Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Wejah - Senda (1996)


The second album from this Brazilian band.

Wejah was a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards and guitars.

This band released three albums before they gave up the ghost and were disbanded. I will review their third album sometimes later in July this year.

The music is instrumental. It is regarded in the archives as eclectic prog.

It is indeed somewhat eclectic with a lot of symphonic prog, fusion, eclectic prog and some Univers Zero like avant-garde influences. The music is dark and gloomy.

There is a mix of keyboards and guitars solos here too. These two instruments are interacting very well.

There is not much interesting stuff on this one hour long album. Not at least compared to the many other albums who sounds like this album. There is a lot of instrumental prog albums around. Not at least in my album collection.

Nevertheless, this is a decent album. Check it out.

2 points

Monday, 9 July 2018

Ancient Oak Consort - Hate War Love (2018)


The debut album from this Italian band.

The band is a duo with Stefano Ruscica on drums and Andrea Vaccarella on guitars.
They had help from guest musicians who provided bass, flutes, male and female vocals.

I have never heard about this band before. But there is a lot of new projects and bands coming out of Italy all the time. This is one of them.

The band has described their music as progressive rock. Well, it is not Rock Progressive Italiano (RPI). Neither is it symphonic prog. I doubt it is progressive rock at all.

The music is goth folk rock. That is the label I feel suits this album best.

There is plenty of female vocals here and some chugging metal guitars. There are also some more goth pastoral pieces. But not any progressive rock.

The music feels a bit cold and not so warm. A bit distant and detached. Gothic.

The duo and the vocalists does a good job on this seventeen songs, one hour long album. Songs which is not that interesting or any good.

This is a decent album and those into goth should check it out. I have some reservations...

2 points

Everon - North (2008)


The seventh and final album from this German band.

Everon was a quartet on this album with a lineup of piano, keyboards, bass, guitars, percussion, drums and vocals.
The band had help from a female vocalist, cello player and a classical orchestra.

I have reviewed their first six albums with great interest during the last months. You can read these reviews somewhere else in this blog.

Everon is a band who operated somewhere between Saga and Dream Theater. They were never really a progressive metal band. They were more a hard rock and pomp rock band. The English band Magnum springs to mind in that genre too.

The music on this album is both pomp and beautiful at times. In particular with the vocals from Judith Stuber. But the main vocals from Oliver Phillips is also very good and equally good.

The cello and the sympony orchestra also adds value to this album which is also pretty hard at times.
The good songs are the main focus here.

This is another good album from this German band who I hope will one day reform. Check out their albums.

3 points

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Fritsch. Eloy - Behind The Walls Of Imagination (1997)


The second album from this Brazilian musician.

Eloy Fritsch plays keyboards and does all programming on this album.

Eloy is the founding member of the Brazilian band Apocalypse. I have reviewed many of their albums in this blog and in # 1 of this blog. I am now going to review a handful of Eloy Fritsch solo albums.

The music is driven by keyboards and programmed drums, piano, symphonic orchestra and bass. Which does not sound great on paper.

Down in the left corner on the cover art-work, you will find a good label for this music. New Age Progressive. Yes, I can agree with that one.

New Age Symphonic Prog to give it the right label, that is. There is a lot of classical music and symphonic prog with new ages themes here. Mostly new age themes.

The music on this one hour long album is decent enough. I have my severe reservations against this genre. The music though is decent enough. I have heard far worse new-age albums than this one. Hence the rating.

2 points






Morrigan. The - Hidden Agenda (2002)


The fifth and final album from this British band.

The Morrigan was a quintet with a lineup of recorders, keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, flute, percussion and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
A guest musician provides banjo and harp.

Their first four albums are some pretty good to very good. So much that this is a band I really like.

Hence, I was looking forward to this album.

I were in for a shock.

The album starts with some weird reggae sounding tones and continues with that and some indie pop like tones on the opening song Swallow's Tail. Is this really The Morrigan ? It is.

We then move into a much more familiar folk rock landscape again. Cathy Alexander's excellent vocals soon shows up to the party.

Then we get some more baroque symphonic prog and some rather weird indie rock and vaudeville rock in addition to some of the more familiar folk rock. There is even a folk pop ballad here, performed by Cathy Alexander. That is before the album is closed by some folk music jigs.

This a very ambitious album from this band. The music is everywhere and it is not easy to get where the band is going with this album. I have given up, to be honest.

There are some good stuff here and some not so good stuff on this one hour long album. I am a bit disappointed, I have to admit. Their Masque album from 1998 is still their best album. Hidden Agenda is not their finest hour.

2.5 points








Arena - Double Vision (2018)


The ninth album from this British band.

Arena is a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.

I have been following this band with great interest for many years. You can find my reviews of their first eight albums in both Progarchives and # 1 of this blog.

Arena is one of the best ever neo-prog band to come out of Great Britain.... and this planet. I think that is a view shared by most people into this genre.

Double Vision is an one hour long album.

The music is big, bold and pompous with layers of keyboards, backing vocals, guitars and vocals.

The first six songs are rather short. The final song The Legend Of Elijah Shade is an epic tale.... sorry, song and the best on this album. It is a great song. It is also twenty-three minutes long.

The end result is a very good album from one of the masters of the neo-prog genre. A must have album for fans of this genre and one also fans of symphonic prog and other progressive rock genres should also check out.

3.5 points




Saturday, 7 July 2018

Seldon - Tutto A Memoria (2013)


The one and only album from this Italian band.... so far.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, keyboards and Italian vocals.

Their name has been taken from an Isaac Asimov series of novels. The band likes to promote his novels.

