Tuesday, 30 April 2019
The 12th album from this US band.
Styx was a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, drums, bass and vocals.
Numerous other guest musicians provided woodwinds.
Their previous couple of albums had been of dubious quality and I had given up on this band before I got a change of heart.
Edge Of The Century gives us a mix of AOR, funk, commercial rock and some heavy metal. All of this with the end of the 1980s sound.
Which means a plastic fantastic sound with all the stupid whistles and sounds.
The music on this album is bordering to being farcical. It is that so out there that I wonder if this band was serious when they recorded this album. Then a ballad comes and I get the feeling the band actually was serious.
This album is horrible beyond comprehension. It is turkey and a crime against all our senses. Avoid.
The debut album from this German band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
There is a lot of new bands releasing their debut albums this year. I thought 2018 was the big years for debut albums. But so far, this year is far ahead of last year in that respect.
Green Desert Tree is a band with five middle-aged men. Boyband they are not. And teenybopper music is not what we get here.
Take some hard prog, add some neo-prog, progressive metal and some funk and jazz. That is basically this album.
The album is surprisingly funky. And it is very difficult to put into a label.
It is though obvious that the band has been listening to both Glass Hammer and King Crimson.
The music is really complex throughout these seventy minutes. There is not many good songs or melody lines here, though. Easy listening music, this album is not.
The quality is somewhere between decent and good. I am not really falling for this album. But it has some qualities and the band is well worth checking out.
Monday, 29 April 2019
The fourth album from this English band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of bongos, mellotron, dulcimer, guitars, flute, harmonium, pipe organ, tabor, tubular bells, bass and vocals.
Two guest musicians added harpsischord, strings and oboe.
Amazing Blondel was one of those folk rock bands in the 1970s who also crossed over into progressive rock too.
Like on this album.
The album title is ambitious and it is easy to fail with an album title like this. So with this in mind, we get a lush folk rock album with a great deal of medieval music and symphonic prog.
The songs are really good with lush vocals and strings. This makes this album a lot more than a folk rock album. But it is not a rock or a pop album. It is.... wait for it.... an art rock album. Or dare I say.... a symphonic prog album. No, it is not.
The vocals on this half an hour long album are very good and this album has a pastoral sound. It is also a mix of what England can offer up. England from two hundred years ago or so.
This is indeed a good album and one to cherish. It is not among the best folk rock albums. But it is still a good album.
The fourth album from this Italian band.
The band is a sextet with a lineup of percussion, bass, drums, bouzouki, keyboards, guitars and vocals. The vocals is used as an instrument.
It is my understanding that the band started out as a neo-prog band before they already on the second album turned around and became an instrumental band with music somewhere near progressive rock.
I reviewed their second album some years ago but have missed out on their third album.
The music on this album is a mix of Spanish folk rock, instrumental Spanish folk rock, jazz and progressive rock.
It is dominated by acoustic guitars and some keyboards. The music is very lush and Spanish..... Which is a bit strange as this band comes from Italy. Well, a lot of great things can be said about Spain and Spanish music so that is not bad at all.
The music on this album is a bit toothless and frankly a bit too dull for my liking.
There is not much to be enjoyed here unless you are a Spanish folk rock fan and or a Al Di Meola fan. I find this album a bit too tedious and not a great experience...... Hence....
Sunday, 28 April 2019
The third album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, harmonica, organ, guitars and vocals.
The band was as blues-rock band in the British blues tradition and they released four albums. On one of the albums, the band also ventured into progressive rock territory. That was on the previous album.
I would say there is still some progressive rock hovering around in this album, Mountains.
The main focus is a mix of blues and rock, though.
The vocals are pretty raunchy and the music is dominated by some really bluesy guitars and bass.
The music on the harder side of the blues spectrum. Not as hard as Led Zeppelin's take on blues. But still hard enough to turn someone of this music.
Gentle hard rock, I feel tempted to label the music on this album.
The forty minutes of music contains a mix of songs and some more bluesy jam pieces. And the music is interesting, although never good.
I have a small soft spot for albums like this. A good hard rocking album with some good guitars. Albums like this one.
The debut album from this English band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of keyboards, computers, bass, guitars and female vocals.
I had never heard about this band from the south-west end of England (Cornwall, Devon etc) before a copy of this album dumped into my inbox. This is a band and album yet to register on the prog rock radar. Hence, I was intrigued.....
And I was not left disappointedds....
