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 Abraxis by ABRAXIS album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.98 | 4 ratings

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Abraxis
Abraxis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars A mid-Seventies jazz/fusion band from Belgium, the superb Abraxis boasted musicians from other jazz-rock groups of the decade such as Pazop, Placebo and Waterloo, with keyboardist Charles Loos and bassist Jean-Paul Musette known to some prog fans as being members of Belgian band Cos, performing on their first album `Postaeolian Train Robbery' (but departed before the follow-up `Viva Boma'). Released in 1977, their fully instrumental debut is an enjoyable and impeccably performed mixture of flute dominated jazz, Canterbury inspired fusion, '70s funk and even a pinch of Zeuhl! As much of their music here was dominated by piano and flute, it gives `Abraxis' a frequent Focus-like quality in parts, actually quite classical and grand in a few moments here and there. Canterbury bands like Gilgamesh and the instrumental passages of National Health also come to mind, and definitely parts are still identifiable as Cos, although in a firmer jazz sound without the avant-garde vocal qualities and loopier elements of that band.

Brief opener `Clear Hours' is a more fusion-flavoured version of something that could have come off the first Camel album, a breezy and immensely likable tune with constantly twisting guitars, grumbling bass, peppy electric piano spirals and loopy synth trills all duelling back and forth with quickie little call-and-response soloing runs between each-other. The gently melancholic flute, dramatic piano and overall classical sophistication of the four-part sixteen-minute suite `Valse De La Mort' reminds instantly of the classic Seventies-era Focus albums, whimsical and reflective one moment, stirring with spontaneous improvised manic bursts the next. Humming bass, fiery nimble guitar licks, dreamy shimmering keyboards and rambunctious drumming all have their moments to shine in this exquisite piece.

`Sweetank' opens the second side and is the highlight of the disk, a delirious and splintering jazz-fusion tantrum crammed with funky swallowing Zeuhl-like bass, wiry electric guitar, glistening electric piano, huffing flute and loopy electronic breakdowns over thrashing drum spasms. Sadly it's over in barely 4 minutes, just a teasing fling that leaves you craving more! `Billy the Keith' is a laid-back romantic simmer-down with a slightly syrupy melody (but it's oh-so charming all the same), `Jeronimo' is a cheerful runaway electric piano and cheeky flute-peppered interlude, the almost seven minute `Bolle Winkel' is another lengthier fusion workout where all the musicians get ample soloing moments to shine, and the fleeting closer `Arhumba' is a playful piano/flute powered ditty.

Needless to say, the musicianship is consistently outstanding throughout `Abraxis', with the entire 37 minute LP flying by without a trace of inferior material emerging. A true obscure reissued gem that could not be more welcome, if a Cantebury/jazz-fusion flavoured mix of Focus, Camel and Cos with a pinch of Zeuhl sounds intriguing to you, track it down immediately!

Four stars.

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 Kosmonument by ORANSSI PAZUZU album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.98 | 10 ratings

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Kosmonument
Oranssi Pazuzu Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Kosmonument' - Oranssi Pazuzu (81/100)

It was relatively easy to get obsessive over Oranssi Pazuzu. Even years into their career, they've retained a monopoly on a style fusion that's as striking in practice as it was promising on paper. If too much talk is spent on the band's genre, it's only because Oranssi Pazuzu stand in a world of their own. not that psychedaelia and black metal haven't been fused in the past, but only here does it sound like a blended, balanced marriage. They are host to a surreal, hazy real. Is this what the Norwegian Second Wave would have sounded like if they had been raised in 1970s West Germany?

I still remember when I was showed Muukalainen puhuu back in 2009. The sheer authenticity they gave to the psychedelic nd was enough to set them apart from virtually every other psych-black band I'd heard at the time. Oranssi Pazuzu's debut still stands as one of the most singular experiences I've come across in music. Even then, the material itself left room for improvement. While they had practically nailed the execution from the beginning, Muukalainen puhuu's atmosphere may have been just a bit too campy for their own good. The dark fuzzy turn they took on the follow-up Kosmonument saw fit to legitimize their style even further.

