Sunday, 30 June 2019
The fourth album from this Italian band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, synth, flute, trumpet and vocals.
Nik Turner from Hawkwind and another musician adds flute, sax and percussion.
I do not know their three first album. Two of them are a part of a Better Than Jesus trilogy and the band has therefore changed name to Fungus Family.
I gather this band is one of the members of the Italian occult rock scene. A scene I do not find interesting at all so I tend to avoid it. But this one dumped into my inbox and I therefore have to review it.
The music here is a mix of blues, goth rock and psych rock. There is also a hint of RPI throughout this album.
The album starts OK although the vocals are a bit over the top and stretched to the limits. They are also a liability.
After a reasonably promising opening, we get a pretty substandard version of the Pink Floyd standard See Emily Play. That cover is a baffling inclusion on this album. A pretty dark album which is very brooding and gothic. The final tracks are pretty abysmal.
I cannot find any good songs on this album. It is a decent enough album, but nothing more than that.
The third album from this Polish band.
The band was a quintet on this album with a lineup of accordion, mandolin, percussion, keyboards, guitars, bass and vocals.
After the release of the hideous bad John Lennon covers album, Collage returned back to self-written material and the neo-prog scene.
That is what they did on their debut album and that was a very good album. So Moonshine continue down the same path as their Basnie debut album.
We get more than an hour worth of neo-prog on this album.
That is neo-prog with a lot of symphonic prog and some folk rock influences. The music is pretty melancholic. This turns out to be what we later label the Polish neo-prog sound and scene.
The music is elegant and a bit bombastic. There are some prog metal influences here.... actually, a lot of it.
The music is also good. I am not happy about the prog metal influences here which sounds a bit too cheap. Nevertheless, this is a good album.
The debut album from this US band.
The band was an eight piece band with a lineup of marching drums, bass, drums, trumpet, tambourine, flugelhorn, alto sax, organ, piano, lute, guitars, trombone and vocals.
They had help from numerous other musicians who provided strings, cello, violins, cowbells, guitars, shakar, bass, guitars and vocals.
I got a handful of their albums and will review them throughout this year.
Blood, Sweat & Tears does not really need an introduction. They founded the genre which is now called "brass rock". The name explains itself. It is music heavy dependent on woodwinds and brass.
Al Kooper was the vocalist here and Randy Brecker also contributed on this album.
An album which includes a lot of the sounds and music from that time. Psychedelia, soul, beat, big band jazz, rhythm'n'blues, rock.. even pop music.
There is a lot of trombones and trumpets here. There is also some soulful vocals and some organs. The music is very varied from soppy pop to all out brass attack on some soul and rhythm'n'blues songs.
The band caught the spirit of 1968 with this album and it is a nice album from that era. It is also sold very well.
It also pretty much works in 2019. The songs are from decent to good. It is an album well worth checking out.
Saturday, 29 June 2019
The second album from this Norwegian band.
The band was a quartet on this album with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
Numerous other musicians added strings, bass, saxophone, percussion and vocals.
This band has been flying well under my radar until I recently discovered them and added this album for review.
Their 2013 debut album Vidde caused a minor sensation and a lot was expected from the follow up album Jewels Of Crime.
Jewels Of Crime is an album operating on the fringes of progressive rock. It has some Middle-East and African rhythms, reggae, jazz and pop. The music is pretty eclectic.
The opening track Light is a straight forward pop-prog song.... almost anthem like. It is melodic.
The rest of the album has some more dense and less so melodic material. The music is a bit weird and even has a lot in common with what Prince did early in his career.
The music is ticking away nicely after the opening track. Forty minutes, it is ticking away for. The quality is not as good as I had hoped.
The quality is somewhere between decent and good throughout this album. I am not won over..
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, keyboards, guitars, bass, percussion and vocals.
This band is a new band I have never heard about before. Their album was released earlier this year through Mellow Records and that itself should make RPI fans take notice.
In this case, with very good reasons.
This new band gives us seventy-five minutes of some good old school Italian symphonic prog.... RPI. In this case, that means melodic RPI.
The opening track, the best track, Alle Porte Di Zion, is more like a hymn than anything else. And that is a good thing and one of the best RPI songs of the year.
There is some more hymn like melodies throughout this album too.
The music is melodic and varied throughout. From the more muscular RPI to the more gentle, pastoral RPI. There is even some Italian pop from the 1970s here.
The Italian vocals is great and the other musicians does a great job too.
Maybe seventy-five minutes is a bit too much. But this is still a great album and one all RPI fans should lap up and fully enjoy.
The fourth and final album from this Argentine band.
The band was a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitars, organ, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion and Spanish vocals.
I am not a big fan of their previous three outputs.... albums. Plodding pop psych albums with not many good songs. So I was regretting even choosing this band for reviews.
I did not have any hope for Siesta either.
