Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Rishloo - Eidolon (2007)


The second album from this US band.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, sound effects, synths and vocals.

I reviewed their debut album last month in this blog and I will indeed review their final two albums too.

I was not impressed about their debut album as it was an experimental metal and grunge album. They are not genres I like. I tend to avoid them.

The label "crossover prog" in ProgArchives tempted me to give their four albums a try though.

Eidolon is just short of an hour full of experimental metal and grunge. There is still some Radiohead when the band slows down. It is a lot of death metal like music when the band speeds up. Which they do a lot here.

The music is experimental but does not really bring much quality to the table. The vocals are really good and the best thing about this album.

A decent enough album and only that.

2 points



Monday, 18 February 2019

Jaivas. Los - Hijos De La Tierra (1995)


The 11th album from this band from Chile.

The band were a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, local woodwinds, local percussion, local strings and Spanish vocals.
They got help from others who provided backing vocals.

The band has developed from a primitive sounding folk rock band to a more sophisticated prog rock and then towards becoming a more rock band.

This is the case on this album.

The band retains their DNA profile. A very very strong DNA profile rooted in folk music from South America.

Unfortunate, this album has this 1980s/1990s sound and that is a pretty bad sound. There are some plastic fantastic sounds pling plongs around. Something that is really annoying.
I am not so sure why we get heavy metal guitars and some more heavy metal here either.

The vocals are superb and the saving grace here. This on an album which varies between folk music and heavy metal.

I am not won over. It is still a decent to good album.

2.5 points





Sunday, 17 February 2019

Sherpa - Tigris & Euphrates (2018)


The second album from this Italian band.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
The band had help from two other guest musicians who provided bass and keyboards.

I am not perhaps listening enough to slowcore, drones, doom and very slow psychedelic rock. There are a lot of very good bands and albums in this genre.

Sherpa has released two albums in that genre and I have just recently become aware of them.

Their music is doomy and slow. There are some drones and psych rock here too. There are a lot of post-rock influences too.

The music also has a lot of Indian and Asian feel too.

The music is a bit too simple and stripped down for it to really work as well as I had hoped it would do.

The music on this forty odd minutes long album is decent enough. But does not offer up much in the quality stake.

Check out this album if this kind of music is your cup of tea.

2 points



Melilotus - Dama (2016)


The debut album from this Spanish band.

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

The band writes in their Bandcamp page that this album is forty minutes of symphonic prog, cinema, concept album and 1970s prog.

Well.... The songs are listed as in Capitol I - IX. That is the concept album covered and it may be a concept album too as the vocals are in Spanish.

The rest of their claims are a bit dubious, though....

OK, there are some cinema, 1970s prog and symphonic prog here. Most of the album is a mix of 1970s Spanish prog and some guitar rock. If there had been more keyboards here, that claim would have been more true.

This is though a progressive rock album and a Spanish sounding one too. There are some folk rock here and some exotic, make that Spanish-Arabic, melody lines here.

Forty minutes is what we get here and it is not wasted forty minutes. This is a rather interesting album full of promises and music we do not hear every day. I wish we could get more of the same thing.

This is a decent album, well worth checking out.

2 points


Saturday, 16 February 2019

Quidam - Pod Niebem Czas (2002)


The third album from this band from Poland.

Quidam was a sextet on this album with a lineup of percussion, flutes, drums, bass, guitars, piano, keyboards and female vocals. Polish vocals.
The band had help from a lot of woodwinds, backing vocals and strings.

This album too got an English version. But as with their second album, I will only review the original Polish versions. Polish is a language nobody should be ashamed of using. Poland is a great country too.

We get again the chance to hear Emile Derkowska's excellent vocals. That on some pretty delicate and pastoral neo-prog.

... On most of the album, that is. Why the band has included a watered down version of Led Zeppelin's classic No Quarter is something I do not understand. It is really impossible to kill and destroy a classic song like this one. But it has not place on an album like this or in the books of this band.

No Quarter is an distraction from the rest of the album. An album full of neo-prog light songs. Songs which is a bit too vocals dominated and a bit short on quality.

This album is a bit of a step backwards from this normally very good band. I am not impressed.

2.5 points



Glass Hammer - Valkyrie (2016)


The 17th album from this band from USA.

Glass Hammer is a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, keyboards and vocals.

I have been following this band for many, many years. Since I became interested in progressive rock, more or less. I am not so fast when it comes to reviewing their albums, though. I have broadened my horizons.

I have though made a review of their albums in # 1 of this blog. You will find reviews of most of their albums there.

Glass Hammer delivers again an hour long album with bombastic US symphonic prog. Everything is bigger and bolder in USA than in Europe. Hence their sound who really reflects that.

There is a mix of female and male vocals here who works perfectly.

The music itself is not perfect by any stretch of my imagination. It is big, bold and a bit underwhelming in the quality of the songs.

This album is about the damages from ww2 the survivors carries with them and therefore; a concept album. And it works in that concept. There is a lot of melancholy and feelings here.

This album is another grower too as it does not really gives away much after one or two listenings. But it then starts to open up and some great synths cascades opens up the melodies.

I am slightly torn here. But it is still a very good album from a band who still carries on, year after year. That too is to be admired.

3.5 points







Melange - Melange (2016)


The debut album from this Spanish band.

The band is an eight piece big band with a line up of sitar, guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, carillon, saxophones, viola, electric organ, organ and Spanish vocals.

I know next to nothing about this band. Make that; absolute nothing. 

Melange takes on a journey through some raga-rock, fusion. folk and space rock. The music floats around and makes a good soundscape.

