Wednesday, 31 July 2019
The fourth album from this British band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of blues harp, bass, percussion, drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
A female vocalist added here vocals on a couple of tracks.
The band was on a march from light poppy art-rock towards proper heavy progressive rock on their first albums. That also includes this album.
The band has here given us an hour worth of music.
That is music somewhere in the landscape of mid-Genesis. Genesis in their Wind & Wuthering era.
The vocals reminds us about Yes. But that is all.
There is some slightly ambient over this album and a lot of pastoral music. I am also reminded about the latter days Marillion.
The music is really relaxing and has some long songs and pieces of music. The guitars are very Steve Hackett from the above mentioned Genesis era.
The music is good throughout although it feels a bit wishy-washy. It still comes up with the goods..... barely. Check out this album.
The debut album from this Brazilian band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, drums, saxophones, keyboards, bass, English horn, electronic percussion and vocals.
The band is really Paulo Viani from the band Mahtrak with fellow members from that band and a guest from Univers Zero.
The band has used words like RIO, Avant Garde and Canterbury to describe themselves. Which is a fair description of their music. Their music is not the melodic standard fare.
Neither is it particular complex either.
I would add Ambient to their description too.
The music is about minimalism and making potential complex music less complex.
Most of the music is minimalist with either a synth or some piano used as the basic melody developer. Sometimes, we get saxophones and guitars too.
In the middle of all this, we get a normal song with normal song structures and vocals. Why ? It is baffling...... Then again, it dawns on the listener that the song is very much a Caravan like song. The band is true to their Canterbury roots. Then this song makes sense.
The end result is a fairly good album where the ideas is better than the finished result. I will give it a weak three rating as this album will very much appeal to the Canterbury crowd.
Tuesday, 30 July 2019
The debut album from this Norwegian band.
The band is a seven piece big band with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums. percussion, keyboards and vocals.
Numerous other musicians has provided cello, bass and female vocals.
Reading the list of who is who on this album, I get the feeling that this is a Magic Pie side-project. Mostly everyone from that band is involved with this band, although the main man is not involved in Magic Pie.
The music is not a million miles away from Magic Pie either. Muscular progressive rock with some Pink Floyd influences.
The music is pretty mainstream and is sailing pretty close to mainstream rock at times. Harder mainstream rock, that is. There is also a lot of AOR here.
There is also some pop floating around here on this album. But most of all, this band sounds like Magic Pie.
The quality is decent to good. There is no real eye-opener songs here. There is no real bad songs here although the pop elements are a bit jarring, but still pretty good.
I am not entirely won over by this one hour long album.
Monday, 29 July 2019
The one and only album from this German band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of bass, guitars, drums and keyboards.
This album is very obscure to say at least.
I know next to nothing about this band. A band who met in a studio, did a lot of improvisations and then recorded them.
Then the improvisations became more streamlined songs and the recordings became this album.
It goes without saying that this album is somewhere in the jazz genre. Well, fusion, that is.
Classic fusion it is. Fusion with some blues, soul and hard rock influences.
The music is a pretty lively affair with lots of hard guitars and keyboards. There are also some more pastoral pieces here.
There are some classic organ sounds here too and that adds a lot of quality to this album.
The quality is fairly good throughout without really being impressing. This album is obscure for a good reason. It still deserve some more attention and some more reviews. Check it out.
The debut album from this band from Chile.
The band is a sextet with a lineup of percussion, drums, keyboards, guitars, bass and Spanish vocals.
... And that is all I know about this band who says they are Christians.
The music is the thing that matters though and the band gives us a mix of symphonic prog, neo-prog and some prog metal on this album.
The music is very intricate throughout with some great vocals and guitars. The band sounds very tight and the Spanish vocals adds some exotic colours to the mix.
This album is over seventy minutes long and also include some soaring, catchy songs. Songs that makes me listen up and smile.
The pastoral parts also makes me listen up and smile. Even the prog metal parts makes sense on this album.
Not all the music here is that good though as the album rises and dips in quality throughout. But fans of this music should check out this album which really deserves an international release outside CD Baby.
This is a good album, bordering to a very good album and well worth checking out.
Sunday, 28 July 2019
The second album from this US band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of guitars, drums, percussions, synths, piano and saxophone.
This is a new name to me as I have not heard their 2016 debut album Are You Synthetic.
This band has labeled this album as early 1970s synths meets early 1970s Black Sabbath. I do not agree that much with this.
Let us call it a mix of synths and stoner. Instrumental synths and stoner.
The music is pretty heavy and laidback at the same time. Yes, stoner........ The mix of heavy guitars and synths makes this a heavy album indeed.
The inclusion of a synth version of King Crimson's alltime classic Red is a bit strange. The original version is miles better than the version here. The only thing their version highlights is how good and innovative King Crimson was compared to Voyag3r.
