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 1617 by VY album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2020
3.00 | 1 ratings

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1617
Vy Eclectic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

— First review of this album —
3 stars Demos ... unfinished ... remixed ... whatever, it doesn't matter, not at all. Six songs were collected for this album, and they are offering an eclectic mix of impressions. VY is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Gaby Vidal from Puerto Rico, also known for playing with such bands like Odd John Hawkins and Trili. When it comes to this compilation he's supported by two percussionists at least. The virtuoso acoustic and electric guitar playing turns out to be his trademark. Stylistically presented with a wide range from heavy rocking moments to space/ambient explorations. When looking for the latter you may enjoy the melancholic Faith Kills Again. An extended one on this occasion, I mean, while crossing the ten minute mark at least, wonderfully floating and meandering.

The Offended Generation, hey, which is meant here? Would be interesting to know. Anyway, chosen for the kick-off, this comes in as a rocking piece with an opening bass line. But soon it goes in different directions with twists and turns, quite unpredictable, Vidal composes songs which have an interesting, wondrous, unusual flow. Surely a challenge for all of us. I like that attitude. LEMLP on the other hand shows a vocal performance, delivers a slight latin flavour. A bit avantgarde tinged Icing On A Shit Cake then is a case for a gourmet definitely, hahahaha, musically of course. Nice one! This production is really entertaining, that counts. It's worth it to get closer to Vidal's work.

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 Standing Ovation by CORYELL, LARRY album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.56 | 5 ratings

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Standing Ovation
Larry Coryell Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Larry Coryell - Standing Ovation (1978)

He was a genius as long as guitar playing and as a composer. He was because he is no longer among us. This "Standing Ovation (1978)", deserves just that. Not a pure Progessive album, more likely a Modern Jazz one. But its heartfelt playing and virtuosity is well worth your while. Some kind of Latin flavor taints this work but just enough, not to fall into those restrictions. Inventive, clean and enticing. An easy 4 star album. His style , well works wonders, a must for any follower of modern Jazz guitar based compositions! But not just that he allows piano , violin and zither to enter into these compositions here and there! More less than more, it is STRICTLY a guitar album.

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 Never Let Go by CAMEL album cover Live, 1993
4.45 | 169 ratings

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Never Let Go
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by judahbenkenobi

4 stars An excellent selection of tracks from all Camel albums up to 1993. If you're looking for a live introduction to this criminally underrated band, this might be a good start. And I would recommend disc 1 as your starting point. Disc 2 was a live performance of the album that had been released a few months earlier, "Dust and Dreams", which is not among my favorites. Nevertheless, these versions are generally better than the studio versions, perhaps because they are not burdened with the overproduction that characterized D&D and because the musicians really put their whole energy into them. Take for example Rose of Sharon, which had very bad vocals in the studio album, but now they are subtituted by Andy Latimer's voice. He has not a perfect or enviable voice, but it certainly makes up for the flaws of the original.

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 A Day at the Beach by AIRBAG album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.00 | 101 ratings

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A Day at the Beach
Airbag Neo-Prog

Review by Hector Enrique

4 stars Airbagīs compositions are often long and energetic. A Day at the Beach, their fifth album, is no exception: without haste, time elapses accordingly to the songsī constant melancholy that allows the listeners to enjoy a world of profound and aching new wave atmospheres.

Both the influences of Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree are present. There are some good examples of this in A Day at the Beach: the dynamic Machines and Men, a song that initiates the album with some alluring guitar riffs and synthesizers; the extremely somber Into the Unknown; the discouraged reverie about the daily life that is Sunset (in which the final guitar solo is nothing but a homage to David Gilmour); finally, the potent Megalomaniac, and ironic account of a megalomaniac shrouded by a sore guitar play.

The album finalizes with A Day at the Beach, divided into two parts. Both of them are short and instrumental. But even if they keep the same structure the rest of the album has, they are just not as good.

Yet being an easily recognizable group, the Norwegian band manages to not fall into repetition, something that A Day at the Beach is a proof of. This constitutes great merit because it means that the group has created its own style.

