Sunday, 30 September 2018
The debut album from this US band.
Facing Forever is a trio with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars and female vocals.
This is another totally unknown band to me and an album I have got on MP3 from a friend who want me to review it.
So I will.
The music on this album is somewhere between prog metal and prog rock. US prog rock, that is.
The sound is pretty metallic and pretty poor. The sound quality is very good. I am though referring to the inhuman mix where all good work is being ruined by the mixer and the mastering.
The female vocals is good. The guitars and the guitars sound is really horrible and must come from the floor of the mixing desk. Terrible, terrible.
The songs on this one hour long album is not too bad, though. But the mix destroys what is good here.
Nevertheless, this is a decent album.
The debut album from this band from Argentina.
Contramarea is a duo of Edgardo Marchi on keyboards and Santiago Benedetti on drums.
The lineup is very unusual, I have to say. I cannot remember seeing a setup like this before.
The music is instrumental, though.
Instrumental it is and a mix of symphonic prog, RIO, zeuhl, fusion and jazz.
The drums here are really effective and something other synths wizards should check out. The drums adds a lot of hard textures and substance to the music. Music which tends to be pretty bland.
The fifty minutes long album Insistante is therefore not bland, thanx to the drums. The synths is also very good too.
The music is very dynamic with some zeuhl and RIO like tunes. The album though starts with a Soft Machine like intro which makes me very interested from the first tone.
There are some not so good stuff here. But there is not much of that. The overall quality is good throughout.
This is one of the few instrumental albums well worth checking out. I am not a fan of instrumental albums. But this one gets my approval.
Saturday, 29 September 2018
The debut album from this Canadian band.
Finch is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, mellotron, organ and female vocals.
This band from Victoria, British Colombia should not be confused with the Dutch band of the same name. The Dutch band is a semi-legendary symphonic prog band from the 1970s who released some good albums.
Finch from Canada has just started out.
The art-work is pretty dark and tells stories about a dark album.
It is a dark album.
It is not dark metal, doom metal or goth rock, though. The music is a mix of symphonic prog, neo-prog and fusion. There is some very strong hints of jazz here too.
The music is dark though and that because of both the dark guitars and the female soprano vocals from Danya VB. The music is pretty haunting and full of melancholy. It is never gothic, though.
The music on this thirty-five minutes long album is also cool with a lot of jazz sensitivities too.
The music is pretty original and refreshing in a scene where too many follows the rock and neo-prog formula. This album is not doing that and that is good.
This is a good album from a band I would like to hear more from in the future. Keep up the good work, guys !
The third album from this band from Singapore.
Gothik Serpent is a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, programming and vocals.
In reality, this is another one-man project. The man behind it is Lerwin Tsang.
It is not often I review albums from Singapore in this blog. Has it ever happened ? I do not think so.
So it is a delight to introduce you to this album and band.
The music on this one hour long album is a mix of neo-prog, college rock and commercial rock.
There is some traces of Porcupine Tree in the music and some modern symphonic prog in the US vein too. And that is what we find here.
The sound is really good and the musicians knows what they are doing. The vocals are really cool too.
This album has not re-invented the wheel. It is pretty normal music from this genre with the normal standard and quality. It is not an album that excites me.
It is still a good album though and maybe one to check out. Some great tracks is really what this album is missing. Hence the rating.
The second and final album from this German band.
The band was a duo of Linda and Paul Fuchs. Linda did the vocals and voices. Paul did the tapes, drums, bass, woodwinds and synths.
Their 1971 debut album Sturmische Himmel was an utterly horrible cosmisch krautrock album. So I had no hope to this album and was not looking forward to reviewing this album.
With very good reasons, it turned out.
I was not in for a positive surprise here.
This album gives us thirty five minutes divided on two tracks worth of "music". The "music", make that anti-music, is screaming and some woodwinds.
This album is, and this is really incredible, even worse than their debut album and a sure turkey.
Avoid at all cost.
Friday, 28 September 2018
The debut album from this British band.
Galahad were a quintet on this album with a lineup of keyboards, Hammond organ, bass, drums, tambourine, percussion, guitars, synths, Mellotron, piano, FX and vocals.
Two guest musicians provided keyboards and operatic vocals.
Galahad is a band in the British prog and neo-prog scene which does not really need any introduction. I have previously reviewed a couple of their albums and will review the remainder of the albums I have got of them this fall and winter.
Their debut album was released in 1991 and showcases some really poppy neo-prog.
The music is really simple neo-prog with a chorus-verse-chorus and not much else. The songs on this one hour long album is really short. Short without much substance.
The songs are catchy and slightly bubblegum like in texture. The taste quickly disappears and a bland taste remains.
This album is nowhere near their finest hour. It is still a fairly decent album which show some kind of promise. Promise later fulfilled.
Thursday, 27 September 2018
The ninth album from this Brazilian artist.
Eloy Fritsch continued and still continue to write and record his albums with the help from a mountain of synths. Eleven albums so far.
This is the final one of his albums I have got and I doubt that I will ever get more of his albums.