I am not won over by this album by any means. It has some good stuff though so it is well worth checking out.... for stoner fans.
The debut album from this British band.
Cream was a trio with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, percussion, harmonica, piano and vocals.
This band is legends in the history of music, a step or two below the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.
Their lineup is the legends Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker.
And their music were years before their time. This album was even recorded and released before The Beatles music changing Sgt Peppers album.
Does it stand the test of time and will it be highly rated on a prog rock blog like this ?
The music is hard blues with a lot of beat and psych. The music is very heavy at times and must have been detonating like a bomb back in those days, four years before heavy rock was officially invented.
There is also some melodic pearls here. The hit song I Am So Glad is still a very good song anno 2019.
The three musicians really get going on most of these tracks and that is the best thing about this album.
OK, there are some not so good things here too. Nevertheless, this is a good album and well worth checking out.
Saturday, 27 July 2019
The debut album from this Japanese band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars and vocals.
Japan is the land of rising sun and the land of some very challenging music. Their take on progressive rock and fusion is a bit more challenging for the Western listener than the normal fare of prog and fusion.
Hence, I am normally very excited when Japanese music comes up for review through my internal lottery.
Noa's debut album gives us forty minutes of fusion. Fusion with some progressive rock influences. King Crimson springs to mind here.
There is some King Crimson influences indeed.....
Most of this album is melodic fusion though. The drummer is said to be a big fan of Bill Bruford. Which is well and fine. The music here reminds me about Bruford, his fusion band.
There is nothing I can fault this album for. It is not particular interesting or even good at times. It is a nice fusion album with some King Crimson influences and that is all.
The third album from this US band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, Rhodes, Moog, Mellotron, drums, piano, bass, mandolin, percussion and vocals.
This is really an interesting band. Their first two albums has been very interesting indeed. See my reviews of them somewhere else in this blog.
In my review of their last album, I described their music as "Greenwich Village like bohemian folk and pop-folk mixed with English symphonic prog. The bohemian world meets the apple orchards."
That too goes for most of this album. The Greenwich Village sound is a lot more stronger than the smell of an apple orchard on this album.
"Pastoral symphonic prog" is perhaps the best label on this album. The music is pastoral, but also very complex at the same time. And most certainly symphonic prog. Which proves that there is many different ways of playing symphonic prog.
The music is both pleasant and full of intricate details. The vocals is good and the musicians does a great job.
The songs are good too. Which makes this a good album and well worth looking into for all fans of progressive rock.
Friday, 26 July 2019
The second album from this German band.
The band is a trio on this album with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
A guest musician provided extra drums on one track.
I think it is fair to say that the krautrock genre never went away. It has always been here. After the 1970s, it became an underground scene.
Colour Haze has been plying their trade since the 1990s and is still around. Their spaced out krautrock has never been in fashion. But they have survived.
I have heard that the band found themselves on this album. Their debut album was post-punk krautrock album and a pretty bad one too.
Periscope is a true spaced out krautrock album. It still have some song structures. Some really good ones too.
The sound is slightly dirty and the music rumbles on. The bass is in the front of the mix. There is some ebb and flow in their music. A mix of pastoral and all out space rock where the band creates a wall of sound. The vocals is really cool. But there is not much of it. Which is fair enough.
This album clocks in at forty minutes and it is forty minutes well spent. Forty minutes times many times as this album deserves a lot of listening sessions.
This is indeed a good album and I am looking forward to review the rest of their albums too.
Thursday, 25 July 2019
The second album from this band from Israel.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of soprano saxophone, guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
I reviewed their 2014 self-titled debut album exactly four years ago for # 1 of this blog and was not too impressed with it. You can read my review here.
The band gives us a mix of folk-rock and happy metal. Gung ho metal, you may want to call it.
The difference between the likes of Tyr, Mago De Oz and Electric Desert is that Electric Desert is much more rock based.
Electric Desert has, as Orphaned Land has done, taken the folk music from Israel and the Middle East. From their ancient folk music traditions.
The music on this album is not that heavy either. It still invites the listener to a party and a dance. This is party and dance music. Not particular music you listen to in a sofa.
This is something the soprano saxophone and the vocals invites you to. A party. And the music is lively.
The music is not particular good, though. It is a decent enough album, though. But it is not an album I can endorse as the music is not good enough.
Wednesday, 24 July 2019
The fourth album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, percussion and keyboards.
There is vocals by Phil Collins on two tracks and numerous others also contribute bass, drums, sound effects and vocals.
The opening song Don't Make Waves with Phil Collins on vocals give warning that the band has moved down a funky, pop direction. It is not a good song. It is followed later on by the sub-standard Soho which is even worse. It is most horrid with lyrics and melody which is so cheap and nasty. Phil Collins on vocals again and I bet he want to forget that song.
So would I.
The rest of the album is much more traditional fusion with a lot of jazz too. There is a lot of keyboards and guitars here with a thundering bass who makes this album a lot better.
