Saturday 29 February 2020

Overworld Dreams - Gateway (2020)

The second album from this US band.

The band is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.

I really liked their 2018 debut album Voyage and you can find my review of that album somewhere else in this blog.

The band continues down the road they started out on with Voyage.

That means US neo-prog.

The music is very lively and uptempo throughout most of this album. That does not means metal. The music is more epic neo-prog than progressive metal.

There is a lot of Rush influences in their music, indeed.

The vocals are good and there is a lot of interesting details in their music.

The last ten minutes of this album is taken over by some ambient music. I am not sure what the point of these ten minutes are. These ten minutes are rather good and is not a waste of time.

This is another good album from this band and I hope to hear more from them in the future.

3 points

Friday 28 February 2020

Transport Aerian - Therianthrope (2017)

The fifth album from this band from Belgium.

The band is Hamlet on guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
He had help from numerous other musicians who provided dulcimer, hammond organ, violin, spoken words, hurdy gurdy, chapman stick, keyboards and vocals.

This is the second album from this project I have heard and it is also so far their latest album.

Hamlet continues down the same road as on the previous album. Some pretty dark, avant-garde post metal.

The sound is still pretty positive and not all out gloom. There are indeed some prog here too.

Most of the album is small musical pieces who follows each other on a random basis.

Avant-garde it is, indeed.

The quality is pretty decent throughout. I am failing to connect to this album so I am a bit lost here.

Nevertheless, fans of avant-garde gloomy post metal should like this album better than I do. I am not a fan of this album.

2 points

Jade Warrior - Last Autumn's Dream (1972)

The third album from this British band.

The band was a trio with a lineup of guitars, tablas, percussion, bass, flutes, piano, congas and vocals.
Two guest musicians helped out on drums and guitars.

This is, from what I understand, their final album before they turned into a more world music band.

The music here is a mix of weirdo British humour, space rock, eclectic prog, avant-garde and some more melodic psych and progressive rock.

The music sounds very eclectic on this album and it has some subtle world music influences. There is also some raga-rock and krautrock influences here.

Jade Warrior was a band who did it their way and that is obvious on this album. An album who also includes some very good guitars and flute solos. The vocals is good too.

Some of the music is also pretty funky and jazzy.

There is a lot of variations and details on this album. It is an unusual album by all means.

It is still a good album which has a lot to offer the listener. Check it out.

3 points

Thursday 27 February 2020

Opeth - In Cauda Venenum (2019)

The 13th album from this Swedish band.

Please note that this album comes in both a Swedish and an English version. I have reviewed the English version.

The band is a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, minimoog, mellotron, grand piano, harpsichord, fender rhodes, percussion, drums, hammond organ and vocals.

I have reviewed their first twelve albums in (first) #1 of this blog and this blog. I really liked reviewing those albums as they tells a fascinating story about a band going from death metal to progressive rock.

There is no doubts that Opeth is now one of the leading progressive rock bands after migrating slowly over from the death metal genre. The very good reviews from the prog rock fans proves that this transformation has succeeded.

There is no metal at all on this album. OK, the music is a bit harsh on one of the songs. But that is more than acceptable.

The music is epic and full of interesting details throughout this album. The vocals are great and ditto for the musicianship.

My only gripe is the lack of any big variations in their music. That aside, this is a very good album and one to check out.

3.5 points

Syd Arthur - On An On (2012)

The second album from this British band.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, violin, mandolin, piano and vocals.

I reviewed their fourth and so far last album some time ago in this blog and liked that album. So I got one more of their albums..... this one.

I am not alone in liking this band. They are quite popular.

The band is a progressive and psychedelia version of Coldplay and Radiohead.

Add some The Beatles and Barclay Harvest Band too and you get this album.

The songs is medium long and pretty effective. The band gets what they want from these minutes.

The violin and mandolin adds a lot of hippie flower power and apple orchards feeling to this album. This is a sunny album, indeed. There is still enough bite in this album to give it a lot of interesting details.

On the top of this, we get some very good vocals indeed.

The end result is a good album from a band well worth following a bit more closely.

 3 points


Wednesday 26 February 2020

Broken Bridges. The - Endless Road (2019)

The debut album from this band from Poland.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals.

The Broken Bridges is another addition to the Polish neo-prog scene. A scene that still continues to give and give.

Their lineup is the traditional bass, drums, keyboards and guitars. The vocals are in English. The usual one.

The songs is pretty muscular with a lot of Pink Floyd (the Gilmour era) influences and a lot of British and German neo-prog influences.

The vocals are good and the other musicians fills in and falls out on the right places.

The songs are long. There is some good details in the songs on this fifty minutes long album.

The quality is acceptable, this being a debut album. The band has still some way to go in the quality aspect of the songs.

This is a decent to good album.

2.5 points

Tuesday 25 February 2020

Hammill. Peter - Nadir's Big Chance (1975)

The fifth album from this British artist.

Peter Hammill does the clavinet, electric piano, piano, bass, guitars and vocals himself.
Three other musicians, all from Van Der Graaf Generator, contributes with organ, bass, electric piano, drums, tambourine, flute, saxophones and backing vocals.

The fifth album from this very productive artist.

The lineup on this album is the same as Van Der Graaf Generator. Is it a VDGG album ?


