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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.33 | 23 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars STEVEN WILSON, - Hand. Cannot. Erase. 2015.

Song by song perceptions-

1st one is like Steve Roach but in a lo-fi heavy/metallic world, perfectly translated into SW's idiom with an astounding and quiet complex song-writing. A 5 star song undoubtly.

2nd song- The first part of this song is something like SW meets America , the soft/folk US band, not the continent. Even though he adds up the P.T. anger, the melody is close to America's soft melodical passages, and the final part , which is awesome, is like YES should have ended up sounding like and not the s..t they chose to be.

The 3th song is the kind of POP/METALISH song that coud easily meet the radio-waves and catch a more undemanding audience. Of course, never pointing out to the silly parts of those audiences.

The fourth song takes a different direction even commenting on its own musical roots, which is super nice and humble of SW to do so. This Mortal Coil, if that means something to the expertise prog-audiophiles, if not look for this project " band" , to understand this tribute song. (they are not featured in PA, so look somewhere else).

The fifth song is quiet in the middle of great and boring. It travels at least 4 separate directions, although nicely threaded, performed and sung, the melodies more than once are quiet anonymous, in comparison to its elder sisters, so far, the less inspired song or in PA's terms a 3 star song.

The sixth song will make all PT's and SW's followers super happy. It delivers the kind of material, that when played live, will surely be a highlight to remember. It even includes a great electronic metal-jazz/folk prog, grand-finale (inevitably Jeff Beck comes to my mind, but that is me).

Song number 8,explores again the gothic side of SW's heart. A mellow/bombing, soft hearted unidirectional song. Super nice!

THE 9th, is introspective at first, then it turns out to be something like the possible future for P.T. if they decided to do so. Although the song writing is not that strong as it could have been in those terms.

Song number 10, could be like the synthesis of the whole record so far, but kind of cutting short on some of its own highlights, which is quiet undeserving.

Song 11, the closure song, is exactly that.

4 PA stars, strongly pointing to a future 5 stars project.

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 Bath Salts by NICHELODEON album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.55 | 13 ratings

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Bath Salts
Nichelodeon RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Bath Salts' - NichelOdeon (74/100)

What is the strangest musical instrument? Some might quickly tell you it's the theremin or the kazoo- fringey musical tools that sound downright alien (or hilarious, respectively speaking) to the untrained ear. A few might even go a step further and bring up a range of rare and 'invented' instruments. I think the relative truth is much simpler. The strangest musical instrument is, without a doubt, the human voice. It's understandable why that notion's so commonly overlooked; even the best singers usually only use a fraction of their voice's potential.

I think Claudio Milano's art stems from this willingness to push those boundaries and explore the untapped potential trapped behind the veil of conventional singing. NichelOdeon's Bath Salts is minimalist in most other sense; with most of the backing instrumentation left up to harps and similarly subdued palette, plenty of room is available for Milano's to exercise every nook of his vocal chords.

The result of this oddly obsessive style is one of the weirdest albums I have heard in a long time. While it's well- possible that NichelOdeon were influenced in part by Italy's longstanding progressive rock scene (this was the expectation I had of the album going into it), the only significant crossover between this and RPI conventions are the vocals themselves; Italy's experimental music scene has always had a tendency to favour vocal theatrics, and NichelOdeon are no different. Claudio Milano's voice is emotive and wonderfully operatic; it's not a stretch to imagine him performing his part on stage before a crowded theatre.

The biggest initial surprise in NichelOdeon's sound is how subdued most of the instrumentation is. Although the music occasionally takes an unexpected turn (hear: the percussive jazz break towards the end of " L'Urlo ritrovato" ) most of the music is performed with the lightest of instruments; most significantly. There is rhythmic energy on Bath Salts. There were many times throughout the album where I felt like I was listening to a resonant harp performance in some Medieval court or tavern; other times- when more lavish strings came into play- it sounds like Milano is singing atop a classical chamber group. That only accounts for a part of NichelOdeon's work on Bath Salts, too. Clocking in at well over an hour and a half, it would be tedious to have taken note of every stylistic hiccup and detour. With regards to the album's overall impression, it should be enough to say that while the instrumentation is never bold enough to compete for the listener's attention, NichelOdeon echo enough variations on classical, jazz and ambient music to keep it charming, even if it sounds too restrained to have kept my attention without the voice of Claudio.