And the first listening sessions was not overly encouraging although Siesta sounded like an improvement on their three first albums. And it is.
The band has here merged some Argentine rock with symphonic prog and psych rock.
And they have also written some good stuff and gotten their sound and soundscape right.
This album has a pleasureful mood. The vocals and the vocal harmonies are good. Ditto for the organs and the keyboards. Not to mention the guitars.
The band has never really mastered the art of songwriting. But the sound and mood elevates this album to a good album. I am really pleased with this album and it deserves a bigger audience.
Wednesday, 26 June 2019
The 11th album from this British band.
Nektar was a quintet with a lineup of organ, keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
The band has been releasing some albums in the melodic rock genre for a while after they gave up being a progressive rock band.
The quality has not been particular good and I cannot say I have been looking forward to listen to and then review each one of these albums.
Book Of Days is another Nektar album in the melodic rock genre.
There is a lot of AOR here and some hints of neo-prog. The cover art-work hints at something more sinister than that. But the cover art-work is very much misleading.
There is some ballads here and they are pretty dire. That despite of the rather good vocals from Roye Albrighton.
There are some half-good songs here. And there are some songs which makes the listener cringe and turn of the music.
This is another decent album from Nektar. Another decent album from a previously great band.
Tuesday, 25 June 2019
The fourth studio album from this US band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals.
An extra musician added drums.
After a bit of a slump on their previous album Hat Trick from 1973 (see my review somewhere else), the band hired in George Martin, the ex The Beatles producer.
Let me say this first of all: George Martin's production of this album and the follow up album should be included as one of his finest ever production jobs. Credit where credit is due.
George Martin came with his producer experience from the greatest songs and albums ever to see the light of day. And that shows.
America has added some The Beatles'esque details on this album. The strings, done by George Martin, is superb and comes with several winks to John and Paul.
The songs on this album is also good and this album has some hits too. Tinman is one of them. Nevertheless, the more pastoral songs and soundscapes makes this a good album and one to really enjoy.
I am positive surprised by this album, indeed. It is full in details and colours. There is no true great songs here, though. Nevertheless, this is a good album and one I will listen to a lot more while I grow older and get more grey hair.
Monday, 24 June 2019
The second album from this Icelandic band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
This is a new star on the prog/psych rock scene. They have so far released two albums. See my review from earlier this month.
The band was very influenced by Pink Floyd on their 2017 self-titled debut. Almost too much influenced by Pink Floyd.
The band has moved away a bit from Pink Floyd. They have moved a bit closer to Sigur Ros. There is some post rock here.
That said, most of this album is psych prog with lots of life too. There is an undertone of the Icelandic landscape and culture throughout this album. Something that sets this album and band apart from the rest of the scene.
There is indeed a lot of cool details on this album. A lot of cool psych prog and lots of life.
There is no doubts this band is hugely talented although they have not really been unleashed on this album. But they will get there on one album.
This is a good album and one to check out.
Sunday, 23 June 2019
The sixth album from this British band.
The band was a seven piece big band on this album with a lineup of drums, saxophone, flutes, guitars, keyboards, synths, sitar, violin, bass, percussion and vocals.
Lemmy Kilmister (R.I.P.) had got the sack from the band and went of to do Motorhead, arguably a far more successful band than Hawkwind ever was.
So the harshness of the bass has gone. The band has also taken the foot of the accelerator and decided to be pretty nice... sonically.
Robert Calvert does the vocals here. It is more or less his album too.
The result is almost a gentle album. It is by many miles their most gentle album so far. Even their debut album, a beat album, is harder and more harsh than this one.
Hawkwind has not gone pop, though. The music is space rock and is pretty much lurking around in outer space. There are also some good melody lines along these sounds from outer space.
There is also a lot of jazzy and funky stuff here with the saxophones leading us into a jazzy, funky soundscape. A big of Gong is floating around on this album.
The result is not a classic Hawkwind album. It is still a good album and one I find interesting even after repeat listening sessions. Check out this album together with their classic space rock albums.
The debut album from this band from Brazil.
The band is a duo with a lineup of synths, keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, percussion and vocals.
The name of the band members are Andre Klawa and Bruno Mansini. Just to them justice.
I know nothing about Andre Klawa and Bruno Mansini and their past. I only got this album in my inbox and decided to give it some listenings.
The band is clearly influenced by the likes of Toto, Asia, Yes, Saga, Styx, Genesis and other very melodic art and prog rock bands.
Add those bands and mix them with the 1990s USA pop and rock music. Then you get this album.
The music is big and bold. It is catchy from the first tone. It is also sugar sweet. Sugar also supplied by the vocals and the vocal harmonies. Very good vocals, btw.
There is a great deal of stadium rock on this album. This album is a stadium rock album, never to ever be performed in a stadium.... but please prove me wrong.
