Wednesday 30 September 2020

Pharaoh Overlord - Circle (2015)

The eight album from this band from Finland.

The band was a quintet with guitars, bass and drums. 

I suspect that someone also helped them out on synths and programming here.

I reviewed their first album a couple of weeks ago and I liked that album.

The band has really developed a lot since that album and has really become interesting on this album.

The music is a mix of space rock and psych rock on this album. All of it is instrumental. 

In this case, the music is really interesting with some good riffs and themes on every song. Songs which is really short, around the five minutes mark, on this thirty-seven minutes long album.

The guitars are mostly half-acoustic with a lot of vibratos and a classic jazz feel. That sound alone makes this album very interesting.

The songs are really very good and this is indeed an album I would recommend.

I am won over.

3.5 points


Herd Of Instinct - Drone Priest (2017)

The fourth album from this US band.

The band is a duo with a lineup of mellotron, guitars, bass, organ, piano and synths.

The band had support from some guest musicians who provided drums, cymbals, chapman stick, flute, sax, moog and synths.

This band made a breakthrough on their 2011 self-titled debut album and was hailed as one of the biggest talents of our time.

They have just released their sixth album by now. An album I have yet to get a copy of.

The music on this album is instrumental.

The music is also somewhere between symphonic prog and.... well, it is symphonic prog of some sort.

A bit Camel at times and a bit Genesis. But instrumental.

The music is not particular technical. It is more based on the melody and that is it.

These fifty minutes is pretty OK. I am not won over and I feel the band has taken some step backwards since their first two albums. This album is a disappointment.

2.5 points

Monday 28 September 2020

Univers Zero - The Hard Quest (1999)

The sixth album from this band from Belgium.

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

The band is still going strong in 1999. This is their sixth album.

The band introduced electricity into their sound after their fourth album and that has given their bare sound a new dimension.

We are still in the middle of avant-garde land. This is indeed one of the biggest avant-garde bands of all time. That is, in the progressive rock scene.

There is no rock here though. 

The band gives us some very darkened chamber classical music with a lot of woodwinds and violins.

The music is indeed very dark.

It is also very compelling and has a lot of very interesting details..... and dare I say...... whisper it... melodies too.

The music is indeed good on this fifty minutes long album and this album is well worth checking out. It is perhaps so far their best album, six albums into their career.

3 points

Resistor - Underground (2017)

The fourth album from this band from USA.

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

I reviewed their third album, the 2014 album To The Stars, back in Christmas 2015 for # 1 of this blog

I was not impressed by that album.

Underground is an eighty minutes long album which contains all kind of melodic music from bluegrass to heavy metal.

That is melodic songs with a mix of neo-prog, bluegrass, rock and heavy metal. There is one tracks here with clear references to Iron Maiden.

Most of the music is what is today called Americana. That is lively roots music with a lot of heavy rock and some progressive rock.

The songs are OK. The vocals are rather good and the musicians does their best.

The album is faaaaar too long and works more like a collection of songs with no or little quality control.

Some of the music works while other parts of this album does not work particular well.  

This album falls somewhere between decent and good.

2.5 points




Sunday 27 September 2020

King Crimson - Space Groove (1998)


The 12th album from this British band.

The band was a trio on this album with a lineup of drums, guitar synths, computers and synths.

The lineup was Trey Gunn, Robert Fripp and Andrew Belew.

This is a double album, clocking in at one and an half hour.

There is proper songs here and no proper meaningful pieces of music here. 

The title track is clocking in at forty minutes. It is not forty well spent minutes as this track is just unfinished ideas and noise. It is still the highlight of the album...

.... Which says everything about Disc 2. 

These fifty minutes is noises and rambling bluesy ideas.

The guitar solos is good here and the band can play, being some of the best musicians in the scene.

The music leaves a lot to be desired and this album is not the reason why this band is such a great band. 

2 points



Passport - Back To Brazil (2003)

The 23rd album from this German band.