It's sometimes debatable to me whether Kosmonument may actually be Oranssi Pazuzu's best album. It's easily the most bloated thing they've done, lacking the focus of Valonielu or concentration of Värähtelijä. Regardless, of any album they've done to date, I find Kosmonument is the easiest to get lost in. Oranssi Pazuzu also arguably plunged to their darkest depths here. where Muukalainen puhuu may have sounded playful, it's hard to make the same argument about Kosmonument's fuzzy nightmare aura. Even if the album could have used trimming in places, the sheer excess is what sets the album apart from others in the band's discography.

Oranssi Pazuzu opted for a more album-centered approach on Kosmonument than the song-by- song impression of the debut. Although this resulted in fewer standout pieces than other albums, the choice to approach the album as a single piece of work served the end result well. Each track flows from one to another in an intuitive stream. At the potential cost of melodic hooks, they placed more emphasis on texture and fuzzy effects. Though not to the spaced out extent of Värähtelijä, Kosmonument never rushes to get anywhere. The hazy flow of the album definitely draws from the psychedelic end of Oranssi's sound; I think it served the band well to align themselves so closely with disciplines not often heard otherwise within a black metal context. The way things are done here, the atmosphere and timbre are made more important than the songwriting itself. Not that the composition ever slacks, but it's seldom been the reason why they've stood out as much as they do.

The fact that I've seen Kosmonument lauded and decried as the best and worst Oranssi Pazuzu album in different places should testify to its significance in their career. A more reliable album like Valonielu may hit closer to the mark more of the time, but the purpose of experimental music should be to rile and divide. While the debut still has great charm, this is the album where I think Oranssi Pazuzu really legitimized themselves as a "serious" act-- whatever that means. Where the vibe of Muukalainen puhuu could have been brushed off as a well-made gimmick on a jaded day, Kosmonument pushed it so much further.

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 Affenstunde by POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.15 | 78 ratings

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Affenstunde
Popol Vuh Krautrock

Review by ALotOfBottle

4 stars The bitter influence that World War II left on Germany proved awfully difficult to get rid of. It was up to the first post-war generation to make a change. 1968's protests in Europe helped the contemporary youth to unite and creating a completely new subculture or a class of young, intellectual, open-minded individuals with left-wing political views, who rejected the musical influence of British and American psychedelia in search of their own identity. One of such people was Florian Fricke, a student of piano, composition, and directing at the Conservatories in Freiburg and Munich. Being a disciple of the composer Rudolf Hindemith, the brother of slightly better-known Paul Hindemith, helped Fricke in expanding his musical horizons. At that time, he also became fascinated with musical styles such as free jazz and ethnic music. In 1969, he purchased one of the very first Moog synthesizers to appear on the market. The same year, he founded the band Popol Vuh, whose name derived from an ancient Mayan manuscript (the title translating into The Book Of the Community), together with Holger Trülzsch, a percussionist, and Frank Fiedler, who dealt with the technical aspect of the group's sound. Their debut album, Affenstunde was released in 1970 under the Liberty label.

The album comprises two side-long epics: "Ich Mache Einen Spiege", which is divided into three movements, and the title track, "Affenstunde", respectively. The first part of the first suite, contrarily named "Dream Part 4", opens with a static drone including various swirling electronic and pre-recorded effects passing through. These give somewhat of an industrial effect , often sounding like technical devices. This part remains quite unchanged except for very slow frequency pulses, sometimes influencing the sound in making it a bit heavier, sometimes much lighter. Next up, "Dream Part 5" is devoted to showcasing Holger Trülzsch's percussion abilities. A person credited as "Bettina" plays Indian tabla, which really enriches the overall feel of the track, adding a very exotic, Eastern flavor. At the same time, it also points the way towards Popol Vuh's future influences. The rhythmic pace of Part 5 is steady with numerous variations. "Dream Part 49" follows the previous movements with silent, slowly pulsating sounds of Florian Fricke's Moog III synthesizer, which at times bring the sound of mellow church organ to mind. Once again, the texture remains rather static, however, towards the end, the instrument appears as if more "self-assured", becoming slightly louder at the ridge of the synthesizer wave, before descending into complete silence.

