Thursday, 31 October 2019
The debut album from this British artist.
Rosalie Cunningham did the vocals, bass, guitars and keyboards here.
She had help from guest musicians who provided drums, bass, guitars, percussion and violin.
Rosalie Cunningham were the main person in the band Purson who released two very good albums before they split up. You can find my reviews somewhere else in this blog.
It is pretty obvious from the Purson albums that we are dealing with a highly talented artist here. It is not surprised she broke out from that band and went her own ways.
The music is still psych rock with a lot of acid folk influences. There are also some doom and stoner rock influences here.
1970s rock in other words.
Her vocals are really powerful and the music too is based around her vocals and vocal harmonies. And rightly so.
There is a lot to enjoy during these forty odd minutes this album last. The music is always interesting and good. Lots of details here.
There is no killer tracks or hits here. But this is still an album well worth checking out. This is an artist with a great future.
Tuesday, 29 October 2019
The 14th album from this British band.
The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of percussion, bass, drums, guitars, keyboards, synths and vocals.
The band was trying to find their feet again in a decade where everything went wrong with music and style.
So the band went heavy metal.
Heavy metal with some space rock influences.... lots of them. They still were mainly a space rock band. But there are some tracks here who sounds like Judas Priest tracks.
In effect, Hawkwind was not innovators on this album. They were trying to copy other bands and trends. In particular the heavy metal scene.
Most of the space rock is something they have done before....... and much better.
Hawkwind is at best threading the water on this album. At worst, they are sinking.
Nevertheless, this is a decent album. But there is a lot better albums out there in their vast discography.
Monday, 28 October 2019
The one and only album from Jersey, UK.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of bass, guitars, percussion, slide guitars, drums, keyboards and vocals.
This band was from the Channel Islands between France and The British Isles. They later shortened their name to The Band Called O and The O Band. They also adopted an AOR style of music.
But that was long after the release of this album.
This album has got a cult status and that made me interested in it.
The base camp of their music is folk rock. Add a lot of beat as in The Beatles, some King Crimson, acid rock, psych rock and some harder rock.
The music is pretty hippie at times and flower power. Other times, it is pretty menacing hard.
There are some really good songs here too. These are catchy beat songs with a lot of acid folk.
Besides of these charming songs, there is also a lot of really good details on this album. Enough to elevate this to a good album.
Check out this album as it is a true hidden gem.
Sunday, 27 October 2019
The ninth album from this British band.
The band has expanded to eight members on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, percussion, keyboards, synths, piano, cello, viola, violin, accordion, mandolin, flute and vocals.
Big Big Train also had help from a full set of woodwind players too.
The quality of their latest output has been impressive and I had hopes for this album too.
There is a slight, more than a slight influence of folk rock on this album. This on the top of the normal fare from this album.
That is..... symphonic prog with a mix of Yes and Genesis. The vocals reminds me a lot about Peter Gabriel and Genesis. The music is mostly more complex than Genesis ever was.
The music is pretty pastoral throughout these seventy minutes. There is no big bangs here. Yes, there is a folk rock feel here.
The great vocals is a big plus here. They have also managed to get a very good song here too. The four minutes Salisbury Giant is a very good song.
The rest of the material, although good, is not as remarkable.
This is indeed a good album and one to really include in a prog rock collection. It is not their best album, though.
The ninth album from this US band.
The band is a seven piece band with a lineup of e-drums, ukulele, synths, keyboards, bass, guitars, percussion, drums and vocals.
Izz has been going on for a long time now....... since 1999 and thereabouts. That as recording artists. Some of their members has done solo albums and been involved in other projects too.
I have some time ago reviewed five or six of their first albums in this blog. Read my opinions about these albums in this blog.
The band started out as an US neo-prog band and has developed into a more US symphonic prog band.
This album still has some US neo-prog. The title track is a neo-prog track. That aside..... the music is very grand, complex and big. It is orchestral without classic music instruments. Without strings and woodwinds.
The vocals are two female vocalists and male vocals. These works nicely along the instruments and is a plus on this album.
This is in short an US symphonic prog album.
And it is also a very good one too. The melodies and the symphonic bits fits each other and the band more than deliver the goods. A killer theme or melody is missing. Nevertheless, this is a very good album.