This album starts pretty bright with some electric guitars solos samples before going into a more Irish soundscape. Enya springs to mind.
There are even some female vocals here. Sampled off course.
The rest of this album is in the more traditional symphonic prog with synths landscape Eloy Fritsch lives in. His music, that is. There is a lot of space sounds here too.
The sound is bereft of any human life and is very plastic.
I am not a big fan of this sound. Rather; I do not like this sound at all. The music is decent enough. But it is still muzak in my ears.
The debut album from this Polish one-man band.
Hovercraft is the project of Bartosz Gromotka.
The Bandpage page is in Polish and I know next to nothing about this project. The instruments I can hear is guitars, keyboards, drums, bass, synths, samples and vocals.
This is one of the many one-man projects in or around progressive rock these days. Not many of these projects has a good standard.
Full Of Eels comes across as a blend of Porcupine Tree and some ambient music. There are even some Americana in this music.
The first half of this one hour long album has some songs of a reasonable good quality.
The album runs out of steam halfway through and becomes an ambient nodding off session after that.
The end result is a decent enough album which will not appeal to many progressive rock fans, I am afraid. Check it out at the link above.
Wednesday, 26 September 2018
The second album from this Canadian band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
Some guest musicians also provided special FX, violin, narration and vocals.
I really liked their 1996 debut album Theatre Of The Mind and you can find my review here.
The band returns two years later with another album.
The Kansas influences and the symphonic prog is mostly gone. What is remaining is a mix of neo-prog and progressive metal.
The music is really heavy here and in the vein of Dream Theater and other prog metal bands.
There is a lot of good guitars and some good vocals here. Ditto for good keyboards.
This one hour and five minutes long album is both steady and solid. The band rocks off and gives us some good songs too.
I am not really won over by this album as the production and the music sounds far to sterile for my liking. That said, it is difficult to fault this album on anything.
Good, but not great is my verdict on this album. A bit more sparkling music on the next album is what I want.
Monday, 24 September 2018
The one and only album from this Dutch band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of double-bass, piano, saxophones, flutes, violin, organ, bass, drums, percussion and guitars.
This band was a one-off band who recorded this album and then disappeared again.
The music on this album is a mix of fusion and jazz.
Most of the music is piano and saxophone dominated jazz with a lot of free improvisations and avant-garde jazz bits. Music which sounds bit too dense avant-garde too me and most of us.
The opening minutes of this forty odd minutes long album is very promising fusion though. The saxophones on this album is really good too.
It is not an album who really speaks well to those outside the jazz aficinados crowd. I am not one of them and this album is not winning me over.
Still, some of the music here is really good and I feel drawn more and more towards jazz when listening to albums like this one.
Check out this album if jazz is your thing.
The debut album from this Norwegian band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, flutes, keyboards, bass, drums, programming and vocals.
Two guest musicians provides trombone and extra vocals.
Galasphere 347 contains musicians from Henry Fool, Anglagard and White Willow. The musicians are veterans in the scene.
This album has three tracks and contains forty-two minutes of music.
The music is a modern take on symphonic prog. There is a lot of Yes, White Willow and some Anglagard references here.
This sounds like sweet music to the ears of symphonic prog fans... and it is. The music is really complex and melodic at the same time.
The result is a soaring, complex and melodic symphonic prog album which keeps giving on all levels.
It is also a great album which will figure high in the best of 2018 polls. And it is an album all fans of symphonic prog need to get.
Sunday, 23 September 2018
The fourth album from this US band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of guitars, samples, percussion, bass, drums and vocals.
They are helped out by numerous musicians who has provided cello, violin, viola, flute, trumpet, French horn, saxophone, percussion, wolves growls (!!) and vocals.
The band has released four albums since 2009 and they are all unreviewed in ProgArchives. Which is not fair as the band deserves some attention.
Mythology has fused vaudeville pop, prog rock, jazz, college rock, progressive metal and rock into their own music.
The music is lively and full of energy. There is a lot of things going on during this one hour with this band.
There is a lot of jazz vibes....... the vocals has a strong jazz vibe and ditto for the woodwinds.
There are also some progressive metal here too.
This is a youthful, happy album.
The quality is not the best and it is really hard to find the good music here. But there are some. There are also some decent music here and this album is by no means a waste of time. This is a band well worth checking out.
The second album from this Polish band.
The band was a one-man band with Michal Wojtas as the only member on guitars, keyboards, programming and sampler.
He got help from a quintet, including Colin Bass, who provided drums and vocals.
Their first album was an instrumental album. It was also far from what ProgArchives has labeled this band as... A neo-prog band. And I really like neo-prog and was looking forward to reviewing some neo-prog again.
Neo Way, the title gave me some hope after the disappointment of the debut album. An album I have reviewed somewhere else in this blog.
Neo Way gives us almost an hour with some piano driven music somewhere between Americana, pop, some prog and U2 like rock.
There is some instrumentals here and some vocal tracks too.
The music is leaning toward rock and Americana. Some strong Al Stewart influences also pops up. And.... horror horror horror... there is also a couple country'n'western songs here too.
