Saturday, 31 August 2019
The sixth album from this British band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of percussion, drums, keyboards, bass, guitars and voices.
Three guest musicians provided handclaps, saxophone and voices.
This is the third album from the Product recording session. It was a productive session and the band has filled three albums worth of material based on that session. Not bad......
The other left-overs album from that session, Do They Hurt from 1980 is actually better than the main album, Product from 1979. So I had my hopes up for this album, Is There Anything About.
These leftovers are a mix of laidback jazz and fusion. There are even some symphonic prog influences here. Some strong ones too. The band also knows to funk out.
Phil Collins is still at the drums and does a good job. Ditto for the rest of the musicians.
The album is just over half an hour long and proves that this band, even their leftovers, is really up there among the best in the fusion and jazz-rock scene.
This half an hour is that good. That is why I wonder why Product is so much weaker than the two leftover albums..........
The debut album from this Japanese band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of didgeridoo, cello, khoomii, drums, percussion, electric piano, organ, bass, guitars, synths, saxophone, saxelle and voices.
Japan has given us a lot of weird and wonderful bands during the last two decades. De Lorians is attempting to follow in this tradition.
The music on this album is based in Canterbury prog. Or Canterbury jazz as there is little or no rock and prog here.
Take the average of the Soft Machine albums from Third to Bundles. That is the basis of their music. But also add some Egg and some National Health here.
The music very jazzy though and also makes a detour into zeuhl during the half an hour of music. The music is not particular melodic although it is full of eclectic details and quirkiness.
The music is dominated by saxophones. But the organ and electric piano is also very much present. The music is wild and untamed.... thankfully !!
De Lorians has delivered a very good debut album and prog and Canterbury fans are rightly very happy about.
This is indeed a very good album and a band I will follow with great interest.
The fourth album from this German band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
Colour Haze is a band that has entertained me on the first albums I have heard from them. Even on their insecure steps on the two first albums.
The band found their form and style on their third album. A very good album. You can read the reviews somewhere else in this blog.
The band does a dirty, but still melodic type of space rock. That is the best label I can put on their music.
The sound and vocals are really dirty. There are still a lot of melody in their music though. Not enough melody for the music to cross over to psych rock...... but still enough melody to make each song stand out.
That is important on a seventy-five minutes long album.
The melodies are also quirky and full of interesting ideas. That too makes this album interesting, indeed.
The band has again delivered a good album where my only gripe is the lack of a great song or two. Besides of that, the band has delivered the goods.
Friday, 30 August 2019
The one and only album from this German band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, synths, bass, drums and vocals.
Lorian was one of the many neo-prog bands coming out of Germany at that time. This album was released on a small label and did not do much. So the band were disbanded and left for people who are into obscure albums to explore. People like myself.
That is a great shame as the music is far from obscure or eclectic.
Take a big chunk of Saga and add a lot of Marillion and neo-prog. Then you get this album.
Commercial prog in other words and this album would have gone down well if it had been released today and on a bigger record label.
The vocals are really good and the music is rather muscular while being melodic.
There is a lot of good music on this seventy minutes long album. Unfortunate, there is no great music here and that is a bit of a shame.
Nevertheless, this is a solid album and one many people into neo-prog will enjoy if they can get hold of this album. Maybe it is on Youtube.
The second album from this US band.
The band was an eight piece big band with a lineup of woodwinds, guitars, bass, percussion, drums, flute, organ, piano and vocals.
The band had shortened their name from The Chicago Transit Authority to just Chicage from their debut album to this album. Something that turned out to be a great move.
Brass rock.... I am no big fan of this genre as I have just been introduced to it through the Blood, Sweat & Tears albums. Chicago too is a brass rock band. Those two were the biggest ones in that genre by far.
The band continued on from their debut album with a mix of soul, blues, pop, rock and some fusion.
The beat had been replaced by pop and the tempo had been turned down a notch or two. The music is also more normal songs orientated than on their debut album.
The brass is still here and adds value on this album. The vocals are good and so is the songs..... barely.
This album is an acceptable good album which makes me more interested in this band.
Thursday, 29 August 2019
The debut album from this US band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of synths, bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
I have never heard about this band before.... until a promo file landed in my inbox. Hence this review.
There is a lot of new bands coming out with their albums these days. We are indeed living in the golden age of rock and progressive rock.
Afterhand is not a pure prog rock band. Their music is heavy prog. Porcupine Tree is a good reference. Ditto for Rush.
The music is both dynamic, youthful and melodic. The vocals are good and so is the other musicians.
There is not much news and not much quality here. The music is pretty generic and does not really adds value to the scene. I am sure they are a great live band though as this type of music is better live than on a record.
This is a decent album but nothing more than that.
The second album from this Argentine band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of harmonica, bass, guitars, drums, percussion and Spanish vocals.
I very much liked their 1980 debut album and was therefore looking forward to this album.
The band had stripped down their sound on Bonpland. The sound and music.
There are still some progressive rock around here. Thank goodness for that......
The main genre here is Latin-Pop. That with some bossa nova and some folk rock influences.
The sound is pretty poor and so is the music.
This is the first album I have heard for a long time where even the good vocals cannot save this album from being included in my collection of turkeys. This is indeed an awful album.
Wednesday, 28 August 2019
The second album from this French band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of keyboards, bass, guitars, drums and vocals.
I was not overwhelmingly impressed by their 2016 debut album Duality. Not enough quality songs.
