Tuesday, 31 March 2020
The one and only album from this Italian band.
To my knowledge, this was a trio with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and Italian vocals.
This is Riccardo Pirolli's solo album and project. He was the guitarist in Franco Battiato's band. Hence, Franco Battiato is also a member of Genco Puro & Co together with Bruno Canzian from I Pooh.
That is all I know about this album and "band".
The music is a mix of Italian pop rock and RPI.... Rock Progressive Italiano.
Most of the music here is pop rock with Italian flavors. A massive amount of Italian flavors which also comes from Italian folk rock.
The vocals are really good here and the two other musicians does their best on an album which was almost outdated when they released it in 1972. Most of it sounds like Italian beat and pop from the 1960s.
This album sounds totally out of it anno these days. The sound is good though. Nevertheless, this is an album well deserving a bypass and blissful ignorance.
Monday, 30 March 2020
The third album from this US band.
I do not know anything about this band except from their albums. But their lineup is guitars, bass, keyboards, drums and vocals. Both female and male vocals.
Their albums can be downloaded from here.
I really liked their 2012 The Smoking Mirror debut album and you can find my review from November the same year here.
I have for the last years been planning to follow up that review with the three other albums. I am dropping their Christmas album and will stick to this one and their most recent album.
The band debuted with the above mentioned album which was a mix of Mostly Autumn and Touchstones.
There is not much Mostly Autumn left in their music. Touchstones is still there and the music has become a lot harder. There is a lot of progressive metal here and some djent.
The vocals are really good. That is the only good thing about this very short album.
The quality is decent enough, but just that. If that sounds great to you, the album is available from the link about.
The fifth album from this British band.
Jade Warrior is a duo on this album with a lineup of acoustic guitars and keyboards.
The duo had some help from guest musicians who provided electric guitars, drums, moog, saxophone, flute, piano and vocals.
The first three Jade Warrior albums did not instill any confidence in this band. The classic Floating World album from 1974 changed all that. Ambient prog at it's best.
Jade Warrior follows up that album with Waves.
Waves is an album in the same vein as Floating World. Hazy landscapes with lots of ambience.
I thought this was going to an all out ambient album. I was wrong.
There are two compositions here. Each of them around the twenty minutes mark.
Waves I is a pretty gentle ambient piece of music with some Japanese classical music. It is a very good composition which has a lot of interesting details.
Waves II is full of details and very much submerged in Japanese sounds and classical music. Nice flute and lots of interesting details here. There is even some voices here.
Waves is indeed a very good album and well worth checking out.
The tenth album from this band from Brazil.
The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, percussion, organ, piano, flutes and vocals.
The band was by now veterans and hardly any of the original members was left in this band. They still soldiered on under this name....
The band changed from lyrics and vocals in their mother-tongue and went English. The female vocals are back.
The band also moved much more back towards psych rock on this album. There is not so much tropicana, though...
This fifty minutes long album offers up a huge variety of music. From reggae, hare krishna and to pop and folk music. That with a lot of psych and acid rock colors in the music.
The male and female vocals are OK and the rest of the band does their best on some not so good material. Songs which is pretty simplified and does not offer the brain much stimulants.
This album is a shadow of what Os Mutantes was on their best. It is still a decent album though.
Sunday, 29 March 2020
The second album from this Italian band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of organ, synth, bass, drums, guitars and Italian vocals.
The band has got help from some guest musicians who provided saxophone, trumpet, bass and female backing vocals.
I have not had the chance to hear their 2006 debut album Contradiction so I don't know anything about that album. Their current status seems to be disbanded or no activities whatsoever.
The music on this album is what matters, indeed.
The music is pretty eclectic with some pretty strong indie rock references. The music also has a lot of jazz too. A lot of the guitars are half-acoustic with lots of jazz riffs.
Other references is the likes of King Crimson and Area.
The music is both heavy and loud, most of the time. Youthful music, it is. The vocals are both melodic and screamo. They are good though.
The music may be too eclectic for those into more melodic prog. There are song structures here, but they are pretty much eclectic.
The overall quality is somewhere between decent and good. I have not been won over by this album.
The 15th album from this British artist.
Peter Hammill is doing the keyboards and vocals himself on this album.
This is a true solo album. It has no inputs from the other members of Van Der Graaf Generator.
Peter Hammill has a very powerful voice and his lyrics are good too. That is what we have to rely on here as the piano and keyboards is just there to support his voice.
This is a very barebone solo-album, indeed.
The music is also very gloomy and angry. I do not think Peter Hammill do happy music.
So gloom it is.
I am not won over by this album at all. It is too bareboned for my liking and there is no good songs here.
The debut album from this US band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of programming, drums, guitars and vocals.
Another debut album.... I have previously noted that it seems like this new decade means a reset of the scene with lots of new bands coming into the scene.
This band is a duo and a studio project only, I presume.
The music on this album is a mix of good old Tears For Fears, funk and indie.
There is not so much progressive rock here. Well, none.
The music is still lush and colourful. It is also pretty epic and melodic with multiple layers of vocals and instruments. Mostly guitars and keyboards, that is.
