Sunday, 31 May 2020
The second album from this US band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, cello, bouzouki, organ, synths, keyboards, mellotron, piano, drums, percussion and vocals.
This is their follow up album to their brilliant 1995 debut album The Light. The album that more or less re-started the US prog rock scene after it's long hibernation.
Beware Of Darkness gives us another hour of more or less the same stuff The Light gave us.
That means symphonic prog with a lot of Kansas and Gentle Giant influences.
The songs are pretty long throughout and the musicianship is top notch. My only gripe here is that the guitars could had been better and we could have got some longer guitar solos.
The vocals is really good.
All the songs here are good to superb. This album is not a good as The Light. But not by much. There is no really outstanding tracks here. But there are some superb melody lines and details scattered around this album.
Beware Of Darkness is a great album and one I would highly recommend.
The third album from this German band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of percussion, bass, drums, guitars, flute, organ, piano, synths, moog and vocals.
Sahara was beset with lineup changes throughout their career and that meant a lot of variations between their three albums. The band did indeed only release three albums and this is their final album.
For All The Clowns is an album which has taken a lot of inspirations from the likes of Camel, Caravan, Genesis, Jethro Tull and Gentle Giant.
There is also some fusion influences here.
The music is indeed mature and well balanced melodic.
It is also a well balanced mix of genres.
Most of the forty minutes long album is good and very interesting. There is a lot of subtle interesting details here. The vocals too is good and adds a lot to this album. A couple of long guitar solos also makes a guitar solo fan's heart melt a bit.
Sahara is rightly so regarded as one of the better hidden gems from the German scene and their three albums is well worth exploring.
This is a good album and very much an album well worth checking out.
Saturday, 30 May 2020
The one and only album from this Japanese band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals.
This band released this album as a private pressing and that was the last thing we heard from them.
This was sold to me as a progressive rock album. It is not. It is hardly a progressive metal album too.
Take a large chunk of German speed metal, add some very tiresome vocals, some heavy guitars and a lot of progressive metal. That is what we ends up with here.
There is a lot of Yngwie Malmsteen like guitars here and that does not add quality to this album. An album which is basically a progressive speed metal album.
The musicians are very, very good. The music is sub-standard and just half-decent.
This is not a turkey. Those who are intrigued can find this album on Youtube and listen themselves. I am not impressed.
The second album from this Italian band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and Italian vocals.
A guest musician provided libretto.
Their debut album Il Guerriero Errante from 2016 was a fairly good album. That album included saxophones in a mix of progressiv metal and neo-prog.
The saxophones has been ditched this time around.
What is left of their sound a shift slightly towards neo-prog without totally ditching progressive metal.
They sound like a Dream Theater copycat at times. When they are not covering that ground, they are more in the RPI and neo-prog landscape.
The music is indeed muscular. It is also melodic and the band has found something good here.
Their blend of RPI and neo-prog is the best thing about this album. It is indeed a nice sound.
The album is good throughout this one hour long album. It is an album who offers a lot of promises for their next albums. I hope they will continues down the same road and write some great pieces of music too.
Friday, 29 May 2020
The second album from this Italian band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and Italian vocals.
This band was around in the 1960s as a cover band where they covered the darkest beat songs of that time. Their debut album L'Ultima Danza Di Ophelia was released in 2017.
Translated to English, the band name means Black Magic. They were and still is a part of the more occult part of the Italian progressive rock scene. It is an unique scene to Italy and no other country has a scene like that.
This band is old and the members are no spring chickens. They have been around the scene for many, many funeral moons.
The music on Montecristo is pretty dark Italian rock with Italian vocals.
The music is not particular progressive. It is much more straight Italian rock. Is it occult rock ? I would not say that.
The vocals is good and ditto for the instruments. There is a cool organ sound here.
The songs are OK'ish in quality. That means somewhere between decent and good. I am not too impressed by this album.
The second album from this band from Poland.
The band was a trio with a lineup of percussion, drums, bass, guitars, grand piano, organ, electric piano, moog and vocals.
There is two versions of this album. The original forty minutes long version and the Metal Mind version lasting almost twice as long with bonus tracks. My review is as always of the original version although I would recommend purchasing the Metal Mind version.
Forty minutes... three tracks. The longest one clocking in at twenty minutes.
I really liked their debut album and was looking forward to review the highly rated Pamiec album... this album.
The Polish vocals almost sounds like Italian vocals and there is also a lot of other things that reminds me about the RPI scene on this album. That is a good thing in my view.
SBB is SBB though.... The music is symphonic and changes between epic and pastoral many times during these forty minutes.
The music is also dynamic and changes between different melodies and sounds.
This album is indeed a very good album and one of the better albums ever to have come out of Poland. I do understand this band's good reputation based on these two albums and is looking forward to listen to more albums from this band.
The fourth and final album from this Norwegian band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, congas, flute, mandolin, accordion and vocals.
Prudence had been more or less constantly on the road in the very long and mountainous Norway and Sweden since 1968. The breaks they had was spent in recording their first three albums.
Their mandolin player then lost a finger in an accident in a sawmill and the band was falling apart due to sheer exhaustion. They were also flat broke with families to take care of too.
