Saturday, 30 June 2018
The sixth album from this German band.
Everon was a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitar, bass, drums, percussion, piano, keyboards and vocals.
The band had help from guest musicians who provided violin, viola, cello and female vocals.
I have reviewed their first five albums during the last months and you can find these reviews somewhere else in this blog. I will also review their seventh and final album sometimes soon too.
First of all, it is my understanding that this is an album of some leftovers from the record sessions who ended up as their previous album. The music has been cleaned up so it can be released.
I am not sure what this cover art-work is doing on this album. Is this album a death metal or a doom metal album ? Neither, in fact.
The music is a mix of progressive metal, Saga and pomp rock. There are some long songs and two female & male vocals duets. The music is bombastic and a bit over the top at places.
The vocals are really good and so is the music on this fifty minutes long album. It is not their best album. But it is still a good album from a good band.
The debut album from this German band.
Birth Control was a quartet with a lineup of drums, organ, bass, guitars and vocals.
This band has released ten plus albums during their long stop and start career. I got some of them and will review them this year/you find some more reviews of their albums somewhere else in this blog.
I believe this is one of the biggest German bands from the 1970s.... but I may be wrong. Feel free to correct me.
They started out in the 1960s as a hard psych band and that is how they sounds like on this album too.
Take Nice and add some hard psych and blues to their music. The music is pretty hard and the organ is the dominating instrument here. The guitars adds some spice. The bass and drums is rock hard. The vocals is good and the sound is OK. This album sounds like it has been released in 1970 too.
The music is actually good throughout. A bit dated, but still good. Mostly because of the organ sound which is both old fashion and very good.
This is an album well worth checking out.
The debut album from this German band.
The Flood is a sextet with a lineup of keyboards, grand organ, guitars, bass, drums, spoken words, flute, saxophone and vocals.
This band consists of six middle-aged men who has decided to make an album who bridges lots of genres. From Irish rock and folk music to krautrock and progressive rock.
There is a lot of changes of directions and strange turns on this fifty odd minutes long album.
We get primitive krautrock, some Eloy like krautrock, Irish folk rock, symphonic prog and some bizarre vaudeville krautrock.
There is not much of a direction and a theme here. The songs has been thrown together into this album. An album which almost feels like an avant-garde album.
There is some good stuff here. It is a very fragmented album though and a difficult listen. I am not won over by it.
Friday, 29 June 2018
The fourth album from this British band.
The Morrigan was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, flute, trombone, windsynth, piano, keyboards and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
They had help from guest musicians who provided banjo, accordion and violins.
I have been lucky enough to review their previous three albums for this blog. I will also review their fifth and final album sometimes very soon. You can find these reviews somewhere else in this blog.
Their music on this album is modern folk rock with a superb female vocalist. Here name is Cathy Alexander and her voice is close to brilliant. She is one of the five best female vocalists to ever grace this genre. The late and still very much missed Sandy Denny was the best ever vocalist in this genre, off course.
Masque is one hour long and contains some shorter suites and some songs. The traditional Irish song She Moved Through The Fair, who closes this album, does not feel out of tune with the rest of this album. An album with some pretty complex folk rock too in addition to some traditional folk music.
This is an album that showcases how good the mix of progressive rock and folk music can be when it is done right. It is indeed a very good album and one I really recommend to prog and folk rock fans.
Check it out.
Thursday, 28 June 2018
The one and only album from this New Zealand band.
Schtung was a sextet with a lineup of sax, flute, bass, guitars, drums, percussion and vocals.
There is not many old or new progressive bands from New Zealand. So I tend to give those I find my attention and a review.
The band was short-lived. But it branched out to become a movie and TV scores business and Schtung Music now has offices in many countries. The band were closed down, though.
So is this album too. Or rather not so strange. The music is loosely based on symphonic prog. There is some Supertramp and Gong...... lots of Gong.... influences too. There is also lots of art-rock on this album too.
There is a lot of different styles meeting and colliding on this forty minutes long album. None of the eight tracks are good. The music is decent enough and this album is barely a footnote in the history of progressive rock and art-rock.
The debut album from this band from Peru.
Los Jaivas was a quintet with a lineup of flutes, drums, percussion, bass, guitars, piano and Spanish vocals.
This band has released fourteen albums and I will review a lot of them, if not all of them, during the rest of this year.
Los Jaivas was a folk music and prog rock band throughout their career. I am not sure if they are still with us. Anyway.... their albums are available.
El Volantin is a pure folk rock album with a lot of raga rock and ritual primitive krautrock influences. They are probably there by sheer accident. So is their Osibisa influenses as that band released their albums after Los Jaivas had released this album.
The music here is full of percussion and flutes of all types. There is also a lot of chanting here. There is not much music..... make that, there is no music besides of the percussion, flutes and vocals.
This album is forty minutes long and I guess even fans of this band is not overly happy about it. A couple of half decent themes saves this album from my turkey yard. But it is a close call.
Wednesday, 27 June 2018
The debut album from this Brazilian band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and Portoguese vocals.
The band first lived under the name Aura before they swapped name to Via Lumini and then released two albums under this name before they were disbanded. Both albums to be review in this blog / has been reviewed in this blog.
The band played Brazilian symphonic prog. That means symphonic prog with a lot of folk and pop music influences.
All of this in their local language and with a lot of colours and bravado. This in a year where nobody wanted to listen to progressive rock.