This is indeed a nice album, but nothing more.
The quality is somewhere between decent and good. Check it out.
Saturday, 28 March 2020
The debut album from this Dutch band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals.
The beginning of the 2020s and a new decade sees a lot of debut albums. It seems like there is a new start, a new wave of progressive rock bands hitting our scene now. And that is great !
My Arrival has taken the Steve Hogarth era Marillion route. The music is indeed neo-prog in that vein.
The music is essentially art-rock, though.
The music is mid-tempo and a bit laidback. The guitars and the keyboards sound is nice and really adds to this album. Ditto for the vocals.
It is too early to say if this is going to be a great band for the scene as the music on this album is a bit on the safe side. Nobody will dislike or get offended by the music and many will like it.
The quality is somewhere between decent and good.
This is still an album well worth checking out.
The second album from this Dutch band.
The band is a sextet on this album with a lineup of harmonica, flute, keyboards, drums, bass, guitars, organ, vibraphone, slide guitars, electric piano and vocals.
I was not at all impressed by their debut album. A really substandard folk rock influenced rock album. See the review somewhere else in this blog.
The band only released two albums and this is the final sign of life from this band.
It is an obscure band and album.... and with good reasons.
This album gives us three quarter of an hour full of folk rock influenced rock and progressive rock. The band has indeed included some Genesis inspired songs here.
There are also some americana influenced music here.
The vocal harmonies is male and female vocals. The music is a bit soft and not so full of details. It is very pedestrian and does not offer much.
This album is a slight improvement on their dire first album. But not hardly any noticeable improvement and this album is again a fiasco.
The seventh album from this British band.
The band was a seven piece big band on this album with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, percussion and vocals.
This is not really a new studio album. This is a re-recording of their 1982 cassette album where some of the stuff was kept on. Hence the band being a seven members big band at this album.
The band must have had a great affinity for this 1982 cassette album. That explains why they re-recorded it.
And the band was not wrong.
Most of this fifty-two minutes long album is instrumental. The instrumentals are really epic with good guitar solos. They very much deserved to be heard on a CD too.
The vocals tracks are also epic and well rooted in the neo-prog scene.
Yes, the band did a good thing by re-recording this 1982 album as this is a a good album.
It is a different album than their previous album and the other IQ album. Seven Stories Into 98 is indeed an oddity in their discography. Nevertheless, it is a good album.
Friday, 27 March 2020
The fourth and final album from this French band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and French vocals.
The cover art-work makes this album out to be a thrash/death metal album. It is not and the cover art-work is not fitting the music.
I have reviewed their first three albums and they have all been French symphonic prog albums.
Blaise Et Benjamin is no difference. We get some very complex French symphonic prog.
Most of this album is pretty operatic and bordering to being an opera. The four songs is pretty long and complex. The music is indeed very eclectic.
Most of the time when it comes to French symphonic prog, I add Ange as a reference. The exception is this album as it is so far out eclectic that King Crimson is a more fitting reference. That and neo-classic/opera music.
The music is indeed very complex and not so easy to follow.
The keyboards sound is very good and ditto for the vocals. The sound could have been better.
I have really enjoyed their albums and this album is no exception. This is indeed a good album and worth checking out.
Thursday, 26 March 2020
The fourth album from this US band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of piano, organ, guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
Numerous guest musicians provided congas, bongos, talking drums, guitars, woodwinds, piano, keyboards and vocals. David Crosby and Frank Zappa is among those guest musicians on this album.
The now established Jefferson Airline setup is with us on this album. That shows.
The album starts with a folk rock song though and I wonder if I by accident had got the wrong album. I had not.
The band has gotten rid of their avant-garde and ambient stuff. What is left is a songs orientated album.
The music has also been a lot more streamlined and all dead weight has been disposed of.
The music is much more commercial than on their previous album After Bathing At Baxter's. But it is not pop music what we get here.
The music is very much west-coast psych rock.
There is a lot of harmonies on this album which is both intricate and full of quirky details. Grace Slick does a great job on her own too.
The music is accessible but also pretty dark and intricate. The best song is the title song. A very good song indeed. The other songs are not that strong or as immediate as the title track.
This is a good album which really should appeal to everyone who likes psych and progressive rock.
The debut album from this Norwegian band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of saxophone, guitar, bass and drums.
This is the Norwegian guitarist Michael Aadal's band. I have to admit I do not know his music or who this is. Nevertheless, the album is here and is blasting through the speakers in my office.
The music here is fusion........... some sort of fusion.
I did expect an epic bombastic guitar based jazz album. That is not what showed up.
The saxophone is given a lot of free reign on this album and that is indeed a clever move. There is not as much guitars as I did expect. The saxophones are really good here and a joy to behold.
The music too is a bit of a surprise. Aadal takes us from jazz via fusion and eclectic prog to americana and country music to new wave of British heavy metal.
All of this is instrumental and all of this through superb musicianship. No wonder this album was released on a progressive rock label (Apollon Records) instead of on a jazz label.
That said; those who loves most of the output from Moonjune Records will love this album too.
The result is forty minutes of good music and an album which will make a lot of waves in the scene. We have not heard the last tone from this band.
