Sunday, 30 December 2018
The debut album from this band from Belgium.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of bass, drums, mellotron, keyboards, guitars, trombone, piano, synths, organs, strings and vocals.
This band released two albums in 1976 and 1977 before they broke up and disappeared. Both albums has got a good reputation and a semi-classic status in the prog rock world.
That status was very much helped by the re-released albums in 1989 on CD (Musea Records).
What we get here is an eclectic mix of Eloy, Van Der Graaf Generator and Iron Butterfly. That means complex hard psych rock/prog with a lot of heavy organs and guitars. There is also some good old beat music on this album. Beat music from the 1960s.
Some of the music is hard and some is pretty pastoral. There is a lot of changes between light and darkness here. A lot of contrasts.
Some of the music works and some falls rather flat on it's face. There is no denying that this is a truly eclectic album with some strange melodies....... forget that..... all songs on this forty minutes long album is very strange.
I am not won over by this album. There is no denying that this album has it's charms. It is a decent album.
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and English vocals.
Italy is not only about avant-garde prog, jazz and RPI. It also got a lot of prog'ish bands you cannot put in any of those rabbit holes.
Lifestream is one of those bands who lives somewhere between AOR and neo-prog. There is a lot of those bands in Italy.
It is not my cup of tea, though. But I collect Italian progressive rock albums and albums like this pops up in my inbox and then my review list.
Seventy minutes with reasonable elegant AOR laden neo-prog is what on offer here. The production and sound is slick and cannot be faulted.
A production and sound like this depends on the quality of the music.
And this is where the progress towards world domination comes to a bit of a stop.
There is no really good songs here. The album goes through the motions while the listener is waiting for something good to pop up. It never does. Well, there is no good songs here.
There are some good details though. But not enough to make this something more than a decent album. Must write better songs next time, guys.
The sixth album from this Italian band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, guitars and vocals. English vocals, this time.
The band had help from four guest musicians who provided sax, violins, hammond organ and female vocals.
I have reviewed five of their albums in # 1 of this blog and has not been too impressed with the band.
The album title is a bit strange but it becomes very understandable when being told that this 2CDs album is based on this band's impressions of four great albums: The Wall (Pink Floyd), The White Album (The Beatles), Closer (Joy Division) and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (Genesis).
That explains these eighty-five minutes of music a lot more than listening to this album alone and wondering what the band is up to on this album. This double album is indeed full of references to those four albums.
Not at least musically where it goes from Joy Division's darkness to the more uplifting The Beatles. The darkness on this album and the general feel has a lot of Roger Waters and Van Der Graaf Generator in it. Roger Waters did The Wall under the Pink Floyd name.....
And yes, there are a lot of references to The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway too....
The album is generally pretty gloomy. It does not have any good songs though and the quality is patchy. I have been struggling a lot with this album, truth to be told. It is a brave album who falls a bit flat on it's face. Sorry.....
Saturday, 29 December 2018
The fourth album from this Italian band.
The band is a sextet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, percussion and Italian vocals.
The band had help from a mini orchestra with all sorts of strings and woodwinds.
La Coscienza Di Zeno is a band I have followed for a while. For some reasons, I do not have their third album (but has bought it tonight) so I cannot comment on their development from their brilliant two first albums.
This album and the music comes as a bit of a surprise though......
I cannot fail to notice that a couple of the songs has a lot of Angelo Branduardi influences. Lots of them, in fact.
This album features pastoral RPI in it's entirety. Some of the most pastoral Italian progressive rock I have heard for a long time, in fact.
There is also a lot of classical music leanings on this album.
It is still a very typical RPI sounding album who would satisfy everyone into the RPI sound. I have my reservations against the quality of the songs here which is not up to their normal standards. This is nowhere near as brilliant as their first two albums, I am afraid.
The ninth album from this band from Chile.
The band was a seven piece big band on this album with a lineup of synths, claves, guitars, bass, cow bells, whistling, drums and vocals.
The band also had help from some other vocalists.
The year was 1989 and the band were trying to survive in a pretty hostile environment dominated by this horrible synths based popular music of that time.
And that is what we get here.
A lot of synths with a horrible sound. And we mostly get pop-music.
Nevertheless, Los Jaivas does it on their own terms. And with a lot of folk music incorporated into their take on pop music. Pop music which does not really sounds like the usual pop music fare.
Thirty-three minutes long is this album and it is not a bad album at all. It is not their finest by miles. It is rather poor, but the DNA of Los Jaivas even makes this a decent album, even with these poor songs.
I have to admit I find their, Los Jaivas charm shining through on this poor album too. So check it out if this is your cup of tea.
Friday, 28 December 2018
The sixth album from this Canadian band.
The band is a sextet on this album with a lineup of flutes, keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
Two guest musicians has provided piano and guitars.
The original vocalist joined Yes and they got a new vocalist in the name of Jean Pageau. A vocalist not as good as Benoit David. But he still does a great job on this album.
Mystery is a band who becomes better and better, album by album. They are also becoming a lot more interesting.
They now sounds like a mix of neo-prog and symphonic prog.
The music is as per usual from Mystery pretty bombastic and is bordering to, and sometimes is, pomp prog/rock.
The title track is excellent and so far their best track.... until the twenty minutes long The Willow Tree shows up some minutes later. A truly mesmerising opus.