The band was Klaus Doldinger on saxophones and six other musicians helping out on percussion, drums, bass, guitars and keyboards.

Passport has altogether released 25 albums and this is the final one I am reviewing.

It has been a pleasure to listen to this band and review the 10+ albums I got of them. I rate this band quite highly. In particular their first albums where they sounded like Weather Report.

The band has embraced the music of Brazil on this album. That means the more jazzy and world music from Brazil. Not it's death and thrash metal music....

This means an hour of jazz with a lot of bossa nova influences. Klaus saxophones is in the forefront on some music which mostly is ballads or mid-tempo stuff.

The music is a bit on the bland side and not particular interesting for a proghead like myself.

The music is still pretty decent though and well worth a listen or two. 

When it comes to Passport, their first five albums is very good and should be investigated. The rest is OK to good.

2 points



Saturday 26 September 2020

Hallas - Conundrum (2020)


The second album from this Swedish band.

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

Their 2017 album Experts From A Future Past was a rather good debut album. So the band was eager to follow up that album.

The band has again given us a neo-prog album. An album with a lot of references to Swedish folk music too.

There is a distinct Swedish folk and symphonic prog feel in their neo-prog. There is also some mainstream rock in their music.

Some of the music also reminds me about the mainstream rock scene from the 1980s and the 1990s.

The vocals are good and the musicians does a good job. The sound is good.

The songs is a mix of decent and good songs. I am not entirely convinced about this album. Hence my lack of enthusiasm. 

2.5 points



Friday 25 September 2020

Gildenlöw. Kristoffer - Homebound (2020)


The third album from this Swedish artist.

Kristoffer Gildenlow does the bass and vocals here himself.

He is supported by a long list of guest musicians who provides drums, bass, guitars, piano, brass, cello, synths and backing vocals.

Kristoffer is the ex bassist in Pain Of Salvation and has released three albums on his own.

I am not particular familiar with Pain Of Salvation. But I am certain that their music is pretty different from what Kristoffer is offering up here.

The music on Homebound is very pastoral and singer/songwriter based.

The music is his vocals with one or two instruments. That's really it.

That means the songs really have to be good.

They are not. 

They are instead full of cliches and unoriginal ideas. Kristoffer is walking down the path so many others has been walking before him since the dawn of time.

This is a decent album but nothing more than that.

2 points


Thursday 24 September 2020

Repsel - From Dawn To Dusk (2015)


The debut album from this Italian band.

The band was a sextet with a lineup of drums, bass, violin, guitars, synths, piano and female vocals.

Two guest guitarists provided extra guitar solos.

The band released two EPs and this album before they vanished without a trace. I guess they have split up but I hold out hope that they may return.

The vocals are in English and the music is a mix of neo-prog and progressive metal.

The music is very commercial sounding it is indeed very catchy and commercial.

There is a lot of chugging guitars from the two guitars here and these guitars are supported by some synths and piano. There is some sparse violin too here.

The vocals are in the front of the music. But the two guitars is the main players here.

The music is a mix of hard songs and ballads like songs.

Commercial in other words.

The quality is good though and I tip my hat to the band and this album. They have indeed given the world a good album. 

Unfortunate, not many is listening to this album and I can understand why the band is inactive.

3 points




Wednesday 23 September 2020

Relaxer - Unreal/Cities (2017)

The second album from this USA & Canadian band.

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

I have not had the pleasure to listen to their 2014 debut album Lasers. I therefore do not know this band's progression. 

This forty odd minutes contains a mix of psych rock, space rock, old heavy metal and stoner rock.

There is a lot of the latter days Hawkwind in their music.

The music is mostly psych rock and it rocks pretty good. It has a nice 1970s USA sound. A fat organ instead of the synth would had been a better choice.

The vocals are good.

The songs are decent enough. The songs are not good though and herein lays the problem with this album.

Check it out...