The sound is not the best, but it is fairly OK. It is a bit annoying though throughout this album. The keyboards are really good and the vocals are OK.
There are a couple of ten minutes long songs and some shorter songs on this fifty minutes long album.
The songs are colourful and decent enough. The songs are a bit on the dull side, though. It is sorely lacking in the quality department. Nevertheless, this is a decent enough album.
The second album from this Spanish band.
Vega was a seven piece big band with a lineup of conga, percussion, flute, bass, piano, organ, saxophone and guitars.
I reviewed their 1978 album Andaluza back in May 2012 and loved that album. I still do. You can read my review here.
Why this band is not more popular and revered than it is, is a mystery to me. The Andaluza album is enough reasons to really revere this band. This band is a hidden secret in the prog rock world and one everyone should check out.
Vega plays a mix of very flamboyant Spanish folk music and jazz. There is also some progressive rock here. The music is instrumental.
At times, the music on Jara reminds me about National Health's first two albums. But with a large Spanish twist and flavour. Other parts also reminds me about the first Mahavishnu Orchestra album. There is also some Al Di Meola references here.
There is a lot of acoustic guitars in this mostly fast, dynamic and driven music. And the music is great throughout this half an hour long album. This is a fantastic band.
Tuesday, 26 June 2018
The fourth album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, guitars and vocals.#
I have reviewed their previous three albums and you can find these reviews somewhere else in this blog.
This is the final Be Bop Deluxe album I am reviewing. They released one more album, but I have not got that album. Neither am I going to pursue this album either.
Be Bop Deluxe is a strange band with a quirky name. An almost mythical band.
The cover art-work does not offer much of a mythical band feeling. And the music is not that quirky either. Their status as a mythical, quirky band only covers their first three albums and the band name.
The music is pretty much straight forward pop/rock from the 1970s with a large degree of David Bowie influences.
The songs on this forty-three minutes long album is straight forward and melodic.
The songs are really good too. The music is a bit intricate too and the guitars get some good space to stretch it's legs in. The vocals is also good.
I am not a fan of pop/rock. This though is a good album and one to check out.
The debut album from this German band.
Foxdevilswild is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and female vocals.
The band is from Konstanz which is at the Bodensee, a big lake on the Germany - Switzerland - Liechenstein border.
Their music is a mix of garage rock, blues, post-punk, funk and pop. This is not progressive rock as it was sold to me as. But I am still adding my two pennies worth of opinions about it.
The music sounds loose to me and the guitars are a mix of half-acoustic and raw electric guitars. The vocals are on the lighter side and very jazzy.
The music on this album is a mix of rather melodic rock and some fuzzy, harsh guitar riff based songs. The mix between raw songs and rather pastoral songs are the main theme on this album. The contrasts between the raw guitars and the light vocals is also a main theme here.
The songs are decent enough. But there is no good songs and I cannot recommend this album. But check it out at the link above.
Monday, 25 June 2018
The one and only album from this Austrian musician.
Richard Schonherz on synths, organ, grand piano, electric piano and vocals had help from seven other musicians who provided guitars, drums, percussion, bass, keyboards and female vocals.
Richard Schonherz had also released an album with another musician under the Rigoni & Schoenherz name. Victor is the name of that album. An album still waiting to be reviewed by me. One of many albums.
What A Night is forty-five minutes long.
The music is a mix of ELP, Supertramp and pop music. Some of the songs are pretty dark too. Others are more light and less moody. Some of the tracks are in the symph prog and fusion vein. There are even some funky fusion here.
The vocals are good and so is Richard on his instruments. The sound too is good.
I am not really sure who Richard wanted to reach with this album. I guess the prog rock audience. The dying embers of this scene. This album is very diverse and not really easy to pin down.
The music is decent enough though and it is an album well worth checking out at Youtube.
The eight album from this Polish band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
I have reviewed their two previous albums for # 1 of this blog and you can find them here and here.
I am not a big fan of this band, but I respect them.
The band plays some pretty heavy neo-prog. Heavy prog in other words. Music which sometimes cross over to prog metal. But that is not often.
The band has this Polish sound which means clever, modern prog with some melancholy included.
And it is a sound I really like. Melancholy is never a bad thing in music. In particular in progressive rock.
The vocals is really good on this album. Ditto for the musicians too. This band is a high quality band.
The songs follows the neo-prog formula on this fifty minutes long album. Some guitar harmonies and some freshly sounding songs.
Unfortunate, none of these ten song are great songs. They are good songs and this album is an album neo-prog fans will really like. I like it a lot, indeed. But it is not a great album.
Sunday, 24 June 2018
The second album from this New York, USA band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of flute, harmonica, guitars, bass, drums, saxophone, keyboards and vocals.
This band released their debut album back in 2012 to no fanfare. Dancing With Blue is the follow up to that album.
The band lists Styx, Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd as the bands they think they sounds like. I am not so sure about that.....
The music on this forty-six minutes long album is pretty hard progressive rock with some AOR influences. There is also some straight rock here. Straight US rock and some folk rock influences. The music sounds fresh and pretty youthful.
There is one long song here, a fifteen minutes long song, who are clearly in the progressive rock vein. And they sounds a bit like Pink Floyd here..... I have to admit. It is not a great song.
The other eight songs are pretty short and chorus-verse-chorus dominated. There is no great solos here. Just a lot of harmonies and the band working together as a tight unit.
