Wednesday, 31 January 2018
The second album from this Yugoslav Serbian band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
This album was the only album the band released under the name Kornelyans. I do not know the reason why they changed to this name.
They changed their name back to Korni Grupa on their next album.
I reviewed their 1972 self-titled debut album one week ago and did not fall for that album. You can read the review here.
The artwork on this album is the spitting image of the old Pepsi Cola boxes. I remember them well, but did not know they were available in Beograd where this album was recorded.
New name, but the band continued on from their 1972 debut album. Heavy rock with some pop and folk rock. A lot of what we today would label ethno rock. Rock from Balkan.
The music is very complex at times. But it is not a good albu despite of including a big hit song, Generation 42. A very local hit, that is.
This is a decent album, but nothing more than that.
The debut album from this band from Greece.
Mother Turtle is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, piano, synths, bass, drums and vocals.
Mother Turtle is a new band to me. They have so far released two albums through Bandcamp as Name Your Price albums. It is my intention to review their second album later this winter/you can find a review of their second album somewhere else in this blog.
This quartet has been listening a lot to all kinds of classic, folk and progressive rock from the 1970s. What they have picked up has been distilled into this album.
This one hour long album is a mix of classic stadium rock, symphonic prog, hard rock and folk rock from the golden era of the 1970s.
There is a lot of classic electric organs here and guitars. That organic sound is a great sound. The sound quality is not the best and I do not think the studio they used and the mix is particular good.
The vocals are heavy accented English, but not too bad. The mix of hard rockers, mid-tempo songs and ballads is a good balance. It would have been nice with a great song or three. But this is nevertheless a good album and one to enjoy for those into the 1970s.
The second album from this US band.
Fibonacci Sequence is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass and drums.
The band had help from three other musicians who provided cello, violin and voices.
I reviewed their 2010 debut album Numerology a few weeks ago. It is not a good album and I wrote that in this review you can read here.
The quartet plays instrumental progressive rock. The music is at times cinematic. Most of the time, it is not.
The music is based on guitars, with some help from keyboards. The music is also based on riffs and small themes.
The album starts as an instrumental prog metal album before it takes a swipe at jazz before it then ventures into neo-classical music, thrash and speed metal before it returns back to instrumental progressive metal.
This album offers up some variations of the theme guitar based instrumental progressive metal throughout this seventy-five minutes long album. But it does not really offers up some good music. It is again an album somewhere between decent and good. Check it out if this is something for you.
Tuesday, 30 January 2018
The seventh album from this French band.
The Black Noodle Project is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, programming, synths, bass, drums and vocals.
I had the joy of reviewing their previous album, the 2013 album Ghosts & Memories. You can read my review here.
The band has returned with two original members and two new members. Which is great for the scene because this band has something to offer.
Their music on this forty minutes long album is a mix of space rock and post rock. Add some post metal too and you get the drift.
The music ebbs and flows a lot between very heavy walls of guitars and some more pastoral stuff. Inbetween this again, we get some vocals and songs.
The songs does not feel right as the space and post rock are very good. The vocals are also not that good.
This is still a good album with some intriguing melodies and riffs. It is an album you should check out.
The fourth album from this Swedish band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, saxophone, keyboards, bass, percussions, drums and vocals.
This band is quite a strange band and a very Swedish band. I have reviewed some of their albums and you can find the reviews somewhere else in this blog.
To say that I liked their previous album Hei På Er would be telling a lie. It is a pretty standard rock album.
And the band follows up that album with a very standard rock album. That is what Mot Alla Odds are. There is some pub rock and punk rock influences here. But not any progressive rock.
The music is not that hard or heavy either. Standard rock with Swedish vocals.
The quality is not too bad and there is a couple of pretty good songs here. Nevertheless, I am not won over by this thirty-five minutes long album. It is a decent album and just that.
The second album from this Brazilian band.
Caravela Escarlate is a trio with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and Portoguese vocals.
Their 2016 debut album Rascunho was released without any fanfare and international recognition. I have still to get it but I think I will purchase it sometimes soon.
Their second album, this one I am reviewing now, is starting to get some attention. Maybe because it is now available on Youtube.
The band plays Brazilian symphonic prog in the vein of the good old legendary Brazilian band Sagrado Coracao Da Terre. You can find my reviews of their albums in # 1 of this blog.
I really like Sagrado Coracao Da Terre and their albums. So when I heard Caravela Escarlate was in the same vein, I went for this album.
Brazilian symphonic prog as on this album means symphonic prog with a lot of Brazilian folk rock, Latin pop and classical music incorporated. The music is both melodic and complex. It also has this cool laidback feeling most of us get from Brazil.
There is no great songs here and that is my only gripe. Nevertheless, this is a good album which will appeal to anyone into symphonic prog and progressive rock in general. This is a band I will follow pretty closely in the next years.
Monday, 29 January 2018
The one and only album from this band from England.
Agnes Strange was a trio with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
This band was a strange band from Southampton on the south coast of England. The band was signed on the respectable Pye Records. The album though was released on a one-off sublabel of Pye Records. A record label with the same name of a pub chain. The album was sold, or they tried to sell that album from their pubs. For some reasons, that idea did not catch on because the patrons wanted beer instead of this rather dubious looking album.
I am pretty sure the landlords put the album on too and the patrons was treated to forty minutes of.... well.... pub rock.
The music is pretty heavy and a bit psych. There is also a lot of rockabilly here, good old 1950s rock'n'roll. The music is pretty primitive and punk-like. This though punk did not hit the airwaves before the year after.
The music is very loose and not always in tune and on the beat. The vocals are OK, but nothing more than that. The vocalist is not a natural singer, let me put it like that.
If I got the choice between three pints of beer and buying this album, I would have gone for the beer. This album is simply a waste of time and airwaves. It is a turkey as good as any turkeys I have encountered. Don't bother checking out this album.
The second album from this British band.
Spiral Key is a trio with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
The band has got help from three other musicians who provides guitars and vocals.
I have not heard their 2013 debut album Perfect Machine so this is my first meeting with this band.