Their fourth album and the last drops of blood was therefore going to be their final album. The title means "Thank you and farewell" in English.
Their last drops of sweat, blood and tears was distilled into these thirty-seven minutes.
The music is melancholic and somber progressive folk rock. You can feel their despair of having failed to make it big. That in their opinion.
That also makes this album a pretty bitter album with bitter, despondent Norwegian lyrics and vocals.
Takk Te Dokk is also their best album and a hidden gem in the progressive folk rock genre. It is a bitter album but is also works pretty well.
This is indeed a very good album and one of the best ever Norwegian folk rock albums. Check it out.
Thursday, 28 May 2020
The one and only album from this US band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars and vocals.
This album was released as a name your price album and is still available. So feel free to download it from here.
The band gives us one hour worth of loose indie rock with some hard rock included.
The vocals is pretty bad and the band is not particular the masters of the universe...... or their respective instruments.
The cover art-work is the best about this album. A turkey, no less.
The debut album from this US band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of percussion, drums, bass, guitars, organ, piano and vocals.
This band was a short lived band who released two albums before they gave up the ghost and were disbanded.
Their two albums, listening copies are available on Youtube, is well worth checking out. I am reviewing their second album next week too.
Bull Angus is a forty-two minutes long album. The music is very hard at times and mostly hard.
The music is a mix of hard rock, psych rock, southern rock and progressive rock.... strangely enough. The music is not as all out hard rocking as I did expect after the first ten minutes of this album. Look past these ten minutes and check the rest of the album.
There are some decent, interesting stuff on the rest of the album.
The vocals are really good but the music is not overly interesting. This is still a decent enough album and well worth checking out.
Wednesday, 27 May 2020
The third album from this British band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of chimes, flutes, keyboards, guitars, bass, percussion, drums and vocals.
Some guest vocals added violin, tabla, tambura and backing vocals.
The band continued on with their mix of psych rock and raga rock.
Their first two records was a mixed bag of western music and hare krishna chants. The latter ones is not my style at all and I find this kind of music both dull and pretty worthless.
The album starts out in the direction of Jefferson Airplane before the music mellows out a bit and become raga rock and religious in the hare krishna vein.
The musicians does their best in a lush soundscape. There are some powerful vocals here too and some really epic melody lines before the music goes hare krishna.
This is when we have to listen to hare krishna chants and endure it.
This forty minutes long album is pretty decent and has something fairly good that outweighs some of the hare krishna dullness.
Those into raga rock will find this album very interesting. I am not.....
The third album from this Swedish band.
The band is a duo with a lineup of piano, synths (Carl Westholm) and vocals (Niclas Flinck).
They had help from numerous other musicians who provided bass, drums, percussion, guitars, backing vocals and a chamber choir.
I have reviewed most of their albums before and I like this band. Their albums has given me some good symphonic neo-prog.
This is also the case for this album.
We get one hour of melodic, symphonic neo-prog.
There are a lot of of Swedish symphonic prog in their take on neo-prog too and that is a good thing.
There is also some Yes and in particular; Gentle Giant references in their music. The music is pretty Gentle Giant'ish at times. Gentle eclectic prog.
The vocals is good and the soundscape had a lot of interesting details.
There is no great melodies here or any great pieces of music. That is my only gripe with this album. Besides of that, this is a good album and well worth checking out.
Tuesday, 26 May 2020
The second album from this German band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, moog, mellotron, flute, bass, woodwind, saxophone, mouth harp, drums, percussion and vocals.
The band returned again, two years after the release of their debut album. A fairly good debut album.
This time with a bit of a new sound.
The band has gone for a more clean symphonic prog sound and music this time. There is a strange pop and beat like song on this album too. Even that song has some symphonic prog. It also has some country music.
The rest of the three quarters of an hour long album is symphonic prog.
The longest track, out of four tracks, is the almost half an hour long title track. That track is a suite in two parts.
This suite has a lot of classical music bits and some ELP like bits too. It is a very complex suite indeed.
The result is another decent to good album from this band. A band and album well worth checking out as this album is a bit of a hidden gem.
The debut album from this French band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of clavinet, piano, electric piano, synths, guitars, bass, vibraphone, percussion and drums.
This is one of the many fusion bands who operated in small clubs in the shadows of the big fusion bands in the 1970s.
Transit Express was very much influenced by Brand X and Mahavishnu Orchestra.
The music on this half an hour short album is indeed very much a mix of those two bands and schools of fusion.
The music on this album is pretty intense though and the half an hour really rattles the windows in this office.
The music is at times very fast with a lot of interesting solos.
The music is indeed rather good throughout. It proves that it is well worth taking a deep dive into the fusion scene instead of just only listen to the big bands in the scene.
Check out this album.
Monday, 25 May 2020
The debut album from this Italian band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, sax and vocals.
A guest musician provided libretto.
The band has so far released two albums and I got both of them up for review this week.
The band is listed as a progressive metal band in most places. Progressive metal, it is..... with a large twist of the tale.
There is indeed some progressive metal here. There is also some djent here.
There is also some eclectic RPI here. Area and Picchio Dal Pozzo springs to mind. Then we get a lot of Italian folk rock too.
The band mixes up these genres and makes their own sound and music.