The 15th album from this British band.
The band is a quintet on this album with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, percussion and vocals.
This version of Nektar includes three original members of the band. This in contrast to the version of the band who, under the name New Nektar, released the pretty poor Meglomania album back in 2018. That album is still regarded as a Nektar album though and The Other Side is the follow up album.
It has to be said that the three original members knows how Nektar sounds and should sound. The good old order has (almost) been restored on this album.
This album is over an hour long. It is a double LP no less. A single CD too, it is.
The music is a mix of rock music and psych rock in the vein of the good old Nektar. Yes, the Nektar who the fans love is very much present here.
The vocals are good and the musicians does a good job on the not so overly complicated music. It is still complicated, psych and proggy enough to give the brain some food for thought. There are some really clever music on this album.
The result is a good album which goes a long way to restore the very good reputation of this band.
Wednesday, 25 March 2020
The debut album from this British band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of drums, keyboards, bass and guitars.
They have got help from extra musicians and vocalists who provide accordion, guitars, bass and vocals.
This band/project has got members from Karnataka, Mostly Autumn, Franck Carducci, Mantra Vega, Haken and The Enid. Among the vocalists, you will find Heather Findlay, Joe Payne and Franck Carducci.
In short, this is not a spring chicken project.
From what I understand, this is a kind of a rock opera. Each song has it's own vocalist. And it is indeed a rock opera/concept album. The story line can be found on their homepage listed above.
The music is pretty symphonic throughout. There are also some hints of musicals type of music too. Broadway or the West End type of music.
The music is pretty epic and dynamic. The bass and drums creates a wall of sound where the others can base their talents on.
Epic is the word here and that is what they tries to do. The music is sometimes borderline progressive metal. Still, it is not progressive metal.
I am no big fan of projects like this. Nevertheless, there is no denying that this is a good album. It will win it's fans and I can understand why. Check out this album.
The fifth album from this British band.
The band was a quartet on this album with a lineup of percussion, bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
Their previous album, the 1997 album Somersault, did not really impress me. Not good enough songs and a bit lackluster delivery of these songs.
The band returns again three years later with Understand.
Again, we get neo-prog. An album full of neo-prog.
The songs are not overly long and symphonic. Neither are they particular pop orientated. There are some pretty strong new-romanticism references in their songs.
Most of this three quarters of an hour long album is solid English neo-prog.
The music is a slight improvement on Somersault. It is still not an album that makes me very convinced about the qualities of this band.
Nevertheless, this is a good album and well worth checking out.
Tuesday, 24 March 2020
The one and only album from this Swedish band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of flute, drums, bass, organ, guitars and vocals.
The album was self-released and it is sold for an insane amount of money on Discogs. The album is as obscure as it gets.
The album was probably recorded in a pretty bad studio too. The mix and sound is pretty sub-standard.
The music is a mix of rock, some punk and some heavy prog. Half of the album is in Swedish and the other half is in English.
The vocals is OK. The guitars is half-decent. The rest of the band is hanging on for dear life.... and fails.
This album deserve to be an obscure album because the quality of the music is dire. This is indeed a turkey of an album.
The third album from this band from Macedonia.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, minimoog, mellotron, organ, drums, percussion, bass and vocals.
A guest musician provided saxophones.
Their first two albums really impressed me. It is obvious that Leb I Sol is one of those lost treasures from behind the iron curtain. Their country back then, Yugoslavia, was a communist - stalinist state although Tito and Stalin and the following Sovietrussian leaders loathed each others with a burning hatred.
Leb I Sol was nevertheless trapped behind the iron curtain.
Their music is a mix of the local Macedonian pop scene and fusion. Mostly fusion.
Mahavishnu Orchestra springs to mind during large parts of this album. So does Return To Forever too.
Vlatko Stefanovski is a superb guitarist and he gets a lot of time of prove just that on this album. The other musicians are also very good. There are some really great keyboards work here and the vocalist is good too.
The mix of Macedonian pop-rock and fusion really gives this album a good flavour.
This is indeed a very good album and fusion fans will love this album.
The debut album from this English band.
The band is a sextet with a lineup of flute, drums, percussion, penny whistle, bells, tabla, guitars, piano, autoharp, keyboards, ukulele, bass, finger cymbals and vocals.
This band is another new discovery in my life. They have released three albums so far. All three are up for review this spring.
The cover art-work above both tells the story and is a bit misleading.
Yes, their music is flowery and hippie. It is not psych or space, though. Far from it. Magic Bus is bang in the middle of the Canterbury scene.
The first half a minute of this album gives the game away. The music and vocals of Caravan comes through the air, loud and clear.
On the two first songs, that is. The album is still Caravan'esque, but the band is still carving out their own identity.
The music is still very much hippie and flower power rock in the Canterbury scene vein. There are even some hints of apple orchards folk rock here.
The album is stylish with some good vocals and great musicianship. It is a borderline sensational brilliant album. A couple of fillers makes this a great album and one all fans of the more songs orientated Canterbury scene has to check out.
Monday, 23 March 2020
The debut album from this German band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of organ, piano, percussion, guitars, French horn, bass, drums and vocals.
