Saturday, 12 June 2021

Emerald Dawn. The - To Touch the Sky (2021)

The fourth album from this English band.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, piano, keyboards, saxophone, flute and female vocals.

This band has over the last years emerged as one of the best and most exciting bands in the English scene. 

A lot was expected from this album based on their last two albums.

What we get here is forty-eight minutes divided on three compositions. 

I get this Ashes You Feel (a band from Croatia) feel again in their music. The music is really, really dark.

It is also gothic without being gothic. It has this goth feel but it is instead very dark. The bleak female vocals gives the compositions this goth feel.

The music is still pretty melodic too although this album is their least melodic and least accessible album. The music requires a lot of attention and concentration from the listener.

This album is without a doubt an album which will feature high on most prog fans best album of the year list and I understand that. It will also be on my list. 

This is indeed a great album and one to really enjoy. Check out all their albums and this album.

4 points

 

 

 


Friday, 11 June 2021

Moonrise - Soul's Inner Pendulum (2009)

The second album from this band from Poland.

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

The band was helped by a pair of guests who contributed vocals and bass to this album.

This band is Kamil Konieczniak's band and he does most instruments here. 

The band's 2008 debut album The Light Of A Distant Bay was a very good debut album. So I had hopes for this album. High hopes.

The band plays neo-prog.

That is Polish neo-prog with a lot of flowery symphonic prog influences. The songs, although vocals focused, is pretty long and full of intricate details.

The music on this album is colourful and flowery. The music is not as melancholic as most albums from Poland. It still have a lot of soul. 

The music is really melodic and with a lot of guitar solos and harmonies. 

Moonrise has again given us a very good album and I have really taken notice of this band. Moonrise is one of the best neo-prog band from Poland and that says a lot.

Check out this album.

3.5 points



Pohjola. Pekka - Space Waltz (1985)

 

The eight album from this Finnish artist.

Pekka Pohjola did the bass and keyboards here.

He got help from ten guest musicians who contributed with drums, guitars, keyboards and vocals.

His career has so far had some great albums and some not so good albums. He has done movie soundtracks and more jazzy albums.

This time, he visits a more jazzy area. There are still some rock here and the genre is therefore fusion.

There are some hints of Focus and Return To Forever here. There are also a lot of TV friendly light music here. 

The outstanding instrument here is guitars and we get a lot of guitar solos here. Those are saving this album from being just too light-weight. They adds a lot of substance to the album.

The synths are also good.

The music is bordering to muzak throughout this album. But they are saved by the guitars.

This is a good album though and Pekka knows what he is doing. That is to record and  release good albums. Like this one.

3 points


Thursday, 10 June 2021

Blacksmith Tales - The Dark Presence (2021)

The debut album from this Italian band.

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

Another year, another batch of debut albums from new bands. And the world moves forward and we should all be grateful for that.

We should all be grateful for the Italian scene who still comes up with some new bands and albums. It is a gift that keeps on giving.

This band gives is well over seventy minutes worth of a mix of RPI, symphonic prog and neo-prog. 

The vocals are both male and female. And they are really good. 

The music is both melodic and epic. There is a lot of very intricate details in their music too.

The music sometimes crosses into musical territory and that is one of my gripes with this album. My other gripe is the lack of more great songs. 

On the plus side, all songs are very good and this album is very much hitting the right tones. This is indeed a very good album and one well worth checking out.

3.5 points

 

 

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Kalugin. Antony - Stellar Gardener (2021)

The fifth album from this maestro from Ukraine.

Antony Kalugin does all the instruments, guitars, drums programming, keyboards and bass on this album.

He got help from a female vocalist on one song.

Antony Kalugin is what I would call a maestro in the progressive rock scene. He is one of the most prolific artists in the scene. 

His main band Karfagen is a great band and one of the better ones in the scene.

His main music is symphonic prog with a lot of influences from eclectic prog and classical music. That is also the case on this one hour long album.

That is a one hour long composition where his keyboards and his creativity get free reign. Just as on last year's solo album Marshmallow Moondust. That was a good album.

There is a lot of interesting melody ideas here. Mostly when Antony Kalugin visits the territory occupied by The Flower Kings and other Scandinavian symphonic prog bands. He is very good at implementing small pieces like this in his music.

An hour full of instrumental music can be a bit dull. But Antony implements a lot of quirky details in his music. Although this is not great music, the music still keeps the listener interested and it maintains a good standard.

This is another good album from the maestro. Check it out.

3 points


Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Multi Story - CBF10 (2020)

The fourth album from this British band.

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

This band released two albums in the mid-1980s, took a thirty years long sabbatical and then returned in 2016 with their third album Crimson Stone. I have reviewed that album and their debut album for # 1 of this blog.

Their music is neo-prog. 

Melodic neo-prog, that is.

The vocals are good and the band does their best on this one hour long. They still stick pretty close to the neo-prog formula and does not deviate from this narrow path of classic British neo-prog.

The songs are medium long and on average six minutes long.

The quality are again somewhere between decent and good. The sound is very good and the album has some intricate details too. That elevates the status of this album with half a point.