As Bath Salts goes on, the music becomes darker, more experimental; NichelOdeon don't stray far from the 'medieval-chic' instrumentation, but Claudio Milano's vocals become increasingly strained. On the first disc (Capitolo I. D'Amore e di Vuoto) Claudio is soft and warm, with dramatic heights ascending, only to reel in again. Capitolo II. Di Guerre e Rinascite is more experimental. There are times on the latter half where Claudio conjures his inner Mike Patton; familiar RPI-variety operatic vocals give way to a manner of overlapping screams, disharmonies and disjointed sprechgesang. The instrumentation never achieves a fraction of the same energy as the vocals, but NichelOdeon left many of their most jarring ideas for the final act.

While I love Capitolo I, the more challenging approach on the latter half actually holds the album back. True to Mike Patton traditions (if you're ever in the mood to listen to the worst album ever by the way, check out his Adult Themes for Voice) the screechy vocalizations wear out their welcome quickly. Claudio Milano is one of the best operatic singers operating within an experimental context, but no amount of vision or talent can make it enjoyable to listen to someone sound like they're choking on their own tongue.

It should go without saying, but Bath Salts is far longer than it rightly should have been. Despite the eclectic range of sounds, the ambient mood of most of it makes it sound a lot less diverse than it really is. Even having heard Bath Salts multiple times, I can't believe that over thirty musicians took part on it. It may just as well be considered the work of one man. Claudio Milano's voice is a treasure, and most of the album rides on that strength. Just like Peter Hammill (whom Claudio tributes in a cover of Van der Graaf Generator's "The Looking Glass" on the first disc) Milano is a vocalist who treats his voice like a full-fledged instrument. Even if I'm not thrilled by the album's more technical excesses, his voice is such that dozens of backing musicians cannot hope to trump it.

In the end, I'm not sure how to classify this unique expression. A deconstruction of Italian prog? 'Avant-ambient'. maybe? This is a beautiful album for the most part, but it's not for the faint of heart.

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 Bansheeface by PSEUDO/SENTAI album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.99 | 13 ratings

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Bansheeface
Pseudo/Sentai Crossover Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A project that has no boundaries!

This is Pseudo/Sentai, a project that started by the will of Greg Murphy and Scott Baker, who have been creating music with no classification, with no labels, and despite I am reviewing their music for progressive rock sites, I wouldn't dare to say they are a prog rock project, because you'll find eclectic elements that might describe their music as Pseudo/Sentai's music, no other band sounds like them. In 2014 they created a new album named "Bansheeface", a 44-minute length baby divided in 13 tracks.

"Quantum Cardboard" starts with a helicopter's sound and then the explosive electronic sounds and drums begin, it is like having a funny journey to NES games, because the sounds will remind you of some video games. "Sleeping Closer to the Ground" brings vocals for the first time, and with them, an inherent power. Here the electronic is not the main element, here rock prevails, not in a classic way, but with a nice blend of heavy experimental rock and avant garde. The composition is very well crafted, and it is easy to sing and get on well with the music, in spite of that heavy sound. "Terraformed Transcendence" has a kind of AOR sound, but again, the music is not easy to describe or classify. The best you can do, is simply listening to it and let it do the rest, I am sure you will enjoy it, because though it has some aggressive moments, overall it brings a friendly sound that anyone would enjoy.

"Immaculation" is a wonderful track due to its awkward blend of styles. First you will listen to some electronic beats, and then acoustic guitar accompanied by hip hop like vocals. The music flows and they bring us different changes, but all of them interesting. In some moments I even remember Adrian Belew's music due to the vocals, strings, and that heavy full of energy sound. "Bansheeface" is a magnificent track, here is easy to be delighted by the talent and craziness of these guys. I love how their sound makes me feel alive, furious, energetic, and intense, they bring me back to life, and believe me, it is not that easy to find music or bands who help you that way. "Trap of Assassination" is a very nice and experimental short piece that has a strange blend of acoustic strings and electronics, with a kind of western sound, and some video game noises at the end.