2 points



Tuesday 22 September 2020

Wappa Gappa - A Myth (1998)

The second album from this Japanese band.
The band is a quintet on this album with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
I really liked their 1996 debut album Yamataikoku. It had a good mix of pop, prog rock and jazz.

They returned two years later with this album A Myth.

I believe the vocals are in Japanese. The vocalist is again Ms. Tamami Yamamoto.
The jazz bit is not so much present here as it was on the debut album.
The music on the one hour long long A Myth is much more neo-prog. Neo-prog with female vocals. 
The British female fronted neo-prog bands and wave springs to mind. 
The vocals is still very good.
The songs here are all good. The album is still a bit of a backwards step from the debut album.
Both albums are still worth checking out and this band is a good band.
3 points

Warm Dust - And It Came To Pass (1970)

The debut album from this band from the UK.

The band was a six piece band with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, flute, harmonica, woodwinds, organ, piano, guitars and vocals.  

This band released three albums before they broke up. I have all three albums and will review them this autumn.

Their debut album is a double album and it is clocking in at seventy-seven minutes.

The album is a mishmash of various genres. From soul and blues to folk rock and even rockabilly.

There is some Jethro Tull here and some blues and mostly everything.

The double album is confusing to say at least and not particular good either. It is an overblown double album where everything is thrown into the mix in the hope that it will float above the surface.

It fails to do so.

It is not a hopeless album. It is an annoying album though as it is so overblown and bloated with mostly hot air.

I hope the two other albums is better than this one.

1.5 points


Sunday 20 September 2020

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Gimme Back My Bullets (1976)


The fourth album from this US band.

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

The band had help from some guest musicians who contributed with dobro, mandolin, harp and female choirs.

The band had settled into this new genre called southern rock. A genre they and The Allman Brothers had created on their own.

The music is a mix of soul, rock, hard rock and country. It is very much an "Born in the USA" genre and in particular, in the southern states of USA. 

This album, and most other albums in genre, is the sound of these states. 

The band had by now moved away from Led Zeppelin and had gone a bit more pastoral and country than on the previous three albums. 

The songs are OK and mid-tempo. There is no fireworks here at all. 

The vocals is great and the musicians does their best on some songs which is not their best by far. 

This is therefore only a decent album from a band who left us far too soon.

2 points



Guerin. Shaun - The Epic Quality Of Life (2003)

The second and final album from this US musician.

Shaun Guerin did the drums, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals all by himself.

He was supported by three guest musicians who provided bass, keyboards, mellotron and guitars.

Shaun Guerin was a very successful studio musician before he decided to release his two albums. He would have released more albums if he had not passed away in 2004. 

An archive collection was released after his passing on the same year.

His 2002 debut album By The Dark Of Light was not a good album and missed the boat by some lakes. 

The Epic Quality Of Life gives us music in the vein of the album title. Epic symphonic prog with a lot of pomp pop sensibilities.

Genesis in the vein of Wind And Wuthering is the best reference here. The vocals is in the Peter Gabriel vein although the music is in the first albums of the Phil Collins era.

There is indeed a lot of Phil Collins in the vocals too.

The music is indeed good on this fifty odd minutes long album and one Genesis fans should check out. There is also a lot of US symphonic prog in the sound and music on this album.

The music is really good and the passing of Shaun Guerin may have robbed us for a lot good albums. I do not know but his two albums is well worth looking into.

3 points

Friday 18 September 2020

Traffic - When The Eagle Flies (1974)

The eight album from this British band.

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

This is their next to last album. The band members split up the band and went on their ways to have successful careers somewhere else.

Steve Winwood, the vocalist and main man in Traffic, had indeed a very successful career. This is an artist me and many others respect very highly. He is a national treasure, no less. 

When The Eagle Flies is forty minutes long.

The music is a mix of folk rock, symphonic prog, rock and art-rock.

There is also a hint of soul in the music on this album. Steve Winwoods vocals is indeed very soulful and can be used as an instrument in it's own right.

That is something he has done here.

The songs are not particular good. But there is a vibe on this album which makes it sound a lot better than it is.