Saturday, 26 October 2019
The band was a sextet with a lineup of saxophone, flute, keyboards, drums, percussion, bass, guitars and vocals.
The band had added a lead guitarist since their self-titled 1970 debut album and broadened out a bit in their sound and music.
There is a quite a collection of close related genres on this album. A bit The Beatles, a bit Van Der Graaf Generator, a lot of King Crimson, some hard rock, fusion, soul and blues.
Some of the music is very hard while they also do some more pastoral prog on other songs. The mood and feel is really good here. A lot of melancholy and some gloom.
The vocals are really good and the musicians also do their best.
Raw Material is one of the best bands of the hidden gems bands from the British scene and this album is up there among the better albums. It is an album well worth checking out.
Thursday, 24 October 2019
The third album from this mainly London, England based band.
The band is now a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, percussion and vocals.
Their two first albums has been really good. Indeed, they have established this band as one of the more interesting bands in the new progressive rock scene.
Their mix of King Crimson and progressive metal has given them a lot of fans. And rightfully so.
They are really great live, I have heard.
They continue on from their first albums with a new album in the same vein.
The album is not as esoteric this time. It is indeed more accessible and there is some neo-prog and progressive metal on this album. Melodic music, indeed.
The vocals are really good on this album and there is also some acoustic guitars who lifts this album up a level.
There is still enough eclectic prog to keep this album an album not for the general masses. It will not hit top 20 anytime soon.
The music are really good and this album should be one of this year's harvest any proghead should purchase.
The second album from this band from Hungary.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
Their debut album was a rather good debut album which I really enjoyed. So I am happy to continue with their second album.
The vocals are still in their local language Magyar.
The band still plays neo-prog.
So we are where we were on their debut album.
Some long guitar and keyboards runs over some melodic neo-prog. The sound is clean and open.
The sound and music is perhaps a bit too clean. But that is just some minor errors. The major one is the lack of any really great tunes and songs here on this three quarter of an hour long album.
There is no great songs here. Nevertheless, this is a good album with some good vocals, keyboards and guitars. It is an album neo-prog historians and fans will both like.
Wednesday, 23 October 2019
The fourth album from this English artist.
Judy Dyble did the vocals and autoharp on this album.
She was supported by numerous other musicians on woodwinds, strings, guitars, synths, piano, organ, e-bow, bass, drums, percussion and background vocals.
Judy Dyble has carved out an admirable career on her own after her stint in Fairport Convention. I like the previous albums indeed.
This is a career based on her excellent vocals. It is also a career based on choosing and writing just the right material for her voice and her visions.
There is a poignant version of ELP's C'est La Vie on this album. A version that brings back memories of Greg Lake and Keith Emerson.... and a tear to my eye.
The rest of the songs does not let the listener down either.
The twenty minutes long song Harpsong proves that Judy Dyble is not just a singer living on old merits. It is a very, very brave piece of music and she pulls it off.
Harpsong ebbs and flows. It is never really anything less than interesting and very good.
The end result is a very good album from a brave lady who are not afraid of taking risks. I am impressed.
Tuesday, 22 October 2019
The debut album from this band from Brazil.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
This band is new to me. Their album is out on Bandcamp (see link above) and that has given them a good distribution. I have today sent the links to my friends.
Their music is pretty accessible too. Take neo-prog and add a hint of King Crimson and Radiohead. Add Porcupine Tree too and you got it. Yes, and a lot of the post-rock feel too.
This is a concept album of some sort about the Incas. All this with a very good sound.
The music is really elegant throughout this one hour long album. An hour that never feels too long.
There is no real cracking great songs here and that is a bit of a disappointment. The band is suffering slightly from the lack of great songwriting.
That said, this is an elegant album and it is a good one too. The band has a lot to be happy about here. This album deserve a lot of exposure.
Sunday, 20 October 2019
The second album from this band from Edinburgh, Scotland.
The band was a trio on this album with a lineup of harmonica, Hammond organ, piano, bass, drums, trumpet, guitars and vocals.
Their manager arranged a string and woodwind quartet to appear on this album.
The band released three albums before they gave up. All three collected and released in a box years ago. A very good box worth it's money.