"Affenstunde" begins slightly more confidently with a steady tabla rhythm accompanied by a dark "cloud" from Fricke's synthesizer. As the piece slowly grows, one is able to hear distant effects struggling to break through. Suddenly, the beat fades away and the synth is left alone. Then, Florian Fricke plays a striking modal solo with a beautiful timbre of Moog's distinctive triangle-wave based on a static drone. This is really where his instrumental abilities come through. Tabla and various percussion instruments appear once more, but not really in the form of laying down any rhythm, but rather accompanying Fricke in his solo part, adding a bit more variety, and working in favor of dark, soporific, foggy atmospherics. In this wonderful way, the piece slowly starts to fall silent, as if falling asleep and wanting to say "good night, I sincerely hope you have enjoyed your journey."

The 2004 CD reissue of the release on SPV recordings offers one more bonus track, "Train Through Time." The piece lasts for ten minutes and is kept in a very similar fashion as the tracks from the original issue of the album, showcasing the fantastic percussion work as well as many fascinating effects from Florian Fricke's Moog.

How are musical revolutions started? It often comes down to one groundbreaking album - a one-of-a-kind. bold, uncompromising musical statement created by one or more unorthodox, forward-thinking musicians. And Affenstunde undoubtedly deserves a title of a groundbreaking work. Its peaceful, quiet nature paved the way for genres such as ambient or drone. It's not without its flaws, for sure, but is definitely worth acknowledgement and appreciation. Above all, Affensunde is at least partly responsible for laying foundation for a revolution of the German youth culture. This is not an easy work to appreciate, one might highly likely find it boring and requiring minimal musical abilities. However, I would not say this album is about showcasing skill, but rather about building atmospherics and drawing different sonic landscapes. That being said, it does require a considerably different approach from the listener. Anyhow, Popol Vuh's debut is a truly essential krautrock album and is very highly recommended!

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 Neither in Heaven by HUIS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.87 | 78 ratings

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Neither in Heaven
Huis Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Huis - this canadian/dutch neo/symphonic prog band is present with a second offer Neither in heaven, issued at canadian label Digital unicorn in april 2016. Well, what we have here is a good towards great neo prog album with hints of symphonic prog all done in a beautiful and elegant manner. I was hooked from first listen, at same level with previous album and in places even better, and aswell little more edgy in parts, but with all that the guitar parts are excellent overall. Very nice and elegant duels between musicians, I think the forte track is Synesthesia - this is impressive, really tight musicianship, excellent ideas, every musician involved here is sure what is doing and done very well in the end - the guitar parts from the end of the tune are marvelous, remind me here and there with another canadian neo band Red Sand or with norwegians The Windmill, very well performed passages, no wonder that Michel St-Père is a teacher on guitar. and worth 5 stars alone this track. Also two instrumental pieces grace the release, Insane and I held. Insane featuring keybordist Gerben Klazinga from dutch neo prog band Knight Area, very nice tune. I also find the bass little in front then previous album, but is a good thing, everything is done with taste and in elegant manner. As I said the music overall is well crafted , with lots of keyboards and guitars aswell maybe in some parts they remind me of Mystery because of St-Pere guitar touch but with hints of aformentioned bands above. Anyway strong compostions under neo/symphonic prog flavour. The art work and overall package is great to, digipak format. So, from me 4 stars, definatly one of the better albums of this year. I like this band and for sure I will check their next releases.