Take some folk rock, some Americana (country), pub rock and a big chunk of female fronted neo-prog. That is where you get this album.
In fact, Mostly Autumn is not a bad comparison and reference. But they are not copycats.
The music is dynamic and pretty lively. The female vocals delivered by the nickname Blaize is both muscular and melodic. The keyboards and guitars are also good. The bass is anchoring most of their music which has just minimal amount of drums.
There is no truly great songs here. But the band has managed to give us a good, fifty odds minutes long album. It is an album well worth checking out.
Saturday, 27 April 2019
The fifth album from this US band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of drums, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals. Both male and female vocals, in fact.
This album is not a live album although the art-work indicates it. The music here is made in a studio.
The album title more than alludes to what kind of music we can expect here. A street party. A street party who opens with the evergreen Tamla Motown classic "Dancing In The Street". A song covered by a lot of artists. A song that really opens up a street party..... any street party.
The original material is not exactly soul. We are again somewhere in the southern rock land. Yes, there are some soul here..... but pretty well hidden soul.
The main theme is hard rock lead by the raspy, raunchy vocals of James Mangrum and the heavy drums of Tommy Aldridge.
The music is pretty colourful.... and dated. There is some fairly decent to good songs here which fans of the 1970 hard rock scene will like.
The end result is a forty minutes long decent album which may be of interest to rock fans.
The third album from this band from USA.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of bass, guitars, bass, flute, keyboards, drums and vocals.
A female vocalist is also adding her vocals to this album.
I have yet to hear their first two albums although I have got their second album. A album I will review on a later date, this year or next year.
Heavy Prog is what ProgArchives labels this band as. And they are right.
Take some folk rock, add some metal, progressive rock and old hard rock. That is where we get this band's sound and music.
This mix of hard rock and folk rock reminds me about Jethro Tull. In particular the flutes are in that vein.
There is also a pretty notable undertone of punk in their music. The hard rock they do here has indeed undertones of punk.
The vocals are OK and ditto for the musicians. I am not won over by the quality, though. This album is severely lacking in that department. The sound is also pretty harsh too.
This is a decent enough album. But it is nothing more than that. Sorry...
Friday, 26 April 2019
The fourth album from this band from Sweden.
Bremen is a duo in fact with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, bass and drums.
I have not had the chance to listen to their previous three albums. So I cannot make any comment on their progression from their 2012 self-titled debut album to the new album.
The bleak and barren art-cover says a lot about the music here. The music is indeed bleak.
Bleak as in space rock.
There are also a lot of post-rock and psych rock here too. Add some gloom rock too and you get this.
The music is sparsely performed with keyboards and guitars. Mostly with spaced out gloomy music. There is not much normal tunes and songs here as soundscapes.
This whole fifty minutes long album is minimalism as per it's definition. A couple of lush patches of grass livens up this desert a lot. But there is not much greenery here.
The quality is somewhere between decent and good. There are some good stuff here and some decent stuff here. I am not convinced about the quality of this album.
The sixth album from this band from Poland.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of dobro, guitars, bass, mandolin, flute, saxophone, drums, keyboards and vocals.
They are helped by some harmonica, bass and female vocals.
This is their eight or sixth album. Sixth if you only count albums with original material. Eight if you regard their two English language albums as their own entities.
Saiko is a Polish language album. I find Polish a good language and it is really pleasant listening to Polish vocals.
The vocalist Bartek Kossowicz is also a great vocalist and the major asset to this album.
The music is a blend of neo-prog and local art-rock. There is also some folk rock here and some more electronic stuff.
This fifty minutes worth of music is unfortunate pretty poor in quality. There is not a single good song here and the vocalist is struggling with some very sub-standard songs.
It is a pity as Quidam was once a very good band. This album is probably the sorry end of something that once was great.
Wednesday, 24 April 2019
The third album from this US band.
Spirit was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, keyboards, drums and vocals.
The band is one of the true cult group from the 1960s with not many fans, but who still inspired a lot of musicians to create music who got themselves a lot of fans.
It is a musicians band.
Their first album was very good and got me interested in them. Their second band was not so great. So I was looking forward to sink my teeth into Clear.
Spirit delivers eclectic, quirky beat, pop and rock on this album. That is the essence of this forty-two minutes long album.
The songs are pretty short, but still full of some really cool beat and pop. There are also some more instrumental parts here where the guitars and keyboards really comes to the fore and delivers some very good stuff.