This is their finest album so far. But not by far compared to their previous two albums. I note that this band has slowly, stealthy become one of the best prog rock bands in the scene. In the top five, no less.
Check out this great album.
Wednesday, 26 December 2018
The third album from this British band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals.
The Dreaming Tree has released two albums without really hitting big time. So they tried again in 2015 with Silverfade.
The band plays neo-prog.
Pretty standard song based neo-prog, that is.
The vocals is really good here and ditto for the guitar and keyboards & piano harmonies.
The songs are not that exciting though. Neo-prog with some prog metal and pop music thrown in.
It is not the most exciting music or seventy minutes long album I have ever heard. The music ticks over nicely and the album comes to an end without really resonating that much with me.
The problem is that The Dreaming Tree does not really brings anything interesting to the table. The music is rather run-of-the-mill and nothing more.
The album is somewhere between decent and good. And that is it.
Tuesday, 25 December 2018
The sixth album from this French band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and French vocals.
I have been a long time admirer of French progressive rock. I am therefore in Nemo's target group.
And to be fair, the albums I have heard from them so far.... and reviewed for this blog..... has been very satisfactory.
Take a big chunk of Ange, add some progressive metal and some Gentle Giant and King Crimson. You will end up with something like this album.
The vocals are really really good here and it is obvious that I have to get and review the vocalist's solo album sometimes next year too.
The music is the most important here and it is pretty monumental despite of the lineup which is sparse on the paper, but still makes big sounding music on this album.
There is some prog metal here in the beginning which may scare of some. But most of this album is French symphonic prog anno these days and time. Modern sounding but still pretty true to the origins of this scene and sound.
The result is one hour and ten minutes of very good music and one album you should really check out. It comes recommended.
The debut album from this Norwegian band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, vibraphone, keyboards and percussion.
What do you get when you record an album with Norway's most foremost blues/country musician and two of Norway's foremost jazz musicians ? Probably something far away from what we get on this album.
It was only after I had been listening to this album for a couple of times that I discovered that the blues and country guitarist Amund Maarud is the guitarist here. And that gave me a facelift !
The music he and the two others, one from Jaga Jazzist and the other one from Oslo Jazz Orchestra, is very far from being country and blues.
What we get here is spaced out psychedelic jazz. No less and no more.
The music is totally spaced out and Amund's guitars should be credited for much of that. Does he play a regular guitar riff on this album ? I doubt it. But he still does a brilliant job here and really drives the album forward. I cannot remember a better performance by a Norwegian guitarist than his on this album.
The rest of the band does a superb job too on some really spaced out jazz tunes. The music is pretty unique on this album. It is also very krautrock like.
This is in fact an absolute great album and a strong contender for the title "album of the year" from a Norwegian prog/fusion band.
It is also a must have album which will bring joy to every home where a prog/fusion/space cadet is in residence. Get this album.
Monday, 24 December 2018
The 16th album from this German band.
The band was a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, percussion and vocals.
Some guests provided saxophone, rap and vocals of both sexes.
The band have had a long career with some highlights and some pretty dubious albums.
So the band decided to retire what made Birth Control a good band and a relevant band.
What we get here is a stew of modern rock and pop. That with a lot of jazz and fusion. Sometimes, they leaning towards the Canterbury scene. Other times, they are funky and very poppy.
This is a very commercial sounding album in an era where albums were no longer relevant. This is a scene where songs are everything and albums is irrelevant.
This is not a bad album at all. But there are some songs here which makes me cringe. Other songs are rather good.
This is a decent enough album. It is nowhere near as good as their best albums, though. Check out those albums instead of this album.
Sunday, 23 December 2018
The second and final album from this band from Brazil.
The band was a quartet on this album with a lineup of bass, guitars, synths, sequencers, drums and percussion.
The band also had some help from guest vocalists.
Their 1992 debut album, named Album, was a very promising debut album. You can read my review somewhere else in this blog.
So I was looking forward to sinking my teeth and ears into this album.
The band had developed since Album. They are no longer strictly an instrumental symphonic prog band.
There is still a lot of symphonic prog here. A lot of it is also instrumental symphonic prog. And some of it is very good.
Then we have a couple of vocal tracks which is somewhere between musical acts and AOR. They are OK, but not something that really adds a lot of value to this album.
The best stuff here is far better than the stuff on Album. But there is also some substandard tracks here.
The fact is that this is an interesting and engaging album which sometimes enthuses me and sometimes angers me. Hence the stars. Check out this album as I think this is an album who deserve a lot more attention. In particular if you are a Steve Hackett fan as this album sounds like a Steve Hackett album.
Saturday, 22 December 2018
The fourth album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, percussion, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
The band had returned to the studio after the live in studio album Sounds Like This from the same year. Or whatever that album was. It was not a good album at all.
Remember The Future contains Remember The Future # I and Remember The Future # II. Two suites in other words. The first one is seventeen minutes long and the second one is nineteen minutes long.
The music is pretty gentle and symphonic psych prog. There are some Eloy influences here but not that many.
There is a lot of very good guitar solos here, some really good guitar harmonies and some very good bass and drums too. The keyboards and the vocals adds the sugar-icing on this very tasty cake.
There is a lot of light and shade on this album. A very symphonic album indeed. A concept album too.