This is a good album from one of the lesser neo-prog bands in the scene. A band who never really made it but are still around. Neo-prog fans will really enjoy this band and this album.

3 points


Taskaha - Taskaha (2020)

The debut album from this Norwegian band.

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

There is a lot of new progressive  rock coming from Norway these days. This small country has become one of the bigger territories when it comes to progressive rock. That is; when it comes to bands. The media and the general public could not care less. The Norwegian progressive rock bands never ever get any media coverage in Norway.

And that makes me flipping angry.

This album was released by the band themselves last year. Digitally released.

The music is a mix of neo-prog, rock and progressive metal. There are also some hints of AOR here.

The sound is slick and the band does all the right things.The vocals too is really good.

My main gripe is the art of songwriting. The art of writing good songs. That is the one thing missing here.

This is a promising debut album but the next album must be better and it must include a lot of better songs.

2.5 point



Monday, 7 June 2021

Blackbirds - Touch Of Music (1971)

 
 
The second album from this German band.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, piano, organ, violin, flute and vocals.

Their 1968 album No Destination was a pretty poor album. Basic beat music and psych pop. 

The band returned again three years later and had added some more strings to their bow.

The Nice is a band that pops out of the speakers as an obvious reference on the first couple of tracks.... and throughout the rest of this three quarters of an hour long album.

Add in some psych rock and some blues too. 

Essentially, the music on this album is krautrock. The music is pretty primitive and very much left behind in the 1960s. It is still krautrock.

The music is pretty decent. In particular when they uses the organ and sounds like a second rate The Nice. The vocals are good and the guitarist gets space enough on a bluesy song where he dominates the song.

This is a decent album and well worth checking out. It is said that the band was active until five years ago. But no new album has seen the light of day. 

2 points


Loonypark - Perpetual (2016)

The fourth album from this band from Poland.

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

I did review the follow up album to Perpetual, the 2019 album Deep Space Eight, a couple of years ago.

I noted their mix of neo-prog, americana and goth.

Perpetual was released three years before that album.

The music here is darkened neo-prog. It is not so much clearly expressed goth in their music. It is much more melancholic than gothic.

The mood is dark indeed and the band gives us a full compliment of guitars and keyboards. There is a nice balance between the guitars and the keyboards. The music is pretty much vocals focused.

The quality is a mix if decent and good. I am not totally convinced about the quality here. The sound is good but the album is sorely missing some more good songs.

The band has just released a new album and I hope that one is better than this album. Just like Deep Space Eight was an improvement on this album.

2.5 points

 

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Clepsydra - More Grains Of Sand (1994)

The second album from this band from Switzerland.

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

Their 1991 debut album Hologram was a decent album. But I knew/know that the band could do a lot better than that.

The band plays neo-prog in the British tradition and sound. Pendragon is a big reference here.

If the songs and sound is good, this is a very good genre.

The band gives us an hour of smart, intelligent and melodic neo-prog on this album. The vocals are really good and their song writing has improved a lot since their debut album.

The songs are pretty long, around seven to eight minutes long. The balance between vocals, keyboards and guitars are good.

This is a pretty big improvement on their debut album and an album well worth checking out for those into neo-prog. It is also a good album and well worth checking out.

3 points




Saturday, 5 June 2021

Beardfish - Destined Solitaire (2009)

The fifth album from this Swedish band.

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

Beardfish is without any doubts one of the more original bands to come from Sweden. Well, within the progressive rock scene, that is.

Take Swedish folk rock, add symphonic prog in the vein of Kaipa, add Canterbury prog and lots of Frank Zappa. That is more or less this band.

That is also more or less this album too.

This album is very long.... Seventy-seven minutes long, no less.

The quirky music flows nicely and the vocals are good. Really good. The 1970s organ sound is really cool. Most of this album is a throwback to the 1970s.

The music is really playful too and works on so many different levels. 

This is a good album indeed and well worth checking out.

3 points


Hillward - Alternate Timelines (2021)

The third album from this band from Canada.

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

I have not heard their previous two albums so this band is new to me. They are from the French speaking part of Canada; Quebec. 

The Quebec scene has given us a lot of great bands and albums. Hillward's vocals are in English though and they are more set on world wide success than just local success.

The music is a mix of hard prog and neo-prog.

The vocals are good and so is the musicians. 

The album is forty minutes long and it is a good album. The band is doing everything right. It may be a bit of run-of-the-mill album who offers no surprises. Nevertheless, the music is solid and good.

Check out this band and album if the mix of hard prog and neo-prog sounds good to you.

3 points


Friday, 4 June 2021

Kerrs Pink - Presence of Life (2021)

The eight album from this Norwegian band.

The band is a seven piece big band with a lineup of drums, accordion, bass, guitars, mini-moog, mellotron, keyboards, organ, piano and vocals.

This album is their comeback album after an eight years long break.

The band continues on from their previous seven albums.

That means symphonic prog with a lot of folk rock references. The Flower Kings and Kaipa springs to mind here. There is also some good references to the old Norwegian prog and folk rock scene on this album.