Clear is a charming album which packs a big punch. And it removes any doubts I have ever had about the importance and quality of this band. Wow, I am glad I have heard about them and have their first five albums.
Tuesday, 23 April 2019
The third album from this band from Poland.
Satellite is a quintet on this album with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
Satellite was formed after the demise of Collage, the grand-father of all neo-prog bands from Poland and responsible for this scene.
Poland has always had a great neo-prog scene and Satellite is one of the best bands in that scene. Was one of the best bands in that scene.
Into The Night is a forty-two minutes long album. It sometimes crosses over to symphonic prog. But never into the rock and pop genres.
The music is neo-prog. There is some Pendragon influences here. But not so many. Satellite does their own things on this album.
The music is pretty bombastic and very soulful throughout the album. The sad and mournful sound is the essence of neo-prog from Poland.
The keyboards, guitars and vocals is very good on this album. Some songs are also very good. The album has a lot of interesting details and a couple of great moments.
This album is one of the highlights of the Polish neo-prog scene and the neo-prog scene world wide. It is indeed a great album and one you need to check out.
Monday, 22 April 2019
The second album from this Italian band.
La Batteria is a quartet with a lineup of moog, mellotron, synths, piano, keyboards, bass, guitars drums, percussion and some vocals.
The band had help from numerous other artists who contributed with children choir, ukulele, flute, vibraphone, glockenspiel, congas, bongos, trumpet and some vocals.
La Batteria's debut album gave us a forewarning that the music of Goblin was not dead. There are bands ready to carry on their legacy.
La Batteria is one of them.
This is not a soundtrack by any means, this seventy minutes long album. But it sometimes feels like it. And it is in the vein of Goblin, this album.
That means short instrumental themes. The music is clearly in the Rock Progressive Italano genre and also got some jazz and fusion too.
The music is mostly performed by synths and everything with tangents involved.
Goblin is by no means dead. But La Batteria still does this band proud and can expect to inherit their following too. Which seems to has happened, from what I have heard and seen. Justifiable too.
I am no big fan of Goblin. There is no denying that La Batteria has given us a good album here and it is well worth checking out.
The debut album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
The band released two albums before they split up. Nothing has been heard of them since 2004.
The band was and is one of the many neo-prog bands who wandered into symphonic prog too. Genesis and Pendragon is two huge influences. They also sometimes sounds like Saga.
This album is a concept album about a young female drug user. The album has a great deal of a rock opera sound and structure. That with lots of piano and changing sounds.
There is indeed some musical sounding songs here.
And that is not exactly what I want to get from a progressive rock album.
The prog stuff here is decent to good.
The vocals are good and the instruments are decent enough.
The end result is one hour of not exactly sparkling music. I have my reservations.
Sunday, 21 April 2019
The debut album from this US band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of sax, synths, samples, chapmann stick, loops, bass, guitars and synth guitars.
I have heard nothing about this band. I have got their first two albums though and decided to review them.
.... Something I regretted halfway through the first listening session. So I gave their second album some minutes to check out if this was a project I should pursue. I should indeed, I found out.
This album is seventy-four minutes long and it is really seventy-four minutes of loosely connected ideas which sometimes forms into melodies and pieces of music.
The music is very loose and feels more like outtakes than the finished product.
This is really, really hardcore spaced out avant-garde.
Some of this does work. A lot of it. But seventy-four minutes..... x some times to be able to review it.
The music is cinematic though and has some good ideas. So it is a decent album in my ears. I am not a big fan though and is hoping that the next album will be a lot better than this one.
The debut album from this US band.
America was a trio on this album with a lineup of drums, bass, percussions, guitars, piano and vocals.
The band was three US musicians in England who came together and formed this band. In effect, this band is and English band. The sound is 100 % Americana and has no influences from England.
I have chosen to review the version of the album who also include their smash hit A Horse With No Name as this was included in the 5 CDs Original Albums my five reviews of their albums in the coming weeks are based on.
I have always, from I was ten years old, wanted to hear their albums as the artwork made a big impression on me. So the chance has finally arrived....
There is no doubts that America is sailing very close to being a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young copycat. That is the acoustic version of C,S,N & Y i refer to.
America is a fully acoustic album based on folk rock and the trio format. The two hit singles are really good. The rest of the album is not particular interesting as it is pretty primitive folk rock with lots of vocals and not much else. I am not won over.