This is mainly an instrumental album where even the Spanish vocals is more instruments than words with meaning.

There is a nice glide and float on this seventy-three minutes album. The music is mainly performed with keyboards, bass, drums and guitars. But there are some weird sitars, synths and woodwinds here too who adds lots of colours.

Nice colours, it has to be said.

The quality is between decent and good. Seventy minutest is a bit long in the company of music like this music.

Then again, this album will appeal to those who liked spacey music. Check it out.

2.5 points

 

Friday, 15 February 2019

Falling Edge - FE3 (2018)


The third album from this Canadian band.

Falling Edge is a duo with a lineup of guitars, synths, bass, keyboards, drums and vocals.

The duo is Rob Kovar and Chris Rupert.

I have reviewed their first two albums for both ProgArchives and # 1 of this blog.

I was not too taken in by these two albums as I found them a bit limited in scope and quality.

The band plays mainly neo-prog with some hard rock and prog metal influences. The sound is big and the music is pretty bombastic. It is also pretty melodic at times.

The vocals is really good and the instruments supports it well.

There is no really great track on this one hour long album. A couple of good songs brightens up this album who falls a bit short. The same can also be said about their first two albums too, I am afraid.

2.5 points





Thursday, 14 February 2019

Adventure - Caught In The Web (2014)


The third album from this Norwegian band.

Adventure is a quintet with a lineup of bass, guitars, drums, keyboards, percussion and vocals.
They had help from local musicians who provided flutes, piano and female vocals.

The band has so far not been among the Norwegian bands I have rated that highly. The band has just released a new album, which I will review later, so I hoped that and this album will change my opinion about this band from Trondheim.

The band mixes a bit folk rock (Prudence and Jethro Tull springs to mind), prog metal and symphonic prog on this album.

The sound is leaning towards folk rock. That far more than I thought this band would ever do.

There is folk metal here but not so much symphonic prog.

The guitars, vocals and flutes are good on this sixty-six minutes long album. An album with a folky feel which would make them welcome on metal, rock and prog rock festivals.

I have my reservations towards this album. Nevertheless, this is a good album. It is just about a good album but nothing more than that. I hope their new album is more proggy than this album.

3 points




Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Vak - Budo (2018)


The second album from this French band.

Vak is a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
They had help from three other musicians who provided flutes, saxophones and guitars.

Vak is a new name to me. But their debut album Aedividea was released back in 2015 and I guess I should get a copy of this album.

The band is a zeuhl band. One of quite considerable new bands in this mini-mini music genre. One of the smallest music genres of all time.

The band is pretty true to the forefathers of this genre. Eskaton springs to mind. Magma too springs to mind.

The vocals  are wordless and used as instruments. The keyboards and the bass has this chugging zeuhl sound.

The music is still pretty much laidback. There is not high adrenaline caffeine fueled music as on Magma and the Japanese bands albums.

Laid back and pretty lyrical with some pastoral melodies. The music is still zeuhl through and through.

The album is one hour long and a very good album too. Even for those who do not like zeuhl that much. It is a highly recommended album.

3.5 points

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Amazing Blondel - The Amazing Blondel & A Few Faces (1970)


The debut album from this English band.

The band was a duo on this album with a lineup of strings, woodwinds, guitars, bass, percussion, flutes and vocals.
The duo of Terence Wincott and John Gladwin had help from some other musicians who provided tabla, congas, drums and bass.

I have heard a lot about this band but it is not before now I have decided to give them my attention. I got a handful or more of their ten albums. I will review them this winter and spring.

The band is a folk music or/and a folk rock band on this album. The sound is acoustic and based on harmonies.

The two vocals fills each other and create good vocals and harmonies.

The music is on the more primitive end of the folk rock spectrum. It is leaning towards the first Gryphon albums and more towards the medieval folk music sound. More like chamber music at times.

There are also some more pop-rock tunes here. And some more rather bizarre folk hall songs with lots of trumpets and tubas.

The end result is a promising debut album who still falls a bit short when it comes to quality. I am looking forward to sink my ears into their other albums.

2 points


Monday, 11 February 2019

Coma Rossi - Coma Rossi (2018)


The debut album from this band from India.

Coma Rossi is a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and vocals.

The big country India has some death metal and other metal bands. But proper progressive rock bands ? This is the first ever prog rock album I have ever heard from India.

And it does not take many minutes before the listener feels this is the real deal.

Take Porcupine Tree, add some prog metal, some post rock, lots of Marillion, Riverside and Pink Floyd. That is what this band from Bangalore is giving us.

The sound is good and has an European feel. It is only that I know this band is from India that brings up the theme that this really a band from Bangalore, India. They are fully on par, or even better, than any bands from any European country.

There is a nice blend of ebb and flow on this album. Between the harder stuff and the more ambient post rock stuff.

The vocals are really good too and adds a lot of quality to this album.

I am really pleased with this seventy minutes long album. A very good album it is, too.

3.5 points


Sunday, 10 February 2019

Melancholy Circus - My Love (2016)


The second album from this US band.

I am not sure how many members this band has as their homepage has no information whatsoever. But from what I can hear, they have drums, bass, guitars and vocals as main instruments.

This band claims that their album is in the vein of Led Zeppelin, Rush and Type O Negative.

They are wrong.

What we get is a singer-songwriter album with some very minimalistic music and lots of vocals. Led Zeppelin ? Nope. More like a primitive version of Bob Dylan.

The vocals are a bit false when the vocalist tries to press his vocals to do more than basic vocals. Wisely, he never tries to do melodic vocals or in any way tries to hit the high tones.

The music is more often than not done by acoustic guitars and pretty primitive. There is no progressive rock here.

