Thursday, 15 April 2021

Arco Iris - Agitor Lucens V (1975)

The sixth album from this band from Argentina.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, quarango, guitars, saxophones, flute, quenas, clarion, organ, piano and vocals.

A guest artist added church organ to the album.

The band returned again after their fifth album, full of confidence after they had established themselves as one of the leading bands in Argentina.

Arco Iris released two double albums in the 1970s. Sudamerica in 1972 (see review) and this album... Agitor Lucens V. Both albums is regarded as semi-classic albums.

Well, classic albums in the history of South American progressive rock. A pretty undervalued scene who deserve a lot more attention. Attention I am trying to give it in my blog.

As with Sudamerica, we get almost ninety minutes here with a mix of pastoral symphonic prog, folk rock, psych rock and a lot of fusion. There is also some avant-garde rock here.

This album is almost like one piece of music as it takes us through some lunar landscapes. That with an Andean/South American flavour.

The melodies is very good throughout this album.

This is indeed a very intriguing album which some captivating parts. Not all of them are great. But the overall quality is very good. 

This albums lives up to it's reputation and is a well worth checking out.

3.5 points

 



Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Crucible - Tall Tales (1997)

The debut album from this US band.

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

Crucible was a short lived band who released two albums before they split up. Their second and final album Curtains was released in 2001.

Tell Tales gives us one hour of melodic symphonic prog. References are Kansas, Genesis and a bit of Jethro Tull too. 

There is also AOR influences here. Their sound is typical US sound. US symphonic prog.

The vocals are good and the organ adds a lot of 1970s feel to this album. This album has indeed a 1970s feel and sound.

There is a lot to enjoy on this album. In particular the sound.

The album is lacking a bit in the song quality. But the sound with the occasional mellotron and organ is making up for the lack of quality songs.

This is another forgotten gem from the US symphonic prog scene and it deserve a lot more attention.

Check it out.

3 points

 

 


Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Crucis - Los Delirios Del Mariscal (1976)

The second and final album from this band from Argentina.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of bass, guitars, drums, percussion, moog, arp, grand piano, organ, keyboards and vocals.

Crucis is one of the most legendary bands from South America. They only released two albums but their sound and influences can be felt even today. There is a lot of bands who has Crucis as one of their main inspirations. 

A lot of bands from Argentina, that is. Crucis is still criminally underrated outside South America.

I reviewed their debut album eleven years ago for ProgArchives and liked that album a lot. 

Los Delirios Del Mariscal gives us thirty-five minutes of lush symphonic prog. References are Nice, Focus and fusion.

There is indeed a lot of fusion on this album and the album has a very good mix of symphonic prog and fusion. Add in South American local music and Spanish vocals and you get the picture.

The organ and moog is very lush indeed. Ditto for the guitar sound. 

The songs are also great with some very memorable hooks and a sound which sets this album a part from most albums.

This is indeed a classic album and one of the best albums ever to come out of Argentina and South America. It is a must have album and one not to miss.

4 points

 

Cronico - Delirium Room (2007)

The one and only album from this band from Mexico.

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

It is nice to hear symphonic prog from other countries than the usual countries. Something we get on this album.

Female Spanish vocals. Lots of lush soundscapes. 

There is indeed a lot of Latin-American and South-American sound on this album.

The music is on the melodic end of symphonic prog. It is bordering to neo-prog and eclectic prog too. It is sometimes a bit poppy.

The female vocals is really good. The same goes for the guitars. The organs too is very good and add a great deal of 1970s feel to this album.

The end result is an one hour long album which will please most people. There is no really great songs here but the album is nicely ticking over and is a pleasant album indeed.

Check out this album if you can find it.

3 points

 

Monday, 12 April 2021

Apogee - Conspiracy Of Fools (2018)

 

The ninth album from this one-man German band.

Arne Schafer does the programming, guitars, keyboards and vocals himself.

He is helped by Eberhard Graef on drums.

Arne Schafer has carved out an own niche for Apogee in the German neo-prog scene. 

All the previous eight albums has been pretty good too. Arne is a good composer and there is no doubts about that.

We get seventy minutes here and all song/compositions is more than ten minutes each. There is one short song here and that is all.

The music is pretty epic too. Epic but still very melodic and very much in the neo-prog genre.

The sound is a bit thin this time and not all the songs are good. But a couple of very good details and melodies saves this album's bacon.

It is not his best album but it is still well worth checking out.

3 points



Sunday, 11 April 2021

Cria. La - Taiga (2011)

The one and only album from this band from Argentina.

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

I picked up this very obscure album from somewhere and decided to give it a review as it is listed as progressive rock.

The music is instrumental prog. 

...some sort of....