This is therefore an album somewhere between decent and good.

This is my final review of Traffic albums and I both like and respect this band. It is one of the more interesting crossover folk rock bands from UK. 

Check out this band.

2.5 points


Reign Cycle - Solstice (2012)


The one and only album from this US trio.

The band is a trio with a lineup of percussion, piano, bass, guitars, harmonica and vocals.

Two guest musicians adds trombone and female vocals.

The band plays a mix of emo-rock, Radiohead and post-rock.

There is a lot of vocals and piano here. The music is pretty slow and sparse on details. The guitars are mostly acoustic.

Emotions is the big thing on this album.

The album is just over half an hour long and it does not have any really good songs. 

This album is a decent enough album, but nothing more than that.

Fans of emo-prog should check out this album.

2 points

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Regent - Illusions (2016)


The one and only album from this UK band.

The band is a duo with a lineup of guitars and backing vocals. 

The duo, Jonathan Youdale and Martin Collins, has hired in guest musicians who do drums, percussion, bass, keyboards, saxophones, male and female vocals.

This album has got next to no exposure in the prog media and that is a bit of a shame. All albums deserve to be heard and reviewed.

Hence, this review.

The band has described this as a neo-prog album. The album has five songs and clocks in at exactly half an hour.

Truth to be told, this album is somewhere in a no-mans land as it is neither fully rock, pop or neo-prog. There is elements of all of this and it also comes with a whiff of Pink Floyd and Radiohead.

There is a mix of female and male vocals here. The saxophones adds a lot of texture to the music and the music is at times pretty heavy.

Unfortunate, this album does not really have any good songs. It is ticking over but there is little here to warrant any attention.

This is a decent enough album and just that. 


2 points






Pharaoh Overlord - Pharaoh Overlord (2000)


The debut album from this band from Finland.

The band is a trio on this album with a lineup of drums, bass, electronics and guitars.

Pharaoh Overlord is a side-project of the more known Finnish band Circle. They have released ten albums and I got three of them up for review.

I am starting with this album.

The music is pretty basic spaced out psych rock.

The band is somewhere in outer space.

There is a lot of bass here with some hard guitar works on the top. There are also some sporadic electronics here.

The guitars gives us feedback, distortions and some clean guitar solos and melody lines too.

The music is not bad at all. These fifty-five minutes can be a bit of a trial for those not into space rock. 

The quality is somewhere between decent and good. It is an album well worth checking out.

2.5 points

Tuesday 15 September 2020

Yes - Open Your Eyes (1997)


The 15th album from this British band.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, percussion, harmonica, bass, banjo, mandolin, guitars, keyboards and vocals.

A couple of other musicians provided extra keyboards.

Jon Anderson was still at the helm together with most of today's Yes. 

You never know what you got with Yes after their best days, the 1970s. And this album proves the point.

Seventy-two minutes long where twenty-two minutes is silences, some animals and screams.Why ? Why these twenty-two minutes of nothing ? Beats me....

The music here is very, very poor being Yes. 

Take a lot of pop music and add some AOR into the mix. This is an album that is regarded with horror by all diehard Yes fans and I will add my horror too. 

There is not a single good song here. There is not even a decent song here.

There are some hints of what Yes once was. A great band. But these hints are faint and this album is a turkey.

Horror, o horror.

1 point


Monday 14 September 2020

Hallas - Excerpts from a Future Past (2017)


The debut album from this Swedish band.

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

The band released a self-titled EP in 2015 before they released two albums. The last one some weeks ago.

This band is another Swedish band who lives in the 1970s.

There is a lot of Swedish folk rock here blended with some Black Sabbath and a lot of Uriah Heep. 

Heavy prog meets neo-prog meets folk rock. That is what we get here.

The Swedish prog rock sound is evident here. Think The Flower Kings. Hallas is very different from them, though.

The organ sound is great here and a throwback to the 1970s. That is the whole point with that sound. The vocals too is good.

