Thursday, 30 April 2020
The ninth album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, drums, bass, piano, hurdy gurdy, percussion, flute and vocals.
This is their first album for four years.
I was not happy about their See Right Through You album from 2012. Hence, I had no hopes for this album.
Martin Orford is back on the keys again. Gary Chandler is also here.
The music is a sort of very lush neo-prog.
With the word "lush", I mean the band has taken a lot from folk rock and a lot from symphonic prog on this album. Their flirtations with indie and pop-rock is mostly gone on this album. The band has instead used the rich British folk and symph tradition from the 1970s.
The sound is still modern and the vocals is really good. Ditto for the keyboards and guitars. There is a lot of good vocal harmonies here too.
The result is a good album which will satisfy everyone into neo-prog and beyond.
I am now hopeful they will release another studio album in the not so distant future as I am quite fond of this band.
Wednesday, 29 April 2020
The second album from this band from Finland.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, keyboards, guitars, effects and Kobaian vocals.
The band had help from a choir.
The one and only zeuhl band from Finland is back again with a new helping of zeuhl.
The opening of the album sounds like the band is a Magma copycat. That is the opening of the album....
The music takes a much more manic, super-busy road after the opening track.
The band has their own style and there is even some more than hints of thrash metal and jazz here. But a good reference are the Japanese zeuh scene. Koenjihyakkei is a band that springs to mind.
Not everything here is hyper and there is indeed a lot of Magma references here. There is even some folk music from Finland here.
This band is one of the most original sounding zeuhl bands out there. Ditto for this album which very much pushes the envelope.
This is also a very good album and one all zeuhl fans need to check out.
The third album from this band from Germany.
Passport is a quartet on this album with a lineup of drums, bass, guitar, organ, electric piano, mellotron, synths and saxophones.
Klaus Doldinger & co returns again with this album.
Another good piece of art-work meets us again before the music starts. I think the art-work on the first ten Passport albums are really good.
It does not says much about the music, though.....
The music on this forty minutes long album is fusion.
It is fusion driven by electric piano and saxophones. There are also some mellotron, organ and guitars here on the top of the bass and drums.
As a band-leader and a very good saxophonist, Klaus could easily and without much problems made this band and their first albums into saxophone orientated fusion albums. It is to his great credit that the saxophones is just a part of the sound and not the majority of the sound.
The saxophones comes in and drops out where it feels natural. Ditto for the guitars, organ and the electric piano too. And there is plenty of those around on this album too.
Credit where credit is due.
The result is a groovy, intricate fusion album which really engages the listener. There is no great pieces of music here. That aside, this is indeed a good album from a band I am really getting into now.
The fourth album from this Australian band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
A guest musician provided saxophone.
I have only got two albums from this Australian band and they gives me a short glimpse into the world of this band. I do not really what to make out of that.
Their first album was pretty decent neo-prog album and well worth checking out.
On Mouse, the band has created a concept album. A ninety minutes long concept album.
We are still pretty much in the neo-prog genre. There is also some pretty strong amount of pomp rock here and a lot of Genesis like symphonic prog.
The music is at times pretty hard too.
The vocals is a bit shrieking and feels forced. The two other band members does a good job on guitars, keyboards, bass and drums.
The sound is too much in the 1980s for my liking. Well, this album has the 1980s sound.
This is a name your price download and a pretty much obligatory download. The quality is somewhere between decent and good. Those into melodic prog will find something to like on this album as it is pretty varied and has something for most tastebuds.
Tuesday, 28 April 2020
The 39th album from this British artist.
Peter Hammill did all the electronics and vocals himself on this album.
No guest musicians appeared here.
Peter Hammill has again moved on a bit from the last one of his albums I reviewed... the singer/songwriter album Consequences from 2012.
All That Might Have Been is a two hours long album.
The album has a lot of ambient music generated by computers on the bottom with Peter's voices on the top of that again.
Cinematic music, it is called. CD 1 is cinematic music with his vocals on the top. CD 2 is more like not so cinematic music and some more stripped down music. All with vocals.
In truth, all the two hours are cinematic music with his vocals on the top.
The result is a highly original and highly eccentric album from a pretty eccentric man. Eclectic is the music, indeed.
The quality..... well, I am supposed to be a fan boy of him. I have yet to find any good piece of music on this album. The end result does not match the idea and the ambitions. This is barely a decent album, saved by the vocals.
The debut album from this US band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of synths, bass, drums, percussion and vocals.
I have never heard about this band before this album came up for review. They have released two albums and the last one was released last year.
This album is eighty minutes long.
The album is a mix of ambient drones, thrash metal, funk metal, funk, some hard progressive rock, progressive metal and some rock.
The vocals are pretty awful and the band is not really good either.
This album sounds more like a random collection of songs and genres than a proper album of songs and pieces of music. As most of it is hard heavy metal'ish music, I am not really that interested either.
Worst of all, the music is bad hard heavy metal'ish music too.
This album is simply a dud and a turkey. I wondered why so few had reviewed this album before I started to listen to this album. Now I know.