The band also packs in some djent, some avant-garde and some neo-classical music here too.

The problem here is that the music is pretty dull and lacks a lot of focus.

Instrumental prog requires a lot of good tunes and there is none here.

This album falls therefore flat on it's face and ends up as a turkey. Something this album is.

1 point



Shem - Shem II (2021)

The second album from this German band.

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

I reviewed their 2018 debut album The Hill AC some time ago and was not won over. Their take on spaced out krautrock did not win me over.

We are still in the space rock universe.

The music is pretty noisy with lots of guitars. A lot of distorted guitars too. 

There is some ebbs and flows here. There is some post-metal influences in this respect.

The album has three songs and the full play length is forty minutes. Which is about right for an album with this kind of music.

The music is still not really up to standard. The music is still not good enough to be called good.

This album just falls short but it is still an album well worth checking out.

2.5 points


Mekong Delta - Kaleidoscope (1992)

The fifth album from this German band.

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

I started on the review of their discography back in 2010 for ProgArchives before my last review, of their fourth album Dances Of Death, was posted in July 2011. 

It was always my intention to complete the review of all their albums and that is my plan for the next months. 

I am by no means a fan of thrash metal. I liked it in my youth. But that was before death metal arrived and I have always preferred death and doom metal to thrash metal.

Mekong Delta is a left-field progressive thrash metal band though. And by that, I do not mean their inclusion of Genesis Dance On A Volcano. A version Mekong Delta does OK.

Mekong Delta's thrash metal is at times pretty weird and quirky. It is speed with a lot of good details.

Kaleidoscope offers up some quirky thrash metal, a version of Sabres Dance and the Genesis cover.

This is not a bad album at all. I quite like it and I rate it somewhere between decent and good.

Check it out.

2.5 points


Saturday, 10 April 2021

Anathema - A Natural Disaster (2003)

The seventh album from this British band.

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

A female and a male vocalist added their voices too on a couple of songs.

Anathema has by this album carved themselves a niche somewhere between metal and progressive rock. Add post rock too and you get my drift.

A Natural Disaster gives us a much more livelier album than before.

The band has returned to their metal roots, picked the best bits from their past and then added a lot of post rock and progressive rock (Pink Floyd, Marillion) to the mix.

The result is quite a challenging album.

The challenge is the big jump from almost djent to the pastoral prog. That is a big contrast.

When the dust has settled, what remains is a good album with some really good songs and details. It is an album well worth checking out, indeed.

3 points

 

Friday, 9 April 2021

Crayon Phase - Two Hundred Pages (2019)

The second album from this German band.

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

This is a new band in the German prog rock scene. 

I have not had the pleasure of listening to their 2012 debut album Within My Recollection. Which is a shame and I may get that album too.

Two Hundred Pages gives us seventy-five minutes of epic neo-prog.

The vocals is good and the sound too is good. The musicians does their best in a rather sterile sound. I would not call the sound for organic.

There is a lot of synths in other words.

The music is times heavy and trespassing into progressive metal. Some may label  this as a progressive metal album and that with some justifications. 

The music here is good and well worth checking out. There is no outstanding tracks but the music is still solid and good.

Check out this album.

3 points



Thursday, 8 April 2021

Craft - Craft (1984)

The one and only album from this British band.

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

This band is a splinter band from The Enid. Two of their member left The Enid and formed Craft. 

Not with much success, it has to be said. This album sunk without a trace and the band folded.

The music is instrumental symphonic prog. References are The Enid and ELP.

The music is pretty epic throughout these thirty-five minutes this album last.

The music is decent enough without never being good. A couple of details are good. But this album never really hits the right notes.

Fans of symphonic prog should check out and perhaps get this album. I have my reservations.

2 points



Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Fuchs - The Unity Of Two (2014)

The second album from this German band.

Fuchs is Hans-Jurgen Fuchs on guitars, bass, keyboards and backing vocals.

He got help from seven other musicians providing drums, keyboards, cello, violin, guitars and vocals.

I reviewed their third album Station Songs (2018) some time ago and liked that album a lot. Good German neo-prog.

The band's started out in that genre too on their 2012 debut album Leaving Home and continues in the same genre on The Unity Of Two.

I guess this is a sort of concept album as there is some hints of Cain and Abel from the Bible throughout the album.

The music here is very much in the vein of Steve Hogarth era Marillion. There is a lot of art rock here in addition to the normal neo-prog the band always offers up.

Marillion is a good reference, but Fuchs has their own style.

The overall quality is good throughout and there is nothing I can fault this album on. Some better songs, though.......

Check out this album if Marillion floats your boat.

3 points



Autumn Electric - Star Being Earth Child (2015)

The fifth and so far last album from this US band.