This fusion is good indeed.
The album is forty minutes plus and has two bad songs among some good fusion. And my suspicions, life-long suspicions about Phil Collins has been confirmed by this album. I do not doubt he is a nice man. But his music is dubious to say at least. Shady man, this Phil Collins. And the Soho track is a reason why I remove half a point from this album.
The 19th album from this US band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, keyboards, bass, guitars and numerous other strings and percussion instruments.
They had help from four other musicians who provided choir, sitar, bouzouki, charango, guitars and bass.
I have in my review of their last two albums expressed my strong reservations towards the quality of these two albums. They were decent enough. But that was it. You can find reviews of these two albums somewhere else in this blog and one from # 1 of this blog at this link.
This album continues down the same road as the previous albums. Ambient music with some pretty heavy krautrock influences.
There is also some Irish ambient music influences here. The music is acoustic guitars driven with additional instruments added on too.
The acoustic guitars core of the music really drives this album forward into a more pastoral landscape.
This landscape is really lush and the cover art-work really reflects what is on inside. A lush, ambient album.
And the quality is also really good too. So much that I have found an ambient music album I really like. Well done, Djam Karet.
Tuesday, 23 July 2019
The one and only album from this Italian band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of bouzouki, mellotron, guitars, bass, drums, oud, sitar, sarangi, piano and vocals.
They had help from numerous musicians who provided woodwinds, cello, violin, bansoori, darbuka, piano and vocals.
This is an album I have previously tried to review without finding the right words and opinions. So I discarded a half-written review and decided to wait some years before trying again.
Egonon does modern RPI. That is Rock Progressive Italiano with a new sound, but still within the frameworks of the RPI genre.
There is some grunge here and there is a lot of avant-garde here with a lot of nods towards Ianva.
The vocals and guitars are at times really dissonant and esoteric. There are also some woodwinds here who, when given space, takes this album towards jazz and Italian folk-music.
Nothing is straight forward on this one hour long album.
The music is really eclectic with a mix of thunder and more pastoral pieces.
The music is good though and this album has a lot of qualities. It is also a pretty unique album who stands out in the RPI scene. It is an album well worth checking out.
The third album from this British band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of woodwinds, programming, keyboards, bass, percussion, drums, guitars, choir, narrations and vocals.
I quite liked their first two albums and my reviews has reflected my opinions. See reviews somewhere else in this blog.
The band is basing their music on medieval folk and classical music. They have added folk rock and symphonic prog to the proceedings and has got themselves three albums out of that.
That is a good thing though and Lyrian is/was an exciting part of the British prog rock scene. I hope they are still around.
This album is seventy minutes plus long. It is a concept album and the music and the narration is about a jester. That is all I know.
The music is mid-tempo with some haunting guitars and vocals. The keyboards is always here.
The music is also pedestrian and can feel like a bit of a test as this album is so long.
But there is still enough quality here to make this a good album. All their three album is most certainly well worth checking out.
Monday, 22 July 2019
The sixth album from this Czech-Slovakia band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of string synth, arp, organ, percussion, drums, bass, guitars, pianos, mandolin, bass and vocals. The vocals are in the local language.
I reviewed their 1974 album Modry Efekt and Radim Hladik back in May 2011 for ProgArchives and that album really made me interested in this band. But the years went by and it took me eight years to review the rest of their albums.
The band was forced to change their name from their English name to a name in their local language on the orders from their Stalinist rulers at that time. No Anglo-US band names were allowed. Tape trading on bad cassettes was these countries influences from the west.
But Blue Effect, aka Modry Efekt, continued as a band. They had got rid of their jazz orchestra and re-emerged as a purebred band instead.
Radim Hladik is a massive impressive guitarist and one of the better ones from behind the iron curtain. He and Marian Varga from Collegium Musicum is the two greats from this part of Europe.
Back to this album........
Gone is the jazz from this album. What emerges here is a mix of symphonic prog, fusion and RPI. Yes, Rock Progressive Italiano. There is a lot of passion in Radim's guitars. There is a lot of passion in the music on this album. A lot of melancholy too.
The music is great from the first tone and Svitanie offers up some really great symph/RPI/fusion here. Even the vocals are really good. Radim's guitars and the great melodies steals all the attention here. Even on the long songs.
This is an album you need to have in your collection.
The second album from this Austrian band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
The band had help from guest musicians providing flute, alto saxophone, backing vocals and a big choir.
I do not think I have got their 2014 debut album Pictures. I have not reviewed it in # 1 and # 2 of this blog. So this is my first meeting with this band.
The band is a neo-prog band. That is obvious right from the first tone of this one hour long album. The music has a lot of nuances though.....
The band uses female vocals and there are both some faint folk-rock and some very big symphonic prog influences here.
The music is also muscular and the band can be compared to the likes of Panic Room.