The third album from this US band.
The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of slide guitar, guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
A keyboardist and female vocalist is helping the band out on this album.
This album was their final of three platinum selling albums. In short, it sold more than a million records.
It is not difficult to understand why this album has sold more than a million records. The audience for this kind of music was still there in the rural parts of USA. It still is as the band is still a big band in some parts of USA...... and Europe.
The band gives us a mix of country'n'western, southern rock, blues and hard rock on this album. The sound of the good old United States of America, in other words.
The triple guitars are giving their best and the vocals are really cool.
The music is anything but progressive, though.
Nevertheless, the music is somewhere between decent and good. It is good ole rock'n'roll and it is the good ole USA. Some listening sessions with this album is not a wasted time.
Monday, 27 April 2020
The seventh album from this British duo.
The band is Jon Field and Tony Duhig as performers/keyboards and composers.
They had help from guest musicians who provided drums, congas, bass, harp, sax and flugelhorn.
Jade Warrior is a fascinating band. Their music is not quite ambient, not quite symphonic prog, not quite classical music and not quite Japanese classical music.
On this album, you find all these four genres merged into one expression.......... Way Of The Sun, a forty minutes long album.
The music on this album is very, very lush with a great deal of Japanese classical music and symphonic prog. The music is not so much ambient although it is relaxing music, indeed.
There is a lot of excellent flutes here which seduce the listener and takes them to another world. Ditto for the acoustic guitars too.
The music is pretty dynamic with some interesting details scattered around these nine rather short pieces of music.
This is indeed a very good album too and some of the themes here are joyful listening. There is not enough of them, though. Nevertheless, this is a very good album.
The debut album from this band from Finland.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, percussion and vocals.
It is always nice to hear music from bands who goes their own ways. Not necessary by re-inventing the wheel. In Rantama's case, they have taken two genres and carved out their own blend of those two genres.
Take heavy prog like for example Porcupine Tree. Add some Radiohead and then add a lot of fusion and even jazz.
That is where we find this band from Finland and this album.
There is a lot of jazz sensibilities in their music. That is evident from the first tone. That and the very good vocals.
There is a lot of half-acoustic guitars on this album and that reminds me a lot about the great jazz guitarists from decades ago.
The songs are also very dynamic and lively.
This band comes as a breath of fresh air from the thousand lakes and should really go down well in the progressive rock community.... and they have already done that.
This is a good debut album and something to build on.
Sunday, 26 April 2020
The second album from this band from Guatemala.
The band is a seven piece big band with a lineup of chirimia, violincello, violin, keyboards, saxophone, flute, drums, percussion, bass, guitars and vocals.
I very much liked their debut album and was looking forward to listen to this album too. Sadly, those two albums is the only Alux Nahual albums I got.
Something tells me I need more albums from this band, the greatest Middle-American band of all time.
Again, we are being treated to a lot of folk rock on this album. That and some progressive rock too.
The music is melodic and that is due to the pretty substantial amount of symphonic prog and RPI here. Yes is a good reference. But even some Led Zeppelin influences are notable here.
The vocals is really good. It is in Spanish and it creates a good vibe. The rest of the band also does a good job.
The music sounds a bit exotic too and has a good vibe.
The songs are really good too. This album has a good RPI feel, Rock Progressive Italiano sound and fans of RPI should really check out this album.
I think I need to get some more albums from this band....
The eight album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
John Jowitt and Martin Orford had left the band and a new vocalist and a new keyboardist had replaced them.
Their previous album Photoplay was a pretty dire album, the normal high standards of Jadis taking into account, and I did not have any great hopes for this album. It seemed like the band was coming to an end. Maybe it has as the band has only released one album after this album.
We are still somewhere in the neo-prog land here. But with some changes.
There is a lot of indie rock and some standard pop-rock on this album too.
The core and the best music here is still neo-prog, though. There is indeed some good, old Jadis on this album.
There is not enough of that on this album though. The music is mostly leading nowhere.
This is a decent to good album where the song writing is not up to standard, I am afraid.
Saturday, 25 April 2020
The sixth album from this Australian band.
The band is a sextet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, piano, organ, clarinet, percussion and vocals.
This is the sixth album from this band who has released their six album on an infrequent basis. The first album was released back in 2009.
We are again in the middle of neo-prog land. The outbacks of the neo-prog land, that is.
Well, not that so much outbacks as in the middle of the scene.
The songs here are melodic and not so long. They have some progressive metal influences too. Some of the songs are pretty heavy.
The vocals and the guitars are good. The rest of the musicians does their best too.
There is not much excitement and good melodies to be found here. It feels like the band is threading water and has stagnated a bit.
Nevertheless, this album is delivering the goods to the neo-prog crowd. I have my slight reservations as the songs are not good enough.
The one and only album from this Italian band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of flute, keyboards, synths, programming, percussion, guitars, drums, bass and vocals.
This band is one of the new progressive rock bands from Italy we cannot include in the RPI genre. There is hardly anything here which is giving pointers to the good old Italian progressive rock genre from the 1970s.