The Icelandic vocalist Eirikur Hauksson is on the vocals here. He has done vocals for a lot of Norwegian bands, starting in the speed-metal band Artch almost thirty years ago. He is also vocalist in a couple of prog rock bands too.

His vocals is really good, btw.

The music is really good too. I have some issues with the choir and pretty bad closing parts of the closing composition In Discipline And With Love which removes parts of my positive impressions of this album.

This is still a good album which could had been a lot better with some better songs. 

Check it out.

3 points

 

 


Tiles - Pretending 2 Run (2016)

The sixth album from this US band.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of glockenspiel, maracas, percussion, drums, bass, guitars, mandolin, tambura, mellotron, keyboards, organ, piano, harp, trumpet and vocals.

The band had support from a symphonic orchestra full of instruments, a choir, moog, hammond organ, guitarist, bass and guest vocals.

The band had taken an eight years long sabbatical since their 2008 album Fly Paper. I have reviewed their five first albums for # 1 of this blog and you can find them there. 

Sheer laziness means I did not review this album before now. The reason is the length of this album and me getting a bit more interested in other bands and prog rock genres.

This album is over one and a half hour long. It is a double album, a 2 CDs album. That is probably 4 LPs if the band did some vinyl pressings of this album. It seems like the band is on another sabbatical or they have broken up.

That is a shame as Tiles is a good band indeed.

The band gives us one and a half hour of mostly catchy hard progressive rock here, bordering to progressive metal. The band is not really crossing over to metal. They are more like Rush hard progressive rock. 

There is some instrumental pieces of music at the end of this album which works really well. Yes, Rush is a good reference.

The vocals is really good and the band varies their music and introduces some The Beatles and Led Zeppelin harmonies too on this album.

This is indeed a good album from a good band. I hope the band is still around or they will reform. Tiles is one of the better prog rock bands from USA.

Check out this album.

3 points

  

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Ambigram - Ambigram (2021)

The debut album from this Italian band.

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

They were helped out by some guest musicians who provided oboe, guitars, keyboards and vocals.

This band is a new band. But the members has had and have solo-careers and long careers in other bands. It is a kind of a RPI super-group.

Italian progressive rock, it is. But not particular symphonic Italian progressive rock.

The music is a mix of art rock, AOR and neo-prog. 

The music is a bit heavy at times and is touching hard rock territory.

The musicians is doing a good job throughout these fifty-three minutes. The vocals are good too.

The songs are not very convincing and leaves a lot to be desired. The songs are pretty standard and a bit on the dull side too.

This is another album somewhere between decent and good. I am not won over by this album. But check it out if you can.

2.5 points



Bondar & Wise - A Live Legacy (1994)

The one and only album from this US band.

The band is a duo of Bob Wise on drums and Allen Bondar on keyboard and bass pedals.

This band toured parts of USA back in the 1970s but did not release any studio albums. A live recording was made in the 1970s at one of their gigs and the result is this album. 

This album released long after the duo had split up and the sound is the typical 1970s sound.

The music sounds like an imitation of ELP minus the vocals and the more fuller sound ELP had.

This album is basically tonnes of keyboards supported by drums. It is not a very original combination.

The sound is pretty good and you can hear the audience clapping and all that.

The music is pretty poor and their song writing does not offer up any good songs. 

This album is a borderline turkey. There is a couple of decent compositions here and that saves this album's dignity. It is not an album worthy of your attention.

1.5 points

 

Emerald Dawn. The - Nocturne (2019)

The third album from this band from England.

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

Their previous album, the 2017 album Visions, changed my mind on this band after a not so impressive debut album. 

After hearing their first album, I thought this band was a poppy neo-prog band. I was wrong. Very wrong.

Visions was a rather dark and gloomy album. Nocturne continues down the same road.

There is a lot of similarities between Visions and Nocturne. The female vocals are dark and gloomy. So is the music too. The vocals reminds me a lot about a band I was involved with as a record label owner twenty-five years ago..... The Croatian band Ashes You Leave. 

Nocturne is not as gothic as their albums. But the music is dark and the guitar solos is shrieking and wailing. 

And the music is working very fine, thank you. 

This is indeed a very good album from a band which rightly is becoming one of the finest UK prog rock bands around these days. 

Check out this album.

3.5 points

 

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Blackfoot - Flyin' High (1976)

The second album from this US band.

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

Two female backing vocalists added their vocals to  a couple of tracks.

This US band is widely labeled as a southern rock band.

The band is also very much associated with Lynyrd Skynyrd these days as Rick Medlocke, the vocalist on this album, now does the same job for Lynyrd Skynyrd.

This is their second album and it did not do that well on the charts.

The reason is the not so good songs here. This album gives is some pretty mediocre hard rocking southern rock with some OK vocals.

The saving grace on this album is the rather ballad'ish final track Mother which elevates this album up to a decent album status. Besides of that, this is not an album those interested in finding out what Blackfoot did should put their money into.

2 points



Arco Iris - Faisán Azul (1983)

The tenth album from this band from Argentina.

The band was a sextet with a lineup of percussion of all sorts, drums, bass, guitars, melodica, flute, saxophone, pan flutes and vocals.