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

The band had by now established themselves in the more poppy progressive and art rock genre. There is also a lot of youthful college rock in their music.

Star Being Earth Child sees the band take a slightly new direction. Slightly is the word here. There is no evolution and no revolution here.

The band has moved towards symphonic prog influenced neo-prog. Something that surprised me a lot during the first listening sessions of this album.

The music is still pretty pastoral and acoustic. But a lot of early to mid era Genesis comes up on this album.

There is also some Edit Piaff and chanson here too.

The result is a good one hour long album where the musicians and the vocalist is delivering a good job.

Check out this album.

3 points

 

 



Sunday, 4 April 2021

Frontecielo - Nights (2017)

The one and only album from this Italian band.

The band is actually a duo of Donatelli Basilico (percussion, drums, keyboards, vocals) and Piero Caniparo (guitars, bass, backing vocals).

This album was released through Bandcamp where it is now a free download. A worthy download too.

The music is some sort of neo-prog with a lot of RPI influences and rock/pop influences.

Most of the vocals are female and the music is not overly complex.

It is in fact pretty melodic.

There is some dark vibes throughout this album and there is even some arabic music here.

This album is pretty much a good album and I would rate it as a good album. It is most certainly a worthy download and a keeper too.

I hope this band will return one day. But this album need a lot more attention and play before that happens, I fear.

Check it out.

3 points

 


Saturday, 3 April 2021

Ars Pro Vita - Cords (2020)

The third album from this band from Brazil.

The band is now reduced to Paolo Venegas on all instruments. That means synths, keyboards, piano, programming, samples and vocals.

Two sopranos added their voices to this album too.

I really liked their debut 2017 album Minor and you can find my review of that album somewhere else in this blog.

That album gave us some really pastoral symphonic prog.

Cords sees Paola Venegas take on the art of concept albums. Two concepts on one album, no less. 

There is a lot of narrations and spoken words here. There is not that much interesting music on this seventy-four minutes long album. 

The music is fragmented and it only reasonable good when the band enter Genesis like symphonic prog. A couple of the female vocals songs are also pretty good.

I find it hard to say many good things about this album. The sound is good and I have mentioned a couple of good things above.

This is a decent album and barely that.

Check it out if this sounds like your cup of tea.

2 points




Marillion - Somewhere Else (2007)

The fourteenth album from this British band.

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

This is their follow up album to the very good Marbles album from 2004. An album hard to follow up.

The band has carved out their own style and genre within the art rock and neo-prog landscape. 

Their own genre is a mix of those two genres.

The music sounds grown up and is underpinned by some great vocals from a great vocalist... Steve Hogarth. The rest of the band also does an admirable job.

This genre lives on good songs and this album has plenty of those.

There is no songs that jumps out on the listener. But the songs and the details are all good.

It a solid but slightly dull album. It is not one of their best albums.

3 points

 

 

 

Friday, 2 April 2021

Pohjola. Pekka - Kätkävaaran Lohikäärme (1980)

 

The fifth album from this Finnish artist.

The bassist had now got a quartet together with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums and guitars.

The last couple of albums from Pekka had been really good. They had been him as a composer and artist + numerous other guest musicians.

Pekka now goes back to the band format. No more woodwinds and strings.

The music is still a mix of symphonic prog and fusion. Add some eclectic prog too in the case of this album.

There are far more symphonic prog around this time than on any of the four previous albums. The music is really epic at times.

Some of the music really reminds me about Jan Hammer's music on the 1980s hit TV series Miami Vice. There is some cinematic and TV series over the music. There is a lot of the 1980s culture over this album.

The bass shines on this album. The rest does a good job too.

This three quarters of an hour long album is really good. It is indeed a very good album with a lot of very good hooks and melodies.

Check it out.

3.5 points


 


Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Folli Arie. Le - Le Folli Arie (2014)

 

The one and only album from this Italian band.

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

The band had help from numerous guest musicians who added their didgerioo, sax, guitars, castanets, cello and female vocals.

This album has been hanging around for years on my reviews list before I finally decided to review this album.

The album was released on Bandcamp and please check it out there.

The music on this album is a mix of pop, a hint of RPI, 1970s hard rock, fusion and rock. The sound is good and ditto for the vocals.

The language is mix between English and Italian.

It is a bit of a mystery to me who this album never really became a best seller as the music is really commercial and should suit the youth and that generation. It has that quality.

The music on this fifty minutes long album is really very good and should be celebrated. It is a party album too.

Check out this very good album.

3.5 points

 

 

 



Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Foehn - Faëria (1985)

The one and only album from this French band.

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

A guest musician provided saxophone.

