Thursday, 31 May 2018
The debut album from this Australian band.
Grill is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
Grill is one of the new bands from Sydney, Australia. There is a new dawn in that city in the shadows of the Opera House and that harbour bridge.
This album is only a couple of weeks old and I have been scratching my head over it during the last week.
This forty minutes long album starts out as a funky jazz/fusion album before it makes a sharp turn towards metal and becomes a metal album. Or is it a metal album ? The more symph prog elements also throws the listener, the chasing audience, of the scent and into a state of confusion.
The vocals also range from prog metal vocals to AOR and death grunts vocals.
Experimental metal and post metal is the genre I would put this album under. A label full of various sins. Something this album proves.
The musicians is doing their best on a pretty confusing album, one piece of music. This album therefore sounds fresh and very youthful.
The quality is somewhere between decent and good. It is still an album well worth checking out for those who likes to be moved and challenged. Not to mention; confused.
The third and final album from this Italian band.
Zita Ensemble was a trio with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and contrabass.
I know next to nothing about this band beside of the fact that their three albums was released on Lizard Records. They are a highly respectable record label.
Zita Ensemble does a mix of lots of genres on this album (and their two first albums, I have heard).
Take post-rock, add in ambient music, krautrock, fusion, jazz, space rock and psychedelic rock. Yes, this is indeed eclectic music and the likes of ProgArchives has rightly so labeled the band as an Eclectic Prog band.
There is a lot of krautrock elements on this album and Ash Ra Tempel springs to mind here.
The main instruments here are half-acoustic guitars which gives this album a great jazz feel too. Which is adding a lot of weirdness and originality to the music.
This album is over seventy minutes long. It could have been split into two albums as this album is a very big mouthful and hard to swallow as one album. The album is one big piece of music and not so easy to get to grips with.
My reservations aside, this is really a good album which ebbs, flows and comes up with a lot of good ideas. Check it out if you find this album.
The third album from this British band.
Supertramp was a quintet with a lineup of saxophone, clarinet, bass, drums, harmonica, guitars, keyboards, pianos, percussion and vocals.
Numerous other musicians provided saw, string arrangements, water gong and backing vocals. Scott Gorham from Thin Lizzy was one of the background singers. I did not know that....
I have reviewed their first two albums and the rest of the Supertramp albums are also up for reviews this summer and autumn. You can find these reviews somewhere else in the blog.
Their 1971 album Indelible Stamped was a really poor album. So the band had a rethink before they returned again to the studio.
They spent these three years very wisely.
Crime Of The Century sounds like a mix of Elton John, symphonic progressive rock and old folk halls music. It is also a pomp pop and an art rock album at the same time.
There is a lot of great songs here. There is not a single brilliant song though and that is my only gripe with this album. Nevertheless, this is a great album which broke Supertramp and gave them the reputation they still have to this day. A deserved reputation.
Wednesday, 30 May 2018
The sixth album from this German band.
Ash Ra Tempel was reduced to a duo on this album with Manuel Gottsching (guitars, Farfisa organ and computers) and Lutz Ulbrigh (guitars and synth guitars).
This album is the soundtrack for the French movie with the same name. So it is not really a fully blooded Ash Ra Tempel album.
It still retains some of the more spacy elements of Ash Ra Tempel with some dynamic space rock melodies and details.
There is no denying that this is indeed a different album from their previous five albums. It spaced out and pretty much ambient.
The music itself is pretty decent and interesting. This sixty minutes long album is not very interesting and neither does it contain some good ambient space rock. It falls a bit flat in the quality department.
This is a decent album and that is it. Those really into ambient space rock may like this album.
Tuesday, 29 May 2018
The second album from this German band.
Deafening Opera was a sextet on this album with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals. The vocals are in English and in French of all things....
I was about to review their 2018, brand new album Let's Silence Fall when I discovered that I had not reviewed Blueprint. Hence, the review of the 2018 was postponed and I started to listen to this album instead.
The band is listed as heavy prog in ProgArchives and some other places. Which is a label that covers most things.
On this album, a self-released album, the band has created and released fifty-five minutes of most types of heavy music. From nu-metal to hard core and prog metal to some more progressive rock and AOR.
The music is hard and youthful. Youthful as in some Korn influences. This is by no means an album looking back to the 1970s. This album gives us modern music.
This album is everywhere with some growling and more normal vocals. The guitars are really heavy too and we get lots of genres in one go.
The quality is not really that good either. There is no good pieces of music here. The music is decent enough throughout this album and that is all I can say.
Monday, 28 May 2018
The third and final album from this Dutch band.
The band was a seven piece big band on this album with a lineup of narration, saxes, flutes, keyboards, drums, bass and vocals.
The band had gone through some lineup changes and ended up with three ex Ekseption members on this album, their final album.
That is something that has not gone unnoticed in their music. Music which has taken a step closer towards Ekseption than on their two previous albums.
This is a kind of a concept album about an old story called The White Ladies. I am not sure about the story here.
The music is a mix of baroque classical music and symphonic prog. There is a lot of baroque music here and Johan Sebastian Bach springs to mind throughout this album.
The vocals is really cool on this album. Ditto for the baroque keyboards sound.
The music is indeed very good throughout this album and this album is one of the better symphonic prog albums from Holland. These forty minutes is highly enjoyable and speaks about a time long forgotten. Check out this album.
The one and only album from this German artist.
Hartmut Zinn plays all the instruments here and they are keyboards, synths, acoustic and electric guitars, bass and some programming.
I am a bit surprised that this album is so obscure. No reviews in ProgArchives and other places. The album is available at Youtube and the cover art-work should draw in the reviewers and listeners.