This is indeed a retro-rock album and it is a very good to great album during the first listening session as it has all the cliches you want. The appeal disappears after a while, though.
This is still a good album, well worth checking out.
Saturday, 22 June 2019
The debut album from this Swedish band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of keyboards, clarinet, saxophone, flute, guitars, bass, drums, percussion and female vocals.
This band released this album in the 1970s and three more albums between 2009 and 2015. I reviewed one of these albums many years ago for # 1 of this blog. It was a good album.
The band was a child of it's time. That means a child of the prog scene.
And that explains a bit why I do not necessary want to label them as a symphonic prog band. This album has something more to it than just symphonic prog.
The influences from and on Kaipa is very evident. You find the same take on Swedish folk music as Kaipa did and still do.
Yes, there is some cool, laidback Swedish folk rock influenced symphonic prog here. There is also some fusion here and some more eclectic prog. There is also some more heavy prog.
All this is wrapped into a nice package of the Swedish symphonic prog sound.
Most of the music here is instrumental and it is meandering nicely throughout these forty minutes. The quality is somewhere between decent and good throughout this album.
It is an almost essential album for the fans of Swedish symphonic prog. The rest of you can bypass this album.
The debut album from this British band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
Numerous guest musicians provided flutes, wind chimes, keyboards, drums and vocals.
I have always heard about this band and have also heard a couple of their songs before I have now decided to review all their studio albums this year. An adventure I am very much looking forward to.
... Starting with this album.
From what I have heard about this band before starting to listen to this album, is that the band is somewhere between neo-prog and symphonic prog. And that they are one of the biggest bands in this scene.
They very much are that.
This fifty minutes long album is mostly a neo-prog album. Well, it is a neo-prog album. The band and the vocalist is doing all the right things besides of writing quality songs.
Quality songs is the two words that springs out of this album. The production is also not good.
There is some good songs and details on this album. Enough for me to look forward to reviewing the rest of their albums.
Friday, 21 June 2019
The second album from this Australian band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of samples, bass, drums and guitars.
There is a lot of instrumental post-metal, post-rock and progressive bands and albums around these days. I am not a big fan of those and my heart is not jumping for joy when one of them comes up for review.
.... And that is quite often....
This band from Sydney, Australia releases their albums (and one single) through Bandcamp. A very wise choice indeed.
The album starts a bit promising with some samples and some neo-prog stuff.
We then leave progressive rock for a while and enters a landscape of post-metal, heavy rock and fusion.
There is a lot of guitar solos here. There is hardly anything else on this forty odd minutes long album. Guitar solos and guitar harmonies.
There is some colours to this album and it is not too bad. Nevertheless, this is a decent album and a reminder to myself that this is not my cup of tea.
The fourth album from this English one-man band.
The band is Robin Armstrong on keyboards, piano, synths, bass, guitars and vocals.
He has got help from numerous other guest musicians on bass, drums, keyboards, e bow, guitar and vocals.
I have been following Cosmograf with great interest over the last years. The first three albums has been reviewed in this blog and in # 1 of this blog.
Robin Armstrong plays a big sound version of neo-prog. That is essentially what Cosmograf is.
There is a lot of Pink Floyd on this album too. That is David Gilmour's version of Pink Floyd. The melodic version of Pink Floyd.
There is also a lot of Marillion here.
The mood is pretty dark as this is a concept album about us human beings. Nothing to be cheerful about, in other words......
The vocals and the musicians is very good. This album is a slow grower though. The Pink Floyd similarities are very evident throughout this album.
I am not so won over by this album as I was won over by the previous two album. Cosmograf is still one of the best British bands in the neo-prog scene. This album is a good album, though.
Thursday, 20 June 2019
The debut album from this Norwegian band.
The band, or rather the project, is a seven piece big band with a lineup of drums, keyboards, alto and soprano sax, trumpet, guitars, bass, programming and vocals.
Two guest musicians contributed with Chapman stick and analogue synth.
This band is new. But it contains members from Pymlico, Panzerpappa and some other bands from the Norwegian scene. It is therefore more like a project.
This album was very hyped when it was released and I was caught up in it. I could therefore not understand why I did not like or understand it. So I gave it a long break and only went back to it these days.
This is supposed to be a symphonic prog album. Well....... I would rather call it crossover prog. It is by no means a traditional symphonic prog album.... or a symphonic prog album.
I am not sure where Steinar Borve, the band/project owner wanted when he composed these forty minutes worth of music. A break with his band Panzerpappa, I guess.
The music here is not melodic and it is not a crossover to more lighter prog. It is rather more complex and dense than I expected. The music is eclectic, indeed.
The quality is not that good and I am still of the opinion that the album is not living up to the hype. The vocals is also a major fault on this album.
This is a decent to good album, but nothing more than that.
The second album from this band from Luxembourg.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, drums, bass, guitars, percussion and guitars.