The band had taken a small sabbatical before they returned with this album. A well deserved one too.

The band returns with a three quarters of an album worth of music full of jazz and fusion. That is jazz and fusion very much inspired by and infused with the local folk music. Native folk music.

There is a lot of pan flutes here. But not soppy pan flutes as in the numerous commercial muzak albums with pan flutes which has littered the music scene for the last thirty years. 

The pan flutes on this album is played with lots of soul and great skills. The other flutes and guitars are also delivered with great gusto and adds a lot to this album.

The music is pretty intense and with lots of voices used as instruments. There is a some avant-garde prog on this album because of that. 

The music here is exotic and pretty unusual to say at least. Western ears and cultural identities may have some problems getting used to this music. The music is really good though and well worth checking out... and enjoying.

Check out this album.

3 points

 

Monday, 31 May 2021

Be Cause - New Knights (2021)

The second album from this band from England.

I am not sure who took part on this album as their website says nothing. But the instruments are drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals.

Their debut album Anima Mundi has also been released this year through Bandcamp together with this album. 

Their music is progressive rock somewhere between symphonic prog and neo-prog. 

The vocals reminds me a lot about the vocals from The Watch and Peter Gabriel. The vocals are really good.

There is a lot of piano here and most of the music is really pastoral and melodic. It is also vocals based.

The same goes for the music which is sometimes pretty close to the art-rock and neo-prog of Marillion. Fans of Marillion and melodic prog will probably like this album a lot.

The end result is a good, seventy minutes long album. An album that has surprised me. Now, I need to get their first album...

3 points



Timelight - Selah! (2020)

The second album from this US band.

The band is a duo of Ron Murvihill and Chris Rudolf with a lineup of drum programming, keyboards, bass, flute, guitars and vocals.

A guest musician does bass on three tracks.

Their 2016 self titled debut album gave us a fine mix of Kansas, Rush and neo-prog. A good album indeed and it was reviewed earlier this month.

The band returns again and they have changed things around a bit.

There is a strong, very strong Yes influence on this album. The album is therefore mostly a symphonic prog with some neo-prog influences. They have mostly ditched the Rush and Kansas influences. 

The music is pretty complex and epic on this one hour long album. The songs, make that compositions, is pretty long too and on average around eleven minutes long. 

The duo knows what they are doing and their contributions and addition to the progressive rock scene is very much welcome. They are one of the more promising acts in the US progressive scene at the moment and both albums is recommended.

This is indeed a very good album.

3.5 points


Sunday, 30 May 2021

Tillison Multiplex. The Andy - Electric Sinfonia No. 2 (2020)

The first album from this one-man band from England.

The band is a solo project from Andy Tillison from The Tangent and he does all instruments here. Drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals.

The Andy Tillison Multiplex is Andy Tillison exploring the world of fusion and jazz. 

I would very much argue the case that this world is already explored by the The Tangent albums. But Andy Tillison want to go further towards jazz. Hence this project and album.

There is a lot of The Tangent on this album, indeed. But as intended, the music is more jazzy than on any The Tangent album. This album is still a The Tangent'ish album.

That is a good thing and fans of The Tangent would very much like this album.

The jazz is pretty much in the lounge jazz vein and not intense full on. The music is pretty laidback and sunny in other words.

The songs are pretty long and Andy adds some short vocal pieces on a couple of songs. 

The album is fifty minutes long and contains everything you can expect from Andy Tillison. But with some more jazzy music than before. 

This is a good album and one I really enjoy. Check it out.

3 points


Saturday, 29 May 2021

Marillion - Fear (2016)

The 18th album from this British band.

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

The band was supported by some guests who provided cello, viola, violin and vocals.

This is so far their latest studio album although I have heard they are in studio at this moment. 

Marillion has been following the art-rock formula since Steve Hogarth took over from Fish on vocals many decades ago. Marillion anno 2016 is nowhere near Marillion anno 1984. 

This album is a concept album and is clocking in at sixty-seven minutes.

The vocals is great and the musicians is doing their best on some material which is not their best. 

The songs are good but also a bit anonymous. 

This is a solid, good album but nothing more than that. It is a nice album for both the ears and the brain. It is not one of their better albums.

3 points



Settlement. The - Departures (2021)

The debut album from this US band.

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

This is another album I picked up because it was marketed as a progressive rock album by one of my friends. Sometimes, my friends are right. Sometimes, they are wrong. But I always try review the albums. 

When discovering that the band also added reggae to the list of music on this forty minutes long album, I became a bit less inclined to review this album.

There is no overly reggae on this album, though.

There is hardly any offensive music on this album at all.

The music is pop-rock with a lot of post-rock influences. College rock, I think it is called. Although there is not much rowdy rock here.

The music is pretty elegant and refined. There are some hints of lounge jazz here too. The vocals are good and ditto for the sound.

What this album really does not have is some more good songs. The quality is pretty patchy and I am by no means impressed by this album. Hopefully, the end of the Covid pandemic will see this band express themselves better on stage than on this album. This band need the live environment to grow and develop some better songs.