This album has an half an hour long suite, a shorter song clocking in at eighteen minutes and the opening song clocking in at ten minutes. This album is therefore quite a mouthful to say at least.
And it is ticking along nicely. There is no great pieces of music here. But there is enough to satisfy, and more than that, fans of muscular neo-prog. I am not entirely won over. Nevertheless, this is a good album and one I recommend.
Sunday, 21 July 2019
The fourth and final album from this band from Poland.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, percussion, drums, bass and vocals.
Two guest musicians provided extra guitars and vocals.
This was the final album from this legendary Polish band. The band members went onto creating other Polish neo-prog bands after Collage split up.
The band is still true to their neo-prog roots and the genre. There are some developments, though.....
The band has added some more mainstream rock to their neo-prog and some symphonic prog. There is also some folk-rock here.
The album is again over seventy minutes long and that gives good value for money.
The music is melodic, nice and.......... safe. Sorry, but the chosen album title is a bit of a self inflicted pain from the band as it says what is on this album. Safe music.
There are some pieces here which is bordering to exciting though. The symphonic prog stuff.
I do feel that the band has run out of steam and has done their bit. So I can understand why they split up and fragmented into other bands.
This is a good album and well worth checking out from a very good band.
Saturday, 20 July 2019
The second album from this US band.
The band was a nine-piece big band on this album with a lineup of drums, guitars, percussion, bass, trombone, trumpet, flugelhorn, piano, alto sax, organ, harmonica and vocals.
The true birth of this band and mega-selling album. Not at least because of the two hits from this album, "Spinning Wheel" and "You Made So Very Happy".
Al Kooper was out of the band and was replaced by the very good vocalist David Clayton-Thomas. His vocals is a big part of this album.
The music on this album is a mix of brass jazz rock, soul, prog, jazz and blues. The album has some cover versions of Traffic, Billie Holiday and other's songs.
There is a lot of brass here, but not overwhelmingly so. I am no fan of brass. There is also a lot of organ and guitars here. Now we are talking..... And "Spinning Wheel" in an infectious song.
There is a strange eleven minutes long piece here called "Blues Part II" which I have heard is a filler. And it is. The album is long enough to justify a purchase of this LP (the original media).
The rest of the album is good to very good. Even the brass is pretty good here and my stance against brass is being softened up.
This is a good and lively album well worth checking out. Not to mention; purchase. Get it.
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of bass, tambourine, percussion, drums, guitars and vocals.
A guest musician provided keyboards and samples.
This band released three studio album and one live album before they gave up. There is also a live video with the band on VHS or DVD.
The band cannot be put in the RPI label at all. This despite of their music being melodic.
The music on this fifty minutes long album is neo-prog. Neo-prog in the early 1980s English scene vein. Pendragon springs to mind.
The sound is pretty thin and lacks a lot of muscles. The vocals is really poor too.
There are some green shoots of good details on this album. But most of it is barely decent and I can understand why this is an obscure band.
The reason is that their albums, and this is supposed to be their best one, is sorely lacking in quality.
This is a decent album and perhaps one to avoid. Collectors of Italian prog rock will need this album, I am afraid.
Friday, 19 July 2019
The second album from this Spanish band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of organ, synths, various sound effects, sitar, bass, guitars, drums and vocals.
This is probably the final sign of life from this band and the album is a Bandcamp free download too. A download I would recommend.
I liked their debut album so I was looking forward to review this album too.
The band plays krautrock with a great deal of space rock influences. Well, it is space rock but with all the krautrock vibes. There is a lot of sitar here and some eastern sounds. Sounds from India and Pakistan.
The music on this album is much more developed than their debut album. There is a lot of variations within the krautrock theme.
There is a lot to like here too with strange vibes among some pretty bare-bones space rock tunes. The contrast between the barren and the colourful landscapes on this album makes this album pretty appealing.
The music is also good throughout this album. It is therefore an download I recommend.
The debut album from this English duo.
The duo is Suzi James and Jeremy Shotts. They do guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals.
Some guest musicians does saxophone, drums, piano, guitars and vocals.
This is a totally new name to me and one of the many new bands releasing their debut albums this year. Bands in the prog and close to the prog genre.
I am not sure if Fearful Symmetry is a prog rock band though.....
The album starts with the title track. It starts out like The Beatles on Sgt Peppers for then turn into Pink Floyd and some Genesis. A good track by all means.
There is a lot of classic rock on this album and some pop. That and some lighter and non-technical progressive rock. Neo-prog, that is. There is also some more fusion'ish pieces here.
The album has a nice blend of more lively stuff and the more pastoral pieces.
These forty minutes gives us quirky, intelligent rock/prog rock on the sunny side and is a good album for those who need a bit of a cheering up.... and also for the rest of us. It is a sunny album, indeed.
This is therefore a good album who may not be a prog rock album but still an intelligent album who should also appeal to prog rock fans.
