Monday, 30 December 2019
The 13th album from this band from Poland.
The band was quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, percussion and vocals.
I am a not so secret admirer of this band. A band who is easily one of the better European mainland neo-prog today.
The band has also taken over from the likes of Satellite as one the best export from Poland in this genre.
The band gives us three-quarter of an hour of melodic neo-prog.
The music is based on guitars and keyboards. That with solid backing of the bass and drums.
On the top of this, there is some good vocals.
My only gripe with this album is a couple of missing great tracks. Besides of this, The Web is an enjoyable album and recommended.
Sunday, 29 December 2019
The fourth album from this US band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, percussion and vocals.
The band has risen like a rocket on their three first albums and is now regarded as one of the stars in the new prog rock world... or should that be the prog rock universe.
Their blend of neo-prog, prog metal and some goth has a big untapped audience. An audience this band is tapping into.
Their gigs has got very good reviews and ditto for their albums. I have reviewed their first two albums in # 1 of this blog and has liked them a lot.
A big plus in their music is the female vocals from Leslie Hunt who is sometimes supported by male vocals and her own vocal harmonies.
Leslie Hunt is very much the life and DNA of their sound.
The music is good throughout although I have heard better District 97 albums than this one. They are keeping their fans happy while getting new fans.
Check out this band.
The ninth album from this US band.
The band was an eight piece big band with a lineup of guitars, woodwinds, bass, grand piano, keyboards, percussion, drums and vocals.
They were helped out by a female choir, backing vocals, synths, bass and guitars.
The band have so far had a short, but intense career. The albums has been released on a very frequent basis.
The band has moved from fusion to much more mainstream rock. The music is still brass rock and the woodwinds is always here in the sound.
There are even a classical piece of music here. Commercial classical piece, that is.
Peter Cetera is also starting to become more and more dominating in the band. His vocals is good though so that is not bad.... for time being.
Chicago XI is a very mainstream commercial album. It is still a decent enough album. It is not their best album, though....
Saturday, 28 December 2019
The fourth and final album from this German band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of guitars, bass, mellotron, flute, saxophone, percussion, drums, keyboards, piano and vocals.
The band was one of the many pretty obscure German bands from the 1970s. Thanx to ProgArchives, Youtube and other blogs, these bands has got a second wind in their sails. That though long after the band were disbanded and some of the members had passed away.
In many cases, bands like these are more popular now than when they were trying to make a living by touring and releasing albums. The irony of life......
I am not sure if any of the members from Emergency has passed away or how they are today.
The band signs off with a pretty powerful mix of soul, blues, fusion and psych rock.
There is a lot of tangents and saxophones here with flutes and guitars also contributing to this forty minutes long album.
The vocals are really good and the album has a lot of life and love of life. It has a bit of a party feel too.
There is some half-decent details here too on an album that has a mix of decent and good songs. This is an album well worth checking out from a band who deserve your attention.
Thursday, 26 December 2019
The fifth album from this Norwegian band.
The band is a duo with a lineup of flute, mellotron, organ, guitar, drums, percussion and vocals.
The duo had help from five guest musicians who provided bass, percussion, synths and backing vocals.
The Norwegian prog rock scene is rightly regarded these days. This band is one of the reasons for this scene's very good reputation.
The band a new band. But they hit their strides on their debut album and never slowed down.
Their mix of pastoral symphonic prog and Norwegian folk rock really hit a lot of heart strings.
Nattfiolen almost sounds like an Italian symphonic prog album. Banco and PFM springs to mind. There is lots of flutes here with cascades of soft mellotrons, piano and guitars too.
Oh yeah, they sound very RPI at times.
There is still this very strong Norwegian trolls feeling in the music. Music which is inspired by and also based by old Norwegian folk songs.
The result is that this band has again released a great album and one which will be remembered for a long time. An album which combines the more esoteric and dreamy symphonic prog genre with the more earthly folk rock genre.
Check it out !
Wednesday, 25 December 2019
The debut album from this US band.
The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of guitars, moog, synths, organ, piano, bass, percussion, drums and vocals.
This band released five albums before they gave up and were disbanded. The first two albums is regarded as their best. I have reviewed their second album Fountains Of Lights here.
The band has always sounded like the US version of Yes. A reputation they cemented on this, their debut album.
The vocalist Terry Luttrell sounds like Jon Anderson. The music is also very much like Yes.
They are two or three notches less technical than Yes. The reason is that Yes had a lot better musicians than Starcastle ever had... to put it pretty blunt.
The music on this forty minutes long album is ticking away very nicely along the path set out by Yes. I very much like what I hear.
The music is also very good throughout with cascades of interesting details and things that makes symphonic prog such a great genre.
I am unashamed loving a lot of this album, indeed. And other Yes fans will do the same.
The fifth album from this British band.
The band was a quartet on this album with a lineup of keyboards, violin, bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
This band has had has perplexing career and artistic output.
They started out as an avant-garde band with a lot of raga rock influences. Their first two albums is semi-classic albums. Mostly because they are sooooooo far out avant-garde.
They followed up those two albums with some country and folk rock albums.
Another Eden is more a mix of blues and folk rock.
The vocals is really good and the best thing here. The music has a mix of mostly guitars and violin. These two lead instruments and the vocals is backed up by some hard hitting take no prisoners bass and drums.