2.5 points

 


Blank Manuskript - Krásná Hora (2019)

The third album from this Austrian band.

The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, glockenspiel, percussion, bass, guitars, flute, saxophone, clavinet, celesta, mellotron, electric piano, piano, synths, organ and vocals.

Two guest musicians added samples and viola to this album.

Their two first albums was pretty good so I was looking forward to this album.

The band has taken a long step towards eclectic prog and this is therefore my third attempt to write a review of this album. On the first two attempts, the first one in 2019, I found it too difficult and tiresome to write a review of this album.

The music is indeed eclectic prog with some different genres thrown into this one hour long album. From symphonic prog to folk music to some more pastoral rock and jazz.

This is indeed an eclectic album.

The melodies are pretty good but there are also some pieces here who simply does not work. 

This album is therefore somewhere between decent and good. It is an album well worth checking out.

2.5 points

 

Friday, 28 May 2021

Mekong Delta - Pictures At An Exhibition (1996)

The seventh album from this German band.

The band was a trio on this album with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars and programming.

The classical music piece Pictures At An Exhibition by Modest Mussorsky from 1874 and thereabouts has been a major inspiration for a lot of bands. 

ELP did their version in 1971 and that is perhaps the most famous of the rock bands version of this classical music piece. It is also a version I really like a lot.

Mekong Delta has done two different versions of the same piece on this seventy minutes long album. One with the band as a trio and one for the band plus an orchestra.

Two versions on the same album in other words.

There is no denying that the original classical music is great. ELP also did a great version..... and Mekong Delta....

The band is pretty true to the original version. The trio format does not really fill out the tones and the full spectrum of this piece. The orchestral version is rather better.

This is still a good album and you cannot do much wrong with Pictures At An Exhibition.

This album both stands nicely on it's own feet and serves as a tribute to this piece of music. A piece of music I am starting to like a lot more as I am growing older.

3 points

 

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Anathema - We're Here Because We're Here (2010)

 


The ninth album from this English band.

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

The band was helped out by a string orchestra, female vocalists and male vocalist.

Anathema takes another step away from metal on this album. 

There is nothing left of the music who gave us doom metal classics like Crestfallen and Serenades on this album. 

The music is more like dream pop, post rock and indeed art rock and progressive rock on this album. 

There is a lot of strings and female vocals here. The music has an ethereal dreamy feel on this one hour long album. It has a lot of Pink Floyd too but with other instruments and vocals than Pink Floyd used. 

The music is also pretty melancholic. 

There is indeed no metal here and nothing from the old Anathema. It just has this desire to explore new territories and to create unique music. That is indeed like the Anathema who gave us the Serenades album.

This is indeed a very good album and perhaps their best album so far. 

Check out this album.

3.5 points



Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Laughing Stock - Zero Acts 1&2 (2021)

The fourth album from this Norwegian band.

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

The band was helped by a male and a female vocalist.

Laughing Stock has established themselves as one of the better bands in the Norwegian progressive rock scene. Their first three albums has got them fans all over the world.

The band gives us their own brand of neo-prog. 

The music is pastoral and softly spoken. There is a lot of pop and folk rock influences in their music. 

The vocals are good and the music is melancholic and has some Nordic depressions all over it.

The harmonies are really good here too.

The songs are all good without really having this wow factor I wished they could have.

Nevertheless, this is a good album and well worth checking out.

3 points

 

 

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

MaterialEyes - Three of a Kind (2021)

The third album from this English band.

The band is a trio with a lineup of keyboards, guitars and vocals.

The band was helped out by a quartet who provided drums, bass, flute and vocals.

I have reviewed their previous two albums and cannot be counted among the fans of this band.

So the band has made a new attempt to win me over and to please their fans.

We are again in the middle of neo-prog light land. The songs has a lot in common with rock too. 

Half of rock and half of neo-prog is what I get from this sixty-five minutes long album. There is also some Americana here and I get some vibes of of the other Yorkshire band who sounds like them; namely Wally.

The vocals is good and the band does their best on some songs who simply are not up to a good standard.

This is another decent to good album from this band. It is well worth checking out, though.

2.5 points

 

 

 


Monday, 24 May 2021

Tillett. Nathan Jon - Nomad (2014)

The one and only album from this English singer/songwriter.

Nathan Jon Tillett does the guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals himself on this album.

Nathan Jon Tillett is the vocalist in the far more known Napier's Bone. This is a very good band. But before they had their breakthrough, he released this solo-album.

The music is a mix of latter days Pink Floyd, rock ballads and some progressive rock.

There is a lot of soaring guitar solos here and some really pastoral rock and prog.

These seventy minutes are a bit long..... a bit too long as some of the material is not cutting the mustard. 

It is an OK ambient like laid back album with guitars solos and good vocals. 

The quality of the songs are decent enough but Nathan Jon Tillett has done far better things than this album as a member of Napier's Bone.

As this is a free Bandcamp download, it is well worth checking out this album.

2 points

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Atomic Rooster - Atomic Rooster '80 (1980)

The sixth album from this British band.

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

The band had been split for several years before they reformed and released this album and another album before they split for good. I only got this album of the reformed roosters.