I am drawn in and the description of the music is interesting. A mix of kraut, ambient and Mike Oldfield has been used to describe it. Even Tubular Bells has been mentioned.
... All of the above is mainly right. I am not sure about the kraut references though.
This album reminds me very much about early Mike Oldfield and to a certain degree; Tubular Bells.
There are also some medieval music here and some baroque sounding music.
The music is synths and acoustic guitars driven with some electric and half-acoustic guitars in the mix too. The music is not really as ambient as I feared. It is still not a particular dynamic album. This is not a rock'n'roll album.
The melodies and the music here is really good and refreshingly laidback too. It is still good music which offers a lot to the mind and imagination of the listener. Check out this rather obscure gem of an album.
Sunday, 27 May 2018
The debut album from this French band.
Moonshine Blast is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and English vocals.
I know next to nothing about this band besides of the band being French. That means I will crack on with writing something about this one hour long album instead.
This hour gives us a mix of neo-prog and modern rock. There is also some pop music here.... a lot of it in fact. Add youthful college rock too and you get this album.
There are some clear Genesis influences on this album. An album which has a lot of melodic music and not much else.
The music is not particular technical and not rich on interesting details.
The vocals and the musicians does a good job. I have played this album a lot and I have yet to discover something good about it. The song writing, the art of good song writing is simply not here. This album leaves me cold and frustrated as I really want to say that this is another great French album. It is not.
This is a decent album but nothing more than that. Let loose the inspirations within you guys and write a good album next time around.
The debut album from this British band.
Be Bop Deluxe was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, grand piano, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals.
The band had help with some backing vocals and orchestral arrangements too.
This band lead by the multi-talented Bill Nelson released five albums in the 1970s before they gave up the ghost and Bill Nelson embarked on a solo career.
This band is one of those quirky British bands who did not really fit into any categories and labels. Which was and still is a problem for the legacy of this band.
This forty-three minutes long album contains some songs and music somewhere between straight rock'n'roll, glam rock and art rock. There is a lot of David Bowie in their music and the band was lumped together with him, Cockney Rebels and Mott The Hoople throughout their career.
There is most certainly a large element of art rock in their music and that is how I see this band.
The music is songs and pop music orientated with some pretty short songs which follows the pop and rock formula.
Some of the songs are pretty good too with some good vocals and nice guitars work.
The quality is not overly good. This album is somewhere between decent and good. I still have some more albums from them to review and I wonder where the next albums will take me....
The fifth album from this Mexican band.
Humus was a trio with a lineup of bass, drums and guitars.
They had help from a female vocalist and another guitarist.
I am not a big fan of this band. Something you will find reflected in my reviews of their other albums in this blog. Go and have a look later on.
Humus is indeed a weird band and they have turned up the weirdness on this album.
The basis here is guitars based psych and space rock. Very primitive too. The addition of the female vocals on some songs here is taking this album well into eclectic space rock too.
Some parts and indeed the vibe reminds me a lot about Celtic Frost's Into The Pandemonium album. Not the music, but the atonal vibes does that.
The guitars is indeed very primitive and is chugging on everywhere. Which is very weird....
There is no really good melodies and hooks here. The female vocals adds a lot to this album. That makes this an album somewhere between decent and good.
And I am still not a fan of this band, after completing the reviews of the albums I have got of this band. Humus is a very strange band..... indeed.
Saturday, 26 May 2018
The fifth album from this German band.
Subsignal is a quintet on this album with a lineup of keyboards, drums, bass, guitars and vocals.
Marjana Semkina from Iamthemorning does vocals on the final track.
Subsignal is a sort of a German subergroup with members from Sieges Even and Axxis. I believe this band is a side-project of those two bands.
I have reviewed their first three albums in # 1 of this blog. You can find these reviews there.
From what I remember, the band was sailing pretty close to prog metal on their first albums. They were still a neo-prog band. But with some prog metal influences.
That has changed on at least this album. The band has moved more towards classic neo-prog and melodic rock.
There is a lot of catchy tunes here and sugary coated melodies. The vocals is very sugary sweet. That said, there is still enough substance and meat here to satisfy the prog rock fans too.
The end result is an hour long good album which will interest fans of melodic neo-prog. I have my reservations as this album is not giving us a great song. Nevertheless, check it out.
The debut album from this US band.
The band is s quintet with a lineup of mellotron, Chapman stick, guzheng, guitars, electric violin, flute, bass clarinet, saxophone, percussion and drums.
A guest musician added trumpet on one track.
Zhongyo is Dennis Rea with friends and the album has been released through MoonJune Records. Which means we are being treated to some truly eclectic music. Something the cover art-work also underlines.
An the speakers on my computer tells me that this is very much the case here.
The music is another visit to China and it's music scene from Dennis Rea. The music is fusion combined with eclectic prog and Chinese music.
The sound transfer the listener to China although this album also comes with a lot of Western influences and music.
The music is eclectic but also pretty melodic with lots of flutes and guitars. There is also some good rhythms here on this almost one hour long album.
The result is a fascination, captivating album which draws the listener in and rewards it. This is indeed a very good album and a true original album. A one of it's kind..... but we can always hope for more albums from this band.
The debut album from this German band.
CiDevant is a quintet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
I know nothing about this band. This album arrived in my inbox and I have been listening to it for the last week. The band is from Mannheim and that is all I know.
Their music is somewhere between grunge, heavy metal and heavy prog. I guess heavy prog is the best label for their music.