The vocals are in Italian and pretty good. The sound is good and this should have been a good album.
It is in sore need of some better songs, though. This is still a decent to good debut album and well worth checking out.
The second album from this US band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of drums, bass, electric violin, guitars and vocals.
The band was helped by guest musicians providing keyboards, organ, piano and backing vocals.
Most of the Jefferson Airplane setup was now gathered in Jefferson Starship.
The result this time around is an album pretty close to what Jefferson Airplane did.... with an important difference...
The band succeeded in their effort to sound much more commercial stadium rock on this album than on previous Jefferson Airplane/Starship albums.
This album did indeed sell a lot of albums and is their best selling album.
In their attempt to sound as stadium rockers, they also had a country rock sound. Grace Slick delivered the female vocals and the other males did the male vocals.
The music sounds a bit too bland for my liking and it is clearly an album of it's time. There is no real good songs here and this album feels like a step back from their debut album Dragon Fly.
That said, this is not a bad album at all. It is decent enough and an album well worth checking out.
Sunday, 24 May 2020
The third album from this Norwegian band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of mandolin, guitars, bass, flute, accordion, piano, drums, congas and vocals.
The band had toured Norway and Sweden, played the Roskilde and the Ragnarock festivals and done everything they could do.
The band was still not a household name in Norway and were only scraping by, week by week. The band had normal drudgery jobs inbetween the tours. During a day in the sawmills, the mandolin player lost a finger.
But that happened after the release of this album.
No. 3 is their most mature album and most rock orientated album. There is still a lot of folk rock here. The band was a folk rock band through and through. But there is less folk on this album than usual.
The music is not as catchy either.
The mandolins and the flutes is good on this album. The vocals, in English, is also good. The band does their best with a good sound. A folk rock sound.
The songs are a bit short on quality. There is nothing here, besides of Sailor Song, which is of the standard I would expect from this band.
The result is still an album well worth checking out. The quality is somewhere between decent and good.
The second album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of timpani, drums, percussion, saxophones, flute, guitars, bass, cornet and vocals.
A guest musician provided piano and spoken words.
Blodwyn Pig is the band of the first Jethro Tull guitarist Mick Abrahams. He and Ian Andersson split up after the first Jethro Tull album because of musical differences. Differences you can find very well explained in the directions both Blodwyn Pig and Jethro Tull took on their albums.
I think we should all be eternal grateful that Ian Andersson's visions for Jethro Tull prevailed.
That said, the first two Blodwyn Pig albums is not bad.
This album is a blues album with some heavy folk rock and soul influences. There are even some Canterbury prog influences on this album.
The vocals and guitars are reasonably good. There are not any really good songs on this forty minutes long album.
The music is decent enough though. But the band will never become anything more than a footnote in the history of progressive rock.
They, that means Mick Abrahams released three more albums before they gave up. But only their first two albums is regarded as interesting.
The debut album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, percussion, sax, flute, organ, mellotron, harpsichord, piano, sitar, guitars, tamboura, harmonica and vocals.
The band had help from some well known backing vocalists too.
This band launched Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi's careers. Together with Dave Mason and Chris Wood, they were Traffic.
I have got a box of their albums and will review their albums this summer. Something I have been looking forward to for a long time.
This album was re-released in USA as Heaven Is In Your Mind the year after the UK & Europe release. Just to keep this in mind.
The music on this album is an eclectic mix of folk hall variety music, beat, avant-garde rock, blues, jazz and folk rock.
It is a strange album in today's standards. They do not release albums like this these days....
Some of the music sounds like a riot in a mental asylum. But there is some good songs here and this is indeed an interesting album with interesting ideas.
It certainly put the band on the map. It is a decent to good album too and well worth checking out.
Saturday, 23 May 2020
The debut album from this US band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of guitars, electronics, bass and drums.
The band is from San Fransisco on the west coast. A city with a lot of history when it comes to all sorts of progressive rock.
The band has eleven releases behind them but I have only got this one. Check the link above for the rest of their releases.
This album, a Bandcamp album and a double LP, is almost eighty minutes long.
....And the music is improvised space rock with a lot of ambience inbetween the trips to outer space. The music is at times dynamic. Other times, it is very ambient and does not move an inch.
The best parts here is OK..... well, there is no parts who is worse or better than the rest of the album. It is a bit of a drone, this album.
Space rock as in outer space can be very good. It is a genre I really like and should devote more of my time to explore. This band is scratching the surface of this genre on this album. It is a debut album and the band can be happy about it. It is what it is..... a decent album.
The sixth album from this German band.
The band was a quintet on this album with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, organ, piano, keyboards, clavinet, electric piano and vocals.
The original vocalist John Lawton has left the band and the band was looking to find a new direction.
There was some hard rock left in their music. A music whose references now was Queen, Elton John and Supertramp.
The music is a kind of boogie soft hard rock with a lot of pop too.
The songs are pretty catchy and very commercial. It feels like the band want to leave Germany and their roots behind them and move over the Atlantic Ocean to Florida.
The music has a Mid-Atlantic Ocean crisis sound.
When going for Lucifer's Friends albums, this one can be safely ignored as the turkey it is.
The fourth album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
An extra keyboardist also helped out.