Their music is what we can describe as new, modern RPI. Rock Progressive Italiano. That means some sporadic harsh guitars among nice and gentle guitar harmonies. The keyboards are pretty much in the 1970s RPI genre. The vocals are pretty good.

The music is a bit harder than most of the RPI from the 1970s. It is still RPI with some ballads thrown into the mix too.

There is also some lyrical melodies here too. It is pretty obvious that this is RPI from this day and age.

The quality of the songs are good throughout. There is no great pieces of music. Neither is any of the music sub-standard on this one hour long album.

Check out this album if you are into RPI.

3 points
 

Mountain - Climbing (1970)


The debut album from this US band.

Mountain was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, piano, percussion, organ, mellotron and vocals.

The band is a legendary band. They even performed on Woodstock before they released this album. Their leader was Leslie West and he is still touring the Mountain material in addition to his own solo material.

I am doing some reviews of their albums this summer and is starting with this one. For those reviews, please check out the rest of this blog and the alphabetical index to the right.

The music on this album is hard blues with some hard rock. That is what they played throughout their career.

We are being treated to their hit single Mississippi Queen as the opening track. An uptempo, hard rocker with Leslie's raw guitars and vocals. It is a reasonably good song.

I am more happy with the rest of the album, though. The rest of this half an hour long album. There is a lot of melodic stuff here with some good harmonies and vocals.

The end result is a pretty good album. Barely a good album, but still a good album. Check it out.

3 points




Friday, 6 July 2018

Water Into Wine Band - Hill Climbing for Beginners (1974)


The debut album from this British band.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of bass, guitars, bongos, violin, piano and vocals.
The band had help from around ten guest musicians who provided drums, congas, tambourines, flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, harp, violin, viola, cello and percussion.

The band was a part of the Christian Jesus revolution scene in the 1970s. A kind of an alternative to the stalinist extreme leftist scene at that time. The 1970s was a time for the marginal extremist movements. Water Into Wine Band was one of the many bands attached to one of these movements.

The music is acid folk rock. No less and no more.

The music is partly vocals focused with some instrumental parts too. A lot of them, too. Hence the list of the very many instruments involved here.

The lyrics are not overly Christian preaching in my opinion. Something that made the band flop in USA and the Christian scene there who wanted a lot of words but not so music as there is on this album.

That is their loss and our gain.

This forty minutes long album has some good things going for it and some not so good things. It is an album well worth checking out, though.

2.5 points


Thursday, 5 July 2018

Alco Frisbass - Le Bateleur (2018)


The second album from this French band.

Alco Frisbass is a trio on this album with a lineup of synths, keyboards, bass, guitars, percussion, drums and programming.
Three other guest musicians, including Thierry Payssan from Minimum Vital, provides piano, cornet and guitars.

I reviewed their self-titled 2025 debut album back in June 2015 for # 1 of this blog. A very good album and you can read my review here

Alco Frisbass returns again with a new album and I am very pleased about that. They are now a trio. But that is mostly what has changed here.

We still get a very healthy mix of Canterbury prog, jazz, dark baroque symphonic prog and King Crimson like eclectic prog. There is even some hints of zeuhl and avant-garde here. Well, this album is pretty avant-garde.

It is also pretty playful where the band are in hot pursuit of the ideas and melody lines they comes up with here. And the result is some really memorable, eclectic stuff throughout this three quarters of an hour long album.

A very good album, it is indeed. This is what eclectic prog is and should be about. Check out this very good album.

3.5 points






Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Strangefish - The Spotlight Effect (2018)


The third album from this British band.

Strangefish is a sextet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals. Both male and female vocals.

I have not had the chance to hear their 2003 debut album Full Scale or the follow up album Fortune Telling from 2006.

The band started out in 1989 and have has been on and off since then. Silence followed by sporadic activities, albums and then silence again.

The band plays neo-prog and has been and still is one of the wave of neo-prog bands who hit UK in the 1980s and 1990s. Some of them has released new albums this year.

The music is pretty gentle with both female and male vocals. Their neo-prog has a lot of rock and pop influences too. Even some musicals influences is pretty evident here.

The vocals are really good and the other musicians is also doing a good job.

There are no really outstanding tracks on this one hour long album. Which is a shame as this is a good album. It fits nicely into the neo-prog genre and is an album well worth checking out for all fans of this genre.

3 points

Phideaux - Doomsday Afternoon (2007)


The seventh album from this US band.

The band was a nine piece big band with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, lap steel guitars, Moog, Hammond organ, sampler, violin and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
The band also had help from guest musicians who provided a chamber symphonic orchestra, handclaps, guitars, dulcimer, flutes, synths and vocals.

Phideaux Xavier and friends had always been a project operating somewhere between neo-prog, symphonic prog and the singer/songwriter musical tradition.

On some albums, the project had been far more singer/songwriter than progressive rock. Which is not a very interesting type of music.

On Doomsday Afternoon, the project swings into the symphonic and neo-prog territory again.

There is lots of female and male vocals here. There is also a lot of keyboards and guitars here.
The music is pretty complex and bold. It is also symphonic prog. There is still some singer/songwriter stuff here. But not much.

What is lacking on this almost seventy minutes long album is a great track or two. Or a great piece of music. There is none. Nevertheless, this is a good album and one well worth checking out.

3 points



Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Via Lumini - What Have We Done About Us (1995)


The second and final album from this Brazilian band.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, flute, bass, guitars, drums and English vocals.

The band was a rather short lived progressive rock band who came, did not win many fans and disappeared.
I really liked and still like their 1991 debut album Voos E Sonhos. Nice symphonic prog from Brazil with all the bells and whistles. You can read my review here.

There is a four years long break between these two albums. A lot has happened.