The music is therefore pretty hard and merciless.
.... Which is the opposite of the cover art-work. A very misleading art-work indeed.
The quality is not too bad. It is barely a decent album, the vocals being the saving grace here.
The 12th album from this British band.
The band was a seven piece big band with a lineup of guitars, drums, bass, keyboards, violin, viola, cello, percussion, accordion and vocals.
The band was helped out by a string quartet, woodwinds and double bass.
One of the purposes of this blog is to find new bands I can follow. In the case of Big Big Train, that is very much the case. If the band release any more records and or gig my local town, I will be there.
Grand Tour follows on from the other albums of theirs.
Peter Gabriel'ish vocals and a lot of Genesis like symphonic and neo-prog. Big Big Train has taken this concept a lot further with string and woodwinds.
The songs has got a very big and complex production. It is therefore no surprise that the album ticks in at seventy-five minutes.
These minutes covers a lot of ground. Most of it symphonic without being classical music. The roots are clearly neo-prog.
The music is very good throughout. This album is a smorgasboard for those of us who likes symphonic neo-prog. There is no better band in this sub-genre of the neo-prog genre than Big Big Train.
My only gripe is the lack of a great track and some better song writing. That aside, this album is recommended.
Tuesday, 24 December 2019
The fifth album from this British band.
The band was a nine piece big band on this album with a lineup of woodwinds, bass, drums, guitars, piano, electric piano, organ, percussion and vocals.
I very much liked their debut album, but has so far not been able to get their second, third and fourth album yet.
Waterfall sees the band continue down the brass rock path. An obvious reference is Blood, Sweat & Tears.
There is a lot of fusion here and a lot of soul here.
The music is melodic with lots of brass and guitar solos. The vocals are really good too.
The music is full of energy and it is difficult not to fall for a lot of the music. The music has indeed a lot of good details.
A couple of good songs also makes this album a worthwhile listen. It is another album from this era well worth checking out.
Monday, 23 December 2019
The 13th album from this Swedish band.
The band was a quintet on this album with a lineup of drums, guitars, timpani, synths, keyboards, bass, organ, moog, mellotron, ukulele, marimba, glockenspiel, vibes and vocals.
Three other musicians provides viola, violin and extra vocals.
The Flower Kings is as close as you can get to a royal family in the prog rock world. The members is involved in all other types of projects and is everywhere.
It is though six years since the last The Flower Kings album. That is a long time to wait for another album. An album which was a bit on and off at times. I thought they had called it a day two years ago.
Their sound and style has not changed much during their years. The band has more or less, together with Kaipa, invented the Scandinavian Symphonic Prog sound and genre.
This album gives us eighty-five minutes of this genre and sound. Lots of harmonies throughout. Lots of symphonic prog workouts.
And that is what this album gives us.
What it does not give us is many good songs. This is by far their most uninspired album. There is not much to remember this album for.
This is a decent to good album and a disappointment.
Sunday, 22 December 2019
The one and only album from this Italian band.
The band was an eight piece big band with a lineup of drums, synths, bass, flute, marimba, glockenspiel, keyboards, percussion, guitars, electric piano and vocals.
St. Tropez is Celeste under a different name. This album has therefore been included in the big Celeste box released some years ago.
The music is not in the same genre as Celeste was and still is.
This album well over an hour long and most of it is space rock. Pure space rock. Then there is some RPI and some fusion. There is also some Camel like symphonic prog here too.
It seems like the band has improvised most of this album. And they have let themselves going out on a tangent.
The music is at times very hard and comes as a shock to those who love Celeste. Me too do that. I got my shock, indeed.
I am also stirred by this album as there is a lot of good things going for it. It also has a good Italian ambience with a laid-back feeling.
The end result is a good album and one to check out. It is indeed a bit of a hidden gem.
The fifth album from this Brazilian band.
The band was a quintet on this album with a lineup of moog, guitars, bass, drums, sitar, keyboards and vocals.
Their last album Jardim Eletrico was a pretty bad album. The band was experiencing some substance abuse after the release of that album and I did not have much hope for Mutantes E Seus.... this long titled album.
And the album starts with a horrible rockabilly pastisj too. My expectation hit the floor and I braced myself for some heartbreaking listening sessions.
They did not turn out that way.
The and continued on from the rockabilly with a good ballad in the The Beatles vein and then some psych folk rock and tropico pop. A bit mad but not bad at all.
The real good stuff comes at the end when the band breaks out into ELP and Yes territory. A path they were going to follow for the rest of their career, I have been told.
This album is clearly a transition album. Every minute of this album is a transition.
The quality is decent to good throughout this album. And my faith has been restored in this band as a result of this album. It is an album well worth checking out.
Saturday, 21 December 2019
The seventh album from this German band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, drums, bass and vocals.
They had help from some guest musicians who provided bass, drums, guitars, percussion and vocals.
RPWL is one of the biggest and most respected neo-prog bands from mainland Europe. Their first six albums cemented this position.
Some of the members are also having solo-careers and other projects. As a musical collective, they are very productive.
Nevertheless, I wish they had also given us more RPWL albums.
Their brand of neo-prog is pretty spacey and psych at times. A good reference is Pink Floyd and the band has never really moved away from this association. And why should they ?