The album is bordering to being a great album..... well, it is a great album. It has so much going for it that it become a truly fascinating album I will listen to again and again.
Check out this great album.
The one and only album from this Norwegian band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of organ, bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
This band included the likes of the, much later, the much loved jazz musician Terje Rypdal. He did the guitars and some vocals here. Mark 2 of the same band also included Jan Garbarek on saxophone. He too got a long career as a jazz musician after leaving The Deam.
The Dream was also a Norwegian supergroup built on the same concept as Cream from England. But The Dream never really got the sales figures and international status they felt they deserved. So they broke up again.
The music on this forty minutes long album is psych prog with some beat and pop. Cream is indeed a good reference.
The music is pretty hard at times and the vocals pretty bluesy.
The organs is strangely enough the leading instrument here with the guitars more understated. The organs is more in the Procol Harum vein.
The songs are not bad at all and they have this flower power flavour. Flower power and psych rock with some blues and soul influences.
This album is pretty much overlooked and undeserved so. It is a decent to good album which should appeal to all Cream and Procol Harum fans out there. Psych rock fans will also love it. Check it out.
Friday, 21 December 2018
The sixth album from this band from Cuba.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, mellotron, synths, keyboards, organ, piano, saxophone, percussion, saxophone and vocals.
A guest musician is helping out on trumpet too.
The band has moved a long nicely from their first three albums which was very Yes and Genesis influenced.
They have found their own niche on the last two albums and is exploring this territory.
That territory is somewhere between Porcupine Tree, King Crimson and symphonic prog. There is also some place for ragtime blues here too.
Some of the music on this album sounds a bit avant-garde too. It is a very complex one hour of music.
The ethos of King Crimson is the one that strikes me most on this album as there is no real easy melodies here. Just layers of complex music.
Most of the album is good and some of it is very good. Some of it falls a bit flat on it's face too.
The law of average says this is a good album. I prefer the first Anima Mundi albums, though...
Thursday, 20 December 2018
The third album from this British band.
The band is trio with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, synths and vocals.
I have reviewed their previous two albums for # 1 of this blog and have found them reasonably good.
Beak is playing krautrock and is proud of that. Influences are Can, Neu and Kraftwerk. Churn Milk Joan also springs to mind.
There are more melodies and more well crafted songs on this album than on the previous two albums. There are even some pretty evident Nirvana, the grunge band, influences here. One of the songs sounds like one of their hits.....
The music is still minimalistic. Minimalism is what Beak does and they do it very well.
The band also has some rather avant-garde music here which is rather good.
The album is forty-four minutes long and it is a good album indeed. It is also their best album and it proves that this band is developing into a very good British krautrock band.
Wednesday, 19 December 2018
The one and only album from this band from Switzerland.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of bass, percussion, drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
This band came, released this album and then vanished again. The reason may be the year and the decade this album was released in. 1982 and the bad 1980s.
Those were the dark days of the prog rock scene.
The album is listed as symphonic prog in ProgArchives. That is not to say that this is a traditional symphonic prog album.
This album has everything from some Yes copycats to more pop and rock in the vein of the nasty 1980s. There are some attempts to sound like Supertramp and there is also some strong Grobshnitt influences here.
There is a lot of stuff on this forty minutes long album. It is not a particular coherent piece of music as the band is all over the place.
The result is merely a decent album..... just about. It is not an album worth checking out.
Tuesday, 18 December 2018
The 18th album from this US band.
The band is a sextet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, bouzouki, hammond organ, mellotron, keyboards, samples, synths and piano.
This band has a thirty years long history. And they are still going strong.
The band is more about creating soundscapes than real melodies on their two last albums. Both has been reviewed in this blog.
And this forty-five minutes long album is a soundscape full of ambient noises and very slow, intense guitar solos and keyboards.
This album can be compared to most of what Popol Vuh has done. Ambient music in other words.
The music here is not too bad. It is not bringing anything new and exciting to the table either.
This is a decent to good album which is OK but nothing more than that. I am not won over by this album or this band.
Sunday, 16 December 2018
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a duo, I believe. They do the drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals themselves. They have also hired guest musicians on bass and drums.
That is what I believe as the information on the webpage is really bad. They just have a Facebook site. That is all.
The band is playing gigs though and that is a good sign.
Their music is what I can call modern neo-prog. The vocals are in English and the sound is very contemporary.
There is a lot of mainstream rock here too. But the music is progressive rock throughout.
Porcupine Tree is a vague reference here and so is Pink Floyd.
The music on this fifty minutes long album is both keyboards and guitars dominated with a lot of electronic wizardry too. There is a lot of vocal harmonies here too.
The music is dynamic and pretty hard at times. It is pretty good too but it does not have that killer track this album really need. Some of the songs are a bit sub-standard too.
I am not entirely convinced by this album and gives it a fairly good rating.
Saturday, 15 December 2018
The fifth album from this English band.
The band was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, percussion, samples, programming, keyboards and vocals.
They also had a lot of help from guest musicians who provided violin, clarinet, flute, female vocals and piano.
The band's output has been a bit up and down until this album. Some good and some bad albums.
This band has been unpredictable so far.
Galahad continues down the neo-prog path on this album. They have incorporated a lot of world music, metal and not at least; electronica on this album.
The album is seventy-four minutes long and there is a lot of variations on this album. A lot of changes between various genres. Half of this album is straight neo-prog. The rest is all over the place.