There is no decent songs here either and this album is plain and simply a turkey.

I have nothing good to say about this album, I am afraid. Avoid.

1 point


Black Oak Arkansas ‎– Keep The Faith (1972)


The second album from this US band.

The band was a sextet with a lineup of bass, banjo, steel guitars, piano, guitars, drums, washboard and vocals.

The band was one of these US bands who was hit by the hard rocking Led Zeppelin and decided to go down that route themselves.

Black Oak Arkansas was from Arkansas, USA though. They did hard rock their own, Arkansian way.

That means lots of hard rock, rock, some gospel, some country and some blues. Arkansas are in the south states and the term "southern rock" can to an extent be labeled here too.

The music is pretty raw and dominated by the raspy voice of Jim Mangrum.

These thirty-eight seconds are pretty hard rocking and has some decent songs. This is not progressive rock by any means. But their music still have qualities which will be appreciated by progressive rock fans too.

This is an honest southern USA hard rock album and should be appreciated as just that.

2 points

  

Farmhouse Odyssey - Farmhouse Odyssey (2015)


The debut album from this US band.

Farmhouse Odyssey was a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals.

I have to admit I have been struggling a lot with this album (and their second album) since I got it. It was meant to be reviewed years ago. But I kicked it into the long grass until I decided that I had to do it now.

So I did some new listening sessions.

Listed as symphonic prog in ProgArchives, this should be in my ballpark. Classic symphonic prog as I understand it.... well..... it is not.

Take the New York bohemian sound, add a lot of light sprinkling of jazz, some symphonic prog, some college rock and some eclectic prog. Make that.... a lot of eclectic prog. Gentle Giant with an US take, flavour and sound.

The light jazzy bohemian sound and music is what really comes through here. A lot of weird guitars and vocals. A lot of weird, off Greenwich Village hooks and melodies.

Best of all; a lot of good to very good melodies too. Although this is not a great album, I understand those who has labeled Farmhouse Odyssey as the new hope for progressive rock. It is most certainly a progressive rock album.

Check out this album.

3 points

    

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Fizbers - Die Without Living (2018)


The second album from this band from Poland.

The band is a trio with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
They had help from two other musicians who provided xtra guitars and female vocals.

Fizbers is another addition to the neo-prog scene in Poland. A pretty huge scene at the moment.

Then again, Poland is a big country with a big population. Polish neo-prog is also popular in the rest of Europe.

Fizbers music is a lot more pastoral and ambient than most other Polish bands music. The great Polish band Believe is a good reference here.

The band does indeed sound like Believe although were are not talking copycats here. There is a lot of piano and some downtuned keyboards here in the bottom of some haunting male and female vocals. The guitars are haunting too.

These forty- five minutes is pretty good without really impressing much. Due to the more pastoral leanings, the album is a bit of a stand out in the scene. The quality is more like decent to good.

I am not won over. But it is well worth checking out this album released through Lynx Music.

2.5 points


Mechanical Butterfly - The Irresistible Gravity (2014)


The debut and so far the only album from this Italian band.

The band was a sextet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, drums, bass and female vocals.

Not everything from Italy is RPI - Rock Progressive Italiano. There are also a lot of progresive rock from Italy who does not conform to the RPI standards.

A lot of these bands has popped up in the last ten years. Mechanical Butterfly is one of them.

I thought I was in for an instrumental ambient album after the long instrumental first minutes. But I was wrong....

These three quarters of an hour gives us a mix of female fronted prog, some Arabic music, folk rock, some progressive metal and indeed some ambient music.

The band covers a lot of bases on this pretty diverse album.

The vocals and the instruments are really good. The music too is good. What this album is sorely lacking is a killer track or two. Something that would have created some interest around this band.

I do not think they really caught on in the scene and I am afraid this band is another one-album band.
This album is well worth checking out.

3 points


 

Friday, 8 February 2019

Shalash Band - Shalash (2018)


The debut album from this Russian band.

Shalash Band is really only Maxim Smirnov on drums, percussion plus Dmitry Karaveav on keyboards.

I remember a band called Little Tragedies from Russia. It was one man and a lot of keyboards. When starting to listen to this album, I suddenly remembered their albums.

There was a lot more substance in Little Tragedies music, though. There was more music in Little Tragedies albums.

The lineup of keyboards, drums and percussion does not sound promising. And the band is not delivering much either.

Take some TV jingles and add some pseudo-classical music with a Russian twist and folklore sound. That is when you get this album. Symphonic prog ? It is not.

The music sounds cheap and nasty. It is mostly that. There are some pieces of music which rises above the turkey yard and does not really make me despair too much.

Most of this album is pretty dismal though. And it is not progressive rock at all. It is not even progressive music. I am not impressed.

1.5 points




Thursday, 7 February 2019

Jaivas. Los - Palomita Blanca (1992)


The 10th album from this band from Chile.

Los Jaivas was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, Spanish vocals and all kinds of local strings, percussion and woodwinds.

The band has  delivered some good and some rather bland albums since their debut album back in 1971. They started out as a pure folk rock band and then moved towards symphonic prog and more commercial pop/rock.

And on their tenth album, they starts out with folk music, pure and simple. Folk music in the vein of Los Jaivas.

The album moves towards folk rock and then some strange avant-garde.

I think this avant-garde is more like an album filler than really well thought through avant-garde. The avant-garde here does not make much sense. Neither does it add any quality to this album.

The folk music and the rest of this fifty minutes long album is a bit better. There are some good guitars and some good harmonies here.

The music is decent though and that is what this album is. A decent album which does not really excite me that much. Los Jaivas can do a lot better than this album.