This album was strangely not released in Europe or indeed in their own homeland. It was a North-America release only.
The band had branched out from their psych-beat on their debut album to a lot more like a symphonic prog band in the vein of The Nice on this album. There are also some jam parts here which reminds me about jazz. The beat and psych parts are still alive here.
There are some really cool Hammond organs and vocals here. The woodwinds and strings are also cool.
Parts of this album makes me wonder why this album or this band never made it big. Parts of this album is really explosive stuff anno 1969. Quality wise, it is not far behind the best of that era.
Not all is good on this forty minutes long album. But some of the stuff is really very good and it makes this album one of the lost gems from this era.
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a duo of Brian Belloni and Maurio Mugiati. The lineup is Mellotron, keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and vocals. English vocals.
The duo is also a part of the tribute band Beggars Farm who has played with all the greats in the scene.... so their website says.
The music is symphonic prog. There is also plenty of RPI here. But most of it is the English form of symphonic prog.
The music is also based on the formula "less is more". There is no real bombastic music here. The music is vocals and a few instruments. Electric guitars and keyboards, mostly. Or piano.
This less is more formula works really good on this album.
The vocals are really good and ditto for the sound.
There is no real killer tracks here and a bit more quality is desired on this fifty minutes long album. Nevertheless, the band has delivered a good debut album who really need a bit more attention.
The sixth album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, drums, keyboards, percussion, bass and vocals.
This band from Birmingham started out as a reasonably proggy art rock band before they went for fame and money later on.
I spotted this album in the LP collection of a father of a childhood's friend forty years ago and the image stayed with me as a cool one. It is one of the reasons I started to review the albums of this band.
So here I am at this album I remember from my childhood.
The band went very commercial on this album although the album starts with some riffs and vocal lines that is taken straight out of a Thin Lizzy album.
The rest is a mix of uptempo tracks and ballads.
Pop-rock it is and it is not too bad. I have heard far worse. But prog rock, it is not and there is not much to enjoy here.
Hence the rating....
Saturday, 19 October 2019
The debut album from this one man band from England.
The band is Jarrod Gosling from Henry Fool. He contributes with all kinds of tangent based instruments, bass, guitars, drums, studio effects, glockenspiel, mouth harp, xylophone and vocals.
He is supported by numerous other musicians who contributes woodwinds, violin, harp, guitars and vocals.
Regal Worm is a strange name who perfectly reflects what this project gives us on this one hour long album.
The album is everywhere. Mostly as a Vaudeville and avant-garde light album. There is also a lot of electronica here. There is even some zeuhl here.
There is a lot of curious ideas and madness on this album. There are also some interesting ideas.
We get a blend of female vocals, woodwinds, some guitar solos and electronic wizzardry.
There is no great piece of music here. Not everything here is good either. But there is enough good stuff here to make this an interesting, good hour of music.
This album is not everybody's cup of tea. It is still a good album who offers up enough quirkiness to top up your quirkiness box for a while.
The one and only album from this band from Brazil.
Nothing is known about this band. But from what I can hear, they got a lineup of clavinet, bass, drums, synth, guitars, banjo, percussion and Portoguese vocals.
This album is obscure in other words. Very obscure. But we got online music streaming so this album is not entirely forgotten.
The music style is a mix of eclectic prog, rock, pop and symphonic prog with some folk rock gluing it all together. That and some humour. Tongue in cheek humour, I guess.
The vocals are rather pleasant and ditto for the sound.
Some of the songs are rather Gong like and Daevid Allen has been listening to by this band.
This album is very colourful and far, very far from most of the music we today listen to as progheads. That said, this is very much a prog rock album. It is quite a decent album too and well worth checking out.
The debut album from this Austrian band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of piano, drums, guitars, bass, synths and vocals.
I have never heard about this band before this album landed in my inbox, ready to be reviewed.
The band is from this nice city Graz in the south of Austria and the vocals are female vocals. The vocalist also doubles up as a piano and synth player and her name is Katarina Franz.
The band has chosen to describe the music as stoner rock. It is not stoner rock.
Take neo-prog with female vocals and add some progressive metal and west coast rock. This thirty odd minutes of music gives exactly that.