My first of the many planned reviews of their albums. I plan to review all their eleven albums this year, starting with this, their debut album.
Many has claimed that this band is a Uriah Heep copycat band. That though is not entirely justified.
References is the likes of Jane, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep and Led Zeppelin.
The music here is very hard and this album is among the hardest albums from that year, the golden year of hard rock and progressive rock.
A lot of the music is rather bluesy. There are even some progressive rock here with some organs and piano. The song structures are surprisingly good and the vocals are really good.
In this hard rock, there is a lot of interesting details and subtle melodies. Melodies which elevates this album to becoming one of the better albums from 1970. It is indeed a good album.
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, programming, keyboards, synths, guitars and vocals.
Marsyas is another new band to me and they has just released this album.
The band's music is heavy prog.
References are Riverside, Porcupine Tree and IQ. There are also some RPI influences in their music.
Ditto for djent.
There are also some fusion and jazz influences here and they are pretty visible in their sound. That sets the band a bit apart from most of the other new bands in the heavy prog genre.
The vocals are decent enough. They are struggling pretty hard when put to test on high notes. The band does a good job.
The songs are medium long on this almost one hour long album.
My gripe with this album is the missing quality of the songs. Their music has some fusion and jazz elements and that is the only thing that stands out here. There is not much else to enjoy here as the songs are pretty dull.
Nevertheless, check out this album.
Sunday, 22 March 2020
The one and only album from this US band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of electric piano, bass, drums, percussion, guitars, keyboards and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
Two guest musicians provided guitars and flute.
I do not know the band at all. They comes from Portland on the north-west coast of USA. Their album is a Bandcamp name-your-price album and I do not think the band has much of a following outside their local area.
The music is pretty much art-rock. Art-rock with a lot of indie and some Americana influences. There are also some neo-prog and mainstream rock influences and stuff here.
The cover art-work is a bit of a mystery as there is no space rock or psych rock here.
The vocals are OK and acceptable. Actually, make that good. The vocals are good.
The musicians is doing their best during this almost fifty minutes long album. There are some good guitars here.
The quality of the songs leaves a lot to be desired. There is nothing here that really drags me into this album.
This is a decent album but just that.
The debut album from this US band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of drums, slide guitars, guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals.
This is another band with their debut album released in the last couple of years. The two last years has seen a flurry of debut albums in the progressive rock genre. A small genre, but still a very healthy genre.
That makes running this blog so fun and so interesting.
Nous is giving Rush a nod with the title of the album. Entre Nous is one of Rush best loved songs and one of my favourite songs.
And yes, there are some Rush influences here. The music on this album is pretty hard at times and the Rush influences shines through. So does other bands in the hard and heavy prog genre. The music is not progressive metal, but it still rocks.
There are also some Genesis and Yes influences here. In particular Yes influences. And there are some hard rock influences. Bad Company springs to mind.
The vocals are good and the use of slide guitars gives the band an edge and an identity. There are a some good harmonies here too.
This album clocks in at fifty-two minutes and the quality is somewhere between decent and good. The songs are simply not good enough here. Some better songs and this band will go places.
Saturday, 21 March 2020
The debut album from this Dutch band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of guitars, flutes, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
This very obscure band released two albums between 1975 and 1976 before they broke up.
... And that is all I know about this band.
The band's music is a mix of folk rock, psych prog and pop/rock.
There is not much progressive rock here though as most of the music is in the folk rock vein.
The female and male vocals, including vocal harmonies, are good. The musicians does their best on this forty minutes long album.
For some reason, the band name springs to mind when describing the music and the quality. It is a bit watery and it is very much caught in a time warp.
The result is a half-decent album which is not horrible but still not offer up much value. This album and band is obscure for a good reason.
The eight album from this French band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, french horn, keyboards, marimba, guitars, percussion and French vocals.
I have heard about this band for a while without really being interested in checking them out. Well, I admit this was a mistake.
Lazuli is a band in the French symphonic and eclectic prog tradition.
Good references are Ange, Gens De La Lune and Mona Lisa. Minimum Vital is also another good reference.
The music is also influenced by the likes of Gentle Giant and Genesis.
This album is a concept album in four acts. I am not sure what the story is about. But it cannot be a bad story as the band is really doing a very good job on expressing it through the vocals and the music.
The music is really very lush and symphonic with some very good French vocals and a very good French sound. There are also some pastoral bits here and some more soaring epic bits. This album has it all for symphonic prog fans.
The end result is a very good album and I will try to get the rest of their albums now.
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of clavinet, banjo, piano, hammond organ, moog, mellotron, bass, drums, percussion and vocals.
Four extra musicians did pedal guitars, guitars and strings arrangements.
This band has been kicking around the scene for a while. They have released four albums and I got three of them to review now. I get the feeling from this, their debut album that this will be a pleasure.
The cover art-work says almost everything about the music. Old style psych from the last years of the 1960s.
References are The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Birth Control. Add some The Moody Blues and beat influences too and you get this album.
The music is very stylish and it feels like it was composed and recorded in 1968. But it is not.
The sound quality is very good though.