Spiral Key comes from a fine tradition of neo-prog and progressive metal here in Great Britain. Their music is a mix of both genres.
Most of all.... and the best reference for their music is Threshold. Spiral Key sounds like them and their more recent albums.
We get some solid bass and drums kicks here with some guitars and vocals leading the melodies. The music is pretty hard throughout. But it is also melodic.
It is also a bit formula based. Nevertheless, the sound is great and the music sounds fresh. Ditto for the vocals too which is very good.
The quality of the music on this fifty minutes long album is good. There are a lot of good hooks and melodies here. The band does a good job. This album does not have any great songs though and that is my only gripe with this album. Check it out.
Sunday, 28 January 2018
The fifth album from this US project.
Echo Us is Ethan Matthews with help from two other contributors. The lineup is synths, piccolo flute, guitars, bodhran, dulcimer, flute, viola, violin and some vocals.
I reviewed his third album, the 2010 album Tomorrow Will Tell The Story back in April 2011 and was not impressed by that album. You can read my review here.
Echo Us is still a prog rock project. Though with a different take on progressive rock than I am used to.
Take symphonic prog as the base and add a massive amount of electronica here. There is also some ambient music here.
The music is also very folk rock influenced although that is not easy to detect because the music is performed with lots of synths. But the piccolo flute and the flute is clearly giving us some Irish folk music.
This album is just over one hour long and it is an interesting take on symphonic prog. Yes, symphonic prog is not just the 1970s sound. Ethan Matthews has just removed those days instruments and replaced them with flutes and synths..... and dulcimer and guitars.
This is something that should have been a nasty car crash of an album. A turkey. It is not. Echo Us and Ethan Matthews has actually delivered a good album and one open minded symphonic prog fans will really like..... after overcoming the shock. This is indeed a good album and Echo Us is now in my good books.
The fifth and so far final album from this band from Finland.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
Gosh....... I reviewed their first four albums for ProgArchives almost eight years ago before I stopped and put of this review by seven years. Not my finest hour or decission.....
My reviews of their first four albums is here, here, here and here.
I was not impressed at all with their first three albums before they improved on their fourth album. But I still cannot understand why I have put off this review.
Ageness plays neo-prog. Very standard neo-prog in fact. There are some prog metal influences here and there are some symphonic prog influences here too. The songs are medium long and there are a lot of Genesis references in their music. There are even some mellotron sounds from the keyboards.
Even the vocals has improved a lot here. The vocals are in fact good on this album and I cannot fault them. They are slightly Peter Gabriel'esque too.
There are a lot to be happy about on this album for neo-prog fans. I am probably one of them myself. There is no great songs here on this almost fifty minutes long album and that is my only gripe. Check out this album.
Saturday, 27 January 2018
The third album from this British band.
Patto was a quartet with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, piano, electric piano, bass, drums, percussion and vocals.
A guest musician provided saxophones.
Mike Patto's band tries again..... You can read my reviews of their first two albums here and here.
No, this is not a live album. The story is that their first two albums had paltry sales figures. They were a really good live band and their gigs kept them alive. So some smart people in the band or the record label, who was taking losses on Patto, decided that their next album should include a much more live sound.
They also simplified the music in the same process.
The music on this album is much more straight forward and much more funky hard rock. The band had two aces up their sleeve on their first two albums. Mike Patto's vocals and Ollie Halsell's guitars. Both are very good.
The vocals sounds a bit strained here and Ollie Halsell's guitars has mostly been replaced with piano and keyboads. The band has also included a gross childish song called Mummy which it is simply impossible to listen to. Even four years old kids will think this song is childish. A similar songs appear at the end of this album too.
This album is simply a turkey. Forty minutes is far too long and most of it makes me wish I had not bothered. Terrible is the word.
The second album from this band from Chile.
La Desooorden was a sextet with a lineup of percussions, sax, drums, bass, guitars and Spanish vocals.
I have not had the chance to hear their first album, the 2001 album Monstruo De 7 Cabezas so I do not know much about their development. They have released five albums and I have got three of them. The two other albums will be reviewed later this winter/you can find reviews of two other albums somewhere else in this blog.
The band is listed as a fusion/jazz band in ProgArchives and I was expecting some fusion here. Did I get that ?
Yes and no.
There is a lot of fusion here, yes. There is also a lot of folk, krautrock and funk here too with some pop. It is very obvious that this band has been inspired by Rock Progressive Italiano. In particular; a band called Area.
The music on this one hour long album is wild and unpredictable. A bit chaotic too. Which is fine by me as long as there is some good hooks, melody lines and stuff here. There is none. The vocals are OK and so is the rest of the music. It is by all means a decent album, but just that.
The fifth album from this US project.
Majestic is Jeff Hamel on guitars and keyboards. He has also composed all the music here.
He has got help from four xtra musicians who provided bass, drums and female vocals.
I was not impressed by his fourth album, the 2010 album Ataraxia. You can read my review here.
I did not have many hopes for Labyrinth in other words. To tell you the truth, I was dreading it. But I went for it, anyway.
Three songs, one hour. The title-track is the longest song, clocking in at just over half an hour. The two other songs are fifteen minutes long, each.
The music is modern symphonic prog with some prog metal and neo-prog influences. I would still call it symphonic prog.
The title track has a proper symphonic song structure. That even with only guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and female vocals. There is a lot of themes here. But this song is by no means chaos and fragmented. It has a theme and a good concept. It is indeed a good song too.
Ditto for the two other songs too. They are well crafted without really being great songs. And this album has also changed my opinion about Jeff Hamel and Majestic. I am looking forward to the next meeting with a Majestic album.
Friday, 26 January 2018
The debut album from this Italian band.
Eurasia is a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, bass, guitars, drums and Italian vocals.
They have got help from some guest musicians who has added their trumpet, keyboards, viola, violin and cello to this album too.
This album was released without much fanfares on a small record label and I know nothing about them as their promo blurb is in Italian. It will be added to Progarchives asap is the only thing I know from a conversation with Mr. RPI; Andrea Parentin about this band.
The music on this album is Rock Progressive Italiano, RPI..... But in a wider sense.