The music is singer-songwriter with a lot of dissonances and a very dark sound. VDGG fans will recognize the sound. But not the music.

The vocals are pretty harsh at times. The harshness is shared by the saxophones who together creates some dissonance. This is by no means a normal singer-songwriter album.

The vocals is also pretty good too and the rest of the musicians does a good job.

The music are all good and this is another good example why Peter Hammill is onto something in his solo-career.... and in Van Der Graaf Generator.

3 points

Tolar. JS - Dark Eternal Future (2019)

The second album from this US band.

JS Tolar now had help from a drummer, bassist and female vocalist. He himself did the synths, guitars and vocals.

Their first album was quite a good album. An album somewhere between neo-prog and progressive metal. Most progressive metal, though. See the review somewhere else in this blog.

JS Tolar continues down the same path with this album.

There is a some djent and post-metal on this album and that is the main difference between this album and the debut album. There is still some neo-prog left here.

I think modern progressive metal is the best label here. There is a lot of twists and turns here. The emphasis is on the progressive bit in the progressive metal label.

There is some avant-garde and sampling bits here which is adding to the alienation feeling of this album. Strangely enough, this adds value to the album and makes it better.

Not everything here is good. But fans of progressive metal should check out this album as it is a fine slab of progressive rock and metal.

On balance, this is fairly good album and it is recommended.

3 points

Monday 24 February 2020

Swifan Eolh & The Mudra Choir - The Key (2019)

The debut album from this Norwegian band.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
Three guest musicians provided synth, piano, organ, mellotron and spoken words. Gilli Smyth from Gong did some post mortem spoken words from a sound file.

The band is a new band to me. I tried to review it last year but sort of gave up at the end. So I have returned to the album again with the view to review it properly this time.

The music is sunny rock with a lot of both hippie flower power west-coast rock and a lot of Canterbury prog too.

The mix of sunny female and male vocals gives this album a very nice ambience. The guitars are mostly half-acoustic and there is a nice sprinkling of organ, mellotron and piano too. The rhythm section keeps it all together.

There is also enough jazz here to keep the jazz fans on board. There is a lot of bohemian jazz here.

The end result is a good album who has a lot to offer to everybody.

This is another very welcome album from Norway and I hope we will soon get another album from this band.

3 points


IQ - Ever (1993)

The fifth album from this British band.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of mellotron, synths, keyboards, flutes, guitars, bass, percussion, drums and vocals.

IQ is one of the legends in the neo-prog scene. They debuted back in 1983 and released the very good The Wake album, their second album, before the rot set in. The next two albums was pretty poor.

The band somehow survived those two albums and continued on.

The band adopted a much more symphonic prog style and added that to their neo-prog. The pop flirting is gone and eradicated on Ever.

This despite of the rather cheeky cover art-work......

The music is all but cheesy, though. Long songs with a lot of very good themes and melodies. It also helps that Peter Nicholls vocals are very good too. The rest of the band does a very good job.

This is very good album indeed and one that flies the flag for the British neo-prog genre.

3.5 points

Sunday 23 February 2020

Svanfridur - What's Hidden There ? (1972)

The one and only album from this band from Iceland.

The band was a trio with a lineup of guitars, piano, bass, drums and vocals.
There are also some violins here.

This album has got a small cult status as it is from a country who is not associated with rock and pop. Well, Bjork, Solstafir and Sigur Ros has changed that. In the 1970s, only a handful of albums saw the light of day in Iceland.

Iceland is a beautiful island, though.

Svanfridur gives us forty minutes with a mix of rock, psych and blues rock. There are even some pretty avant-garde progressive rock here.

The sound is good. The music is pretty varied between some avant-garde progressive rock and some blues.

Unfortunate, there is not much to enjoy here. I am disappointed as I was looking forward to review this album.


1.5 points

Cosmic Circus - Cosmic Circus (2019)

The debut album from this band from India.

The band is a trio with a lineup of samples, guitars, bass, drums, synths and vocals.

The band label themselves as post-progressive. That label does not make sense at all. Or perhaps, it does on this album.

The album is a mishmash of all genres from occult rock via early 1970s heavy prog to symphonic prog to djent and progressive metal. Add some psych rock too and you get it.

Post-progressive rock therefore means development stopped up and frozen in time. Just as this album.
Most of the album can be compared to Marillion and Gazpacho too.

There are some very nice old style organs and keyboards sounds here. The vocals are good and the ambience is good.

This one hour long album, a debut album, is one of the better albums I have heard from India.

The art of really great songwriting has not graced this album, I am afraid.

That aside, this album is a more than acceptable album and one to check out.

2.5 points

Saturday 22 February 2020

Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow (1967)

The second album from this US band.

The band was a six piece on this album with a lineup of organ, piano, bass, guitars, drums, percussion and vocals.

The classic Jefferson Airplane took off on this album. Grace Slick was here and ditto for Marty Balin, Jorma Kaukononen and Paul Kantner.

Their biggest ever song/hit was also hidden at the end of this album. Step forward, White Rabbit.
Their best song here is Somebody To Love, though.... OK, White Rabbit is indeed a very good song, though. A classic from the San Fransisco scene.

The music here is psych west coast rock. Hippie and acid music.

Acid psych rock in other words. And it was pretty progressive too..... and their breakthrough album. It is indeed regarded as one of the great US rock album.