The band had started out as an innovative hard prog and psych band ten years earlier. The debut album is pretty good.

Vincent Crane, the band owner before he passed on in 1989, had led the band down the path to getting back again for this album.

The music is pretty much hard rock with organ and guitars. It has a lot of psych too. 

The vocals is fairly good and the organs gives the song a lot of colours. The songs are pretty decent without impressing me. They are saved by the organs. 

The end result is a decent album and one well worth checking out. Atomic Rooster is a band well worth checking out for those interested in the history of hard rock and progressive rock. Start with the first album.

But this album is not bad at all.

3 points



Final Gravity - Surviving Humanity (2021)

The debut album from this US band.

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

A guest artist provides violin on one track.

The band debuted in 2010 with a four tracks EP and then they did nothing. Thankfully, they have again surfaced.

The band has female vocals and those vocals are very good. Step forward, Melissa Jane Dichiera. 

The music on this fifty-five minutes long album is a blend of hard prog and neo-prog. The vocals adds a lot of colours to the music. The songs are on average six to eight minutes long. The sound is really good.

The band operates in an overcrowded market and there is a lot of bands like Final Gravity. 

The band has still delivered a good album which includes some good guitar solos and hooks in addition to the very good vocals. I really hope we will hear more from this band. Give them a lot more attention and they will be around for much longer. Check out their album from this link.

3 points




Saturday, 22 May 2021

Blackbirds - No Destination (1968)

The debut album from this German band.

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

This band released two albums before they split up. I intend to review their second album later this summer.

The year was 1968 and the music was beat. That was the music those days.

The music on this forty-four minutes long album is a mix of psych pop and beat.

The music sounds a bit naive and it sounds very innocent. That compared to the sound of the 1970s. 

The music is not too bad. It is half-decent enough but it does not really win over the listener.

This album is a very obscure album and hard to find. There is a good reason for that. Quality. Or the lack of it. 

1.5 points

 

 


Moonrise - The Lights of a Distant Bay (2008)

The debut album from this one-man band from Poland.

Moonrise is Mr Kamil Koneizniak on edrums, bass, guitars and keyboards.

The vocalist from Millenium, Lukasz Gall, does the vocals here.

Moonrise has so far released four albums and I got all of them up for review this summer. Something I have been looking forward too for quite a while now.

This album is fifty-three minutes long and gives us a mix of instrumental symphonic prog and neo-prog with some vocals inbetween.

The music is a mix of elegant simplicity and epic neo-classical music. 

There are also some pure songs here which is pretty elegant and contains some very good vocals from Mr. Gall from Millenium, another great one-man band from Poland.

The result is an elegant album and a really good album. One to really cherish and enjoy while relaxing or doing something else.

Check out this album.

3 points


Friday, 21 May 2021

Pohjola. Pekka - Jokamies (1983)

The seventh album from this Finnish artist.

Pekka Pohjola was on bass and synths here.

He had help from a choir, a drummer, a guitarist, vocalist and a synth player.

This is the soundtrack to the Finnish television film of the same name. I have probably seen it as Norwegian television was only showing Finnish movies at that time instead of movies we wanted to see... American and British movies. But no.... Norwegian television sent Finnish films instead. 

It is not a good memory from my childhood in Norway.

The soundtrack is brooding and symphonic. It has some choirs and it is epic and dark. Just like Finnish television. The movie was probably violent too as most of the movies from Finland. 

There is some ELP and that kind of symphonic prog here. 

But this is a movie-soundtrack and it shows.

The music is not bad at all. It has some good parts and some decent parts. This is not Pekka's finest hour and can be bypassed with a good conscience. 

2.5 points

 

Gaspard - Vertiges (2021)

The second album from this Canadian band.

The band is a quartet on this album with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, saw, keyboards and synths.

Gaspard is another new'ish addition to the Quebec scene in the French speaking part of Canada.

I really liked their 2019 debut album La Foret De Gaspard and therefore got this album.

Instrumental post rock is what we get here.

No less and no more than that.

The music on this one hour long album is mainly driven by half-acoustic and electric guitars. The music is pretty melodic and has some good ideas on the beginning of this album.

The music is not particular good towards the end of the album. The music is a bit too dull and bleak to really make it's mark.

The quality is somewhere between decent and good. 

Post rock fans should check out this album.

2.5 points

 


Thursday, 20 May 2021

Bacio Della Medusa. Il - Seme* (2018)

The fourth album from this Italian band.

The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, saxophones, flute, piano, organ, mellotron and vocals.

This is as I write these lines their last album. Hopefully, the band will soon return with a new album.

The band has gone through some phases on their albums. But they have always been pretty much an RPI band.

This album sees them go back a lot to more rock and folk rock. There is not that much progressive rock here. But the saxophones and some of the songs are still pretty proggy. 

The vocals are also good.

The songs here are pretty warm and pastoral. They are a bit too mainstream rock for my liking and this album is their least interesting album.

The quality is still somewhere between decent and good, though. I hope this band will return to being a more pure RPI band in the future.

2.5 points



Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Tilt - Hinterland (2016)

The debut album from this British band.