Take a big chunk of Canterbury prog (Caravan etc) and add some RPI, Frank Zappa, Area and Picchio Dal Pozzo too. Then add some very old Italian Europop too.
The music is very jazzy in a prog rock sound. There is some half acoustic guitars, keyboard and lots of very good male Italian vocals here. Vocals which is very theatrical. The French band Ange springs to mind as a good reference when it comes to the vocals.
The music on this one hour long album is actually good. It has a good, very good vibe and really rocks out. The organ sound also adds a lot of quality. I am impressed and want more music from this band. Check out this album !
The second album from this US keyboardist and composer.
Tim Morse has help from twenty other musicians on this album. They provides guitars, bass, drums, dulcimer, violins and vocals.
His 2005 debut album Transformation was a good symphonic prog album. You can read my review here. So I had some hope for Faithscience.
Faithscience is so far his latest album too and I have no idea if he has any plans to release another album. He is an author too and I guess he has a lot of other ongoing projects too.
This album is rooted in symphonic prog. There is a lot of neo-prog influences too and some AOR influences. The music is melodic, but still pretty intricate.
A lot of his friends has contributed to this album. But Tim Morse has got the full responsibility here and the music is not as fragmented as I feared.
The music is OK on this album. There is a definate drop in quality from the Transformation album. The music is not exactly shining and this one hour long album is sorely lacking in quality.
It is not a bad album by any means. But it is not a good album either. Hence my rating....
Thursday, 25 January 2018
The 33rd album from this Finnish band.
Circle is a sextet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals. Both Finnish and English vocals.
Circle is a bit of legends in the underground psych and space rock scene. I have reviewed two of their previous albums for # 1 of this blog. You will find my reviews here and here.
Some of their most recent albums has been cassette only albums. That tells you how underground this band is. 33 albums since 1994. That is a lot of work.
Truth to be told, their music is a lot in the improvisations and jam psych and space rock vein. Jams and improvisations who sometimes turns into albums. That depends on the quality, off course.
Despite of the very loose songs and structures, there is still a lot of good details and quality here. From the opening doomy death-grunts over a spaced out stoner theme to a more melodic take on space rock at the end of this forty-five minutes long album.
There is a lot of well thought through music here and a lot food for thoughts on this album. And it is a good album too. I really like this album and this band. Maybe too much...... No, check out this band.
The debut album from this Austrian band.
Eela Craig was a sextet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, saxophone, organ, flute, keyboards and vocals.
The band released six albums before they split up and I have got a handful of them. All to be reviewed shortly/you will find reviews of their other albums somewhere else in this blog.
I first thought this bandname was taken from the piece of rock between Ireland and Scotland. But I have now discovered that rock is called Ailsa Craig. I can almost see it from my house. Based on that mistake, I got a handful of their albums. Something I do not regret.
Eela Craig is listed as a fusion/jazz band in ProgArchives. I have heard others describe this band as a symphonic prog band again. I am confused...
..Well, not any longer based on what I hear on this album. There is indeed a lot of both fusion and symphonic prog. The saxophones dominates the more fusion and jazzy tracks here. The other tracks, the more symphonic prog tracks, are dominated by organs and guitars.
The music is very complex and heavy at times. It is also very eclectic and a bit avant-garde. This forty minutes long album has a lot of good stuff. But this album demand the full attention of the listener and it not an album a casual listener will find any good. Check it out !
Wednesday, 24 January 2018
The second album from this English band.
Afforested is actually a duo with a lineup of mandolin, acoustic guitarss, bass, flute, recorder, keyboards, vocoder, whistle, percussion and vocals.
This duo is no less than brothers. Jonathan and Alex Betts. And they have released and sold these albums on their own. Make that; two albums and an EP. I reviewed their 2009 EP for # 1 of this blog back in August 2012 and were not impressed. You can read this review here.
I have not heard their debut album yet. All their recordings has now been re-released as a 2 CD album. A pretty good collection and well worth checking out.
Afforested is a folk rock duo. Their songs is brought to life with mostly flutes, acoustic guitars, bass and vocals.
The music has a lot in common with mediavel folk music. It is pretty simple. Good references are early Gryphon. The vocals is not particular melodic.
The sound is very dry and the songs on this forty minutes long album is not that good. I am not impressed. But there is still some good stuff on this album. Hence my rating of this album.
The 22th album from this French artist.
Jean Luc Ponty does violins, synths and keyboards on thsi album. He has got help from his quartet, his band, who contributes with bass, percussion, keyboards, drums and piano.
They are helped by Philip Catherine and Allan Holdsworth on guitars.
This album is his, so far, final album as a solo artist. I do not know why he has not continued to release more albums.
Then again, he has a very, very impressive body of work as a solo artist and a member of other bands. You can indeed find a lot of my reviews of his solo albums somewhere else in this blog.
I was not impressed by his latest albums. I was therefore very pleased when I, with a lot of trepidations, put on this album and found an artist going back to his roots.
He has indeed gone back to what he master more than most others. Violin orientated jazz and fusion. There is a lot of Latin influences too on this album. Which is a good thing and adds value to this album.
The tempo here is laidback. The music is laidback jazz with a few uptempo pieces too. The violins are great and the rest of the bands, plus the two guests, are doing a very good job.
The fourteen tracks on this one hour long album is indeed good. There is no great tracks here and the music is not great. But this is indeed a good album. A good jazz album, indeed.
Tuesday, 23 January 2018
The second album from this UK project.
Lonely Robot is the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist John Mitchell (Arena, It Bites, Kino, Gandalf's Fist, Frost*, John Wetton and The Urbane) solo project. He and Craig Blundell on drums is Lonely Robot.
They have got help from three vocalists, including female vocalists. All other instruments are played by John Mitchell.
I reviewed their 2015 debut album Please Come Home back in April 2016 for # 1 of this blog and you can find my review here.
Despite of some narrations and conceptual like music pieces, this is not a concept album. I was pretty sure it was a concept album until a review told me it was not. But it feel like a concept album.
There is several different and pretty similar lyrical themes here, though.