Peter Jones is also involved in this band. He has been that since the band went with vocals. He also plays in Camel, has his own band Tiger Moth Tales and work solo too... and on some other projects. Busy man and an important man these days. That is a blessing for the prog rock scene.
I really liked their previous album as it was an album full of emotions and soul.
The band has on this album retreated to a more dry version of neo-prog.
The music is very much safe, middle of the road neo-prog.
It is well crafted though and the vocals is good. Nobody can be faulted on anything on this one hour long album.
It is solid, solid music with some hints of symphonic prog and some hints of the more poppy end of the neo-prog spectrum.
The end result is a good album which will please everyone into neo-prog. I hope we will hear a lot more from this band in the future.
Friday, 22 May 2020
The fifth album from this German band.
Passport was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, piano, electric piano, moog, mellotron, saxophones, drums and electronic percussion.
Klaus Doldinger and his band has so far given us four really tasty, good fusion album.
Although Klaus is a superb saxophonist, he has never been afraid of giving guitars and other instruments as much room as his own saxophones. That gives the Passport albums a lot of value.
We are again getting fusion here with a lot of jazz too. As per usual, all instruments get plenty of space to do harmonies and solos.
There is in fact not much saxophones here. Not that I believe Klaus was lazy. The slightly Weather Report like material did not invite to a saxophone overkill. And there is none.
We get a lot of electric piano here though on this forty minutes long album.
The music is really good and there is a shame that the music is not on a higher level than that.
Nevertheless, this is another good album from Passport. I really like their music.
The debut album from this British band/project.
Tiger Moth Tales is Peter Jones own band where he on this album plays everything. That means guitars, talkbox, keyboards, saxophone, drum programming, bells, whistle, percussion, melodica and vocals.
There is no doubts that Peter Jones is a highly talented musician who is going to be a very positive force in the progressive rock scene in the future. He already is.
That he is blind makes no difference to his music. It just makes him a more admirable person.
Although he has been involved in other projects before Tiger Moth Tales, this is his solo project.
The music here is a mix of vaudeville rock, art rock and a lot of symphonic prog. I would label it as a symphonic prog album. It is weird music, but still symphonic prog.
Take Genesis from the Trick Of The Tale, add in the above and some cinematic music.
This seventy minutes long album is a ride up and down mountains. From the very good to the not so good. It never becomes dull though and it is always engaging.
There is things here who is not working. But most of it is really good to very good..
This is indeed a good album and I am looking forward to review the other three Tiger Moth Tales albums too this summer.
The one and only album from this English band.
The band was a trio with a lineup of keyboards, piano, guitars, drums, bass and vocals.
Careworn was a student band whose announced follow up album has yet to seen the light of day. Their homepage is also down and I believe this band is no more.
As this is the first review I have seen of this album, I guess the lack of reviews and feedback from the scene did not help the band much. So this is why I always tries to give bands feedback through short reviews in this blog. At least the bands does not get the feeling they are being ignored.
Careworn gives us a forty minutes mix of indie rock, neo-prog and some folk rock influenced pop rock.
The vocals are good and the music is really melodic.
The music still got some interesting details. Mostly delivered by the acoustic, semi-acoustic and electric guitars.
The music is also slightly singer-songwriter based too.
The end result is forty minutes of decent to good music. Maybe it is not progressive rock.... but it is still an album worth checking out if you can find it.
Thursday, 21 May 2020
The tenth album from this British band.
Jade Warrior was a trio on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, keyboards, synths, programming, percussion and flutes.
Jade Warrior.... what can I say since this is the final album of them I am reviewing ?
The first five Jade Warrior albums were very lush. Floating World, Waves, Kites and Way Of Sun is pretty much classic albums.
Then the rot set in and we get more pure ambient albums.
This album sees the band adding a bit more textures to their ambient music. There are some Far-East music added to the ambient music too and the result is an improvement.
After a very slow start, the album gets a lot of added textures in the form of electric guitars and synths. The tempo is never faster than very slow. Ambient, it is.
This fifty minutes long album has some interesting music and it is an OK album.
The album never becomes any good and it is nowhere near as good as their best albums. Check it out if ambient music is your genre.
The debut album from this Brazilian band.
The band was a duo with a lineup of guitars, bass, synths, keyboards and organ.
This band has so far released two albums. I reviewed their self-titled 2017 album two years ago and you can read my review here.
That album caused quite a sensation and put the band on the progressive rock map. I hope that also means more albums in the coming years.
That album had vocals and it was full of colours with well crafted songs.
Rascunho is an album with not so well crafted songs. The music is indeed instrumental.
The melody pieces on this album is somewhere between classical music and symphonic prog. They do use a lot of Bach's ideas and compositions here.
The music is mostly performed with acoustic and electric guitars with a lot of synths too. The music is at times very ambient.
The music is not too bad on this half an hour long album. Fans of instrumental symphonic prog should get this album a.s.a.p. I have my reservations but it is still a decent album.
Wednesday, 20 May 2020
The seventh album from this British band.
The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
I was not impressed by their previous album, the 2019 album Svengali. A pretty dull ambient psych rock album.
The band returned again this year with a different genre and lineup. A bigger band too.