2 points



Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Electric Eye - Different Sun (2016)


The second album from this Norwegian band.

Electric Eye is a quartet with a lineup of bass, guitars, drums, keyboards and vocals.

I have previously reviewed their debut album and their third album, their most recent album, in this blog. You can find these reviews somewhere else in this blog.

Electric Eye is a some kind of local super-group from Bergen. Their two other albums is really good too.

The band plays some sort of space rock. They are pretty spaced out into the outer space.

This album though is in an orbit closer to mother earth. The main base camp of their music is space rock. There are also some psych too and some pop rock like space rock.

The sound on this forty minutes long album is not out and out space rock either. There are some more melodic going on here than just space explorations.

The end result is both charming and good. My only gripe is the lack of a great track. Nevertheless, this band is a band I now is keeping an eye out for. This band has a lot of quality and three really good albums.

3 points



 


Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Pinn Dropp - Perfectly Flawed (2018)


The debut album from this band from Poland.

Pinn Drop is a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, programming, synths, keyboards, guitars and vocals.

I have never heard about this band before. They are one of many bands debuting in 2018. I got a lot of albums from last year indeed.

We are again listening to a neo-prog band from Poland. Poland has one of the best neo-prog, if not the best neo-prog scenes in the world.

A seventy-five minutes long neo-prog album really need to offer up something really good to keep my interest up during this very long time.

Perfectly Flawed is a slightly dark neo-prog album. It is a typical neo-prog album from Poland in that respect.

The vocals are really good and adds a lot of value to some medium long tracks.

The overall quality is good indeed and this album offer a lot of value for money. Neo-prog fans will find a great album here. I have some small reservations. But as a debut album, I can only applaud the band for this album.

3 points


Monday, 4 February 2019

Tryo - Orbitas (2016)


The sixth album from this band from Chile.

The band was again a trio with a lineup of bass, drums, marimba, vibraphone, drums, guitars, keyboards, cello and vocals.
They had some help from some other musicians who provided violins, djembe and vocals.

Tryo is a band who has been intriguing and boring me at the same time. Some of the albums has been below par and dull. Others has been quite good.

The band has released metal albums and avant-garde albums. This despite of them being a fusion band.

And then we get this album... Which is a fusion/jazz album. Finally ! I have reviewed their previous five albums and had been expecting an album as this one from the first album. That was not to be.

There are some gypsy jazz here and some pretty melodic fusion in between some really good Latin fusion.

There are a lot of twists and turns on this forty-three minutes long album. Some really enjoyable twists and turns. There is no great stuff here, though.

This is still a good to very good album and I am glad to hear that they are now active again. I will get their new album if they release another new album.

3.5 points






Sunday, 3 February 2019

Millenium - MMXVIII (2018)


The 13th album from this band from Poland.

The band is a sextet on this album with a lineup of saxophone, guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.

This is not really a new Millenium album. This is an album celebrating their record label Lynx Music's 20th anniversary. It has also been released to introduce their new vocalist Marek Smelkowski. I therefore should not have reviewed this album.But I discovered that too late so I will do a short review.

The vocalist does a great job on a couple of new songs and some older Millenium songs.

The older songs has got new arrangements and the new songs falls nicely into the kind of music this band has given us for the last album.

And that is neo-prog with some saxophones and AOR influences. You can read my reviews of their albums somewhere else in this blog.

There are no great tracks on this thirty-seven minutes long album and the songs are a bit short on quality. This is a decent to good album though.

I hope we will soon get a proper album from this band.

2.5 points




Nemo - Revolu$ion (2011)


The seventh album from this French band.

Nemo was a quartet on this album with a lineup of gaita, keyboards, bass, drums, guitars and French vocals.

This French band has always delivered some very interesting albums. Albums with a very French flavour. Just like Ange and the 1970s French symphonic prog scene.

So when I got Revolu$ion, I was really looking forward to sink my ears into it.

The band has still a lot of Ange in them. Them and Gens De La Lune. The best of French symphonic prog, in other words.
But there is also a lot of progressive metal and hard prog in their sound. And some of Gentle Giant too.

Nemo has their own style and it is a very good style. One that really plays sweet music on my heart strings.

Revolu$ion is a one hour long album with a mix of great and good music. A killer track is missing and that is my only gripe with this album which is full of great vocals, great details and some great tunes. Check out this album and this band.

3.5 points



Saturday, 2 February 2019

McDonald & Giles - McDonald & Giles (1970)


The first album from this British band.

McDonald & Giles was a duo who contributed with woodwinds, drums, guitar, organ, piano, percussion and vocals on this album.
They were helped out by some guest musicians who did organ, bass, piano and trombone. Steve Winwood and Peter Giles was among the guest musicians. Peter Sinfield did the lyrics.

Giles, Giles & Fripp is the origin for this band. They changed their name to King Crimson and then released In The Court Of Crimson King before that version of King Crimson split up. The new King Crimson then released the Lizard album and the rest is history. And another member of King Crimson started ELP too.

...And two members from the first King Crimson album started out as McDonald & Giles. They released this album. An album who has got semi-legendary status due to it's connection with King Crimson.

It is an album I have always wanted to review. But it has only landed on my desk this year.

It is an album with a lot of whimsy pop-prog. Take The Beatles and add some psych-folk. Add some Kevin Ayers too and you get this album.

It is quite a charming album with a lot of ideas scattered around these forty odd minutes. The end product is not that good and the album is slightly unsatisfactory. It is well worth checking out, though.

2 points



   

Mystery - Lies And Butterflies (2018)


The seventh album from this Canadian band.