One of those things is the change of direction and sound. The band also changed language from their mother tongue to English. None of these changes are particular good.
There are a lot of keyboards, flutes, guitars and a rather weak sounding vocals here on this mid to slow tempo one hour long album. 

The album title What Have We Done About Us is a fitting one. The answer is a lot of wrong things.

The music is pretty much standard Anglo-British light-symphonic prog with both Genesis and soft-rock influences. Genesis from their Abacab era. All the Brazilian influences has gone, lost somewhere on route to England.

The result is a not so interesting album. A decent album, but nothing more than that. I am not impressed by this album.

2 points

  

Monday, 2 July 2018

Sebas Honing - Songs Of Seas And Oceans (2014)


The third album from this Dutch band.

Sebas Honing is a guitarist and a vocalist. He has got help from some others on this album. Drums, bass and keyboards, I guess.

He is also into windmills, I read in his biography at his website. Me too like windmills as I believe this is the way forward to create power to, among other things, keep my house hot and with enough electricity to continue with this blog. But I guess his interest is more about the old windmills in Europe. Those with proper houses. I applaud his interest, though.

He is also a very good electric guitarist and knows how to write songs too.

Songs which is not guitar solos and ego maniac guitar hero stuff. The music is more in the vein of neo-prog.

Yes, there are guitars and guitar solos here. But this album is so much more than that. The vocals for example. Some really very good vocals.

The songs mixes between gentle pastoral pieces and more harder neo-prog songs. There is a nice mix here. The mood is also a mix of melancholy and happiness. The right mix.

This album is one hour long and it has some very good songs throughout. It is indeed one of the better Dutch neo-prog albums I have heard for some time. Check out this album !

3.5 points




Supertramp - Even In The Quietest Moments ... (1977)


The fifth album from this British band.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, saxophone, clarinet, melodica, bass, drums, percussion and vocals.
They had help from two guest musicians who did orchestral arrangements and programming.

I have had the joy of reviewing their first four albums. Albums who has shown a great deal of improvements. Albums who shows that I really like this band, 25 years after I heard their Paris live album for the first time and really became fascinated with that live album.

The band has by now established the Supertramp sound and genre. A genre and sound which blends in pomp rock and progressive rock. Maybe this should be called art-rock.

The music Supertramp gives us on this album is art. Pure art. Their music is also whimsical and quirky too.

The vocals is great and their use of saxophone and piano together is a joy to behold.

The opening track and massive hit-single Give A Little Bit is a false opening as it is whimsical. But it is still a very good song. The rest of the album is a tour de force with one great track following the other great track. Eight of them, to be precise.

Forty-three minutes long is this album and it is a great album indeed. An album that again rekindles my interest in this band. I am now becoming a fan of Supertramp....

4 points


Sunday, 1 July 2018

Se Delan - Drifter (2016)


The second album from this English-Swedish duo.

Se Delan is a duo with Justin Greaves from Black Crippled Phoenix and Belinda Kordic. Belinda is from Sweden and Justin is from England.

Justin Greaves does all instruments, which is drums, bass, keyboards and guitars. Belinda Kordic does the vocals.

I reviewed their 2014 debut album The Fall back in April 2015 for # 1 of this blog and did not like that album much. You can read my review here.

Their music is minimalist rock with a lot of goth rock influences and...... well, this is minimalism goth rock.

The music is bleak and barren. Ditto for the very good vocals from Belinda Kordic too.

The guitars, vocals and some sporadic keyboards drives the music forward. Barely, that is. There is not much happening here on this forty-six minutes long album.

It is an improvement on the debut album. But this is still not a good album, I am afraid. Check out this album if it sound tempting to you. I am still not won over by this duo.

2.5 points 

 

Vega - Sol De Oscuridad (1981)


The third and final album from this Spanish band.

Vega was a quintet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, keyboards, woodwinds and Spanish vocals.

Their first two albums Andaluza and Jara were and still is great albums. They are also a fusion of Spanish folk music and jazz.

Unfortunate, the band, which is essentially the guitarist Thomas Vega, ditched the Spanish folk music on this album.

What we get here is fusion with some Latin-American rhythms and pop. OK, there is also some flamenco here. But the non-jazz bits here are Latin-American and not so much Spanish.

The fusion and jazz bits are pretty standard fare and is not really sparkling. This thirty-five minutes long album has some good guitars, keyboards and bass. That is mostly all it got.

This is a big letdown from their first two albums. It is decent enough, but this band could do a lot better.

2 points


Starfish64 - The Future In Reverse (2018)


The seventh album from this German band.

Starfish64 is a sextet with a lineup of mandolin, guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.

This is my first meeting with this band and their music. I have not heard their six first albums and their numerous EPs. They are all Bandcamp and CD releases so I should have heard about them. My bad !

Their music is based on neo-prog. Neo-prog with a lot of indie and college rock influences. There is also a lot of Pink Floyd, RPWL and mid 1990s Rush influences here. There is also some west-coast and folk rock influences here.

The music is floating around the vocals and is not particular heavy. The music is pretty laid-back with some guitar solos and good vocals.

We get almost fifty minutes of their music on this album. And it is a good album without any weak tracks......... or any great tracks.

It is perhaps a good idea to check out this band. Both this album and their back-catalogue.

3 points
   




Saturday, 30 June 2018

Everon - Flesh (2002)


The sixth album from this German band.

Everon was a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitar, bass, drums, percussion, piano, keyboards and vocals.
The band had help from guest musicians who provided violin, viola, cello and female vocals.

I have reviewed their first five albums during the last months and you can find these reviews somewhere else in this blog. I will also review their seventh and final album sometimes soon too.

First of all, it is my understanding that this is an album of some leftovers from the record sessions who ended up as their previous album. The music has been cleaned up so it can be released.