There is a lot of intricate male and female vocals here. The guitars, organs and rhythms is also intricate and full of intricate details.

There is a couple of fillers here..... Yes. But most of the songs are really good with White Rabbit and Somebody To Love being two very good songs.

This album even stands up to scrutiny these days and it is indeed a good album and one to really check out.

3 points

Transport Aerian - Darkblue (2015)

The fourth album from this band from Belgium.

The band is a duo with a lineup of guitars, drums, samples, programming, keyboards, bass and vocals.
Rachel Bauer does the female vocals while Hamlet does the male vocals and all instruments.

The band has been around for a time and I have heard about them before their two last albums came up for reviews.

Their music is a bit outside my comfort zone. But this is why I am running this blog..... to be challenged and to be enlightened.

The music is pretty dark and gloomy here. It is also gothic, but more like real gothic than most gothic bands and music these days.

There is also lots of electronica here and that adds quality to some pretty slow melodies where the ambience is the main point and not the fast developing melodies.

The music is slow and it is also good. So much that I am really enjoying this after the first listening sessions.

Check out this album if slow, dark music is your thing.

3 points

Friday 21 February 2020

Childwood - Opalessence (2020)

The debut album from this Dutch band.

The band is a sextet with a lineup of saxophone, double bass, guitars, electronics, drums, violin and vocals.

I have never heard about this band before. But new blood is always welcome.

It is doubtful that this band can be labeled as a progressive rock band if a narrow definition is being applied. Their music is indeed progressive though and breaking down genres. Hence this review.

Take a bit chunk of laid back jazz, add eclectic prog, art rock, contemporary jazz and some fusion.

The female vocals is bordering to operatic at times and the saxophone, alto saxophone, is very much dominant on this album.

There are some weird, jazzy rhythms and melodies here too. Some bohemian jazz rhythms and melodies.

The music is pretty melodic with some electronica and bass solos intertwined.

The band has still to hit the right tones. Nevertheless, this is a decent to good album and well worth checking out.

2.5 points

Krokofant - Q (2019)

The fourth album from this Norwegian band.

The band was a trio of drums, saxophone and guitars on this album.
They had help from a keyboards player and a bassist on this album and when playing live.

I have reviewed their first two albums in this blog and in # 1 of this blog. I liked their debut album a lot but not the follow up album.

The band continues down the eclectic jazz road. References are King Crimson and Mahavishnu Orchestra. But also add Elephant 9, Maschine Mass, Moraine and Doubt here. All of them more or less recent addition to the scene.

Krokofant belongs to the eclectic jazz scene and their music is not for the faint hearted.

It is pretty painful at times as it is really intense and hard hitting. 

There is also some mellow avant-garde electronica jazz here. But there is not many of those pieces.

Most of this album is really heavy.

The music is also very good and I (finally) like this band. There is a lot of very good stuff here and this is one of the better albums from last year.

3.5 points

Thursday 20 February 2020

East Of Eden - Armadillo (2000)

The tenth album from this British band.

The band was a trio on this album with a lineup of violin, viola, saxophones, bass, drum programming, guitars, synths and some vocals.

I have to admit this band is a bit of a mystery to me.

The band started out as an avant-garde band, moved to folk and country before then moving to jazz. 

Their 1997 album Kalipse was a gypsy jazz album. The band continues down that path with the one hour long Armadillo too.

There is a lot of saxophones here and a lot of violins too.

The violin solos is very much in the gypsy tradition and the music too is pretty much in that area.

The music is though pretty laidback and lets the solos get their own space. The music is nice enough, but not particular good or even exciting.

This is a decent enough album. But I cannot say it really makes me listen too much as the music is too standard laid back jazz.

2 points

Jadis - Across The Water (1994)

The third album from this British band.

The band was a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitars, drums, bass, flute, percussion, keyboards and vocals.

Jadis impressed me on their second album, their real debut album. Good, classy neo-prog in the English tradition.

The band continues on the same path on this album. Some lush and inviting cover-art work takes us to some really classy neo-prog.

The band is not re-inventing the wheel or the neo-prog genre on this album.  A three quarters of an hour long album.

The vocals, guitars and keyboards paints some really good melodies here which makes the sun shine in my office. It is not a dark neo-prog album. Neither is it a sugar-sweet neo-prog album.

Across The Water is a muscular album with some pretty heavy guitars now and then. It is still classic neo-prog which relies on the world created by Genesis and Marillion.

The songs are really good. My only gripe is a missing great track or two. Nevertheless, this is a good album and one for the neo-prog fans.

3 points

Tuesday 18 February 2020

Surprise - Assault On Merryland (1977)

The one and only album from this US band.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of flute, piccolo, trumpet, typani, drums, percussion, celeste, mini moog, moog, organ, grand piano, bass, guitars and vocals.

This band arrived, released this album and then disappeared again.

The band is supposed to be one of the bands in the US symphonic prog scene. I am surprised because this is now how I read this band's music.

Take a bit Blue Oyster Cult, some psych, some symphonic prog, new age and some straight rock. That is where you will find this album.

This album is also a concept album. I have no idea about what.

The music is melodic with some fairly good details. It feels a bit dull and the music is not really up to the required standard.