The vocals are pretty grungy and the guitars are pretty much riff based. There is not much synths here though as this album is guitars based.
This forty minutes long album is ticking over nicely and has something to offer for both metal and prog rock fans.
It is also a good album with a good soundscape and some guitarwalls. It is a down to the bones sound and soundscape too.
Check it out if heavy prog is your thing.
Friday, 25 May 2018
The second and final album from this Argentine band.
Tantor was a quartet on this album with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, keyboards and Spanish vocals.
I reviewed their debut album some days ago and gave that a good rating. You can read my review here.
The band was a fusion and symponic prog band throughout their two albums. That off course also goes for this album.
The band blends South-American symphonic prog and Latin Fusion together on this thirty-seven minutes long album.
There are both instrumental fusion here and some really cool vocals fusion and symphonic prog here. The fusion is really cool and brings out the best in Latin fusion. No wonders as this band is a supergroup with members from two leading Argentine bands.
The fusion makes my head and feet wander around in these rhythms. This album has music for both the body and the brain.
The vocals and the guitar solos are really cool here. The bassist Marcelo Torres is laying down the some fat bass lines and is the star on this album.
The music is also very good throughout and this album is a very fine example of South-American fusion and symphonic prog. Check it out.
The debut album from this British band.
Flat Earth Astronauts is a duo of David Swann (guitars, bass, drums & synths) and Leo Benjamin (vocals).
The duo gets my vote for the extreme attractive award of the best new band name of the year. Gosh, that band name makes me smile.....
And this is not even a psych or a space rock band. Far from it.....
The band is giving us forty-two minutes of heavy prog based music. Bands like Bad Company and Rush springs to mind when listening to this album.
There is also lots of classic arena rock influences on this album. Arena rock from the 1970s. This arena rock also comes with some funk too.
Although this is heavy prog, the music is not that hard. It is nowhere near as hard as hard rock.
The vocals and the music is really good and I find myself liking this music. The songs are melodic and good at the same time. The album has this 1970s feel and that is a good sound. Check out this album.
Thursday, 24 May 2018
The third album from this Isle Of Man, UK based band.
Nanaki is now a one man band with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and programming.
Michael Daugherty is the sole remaining band member of this band who has had a lot of members in their life. The problem with Isle Of Man is that it is a small island in the middle of the Irish Sea. So people tends to move to and from this island.
Michael Daugherty has also release two other name-your-price albums through Bandcamp and I am now downloading.... Reviews to follow later this year or so.
Nanaki is a post-rock band and one of the better bands/projects in the scene according to the post-rock press.
There is a lot of dynamics on this one hour long album. Lots of ebbs and flows. Lots of guitar walls. There is also lots of soundscapes and melodies here.
The music also has some nice small acoustic pieces and melody lines. Those are adding a lot of colours to this album. Necessary colours in a bleak, desolate landscape.
Post-rock fans has already got this album, is my guess. For the rest of us who are not into this album... this album offers up some really good music. I rate this as a good album and one to really enjoy.
The fifth album from this Dutch band.
Life Line Project was a ten + big members band on this album with a lineup of harpsischord, saxophones, woodwinds, guitars, bass, drums, chittarone, lute, mandolins, moog, synths, keyboards, percussion, bells and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
I have not been that impressed by Life Line Project. Their instrumental symphonic prog has not really been playing on my heartstrings. Neither on my brain.
The King is a totally break with the usual Life Line Project. The band has gone rock opera, this time.
This album opens with an instrumental before a female opera vocals song chimes in. Then we get some instrumental baroque neo-classical music before the thirty-seven minutes long title tracks kicks in with a mix of symphonic prog and neo-classical music. Rock opera in other words.
And that is the music here. Rock opera based on symphonic prog and neo-classical music.
The music is good throughout as it twists and turns on some good melody lines, details ad ideas. Finally, I can recommend an album from this band. This album, it is.
Check it out !
The debut album from this US band.
Bomber Goggles is a trio with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, bass and vocals.
A hired hand provides drums.
The musicians in this band is true veterans in the scene and known from various US bands.
The band gives us an hour with US neo-prog based music.
Gyreland is a concept album about a piece of land out in the ocean based on waste plastic and other rubbish the characters in this album has made into a piece of dry land. Gyreland, this land is called and named.
The music is at times very conceptual. It is still melodic with short songs and some good vocals.
The album is nicely ticking over with some good US neo-prog without really coming up with some great pieces of music. That is my only gripe with this album. There is no real great music here.
Nevertheless, this is a good album and well worth checking out.
Wednesday, 23 May 2018
The second album from this Dutch band.
Trace was a trio with a lineup of bass, keyboards, guitars, percussion and vocals.
I reviewed their 1974 self-titled album back in March 2009 and found that a good album, somewhere between Ekseption and ELP. You can read my review here.
I was meant to review all their three albums in one go....... but more prog got in the way and I forgot. Their third album will be reviewed next week/you can read my review of their third and final album somewhere else in this blog.
Trace is again very influenced by ELP and Ekseption. Add in Triumvirat too and you get the picture.
This is symphonic prog with a lot of classical music influences.
Johan Sebastian Bach has a lot to answer for and that includes Trace as a band and their three albums too. What a charge-sheet....
There is a lot of good symphonic prog and neo-classical take on Bach, Beethoven and old baroque music here. The keyboards plays the biggest part on this mainly instrumental forty minutes long album.
This album is an improvement and a development from their debut album which was barely a good album. The music here is indeed very good. Yes, it is very like ELP and a tad less good than their best albums. Nevertheless, this is a very good album.
The fourth album from this Israeli artist.