The music is modern prog rock with a lot of pomp pop and neo-prog. The similarities to Gilmour's Pink Floyd is again pretty evident.
The music here on this seventy minutes long album has got a lot of female and male vocals. There are some duets too. The music is very sweet and melodic. Every instruments has got a lot of space to breathe in. The guitar solos are elegant and good.
And so it the album too. Elegant and good. My only gripe is the lack of a great song or two. Besides of that, this is an album well worth checking out.
The debut album from this Yugoslavia band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, vibes, harsichord, piano, organ, electric piano, tambourine, percussion, congas and vocals.
Yugoslavia is no longer a country after these disasterous Balkan wars I would rather forget than remember. This band was formed in Belgrade, Serbia and I guess the vocals is in Serbo-Croatian on this album. This album is strangely enough my first review of an album from this ex-country so I am not sure. I got three albums from this band to review.
The music here is pretty heavy rocking with some local folk music and local pop too. This is clearly an album with a great deal of ethno-rock and folk rock. There is also a lot of jazz here and some avant-garde rock. This album is a bit of a melting pot of most things.
The big piece of music here is the fifteen minutes long Put Na Istok. A not too bad suite who includes everything above.
There is also a couple of other long songs here.
The sound is not really that good and the music is chaotic with some good ideas. It is not an album I find that good. Hence my rating which tells you that this is a decent album. It is well worth checking out, though.
The debut album from this Spanish band.
On The Raw is a quintet with a lineup of saxophone, flutes, bass, drums, keyboards and guitars.
The band has got help from five vocalists who forms a choir.
This band may be new. It is though a band full of veterans in the scene. They comes from bands like Harvest, Dracma and Applessmellscolour.
The bands they comes from is mainly neo-prog bands. That is exactly what On The Raw and this album is not.
What we get here is a warm and nice serving of fusion. Mostly instrumental fusion with influences from local folk music and jazz. The band is clearly inspired by the Spanish jazz scene from the 1970s and the 1980s. They are clearly inspired by the folk and prog rock scene from those decades too.
The saxophones is clearly driving the music forward. These tones has a very melodic, warm feel. And melodic is the keyword for this album.
This album has this nice balance between edgy and melodic. There is a lot of interesting details here, a guitar solo here and there, some quirky keyboards and bass..... and a lot of melodies. I would not mind driving through a Spanish landscape with this music on the car stereo.
This is indeed a good album and one of the better brand new instrumental fusion and prog albums I have heard for a while. Check out this album.
Monday, 22 January 2018
The debut album from this multi-national project.
Riccardo Romano Land is Riccardo Romano from RanestRane with a lot of guest musicans. That includes members of RanestRane and Steve Rothery and Steve Hogarth from Marillion. That and numerous other musicians. The instruments is strings, guitars, bass, synths, piano, drums and numerous vocals...... just to mention the most essential here.
B612 is a rock opera based on the novel The Little Prince by Antonie De Saint-Exupery. I have not read this novel yet. Neither do I have any plans of reading it. But it has inspired some people to make this album and that is a very good thing.
The album is out on the excellent MaRaCash Records too and it was released one month ago. The album is seventy-four minutes long and offers up some good value for money.
Being a rock opera, I am surprised how little operatic and how little bombastic the music is. The use of different languages as French and English is also a surprise. And a positive one. Ditto goes for the lack of over the top opera and bombastic use of classical music.
The album can still be regarded as an RPI or a symphonic prog album as the music is both conceptual and symphonic.
In many respect, this album reminds me a lot about Robert Reed's Sanctuary rock operas.... both of them. The music on B612 is very pastoral and very much like a pop album. The songs and the vocals is the main focus here. Besides of the very good vocals, the music is also good.
This album is not a great album. It is still a good album, bordering to a very good album. I am actually positive surprised by this album. An album well worth checking out.
The seventh album from this British band.
Strawbs was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, synths, mellotron, electric piano, piano, organ, bass, drums, percussion and vocals.
I have reviewed some Strawbs albums this winter and you can read these reviews somewhere else in this blog.
The band had some lineup changes after Bursting At The Seams. That resulted in a bit of a change. Mostly that John Hawken and his tangents comes more to the forefront. David Cousins is still very prominent on the guitars and vocals.
Hero And Heroine is also where Strawbs moved a bit closer to the symphonic prog scene and adopted a much more symphonic prog sound and song structures. Which is very evident on the first track, the Autumn suite.
References here are The Moody Blues. The reference is pretty evident throughout the album. The use of mellotron and organs also gives this game away.
The band never really leaves the folk rock genre behind on this album. There is a lot of folk rock here and a lot of catchy songs. The most catchy song is the great Shine On Silver Sun.
Indeed, the quality is very good throughout this forty minutes long album. It is an album both folk rock and symphonic prog fans will really like. Check it out.
Sunday, 21 January 2018
The debut album from this Italian duo.
Isproject is a duo of the two vocalists Ilenia Salvemini and Ivan Santovito (who also do keyboards).
All vocals are in English.
They have got help from five other musicians who does programming, keyboards, drums, guitars, bass, flutes and saxophones.
Isproject is promoted and produced by Fabio Zuffanti. This project also includes photography, architecture and poetry.
The ambitions behind The Archinauts the album is to combine new prog influenced by Steven Wilson, RPI and Classical Music. So far their ambitions.....
And they have given us just that. A very elegant blend of RPI, a bit AOR, new prog in the vein of Steven Wilson and a bit of Classical Music.
I get the feeling that Fabio Zuffanti has given a lot of advice here as his fingerprints is all over this album. Which is a good thing. An old fox like he knows how to get the best out of a band like this.
The album is fifty minutes long. It is elegant, but also a bit bland. There is not great tracks here either. That said, this is a good album and I hope we get more from this band.
The debut album from this US band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of mandolin, guitars, bass, drums and keyboards.
This band has just released a new album, their second album, and I thought it was a good idea to check out this band. I have heard a lot about this band. But I have never had time to check out this album.
The music on this album is a mix of instrumental progressive metal and instrumental progressive rock.
