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PROG ARCHIVES intends to be the most complete and powerful progressive rock resource. You can find the progressive rock music discographies from 9,961 bands & artists, 53,097 albums (LP, CD and DVD), 1,420,491 ratings and reviews from 58,540 members who also participate in our active forum. You can also read the new visitors guide (forum page).
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 The Bride Said No by SYLVAN, NAD album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.02 | 66 ratings

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The Bride Said No
Nad Sylvan Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Nad Sylvan is of course the latest incarnation of the archangel Gabriel, providing a myriad of prog bands the ability to step up to the microphone and sing. To be fair though, his original voice is way more nasal and high-pitched than either Peter or Phil, so please, lets us forego the usual copycat platitudes, as it's simply not true. 'The Bride Said No' is his 5th solo album and quite possibly his best yet, garnering worldwide praise for his efforts. A cooperative effort between Nad and a slew of good friends to help, as some of the prog royalty deigned to show up on the menu. Steve Hackett, Roine Stolt and Guthrie Govan are among the top guitarists in rock period. Some interesting pairings on the rhythmic side with Tony Levin and Doane Perry on one set of tracks and Jonas Reingold bonding with Nick D'Virgilio on another series of pieces . These tandems do not get any better!

After a brief sonic intro, the whistling 'The Quartermaster' lays down the mood quite effectively, a modern prog ditty with thrash rhythms and a hard ass demeanor. Jonas carves the low end, Nick bashes persuasively and Nad sings his heart out, aided by some siren vocals from the ladies. Shimmer, shake and shambles, this is a rowdy adventure that owes a great deal to classic prog stories, flushed by some strident synth colorations.

A mammoth track like 'When the Music Dies' will win anyone over with the sheer magnificence of the melancholic melody, the glorious chorus and the intricate buildup to both. Nad's vocal delivery is not only deeply heartfelt but it's also overpoweringly impressive. Levin and Perry really do the modern rhythm tandem rather well, pulsating forward with glee. I love the similitude to the Bond theme of 'You Only Live Twice', a perfect melody and a genial arching chorus. This my friends, is the real deal. Killer!

More upbeat and very 'Genesisian' is 'The White Crown' with Reingold and D'Virgilio leading the process, involving some spooky synth passages, a high-pitched duet develops between Nad (who can hit the high notes) and backing female vocalist Sheona Urquhart, a very convincing piece of complexity.

On the sultry ballad 'What Have you Done', Nad tells quite the sweet story, trading vocals with Jade Ell and luxuriating in the breeze, sliced open by a long passionate Hackett solo followed by a patented Govan scorcher that smolders like phosphorus. This is another timeless piece of brilliance that cannot and should not escape awareness.

Another nugget is the bold and convincing 'Crime of Passion', with Roine Stolt conducting the proceedings with his slippery guitar rants, Jonas and Nick propelling resolutely and monstrous symphonic keys icing the cake. The orchestrations add a dramatic dimension to the arrangement that elevates it from its rather humble origins. Hackett makes another cameo as only he can, immediately identifiable and mesmerizing.

Tony Levin proves again why he remains the master of the 'basso profundo' (a live quote from the Gabe), manhandling the electric bass as well as the Chapman stick with genial bravado on the romantic and cinematographic 'A French Kiss in an Italian Caf'. Allied with splendid backing vocals from Urquhart and Ell, sliced by some more Hackett , Nad overflows with bittersweet ''l'gance' and 'amore', deliberately emoting on the highest plane. Urquhart blasts a very Roxy Music-ish sax solo to finish off.