This is a decent to good album. It is nothing more than that though. But fans of US symphonic prog should get their compilation of US symphonic prog albums completed with this album.

2.5 points

Surgery - Ubermorgen (1980)

The one and only album from this German band.

The band was a seven piece big band with a lineup of guitar, bass, congas, drums, piano, electric piano, organ, saxophones, timpani and percussion.

This album is one of those the excellent label Garden Of Delights has picked up and saved for us and the future generations.

The original album was some forty minutes long. Garden Of Delights has added another forty minutes of archive material. I am reviewing the original 1980 album, though.

The music here is fusion with a lot of saxophones and congas. There is a thumping organ in the background and there is also some outbreaks of guitars now and then. The bass is pretty pulsating too.

The music feels more like jazz than fusion throughout this album. There is not much rock here at all. There is some prog though.... but not much.

There is a lot of solos on this album. Guitars, saxophones and organs. This ethos comes from the jazz scene.

There is also some Latin-American in their music. Quite a lot, in fact.

The end result is a decent album from a band who did not quite make it. It is still worth checking out.

2 points

Leb I Sol - Leb I Sol (1978)

The debut album from this band from Macedonia.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, keyboards and vocals in their local language.

Their country was Yugoslavia when the band recorded their first albums. After they reformed in 2006, they were a band from Macedonia. But the band was formed in Skopje, Macedonia in the 1970s.

I don't know much about the music scene in Macedonia and the country in general. I have heard it is a place everyone should visit on a holiday. Maybe, maybe....

Leb I Sol has released eleven albums. I got a handful of their albums and will review them this winter.

The band played a mix of fusion and some ethnic pop/rock music. Their guitarist Vlatko Stefanovski is regarded as a guitar hero. He get plenty of space on this album..... and he is indeed a superb guitarist who really deliver the goods on this album.

There are also some organ and vocals driven pop/rock here and those songs are really very good.

It is really a treat and a joy to discover obscure bands from the past who really deserve a lot more attention. This album is a very good album and I am pretty taken aback as I have never heard about this band and album before. I have now !!

3.5 points

Monday 17 February 2020

Tolar. JS - The Continuum (2014)

The debut album from this US band.

To my knowledge, this band is a guy called J.S Tolar on guitars and most other instruments. There is a drummer involved too. The lineup is guitars, bass, keyboards, drums and vocals.

Two albums has been released so far and both are available on CD Baby/Amazon and Bandcamp.

The music is a mix of neo-prog and progressive metal. There is also some djent here.

Porcupine Tree is a good references here.

The occasional piano pieces softens up the music and overall impression of this album. An album with some harsh guitar riffs and pretty melodic vocals.

The sound is really good and punchy.

Overall, the music is  more progressive metal than neo-prog. The music is fairly good and the music will be more to the liking for progressive metal fans than neo-prog and more traditional progressive rock fans.

This is a decent to good album though. JS Tolar is a welcome addition to the prog scene too.

2.5 points

Sunday 16 February 2020

Apairys - Vers La Lumière (2019)

The debut album from this French band.

The band is a trio with a lineup of keyboards, bass, guitars, drums and French vocals.

This album was released during the final month of last year and immediate made an impact. It got a "must check out" reputation. Some even rates it as one of the best albums of last year.

So what is all this about ?

The band has obviously been listening to French symphonic prog a lot. Ange springs to mind. There is also some folk rock here.

There is also a very strong element of progressive metal here. Most will label this somewhere between progressive metal and symphonic prog. And that is what I will do.

The vocals are really cool and gives an Ange feel. So does some of the melodies here. The music is very much drawing on the French music and culture too. No matter how much progressive metal you find here, you can still feel the chanson singers like Jaqcues Brel in the back of the sound.

The cover art-work also gives this album an ambience.

The songs on this almost fifty minutes long album is good to very good. It is obvious that this is a new very talented band from France and a very welcome one too. Check out this very good album.

3.5 points

If - Not Just Another Bunch Of Pretty Faces (1974)

The seventh album from this British band.

The band was a quintet on this album with a lineup of woodwinds, drums, bass, guitars, harpsichord, electric piano, organ, piano, vibes, congas and vocals.

Great Britain's best and most prolific brass rock band returned again with their seventh album.

The band was a mix of a progressive rock and a fusion band on their first albums. It was also a good band.

The cover art-work alludes to a much more folky and less ambitious music genre than prog and fusion.

The band has gone both soul and blues on this album. It is indeed a blues-soul album with a lot of rock too. Add southern rock to the picture too and you get this album and If anno 1974.

The brass is everywhere and the music is reasonably catchy. OK for a gig or a concert setting.

The vocals are good and the musicians does their best on some pretty sub-standard songs. But that is what they wanted those days, much more easier on the brain and ear music than the music on their first albums.

This is a decent enough album and just that.

2 points

Saturday 15 February 2020

Super Freego - Pourquoi Es Tu Si Méchant? (1982)

The one and only album from this French band.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of bass, guitars, woodwinds, keyboards, drums, percussion and vocals. Both male and female vocals.

The band is as rare as a Zeuhl band.

The music is unmistaken zeuhl, indeed. There is a lot of references to Magma here, indeed.

The vocals are in French and the music relies very heavy on the jazzy end of the zeuhl spectrum.

The female vocals gives their music a lot of light. Much more light than the normally very dark zeuhl you will find in Magma and some other bands.