I put this album on in the belief this would be a gentle folk rock album. I was wrong....

This one album only band was fronted by an ex Eskaton member. The zeuhl band Eskaton.

Hence, we are in the zeuhl genre. 

Foehn's take on zeuhl is pretty gentle and not so brutal as most other zeuhl bands.

The good female vocal harmonies are pretty nice. The bass too is nice although it is a driving force in the music.

The music is pretty melodic too with some forays into more melodic prog too.

This is zeuhl for beginners and should not scare away too many people.

The quality is good throughout and I really like this album. I hope I discover more albums like this in my trawl through the progressive rock world.

3 points




Tiadaghton - Broken Chimes (2019)

The debut album from this band from USA.

The band is a trio with a lineup of percussion, drums, bass, guitars, organ, piano, synths, keyboards, mellotron and vocals.

This album was released through Bandcamp and I got it from the band.

The progressive rock genre is pretty wide these days and there is bands who wants to be associated with the genre. Some of them are not progressive rock in the traditional sense of the word.

This band plays some pretty melancholic rock. There are also some blues in their music.

The band has been looking back to the 1970s and copied some of the stadium rock, AOR and hard rock sound from that time.

The art of good song writing has been evading this album and the music is not that good.

You can agree or disagree with me by checking out this album yourself.

It is a decent album in my books.

2 points

 


Lucifer Was - DiesGrows (2014)

The sixth album from this Norwegian band.

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

Two guest musicians adds flutes.

After the rather uninteresting 2010 concept album with Kristiandsand Symphony Orchestra (The Crown Of Creation), Lucifer Was returns back to their rightful home again. 

Musical home, that is.

That means heavy prog somewhere between Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull.

This time, they have sailed up to the shores of Black Sabbath and got themselves a pretty stoned out sound and soundscape as a result.

A lot of the music is pretty much stoner rock, indeed.

The Jethro Tull is always there and gives the band their identity (when not wandering off with a symphony orchestra).

The vocals are very good and the music is good. The sound too is very good.

This is indeed a good album and one of the more forgotten gems in the Norwegian rock scene. 

Check it out.

3 points

 

 

 


Monday, 29 March 2021

Three Wise Monkeys - Progetto Arte (2015)

The fourth and so far last album from this band from Australia.

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

The music is instrumental too.

A very difficult genre, indeed. It is really difficult to keep the attention of the listener during one hour of instrumental music performed with this lineup.

The music is post-rock with a lot of post-metal influences too.

It ebbs and flows, the music on this album. An album I got because I thought it was a tribute to Italian Progressive Rock, my favourite genre. I was wrong...... Very wrong.

There are some interesting stuff here inbetween some pretty decent stuff.

This is indeed a decent album but nothing more than that. 

2 points




Sunday, 28 March 2021

Atomic Rooster - In Hearing of Atomic Rooster (1971)

 

The third album from this British band.

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

The band continued on again. A band I find it hard to pinpoint.

This forty-one minutes long album gives me another challenge. 

Take hard prog, add some soul, add blues and add psych rock. Atomic Rooster has taken those genres and make a brew out of them.

There is even some minutes of pastoral music here.

The vocals is really good and ditto for the instruments. 

The best things about this album is the many details. It is lacking a bit in good melodies and it comes across as a bit half  baked at times. The woodwinds also feels alien to most of the album.

Nevertheless, this is a decent to good album well worth checking out.

2.5 points




Apogee - The Art Of Mind (2015)

The eight album from this one-man band from Germany.

Arne Scafer does the vocals, guitars, bass and keyboards himself.

A guest does the drums and percussion.

As this review is made on the back of the new album from another German one-man band, Yacobs, it is interesting to compare them. The similarities between them are obvious as both are neo-prog bands.

The difference is that Apogee gives us more complicated music while Yacobs gives us more organic melodies. Both styles are good and I like both bands a lot.

The Art Of Mind is a complex and at times very epic piece of music. It got some The Tangent influences and a lot of symphonic prog influences.

The music is complex and epic. It is not particular hard though. Apogee has it's own niche in the neo-prog genre and this album enforces this niche and also gives us a solid good album.

This album is a good album both for the soul and the brain.

3 points



Yacobs - Beautiful (2020)

The sixth album from Ulf Jacobs from Germany.

Ulf did the keyboards, piano, drums and vocals himself.

He had help from a quartet who provided flute, guitars, bass and backing vocals.

After an eight years long break, Ulf Jacobs returns again. His main band Argos had been not so busy either so I guess non-musical things in life has taken over as the main priority. Something I respect.

Yacobs plays German neo-prog. The music is leaning towards Pink Floyd with some female wailing vocals at time. 