"Black Matter of Machinations" drastically contrasts with its predecessor, here the mood is softer, with nice vocals (lead and back) that sing over nice atmospheric keyboards, cool strings and constant drums. I think is a catchy tune, which does not mean it is less complex or interesting. After a couple of minutes the intensity increases, the music releases a monster that screams and all the hidden energy is spread. Wonderful track! "Sleeping Closer" is a short, wild and tense track with female vocals and electronic background. "The Holy Metamorphacity" is one of the longer tracks of the album, and one of the best as well. The music created is first class prog/avant/electronic/heavy/rock that your ears will greatly receive. I love the vocals, all together make a great sound, and I love that inherent energy that provides satisfaction to one's wishes. The drums are amazing, and what they create with keyboards is fantastic.

"A Taste of Endangered" is a short instrumental track whose first seconds take me somehow to the desert, while the second part takes me to heaven, celestial voices hehe. "Classic Tactics of Geoncide" has enchanted me, mainly due to its mellotron-like background which never ceases, but also due to the vocals, tense bass lines and in- moments-dramatic-sound. It is impossible not to enjoy it and also not to move our head. It is like a hypnotic tune. "March of the Selkies" has a lot of energy on it, is a heavy piece of rage. It is normal to remember some other acts, and though I said Pseudo/Sentai has its own sound (because they do have it), bands such as Sleepityme Gorilla Museum, Adrian Belew, The Mars Volta or Rain Delay came to my head while listening to the album. The album finishes with "Mound of Seed, Seed of Earth", a shorter piece that brightly closes a wonderful record.

I know this band might not be for everyone's tastes, however, I would suggest you to give them a chance, they have their music in Bandcamp, so listen to them and you'll understand better what I said on my review.

Enjoy it!

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 Psychedelic Sleep by CRYSTAL PALACE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.14 | 9 ratings

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Psychedelic Sleep
Crystal Palace Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars In 2003 Crystal Palace released what was supposed to be their third full-length album, titled ''Psychedelic sleep'', needless to say the band had yet to sign with a major label and this was another self-produced work.The drummer issue remains at the forefront for the band, previous member Sven Brehm had left the band and the new face behind the drum kit was Mathias Wallasch.

I do not know if all these member changes had sucked much of the band's lust for writing material, but this supposed third effort by Crystal Palace was less than 33 minutes long.The title of the album is also a bit misleading, because this one has nothing to with Psychedelic Music neither comes up as a sleepy effort.To the contrary, ''Psychedelic sleep'' moves along the lines of the previous efforts, being a highly energetic, mostly Neo Prog album with some heavier leanings and some strong resemblances to the music of JADIS.The songwriting is pretty cool and, even if all tracks are rather short and lack the true spirit of Prog Rock, the material is well-played with some monster melodies and very good vocals.As with JADIS, the music is basically guitar-driven with the main contribution by the keyboardist coming in atmospheric, semi-symphonic backgrounds, I would love to see the band becoming a bit more complex in certain moments, but the songs are quite nice, the structures are pretty typical of the genre with atmospheric changes and some bombastic parts mixed with chill-out moments.The guitar duo of Hegner and Jaschob deliver some exciting moves here, either being some lovely atmospheric solos or some heavy riffing.''100 miles from Eden'' is old Crystal Palace at their best, nice synth- and guitar-based rhythmic Neo Prog, a bit reminiscent to TRISTAN PARK and ENCHANT.

Solid album to say the least and definitely a goodie for Neo Prog buffs.Its length is pretty reduced compared to the past works, but I guess you can't have it all in the game of life.Recommended.

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 Sensitivitā by COSCIENZA DI ZENO, LA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.89 | 162 ratings

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Sensitivitā
La Coscienza di Zeno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars ''La Coscienza di zeno'' became a sellout within a few months of its original release date, no wonder when considering its amazing quality.The band was still busy, after accepting the invitation to participate in two Musea compilations, ''Decameron: Ten days in 100 novellas - Part 1'' and ''The stories of H.P. Lovecraft''.Meanwhile, sometime in March 2012, they would welcome veteran keyboardist Luca Scherani in the place of the departing Andrea Lotti.Several lives would follow during the year, some of them next to Italian Prog legends such as Locanda delle Fate, Maxophone and Garybaldi.La Coscienza di Zeno then signed with AltRock Productions' sublabel Fading Records and in summer 2013 comes the second album of the band ''Sensitivita'', recorded with a few guests on flute, strings and Mellotron.