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 Barclay James Harvest Live by BARCLAY JAMES  HARVEST album cover Live, 1974
4.41 | 92 ratings

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Barclay James Harvest Live
Barclay James Harvest Crossover Prog

Review by LunarSea

5 stars Barclay James Harvest Live : 1974

I believe this was the first live album BJH recorded and it was also my introduction to the band back around that time. The impact this album made on me as an impressionable lad was so huge that it is still in my collection today - much loved, and whenever one of these old songs comes up on the playlist on my iphone it still makes me smile with delight.

In terms of actual musicianship these songs aren't rightly what one would describe today as virtuoso in technical terms, and can't rightly be compared to the songs of bands such as Yes or King Chrimson or Dream Theater for tricky time signature or tempo wizardry, and likewise, the sound on the album isn't as polished as what one might expect from a highly edited live album of today. The songs are all fairly basic in terms of technical wizardry and played in standard 4/4 time signature which makes them all very easy to listen to, but at the same time, all very well executed with enthusiasm and power, great vocals, subtle drums and massive keys.

With the possible exception of "She Said" where someone got a bit too enthusiastic with the faders at the production stage and the song goes slightly into overload/distortion mode, there isn't really a bad moment on the album. There are plenty of little moments where the whole thing is a bit rough around the edges, but in comparison to many so called "live" albums which would be more appropriately described as being "Live in the studio" this is a real breath of vintage fresh air because it's a REAL live album, with warts and all. You can hear lots of little incidental moments and transitions, particularly in the guitar work where John jumps on a stomp box to change his guitar sound - it all sounds great to my ears.

With Woolly and Mel both gone, and John and Les still not talking to each other as far as I know, we will certainly never see the like of this again because the interband chemistry of these four was - for a few years at least - an entity close to song writing perfection for the time and their song writing partnership was their strength as a band lay.

In conclusion I can say that this is one of my all time favourite live albums and for anyone looking to investigate the earliy days of prog and who is as yet unfamiliar with BJH I would recommend this as a most excellent starting point.

Quite simply superb. Vintage, verging on antique excellence. 5 stars and I would give it 6 if I could. :)

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 Emergence by BRETT, PAUL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Emergence
Paul Brett Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars Paul Brett's discography is becoming increasingly cryptic and unknowable, with his own web site rendering an incomplete account and directing the curious to itunes for the minimal subset that is readily available in digital form. Even some of the "compilations" seem only partially sourced from previously released material. However, one thing is certain: "Emergence" is the first album of original contributions from "Paul Brett Sage" since 1972. What possessed the prolific and talented Brett to resurrect the Sage name at this late date is appropriately unclear, especially given that the credits reveal none of the members from the early incarnations. It could simply be because most of the man's solo work is just that, whereas here he has recruited a band in a conventional sense. Motivations aside, let's examine what has emerged from this "reformation".

The focus is on songwriting and vocals first and foremost, with many of the lyrics imparting at times blunt social and political commentary, and the melodies paired cleverly to Brett's weathered but still earnest and appealing voice. The opener "Amsterdam" introduces all of these facets in a representative 3 minutes. From here, Brett's scathing stylus takes on ecology, big oil and gas, big media, and other easy targets, but interspersed with the lighthearted "Psychedelic Pauline" and the grandiose mini epics "the Tempest", "Evening Star", and "The Pit and the Pendulum" which are curiously concentrated towards the tail end of the disk, and among my preferred pieces. The production closes strongly with the ominous "There's a Wolf at your door", not the only piece that reminds me of the relatively recent collaboration between fellow virtuoso GORDON GILTRAP and OLIVER WAKEMAN. Comparisons to the song oriented period of MIKE OLDFIELD, ALAN PARSONS PROJECT and TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA are valid, primarily in an appreciation for the theatrical and the melodramatic.

The only lead instruments are Brett's acoustic and electric guitars, which are, as usual, technically brilliant and succinct, whether in accompaniment to the vocal passages or on their own. "Emergence" can best be characterized as a synthesis of the original SAGE sprinkled with the acoustic-electric essence of "Interlife" and the bite of "Queen's Shilling", with occasional reference to "the Compleat Angler". In all, a quality release that defies submergence.