We have to go to bands like Arena, Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater to find bands we can relate too when it comes to the music on this album.
The genre is hard prog and the music is indeed hard.
There not so much progressive metal on this album as hard rock.. hard progressive rock.
The band use both male and female vocals.
The quality of the music is.... well, not particular good. The sound is not good either and both the vocalists are well below the expected standard.
This is a decent enough album but I can understand why this album has not exactly set the world on fire.
The 37th album from this British artist.
Peter Hammill does everything himself here. Guitars, keyboards, bass and vocals.
This is another true solo-album from Peter Hammill, the front-man in Van Der Graaf Generator. This band is one of my alltime favourite bands and that is the reason why I review Peter Hammill's albums.
I am not a big fan of singer-songwriter albums. I need instruments and much more inputs than just vocals and some sparse instruments to pique my interest and attention.
Peter Hammill sings about all the ills on this forty-eight minutes long album.
The art of good song writing is a bit absent here. A few songs are interesting but that is all.
There is far too much of his vocals on his album. If he could step a bit away from the microphone and do some music too, that would had lifted this album a lot.
The result is a gloomy album where the songs are being strangled to death by far too much vocals. This is a decent album but only that.
Friday, 24 April 2020
The debut album from this Australian band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, mandolin, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
This band released six albums between 1988 and 2004 before they gave up the ghost and split up.
The music is neo-prog again.
We are here talking neo-prog from the early Marillion era. From the early neo-prog era.
The music is pretty muscular with some Dream Theater influences too. There is also a lot of Threshold in the music. There are also some more poppy stuff here.
There are two long pieces of music here. They are all epic and pretty bombastic. The shorter pieces are also pretty epic.
The vocals are pretty good and there is a lot to feel happy about on this album.
The quality is somewhere between decent and good throughout this album.
This is still an album well worth checking out for those into melodic old-style neo-prog.
Thursday, 23 April 2020
The ninth album from this British band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, minimoog, organ, synths, keyboards, piano, guitars, ebow and vocals.
The band has shown a good progress and given us some very fine neo-prog albums.
That is, up to this album.
The opening bars of the opening song Sacred Sound gives us a warning of what to expect here. This is indeed twelve minutes of brilliant neo-prog with some great vocals from Peter Nicholls.
IQ is leaning pretty heavy on Genesis and their own history on this album. The music is really symphonic, epic and elegant.
Sacred Sound gives way to further forty minutes of superb to brilliant music. The twenty-five minutes long Harvest Of Souls is one of the best ever neo-prog suites.
All music on this album is really intricate with some delightful themes and melodies. Not to mention details.
In short, IQ reached a new peak with this album. And so did the neo-prog scene. This album is among the five best neo-prog albums of all time. It is indeed a masterpiece.
The debut album from this band from Guatemala.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of violin, cello, flute, keyboards, percussion, drums, guitars, bass and Spanish vocals.
This band is said to be the most important and even the best ever progressive rock band from Middle - America. That means Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, Nicaragua and Guatemala....
The band has released ten albums but I have only got their first two albums. The other one will be reviewed later this spring.
The music on this album is a mix of folk rock and symphonic prog.
That means Latin-American folk rock and symphonic prog.
There is some strong Genesis and some Jethro Tull influences here. And there is some tropico influences.
The songs are pretty catchy and the vocals are good. There is no doubts the band is talented and they use what they got wisely on this album.
This is a good folk symphonic prog album and one well worth checking out.
Wednesday, 22 April 2020
The debut album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of organ, keyboards, minimoog, violin, guitars, bass, drums, percussion, farfisa, clavinet and vocals.
This band released five albums between 1979 and 2015. I have reviewed their final two albums. I quite liked them.
Gizmo is a Kent band who really never became big in the neo-prog scene. They were at best in the third division of the neo-prog league.
The music on this album is a mix of neo-prog, before it was even invented, and new romantism. New romantism was a music genre which sprung out of the punk movement. Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet was the most famous bands here before they became zillion albums selling bands.
The music on ....Bates is really melodic. It is not particular complex. The added violin gives the music a bit of a weirdness.
Most of the music is straight forward rock though.
The music is decent enough with some good vocals. The quality is not there, though. Nevertheless, it is a decent enough album.
The third album from this British band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of flute, percussion, keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
This band is one of the bigger hopes in the British progressive rock scene at the moment.... and I hope they have not split up.
Their first album was a Caravan copycat album with some extra influences too. So it was not a copycat album but still very influenced by Caravan.
They had broadened their musical output a lot on their second album but were still operating within the Canterbury scene genre.
... Which brings us to Phillip The Egg. An album with a very tasty cover-artwork and new logo.
The new logo gives us an Eastern Asia feel and that is an influence which you will find in the album too. The Caravan influences are still here, but not as pronounced as on the two first albums.
There is a stoner element to this album and the music is pretty groovy at times. It also has some more pastoral prog elements.
Most of this album has this groovy hippie flower power feel. That is a good groove.
All the songs here are really good and full of interesting details. The musicians and the instruments interacts with each other in an very interesting way.