Their brand of neo-prog is highly effective, melodic and full of good details.
The only gripe I got with this album is a missing great track or two. Besides of that, this is very much an enjoyable album.
It is indeed a very good album from a band who never fails to give me enjoyable music.
The 29th album from this British band.
The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of drums, bass, theremin, keyboards, synths, fiddle, percussion and vocals.
Dave Brock is what remains of the classic lineup and he is running the band by now.
That is not bad at all. Thirty-one albums released to this date is very impressive.
Their albums after 1978 has been a bit hit and miss. But I am surprised how much hits they have managed on their last twenty odd albums.
Into The Woods, with almost an identical logo shared with a Norwegian band of the same name, is an album who starts at full speed down a motorway. Space rock meets punk rock and it is pretty primitive. And pretty good too.
The album takes another turn and becomes both spaced out as in space rock and........ melodic.
We then continues with some space rock before the album ends after one hour.
It is an hour with far better music than I expected. The vocals are really cool and the album has a cool space rock vibe throughout. This band was very much one of the bands who invented space rock and they are not afraid of reminding us about it on this album.
The end result is a good album and one I very much would recommend. Check out this album.
Friday, 20 December 2019
The third album from this Italian band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, keyboards, percussion and vocals.
Some guest musicians helped them out with saxophones and vocals.
It has been seven years since the release of their second album. I did not like that album at all so I did not miss the band, to be brutally honest.
Apofenia is an unmistaken RPI album though. A through and through Rock Progressive Italiano album.
It is also totally different from their second album. Hence, I am surprised. Very surprised.
This album is over seventy minutes long. And it has cascades of female vocals, male vocals and a lot of music in between. The songs are around ten to fifteen minutes long. They are not really songs. They are compositions.
These compositions are really lush and full of colours. The music is epic but not so heavy. The long instrumental bits are sometimes bordering to cinematic music. They are still very much symphonic.
A real killer track or two would have elevated this album to a great album.
Nevertheless, this is a very good album and one to really enjoy. And believe me, I have.
The second album from this British artist.
Peter Hammill did the vocals, harmonium, piano, mellotron and guitars himself on this album.
He had help from four other musicians who provided flute, saxophones, bass, drums, percussion, organ and pianos.
Peter Hammill follows up his good debut album with this rather classic vintage album.
The guest musicians here was all members of Peter Hammill's main band Van Der Graaf Generator. So why is this not a VDGG album ? The reason is obvious when you start to listen to this album.
The music is very stripped down with Peter's vocals and some sparse use of instruments.
The music is mostly very dark. And they are very much like VDGG without instruments.
Peter's vocals are good and fills out the space on this album.
Unfortunate, the songs here are not particular good. I am not sure if this stripped down version of VDGG manages to carry a full album. There is some sax, flutes, piano and guitars here. But not enough to really makes this an album fully vocals dominated.
There are some good details here and Peter's vocals are really good. Besides of that, this is a decent album.
Thursday, 19 December 2019
The one and only album from this Israeli band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of charango, guitars, grand piano, drum programming, synths, mandolin, darbuka drums and vocals.
The band had some help from guest musicians who provided violin, flute and backing vocals.
This was an album I was really looking forward to review so I saved it up for the festive season... and my well deserved holiday.
And the opening minutes was very promising indeed. Folk rock. That is good enough for me.
.... Then this album takes a bit of a disturbing turn.... Half-acoustic guitars with female vocals and just that. Dull it is and a bit of a challenge to stay awake during the many listening sessions I gave it.
The album turns more towards symphonic prog at the end with a lot of Jethro Tull influences too.
Eclectic prog, it is.
Eclectic, but not that exciting.
There are indeed some good parts here. Nevertheless, a large part of this album is rather unremarkable and decent. Hence my rating.
The debut album from this Finnish band.
The band is a sextet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion and vocals.
I have never heard about this band before I got this album. The band is one of the many debuting bands this year.
That keeps this great progressive rock scene alive and it is great that we have so much talents around.
I could not be more happy than I am now.
The music on this three quarters of an hour long album is somewhere between neo-prog, djent and progressive metal.
The music is pretty harsh at times with some djent and nu-metal influences.
The music is also pretty melodic at times with some strong Genesis influences.
The vocals is very muscular and in the progressive metal vein. They are well suited for this kind of music.
The end result is a decent to good album where the band has not come up with not good enough stuff to really please me.
The debut album from this British band.
The band was a quintet on this album with a lineup of keyboards, synths, bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
I will review their albums this winter and the coming spring. Which will be a pleasure as this is one of the best neo-prog bands of all time.
The band had already released a cassette album by now and they were well rehearsed and ready when they recorded this album.
This album therefore sounds very professional and the band knew what they wanted.
The opening twenty minutes long opus The Last Human Gateway proved that. It sets the tone and their style.
... Which is a mix of Marillion, whose debut album was also released in 1983, and Genesis.
Peter Nicholls vocals is pretty similar to Peter Gabriel and the band is leaning pretty heavy on Genesis. But they are not a copycat.
IQ very much had their own style here and this forty minutes + album set stated this case.
This is indeed a good album with some very good stuff and some not so good stuff. It is an album well worth checking out.
Wednesday, 18 December 2019
The debut album from this new Norwegian project.
Telepath is Jacob Holm-Lupo on synths, bass and drums.