I am not sure what this cover art-work is doing on this album. Is this album a death metal or a doom metal album ? Neither, in fact.

The music is a mix of progressive metal, Saga and pomp rock. There are some long songs and two female & male vocals duets. The music is bombastic and a bit over the top at places.

The vocals are really good and so is the music on this fifty minutes long album. It is not their best album. But it is still a good album from a good band.

3 points

Birth Control - Birth Control (1970)


The debut album from this German band.

Birth Control was a quartet with a lineup of drums, organ, bass, guitars and vocals.

This band has released ten plus albums during their long stop and start career. I got some of them and will review them this year/you find some more reviews of their albums somewhere else in this blog.

I believe this is one of the biggest German bands from the 1970s.... but I may be wrong. Feel free to correct me.

They started out in the 1960s as a hard psych band and that is how they sounds like on this album too.

Take Nice and add some hard psych and blues to their music. The music is pretty hard and the organ is the dominating instrument here. The guitars adds some spice. The bass and drums is rock hard. The vocals is good and the sound is OK. This album sounds like it has been released in 1970 too.

The music is actually good throughout. A bit dated, but still good. Mostly because of the organ sound which is both old fashion and very good.

This is an album well worth checking out.

3 points

Flood. The - Chamber Music (2018)


The debut album from this German band.

The Flood is a sextet with a lineup of keyboards, grand organ, guitars, bass, drums, spoken words, flute, saxophone and vocals.

This band consists of six middle-aged men who has decided to make an album who bridges lots of genres. From Irish rock and folk music to krautrock and progressive rock.

There is a lot of changes of directions and strange turns on this fifty odd minutes long album.

We get primitive krautrock, some Eloy like krautrock, Irish folk rock, symphonic prog and some bizarre vaudeville krautrock.

There is not much of a direction and a theme here. The songs has been thrown together into this album. An album which almost feels like an avant-garde album.

There is some good stuff here. It is a very fragmented album though and a difficult listen. I am not won over by it.

2.5 points


Friday, 29 June 2018

Morrigan. The - Masque (1998)


The fourth album from this British band.

The Morrigan was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, flute, trombone, windsynth, piano, keyboards and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
They had help from guest musicians who provided banjo, accordion and violins.

I have been lucky enough to review their previous three albums for this blog. I will also review their fifth and final album sometimes very soon. You can find these reviews somewhere else in this blog.

Their music on this album is modern folk rock with a superb female vocalist. Here name is Cathy Alexander and her voice is close to brilliant. She is one of the five best female vocalists to ever grace this genre. The late and still very much missed Sandy Denny was the best ever vocalist in this genre, off course.

Masque is one hour long and contains some shorter suites and some songs. The traditional Irish song She Moved Through The Fair, who closes this album, does not feel out of tune with the rest of this album. An album with some pretty complex folk rock too in addition to some traditional folk music.

This is an album that showcases how good the mix of progressive rock and folk music can be when it is done right. It is indeed a very good album and one I really recommend to prog and folk rock fans.
Check it out.

3.5 points

 


Thursday, 28 June 2018

Schtung - Schtung (1977)


The one and only album from this New Zealand band.

Schtung was a sextet with a lineup of sax, flute, bass, guitars, drums, percussion and vocals.

There is not many old or new progressive bands from New Zealand. So I tend to give those I find my attention and a review.

The band was short-lived. But it branched out to become a movie and TV scores business and Schtung Music now has offices in many countries. The band were closed down, though.

Strange story........

So is this album too. Or rather not so strange. The music is loosely based on symphonic prog. There is some Supertramp and Gong...... lots of Gong.... influences too. There is also lots of art-rock on this album too.

There is a lot of different styles meeting and colliding on this forty minutes long album. None of the eight tracks are good. The music is decent enough and this album is barely a footnote in the history of progressive rock and art-rock.

2 points




  


Jaivas. Los - El Volantín (1971)


The debut album from this band from Peru.

Los Jaivas was a quintet with a lineup of flutes, drums, percussion, bass, guitars, piano and Spanish vocals.

This band has released fourteen albums and I will review a lot of them, if not all of them, during the rest of this year.

Los Jaivas was a folk music and prog rock band throughout their career. I am not sure if they are still with us. Anyway.... their albums are available.

El Volantin is a pure folk rock album with a lot of raga rock and ritual primitive krautrock influences. They are probably there by sheer accident. So is their Osibisa influenses as that band released their albums after Los Jaivas had released this album.

The music here is full of percussion and flutes of all types. There is also a lot of chanting here. There is not much music..... make that, there is no music besides of the percussion, flutes and vocals.

This album is forty minutes long and I guess even fans of this band is not overly happy about it. A couple of half decent themes saves this album from my turkey yard. But it is a close call.

1.5 points

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Via Lumini - Vôos e Sonhos (1991)


The debut album from this Brazilian band.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and Portoguese vocals.

The band first lived under the name Aura before they swapped name to Via Lumini and then released two albums under this name before they were disbanded. Both albums to be review in this blog / has been reviewed in this blog.

The band played Brazilian symphonic prog. That means symphonic prog with a lot of folk and pop music influences.

All of this in their local language and with a lot of colours and bravado. This in a year where nobody wanted to listen to progressive rock.

The sound is not the best, but it is fairly OK. It is a bit annoying though throughout this album. The keyboards are really good and the vocals are OK.

There are a couple of ten minutes long songs and some shorter songs on this fifty minutes long album.  

The songs are colourful and decent enough. The songs are a bit on the dull side, though. It is sorely lacking in the quality department. Nevertheless, this is a decent enough album.

2 points


Vega - Jara (1979)


The second album from this Spanish band.