Thursday, 18 July 2019
The second album from this Japanese band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of keyboards, bass, guitars, drums and vocals.
I reviewed their 1980 debut album La Songerie six years ago for # 1 of this blog and was not impressed. Too much old heavy metal for my liking.
I intend to review their third and fourth album too this summer.
The band is supposed to be a symphonic prog band. And yes, the band is making a tour to symphonic prog. That inbetween some heavy metal stuff.
All of this is Japanese heavy metal and symphonic prog despite of the English vocals. The vocals is thin and not so muscular in the European/US meaning of muscular vocals.
There are some good majestic symphonic prog here on this album too. Something I did not expect after the horrid opening of this album.
Of these forty minutes of music on this album, half of it is good and the rest of it is decent to horrid. Well, there is parts here who are very good indeed.
A bit of a strange album, this one. But still worth checking out.
Wednesday, 17 July 2019
The third album from this Canadian band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, percussion, keyboards, guitars and vocals
Guest musicians provided piano, flute and vocals.
I have reviewed their first two albums for # 1 of this blog and I have really liked those two records.
I have then also reviewed the albums from another Quebec/French-Canadian band called Mystery. Why do I mention this ? The bands is not very dissimilar in music and sound.
We are talking neo-prog here. Modern neo-prog with some symphonic prog and modern rock influences.
The music is not particular bombastic. It is rather ambient and can be compared to Pink Floyd at times.
The vocals are good and the band does their best.
These seventy odd minutes is perhaps not the most exciting minutes you can get from a 2019 album. It is still a good album from a band who pushes the right buttons and takes no chances. Huis is what Huis is and they have not changed anything on this album.
Safe but good.
The one and only album from this US band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of organ, percussion, bass, drums, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
I know nothing about this band at all. They appeared and disappeared quite quick after the release. Which is a shame....
I gather from the title track and the cover art-work that the album title refers to the slavery trade from Africa to America hundreds of years ago. I am not sure if this album is a concept album.
The music is a mix of blues, soul and psychedelic rock. Add some symphonic prog too and you get the picture.
The vocals from Paul Allan Taylor is great. He later had a good career as a writer and producer + some albums from other bands.
The organ sound is also good. Ditto for the guitars, bass and drums.
The songs are decent enough. They sounds like early 1970s and are OK. No songs here can be called good or outstanding.
The end result is a decent enough album from a band who deserve some more attention. If psych rock from the early 1970s is your thing, this album must be checked out.
Tuesday, 16 July 2019
The second album from this US band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of Chapman stick, bass, drums, piano, synths, guitars, organ, percussion and vocals.
Guest musicians provides synths, guitars, violin and vocals.
This band is new to me. They released their debut album Welcome Humans back in 2005. They returned this year again with this album.
Their listing as a Symphonic Prog band in ProgArchives got my pulse going a bit..... until I heard the music.
Well, the music is not far off symphonic prog as there is a lot of US symphonic prog in their music. The music is also very ambient at times and got a lot of neo-prog influences too.
The problem with this album is that it is all over the place. From ambient to a bit more muscular prog. Then there is some Kansas like prog and.... well, the music on this album is all over the place.
This fifty minutes long album is incoherent, but most of the music on this album is good. It is still a mystery though and I am not sure what the band wanted.... but the album is here as it is and it is well worth checking out.
The 13th album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, guitars, keyboards, bass and vocals.
Roye Albrighton did the guitars and vocals here on his final album before he passed away in 2016. Billy Sherwood did the bass and the producer job.
The art work takes the band back to their origins as a psych/space rock band...
....Oh, I hoped the cover art-work would reflect the music on the inside. But it does not.
The band has been an AOR/pop-rock band on their last albums and has not been anywhere near what they once was; an exciting psych/space rock band.
Time Machine gives us more than an hour of AOR and pop-rock. There is some fusion like stuff here too. But they only last some minutes before the band return to the safety of AOR.
And that is where they are. Worst of all, some of this album also include pop and rock. Some cheesy melodies and choruses follows.
The end result, thanx to some good instrumental parts, is not a disaster. But the final Roye Albrighton album is barely a decent album and that's it.
Monday, 15 July 2019
The seventh album from this British band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of synths, percussion, violin, drums, bass, guitars, anvil, keyboards and vocals.
The band was moving on from their previous albums and absorbing new impulses. That is my main impression from this album.
The band had given the world the space rock blueprint & sound on their first albums. A great achievement in itself.
The band was developing though and started this album with a bit of pub rock and punk rock. Stripped down music.... but still space rock.
This forty minutes long album is a weird sounding album who also takes something from Gong too.
This album also proves that space rock also can be done in a different way that the band did on their previous albums. This is a space rock album as some of the music is way out there into the deeper space.
The violins and the vocals are weird. The guitars, bass, drums and keyboards does the normal space rock too. Stripped down but still space rock.