He is helped out by two guitarists.
Jacob Holm-Lupo is a man I have known about for the last quarter of a century. We have had sporadic contact during these years.
He is also mostly known from White Willow and Opium Cartel. During the last years, he has also become a producer and coop on other projects.
Lars Fredrik Froislie from White Willow and Wobbler does a lot of the guitars here too.
This project is Jacob Holm-Lupo's revisit of the good old metal scene from the 1990s. A scene he was a part of despite of being a dedicated proghead back then. He still have half a leg in the metal scene.
So this forty minutes long album gives us instrumental thrash and doom metal.
But most of all; this album gives us instrumental music most influenced by cinematic music and not at least; Goblin.
Fans of Goblin will find a most enjoyable album here. And Goblin themselves will find a most agreeable indirect tribute to themselves in this album.
The music is more metal than Goblin has ever been..... but it is still in that area.
The music is indeed also good throughout. This is a good reconnection with the 1990s metal scene and synth based metal from that era. It is an album well worth checking out.
The second album from this Polish band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and female vocals.
I liked their 2013 debut album Like A Drug. Good neo-prog. A bit too much on the safe side was my only gripe with that album and I wrote so in my review.
The world has moved on and so has my world. I now like neo-prog from Poland and regard their scene among the best in the world. So no more bad words about Poland and their neo-prog scene.
I have not heard any more news..... But I have not been searching for it either..... about this band. I hope they are alive & well.
The music on this album is a mix of neo-prog and gothic metal.
The music is pretty hard throughout. The vocals is really good and Patrycja Mizerska deserve a lot of praise for the vocals here. She is one of the better ones in the scene.
The music is backing up the vocals and is pretty flawless with nothing bad to report.
There is no great piece of music here and that is my gripe with this album. These sixty-five minutes is enjoyable though and gives a lot of value for the money.
This is a good album from a good band. Check it out.
The second album from this French band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of saxophones, drums, bass, guitars, flute, harmonica and vocals.
This band was one of the founders of the RIO movement. Rock In Opposition in other words. Other bands was Henry Cow, Stormy Six, Samla Mammas Manna and Univers Zero.
This band is true royal blood, in other words.
The music is proper avant-garde too. The basis is French folk rock and vaudeville.
The band has then added some theater music, mad jazz and French vocals to this mix.
And there is a lot of weirdness going on here. Most of it is lost due to my lack of French language skills. Or perhaps I have been lucky.... Most probably the latter one.
The music is full of more or less harmonic saxophones and vocals. The vocals is more or less shouted throughout. The bass, the good bass is keeping it together.
This is avant-garde at the more extreme end of the spectrum. The music on this forty minutes long album is also pretty dissonant.
It is a decent to good album though and one for those who likes avant-garde music.
Tuesday, 17 December 2019
The debut album from this UK band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
This band is an obscure band and barely a footnote in the history of British hard rock/blues..... which is a great shame.
The band was regarded as very talented and the new big hope before they signed... on the wrong record label. That sunk the ship and this album sunk without a trace.
Taken Led Zeppelin's success into consideration, that fate was very unjustified.
The music on this album is hard blues. There is a lot of Led Zeppelin hints on this album. But Rumplestiltskin is not as blues as Led Zeppelin.
There is no Robert Plant and Jimmy Page here. But there is some good vocals. The music has some beat and soul too.
... And a lot of hard rock.
This forty minutes long album would had been a pretty big album back then if it had been released on the right label. There is no doubts about that among those of us who has listen to this album.
The album feels a bit dated. It is still a decent to good album. It is also an album well worth your attention.
The second album from this Italian artist.
Habelard2 is Sergio Caleca on drum programming, guitars and synths.
This album is a re-recording of the 1990 demo-album of the same name with five extra tracks. Which is fair enough and a good reason to review the 2015 album.
In my review of the debut album, I said I did not like the music at all. So I was not looking forward to reviewing this album at all.
Il Ritorno Del Gallo Cedrone offers us a lot more developed pieces of music than the debut album did.
The music is still instrumental.
The music is also very much in the Goblin vein with some dark pieces of music.
The music is in general very cinematic and should appeal to those who likes ambient cinematic music.
There is also a couple of more muscular, instrumental tracks.
The music is not bad at all. This album is decent enough but not something I would associate with proper RPI. But fans of Goblin may disagree with me.
Monday, 16 December 2019
The fourth and final album from this British band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, lap steel guitar, percussion and vocals.
Also Eden was around a lot when I got bitten by the prog rock bug. I reviewed their debut album and their vocalist is on my Facebook friends list. But that is all.... So it is about time to dig out this album to give it a review. The two others are scheduled in for review next year.
The band is very influenced by Marillion. Both the Fish era and the non-Fish era of Marillion, in fact. Other references are Galahad and IQ.
The music is also very heavy at times. The opening song Red River is very heavy. There is even some djent influences here on this album.
The rest of the album is not that hard. But it is still not an album for the faint hearted and those who are looking for more pastoral progressive rock.
The sound is very modern and the vocalist does a good job.
This is not the most interesting neo-prog album I have ever heard. But there are some really good details and melody lines. Under doubt, I awards it a good rating.
Sunday, 15 December 2019
The 17th album from this British band.