The band has moved a bit on from that album. Moved in both directions, in fact.
They have become a lot heavier with some death metal/djent stuff here too. They have also moved towards more ballads here.
In short, this fifty minutes long album is pretty wide in it's expression and scope.
The vocals are really good and so is the sound. The hardest stuff here, the death metal growls and riffs, actually works too. On the top of that, the other stuff also works out fine.
This is by no means a great album. The band has ironed out the flaws from their debut album and has delivered a good album. It is not a sensational great album. It is though a good album which will please most prog heads.
Tuesday, 27 August 2019
The debut album from this band from Birmingham, England.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals.
I first became aware of their cool name when I was a small boy.... 7-8 years old. But I have never really heard a tone from them until now, 43 years later.
I got a handful of their albums and will review them this autumn.
City Boy was an art-rock band with a lot of pop influences. That is as much as I know. And they were very influential too. These days, they are largely forgotten.
Art-rock with a lot of pop sensibilities and 1970s sound is perhaps not something many value these days. Nevertheless, that is what we are treated to here.
The sound is dated.... a lot dated. That aside, the music is also melodic with some decently good hooks and melody lines.
This though is their debut album and I am not sure what the band wanted here. At least the vocalist is good and the musicians did their things right.
The music is rather poppy and soft. There are a couple of half-good songs here. There are talents in the band. Both in their song writing and as musicians.
This is a decent album and far from a bad album. It is an album well worth checking out.
The second album from this New York, USA based band/project.
This band is really mr. Randy McStine on glockenspiel, drums, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
He has got a very impressive list of guest musicians including Gavin Harrisson, Doug Pinnick and Dave Kerzner.
Randy has released some albums under this name. That well under the radar of most prog fans. That is a great shame.
The music on this album is very, very likeable indeed.
It is US neo-prog with a lot of heaviness.
It also comes with a great sound and some really great musicianship from some of the best musicians in the scene anno 2012....... and anno 2019.
Randy's vocals are really good and the music is really elegant. It is indeed an enjoyable album which most prog rock fans will really like. There is no doubts Lo Fi Resistance and Randy McStine is a name to be reckoned with if they get good promotion.
The missing bits here are a great song or two. Nevertheless, this is a very good album and one to really enjoy.
The second album from this German band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, drums, keyboards, bass and vocals.
The band released their debut album two years ago. An album that flew under my radar.... unfortunate as it is.
The neo-prog scene in Germany is very good. Welcome Inside The Brain is among those bands upholding this standard.
Their music is indeed neo-prog. Pretty melodic, modern sounding neo-prog too. It is sometimes a bit heavy. But it is mostly epic and melodic at the same time.
The music is sometimes leaning towards krautrock and the likes of Grobschnitt. There is indeed some psych rock in their sound. Not much, but enough to give the band their own identity. And that is a good thing.
There is also a lot of 1970s in their music with the organ sound really adding a lot of colours and nostalgia to their sound. The vocals are OK and acceptable.
The end result is a good album who will please everyone into organic neo-prog. This is a band who deserve to be lifted up and given more attention. They deserve it.
Monday, 26 August 2019
The eight and final album from this Czech and Slovakia band.
The band was a trio on this album with a lineup of drums, bells, bass, organ, piano, guitars and vocals.
The band had help from three guest musicians who provided vocals, piano and flute.
The band was coming to it's end in their stalinist run country. And they ended with another change of style.
I noted more than one Genesis aka Lambs Lies Down On Broadway theme on this album. Short themes, but they are noted.
The music is in that vein.... but with a big addition.
The addition is the guitars and guitar solos of Radim Hladik. He is an extreme gifted guitarist and wasted behind the iron curtain. It is without any doubts one of the finest guitarists ever to come out of Europe. A very crowded scene... but he is among the best ones.
There is also some Saga in their music too on this forty minutes long album. Seventy minutes if you get the bonus songs on the CD. But I am reviewing the original 1981 album.
The songs are not particular good in their own right. They are decent to good. But Radim Hladik adds a lot of very interesting textures to the songs and they comes alive under his guitar strings.
I really rate this band highly and will recommend their albums to anyone. This is a good album from a band the iron curtain destroyed.
The fourth album from this US band.
The band was a nine piece big band with a lineup of brass/woodwinds, guitars, bass, drums, mandolin, harmonica, flute, organ, piano, percussion and vocals.
The band was very popular at the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s. And with good reason. They very much captured the US sound of that age on their first three albums. Three good crossover albums.
The band moved to San Fransisco for this album and there had been some changes in the band.
The brass/woodwinds was still here. The music was a lot more blues and hard rock inspired.
I think hard blues with brass is the best label on this album.
The songs though are fronted by some really good vocals from David Clayton-Thomas. He quit the band after this album and that is a shame.
The songs are pretty hard with some good ballads inbetween. I am no fans of brass. But they are tolerable on this album. Indeed, they add value to the songs.
The quality is really good throughout this album and it is an album which deserve to be enjoyed even in this time and age. It is recommended !
The debut album from this US band.
The band is a sextet with a lineup of guitar, drums, bass, percussion, flute, keyboards, clarinet, fx, saxophones, piano and vocals.
The band comes from New Jersey and they have released two EPs called I and II before they plunged for an hour long album on their III release. Hence why this album is called III.
The music here can best be described as experimental psych rock.