The band was helped out by some cello, violins, samples, flutes and vocals.
This album follows on from their self-titled 2014 album. An album I rated pretty highly. So I was looking forward to this album.
The band is still very much playing atmospheric neo-prog. References are Marillion and Gazpacho. You can also add Guy Manning too.
The music is bold and big most of the times. There are clearly some US symphonic prog stuff going on here too.
The vocals are very good and the same can be said about the other instruments. The music is really elegant.
Elegant and good. My only gripe is the lack of a great song or three. That aside......
This is indeed a good album and well worth checking out.
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
The second album from this band from Brazil.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion and Portoguese vocals.
Their self-titled debut album saw the light of day in 1974. It has taken the band 35 years to come up with the follow up album. A follow up album to an album who did not set the world on fire. You can read my review here.
So I was very surprised to find this album. An album with more or less the same musicians who recorded the 1974 album too.
The sound is very modern and I believe this album was recorded during the last years or even during the last year.
The music is pretty much the same type of music as on the debut album. A bit glam rock, psych rock, vaudeville, rock, ska, krautrock and folk rock.
Brazil is a colourful country with a lot of colourful music. This album very much mirrors their culture and music.
There is not any progressive rock here. There is not much quality either and I believe this album is for the local consumption only. Which is more than fair.
Those who liked the debut album will like this album too. I did not. Nevertheless, this is a decent enough album.
Tuesday, 18 June 2019
The second album from this Polish band.
The band was a quintet on this album with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, guitars, percussion and vocals.
Three years after the release of the very good Basnie album, the band returns again...... with an album of John Lennon classics.
Why John Lennon ?
In The Beatles, John Lennon was the no-nonsense rocker, George Harrison was pretty progressive and Sir Paul McCartney was the proghead. So the choice of the Beatle baffles me.
Anyway, this album is here and need a listen or five.
The songs gets a neo-prog sound..... which makes this album even more baffling. The neo-prog sound manages to make the original songs far worse than the very good and great originals. These classics and semi-classics are getting murdered on this album.
This is an album well worth avoiding. I really love Collage.... but I cannot even like or accept this horrible album.
The second album from this British band.
The band is a quintet on this album with a lineup of drums, bass, synths, guitars, percussion, sitar, piano, organ, clavinet, marimba, autoharp and vocals.
This British band is back again after a very successful debut album. This time with both Percy Jones and Phil Collins as their most well known musicians.
We are again being treated to some very hardcore jazz-rock. Not so much fusion as jazz-rock.
The reason is that the compositions here are hard and hard thumping. This is not easy listening music in any form or shape.
The highly talented five musicians in Brand X is giving their talents and ideas free reign, though. The music is really kicking wildly in many directions... and it is very much in the jazz direction.
The music is wildly lively and has a lot of the best elements of jazz. It is also pretty melodic and feels like life itself.
It is also an album I have set aside for the next decades of myself as I think I will like it more then than now.
I am not entirely won over by this album as it has too much solos for the sake of solos. It is still a very good album and one for the rest of my life.
The 16th album from this US band.
The band is a sextet on this album with a lineup of synths, organ, piano, mandolin, guitars, bass, drums, percussion and vocals.
This album is so far their final album. The band is still touring and it is perhaps hopes for some more Styx albums in the future.
I am by no means a big fan of their last albums. Some of them are pretty abysmal.
The Mission is a concept album...... Yes, a concept album. It is about a mission to the planet Mars. The lyrics very much reflects this and the feeling of alienation from planet Earth.
The music is still AOR. But the music also has this concept album symphonic prog feel too. Some of that feel.
The music feels focused and tight. There are even some good songs here which breaks the tiresome AOR concept.
The vocal harmonies are very good throughout. Ditto for the guitar harmonies and the keyboards. It is just a pity that the songs are not as good as their efforts deserves.
Nevertheless, this is a decent to good album.
Monday, 17 June 2019
The debut album from this Icelandic band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
This is a new star on the prog/psych rock scene. They have so far released two albums. I got both albums and a review of their second album will follow later this summer.
It is very obvious that the band is very influenced by Pink Floyd. The opening ten minutes could had been taken straight out of Meddle.
The album changes course after that and gives us some more psych rock and some eclectic prog.
Eclectic and psych prog dominates big parts of this album.
There is also a lot of 1960 and 1970 rock here. The music has a bit of a retro-feel.
The musicians does a great job on this album.
The end result is a good album well worth checking out.
The third album from this Argentine band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of clavinet, guitars, bass, drums, percussion, organ, piano and Spanish vocals.
This band is a legendary band from the South American scene. They released four albums and this is their third album and my third review. The final review will come up later this summer.
I have not been impressed by their first two albums. They have been typical rock albums.
The band follows up those two albums with an album which contains more or less the same.