Vega was a seven piece big band with a lineup of conga, percussion, flute, bass, piano, organ, saxophone and guitars.

I reviewed their 1978 album Andaluza back in May 2012 and loved that album. I still do. You can read my review here.

Why this band is not more popular and revered than it is, is a mystery to me. The Andaluza album is enough reasons to really revere this band. This band is a hidden secret in the prog rock world and one everyone should check out.

Vega plays a mix of very flamboyant Spanish folk music and jazz. There is also some progressive rock here. The music is instrumental.

At times, the music on Jara reminds me about National Health's first two albums. But with a large Spanish twist and flavour. Other parts also reminds me about the first Mahavishnu Orchestra album. There is also some Al Di Meola references here.

There is a lot of acoustic guitars in this mostly fast, dynamic and driven music. And the music is great throughout this half an hour long album. This is a fantastic band.

4 points




Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Be Bop Deluxe - Modern Music (1976)


The fourth album from this British band.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, guitars and vocals.#

I have reviewed their previous three albums and you can find these reviews somewhere else in this blog.

This is the final Be Bop Deluxe album I am reviewing. They released one more album, but I have not got that album. Neither am I going to pursue this album either.

Be Bop Deluxe is a strange band with a quirky name. An almost mythical band.

The cover art-work does not offer much of a mythical band feeling. And the music is not that quirky either. Their status as a mythical, quirky band only covers their first three albums and the band name.

The music is pretty much straight forward pop/rock from the 1970s with a large degree of David Bowie influences.

The songs on this forty-three minutes long album is straight forward and melodic.

The songs are really good too. The music is a bit intricate too and the guitars get some good space to stretch it's legs in. The vocals is also good.

I am not a fan of pop/rock. This though is a good album and one to check out.

3 points



Foxdevilswild - Kingdom of Nowhere (2018)


The debut album from this German band.

Foxdevilswild is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and female vocals.

The band is from Konstanz which is at the Bodensee, a big lake on the Germany - Switzerland - Liechenstein border. 

Their music is a mix of garage rock, blues, post-punk, funk and pop. This is not progressive rock as it was sold to me as. But I am still adding my two pennies worth of opinions about it.

The music sounds loose to me and the guitars are a mix of half-acoustic and raw electric guitars. The vocals are on the lighter side and very jazzy.

The music on this album is a mix of rather melodic rock and some fuzzy, harsh guitar riff based songs. The mix between raw songs and rather pastoral songs are the main theme on this album. The contrasts between the raw guitars and the light vocals is also a main theme here.

The songs are decent enough. But there is no good songs and I cannot recommend this album. But check it out at the link above.

2 points




Monday, 25 June 2018

Schoenherz - What A Night (1978)


The one and only album from this Austrian musician.

Richard Schonherz on synths, organ, grand piano, electric piano and vocals had help from seven other musicians who provided guitars, drums, percussion, bass, keyboards and female vocals.

Richard Schonherz had also released an album with another musician under the Rigoni & Schoenherz name. Victor is the name of that album. An album still waiting to be reviewed by me. One of many albums.

What A Night is forty-five minutes long.

The music is a mix of ELP, Supertramp and pop music. Some of the songs are pretty dark too. Others are more light and less moody. Some of the tracks are in the symph prog and fusion vein. There are even some funky fusion here.

The vocals are good and so is Richard on his instruments. The sound too is good.

I am not really sure who Richard wanted to reach with this album. I guess the prog rock audience. The dying embers of this scene. This album is very diverse and not really easy to pin down.

The music is decent enough though and it is an album well worth checking out at Youtube.

2 points

Osada Vida - Variomatic (2018)


The eight album from this Polish band.

The band is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.

I have reviewed their two previous albums for # 1 of this blog and you can find them here and here.
I am not a big fan of this band, but I respect them.

The band plays some pretty heavy neo-prog. Heavy prog in other words. Music which sometimes cross over to prog metal. But that is not often.

The band has this Polish sound which means clever, modern prog with some melancholy included.
And it is a sound I really like. Melancholy is never a bad thing in music. In particular in progressive rock.

The vocals is really good on this album. Ditto for the musicians too. This band is a high quality band.

The songs follows the neo-prog formula on this fifty minutes long album. Some guitar harmonies and some freshly sounding songs.

Unfortunate, none of these ten song are great songs. They are good songs and this album is an album neo-prog fans will really like. I like it a lot, indeed. But it is not a great album.

3 points





Sunday, 24 June 2018

20 Years Later - Dancing with Blue (2018)


The second album from this New York, USA band.

The band is a trio with a lineup of flute, harmonica, guitars, bass, drums, saxophone, keyboards and vocals.

This band released their debut album back in 2012 to no fanfare. Dancing With Blue is the follow up to that album.

The band lists Styx, Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd as the bands they think they sounds like. I am not so sure about that.....

The music on this forty-six minutes long album is pretty hard progressive rock with some AOR influences. There is also some straight rock here. Straight US rock and some folk rock influences. The music sounds fresh and pretty youthful.

There is one long song here, a fifteen minutes long song, who are clearly in the progressive rock vein. And they sounds a bit like Pink Floyd here..... I have to admit. It is not a great song.

The other eight songs are pretty short and chorus-verse-chorus dominated. There is no great solos here. Just a lot of harmonies and the band working together as a tight unit.

There is a mix of decent and good stuff here. I am not convinced that this is a good album. Hence the rating.

2.5 points









Iron Butterfly - Ball (1969)


The third album from this US band.

Iron Butterfly was a quartet with a lineup of organ, bass, guitars, percussion, drums and vocals.

This is the follow up to their high charting and multi-million selling hit album In A Gadda Da Vida. An album anyone would find difficult to follow up with the same type of success.