The music is all over the place. From vaudeville rock to more avant-garde rock.
Quirky is the word I am looking for here. This album is full of mad, quirky ideas which is put together as songs and tunes. The music is not particular melodic although it has some melodies.
Some of the ideas here could and should have been developed more. But the band has chosen not to go down the melodic prog/rock road.
Instead, we get bombarded by sheer weirdness.
The quality is decent to good throughout. It has it's good moments, this album. But not on a regular basis. The result is a bit of a frustrating album. Hence....
Sunday, 25 August 2019
The tenth album from this US band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of piano, mellophone, guitars, English horn, oboe, tabla, sitar, double bass, sitar, esraj and percussion.
Oregon is a jazz band who are still touring from what I understand. It is one of the more popular of the eclectic jazz bands around too.
Their music is not easy-listening music. Something this album proves.
Oregon gives us fifty minutes of tabla and sitar driven jazz. Or is it... ?
Raga-rock. That is what springs to mind here. Raga-rock.
The music is very India and Pakistan influenced. It is very much their music and only their music this band gives us on this album.
The quality is decent enough. It is also good at times. But the music is pretty narrow in it's expression and scope. Hence my reservations...
The debut album from this US band.
The band is a seven piece big band with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
..... Or maybe this is the guy Lo Faber with his six friends. Therefore a solo album.
Lo Faber released no less than two albums in May 2018. Both of them clocking in at well over two hours each. Must been one heck of a recording session.... Or recording sessions.
It is clear that both albums is the dream come true for Lo Faber who finally has been able to express himself. I know the feeling (my two novels) and can only congratulate Lo Faber for this achievement.
When it comes to the music.......
The music has this rock opera feel. We get rock here with some symphonic prog, neo-prog and vaudeville influences. There is also a lot of musical influences here.
The music crosses some genres. But it stays rock and pop all the way. This two hours and twenty minutes long album does not have many progressive rock structures.
The mood and sound is very positive with positive vibes sent in all directions. The vocals and the musicians does a good job.
These two hours plus is not enlightened by good songs either. It is a decent enough album which would have benefited a lot from better songs. Sorry..........
Saturday, 24 August 2019
The fourth album from this Japanese band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
I have reviewed their first three albums and have not been to impressed with them.
I have now run out of Novela albums so this is the last review I do of their albums unless I get their final three albums.
Sanctuary sees the band takes off in a more heavy direction. Heavy prog, some call it. That is a good label.
Some of the music also reminds me a lot about Supertramp. Which is not a bad thing.
Most of the music is pretty bombastic where a fair of operatic male Japanese vocals. That means thin, screaming vocals.
There is also ballads here.
The guitar sound is pretty bad and the rest of the sound is not much better. It is well recorded, but the guitars are more in the bad old heavy metal vein than in the prog rock vein. The keyboards are OK, though.
The music is decent enough. It is not good at all. Some bursts of quality saves this album from the turkey yard. I am not sure if I would recommend this album at all.
Decent, and that is all.
The second album from this British band.
The band is a sextet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, percussion, drums, bass and vocals.
This album is the followup to the 2016 album The Man Who Never Was. A good album which I reviewed in # 1 of this blog two and a half years ago.
The band, whose average age must be at least 45 years old (no boyband here !) is operating in the neo-prog area.
That said, they have moved a lot closer to pop and rock on this album. Too close in my opinion.
There are even some teenybopper pop in their music this time around.
The music is still based on keyboards and guitars as the melody driven instruments. That and some youth sounding vocals. The music is also pretty heavy without venturing into progressive metal.
There are also a couple of ballads here. Ballads of a dubious quality.
The music is pretty good though... but there is not much neo-prog and prog rock here. There is not much food for my brain here.
Hence, it is an album that leaves me pretty cold. It is still an album between decent and good. I hope they move more towards good song-writing and progressive rock next time around.
The second album from this Italian band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, percussion, mellotron, organ, piano, synth and Italian vocals.
Three guest musicians contributed with flute, cello and backing vocals.
This band is another band who operated in the 1970s but called it a day and then were resurrected years later.
I do not have their 2014 debut album Metafora Di Un Viaggio... but I will get it if I can find it.
Their name between 1974 and 1978 was Nuove Dimensioni and the band has not unwisely used their previous band name on this album. It is a good tribute to their earlier life.
The music is lush RPI.... Rock Progressive Italiano. The songs are all looking backwards to the 1970s. I would not be surprised if some songs if not all of them were written when the band called themselves Nuove Dimensioni.
The vocals is almost like opera vocals. The vocals lies on the top of some really lively and lush RPI. It is at time pastoral and a bit harsh. But it is never really heavy.
There is a lot of organs and mellotrons here with some guitars inbetween. The sound is unmistaken RPI.
The songs on this fifty minutes long album is all very good. Songs that will make any RPI fan feel very joyful indeed.
This is a very good album and one album all RPI fans should check out.
Friday, 23 August 2019
The one and only album from this French band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, harmonica, bass, percussion, keyboards, drums and French vocals.
I know absolute nothing about this band. This album showed up in my to-do review list and reviewed it will be.
..... Which is easier said than done.....
What hits the listener first is this manic French vocals. Vocals which is a mix of shouting and singing. I do not speak French so everything here is lost on me.
The music is a mix of pop, vaudeville, French symph prog and avant-garde rock.
These forty minutes is very varied and feels like a lunatic asylum for those of us not speaking French. The music is that esoteric.