The vocals are really good and the musicians tries their best on some songs which is not particular good. The art of great songwriting has eluded this band..... so far. That may and must change if the band continues on with more albums.
The sound is good and there is something here they should build on.
Check out this album from the link above.
Friday, 18 October 2019
The 24th album from this US band.
The band was as quartet with a lineup of oboe, synths, double bass, drums, guitars, piano, soprano sax, bass clarinet, English horn and percussion.
After a very, very long career in the jazz and fusion scene, the band returned again with this album. Anno this date, it is their latest album and probably their final album too.
The band has mostly operated at the avant-garde end of the jazz scene and has released many very interesting albums in that genre. I have had the pleasure of reviewing some of them and they have left me with some good inspirations.
The band has also released some raga rock albums too and has made their mark on the music scene.
The band has softened up on this album though and gives us an acoustic album with acoustic guitars in the forefront together with bass and woodwinds.
The music sounds like is made for the band to be enjoyed by themselves as performers and in the studio.
There is a couple of good details here. But this is mostly a straight jazz album which does not really live up to their good name and reputation. But I do not begrudge them making albums like this.
Thursday, 17 October 2019
The seventh album from this German band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars and some vocals.
A keyboardist is helping them out with sporadic keyboards.
The band has gone from strength to strength on their albums.
Their basic formula on riff based dirty space rock is the same throughout. But the band manages to give each album it's own identity and soul.
Tempel sees the band retreat more back to the basic of their sound and musical expression.
The addition of some pretty discreet keyboards and organ sounds adds a lot of value to their music again and sees their music gets another dimension.
The riffs are also compact and dirty. Pretty monumental too. Parts of this album has an insane groove who makes even the less groovy person wanna groove to the music.
And that is how good modern space rock should sound. And there are very few, if any, better bands than this band in this scene.
This is another very good album from this German band and one to move your body to for all space rock fans.
Wednesday, 16 October 2019
The fourth album from this Australian band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, drums, percussion, bass, guitars and vocals.
The band had help from numerous other musicians who provided ocarina, xylophone, slide guitars and vocals.
I have known this band since their debut album, long time ago. I also know that the band is a progressive metal band. A genre I tend to avoid like I tend to avoid getting bitten by cats.
In short, I have reviewed their debut album (see here) and avoided their second and third album.
I got Night Echoes sent to me so as a decent person, I should review it.
Yes, the music is still progressive metal and pretty brutal at times too. Djent springs to mind.
The sound is big but it is also symphonic and bold. There is a lot of good details here.
There is no outstanding tracks here and this album does not change my mind about progressive metal. This is still a good album with good vocals, bold songs and some good songs too. This band is well worth checking out.
Tuesday, 15 October 2019
The sixth album from this US band.
The band was a seven piece big band with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, woodwinds, harmonica, flute, keyboards and vocals.
The band had help from four other musicians who provided slide steel guitar, congas and vocals.
I remember Chicago from my youth as a soft-pop band. So the first four albums has taken me by surprised. In particular the great debut album.
Terry Kath, one of the best guitarists of that time, is still in the band. The woodwinds has been scaled back though. Ditto for the most wild brass rock excesses.
The band has gone much more mainstream rock on this album and the pop singer Peter Cetera has come more to the front.
The pop is not too bad and the album picks up at the end of the album with a good rocker.
Unfortunate, that only happens after half an hour. The first half an hour is at times dire and pretty bad. There are some rays of sun here. But most of the songs here induces facepalm and can only be listened to with great difficulties.... and alone.
This is not quite a turkey, but it is sailing close to my turkey-yard. Avoid.
The third album from this Norwegian band.
The band is a quintet on this album with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, keyboards, Hammond organ, grand piano and vocals.
Another quintet has helped them out on accordion, violin and saxophones.
I have heard about this band before. Their reputation was a more progressive metal band. Hence, I did not bother.
Their new album had ditched the metal stuff and gone for a much more funky pop and rock sound. That in addition to their basis in neo-prog. There is also some fusion here too.
The vocals are very good and the production is top notch.
The music is also driven by tangents, guitars and saxophones in addition to the vocals.
There is a lot of very good details here in songs who are failing to impress me. The commercial appeal of this album is obvious and fans of positive, uplifting music..... that is most people.... will really love this album.