Mystery was a sextet on this album with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals.

This Canadian band has established themselves as one of the best bands in the progressive rock scene after their latest tours and albums. A well deserved position, in my view.

Their new offering sees the band doing some long suites and some shorter songs.

And we can almost dispense with the neo-prog label here. This album is symphonic prog with a modern sound. Yes, some neo-prog sound. The music is symphonic prog.

The opening seventeen minutes long opus Looking For Something Else sets the tone with some really great hooks and melody lines. And the album continues in the same vein. This album does not have the great, great tune or song/opus. But it still gets the listener going.

The vocals are great. The sound even excellent and the other musicians does a brilliant job with harmonies and solos.

The end result is a great album from a great band who has finally delivered what their previous album hinted. A great album and some great seventy minutes.

4 points

Friday, 1 February 2019

Mosaico Híbrido - Limiar (2018)


The second album from this band from Brazil.

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

The band released their debut album HI1 back in 2016. I have not heard that album so I cannot comment on it.

The band plays a muscular form of progressive rock.... some sort of progressive rock.

Take a bit of Pink Floyd, add a bit old style heavy metal and a lot of hard prog. I have heard Black Mountain from Vancouver, Canada is a good reference.

The music sounds like old style hard rock to me, though. Like vintage hard rock. That with a big slant of psychedelic rock and Brazilian flavour.

The vocals are OK and the few pieces of organ sound is good. The guitars too are good and they sometimes has this southern rock sound.

The quality is decent to good throughout. There is no outstanding or even great piece of music here. Neither is there any bad songs here. Check out this album if vintage hard rock/prog is your thing.

2.5 points

Bony. Fabrice - 7 + ∞ (2018)


The fourth album from this French artist.

Fabrice Bony is a one man band and he does the drums, percussion, bass, guitars, mellotron, synths, keyboards and vocals himself.
He has got help from guest musicians who provided woodwinds, cello and female vocals.

I cannot for the life of me understand why Fabrice Bony is listed as a neo-prog artist in ProgArchives. I have yet to hear a tone of neo-prog on his second album..... and on this album too. Have I been lucky/unlucky ? I doubt it.

This album starts out as a zeuhl album, no less. And it is in all but name a zeuhl album. Zeuhl-light, but still a zeuhl album.

The zeuhl also takes some detours into symphonic prog, folk rock and fusion. In particular folk rock.

The music is pretty pedestrian and laidback..... OK, perhaps this is not zeuhl, then. Call it jazz instead. The music is too pedestrian to be called zeuhl. But you get my drift.

There is a lot of laidback woodwinds and female vocals solos. Not so many guitar solos, though.

This is not the most interesting album around and it is lacking a bit in the quality department. It is still a decent to good album, well worth checking out.

2.5 points


Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Aliante - Forme Libere (2017)


The debut album from this Italian band.

Aliante is a trio with a lineup of organ, moog, mellotron, e-piano, bass and drums.
A female vocalist contributes with spoken words during the first few seconds of this album.

This is one of the albums that slip through my fingers in 2017. As it is an album from Italy, that is not good.

It is also an RPI album of some sort.... Rock Progressivo Italiano.

So it is my favourite music, then.... the RPI genre, that is.

I am no big fan of instrumental progressive rock. In particular synths and keyboards driven instrumental progressive rock. The albums that really interest me in this sub-genre of progressive rock must have some really remarkable music.

Forme Libere has not.

The music is clearly drawing inspirations from the 1970s RPI scene. The music is mostly floating around and offer up some dynamic pieces of music. There are some dissonant synths now and then.

The music is good without really being impressive. I am struggling and failing to find anything greatness on this forty-seven minutes long album.

It is a good album and just that. Good enough to check it out.

3 points


Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Tangent. The - Proxy (2018)


The tenth album from this British band.

The Tangent is a sextet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, saxophone, flutes, Hammond organ, synths, bass, drums, backing vocals and vocals.

Andy Tillison is the main man in The Tangent and he has been present from day one of this band, twenty years ago. The first nine albums has been interesting, to say at least.

Interesting and challenging. Dull and boring is words not associated with The Tangent and Andy Tillison.

The music and the niche The Tangent has chosen is a blend of symph prog and Canterbury prog.

That is again what we get on the seventy minutes long Proxy. An album about these times where we are ruled by a proxy for most things.

The lyrics are very important on this album and in the forefront of the sound and the music. Andy Tillison has something to say and it is not something I can disagree with. That message is floating on the top of some music which sometimes moves into jazz and a bit avant-garde Canterbury prog.

The music is by all means good. Proxy is not the best ever The Tangent album though. It is still a good album from a band of whom I buy everything as it is a very relevant band and whose albums and music is always in the forefront of the progressive rock world.

3 points


Monday, 28 January 2019

Marble House - Embers (2018)


The debut album from this Italian band.

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

There is a lot of new bands from Italy who plays progressive rock, but not necessary RPI - Rock Progressive Italiano.

These bands chooses a more contemporary British sound than the old 1970s sound. Neo- prog in other words.

OK, there is some Genesis here in their sound and music. The music are rather pastoral and pedestrian instead of hard and fast. There is also some Radiohead and Gazpacho influences. The same goes for Marillion influences.

There is a lot of guitars and vocal harmonies in their music. A lot of soulful music. A lot of good details.

The end result is an acceptable album. It is a good album without the big faults or great songs. It is an album well worth checking out.

3 points




Sunday, 27 January 2019

Electric Eye - Pick Up Lift Off Space Time (2013)


The debut album from this Norwegian band.