Jeff Lynne did all the guitars, piano, keyboards, bass, percussion and vocals on his own on this album.
Two guest musicians added tambourine and some piano.
.....Hmm... I did not really know what to make out of a new ELO album. But I got it as I got a lot of respect for both Jeff Lynne and ELO.
Not everything they have done has been relevant to me. But I still respect them a lot. So a review, it will be.
Jeff Lynne was obviously a big part of Travellin Wilburys and has worked with Sir Paul McCartney too. That is obviously on this album.
We are not finding much of the good old ELO from the 1970s here.What we get is the mix The Beatles and a bit of the good old ELO.
Having been 50 years in this business, I almost expected a half-baked album from Jeff Lynne. I was wrong. The music sounds very sincere and new here. This is not left overs and this is not an addition to his pension fund.
The songs is full of vocal harmonies and his good voice. The music is not the most technical challenging. He proves that he is a good guitarist though.
He is also proves that he still knows how to write good songs. The title track is a good one and so is a couple of other songs. Jeff Lynne has by no means shamed himself on this album. An album full of charming songs. And what more can we expect from Jeff Lynne anno 2019 ?
The eight album from this US band.
The band was an eight piece big band on this album with a lineup of woodwinds, bass, guitars, keyboards, percussion, drums, strings and vocals.
They had help from some guest musicians who provided mellotron, bass, guitars, steel drums and piano.
.. And I have no idea why this, their eight album is named X.
Chicago albums was a bit of a hit and miss in those days. They sometimes went pop and sometime a lot harder than pop. Harder and a lot more interesting.
Chicago X is a mix of pop and funk. Terry Kath's guitars still added a lot of quality to their music.... before he very tragic passed on.
There is some Peter Cetera tearful ballads here. His trademark in other words.
Some of this album is very funky too. Funky and bordering to disco.
This album has all the hallmarks of wanting to appeal to the masses and there is not much here to enjoy for those more interested in substance than cheap, bland music.
Terry Kath's guitars is the only interesting parts of this album. The rest is best forgotten.
The fifth album from this German band.
RPWL was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals.
It is years ago since I reviewed a RPWL album or even interviewed the band. The band has got a lot of side-projects and they has come up for review on a reasonable regular basis.
RPWL's music is like Pink Floyd going neo-prog. That is in essence what their music is.
Their music is pretty laid-back and melodic throughout.
It is also very elegant with a great deal of class.
The band is rightly regarded as one of the best neo-prog bands around.
The music on this seventy odd minutes long album is clinical and right. Lot's of solos and some very good vocals.
There is no real great songs here though and that is a bit of a problem. Yes, I like to listen to this album but it leaves me a bit empty.
Nevertheless, this is a good album from a great band. Check it out.
Saturday, 14 December 2019
The fifth album from this Hungarian band.
Solaris is a seven piece big band on this album with a lineup of tambourine, drums, bass, guitars, flute, keyboards, percussion and vocals.
The band had some help from some guest vocalists.
This album is the continuation of the 1999 album who were called Nostradamus. That is their most known and most selling album too.
The band is pretty big in Hungary, but I am still surprised that they have returned again for another album.
We are talking symphonic prog here. Symphonic prog of the more classical music inspired sort.
The music twists and turns through frequent use of flute, vocals and keyboards. There is also some good guitars on this forty minutes plus long album.
And most of the music on this album really works. There are even a couple of very good melodies here.
This is a concept album and that comes through loud and clear. It has a lot of interesting stuff and is pretty coherent.
This is a good album well worth checking out.
The fourth album from this British band.
The band was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, saxophone, drums, violin and vocals.
After their two first avant-garde prog albums, the band totally changed direction on their third album and become a much more of a folk rock album.
The band continues down the same path here with a mix of blues, folk and country music.
There is also some soul music here too.
The vocalist David Arbus does a very good job on the vocals. The rest of the band is not of his standards.
This album is almost forty minutes long and there is not a single good song here.
There are some sprinkling of half-good details but that is all.
This is a decent enough album and barely that. This is not an album worth checking out.
The seventh album from this British artist.
Judy Dyble does the vocals and autoharp here while she has help from numerous other musicians who delivers strings, woodwinds, flute, uillean pipes, guitars, drums, bass, percussion, keyboards and backing vocals.
The music here is mostly written by Judy Dyble in cooperation with other musicians. There is also a couple of old songs here..... from what I understand.
Judy Dyble is 70 years young and as alive as ever. It is a human being I really admire and cherish.
She was once a member of Fairport Convention and some other bands. Her solo albums has all been good and interesting. She is still involved in many projects.
Earth Is Sleeping is a lush pastoral folk album based on her vocals. There is strong connections to classical music and some acid jazz here.
The music is also pretty quirky and full of details. The music is intelligent and sometimes gives the brain a workout.
The sound is airy and just like what Judy need to elevate the songs a bit towards heaven.
The end result is a good album from this artist who still gives and gives. Check it out.
Friday, 13 December 2019
The debut album from this British band.
The band was a seven piece big band with a lineup of guitars, bass, woodwinds, drums, percussion, organ, piano and vocals.
Brass rock was a genre in USA who gave us Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears. Other countries also got their own brass rock bands too.
If gave UK a good brass rock band and I have a handful of their albums up for review this winter.
... Starting with this, their debut album.