This is not their finest moment by far. But this album has something going for it and it is a good album.
The second album from this US band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, flute, keyboards, gamelan, percussion and vocals.
Guest musicians provided cello and vocals. Adrian Belew from King Crimson was one of them.
The band has so far only released two full length albums despite of having a good following and a good reputation.
Maybe that is based on this album.
Clocking in at over seventy minutes, the title track takes up one hour of that time. A suite, no less.
The music is a mix of symphonic prog, neo-prog, a bit folk rock and some prog metal. This is a typical concept album though with a considerable amount of ambient parts which is the conceptual parts.
The music is laid-back with some flutes and cello breaking up the guitars and the keyboards parts. The vocals comes on the top of that again.
The music is eclectic, pedestrian and not so eventful as I had wished from an album clocking in at over seventy minutes.
The quality is somewhere between decent and good. I am a bit disappointed...
Sunday, 14 July 2019
The debut album from this British band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of guitars, woodwinds, keyboards, percussion, drums, bass and vocals.
The band has released three albums and I reviewed their second album The Tongues Of Men And Angels (2011) for # 1 of this blog back in January 2013.
The band has their roots in folk rock. Medieval folk rock, that is. And there is some of that here. Ditto for symphonic prog too.
So the best label for this album is ambient medieval symphonic prog with roots back into the 16th century.
There is a lot of Mike Oldfield like ambience here too. Which makes this album quite pedestrian as this album is over seventy minutes long.
The album is long and mostly instrumental. Which is a good choice as the vocals is really poor. They reminds me about the Dutch band Us pretty poor vocals.
There is a couple of good melodies and songs here. The rest is decent enough but not enough for me to really want to listen much more to this album.
The second album from this Swedish band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of mellotron, marimba, percussion, drums, didgeridoo, sitar, guitar, bass, French horn, church organ, keyboards, piano and vocals. Swedish vocals, I believe.
This name is new to me as I did not purchase or have even heard about their 2014 debut album.
Which is a bit of a shame.......
Khadavra is clearly a Swedish band as they have incorporated a lot of Swedish folk music and Swedish symphonic prog into their music.... which is psych/space rock..
The band's music is slightly spaced out and psychedelic. The mellotron reminds me a lot about Anglagard and that Anglagard feeling never really leaves this album.
I cannot remember I have ever heard a crossover between Swedish prog and psych/space rock before. So here is Khadavra breaking new ground on this fifty odd minutes long album.
The mellotrons and the church organs also gives this album an ethereal feeling at times. An album mostly instrumental.
There are some very good stuff here and not so good stuff here. I still think this album is one of the better I have encountered lately and it has a lot of style and soul.
Check out this very good album.
Saturday, 13 July 2019
The second album from this British band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, guitars, bass, piano, percussion, keyboards and vocals.
Two guest musicians provided flute and vocals.
Big Big Train has become one of the biggest prog rock bands in today's scene and I have decided to find out why. Hence, I am reviewing their albums this year.
I was not impressed by their debut album. Standard neo-prog.
So the band returned again with this album.
The band now gives us seventy minutes plus with a mix of art-rock and neo-prog. The music is pretty standard rock too.
Too much standard rock as the occasional sounding mellotron cannot really hide some very standard and bland music.
There is not a single good song here and this album is a step backwards from their debut album.
This is not a bad album. It is just so dull and bland and has no good songs. Hence, it is a decent album.
The fourth album from this Swedish band.
The band is a sextet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, accoridon, ocarina, keyboards and vocals.
Three guest musicians provided vocals and flute.
The band is all about the Bender family. The mother and father does the vocals and keyboards. The son does the drums and a daughter does some vocals too as a guest vocalist.
The band has always given us some light neo-prog bordering to pop and goth metal.
This album is no exception to this rule.
There are some differences, though...
There are some long pieces of music here where the band can stretch their legs and give notice that the band has some great musicians too.
The music is based on Ann Bender's vocals and they are very good. The music is slightly gothic and pop rock influenced at a couple of tracks. Tracks that makes me cringe.
The more technical proggy tracks are good though and makes this their best album so far. I am not so sure about the cover art-work, though......
Friday, 12 July 2019
The third album from this Russian composer and artist.
Andrew Roussak does all the keyboards, programming and synths here himself.
He has got help from some guest musicians and vocalists who adds lead guitars and vocals.
I have yet to sample his two first albums No Trespassing (2008) and Blue Intermezzo (2010) so I cannot comment on his career. He is a member of the German band Dorian Opera and does a lot of studio and freelance work too. That is his professional life.
He gets some time of his dayjob as a session musician to release his own albums too..... Well, not that often.
Storm Warning starts out as a classical instrumental symphonic prog album with a lot synths and keyboards cascades. The music is bombastic, to say at least. This is very much Russian symphonic prog and one-mad-professor-and-his-keyboards landscape.