To my knowledge, Ball sold well and were high charting too. But musically....

Well, there is a lot of difference between these two albums. They band introduced a lot of soul and Tamla-Motown sound in their music. The psych part is not so evident and there is no long songs as In A Gadda Da Vida. There is no magic songs like that one here either.

There is a lot of organ, guitars and vocals here. The songs on this thirty odd minutes long album are rather short too.

There is a lot of soul and heavy rock here. There is a lot of rock here too and some psych rock. The album is very much 1969 and left in this time-warp.

The quality is somewhere between decent and dismally bad. It is sailing close to being a turkey. But a couple of decent psych songs saves this album from ending up in my turkey yard. This is not an album I rate highly.

1.5 points


Life Line Project - 20 Years After (2012)


The eight album from this Dutch band.

Life Line Project is a ten members big band with a lineup of keyboards, drums, bass, percussion, woodwinds, guitars, strings and vocals. Most vocals are female vocals.

This is another rock opera or rock opera'ish album from Life Line Project. They have alternated between band albums and rock operas on the last albums. And that is a good thing.

The music is a blend of symphonic prog and baroque classical music. The baroque classical music adds a lot of value to this album. The symphonic prog and the female vocals are also good.

The flutes are very good and there is a lot of good keyboards and synths sounds from Erik De Beer.
The rock parts feels a bit out of tune with the rest of the material here.

The album is close to eighty minutes long, the max length of a CD. They have used this format well and gives value for money.

This is a good album which does not offer any great songs. I have heard better albums from this band. But this album is not disgracing the band and is adding value to a rather strange band. A band I quite like.

3 points




Saturday, 23 June 2018

Scaramouche - Scaramouche (1981)


The one and only album from this German band.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of percussion, bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
A female vocalist adds her voice to one song.

This band was short-lived. It was also one of the German symphonic prog bands in the 1970s.

The vocalist sounds like Klaus Meine in Scorpions. Which is a bit weird.... The music is a bit poppy symphonic prog. Both Machievel and Grobschnitt is good references (I agree with ProgArchives here).

There are some good keyboards here and not so good guitars. The music is a bit on the dull side and drifts over to pomp pop too many times.

The art-work is by far the best thing about this album and it lured me into reviewing it. That and ProgArchives description of this album as a symphonic prog album. They are very much correct here.

The quality of the songs on this forty minutes long album is not good though. It is just a half decent album where I am finding it difficult to stay interested. Hence my rating.

1.5 points

 

Vago Sagrado - Vol II (2017)


The second album from this Chile band.

The band is a trio with the lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals. Both Spanish and English vocals.

I really liked their debut album and you can read my review here. A good psych/space rock album.

The band gives us more of the same on this almost forty minutes long album. Although there is some subtle differences.

There are even less space rock on this album than on the debut album. Psych and post-rock has taken over their sound and music.

There is a lot of harsh, dissonant guitars here. Walls of it. There are also some very effective and good half acoustic guitars here. 

The vocals is adding spice to this album too. The music though is the most important here as the vocals is pretty much in the background in the mix.

There is a lot of good details and melody lines here. A lot of what makes both psych and post-rock good. There is an acidic feel over this album and a good one too.

I hope to hear a lot more from this group in the future. Enjoy this very good album.

3.5 points

Time Collider - Travel Conspiracy (2018)


The debut album from this English band.

Time Collider is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, bass and vocals.

The band is five middle aged men who has decided to play hard hitting progressive rock. That means heavy progressive rock.

Obvious references here are Rush. The band has also added Foo Fighter and Yes as bands they sounds like. Foo Fighter..... yes. Yes....... a not so obvious reference.

The band is giving us seventy-two minutes of heavy prog on this album. The music is not hard all the time. But it is still a heavy and hard album.

The band does a good job and the vocals are really good. The sound is also really good.

The quality of the music is a bit hit and miss with a mix of good and decent songs. Some of the songs are based on catchy and pretty poppy choruses. Choruses with a lot of punk references. And the music sometimes falls down to that level, punk. Hence the Foo Fighter references.

This album is somewhere between decent and good. It is an album they can take on the road and indeed they are taking on the road. The music here probably sounds better live than on this album.

2.5 points

   


Friday, 22 June 2018

Swara Samrat - The Truth About Suzanne (1993)

The second and final album from this German band.

Swara Samrat was a duo with a lineup of percussion, piano, flute, organ, guitars, bass, synths, drums and vocals.

The band was Swara Samrat and Captain Ilor. I do not think that is their birth-names. But who cares...

I did not have the chance to listen to their 1979 debut album Lottery Of Memories. It is a highly rated album so I hope to get it one day.

The music here is krautrock. Krautrock with lots of dissonant electric guitars, synths and organs. The vocals is pretty basic.

The music itself is pretty basic on this thirty odd minutes long album. The music is anchored by some percussion and feels very improvised.

There is not much of melodies here. Then again, the music is not bad at all. The music is psychedelic and a bit spaced out too.

This is a decent enough album and one not to be missed. It has a it's charms and class. Check it out.

2 points

  

Everon - Bridge (2002)


The fifth album from this German band.

Everon was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, piano, keyboards, bass, percussion, drums and vocals.

I have really enjoyed their last two albums and the band has shown good progression. Unfortunate without capturing the imagination of the prog rock or the prog metal world. Or the general public.

You can find my reviews of their first four albums somewhere else in this blog. My reviews of their final two albums will also be added later this summer.

The band has now found their own style. It is a style based on a mix of prog metal and heavy prog. A mix of Dream Theater and Saga.
There are even a couple of ballads in their mid-tempo music.