There is a mix of decent and good stuff here. I am not convinced that this is a good album. Hence the rating.
The third album from this US band.
Iron Butterfly was a quartet with a lineup of organ, bass, guitars, percussion, drums and vocals.
This is the follow up to their high charting and multi-million selling hit album In A Gadda Da Vida. An album anyone would find difficult to follow up with the same type of success.
To my knowledge, Ball sold well and were high charting too. But musically....
Well, there is a lot of difference between these two albums. They band introduced a lot of soul and Tamla-Motown sound in their music. The psych part is not so evident and there is no long songs as In A Gadda Da Vida. There is no magic songs like that one here either.
There is a lot of organ, guitars and vocals here. The songs on this thirty odd minutes long album are rather short too.
There is a lot of soul and heavy rock here. There is a lot of rock here too and some psych rock. The album is very much 1969 and left in this time-warp.
The quality is somewhere between decent and dismally bad. It is sailing close to being a turkey. But a couple of decent psych songs saves this album from ending up in my turkey yard. This is not an album I rate highly.
The eight album from this Dutch band.
Life Line Project is a ten members big band with a lineup of keyboards, drums, bass, percussion, woodwinds, guitars, strings and vocals. Most vocals are female vocals.
This is another rock opera or rock opera'ish album from Life Line Project. They have alternated between band albums and rock operas on the last albums. And that is a good thing.
The music is a blend of symphonic prog and baroque classical music. The baroque classical music adds a lot of value to this album. The symphonic prog and the female vocals are also good.
The flutes are very good and there is a lot of good keyboards and synths sounds from Erik De Beer.
The rock parts feels a bit out of tune with the rest of the material here.
The album is close to eighty minutes long, the max length of a CD. They have used this format well and gives value for money.
This is a good album which does not offer any great songs. I have heard better albums from this band. But this album is not disgracing the band and is adding value to a rather strange band. A band I quite like.
Saturday, 23 June 2018
The one and only album from this German band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of percussion, bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
A female vocalist adds her voice to one song.
This band was short-lived. It was also one of the German symphonic prog bands in the 1970s.
The vocalist sounds like Klaus Meine in Scorpions. Which is a bit weird.... The music is a bit poppy symphonic prog. Both Machievel and Grobschnitt is good references (I agree with ProgArchives here).
There are some good keyboards here and not so good guitars. The music is a bit on the dull side and drifts over to pomp pop too many times.
The art-work is by far the best thing about this album and it lured me into reviewing it. That and ProgArchives description of this album as a symphonic prog album. They are very much correct here.
The quality of the songs on this forty minutes long album is not good though. It is just a half decent album where I am finding it difficult to stay interested. Hence my rating.
The second album from this Chile band.
The band is a trio with the lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals. Both Spanish and English vocals.
I really liked their debut album and you can read my review here. A good psych/space rock album.
The band gives us more of the same on this almost forty minutes long album. Although there is some subtle differences.
There are even less space rock on this album than on the debut album. Psych and post-rock has taken over their sound and music.
There is a lot of harsh, dissonant guitars here. Walls of it. There are also some very effective and good half acoustic guitars here.
The vocals is adding spice to this album too. The music though is the most important here as the vocals is pretty much in the background in the mix.
There is a lot of good details and melody lines here. A lot of what makes both psych and post-rock good. There is an acidic feel over this album and a good one too.
I hope to hear a lot more from this group in the future. Enjoy this very good album.
The debut album from this English band.
Time Collider is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, bass and vocals.
The band is five middle aged men who has decided to play hard hitting progressive rock. That means heavy progressive rock.
Obvious references here are Rush. The band has also added Foo Fighter and Yes as bands they sounds like. Foo Fighter..... yes. Yes....... a not so obvious reference.
The band is giving us seventy-two minutes of heavy prog on this album. The music is not hard all the time. But it is still a heavy and hard album.
The band does a good job and the vocals are really good. The sound is also really good.
The quality of the music is a bit hit and miss with a mix of good and decent songs. Some of the songs are based on catchy and pretty poppy choruses. Choruses with a lot of punk references. And the music sometimes falls down to that level, punk. Hence the Foo Fighter references.
This album is somewhere between decent and good. It is an album they can take on the road and indeed they are taking on the road. The music here probably sounds better live than on this album.
Friday, 22 June 2018
Swara Samrat was a duo with a lineup of percussion, piano, flute, organ, guitars, bass, synths, drums and vocals.
The band was Swara Samrat and Captain Ilor. I do not think that is their birth-names. But who cares...
I did not have the chance to listen to their 1979 debut album Lottery Of Memories. It is a highly rated album so I hope to get it one day.
The music here is krautrock. Krautrock with lots of dissonant electric guitars, synths and organs. The vocals is pretty basic.
The music itself is pretty basic on this thirty odd minutes long album. The music is anchored by some percussion and feels very improvised.
There is not much of melodies here. Then again, the music is not bad at all. The music is psychedelic and a bit spaced out too.
This is a decent enough album and one not to be missed. It has a it's charms and class. Check it out.
The fifth album from this German band.
Everon was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, piano, keyboards, bass, percussion, drums and vocals.
I have really enjoyed their last two albums and the band has shown good progression. Unfortunate without capturing the imagination of the prog rock or the prog metal world. Or the general public.
You can find my reviews of their first four albums somewhere else in this blog. My reviews of their final two albums will also be added later this summer.