This is another good album from this band and I hope we will get more from this band.
Tuesday, 21 April 2020
The debut album from this new Italian band.
I believe the band is a trio with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums, guitars and Italian vocals.
I know next to nothing about this band as this album has just recently been released. This is another band who does not really present themselves with good websites and relevant information in English.
The music is worth some marketing efforts, though.
The music is pretty much classic RPI...... Rock Progressive Italiano.
There is a lot of instrumental music here which sometimes reminds me about The Police. The sound is very lush though and the band knows what they are doing.
When the vocals comes in, they too are really good.
The harmony between the guitars, various organs and other keyboards and the bass is really cool.
Most of the music is really lively and full of energy with some wild guitar solos. This album is at the more heavier end of the RPI spectrum.
The album is a good album too. It is one well worth checking out and RPI fans will get their fix with this album.
The sixth album from this US band.
The band is a sextet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, violin, bass balalaika, piano, percussion and vocals.
The band had some help from four other musicians, including Carlos Santana, who helped out with drums, guitars, harmonica and vocals.
This is their second album and one of the final albums from this band. Their decline started with this album............ I have been told.
The band is pretty songs orientated on this album. Grace Slick's vocals are everywhere on this album.
The music is still psych rock with some americana and blues influences. The music is still very much west-coast USA.
There are some lunacy left-field melodies here too. The band has not lost it's avant-garde edges on this album.
Most of this album is pretty good. The rest is decent enough.
Bark is not one of their best albums. It is still worth a listen or two.
The second album from this Canadian band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of synths, percussion, keyboards, guitars, drums, bass and vocals.
I was very far from being impressed by their 1978 debut album Astral Projector. A pretty grim third-rate Saga copy.
The cover art-work is..... ehh........ special. My expectations was not exactly raised when I set my eyes on this picture.
What we get here is AOR with a mix of Styx and Saga thrown into the AOR stew.
The vocals are OK. The lyrics is pretty horrendous and full of stupidities. Ditto for the guitar solos.
The music is pretty dire and not even close to be good AOR.
In short; this album is a turkey and I will bypass their third and final album.
Monday, 20 April 2020
The debut album from this band from Chile.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, keyboards, guitars, percussion and vocals.
The band is a new band with member from Seti, Taurus, Entrance and Subterra. These four bands has released albums before. That goes in particular for Seti.
This album is being marketed as neo-prog. Well, that is not too far from the truth.
This album gives us one hour with a mix of progressive metal and neo-prog. Bands like Threshold and Dream Theater springs to mind as references.
The music also have some local colours from Chile too.
The vocals are good and the rest of the band does a good job too.
The quality of the songs does not jump out of the speakers as particular good. They are somewhere between decent and good.
This is a more than acceptable debut album and the band has the talents required to make some better albums. Check out this album if hard neo-prog and Threshold is your thing.
The fourth album from this Italian band.
The band is a trio on this album with a lineup of drums, bass, moog, mellotron, piano, clavinet and organ.
The band had help from a trio of guest musicians who provided guitars, sax, violas and bass.
I have not had been able to get their third album so I am therefore jumping straight to their fourth album. It is also their latest album to this date. I hope we will get some more albums as this is a good band.
The band is still giving us psych rock. That with some additions......
Take psych rock, add some space rock, symphonic prog and some fusion and cinematic music.
The organs and the tangents is the leading instruments here, off course. And the music is pretty groovy and very elegant.
The music is no particular intense although some parts of these pieces of music is pretty intense. Most of it is pretty relaxing and elegant laidback.
The quality of the music is good throughout. It is very much an enjoyable album despite of the music being totally instrumental.
This is an album well worth checking out.
The one and only album from this British band.
Ginhouse was a trio with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
This is another obscure band from Great Britain who released one album and then disappeared. The record business is very brutal and Darwinism. Only the strongest survives. The problem is what the word "strongest" means. There are bands with horrible music and brilliant market strategies out there who is selling millions of albums. Yes, step forward Bay City Rollers.
The Ginhouse record was re-released by Esoteric Records some years ago and has got a second life.
The music on this forty-five minutes long album is a mix of psych rock and hard rock. There is even some progressive rock on this album in between these two other genres.
There is a lot of hard guitars here and lots of hard bass and drums. The vocals are rather good.
The album has a mix of hard and more softer songs. I would still regards this as a hard psych rock album.
Their version of The Beatles classic And I Love Her is pretty bad and should be forgotten.... quickly. The rest of the album offers up some decent music.
This album deserve a second listen or ten. It is a decent one, indeed.
Sunday, 19 April 2020
The seventh album from this British band.
The band was a quartet on this album with a lineup of drums, bass, percussion, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
Two guest vocalists added their voices to this album too.
Jadis is one of the veterans in the neo-prog scene. It is one of the original bands with ex Marillion members and members from other bands.
The musical output of this band had been good without really being great. Six albums so far.
Then we get Photoplay.
The album is one hour long. We are still in neo-prog land here. Very much so.