Yossi Sassi (bouzoukitara, bouzoiki, guitars, charango, oud, chumbush, mandolin and vocals) has got help from seven piece big The Oriental Rock Orchestra who contributes with drums, percussion, flutes, guitars, choirs, kanun and bass.
They have again got help from some guest musicians who provided violin, strings and choirs.
That is a big effort, this album. A big cast indeed.
I have reviewed his previous three albums for # 1 of this blog and you can find these reviews there.
Yossi Sassi has been a busy man this year as his band Orphaned Land is also out with a new album. I have not heard that album yet.
On this album, Yossi Sassi has included a lot of Middle East folk music in his blend of progressive rock and progressive metal. The result is a very exotic sounding album indeed.
The mood is very oriental too. And the music is also very melodic with both male and female vocals. This is indeed a quirky forty minutes long album.
It is also a very good album with lots of very good details and melodies. Yossi Sassi manages to capture the imagination of the listener with this album. That even with a not so interesting ballad with female vocals thrown into the mix too. But that song too is very good.... although not so interesting.
This is indeed an album well worth checking out. Yossi Sassi is on his own and on his own albums a very interesting artist. He is one of the better ones in the scene. Check out this album.
Tuesday, 22 May 2018
The debut album from this US band.
Iron Butterfly was a quintet with a lineup of percussion, tambourine, guitars, bass, drums, organ and vocals.
The band released six albums between 1968 and 1976 before they gave up the ghost and were disbanded. These six albums will be reviewed in this blog during this summer/you can find the other reviews somewhere else in this blog.
The band is mostly known for one hit single, the title track on their second album. And that is all I know about this band, to be honest. That is, before I started to listen to this album one week ago.
The music on this album is pretty hard beat music. Beat with some strong psych rock influences. Jefferson Airplane and The Doors is two very good references.
The organ plays an important part in their sound and it is a good sound. I like the sound of a good organ, played by a good organ player. Doug Ingle is a good organ player. There are also some good guitars and some really cool vocals here too.
The music is a bit naive, charming and very flower power. That gives the ten songs on this half an hour long album some good vibes. The songs are not bad either.
The end result is a decent album which makes me looking forward to listen to their other albums too. Check out this band and album.
The fourth album from this Swedish band.
Moon Safari was a sextet with a lineup of organ, bass, drums, guitars, percussion, piano, moog and vocals.
I was not particular impressed by their previous album, the 2010 album Lover's End. You can read that review and the two other Moon Safari reviews somewhere else in this blog.
The first impressions of this album is that they have left the vocal harmonies from Lover's End behind them and returned to a much more Swedish symphonic prog dominated landscape. Lover's End is therefore the oddity in their discography.
The band's music has always been very sugary. That also goes for their first two albums. And the sugar contents has not been reduced on this album.
The music is a blend of rock, Swedish symphonic prog and pop music. There is songs about one of the band member's son which is supposed to be the greatest gift of all. Something I can understand and that song is a good song (My Little Man).
The rest of the album is also good. We get almost fifty minutes of sugary very melodic progressive rock here. And yes, there are also some angels flapping around on this album. At least in the lyrics.
No wonder this sugar-tax has been introduced....... Nevertheless, check out this album.
The debut album from this US project.
Zed PM is the brainchild of Will Murley from Florida in USA. He does all the vocals and guitars here and has hired in other musicians on each songs.
Will Murley looks and sounds like a wonderkid and he has expressed himself on this name your price Bandcamp album. I know how it feels as I have published two novels through Amazon. But I am no wonderkid.
Between The Lines gives us one hundred minutes of modern progressive rock. There is a lot of post rock, jazz, neo-prog, heavy prog, electronica, art rock, funk, cinematic music and psych rock on this album.
Will Murley is both a good guitarist and a good vocalist. He keeps this project together. A project which reminds me a lot about Porcupine Tree.
Self-control is somewhat missing here as one hundred minutes is a lot to take in. There is also some material here which is not entirely good. Material which maybe should not have been on this album.
In short; this is trial by error debut album and it is a good album too. There is some parts of it which is very good indeed. That is why I recommend that everyone into Porcupine Tree and modern progressive rock checks out this album. I will follow Will Murley's progress with interest over the next years.
The debut album from this band from Argentina.
Tantor was a trio with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars and vocals.
The band had help from two keyboards players.
This band released two albums before they gave up. Tantor was a kind of a local supergroup with members from Aquelarre and Invisible.
Tantor's music is fusion. Fusion with some Latin-American rhythms.
There is also a lot of symphonic prog in their music. Argentine symphonic prog with lots of Latin-American influences. There is also some ELP influences here.
The music is mostly instrumental fusion with one exception. There is one vocal fusion track here and it is a good one too. Very good vocals.
The rest of this half an hour long album gives us some really cool guitars and keyboards on some good pieces of fusion. Oh yeah, I can believe those who rates this band as one of the best bands from this continent.
This is indeed a good album and worth checking out.
Monday, 21 May 2018
The debut album from this Canadian band.
Atumatu was an eight piece big band with a lineup of guitars, loops, percussion, drums, keyboards, bass, samples and saxophone.
This band is the brainchild of the drummer Quinn Downton. The band comes from Waterloo, Ontario. This is a town just outside Toronto on the Canadian plains. It is always nice to have an excuse to use Google Maps..........
The music is instrumental and with a lot of different influences.
Those influences are post rock, jazz, neo-prog, electronica, art rock, funk, cinematic music and psych rock.
The music is very melodic and pretty dynamic too. It has some good moods and a good soundscape. Being instrumental, it lacks any focal points. That means the music has to be really good to focus the mind of the listener.