The title track is the epic 12 minute+ cliff-hanger that infuses drama and vocal gymnastics from three busy lead vocalists (Nad, Jade and Tania Doko), thus performing a mini-opera of sorts with a story of unfulfilled love and the yearning for freedom. While highly progressive and theatrical, there is a soulful feel that is immediately apparent, not just in the vocal mannerisms but also in the sensual musical instrumentation, that span the slick and sultry to the bombastic and delirious. The instrumental proficiency on display here is ridiculous, by any standard, Jonas in particular proving his reputation as a maestro of the bass guitar. The dynamic storytelling is compelling and convincing, forcing Hackett to blast a tortuous solo off into the stratosphere. Great imagery, fabulous words and a dramatic delivery wins me over immediately, as the white crown makes a reappearance in the lyrics. Slick dude, you are Nad. You go, guy! The mid-section is distinguished by a wailing aria from Tania that will shake your universe, soulfully emotive and overpoweringly impressive. The bride then says no, which leads to a 2 minute silence and a hidden 5 minute bonus track called 'Black Sheep'.

A very entertaining release from an artist that I admired from afar but did not really comprehend. I do now. He is not just another pretty face or a musical box. He is Nad Sylvan.

4 dead rings

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 Pollution by BATTIATO, FRANCO album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.65 | 83 ratings

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Pollution
Franco Battiato Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars Before FRANCO BATTIATO ventured off into minimalism and eventually new wave pop to become one Italy's top performers, he released a couple experimental progressive rock albums for his first two releases. FRANCO BATTIATO's second release (as simply BATTIATO) pretty much follows in the footsteps of his unique style as heard on the debut "Fetus" except that this one lies more in the electronic world and a clue as to where he would take his music, that meaning that the compositional layout of catchy hooks is still present with abrupt changes in genre styles, tempos, timbres all within the confines of keeping a strong melody going, although there are a lot more synthesizers on this one along with the bass, guitar and drums. BATTIATO and three other band members also contribute to a barrage of sound effects on the VCS 3 Synthesizer which leaves a very rich sounding album filled with all the cutting edge technicalities of the day including Rick Wakeman inspired synthesizer workouts.

Starting out what sounds like period piece classical musical from a previous century, it sounds as if we've visited a ball in the 17th century with Mozart as the headliner but after an explosion signals a change over it quickly becomes a jittery guitar riff followed by a haunting organ run that builds up to heavier rock. Once again an explosion changes over to a VCS 3 Synthesizer run that wouldn't sound too far off on an 80s new wave album although this one is kept within a classical music context. By the time the album gets to "Beta," it slows down with a groovy Floydian bass line along with a crafty piano run and freaky background vocals that create a seven minute plus space rock track but ends with a reprise to the classical ball music as the album begins.

POLLUTION is anything but dirty! It is a really pleasant experience to let unfold around you as one addictive track cedes to the next. There are lovely arpeggiated guitar sections such as on "Plancton" that add atmospheric keyboards and once the purely Italian vocals enter the scene sounds much more like the Italian kings of the scene such as PFM or Banco reminding from whence they emerged in the world. Again replete with daring keyboard solos kept within the context of the melody but creating synthesized polyrhythms that complement each other beautifully. The title track has a rather Krautock type intro with UFO type flying sound pulsating from synthesizers while waves crash against some unseen shores while echoey guitar strums gently stroll in as the synthesizer sounds short circuit out. What a way cool intro! It becomes a nice folky guitar piece as the vocalists all begin to sing to the heavens!

This is one of those albums that has all its ducks lined up in the right rows. It has just enough melody to reel you in and keep you hooked but so many surprises and unexpected twists and turns that it's impossible to lose your attention. While firmly placed in the Italian scene during the vocal parts, the beauty of POLLUTION is how pan-continental it sounds during the instrumental parts as BATTIATO takes all the magic of bands like Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, Yes and even Ash Ra Temple and Tangerine Dream and puts it all on the work table for a new sort of musical beast making. Just as good as the debut in a totally different way and somewhat points in the direction of the next album "Sulle Corde Di Aires" that really took the plunge and went completely in the progressive electronic arenas.