Saturday, 20 April 2019
The debut album from this Japanese band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of synths, mellotron, organ, piano, electric piano, guitars, bass, percussion, drums, flute and vocals.
I reviewed their second album Yugake one week ago and wanted to review their debut album too based on my Yugake listening sessions.
Mizukagami is a Japanese symphonic prog band. Their music is pretty similar to the other bands in the Japanese symphonic prog genre.
That means lush and very flowery symphonic prog. There is a lot of Japanese flavours in their music and it is not difficult to hear that this band comes from Japan.
That also due to the very thin vocals which I am not sure is male of female vocals. I am not going to insult anyone so I just note that they are vocals and an instrument in it's own respect.
There are some metal sounding guitars here. But the tangents are really lush and very symphonic.
The music is both bold and pastoral. There is something for everyone here. There is also a lot of interesting details here and the band really knows how to deliver good symphonic prog.
This is indeed a good album and one well worth checking out.
The eight album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of bass, guitars, keyboards, drums and vocals.
Roye Albrighton was back in the band again after the rather unsatisfactory 1977 Magic Is The Child album.
Nektar reformed for Man In The Moon and Roye were back.
Unfortunate, the band did what the other prog rock greats from the 1970s did. They dumped progressive rock.
There is some elements of krautrock and the usual Nektar's take on progressive rock here. That is true. Most of the music falls down in the AOR genre.
The music is actually not too bad. This is a better album than Magic Is The Child, but not by much.
There is some interesting details here who elevates this album. The fact that Nektar sounds a bit like the Nektar of old is also a very good thing here.
This is a decent to good album which is not going to be much played in my household, I am afraid.
Friday, 19 April 2019
The debut album from this Canadian band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of mellotron, flute, bass, guitars, drums, synths, piano and vocals.
The band released two fully blooded studio album and one remasters album of songs from these two albums.
Talking about mastering..... that is a major flaw on this album. So I can understand their third and final album where they were setting the record straight.
But back to 2015 and Perchance To Dream. The music is somewhere between symphonic prog and neo-prog. There are also some folk and a lot of pop-rock here too.
The sound is pretty poor. The mastering is perhaps the reason for this.
The songs are not too bad. But they are pretty light and short on substance. There is some strong Genesis influences here and some lighter pop and rock music.
The flutes and the mellotron is very cool. Ditto for the vocals.
There are some jarring moments on this album which I cannot ignore.
That is why this is only a decent album in my ears and my view. I think I will drop my interest in their second album.
Thursday, 18 April 2019
The 12th album from this British band.
Galahad was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, orchestrations and vocals.
A guest musician provided clarinet, flute and female vocals.
The band's output has been of various genres and types before the band seems settled in the wider neo-prog genre.
The band is indeed a neo-prog band. Their music is bordering to art-rock at times.
The neo-prog is the dominant genre on this forty-three minutes long album. The album is in fact one suite, Sea Of Change divided into twelve parts. Hence, this is a concept album.
There is some different melodic themes on this album. But this whole suite is pretty much a common theme throughout.
There is a lot of good music on this album. The vocals is indeed also very good and the collected parts on this suite makes this a very good album indeed.
I have to say this is an album that will enthuse both symphonic prog and neo-prog fans. Check it out.
Wednesday, 17 April 2019
The second album from this British band.
The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of saxophones, audio generators, synths, bass, drums, percussions, guitars, flute and vocals.
The band continued on from their classic debut album.
Gone is the pop though. The raga-rock elements has also gone. It has been replaced with a much more sonic landscape. All out space rock in fact.
The music mostly all out space rock with a lot of audio effects. But is not very avant-garde. It is method in this madness.
The music is pretty dark and bereft of organic life. It still got a lot of soul, ice-cold as it is.
There are some organic stuff here though and the flutes and saxophones adds a lot of that. Ditto for the vocals.
The music is really primitive and barbaric though. Like barbaric black metal at times. Although not that fast.... But this album is as raw as raw meat.
This is not as good as the debut album. It is still a good album and one well worth checking out.
The third album from this US band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
Iluvator started out as a neo-prog band and stayed true to this genre throughout their four albums.
A Story Two Days Wide has a horrible cover art-work. It really shames and betrays the inside, the music on the album.
Music solidly in the neo-prog genre.
Take a big part of Genesis with Phil Collins at the microphone. Add a lot of Marillion too and you get this album.
There is no if's and no but's here.