There is a lot of woodwinds and jazzy guitars here. The bass is not as dark as on most zeuhl albums. It is still there and it is unmistaken zeuhl.

The music is pretty hyper and caffeine stained throughout this album.

The music is very funky and jazzy throughout. It is also pretty infectious. It can lead to movements of limbs and head from the listener.

It is a shame that this is the only album from this band as they were up to something good on this album. It is indeed a good album and one to check out.

3 points

Fall of Episteme - Fall of Episteme (2019)

The debut album from this Danish band.

The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals.

The band has an interesting history. They started out decades ago as Atlantis and they played the big festivals like Roskilde on an annual basis. No album was released though. So they broke up.

Years went and three of the original Atlantis members came back together to try music for a second time. Two of them and three others recorded this album and changed name to Fall Of Episteme.

This album is a mix of new songs and old, reworked songs from their Atlantis days.

The music on this album is neo-prog. No more and no less.

The music is dynamic with some prog metal influences. It is pretty complex neo-prog and melodic at the same time. Their neo-prog is more in the vein of the English original neo-prog genre than the more elaborate German and Polish take on neo-prog.

The vocals are really good and ditto for the other instruments.

The end result is a good album which I hope will be followed up with some more activities from this band.

3 points


Friday 14 February 2020

Os Mutantes - Tudo Foi Feito Pelo Sol (1974)

The seventh album from this band from Brazil.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, sitar, minimoog, organ, piano, wind, percussion and vocals.

The band lost Rita Lee, their main vocalist and musician after their sixth album. This album is therefore a new start, # 2 of Os Mutantes.

The band could have continued or even gone deeper down the tropico genre. A genre their first six albums were full of in addition to some avant-garde progressive rock.

But the band chose another road. A road a bit more traveled around the world.

There is still a lot of tropico and some avant-garde pop in their music. But the main genre is progressive rock.

Yes, that is the band Yes, is a surprisingly big reference on this album. That in a Latin-American and Os Mutantes coloured setup. There is also some of their previous folk rock here.

There is lot of minimoog and organs here. That in addition to some very good vocals. Rita Lee is suddenly not that missed after all (she was by now on a remarkable successful solo career).

There are some really complex symphonic prog here too and this album really soars high up in the sky at times.

It is by most means a remarkable album and a very good one too. I think I will put this album aside for the next years and lend more of my time to this album.

3.5 points

Chicago - Chicago 17 (1984)

The 14th album from this US band.

The band was an eight piece big band on this album with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, trombone, trumpet, woodwinds, bass, drums and vocals.
Numerous other musicians, including the whole of Toto and Donny Osmond added Latin percussion, moog, guitars, violin, woodwinds, synths, drums, bass and vocals.

Many years ago, this band released the self-titled album Chicago Transit Authority before they shortened their name just to Chicago. That album was a relevant, ground breaking album. The band was interesting.

Chicago anno 1984 is a totally different band again.

The founding member Peter Cetera with his ballads and his special vocals has now taken over the band. This is his final album with the band.

Chicago 17 is a mix of a funk brass rock album and a pop ballads album. It spawned four hit singles.
It has a happy chappy feeling and the 1980s sound.

It is not an album I find of much value. Luckily for the band, I am in a minority here as this is a zillions selling album and their biggest commercial hit to this date.

This album has some decent details and that is it. It is not a turkey. But I leave the band here and bypasses the rest of their albums.

Chicago is a fairly good band. As I am not a brass rock fan, I am not a fan. But check out this band. They deserve your attention.

1.5 points

Thursday 13 February 2020

Sunrise Auranaut - Way Of The King (2013)

The second album from this Russian one man band.

Sunrise Auranaut is Vitaly Kiselev on all instruments. I hear synths, flutes, guitars, bass and drums here. The latter one is programmed drums.

One-man-bands is something we have got a lot of from Russia (and Ukraine). Little Tragedies is one of the bands and they are comparable in style with Sunrise Auranaut.

Vitaly Kiselev follows in the Russian tradition in other words.

The music is based on keyboards and it is some form of symphonic prog with some classical music inspirations.

The keyboards sound is very good. It is strange how much the sound drops in quality when the electric guitar enters a melody. The guitar sound is pretty poor and totally out of tune with the rest of the music.

The acoustic guitars are OK though.....

This album clocks in at forty-five minutes and it is a bit difficult to find any good things to say about the music. It is OK and it does not shame anyone.

This is a decent album and that is it.

2 points

Minimum Vital - Air Caravan (2019)

The eight album from this French band.

The band is a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitars, percussion, flute, horn, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.

I have had the pleasure of reviewing their first albums and you will find the reviews in # 1 of this blog.

The band has always been making music somewhere in the borders between symphonic prog and medieval folk music.

The band is now a quartet again with the classic lineup and the album, released last December, shows the return of this band after a four year's long absence.

Their French vocals gives this album a different sound than most bands. I like the French language when used in progressive rock (and most other places too !).

The album is indeed a mix of medieval classic music and symphonic prog with a lot of French folk music into the mix too. The band is back to their best too and this almost one hour long album is what this band is all about: Stylish, classic French innovative symphonic prog.

It is great to see this band back again. They have been missed.