The quality of the music is decent though and it is not a too bad album. But it is not neo-prog and it is not a good album.
I have to say I am not impressed by their first two albums and is giving their final two album the miss.
Saturday, 22 September 2018
The fifth album from this German band.
Popol Vuh was a trio on this album with a lineup of spinet, piano, percussion, guitars and voices.
A guest musician contributed with his flutes.
The band started out as a cosmiche krautrock band (first two albums) before moving into a more dynamic landscape. It is still krautrock and spaced out, but still, dynamic.
That goes for this album too.
The band has never sounded more dynamic as on this album.
This album is at times pretty heavy too. I did not see that coming from a Popol Vuh album..... But here it is.
There is a lot of folk rock ambience here and a lot of Mike Oldfield comparisons.
There are also some Indian music feel over this album.
The music is mainly performed with acoustic guitars and some flute and piano too. But mainly acoustic guitars.
The music is good throughout. Good and safe. I am surprised how dynamic the music is and I really like this album. It is an album well worth checking out.
The ninth album from this Italian band.
Ifsounds is a quintet on this album with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums, guitars, piano, synths, percussion and vocals.
The band had help from some guest musicians who provided bhodran, violin, organ, keyboards and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
I have reviewed some of their albums for both # 1 of this blog and ProgArchives. It is a bit of a strange band with some strange albums.
An Gorta Mor is no exception from that rule.
The music is not eclectic or avant-garde. Far from it.
This album takes in everything from US arena rock, symphonic prog, RPI, some King Crimson stuff, rock, folk rock and neo-prog.
The music is pretty melodic and dynamic. This album is by no means a easy listening album as it changes musical landscapes on a very regular basis. It is bit of a confusing album where the themes are pretty short before the themes changes again.
The vocals are really good and cannot be faulted. Ditto for the musicians. It is just that I am not sure what this band is up to on this album.
What I am sure about though is that this is another good album from this Italian band. A band who deserves a lot more attention and praise in my opinion. Check out this album.
The one and only album from this Italian band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of guitars, keyboards and Italian vocals.
The band had help from a bassist and a drummer.
It is pretty hard to believe that this album actually was recorded in 1984 and released in 1985 on a private pressing. But that is the fact.
The reason is that the music on this forty odd minutes long album sounds like Italian progressive rock, RPI, from 1967 or thereabout.
Take a big chunk of Italian pop music, add some soft progressive rock and some folk rock. Then you get this album.
The music is very soft and melodic with lots of vocal harmonies.
It is so 1967, this album.
It does not have any of the ills from the 1980s. The sound is really retro too.
The music is OK and flowery with a lot of guitars and keyboards generated strings. It is a lot of housewives pop music on this album.
It is not an interesting album and this album will forever remain very obscure, only visited by die-hard RPI fans. People like myself. It is a decent enough album though.
Friday, 21 September 2018
The second album from this US drummer.
Jack Potter has got help from numerous musicians who has contributed with guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
One of the contributors here is the late Colin Tench and I believe this is the final piece of music (guitars) he ever worked on before he passed away in Sweden one year ago.
I was not too impressed with his 2012 debut album Celestial Adventures. My review can be found here.
The music is still melodic neo and symphonic prog, the American way and style. Prog infused with a lot of Art Rock.
There is a lot of female vocals here and some organ sounding keyboards too. There are some Pink Floyd like guitar solos too.
The music sounds nice and clean.
The music is also very complex and bombastic too. There is a lot of ELP influences in that respect. But with a lot more guitars who shares the keyboards duties.
This is not an overly exciting album and neither does the quality really impresses me. It is still an album well worth checking out if US prog is your thing. It is barely a good album, but still a good album.
The second album from this British project.
The project is now reduced to a Robert Berry project. Keith Emerson is listed as the composer and arranger here.
Carl Palmer has left this band and Keith Emerson departed this world a couple of years ago. It has been claimed that the last ever pieces of music he ever wrote is included on this album.
Robert Berry does the vocals, keyboards, bass and guitars here. Nobody has been credited as the drummer.
Their 1998 album To The Power Of Three was frankly a horrible AOR album. You can find my review somewhere else in this blog.
The Rules Has Changed is a different kettle of fish, though...
The music is a mix of AOR and progressive rock. Mostly progressive rock. The sound is muscular, contemporary and very good indeed. Gone is the crimes of the 1980s.
Robert Berry does a brilliant job here and this album is a good, intended or not, tribute to Keith Emerson. A lot of the music has his trademarks.
Best of all, the music is very good throughout. It is indeed one of the better albums anno 2018. My only gripe is the lack of some more great tracks. That aside, this is an album well worth checking out.
Thursday, 20 September 2018
The debut album from this German band.
The band was a duo with a lineup of bassoon, tapes, drums, fuchshorn, bass and vocals.
Anima Sound released two albums in 1971 before they disappeared without a trace. The Fuchs couple was the members of this band.
The album starts with some bleathing from a lamb/sheep. And it is from there one pretty clear where this album is going.
Cosmiche krautrock is the direction.