There is a lot to be happy about on this more than acceptable debut album. There is no killer tracks here and I hope the band has raised the bar on their new album. An album I will review later this month.

3 points


Sunday 13 September 2020

Passport - Earthborn (1982)

The 12th album from this German band.

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

Klaus Doldinger continues on with Passport. This is his life and I can only admire him for that.

Passport has released some very good albums through their career and has mostly continued in the formula established on their debut album.

That means semi-intense fusion with a lot of Weather Report influences. 

The band is not so hard on the accelerator on this album. The music is mostly mid-tempo with a couple of ballads inbetween.

The music is mostly jazz on this album with some good saxophones from the master himself; Klaus Doldinger.

The music is fairly good... but with some exceptions. The song here with vocals is not good and reeks of bad 1980s taste. 

Besides of that song, this is a decent to good album.

2.5 points



Saturday 12 September 2020

Reed. Robert - Sanctuary II (2016)


The second album from this British artist.

Robert Reed did most of the instruments himself on this album. That means mandolin, banjo, guitars, bass. bodhran, grand piano, farfisa organ, keyboards, synths, marimba, vibes, glockenspiel, timpani, bells and tubular bells.

He had some support from a choir, drums and recorder.

Robert Reed is a member, founding member of Magenta and is involved with a lot of projects. He has released four solo studio albums.

The first Sanctuary album was a lush album with a mix of prog and classical music. 

Sanctuary II is two pieces of classical music with a total running time of forty minutes.

Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells springs to mind here. Sanctuary II has a lot of Irish and Scottish folk tune like classical music. 

There is a lot of melodic electric guitar pieces here together with a lot of bells, choir and synths.

The music is very melodic and pretty dynamic. 

This album is not as good as the first album in the Sanctuary series. Nevertheless, this is a rather good album who would appeal to all Oldfield and Camel fans.

3 points





Reed. Alan - First In A Field Of One (2012)


The debut album from this British artist.

Alan Reed did the synths, percussion, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals himself. 

He did have help from a quintet who provided guitars, keyboards, drums, percussion and female vocals.

Alan Reed was the lead vocalist in Pallas from Scotland before they parted ways and both parties went on to releasing their own albums.

Alan Reed is a proud Scotsman and that influences his music. There is a lot of Scottish folk rock in his music. That is blended with some neo-prog and pop-rock.

Alan has a good voice and Christina Booth from Magenta also delivers some good vocals too. 

The music on this forty odd minutes long album has a singer/songwriter feel as Alan is trying to stand on his own two feet.

There are too much simple rock here and the music does not have any really good songs either. It is still worth checking out this album.

2.5 points


Friday 11 September 2020

Spock's Beard - Octane (2005)

The eight album from this US band.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, saw, theremin, guitars, keyboards, loops and vocals.
The band was helped by some guest musicians who provided strings, woodwinds and female vocals.

The band had lost Neal Morse some albums ago, but was still going from strength to strength.

The Snow double album is still their best album and masterpiece, but the band was trying to come up with albums in the same vein and quality.

Octane gives us one hour of a mix of US symphonic prog and some more modern rock. There are also some orchestral parts here.

Spock's Beard does not let down their fans with this album. There are indeed some very good pieces here. The vocals are really good and the other musicians also deliver the goods.

There is a couple of dead wood songs on this album. But on it's best, this album really pulls a punch.

This is indeed a very good album from these masters of US symphonic prog.

3.5 points

Wednesday 9 September 2020

SBB - Wołanie O Brzęk Szkła (1978)

The eight album from this band from Poland.

The band was a trio with a lineup of bouzouki, harmonica, clavinet, moog, electric piano, guitars, drums, percussion and vocals.

I am here reviewing the original LP and not the two CD versions who comes with half an hour worth of bonus material. I guess the CDs offer better value than this LP.

This album is barely forty minutes long, a full LP in other words, and has two compositions.

Both composition are in the borderland between symphonic prog (ELP) and fusion/jazz.