There is a nice mix of very good vocals, keyboards and guitars on this one hour long album. An album which will probably satisfy the prog metal scene more than it satisfies the prog rock scene. But their music is not very hard and it is mostly mid-tempo.

The music is elegant and competent. The music is good throughout too. There is no great songs here and that is my only gripe with this album.

3 points



Thursday, 21 June 2018

3RDegree - Ones & Zeros Volume 0 (2018)


The sixth album from this US band.

The band is a sextet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, violin, guitars, keyboards and vocals.

I reviewed their fourth album The Long Division (from 2012) back in January 2013. You can read this review here.

I missed out on their fifth album, the first album in this series of two albums called Ones & Zeros. That album was called Ones & Zeros Volume 1 and it was released back in 2015.

This band is highly rated and I always hear about them among my prog rock friends on Facebook and other places. So it is with trepidation I am reviewing this..... The risk of becoming unpopular is very present and clear.

The band is giving us one hour of US neo-prog with a lot of college rock and symphonic prog influences. The theme is technology as the 0s and 1s indicate. And networking, that is.

The music is both brash, fresh and melodic with lots of vocals and guitar harmonies. The music is also complex and full of interesting details.

This is a very good album and highlights how good US neo-prog can be. Check out this album and this band.

3.5 points




Be Bop Deluxe - Sunburst Finish (1976)


The third album from this British band.

Be Bop Deluxe was a quartet with a lineup of drums, percussion, guitars, bass, tubular bells, harmonica and vocals.

This band is a strange band and a bit of a oddity in the prog rock and the pop scene. I have reviewed their first two albums, reviews you can read somewhere else in this blog, and I still don't know what they were up to.

I prog rock with some pop influences is the best label for what we get on this forty minutes long album.

There is even some ska on this album too inbetween some prog and pop in the Supertramp and David Bowie direction.

The music is pretty clever and the vocals is good. The music is also pretty quirky.

The music is a bit on the anonymous and dull side of the spectrum too. A couple of ballads with long guitar solos also falls a bit flat on their face.

The album is decent enough but just that. I am not really impressed by this album.

2 points


Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Tusmørke - Ført Bak Lyset (2016)


The third album from this Norwegian band.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of flute, organ, bass, drums, guitars and Norwegian vocals.

The band had expanded to a quintet since their 2014 album Riset Bak Speilet. You can read my review here.

Riset Bak Speilet was a psych prog folk album. It was very progressive at times and that gave me some hope for some more complex music....

.... Hope who died on this forty-five minutes long album.

Tusmorke goes back to the early and mid 1970s and the Norwegian folk rock tradition from those days. Those days with pretty straight forward folk rock without any progressive rock influences.

Just as on this album. Most of the songs are really simple and without many interesting details. There are some of it, but not much.

The songs are straight forward and pretty good. But this is not an interesting album and the music is fast-food and not gourmet food. It makes your stomach full, but the head is not happy. Hence the lack of praise for this album.

2.5 points

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Satchitananda - A Thought Away (1978)


The one and only album from this US band.

This band was a quartet with a lineup of soprano saxophone, flute, flugelhorn, electric piano, synths, grand piano, drums, bass and vocals.

This band with the impossible name to pronounce was a fusion band with some funk, pop and jazz leanings.

The music on this thirty-five minutes long album is a bit of everything. From some saxophone solos to some really good electric piano and grand piano solos.

There are even some vocals here which goes more in a pop direction. But not the whole way.

The music is not particular intense. It has a mid-tempo jazz feel. It is also funky with a good feel.

There are also some musical feel in their music.

The music feels focused. But it lacks a great deal of quality. It is still a pretty good album with a lot going for it. Hence my rating of this album. An album well worth checking out.

2.5 points


Fuchs - Station Songs (2018)


The third album from this German artist.

Fuchs is Hans-Jurgen Fuchs on bass, guitars, piano, keyboards, lap steel and backing vocals. In Fuchs, he also have six other musicians who provides bass, piano, drums, guitars, synths and vocals.

I have reviewed their first album Leaving Home from 2012 and I liked that album. You can read my five years old review here.  I have just put in an order for the second album The Unity Of Two from 2014 and will review that in due time.

Fuchs plays neo-prog in the good old German vein. That means neo-prog with a dark undertone and an emotional sound.

The vocals is really good and the music has a pretty big sound with a lot of keyboards. Some of the keyboards has a Mellotron sound.

This album is over an hour long and is a good one. The vocals is a bit heavy accented, but that is not a problem. I just note it and appreciate the value these good vocals adds to this album. An album which is pretty mid-tempo.

Fans of German neo-prog already knows about this band and will get this album. It is a good album throughout.

3 points

Monday, 18 June 2018

Morrigan. The - Wreckers (1995)


The third album from this British band.

The Morrigan was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, triangle, timpani, percussion, keyboards, flute, programming and female vocals.

The Morrigan was originally a pure folk music group who then turned into an electric folk rock band. The conversion happened on the album before this album. You can read the review of that album and their other albums somewhere else in this blog.

Wreckers was the type of people who lured the sailing ships to their death by acting like mobile false lighthouses. That means the ships fell for the ruse and got crushed by rocks. Many, many people lost their lives in this activity and I believe it was a capitol punishment type of crime for those who were discovered doing it.

I believe this is a concept album about this type of activities.

This one hour long story is told through some electric folk rock with lots of excellent female vocals from Cathy Alexander.

The music varies from Camel like songs to more folk rock and even some more exotic music like reggae like rock.

The sound is excellent and the quality of the songs are good throughout. This is a good album for those into both prog and folk rock. Check it out.

3 points


Arca Progjet - Arca Progjet (2018)


The debut album from this Italian band.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of bass, guitars, keyboards, drums and Italian vocals.
The band is supported by members of well known bands as PFM, Venegoni & Co and Arti & Mestieri.