There is hardly any music at all on this forty odd minutes long album.
We get some female screaming over some sound effects and tam tam drums. There is some sporadic bass here too and some bassoons.
That is all.
There is no direction here and no purpose. Cosmiche krautrock is normally far better than this album.
This album is therefore a turkey and a waste of time. It is also a pretty painful listening experience.
The one and only album from this US band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
The band was an offshot of the more known band Leviathan. That was also a Tennessee band.
Companion gives us forty-two minutes of light psych and progressive rock.
The album starts with an OK version of Blackbird, the classic song from The Beatles. That song is not representative for the rest of this album, though.
There is a lot of the 1960s hippies in their music. There is also a lot of The Moody Blues like prog on this album too. Symphonic prog.
The sound is the typical early 1970s sound. And it is a good sound.
The music is decent throughout. It is a nice album which is nice there and then. It is not rich on textures and intricate details. The more psych orientated material is the best on this album.
This is a decent enough album, well worth checking out.
Wednesday, 19 September 2018
The sixth album from this US band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of percussion, piano, drums, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
Izz is one of those unashamed US big sound band who we find somewhere between neo-prog and symphonic prog.
The music on this album is unashamed big, bombastic and complex.
The keyboards, guitars and vocals creates a lot of sound on this one hour long album.
The songs are also pretty long too. The music is at times heavy and intense. The interactions between female and male vocals is very effective.
There is a lot of time-shifts and intricate melody lines on this album.
There is no real great music here and it sounds like the album is not hitting the right ideas throughout. A bit more great or even good music would have been great.
What is remaining is a complex album. Is that complexity hiding it's flaws, the listeners will ask themselves. This is not a melodic album and it is not easy on the ears.
The quality is good though and this album is something fans of complex progressive rock should check out.
The ninth album from this UK band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of saxophone, brass, timbales, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals.
The band had help from numerous other musicians who provided trumpet, brass, keyboards, guitars and extra vocals.
I have reviewed all their albums and have found a great band to really get into.
I have though heard a lot of very bad things about this album though.....
And these rumours are spot on.
Free As A Bird is a pop album with a lot of brass and 1980s bad style. The sound is the typical 1980s pop sound. Third rate pop music.
The music is frankly awful and shocking bad on this forty-four minutes long album. It is style wise nowhere near their other albums.
This album is a turkey and best avoided all together. Awful, awful, awful.
Tuesday, 18 September 2018
The 29th album from this Italian artist.
Pepe Maina is doing all instruments himself. That is synths and loops, I guess.
He started out in 1977 with his debut album and has released albums on a regular basis after that. I will get his 1977 debut album quite soon as this album, Res Obscura, has made me interested in some of his previous albums.
Electronic music is not really something I like. Something my latest reviews has made clear.
Pepe Maina though is adding in a lot of organic sounding sounds in his electronic music. There are even some Chinese classical music sounding tracks here.
There is even some organ sounding synths here too and that has made me interested.
I am not totally sold on this fifty minutes long album. Fifty minutes of some pretty pedestrian and unassuming music. There is some Jean Michel Jarre and Mike Oldfield over his sound. Which is not a bad thing.
I like my music a lot more organic than this. But Pepe Maina and his music has a bit of an x-factor and I really like this album. It is a good album too. So check it out.
Monday, 17 September 2018
The second album from this English band.
The band is a trio on this album with a lineup of orchestration, guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals.
The band has released three albums and I got this album on the basis of the quality of their third album, the Reading Gaol concept album.
Coalition started out as a decent neo-prog band. They very much went a bit towards symphonic prog after their debut album.
Bridge Across Time is a neo-prog album with very strong symphonic prog influences. It is by all means a symphonic prog album.
The vocals is slightly distorted, but still good. There is a lot of good keyboards and guitars too on this album.
The music is both melodic and epic at the same time. There is a lot of good hooks here too.
This album is very long.... seventy-seven minutes long. Not all music here is good. Nevertheless, there are some very good music here too and some decent music. Most of this album contains some really good music. Music which really should please everyone into epic neo-prog. Check it out.
The seventh album from this band from Ukraine.
The band is a ten piece big band/project on this album with a lineup of drums, guitars, violin, bass, keyboards, synths and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
Sunchild is one of Antony Kalugin's four bands. Or is it three bands ? He is prolific and the Eastern Europe's answer on Roine Stolt. And that is a compliment.
Antony Kalugin stands on his own two feet and is doing a brilliant job for progressive rock and those of us who lives for this genre.
I have reviewed a couple of their albums for # 1 of this blog. It is a band I like.
The band returns with a sunny, but also slightly melancholic album. The music is symphonic prog, but also with a great deal of Pink Floyd influences. The music is very melodic. But there is also a lot of substance in this music and it never becomes dull.
There is a lot of great vocals here and some really good, long guitar solos. The album builds up and up the feelings and ambience towards the crescendo at the end where it all comes together during the final five minutes.
The end result is a very good album which should spread happiness and joy to everyone who likes epic, melodic progressive rock.