The music here is neo-prog in the same vein as these days Marillion. A mix of neo-prog and art-rock in other words.
The music is melodic with a touch of Pink Floyd and psych rock too added to the mix of art rock and neo-prog.
The songs are pretty long on this fifty-five minutes long album.
The vocals are good and ditto for the guitar harmonies and solos. There is no great tracks here and tha is a bit of a shame.
That aside, this is a good album.
The debut album from this US band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of mellotron, organ, cello, keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, percussion, French horn and vocals.
Two female vocalists added their vocals on one track.
Spock's Beard is legends in the scene. They are among the five best and most important prog rock bands in the scene too.
Ten years ago, I reviewed their brilliant Snow album and has decided to review the remaining twelve albums this summer.
.... Starting with their debut album.....
The Light is a four songs long album. That is three suites and one song. The three suites ranges from twelve minutes to twenty-five minutes long.
The band starts their recording career with the sixteen minutes long title-track. The music is leaning quite heavy on both Gentle Giant and Yes. It is a complex suite with a some bombastic, epic melody lines. A truly superb suite it is too and an eye-opener.
Both Gentle Giant and Yes, and add Pink Floyd on the final two tracks, is good references for this album. Add Kansas, Genesis and The Beatles too.
The second suite, the twelve minutes Go The Way You Go is among my favourite post 1970s pieces of music. The bombastic themes here are stirring and brilliant.
The twenty-five minutes long The Water suite is kind of getting slightly lost in wailing female vocals, later era Pink Floyd soundscape. The music is very complex but not brilliant.
The final song, the six minutes long On The Edge is a great song. It is almost like an afterthought on this album. But it deserve a place on this album.
In short, this album heralds the new beginning of the symphonic prog era and it cannot be underestimated.
Music wise, it is close to being a masterpiece. I have some slight reservations towards The Water and On The Edge. The vocals and the musicianship is top notch and not a problem at all.
It is an album everyone should own.
Tuesday, 19 May 2020
The debut album from this band from Poland.
The band was a trio with a lineup of percussion, bass, organ, grand piano, synth, guitars, harmonica and Polish vocals.
SBB or S.B.B is one of the greatest ever mainland Europe and behind the Iron Curtain prog rock bands. So it is about time I discover and reviews their albums. Which I will do this spring and summer.
Well, not all nineteen of them, but rather ten of them or so. I will see.
I have been looking forward to listen to their albums a lot as they have a very good reputation.
Nowy Horyzont is firmly in the symphonic prog genre. There is lots of ELP influences here. There is also a lot of classical music influences here.... although the music is not classical music.
Add a lot of King Crimson and avant-garde influences too and you get this album. Add a lot of Deep Purple too and you get this album.
I cannot say this album has left me disappointed. The music is really good with lots of guitars and synth cascades. The vocals are also good.
There are some less impressive stuff here. Nevertheless, this is a good debut album which has become better and better by each listening session.
The second album from this Italian artist.
Marco Grieco plays all instruments and sings on this album. That means guitars, bass, keyboards, programmed drums and vocals.
Marco Grieco released his debut album under the name MacroMarco back in 2009. A rather good album if my memories serves me right.
So he is back again this year with the follow up album as well as working for other artists.
The music is neo-prog. Symphonic neo-prog.
There is little or no references to the good old RPI scene. The sound here is the English neo-prog sound.
Marco has added a lot of classical music references to his brand of neo-prog. The music sounds original and a bit different from the normal neo-prog fare.
The music is pretty epic throughout. Epic and bold.
The vocals are mostly multi-layered and so is the instruments.
The music is really good. What makes is very good is the classical music influences and that elevates this album from being a good album to a very good album. The music is indeed innovative.
Check out this album.
Monday, 18 May 2020
The one and only album from this band from Chile.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of drums, saxophones, bass, guitars, congas, bongos, quenacho, quena, charango, pan flutes, flutes, thin whistles and vocals.
This album is a bit of a strange album....
The music is a mix of South American folk music, jazz and King Crimson like eclectic prog.
Yes, that sounds very eclectic and it is.
After some prog metal like introductions, the thirty odd minutes long album turns into a folk music album with King Crimson and jazz influences. Mostly folk music with King Crimson influences.
The vocals are in Spanish and the music sounds very local...... in Chile, that is.
Los Jaivas is a good reference here and fans of this band will like this album a lot.
The music is decent enough and it has an exotic flavour. The vocals are rather good too.
This album is essentially a folk music album from Chile and fans of this scene, including Los Jaivas, will find a gem in this album.
I have problems finding any good melodies and stuff here. There are some hope here.
Nevertheless, it is a decent album.
The one and only album from this British band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of flute, harmonica, keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
This album was meant to be released back in 1968. But the record labels did not like the album at all and it spent almost forty years hidden in an archive before it was cleaned up and released.
The cleaning up also included Steve Hackett and his guitars being added on one track.
The music on this forty-three minutes long album is psych folk rock. No less and no more.
The music is a bit naive and beat like at times. But the harmonica adds a lot of blues feel and the flute adds folk rock. The guitars are psych rock like. There are some The Rolling Stones vibes on this album too.
The vocals are really good.