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 In the Wake of Poseidon by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.83 | 2091 ratings

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In the Wake of Poseidon
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by SteveG

4 stars This fractured follow up to King Crimson's In The Court Of The Crimson King, the group's first and arguably best album, has a lot going for it, all things considered. With Greg Lake just about to have mega success with ELP, he stuck around the studio just long enough to do the wonderful vocals on most of this album's lyrical moments. The title track is stupendous and is in the vain with ItCotCK's "Epitaph", without musically echoing. Fripp is every bit as good at massaging the mellotron keys as Ian McDonald was. Alas, McDonald was another who jumped ship after the first album. Soaring, majestic, and heart wrenching, "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is the album's highpoint. But the Holst "Planets" inspired instrumental "The Devils' Triangle" again shows Fripp's keyboard skills in three ominous musical themes that were right up Fripp's alley. Instead of replacing McDonald, Fripp hire jazz piano genius Keith Tippet, whose trills and fills on "Pictures Of A City" and "Cat Food" are absolutely sublime and help to move KC's sound up another level. Fripp's old friend Gordon Haskell does a wonderfully warm vocal on "Cadence And Cascade", a mellow "I Talk To The Wind" type ballad. Indeed, this album does almost follow the template of ItCotCK to the letter, but I'm of the opinion that imitation is the highest form of flattery, so all is good with me. The incredible drumming of Michael Giles again graces this album and he must be one of prog's least celebrated drummers as his stamp on KC cannot be underestimated. His brother Peter handles bass in place of Lake, and while not flashy he, unsurprisingly, meshes perfectly with brother Michael.

A masterpiece of prog? Not in the least. However, In The Wake Of Poseidon is an album that hundreds of other bands wish they could have produced. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

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 That's When the Crying Starts by STRAWBS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1987
2.00 | 1 ratings

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That's When the Crying Starts
Strawbs Prog Folk

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
2 stars After the mediocre -- well, pretty weak when compared to the classic albums just a few years before -- album Deadlines (1978), the British folk prog band Strawbs had their longest period of inactivity during which the frontman Dave Cousins did some solo stuff to almost deaf ears. To cite All Music Guide: "That might have been the end of the group's history, if it hadn't been for an invitation to play the 1983 Cambridge Folk Festival. The Strawbs responded, in the guise of Cousins, Hooper, Hudson, Ford, Weaver, and Willoughby, and the response was so favorable that a tour was scheduled, which in turn led to their return to America in the mid-'80s. The group followed this up with two new studio albums released in Canada." The first of those two albums was Don't Say Goodbye (1987). It was somewhat disappointing if one was expecting them to sound like in their prime time, but as a pop album of the mid-80's, it isn't bad at all. This single has two songs from it.

'That's When the Crying Starts' is a ballad about a breakup in a relationship. Musically it's more or less in the same field to me as some ballads that e.g. Dire Straits or Paul McCartney did at the era: well produced and suitably emotional but not too sentimental. Actually it's easily likeable for a Strawbs listener, if nothing more.

'We Can Make It Together' is a pop rock song with a faster tempo and a heavily repeated chorus. But there are also some soloing, nice arrangement details and a C part (is that a correct term?) to compensate the average songwriting. This might be a three star single on a pop site but let's stick to two stars here.

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 In the Wake of Poseidon by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.83 | 2091 ratings

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In the Wake of Poseidon
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by iluvmarillion

3 stars Disappointing follow up to ITCOTCK, unsurprising given the turmoil in the band with Ian McDonald, Michael Giles and Greg Lake leaving after the debut album and Lake/ Giles recalled to the recording sessions to add vocals/ drums, with Peter Giles adding the bass parts and Gorden Haskel providing vocals on Cadence and Cascade.

Picture Of a City is a fantastic jam and a pointer to the kind of music that Fripp will make with better musicians in David Cross, John Wetton, Bill Bruford and Jamie Muir in the trio of albums beginning with Larks' Tongues in Aspic. Epitaph from ITCOTCK is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard and while the song, In the Wake of the Poseidon, doesn't have the same memorable melody running through it, it nevertheless moves in a similar enchanting way. Sinclair's lyrics are sublime, of the Greek god, Poseidon reeking corruption and destruction on society. This is 8 minutes of wonderful music with Fripp's haunting Mellotron and acoustic guitar and Sinclair's beautiful words inspiring Greg Lake to some of his most emotional singing.