Bombastic music in other words.
We get a couple of more prog metal and musical tunes here too with vocals and some more pastoral pieces before this fifty minutes long album finished off with another bombardment of synths and keyboards.
The end result is a nice album which will appeal to most people. Nice but not that exciting. I have a good time with this album, but nothing more than that.
Thursday, 11 July 2019
The debut album from this US band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, synths, Mellotron, bass, drums, percussion, guitars and vocals.
This band was one of the many US prog bands who released a couple of albums and then disappeared again.
Easter Island plays a mix of Yes and ELP on this album. Their sound is very British and that makes the band a bit of an oddity in the US scene.
This album even include a suite too.
The music is indeed classical music inspired. The Mellotrons here also gives the album some classical music inspired symphonic prog influences. Well, that is the type of music this is.
The album is fifty minutes long and has a lot of good stuff for both symph prog fans and fans of other prog too. There is even some King Crimson influences here.
The vocals are really good and so is the Mellotron. Fans of Mellotrons should check out this album.
The sound is good and so is the music. It is an album well worth checking out.
Wednesday, 10 July 2019
The fifth album from this US band.
The band was a trio again with a lineup of guitars, keyboards and vocals.
Some guest musicians provided drums, bass, percussion and female vocals.
The quality of their outputs had been good on the last album. Holiday from 1974 is a good album and reviewed here.
The band got their hit singles and that also goes for this album.
There is still a lot of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young influences in their music. But.....
.... The music has taken a turn down the sloppy pop music path on this album. The music is soooo sweet and pretty much an overdose of sugar.
There are some strings here too just to get the soft pop fans running to the record shop to buy this album. And indeed, they did. It was a big selling album.
The quality of some of the songs is almost good. Then again, there are some cringe worthy moments here too.
The end result is a decent enough album from a band I find good. A band I have really enjoyed and will enjoy again. A band well worth checking out if folk rock is your thing.
Tuesday, 9 July 2019
The fifth album from this UK one man band.
Cosmograf aka Robin Armstrong plays guitar, keyboards, bass and does the vocals here.
He has got help from numerous other musicians on bass, drums and vocals.
The Unreasonable Silence is a concept album based on an Albert Camus novel. A novelist I do not know at all. The Myth Of Sisiphus, the novel is called.
So we get a grand opening before the music and concept properly kicks in. Concept albums should have grand openings like this one.
The music then proceeds with Robin's vocals, some male and female vocals plus narrations. All of it really good.
The music is really concept album music with a mix of symphonic and neo-prog. The sound is contemporary and great.
This one hour long album is really compact and there is no surplus material here which should have been removed from the mix and mastering.
There are a number of very good songs here and it is rather evident that Cosmograf is one of the best bands/projects in the scene right now.
Enjoy this very good album.
Monday, 8 July 2019
The debut album from this Spanish band.
The band was a quintet on this album with a lineup of organ, synth, drums, samples, bass and vocals.
This Spanish band has so far released two albums. I got both of them and will review the other one later this month.
The band is something as rare as a Spanish krautrock band. The likes of Faust, Can and Neu springs to mind here.
The music is pretty easy and simple. It has a lot of indie feel too.
The organ is pulsating over some synths and guitars. The drums is also doing a good job with the bass keeping it all together.
There is also a lot of vocals here and that brings the indie aspect into play. There is also some ambient krautrock here.
The quality is actually good throughout. There are a lot to be happy about here if krautrock is the thing for the listener.
Check out this album.
Sunday, 7 July 2019
The one and only album from this Italian band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of drums, guitars, keyboards, bass and vocals.
Nothing is known about this band as far as I know. This album was released through Mellow Records and that was it.
It is still available through their website as a download and it is an offer well worth checking out.
The music on this forty odd minutes long album is leaning quite heavy on Yes, their mid-period around Drama. The vocals is leaning towards Jon Anderson although it is more muscular. The vocals are actually good to very good on this album.
There is a lot of good symphonic prog on this album. There is also some neo-prog and a few very nasty Italian indie and heavy metal details too. Thankfully, those are not that many.
This is not a pure symphonic prog album and it is not anywhere near being an RPI album. The music is far too much leaning towards rock to be that. Nevertheless, it is a progressive rock album.
The quality is somewhere between decent and good. There is a lot of good stuff here and some pretty decent stuff too. It is an album well worth checking out though and one fans of prog from Italy should have in their collection.
The debut album from this German band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of didgeridoo, bass, guitar, percussion and vocals.
A guest played violin on one track here.
I reviewed their 2012 album She Said years ago and really loved that album. So I decided to get the rest of their albums for a review somewhere down the line. That moment has now arrived and I will review all their albums.....
.... Starting with this album, their debut album.
It has been said that this album is a bit of a one-off album and not so representative for the rest of their career.