I got my reservations as the songs are a bit lacking in substance. Nevertheless, this is a good album which will take the band far outside the prog genre. Should take them far outside the prog genre.
The third and final album from this British band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of slide guitar, guitars, bass, drums, grand piano, electric piano, organ, harmonica, percussion and vocals.
The band unexpected returned again decades after their last album. Maybe this is archive material or a lost third album recorded in the 1970s. I guess one of these two alternatives.
The album starts out as fusion and jazz album before it broadens out in other directions.
We even get several chords of and an alternative approach to most of the chords in Camel's Rhayader masterpiece. Which is a bit cheeky.......
There is some Camel like stuff here, yes. There is also some blues and some rock here. Even a rock ballad with vocals and the whole package.
This album is a bit bewildering and not entirely in tune with their first two albums....
Most of the stuff is really working fine here with a sharp drop of quality at the end of this one hour long album. It is by no means a bad album. It is not a good album either..
It is a decent album who can safely be ignored if none of the above sounds tempting.
Monday, 14 October 2019
The debut album from this British band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of kalimba, electric violins, bagpipes, drums, bass, guitars, flutes, saxophones, organ, harmonica, percussion and vocals.
This album cover is one of the more legendary ones from the early prog rock scene. I have always wanted to find out what hides behind this cover.
The band has also a semi-legendary status too. They released eleven albums, if I am not much mistaken.
Hence, I have purchased a handful of their albums and will review them this fall and winter.
Mercator Projected gives the listener a bit of a shock and a solid shakeup of the cobwebs in the ears and the brain..... This is not easy listening.
Well, the opening track Northern Hemisphere is a beat track with some avant-garde elements. The album takes of in another direction after that.
Yes, there is still some melodic parts here. But most of the album is pretty much an eclectic album in the vein of both Gentle Giant and in particular King Crimson. But East Of Eden probably top both of them in eclectic weirdness on this album.
The eclectic weirdness includes a lot of gypsy and fusion on this album. The electric violin is everywhere. There are also some English folk rock here too.
There are some really cool stuff here which acts like food for the brain. It is one of those albums who is really progressive.
The quality is also good throughout too. I like this band.... I think.
The debut album from this German band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, guitars, percussion and vocals.
The band released two albums before they gave up. I have not found much info about this band and their two studio albums. They are really obscure.
The reason may be that the band really branched out in all directions on this album.
The ground they covered goes from ambient via electronica to rock, pop and neo-prog. They are regarded as a neo-prog band though.
There is not much neo-prog on this seventy-five minutes long album. The vocals are really good but the music is everywhere and kicks in all directions.
I am aware of that the meaning of album can also mean a collection of various styles. But this album takes it too far.
There is some decent and good stuff here. There are also some stuff that does not work at all.
I am not sure what the band wanted with this album. Nevertheless, this is a decent album. I think I will miss out on their second album.
Sunday, 13 October 2019
The debut album from this Hungarian band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drum, percussion, keyboards and vocals.
I think the vocals is in Magyar, the language spoken in Hungary... yes, it is in that language.
The band released eight albums between 1981 and 1994. They are legends in Hungary and I have got three of their albums to review this fall.
...Starting with this one......
The cover art-work does not tell me much. The first tones of this album however greets me and it is a friendly greeting. Symphonic prog..... Just like my doctor ordered.
The music on this album would today be labelled as neo-prog. That sound and scene was not born in 1981 though.... The music is still neo-prog.
It is though not out and out Genesis worship. It is more like symphonic prog with some pop and rock induced into the music.
The vocals are really neo-prog and the music is pretty light and poppy neo-prog. Very early neo-prog and not overly complicated.
It is melodic with some good melodies and sound. This is very much an enjoyable album well worth checking out.
The debut album from this Norwegian trio.
The band is a trio with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, percussion, bass and drums.
Although this band is new, the musicians are veterans in the scene. They comes from bands like Morild and Adventure.
I am not sure if Kornmo is a one-album only project or has plans to release more albums. I hope they will stay around for a long time.
The music here is instrumental prog. It is not the most exciting genre in the world and I am trying to avoid the genre. But as they are Norwegians and with a background from Morild.........