I wonder what would have happened to the music scene if this album in it's purest form was released back in 1968. I think it would had been a nice addition and given the band a bit of a legends status.
These days, this album is an obscurity and ditto for the band.
This is a good album though and well worth checking out.
Sunday, 17 May 2020
The third album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars and vocals.
The band had some help from a keyboardist.
Their first two albums were instrumental albums and they did not do much for the band. I had their last instrumental album and that album is at best a mediocre album. See my review.
The vocals adds a lot of quality and makes this seventy minutes long album quite a more enjoyable album.
The music is pure and simple neo-prog.
The music is also very symphonic with long songs and some symphonic melody structures.
The music is still melodic with some good melodic vocals and muscular music which is bordering to progressive metal at times. There is also some tender melancholy in the songs.
There is no real outstanding tracks here and that is a shame. Nevertheless, this is a very good album and massive improvement from their second album.
Saturday, 16 May 2020
The debut album from this British band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, saxophones, flutes, violin and vocals.
Blodwyn Pig is an off-shot of Jethro Tull. Mick Abrahams, The original guitarist in Tull who played on their first album, quit the band after a disagreement over style Ian Andersson.
The rest is history and Jethro Tull became a big, big band.
This Blodwyn Pig album showcases where Mick Abrahams would have taken Jethro Tull if he had won the power struggle against Ian Andersson.
Let me first say that Ian was right and Mick was wrong.
This forty minutes long album is a mix of blues, folk rock, brass rock and some sprinklings of jazz in the vein of Django Reinhardt.
Mick really has some good vocals. The music has a good mix of flutes, sax and guitars.
The music is decent enough and the music is entertaining enough. The music is not good though as it falls a lot short in the quality stake. Nevertheless, it is an album well worth checking out.
The second album from this UK band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of flute, guitars, drums, percussion, bass and vocals.
I was not overly impressed by their debut album although I expressed the view that I was looking forward to listen to their four remaining albums.
This band is one of the bigger bands in the raga-rock scene. It is a genre very influenced by the Indian music. George Harrison from The Beatles started it all and were also instrumental in bringing this scene to us in the west.
The rest is history..... and bands like this one.
The first half gives us a nice mix of psych rock, fusion and some raga. And the music is good with some really good vocals and guitar harmonies. There are some really good melodies here too and a good ambience.
The album falls a bit flat on it's face when the band runs out of ideas and resort to some Indian chants and drones. That is never impressive and a bad sign.
The end result is again an album somewhere between decent and good. It is a raga rock album and those who likes this genre and don't mind some hare krishna chants will like this album a lot.
Friday, 15 May 2020
The debut album from this US band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars and vocals.
I am a bit surprised and joyful over the amount of new US prog bands who released their first album during the first quarter of this year. Covid 19 or no Covid 19.
Some of the albums are very good and some are not that interesting.
Epic Tantrum gives us ninety minutes of a mix of vaudeville rock, US neo-prog og progressive metal.
The vocals are a mix of male and female vocals. Well, some of the vocals sounds like female vocals. Maybe they are male vocals after all. They are not particular good either.
The music is pretty dynamic and heavy.
The music is not entirely convincing either. It is music somewhere between decent and good. It is an album well worth checking out. I am not entirely won over, though....
The debut album from this German band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, percussion, mouth harp, flute, saxophones, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
The band had help from two guest musicians who provided viola and acoustic guitars.
Not much is known about this band who released three albums in the 1970s and whose albums has later been re-released on CD. I have these three albums up for review in the next weeks.
The music on this album is a mix of krautrock, symphonic prog, folk rock and brass rock.
There is a lot of saxophones here and the sound is a bit muddy. There are some symphonic prog melody lines and the flutes reminds me a lot about both Focus and Jethro Tull.
There is also a lot of darkness in the music which clearly point towards Van Der Graaf Generator. Most of the songs has references towards that band.
This album is a bit of a mixed bag and it is right to label it as an eclectic prog album.
The quality is pretty good throughout and it is easy to understand why this album has so many fans that it has deserved two re-releases on CD.
Check out this album if all above sounds like your cup of tea. I have my reservations, though.....
Thursday, 14 May 2020
The ninth album from this British band.
The band is a duo and the lineup is acoustic guitar, flute and synth.
This is Tony Duhig and Jon Field recording a duo album after several albums where they have hired in extra musicians.
The band has a reputation for being an ambient band and they more than live up to that on this album.
This is ambient as in horizontal and almost dead. The emphasis is on the mood here and not so much on the melody.
It is hard to stay concentrated throughout these forty-four minutes, three "pieces of music". The flute sound on the top of the synths is fairly good and there is method behind this horizontally straight out droning music.
There is actually music here, believe it or not.
This is not a good album. It is a half decent album and not really anywhere near this band at their best.
The one and only album from this Italian band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards and guitars.
I don't know anything about this band besides of what Progarchives has written. Which is a lot, btw.
The last decade has seen a lot of new bands coming out of Italy and onto the big scary world. The world inhabited by the likes of myself.
The music is instrumental. All the forty-four minutes of it.
References are a mix of Camel, Dream Theater and Gentle Giant.
The album starts out pretty pastoral before it becomes heavy at the end.