The band has now found their own style. It is a style based on a mix of prog metal and heavy prog. A mix of Dream Theater and Saga.
There are even a couple of ballads in their mid-tempo music.
There is a nice mix of very good vocals, keyboards and guitars on this one hour long album. An album which will probably satisfy the prog metal scene more than it satisfies the prog rock scene. But their music is not very hard and it is mostly mid-tempo.
The music is elegant and competent. The music is good throughout too. There is no great songs here and that is my only gripe with this album.
Thursday, 21 June 2018
The sixth album from this US band.
The band is a sextet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, violin, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
I reviewed their fourth album The Long Division (from 2012) back in January 2013. You can read this review here.
I missed out on their fifth album, the first album in this series of two albums called Ones & Zeros. That album was called Ones & Zeros Volume 1 and it was released back in 2015.
This band is highly rated and I always hear about them among my prog rock friends on Facebook and other places. So it is with trepidation I am reviewing this..... The risk of becoming unpopular is very present and clear.
The band is giving us one hour of US neo-prog with a lot of college rock and symphonic prog influences. The theme is technology as the 0s and 1s indicate. And networking, that is.
The music is both brash, fresh and melodic with lots of vocals and guitar harmonies. The music is also complex and full of interesting details.
This is a very good album and highlights how good US neo-prog can be. Check out this album and this band.
The third album from this British band.
Be Bop Deluxe was a quartet with a lineup of drums, percussion, guitars, bass, tubular bells, harmonica and vocals.
This band is a strange band and a bit of a oddity in the prog rock and the pop scene. I have reviewed their first two albums, reviews you can read somewhere else in this blog, and I still don't know what they were up to.
I prog rock with some pop influences is the best label for what we get on this forty minutes long album.
There is even some ska on this album too inbetween some prog and pop in the Supertramp and David Bowie direction.
The music is pretty clever and the vocals is good. The music is also pretty quirky.
The music is a bit on the anonymous and dull side of the spectrum too. A couple of ballads with long guitar solos also falls a bit flat on their face.
The album is decent enough but just that. I am not really impressed by this album.
Wednesday, 20 June 2018
The third album from this Norwegian band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of flute, organ, bass, drums, guitars and Norwegian vocals.
The band had expanded to a quintet since their 2014 album Riset Bak Speilet. You can read my review here.
Riset Bak Speilet was a psych prog folk album. It was very progressive at times and that gave me some hope for some more complex music....
.... Hope who died on this forty-five minutes long album.
Tusmorke goes back to the early and mid 1970s and the Norwegian folk rock tradition from those days. Those days with pretty straight forward folk rock without any progressive rock influences.
Just as on this album. Most of the songs are really simple and without many interesting details. There are some of it, but not much.
The songs are straight forward and pretty good. But this is not an interesting album and the music is fast-food and not gourmet food. It makes your stomach full, but the head is not happy. Hence the lack of praise for this album.
Tuesday, 19 June 2018
The one and only album from this US band.
This band was a quartet with a lineup of soprano saxophone, flute, flugelhorn, electric piano, synths, grand piano, drums, bass and vocals.
This band with the impossible name to pronounce was a fusion band with some funk, pop and jazz leanings.
The music on this thirty-five minutes long album is a bit of everything. From some saxophone solos to some really good electric piano and grand piano solos.
There are even some vocals here which goes more in a pop direction. But not the whole way.
The music is not particular intense. It has a mid-tempo jazz feel. It is also funky with a good feel.
There are also some musical feel in their music.
The music feels focused. But it lacks a great deal of quality. It is still a pretty good album with a lot going for it. Hence my rating of this album. An album well worth checking out.
The third album from this German artist.
Fuchs is Hans-Jurgen Fuchs on bass, guitars, piano, keyboards, lap steel and backing vocals. In Fuchs, he also have six other musicians who provides bass, piano, drums, guitars, synths and vocals.
I have reviewed their first album Leaving Home from 2012 and I liked that album. You can read my five years old review here. I have just put in an order for the second album The Unity Of Two from 2014 and will review that in due time.
Fuchs plays neo-prog in the good old German vein. That means neo-prog with a dark undertone and an emotional sound.
The vocals is really good and the music has a pretty big sound with a lot of keyboards. Some of the keyboards has a Mellotron sound.
This album is over an hour long and is a good one. The vocals is a bit heavy accented, but that is not a problem. I just note it and appreciate the value these good vocals adds to this album. An album which is pretty mid-tempo.
Fans of German neo-prog already knows about this band and will get this album. It is a good album throughout.
Monday, 18 June 2018
The third album from this British band.
The Morrigan was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, triangle, timpani, percussion, keyboards, flute, programming and female vocals.
The Morrigan was originally a pure folk music group who then turned into an electric folk rock band. The conversion happened on the album before this album. You can read the review of that album and their other albums somewhere else in this blog.
Wreckers was the type of people who lured the sailing ships to their death by acting like mobile false lighthouses. That means the ships fell for the ruse and got crushed by rocks. Many, many people lost their lives in this activity and I believe it was a capitol punishment type of crime for those who were discovered doing it.
I believe this is a concept album about this type of activities.
This one hour long story is told through some electric folk rock with lots of excellent female vocals from Cathy Alexander.
The music varies from Camel like songs to more folk rock and even some more exotic music like reggae like rock.