The first one, the title track, is a full on hard rocking mix of fusion and symphonic prog. The music on this composition is really dynamic and fast paced.

It is also having some effects on my feet as they want to dance to this composition. Not to mention doing some air guitars and air synths. A very good composition indeed.

The second composition Odejscie takes a slightly different route.

It starts of in a somber, pastoral direction before that one too enters into a much more fusion and symphonic prog friendly territory.

The end result is a very good album and one who again demonstrate how good this band was. My respect for this band is again on the rise towards the skies.

3.5 points

Tuesday 8 September 2020

Guerin. Shaun - By The Dark Of Light (2002)

The debut album from this US musician.

Shaun Guerin plays every instruments here. That means drums, bass, guitars, synths and vocals.

This much sought after studio and live musician released two albums before passing on 2003 after completing his second and final album. An archives album was released the year after.

I am reviewing this and the second album this autumn....

..... Starting with this album.

The music on this almost one hour long album is symphonic prog. That means US symphonic prog.

There are some melodic songs here intertwined with some instrumental pieces where Shaun showed what he could do on his instruments. It also showcased him as a composer.

Genesis is an obvious influence on his material. But there is also some more cinematic pieces here.

The songs are good and so is the more instrumental pieces. Shaun Guerin was indeed a good musician and a good composer.

This good album proves how good he was.

3 points

Negri. Fabiano - The Fool's Path (2020)

The debut album from this artist from Brazil.

I know next to nothing about Fabiano Negri and the lineup. But the lineup is the traditional keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and English vocals. 

I guess Fabiano does all the instruments here.

The music on this barely half an hour long album is a mix of progressive metal and neo-prog.

There is also some soul and pop in the music on this short album.

Most of the music is decent to good without really impressing me.

There is nothing wrong with this album at all. The music is melodic. Neither does it really inspire and give the listener a feeling that this is a good album.

Hence the sparse sprinklings of points...

2.5 points

Monday 7 September 2020

Luup - Canticles of the Holy Scythe (2017)

The third album from this band from Greece.

The band is a project with around twenty participants who has contributed with woodwinds, strings, piano, keyboards, percussion and vocals.

The vocals are both male and female. They are in the more operatic vein.

There are also some black metal vocals here, sneering along with some songs.

I guess this is not an album about flowers and happy things. The music is really dark.

These thirty-six minutes is not really music as in a traditional sense. There are some songs and then a lot of noise and sounds that does not make much sense.

The music is not dark enough to be dark music. The sounds is haphazardly added and the vocals does not make much sense.

This album does not make much sense and it falls flat on it's face as both an avant-garde album and as a music album.

Avoid this album in other words.

1 point

Red - Red (1983)

The one and only album from this British band.

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

This is one of the more obscure bands and albums to come out of the British prog and fusion scene. 

Which is a bit of a shame as this album would appeal to a lot of people in the fusion and progressive rock scene.

The music on this album is a mix of heavy prog and fusion.

There is both Rush and Mahavishnu Orchestra influences on this album. The lack of woodwinds gives the music a lot more rock sound than a jazz sound.

The sound is really good and the guitars really rocks off and also has a lot of jazz licks on this album. The keyboards are not bad either. The rhythm section is also doing a good job.

The music is pretty good at times. There are some interesting parts on this album.

There are also some not so interesting parts too and that makes this album an album somewhere between decent and good.

Check out this album on Youtube or in a second hand LP shop.

2.5 points

Sunday 6 September 2020

Univers Zero - Heatwave (1986)

The fifth album from this band from Belgium.

The band was a seven piece big band with a lineup of drums, percussion, viola, violin, basses, saxophones, clarinets, piano, synths and guitars.

The band has gone from strength to strength since their debut album.

They are regarded as one of they original RIO - Rock In Opposition bands and their music is really avant-garde music.

I almost said avant-garde rock there. But the band's music is more classical music and cinematic music.