Sunday, 16 September 2018
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a nine piece big band/project with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, saxophones, cello, viola, violin, piano, synths, Hammond organ and Italian vocals.
The band started twenty years ago. But this is this is their debut album. It is a concept album about the murderer of Firenze. It is a story which is a part of the Italian folklore, from what I understand.
The band has members from the Italian classical music and the goth rock scene. It is like these two scenes has merged on this album too.
In addition to goth and classical music, we also get a lot of psych rock and last but not least; the RPI scene.
This is indeed an RPI album and it has been released through Black Widow Records. Which tells you that the music is very dark and gothic.
And indeed it is. Dark and brooding. It has a contemporary feel too with lots of saxophones and strings in addition to guitars, organs and piano.
The result is a good album and one which is a good addition to the Italian prog rock scene. I would recommend everyone into RPI to check out this album.
The eight album from this Brazilian artist.
Eloy Fritsch did all the synths, samples and keyboards here. He had help from Deborah Fritsch (his wife ?) on vocals on a couple of tracks.
Eloy Fritsch is the keyboardist in a well known Brazilian prog rock band in addition to releasing albums on his own. All the albums is keyboards and synths albums.
This album starts with an opera like piece of melody with female opera vocals.
The music then moves into the usual Eloy Fritsch territory.
That means semi-dramatic and pomp neo-classical music with a lot of ambient and folk rock influences.
All of this on his synths and samples.
The music sounds non-organic and very plastic fantastic. I am no fan of this sound, his sound. The music feels devoid of any human souls.
The music on this seventy minutes long album is pretty good, though. There are some themes here which goes down well and demands the attention from the listener. The opera piece is rather good.
Hence my rating of this album.... one of his better ones.
Saturday, 15 September 2018
The fifth album from this German band.
The band was a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, strings, percussion, trumpet, saxophone, keyboards, fx and vocals.
They had help from guest musicians who provided cello, trombone, trumpet, viola, flute, saxophone and a choir.
Birth Control has had a nice development on their first four albums. A development who pointed towards a future as a progressive rock band.
A promise delivered on this album.
I have heard this is the first album of their progressive rock era. And with progressive rock, I mean symphonic prog.
There is some Yes here and some Genesis here. The music is still a lot more muscular than the music those two bands gave us. Yet, this is symphonic prog but the German band.
There is some Eloy here though. But the music on this forty-five minutes long is very complex and multi-layered at times. RPI is a good reference when it comes to complexity.
The music is also pretty catchy with some very interesting details throughout this album.
This is an album who demands a lot from the listener too. It is not easy listening, this album. It is though very rewarding and a good album. I have got a lot of respect for this band and that is cemented by this album.
The debut album from this Polish band.
The band is a duo with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and percussion.
They got help from various guest musicians who provided vocals, violin, flute and drums.
This band has released four albums and is still a going concern as far as I am aware. This band should not be confused with the Spanish folk rock band with the same name.... or the Norwegian metal band with the same name.
Amarok is a socalled neo-prog band. That is not evident on this album, though.
The music on this album is mostly instrumental. Instrumental progressive rock in the vein of Mike Oldfield.
There are also some Pink Floyd influences here. Mostly in the use of the wailing female voices. Or vocals as you may want to call it.
The album is over one hour long and it has plenty of acoustic guitars and piano. There is also a lot of keyboards here and some electric guitars.
The mood and the music is mellow and pretty pedestrian. There is no drama here not much technical wizardry.
The end result is a bit underwhelming. It is a pretty dull album which may appeal to Mike Oldfield fans. I am not won over, though.
Friday, 14 September 2018
The debut album from this US one man project.
M J D is Mark Jeffrey Dye from the prog rock band Elysian Field. He does everything here. The vocals, guitars, bass, drums and keyboards.
He has now retired from a long career in the music business and free to do whatever he want to do. That means to really do the music he likes. The music he has written for many years.
The result is Electric Fantasy.
This album is forty minutes long and gives us a mix of neo-prog and US symphonic prog.
There is some Kansas here and a lot of elegant neo-prog. The songs are medium long with the longest one topping out at six minutes.
The vocals are really good and ditto for the keyboards and the guitars. It proves that Mark has lots of knowledge and experience in this game.
That shows in the songs and the melodic interludes on this album. The music is really good and a pleasure for the ears. There are no great pieces of music here though.
Fans of melodic, light progressive rock will really like this album a lot. Check it out.
The debut album from this UK band.
The band is an offshot of ELP with Carl Palmer on drums, Keith Emerson on keyboards and Robert Berry on bass, guitars and vocals.
Greg Lake was on other duties around this time and the rest of ELP wanted to do another album. Robert Berry filled the gap.
... sort off...
There is nothing wrong with Robert Berry at all, though. But this album and this band is not ELP. His vocals are good and the keyboards are rather good too.
The music here is AOR of the more commercial sort.
The music is really lacking in any form of imagination and is following a well trodden path. There is nothing new and not much to be pleased about on this album.
A couple of the songs here are rather decent to good, though. And this album is not as bad as Love Beach.
On the other side, this is barely a decent album and not one I will ever listen to again. Hence the rating.