There is a lot of metal riffs here. But there is also some more pastoral melodies here. There are not many of those so this album is mostly an instrumental progressive metal album.
The mandolin and the keyboards adds some colours to this riff-o-rama fest. The music is really technical and a bit intricate. Math metal springs to mind at times. But the band is also able to carry a melody without very many timeshifts.
The band even creates some moods here and there. Mostly with the bass and piano.
The melodies here are not particular impressive and I am not a big fan of instrumental progressive metal albums. This seventy minutes long album is not making me a new fan of this genre either. It is a decent to good album which I am sure will win a lot of admirers to a band which is not the most well known band in the scene. They deserve a lot more attention.
The one and only album from this English band.
Affinity was a quintet with a lineup of harspicord, organ, piano, electric piano, percussion, bass, drums, guitars and female vocals.
Two guest musicians is providing brass and strings.
This band is one of those semi-legendary bands although they only released one album. They reformed in 2011 and released several live and collection albums after that.
Their music is a mix of blues, jazz, prog and pop music. Linda Hoyle's vocals is in the front and the focus for the music and the songs.
Linda Hoyle's vocals is very jazzy and reminds me about the many very good jazz vocalists around for the last 100 years. She is in that proud tradition. And that is a good thing for this album.
The music on this forty minutes long album is not really that interesting. Besides of the vocals, it is dominated by the organs and the brass.
It is not a bad album though and the band proves that they were very talented. This album should have been followed up by some more albums. But that did not happen at all. So this is what we got from this band.
Saturday, 20 January 2018
The third album from this Belgium band.
Kandahar was a quintet on this album with a lineup of bass, drums, percussions, sitar, guitars, glockenspield, cello, tympani, piano, synths, marimba, clavinet, strings, timbales, saxophones, harmosax, moog and vocals.
I have earlier this year reviewed their first two albums. You will find my reviews here and here. The band released their final album in 1991. But I am not bothered about that album so I will leave Kandahar with this album.
The band is a fusion band and has been compared with the likes of Gong, Colosseum and Embryo. That was on the two first albums....
Pictures Of The Past is another kettle of fish again.
Gone is the intense fusion and the more weird pop. What we find on this album is sedate, almost ambient fusion... or perhaps jazz.
The music on this forty-five minutes long album is ambient indeed. Nevertheless, it has some interesting details and the melodies are all decent enough. But this is their weakest album by far. Check out their first two albums before you bother with this one. Or rather; forget this album.
The fourth album from this Canadian band.
Morse Code is a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitars, flute, percussions, keyboards, bass, drums and French vocals.
The band was and still is a part of the Quebec prog rock scene. They released two albums as Morse Code Transmission before shortening their name to Morse Code and changing direction. I reviewed their 1971 self-titled album one week ago and was not a fan. You can find my review here.
The band changed direction from psych prog to a much more symphonic prog sound. References are both Ange and Genesis. Much more Ange than Genesis, though. There are also some Harmonium references here.
The music is pretty pastoral throughout with some very good vocals and guitars. There is a lot of acoustic guitars here and the music has this folk rock feel too. Hence the references to Harmonium.
There is also a great epic feel to this album. And the French vocals is adding a lot of quality to this album too.
This is not among the best Quebec scene albums out there. But it is still a good album. A good fifty minutes long album which will give symphonic prog fans a lot of joy.
The second album from this Italian band.
Magnolia is a sextet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, piano, keyboards and Italian female vocals.
I reviewed their 2012 debut album La Zona D'Ombra back in 2012 for # 1 of this blog. You can read the review here.
I really liked their debut album and was very much hoping they would follow it up with another album. It took them five years. But it is now here, at my desk.
The music is pretty much in the art rock end of the Rock Progressive Italiano (RPI) genre. They are not really as symphonic prog as most of this scene. But their jazzy folky progressive rock is really cool.
The vocalist Chiara Gironi is back again and she is adding a lot of colours this album. Ditto for the guitars and piano. The music is medium heavy and the sound is very beefy.
The signature of Magnolia and this album is Chiara Gironi's vocals. There is no denying that. And she is a very good vocalist.
This one hour long album is a good album. There is no great songs here and that is my only gripe. Nevertheless, this is a colourful, good album which will please most prog rock fans.
Friday, 19 January 2018
The second album from this British band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of vibes, organ, piano, drums, percussion, guitars and vocals.
I had the pleasure of reviewing their 1970 self-titled debut album some weeks ago. You can read my review here.
OK, I did not rate it highly. But all music has some value to me and I find music enjoyable.
Patto was run by and named after the very good vocalist Mike Patto. His vocals are great.
They are great on this album which gives us a mix of rock, blues and jazz. The superb guitarist Peter Halsall is playing his soul out here.
The album starts out as a straight rocker with Mike Patto's vocals really dominating the sound. After some minutes, we are getting into a more jazzy groove too.
This album is forty minutes long and it's songs are not particular good. They are more or less a non-event. What really drags this album up to a decent level is the vocals and the guitars. But the music in itself is very forgetable. But not the musicians and their attempts to save this album from being a turkey.
This is a decent album but nothing more, I am afraid.
The third album from this Norwegian band.
Electric Eye is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals.
Electric Eye is a new band to me as I have not had the chance to listen to their first two albums. They are from Norway and that caught my attention.
The band is one of the many psych and space rock bands coming out of Norway these days. There is a wave of Norwegian progressive rock bands invading this planet these days. There is also a wave of Norwegian psych and space rock bands invading this planet too. We are all doomed......
The music here is a mix of psych and space rock. I would say krautrock too. There are a lot of electronica too here. The vocals is really good and the band knows how to create moods in their songs.
There is also some post-rock here too. There is some ebbs and flows in their music. The sound is really good.
There is no great songs here and that is my only gripe with this forty-five minutes long album. It is a dynamic album though and it delivers the good stuff. Hmm..... I will get their two other albums too and review them later this year. There is something about this band....
Thursday, 18 January 2018
The sixth album from this Italian band.