Take a bit hard rock, add some psych rock and some folk rock. Then add the South American sound and the Spanish vocals. This is this album and this band.
The musicians and the vocalist does a good job. There is plenty of hard guitars and Hammond organ here. The clavinet is a bit of a surprise and the only positive surprise here.
The quality of the songs on this thirty-five minutes long album is decent enough. This album is not a sonic disaster. Neither is this a good album.
It is best forgotten, though as I do not find my progressive rock here.
Sunday, 16 June 2019
The one and only album from this German band.
Try was a duo with a lineup of sitar, keyboards, mandolin and guitars.
Two guest musicians provided bass and vocals.
This album was released on an obscure German label on LP back in 1980 and re-released by the delightful Garden Of Delights in 1998.
A justifiable re-release although it may not sound like it from this review...
The band is sparsely instrumented but the music is still pretty symphonic... OK, this make sense when we hear the music and note the very evident Mike Oldfield and Anthony Phillips references.
There is also some Tangerine Dream on this album too.
The music is pretty ambient with the exception from the occasional electric guitar chugging riffs. They are rare on this album.
The music is ambient, but is still has some melodies and symphonic prog structures.
The album is forty minutes long and will delight fans of Oldfield and Phillips. The music is pretty good throughout and others will also find something to like here. It is a bit too ambient. Nevertheless, it is a decent to good album.
The second album from this UK band.
The Tirith is a trio with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums, guitars, percussion and vocals.
A guest musician added extra keyboards.
I was not impressed by this trio's 2015 debut album Tales From The Tower. You can read my review here.
The band is again operating in the crossroads between 1980s neo-prog, heavy prog and progressive metal.
The 1980s neo-prog sound is very notable throughout these seventy minutes. Pendragon, Pallas and IQ is good references.
It sounds to me like we here have a neo-prog retro band on our hands. That is a first......
The vocals and the other instruments sounds like that. Ditto for the songs who are also leaning towards the new-romantics wave...... the wave of bands including Duran Duran.
I am again far from being impressed with this band. The music is genuine lacking in quality and good songs. The vocals does not rise the standards either.
This is a decent album but nothing more than that, I am afraid.
Saturday, 15 June 2019
The third album from this Czech band.
The band was a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, organs and vocals.
The had help from Czechoslovakia Radio Jazz Orchestra who provided woodwinds.
I have not found their second album so I had to jump to their third album instead.
Radim Hladik and his Blue Effect cooperated with this jazz orchestra on this album. That is like Deep Purple recording an album with Blood, Sweat & Tears.
And that is the best label you can find on this album: Blood, Sweat & Tears meets Deep Purple.
The album opens with a lot of woodwinds and a lot of Blood, Sweat & Tears like light-jazz. It is an overkill of brass.
The guitars of Radim Hladik and some more sustainable jazz takes over after a while. The heavy rock is not far away with Radim Hladik's harsh guitars and solos.
Two of the compositions on this forty-five minutes long album comes from Czechoslovakia Radio Jazz Orchestra while Blue Effect submitted the three final compositions. The Blue Effect's ones is clearly the best. It has some good stuff. The least said about the compositions from Czechoslovakia Radio Jazz Orchestra, the better.
The overall quality is therefore decent to good. But it is clear that Radim Hladik and Blue Effect is something really special based on their contributions to this album.
Thursday, 13 June 2019
The third album from this Swiss band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of percussion, drums, synths, keyboards, bass, guitars and French vocals.
Galaad album debuted in 1992 and followed up that album with their second album in 1996. Then... nothing.
The same people has again returned as Galaad and released this album. They are even gigging now. Well done, guys !
Listed as an eclectic prog band in ProgArchives, I was mentally preparing myself.
The band must have mellowed a lot during these twenty odd years. The music is not particular eclectic.
Take a bit Ange and add some normal rock with heavy metal influences too. Add a lot of neo-prog too. This album is in essence a neo-prog album.
The music is pretty symphonic too with clear references to Ange. The vocals are really good too.
The quality of the songs is good too. This is by no means a great album as some of the songs are a bit dull. Nevertheless, this is a good album and a welcome return to the business again for Galaad.
The fourth album from this US band.
Metaphor is a quintet with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
The band has returned again to the scene after a more than decade long break. Their debut album was released back in 2000, no less.
This is a band who has been flying well under my radar. This album came as a surprise.
The sub-genre of progressive rock is also one of my favourite ones...... neo-prog !
Metaphor has combined the US and the UK with the Polish neo-prog sound and sub-genres on this album. The music is slightly bombastic. It also have some pop-rock from the British and Polish scene.
A band like Arena pops up in my head when listening to this one hour long album.
The vocals is really good and the other musicians is doing a good job too. There is not many details here to awake my interest. But there are some of them and this album is clearly a neo-prog album.