Heatwave sees the band move more towards rock and cinematic music again. A development started on their previous album.

The music on Heatwave is really dark and brooding. It is also doom and gloom.

There is more synths on this album than on their previous four albums and that creates some of the more cinematic sound. The acoustic instruments, like the woodwinds, is still the most dominating instruments in their sound.

The four pieces of music, altogether forty-two minutes of music, is very good and gives a lot of food for thought.

This is another thought provoking album from this band and a very good one.

3.5 points

Friday 4 September 2020

Real Illusion - Impheria (2016)

The debut album from this Italian band.

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

This is a new addition to the Italian progressive metal scene. Or perhaps an old addition and a band who no longer are among us.

The vocals are in English and the sound is slightly gothic.

The music is really melodic though and there is not that much metal around here. The music is therefore leaning a lot towards neo-prog and symphonic prog.

These forty-seven minutes worth of music is pretty nice.

The vocals are good and the keyboards are really nice too. The sound is very good. 

Unfortunate, there is not many really good songs here. The standard is therefore somewhere between decent and good.

2.5 points

Thursday 3 September 2020

King Crimson - Thrak (1995)

The 11th album from this British band.

The band is a sextet on this album with a lineup of drums, electronic percussion, bass, chapman stick, mellotron, guitars and vocals.

This album is the first album with King Crimson as a double-trio. That format has now become the norm in the King Crimson camp.

Thrak is also an extended version of the Vrooom EP and a fully worth album in it's own right.

Thrak gives us an hour full of almost classic King Crimson type of eclectic prog.

It has some quirky melodic songs and a lot of eclectic prog with some avant-garde influences.

There is a lot of material here which reminds me about their great album Red and their best albums from the 1970s.

Robert Fripp and the musicians here is delivering a great album here and is more than proving their worth in the scene.

Thrak is one of the albums who prove why King Crimson is among the alltime greats in the progressive rock scene.

4 points

Mental Season - Mental Season (2020)

The debut album from this German band.

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

This is another new prog rock'ish band from Germany.

Well, their music is progressive rock....

The music is very melodic and not particular hard. It has it's main influences from the likes of Marillion and Pink Floyd.

There is also some art rock in their music.

The vocals are good and the guitars are let loose on some good solos on a frequent basis. There is also plenty of piano here.

The quality of the music is good throughout and the band is a good addition to the scene.

Check out the album if you can find it.

3 points

Tuesday 1 September 2020

Randone - Ultreia (2014)

The sixth album from this Italian band.

The band is a quintet with a lineup of ukulele, jaw harp, guitars, bass, keyboards, electronics, drums and vocals. Both male and female vocals.
Four guest musicians provided harmonica, flute, percussion and vocals.

I have never really warmed to this band although I have reviewed most of their albums. But they have become better and better, album by album.

It is therefore a shame that this seems to be their final album.

Ultreia is an Italian symphonic prog opera. Yes, the music is RPI and Randone is/was one of the leading new bands in the genre.

The music is operatic and very epic throughout these seventy minutes of music.

There is also some pastoral parts, lights and shadows throughout this album.

All vocals are in Italian and this album is on the more operatic end of the RPI spectrum.

There is a lot of very good details and melodies throughout this album. An album who has given me a lot of pleasure. 

Check out this very good album.

3.5 points

Grace - Overdose (2019)

The fifth album from this British band.

The band was a seven piece big band on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, flute, saxophone and vocals.

This album was recorded in 2003 with a limited release in 2005. It was finally released last year.

This album is the follow up to the 1996 album Poppy.

Grace was one of the neo-prog bands who never really made it. This due to the too infrequent album releases.

They had a couple of good albums though and should not be ignored.

Overdose contains almost one hour worth of British neo-prog from the 1990s. There is some folk rock influences here and some pop influences.

The inclusion of saxophone and flute is an inspired choice.

The songs are all decent to good. They are catchy though but still a bit light weight and short on good details and subtance.

Nevertheless, this is a good album.

3 points