This is a case of a rather flawless album, a clean production, a powerful, bombastic and grandiose symphonic sound with enough twists and turns to satisfy even the most demanding Prog fan and very good Italian vocals, split between hard and warmer singing.Moreover the tracks are quite long with thematic variations and rhythm alternations, the music is both romantic and dramatic and the composing level remains pretty high.The main problem with La Coscienza di Zeno's second album is the more pronounced use of the synthesizers and acoustic piano over the analog keyboards, showing the band moving slightly from the retro aesthetics of their debut, plus this album is executed with perfect performances on instruments and vocals, but seems to lack the pair of killer compositions and atmospheric intelligence of the first work.It strangely sounds however a bit more balanced with a tight and confident sound, passing through soft and dynamic arrangements, showing some love for Classical Music and jumping in the same wagon with LA MASCHERA DI CERA.Very Italian-sounding with evident inspirations from P.F.M., BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, MUSEO ROSENBACH, CORTE DEI MIRACOLI (propably the best comparison here) and IL BALLETO DI BRONZO, featuring extended instrumental variety, flavored by some strings and flute and even some slight theatrical edges.

It would be unfair to compare this work with the band's debut, because such masterful albums come out once in a while.''Sensitivita'' is a great work of Classic Italian Prog, the vocals are simply fantastic and the arrangements are mostly very interesting with series of impressive and inspiring moments.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Corvus Stone II by CORVUS STONE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.07 | 248 ratings

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Corvus Stone II
Corvus Stone Crossover Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This is the second child of Corvus Stone, a multi-national band whose first album was edited back in 2012, entering to the complex progressive rock world with a daring 79-minute record. With "Corvus Stone II" they repeat the dose, because once again Pasi Koivu, Colin Tench and co. bring a daring 79-minute album, divided in 16 pieces. Personally, when I wrote the review of their first I aid it was really long, so there were moments where I felt lost, where I did not enjoy it as I would have loved to, and I have to say that this same feeling happens now with this new album, but with a lesser impact. However, I have understood they charm lies on their eclecticism, they will to compose and create prog rock whose songs might not be related to each other, but are very well crafted. Of course, I have enjoyed more Corvus Stone now.

It starts with "The Simple Life", a very nice two-minute introduction to Corvus Stone's eclectic journey. The first that caught my attention was the keyboards, and then the vocals with a sweet symphonic sound, so the beginning is bright, let's see what happens next. "Early Morning Call" has some cadency, it is a nice instrumental track that could be used as a film soundtrack, it is easy to put some images in one's head. "Boots for Hire" is the first long composition, reaching almost the nine-minute mark. The sound is pretty interesting, a kind of bluesy introduction with a soft spacey background. At minute 2 vocals by Stef Flaming enter, opening the gates to a brand new song, because it turns into a psychedelic piece, at least for the next two minutes. Then it slows down and morphs again, and again. This is one of the virtues of Corvus Stone, they change in every single second, they dare to change, which is something good.

"Sneaky Entrance to Lisa" is a 30-second interlude by Colin Tench. It leads to "Purple Stone", whose first seconds are dedicated to a car speeding up. Later the music enters in a rocky mood, with vocals by Blake Carpenter, so the sound is a bit more theatrical. It has nice details such as the bass lines, but I must say this is not my favorite song at all. "A Stoned Crow Meets the Rusty Wolff Ratt" is a longer composition, which contrasts a lot with the previous one. Here the sound is more delicate, it has acoustic guitar and nice atmospheric keyboards at first; later it changes and becomes rockier. After four minutes there is a nice passage where keyboards take leadership, adding that symphonic sound. The song runs and flows nicely, with maybe one or two pauses that I would omit. Of course, drums are great in this particular track.

Another short interlude comes with "Lisa has a Cigar", a classical track by Pasi Koivu. "Mr. Cha Cha" comes right away, a nice instrumental song with a cool rhythm and a rock style, I assume it is a kind of rendition (or maybe mockery) to the Cha Cha Cha genre, I don't know. "Dark Tower" is another interlude, a very nice one, this time with Carpenter's voice. "Scandinavians in Mexico" shares a nice even danceable tune, it actually sounds delicious, it is like a blend of rock, jazz and Latin rhythms. I have to say these guys are very talented, they have the capacity of creating great eclectic music through online ideas, and they have are capable of complementing each other's ideas, which give as a result these so different songs.