The sound is excellent and the quality of the songs are good throughout. This is a good album for those into both prog and folk rock. Check it out.
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of bass, guitars, keyboards, drums and Italian vocals.
The band is supported by members of well known bands as PFM, Venegoni & Co and Arti & Mestieri.
This is again an unknown project to me and I was not sure what to expect. But the cover artwork says a lot..... But no, this is not an Asia copycat band.
The songs are medium long. The music is a mix of RPI and neo-prog with some prog metal influences too.
The music is pretty positive and not as dark as I expected from a band signed on a dark metal record label.
The vocals are rather good and the musicians are doing a good job too.
There is lots of interesting details and good songs on this one hour long album. An album I hope will be the first of many from this band/project.
Sunday, 17 June 2018
The debut album from this Chilean band.
Vago Sagrado is a trio with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and Spanish vocals.
The psych and space rock scene is thankfully very much alive down in South America. That scene brings us bands like this band from Chile.
Vago Sagrado does not play the type out outer space rock as many of their countrymen and others from South America plays. They still plays space rock, but they rotate the world not too far away from mother earth.
There is also some psychedelic rock in their music and some post rock. A lot of post rock in fact with ebbs and flows in the music. There are also some vocals here.
The music ebbs and flows. It is pretty crass at times. It is also melodic with some really cool, good themes.
The half-acoustic guitars are really cool and so is the electric guitars. There are also some very good guitar harmonies here.
This forty minutes long album is a good album and a good example how good and effective space rock really is. Check out this album and enjoy.
The seventh album from this Dutch band.
Life Line Project is a ten plus big orchestra on this album with a lineup of woodwinds, guitars, bass, drums, synths, keyboards, moog, harpsichord, chitarrone, lute, mandolin, baroque guitars and vocals.
The Journey is a double CD/album, lasting almost two hours. A big chunk of music to listen to and to review.
The music is symphonic prog with a lot of Camel influences. No less and no more.
The first CD is taken by the one hour long suite The Journey. A fairly good suite divided into sixteen small songs and parts. Some of them are female and male vocals based. Some are instrumentals.
The second CD is taken up by the forty-five minutes The Narrow Path suite. Again, a fairly good suite.
The sound is pretty thin and lifeless throughout these almost two hours. There is not great songs, let alone very good songs here. A couple of good melodies and themes livens up this album a lot.
The end result is a decent album which falls a bit flat on it's face. A great shame, but fans of symphonic prog may want to lend this album their ears. You get at least good value for money here.
The sixth album from this US band.
The band was a seven piece big band on this album with a lineup of violin, bass, percussion, drums, autoharp, keyboards, guitars, electric sitar and vocals.
The band also had help from guest musicians who provided woodwinds, flute, dulcimer, cello, fx and zurna.
I have reviewed Phideaux Xavier's first five albums and have found an interesting artist. He has always been a part of the Phideaux band name and that is a good thing.
Some of the albums is in the singer/songwriter tradition. The Great Leap is in this tradition too.
There is lots of vocals here. Phideaux Xavier's vocals. Then there are lots of guitars and keyboards too. The other instruments are used more sparse, with the obvious exception of the drums and bass.
The songs are also in the verse-chorus-verse tradition supplemented by some short instrumental parts.
The songs on this fifty-four minutes long album are rather good though. The lack of imagination and simply longer instrumental parts where the musicians and the song writing challenges the listener is a big problem with this album. The songs are too simple and too poppy. That is my gripe with this album.
Saturday, 16 June 2018
The debut album from this British band.
Plenty is a trio with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, drums, bass and vocals.
This band is actually Tim Bowness first prog rock band. They were pretty active thirty years ago.
One of the members has kept the tapes and the band active. Two years ago, the trio met up again and recorded the songs from the 1980s and wrote a couple of new songs. The album was produced by Jacob Lupo Holm from White Willow.
The album is forty five minutes long and you can find it at the link above.
The re-recording of the old songs has been pretty true to the 1980s scene and sound. The album bizarre enough starts with the Rolling Stones ballad As Tears Go By. I am starting to fear the worst....
Then we move onto the proper Plenty songs.
Songs which has some trippy electronica on the top of some poppy 1980s songs. There are some pretty easy to find Simple Minds and The Human League influences here. There are some hints of neo-prog too on this album.
The vocals are good and the piano is also good. The sound and production is very good.
The music is at times soft and trippy. The quality of the songs are a bit hit and miss. There are some good ones and some barely decent ones. I am not really convinced about this album.. Hence......
The seventh album from this British artist.
Peter Gee did the bass, guitars and keyboards here. He had help from a lineup of trumpet, violin, drums, vocals and narration.
Peter Gee is the bassist in Pendragon. He has also released seven Christianity themed albums. The first one back in 1993. All of them has got good reviews. I have yet to get into them.
This time around, Peter Gee has tried to put music to The Bible. Quite a big task. Many has tried the same and some has failed. Most has failed, to be honest.
This album gives us narration, song, narration, song, narration........ and the same throughout the seventy minutes long album. The lyrics are also taken from The Bible, believe it or not.
A concept album in other words. And the music is more rock than progressive rock.
The narrations is a bit over the top. The songs are nice and pretty OK.......... And I am trying to be a reasonable objective reviewer.
The songs are pretty sweet and not long. Some of the songs are rather good. The narration is slightly annoying and some songs are decent enough.