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 Everything Beautiful In Time by I AM THE MANIC WHALE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.13 | 34 ratings

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Everything Beautiful In Time
I Am The Manic Whale Crossover Prog

Review by Albert H

5 stars Wow! This is described in the booklet as "an unashamedly progressive" album. They're exactly right. The musicianship is of the highest order, the songs are lengthy and complex - not tricksy or overblown, but well crafted, There is an element of the experimental in some of the songs, which brings a freshness and originality to the compositions. This is British Symphonic Prog at its very best!

I wouldn't single out any of the musicians for particular praise (though the guitar is frequently stellar!) - they work really well together as a unit. The amount of rehearsal necessary to get these complicated arrangements to work flawlessly must have been truly staggering. Considering that this is a privately released CD, there are no evident limitations in recording, It sounds great! Some of the words used in the songs must be difficult to sing - the lyrics are pretty "wordy"!

The first track - "Open Your Eyes" - really made me sit up and listen when I heard it for the first time on the Chris Hunter Show on RaidersFM.com - I decided that I must buy the CD based on just that one track! His review was also very favourable. The whole album stands up to repeated plays - there's so much there that I keep discovering new elements to these complex arrangements. I particularly like the use of classical guitar as a contrast to the electric sounds - they're not afraid to put the acoustic guitar to the front of the mix - and the overall recorded balance is excellent throughout.

A superb first album - I hope that they can keep up the high quality of song writing, musicianship and production for their next release! I couldn't quite rate this as totally "essential" - but it's really close at about a 4.8, so I will give it the special 5-star rating.

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 Elementals by ASTURIAS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.71 | 19 ratings

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Elementals
Asturias Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars First of all, this is NOT neo-prog in any sense of the term, wrong label and labels suck when they are patently false. Japanese veterans Asturias released "Elementals" , a 2014 album that was very highly rated and having already their first two albums ("Circle in the Forest" and "Brilliant Streams") in my collection, I was intrigued enough to take a slight gamble on their newer stuff and spend the money. I am very delighted in my foresight though I had a pretty good idea of what was going to be in store. Masterful instrumental performances from a slew of ridiculously talented pros, led by the enigmatic multi-instrumentalist Yoh Ohyama. "Elementals" leaves very little to complain about, a blistering fusion of powerful jazzy compositions, spiced by some creative meanderings that hearken back to more classical styled experimentation, namely the prominence of the violin, that absurdly majestic instrument that defines so many different styles of music from all around the globe. Yoh handles the bass guitar with gusto, my favorite anchor in all forms of expressive music, and he certainly keeps the low end interesting and exploratory.

While evidently a jazz-rock outfit, there are numerous influences at play here, the leadership of the Tei Sana's luxurious violin notwithstanding, there are plenty of King Crimson-styled moments that keep surfacing here and there, armed with scorching guitar pirouettes from Satoshi Hirata, dexterous piano additions played by Yoshihiro Kanagoe and polyrhythmic beats from masterful drummer Kiyotaka Tanabe. They have the chops, believe you me! For technical music like this to be successful, the composing needs to be first-rate, deliberately steering away from rambling noodling tendencies and focusing stringently on mood creation. Keeping sections vibrating and fresh, with occasional and unexpected instrumental sniper fire from the soloists, is what makes or breaks an album like this.

All the tracks from the scorching opener "Deadlock Triangle", as well as 3 follow-up tracks that prepare for the 4 part Elemental Suite that spans , are blistering compositions played with perfection as well as deadly speed , that will leave the listener enthralled, mystified and utterly spent. That does not mean that it's all 'strum und drang' bombast, as the violin in particular takes a few romantic exits from the whirlwind and wallow in some deep romanticism, as expressed on the second track, the voluptuous 9 minute "Time Traveler", that veers off into some delicate piano work before morphing into the classic King Crimson 'bicycle' math-rock, clicking with intricate guitar phrasings that defy logic or gravity. The jazzy onslaught is pure hard-fusion, perhaps closer to fellow Japanese proggers Kenso but ornamented with some softer pools of reflection and groove.