Prowlers is a seven piece big band on this album with a lineup of bass, samples, keyboards, drums, guitars, percussions, male backing vocals and female Italian vocals.
The band has also got help from a choir and viola, violin, cello, flute, orobian pipes and baghet.
This band debuted back in 1994 and released three albums in a succession. There was a long break between 1997 and 2011 though. I have previously reviewed their fourth album Sogni In Una Gocchia Di Cristallo (2011) for ProgArchives and their fifth album Mondi Nuovi (2014) for # 1 of this blog. You can find the review here and here.
Their bandname gives me some Iron Maiden associations. Which is the totally wrong impression I should have of this band and their music.
The music on this seventy minutes long album is very pastoral and the music is almost whispering than speaking. It is very much a Rock Progressive Italiano album, but with a much more modern expression than normal for a RPI band.
Laura Mombrini's vocals is as per usual haunting and a bit operatic. There is a gloomy and almost doomy feel over this album. These feelings are also expressed by the guitars and the rest of these instruments. This is by no means a jolly feelgood album. The music is spooky too.
The quality is good throughout. There is no great pieces of music here and that is my only gripe with this album. Check it out.
The second album from this UK band.
Wishbone Ash was a quartet on this album with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
I had the joy of reviewing their self titled debut album (from 1970) on the first day of 2018. You can read my review here. It is a good album, indeed.
Wishbone Ash is famous for their twin-guitars sound. A sound and setup later copied by Kiss, Iron Maiden and many, many other bands.
Wishbone Ash is also a band with their own sound and style. Almost a band with their own genre. And the twin-guitars riffs and solos is very much evident here on this forty-five minutes long album.
The genre they occupy is somewhere between hard rock, symphonic prog and psych prog. Pilgrimage has a great guitar sound and this album is very much guitar driven. There is a lot of good riffs and solos here. The drums and the bass is also very good here. Ditto for the vocals.
It is said that the seeds of their masterpiece, the Argus album, can be found on this album. I can understand that. This album has some very good songs in their own right.
I am not a fan of the live track at the end of this album. The studio tracks are very good though and it is my understanding that the band still play three of those songs in their endless tours in 2018.
Pilgrimage is indeed a very good album and well worth checking out. It is also a pretty unique album from an unique band.
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
The second album from this Italian band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of flute, bass, drums, guitars, keyboards and Italian vocals.
I very much liked their 2015 debut album L'Epoca di un Altro. A good Rock Progressive Italiano (RPI) album with references to the likes of BMS and Locande Delle Fate. You can read my review here.
Panther & Co continues from their debut album on their new album. We get more or less the same here.
That is again classic, pastoral RPI with references to BMS, Locande Delle Fate and the more pastoral bands in the scene. We can also add in PFM in as references.
This means RPI with a lot of good guitars, vocals and some classic keyboards sounds. Organ sounds at times. Yes, the band is looking back to the golden era of RPI and has, and rightly so, copied over the best sound from that era.
The band is also looking forward too and their sound is also very much rooted in this day and age. This album is also very much a contemporary album with all the whistles and bells.
What has changed from their debut album is that the band has written better songs. Everything on this fifty minutes long album has been improved by a notch. There is no great songs here and that is my only gripe. But this is still a joy to behold for everyone into RPI and progressive rock in general.
The debut album from this US composer.
Tim Morse on keyboards and vocals had help from a duo who provided bass, drums, guitars and lead vocals.
Tim Morse has previously written and released two books about progressive rock. They are Classic Rock Stories and Yesstories. He is also a member of the Yes tribute band Paralells.
I guess he got a need to release his own material and go it alone in music too. Hence his so far two albums. Both reviewed by me in this blog.
The music here is symphonic prog. Symphonic prog in the classical style. But there is also a lot of progressive metal here too.
A good reference here is Spock's Beard and Magellan. His interest in Yes also comes across on this album.
The music is delivered with a lot of keyboards. His own keyboards. But there is also a lot of guitars here too. The music on this one hour long album is muscular and very complex. The vocals is good and some added acoustic guitars add some spice to this album.
The end result is a good album well worth checking out. Symphonic prog fans should check out this album.
Tuesday, 16 January 2018
The third album from this Swedish band.
Trettiåriga Kriget was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, percussion, saxophone, violin, keyboards and Swedish vocals.
Their previous album, the 1976 Krigssång was a good album. And so was their debut album. You can read my reviews here and here.
The music world changed a lot between 1976 and 1978. Playing progressive rock and fusion was not fashionable. Long songs and tracks was a no-go area in 1978 if you wanted to sell albums. Rush and Yes still tried, but without much success. Hence......
This band returned again in 1978 with a forty minutes long album with nine songs. The tracks was around four minutes long on average.
The music too has been simplified. Gone is the best prog and fusion excesses. What is remaining is an album spurred forward by mainly guitars, vocals and keyboards. The songs are pretty nice and not that heavy. Half of the tracks are pretty and sugarcoated nice. There are still some heavy music here with some agressive vocals.
The result is a pretty decent album. This is not a bad album. But it is not exactly an album which is setting my life alight. Hence the rating.
The debut album from this French band.
Orvalians is a quartet with a lineup of rhodes, synths, drums, bass, mandoline, guitars and English vocals.
I spotted this album and band on a list of new zeuhl bands and album. A very short list, it has to be said. Zeuhl is a genre with very few bands and albums.
The band consists of three members from Rhun, a fully fledged zeuhl band. The fourth member has no experience, as far as I know.
So some zeuhl was in order, I thought. I was really looking forward to listening and reviewing this album.
That is not what I got.
OK, there is some zeuhl here too. But most of it is garage psych, eclectic prog in the vein of King Crimson and some post-punk. And a lot of avant-garde music. The music on this album is somewhere between avant-garde and eclectic prog.
The music is a bit harsh inbetween some more melodic stuff. This forty minutes long album operates on this level with distortions and melodies.
The end result is a good album which I find interesting and lively. Check it out if this is your cup of tea.
Monday, 15 January 2018
The second album from this Belgium band.