This album speaks more to a Christian audience than to a prog rock audience. Send this show on a tour around the Christian churches like Neal Morse does and this will become a hit there. Based on the music alone, this album is somewhere between decent and good.
The debut album from this English project.
This project is Rick Lambe on guitars, synths, keyboards, piano, drums programming and vocals. He got help from two others on bass and female vocals.
The project is based in Redditch in the midlands of England. It is not too far away from Birmingham.
Rick Lambe has released some other Bandcamp albums too and is pretty prolific when it comes to releases. I have yet to hear any of them.
Still Life is seventy-two minutes long and based on the half an hour long title track who is about the Manchester outrage one year ago when a bomb exploded after the gig with the teenybopper favourite Ariana Grande. A despicable attack on young girls and men.
There are also some other long songs here too.
The music is symphonic prog. It is very light symphonic prog without the bombastic music this genre is sometimes known for. The music on Still Life is understated and without many instruments.
Unfortunate, the quality is not here and this music falls a bit flat on it's face. It is a decent album but nothing more than that. Check it out.
The debut album from this Norwegian band.
Saluki was a sextet with a lineup of drums, bass, keyboards, saxophone, guitars and vocals.
The band has just played some Norwegian prog rock festivals and has announced new material and a possible new album sometimes next year. Hence, I got this album to check out some more Norwegian prog rock.
The band was actually pretty big in 1977 too and played on a the leading Scandinavian prog and jazz festivals plus on some European festivals too.
The music on this fifty minutes long album is a mix of fusion and progressive rock. Heavy prog at times but also some symphonic prog pops up here.
This blend of progressive rock and fusion works very well on this album. There are a lot of good melodies here. The vocals are OK, but not good. The rest of the band does a good job.
I very well understand why this band has become popular again and why this album is revered in the Norwegian scene and the rest of the prog rock scene. It is a good album which sits nicely with the rest of the scene.
Check out this good album and enjoy this hidden gem. Fans of Norwegian prog rock should get this album.
Friday, 15 June 2018
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a seven piece big band with a lineup of flute, drums, guitars, bass, keyboards and English vocals.
This band was previously known as Banaau. Their 2015 EP The Burial was released under that name before they changed name and most of the band members to their current name.
I have not heard The Burial EP. What caught my attention is that ProgArchives describes their music as symphonic prog. That got my attention !
Hollowscene plays symphonic prog in the English tradition. There is some RPI lurking around too. But not much. Their music reminds me more about Steve Hackett and the likes of Genesis in their most mid-tempo moments.
The male vocals are bit weak and not their strongest side. The female vocals are really good.
The keyboards and the guitars are really cool and creates some really enjoyable soundscapes. The flutes are as always really cool and creates a lot of good textures.
The album is fifty-five minutes long and has a lot to offer. The lack of a great melody or a song is my only gripe with this good album. An album which should give this band some fans. I will keep an eye on them.
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of mandolin, accordion, keyboards, bass, guitars, drums, piano and Italian vocals.
The band had help from numerous other musicians who provided cello, viola, double bass, violin, flute, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, percussion, tuba, horn and harp.... Phew !!
The band is new. The two bands whose members use this as a side-project is not new. The bands are Il Tempio Delle Clessidre and La Coscienza Di Zeno. Two excellent bands.
The music on Arrivederci Sogni is also very much in the vein of those two classic Italian symphonic prog sounding bands. We are talking about the new wine of RPI.
The forty minutes of music on this album is classic, classic RPI at it's close to best. Great vocals from the Il Tempio Delle Clessidre vocalist Francesco Ciapica. Great imaginative music from the rest of the band.
The sound is big but also very lyrical. Ditto for the music which is very poetic and artistic very well crafted.
These forty minutes showcases why RPI is such a great genre within the progressive rock family of genres. It is indeed a great album and one RPI fans will hugely enjoy. Check out this album.
Thursday, 14 June 2018
The fourth album from this UK band.
Supertramp was a quintet on this album with a lineup of drums, percussions, bass, guitars, wind instruments, harmonica, keyboards and vocals.
The band had their breakthrough with the previous album Crime Of The Century from 1974. A breakthrough the band was eager to follow up with Crisis ? What Crisis ?
The sound is the same as on their breakthrough album. The same mix of pomp pop and symphonic prog. There are also some catchy songs here and some hit singles, if I am not much mistaken.
The mix of woodwinds, keyboards, guitars and the vocals are really elegant too. Something that creates their sound.
There is a lot to be happy about here. About a band who created their own sound and walked their own path. This is one of the albums that cemented their position and reputation.
This is also a very good album with a lot of details and melodies to be really happy about. And the cover art-work is also classic and one of the best known images of the 1970s.
This is a very good album which is well worth checking out.
The debut album from this English band.
Tamarisk is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
The band released two demo-cassettes back in the 1980s before they released an EP in 2012 and then this album. They are now active gigging and having fun with their music and on their gigs.
Tamarisk is one of the many British neo-prog bands who emerged together with Marillion and Pendragon. They never really made it big and were quickly forgotten..... until their members decided to release what they got.
The band also wrote some new songs for this seventy minutes long album. So it is a mix of old and new songs, this album. There is no difference in sound quality between old and new songs, though. There is no difference at all in the genres either.
The vocals is good and there is a lot of symphonic neo-prog keyboards and guitars runs. There are some good guitar solos too and the songs are at the symphonic neo-prog end of the neo-prog spectrum.