The quality is not good at all and it is struggling to get up to decent. A couple of songs are decent....
.... But do not bother about finding this album somewhere. It is close to being a turkey.
The tenth album from this British band.
The band was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, drums, bass, synths, keyboards and vocals.
The band had released some great albums in the 1970s where they set the standards for space rock. Indeed, they invented space rock with some genre defining albums.
The 1980s arrived and the band had to renew themselves to stay current.
Levitation is a forty minutes long album where the band has one leg in the past and another one in.... well, both feet are both firmly planted in the past. But it still feels a bit different.
The sound is almost warm at places. Luke-warm, at least. There is a lot of progressive rock in their music on this album.
The space rock is still here and there is no red warning lights over this album. There is also some few punk influences here. But they are far between.
The music is quite melodic and has some good songs. There are other songs here again who are barely fillers. Nevertheless, this is still a good album and well worth checking out.
Thursday, 22 August 2019
The seventh album from this British band.
The band is Robin Armstrong on keyboards, guitars and vocals.
He has got help from two other musicians who provides bass, drums and backing vocals.
It is always nice when an album from this band/Robin Armstrong shows up on my to-review list. I have had a great time with his six previous albums. An experience that makes reviewing and listening to music so worthwhile.
This forty-five minutes long album takes us into a neo-prog and symphonic prog landscape again. The usual fare from Robin.
There is a substantial change, though.....
This is not a concept album. That is a big break with his other albums.
The music is also substantial heavier than the music on his previous albums. It is bordering to progressive metal at times. It is both heavy and epic at the same time.
The music is still melodic enough not to scare of his fans and those of us who do not like the music as heavy as progressive metal. But the music is notable more heavy this time around.
The vocals are very good as per normal. The musicians are doing a good job in this very stripped down soundscape. This is as naked as I have ever heard this band.
The music is good throughout and pleasing. There is no great tracks here. But this is still an album well worth checking out. All Cosmograf albums, but perhaps not the debut album, is very much well worth checking out. It is a great one-man band and one of the best ones in UK. Check it out.
The debut album from this Canadian band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of violin, cello, harsichord, guitars, piano and vocals.
They had support from numerous other musicians who provided cello, violin, bass, percussion, French horn, trombone, bass and choir.
This band released two albums over two years and then disappeared again, never to be heard again.
The band is one of pretty many French speaking folk-rock and acid-folk bands from Canada. From Quebec or there about.
Compared to the likes of Harmonium, this band plays a far more primitive acid-folk than the well polished melodic Harmonium ever did.
There are a lot of melodies on this half an hour album too. Melodies with lots of violin and piano. The music is acoustic and with a lot of vocals too.
The vocals is both French male vocals and some choirs. That on the top of some pretty complex acid-folk. There are even hints of classical music here.
This album is an intriguing album indeed. It is also pretty eclectic.
The quality is good too and this is indeed another hidden gem from the archives of progressive rock and acid-folk. Check it out.
The debut album from this band from Poland.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
This is another new band from Poland. Another neo-prog'ish band.
That is a positive thing. Prog rock is still well and alive in Poland, one of the biggest countries in Europe. A country who has suffered unspeakable atrocities in the last 100 years. I have a soft spot for this country.
The neo-prog scene in this country more than justify my goodwill, too. Some of the best neo-prog the world has ever seen comes from Poland.
SubLunar fits.... well.... some sort of fits into this scene. What is notable and immediate notable is the lack of keyboards. This is indeed a two guitarists full assault and a guitar band.
The music is pretty heavy and fresh. Rush springs to mind as a good reference. Rush without the keyboards.
There is a lot of guitars harmonies and a few guitar solos here. The music is a mix of heavy and more soft music. It sounds very youthful and fresh, though. It feels very much like this day and age.... fresh and young.
The quality of the songs on this one hour long album is not particular good. The sound is good though and the band is talented.
This is an acceptable debut album and well worth checking out.
Wednesday, 21 August 2019
The fifth album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
Some guest musicians helped them with extra drums, flute, saxophones, viola, bass and vocals.
Their previous four albums, three of them has been reviewed in this blog, has been pretty good. The band is also reputed to be one of the best bands in today's prog rock world too.
The band plays a form of neo-prog and symphonic prog with a flowery, pastoral sound. There is quite a lot of folk rock in their sound and music too.
There is not much heaviness and bombast here. The music is really pastoral. Genesis is a good reference.
The music is very symphonic and is ticking along nicely during these fifty-five minutes.
This album is not an instant hit and it needs some listening sessions before it really get there.
It still has to be said that there is no real great tracks here. That said, it is a good album from a great band. My explorations of this band will continue.
Tuesday, 20 August 2019
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of drums, computers, bass, guitars and vocals.
That is all I know about this band and their forty minutes long debut album. They have got a presence on Facebook and this album is for sale at Amazon...... and Spotify.
I personally think it deserve a bit wider exposure than that. But today's music scene and music distribution is very different from it was ten years ago........ or twenty-five years ago when I was running a distro and record label.
The music we are being treated to here is a mix of grunge, prog metal and some neo-prog.
The vocals are pretty raw and so is the sound. The guitars are the dominant instruments here and they are chugging away. There is also some melodic guitar harmonies here.
This is a debut album and it sounds like a debut album. There is no really good songs here and the sound is a bit rusty.