This album is a bit of a mess and does not defend being well over one hour long. A bit more editing and this could had been a good album. There are some good tracks here. But some of the tracks is also nowhere near at that same level.
This is a decent to good album which does not enhances their reputation.
The seventh album from this British guitarist.
Martin Barre plays banjo, mandolin, mandola and guitars on this album.
He has hired in guest musicians do to vocals, bass, drums and hammond organs.
Martin Barre was on of the main musicians in Jethro Tull. Ian Anderson was the other one and he has continued with the Jethro Tull name. It is as far as I understand some bad blood here and I am not going to investigate this matter. It is the music that really matters.
He has released seven albums on his own and this is my first meeting with his solo-career.
I did expect some sort of cosy pop-rock here. I feared that.
But I was pretty much wrong.
Martin Barre is very much continuing on the Jethro Tull path on this album. That means folk rock with some prog rock too. There is not much prog rock here. There are also some standard rock here.
Most of this album can be compared to the more folk rock parts of Jethro Tull. And that goes down very well in my office !
The songs are good on this three quarters of an hour long album. The title track is the best one here. There are also some very good guitar playing here from Martin Barre.
This is a very much enjoyable good album and it comes recommended.
The second album from this Norwegian band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of bass, percussions, drums, banjo, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
The band also had help from guest musicians who provided saxophone and extra guitars.
Their 2013 debut album Lighthouse was a good album and I therefore had some hopes for the follow up album.
The band plays a kind of moody neo-prog not too many miles away from both Gazpacho and Airbag. They are pretty similar to both bands in fact.
Porcupine Tree is also another big influence on this album. There are also some post-rock and Marillion influences here.
The music is not heavy, though. It is pretty pastoral and based on harmonies. Both guitar and vocal harmonies.
The music is pretty bold, but not bombastic. The songs are really well crafted and based on a lot of small details and the idea of the good tune.
The end result is an one hour long album which convinces on most levels. A killer track would had been nice. But there is none.
Oak has with this very good album put themselves on the same level as the fellow Oslo bands Airbag and Gazpacho. Get this album.
Friday, 14 December 2018
The one and only album from this Italian band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals.
The early 1990s was the era of neo-prog. A lot of bands popped up and they got their released out on, among other labels, Mellow Records.
That is exactly what Draft & Bill did.
I am not sure what they mean with the band name and I am not sure about the artwork either. It does not seems well thought out and the concept is..... not particular clever.
The music is neo-prog in the vein of Pendragon. Or rather with some shorter songs than Pendragon.
They have carried over the bad ideas and sound from the 1980s to this album. Something tells me this album was written in the 1980s.
The vocals is horrible. They sounds like the final sounds of a dying red deer. The guitars is not too bad. The drums sounds cheap and the keyboards is way of being any good.
The songs are poor and these forty minutes x several times to make up my mind is rather painful.
This is a turkey as good as any other turkeys. I am not surprised that this band only released one album.
The debut album from this band from Brazil.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and keyboards.
A violinist helped out on a track too.
Dogma was one of those bands from Brazil who gave us instrumental prog. That is what we get on this album, indeed.
Some has called this album an instrumental neo-prog album. And I can see why. There is indeed a lot sound and music which reminds us about neo-prog. The sound itself is neo-prog.
The music is mostly symphonic prog. Bands like Camel and The Enid springs to mind. So does Genesis. But also the local band Sagrado Coracao Da Terra springs to mind.
There is a lot of wonderful bass here. There is also some good pianos and keyboards. This though is a guitars based album with long solos.
The end result is a one hour long album. It has not the most exciting music out there unless you are a big fan of instrumental prog.
Then again, this is a good album and one of the better ones in this scene.
This is indeed an album well worth checking out and I am looking forward to reviewing their second and final album in some days/one week's time.
The fifth album from this Canadian band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, synths, piano, guitars and vocals.
They also had help from children voices and flutes.
Mystery were now establishing themselves as a major force in the prog rock genre. Their vocalist Benoit David also joined Yes for a short period of time.
The band's mix of American symphonic prog, prog metal, pomp rock and neo-prog is highly attractive.
A lot of promises had been shown on their previous albums too and it was only a time before Mystery came up with a great album.
The band is not so much prog metal on this album. Symphonic prog and some pomp rock is more dominating this album than on previous albums.
The music is majestic, bold, pomp and melodic throughout this one hour long album. The vocals are really great and the other musicians also do a great job.
There is a lot of great details here. Ditto for melody lines. The songs are pretty long too. Long enough to give each song all the possibilities to blossom. And they do.
Mystery has indeed come up with a great album here and one I really without any reservations fully enjoy. My only gripe is the lack of a truly classic track, a killer track. But this album is the one I have been waiting for.
Thursday, 13 December 2018
The 12th album from this German band.
Birth Control was a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitars, hammond organ, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals.
Listening to Birth Control albums is a bit of a mixed blessing. From rather poor to rather great albums. This band has it all and more.
This album takes us into solid heavy metal territory.
... Sort off.....
The opening songs reminds me a lot about the 1980s Judas Priest. The vocalist sounds like Rob Halford and the music is like this band.
Then we get some krautrock and some more Budgie like hard rock.
There is a lot of guitars and Hammond organs on this album. And a lot of vocals.