This is a very typical British neo-prog album who leans pretty heavy on old Marillion.
The quality is really good throughout this album and I feel this band did not have much luck in their life as this band is up there among the better, forgotten neo-prog bands.
This album is well worth checking out.
Wednesday, 13 June 2018
The second album from this Norwegian band.
Tusmorke was a quartet with a lineup of flute, organ, bass, drums and vocals.
I reviewed their 2012 debut album Underjordisk Tusmorke back in November 2012 and has since followed their progress from afar. You can read my review here.
I got a couple more album of them and they are being reviewed this summer.
The band plays folk progressive rock with a lot of psych rock influences. There are some Jethro Tull influences here and a lot of influences from the Norwegian folk rock scene from the 1970s.
The eight minutes long Offerpresten starts this forty odd minutes long album and it is a really good folk rock tune.
The album dives into a much more dense psych folk prog rock landscape on the following three songs before the title track rises the level again with a fifteen minutes long folk symphonic prog song. The best song of the album by far and a very good one too.
I am one of those few who are not really a fan of this band. I am a moveable object, though.... This album is a good album but nothing more than that.
The fourth album from this US band if I am not much mistaken.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of synths, bass, drums, guitars, percussion, woodwinds and vocals.
The band is totally unknown to me, but I know they comes from Brooklyn in New York.
... Which may explain their music too.
The music is very metropolitan to say at least. Take funk, electronica, brass dominated fusion, pop music, progressive rock and some jazz. The result is somewhere near this forty-seven minutes long album.
The band nicely mixes boyband pop type naive songs with fusion and jazz. The vocals is really elegant and sits on the top of some really elegant music.
There is also a lot of funk here and some woodwinds which sounds very smokey and classy.
This album is an elegant coctail and it has a lot to offer. This is not really my type of music. But quality is quality. And the music here is really good.
My only gripe is the lack of any great songs here. That aside, this is a good album.
Tuesday, 12 June 2018
The second album from this British band.
Be Bop Deluxe was a trio with a lineup of bass, percussion, drums, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
They had help from some guest musicians who provided brass and double bass.
Bill Nelson was still at the wheels of this band after the not so great debut album. You can read my review of it here.
The band still has a very quirky sound and music. David Bowie is a good reference. So is Supertramp.
The music on this album is a bit harder than on the debut album. It is also far more bombastic and symphonic.
The bombastic music also comes up with some wild guitars..... and some rather catchy melodies and songs too. There are even a couple of very good songs here inbetween all the quirky melodies.
I cannot say I am a fan of this album. But I have to admit there is something really good with and on this thirty-five minutes long album. There are even something very charming about this album. It is an album well worth checking out too. There is something about this band.......
The second album from this German band.
Project Patchwork is really only a one man project on this album with Gerd Albers playing acoustic guitars and drums.
He has help from numerous other musicians who provides saxophones, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
I did not get the chance to hear their 2015 debut album Tales From A Hidden Dream. So I cannot say anything about that album.
Gerd Albers with friends gives us German neo-prog with some prog metal influences.
This album is seventy-two minutes long divided on eleven songs. Some are long and some are rather short.
The music is not very hard. It is ticking along nicely just as the clock on my wall is doing. It is not particular interesting or good either. The vocals are good and the musicians is doing their best with some songs who are very bland and substandard.
This is a decent enough album and not something that really leaves any positive impressions.
The eight album from this US band.
Salem Hill was a quartet with a lineup of bass, keyboards, guitars, hammond organ, wurlitzer, drums, percussion and vocals.
A session musician added his cello to a couple of songs.
I believe this is my second meeting with this band. I reviewed their latest album, the 2014 album The Unseen Cord for # 1 of this blog back in April 2015. You can find my review here.
Salem Hill has been wandering between symphonic prog and neo-prog during their albums. The album before this one was a symphonic prog album, I have been told.
Pennies In The Karma Jar is a neo-prog album with some strong influences from both AOR and rock.
The mood is very happy with this typical US optimistic smiling neo-prog sound. I get the feeling that this is a Christian neo-prog album. But I may be wrong.
We get one hour of music on this album. Music which is decent enough but is still sorely lacking in the quality department. There is no good songs here. The is not many good details here either. The result is a decent album and just that.
Sunday, 10 June 2018
The debut album from this US band.
Season Of The Crow is a quintet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, percussion, keyboards and female vocals.
The band is from the west coast of USA...... San Fransisco, California. A famous city, one of the most iconic cities in the world.
This band did not crop out of nowhere. It is indeed the side project of the Symphony X bassist Mike LePond. It is though pretty different from what he does in his daytime job.
OK, there are some prog metal here too. But most of the music here is neo-prog with female vocals. Good references are Panic Room and those female fronted neo-prog bands from England and the rest of Europe.
There is no folk music and no Keltic folk influences in their music. Everything here is a mix of prog metal and neo-prog.
There are some long songs on this fifty-five minutes long album. The music is very complex and multi-layered most of the times. The mood is also pretty dark and gloomy. The music is mostly mid-tempo.
The vocals are really good and they have found a very good vocalist in Riki Carignan. The rest of the band also delivers their goods.
This is a good album and one I really enjoy. I am pretty sure this album will enter someone's best albums of 2018 lists when this album gets more attention. This is the type of new bands we really like !!
The sixth album from this Dutch band/project.