The keyboards are really good. The guitars could had been a lot better and the vocals are really very good.
The songs on this one hour long album is good throughout and makes this a very nice hour for those into neo-prog.... Many good hours in fact as this album deserve many repeat hearings.
There is no great tracks here and that is a shame. Nevertheless, this is a good album.
Tuesday, 16 April 2019
The debut album from this English band.
The band is a duo with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, bass and vocals.
A guest musician provides the drums.
There is a lot of new neo-prog bands coming out of United Kingdom at the moment. In particular from England. It seems like neo-prog has got a renaissance now.
The difference is that where the original neo-prog scene was true to Genesis, the new bands has taken their influences from a lot of bands.
Quantum Pig takes a lot from eclectic prog (Van Der Graaf Generator), symphonic prog, neo-prog, pop, rock, folk rock and jazz.
They have thrown all this into a melting pop and come up with Songs Of Industry And Sunshine.
The album is just over forty minutes long. The sound is good and ditto for the vocals and the other instruments.
There is no signature track here, no great track. The band and this album is a good addition to the new neo-prog scene, both worldwide and in England.
It is a good album with some surprised along the way.
Monday, 15 April 2019
The debut album from this Spanish band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of bouzouki, mandolin, bass, guitars, drums and keyboards.
This album was meant to be released thirty years ago back in the 1980s but only saw the light of day in 2014 as a self-released album. So this is the only album we will ever hear from this band.
The band was formed back in 1978 and has long been disbanded.
The music is instrumental. The music is also Spanish symphonic prog with a lot of Spanish folk rock, including flamenco, influences.
This album comes across as pretty close to a Camel album. Take some Caravan too and add that to the Spanish folk rock and symphonic prog.
The result is this fifty minutes long album.
There is a lot of guitars with keyboards supporting it on this album. Really long guitar solos which reminds me about Andy Latimer and his Camel.
This is a decent enough album. But it never really gets my attention although it is full of small details.
The problem with this album is the lack of quality. But fans of Camel and Spanish prog rock should get this album. I have my reservations and they have been expressed above.
Sunday, 14 April 2019
The fourth and so far final album from this US band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
Their first three albums has been a mixed bag to say at least. But the common denominator has been lots of aggression and a post-metal, post-punk sound and attitude.
Most of the music has been post-punk and post-metal too.
Their 2009 album Feathergun saw the band move a lot towards Radiohead. The result was a good album.
Their new Living As Ghosts With Buildings As Teeth is also in the same vein as Feathergun. Although with a pretty big difference....
The band has incorporated a lot from their first two albums Terras Fames and Eidolon too on this album.
The result is a manic, muscular version of the music Radiohead plays.
The vocals are really good and ditto for the guitars.
The end result is a good album which will please a lot of people into new non-conventional progressive rock.
The second album from this Spanish band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, flute and saxophones.
Two guest musicians provides trumpet, violin and the occasional vocals.
The band released their Big City Awakes back in 2017 and that album gave them a reputation as a band to keep an eye on. See my review here.
The band continues with their take on jazz and fusion.
The band has indeed found the formula on Big City Awakes and continues it here. That means a mix of jazz, fusion, folk rock and some prog rock.
Finding the formula and operating comfortable within it is not a bad thing. The band is not playing it safe either.
The band is stretching themselves on this album.
What is really missing here is some great melodies and tunes. There is a lot of good details here. Nevertheless, some of the material here is slightly pedestrian.
Greater compositions would have elevated this album to another level. It is still a very good album though and one to check out.
Saturday, 13 April 2019
The one and only album from this English band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, drums and bass.
Arbor Lights comes from Birmingham, the second largest city in England. That is all I know about them. I also believe this album is a free album from Bandcamp too.
The band released two EPs before they took the plunge and released this album.
We are in the middle of post rock and post metal here. In fact, in the borderlands between post metal and post rock.
There are a lot of ebbs and flows here in the music. But not as much ebbs and flows, interactions between hard and soft music, as usual in post rock.
Hence the metal bit here.
The music is not particular harsh or dissonant. It is pretty melodic. The music lacks this contrasts and light/shade element.
The result is a fairly decent album with some good stuff and some not so good stuff.
It is an album well worth checking out.
The second album from this UK band.
The band was a quintet on this album with a lineup of harmonica, harp, harpsichord, bass, drums, saxophones, conga, guitars, percussion and vocals.