Thursday, 13 September 2018
The fifth album from this band from Chile.
This is a cooperation between the singer Manduka and Los Jaivas. The band was a quintet with a lineup of percussions, bass, drums, piano, handclaps, flutes, guitars and Spanish vocals.
It is my understanding that Los Jaivas was the backup band for Manduka here. He was born in Brazil and moved to Chile and then to Europe where he passed away far too young in 2004, 52 years old. He also released a lot of albums on his own in his too short life.
Los Suenos De America is almost forty minutes long and takes the band and Manduka into a landscape somewhere between folk rock and primitive krautrock. Amon Duul is a good reference in the krautrock scene.
There is also a lot of pop music on this album which does not really have any complicated progressive music. It is a lot of sing-along music here.
The music here is not particular interesting as it is pretty evident that this is Manduka's album.
It is still a fairly decent album which only fans of Los Jaivas will appreciate. I am not that big fan of this band and would recommend handle this album with care.
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
The debut album from this Italian artist and guitarist.
It is my understanding that Renato Moretti plays all the instruments here. That means guitars, bass, drums, flutes, keyboards and vocals.
Sequenze gives us a very nice run through some vintage sounding Rock Progressive Italiano... RPI.
Banco and PFM is good references for this album.
The keyboards sound is really cool.... and fat. Ditto for the guitars which sounds a bit more contemporary than the music and the other instruments. The Italian vocals and the vocal harmonies is also very good.
The album is also a thirty-seven minutes long concept album. I do not know what the concept is. But I have no complaints about the music.
The music is really lush and a reminder how good and effective RPI really is.
There is no great pieces of music here though... But this is still a good album.
The one and only album from this Polish band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of drums, percussions, organ, piano, bass, guitars and vocals.
They had help from a guest musician on one track who provided flute.
This band came and went without making much of an impact. They are very much an obscure band.
Their music is hard rock. Hard rock with some krautrock, blues and progressive rock leanings.
Most of all, the music is hard.
There are some Led Zeppelin influences here. But not much. The vocals is really bluesy and in the krautrock vein.
This three quarter of an hour long album has this 1970s hard rock feel and is very much a retro album. The sound is good too. That is the good things about this album.
The bad thing is that there is barely a decent song here. The Hammond organ is cool when it gets some space here inbetween the not so good guitars and vocals.
In short, this is a substandard album and not much to write about. Hence my rating.
Tuesday, 11 September 2018
The second album from this Italian band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, flute, keyboards, bass, guitars and vocals.
I was not a fan of their debut album La Granda Perla from 2013... It was barely a decent album. See my review here.
Some of the restless energy and anxiety from that album is still kept on Macrocosmosi. The music is very contemporary. Ditto for the sound.
But there is also a lot of RPI like music here too and the band seems to embrace a lot of the old RPI traditions. The good old band Biglietto Per L'Inferno is a good reference in that respect.
There is also a lot of Italian folk music references here too.
The music is pretty hard and distorted. But there are also a lot of contrasts here between harshness and tenderness.
The music is really interesting and has a lot of very interesting details. It is an album which places the band among the better new RPI bands in Italy now and it should give them a pretty large audience. Count me among them.
Monday, 10 September 2018
The debut album from this US band.
This band is a duo with a lineup of bass, keyboards, horn, flutes, guitars, flute, drums, computers and vocals.
I think both members of this band is among my Facebook friends so maybe I should be a friendly guy here..... No, I will not. I will review this album as I hear and see it. That is the ethos of this blog.
This duo has created a strange album. An album with an anarchistic free form ethos where most things goes.
Take jazz and adds some avant-garde prog, folk rock, a lot of eclectic prog and a lot of Frank Zappa madness.
It is so mad that I have not really dared to review this album for many months. I have been sporadic listening to it for many months, but never really picked up the courage to review it. It is that kind of albums.
The use of woodwinds is not really something that has appealed to me either.
I am not really impressed by this album too. It has a lot of ideas, but not many good ideas or songs.
This is an album for the bohemians and or those who prefer the wildness of Frank Zappa. Check it out.
The fifth album from this IS band.
The band is a sextet with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, guitars, percussion and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
This is a band I have really wanted to like for a long time. So I gave their albums a listen and the reviews can be found somewhere else in this blog.
Izz is an US group whose music is somewhere between neo-prog and symphonic prog.
The music on this album is very, very complex. Almost impenetrable complex.
The music is really difficult to read and get something out of even after many, many listening sessions.
There is a lot of keyboards, guitars and both male and female vocals here who drives this album in and out of mazes and dead end streets.
That is sometimes a mark of quality. In this case, I get the feeling that the band has gotten lost somewhere on this fifty minutes long album.
The end result is an album I would love to like and to rate as a good album. But it falls a bit too short for that. Hence my rating.
Sunday, 9 September 2018
The debut album from this multi-national project.
The project consist of a lineup of guitars, keyboards, mandolin, bass, drums, orchestration and percussion.
The project got help from cello and xtra guitars and bass.