There are some rather good stuff and some rather decent stuff here. I am not really won over. The band simply lacks some really good songs to make this a good album. An album which may break them out of their obscurity. This is not the album which will break them.
The one and only album from this US band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of saxophone, keyboards, drums, guitars, bass and vocals.
There is some oddities among the prog rock bands. Make that....... there are some really genre hopping bands in the prog rock scene.
Trout Cake is one of them.
The band is broadly speaking a Canterbury prog band although they are thousands of miles away from the Canterbury Cathedral.... physically.
Take a lot of fusion, add a lot of Gong, some Soft Machine, a lot of psych rock and a lot of avant-garde/RIO.
The music is weird and quirky, in other words.
It is mosty performed with a half-acoustic guitar, saxophone and an organ sounding keyboard. There are also some good vocals here.
The result is thirty-five minutes of good progressive rock and fusion. An album that does not have the big songs, but who still deliver the goods.
This album deserves a re-release on a bigger record label.
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
The debut album from this band from Luxembourg.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, guitars, keyboards, bass, e bow, tubular bells, percussion and vocals.
From what I remember, I have only reviewed one other prog band from this small country which sits landlocked between France, Germany and Belgium.
Light Damage has released two albums though and is a very welcome inclusion in this blog. Both albums, indeed.
We are in what is called modern progressive rock land. That really means modern neo-prog. Or neo-neo-prog if you want.
Take a big bit of Gazpacho, Sylvan, IQ and Marillion. That is when you end up with this band.
The music starts with some progressive metal before the music becomes much more majestic and melodic. The progressive metal aspect is there throughout. But there is not so much of it.
The music sounds modern and there are some really good vocals here.
The music is at times very good. Most of it is actually very good and I get the feeling I have again found a hidden gem. Not a big gemstone, but still a hidden gem.
This is indeed a very good album and one to really enjoy.
Tuesday, 11 June 2019
The third album from this US band.
The band was a trio on this album with a lineup of guitars, keyboards and vocals.
Numerous other musicians provided bass, drums, synths, banjo, saxophone, congas, piano and harmonica.
America is a band formed by three US citizens in England before they returned to USA again. They had some hits too.
The music on this album is sailing very close to what Crosby, Stills & Nash gave us. It is in the same mould.
That is not a bad thing as CS&N was a great band.
There is a lot of vocal harmonies on this album and the instruments are supporting the vocals.
The songs are very melodic and nice. There are some good details from the musicians here.
The focus is the vocals though and the songs. And the songs are decent enough. They are lacking a lot in substance seen from the viewpoint of a proghead like myself.
It is still a decent enough album.
Monday, 10 June 2019
The sixth album from this British band.
The band was reduced to the duo of Terence Wincott and Edward Baird. Together they provided guitars, piano, bass, flute and vocals.
Numerous guest musicians provided Moog, organ, piano, electric guitars, bass, drums, violin and vocals.
The band had largely abandoned their flirtations with progressive rock and retreated to a safe area.
That means a mix of folk and rock.
The music is vocals dominated and very much in the folk rock landscape.
There is not much interesting instrumental excitement on this album. The songs are still decent enough.
There is not many interesting details here, though. Nothing to really take on board and to remember this album for.
It is a straight folk rock album and that is that.
Sunday, 9 June 2019
The seventh studio album from this US band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals on this album.
The band's biggest days were coming to the end on this album and the band entered a life of obscurity and various lineups.
James Mangrum were the vocalist and pretty much dominates this album. Tommy Albridge were behind the drums and does a good job.
The music is raunchy southern rock. The cheesy art-work pretty much says everything about this music.
Oh yeah, there is a lot of cheese on this album. It is also rock'n'roll. Even the ballads are cheesy. Ballads who comes inbetween the all out raunchy southern rock assault.
The songs are decent enough and this album is not bad at all. But the album has it's limitations.
The debut album from this New York, US band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of bass, guitars, drums, keyboards and vocals.
And the flow of debut albums continues. This time with a band from New York, USA.
The band has listed The Beatles, Yes and Porcupine Tree as their references. I would add Genesis and Pink Floyd too.
This seventy five minutes long album is a run through these four bands and their musical landscapes. Maybe less The Beatles than the other four bands. And you can also add a lot of Italian symphonic prog too.
This is indeed a symphonic prog album. A modern one. That with a lot of neo-prog. Well, this makes it a neo-prog album.
The music is both bold and melodic with long solos and great vocal harmonies. The vocals are indeed great.
Ditto for the rest of the musicians too and the keyboards also gives us some moog and mellotron too.
There is no truly great songs here. Nevertheless, this is a very good album and one I really like. Please give us more albums like this.
Saturday, 8 June 2019
The fifth album from this German band.
Kraan was a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
I have reviewed some of their albums. I even like some of them. But I do not feel that I really get a grip on their music. This band is a bit of a mystery to me.