I am not a big fan of heavy metal. This album is not a straight jacket heavy metal album either. But this album does it for me.
The songs are really good and ditto for the small details here. The vocals too is good and this one hour long album makes me smile a lot.
This is indeed a good album and one well worth checking out.
Wednesday, 12 December 2018
The fourth album from this US band.
The band was a quintet on this album with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, guitars, mellotron, piano, synths, organ and vocals.
This band has quite impressed me and I am very glad to learn that the band has just released a new album. An album I will get in due time.
The band continues in the same style as before. That means some great Rush and Spock's Beard influences. There are also some The Flower Kings influences here.
The music is both meaty and heavy. But not as heavy as I did expect from a Metal Church side project.
The music is indeed US symphonic prog and unashamed so. The title track is a twenty minutes long suite with it's twists and turns.
The vocals are really good and enhances the music a lot. And there is a lot to be happy about on this album.
A killer track or even a great track is missing here. But this is still a good album, well worth checking out.
Tuesday, 11 December 2018
The sixth album from this Italian band.
The band is a quintet on this album with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
Guest musicians provides cello, bass and string quartet.
I have been following this band with great interest during the last years. Maybe I am not a fan. But I like them a lot.
So their new album was a very welcome addition to my house and album collection.
The band has moved a lot more in the direction of Steven Wilson, Anathema and Radiohead than before. There are even some large Sigur Ros influences here. And as per always does the Gazpacho influences shine through. But these two bands are brothers in crime so that is not a surprise.
In short; ambient and colourful psych prog.
The music is full of emotions and colours. Full of nice noises and moods. Moods dominated by half-acoustic guitars, keyboards and vocals.
This forty minutes long album is a good journey and delivers the good. It is indeed a very good album and I one I truly like.
Monday, 10 December 2018
The debut album from this band from Poland.
The band is a sextet on this album with a lineup of guitars, cello, flute, keyboards, bass, drums, tambourine and vocals. Female Polish vocals, no less.
I got all their six albums and will be reviewing them this winter. A task this debut album has made me look forward to.
The music on this album is Polish neo-prog with the Polish sound and language. It says a lot that Miroslav Gil from Believe is involved here.
The music is not far away from Believe. But also add Magenta from England too and you get this album and the music.
The music is very lush and colourful. The Polish language adds lots of colours to the music. They also add a lot of extra quality.
There are also some opera feeling over this album. A bit too much, almost.
This fifty minutes long album is a really good album and I have hereby discovered another band I really like. For me, that is the whole point of this blog......... Check out this album.
Sunday, 9 December 2018
The second album from this British band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums, guitars, bouzouki, mandolin, saxophone and vocals.
A large number of guest musicians adds their guitars, drums, violin, choirs and vocals.
Their 2017 album On Track really impressed me. Some really good folk rock influenced progressive rock. You can read my review somewhere else in this blog.
Guy Manning (The Tangent, Manning) still dominates this album with his vocals. The music is still a songs based progressive rock with some folk rock influences.
It is noted that this album also sounds like a Manning album too. Manning is a band sorely missed. But I can understand why Guy Manning want Damanek instead of his own band. So much more stimulating to be with other great musicians, I guess. It is only a guess.
The music is songs based and only goes out on a bit more loose instrumental form on a couple of tunes at the end of this one hour long album.
The songs are very good though although I feel the band could had let some of the songs develop into a lot longer songs.
Damanek is one of the rising stars in the prog rock scene and has arrived with this album as one of the better bands in the scene. Check out this album.
The second album from this Spanish band.
Dracma was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, grand piano, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals.
I thought this was a band from Hellas named after their national currency before they adopted Euro as their currency. But I was wrong. This band is from Spain.
I have not heard their first or third album. I think this band is no more too. So A Dine Stormy Weather is the only album I got from them.
The band is a neo-prog band and the music on this fifty minutes long album is neo-prog.
The sound is the early 1990s British neo-prog sound. That means a bit thin vocals, keyboards and guitars. There is not much beef in their sound and music.
Pendragon is a very good reference to the music on this album, indeed.
The music is pretty symphonic too with lots of guitar solos. The vocals are really good and there is a lot of nice little details to feel happy about here.
This is indeed a good neo-prog album which warms the hearts of neo-prog fans. Me too included. The result is a weak good rating, but still a good rating. Check out this album.
Saturday, 8 December 2018
The 17th album from this US band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of piano, bass, drums, keyboards, rhodes, bouzouka, moog, mellotron, percussion and guitars.
I have never really explored this band with the exception of a review of their 2013 album The Trip for # 1 of this blog. I was not impressed by that album.
But I am cracking on with reviews of their two, so far, last albums. The other review will be published around Christmas time.
The music on this album is entirely instrumental.
Instrumental as in a mix of fusion and a bit King Crimson. Mostly fusion, it has to be said.
The album starts out as a muzak album and the first parts is as dull as fusion as it worst can get. Lots of dull keyboards and guitar solos.
That means thumbs down and almost an end of the project of reviewing this album. But it becomes a bit better after repeated listening sessions.
The last half has got a lot better ideas and a lot more of a bite with more interesting details. There is also a lot better guitar solos and a lot more King Crimson at the end of this forty minutes long album.
I would still not rate this as a good album as it is a pretty dull album without much to feel joyous about. Hence my not so positive verdict...