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

This band released two EPs before they released this album. Nothing has been heard from Tilt after the release of Hinterland, I am afraid. That is sad/bad.

The music on this album is a mix of neo-prog, hard rock and progressive metal. 

Porcupine Tree is a good reference here. The band says they wanted to sound like Marillion too and there is some Marillion in their sound and music too.

The music is pretty hard most of the times on this one hour long album. There is a lot of samples and electronic devices here.

There are also some really good electric guitar solos and hooks too. The vocals is very good.

The music is really good and is bordering to very good. A couple of better songs would have elevated this album to something more than a good album. It is still an album well worth checking out if modern progressive rock is your thing.

3 points

 


Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Baro Prog Jets - Utopie (2021)

The second album from this band from Italy.

The band is Alberto Baro Molesini on bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals + Gigi Murari on drums and percussion.

They got help from some guest musicians who provided bass, guitars and piano.

The band debuted with the double CD Lucille & Giado / Topic Wurlenio back in 2019. 

I have not heard that album but I understand it is pretty similar to Utopie, the album I am now reviewing.

The vocals here are in English and the band has tried to make an album similar to Pink Floyd, Genesis and King Crimson. 

There is some great dissimilarities between those three bands so the band has ended up with this one hour long album.

The music is very melodic with some bombastic symphonic prog influences. There is a lot of Yes influences here and the band most of all sounds like Yes. 

The vocals is pretty poor and the music really fails to fire of the imagination of the listener. The music is simply not good enough although the sound is good.

This is a decent album but nothing more than that. I am not the least won over by this album.

2 points

 


Monday, 17 May 2021

Emerald Dawn. The - Visions (2017)

The second album from this British band.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, electric violin, upright bass, cello, guitars, keyboards, piano, flute, saxophone and vocals.

I was not a fan of their 2014 debut album Searching For The Lost Key which I thought was too poppy and too light-weight pop/rock.

But I have noted their new album and the three albums they have released after that album and their popularity. So I have returned to the band to review their remaining three albums.

The pop/rock has gone. Totally gone. What we get here is a pretty gothic, epic epos who starts this album. A twenty minutes long epos with saxophones, guitars, keyboards and female vocals. The music is gloomy and pastoral. This is not easy listening. It is a good to very good epic and one well worth checking out.

The remaining album is a mix of neo-prog and symphonic prog. It is still gloomy and gothic. It is music well worth listening too. 

This album reminds me a lot about the more occult, gothic Italian progressive rock albums the record label Black Widows releases. And that is not a bad thing.

This is indeed a very good album and I have changed my opinion about this band.

3.5 points

 

 


Black Strat Band - Absence (2018)

 

The second album from this band from Hellas.

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

The band debuted in 2013 with their self-titled album but I have not been able to get this album. So I am starting with this album, their second and newest album.

This band is unknown for most of you and I have yet to see a review of this album. So let me start..

The music here is a mix of neo-prog and rock. I would label it in the German neo-prog sound and tradition.

The sound is warm with hints of Americana. The vocals is good although a bit limited when the vocalist goes for the high tones.

The songs on this fifty minutes long album are good. The sound is good and the band knows what they are doing.

It is not the most exciting album around but it does the job. 

3 points

 

 


Sunday, 16 May 2021

Clepsydra - Hologram (1991)

The debut album from this band from Switzerland.

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

This band has released five albums so far and I got them all for reviews this summer.

That means starting with this album, their debut album.

Clepsydra does neo-prog in the British tradition from the 1980s. That means lots of Pendragon and Marillion references here.

The music has got this 1980s sound and it is not a good sound. It is a thin, weak sound. 

The songs are pretty short and is supposed to be catchy. They are failing that task. They are also pretty poppy and does not give the listener many interesting details.

The vocals is really good though.

This album is a child of it's time. The songs are still decent enough but this is not an album this band should be judged by. It is a decent debut album.

2 points

 

 

Beardfish - Sleeping in Traffic Part Two (2008)

The fourth album from this Swedish band.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, accordion, piano, organ, keyboard, synths, harp and vocals.

The band is back again from the good 2007 part one of Sleeping In Traffic. An album that surprised me as I am new to this Swedish band.

I was a bit better prepared this time after part one and knew what to expect.... more or less.

We get again seventy minutes with a mix of Gentle Giant, Kaipa, Frank Zappa and The Flower Kings. That is the inspirations you can hear in their music and a mix of these bands is what we get.

The music is both eclectic and symphonic at the same time.

The music is really quirky and all over the place. It is also pretty funky with elements of 1970s funk. 

The music is also very good. It is engaging and makes the listener really guess where the songs is of to in the next minutes. The quality is also very good.

This album is well worth checking out as it is one of the better albums from Sweden.

3.5 points


Saturday, 15 May 2021

Pentesilea Road - Pentesilea Road (2021)

 

The debut album from this Italian band.

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

Three guest musicians added their drums and vocals.

This band is a new band on the scene. A scene that gives us new bands all the time. The progressive rock scene in Italy is well and alive.

This band does not play Rock Progressive Italiano (RPI) though. 