This is a decent enough album. But it is nothing more than that. Better luck next time.
The debut album from this band from France.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and female vocals.
They had help from some guest musicians who provided flute, drums, percussion and guitars.
To this date, the band has released two albums. I got both of them and will review the other one quite soon.
This is a band who has not registered on many progheads radar. Which is a bit of a shame.
The music here is heavy prog. Heavy prog with a powerful female vocalist and vocals.
A good reference is Touchstone and Panic Room from UK. It is in that area.
The music is a mix of really heavy prog rock and more pastoral ballads. There is also a lot inbetween those two extremes.
The guitars are always there, going from harsh to powerful guitars.
Unfortunate, there is no really great or even very good songs here. There is hardly any good songs here at all. It is still an acceptable debut album. But it falls a bit short.
Monday, 19 August 2019
The second album from this British trio.
Cream was a trio with a lineup of guitars, harmonica, piano, bass, drums, percussion and vocals.
Cream was Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. Together, they created a heck of a lot noise. They were also one of the origins of today's rock scene. A highly, highly influential band.
This album is one of the reasons for that.
Cream has moved a bit away from pure blues on this album and gone heavy psychedelic. Something the album art-work more than hints about. There is a lot of hippie about it.
The band has not gone soft, though. The heaviness has been ramped up. Even the hit single here, the evergreen Sunshine Of Your Love is even today a pretty heavy, hard rocking song. It is a very good song too.
The rest of the album is not as commercial. It is much more psychedelic and intricate.
Some of the stuff sounds a bit dated today. It is still a very fine album and one well worth checking out.
It is a very good album, indeed. And I think it will age well in a good record collection.
The one and only album from this Swedish band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of piano, Fender Rhodes, organ, keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, percussion and some vocals.
The band was one of not so few Swedish fusion bands in the 1970s. The like of Return To Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report made a huge impact in Sweden too.
Energy was one of the bands very inspired by Mahavishnu Orchestra. And it is difficult not to be inspired by this band. At least if you got the abilities as a musician.
Energy did not have Mahavishnu Orchestra's level of musicianship. They are not so intense either and the violin is not here. But the music is still pretty intense.
There is a lot of guitar solos and licks here. There is also a lot of organs here.
.... And halfway through this album, we get a Yes like song too.... Very peculiar. But the song is not bad at all. The vocals are at least good.
The rest of the album is pretty intense fusion. The likes of fans of Mahavishnu Orchestra will like.
The quality is good too. The band does a good job. It is still a pretty enjoyable album and another gem well worth checking out.
Sunday, 18 August 2019
The second album from this German band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of mandolin sitar, guitar, contrabass, percussion, drums, winds, flute, banjo, glockenspiel and vocals.
This band is one of those obscure krautrock bands who released three albums at the end of the 1970s and then disappeared. I only got this album so I cannot really say much more about this band.
Krautrock is a strange, esoteric genre. So I was well prepared. But this album is more weird and esoteric than the vast majority of the other krautrock albums.
Take a bit of Amon Duul, add a lot of banjo and mandolin sitar. Add some more folk rock again and some more primitive psych rock. Then you get this album. An album re-released through Garden Of Delight not so many years ago. A well worth re-release.
There is even a lot of medieval folk rock here. Well, that is what the folk rock is. The vocals are both female and male.
The music feels medieval and from some monastery ruins. It has this earthly feeling.
The sound is also downtuned and does not have many electrical instruments. It is a rather acoustic album.
The music is decent enough and a bit lacking in quality. That said, I believe a lot of my friends will like this album. It is indeed a hidden gem....
The seventh album from this multi-national project.
The project is a trio with a lineup of bass, violin, guitars, flute, drums, percussion and vocals.
They are supported by twenty guest musicians who provides trumpet, sax, French horn, keyboards, guitars, piano and vocals.
The Samurai Of Prog is a communal project and it has given us seven albums. I have reviewed some of them in this blog and in # 1 of this blog.
The albums is always long.... seventy-five minutes long.
And the music is always melodic symphonic prog. Melodic symphonic prog with some RPI and folk rock influences. Not to mention classic music influences.
This time, we also get a lot Japanese symphonic prog influences too. Even Japanese vocalists takes part here. That is a welcome variation from their other albums.
There is a lot to be happy about this album. I feel like a well stocked smorgasbord has been put in front of me. And I am really having a very nice meal... as I am taking in the various flavours this album offers me.
The only thing missing here is a really killer track. A track which would elevate this album from the very good status it deserve.
This is indeed a very good album and one album symphonic prog fans should get.
Saturday, 17 August 2019
The third album from this Spanish band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, keyboards, guitars, bass and vocals.
I have been a long term admirer of this band and my reviews of their two albums can be found somewhere else in this blog.
Neo-prog is their genre. Sort of..... OK, it is neo-prog.
There is a lot more to the band than just neo-prog. Their sound and music reminds me a lot about early Marillion.
This album is indeed very comparable with early Marillion. No, the vocalist does not sound like Fish. The vocalist in Numen has a totally different voice. The vocals are indeed great.
But the music reminds me a lot about early Marillion.
Numen combines neo-prog and symphonic prog on this album. Which is a very good combination. The music is not massive technical. It still have a lot of intricate details, though.
The album is fifty minutes long and not a single tone outstays it's welcome. There is a lot of power and melody on this album.
The melodies and the music is indeed great and the album has a classy feel.