"Mystery Man" has again Carpenter's vocals. This track is pretty nice, atmospheric and melancholic; I liked how they slowed down here and show a slighter face of Corvus Stone, though after some minutes the song becomes deeper, more passionate, with a great guitar work. This is one of my favorite tracks. "Camelus Bactrianus" is sung by Timo Rautiainen and if I'm not wrong, lyrics are in Finnish, and though it is impossible for me to understand, the music and the vocal color makes it truly enjoyable, with a kind of somber mood, interesting. "Uncle Shunckle" is a wonderful instrumental track, another one of my favorites here. I think the musicianship is excellent, each and every instrument makes its own party, but at the same time, one leads to another and so on, I mean, they perfectly complement each other.

"Eternal Universe" is another very good track, this time sung by Phil Naro, and it returns to the softest side of Corvus Stone. But well, the epic comes next with "Moaning Lisa", a 14- minute piece where Sean Filkins sing, so it is pretty reminiscent to Big Big Train. The first five minutes are pretty sweet, pastoral, easy to dig and I would also say, beautiful. Then it begins to morph, the electric side appears (it was acoustic-driven at first), so a great blend of guitars put a wonderful atmosphere, while Filkins vocals become more passionate little by little, adding a nice diversity of elements such as Spanish folk, jazzy keyboards and heavier percussions. The music flows, I love how the song does not let you go, I mean, you remain interested and expecting new and new surprises. Their richness of sounds will keep you enthusiastic while listening to it, so what you have to do, is relax, enjoy the passages and let the music do the talking. Finally, "Campfire" provide the last two minutes of this excellent, challenging record.

I invite you to discover Corvus Stone's music, it is an amazing blend of genres and elements with a positive and satisfying result. Enjoy it!

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 Turn Off by SHAMALL album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.06 | 157 ratings

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Turn Off
Shamall Neo-Prog

Review by KayPa

4 stars I must admit, it's hard to categorize this album. But I will do my best. You should know that I am not a fan of that 'typical' progressive rock music with frequent meter changes, complex time signatures, static compositions made on a drafting table, buzzsaw-sounding speedy guitar soli'. Undoubtedly, that kind of work is made and played by highly crafted, very talented individuals. But after turning off the player, each time I feel discomforting and unbalanced because that music leaves no traces, there is nothing to think off or to feel afterward. I got really mad listening to the highly acclaimed releases of supergroups. Why do I'm writing this? Before I will lose some words about Shamall's 'Turn Off', I would give the chance to every progrock-nerd or clock-counter to leave the stage right now.

Everyone else, who is still here and will have an open-minded heart, will enjoy 'Turn Off' as a completely rounded rock album with psychedelic, symphonic and electronic elements. Chill-out phases alternate with memorable guitar and keyboard soli. Lots of instruments with occasional male and female vocals build the works. The whole thing is a natural flow between heavy guitar passages, extended instrumental parts and ambient soundscapes. There is no special 'song' to emphasize (except 'the creeping dead' maybe), because you have to listen to this album in its entirety to gather its full potential. Music and art work are as great as its message. The sound on my old huge stereo speakers is just unbelievable.

I still love the good old classic rock like Marillion, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Genesis, Supertramp, Pink Floyd of course, some progressive rock like Ayreon, Riverside, Lunatic Soul, Karnivool and most of the recent stuff from rock bands like Pop Evil, Nothing More, Five Finger Death Punch or Starset. But 'Turn Off' really hit me when I listened to it everytime.

Of course this is no new milestone, but definitely one of the best releases in the last years. 4 and a half stars!

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 The Incident by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.69 | 1226 ratings

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The Incident
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Dead leaves at the end of the Tree.

There's something heartbreaking about The Incident that I've never quite been able to put my finger on. The story at the core of the album would probably like me to believe that it's the entire concept that puts a damper on each and every listen that I have of the album but that's just not it. If the album had actually achieved what it had set out to do by hitting my heartstrings in a way that made me feel for a character or concept the album would be a triumph - and that's not how I feel.