The band plays krautrock with a great deal of fusion. They are basically a fusion band.
On the first half of this album, their music is sailing pretty close to elevator and shopping mall music. It is not exactly exciting fusion and it feels dead as a dead horse. It also slightly stinks.
The final half starts with some vocals and then takes over towards a more funky and krautrock area. It becomes a krautrock album with vocals and it all.
The music is pretty wild at the end of this album. But at least, there is life in the band at this stage of the album.
The end result is an album in two halves. The first half is decent. The final half is good.
It is well worth checking out this album.
Friday, 7 June 2019
The tenth album from this British band.
The band was now a quartet with a lineup of guitars, drums, bass, percussion, piano, organ, keyboards, mellotron and vocals.
The standards of Nektar's musical output had not been particular good during the last three albums. The band had become a safe AOR band who did not take many chances.
Roye Albrighton was again at the helm, doing the guitars and vocals. He was the creator of their best music too in the 1970s. That was the decade that made this band.
Their reputation, at least.
Evolution gives us AOR with a lot of pomp rock too. The music is very melodic throughout.
There is some hints of the good old Nektar on this album. But most of it is drowned out in a mix of pomp rock and AOR.
The music is tolerable and not too bad. It is an enjoyable album in it's own right.... during the first listening sessions. It is not an album which last long before it's shortcomings becomes pretty clear.
There are no real great tracks here or any tracks that will live in my memory. The musicians is doing their best with the pretty sub-standard material on this album.
This is therefore an album somewhere between decent and good.
Thursday, 6 June 2019
The debut album from this German band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of bass, guitars, keyboards, drums and vocals.
The flow of debut albums just continues and continues. This time, this trio from Berlin is offering us an hour of progressive rock.
Their music has it's base in neo-prog. Add in some ambient music, art rock and some pop-rock too.
The vocals is a mix of male and female vocals. There is also lots of elegant guitar solos here too.
The music is really melodic. There is also a lot of good harmonies and interesting details here.
The music is not overly complicated but still deliver a lot of of goods to the prog rock fan.
The result is a good album which should be checked out. I am not entirely won over. But check it out.
Wednesday, 5 June 2019
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a sextet with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, bass, percussion and drums.
Formed in 2014, it took the band four-five years to record and release this album. Which seems like a sensible amount of time.
There is a lot of debut albums these days from Italy and other countries. Some of these bands will be a flash in the pan. Some will soldier on..
Giant The Vine's take on progressive rock is instrumental. And they does not sound like Goblin or a fusion band.
Take a lot of post-rock and post-metal, add in some symphonic prog and some cinematic music. That is where you get this album.
Clocking in at fifty minutes long, this album and the instrumental music is fighting hard to maintain the attention of the listener throughout. But it just about maintain to to that.
The music is dynamic and has a lot of light and shade. It has some good melodies too and a lot of interesting details.
The end result is a good album and one to check out.
Tuesday, 4 June 2019
The fifth album from this Argentine band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, drums, bass and Spanish vocals.
The band also had help from numerous others who provide sax, bass and vocals.
Jinetes Negros started out as a metal band and went progressive metal on their first albums. I caught up with their music on their fourth album (see review somewhere else in this blog) and the band had adopted a more crossover prog sound which included art and metal.
So I was looking forward to sink my ears into this album, their so far latest album.
The band has totally ditched metal and progressive metal on this album. So far, so.......
The band has replaced metal with some sort of pop-rock though. There are still a lot of art rock here and this is indeed their new genre. The band is now an art-rock band.
The vocals are still Spanish and it seems like they are happy to be a Spanish vocals band. Which is a good choice indeed.
The music is pretty good with a lot of guitars. There is a lot of vocals and guitar harmonies.
The quality is not great, though. The songs are a bit dull.... This is another decent to good album, I am afraid.
The second album from this Norwegian prog rock band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of drums, bass, keyboards, synths, guitars and Norwegian vocals.
This band has been flying well below my radar since their 2017 debut album I Speilvendthet. An album I should have as the band were sailing close to King Crimson, Yes and Genesis on that album. I will get that album.
Tre Ut was sent to me by their record label and that has put them on my map and in my inbox.
The vocals are solid Bergens dialect, a type of Norwegian which itself is very melodic. That suits the music extreme well, indeed.
The band has moved a bit away from Genesis and Yes on Tre Ut. There is still a lot of King Crimson... and Gentle Giant. A lot of Caravan has also replaced Genesis here.
Yes, the band has moved into Canterbury territory with this album with it's playful fusion and pop music.
The music is indeed funky, jazzy and poppy. There is also a lot of substance in their music and this forty-five minutes long album is really cool.
The songs are not really top notch. Nevertheless, this is a very good album and well worth checking out.
Monday, 3 June 2019
The fourth album from this British band.