Kandahar is a quartet on this album with a lineup of strings, clavinet, keyboards, saxophones, guitars, bass, drums, glockenspiel, tympani, cello, tambourine, piano, synths, marimba and vocals.
I was not impressed by their debut album, the 1974 opus Long Live The Sliced Ham. You can read my review here.
I was not impressed by Long Live The Sliced Ham as it was a a bit of a mess. So I was not too keen on reviewing this one....
Kandahar plays fusion with a great deal of woodwinds. Saxophones etc etc. Influences comes both from the Quebec scene and the British scene. That also includes the Canterbury scene. The band has gotten rid of the Gong influences though. Instead, there is a lot of Colosseum and King Crimson (debut album) influences here. There is also some sparse vocals here too. There is also some female choirs here.
This album is a pastoral fusion album with some half-acoustic guitars driven melodic songs who is also full of interesting details.
This album is a grower. I did not rate it at all during the first listening session. I started to like it more and more on the next listening sessions. This album is a bit of a slog.
This forty-five minutes long album has slowly and shameless invaded my mind. So much that I now understand it. That is why I rate it as a good album and one to check out.
The debut album from this Italian band.
Verganti is a sextet with a lineup of piano, keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, percussion and Italian vocals. Both male and female Italian vocals.
Italy has got a very big, flowering progressive rock scene. One of the new bands here are Verganti and I suspect we will hear a lot more from and about them in the coming years. I hope so !
Verganti does classic Italian progressive rock (RPI). That means symphonic prog with Italian vocals.
Their music is performed with the classic 1970s organ, piano, guitars and Italian vocals sound. A bit of an opera vocal which is very flowery and lyrical.
This sixty-eight minutes long album is also a concept album about aliens giving us Darwinism or something like that. I hardly speak an Italian word.
What really matter is the music. Music is full of references to the likes of Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso and those more pastoral RPI bands.
This makes this album a good album where my only gripe is the lack of a truly great track. That aside, this is a more than acceptable debut album. All RPI fans should check out this album.
Sunday, 14 January 2018
The debut album from this German band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of piano, keyboards, bass, drums, guitars and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
The album has been self-released and is sold from their homepage and Discogs.
The album was said to be the new big thing in epic rock. Well....
The music here is a mix of prog metal and neo-prog. It is bordering to goth metal, power metal and worringly enough, musicals during the end of the album. There is also some djent here.
The band is young and they are playing a lot of gigs. The sound is pretty live too and they have a boundless amount of energy. Which comes across here, very well.
There are also some more ballads stuff here and it is clear that the band has a lot of strings to play on. The vocals are really good too and the band knows their stuff.
The band is following the formulas and will probably appeal greatly to the power, prog and goth metal scene. But they need support from record labels. This band seems like a good fit for the likes of Nuclear Blast in my opinion.
It is not an album I really enjoy as I am not into that scene and that music. I find it dull and not engaging. There is no good songs here either on this fifty minutes long album. But the band has potential in the metal scene.
The debut album from this Brazilian band.
Ultranova is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, piano, percussions, drums and synths.
I believe this album was released on a local Brazilian label before Musea and later ProgShine Records re-released it. The ProgShine version is on Bandcamp for a bargain price and you can get it from here.
The music on this album is instrumental symphonic prog with some fusion and world music influences. The band reminds me a lot about another Brazilian band called Index.
There is also some other bands who does instrumental symphonic prog with fusion and world music influences. All of them off course inspired by Camel, the greatest band in this sub-genre of the symphonic prog genre.
It is not the most exciting music around, instrumental symphonic prog. And the music on Orion is a good example who proves my views.
The music is pretty, nice and very wishy-washy with not much colours. It is also a bit too much shopping mall music or elevator music in my view.
The music is well crafted though but not particular good. It is a decent album but the band has to add something more meat and juice in their coming albums if this they are going to become more than a footnote in the history of Brazilian symphonic prog.
Saturday, 13 January 2018
The fourth album from this US band.
Majestic is Jeff Hamel's solo project. He does bass, keyboards, guitars and some vocals here.
He has got help from six other musicians who provides drums, guitars, bass and female vocals.
I have not had the chance to hear the first three Majestic albums. But I have the last five albums and I will review them this winter/you can find my reviews of the four other albums somewhere else in this blog.
Listed as a neo-prog band in ProgArchives, Majestic comes up with an album which is far more than that. Far far far more than that.
Take Pink Floyd from the David Gilmour era, add some Porcupine Tree... then you find the basis of this album. On the top of that, add samples, some hard chugging guitars in the progressive metal vein and some electronica.
There is a lot of female vocals here too. Which is a good thing. There is also a lot of guitars and keyboards too.
This album is close to being eighty minutes long. I suspect this being some sort of a concept album. But I am not sure. This album is a very big mouthful and not everything is good here. It feels a bit overblown and there is some dead woods in these eighty minutes.
The result is an album I would rate between decent and good. Those of you into musical adventures should check out this album.
The second album from this Italian band.
Ad Maiora is a quintet with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals. A mix of English and Italian vocals, that is.
I have yet to hear or to get their 2013 self-titled debut album. So I cannot say anything about their devolpment either.
Neither did I review this album when I should have reviewed it.... in 2016. I had a listen, but decided to spend my time on other albums instead. I chickened out. Big mistake.
Italian band who plays progressive rock...... = RPI.....??
This album is by no means a normal Rock Progressive Italiano, RPI, album. It is really everywhere in the progressive rock landscape. From heavy prog to bombastic symphonic prog to more eclectic prog to RPI and some fusion too. The scope here is massive.
This one hour album gives us everything, including a Procol Harum cover song. And it feels too much. Too many genres in one hour. Too much confusion and too much of a compilation album.
That said, the music is good. The musicians does a great job and the sound is good. But as I said, in too many genres at the same album. In the same good album which would had been a lot better if the band did not try to be everything to far too many people.
Friday, 12 January 2018
The debut album from this US band.
This band is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
The band is from New Jersey and was previously a solo project by the keyboardist Jason Kresge. Then he developed this solo project into a band.
The band is new to me and most others. But New Jersey has come up with a lot of good bands. The quality normally rises to the top in that scene.