Falsely creating the impression that this might be a Tangerine Dream-like electronic workout, "Tangram Paradox" is a tortuous, polyrhythmic convulsion that hurls at Mach 3 speed, both into conventional and experimental zones that gain defy the norm. Again, this is no Neo, sorry Matrix fans! The sheer delirium espoused by all soloists is mayhem, but of a controlled kind. The bass and drum work impress to the nth degree and the 3 soloists are just all guns ablaze! "Honeycomb Structure" is a musical maze of labyrinthine proportions, fluid violin in the lead, screeching while the guitar scorches, rambling organ undertow, while the bass and drum duo wallop and bruise. Another piano solo takes this straight into Chick and Herbie territory, very jazz and very much controlled fury. But the clincher is the rollicking, blues- infested guitar flip out from Satoshi Hirata, a pure marvel to behold.

Things get decidedly more orchestral and symphonic with the nearly 29 minute suite, as the violin continues to guide the pack, a flawless example of how 5 rock musicians with classical and jazz backgrounds can compose music that is both vivaciously contemporary, yet still retain all the qualities of timeless classical legend. Defiantly effortless and concise, heavily loaded up on melody and technique, the quintet smolders like a radioactive fire, sizzling fusion of styles and sounds that mark their muse with incomparable gusto. Hard then soft, majestic and sub-atomic, swift and measured, this is simply phenomenal, whatever your musical taste might be limited to. Funny how a repetitive piano chord can provide the platform for a sumptuous violin waltz that is easy to master in terms of accessibility, yet still complex and technically proficient. The second part (the aptly named "Salamander") flies straight into the darker clouds of heavy symphonic bombast, with trilling synthesizer runs, fiery violin forays, brooding organ runs and monster rhythmic gymnastics. A roller coaster of rippling notes and dense arrangements make this quite a breathless ride. Dive into the volcanic flow and come out on the other side, unscathed but exhilarated. The third section is "Sylphide" and it showcases the gentler romanticism of melody and passionate musical discourse, an arsenal of keys keeping the carpet rolling for some gorgeous violin runs from Tei Sena, enveloped in mellotron waves and ethereal beauty. Occasionally playful, often serene, the soloists keep the tense fusion of sounds within a very linear furrow that refuses to back down and kneel at the shrine. The bass guitar takes over and leads with uncommon valor and spunk. Just beautiful.

The finale "Gnome" chooses a more playful theme, altering the melody only slightly, thus providing reassurance and yet adventure on a different plane. Choppy, intense and explosive, the masters empty their creative juices with abandon , giving the impression that this complex music is only second nature to them, a true sign of genius, in my opinion. This band played on the 2014 and 2017 version of Cruise to the Edge and blew the audiences away, same at Rosfest 2013. Perhaps the most underrated artist in the prog world, Asturias deserves huge recognition and massive applause. Getting "Fractals" next!

An easy 5, my dear Watson!

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 Underwater Sunlight by TANGERINE DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.82 | 155 ratings

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Underwater Sunlight
Tangerine Dream Progressive Electronic

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Considering the sheer mass of material Tangerine Dream cranked out in the 1980s between studio albums, live albums, soundtracks and archival releases, it's easy to feel swamped by it all, and there's some justification to the idea that Edgar Froese and his cohorts spread themselves too thin. Underwater Sunlight, however, is a highlight of their mid-1980s torrent of material, with Froese and Paul Haslinger trading soaring guitar solos over an impeccably composed and produced synthesiser backing. It's a bit New Age in terms of both theme and execution, but if all New Age music were like this then we'd be lucky, lucky listeners.

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 Disconnected by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.08 | 321 ratings

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Disconnected
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars As with A Pleasant Shade of Gray, Disconnected had Fates Warning working as a core creative trio of Alder, Matheos and Zonder, with Joey Vera and Kevin Moore working on a guest musician basis. Whilst some prefer the preceding album, I admit that I quite like this release.