The music is more complex than we are used to from this band. There is a lot of details and structures I did not expect from Jadis. It is still with the same Jadis sound and it is still neo-prog.
Somewhere in the process, the band forgot to write good songs. The music here is..... dull and and simply not up to the normal standards from this band.
The end result is a decent album which never really hit the right tones. It is a bit of a letdown too.
The eleventh album from this Brazilian band.
The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of keyboards, percussion, drums, bass, guitars and vocals.
The band who debuted in 1968 with their very good psych rock album is only in the name the same band as is giving us this album.
The music on this album is very far away from their psych rock era and their symphonic prog era.
The music here is a bit of Darts like rockabilly and dobop to teenybop and rock/pop.
The music is a throwback to the pop music anno the 1930s and the 1940s.
The vocals and the musicians is OK.
The music is pretty dire and not particular appealing. This album is a turkey and there is nothing good to be found here.
Which is a great shame as I really like their first albums. Os Mutantes was indeed a great band.
Saturday, 18 April 2020
The third album from this German band.
The band was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, Mellotron, Moog, keyboards, organ, piano, bass, drums, percussion and vocals.
The band had help from some woodwinds and percussions.
This band is a bit of a strange band in the history of hard rock and progressive rock. They are barely a progressive rock band, though..... Nevertheless, even a proghead will find their music to their satisfaction.
The band had gone a bit back to the basic hard rock here. Include some southern rock, soul and blues too and you get this album.
John Lawton's vocals are very good and the addition of some female background vocals adds some soul to this album too.
The music is actually pretty good throughout. The band knew how to write solid good songs. With the vocals on the top, listening to this band and album is quite an enjoyable experience.
The quality is somewhere between decent and good. It is an album well worth checking out if 1970s hard rock is your thing.
The debut album from this US band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
The musicians in this band has played with the likes of Frank Zappa, Mike Keneally, The Aristocrats, Joe Satriani and School Of Rock. They are pretty much veterans.
This album is a concept album. A fifty minutes long concept album.
The music is somewhere between neo-prog, progressive metal and indie rock.
There is a lot of samples who acts like narratives in this story being told here. A story about USA and the future of USA. A not so bright future, I gather.
The music is pretty lively and hard. There is a lot of organ like keyboards here and hard guitar riffs. Ditto for the vocals.
The music is mostly hard, indeed.
The quality of the music is not particular good. There is some good pieces here. Most of the music is decent.
Those into hard neo-prog will like this album. I have my reservations as I feel the quality is not here. Better songs next time.
Friday, 17 April 2020
The second album from this Italian band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of drums, bass, organ, piano, keyboards and vocals on this album.
The band is joined by Roberto Izzo (violin) and Sebastiano De Gennaro (percussion and vibes) on this album.
This is indeed a cooperation between The Winstons and these two guys.
After the psych prog debut album, the world of The Winstons is taking a radical change of direction on this album. This by their own choice.
My question is: Why ??
Well, they are artists and creative artists. This is what artists sometimes do and more artists should do this.
Pictures At An Exhibition was composed by Modest Mussorgsky around 1875 and published after his death. Maurice Ravel did the most popular version of this piano piece in 1922.... that is...before Emerson, Lake & Palmer released their version on LP back in 1971. Their version is one of the more famous pieces of work in the progressive rock history and is a must have album.
The Winstons & Co version is a less bombastic and more simplified version of the same piece. It is also more classical music true version of this piece.
There is no denying that Pictures At An Exhibition is a very impressive piece of music, no matter which version. OK, The Winstons has released the least impressive version as it is probably more classical music orientated than the composer intented.
Nevertheless, this is a good album and one to check out. It is an oddity of an album, though....
The debut album from this US trio.
The band consists of Nick and Amber Thieneman. The lineup sounds like it is made by synths, guitars, drums (programmed), bass and female vocals.
I know nothing about this duo besides of their bandcamp page and that they are signed on Prosthetic Records.
The music on this forty odd minutes long album is a mix of gloomy indie records and post-rock.
The songs are driven by some slow half-acoustic guitars and Amber's vocals. And this goes for most of the album.
This kind of music can be very effective and good. Less is more is sometimes not a bad thing. That is... If the songs are good.
In this case, they are not. There is not many good details here either.
As a proghead, this may not be the music for me. Nevertheless, the songs here is lacking in quality. This makes this album a dull but still a decent album. Better songwriting next time, guys.
Thursday, 16 April 2020
The second album from this German band.
Passport is a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, electric piano, synths, organ, tenor and soprano saxophones.
Klaus Doldinger follows up the good debut album with this album.
The 1971 debut album, named Doldinger, gave us a very nice serving of fusion. So much that I agree with those who says that album and the band is underestimated and under appreciated.
So I was looking forward to treat my ears and brain to the follow up album.
What I first noticed was that this album include their version of an old Irish folk hymn. The same folk hymn the band Simple Minds made into their Belfast Child epic. Passport gives it another type of treatment and a good one too. Evergreens and classics never dies.