The music here is a mix of soul, blues and rock. There is also some jazz here as there is some hints of Soft Machine here. But those hints are only faint.
The bedrock is a mix of soul, blues and rock.
The woodwinds are everywhere. They do feel natural and organic here and the songs would simply not work without them. I state this although I am no fans of woodwinds at all.
The music is pretty catchy throughout. The songs are good and full of small, quirky details.
The end result is a good album and one to check out.
Wednesday, 11 December 2019
The 11th album from this German band.
The band is a trio on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
The band has been one of the leading bands in the European underground space rock scene for the last ten years. Both their gigs/tours and albums has got some really positive reviews.
I have myself reviewed all their albums this fall and have found some really good albums. Colour Haze is one of my alltime favourite space rock bands.
The band has started to develop in a slightly more melodic and refined direction on their three last albums. A welcome development although their first albums was also very good.
There is a lot more stoner rock in their space rock now than when they set out as a Hawkwind influenced band.
There is a lot more warmth in their music. It is not as pure dystopia as before.
The guitars are really good here where the guitarist is playing on much more various themes than before. The music is still space rock with a nod to Hawkwind during their first classic albums.
Even the vocals here are really good.
This seventy minutes long album really deliver some very good space rock and cement this band's position as one of the best in the scene. Get this album.
The one and only album from this South African band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, guitars, bass, violin and vocals.
I have never heard about this band before the luck of the draw meant I had to review this album. It is always interesting to find new and unknown bands and albums to review.
The band gives us a mix of post-rock and post-metal.
There is a lot of chugging guitars here. The use of violin is highly original and it gives the sound an almost whining soundscape.
The vocals are not too far away Radiohead's vocalist.
Some parts of this album has an half-acoustic sound too.
The music is melodic though and has a lot of this ebbs and flows we expect from post-rock. Some parts of this album is pretty naked and pastoral.
I am not going to claim that I know this post-metal and post-rock genre well as I am reviewing far too few albums in this genre. This album is pretty good......
It is indeed a decent to good album.
The sixth album from this US band.
The band is a sextet on this album with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, synths, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
The band waited nine years to follow up their great Pan An Urban Pastoral album from 2010. They had in the meantime almost left my radar.... but only almost as the Pan album was such a great album.
The band has some of the same members too.... but with a large difference.
The male vocals has been replaced by female vocals. And the vocals are not that good either.
The music is also a mix of neo-prog and rock too. Pretty standard stuff.
The album is seventy-five minutes long and it is not a particular well spent seventy-five minutes. Not from the band and not from the listener.
The music here is so generic and so bereft of quality music that it almost feels bad. Even the opera vocals feels standard and the musicians does not add much of value or originality either.
This album is sorely missing good songs and that is it's downfall. It is a decent enough album but just that.
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
The second and final album from this British band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, percussion, synths, keyboards and vocals.
Their self-titled debut album from the same year was actually quite a good album. It did not sell particular well in UK but did well in the mainland Europe and in America.
The band returned to studio to record this album before going on a tour where they split up before the release of this album.
The music on this album is a more southern rock than their debut album. You can clearly feel the breeze on an open top touring car on Route 66.
The music is still hard and bluesy.
Some of it is also melodic.
There is a lot of good variations on this album. That between hard and more melodic southern rock.
The quality is decent throughout. The band and their two albums is obscure for a good reason. Both of them are still well worth exploring, though.
The fourth album from this band from Brazil.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, guitars, bass, keyboards, percussion and vocals.
The band was also helped out by a symphonic orchestra.
The band had so far released three interesting, quite progressive albums. Their genre was Tropicano through but they made regular detours into prog rock and folky prog.
As I understand from other reviews, the band was a bit under pressure to adhere to some very strict censorship in the military junta misruled Brazil at that time. All sorts of expressions were put under scrutiny by the military leadership.
Os Mutantes bypassed this censorship by music and various not so logical sounds and detours into avant-garde and vaudeville on this album.
At lot of this album is pretty bonkers and weird. But under the circumstances, their attacks on the rulers of Brazil was understood by everyone except from these military rulers.
It is a protest album expressed by a mix of pop, folk, vaudeville and avant-garde rock.
The music is pretty wild throughout and not easy to grasp.
Nevertheless, the quality is not here and this is just a decent album and hopefully only a glitch in their career.
Monday, 9 December 2019
The eight album from this Italian band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of violin, piano, organ, guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
The band calls themselves Latte E Miele 2.0 after various changes of members. There is hardly a single original member left of the band who album debuted in 1972.
The music therefore comes as a bit of a surprise. That two accounts. First of all; there is not much of that mad violin player Niccolo Paganini here as I feared. His music was fast and the speed metal back in those days, two hundred years ago.
There is not much of that here and that comes as a relief.
The second surprise, and this too is a positive surprise, is the music.
The band has gone back to the roots of Latte E Miele and delivered us a good old RPI album. Good old but with a modern sound.
There is a lot of ELP here and there is a lot of the good old Latte E Miele here from the Papillion album. There is also a lot of classical music here intertwined with some good old Italian pop from those days.
This is short brings tears to the eyes of us RPI fans. Tears of joy.
Not everything here is fantastic and there is no great piece of music here. Nevertheless, this is a very good album who I will enjoy a lot in the coming years.