It is a debut album after all and most debut albums does not really give many indications about the future albums of a band. This is a good example.
The music here is a mix of space rock and post-punk. There is a lot of harsh vocals on this album and a lot of harsh bass and guitars. There is not many colours here as most of this one hour long album is pretty grim.
The quality is not good at all. It is barely a decent album.... and not even that.
In simple terms, this album lacks most things. Hence my lack of enthusiasm for it.
Saturday, 6 July 2019
The debut album from this German band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of bass, cello, drums, percussion, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
Quiet Earth started in the 1980s, broke up and were reformed by the two main men in the band ten years ago. It still took them ten years to release this album.
I guess there is some old material on this album. There may be some new material too. I really do not know.
The music sounds like it is grounded in the 1980s neo-prog scene and sound. There is still a lot of modern sounding music here too.
We therefore get an hour with a mix of old and new style neo-prog.
The vocals are really good and so is the band. The music is epic at times and rather more earthly at other times.
It is a shame that the art of great songwriting has bypassed this album. The music is decent enough. There is no real songs that shines here.
I therefore have my reservations. But it is still a decent to good album.
Wednesday, 3 July 2019
The third album from this British band.
The band was a quintet on this album with a lineup of percussion, drums, bass, Fender organ, guitars and keyboards.
Phil Collins had returned to a full time role in Genesis and later, as a solo artist. So they got a new drummer.
The cover art-work wrongly hints of some Arabic or African type of music. That is not the case here.
Brand X gives us some pretty intense fusion with lots of guitar solos and synth solos. The bass is hammering away and ditto for the drums.
The music is very much in the jazz and fusion vein with lots of interesting details. It is not very complicated and there is a lot of melodies here too.
The guitars are really cool and I also find the synths and keyboards fascinating.
These fifty minutes has a lot of drive and excellent musicianship which makes the listener marvel and enjoy these fifty minutes. It is indeed a very good album and one to check out.
The second album from this Canadian band.
The band was a seven piece big band on this album with a lineup of guitars, synths, piano, organ, bass, drums and vocals.
I was pretty sure I had reviewed their 2012 self-titled debut album before I started the listening sessions for this album. I was wrong. I may have interviewed them for ProgArchives as the band name sounds familiar to me.
The music on this album is a mix of symphonic prog and fusion.
It is unfortunate that it is all instrumental music. There are some vocals on their cover version of the Rush classic Jacob's Ladder.
The music is also pretty laidback and does not offer much excitement or anything that sets them a part from the rest of the scene. There is a lot of piano and acoustic guitars here.
The opening track Star Stream is rather good. The rest and their version of Jacob's Ladder is decent enough.
I am not won over by this album.
Tuesday, 2 July 2019
The sixth album from this Dutch band.
Supersister is reduced to the founding member Robert Van Stips on keyboards and vocals.
He got help from numerous other musicians on drums, bass, violin, trombone, bass trombone, narration, keyboards and vocals.
This album comes as a big surprise in more than one aspect. That it is here and the quality of it.
Robert Van Stips is a member of a band The Nits after his long stint in Supersister. A band where two members has passed away. Supersister is still a band with a big reputation and it is more than deserved that Robert took his band members in The Nits to a studio to record this album.
And they have not been wasting their time in the studio. This album very much takes us back to the two first really classic Supersister albums. The two that cemented their reputation and two albums who still get new fans.
So what we get is playful Canterbury prog with the good old Supersister keyboards sound. There is a lot of references to Caravan and Soft Machine here.
There are also some nice pop and jazz here. Although in the framework of the Canterbury prog sound.
There is a lot of weird things on this album which is a throwback to the weirdness of Egg too. There is a lot of joys here for a Canterbury prog fan.
The quality is very good and this album will surely cement Supersister's well deserved great reputation. Get this album.
Monday, 1 July 2019
The fourth album from this Czech and Slovakia band.
The band was a trio on this album with a lineup of electric violin, bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
They had again help from The Czechoslovak Radio Jazz Orchestra, a choir called The Sbor Pavla Kuhna Choir, organ, saxophone and trumpet.
The band was again lumped together with The Czechoslovak Radio Jazz Orchestra for their second and final album. They worked together on the twenty - two minutes long title track. That is also where The Sbor Pavla Kuhna Choir comes in.
The title track is like a collision between Deep Purple and Blood, Sweat & Tears. It is a good suite with some raw guitars and vocals.
The mix of Deep Purple and Blood, Sweat & Tears is the best label I can put on this album. An album a tad more folk music orientated than their first album.
The music is very heavy too with some avant-garde pieces too. The brass is everywhere and is complemented by Radim Hladik's excellent guitars.
There are also some pastoral parts here. They are good and the best parts of this album.
The end result is pretty good. It is the best album in this two Nova Synteza albums series. Both album is very unique and has no comparisons anywhere else. Check it out.