The project has members from Canada, Sweden and USA and is a quartet.
This album has also been recorded in various studios in Sweden, USA and Canada.
The music on this fifty odd minutes long album is a mix of ambient, fusion, prog metal, staccato eclectic prog and symphonic prog.
The music is wholly instrumental and does not offer up much difference from what we can find on similar albums.
There is no real good music here. The music is very formula based. There is lots of guitar solos. There is the occasional prog metal shredding. There is some eclectic prog and some jazzy pieces.
Those who loves music like this will need to check out this album.
I am not convinced though and my rating reflects that.
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals.
La Collina Sommersa is another new band from Italy. A country which has given us a lot of great progressive rock bands.
The band is not a run of the mill band, though. The band has stated that they intend to give us music which combines the brutality of Opeth with classic progressive rock.
Hence this one hour long album; Changing Hemispheres.
There is some Opeth and Dream Theater influences here. There is also some Pink Floyd influences here. There is also a lot of pretty bad heavy metal influences here.
Music wise, this album is a mixed bag. The vocals is at times pretty bad and the guitar sound is far from good.
There is a lot of decent stuff here and some may enjoy this album. The band has not delivered a good debut album. But I think there is still hope here and would recommend them to continue.
The fourth album from this US band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, saxophone, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
Zip Tang is one of the bands who has come from the college scene and given US progressive rock new life and new blood.
Their albums is a mix of college rock, some avant-garde, some Canterbury prog and a lot of melodic eclectic prog.
On this album, there is some Gong, Porcupine Tree, King Crimson and Marillion influences in their eclectic college rock.
The music is very lively and eclectic with a lot of things going on.
The music is also mid-tempo and sometimes pretty harsh. It is the joy of life in full bloom on this album. This fifty odd minutes long album.
The music is good throughout and I got plenty of respect and love for this band although their music sometimes feels alien to me.
This is an album well worth checking out.
Saturday, 8 September 2018
The fourth album from this Spanish band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, synths, mellotron, piano, organ, bass, drums and percussion.
This band has traveled a huge distance from their roots as a neo-prog band. The music on this album is nowhere near neo-prog.
The music is instrumental and it is avant-garde as in having a lot of influences from Present and Univers Zero.
There is also a lot of zeuhl and some very early Pink Floyd influences.
There is a mix of staccato piano pieces here and some more melodic pieces on this fifty minutes long album. An album which sounds pretty uninteresting and a waste of time after the first listening sessions.
This album is a grower though and require a lot of time. Time I have given it through the last weeks. This review has been a project. My review of their second album, a review you can find here, was also a project. Rivendel does not give anything to those who does not give their albums any time.
I am not entirely of the meaning that this is a masterpiece. It is not and by a quite a big margin. It is a decent to good album though and one to check out.
Friday, 7 September 2018
The fifth album from this artist from Brazil.
Eloy Fritsch plays all the synths and keyboards on this album.
I have reviewed some of his albums in this blog and have found music on the sidelines of progressive rock. The music is more like neo-classic and ambient music.
That too also goes for this album.
The music is mostly bombastic and dramatic throughout this one hour long album. There are some Chinese classical music influences here too.
There is also a lot of movie soundtrack feel over this album.
The synths gives the music a robot feel and an dehumanized feel. It also gives it a bit cheap feel.
The music is not too bad, though. There are some nuggets of good stuff inbetween the cascades of synths and plastic fantastic walls of sound.
This is not an album I have enjoyed. Nevertheless, it is a decent album.
Thursday, 6 September 2018
The second and final album from this Canadian band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, keyboards, harmonica, guitars, flutes, saxophones and vocals.
The band debuted with their self-titled 1968 album before they released this album and then split up.
The band was a beat band. Their debut album was pretty heavy, I have heard. They became much more a psych and prog band on the follow up album, Grass And The Wild Strawberries.
There is a lot of saxophones and a lot of guitars here with some keyboards too. It has a lot of various expressions, this forty minutes long album.
Take The Moody Blues, add some folk rock and some beat. Add a lot of psych rock too and you more or less get this album.
The sound is very dated as coming from 1969. The vocals are good and there is a lot of interesting things here.
The songs are not really that good though. This is a decent enough album from a band who never really made it and will forever remain an obscurity.
Wednesday, 5 September 2018
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
The band had help from two guest musicians who added keyboards, piano and extra guitars.
Italy means Rock Progressive Italiano (RPI) to me. And this band has been added to the RPI label in ProgArchives.
The band is also one of those bands Fabio Zuffanti has promoted.
So I had high hopes as new RPI is like champagne to me.
Which is exactly what I did not get on this album.
The music here is post-punk with some eclectic prog and hard rock added onto the onslaught of post-punk.
The music is very hard and some times pretty dissonant too. The vocals is pretty hard hitting and in the punk tradition. The music is fast and furious.
There are some half-decent stuff on this forty minutes long album. But that is really all.This is by no means a good album and only a few of the songs saves this album from the turkey yard.
I wonder how their new album sounds like. I will soon find out as it is very soon up for review.