The songs are pretty slow and they tries to be catchy.
In this, they fails as the quality is not the best. It is still an album I rate between decent and good. It is an more than acceptable debut album.
Friday, 20 March 2020
The band was a quartet with Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham. Their gave us bass, drums, percussion, guitars and vocals.
Led Zeppelin.... we are talking about the best rock band in the history of mankind. My favourite band is Rush. Nevertheless, Led Zeppelin's first five albums cements them as the best ever rock album. Add Physical Graffiti too to that list. I do not rate The Rolling Stones as highly as I rate Led Zeppelin. The Beatles was the best ever pop band our planet has ever seen.
Led Zeppelin and The Beatles in their own level above all other bands in my honest opinion.
.... And that was my personal confession....
I have not really had much time for Led Zeppelin's final two albums. In the case of Presence, that is a shame and I have underestimated this album.
Jimmy Page is still at it with his guitars and John Paul Jones does the bass brilliantly. John Bonham proves that he is one of the best drummers of all time. And Robert Plant... Truly brilliant on vocals.
This album was written and recorded in very difficult times for this band. It was not their full focus and that is obvious.
This album has two great songs in Achilles Last Stand and Nobody's Fault But Mine. The rest of the songs are decent to good.
This is still an album I will return to as it is not as bad as I thought it would be. It is a good album indeed.
The ninth album from this Brazilian band.
The band was a seven piece big band on this album with a lineup of oud, cello, guitars, harmonica, hammond organ, percussion, drums, bass, keyboards, flutes, clarinet, violin, grand piano and vocals.
Vladimir Putin opens the album on spoken words.... no doubts as a sample.
Their 2000 album Technicolor is in some places regarded as their ninth album. As that 1970 album only consists of English and French versions of their best songs from their first four albums, I am disregarding that album. I it is a good album though. But I will not review it.
I am therefore focusing my efforts on Haih... Or Amortecedor.
There is only one original member of Os Mutantes left on this album. That shows.
Gone is the flirtations with Yes, ELP and the symphonic prog genre. The band has returned to the tropicana roots and what they did when Rita Lee was still a member of the band.
The music is a mix of tropicana, psych and pop. All of this in Portuguese and with a strong Brazilian flavour.
The result is an exotic album, made in Brazil. It is also a laid back album indeed.
The quality is somewhere between decent and good. It is not their best album by far. Nevertheless, it is still worth a listen or two.
Thursday, 19 March 2020
The second album from this Norwegian band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of keyboards, flute, guitars, drums, bass and vocals.
This is my first meeting with this band as I did buy their 2018 debut album The Island. That album flew well under my radar.
I am perhaps not in the immediate target group of this album either. The band comes across as an indie band.
That is slightly correct, though. Nevertheless.....
... There is a strong Marillion, the Steve Hogarth era, influence in their music. A-Ha and Airbag also springs to mind. In short, the music is a mix of indie and neo-prog.
The music is very melodic and a bit laid-back on this forty-five minutes long album. Ethereal is the word.
There are some guitar solos and some good harmonies on this album. The vocals and vocal harmonies are all good.
The album is not an immediate hit with the listener, I would hazard to guess. It is a grower and it takes time to really settle. When it's nuances has revealed itself, this is a pretty good album. A good album indeed.
The third album from this French band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums, guitars, flute, chorus and vocals.
This band got my attention when I reviewed their 1992 album Don Giovanni back in July 2014. Then I forgot about the band before I got their final two albums not so long ago.
Don Giovanni was their second album and a good album. See my review here.
Versailles is off course the big castle the French emperors built and lived in when they were in power. I believe the French president now live there. It is a massive building and one of the must-see places in Europe.
So it is only fitting that a French symphonic prog band use that name. What is more natural than that ?
Versailles takes a lot from Ange and the chanson singer Jacques Brel. There is also the usual French folk music fare here too.
Some of the songs are long, almost twenty minutes long. This album clocks in at almost seventy minutes too.
The French vocals are really good. The music is both theatrical and complex. Very complex at times. The keyboards sounds also gives us a rich melotron sound and some orchestral pieces.
Fans of French symphonic prog gets their wishes fulfilled here. This album is indeed a good album and one to check out.
Wednesday, 18 March 2020
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of viola, xilophone, bass, flute, percussion, drums, sitar, guitars and vocals.
This is a new Italian band who debuted with this Bandcamp album.
Their name is Swedish and I thought this was a Swedish band. I was very much mistaken.
Galaverna gives us a three quarter of an hour of dark and gloomy folk rock.
Opeth, these days Opeth is a very relevant reference here. There is also some Jethro Tull and a lot of Swedish folk music references here.
There is no metal here at all. The music is folk rock but very dark folk rock.
The music is mostly done by acoustic instruments and it has a very Scandinavian sound and feel. The viola is pretty much in the front of the mix. Hence why I believed this was a band from Sweden. They are from Verona, Italy..... Strange, but good.
The vocals are really good and adds to the very good sound. Ditto for the acoustic guitars and the organ.
The quality of the music is very good throughout. The mix of doom and folk rock is a new one to me and the music on this album is pretty unusual.