There is also some more pastoral pieces where Ulf's vocals is alone over some good keyboards, guitars and piano.

The strength of the songs means almost everything here. The sound is very good and the music has a good ambience. The songs are also good.

I wish Ulf welcome back again with this good album. An album all neo-prog fans will appreciate.

3 points



Saturday, 27 March 2021

Bridgend - Rajas (2020)

The debut album from this Italian band.

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

I am not sure if this album came out in 2019 or 2020. My two sources disagrees with each other. 

The music on this forty minutes long album is instrumental.

The music is also a mix of fusion and RPI - Rock Progressive Italiano. 

It is pretty dynamic and offers some half-acoustic jazzy guitars and some more harder guitars. 

The music is OK enough. It is not exciting and it does not raise the pulse of the listener.

It is a decent enough album and just that. I am not won over.

2 points



That's Rugby - Wide Eyed (2012)

The one and only album from this US band.

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

The band released this EP/CD and that was the last we ever heard. It has barely gotten any review too and that is a shame.

This album is very short.... twenty-six minutes long and I discovered too late that it is an EP. But I do not care..... that much.

The music is a mix of post-metal and hard prog. There is also some Radiohead and psych rock in the music.

The band operates with a lot of guitar harmonies and they are by far the best elements on this album. The vocals are OK and fits the purpose.

The music is decent enough and this is indeed my verdict when it comes to this album. It is a decent album.... make that an EP.

2 points

 

 

 


Flood - Tales From the Four Seasons (2009)

 

The one and only album from this English one man band.

Flood does piano, synths, flute, clarinet, cello, drums, bass, guitars and organ here.

This is a seventy minutes long tribute to the English county Dorset. It is a county south-west of London.

The music is pastoral and has not much to do with rock. It is neo-classical music. 

Mike Oldfield springs to mind as a reference.

The mood is light, sunny and fluffy.

The music here is decent enough..... fairly decent and barely decent enough to make this a decent album. I am no fan of this album and is glad to see the end of it as it is a very dull album.

Olfield fans should check out this album.

1.5 points



Friday, 26 March 2021

Deluge Grander - Lunarians (2020)

The fifth album from this US band.

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

The band had help from numerous guest musicians who provided woodwinds, cello and vocals.

From what I gather, this studio album includes a few ideas from the previous two albums the band did not feel had been fully released on those two albums.

That sounds like worthy studio album to me and nothing to be worried about. On the contrary....

The band delivers another symphonic prog album with a very much downtuned sound and vocals.

The music is dark with an almost atonal mix. Well, most of the mix is atonal and simply against most mixing and mastering rules.

This also gives the sound a very aerie feeling.

The music on this three quarters long album is good.

Deluge Grander has their own philosophy and sound. Check them out as this band and their attitude makes the prog scene so much richer.

3 points

 

 

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Thank You Scientist - Terraformer (2019)

The third album from this US band.

The band is a seven piece big band with a lineup of drums, saxophone, trumpet, bass, guitars, violin and vocals.

This band has got a reputation for being both weird and for creating some pretty melodic, eclectic progressive rock.

I have reviewed and liked their two first albums and a review of Terraformer was therefore overdue.

Clocking in at well over eighty minutes, this album is not for the faint hearted. 

The good vocals floats over some very complex, yet melodic eclectic progressive rock. The sound and music is in the big-is-better US musical concept.

There are some weirdo interplays between violins, guitars and saxophones here. 

The themes are never long and the band and this album has enough material for at least four albums if they had chosen to develop each idea further. But they have not and the result is some really fast but epic music.

The quality is very good and this album should be an eye opener for those who has yet to discover this band.

3.5 points



Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Bacio Della Medusa. Il - II Bacio Della Medusa (2004)

The debut album from this Italian band.

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

This band has got a very good reputation since the release of this album.

The band plays pretty hard RPI - Rock Progressive Italiano. This album was released through Black Widow Records, a label who likes their music a bit harder than most other Italian record labels.

There are some heavy metal incorporated in RPI indeed. Add some hard folk rock too and some regular RPI too.

The music is pretty fierce with some good vocals.

The quality is good too. This album has some good melodies and details. It heralded the coming of this band.

3 points

 

 

 

Monday, 22 March 2021

Arco Iris - Inti Raymi (1973)


The fourth album from this band from Argentina.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, flute, quenas, saxophones, claron, organ, charango, guitars and vocals.

This is the follow up album to their masterpiece Sudamerico from 1972. 

That was a double album which included mostly everything.

Inti Raymi is a mix of psych rock, fusion, pop and folk rock. I believe it is a concept album about the god called Inti Raymi.

There is tonnes of interesting details behind and over the good vocals. There are also some good opera female vocals here.