The other pieces of music on this forty-two minutes long album showcases a mix of saxophones and organs. Add the electric organs too and the rhythm section and we get some really tasty fusion.
Klaus Doldinger & Co has again delivered a good fusion album and one I really appreciate. Under estimated ? Probably, yes. I will review some more of their albums later this spring.
In the meantime, this is a good album.
The ninth album from this Italian one-man project.
Inner Prospekt is the Mad Crayon's member Alessandro Di Benetti's solo-project. He does the percussion, piano, keyboards and vocals here.
He has got help from numerous other musicians who provides bass, harp, keyboards, drums and vocals.
Alessandro started the project in 2014 and I reviewed the fifth album, the 2016 album Deep Ghosts, three years ago. It is a good album.
Back to 2020 again..... The music on Canvas One is symphonic prog with a few neo-prog influences. A couple of songs are lifted from one of his other projects, Samurai Of Prog and the Bernard & Porsti album Gulliver I recently reviewed.
The rest of the material on this seventy minutes long album is original songs for Inner Prospekt.
The music is lush with female and male vocals, English and Italian vocals. There is also some Middle East influences here and lots of Italian symphonic prog influences.
The music is still pretty mainstream symphonic prog with long songs and very interesting instrumental parts of the music. There is also some pretty good opera and classical music influences on this album.
The music is also very good and well worth the time and effort the listener puts into this album. It is a recommended album, indeed.
Wednesday, 15 April 2020
The debut album from this Austrian band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of wind, synths, keyboards, bass, guitar, drums and vocals.
This band released two albums before they were disbanded. The second album is a new wave album and one I am not going to bother with.
Ginga Rale Band is one of the many obscure krautrock bands from that time and age.
The music on this forty odd minutes long album is indeed a mix of avant-garde, jazz, fusion and space rock. Krautrock in other words.
The vocals are at times shouted and insane.
The music itself is not too bad. It is full of contrasts between the different types of madness.
Krautrock fans should get this album and ignore their second album.
This is a decent album and one to check out.
The second album from this US band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of harmonica, guitars, drums, bass and vocals.
They were helped by three guest musicians who provided keyboards, percussion and vocals.
This band is one of those who had a great career at the end of the 1970s in the arenas as warm up acts before their stars waned a bit and was mostly extinguished. They have had a good career in the later years as the general public has re-discovered bands like Molly Hatchet. And with good reason.
This album was a multi-million seller and their biggest selling album.
The music is a mix of southern rock and hard rock. The album starts with the rather good Whiskey Man where the vocalist and the band is on top form. The album drops in quality with the The Rolling Stone/The Valentinos cover It's All Over Now before the order is restored on the rest of the album.
The title track was a big hit. It is a very good driving your car song on the US highways.... and everywhere else where there is a road.
The rest of the album has some entertaining southern rock and hard rock. The music is uncomplicated feel good with some good details.
I will file this album as a semi-essential southern rock album in my record collection for later pleasures. This album screams out to be played on my 90th years birthday.
Tuesday, 14 April 2020
The debut album from this band, project or artist from Poland.
I have no idea who K.Choma is as there is no information on the net whatsoever about him or them.
Some sort of a homepage is here and from where you can download the album.
The lineup here is guitars, drums, bass, keyboards and vocals.... from what I can hear.
The music on this three quarters of an hour long album is some sort of art-rock.
There is a lot of of indie here too and I suspect that this album is a singer-songwriter album. I suspect this is a one-man band.
The songs are both long and melancholic. It is a dark singer-songwriter album.
The vocals are good. The sound are good and we even get some good guitar harmonies here.
That is the most exciting thing about this album, really. I guess it will be more suitable for the indie crowd than the progressive rock crowd. Check out the album on the link above and make up your own mind.
This is a decent album but nothing more than that.
The debut album from this Canadian band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of cello, bass, drums, clavinet, synths, minimoog, piano, organ, electric piano, percussion, guitars and vocals.
Canada has a rich prog scene. It also the best and most famous pomp rock band..... Saga.
Zon has had a listen to the Saga albums and has decided that they also wanted a piece of this cake. Hence this forty minutes long album.
But where Saga was epic and very much pomp in a progressive rock vein, Zon and this album is bypassing those elements and goes for a rock and pop version of pomp rock.
The vocals is identical to Saga's vocals. The music is much more rocking and verse-chorus-verse orientated.
The music is a bit fast at times without being hard or heavy. The keyboards, all of them, are pretty poppy too. The guitars are in the background.
There is a happy feel over this album and not much to report.
This album and Zon is a poor man's Saga. Saga without all the good bits.
There are a couple of half decent songs here but that is all. I am not really impressed.
The tenth album from this band from Macedonia.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
The band had help from some guest musicians who provided flugelhorn, clarinet, saxophone, keyboards and vocals.
I have bypassed a lot of their albums before arriving at this album. This because I do not have those other albums.
The band was once a great fusion band in the same vein as Mahavishnu Orchestra. That was in the 1970s.
Ten years later, the band is reduced to a cheap pop rock band.