This forty-two minutes long album has some good melodies and some good details. The sampled soundbytes from the court-case against Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the couple who sold the US nuclear bomb to the Sovietunion in the 1940s, adds some intrigues to this album.
This is indeed a good album and one to build on for Quinn Downton. Check out the link above and get this album for 1 CAD. It is very much worth 1 Canadian dollar.
The fifth album from this German band.
Ash Ra Tempel was a duo on this album with Manuel Gottsching (guitars, congas, synths, mellotron, electric piano, bass and vocals) and the "star" here, Rosi Muller (concert harp, vibraphone, voices and vocals).
The duo had help from two other musicians who provided drums, bass and percussion.
I have reviewed some other Ash Ra Tempel albums and you can read these reviews somewhere else in this blog.
It is fair to say that this band is one of the better krautrock bands. I still rate Agitation Free as the best one. But that is my view. A view which may change in due time.
This album starts with the traditional guitar solos improvisations from Manuel before Rosi's voices and vocals comes more into play. There is a lot of interchangeable playing between these two throughout this thirty-five minutes long album. The music is mostly very spaced out on this album too.
This is not really one of their best albums. It is still a good album and one to enjoy if krautrock is your cup of tea.
Sunday, 20 May 2018
The third album from this German band.
Everon was a quartet with a lineup of synths, keyboards, percussion, drums, bass, guitars, piano and vocals.
I have reviewed their first two albums and I intend to review the rest of their albums this summer. You can read my read these reviews somewhere else in this blog.
I have not been impressed by their two first albums. Their pomp rock and heavy prog rock did not impress me. Neither did their level of songwriting.
The band is back again with this album. It is almost one hour long. Plenty of music, in other words.
The band still does a mix if pomp rock in the vein of Saga and hard prog. There is some Dream Theater lurking around here too.
There are also some ballads and some more symphonic prog here. The band even use some classical orchestra samples here and adds them on some songs.
The vocals are per usual very good. Oliver Phillips always delivered the goods.
The band has really expanded their sound a lot and gone bigger and bolder.
That too is reflected in the quality of the songs. The result is their best album so far and a good album. It is an album I really like a lot. Check it out if this sounds something you may like.
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums, guitars and English vocals.
The band had help from three other vocalists.
Jekyll and Hyde is a ninety minutes, 2 CDs long rock opera based on the Robert Louis Stevenson novel of the same name.
The 2 CDs box is divided into one white CD and one black CD. The digital version is divided into one white half and the black final half.
There are different vocalists here who are playing the roles as in an opera. I have just downloaded the Kindle version of this novel, but have a loosely knowledge of the plot. I have yet to read the novel, though.
The story is about split personalities. Dr Jekyll, the good one, and Dr Hyde, the bad one. All of it in a physical entity.
So far, the story.......
The music neo-prog with a lot of operatic and conceptional additions. There is both male opera vocals and female vocals, both clear and operatic vocals. There is also clear male vocals.
Heavy accented though and I believe this would had been a better album if it was done with Italian vocals.
The music flows nicely and takes some detours into goth rock and prog metal in it's way through the Jekyll and Hyde story.
The music does indeed flow nicely on this good album. My only gripe is the lack of any great tracks. That said, this is a solid good album.
The second album from this Indonesian band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of kendang percussion, drums, guitars, bass, tarompet and suling bamboo flute.
Exotic instruments in other words. The main man here is Tophpati who also releases albums under his own name Tohpati Bertiga and as a member of Simak Dialog.
The record label is MoonJune Records and that is a sign of quality.... and/or eclectic weirness.
The jazz, rock and fusion scene in Indonesia (and the death metal scene too) is pretty big and has got some good attention during the last five to ten years. And with good reasons.
Tohpati Ethnomission is at the more melodic end of the fusion scene. Tohpati is not going all out to impress here. He lets the other musicians both room and plenty of solos too. Their contributions to this album is very considerable.
Tohpati is off course hugging some of the spotlight on this fifty minutes long album with his very guitar playing.
The music is not hyper-intense or overly technical. Those into great playing will get their satisfaction from this album too. The album most of all sounds very exotic and not at all like an Euro or US fusion album. It sounds like an Asian album. And that is a good thing.
The music is good throughout this album. The xtra sparks and great music is missing here. But this is still an album well worth checking out.
The debut album from this British band.
The Morrigan was a trio with a lineup of flute, autoharp, bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
The band was a prolific folk rock and prog folk rock band during their days and released five albums. I thankfully got them and will review them this summer/you can find my reviews of their albums somewhere else in this blog.
The music on this album is pretty much basic folk rock. Steeleye Span is a good reference. Ditto for Fairport Convention.
The Irish folk rock scene has been a big influence on this album though. I would not label this as a Irish folk rock album. But it is still highly influences by this sound....... and by the English folk rock sound.
There is still a lot of progressive rock in their music too. The band was on the move towards progressive rock and that is evident on a couple of songs here.
The female vocals on this album is really cool and so is the keyboards. The musicians cannot be faulted at all.
The quality of the music on this fifty minutes long album is somewhere between decent and good. It is a very promising sounding album though and I get the feeling that this may not be a bad summer as I will be in the company of their albums.
Saturday, 19 May 2018
The second album from this British band.
Shadowlight is a trio with a lineup of guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals.
A guest artist does the drums and percussion.
I had the pleasure of reviewing their 2012 debut album Twilight Canvas. You can read my review here.