The second album from this band from Mexico.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
A female vocalist is also adding her vocals on a couple of tracks.
I have yet to hear their 2015 debut album Humane, Not Humane. But I have heard a lot of good words about it.
The band gives us one hour of music somewhere between Pendragon, Pink Floyd and Marillion.
The music is distinctive neo-prog with a lot of backwards glances at the British neo-prog scene in the 1990s.
There is a nice balance between guitars and keyboards on this album. A very good balance indeed.
The vocals is a huge letdown and the vocalist gives us a very poor and painful performance of the lyrics here. I feel sorry for him as he is chasing the tones and most often not finding them.
The sound could also have been a lot better too.
The songs are pretty good, but this album is being let down by the poor vocals and the questionable sound. Sorry....
Friday, 7 December 2018
The second album from this French band.
The band is a sextet on this album with a lineup of saxophones, bass, drums, violin, bassoon, keyboards and vocals.
The band include members from Rhun and Nooumena and has released two albums. I have not heard their first album.
Their music is avant-garde/RIO. It is very much RIO in fact in the good old style and in the tradition of the very first RIO bands.
There is a lot of bassoon and saxophones here. The music also has a lot of chamber rock in it. It is chamber rock and pretty much acoustic.
There is also some medieval folk rock here.
The vocals is a mix of melodic and roaring insane. But most melodic male vocals.
This forty minutes long album is pretty much melodic but still total RIO chamber rock. And there is a lot of good things to be said about this album. The woodwinds is very good and the balance is right.
This is indeed a good album and an avant-garde well worth checking out.
Thursday, 6 December 2018
The third album from this band from Chile.
Tryo was a trio again with a lineup of cello, guitars, bass, percussions, drums and some vocals.
The band started out as a bit of a progressive metal band and then moved more towards jazz. Something described in my reviews of their first two albums you can read somewhere else in this blog.
This album is more a jazz album than a metal album. There are indeed some metal here too.
The music is minimalism jazz with mostly guitars, bass and drums.
There are also a couple of songs here and that breaks up the rather austere sound and music. Mostly austere sound and music.
There are also some progressive metal here. But this is a dominant jazz album. That with some fusion too.
I am not really won over by this album either as it does have much good stuff. It has no good songs and melodies. It is a decent enough album though...
Wednesday, 5 December 2018
The debut album from this US artist.
The project is Joe Baldassarre on all instruments including guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
This album is a CDBaby album and available from their shop.
The music is a mix of David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler and light symphonic prog with some Americana influences.
There is actually a lot of Americana influences here and not so much of the King Crimson influences this album brags about.
The second song on this album is a version of the evergreen Carole King penned Will You Love Me Tomorrow. A very odd choice for an album like this. And the cover version is pretty bad too.
The rest of this album continues with some more guitars and vocals songs. The songs are pretty stripped down and with not so much instrumentations and interesting details.
The album is fifty-three minutes long and it is only a half decent album. An album I cannot recommend.
Tuesday, 4 December 2018
The third album from this band from Israel.
The band is a sextet on this album with a lineup of bass, drums, programming, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
I like their previous two albums and you can read my reviews of them in this blog and in # 1 of this blog.
The band is a progressive metal band. A genre I am not particular fond off. I tend to ignore and not review albums in this genre. I am a bit fed up with everything from the metal genre. But I like some old style death metal now and then.... a couple of times/minutes every year.
But this band is somewhat different again.
OK, there is a large amount of djent on this album. Chugging, disharmonic guitars and some death metal growls.
There are also some more standard progressive metal here and some rather melodic progressive rock.
This makes these fifty minutes a good album. I am not overly fan. But there is a lot of things to be happy about here. In particular the contrasts, the light and the darkness. This is therefore a good album and one I enjoy.
Monday, 3 December 2018
The one and only album from this German band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
This band released their album and then disappeared again. One of many bands from Germany who share the same fate.
The music is krautrock. Krautrock with some blues and rock influences.
The music is pretty softly spoken with a half-acoustic guitar and keyboards supporting some vocals. Mostly female vocals.
There are some good guitar solo works too and some good keyboards who does it's best with some rather poor songs.
The vocals is also pretty poor.
Thirty-five minutes long is this album...LP. It is not a remarkable album at all but it is still well worth the attention of krautrock fans. Check it out if krautrock floats your boat.
The second album from this Dutch band.
Dilemma is a quintet with a lineup of synths, grand piano, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, guitars and vocals.
There are numerous guest musicians and guest vocalists here who adds guitars, synths, vocals and violins.
I have not had the chance to hear their 1995 debut album Imbrocatta. But a break of twenty-three years means we are talking about a new start and perhaps two different bands here.
The band gives us seventy-two minutes of music here. There are clearly some accumulated music here who only sees the light of day on this album.
The music is neo-prog. Neo-prog with hints of hard prog and a lot of standard rock anno 2018.
The music is elegant. It also has some pretty cheap ballads and not so good commercial rock too. The music is at time cheap and not so pleasing for a prog rock head.
The vocals is very good and ditto for the musicians. The music falls at times a bit flat on it's face. There are also some good stuff here.
I am not overly impressed by this album. Hence my lukewarm reaction to it.
Sunday, 2 December 2018
The eight album from this German band.