The great guitarist Vlatko Stefanovski's talents is totally wasted on this album. His guitars are subtle and the only flicker of quality on this album. His guitars are sparsely used, though.
The rest of this forty minutes long album has some painful pop rock with some folk rock influences. This version of Leb I Sol is not even a shadow of the Leb I Sol you can find on their first three albums.
Avoid this album at all costs.
Monday, 13 April 2020
The sixth album from this British band.
Jade Warrior is a duo of Tony Duhig and Jon Field who has composed the album and does some of the music.
They have got help from numerous musicians who provided violins, electric piano, brass, bass, drums and a string quartet.
Their previous albums was very ambient music. So that was what I expected from this album too.
I was in for a shock.
The band has left the ambient music formula and gone a bit jazzy. The music is indeed jazzy with a lot of avant-garde prog too.
The Asian theme is everywhere in this music. Indeed, there is a lot of Asian classical music here and that long before Jean Michel Jarre exposed the rest of the world to this scene on his live in China album.
The music is in it's core avant-garde prog and that makes this album very different from their previous albums. It is also a bold album and showcases a duo who is more than happy to challenge their listeners. And I feel challenged by this album.
The quality is not good enough as there is some stuff who simply does not work at all. Nevertheless, this is an interesting album and one to check out. I am really glad I got this album in my collection.
The debut album from this British band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals.
I know nothing about this band other that this album appeared in my inbox one day for reviews. Which I will off course do.
The music on this one hour long album is a mix of indie rock and Marillion.
It is melodic with a lot of good vocals and guitars.
There is a great Marillion, Steve Hogarth era feel over this album indeed. Copycats ? No. But Marillion fans should get this album.
The sound is good and the band knows their craft.
Unfortunate, there is nothing much else to report here of positive things.
The art of good songwriting is missing from this album. What remains is a decent album but nothing more than that.
Better luck and better songwriting next time, guys.
The one and only album from this US band.
The band is named after Robert Giannotti who does the flutes, guitars, bass, keyboards and drums here.
He had help from numerous other musicians who provided drums, piano and vocals.
Robert Giannotti was a lead singer in the semi-legendary band Jesper Wraith before he quit the band to concentrate on his family. I guess this is where his priorities still lays as there has not been much lifesigns from him after this album.
The music on this album is melodic progressive rock. It is progressive rock and it is leaning quite heavy on the legacy of Camel.
A lot of the music on this album sounds like Camel and the spirit of the whole album is Camel'ish.
The songs are really gentle with some folk-rock influences. Both female and male vocals are used on this album.
This is indeed a gentle album. It is not an ambient album though. It has some proper songs and some instrumentals.
The quality is good throughout and it is an album well worth checking out if Camel and melodic prog floats your boat.
Sunday, 12 April 2020
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band is a trio with a lineup of woodwind, drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
A couple of guest musicians provided trumpet and programming.
I have heard about this band for a long time but have always believed they were a prog metal band. I was wrong..... very wrong.
The band is a cooperation between three indie rock musicians. They wanted to branch into some more jazzy progressive rock.
The result was this album. An album which is very much a Canterbury prog album.
That is Canterbury prog combined with some late 1960s psych rock. There are a couple of songs here which very much reminds me about both The Beatles and The Moody Blues.
There is even a song here called On A Dark Cloud which is very good psych song.
The rest of the album is a mixed bag with psych and avant-garde Canterbury prog.
The vocals are really good and the keyboards sounds like an organ from the good old days. Ditto for the trumpets and the woodwinds.
I am positive surprised by this album. A very good album well worth checking out.
The 36th album from this British artist.
Peter Hammill did everything himself on this album. That is guitars, bass, piano and vocals.
The first of his albums back in the 1970s saw him getting help from the rest of Van Der Graaf Generator. The Peter Hammill albums was more personal and stripped down compared to the Van Der Graaf Generator albums. Besides of that, there was not much difference.
The latest albums sees Peter Hammill really go solo with his vocals, piano, bass and guitars. I am not even sure if he has visited one of those big studios to record these albums.
The sound is great though so that is not a problem at all. My point is that that albums like this can be recorded with a computer/laptop in a bedroom or a living room.
Stripped down, this album is...
Naked and dark, it is too.
Peter Hammill's voice is special and pretty gloomy per default.
All depends on the quality of the songs when reviewing a Peter Hammill album as there is not much details outside that..... but when noting that, there is indeed some interesting details on this album as some of the guitars are dissonant.
The songs are good and he has come up with at least three songs here which is bordering to very good. A couple of fillers is what we have to endure too. Nevertheless, this is indeed a good album.
The debut album from this British band/project.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, piano, organ, synths, percussion and vocals.
They had help from numerous other musicians who provided saxophones, guitars, piano harp and vocals.
This band is new to me so there is not much I can say about them.
I off course knows about Duncan Mackay from Alan Parsons Project, Kate Bush, 10CC and Camel. He is a regular member of this band.
The band is very much influenced by the melodic rock Pink Floyd were doing at the end of their life. Ditto for David Gilmour's albums too.