The music is based on the 1970s symphonic prog scene. Camel springs to mind as the obvious comparison. But also add Juniphere Green into the mix too.
There is also a very obvious nod to Scandinavian folk rock on this album. The album has indeed a very Norwegian folk rock feel at times.
The cover art-work says a lot about this music, indeed.
It is well played and most of the music is good. I have my reservations as I am no fan of instrumental prog. But this album is one of the better ones I have heard in this genre from new bands. Check it out.
The debut album from this Brazilian band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of flute, guitars, drums, keyboards, percussion and vocals.
They had help from some other musicians who provided electronics, violin, guitars, bass, synths, vocals and orchestral arrangements.
Os Mutantes was one of the most important bands in the Brazilian popular music genre called Tropicalia. There are several compilation albums of that genre available on the net for those who are interested.
Os Mutantes took a much more psych and progressive rock direction than the rest of that scene. They released eleven albums and I will review most of them, if not all of them, this fall and winter.
...... Starting with the debut album.
It is evident that The Beatles from the Sgt Peppers Band era is a major inspiration for the band. Os Mutantes has just gone a much more Brazilian and insane route than The Beatles did.
There are some catchy beat tunes in between some rather funny psych songs and weirdness.
The good thing is that this really works. The catchy tunes are really good and the added weirdness with lots of female vocals of the better sort is really giving this album it's own style and character.
If the rest of their albums is this good...... I am up for a real treat and a good ride.
Check out this really good album.
Wednesday, 9 October 2019
The second album from this German band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of clavinet, organ, keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, grand piano, synths, violin, percussion and vocals.
I reviewed their third and final album No Illusions (1979) five years ago for # 1 of this blog. I was not impressed.
That album is pretty much different from what we get on Out Of The Ashes.
This album has it's roots in Pink Floyd and in particular......... Eloy. Add some symphonic krautrock too and you get this album.
The vocals are cool and so is the various tangents used here. There is a psych and a space rock feel over this album. And it is a good one too.
Eloy fans will love this album, I have no doubts about that.
Pancake is a bit more hard rocking, though. There is a lot of interesting details on these five long songs. A lot of long guitar solos.
I am pretty impressed by this good album and it is a bit of a hidden gem. I need to get their first album too... sometimes.... somewhere.
The fifth album from this Italian band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, guitars, bass and Italian vocals.
They had help from some other musicians who provided tenor sax, trombone, trumpet and keyboards.
As a pretty avid follower of the Italian scene, it is almost shocking that this is the first album I have ever got and heard from this band.
The band is not an RPI band, though. Although there are some faint whiffs of RPI here, their sound and music are heavier than RPI.
It is also far more modern sounding than RPI. The music has a Porcupine Tree sound and Rush sound.
There are indeed some similarities with Rush here. A lot of it, in fact.
The rather good Italian vocals brings us back to Italy with a bump, though. Some good organs gives us an 1970s vibe too.
The length of the album is also very much the 1970s. Forty-one minutes long is this album.
The music is somewhere between decent and good. There is no great tracks here but there is no sub standard tracks either. I am not won over but I may check out their first four albums.
The one and only album from this Austrian band.
I am not sure about the lineup on this album as nothing is known about this band. But I can hear synths, bass, drums, guitars and vocals here.
There is some information about this band on their Discogs page and that is all I know.
That does not mean this album does not deserve any attention. It does and it is hereby given.
The music on this album is a mix of Muse and good old 1970s hard rock. Led Zeppelin and Saga is good references. Yes, as diverse as that, but still those two bands are good references.
The music is really hard at times. It is never really crossing over to heavy metal, though.
The vocals are good and in the Muse tradition. The rest of the musicians does a good job. The sound too is good.
The quality of the songs are not good, though. They are pretty decent. But there is nothing here who really stands out. This album does not really stands out from the crowd. It is an album easy to forget.
That is a bit of a shame, really.
Tuesday, 8 October 2019
The second album from this London. UK based band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of computers, trumpet, synths, bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
The lineup of this band is still Paul Mastelotto and Colin Edward with two others.
Their 2015 debut album Inflamed Rides was an interesting album indeed. See my review somewhere else in this blog.
The band is nicely combining prog metal, funk, jazz and progressive rock on this album. A bit Porcupine Tree meets King Crimson and King's X.
