’ shows the band firing on all cylinders," he added. 


Here are our first impressions of these five song previews, which some fans are claiming is their heaviest work since 'Silhouettes In Disguise' was released off 'Power' in 1986.

'Throwing Mountains' boasts of a catchy and meaty Dream Theater-esque riff, sweetened by some background synths and violin leads.

'The Absence of Presence' is an all-out stomper, accompanied by some thunderous drums, jazzy keyboard runs, and fiery lead guitars.

'Memories Down The Line' marks a change of pace. It is a slow-building, piano-led number driven by Platt's heartfelt tenor vocals.

'Jets Overhead' is a high-flying anthem with 'The Prelude Implicit' vibes, colored by some lovely vocal harmonies and brilliant, sweeping violin riffs.

'Circus of Illusion' is a deceptively-paced prog rocker, with starts and stops and fine flourishes from the keyboards, drums, and guitars throughout.

Singer Ronnie Platt of Kansas performs onstage at the 'Supernatural' panel during Comic-Con International 2017 at San Diego Convention Center on July 23, 2017 in San Diego, California (Getty Images)

“We are really proud of the album ‘The Absence of Presence,’” said Kansas guitarist Zak Rizvi. “Making a new Kansas album sets a very high musical standard that is expected from our fans. From rockers, to progressive epics, to ballads, there is something on this recording for everybody.” 'The Absence of Presence' will be released on June 26, 2020 via Inside Out Music, and features nine all-new tracks written by the band, and co-produced by Zak Rizvi, Phil Ehart, and Richard Williams. To preorder the album from April 17 onwards, you can visit the band's official site.