Numen is one of those gems in the neo-prog scene who deserves a lot more attention. I rate them as one of the best neo-prog bands in the world at this moment.
The third album from this German band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of drums, guitars, bass and vocals.
This German band is one of the leading bands in the fuzz/space rock genre and has released albums who proves that.
It is therefore my joy to review these albums and I am doing it this year..... all of them.
This album sees the band finding their formula. A formula they, with some small variations, has been following since this album.
Space rock is the genre here. Space rock with a lot of post-rock influences too. Make that; a mix of these two genres.
The bass-drums-guitars setup works very well here on these forty minutes. The title track clocks in at eleven minutes.
The sound is good and dirty. Ditto for the vocals who sounds a bit forced, but suits the music perfectly.
This is indeed a good modern space rock album from a band now hitting their strides.
Friday, 16 August 2019
The debut album from this British one-man band.
Elspeth Meadow is mr. Ken Senior on all instruments. That is synths, guitars, bass and perhaps drums too. He also does the vocals.
Being a one man band, I did not have much hope for this album. An album I got from someone.
The album has been described as a back to the mother nature progressive rock. Symphonic prog has been described as a genre this album falls into.
The music is pastoral and with lots of vocals. It is also very much a folk-rock dominated album. I am not sure where the symphonic prog comes in here. It is not much of that here.
The one-man-band format puts in some severe restrictions on the music. It has to be simple by nature. And it is.
The melodies are rather decent to good though. It is not a bad album at all.
This album is worth checking out if melodic and instrument based folk rock is your thing. I am positive surprised.
The debut album from this US band.
The band was a seven piece big band with a lineup of guitars, organs, woodwinds, tambourine, drums, percussion, bass, cowbell and vocals.
I never thought I would ever review or even listen to another Chicago album after I bought their Hot Streets album forty years ago. The albums Chicago released after that was considered very uncool pop albums. You can read my review of Hot Streets here, btw.
So I have got this band wrong, all the time. And I am a curious creature. So this is the first review of their earliest albums.
And it is a double album, no less. Seventy-two minutes, no less.
A double album which combines a lot of the genres from that time and age. We find blues here, rock, soul, jazz, fusion, pop and rock. We also get avant-garde jazz.
There is a lot of guitars from the then guitar maestro Terry Kath. A guitar maestro who lost his life far too early. We get lots of brass too. And a lot of organs. And last but not least; a lot of very good vocals.
This album is a smorgasboard of everything that were shaking and rolling in 1969. It was a also genre busting and genre hopping album.
And the music still feels very good and strong. Terry Kath takes the price as the best performer. But everyone here comes out of this smelling of roses and they can truly say they created something special here.
Thursday, 15 August 2019
The debut album from this band from Switzerland.
The band is a twenty piece big band with a lineup of digdgeridoo, piano, bass, percussion, cello, violin, guitars, woodwinds, flute, programming, male and female choir.
Tomas Chaillan is the man behind this project and the music is about the world. It is instrumental but that is what they says it is.
The music is a mix of symphonic prog and soundtrack music.
It is over seventy minutes long too.
The sound is very big with a major orchestra feel. Only when the guitar solos comes through does this feel like it is not an orchestral piece of music. There is a lot of guitars here and the rock feeling is very much here.
Albums like this can feel and sound very sterile. This album has a bit more soul to it than I expected... and feared.
The problem with this album is the lack of any really great pieces of music. There are some good stuff here and some not so good stuff. Seventy minutes is a bit much of this...
The overall conclusion is that this is a.... under doubt..... good album. It will probably not grace my ears on a frequent basis, though.
Wednesday, 14 August 2019
The 12th album from this Swedish band.
The band is a ten piece big band with a lineup of drums, various percussion, viola, violin, bass, keyboards, piano, organ, woodwinds, clavinet, glockenspiel, grand piano, synths, guitars and vocals.
They had support from six other musicians who provided e-drums, percussion, violin, trumpet, percussion and backing vocals.
This is a project with Peter Hammill on vocals cooperates with Isildurs Bane on an album. I guess the music is written by Peter Hammill and the band is filling this music with their very own take on music.
Peter Hammill's music as solo artist and a part of Van Der Graaf Generator is usually pretty much naked. It is his vocals and with a few instruments supporting it.
This is not the case on this album.
Peter Hammill's vocals is very much a big part of this album. But there is a lot of instruments and sound here too. From strings to woodwinds and percussion. There is a lot going on here.
The music is not a million miles away from his work in Van Der Graaf Generator... the golden era. But Isildurs Bane also adds their own style and it is therefore right to say that this is a good mix of their two different styles.
His vocals is also very good on the top of the music. Music and sound which is on itself is captivating at times.
This album is another dimension of Peter Hammill's huge talent and artistic ability. This is another side of Peter Hammill and a good one. It complements all his other albums, solo and band.
It is also a good album in itself. The title track is very good indeed. It is an album well worth checking out.
The fifth album from this British band.
The band was a quartet on this album with a lineup of bass, guitars, drums, keyboards, piano and vocals.
Four other musicians provided drums, bass and percussion. Phil Collins was one of them.
This album is supposed to be left overs from the Product album session. In that case, that must have been a very fruitful recording session.
We are here being treated to forty minutes of fusion here. Lively fusion. There are some vocals here too. All of it very jazzy.
The music is very jazzy and probably more jazz than rock.