Their 1969 debut album Reflection was a fairly decent blues album. It was one of many decent blues albums from that year.
The same year saw the release of Mk II too. Two albums in one year was not uncommon back then.
Mk II sees the band make quite a big difference in sound and music, though.
Gone is most of the blues and it has been replaced by some flower power pop and psychedelia.
The album is a mix of blues and west-coast psychedelia.
The music is decent enough throughout with some very good vocals. If this is your thing, check out this album.
Friday, 12 April 2019
The second and final album from this British band.
Gun was a trio with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
There is also some strings and keyboards on this album.
Gun were one of the harder rock bands from this era. I refer to my review of their first album for a list of bands Gun's members later joined.
Gun is also in retrospective an important band and a good band in their own right.
The debut album was a gem of an album. So how could they follow up that album ?
With some songs who varies from soppy pop ballads to some really hard rock. Some of the songs are rather catchy too.
The guitar, bass and drums are really explosive. The guitarist Adrian Gurvitz was one of the best guitarists from this era and proves his worth on this album.
The music is hard and pretty jazzy and progressive too. There are some distorted vocals here on some of the hard rock songs. And we are really talking hard rock here. Speed metal is a good description on some of the songs too.
This album is nowhere near as good as the debut album, though. The songs are not good enough and the ballads are just horrible. It is still an album well worth checking out.
The second album from this band.
Maglev is now reduced to just Joost Maglev on vocals.
He has got the help from the likes of Annie Haslam, Arjen Lucassen, Sebas Honing and Ben Craven too. The many guest musicians is contributing guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, piano and vocals.
I was not overly happy about their 2016 debut album Overwrite The Sin. Too much light prog and too much pop.
The band is now reduced to one and we get more of the same here.
The music on this fifty minutes long album is pretty light and fluffy.
There is also some prog metal here too. But most of the album is pretty poppy neo-prog.
The harder stuff here is the best stuff where there is some interesting details. This album is based on safe formulas and does not really take many chances.
Some of this album is rather good and some are a bit on the dull, decent side of the spectrum. I am again not won over by this band.
Thursday, 11 April 2019
The second and final album from this Japanese band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, bass, guitars, drums and vocals.
The band released two albums, the 2003 self-titled debut album, and this album before they were disbanded.
The band was one of the Japanese symphonic prog bands. This was and still is a pretty good scene well worth exploring.
Yugake is an album in that scene. There is a lot of neo-prog here too. But most of this album is symphonic prog.
The thin female vocals takes some efforts to get used to. The guitars and keyboards is a bit generic. The keyboards sometimes also dip into moog and mellotron too. That is far better than the rest of what the keyboards does here.
The guitars are pretty standard too.
The songs are pretty intriguing and pretty good on interesting details and quirkiness. A couple of songs are rather very good. The rest are not.
I am so intrigued by this album that I have just purchased their first album and will review it in the next coming weeks. This band deserves some attention. Ditto for this good album too.
Wednesday, 10 April 2019
The 11th album from this US band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of synths, guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
They got help from some woodwinds on this album too.
I was in the middle of reviewing all/most of the Styx albums one year ago before I stopped. The albums bored the life of me and I could not continue.
But I have decided to review the final four Styx albums I have got now....
... Starting with Kilroy Was Here.
Styx employs three vocalists here and the dry, horrible 1980s sound.
The music is AOR and pop/rock. It is based on cheap hooks, melodies and riffs. Everything here sounds cheap, nasty and overly commercial. It is bubblegum AOR and rock/pop music.
Kilroy Was Here is simply a forty minutes long embarrassment.
This album is a turkey and has been included in my collection of turkeys. This is an utterly horrible album.
The sixth progressive rock album from this US guitarist.
Fernando Perdomo does all the instruments here and has hired in other musicians to fill in the small gaps here and there.
This is the direct follow up album to the 2018 album Out To Sea. An album I have reviewed for this blog too.
Fernando Perdomo, a member of Dave Kerzner band, is mainly a guitarist. And this album is, as Out To Sea is, a guitar focused album.
It is an instrumental album too.
References are Camel. Quite obviously too, the listener will notice straight away.
The music is very fresh and has some great cinematic themes too. Maybe too many of them as the music sometimes are a bit pedestrian. But the best parts of this album is both melodic and dynamic with some great themes.
This album is an improvement on the debut album. And it is a good album too. On the other hand, it is a bit dull and not that very interesting. Nevertheless, check it out.