This is again an unknown project to me and I was not sure what to expect. But the cover artwork says a lot..... But no, this is not an Asia copycat band.

The songs are medium long. The music is a mix of RPI and neo-prog with some prog metal influences too.

The music is pretty positive and not as dark as I expected from a band signed on a dark metal record label.

The vocals are rather good and the musicians are doing a good job too.

There is lots of interesting details and good songs on this one hour long album. An album I hope will be the first of many from this band/project.

3 points 




Sunday, 17 June 2018

Vago Sagrado - Vago Sagrado (2015)


The debut album from this Chilean band.

Vago Sagrado is a trio with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and Spanish vocals.

The psych and space rock scene is thankfully very much alive down in South America. That scene brings us bands like this band from Chile.

Vago Sagrado does not play the type out outer space rock as many of their countrymen and others from South America plays. They still plays space rock, but they rotate the world not too far away from mother earth.

There is also some psychedelic rock in their music and some post rock. A lot of post rock in fact with ebbs and flows in the music. There are also some vocals here.

The music ebbs and flows. It is pretty crass at times. It is also melodic with some really cool, good themes.

The half-acoustic guitars are really cool and so is the electric guitars. There are also some very good guitar harmonies here.

This forty minutes long album is a good album and a good example how good and effective space rock really is. Check out this album and enjoy.

3 points


Life Line Project - The Journey (2011)


The seventh album from this Dutch band.

Life Line Project is a ten plus big orchestra on this album with a lineup of woodwinds, guitars, bass, drums, synths, keyboards, moog, harpsichord, chitarrone, lute, mandolin, baroque guitars and vocals.

The Journey is a double CD/album, lasting almost two hours. A big chunk of music to listen to and to review.

The music is symphonic prog with a lot of Camel influences. No less and no more.

The first CD is taken by the one hour long suite The Journey. A fairly good suite divided into sixteen small songs and parts. Some of them are female and male vocals based. Some are instrumentals.

The second CD is taken up by the forty-five minutes The Narrow Path suite. Again, a fairly good suite.

The sound is pretty thin and lifeless throughout these almost two hours. There is not great songs, let alone very good songs here. A couple of good melodies and themes livens up this album a lot.

The end result is a decent album which falls a bit flat on it's face. A great shame, but fans of symphonic prog may want to lend this album their ears. You get at least good value for money here.

2 points





Phideaux - The Great Leap (2006)


The sixth album from this US band.

The band was a seven piece big band on this album with a lineup of violin, bass, percussion, drums, autoharp, keyboards, guitars, electric sitar and vocals.
The band also had help from guest musicians who provided woodwinds, flute, dulcimer, cello, fx and zurna.

I have reviewed Phideaux Xavier's first five albums and have found an interesting artist. He has always been a part of the Phideaux band name and that is a good thing.

Some of the albums is in the singer/songwriter tradition. The Great Leap is in this tradition too.

There is lots of vocals here. Phideaux Xavier's vocals. Then there are lots of guitars and keyboards too. The other instruments are used more sparse, with the obvious exception of the drums and bass.

The songs are also in the verse-chorus-verse tradition supplemented by some short instrumental parts.

The songs on this fifty-four minutes long album are rather good though. The lack of imagination and simply longer instrumental parts where the musicians and the song writing challenges the listener is a big problem with this album. The songs are too simple and too poppy. That is my gripe with this album.

2.5 points

 

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Plenty - It could be Home (2018)


The debut album from this British band.

Plenty is a trio with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, drums, bass and vocals.

This band is actually Tim Bowness first prog rock band. They were pretty active thirty years ago.

One of the members has kept the tapes and the band active. Two years ago, the trio met up again and recorded the songs from the 1980s and wrote a couple of new songs. The album was produced by Jacob Lupo Holm from White Willow.

The album is forty five minutes long and you can find it at the link above. 

The re-recording of the old songs has been pretty true to the 1980s scene and sound. The album bizarre enough starts with the Rolling Stones ballad As Tears Go By. I am starting to fear the worst....
Then we move onto the proper Plenty songs.

Songs which has some trippy electronica on the top of some poppy 1980s songs. There are some pretty easy to find Simple Minds and The Human League influences here. There are some hints of neo-prog too on this album.

The vocals are good and the piano is also good. The sound and production is very good. 

The music is at times soft and trippy. The quality of the songs are a bit hit and miss. There are some good ones and some barely decent ones. I am not really convinced about this album.. Hence......

2.5 points




Gee. Peter - The Bible (2018)


The seventh album from this British artist.

Peter Gee did the bass, guitars and keyboards here. He had help from a lineup of trumpet, violin, drums, vocals and narration.

Peter Gee is the bassist in Pendragon. He has also released seven Christianity themed albums. The first one back in 1993. All of them has got good reviews. I have yet to get into them.

This time around, Peter Gee has tried to put music to The Bible. Quite a big task. Many has tried the same and some has failed. Most has failed, to be honest.

This album gives us narration, song, narration, song, narration........ and the same throughout the seventy minutes long album. The lyrics are also taken from The Bible, believe it or not.

A concept album in other words. And the music is more rock than progressive rock.

The narrations is a bit over the top. The songs are nice and pretty OK.......... And I am trying to be a reasonable objective reviewer.

The songs are pretty sweet and not long. Some of the songs are rather good. The narration is slightly annoying and some songs are decent enough.

This album speaks more to a Christian audience than to a prog rock audience. Send this show on a tour around the Christian churches like Neal Morse does and this will become a hit there. Based on the music alone, this album is somewhere between decent and good.

2.5 points