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

I reviewed their 2017 album some time ago and decided on the back of that to get their first two albums too. In short, I like their 2017 album From The Poisonous Tree and you can read my review somewhere else in this blog.

The band is one of the bands in the Norwegian prog rock scene. One of the best one in the world. If not the best one at this very moment.

Their music is a mix of space rock, psych rock and krautrock. There is a lot of floating sounds here with some really cool vocals. The earliest incarnation of Pink Floyd is a huge influence on their music and sound. There is also some blues here, but not much. There is a lot more electronica, though.

There are some really good guitar solos and harmonies on this album too.

This album has both this early 1970s feel and the neo-psychedelia feel. There is even some Happy Mondays feel over the vocals.

This album is forty-five minutes long and it does not overstay it's welcome during these minutes. This is indeed a good to very good album and I get the feeling that this is a band well worth following in the future.

3 points




Presto Ballet - The Days Between (2018)


The fifth album from this US band.

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

This band had taken a six years long break and I did not expect to see another Presto Ballet album again. Metal Church, the main band of the founder of Presto Ballet, was releasing albums too... so I thought that was that when I reviewed their first albums. Reviews you will find somewhere else in this blog.

A really good cover art-work herald the new album and I dig into the music.

There is a lot of Kansas in their music. A lot of Americana and some prog metal influences.

There is also a lot of fresh heavy and neo-prog like music here too.

The vocals are really good and ditto for the sound. This is an unashamed US album who draws a lot on the US scene from the 1970s. The stadium rock bands from that era.

The music sounds really fresh and new too despite of the 1970s influences.

I have my gripes about the quality of the music. But I cannot deny that this forty minutes long album plays on a lot of my heart strings. Maybe more on those strings than my brain cells.

Check out this good album.

3 points

 

Tryo - Viajes (2005)


The fifth album from this band from Chile.

The band were a trio with a lineup of cello, acoustic guitars, marima, vibraphone, udu, cymbals, toms, crotalos, indian drum, xaxixi, darabuka, choir and vocals.

Tryo started out as more or less a metal band on their first albums. They soon changed style though and became unpredictable.

But even I did not expect Viajes.

The music has been stripped of most instruments. There are no electricity here and everything is acoustic..... and barely that.

The music here is by all means avant garde/RIO. That is the only genre who fits the description.

The music is pretty melodic at the end and has some vocals then. Before that, the music is pretty dense with details and not so melodic.

The quality is pretty good throughout. Even the melodic and vocals parts at the end.

I fear the avant-garde/RIO fans is missing out on an album they will really like because this band is labeled as a fusion/jazz band in most archives. This though is not anywhere near this genre.

This is a decent to good album which will positive surprise a lot of people.

2.5 points



Saturday, 26 January 2019

All Traps On Earth - A Drop Of Light (2018)


The debut album from this Swedish band.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, mellotron, moog, keyboards, synths, fender rhodes, organ, clavinet, grand piano, tubular bells and female vocals.
The band had help from guest musicians who provided guitars, woodwinds and bass.

This album was THE sensation of last year. An album voted the best album of the year if I am not totally wrong.

No wonder when you know that the band is three member of Anglagard and the daughter of one of them. That is this band.

The music on this album is not Anglagard copycat. It is Anglagard taken some steps towards the left and genres like zeuhl and avant-garde.

The music is instrumental with the female vocals used as an instrument. The voices are in the zeuhl genre, indeed.

The mix of Swedish symphonic prog, zeuhl and avant-garde makes this a massive gigantic album. It also adds a lot of dark, bleak soundscapes to this album.

The music is still pretty melodic though.... but not for the faint-hearted.

Every piece of music here is pieces of art. And this album of art-pieces are a great album. It is an album which may set a trend this year and in the future.

It is indeed a great album.

4 points

 

Nektar - Down To Earth (1974)


The fifth album from this British band.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
The band had help from numerous other musicians who provided woodwinds, backing vocals and choirs.

Nektar was a British band who played krautrock.

That is their reputation, at least. And that goes for this album, at least.

The band had arrived at their fifth album after four up and down albums.... quality wise.

The music on Down To Earth is a mix of US stadium rock, krautrock and psych rock. Add some symphonic prog and beat too and you get this album.

There is some woodwinds here and a lot of Roy Albrighton's vocals and guitars. It is one of the better combinations from those 1970s.

The music is both mainstream and not mainstream. Yes, because of the music is straight forward on the surface. No, because it is pretty quirky at times with lots of interesting details. It is at least confirming that listening to their albums and not at least; reviewing them, are not dull at all.

Down To Earth a decent to good album. It is not a dull album though.

2.5 points

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Stolt. Roine - Manifesto Of An Alchemist (2018)


The eight solo-album from this Swedish artist.

Roine Stolt did the guitars, synths, keyboards, ukulele and vocals on this album.
He got help from numerous stars from the scene who provided hammond organ, moog, mellotron, basses, sax, flutes and additional vocals.

As the readers can see on the art-work, Roine Stolt has named this album project as Roine Stolt's The Flower King. It is not The Flower Kings though although he is now touring with The Flower Kings.

I am not sure why, but the music makes me guess the reason. The music is not really fully fledged The Flower Kings take on Swedish symphonic prog. It is though not too dissimilar to Roine Stolt's previous solo albums.

So we get Swedish symphonic prog, but not as symphonic as The Flower Kings does this genre.

The music is pretty complex though.

It is also a bit eclectic too. And it is very representative for what Roine Stolt has done during the last fifteen years.

I am not really as impressed by this album as I am with all the other albums Roine Stolt has done in the last fifteen years. This is by all means a good to very good album. But it lack some sparks and great stuff.