There is a highly satisfactory amount of intricate details here from the bassist, guitarists and the drummers. The keyboards is very good too.
The melodies are really good. Of the two albums, Product and this one, from the same recording session, this one is far better than Product. Left overs ? Nope. Not in my view. This is the album well worth having in your record collection.
Monday, 12 August 2019
The second album from this Argentine band.
The band was now reduced to Nahuel Espino on synths. That's all....
Their debut album was a flowery good prog album. You can find my review somewhere else in this blog.
I was then aware of the change the band, read Nahuel Espino had made for this album. This is also the final Octavio Sendero album as far as I know.
This album is also the soundtrack to an Argentine movie with the same name.
The music is a sound track with sounds and sounds effects. It is a kind of a Goblin sound-track.
I am no big fan of electronic pling-plong albums like this. And I am not overly impressed by this album too.
I find this half an hour pretty dull as this is not free standing music. It is a sound-track meant to support whatever the movie actors are doing there and then in the movie.
There is some quality here so it is not a total disaster, this half an hour. But it is running close to becoming a member of my collection of turkeys...... Close.
The debut album from this band from Argentina.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, percussion, harmonica, bass, drums and Spanish vocals.
The band had help from two guest musicians who provided keyboards and piano.
This band has released five albums between 1980 and 2018. They are still alive.
I got three of their albums they will be reviewed this summer.
The band started out very early and at the end of the golden age of the Argentine symphonic prog. And that is the sound this album has got too.
The music is very much based on South American folk music with some bossa nova and lots of acoustic guitars. There is not a lot of electricity in their music at all. There are some electric guitars and some keyboards.... and that is all.
The vocals are really good and the musicians does a good job.
Is this prog rock at all, some will ask. Yes, it is. The music is progressive, but not so intricate and full of details as it may should have been.
The words here on this forty minutes long album is "gentle" and "soft". It still has some qualities though.
This is indeed a good album and one to explore. I am looking forwards to the two other albums I got of them.
Sunday, 11 August 2019
The fourth album from this British band.
The band is a sextet on this album with a lineup of harmonica, percussion, bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
I have reviewed their other albums at # 1 of this blog and have always rated they highly. This is a band I really like.
So I was really looking forward to this one.
I wish I would write that the band continues more or less on the same path as they did on their first three albums....
The band has shed their symphonic prog sound and the ten songs on this one hour long album are pretty short. Two songs are touching ten minutes and that is all.
The music is pretty straight forward rock too with some pub-rock and neo-prog influences.
There is not many good details here and I feel that the band has lost touch with the art of writing good prog songs.
The instrumentation and the vocals are pretty standard. Standard and dull. There is no prog here.
The album is not too bad. But it is still two steps in the wrong direction. I am not impressed.
Saturday, 10 August 2019
The one and only album from this Swiss band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of French horn, flute, Mellotron, keyboards, electric piano, grand piano, organ, strings, flute, cornet, trumpet, synths, saxophone, bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
This band was a short lived band who only released this album and was quickly forgotten........... until ProgArchives and then Youtube dug this album up again from the sea of obscurity.
The band is still obscure and this review is one of the very few reviews of this album, indeed. Which is a bit of shame......
The band plays symphonic prog. Mostly instrumental prog. So far, so good....
References are a bit difficult..... OK, Focus from their Hamburger Concertos album. That is a good reference. Add some Caravan too and some ELP.
The music here light, pastoral and quite baroque. There is a lot of Johan Sebastian Bach here too as this Swiss band is very influenced by church music. A lot of the music here feels like played in a church or cathedral. It is not bombastic, though. It is just pastoral...
This is indeed a good album too. It has a lot to offer to those who likes their prog with a lot of organs and Mellotron. The vocals too is good and the melodies just as good.
This album deserve a second life.
The seventh album from this band from Czech and Slovakia.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, piano, clavinet, minimoog, percussion and vocals.
The band has been changing style (and name) almost from album to album. Due to some Stalinist purges on everything who smells USA/UK, they also had to change their name to Modry Efekt.
The previous album Svitanie was mostly instrumental and great.
The band changed to a much more vocals dominated band on this album, though. Yes, Genesis, Grobschnitt and the Italian symph prog scene (RPI) springs to mind here as references.
The excellent guitarist Radim Hladik does not get enough space to light up this album as on previous albums. He is here, but just as a part of a band.
The music is still pretty heavy though. It is also very pastoral at times. And the band still knows how to write very good songs and perform them.
This is indeed a very good album and one to really get into for those of us who likes quality progressive rock.
Check out this album and their other albums.
Thursday, 8 August 2019
The 19th album from this Italian band.
The band is a sextet on this album with a lineup of drums, percussion, piano, keyboards, bass, guitars and Italian vocals.
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso is legends in the prog rock scene. It is one of the best and biggest bands ever to come from Italy.
I thought the band was history long time ago after their AOR albums. But no....... and that was followed by a very big positive surprise when I heard that the band had returned to their roots.
RPI....Rock Progressive Italiano.... This band was one of those who gave us this genre and the best albums from this genre. And the band has with this album returned to this genre.
The vocals are very good and the first songs proves that the band has indeed returned to their roots. That is pastoral RPI.
That means a bit slow and melancholic RPI too. This is a concept album too. And the art-work leaves no doubts that the band is back too.... well, at least for this album.
There is no great songs here on this one hour long album. Nevertheless, this is a very good album and a very big positive surprise. It is also their best album for a very long time. Bravo !!!