Birth Control was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, drums, bass, keyboards and vocals.
The band had released some really good albums during their time and I have really enjoyed them.
Until I got this one.
Progressive rock was uncool in 1978 and so was the music they had released up to now. So the band changed style.
The result is getting rid of of progressive rock and replacing it with some heavy rock.. even heavy metal.
Well, they were not heavy metal on this album.
But the music has some funk and a lot of heavy rock. The funk part is dreadful and even their standard rock, bordering to rockabilly, is pretty bad.
The only saving grace about this album is the half-decent title track and a couple of other half-decent songs. The rest is pure horror and abysmal.
Saturday, 1 December 2018
The debut album from this Israeli band.
Telegraph is a quartet with a lineup of minimoog, mellotron, electric piano, piano, bass, drums, flute and vocals.
The band is a new one but there are some musicians here with many years in the business.
The band is listed as a space/psych rock band in ProgArchives. That is a correct label.
This fifty minutes long album gives us a nice blend of psych and symphonic prog. References are Eloy, Nektar and Genesis. There are also some hints of fusion here. Well, more than a few hints in fact.
The music is mostly instrumental.
But where most others has failed to come up with instrumental albums which sounds fresh, Mir is an example of an instrumental album that really sound fresh and relevant.
There is a lot of mini-moog and mellotron here. Ditto for guitar solos.
There are some really soaring melodies here which takes you, as a passenger of Mir, on a trip around our globe. And the few songs here are also soaring.
This is indeed a good album and one band to really check out. This album has so much promise and I hope we will hear a lot more from Telegraph in the future.
The seventh album from this Italian band.
Syndone is a sextet on this album with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, clavinet, piano, electric piano, moog, percussion, vibraphone, xilophone, Hammond organ, vocoder and Italian vocals.
A guest musician helps out on flute and a choir and symphony orchestra also helps out.
I have reviewed some of their earlier albums for ProgArchives and #1 of this blog. I know this band.
Syndone does a very soulful take on Rock Progressive Italiano... RPI.
That also goes for this album. It is symphonic but also very pastoral and does not really threatens to give us any fast music. The music is pretty slow throughout.
There are both female and male vocals here. There is a lot of tangents of various forms here. From piano to moog.
This forty-five minutes long album also has a couple of straight rock tunes which is not that good. I prefer, much prefer their take on RPI and the Italian language.
The quality is barely good, but it is still a good album. Check it out as this is a band worth following.
An EP from this US band.
Presto Ballet was a quintet on this EP with a lineup of drums, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
This release is listed as an EP. But it is forty minutes long and it seems like good enough to be labeled as a full album. The band released an album the same year though and that may explain this EP.
If this is a left-over tracks release, I wonder why this is socalled B material and discarded material from other albums. Maybe the songs did not fit in.
The music here has only a few traces of progressive metal. The band has moved towards US symphonic prog and the likes of Rush. There are very strong Rush influences here.
The band has also taken some bars from ELP's Tarkus here. I guess this as a tribute to ELP. A good one too.
The music is pretty hard, but never heavy. It is also dynamic and full of life. The keyboards is really cool and ditto for the guitars and vocals.
My only real gripe with this album is the lack of some stronger songs. But this is still an album... sorry.... EP.... I really like. Check it out.
Friday, 30 November 2018
The third album from this Italian band.
Deux Ex Machina was a sextet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, violins, bass, drums and Italian vocals.
I have so far reviewed their debut album and their (so far) final album. So an album somewhere in the middle would be welcome... and this is one of them.
This band has taken a lot of their inspirations from the likes of Area. That is very obvious. In particular in the vocals.
But the music too has a lot of Area influences.
This sixty-six minutes long album is somewhere between avant-garde prog, Italian folk rock, Italian prog rock and jazz. Italian jazz, no less.
There is a lot of very strange time-shifts and themes here. Even in the progressive rock genre, this music is both very progressive and odd.
The music is also very dynamic with lots of violins and guitars. Add the drums, vocals, bass and keyboards too and you get a heady mix.
And the music is also good throughout. Not as good as on their last album. But it is still a good album and I feel I need to get their remaining four albums too before I am fully satisfied.
The eight album from this band from Chile.
Los Jaivas was a quintet on this album with a lineup of various local flutes, guitars, piano, electric piano, electric piano, mini-moog, tambourine, accordion, bass, drums and vocals.
The band has started out as a folk music band but had expanded into progressive rock. Something my reviews of their albums in this blog will tell you.
The band totally goes progressive rock on this album. Sort off...
There are still some lingering folk rock here. And some very welcome folk rock too. Most of this album is dark progressive rock. I have heard that the classical music composer Bartok is a huge inspiration on this album. His music is really dark.
And so is this seventy-seven minutes long album too.
The vocals are still very much folk rock. The mood is dark with a lot of avant-garde in the vein of Present and Univers Zero.
That makes this an interesting album and their most ambitious album so far...... by a huge margin.
There is a lot of very interesting things on this album. A good album which takes a lot out of the listener. This is also an unique album and a landmark in the history of South American progressive rock. Check it out.
Thursday, 29 November 2018
The 16th album from this German band.
The band was now as trio with a lineup of piano, acoustic guitar and vocals.
Two guest musicians helped out with electric guitars.
The trio was Daniel Fichelscher, Renate Knaup and Florian Fricke. These are legends in the scene.