3.5 points

Wednesday 12 February 2020

Etron Fou Leloublan - Les Sillons De La Terre (1984)

The fourth album from this French band.

The band is a quartet with a line up of organ, tenor sax, drums, bass, baryton sax, alto sax and vocals.

This band is a founding member of the RIO scene. Rock In Opposition as it is called.

This also means avant-garde rock as it's most avant-garde. On the most avant-garde end of this genre, you find the albums (and concerts) from this band.

They are so much avant-garde that I got a very healthy respect for them. This review is therefore well over due. Ditto for my review of their fifth and final album which will come later this month.

Their music is based on the saxophones and the vocals. The music is a kind of avant-garde folk rock.

The music is pretty wild and very original. As I do not speak French, I feel that I am loosing out on the vocals and the excited shouting here.

The melodies, and yes, there are melodies here, is pretty good though and the music has some good details.

I totally get it that this band is popular among the avant-garde/RIO fans. This album is a bit on the incoherent side and not all of these forty minutes are good.

Nevertheless, this is a good album. It is an album prog fans should hear alongside their four other albums. This band is well worth an investigation.

3 points

Hawkwind - All Aboard The Skylark (2019)

The 31st album from the British band.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, keyboards and vocals.

Dave Brock is still at the helm. Richard Chadwick has been a full member (drummer) of the band since 1988 and he is also on this album.

It is very good that the band is still around as they are true legends of the scene. The are as Black Sabbath are to heavy metal. Genre makers and innovators, in other words.

There is a lot of acid psych on this album too. Most of this album is pretty left-field and spaced out.

There are also some more normal songs here too.

The sound is as primitive and dirty as it should be. Most people will complain. But this is what Hawkwind is and should sound like. The sound here is a plus in my books. 

The album is forty minutes long and comes with a bonus CD with acoustic versions of old songs. I have bypassed this disc in my review as it is only for die hard fans. It is not a bad disc though.

All Aboard The Skylark is a decent to good album though. Hawkwind has not disgraced themselves here. Is it their final album ? I doubt it.

2.5 points

Tuesday 11 February 2020

Jade Warrior - Released (1971)

The second album from this British band.

The band was a trio on this album with a lineup of congas, guitars, percussion, flute, bass and vocals.
Two guest musicians supported the band on saxophones, flutes and drums.

Their debut album was a tribal psych album with a lot of raga rock. An album not so easy to grasp.

Jade Warrior has changed a bit of their style and genre on Released.

There is a mix of some really hard psych blues here and some more laid back jazz and rock.

There is also some really good ambient psych, blues and jazz here.

These forty-five minutes gives us a huge variety of music. It still comes from the same band and it very much feels like this is a coherent album. Varied but also very well put together.

The vocals are all good and the guitar solos are great.

This is an enjoyable, good album which I very much like. It is one of the really good albums from 1971.

3 points

Monday 10 February 2020

Sunchild - The Gnomon (2008)

The debut album from this band from Ukraine.

Sunchild is Antony Kalugin on synths, keyboards, acoustic guitars and vocals.
He is being helped by numerous guest musicians on drums, flute, clarinet, sax, trumpet, trombone, oboe, cello, bayan, guitars and vocals.

Sunchild, who has so far released seven albums, started out as Antony Kalugin's solo project. He is well known from his main band Karfagen and the side project Hoggwash.

Sunchild has today become one of his two main bands and they are now a full band. But not in 2008.

This album is a double CD album, giving us one and an half hour of music.

The music is very melodic symphonic prog. It almost feels like pop at times and it has some musical and rock opera feelings.

There is a lot of Pink Floyd, Genesis and the more soft bands like The Moody Blues in this album. All of this with the usual Antony Kalugin twist and flair.

This album is a big mouthful. It is also great value for money and pretty timeless. Do not let the year of the release scare you from getting this album. It has the 2020 sound too.

This is a good album and can be rated well among the other Sunchild albums. A good band with a good debut album, indeed.

3 points


Sunday 9 February 2020

Hammill. Peter - In Camera (1974)

The fourth album from this British artist.

Peter Hammill did the vocals, piano, bass, guitars, harmonium and mellotron on this album.
He had help from guest musicians who provided drums, cello, synths and background vocals.

I was not a big fan of his previous album. I am here a minority, I have noticed. But I stand by my views.

Hence, I was not looking forward towards to this album.

Peter Hammill's career has always been a simpler sounding version of Van Der Graaf Generator.
A much more vocals based version of the above mentioned band.

The difference is not particular big between Peter Hammill and Van Der Graaf Generator on this album.

The music is pretty distorted, sinister and dark. In particular; sinister.

It is still pretty melodic, excluding the final ten minutes which is electro avant-garde noises.

The music is good to very good throughout this album. There is a couple of songs here which could had been included on a Van Deer Graaf Generator album without shaming it.

This is the best Peter Hammill album I have heard so far.

3.5 points

Old Prospectors - Eureka! (2019)

The debut album from this band from USA.

The band is a trio with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums and guitars.

The cover art work and their own labeling of the music I found on their Bandcamp attracted me to this album and I therefore got a copy of it.

Being a seventy minutes long album, it offers up a huge mouthful of music.

In this case; instrumental music with a mix of stoner rock, psych rock, funk, fusion and some hard progressive rock.