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 Agitor Lucens V by ARCO IRIS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.33 | 48 ratings

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Agitor Lucens V
Arco Iris Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars ARCO IRIS were a band from Argentina who released at least three really good albums in the seventies including this double concept album from 1974. The music here is certainly varied with Jazz, Psychedelic, Symphonic and Folk being touched on. Unfortunately my copy isn't legit which I didn't know when I picked it up from an on-line vendor. Apparently this hasn't been released on cd and the recording I have features the track listing from the vinyl re-issue from 1975 but they somehow cut out about 15 minutes of music. So I'm not really impressed with how unprofessional my issue is but the music is another story.

"La Divina Madre" has some powerful organ to start as the guitar begins to solo tastefully over top. It calms right down after 2 1/2 minutes as the organ stops but it will return late. "La Morada De Los Dioses" has this relaxed beat with strummed guitar and laid back vocals which are in Spanish(and throughout this recording). I really like this song. "En Las Cumbres" is really something with that atmosphere, bass and picked guitar. The vocal melodies 2 minutes in are deep and add so much here. Percussion too. "Bas Bus" is a short uptempo horn led piece. "Si El Senor" continues with the horn driven music but we get vocals this time. Harmonica to the fore then vocal melodies before the sax and vocals return. "Bas Bus" is a reprise with some huge bass lines this time. "Aurora Boreal" is a folky track with reserved vocals. "Las Luces Eteras" is led by vocals and organ with some harmonies as well. Relaxed sax after 3 minutes during the instrumental section that will continue for over 10 minutes! Check out the guitar solo that seems to never end even when you think it has(haha). It starts 7 1/2 minutes in and man he lights it up at times. So good! "El Regreso Del Pajaro Dorado" is so impressive with the organ and guitar taking the spotlight.

"La Nave Madre" has a good beat with prominent bass as the flute starts to play over top. Some flashy keyboards will come and go as themes are repeated. "El Arcangel Miguel" has male vocal melodies in a relaxed and sparse soundscape. Some haunting vocal melodies follow which is so cool. It brightens though late to end it with multi-vocal melodies. "Agitor" is a slow paced piece with floating organ, cymbals, picked guitar and more. "Sendero De Marcahuasi" has what sounds like mandolin, bass and a beat as the vocals join in. Flute a minute in as the vocals stop but they return as contrasts continue. Sax then leads and it turns dissonant at times. Nice. I'm not sure about the song titles of the last three songs on my copy but the next song features a dark mood with bass, atmosphere and more. Vocals before a minute as it brightens some and the contrasts will continue. Great track! The next tune has upfront drumming and plenty of guitar before the tempo picks up 1 1/2 minutes in. The synths that follow are so uplifting. The final tune is really dominated at times by the sax and it does get dissonant. Some laughter and crazy vocal expressions 5 minutes in.

An album I really enjoy despite the issues I have with my copy. Some consistently good music that brought early FLOYD to mind more than anyone else, although as I mentioned earlier the music is quite varied.

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 Svět Hledačů by BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.30 | 102 ratings

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Svět Hledačů
Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by maryes

5 stars How I've said in my 2 previous reviews about MODRY EFFEKT albums, while "Modry Effekt & Radim Hladik" is more fit in Prog Fusion category and "Svetanie' shows a more symphonic progressive rock approaching, "Svet Hiedacu" is their album more close of a Heavy-Prog style. In spite track 2 "Hledám své vlastní já" is totally played in keyboards, the album is full of incridible heavy guitars riffs ( or something like this), starting at the first track "Za krokem zen" which a very interesting guitar " flanger effect phrase" which appears for the first time in the track about 1 min 10 sec and returns in other moments ( one of the most detachable moments of whole album) but not only. Another of this moments be in track 3 "Rajky" is a passage in "Fugue" style in their initial part starting 1 min 19 secs played by guitar and keyboards ( simulating a bass / guitar duet ), In track 4 "Zmoudrení babím létem" the overture is fantastic and the middle section brings a beautiful ballad whitt electric and acoustic guitars with a "sumptuous" mellotron accompaniment. The last track shows a almost melancholic main theme with a intermission with guitar/keyboard/drums "explosive" space-rock part and return to the main theme with incredible vocals. In my humble opinion ( like "Svietanie" ) a perfect album . My rate is obviously 5 stars !!!!