On the surface, it comes across as one of those millennial "Oooh, the Internet is scary, will it truly offer us a closer connection to each other or will it all leave us more disconnected and isolated?" concepts that proliferated back in that slice of time after the Internet had become ubiquitous but before Facebook and other social media platforms had definitively answered the question. ("Yes, the Internet will connect you to other people and their innermost thoughts and feelings. You will quickly get sick of them.")

The genius of the album is that rather than approaching the subject like they have an axe to grind, or limiting themselves to that narrow concept, Fates Warning instead take it as a jumping-off point to explore all sorts of different types of interpersonal connection and disconnection, being wise enough to realise that actually, interpersonal connection tends to pan out differently for different people. Some songs, such as One, outright celebrate the emotional bonds between people - others note how they can be mentally draining and sometimes you *need* your alone time to recharge your batteries, whilst others are sung from the point of views struggling to reach out.

It's kind of like its Rorscharch blot of a cover. Some might see it as capturing two people seeking intimacy but being blocked from it by the very devices they have chosen to apply to themselves (or have been forced to by circumstance); I see it as a happy scene of two gasmask fetishists finding each other in a world where it's never been easier to find someone who shares your kinks.

Musically, we're dealing with a nicely matured version of the 1990s Fates Warning sound, the band entering the new millennium with the confidence to simply sound like themselves and not worrying about then-current trends in metal. (Then again, given the rise of nu-metal between Pleasant Shade and this, deciding not to go down that route may have been a no-brainer - I've got nothing against nu-metal, but I can think of few styles less compatible with Fates Warning's approach). The combination of all these features makes Disconnected, for me, the best Fates Warning album since No Exit.

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 Mekanïk Kommandöh by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.67 | 97 ratings

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Mekanïk Kommandöh
Magma Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars After a pair of wild and unhinged jazz-rock fusion albums that introduced the world to the strange world of the fictitious world of Kobaia invented by the fertile mind of founder and drumming leader Christian Vander, he and his band MAGMA streamlined their sound significantly. Although their self-invented zeuhl sound had emerged already on the first album, it was a subordinate element surrounded by a smorgasbord of a million others. On their third album "Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh" the band created their first album that totally fit in with their new found focused sound and in the process created their most acclaimed record even ranking as 33rd greatest French rock album of all time according to Rolling Stone. Despite those impressive creds, the album didn't start out so perfect and the band originally turned in a more stripped down version in early 1973 but was refused by the record company and who sent them back to the drawing board which would end up finally being released in December of the same year.

MEKANÏK KOMMANDÖH is that stripped down first version of "Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh" and was released in 1989 at the tail end of a decade of laying low when the progressive rock world trickled down to a mere pittance of its former 70s heyday. The similarities between the two releases is obvious but the differences are staggering in their impact. While the second rendition contained a whopping 13 members which included brass, flute, bass clarinet and seven vocal parts, the first version MEKANÏK KOMMANDÖH included a modest seven members with only three of them uttering vocalizations of any sort. One of the greatest differences in this version is the introduction where Christian Vander offers some sort of Kobaian speech that sounds like some sort of declaration of war in their invented language which was nixed from the more famous "Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh."

Despite being a good decision to release it in a more perfect form, MEKANÏK KOMMANDÖH gives a clue to the intent of the music somewhat. This album in its stripped down form really sounds like some sort of Teutonic march across the lands on their way to plunder, pillage and lay waste to any village that stands in its way. This is more pronounced as Vander's virtuosic drum antics are more in the forefront minus the inclusion of the smoothing out effect of the horn sections. While more dramatic in nature, this version also has the tendency to become a bit monotonous as well as somewhere around twenty minutes into the thunderous march the vocal tradeoffs tend to seem a little silly as the call-and-response effect carry on and on and on a wee bit too long and with minimal instrumental distractions to be found makes it all the more prominent. While the instruments are scarce by comparison, Zander rocks the house as expected but also of high caliber are the combo effect of bassist Jean Pierre Lambert and Jean Luc Manderlier's phenomenal piano and organ segments.