The music on an album like this and with the same length has to be really good to catch the full attention of the listener. It is not an easy genre.

The album feels a bit too long and should had been cut in half. Two albums is in this case better than one album.

The musicians does their best on some material that is not really good enough. Stoner fans may disagree with that sentiment as this is essentially a stoner rock light album.

This is a decent album but nothing more than that, I am afraid.

2 points

Saturday 8 February 2020

Eiemel - Eiemel (2019)

The debut album from this one-man band from Argentina.

Eiemel is mr. Ariel Martin Loza from the Argentine symphonic prog band Laquesis on guitars, bass, percussion, programming, keyboards and vocals.
He had help from numerous other musicians on guitars, bass, drums, flute, trombone, bagpipes, trumpet and bandoneon.

I got this album in the belief it would be symphonic prog.

... which it is....... sort off.

Argentina is also the home of soft symphonic prog. Soft melodic symphonic prog with pop and folk rock influences.

Bands from the 1970s gave us that. Eiemel is in that tradition and so is this seventy-two minutes long album.

The music is soft, melodic and poppy. The vocals are very good and he would and can go far as a vocalist.

The music is party decent and partly good. It is a bit of a bland album who gives a lot of value for money. You really have to like Argentine symphonic prog to really fall for this album. I have my reservations but still welcome this album and this band to our world.

2.5 points

Friday 7 February 2020

IQ - Are You Sitting Comfortably ? (1989)

The fourth album from this British band.

The band was a quartet on this album with a lineup of keyboards, sax, flute, tambourine, synth guitar, guitars, percussion, drums, bass and vocals.
A female vocalist offers up some backing vocals too.

The band was floating around in the doldrums on their previous album. I am not sure what they wanted to be. A proggy pop band, a bit of a Pink Floyd band or a pop band.

The band is very much still floating around in the doldrums on this album too.

There is a lot of pop music and pop-rock here. The cover art-work tells most of the story here, I am afraid.

The music is light and fluffy. There is not much substance in the music on this forty plus minutes long album.

The musicians does their best and the vocals are really good. That alone cannot save this album which is bereft of any really good songs too.

This is a decent album but only that, I am afraid.

2 points

Thursday 6 February 2020

Blind Ego - Preaching To The Choir (2020)

The fourth album from this German band.

The band is a quintet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, synths, keyboards and vocals.

I pretty much liked their 2016 album Liquid and has reviewed this album somewhere else in this blog. The band consists of RPWL and Sylvan members plus some other musicians.

Blind Ego are pretty experienced musicians and that shows in their sound.

The music on this album is pretty hard neo-prog bordering to progressive metal throughout the album. The cover art-work is not misleading the buyer and the listener.

The music is still melodic though and is firmly rooted in the German neo-prog scene.

The vocals are really good and there is also some good vocals here.

I cannot say this album enthuses me. But it is still a good album.

I hope their next efforts will be of a better quality, though.

3 points

Wednesday 5 February 2020

Jefferson Airplane - Takes Off (1966)

The debut album from this US band.

The band was a sextet with a lineup of drums, guitars, percussion, bass and vocals.

This band is a legendary band from the west-coast of USA and I have got a handful of their albums.... if not all eight of them. Albums I will review this year and then follow up these ones with reviews of the Jefferson Starship albums.

The band had yet to get Grace Slick on board. But all the others associated with this band is present on this album.

The music is a mix of folk rock, psych rock and a lot of beat music. The Byrds is an obvious reference.

I have been advised that this album is pretty innocent and does not really has the psych rock and sarcastic bite the following albums has.

There is a cover of the much used traditional Tobacco Road song here. A song nicely fitting into this folk rock beat album.

The vocals are really good here and the best thing about the album. There are some nice playing too. Nevertheless, this album never really becomes any better than decent. It is not an album worthy checking out.

2 points

Exploradores. Los - Inventure (2019)

The debut album from this Norwegian band.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, keyboards and guitars.

The Norwegian prog and fusion scene is in full bloom and new bands is popping up all the time. Some would label this as the best prog and fusion scene in the world.

Maybe it is.

Los Exploradores comes from Trondheim, a town with a pretty impressive music scene. I shall not mention names here.

Their music is a mix of eclectic prog and fusion.

There is some pretty good references to King Crimson here and some good references to Krokofant and other Norwegian fusion bands.

There is even some symphonic prog here and most prog fans would enjoy this album. It is modestly melodic and eclectic at the same time.

The music is also pretty playful at times too.

The end result is a good album and one to lap up if eclectic prog and fusion is your thing..

3 points

Tetragon - Stretch (2009)

The second and final album from this German band.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of keyboards, drums, guitars and bass.

The album was recorded back in 1971, but only rescued and released by the superb retro-rock label Garden Of Delight back in 2009. Hence the pretty bad cover art-work. Hideous is the word.....

The band very much follows the path they trod back on their debut album Nature. See my review of that album here.

The music is a bit of a mix of fusion and symphonic prog. Add some kraut rock too and you get the drift.

The music is very dynamic and pretty hard. This album is not for the ones who loves soft fusion/symphonic prog.

The music also feels a bit like a long jam. But it is not as the music is well crafted and composed.

There are some long guitar solos here and they are very much suitable for long air guitar runs. If you are so inclined.....