The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, percussion, mellotron, violin, keyboards, sax, oboe, flute, kalimba, synths and vocals.
The band had by now established their own sound..... and genre. The space rock genre which is largely the invention of this band.
...And albums like Hall Of The Mountain Grill although their previous two albums were much more genre defining than this album.
You get this classic Nik Turner, Dave Brock and Lemmy Kilmister setup on this album.
The music though is a lot softer and melodic than on their last two albums. It is not soft and it is not poppy.... but it has a lot of melodies too.
There are some pretty hardcore space rock here too. But they have implemented some hard rock, prog and rock into their sound too.
The result is a well balanced album which falls slightly short, but not by much.
This album too is an album I would like to listen to a lot more in the future. It is a good album indeed.
Sunday, 2 June 2019
The fourth album from this German band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of drums, bass, saxophone, guitars and vocals.
I reviewed their previous album, the 1974 album Andy Nogger, more than ten years ago for ProgArchives. An album I liked. I have also reviewed their first two albums and their last album for # 1 of this blog. I intend to review their fifth album later this month.
Let It Out continues on from their previous three albums. Fusion mixed with spaced out krautrock.
There is even some funk and some avant-garde nodding on this album.
There is big parts of this album which reminds me about the two versions of Gong. Both the jazz version under Moerlin and the more psych version under the guidance of Daevid Allen.
Most of the music on this album is guitars and organ driven fusion though with some saxophones also adding some solos. The vocals are sparse and mostly used as instruments.
Most of this album is very cool and catchy. It gives the listener some restless feet. My feet and fingers are dancing to this album, inbetween adding words to this review.
This is not a top notch Kraan album. It is still a decent to good album and well worth checking out.
The debut album from this Australian band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
I got this album some weeks ago and were asked to review it. Through the lottery system I play with new promos, this got up for review this weekend.
The band is youthful and full of enthusiasm. That is obvious in their music and in their presentation on Facebook and other social media outlets.
The music here is a mix of rock, neo-prog, progressive metal and post-metal.
Most of the vocals are clear vocals. But there is also some death-growls and some very harsh, death metal piece here. The music is guitars driven too.
Most the album is mid-tempo though.... There is also some pastoral pieces of music here.
The music sounds very modern and should appeal to everyone into our new world of progressive rock.
The quality of songs needs a bit harder work. The quality varies between decent and good. Nevertheless, check out this album.
Saturday, 1 June 2019
The second album from this Argentine band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of percussion, drums, flute, bass, clavinet, piano, organ, guitars and Spanish vocals.
This band from Argentina released four albums and then disappeared. A box of all their albums and a live album was released on CD a few years ago and the band still have some fans.
Their self-titled debut album from 1972 was a good blues album. The music was mainly blues, that is.
The band is branching out from their blues base camp on Candiles and is moving towards both stadium, psych and harder rock on this album.
Southern rock is the right label for the music on this album. There is a lot of Lynyrd Skynyrd on this album. There is also some Led Zeppelin too here.
The band is also notable moving towards psych rock on this album. Especially at the end of this forty minutes long album. The best songs are at the end of this album.
Southern rock is dominating most of this album.
The music is somewhere between decent and good throughout these forty minutes. It is an album well worth checking out, indeed.
The debut album from this Dutch band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of guitars, drums, bass, mellotron, oboe, strings, flute, organ and cello.
This band, with members from Odyssice and Flamborough Head, has released three albums. The last one in 2013 and you can see my review here.
The band was formed to honour the music of bands like Greenslade, Camel and Genesis. Which is a good reason to start a band in my opinion.
The music is instrumental and does indeed touch base with these three bands and their best musical output. Not by copying them, but by making new music which reminds the listener about these bands.
Trion is also very much an own band with their own identity, although a rather vague one.
The music is very much symphonic prog in the good old 1970s style and in the good old British style just across the water from The Netherlands (just a ferry away).
This is not the most exciting music around, I have to admit. But Triode delivers what they set out to do. A good retro-prog album.
There is no highlights on this album. Nevertheless, is is nice to know the music on this fifty minutes long album and I like it.
This is indeed a good album.
The debut album from this Norwegian band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of synths, bass, piano, drums, guitars, percussion and female vocals.
This band is another addition to the Norwegian progressive rock scene. One of many new bands and debut albums from the last couple of years.
Fervent Mind does not play traditional progressive rock though and is perhaps not a band who should be included in this new wave of Norwegian progressive rock bands.
Their music is a mix of post-rock, trip hop, dreamy pop, jazz, a bit metal and some post-metal.
The music is dominated by the band owner Live Sollid's vocals. She is the composer and main force in the band. Her vocals is really good.
The vocals and the music is mostly dreamy and melancholic. It also has some acoustic songs too.
Clocking in at over fifty minutes, this album is both charming and good. It is an debut album well worth checking out.