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 Cosmic Ground 2 by COSMIC GROUND album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.55 | 6 ratings

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Cosmic Ground 2
Cosmic Ground Progressive Electronic

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team

4 stars Great retro electronica/Kosmische Music from ELECTRIC ORANGE's keyboard player, Dirk Jan Müller.

1. "Sol" (19:23) opens with a couple of minutes of distant-sounding industrial sounds playing around in the background soundscape. In the third minute a TANGERINE DREAM-like computer-synth sequence emerges, rises and proceeds to dominate until around 5:20 when other sounds (organ) are beginning to emerge---though not enough to commit to the weave for a good minute or more. The increasing volume of the top end of the oscillating sound waves (approximately 60 seconds per cycle) is very effective--and the clarity lends to its pleasurability. This is, truly, like a prime TD song (e.g. "Coldwater Canyon" sans electric guitar) only recorded/produced with the advantages of 21st Century technologies. (9/10)

2. "NGC 224" (18:40) awesome electronica in the TANGERINE DREAM vein. The electronic drum sound sequenced sounds a bit 'off' to me but the progressions and evolution of the song throughout its nearly 19 minute length make up for it. (9/10)

3. "Organia" (19:43) opens with wave after wave of synth chords, washing ashore due to the slow flange effect. At the five minute mark the hypnotic rhythm sequence is introduced, slowly rises in sound level, as the synth waves recede. Gradually, other keyboard sounds, notes, riffs, and waves are introduced/added to enrich the sound palate- -but the programmed sequence is awesome on its own. Beginning at about the 13 minute mark, the bottom drops out: the music begins to slowly fade (the treble side, for sure) virtually disappears before slowly flanging back to a loud crescendo--a pattern that continues over the next two minutes until we are left with one long sustained bass chord and Mellotron voices. By 15:30 a layered reed-like buzzing sound is introduced and quickly takes over. The rhythm sequence is gone, all that is left is the rise and fall of this ominous buzz chord--which plays out to the end. Were it not for the exceedingly slow and drawn out--and fairly simple--development, this would be a sure-fire masterpiece. (9/10)

4. "Altair" (20:09) opens with some sustained, high pitched crystalline notes--could be organ, could be glass harmonium. The weave is joined by some eerie noises and minimalist STEVE REICH-like sounds, notes and chords. Feels like a walk through the night woods in a horror film. Fortunately, there are no "Tubular Bells"-like sudden noises jumping out at you in the first six minutes. In the sixth minute, however, there is a brief four-note riff (arpeggio) from what sounds like a computerized guitar that rises into prominence and dominance in a quite ominous way. It feels as if something is approaching--something mysterious and powerful, if of low and/or tired intelligence, that a woods-walker would want to avoid/hide from. By the 10:00 mark the intruder has passed; it's probably safe to emerge. But we don't. For another minute and a half we wait--until the very last strains of the maurading lurker have passed. Then organ chord changes indicate a slight change of perspective--perhaps one as little as a turn of the head--and then again--but no movement from this safe hiding place. Observation, listening, hypervigilance, heightened senses, distrust and fear keep the woods-walker glued to his spot. Our patience and caution are rewarded as in the sixteenth minute a distant moan or haunting voice is borne on the wind. Not close but not far--and getting closer?! At 16:45 it sounds as if we have launched--running--away--speeding through the woods away from the witch voice, away from the trail of the massive Lurker, running at near break-neck speed through the woods. The run begins to feel timeless, spaceless, as noise and sensory input seem to fade away leaving us . . . in our bed, awake, soaked in sweat. What a dream! What a brilliant musical journey! (9/10)

This is so close to being a masterpiece of progressive rock music--the only thing it is lacking is something new, fresh, or innovative to contribute to the "progress" of the Electronic/Kosmische Music subgenres.