Take Fates Warning and add some Porcupine Tree and neo-prog to the music. That is where you find this album. This seventy minutes long album.

Hard progressive rock is the proper label on this album and band. 

It has a very good organ sound which gives the music and album a good 1970s hard progressive rock vibe. The vocals and guitars is also a good throwback to the 1970s.

The music is good throughout without really impressing me. This is a good, solid debut album and something to improve on. This band has the right sound and attitude. Better songs next time, please.

3 points

 

Friday, 14 May 2021

Timelight - Timelight (2016)

The debut album from this US band.

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

Timelight is a new US band who so far has released two albums. A review of their second album will follow in due course.

Their music is a mix of Rush, Kansas and neo-prog. 

It is at times a bit heavy, but not very heavy. 

The music is muscular, but not overly heavy. The vocals is good and the sound too is good.

The music is indeed melodic and has a lot of interesting details. The songs are pretty long on this fifty-five minutes long album. 

The songs are indeed more like compositions than songs as they are pretty complex with multiple themes. The keyboard sound is very good as it sounds more like an organ than a traditional keyboard. This gives the band a pretty good retro-sound. This album has indeed quite a bit retro-sound and that gives this album an edge and some extra quality.

This is indeed a good album and a promising debut album. Timelight is indeed a new talent in the US scene and a welcome addition to the scene.

3 points


Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Titus Groan - Titus Groan (1970)

The one and only album from this British band.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, organ, piano, oboe, saxophone, flute and vocals.

This album is very obscure and a highly valued album among those who likes quirky progressive rock. 

The music on this album is indeed a bit of an oddity.

Take some simple 1960s pop, add some symphonic prog and brass rock. Add some jazz and eclectic prog too and you get this album.

There are some saxophones on the top of some naive, simple melodies made into longer songs. Songs who then becomes pretty quirky as layers of melodies is added to each other. Hence, the songs are pretty symphonic prog'ish.

The vocals are nice and in the 1960s pop vein.

The music is decent enough and is pretty alien to those used to today's songwriting and melodies. It is still an album well worth checking out. 

2 points

 

 

Konom - Konom (2021)

The debut album from this band from Great Britain.

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

Another new band has entered the British progressive rock scene and we should all be happy about that. The scene always needs new blood, new bands and new albums.

The band released an EP under the name Ascent back in 2015 before they changed their name. Their new album has been released through Bandcamp.

This album is fifty minutes long and has one long suite who takes half of the album and three other long songs.

The music is heavy and their music is somewhere between progressive metal, hard prog and neo-prog. Dream Theater, Pallas and Porcupine Tree springs to mind here. 

There are some good guitars here throughout these epic songs and a lot of interesting details. The vocals are good too and the musicians is doing a good job.

This album grows on the listener and the listener gets more from it every time. This is indeed a good album and this band is added to my list of new talents well worth keeping an eye on.

3 points


 


Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Marillion - Sounds That Can't Be Made (2012)

The 17th album from this British band.

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

The band was helped by a handful of extra vocalists.

Marillion has been going on since the early 1980s as recording artists. First with Fish and then with Steve Hogarth on vocals.

The band has adopted a more art-rock sound after Steve Hogarth joined the band. 

And that is what we get here. 

That means some epic art-rock with complex songs based on good melodies. 

The vocals are as per usual very good and the band really hits it off during these sixty-five minutes. 

There is not a bad song here and parts of this album is really interesting. There is no real great songs here and that is my only gripe with this album. Nevertheless, this is a good album. A solid one too and one I will listen to again and again.

3 points


Monday, 10 May 2021

Blackfoot - No Reservations (1975)

 

The debut album from this US band.

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

Blackfoot was a southern rock band who operated in the shadows of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Allman Brothers Band. The leader, Rick Medlocke is now a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

I got a handful of their albums and will review them this summer as I find this an interesting genre and band.

The band debuts with some pretty melodic hard rock on this album. Lynyrd Skynyrd and Allman Brothers is good references here.

The guitars are really good and Rick Medlocke, one of the bigger personalities from the 1970s rock scene, is a good vocalist and guitarist. He is very much carrying this album.

There are a lot of good guitar solos here. 

The end result is a good US hard rock album which will interest everyone into this scene. For the rest of us, this is a decent album.

2 points

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Arco Iris - Los Elementales (1977)

The seventh album from this band from Argentina.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, bandura, saxophones, flute, organ, synths, piano, mini moog and vocals.

Arco Iris has so far given us two classics and some not so brilliant albums. Their mix of fusion, folk and prog has engaged me and it has been fun reviewing their first six albums.

We are now at their seventh album and that one starts out with an epic piece of fusion. The music is pretty close to where we found Mahavishnu Orchestra. 

Is that the whole story of this forty minutes long album ?

No.

The band then switches over to some funky, Spanish vocals driven rock and pop. There is some folk rock and progressive rock in these songs before we get some more fusion.... or Arco Iris take on fusion.

The music is pretty good throughout and this album is giving me a lot of food for thought. Just like I prefer music to be. The music is also groovy too. It is very much a satisfactory album.

Check out this album.

3 points