This band is very playful and that comes across in their music. A very lively, noisy music.
The music is also very eclectic with lots of intricate details.
It is also very rewarding listening as the sound is great and there is lots of details here to make a proghead happy.
This is indeed a good album well worth checking out for everyone into eclectic prog.
The sixth album from this US band.
The band was an eight piece big band on this album with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, organ, synths, woodwinds and vocals.
They had help from numerous other musicians on woodwinds and backing vocals.
I forgot that I had this album in my review spree of their albums so this review is a bit behind the schedule.
The band were a major band for a few years before their albums went downhill, both in album sales and in artistic quality.
I am no fan of brassrock so I have my reservations against their music. Nevertheless, this was a good band and I really respect this band.
No Sweat sees the band adopt commercial rock. Add in the normal brass too and you get a bit of a jazzy feeling. Lounge jazz, that is.
This is in fact not a bad album at all. It pander a lot to what the mainstream US record buyer wanted at that time and it makes no bones about that. The brass adds lots of sound to the album too. The vocals are rather good.
The result is a decent album which should not be ignored. But go for their first three albums instead.
I really respect this band and their music.
The 13th album from these British legends.
The band was now a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, synths, keyboards and vocals.
Three guest musicians provided saxophone and backing vocals.
.... And the band played on.... And still does (in 2019) in a rather different configuration. Hawkwind's music is mostly timeless and will always find a large live audience. And with good reasons.
Choose Your Masque, who became a big selling album, sees the band tone down their space rock and introduce a bit of mainstream rock and prog. This without much decline in quality.
Their new version of Silver Machine says everything about this album. It is a cleaned up, almost a nice, non-offensive version of this timeless classic. No Lemmy Kilmister barking out the words. No dirty sound. Just a relative nice song which with a lot of teeth as this song can never be sanitized.
The music here is nice. It still have a punk and space rock edge and the band will never become mainstream. But they tried their hardest here.
The quality is somewhere between decent and good as most of the songs are decent. It is not an album I will remember these legends for.
Sunday, 6 October 2019
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of horns, saxophone, bass, drums, guitars, steel guitars, percussion, keyboards, synths and vocals.
This band is totally unknown to me. I just fell for that "prog rock from Italy" tag and got this album.
Progressive rock from Italy, it may be. But it is not Rock Progressive Italiano (RPI) in it's traditional sense.
Take some modern rock, a bit grunge, a bit of Area, a bit jazz and a bit RPI.
The saxophone is pretty much a leading instrument here who takes us through this fifty minutes long album.
The songs are very laidback with some action filled songs inbetween. It is not ambient. It is just laidback jazzy and lounge like rock. A lot of West-Coast rock.
The vocals is not good and there is not much positive, or offensive negative, I can find on this album.
This is a decent album who is rather unremarkable.
Saturday, 5 October 2019
The eight album from this British band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, flute, keyboards, drums, bass, synths, piano, percussion, marimba, mellotron, mandolin, banjo, accordion, organ and vocals.
The band had also help from numerous other musicians who provided keyboards, synths, woodwinds, strings, double bass and vocals.
The band is going from strength to strength on their albums. Their last one, English Electric Part One, was really good.
I was looking forward to this album. Really looking forward to sink my teeth and review this album.
Seventy minutes of music is what we get here.
Neo-prog is the basis here and they also touches into symphonic prog now and then. On this album though, not that often.
The sound here is really, really big. A lot of instruments is fighting for their space. Thankfully, the vocals of David Longdon wins out. His vocals is pretty much the only constant on this album.
There is too much blandness on this album on songs that are not great. The music is mid-paced and not remarkable. It is also leaning towards rock at times.
This is still a good album. But it is not as good as their previous albums.
The 12th album from these French masters.
Magma was a sextet on this album with a lineup of drums, bass, piano, guitars and vocals.
The band is supported by many vocalists and Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Wow.... a new album from these masters ! It is always an event and a pleasure. I am a great admirer and fan of Magma. But my expectations to new material is not particular high. The band is now touring and taking it easy. Christian Vander is also an old man.
So I became intrigued when I heard the positive reviews of this album. I picked it up and started to listen to it.