The musicians is doing their best on some really dull, sub-standard melodies. There is really nothing here that I would say is good. This album is at best a half decent album.
Maybe this is an album you should bypass.
The fourth album from this Australian band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
The band had help from a sax player.
I have barely heard about this band before. They have just released a new album (in 2020) which I have yet to get.
The reason for my ignorance about this band is that they do progressive metal. A genre I do not find particular interesting. I try to avoid reviewing albums in this genre.
I have been told that Caligula's Horse is not a standard progressive metal band. They are leaning towards neo-prog too. Hence, I decided to give them a chance.
And yes, there is a lot more to this one hour long album than just progressive metal. Yes, some of the music is hard and you can even find djent here.
Then again, there are a lot of neo-prog and pomp rock here too. References to the good old A-Ha pops up here too. Pomp pop indeed.
This album is indeed a mixed bag and the more pastoral parts here is really good to very good. There are some not so good parts here too.
Nevertheless, this is a good album and well worth checking out.
Wednesday, 13 May 2020
The debut album from this US band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, electric violin, piano, bass, drums, percussion and vocals.
Marty Balin helped out on one of the tracks.
Jefferson Starship was the continuation of Jefferson Airplane and I am therefore going to review their first five albums. The Jefferson Airplane journey to Jefferson Starship can be read here.
Yes, this is more or less the same band who released the massive AOR hit "We Built This City". That under the name Starship. But forget about AOR and that song now. As Jefferson Starship, the band released some really interesting albums. Albums well worth checking out.
..... Starting with Dragon Fly...
Both Grace Slick and Paul Kantner was members of Jefferson Starship and pretty much dominated this album. Well, that is a bit unfair towards the rest of the band. Slighly.
The music here is a mix of west coast flower power and psych rock.
The psych rock was far more dominant on this album than on the final Jefferson Airplane albums. Gone was most of the folk rock too.
There is a strong acid psych rock vibe on this album and that is indeed what the music is. Acid and twisted. It is still melodic and very intense. The music is songs orientated.
There is a lot of female and male vocal harmonies on this album. The songs are a bit twisted and has bitter undertones.
Notably is the use of electric violin and that instrument is all over the album.
The songs are really good too with a couple of crackers. Caroline and the opening track Ride The Tiger is the two really very good songs here. A couple of sub-standard tracks drags this album a bit down.
Nevertheless, this is a good album.
The 12th album from this British band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, percussion and vocals.
I have reviewed their twelve albums this year (one of the reviews was done ten years ago) and that has been a pleasure. I like this band and I like proper, good neo-prog.
IQ is a proper, good neo-prog band who more often than not are delivering the goods.
This album is a double CD album, triple LP and a one hundred and eight minutes long album. It is a concept album, to my knowledge.
The album has some long songs. The longest one is clocking in at twenty-two minutes. There are also two other songs clocking in between fifteen and twenty minutes.
The music is really complicated with a lot of vocals from Peter Nicholls. They are supported by the usual elegant guitars and keyboards from the rest of the band.
The music is muscular, symphonic neo-prog. It is complex and multi-layered.
The music is very good throughout. There is no really outstanding great track here. Nevertheless, this album deliver the goods and very much lives up to this band's good reputation.
I hope this band will continue to release albums in this vein. Keep up the good work !
Tuesday, 12 May 2020
The second album from this Norwegian band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of mandolin, accordion, guitars, bass, drums, congas, flute and vocals.
I have to admit that I regard this band as one of the best ever Norwegian bands. They were also one of the first Norwegian rock bands and toured the rather difficult to tour Norway relentless during their career.
Prudence was a folk-prog band. Their first album was very much in that vein and so is this album.
This album is a mix of some really pastoral progressive folk rock songs and some more rowdy, and I guess, crowd pleasing party songs.
The title track is a good example. It became a mini anthem for those who liked to be drunk and it was sung by these Norwegians when they were drunk. It is a party song but also a good one. Although being drunk can also give you a black eye as shown on the cover art-work.
The accordion, mandolin and flute fits in nicely with some rather hard guitars at some of the songs.
The song Sawmill showcases the more pastoral progressive side of the band. It is one of my all-time favourite Prudence songs.
This almost forty minutes long album has a mix of decent and good songs. The last song on this album is rather blushing bad and one I want to forget.
This is still an album well worth checking out from an undervalued band.
The debut album from this US band.
The band is a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
They had some help from an xtra vocalist on the opening track.
This year has been a horrible year for anything else than debut albums from new bands in the scene. The corona pandemic is scaring and killing the rest of us. So it is nice to see that the progressive rock scene, at least when it comes to releases, are alive and well.
Black Cross Merchants is strictly speaking not a progressive rock band. AOR and progressive metal is the two labels I would put on their output. Their band logo and the album art-work is a bit misleading when it comes to the band and the music too.
I am no fan of AOR and progressive metal. Black Cross Merchants take on these two genres are very youthful and energetic. It is full of life.
The songs are medium long and this album is close to forty minutes long. It does not outstays it's welcome.
The songs are a mix of ballads and more heavy songs.
The vocals and the musicians are doing a pretty good job.
The end result is a decent to good album who shows some promises. Check it out.