Sunday, 8 December 2019
The third album from this Germany based band.
The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of guitars, drums, bass, timbales, percussion, flute, saxophones, synths, mellotron, piano, organ, electric piano and vocals.
The band returned again with their third album after the not so good Entrance album from the year before.
The band deliver us a mix of fusion, soul, blues, southern rock and krautrock on this album.
Well, maybe not so much krautrock this time around. The music has at least one and a half foot in America this time.
... Or southern rock to be more precise. There is also some US like pop here.
The music is still pretty hard and most of it does not take no prisoners. There is a lot of organ and guitar harmonies here. The sound is big with a lot of various instruments.
The sound is also very good and lets each instrument bloom and shine through.
The quality of the music is again decent to good. There is no outstanding tracks here. Nevertheless, this is an album well worth checking out.
The 11th album from this British band.
The band was now an eight piece big band with a lineup of cello, lute, mandolin, viola, violin, guitars, bass, flute, drums, percussion, piano, keyboards, banjo, celesta and vocals.
The band was helped out by a set of woodwinds and a string quartet.
This album is a mix of new songs and some extended versions of some songs from Folklore and Grimspound. Hence, this album clocks in at over seventy minutes long.
The band is now as the height of their creativity and popularity. Both of that shows here.
The cover art work says a lot about the music on this album. Well, most of all everything about the music here.
Big Big Sound takes us through a lush landscape. That is both on the original material and the extended versions. There is not much, if any differences between this these two sets of songs.
The music is epic symphonic at times and pastoral symphonic prog at times. On this album, we are really talking symphonic prog. Not perhaps as in Genesis, ELP and Yes. But more the way Big Big Train takes us through a railway in the middle of England. One of the sidelines to the main lines.
David Longdon's vocals is superb as usual and the band backs him up with some lush playing.
This is a very good album from a band who has got a new fan in me.... building up on their last albums. I am converted.
Saturday, 7 December 2019
The 28th album from this UK band.
The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of synths, keyboards, bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
The band has returned again with with David Brock at the helm. This band debuted in 1969 and is still going strong. Which is remarkable !
This time, we get another concept album. One hour long, no less.
The album starts out as a punk album before becoming the good old space rock this band invented.
From there on, this album takes the concept album genre route with some ambient stuff and some neo - classical stuff too. There is a lot of genre jumping on this album and variations.
There is also some funny ditties around here.
All of it sounds like Hawkwind though. The music is Hawkwind and David Brock and there is never any doubts about that.
The music is pretty much good... well, it is a good album throughout. This album does not shame the Hawkwind legacy.
Friday, 6 December 2019
The debut album from this US band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, mandolin, synths, bass, drums and vocals.
This band is a side-project of three Spock's Beard members and they are joined by the fourth member. The result is this band. A band I hope will stay around for sometime.
The music is off course not a million miles away from Spock's Beard.
The music can be labeled at US neo-prog.
The music here is really catchy and hooks based. It is also very melodic. There is some bites here and there from a chugging electric guitars. But the music is never really hard.
There is a lot of vocal harmonies throughout this album. More than I am used to from a prog rock band. There is also lots of guitar harmonies.
The music is dynamic and full of life, though.
The music is also good and offers up a lot of delights....to start with. My gripe is the lack of any really great songs. There is none here.
This is a more than acceptable debut album and we can only hope for some helpings from this band.
Thursday, 5 December 2019
The second album from this Finnish project.
Riveryman is a one-man project from Toni Jokinen who does the guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals.
He is helped out by a drummer and an extra keyboardist.
Toni Jokinen is a product of music academies and other rock bands. He is a professional musicians who is using Riveryman as his solo-project/hobby.
The music has it's basis in neo-prog. From there, it branches into neo-classical music and jazz.
There is also some metal here but not much. The music is pretty epic at times.
It is really limited what you can do with a one-man band. And the limits is pretty obvious here.
The sound is a bit thin and not muscular enough. The keyboards and bass sounds a bit on the primitive side and Toni plays it safe on these two instruments.
The vocals is not good at all. Toni should get a dedicated vocalist on the next album.
The songs are decent enough but does not really rise the album up from that level. This fifty minutes long album is pretty dull at times and is not really that interesting.
This is a decent album but nothing more, I am afraid.
The second album from this UK band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, keyboards, bass, guitars and vocals.
Three guest musicians added their keyboards, moog and piano.
This band released their first album some years ago without any fanfare. I am not really able to find it... but I have not really tried that hard. Then the band need an xtra keyboards and one member of the band ask a friend who then ask Rob Reed in Magenta and White Knight Records to add the keyboards. Rob Reed, a really heavy-weight in the British prog rock scene, likes the band so much he adds the keyboards and sign the band. Hence, the band get a lot more publicity.
...Something they really deserve as their music is pretty commercial.
The band is run by Alice Freya on vocals and guitars. She has some very good vocals and a personality to add to it.
Her vocals fits in very well on an album of a mix of neo-prog, prog metal, rock and pop. Yes, commercial prog indeed.
There is a lot of integrity in their music though. The music is commercial, but also honest and comes from their hearts.
There is a lot of good stuff here. Well, everything is good here. From the small details to the big songs. There is a lot to enjoy here. This album is indeed a good album and I hope the band get a bit more of a push. In that case, we will be talking about the future of British progressive rock.