Tuesday, 9 April 2019
The third album from this English band.
The band was a trio on this album with a lineup of piano, flutes, harpsischord, crumhorn, harmonium, woodwind, lute, glockenspiel, dulcimer, double bass and vocals.
This band was one of the many folk rock bands who emerged from England during the end of the 1960s.
It can be argued that the likes of Strawbs and Fairport Convention were the leading lights in that scene. Amazing Blondel was following in their wake, but they were never copycats. They had their own style.
Their first two albums was OK'ish. The music was pretty basic folk rock.
Fantasia Lindum sees the band branches out towards old medieval folk music and symphonic prog. That whilst still maintaining one and a half legs in folk rock.
The music is pretty primitive with mostly vocals, an another instrument and guitars in the sound.
The songs though are a lot better than before. There is also a lot of good details here too. There is a lot to enjoy for both prog heads and folk rock fans.
Clocking in at just over thirty-five minutes long, this album really convinces me that even pretty simplistic folk rock can pull a big punch too.
This is a charming, interesting good album and one to check out.
Monday, 8 April 2019
The third album from this US band.
This band is really a one man band with Craig Kerley on guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals.
He has got help from some guest musicians on bass, drums and guitars.
This is his third album.
I have not heard the two previous albums and I have not heard much about this band at all. They were totally new to me when this album arrived in my inbox.
And it was up for review too and I gave it some listening sessions.
The music is somewhere between US neo-prog and progressive metal. There are clearly some US symphonic prog influences here too.
The sound is big and bold. Ditto for the music which has a lot of piano, keyboards, guitars and good vocals.
The music is pretty hard throughout though.
And this one hour long album is a fairly good album too. It is a nearly-there album who will make a lot of people happy. I am not convinced....
Sunday, 7 April 2019
The fourth studio album from this US band.
The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of guitars, drums, bass and vocals.
The band were a band of their time whose albums may not have survived the test of time. They sounds a bit dated.
They were a part of the scene who also gave us Allman Brothers, Blackfoot, Molly Hatchett and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Southern rock, in other words.
The band started out as heavy influenced by Led Zeppelin before moving to arena rock and southern rock. That with some albums who were not that good.
High On The Hog is the highlight of their career. Their commercial highlight. It even spawned a top 25 Billboard hit.
The music on this thirty-four long album is southern rock with a lot of hillbilly and rock influences. The music is catchy and has a lot of interesting details.
And the music really works here. From the raunchy vocals to the very good guitars. There are even a couple of very good songs here.
This is by far their best album and one to check out.
Saturday, 6 April 2019
The debut album from this Dutch band.
The Missing Piece is a quintet with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
This band released this album and were then disbanded. But this album still deserve some attention and a review.
The band label their music as symphonic prog. Well.....
Take some goth metal, goth rock and add some progressive metal.... and melodic symphonic prog. Add a lot of neo-prog too and you get the picture.
The vocals are more in the goth metal vein than in the progressive rock tradition.
This one hour long album has this metal and goth sound which does not really sits well with me. The sound is the 1990s sound.
I get the feeling that I am reviewing a goth metal album in disguise. And the disguise is not particular well.
The music is decent enough but just that. I am no big fan of this album and can understand why this album has not set the world on fire.
The debut album from this US band.
Iluvatar was a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, drums, percussion, bass and vocals.
This US band has released four albums and is still active as far as I know. Active as a hobby for the musicians. And that is a good thing.
I have reviewed their second and fourth album for # 1 of this blog. Remaining is this, their debut album and their third album. Review of that album is just around the corner.
But it started with this album and that takes us straight into neo-prog land.
Take a mix of Genesis and Pendragon. The result may be something like this album.
Iluvatar's take on neo-prog is therefore very melodic. There are some good vocals and keyboards here. The guitars too are good.
The songs are pretty catchy and nice on the ear.
This album works very nicely for some listening sessions before the lack of interesting and intriguing themes and details becomes a bit annoying.
This is therefore a decent to good album without the really great songs and details. Neo-prog fans should check out this album.
The debut album from this Swiss band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
The band list Katatonia, Dream Theater and Opeth as references on their CD Baby website. Well...
Forget Dream Theater as they are far more traditional prog rock focused than than this band from Switzerland.
So we are left with Katatonia and Opeth. My finger is pointing at Opeth and their last two albums. Cosmic Rain is clearly very inspired by these two albums and by Opeth themselves.