The debut album from this Canadian band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of synths, bass, drums, guitars, glockenspiel, percussion, keyboards and vocals.
The band had help from strings and woodwinds too.
I am doing a review of all the Mystery albums this fall and I am starting with their debut album. The others will follow.
Mystery is a band with a very good reputation these days after a couple of critically acclaimed albums. Albums I will review in due time.
Their music on this album is a mix of US symphonic prog, neo-prog and progressive metal. It is like Kansas meets up with Dream Theater. There is also some AOR here.
The vocals is really really good and the rest of the band also does a good job.
The songs on this thirty-six minutes long album is not that long. What is lacking in quantity is what we get back in quality.
The songs are on the more commercial and soppy side of the spectrum. It is still a good album well worth checking out. I think me and their other albums will be good friends too....
Tuesday, 4 September 2018
The debut album from this French artist.
Gerald Massois on French vocals, bass and guitars had help from three other musicians who provided brass, woodwinds, harps, drums, keyboards and piano.
I have never heard about this artist before and were not particular looking forward to reviewing this album. One man and an album is not exactly my favourite subject and genre. It is very rare that good music comes from this combination. A combination of some skills, narcissism and no ability to choose between good and bad stuff.
One listen to this album and I had to accept that there is an exception to this rule. This album and this artist.
Gerald really likes Ange and Dream Theater. That is very obvious on this seventy-five minutes long album. An album with music which really soars towards the skies above France but which is still very much made in France.
The songs are epic and some of them are pretty heavy with very obvious Dream Theater influences. The other songs are more symphonic prog with clear Ange influences.
I am really happy about this album and has added Gerald Massois to my list of the biggest talents in today's prog rock scene. This is indeed a very good album and one to check out.
Monday, 3 September 2018
The debut album from this US band.
The band is a sextet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals.
There is a lot of new bands coming out of New York these days. The city that never sleeps, this city is called.
This is another progressive emo band. One of many bands like this one.
Take a lot of Gazpacho, add some U2, add Marillion and a bit Muse. That is when you end up with something like this.
The guitar harmonies, and there are three guitarists in this band, is the main focus in this band. The vocals is a mix of hardcore and emo vocals with some heavy metal vocal thrown into the mix too.
The sound is very contemporary and the music is sometimes pretty hard too.
The music is good throughout this fifty odd minutes long album. There is nothing great about the music here. But the band can be happy about this album.
Sunday, 2 September 2018
The debut album from this German band.
The band is a seven piece big band with a lineup of percussion, drums, bass, flute, violins, accordion, whistles, keyboards and female vocals.
I have never heard about this band before. A band of seven adults in the 50 - 65 age-group.
Their music is a mix of gypsy, folk-rock, jazz, fusion and progressive rock. The vocals are in English, Spanish and French.
Crossover in other words. Proper crossover !
The music is very funky and lively with a great jazz feel and some really good female vocals. The guitars are mostly half-acoustic and the violins adds a lot of gypsy feel to this album. There is some hints, more than some hints, of Spanish prog rock here. The progressive rock you can find here is off the Spanish sort of progressive rock.
This album is over one hour long and has some good and not so good stuff. It is most certainly a different album from the normal fare at this blog. Which is fine by me.
There is not enough good songs here and that is my gripe with this album. An album most of you will find very interesting. Check it out.
The fourth album from this US band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, percussion, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
Mountain was a big band in the hard blues and hard rock scene in the 1970s. They were following in Led Zeppelin's footstep. But they were an American band and followed the US tradition.
Leslie West was and still is the leader in Mountain. His vocals and guitars is pretty much genre defining. He was also a good song writer.
...Which make the start of this album so strange. It opens with their not so good version of the rock'n'roll evergreen Whole Lotta Shaking Goin On. A Jerry Lee Lewis evergreen.
The version of Rolling Stones classic Satisfaction is also very strange. It is also a cover version who totally missing the boat.
The rest of the album is hard rock with a lot of rock'n'roll. There are some blues here too.
It is a very little interesting album which will only catch the fans of this band. I find it half-decent and only that. There are some good details here and that is the only things I find satisfactory here.
I think this is the end of Mountain's path in my case although they released some more albums.
The third album from this English band.
The band is a trio on this album with a lineup of orchestration, guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals.
Coalition is a coalition of three musicians with a wide variety of experience. One of the members can be found in the symphonic prog band The Inner Road.
I was not too happy about their 2012 debut album In Search Of Forever. You can find my review here. I have yet to hear their second album, the 2016 album Bridge Across Time. But I will get that album soon and review it as soon as I can.
Reading Gaol is the old English name on the prison in the small town of Reading, 50 km or so west of London. This album is a concept album too as the album is divided into I - VI.
The music is a mix of neo-prog, symphonic prog and some folk rock. The feel and what Coalition is trying to do is to take us back to the 17th or the 18th century to tell this story. Something they have succeeded in doing.
The music is very good and really takes the listener into the not so nice experience of being imprisoned in the Reading Gaol. A concept hitting the right tones in other words and a very good album with good vocals and a good (scary) ambience.
Get this album.