No, the heartbreaking thing about The Incident is that the whole thing feels lackluster. Half-assed. Effortless. Tired riffs and monotonous singing may have attempted to bring across an emotion that started with the rather nihilistic Fear of a Blank Planet but without the care and attention that was brought into each well crafted song. The 55-minute song cycle that makes up the first disc of the album has so few ideas stretched out over so long a time period that often times it feels like a drone album done by a drone band trying to expand into rock and roll without knowing how. The guitars clunk, the vocals whine and there are very few standouts that make my hair stand on end the way this band usually can.

Even Time Flies, the notable standout (and single) of the album is not without major flaws. Clocking at nearly 12-minutes it becomes the only song to actually leave a place in the listener's mind. However, any prog fan with depth to their catalog will not easily be able to dismiss the fact that it rings so heavily of the riff to Pink Floyd's Dogs that they will likely be put off of it.

The redeeming part to having made purchase of this album is the second disc. What a shame that is is only 20 minutes long! If they had combined this with the Nil Recurring recordings and released that as a kind of FOABP 2 they would have been met with much greater success! The odd tone and grumblings of Bonnie The Cat ring back to their Signify days while expanding on their current themes. Flicker is such a haunting melody that it DOES send shivers down my spine and Remember Me Lover takes us back to a darker version of Up The Downstair and finally ends off the hour plus long album.

In conclusion, The Incident is not without it's merits. It is simply unfortunate to see a band so lauded in the progressive, metal and alternative communities release an album that feels like an afterthought. Steven Wilson clearly had other things on his mind when the album was released, having already released his album Insurgents. His solo career has taken the music of Porcupine Tree to an entirely new level and continues to be truly progressive, but it's too bad he left the Tree to fall with no one around to hear it.

2 stars for an album that is worthwhile for the 2nd disc (a must for fans) but an ultimately disappointing, perhaps final, release by a once titan of the genre we adore. If you have not already become familiar with their music check out Up The Downstair or The Sky Moves Sideways if you are a fan of Floyd-flavored psych rock, or Deadwing and Fear of a Blank Planet for brooding Opeth style psych-heavy-progressive bombast, or Stupid Dream and In Absentia for top notch song-driven crossover prog with feeling. Avoid this release until familiar with what made the band an impressive force and solidified Steven Wilson as a demi-God of music.

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 It's A Love Cult by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.90 | 30 ratings

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It's A Love Cult
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars After Motorpsycho were heavy, and before they were heavy again, they were plain old rock'n'roll-y. On It's a Love Cult, they continue the lusher avenues explored on 2001's roots rock- jazzy-country Phanerothyme, but a little more aggressive this time around. This features such songs as the psychedelic power pop of Uberwagner or a Billion Bubbles in My Mind, the rollicking Neverland and Composite Head, the pastoral Circles and The Mirror and the Lie, the complex pop rock of Serpentine, country-flavored What If, the quiet jazziness of This Otherness, the hard rocker Custer's Last Stand. For a band that started out grungy and often (mis)labeled as stoner rock, Love Cult features rich arrangements and strong instrumental performances. A bar where they'd play this kind of music would instantly be my favorite.

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 Uomo Di Pezza by ORME, LE album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.25 | 513 ratings

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Uomo Di Pezza
Le Orme Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by presdoug

5 stars After the important and groundbreaking album "Collage", a definite musical step in the right direction for Italy's Le Orme, next comes this excellent follow up album "Uomo Di Pezza". Any way you look at this album, technically, emotionally, spiritually, dramatically, it is a winner.

The great thing about this record is that there are no weak or out of place elements to it. Aldo Tagliapietra's voice is as emotional and moving as ever (my not knowing the Italian language does not hamper me in appreciating his fine vocal delivery), and instrumentally, the band is firing on all six cylinders; inventive drumming by Michi dei Rossi, who always has that perfect sense of timing and dramatics, the well crafted and executed bass and six-string guitar of Aldo's, and of course great, classically inspired to the fore keys playing by Tony Pagliuca, all co-existing to make a wonderful recording. And the resultant atmosphere created by these musicians is unique in it's way, despite comparisons with Emerson, Lake and Palmer's sound.

This album is the perfect transition from the previous "Collage" to the next one, "Felona e Sorona". No look at, or appreciation of, this band would be complete without "Uomo di Pezza". Actually, no seventies prog collection, period would be complete without this masterpiece-it is that essential. 5 stars, no less.

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