The band is a studio project and their albums is only digitally released. To be honest, that seems like a wise choice in today's world. CDs are dead and LPs is too expensive to manufacture and ship out. The postal services is killing the small LPs and CDs record labels. So why bother ? I totally agree with Shadowlight.
The band is giving us fifty minutes with a mix of neo-prog and rock. There is plenty of guitars, keyboards and vocals on this album. The music is mid tempo and a bit on the dramatic music end of the spectrum. There is also some hints of folk rock here.
The music is not particular technical and the songs are not that long.
The quality of the music is somewhere between decent and good. I am not really getting much out of this album. The band is doing their best on some substandard tunes. I am afraid I am not in tune with this album.
The fourth album from this Mexican band.
Humus was an eight piece big band with a lineup of guitars, drums, keyboards, percussion, bass and effects.
I have reviewed their previous three albums and have not been too impressed by them. You will find these reviews somewhere else in this blog.
The band plays some sort of guitar based psych and space rock. The music is pretty primitive and stripped down.
The music on 4 is not as stripped down as on their previous album Malleus Crease. There is a lot more meat on the bones on this forty-five minutes long album than on the previous album.
First of all, there is a lot more keyboards and the guitars are also more inventive in the riffs. The sound is bigger and the music is more melodic.
The music is still not particular good. The art of good song and riffs writing is still eluding the band. Which means that this is a decent album, but nothing more than that. I am not impressed.
The one and only album from this US band.
Zazu was a quartet with a lineup of keyboards, bass, guitars, drums and vocals.
The band released this album through Wooden Nickel, the same record label who released the first Styx albums. The Zazu album had no promotion and hardly any distribution. The band therefore died.
The album was re-released on CD in 2008.
The music on this thirty-five minutes long album is a mix of US hard rock, Americana, AOR, progressive rock and arena rock. There is also some blues influences here.
The vocals and the keyboards are really cool. The songs are pretty catchy too. The band was hoping to have some hit singles of the back of this album. That hope was killed by their record label.
The music is indeed commercial and based on good choruses. But most of all, this album reeks of USA anno 1975. The good and safe mid-west and the deep south.
Besides of that, this is not an interesting album at all. The music is pretty decent and that is that. Check it out if this sounds good to you.
Friday, 18 May 2018
The third album from this Australian band.
Taman Shud is a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and bass.
It was twenty-four years since the band released their second album Goolutionites And The Real People. Strangely enough 3/4 of those who recorded that album is also with the band on Permanent Culture. They are Tim Gaze and Lindsay Bjerre on guitars + vocals and Peter Barron on bass.
Only Lindsay Bjerre on guitars + vocals and Peter Barron on bass has been with the band since their 1969 debut album Evolution. You can find my review of that album here.
The band released a new album in 2016 with the same lineup as on Permanent Culture.
A sporadic career in other words......
Permanent Culture sees the band go for rock'n'roll. There is some blues and some hard rock here too. But the music is very commercial and very live gigs friendly.
I am not sure if I would scream for the new songs or the 1970s songs if I was a fan, though.... Their best days was in the early 1970s. The years that built the band.
The songs are very basic and not that exciting. They are by no means bad songs. They are working. But they are not good and the band is not exactly pushing the envelope or themselves here.
This is a decent album but nothing more.
The second album from this Japanese band.
The band was a seven piece big band on this album with a lineup of synths, guitars, bass, drums and some sporadic vocals.
I am not a big fan of their 2015 self-titled debut album. You can read my review here and found out why.
At least, there is no bad demo attached to this studio recording on their 2018 album, their second album. That is progress and a very smart move.
Their music is krautrock. Guitars and bass based krautrock. There is some post rock influences here too. But that is a part of the krautrock they play.
There is a lot of Electric Orange influences here. And that is a good thing. Minami Deutsch take on krautrock is much more naked, though. Beat structures with the guitars and some synths on the top.
But this pretty naked music is working on this forty minutes long album. There is some good variations here and the music is indeed good. All fans of krautrock should check out this album.
The fourth album from this US band.
The band was a ten man & women big band with a lineup of percussion, drums, bass, saxophone, keyboards, guitars, piano, violin and vocals.
Some extra musicians provided cello and vocals.
My guess is that the band was Phideaux Xavier with hired hands. Which is more than fair enough.
I have reviewed some of his albums and they have not really being hits in my office and in my blog. You can find my reviews somewhere else in this blog.
The band has expanded a lot in their sound and music on this album. The band has a lot of really cool female and male vocals.
The music is more leaning towards neo-prog and symphonic prog on this album than on any of the previous albums. There are also some, very short, avant-garde pieces of music here.
The vocal harmonies are really good and so is the music. I believe this fifty minutes long album is a concept album of some sort. It has the feeling of being a concept album.
This is a good album and a recommended one too. Check it out and you will enjoy it.
Thursday, 17 May 2018
The one and only album from this Mexican band.
I know absolute nothing about this band. But I detect a lineup of saxophones, piano, guitars, keyboards, percussion, bass, drums and Spanish vocals.
This album, the LP, is very rare and very sought after by collectors. For the rest of us, Youtube comes into play....
This album and band still deserve some attention. Attention hereby given.
Zafra plays a mix of Mexican folk, hard rock, pop and symphonic prog. Their music can and should be compared a lot with the Italian symph prog scene. Both Banco and PFM springs to mind.
The sound is very bad though. The band did not use much pesos on this recording. The music they tried to record is and was far too ambitious for the type of budgets they operated with.
The vocals is really good and the other musicians tries their best on material which is not the best and with a sound which is not doing these songs any justice.