There is also a lot of Camel in their music and Alan Parson's Project.
The vocals and the musicians is good here and deliver the goods if this is your kind of music. It is very much a Pink Floyd'ish album.
The music here is very airy and melodic.
It also has some good songs and some good details. It is a bit on the pedestrian side.....
Nevertheless, it is a good album and well worth checking out.
Saturday, 11 April 2020
The second album from this US band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, synths, guitars and vocals.
They had help from three guest musicians who provided guitars and tablas.
I reviewed their 2012 debut album What If Never Was five years ago and liked that good album. See my review here.
The band is not the most productive band..... It is eight years since their last album.
The band is still based on female vocals.
Their genre is a mix of neo-prog, a lot of folk rock and some Americana. But mostly a mix of progressive folk with some psych and neo-prog.
The vocals and the sound has a warm feeling throughout these seventy minutes. There is some good guitar solos here too and a lot of guitar harmonies which livens up this album.
I would say that the lush cover art-work very much describe the music here. There are even some melancholy on this album. It is not a happy-chappy album by any means.
The music is properly crafted throughout these twelve songs. There is no outstanding songs here though.
The quality is good throughout and the band should not wait eight years until the next album. They are very much welcome to release more albums.
The 32nd album from this Dutch artist.
Gert Emmens does everything here himself. Synths, drums, guitars, bass and vocals.
He has got some help from a female vocalist.
When I picked up this album, it was the first time I had ever heard about Gert Emmens.
He album debuted back in 1995 and has released his albums on electronica labels since the start of his career. I guess he must have a lot of fans and regular buyers of his albums.... 32 of them.
This is a very long album.... seventy-six minutes long. It is not a hippster LP friendly album, in other words.
The music is a mix of electronica, ambient and some sort of symphonic prog.
Most of the album is done by keyboards although it starts out as a neo-prog album with vocals and a proper song. That is a false dawn, though. That song is an OK song, btw.
There are some Japanese sounds here and Jade Warrior springs to mind as a reference.
The music is decent enough and there is some structures here. It is very ambient though and does not offer up a lot of dynamic plays and details.
I do not find anything good on this album and notes that this album would be fine for anyone into ambient music. It is decent enough and just that.
Friday, 10 April 2020
The second album from this British band.
The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of flute, drums, bass, guitars, percussion and vocals.
I really liked their 2010 self-titled debut album. A great album in the Canterbury prog genre.
A big reference on that album was Caravan. That album was influenced by other bands too. But with vocals and music like Caravan's, it is difficult not to make a connection there.
Transmission From Sogmore's Garden is a bit more of a change of direction.
The Caravan influences are still here and this is very much a Canterbury prog album. There is also some more folk rock influences here.
There is indeed also some jazz influences here and the Canadian band Maneige springs to mind here.
The band has broadened their musical platform while they have retained most of what made their debut album such a great album.
A small dip in quality is noted but this is still a very good album and one to check out.
The eight album from this British band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, flute, percussion and vocals.
A guest musician added saxophone on two tracks.
IQ is going from strength to strength. They have found their niche and genre. By the release of this album, they were rightly regarded as one of the best neo-prog bands around.
The niche and genre you can find IQ operating in, is muscular neo-prog.
This album has some long songs too. They are all both symphonic and epic.
The music can sound a bit like progressive metal. But it is not. The music is beefy and muscular. But never progressive metal.
This album comes with the usual great vocals from Peter Nicholls. The band also do a great job on this album.
This album does not have a great song or a great piece of music. Nevertheless, this is indeed a good album and a joy to behold. You can always rely on IQ when it comes to neo-prog. That also includes this album.
Thursday, 9 April 2020
The second and final album from this US band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of timpani, bass, drums, percussion, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
The band released two albums and then disappeared again. The norm back in a very hard business where only the best one survives. Whalefeathers simply did not sell enough albums and that was that.
We can again hear a lot of Deep Purple, Mark I influences in their music. That is an obvious reference.
There is also some soul and a lot of blues in their music. The music is pretty hard but also melodic at the same time.
The organ sound is very good and the vocalist is also up to the task given to him.
There is some interesting details throughout this album and the band knew what they were doing. So much that they and their two albums deserve the hidden gems label.
The quality here is a mix of decent and good. It is actually quite a nice album and one that I enjoy a lot. But the quality is not there, I am afraid.
The fourth album from this band from the Czech Republic.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
Different Light has been around since the early 1990s and CD debuted in 1996.
I reviewed their third album The Burden Of Paradise back in March 2016 and liked that album.
Much of what I wrote back then also goes for their new album.
The band still gives us a pop rock version of neo-prog.
The music is elegant but also very light and rounded. The music is not particular edgy or symphonic. It is not symphonic at all.
There are some guitar solos with vocal harmonies inbetween on some very lightly sprinkled melodies. It sometimes feels like a teenybopper album.
There are some good details scattered around and the music is not too bad. The vocals are really good and ditto for the rest of the musicians.
Nevertheless, this is an album somewhere between decent and good.