The band has released albums also after their best period in the 1970s. A lot of these albums are movie soundtracks. In this respect, they went down the same route as Goblin from Italy.
This is to my knowledge not a movie soundtrack. It is an independent release with nothing else to support.
The music is some sort of new-age chanting and music. It is very very pedestrian and these forty minutes are pretty much bereft of any dynamics and ideas. It is one idea throughout. One theme, one idea.
I am finding it hard to find anything positive to take away from this album. The theme here is half decent but nothing more than that. This is an album best forgotten and ignored.
The ninth album from this Italian band.
Doracor is Corrado Sardella on keyboard, synth with friends.
His friends is adding flutes, trumpet, guitars, keyboards, bass, electric violins, saxophones, drums and Italian vocals.
There are members from I Pooh, La Maschera Di Cera, Paradox, Delirium, Mangala Valis and Labyrinth involved on this album.
I have reviewed their previous albums in # 1 of this blog and have lukewarm relation to them. Not all their albums are good.
The album is two CDs and ninety minutes long.
The sound is good and the vocalists does a great job. Ditto for the other musicians.
The music covers a lot of ground. From music bordering to muzak and neo-classical music to RPI and more symphonic prog.
Most of the music is bombastic and theatrical dramatic. It is also very elegant without being too sugary sweet.
And this is a good album from this veteran band. I like this album a lot and would recommend it to anyone who likes elegant music. Check it out.
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
The 12th album from this English band.
The band is a quartet with John Etheridge on guitars, John Marshall on drums, percussion, Roy Babbington on bass and Theo Travis on Fender piano, flutes and saxophones.
The first three is veterans from the old Soft Machine while Theo Travis is one of the leading lights in today's music scene.
This is their first album since 1981 and the less than good Land Of Cockayne.
Yes, I know that the band has used the monicker Soft Machine Legacy for many years. I never felt that that band was anything but a tribute band to Soft Machine made up by ex Soft Machine members. Some of them passed away during those years too. But were they the real thing, Soft Machine ? No. I like Soft Machine Legacy a lot on their own merits and that is all.
It seems like I am not the only one with those thoughts. So the band dropped the tribute part and went for the essence of Soft Machine. Which is more jazz between prog and avant-garde.
This album has a different feel and sound than the Soft Machine Legacy albums. Hidden Details sounds like the real deal, a Soft Machine album.
And it is !!
There is some re-arranged old and some new stuff here. The music is like a mix of Softs and 7.
You get both the woodwinds and the guitars version of Soft Machine here.
We also get some avant-garde as this album has an avant-garde edge throughout. And that is a good move.
This is a Soft Machine album I really like and indeed rate highly. This album deserve the Soft Machine name and reputation. It is indeed a big welcome back to their former greats and a very good album in it's own right. Get this album !
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
The fourth album from this French band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of mellotron, electric piano, organ, drums and bass.
This French zeuhl band is back again with their fourth offering.
I have reviewed their first two albums in # 1 of this blog. I have yet to get hold of their third album and will try to get that album sometimes soon.
The band's take on zeuhl is minimalism first and foremost. The band makes a lot of sound. But the music is not as grand and big as Magma and other zeuhl bands.
I have always compared this band to the likes of Present and will do it again. There is some very vicious dark tones in their music. Brooding, doomy music.
The music on this forty-five minutes long album still works and there is a lot of very interesting details here. The bass for example.
This is not music for everyone. This is music for the few. But it is a rewarding experience, this album.
There is no great pieces of music here. The overall quality is good though and I like this album a lot. So check it out.
Monday, 26 November 2018
The second album from this band from Israel.
The band is a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
I was a big fan of their 2012 debut album Utopia. I gave it almost full score... See my review here.
Six years has gone and I am finally reviewing their last two albums. About time, I would say.
The band still plays progressive metal with Dream Theater as the basis for their music. Add in some Opeth, Porcupine Tree and Tool too.
In short, progressive metal with some djent and some melodic prog mixed into their sound and music.
I am not that big on metal any longer. That too goes for progressive metal. The readers of this blog will find very few progressive metal reviews here.
Chain Reaction is a fifty minutes long album with dominantly good music. There are some really interesting details here. I am not that enthusiastic about the music and that tells me that this is merely a good album which is ticking on nicely.
Fans of progressive metal should check out this good album.
Sunday, 25 November 2018
The fifth album from this French band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and French vocals.
A female vocalist also helped out the band on this album.
I really love French symphonic prog. Bands like Mona Lisa and Ange is big in my musical world. So us Magnesis too. Not to mention the zeuhl genre and Magma.
So French prog is very popular in my home.
Nemo too is getting a pretty big star in my home after I have reviewed their first albums.
Si, Partie I was a very good album indeed. It has some of the better things from the French symphonic prog scene together with some prog metal. It also has some very good songs.
Si, Partie II is trying to follow up that album.
There is still some symphonic prog here. But a lot of that has been replaced by the latter days Pink Floyd while the prog metal influences are still here.
The songs are not as very good as on Part I either. This one hour long album has a lot of good songs and the quality is good. But something is missing.... Better songs, for a start.
The music is also really big and this album has a big sound. Sometimes, that drowns out the really interesting music here.
Nevertheless, this is another good album from this band and well worth checking out.