Life Line Project was a nine members big band with a lineup of cowbell, tambourine, triangle, claves, percussion, drums, chittarone, lute, guitars, mandolin, synths, piano, electric piano, harpsischord, moog, organ, violin, electric violin, bass, oboe, flute and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
Their previous album The King from 2009 was a massive rock opera album. And a good one. You can read my review here.
Despite of the many different instruments on Distorted Memories, Life Line Project under the ownership of Erik De Beer has scaled back a lot on this album.
The music is symphonic prog with a lot of Camel and ELP references. There is also some fusion and classical music references on this album. There are even some prog and goth metal influences here.
This one hour long album caters for a lot of people. And they will not be let down by this album. The music is elegant and classy throughout. The different instruments are also offering up some goodies for even the most cynical souls out there. The vocals are also really good.
There is no great tracks here and that is my only gripe with this good album. This is the second Life Line Project album I have come to like after some pretty dubious first albums. Scary thought, me liking this band......
The second album from this Italian band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of percussions, guitars, bass, drums, piano, mellotron, vox organ, minimoog and vocals.
I did a review of their third album, the 2012 album Spiritual Revolution, back in December 2013 for # 1 of this blog. Check out my review here.
This band is indeed one of the more sadly ignored Italian progressive rock bands. One of the hidden gems of the scene.
They were active in the 1990s with two albums and in the 2010s with two album. Their first era saw the band gravitate towards psych rock and a bit harder rock.
That is pretty obvious on this album where the band blends in psych rock, hard rock and progressive rock (aka VDGG) into this fifty minutes long album.
The result is an album with some good things and not so good things. This is not an exciting album. It is rather dull in places. It is still worth checking out if you can.
Saturday, 9 June 2018
The third album from this Brazilian band.
Trem Do Futuro was a sextet with a lineup of violin, bass, drums, guitars, keyboards, flutes and Portoguese vocals.
Their first two albums showcased some good Brazilian and Latin - American symphonic prog. In particular on the semi-classical album O Tempo from 2008.
The band had lost their original members in the seven years between O Tempo and their 2015 album Tr3s. And most of the symphonic prog was also gone.
The forty-five minutes long Tr3s still have some symphonic prog. It also has some disharmonic rock and folk rock too. The vocals is pretty dark and gloomy.
Gloomy is the word here with some strange and disharmonic drums, guitars and bass laying down the melodies. The music is also a bit on the weird side. This is not a one dimensional album by any means.
I am not happy about their change of direction. Much of this album is too gloomy for my liking. Too weird.
Half of the music is barely decent and I am not really finding much to enjoy here. It is a decent album but also a fall from grace for this band. Check out their first two albums instead.
The debut album from this Finnish band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
They had help from two other musicians who provided kantele and keyboards.
This band is new to me. But they have released some EPs and singles since 2013. Their new album is released through Progressive Gears.
Their music is some sort of neo-prog. Neo-prog with a lot of pop music and rock music influences. Middle of the road pop/rock influences, that is.
The vocals are really good and the mood is pretty melancholic. There are also some interesting details here on this mainly guitars dominated album.
There is also a lot of vocals and vocal harmonies on this album. The vocals are bit too sugary sweet for my liking. The guitars are good.
The album is forty-five minutes long and it is an OK album with a mix of decent and good songs. I am a bit ambient about this band as I feel this is perhaps not a band who will follow the prog rock path in the future. But check out this album if very melodic prog is your thing.
Friday, 8 June 2018
The second album from this US band.
Elysian Fields is a trio with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
The band is from St. Petersburgh in Florida, USA. They released their debut album Homage back in 2005.
They are not the most productive band in other words. Or this may now be a project for all I know.
This album is about...... surprise, surprise...... about what once was the seven wonders of the world. Some of these seven wonders has now fallen down. The sculpture on the picture is one of them, I am afraid. An earthquake sent that one tumbling down to the earth and into the sea. I read something about this forty years ago, you see.
The band has described this album as a mix of ELP, Yes, King Crimson and Genesis. Something they are free to do.
They also adds English pop as a reference. They are pretty right about that.
This album has some good vocals on this pop-orientated prog rock album. There is also a lot of piano here. The music is very melodic and light. There is no bombastic melodies and time shifts here.
The quality is not as good as I hoped. There are some decent stuff here and some pretty good stuff here. The sound is very good and it has this US sound. US prog rock sound, that is. It is a sweet sound. But this is still not a good album. Check out this one hour long album for yourself.
The second album from this US band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of organ, bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
I have started to review their six albums this summer and hope to complete this task before this fall. You can find my review of their first album here.
This album, their second album, sold a million album or more. It established this band's place in the history of rock'n'roll.
It was a mindblowing beat/psych/hard rock album back in 1968 where they took what The Who, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones had created and made a run into the psych world with what they had taken from these bands.
The first five shorter tracks is really pop and beat music. I bit of a The Rolling Stones meat The Beatles. Just a lot harder.
What made this album to the classic is really are, is the eighteen minutes long title-track. A funky psych/space rock workout with some blues influences. This version is totally different from the version of the song I first heard twenty years ago. Slayer's version of this song, that is. Slayer's version is a lame duck compared to the original version. The one on this album.
OK, it is a bit too long. It is still a cool piece of music. And a good piece of music.
The end result is a thirty-six minutes long album who comes across somewhere between decent and good. This is an album well worth checking out.