It seems like Christian Vander does not do all the drums here. Morgan Agren has taken over most of the drums. Christian and Stella Vander is still very much doing the vocals here.
The music is indeed zeuhl too. The first half is really hardcore zeuhl as we know from Magma's most pioneering moments and albums.
The final half of this album has a classical orchestra...... That is unusual for this band.
The philharmonic orchestra adds a lot of light and colours to the zeuhl and is an interesting addition to Magma and indeed this genre.
Clocking in at forty minutes, Zess is not their best album. It is still an album who delivers the goods and a timely reminder that Magma was and still is one of the best bands around.
This is indeed a very good album.
The one and only album from this Japanese band.
The band is listed as a seven piece big band with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, drums, bass and vocals.
Nothing is known about this band besides of the band releasing this album on LP in 1050 copies in Japan and the two re-releases on CD. Outside Japan, that means a Musea CD with bonus tracks.
The band gives us almost fifty minutes with neo-prog. There is a lot of symphonic prog on this album too. There is also a lot of Supertramp inspired music on this album too.
This album is also a concept album. The lyrics are in Japanese, I believe. The problem with vocals from Japanese vocalists is that they sings in a light, thin voice. The vocals here is shrieking and not muscular at all. Hence, I cannot make out the words.
The music has a lot of details and some decent melodies too.
There is a lot of piano here and the music is not particular loud or heavy. It is rather elegant and classy.
This album is not the finest neo/symphonic prog album from Japan. It is still an album well worth checking out for those avid followers of neo and symphonic prog.
Friday, 4 October 2019
The band is a duo with a lineup of guitars, piano, drums, keyboards, bass, strings, synths, percussion and vocals.
They had help from some other musicians who provided guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
The band is Peter Trewavas (Marillion, Transatlantic) and Eric Blackwood (Foti, Sunblister).
I have reviewed their first three albums in # 1 of this blog and the reviews can be found there.
This is another concept album from this band. A sixty-seven minutes long piece of music divided into fourteen smaller pieces.
The music is neo-prog. The music is also leaning more towards the German neo-prog sound than the British neo-prog sound.
There is a lot of drama on this album. A lot of melancholy and desperation in the music. Which is well crafted, the desperation element of this album. It is not as easy as it sounds.
The music is well crafted and is upholding the good name and reputation of this band. There is no great songs here though and that is a minor problem.
This is still an obligatory purchase for those into neo-prog as this band is one of the leading lights in this genre.
Thursday, 3 October 2019
The third album from this British artist.
Judy Dyble did the autoharp and vocals here.
She had help from the likes of Robert Fripp, Simon House and others who provided guitars, violins, keyboards, saxophone, flute, drums, percussion, dulcimer, bouzouki, banjo, bells and organs.
Judy Dyble debuted in Fairport Convention and has had quality wise very impressive career after their debut album in 1968. She is still an active musician and music composer.
She released The Spindle too in 2006. Maybe even on the same day. That album is very good and you can read my review somewhere else in this blog.
The Whorl takes Judy Dyble again on a more acid folk path than I really expected. Just as on The Spindle. There is a lot of electronica here too. A bit of Kate Bush is evident here.
Her take on the King Crimson classic I Talk To The Wind is a good one. It is the one that jumps out from this album. There is a lot of instruments on that songs and far more than on the original version.
There is in general a lot of instruments on this album with Judy's voice floating on the top of the sound. That is not a bad thing at all. It is just an observation.
This is a really good album and cement's my view that her music is some of the most interesting to come out of the British folk rock scene.
Wednesday, 2 October 2019
The third and final album from this Danish band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of woodwinds, congas, bongos, percussion, drums, bass, keyboards, synths, guitars, electric violin and vocals.
The band's two previous outputs had been pretty OK. So I was looking forward to this one with a bit trepidation.
Their music is a mix of krautrock and Gong like weird rock.
There is indeed a lot of Canterbury prog in their music. The naive approach to music.
There are even some children rhymes here inbetween some bewildering mad songs and pieces of music.
There are some mad guitars, woodwinds and vocals here
The quality is unfortunate not the greatest. This is a decent enough album, but nothing more than that.
This band is an obscure band and will interest those into Gong and the Canterbury scene. I have my reservations....