That alone makes this is album well worth checking out. Add the quality too and you got a very good album indeed.
Tuesday, 17 March 2020
The fourth album from this British band.
The band was a duo on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, piano, glockenspiel, piano, organ, cello, various percussions, flutes and alto sax.
The band had support from some guest musicians who provided harp, string bass, drums, guitar, spoken word and choirs.
After three albums of various testing out genres, the band changed genre again on this and became what everyone regards as Jade Warrior.
Floating World is an album full of ambient music. The music is still full of interesting details though and by no means the usual fare of ambient music.
The music is clearly influenced by the Far-East. The Japanese flute used here is interesting. The music is still rooted in the British music scene too.
There is a lot of interesting, lingering guitar solos here and some interesting melodies and details. There is also a lot of acoustic details here too.
Ambient music is not the most interesting genre. This album though is a classic album and a very good one, clocking in at just over half an hour.
Check out this album.
Monday, 16 March 2020
The ninth album from this New Jersey, USA based band.
I do not know anything about this band. The lineup from what I can hear, is drums, bass, guitars, synths and keyboards.
I have not heard their previous eight albums and this band is a mystery to me as they have no social media presence from what I can see.
The band is offering up one hour of medium dynamic instrumental rock. Add some fusion too and you get the picture.
References are Camel, Vangelis and Pink Floyd.
Other references are the other numerous bands and studio projects doing the same genre. They all do instrumental music bordering to ambient music.
The music here is not ambient. There is not many interesting details in the music either.
The music is not too bad. But it is not really something that appeals to the progressive rock crowd. I find this album pretty dull and uninspiring. Hence my lack of enthusiasm.
Sunday, 15 March 2020
The third album from this Swedish band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of drums, strings, clavinet, bass pedals, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
I really liked their debut album a lot. Accessible avant-garde prog, but still enough avant-garde to satisfy my interest in this genre.
I have not got their second album and I doubt if I will ever get it.
So I am jumping straight to their third and final album.
Us Kaos still gives us some dark avant-garde music. One hour of dark avant-garde prog to be more precise.
A good reference here is King Crimson. But Ur Kaos music is much more darker than them. There is also some Scandinavian noir and gloominess in their music.
The music is driven by keyboards, clavinet and guitars. The vocals are good and they really adds to the dark sound of this album.
The quality is good throughout. It is an album also the eclectic prog and King Crimson fans will really enjoy. Check it out.
The ninth and so far latest album from this British band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, saxes and vocals.
If started out as a brass rock band in the same vein as Blood, Sweat & Tears. Their first eight albums was solid, unspectacular brass rock albums.
This album is their comeback album after a thirty-two years long break. There is hardly any original members left of the original band too.
The 2016's version of If gives us jazz. Standard jazz with some saxophone solos, some organ sounding keyboards, jazz drums and jazz vocals.
The vocals are good. They are more in the jazz crooner tradition than the rock tradition.
In short, this is a 100 % bog standard jazz album.
This album has nothing whatsoever to do with the band of the same name from the 1970s.
The music is not interesting at all and this album is best ignored.
Saturday, 14 March 2020
The sixth album from this British artist.
Peter Hammill did the guitars, keyboards and vocals himself.
He had help from the rest of Van Der Graaf Generator on violin, bass and drums.
Peter Hammill had and still have a solo career in addition to his leadership of Van Der Graaf Generator (VDGG).
I am a big fan of VDGG and I have also started to dive into Peter Hammill's solo output. See the reviews of the first five albums somewhere else in this blog.
Peter is the voice of VDGG and there is no denying that there is similarities here.
The big difference is that his albums is much more stripped down and his voice much more personal.
Over is a good example.
The music is pretty angry at times. There is also some pop here which would have been totally out of kilter on a VDGG album.
Over is very much a stripped down album based on vocals and some rather tasteful less is more instrumentation.
The quality of the music is good throughout this album. It is an enjoyable album where Peter really excels. It is an album well worth checking out, indeed.
The one and only album from this band from Brazil.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
Two guest musicians provided keyboards and backing vocals.
This band was formed by Fernando Pacheco who back then played in Recordando O Vale Das Macas. He has released two solo albums in the last two years too.
Fernando got three more musicians to join him and then got a keyboard player before the album was recorded. It was meant as a studio project and stayed that way.
The music is a mix of Genesis and in particular; The Flower Kings. There is also some local flavours here, but not many. There is also some fusion here.
The music is keyboards and guitars driven. There is more keyboards than I expected.
The music is mainly middle of the road rock and neo-prog. I do not find much symphonic prog here, to be honest.
The vocals are in English and they are good. Ditto for the sound.
This one hour long album is a good album, indeed. It is an album worth checking out if you can find it.
Thursday, 12 March 2020
The debut album from this Norwegian band.
The band is a duo with a lineup of bass, drums programming, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
A female vocalist also adds her voice.
I have never heard about this band before. It is from Oslo and I guess the local university or college is the place where they met.
The music here is pretty intriguing.
Take some of Gazpacho, some symphonic prog and some indie, alternative rock, pop and folk rock. Marillion also springs to mind.