There is a lot of very clever details and melodies on this album. A really good album which cements this band's status as one of the lost greats. Unfortunate for us, they only released two albums and that is that.... Enjoy.

3 points

Tuesday 4 February 2020

Banda Belzoni - Banda Belzoni (2019)

The debut album from this Italian band.

The band is a duo of Gigi Venegoni and Sandro Bellu. The lineup is bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
The band had help from five other musicians who provided drums, percussion, spoken words and vocals.

The band name is new. The musicians is veterans. Gigi Venegoni from Venegoni and Arti + Mestieri. Sandro Bellu from The Egonist.
The guest musicians comes from bands like Osanna, Hostsonaten, Zuffanti, A Lifelong Journey, Finisterre, Gazebo and Maschera Di Cera.
Fabio Zuffanti is involved in this band too.

This album is indeed a rock opera with Italian vocals and spoken words.

The music is traditional RPI too with a lot of lush melodies and the type of symphonic prog we know from the 1970s. The sound is still up to date.

The music is lush and has some neo-prog influences too.

There is a distinct lack of quality in the music. Nevertheless, this is a good album made by some great musicians. RPI fans will really enjoy this album.

3 points

Monday 3 February 2020

Suhy Silvergold & Alvarado - Tessellations (2015)

The one and only album from this US trio.

The band is Ray Suhy on guitars, Alex Silvergold on drums and Rolando Alvarado on drums.

I have never heard about this trio before and this album is a bit of a surprise.

The music is not exactly my type of music although I like fusion.This though is more jazz than fusion.

There is some avant-garde here too inbetween cascades of jazzy bass, drums and guitars.

The music is pretty intense with a lot of guitars as guitars are the only melodic instrument here.

The quality is pretty good without really winning me over. The music is too technical and too much music for musicians to really become good music.

Nevertheless, it is well worth checking out this album if technical trio based jazz us your thing.

2.5 points

Sunday 2 February 2020

Guranfoe - Sum Of Erda (2019)

The debut album from this English band.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of organ, drums, synths, bass, guitars, piano and percussion.
They got help from four guest musicians who provided flute, vibraphone, violin and clarinet.

The band has released numerous singles and EPs before they went for this full length album. An almost forty minutes long album....

The album has been released on a Norwegian record label and quite heavy promoted by that label. Which is a bit untraditional.

The music is entirely instrumental and in the Canterbury vein.

The music is very eclectic throughout and most certainly at the far eclectic end of the Canterbury scene.

The music is indeed a mix of fusion and eclectic prog. There are some King Crimson over the album too and some Soft Machine.

There is lots of quirky details in the music which keeps the listener entertained. It is indeed nerdy music.

The quality is good throughout and England has again got a new good band.

Check out this album.

3 points

Art - Asylum (2019)

The second album from this Italian band.

The band is a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, synths, guitars, bass, drums and vocals.

I have not heard their first album so I cannot comment on that one. The band was formed in 2016 and the band members are new to the scene.

The band is among the Italian neo-prog bands who does not have that much in common with the good old RPI scene.

There is no relations here to the likes of PFM and Banco.

The band has a lot of the British neo-prog influences. But most of all, their music has a lot of Polish and German neo-prog influences.

There is also some prog metal influences in their music.

The vocals are really good and the music is elegant. The sound is a bit cold. The music has a lot of interesting details.

The songs are somewhere between decent and good. They lack a lot of quality and that is my big gripe about this album.

Nevertheless, check out this album.

2.5 points

Saturday 1 February 2020

Jadis - More Than Meets The Eye (1992)

The second album/the real debut album from this British band.

The band was a trio on this album with a lineup of percussion, drums, keyboards, flute, guitars and vocals.
The band had some guest musicians on bass, drums, guitars and keyboards.

Jadis is one of the original neo-prog bands from the British Isles. One of the legends of the early neo-prog scene together with the likes of IQ, Pallas etc etc.

They released a CD with demos before they recorded and released this album. I am not bothered about that CDs with demos and I regard this album as their true debut album.

Jadis does a pretty symphonic form of neo-prog on this album. The Genesis and Marillion influences are pretty strong.

The music is both muscular and melodic. Muscular without being anywhere near the prog metal scene and sound.

There is indeed a lot to enjoy here for both fans of neo-prog and fans of more melodic prog. This being a debut album, this album makes an impact and a big splash in the neo-prog duck pond.

The music even sounds fresh and has a lot of very good details. The vocals are really good. Ditto for the melodies.

This is not a barnstorming debut album. But it makes me sit up and look forward to reviewing the rest of their album. Me thinks this will be a pleasure.

3 points


Subterra - Cautiverio (2005)

The third and final album from this band from Chile.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, keyboards, bass, guitars and Spanish vocals.

This is one of the pretty many neo-prog bands who has emerged from this South-American continent during the last forty years.

The album starts out as a prog metal album though and this is where we will find this music indeed.

There is still a considerable amount of neo-prog here. But most of this album has this metallic edge.

The vocals are fairly good and the sound is OK.

There is no denying that the music on this forty-five minutes long album is pretty dull though. The band never ever moves away from the safe prog metal formula. There is no sparks of inspirations here.

In a world of the samey sounding music, this album is distinctive dull and uninspiring. Hence my verdict and my lack of enthusiasm for this album.

1.5 point