This thirty-five minutes long album is still a half decent album and not a turkey. Would I pay top dollar for this LP ? No. Check it out if you want.
The second album from this US band.
Shadow Merchant is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
I reviewed their 2014 debut album The Tunnel back in April 2015. It is quite a charming album with a youthful, charming energy. An album only a US band could release. You can read this review here.
The band continues in the same direction laid down on their debut album.
The music is pretty hard, but never heavy. There is a lot of female vocals inbetween some male vocals. The music is lively. The teenybopper element has largely disappeared.
There is some Rush and some Panic Room in their music. The music is also at times pretty sugar-sweet. And they are also pretty symphonic prog at times.
This is a US prog rock album. Do not have any doubts about that.
There is no real great tracks here. But the music is good throughout and a quite a pleasure. Shadow Merchant has again delivered the merchandise..... (sorry, I could not resist this pun).
The second album from this British band.
Supertramp was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, harmonica, keyboards, sax, flute, organ, accordion, percussion, piano and vocals.
Their debut album was an acceptable album. You can read my review somewhere else in this blog. I am planning to review their other albums this summer so keep an eye out for them/you can read my reviews of the rest of their albums somewhere else in this blog.
Indelibly Stamped is regarded as the wildcard album in their disco. It is not much loved.
The band went for Americana and raunchy rock on this album. There is some blues and country'n'western on this album.
Their trademark music, pomp pop and rock, is mostly missing on this album. It is hard to believe that this is a Supertramp album. But it is.
This album is bereft of any good songs. They are just running through the motions here. The only decent song here is Rosie Had Everything Planned. The rest of the songs are rubbish and not worthy their good name. That song is the only thing between this album and they turkey yard. Avoid this album.
Wednesday, 16 May 2018
The debut album from this band from Finland.
The band is a sextet with a lineup of saxophones, organ, bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
I know nothing about this band from Helsinki, Finland. I only know the band is a fine addition to the prog and rock scene in Finland.
This forty minutes long album has been, very wisely, released through Bandcamp. See link above.
The music is guitars based and very lively. It is a mix of hard prog, psychedelic rock and indie rock.
The Hammond organs is adding a lot of 1970s rock feel to this album too. It is in that decade, the golden decade, you will find most of this album. There is even some hints of Rush and Led Zeppelin here.
The songs are all good. There is even a couple of songs bordering to very good on this album. There is also a couple of substandard songs.
This is indeed a good album and a good addition to the prog rock scene. Check out this album.
The debut album from this Italian band.
Ypnos was a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, bass, guitars, drums and vocals.
This Italian band has not exactly set the world on fire since they released this album in September 2017. The reason may be that the progressive metal scene is overpopulated with new albums and bands at the moment. I get too many offers for progressive metal promos I am turning down.
Ypnos take on progressive metal is a bit based on Dream Theater and some of the local Italian prog rock and progressive metal scene.
Some of the music is pretty poppy and pop music orientated. The music is not as heavy as I feared.... I am not a big fan of metal any longer.
Ypnos vocalist Christian Peretto is their best asset. His vocals is at times very good...... and very the progressive metal formula based. That is a big asset for the band.
The songs are not that bad. The art of good songwriting has eluded this band, though. There are some good stuff on these fifty minutes. But not enough to really make this a good album.
This is a decent album but nothing more than that. Progressive metal fans will lap this up like a cat is lapping up a bowl of milk.
Tuesday, 15 May 2018
The third album from this Swedish band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of piano, organ, moog, guitars, bass, drums, percussion and vocals.
A classical orchestra was also involved here.
I was really looking forward to this album after the very good Blomjud album from 2008. An album which gave the band their breakthrough in the progressive rock scene.
I got a bit of a shock when I was listening to this album for the first time, though...
OK, the Swedish symphonic prog sound is largely here with the basis in folk rock. But that is one of the very few remaining from Blomljud.
There is a lot of vocals on this album. The vocals and the vocal harmonies has totally taken over this album. Beach Boys springs to mind here. The music is much more west coast beach rock than symphonic prog. There is even some vocal harmonies based pop here with some close to acapela on the final track.
The music is not particular big as everything is focused on these vocal harmonies. The music is suffering as a result.
Some of the songs on this fifty minutes long album are pretty good. Others are decent. This album is therefore a decent to good album and so far their worst album. Beware.
The debut album from this US band.
This band is a trio with a lineup of keyboards, percussion, bass, drums. guitars and some sporadic vocals.
This album is one of the pretty impressive large numbers of debut albums released through Bandcamp this year. It is also a Name Your Price album.
This new band from Potsdam, New York is testing out the water here with their brand of psych rock.
The psych rock is also mixed in with indie rock and some college rock. It is not an all out psych rock album.
The band is experimenting with sound levels, melodies and vocals here. They are playing around to see what is working and what is not working.
There is a lot of both.
The guitars are good and so is some of the songs. Some of the songs are also a bit weird and not working so well. It seems like the band has yet to find their way and is throwing things around in a bit of a confusion. But check out the album yourself from the link above.
The second album from this Argentine band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of flute, percussion, keyboards, bass, drums and female Spanish vocals.
The band got help from a guitarist on one track.
I reviewed their 1998 debut album some days ago and was not that impressed by that album. You can read my review here.
These two albums is the only sign of life from this band and I believe the band is now history. This album was also self-released.
The band continues on from the debut album. A mix of symphonic prog and neo-classical music. The band and this album can be compared to the Japanese band Ars Nova and their albums. Very neo-classical music, in other words.
This one hour long album has some good vocals from Maria Macaya. The music is not particular good. It has it's moments, but there is not many of them. The music is rather dull and it does not exactly sparkle and creates fireworks.