MEKANÏK KOMMANDÖH can only be taken as supplemental MAGMA material for as good as it is, it pales in comparison to the more MAGMA-nanimous "Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh." I feel the original record company made the right decision to put these guys back to work as this version in its porto-scaffolding form sounds way too much like the Karl Orff cantina "Carmina Burana" which has always provided a wealth of influence in the overall Magma sound. Without all those jazzy brassy instruments adding extra layers of atmosphere and counter-bombast, the overall feel comes off as a bona fide Orff tribute album albeit in a more rock context. While personally these kinds of releases from the vaults type of albums don't usually do it for me, this one is an interesting way to hear how the ideas were layered over time.

I came across this one in a very strange way. This was my first MAGMA album which i mistook for "Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh." My initial reaction was a scratching of the head because i couldn't figure out why it was deemed in such high regard. Once i figured out that this was nothing more than a rough draft / first edition and finally heard the final cut, it all made sense. I avoided this one for a while simply because of that bad taste involved but now that i'm checking it out in a fresh clean slate, i have to admit that it's actually a pretty good album in its own right, it's just not on par with the much improved second rendition. Definitely a must for MAGMA fans but certainly not the place to begin exploration of their discography and eccentric career. Just be careful and don't assume that everything with the two invented words MEKANÏK KOMMANDÖH are the same. Even the bonus track of the same name on newer editions of "Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh" is a different version. Now how's that for confusing? Ugh.

3.5 rounded down

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 Falling Into Infinity by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.33 | 1418 ratings

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Falling Into Infinity
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars Most fans of Dream Theater will know what was going on behind the scenes during the making of this album. If you don't, I'll give you a moment to quickly research it.

Done?

Never mind, I'll explain it to you.

The bands label, Atco Records, had been bought out by the Warner Music Group. The fine people at Warner didn't know anything about Dream Theater, their music or their market, but had only one thing in mind, and that was hit singles. Musical integrity aside, Dream Theater were being forced to write "hits", and it was putting the band in a situation that almost tore them apart.

With all the industry nonsense getting in the way of this album, and with the change of sound giving it a stale taste of a band "selling out" to make a quick buck, 'Falling Into Infinity' often finds itself being overlooked. It may not be as musically technical as 'Images & Words', or as heavy as 'Awake', but this album still maintains a lot of Dream Theater's trademark sounds, but with a lighter tone that might appeal to fans of old progressive rock, or even hard rock fans in general. In this regard, it's actually a pretty unique release in the groups discography.

As always with this band, the musicianship is unmatched. Petrucci, Portnoy, LaBrie (who damaged his vocal chords prior to recording this album) and Myung are all masters of their respective instruments. Keyboardist Derek Sherinian, making his only studio album appearance, may have seemed like an odd choice to replace Kevin Moore, but his style, mixing elements of hard rock and jazz fusion, makes him a perfect fit. And his flamboyance and showmanship really shines through on some of the more upbeat songs.

There's hard rock tracks such as 'You Not Me' and 'Burning My Soul', pop singles like 'Take Away the Pain' and 'Hollow Years', and all-out prog gems like 'Peruvian Skies', 'New Millennium' and 'Lines in the Sand'. With such an eclectic mixture of songs, this really is an exceptional album, which shows a band that can adapt to any circumstance, and overcome any challenge.

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 Astra by ASIA album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.57 | 217 ratings

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Astra
Asia Prog Related

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A short-lived new phase for Asia!

After the fiasco of joining forces with the missed Greg Lake and parting ways with Steve Howe, Asia tried to retrieve the right path with Astra, joining with the young and talented guitarist Mandy Meyer. But the result was an uninspired and very foreseeable album with some of the lowest moments in the band's history.