The music has not dated that much and it still sounds reasonable fresh.

This is another good album from this band. A band surely among the best ones from this continent.

3 points

 

 

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Avdey - Gates Of Horn And Ivory (2021)

The debut album from this band from Tunisia.

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

This is another name-your-price Bandcamp album and therefore perfect for these covid times.

The music is not easy to pinpoint.

 I have heard Brainticket from Switzerland being used as a reference. I is indeed a good reference too.

Take North-African and Middle-East folk rock and add lot of space rock and not at least; krautrock.

This album does indeed sounds like a krautrock album. 

There is a lot of flutes here and a lot of arabic instruments on the top of some good bass and guitars.

The result is fifty fascinating minutes which will give krautrock fans their money worth. So much that donations  to the band will be forthcoming. 

Check out this album.

3 points



Flaming Row - The Pure Shine (2019)

The third album from this German band.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, mellotron, piano, organ, synths, saxophones and female vocals.

Numerous guest musicians has provided percussion, whistles, uillean pipes, flutes, mandolin, cello, viola, violins, guitars, bass, narrations and vocals.

This album is a concept album, a rock opera, based on Stephen King's The Dark Tower novel.

This is also their third album and I have not had the pleasure to listen to their first two albums. The tag progessive metal has scared me off. It was by pure chance and by finding out  that this was a rock opera that I decided to give this album some listen.

The music is very epic and the sound is very big indeed.

There is lots of female vocals and female + male vocal harmonies here. Some very good ones, too. There is also a lot of uillean pipes on some of the songs.

The music is not earth shattering heavy although some parts is clearly progressive metal. The metal bits here are actually good.

The album is well over an hour long. But the music and the long songs makes sense and this is a good album indeed. It is one of the better progressive metal album I have heard for a long time.

3 points


Saturday, 20 March 2021

Piazza. Giorgio Fico - Autumn Shades (2019)

The debut solo album from this Italian bassist.

Giorgio Fico Piazza on bass had help from six guest musicians who provided drums, guitars, flute, keyboards and vocals.

This is the bassist in PFM - Premiata Forneria Marconi. 

He and his record label collected some of his old mates, put them up in a studio and invited some audience for a live run through of old Italian progressive rock classics.

This is the type of albums I normally would never review. But since there so few reviews of this album + the album is starting with the fantastic Appena Un Po from the second PFM album, I have been charmed enough to give it some spins plus write a short review.

The audience is listening to the music and there is some audience noise between the songs.

This album is clocking in at over seventy minutes and it has it's place in the scene.

It is a timely reminder how good RPI really is although the versions on this album is not as good as the original versions.

Not a bad album to kill time on a long journey when the covid thingy is over and we can start to travel around again.

3 points


Teverano - Teverano (1982)

The one and only album from this band from Spain.

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

The name and band is totally unknown. It was a side project of the far more established and famous jazz orchestra Iceberg.

Yes, we are talking jazz and fusion here.

Thirty five minutes of fusion with a lot of flamenco and jazz, no less.

The music is pretty pastoral and somber with a lot of violins and electric violins.

The music is not very technical and jazzy. It is more based on feel and ambience.

The music is decent enough and this album is a worthy addition to a fusion collection. But do not expect to be dazzled.

2 points


Autumn Electric - Flowers For Ambrosia (2014)

The fourth album from this US band.

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

A guest musician contribute with accordion and vocals.

I was not happy with their third album, the 2012 opus Make Me A Tree. But I still had hopes for their two remaining albums.....

The music here is like mixing post rock, college rock, Marillion and Radiohead. There is even some Porcupine Tree here.

This fifty-five minutes long album has a modern sound. It also has this big US sound. 

There are some djent here too but not much.

The music is pretty melodic and has some good details. 

There is enough details and good melodies to make this a good album, indeed. 

Check out this album.

3 points

 

 

 

Friday, 19 March 2021

Face The Day - Stuck In The Present (2018)

 

The second album from duo from the Czech Republic.

Filip Kitnar does the drums while Martin Schuster does the vocals, bass, guitars, keyboards and other instruments.

Three guest does electronics, saxophones, bass, violin and guitars.

I have not had the pleasure to listen to their 2016 debut album Corroding Dreams. But I have heard that it was a pretty hard album with some hints of Katanoia.

The first ten minutes of the thirty-eight minutes long Stuck In The Present album is neo-prog. Unashamed neo-prog with some light vocals which makes me believe it is female vocals. Maybe it is. The male vocals is light and pleasant. 

Yes, I can see why Katanoia has been mentioned when it comes to this band. Porcupine Tree is also a very good reference. Add some goth and the neo-prog mentioned over and you get this band.