It is still a very good album and well worth checking out. But it still leaves me wanting more.

3.5 points

Agincourt - Fly Away (1970)


The one and only album from this British band.

The band was a trio with a lineup of guitars, bass, mandolin, organ, piano, percussion, auto harp and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
Two guest musicians provided drums and flute.

This is another very obscure British folk rock band who released one album and then disappeared again.

The obscurity is also revealed by the cover-art work which is very cheap looking. Even in 1970, that art-work is primitive.

The music too is pretty primitive folk rock.

There is plenty of good melodies here though and most of the songs has some acid-folk influences. This album is bordering to being an acid-folk album.

The vocals are angelic and really good. The music is not too bad. The album has a short life before the listener get a bit fed up. The music is immediate with a short life-span.

Those into folk rock will really like this album. It is a decent enough album.

2 points


Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Kanaan - Windborne (2018)


The debut album from this Norwegian band.

The band is a trio with a lineup of bass, drums and guitars.
A guest musician is helping them out with a Rhodes epiano on the opening track.

The last years has given us some new Norwegian bands who operates somewhere between fusion, jazz and eclectic prog. Most of these bands are really exciting and adds a lot of value and new interest to both the Norwegian and the world wide prog scene.

Kanaan is one of these bands. The band comes with university level educated musicians and a lot of new ideas. Ideas from the likes of King Crimson and Soft Machine, that is.

The eight minutes long opening track A. Hausenbacken is very exciting with the Rhodes piano. And then....

....We get the trio format of bass, drums and guitars.

And we also get some very eclectic jazz-prog too. The rest of the album is not for the faint hearted prog rock fan. It is some pretty hard music to digest as it is so eclectic.

The end result, after the very promising opening track, is a good album and a band I want to hear a lot more from.

3 points




Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Bony. Fabrice - Inner Lands (2013)


The second album from this French artist.

Fabrice Bony does everything himself on this album. Drums, piano, computer, keyboards, bass and guitars.

Originally a drummer, he took up the guitar too and started to record albums. So far, four albums.

I got this album and his fourth album up for review.

This album is one album that brings me to adopt the label "world prog music" on the music here.

There is a lot of Native American, Chinese and Japanese folk sounds, world music on this album. On the top of that, you have progressive rock of some sort.

Neo-prog with world music is perhaps the right label. That is what we get on this one hour long album.

The music is instrumental and got a lot of guitars. Both harmonies and long solos. All of them are pretty good.

The end result is a good album which stands out for it's originality and the use of world music. It is an album well worth checking out.

3 points

 

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Galahad - Year Zero (2002)


The seventh album from this British band.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, programming, mellotron, mini moog, electronic drums, synths, keyboards and vocals.
Numerous other musicians added their woodwinds and vocals to this album.

It is fair to say that Galahad's output so far has been a very mixed bag. Not at least genre wise. They have gone acoustic and they have gone electronica. Hence I am not even bothered reviewing their sixth album, the electronica album De-Constructing Ghosts.

Galahad is a neo-prog band though. But not often enough, so far.

Year Zero sees the band give us a sprinkling of neo-prog, electronica and symphonic prog. There are even some jazz here.

I am not really sure what the band was doing or trying to achieving. Being regarded as a run of the mill neo-prog band was probably what they were trying to avoid and they worked hard to escape that label.

Too hard in my opinion.

At best, this album is really good. Then we get some nodding off electronica stuff which simply does not work at all.

The result is a mixed bag and an album who fall somewhere between decent and good. It is frustrating album for neo-prog fans like myself.

2.5 points


Saturday, 19 January 2019

Drowning Steps - The Comfort of an Endless Pain (2017)


The debut album from this Brazilian band.

The band is a sextet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, programming, piano, bass, synths, drums, organ, flutes and vocals.

This is to me another unknown band and I got this album from their Bandcamp page. It seems like they are still alive and well.

The cover art-work speaks about some pastoral music. And that is true.

Take some Steven Wilson, add Sigur Ros and lots and lots of Pink Floyd.... and some ambient music.

Less-Is-More is the agenda here and that shines through. The music is pastoral with some guitars, bass, drums, vocals and keyboards over some pretty ambient psych rock pieces.

There is still some interesting details in the music on this three quarters of an hour long album. The vocals are really good and so is some of the guitar solos.

My only gripe is the lack of some really good songs here. If the band get some really good songs on their next album, this band will get far.

Nevertheless, check out this album.

2.5 points


Poldur's Gate Project - Human Nature (2018)


The debut album from this Italian one-man project.

Poldur's Gate Project is the project of Luca Bussolini. He does everything here besides of the female vocals. The instruments is guitars, bass, synths and drums.

This is a project about the insensitive humans. That is what I have heard.

The vocals is distorted and driven through a computer which has made them inhuman. That according to what Luca has written himself. And this is indeed correct.

The music is a mix of symphonic metal, speed metal, prog metal, goth rock and a couple of ounces of progressive rock.

The music on this forty minutes long album is as original as the wheel itself. It is fifty shades of a wheel..... or worse.

All riffs and most minutes here sounds familiar as they have been through my speakers before. The music is also pretty horrible too.

This album is a turkey and one I am glad I will never have to listen to again. Avoid.

1 point

Dust - Hard Attack (1972)


The second and final album from this US band.

The band was a trio on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
A guest musician provided organ and piano.

Marky Ramone (Marc Bell), who later joined The Ramones, were still the drummer on this album.

The band were short-lived and only released two albums. I have earlier this month reviewed their debut album and you can find the review somewhere else in this blog.