Meyer's heavier approach to prog gave some of the song a litter "heavier" feeling, but that was not enough to recover the energy and strong songwriting that Asia had on their first album. Let's talk about the songs...

Go is a lousy attempt to make another hit, just very predictable. Voice of America lacks some kind of hook, and its chorus is a just shameful. Hard on Me is better, a good AOR song with strong riffs. One of the highlights? of the album. It strangely remembers me of what John Payne would make in this band years later.

Whishing opens with a beautiful keyboard arrangement, but after that it turns into a poppy AOR tune which lacks real interest beyond its beautiful guitar bridge. But while Rock and Roll Dream is an obvious attempt to make something progressive and symphonic, is by far the best track on the album. And the funniest moment despite its repetitive chorus.

But then comes Countdown to Zero, a pitiful ecological song with bad songwriting. And so, the album goes on till the end... Love Now till Eternity is just uninspired, Too Late is another lousy attempt to make a hit, and Suspicion is far from being memorable despite its good keyboard solo.

After the War is another attempt to sound progressive and symphonic, but it's just pompous. But it contains a good guitar solo and good guitar melodies, giving an idea of how good Meyer really was and how wasted he was in this record.

Conclusion: the first Asia album were by no mean great records, but pretty enjoyable nevertheless. But this Astra does not reach the good copositive level of Asia and Alpha, despite its good guitars and lavish production, making hearing this disc a boring and uninteresting experience, despite a pair of good songs. For this reason, I consider this album worthy just for fans of Asia's first era, is there are still some out there.

Best Tracks: Hard on Me, Rock and Roll Dream.

My rating: **

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 Out Of The Silent Planet by KING'S X album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.04 | 66 ratings

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Out Of The Silent Planet
King's X Prog Related

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After almost 30 years after its release, Out of the Silent Planet still sounds fresh and surprising!

King's X are not strictly progressive. They are an alternative hard rock band from the end 80's which decided to mix their Rush and progressive influences with a strong song-oriented songwriting, a bit commercial but complex enough to appeal the prog fans. It's like Saga meets Rush but with a touch of grunge and alternative rock in the vein of Pixies or Sonic Youth. That makes the sound of King's X kind of unique and interesting.

The sound is the album is also pretty good, with emphasis on the strong Ty Tabor guitars and the outstanding voice of Doug Pinnick, one of the best prog singers of all time in my opinion. Jerry Gaskill is also solid on his drums, making King's X a true power trio in the best tradition of the mentioned Rush.

Out of the Silent Planet opens with In the New Age, a powerful and modern song with great guitar sound making a very good alternative hard rock tune. But Goldilox is even better with its great lyrics and the impressive vocals from Pinnick. A mellow and catchy song, and a real King's X classic. Power of Love is a bit more conventional, typical hard rock from the 80's very well sung.

Wonder is maybe the lowest point of the album, despite its good chorus. Just too repetitive! But the album gets better with Sometimes, funnier and with another good chorus. King is even better with its distorted bass line and good choirs, while What is this? offers interesting psychedelic voices together with an impressive singing on the choir.

Far, Far Away is the most progressive track of the album and one of my favorites. Great guitar melodies! A song which influenced in the progressive sound of the 90's. Shot of Love remembers me to the best Extreme with its vocal melodies, and it has surprising folk melodies in its riffs. Visions is a mid-tempo with an accelerated final section, leaving a very good impression.

Conclusion: Out of the Silent Planet supposed a great debut for King's X. A band which sounded just great despite its youth, with powerful guitars, an impressive voice talent who also plays bass pretty well, together with a strong drummer. This album is a very stimulating mixture of hard rock, alternative rock and some prog elements, with full of splendid songs, catchy chorus and great songwriting. Recommended!

Best Tracks: In the New Age, Goldilox, King, Far Far Away.

My rating: ****

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