Wednesday, 4 December 2019
The 21st album from this German band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of bass, keyboards, drums, guitars and vocals.
The band has had an interesting career with some ups and downs.
Their output has been on an upwards curve since the last album, the album before this album. The album called What If My Black Cat Is An Alien from last year. A really good album.
Yes-2-5-Roger-Roger gives us six songs and one hour of music. Most of the songs are over ten minutes long.
The music is space rock with a lot of psych and krautrock influences. Well, maybe it is krautrock and not space rock. The music is really medium spaced out with a lot of Eloy influences.
Dice has indeed occupied a lot of Eloy's territory on this album. The music has a lot of long guitar solos intertwined with some half-poor vocals and some good keyboards.
The vocals is not good at all. But they do not detract too much from the good music here. And the music is really good.
Dice is on a comeback and I can only applaud this band for their two last albums. Two good albums. Of the two albums, this is the best one by a fraction or two.
Surprise yourself and check out this album.
The debut album from this British artist.
The Van Der Graaf Generator frontman Peter Hammill did the vocals, piano and guitars on the album.
He was helped out by other greats in the scene who provided guitars, bass, mandolin, harp, saxophones, organ, piano, drums, percussion and vocals.
I have always been a Van Der Graaf Generator fan and an admirer of Peter Hammill. I have been aware of his solo albums and have been collecting some of them.
These are now up for review this winter in this blog.
.... Starting with his debut album which I have heard is a bit different from the other albums.
Peter Hammill's vocals is pretty evident from the start to the finish. There is a lot of the same structures in the songs here as we finds on a good VDGG album. The dramatic melancholic vibe.
The music on this album is a lot lighter and a lot more poppy than the VDGG albums from that time. Albums who were pretty dark.
This album is almost light and sunny compared to the VDGG albums. It still has a melancholic edge.
The music is good throughout and that makes it an enjoyable album. I am pretty sure I will become a fan of his solo albums too.
The debut album from this British band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, drums, percussion, bass, keyboards and vocals.
The band was a short lived band who released two albums and then broke up.
The band had some success in Holland and Germany which they were touring. They made no impact in their homeland whatsoever. An US tour split the band up halfway through the tour and the musicians went on to form and play for other bands.
Ross was a hard rock band. This album is indeed a hard rock album.
There are some nuances here though.... Some of the songs are pretty melodic. Melodic but not soft. There are some catchy riffs and hooks here. Something that makes me wonder if this band and album ever got a fair chance.....
There are even some psych rock here and a couple of songs are even in the southern rock vein.
The piano, guitars and the vocals are really good here. Not all the songs are up to the same level.
This is an album well worth checking out though....
Tuesday, 3 December 2019
The sixth album from this British artist and singer.
The real artist title is Judy Dyble & Andy Lewis. The latter one was the bass player for Paul Weller and in The Jam. He is now a producer.
I am not entirely sure who also takes part on this album. There is flutes, strings, guitars, bass, keyboards, drums and drums on this album.
The music is described as acid folk and these two Dyble & Lewis albums is regarded as being a bit different than her five solo albums.
I am not so sure about that.
I see Summer Dancing as a logical move from her 2013 album Flow And Change.
The music is indeed acid folk with Judy Dyble's excellent vocals on the top of the music. Her vocals is sometimes a bit distorted. Acid, may I say.
The music is still folk rock and the roots are still Fairport Convention.
And the music on this forty odd minutes long album is really good. It is well crafted and the melodies are both complex and good. Plenty of interesting details throughout this album can be found too.
This is an album well worth checking out.
The one and only album from this Australian project/band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars and keyboards.
They had help from some guest musicians who provided organ, electric cello, bass, cello, saxophone, flute, synth, guitars and percussion.
This project is a studio project put together by the composer and producer Peter Dawkins. It is about the four elements of the Zodiac.
Four long compositions equals forty-two minutes.
The music is a mix of symphonic prog, jazz, psych rock, hard rock and fusion.
Some of the music most of all sounds like jam pieces. But these parts are still properly structured.
Only for the grace of Progarchives has this album still got a life instead of being forgotten. And it should not be forgotten. There are some decent to good stuff here.
Nevertheless, some of the stuff here is unremarkable and keeps it difficult to concentrate on listening to this album. It is a bit third rate, the music here.
It is still an album well worth checking out for those who can find an hour and the album on Youtube. It is a decent enough album.
The fourth album from this Swedish band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, grand piano, keyboards and vocals.
I am by no means a fan of super-groups and one off projects. So I ignored their first two albums.
Evidently, I have been wrong about this band from the very first beginning. This is a band and this is far from being a run of the mill project too.
That was very much proved by their third album HFMC from 2015 and you can find my review here.
Hasse Froberg and his band mates has something to say about who is the best Swedish symphonic prog band this year..... or during the last years.
This album is a fully blooded Swedish symphonic prog album in the vein of The Flower Kings. A band who has recently also released a new album. Me ? I am not complaining.....
The music on this album is epic, symphonic and wrapped up in a warm sound where the guitars and the vocals really burns brightly. Ditto for the keyboards.
This album is at times a real smorgasboard where my only gripe is the lack of a true great songs.
Nevertheless, this is a very good album and one who keeps the cold weather away.