The sixth album from this British band.
The band is a duo of Chris Gill and Misha Steinbacher who did the guitars, bass, keyboards, synths, drums (machines ?) and the vocals here.
This album is my first meeting with this band. I got this album and their new album up for review this spring.
The reason why I have avoided having a deeper look into their first five albums is their reputation for being ambient music albums. I am not a big fan of that genre.
Svengali, with the excellent cover art-work, clocks in at seventy-four minutes. That is a long album in these days standards where vinyl is again coming into fashion.
The music on this album is indeed ambient psych rock. The reference is Pink Floyd.
There is a lot of meandering synths and keyboards here punctuated with some guitar solos and vocals. There is not much vocals and there is no songs here. Just long ambient pieces.
The vocals and guitars brings some dynamics to this album. Not everything here is horizontal ambient music. Nevertheless, a big chunk of it is just that.
This is not a bad album and it will find a lot of fans who will disagree with me. For me, it is a decent album and nothing more than that.
Monday, 11 May 2020
The one and only album from this US band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of cello, mellotron, syntsh, moog, harpsichord, vocals and spoken words.
Not much is known about this band and album. It was a one off album.
The album is a re-writing of a prayer about Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. It is barely half an hour long.
It opens up with some spoken text and intro to this, what must be called a concept album... a twenty-five minutes long concept album.
These twenty-five minutes consist of some spoken narration, some terrible vocals and some baroque synths which sounds as false as a seven dollars banknote.
And that is this album.
It is a turkey of the best quality and pedigree. It is an appalling bad piece of music.... if we can use the word "music" on this album. I have my doubts.
The fifth album from this German band.
The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of woodwinds, guitars, drums, bass, celesta, clavinet, piano, string ensemble, organ, percussion and vocals.
Three guest musicians provided drums, spoken words and vocals.
The band returned after Banquet, their most progressive rock album. They returned to.... well, not to what they were on their first three albums.
Brass rock bands like Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears had made an impression on the band. So had US rock too and even some...... bottles of airfresheners is being applied to my office..... disco.
So the band added this to their DNA profile and core hard rock music.
There are a lot of cheesy vocals here from John Lawton and they are not worthy of his stature and what to expect from his vocals.
The brass and strings is also pretty cheesy.
The band tried to sound like an US stadium rock band here and that falls a bit flat on it's face.
Frankly, this is their worst album up to this point and one I do not have much good to write home about.
The fifth album from this US band.
The band was a sextet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals.
They had help from a keyboardist, pianist and two guitarists.
Molly Hatchet is a band who released twelve studio albums.... so far. They are still around, touring and about to release a new live album. They are a true, honest southern rock band. And they got my respect.... tons of respect from me.
My first Molly Hatchet album was bought, based on the album cover, thirty years ago. It was their seventh album Lighening Strike Twice and I was too young to understand their southern rock. I will not review that album here as I have lost the cassette long time ago.
I have enjoyed their first four albums and reviewed them here. No Guts.... No Glory.. is the final Molly Hatchet I will review in this blog.
The music here is a bit of a mixed bag. All of it is southern culture and rock. From an attempt to make a country pop song to an epic ballad.
That epic ballad is named Fall Of The Peacemakers and it clocks in at eight minutes. Music wise, it is a mix of southern rock, country and prog. All of it in a southern rock sound. It is by far their most ambitious piece of music.... and it kinds of works. The lyrics is about peacemaking, Luther and so forth. Serious stuff.
There are also a lot of southern rock here and the album is indeed a southern rock album.
Fall Of The Peacemakers is a good song and the rest is not bad either. This is a solid decent to good album, indeed.
Sunday, 10 May 2020
The one and only album from this Mexican band.
The band was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, drums and bass.
Not much is known about this band who released this album in the year where their kind of music was as popular as the covid virus is these days.
Yes, progressive rock. Symphonic prog and it is instrumental. That did not go down well with the music crowd.....
But the album is here and available now after two re-releases. Both with three bonus tracks. My review is of the 1981 LP version.
Camel is the first reference that springs to mind when listening to these forty odd minutes of music.
There are also some prog metal here too and hard prog. Nevertheless, this is a symphonic prog album.
The sound is OK and the band does a good job on some sub-standard tracks. This album is rather dull and does not really offer much of any interest for progheads.
This album is pretty decent and only those, like me, who want their record collection of Mexican prog rock complete would bother about this album.
The 11th album from this British band.
The band was a quintet with a lineup of percussion, drums, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals.
I have had the pleasure of reviewing all their albums this winter and that has been a pleasure. Not everything has been pure gold. Their last album, Frequency, was an album I had some strong reservations towards.
The band returned with The Road Of Bones.
This album is so much more complex and symphonic than Frequency and most other IQ albums.
The songs are around the ten minutes long mark with one song clocking in at twenty minutes. The music is therefore epic and really symphonic.
The title track is a superb track indeed. It is not immediate hit, but it is a grower and it really grows on the listener.
The other tracks are the same too. Maybe not as good as the title track. Nevertheless, they are full of intricate details and really grows on the listener.
IQ has again delivered the goods with this great album. This is an album everyone need to check out and listen to over a pretty long time-frame just to appreciate it's greatness.