The vocals are very much in that direction too. They are both growl/screamo and very melodic. So is the keyboards with the occasional diversion into a Moog sound.
The music is a mix of more pastoral and more metal orientated prog rock.
The album is thirty-six minutes long and it is a decent to good album. It is an album that should make Opeth fans get this album. I happens to think this band has a future. Not as my favourite band but as a good band in the scene.
Check out this album.
Friday, 5 April 2019
The fifth album from this Polish band.
The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of drums, guitars, flute, bass, keyboards, percussion and vocals.
Three guest musicians contributed with saxophones, zither and female vocals.
The band was again a male vocals only band after their first three albums as a female vocals fronted band. The change to male vocals happened on the rather poor previous album, Surrevival from 2005.
The band continues as a neo-prog band on this album. The songs are rather long. The are almost ten minutes long, the majority of the songs here.
The vocals are very good and the guitars also does a great job.
I was happy to see that the band had a full-time flute player. There is not much we hear of the flutes here.
The music is guitars and keyboards based. The sound is rather flat and not that interesting.
The majority of the songs are rather good on this one hour long album. I do miss the original band called Quidam as the new version of this band is just one of many bands who plays this kind of neo-prog.
There is not much identity and originality here. But this is still a good album.
Thursday, 4 April 2019
The ninth album from this French band.
Nemo was a quartet with a lineup of drums, keyboards, guitars, bass and vocals on this album.
This French combo has been one of the most exciting bands to follow in the last twenty years.
Their mix of old French symphonic prog and the more modern sound of progressive metal and eclectic prog has given us some very good albums.
This is why I am not happy that this seems to be their final album. This although the main man here, Jean Pierre Louveton has released some solo albums. Albums I will check out in due time.
Coma is one hour long and continues on from the previous albums. That means clever, eclectic prog somewhere between Ange and Dream Theater.
The vocals is great and so is the guitars. There is some dreamy melodies here and some rather harder melodies.
All this with a superb sound and elegance.
And there is lots of small details to be happy about here.
This is another very good album from Nemo.
Wednesday, 3 April 2019
The second album from this US band.
Spirit was a quintet with a lineup of percussion, drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
Two guest musicians provided strings and horns.
Their self-titled debut album is one of the hidden gems in the scene, well in modern music as a whole scene. So I was looking forward to this one too.....
I may be a bit late to the party, but this band is impressing me and they have become this year's find.
This album proves that.
Forty minutes of psych and symphonic beat/pop with lots of things going on.
Quirky melodies, quirky vocals and quirky guitars. This reminds me about The Beatles at their most weird moments. And that around the Sgt Peppers Band era.
The songs here are indeed good. Quirky and good. Even the most straight songs here are quirky.
This makes this album a wonderfully weird album which gives and gives.
There is no true great songs here though and that is my only gripe. I do believe this is an album I will come back to later in my life, again and again.
Tuesday, 2 April 2019
The one and only album from this German band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of saxophone, guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
The band only released one album, this one, before splitting up. The members joined the likes of Embryo and Missus Beastly.
The band's music is a mix of progressive rock and jazz/fusion. Add some blues too.
There is both a lot of saxophone and guitars here. There is also some vocals and keyboards here. All backed up by drums and bass.
The music is half and half prog and jazz. There are some Chicago over the jazz/fusion. The prog rock is surprisingly enough pretty near English symphonic prog. There are even some proper songs here.
Forty minutes long is this album and it is not a bad one. Some parts of this album is rather good but some parts is decent.
This is an album well worth checking out.
Monday, 1 April 2019
The debut album from this US band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, bass, guitars, drums and vocals.
The band had help from numerous other musicians who provided drums, male and female vocals, viola, violin, cello, synths and guitars.
Among the members of the band can we find Dave Kerzner and Marco Minnemann. Nick N'Virgillo helps as an extra drummer.
This has the sound of a some sort of a big project..... and the first listening session confirms that. It is confirmed by the other listening sessions too.
Take US neo-prog, add some prog metal and symphonic prog. That is the essence here.
I understand this is some sort of a concept album.
That explains the wide variety of music on this one hour long album.
From musicals to progressive metal. From electronica to old style moog sound.
This album got it all.
And that is not for the positive. The album is a bit short on quality as there is not many really good songs and pieces of music here.
This is a decent to good album but nothing more than that, I am afraid.