The genre is most certain art-rock.
The music is peaceful and pretty moody with some great Genesis like melodies now and then. There is a lot of harmonies and piano on this album. The guitars are mostly tasteful in the background with a few solos inbetween.
There is a lot of vocals on this album and they works very well.
There is a lot of ambience and moods on this album. And some of the material is laid back epic and monumental. The duo knows how to paint sound. And they do it well.
This is another impressive debut album from Norway. An album which really grips the listener and does not let loose of the listener/victim.
Check out this very good album.
Wednesday, 11 March 2020
The debut album from this band from Argentina.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, guitars and vocals.
Pajaro is a new name to me and they have released their album as a Bandcamp name-your-price album.
In short, this makes this an attractive album as you cannot fail by getting this album. You can later pay if you want...
The music is in the South-American vein of symphonic prog and fusion. The band follows in the footstep of many of the bands from the 1970s.
And the 1970s Argentine prog and fusion scene was a very good scene. It is nice to see that the band has stated this scene as an inspiration.... and a way forward for this band. They sounds like that scene.
The Spanish vocals here is really good and the music is sometimes in the vein of Camel and sometimes more art rock and fusion.
The sound is really cool and laid back. So is the music too. Pretty laid back and full of interesting details at times. The music also breaks out in instrumental jazz and fusion at times.
This album has a lot to offer and it is indeed a good album. It is an unmissable download album. Download and check out.
The second album from this Dutch band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, harmonica, bass, piano, organ and vocals.
A guest musician did the drums.
I was not overly impressed by their debut album. See my review somewhere else in this blog.
The band returned again for another attempt on neo-prog.
Yes, we are in neo-prog land again. A full hour worth of songs. The neo-prog has got some influences of folk rock this time and some rock too.
The music is a mix of muscular and melodic neo-prog. Sometimes, it is bordering to progressive metal. But there is less of it this time around.
TumbleTown is not re-inventing the neo-prog genre here. They are not adding anything new.
Instead of being pioneers, they are giving us an hour worth of melodic, muscular honest neo-prog. Neo-prog which will go down well with symphonic prog fans too.
The vocals are good and the band does their best. Even the sound is good here. And so is the songs.
This is a good album and it is well worth checking out.
Tuesday, 10 March 2020
The sixth album from this British band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, guitar-synths, keyboards, percussion and vocals.
A guest musician contributed with his saxophone.
This album is 102 minutes long. It is also a double CD. I guess that means a triple LP in these days where LPs is overtaking CDs as the physical medium to have.
There is a debate about this album being a concept album in the vein of Lamb Lies Down On Broadway or not being a concept album.
I cannot see this being a concept album in that vein or a concept album at all. The songs are pretty much in the same vein on these 2 CDs, but that is all.
The music is powerful and melodic neo-prog. Some of these songs are very catchy indeed. In this case, that means the band has got the song making and compositions spot on.
The songs are not long. But the band gets the best out of them and the double CD format helps. The songs glides over into each other, effortless.
Peter Nichols vocals are great.... and ditto for the rest of the band. The band is on their top of their craft on this album and the music is great.
This is one of the masterpieces of the neo-prog scene and is an album everyone should have. A small gripe on a couple of songs that does not work.
Monday, 9 March 2020
The debut album/so far only album from this Dutch band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
Argus is a band who tried to emulate the neo-prog sound in the spirit of the 1970s symphonic prog bands. They are not the first ones who has done that and the results is normally something I like.
The sound and music is in this instance pure neo-prog though and in the Dutch/English neo-prog sound.
The songs are pretty long. On average eight minutes, if I am not much mistaken. The album is fifty minutes long.
Pendragon is a good reference when it comes to the music.
The sound is not particular good on this album and the vocals is at times painful. Both for the vocalist and for the listener.
The songs are OK. But the sound, vocals and the band itself does not live up to the required standards, I am afraid.
This is a decent enough album though. But not all neo-prog is good.
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
A new week and another debut album from an Italian band. Which is a very good start on a new week.
About Blank is another Italian band who does not rely or even tries to sound like the good old Rock Progressive Italiano - RPI - bands from the 1970s.
This is another Italian band whose music is somewhere between indie rock and progressive metal.
Good references are King's X and a bit of Fates Warning. But mostly King's X and some shades of Rush too. Porcupine Tree is also another good reference.
The music is a bit harsh at times with some djent and death metal growls. But there is not much of that.
Most of the music is heavy prog with a lot of youthful enthusiasm.
The quality is somewhere between decent and good. I am not entirely convinced about this one hour long album. But it is a debut album which they can improve on.
Sunday, 8 March 2020
The third album from this US band.
The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of keyboards, bass, guitars, drums and vocals.
This album is the follow up to the genre defining and best selling Surrealistic Pillow album. So how do you follow up that album ?
The lineup was the same. That means the classic Jefferson Airplane lineup.
The music is psych rock as on their previous records. The difference here is that we find five suites here instead of x free standing songs. Each song in the suites is somewhat related to each other.
That also allows for some jam like avant-garde and ambient stuff in between songs. Songs which is not as melodic and immediate to the ear than on Surrealistic Pillow.