Orpheus Nine plays pretty technical neo-prog with a lot of symphonic prog and hard rock influences. The sound is clean with a lot of guitars, vocals and keyboards. The band has a lot of skills.
There is also a lot of youthful run of the mill rock here too. The band knows how to rock out.
The centrepiece on this album is the twenty-two minutes long title-track. An epic kind of a symphonic prog epic. There is also some
The band has a lot of potential. Potential not entirely unleashed here. I get the feeling the band has a lot more to offer than what they are giving us on this fifty-five minutes long album. I do not think we have seen the best of the band on this, their debut album.
Huge potential, but not quite a good album.
The fifth album from this multi-national London based band.
The band is a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
I reviewed their third album, the 2015 album Trip The Life Fantasic back in July 2015 for # 1 of this blog. I was not that impressed. You can read my review here.
Drifting Sun has always been a neo-prog band and is also a neo-prog band on this album. The songs are on average eight minutes long. Eight songs in one hour.
The songs are reasonably symphonic too with a lot of pomp and dramatic vocals and keyboards. Ditto for the guitars.
The music is not particular hard although I can understand why fans of progressive metal would lap up this album. But it is not a progressive metal album although the keyboards are in that vein.
I have to admit I am still not impressed by this band. The art of good song-writing has bypassed this band and this album. The sound is good, but the feeling of listening to a run of the mill neo-prog album arrives pretty soon into the album and never really leaves me.
The music is cosy and nice. But never good. I cannot fault the musicianship and the vocals. Hence the rating.
The third album from this Italian band.
Acqua Fragile was a trio on this album with a lineup of minimoog, drums, percussions, bass, acoustic guitars and vocals. Vocals mainly in English.
Some guest musicians has provided keyboards, synths and electric guitars.
A chamber orchestra called Tango Spleen Orchestra provides strings and piano.
I got a very big surprise when this album was released. The fact that a new album surprised me. It also surprised me that I had yet to review their previous two albums. You can now find those reviews somewhere else in this blog....
Piero Canavera, Franz Dondi and Bernardo Lanzetti from the 1970s version of this band is back again and they are this trio.
Bernardo Lanzetti delivers some very good vocals too. Ditto for the rest of the band and the other musicians too.
And it did not take many minutes of my first listening session to discover that this album is not three old age pensioner's last feeble hooray. This is a proper album, released by some hungry musicians.
We are in the middle of Rock Progressive Italiano land again. RPI. Though with English lyrics and a couple of Italian lyrics songs. I would have preferred a fully Italian lyrics album. But Acqua Fragile is a bit of an odditity.
And the band is still sailing close to Genesis and Yes. The band has not changed much since their previous album, the one from 1974.
The overall quality is good and it is a nice little forty minutes long album, this one. Their three albums deserves to be checked out as this is not a bad band at all.
Thursday, 11 January 2018
The debut album from this British band.
Damanek is a quartet with a lineup of ebow, keyboards, guitars, piano, bass, saxes, clarinet, drums, banjo, percussion and vocals.
They had help from numerous other musicians who provided numerous other instruments.
Damanek is Guy Manning, Sean Timms, Dan Marsh and Marek Arnold. Bands they are known from are Manning, Unitopia, United Progressive Fraternity and other bands. All these bands has split up now. Which is a great shame. Manning will be missed (Note to myself: Get the 2013 album).
Damanek was set up to play a mix of symphonic prog, jazz and world music. A good idea in my humble opinion.
Guy Manning is the main vocalist here and he is delivering some very good vocals. The memories from my many Manning albums comes flooding back. Good memories ! It is years since I have had the pleasure of listening to one of those albums. But I will dig them out again.
This album feels like a Manning album.... with one difference. Or make that; some differences.
There are indeed some folk music here, world music and jazz here. Some really good stuff too. That adds lots of spices to the music on this fifty odd minutes long album. An album I am starting to get really fond off. It is a really good album. A very good album, I mean.
The songs are well crafted and very good indeed. There is no highlights here and no best-song here. But the whole album really makes me sit up, listen intently and then smile. Oh yeah, this is very good stuff indeed. Quality made by quality guys. It cannot fail....
The third album from this US band.
Abigail's Ghost is a quintet on this album with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
I have neither had the pleasure to hear their first album, the 2007 album Selling Insincerity or their second album D Letion from 2009. The band was a Porcupine Tree on this albums, according to what I have been told and adviced. That scared me off these two albums and this band.
I have nothing against Porcupine Tree at all. They are not really my cup of tea, though. Well, maybe I should give their final three albums my attention. Maybe I will change my mind. I am always open to new ideas and views.
Abigail's Ghost took a six years long break and returned with Black Plastic Sun. These six years has seen the Porcupine Tree copycats reputation gone. The music is much more quiet and not so hard rocking. It is not hard rocking at all.
The band has moved much more towards Radiohead and Gazpacho on this album. They have moved towards those two groups. But they are still not similar to those two bands. The Polish band Believe is a much more relevant comparison.
The sound is very modern and very 2015 here with some electronica. What sets this album apart is the violin sound created by the keyboads. This violin sound is a key component on some pretty pastoral songs. There are also some guitar solos here.
This album is just over one hour long and it has some fairly good songs. There are no really very good songs and this one hour does not really offers up something special, besides of this violin sound. It is a decent to good album which is well worth checking out.
The debut album from this Canadian band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of cajun fiddle, cello, bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and English vocals.
The band released two albums under the Morse Code Transmission name before they shortened their name to Morse Code and released further five albums under that name. The band has just reformed again, I have heard.
Their albums is not easy to get hold off and I hope those will be a lot more accessable in the near future. I got this album and a Morse Code album of them.
This album is a psych prog album with some old style beat and rock thrown into the mix too. There are also some hints of symphonic prog here.
The music sounds dated anno 2018. The cajun fiddle sounds very odd, even on this album. There are some commercial songs here too. Oh Lord is one of them. There is also a couple of sugar-sweet ballads here too.
I cannot really say I am impressed by this half an hour long album. It is decent enough, but nothing more than that.