The music is reasonable melodic though and is based on contrasts between the lighter stuff and the djent stuff.

I am pretty much won over as this is a good album. I am not sure if the band is still around. Nevertheless, those who took part on this album can be satisfied with themselves.

3 points

 

 

 


Lucifer Was - The Crown Of Creation (2010)

The fifth album from this Norwegian band.

Thore Engen on guitars and vocals had help from a symphony orchestra (Kristiandsand Symphony Orchestra), drums, percussion, bass, guitars, violin, mellotron, synths, organ, flute and vocals.

This album is some sort of a rock opera..... Sort of.

The inclusion of a symphony orchestra gives me that impression. Is it..... ?

Yes and no.

The music is pretty much in that vein. It poppish with this musical feel all over it. 

The good old Lucifer Was who were rocking hard somewhere between Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull is nowhere to be found on this album.

There is a lot of classic pop-rock and female vocals too. 

The music is OK'ish but not really good. I am OK with most of it but I am not impressed. I rather want that other Lucifer Was instead of this album. 

2.5 points




Thursday, 18 March 2021

Anathema - A Fine Day To Exit (2001)

The sixth album from this English band.

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

Three extra voices added their vocals too.

I really liked the two previous albums Alternative 4 and Judgement. Two good post-metal with neo-prog influences.

I was therefore looking forward to give this album a listen or ten. 

I was met by an album whose music is somewhere between Pink Floyd, Radiohead and college rock.

The music is still pretty post-rock like too.

The music is also pretty dull and does not have many positivities. There are a couple of good songs here inbetween some rather dull songs.

The quality is somewhere between decent and good. I am not impressed at all and I hope the next album I will review of them are better than this one.

2.5 points

 

 

Qüassi - Mareas (2020)

 

The debut album from this band from Argentina.

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

The band comes from Mendoza on the border to Chile and released this album as a name-your-price album on Bandcamp. A no brainer for the listener and the band.

The music is Canterbury scene prog.

That means a mix of fusion, jazz and prog.

There is a couple of catchy songs here inbetween some avant-garde jazz tunes.... but the majority of the music is still quirky, eclectic fusion.

The lack of vocals as a focal point is not a loss here, Quassi has put enough candy and interesting details here to make us forget vocals. 

The album is three quarters of an hour long and the overall quality is very good. Of the new talents, I rate Quassi very high.... close to the top.

Get this album.

3.5 points

 

 

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Exponent - Upside Down (1974)

The one and only album from this German band.

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

Exponent is one of those obscure German bands who released their album as a private pressing. The German retro-release album picked up this album again and re-released it in 2014 as a CD with a bonus live track. 

The album has been lumped into this krautrock genre. 

There are some hints of moog and lots of organs here. The flute and guitar solos is also here. There is a lot of vocals too. Very good vocals too.

The music is a mix of Eloy and...... Caravan. Krautrock meets the Canterbury scene. The rock parts of the Canterbury scene, that is.

The four compositions is long. The shortest one of theme clocks in at six and a half minutes. Two of them clocks in at nine minutes while the longest one is an almost twenty minutes long opus.  

Garden Of Delights has done a great job on cleaning up the sound here and even the bonus live track has a good sound.

These three quarters of an hour leaves no doubts that this is a true hidden gem in the German krautrock scene. And the music is krautrock. 

Get this album if a mix of Eloy and Caravan floats your boats. 

3.5 points



Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Teleharmonium - The Mother Generator (2015)

The one and only album from this Canadian band.

The band was a sextet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, organ, synths, piano, flute and vocals. Both male and female vocals.

I have never heard about this band although I got their album when it was released and then forgot about it.

The band is from Winnipeg on the American prairie, not too far from the US border too.

I love geography and I need to be surrounded by mountains.... of whom there is none in Winnipeg. 

The music on the fifty minutes long The Mother Generator is a mix of neo-prog and college rock. 

There is mostly college rock here with some pretty good organ and vocal harmonies. 

There is no good songs here though and the album is a bit sameness throughout the album.

I am not won over but the organs saves the album's bacon.

2 points


Stray - Hearts Of Fire (1975)

The eight album from this British band.

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

This is the final relevant album from this band and most says farewell to the band with  this album. And so do I.

The band had been mismanaged and had been unlucky throughout their career. That is the story the band and their friends likes to tell us.

Yes, that is true. But most of all, the band failed in USA and world wide because when it came to the crunch, the band failed to deliver the goods.

That means the band never really delivered a good to great album. Their albums was solid but they did not sparkle and they did not give the general public that many excuses to fork out money, hard earned money, to purchase them.

On this album, the band has still not given up cracking USA. 