The chiming vocals and guitars are still here. Both male and female vocals.
There are still some good songs here. There is also some stuff which does not reach that level.
The result is an album somewhere between decent and good. Nevertheless, check out this album.
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of piano, keyboards, bass, guitars, drums, percussion and vocals.
A female vocalist also add here voice on one of the songs.
This band is a new band to me. It popped up in my inbox a couple of months ago and I started to listen to it earlier this week.
This is one of the new Italian progressive rock bands who has not anything in common with the good old RPI scene. Neither the old or the new one.
The band is instead giving us almost an hour worth of new hard progressive rock.
Porcupine Tree is a good reference here. Add some Pearl Jam, some neo-prog and some Rush too and you get the picture.
The music is a mix of acoustic and more heavy stuff.
The songs are not particular long. But the vocals are really good and the band is doing a good job too.
This album falls a bit short on quality. Nevertheless, this is a more than acceptable debut album.
This band may go far so keep an eye on this band.
Saturday, 7 March 2020
The debut album from this Swedish band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of clavinet, strings, keyboards, bass, guitars, drums and vocals.
This band released three albums during their short career before they were disbanded. They left a legacy and a reputation behind them. A very good reputation.
The band plays some form of avant-garde progressive rock. But the music is not totally avant-garde. The music is slightly melody orientated and melodic.
Us Kaos is just throwing strange sounds and rhythm figures after the melodies.
The result is some pretty harsh music. It also feels dissonant and dark. Mostly of it made by the bass.
The vocals too is pretty dissonant and adds good value to this album.
The melodic aspect makes the music lean a bit towards eclectic prog too. Van Der Graaf Generator and King Crimson is good references, indeed.
This is indeed a good album and one to check out.
The fourth album from this British band.
The band was a quartet on this album with a lineup of bass, guitars, drums, keyboards and vocals.
Their main two members Martin Orford and John Jowitt left the band after the previous album and the band had to start over again.
The first album in the new era was Somersault.
The band is still giving us a wholesome serving of neo-prog. Guitars and keyboards is the solo instruments and they are backed up by drums and bass.
The vocals are OK without really being convincing.
The songs are pretty long but still songs orientated.
The quality of the songs are OK. Nevertheless, this album falls a bit flat on it's face compared to the previous two albums. The band never really gets going on this album. The songs are elegant, yes. But there is still something missing here.
This is therefore a decent to good album but nothing more than that. I hope the next album is better than this album.
Friday, 6 March 2020
The seventh and final album from this Japanese band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of synths, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals.
The band had some help from seven other musicians who provided guitars, bass, drums, percussion, drum programming and vocals.
I have very sporadic reviewed a couple of their albums and has indeed also been listening to this album before a review was discontinued. But I decided to get on with this album again after a many years long break from it.
ELP and in particular Keith Emerson has a lot to answer for. Ars Nova is one of those bands from Japan who has been very inspired by ELP and him.
Ars Nova is a mostly female band and has added their female vocals and female take on keyboards music. There is also some goth metal here and some Japanese neo-classic music.
There is also a lot of guitars here on this fifty minutes long album.
The music is very epic and very loud. Very loud indeed and it does not leave much space to imagination.
The music is full on most of the time. There are some vocals and sporadic normal rock melodies in between these cascades of synths and guitars.
The quality is somewhere between decent and good. This is a pretty good band too and their albums deserve some attention. Mostly because of their ELP influences.
The second album from this German band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of synths, bass, programming, guitar, drums and vocals. Both male and female vocals. Some of the vocals are operatic.
This is really Mr. Phillip Rexillius project and it has released two albums. The debut album was released back in 2017 and named The Lake Of Time. I have yet to get that album.
The music on this album is a mix of neo-classical music, ambient music, progressive metal and symphonic prog.
Large parts of this one hour long album is instrumental music. A surprisingly large amount of this part again is neo-classical music.
There is a lot of guitar solos and long guitar parts here with some vocals and some synths inbetween.
The music is also very epic and monumental dark. Lots of the programming has been about including some classical orchestra instruments into this sound again.
The idea behind this piece of music is very good and it has been executed well. I think the band, and I picked this album just because of the band name, deserve a bigger audience as they have something going on here.
This is indeed a good album and well worth checking out.
Thursday, 5 March 2020
The second album from this band from Macedonia (Yugoslavia).
The band was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
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.
This and their first album was actually re-released on one CD in 2000 by a record label from Slovenia, another ex Yugoslavia republic. And the band was very popular in Slovenia too.
I really rate their debut album very highly. Very good fusion, indeed.
LebI Sol 2 was released the same year too. But I do not think it was released as a left over stuff from their debut album.
The music is pretty intense fusion in the vein of the first albums from Mahavishnu Orchestra. But the band also knows how to drag the tempo down a bit and the mid-tempo stuff here also includes some vocals and excellent keyboards.
The keyboards and in particular, the guitars are very, very good here. The vocals in their mother tongue also adds a lot of quality to this album.
This is another very good album from this band who I have to say is one of the better bands I have heard from the ex Eastern Bloc countries.