Wednesday, 7 August 2019
The third album from this Japanese band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
I was not particular impressed by their first two albums. The sound and music was too much heavy metal for my liking.
So I hoped this album would prove why this band is regarded as legends in the Japanese symphonic prog scene.
I still wonder why they have got this status after many listening sessions spent with this album.
The album starts with some punkish heavy metal pieces with shrieking vocals which does not make any sense.
The album then meander slowly towards some sort of symphonic prog on the three stages suite Requiem. There is a lot of vocals and vocals harmonies here and some bad guitars. This suite is saved by the keyboards. A pretty OK sort of a suite with the best melody of this album.
The album runs out after some more vocals and not so good melodies after forty-seven minutes.
This is a decent enough album. But just that. I am not won over by any means and will give the band a final chance on their follow up album.
The third album from this US band.
The band was a nine piece big band with a lineup of woodwinds, flute, bass, drums, guitars, organ, piano, electric piano, harpsichord, percussion, harmonica and vocals.
This band was a very big band at the end of the 1960s and the early 1970s. They were selling lots of albums..... but are mainly forgotten now.
Brass rock, as their genre was called, is more or less a forgotten genre these days.
The music is not fusion and not jazz. It is blues, soul and pop with woodwinds/brass. Hence the nine members and hence the almost thirty different instruments used on this album.
I have to admit brass and woodwinds is my least favourite instruments in rock/prog rock. David Clayton-Thomas vocals is very good though.
The music is very brass dominated over some music who goes from soul and pop to blues.
The band has made their very own version of the Rolling Stones classic Sympathy For The Devil. An eight minutes long not so traditional version of this classic song. It is an decent take on this song.
The rest of the album is decent enough too. It is not particular interesting though. If brass is your thing.....
Tuesday, 6 August 2019
The eight album from this band from Oregon, USA.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of dulcimer, percussion, tabla, sitar, piano, drums, oboe, congas, Hammond organ, guitars, bass, bass clarinet and flute.
This band is an interesting band who are still around. Their debut album was released back in 1972.
Oregon is an prog avant-garde jazz band. I think that is the best label I can put on them. I have reviewed two albums of them for # 1 of this blog and will now review, including this one, four more albums from them.... and some more when I get hold of their albums.
Oregon albums is albums well worth keeping an eye open for. This although they are very much on the fringes of my taste in music.
This album is one I have been struggling with.
It opens with some really good raga done by sitar and I am totally with this album. Very hypnotic avant-garde/krautrock raga.
The more acoustic pieces of jazz in the middle of this forty minutes long album is not really something I find appealing.. It is still not bad at all.
The band comes together again as a full band with lots of woodwinds at the end with some good jazz and raga again.
The end result is a good album which should appeal to everyone on the fringes of jazz and avant-garde music. It is not an instant hit album. But give it some time and you will get it.
The debut album from this French band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of keyboards, bass, guitars, drums, percussion and French vocals.
This band and this album was one of the first bands/albums on Musea ever. But the band only released two albums before they gave up.
The album is strange as it may sound an album full of neo-prog. That is neo-prog, the French way of thinking.
There is a lot of Ange in their music. The music is also very theatrical too. It is also melodic and pretty dark.
Baroque is a word that springs to mind when it comes to this band's take on neo-prog. The forty-five minutes of neo-prog is dominated by some weird, dark vocals and some melancholic, dark neo-prog. Neo-prog with some folk rock influences too.
A run-of-the-mill neo-prog album, it is not. It is pretty unique in style and sound.
It is also a good album where the band delivers some good stuff. I find this album enjoyable as the Ange and French symph prog fan I am. But other fans of melodic neo-prog will find this album very interesting.
Check out this album.
Monday, 5 August 2019
The debut album from this US band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of trumpet, bass, keyboards, drums, guitars, percussion, flute and vocals.
The band is from Seattle up in the north-west of USA and the band does not play grunge...... Sorry, just had to mention it.
Instead of grunge, the band plays pretty much heavy neo-prog with a lot of symphonic prog influences.
Being American, the album has also got some AOR and US prog influences.
The music is both melodic and interesting at the same time. The band gives us fifty minutes of intricate keyboards, vocals harmonies and guitars based music where flute and trumpet adds a lot of intricate details and textures too.
The music is indeed flowery and full of colours.
There is no real great piece of music here. Nevertheless, this is an album that will please most of those into melodic intricate progressive rock. It is indeed a good album.
The 14th album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, guitars, keyboards, bass, percussion and vocals.
The band has been helped by a violinist and backing vocals.
Nektar was dead and gone after Roye Albrighton passed on after the last Nektar album. But his son Che got a new band together and called it New Nektar. Me and other forums only call it Nektar and add it to the Nektar discography.
Right or wrong. But I see this is a new Nektar album and a new era of that band. The fact that the band also consists of old Nektar members also helps my decission.
Whose Nektar is showing up this time ? The old legendary psych band or the new AOR band ?
Unfortunate, the latter one.....
The band gives us three quarters of an hour worth of a mix of AOR and pub rock. The music is pretty similar to what another fallen great is doing these days; namely Wishbone Ash.
The music is pretty heavy and pretty straight forward. The songs are lacking a lot quality. This is an OK album and a decent one. But it is not a good album and I would suggest some more freshness and fresh sounding songs next time......... or a return to the old psych band Nektar.