We therefore get a mid-atlantic album which crashes down somewhere south of Iceland.

The music is hard rocking and gives us three quarters of an hour full of hard rock with some strong southern rock influences.

This is a decent, solid album. It is not a great album and it buried the band again and lost them the chance to crack USA. 

On it's own.... it is a cracking decent hard rock album well worth checking out.

2 points



Stern Combo Meissen - Der weite Weg (1979)

The second album from this German band.

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

I had hoped that this band would turn out to be like an like ELP or Omega combo from behind the Iron Curtain. This band is from the old DDR, East Germany.

Their debut album was very promising indeed.

My disappointment with Der Weite Weg is therefore considerable and crushing.

The German vocals are OK.

What is not OK is the pop-rock here. Braindead folk rock and some really low quality pop-rock too.

This is music for the uneducated masses and even these would bypass this band in search for something far better from the other side of the Iron Curtain. Only DDR nostalgia would make listening to this album.

It is an all out turkey, this album and totally awful.

Avoid at all cost.

1 points

 

 

 

Monday, 15 March 2021

Existence - Origins (2017)

The third and so far last album from this Canadian band.

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

I have never heard about this band before. They debuted back in 1994 with Fragile Whispering Of Innocence. The follow up album came in 1999 and was named Small People, Short Story, Little Crime.

It took them almost eighteen years to come up with Origins.

This is a double CD too.

The music is melodic neo-prog with a lot of Pink Floyd and AOR influences.

There is a lot of long guitar solos here, some violin work and mostly piano and keyboards pieces. That in addition to some vocals.

The sound is good.

The music is decent enough as it does not really enthuse me or bring any quality to the table. Most of the music feels overblown and lethargic. 

Sorry.......

2 points



Marillion - Marbles (2004)

 

The 13th album from this British band.

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

A female vocalist added her vocals on two of the tracks.

The last albums had not really been up the standards I would expect from the best neo-prog and art rock band out there. Their fingers on this title was starting to slip.......

And then Marbles comes along. A double CD it is too.

The band continues in the same genre as before. That means a mix of art rock and neo-prog. The occasional female vocals is a good addition.

The band has this time written better songs and that is obvious.

A couple of dubious songs on the second CD drags this one and a half hour long album back towards a good rating. Marbles is still a good improvement on the previous couple of albums.

3 points

 

 



Pohjola. Pekka - Visitation (1979)

The fourth album from this Finnish artist.

Pekka Pohjola did the bass and grand piano here himself.

He had got help from numerous guest musicians providing drums, guitars, woodwinds, keyboards and a full symphony orchestra.

The fourth album from this very good artist from Finland who sadly left us back in 2008.

Despite of having a full symphonic orchestra, the music is pretty heavy fusion and cinematic music.

There is even some folk rock like themes here. 

Those themes are very pastoral and parts of the symphonic orchestra does a great job here. That is the woodwinds part of the symphonic orchestra.

Most of the music is performed by woodwinds and bass. There is the occasional keyboards, drums and guitars too.

The first half of this half an hour long album is bordering to great. The final half is somewhere between good and very good.

This is another very good album from Pekka and evidence that I lost out on a great artist while he was still alive. That is my loss.

3.5 points



Sunday, 14 March 2021

Glass Kites - Glass Kites II (2021)

The second album from this Canadian band.

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

This is their second album and the follow up to their very good self-titled 2012 debut album.

I noted a lot of post rock on that album.

I again note a lot of post rock. There are some ebbs and flows here.

There are also some airy dream pop and folk rock here. The mood is uplifting and positive with some very good vocals. There are even some hints of Saga here.

Most of the music is piano and keyboards based with the vocals on the top.

This album is short.... too short. Half an hour is short in the company of a band like Glass Kites. 

This is a short and good album. It is still a good album and I hope we will hear a lot more about and from this band. This is a band the scene really need.

3 points

 

 


Tamarugo - Tan Lejos Del Mar (1979)

The one and only album from this band from Chile.

The band is a trio with a lineup of bass, guitars, woodwinds, keyboards and Spanish vocals.

Two guest musicians provides drums, percussion and woodwinds.

This band released this album before they broke up again.

The band were a folk rock band in the same scene as Los Jaivas and Congresso. The scene was leaning towards progressive rock and fusion.

That very much goes for this band too. And this album.

Take Caravan and add some more folk rock. Folk rock from the Andes region, that is.

The music is pretty melodic with a jazzy, Canterbury scene feel. 

The music is also pretty quirky and full of interesting details.

This is indeed an interesting forty minutes long album with a mix of decent and good songs. Fans of folk rock should check out this album as the sound is good and there is enough music here to make everyone happy.

2.5 points