The rest of the album is forgettable. Cat Fish, which was turned into a single, is jazzy but too heavy for my liking. Cadence and Cascade is a nice little acoustic piece, but Gordon Haskell doesn't possess the vocal chords of Greg Lake. Devil's Triangle, an eleven minute piece, is neither epic or memorable, borrowing too much from Bolero. I doubt Robert Fripp would have been pleased with the result.

For the best King Crimson albums, we should skip this one and jump from the debut album to Lizard, which has a new set of musicians.

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 A Sceptic's Universe by SPIRAL ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.69 | 141 ratings

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A Sceptic's Universe
Spiral Architect Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Todd M.

4 stars Spiral Architect stand alone at the peak of tech-metal's mountain. While many criticize this release for being just an excuse to show off the musician's chops, the truth is, in my eyes anyway, that the complexity creates it's own atmosphere. It's like the best science fiction that just challenges what one knows and understands and thrusts the imagination far beyond the typical. Not every band needs to be catchy and Spiral Architect certainly isn't. Haegland's vocal lines are damn near as angular as the avant-jazz-fusion architecture as the rest of the band. But I asked myself, if I were a singer and I got a tape with this music, how would I put vocals to it? The feel here is all quantuum mechanical mysticism. It reminds me of the roots of Jazz-Fusion. Which came first, the music? Or was it the galactic feel of Return to Forever, the Eastern mysticism of Mahavishnu Orchestra. Do the concepts drive the writing process, or do you try to find concepts that line up with the crazed musical output?

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 A Momentary Lapse of Reason by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.07 | 1691 ratings

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A Momentary Lapse of Reason
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Hector Enrique

3 stars The will of the fans'among which I am included'to break off Floyd's saga dissolution after the release of The Final Cut was as eager as Roger Waters' determination to put an end to the group. It seemed everything was coming to an end due to the group's internal strife.

But David Gilmour and Nick Mason were not keen to simply please Waters, and after endless legal disputes, the first post-Waters Pink Floyd album was released: A Momentary Lapse of Reason.

The disc, crowded with invited musicians, was rather dull. Nevertheless, some good songs deserve to be plucked. On the Turning Away, for instance, is a beautiful and deep ballad; Yet Another Movie has a good instrumental development; Sorrow possesses an energetic and zealous guitar-opening; Signs of Life is, in a sort of way, a tribute to the group's earlier creations. But we have to stop counting: there is nothing worth anthologizing.

The really important matter was that Pink Floyd was back. All the fans eloquently expressed their gratitude: for 2 years, all the stadiums were full of people eager the hear A Momentary Lapse of Reason.

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 The Scream of Nature by LUNAR CLOCK album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.74 | 16 ratings

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The Scream of Nature
Lunar Clock Symphonic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars This quartet has its homebase in the Netherlands and provides a very nice progressive art rock album with strong symphonic traces. Apart from the origin and the involved musicians there's yet, at this time, not much known about LUNAR CLOCK. However, the debut album 'The Scream Of Nature' reflects a very intensive engagement in the works of Edvard Munch, a Norwegian painter. Alongside with the album title the cover art shows a clear reference to his probably most famous work 'The Scream' from 1895. All the ten songs are inspired by different paintings. When it comes to the particular deeper sense ... they recently have started to describe their approach on the official facebook page.

Without exception all musicians are (inter)acting on a high level. Robin Boer serves fine lead vocals, the kick-off Frieze comes with great attitude definitely, while setting up an ambitious polyphonic presence. And moreover he rules while taking care of diversified keyboard stuff, oftenly symphonic tinged as noted beforehand. The second track Skrik aditionally adds a space ambient note, while the excellent A Winter Storm On Spring Blossom provides jazzy electric piano too, lively bass input and expressive guitar solo on top. And finally Part III of Metabolism puts another cherry on the cake.

Do not skip! Otherwise you might miss something. I would say there is not any centerpiece song given really. Many contemporary genre album are provided with an extended title track, where the respective crew is willing to give all blood and sweat at once. Each and every song comes relatively short here, but I'm sure the concept includes that you absolutely should listen to the entire album in one go. Respect! LUNAR CLOCK have recorded an essential addition to your progressive rock collection.

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