Nevertheless, this is a decent to good album. Symphonic prog fans should check out this album.
Monday, 14 May 2018
The second album from this British band.
Kino is a duo with a lineup of bass, guitars and vocals.
The duo had help from another duo who provided drums and keyboards.
The band released their debut album Picture back in 2005 before they gave up the ghost. The reason may be that......
.... Kino is another British supergroup. The members are John Mitchell and Peter Trewavas from Lonely Robot, It Bites and Marillion.
They got help from the two other very experienced musicians John Beck (It Bites) and Craig Blundell (Steve Wilson). Yes, a supergroup. One of many.
Their music is melodic progressive rock. Melodic neo-prog. There is not many technical interesting details on this album. But there is enough to make the music interesting.
The album is seventy minutes long. That is a bit too long in my opinion for this kind of music. Music based on melodies and making good vibes with keyboards and guitars.
Peter Trewavas has some good guitar solos and John Mitchell's vocals is very good.
The songs are good throughout. But there is no songs that really fires up this album and makes it a great album. Nevertheless, it is a good album and an acceptable effort.
The debut album from this Russian band.
Yojo is a quintet with a lineup of trumpet, percussion, drums, guitars, keyboards and bass.
Two guest musicians provides violin and saxophones.
This band is new to me. But they have released two albums. The most recent one is named Abduction and it was released back in 2016.
This band plays jazz with some fusion and post-rock influences.
The trumpet is pretty dominant in their sound and music. The mostly half-acoustic guitars is backing up the trumpet. Sometimes, the trumpet is backing up the guitars. The keyboards is adding colours to the music too.
The music on this fifty minutes long album is not particular intense or fast. It is mid-paced with some interesting solos and details. Neither is this album as mad and loony as some of the Russian jazz albums I have heard lately. The music is pretty sane and straight forward.
It is a bit short on good melodies though. Nevertheless, this is an album fans of new jazz with some post rock influences should check out.
The one and only album from this Norwegian band.
Foxtrot was a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, programming, bass, drums, guitars, moog, mini moog and vocals.
This album was released in 1984 by some musicians who had released three pop albums under the name Small Affairs and whose best times was still ahead of them. All the musicians here has had substantial careers after 1984.
In a debate on Facebook, it turns out that some of the musicians is working on the demo tapes that ended up as this album and that there may be some new stuff on the way too.
The band name suggests some Genesis inspirations. The music is more like neo-prog than Genesis. There are even some Depeche Mode soundscapes here. The Genesis inspirations is more in the background.
There is also a lot of Camel inspirations here and the band has obviously been very inspired by them. There is also some Saga influences here.
There is a lot of synths here and the sound is not the best one.... having this 1980s synths sound. The music is not that bad as the synths sound. This forty minutes long album has some decent and some rather good songs too. The ideas is also rather good.
This album is somewhere between decent and good. Check it out if you can find it...
Sunday, 13 May 2018
The fourth album from this German band.
Ash Ra Tempel was a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, organ, drums and female vocals.
Klaus Schulze was back in the band again after sitting out two albums. His own career and body of work is impressive, having just released a new album. But he was also an on and off member of Ash Ra Tempel.
The band was in effect a trio on this album as there is not much female vocals here.
This album is divided into two songs. Freak'n'Roll and Jenseits.
Freak'n'Roll is one heck of a guitar solo, nineteen minutes long, from the main man in this band, Manuel Gottsching. He works around a beat laid down by Klaus Schulze and Hartmut Enke. This is a good piece of music.
Jenseits is a twenty-five minutes more or less ambient piece of music. Ambient but still pretty dynamic with various moods and soundscapes. This is clearly Klaus Schulze territory and the vocalist Rosi Muller is adding some well restrained vocals to this piece of music. A piece of music which actually works and one I like.
Forty odd minutes of music and this album comes to an end. This is a good album and one krautrock fans would like. An album of huge contrasts. It is still a good album, though. Check it out.
The debut album from this Australian band.
Taman Shud was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
My Australian friends will forever wonder why this band never really got worldwide success. They have got a point. I think the band was from the wrong part of the world. Even Rose Tattoo, Easybeat and AC/DC had problems breaking out of Australia in a time where there was no internet and not much trade between Australia and USA & Europe.
The band has so far released four studio albums.
Taman Shud played psychedelic beat music. There is a lot of sunny beach rock in their music too.
The forty minutes long album starts with some catchy, sunny beach beat songs before it becomes a bit more mellow and balanced.
The vocals and the guitars are good. The songs sounds a bit dated.
And that is what this album is. Dated. There is still some pretty good songs here though. This is an album well worth checking out as it is a decent to good album.
The ninth album from this German band.
Anyone's Daughter is a trio with a lineup of keyboards, guitars and vocals.
They have been helped out by numerous guest musicians who has provided drums, bass and vocals.
This band was once a very respectable, promising German symphonic prog band. You can read my review of their debut album here and my review of their third album here.
That was then..... These days, the band is a totally different band.
Think back to the days of EuroPop, think about the 1990s boyband scene. Think about today's pop/rock scene who are based on catchy melodies and catchphrases.
This is where we find today's Anyone's Daughter and this album.
This is a straight pop/rock album who has even mauled Jimi Hendrix standard Voodoo Chile and made it into muzak.
Today's Anyone's Daughter is everything the original band was not. This album is a travesty and a truly horrible album with half-baked pop/rock songs and as slick as a piece of oil spillage.
Horrible, horrible, horrible.... and a turkey.