As I said, they were a short-lived band. But they have got a semi-classic band status well after their demise.

Hard Attack is the band delivering some pretty potent hard rock... with some nuances.

There are some tear dripping ballads here too. But most of the album is hard rocking and almost proto-punk at times.

There are still some psych rock here too and that adds some interesting details to this album.

The quality of the music on this forty minutes long album is pretty decent. This album is still stuck in a time-warp... in 1972. It does not translate well into 2019, though.

Hard rock fans may find a good album here. I am not won over.

2 points


Friday, 18 January 2019

Riven Earth - Project One (2018)


The debut album from this band from Germany.

The band is a trio with a lineup of bass, guitars, drums, keyboards and vocals.
Two female vocalists are also adding their voices to this project.

The German neo-prog scene has always been very strong and good. It has unleashed a lot of bands and albums on the rest of us. Something that makes me grateful as I am quite a big fan of this genre.

The basis on this album is neo-prog. There are also some symphonic prog here.There are also some pretty commercial songs here which is in the pop/rock vein.

The vocals are really good and the musicians does their best on this album. The music is not particular hard. The guitars and keyboards are pretty restrained. There is not many guitar solos.

Most of the stuff is really catchy and light on the ear. This album also have some good details too.

Those who want a lot of food for thought will leave this album disappointed. And I am indeed a bit disappointed by this album. It is not really offering me much after a couple of listening sessions. It goes downhill after the first hooray.

This is a decent to good album. It is well worth checking out though if German neo-prog floats your boat.

2.5 points


Rishloo - Terras Fames (2004)


The debut album from this US band.

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

This album were their self-released debut album and it caused quite a furore......

I have their four albums and will review them asap this year. This as a part of the full discos reviews I do.

The band's music is not easy to pinpoint. Take a lot of grunge, add some psych and a lot of post-metal too. Then add a lot of Radiohead too. Then you get a lot of what is going on here.

The music is by no means easy-listening. Most of the music is pretty jarring and dissonant. We are talking a new form of progressive rock here.

This is indeed progressive rock who is looking forward and not back to the past, the 1970s.

This fifty minutes long album is not offering up much good music. There are some bits here and there with good music.

This is a decent album though but nothing more than that.

2 points




Thursday, 17 January 2019

Tubo Elástico. El - Impala (2018)


The second album from this Spanish band.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, percussion and programming.
A guest musician contributes with Chapman stick on one track.

This is their second album and both were released through Bandcamp.

Their music is among the least commercial and financial rewarding genres you can think off. Instrumental prog.

Take some post-metal, post rock, fusion and prog metal. That is when you get this album.

An album among very many in this genre and with the same type of music and vision. It is hard to come up with something really good in this genre.

The post rock influences are the best here and by a country mile. It is when the music becomes a bit pastoral post rock it really shines.

That is not often enough and this album is not really offering anything new.

Nevertheless, this fifty minutes long album is a decent one and will give fans of this genre what they want. I am not won over.

2 points


Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Walfad - Colloids (2018)


The fourth album from this band from Poland.

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

I have reviewed two for their first three albums in # 1 of this blog. You can find these reviews there.

I cannot say I was particular impressed by their neo-prog back then. But I am giving them another chance.... Mainly because I like to find out if the band is more to my taste now than on previous occasions.

The music is still neo-prog. Neo-prog in the Polish vein of neo-prog.

The sound is really warm with some AOR and folk influences. Not to mention symphonic prog influences. There is also a lot of German neo-prog influences in this music too.

The vocals are really good here with a raspy, americana feel. There are also some very sporadic female vocals here who adds value to this album.

The seven songs on this forty minutes long album has indeed some very good details and stuff. This is indeed a charming, good album which has brought a lot of good out of this band.

It is perhaps not a clean shaven neo-prog album. It is still a good album, though. Check it out.

3 points




Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Drosselbart - Drosselbart (1970)


The one and only album from this German band.

The band was a sextet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, keyboards and vocals. Both male and female German vocals.

This band came, released one album (+ two singles from the album) and then disappeared again. They left us with an extreme obscure album.

Krautrock is the genre here and nobody would be surprised by that.

Their version of krautrock is a mix of beat music, some psych and some blues. That and some pretty standard rock'n'roll too.

There are a couple of halfway good songs here. Jemima is not surprisingly the first single from this album and a song which reminds me about Italian pop music.

The rest of the album has some decent stuff and charm.

This is indeed a charming album with a limited scope and appeal. The quality is simply not here.

Krautrock fans with lap up this album, I guess. It is an obscure album  and that for a good reason.

2 points

Monday, 14 January 2019

Ellesmere - II From Sea And Beyond (2018)


The second album from this one-man Italian band.

Roberto Vitelli on bass and all kinds of keyboards and synths is Ellesmere now.

He has got help from various guest musicians on drums, percussion, sax, piano, hammond organ, guitars and vocals.
Among the famous names helping out is Alan Benjamin, Robert Berry, Brett Kull, Trey Gunn and David Jackson.

I really liked their very good 2015 debut album Les Chateaux De La Loire and you can find my review here. It was a very good Anthony Phillips influenced album.

So I expected more of the same.

Did I get it ? No.

Roberto Vitelli has moved to a new musical sphere and that sphere is bombastic prog somewhere between symphonic prog and neo-prog.

There is plenty of both genres here. There is even some vocals from Robert Berry. There is even a couple of songs here.

There is a lot of really good keyboards and synths here  too and the music is big and bold. It is also very good with lots of very good melodies.

Roberto Vitelli has again delivered the goods and put Ellesmere up among the more interesting prog combos out there.

3.5 points