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 New Europe - Rainbow Colours by POTTER, NIC album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.00 | 1 ratings

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New Europe - Rainbow Colours
Nic Potter Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars It is kind of healthy for Nic Potter to have stayed away from his mothership band's musical language, he anyway held, as bass player, the invisible position.

Nic Potter's NEW EUROPE - RAINBOW COLOURS, 1992 has one of the most uncharacteristic track dispositions I know. First track lasts 4 minutes, second track 47, then back to 2 or 3 or 6 minutes tops for the remaining eight tracks.

Anyway, Nic "Mozart" Potter, as his nickname implied had a natural hunger for symphonic music. To Progressive electronic followers, the thrill consists in adding electronic noises in his "classical music" oriented compositions. Track 2, "New Europe", which is like an album itself, delivers to all extent the symphonic mode accompanied by some electronic touches just at the right time. As I found out in earlier releases, his musical language was just starting to bloom, therefore it still shows his personal influences and likings.

Some tracks , track one the most, show that he was highly impressed by the Dire Strait's 1985, "Brothers in Arms" album, I assume, and maybe to be more accurate in my wild guess, their live tour of the same.

Others are guitar or flute based, "New Age" kind of atmospheric compositions which hold among the rest a more personal musical language.

The kind of release which should not go unnoticed, yet it still is short of being essential according to PA's suggestions on rating.

PD-And believe it or not, all symphonic aspirations, although not that unique, never sound over the top, which adds up for their enjoyment.

***3.5 PA stars.

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Arjen Lucassen (AYREON's mastermind) wearing the classic long sleeves PA t-shirt
Arjen Lucassen (AYREON's mastermind) wearing the classic long sleeves PA t-shirt.
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100 MOST PROLIFIC REVIEWERS

Collaborators Only

ratings only excluded in count
  1. Mellotron Storm (3881)
  2. Sean Trane (3159)
  3. ZowieZiggy (2929)
  4. apps79 (2629)
  5. Warthur (2297)
  6. Easy Livin (1928)
  7. UMUR (1918)
  8. b_olariu (1912)
  9. Gatot (1811)
  10. Conor Fynes (1594)
  11. SouthSideoftheSky (1570)
  12. Evolver (1402)
  13. Windhawk (1365)
  14. Bonnek (1332)
  15. Tarcisio Moura (1318)
  16. AtomicCrimsonRush (1273)
  17. snobb (1216)
  18. erik neuteboom (1201)
  19. Finnforest (1129)
  20. kenethlevine (1075)
  21. ClemofNazareth (1011)
  22. Cesar Inca (928)
  23. tszirmay (902)
  24. loserboy (895)
  25. Matti (887)
  26. Rune2000 (867)
  27. octopus-4 (848)
  28. kev rowland (844)
  29. memowakeman (839)
  30. Marty McFly (834)
  31. Guillermo (780)
  32. BrufordFreak (762)
  33. siLLy puPPy (755)
  34. Chris S (753)
  35. Eetu Pellonpaa (722)
  36. greenback (685)
  37. Rivertree (685)
  38. progrules (666)
  39. Neu!mann (663)
  40. Seyo (642)
  41. Epignosis (624)
  42. Prog-jester (623)
  43. lor68 (601)
  44. Prog Leviathan (561)
  45. Ivan_Melgar_M (555)
  46. philippe (540)
  47. hdfisch (492)
  48. friso (488)
  49. Chicapah (482)
  50. stefro (480)
  51. admireArt (478)
  52. Aussie-Byrd-Brother (468)
  53. Dobermensch (462)
  54. colorofmoney91 (459)
  55. zravkapt (451)
  56. DamoXt7942 (449)
  57. J-Man (449)
  58. russellk (435)
  59. Atavachron (429)
  60. ProgShine (419)
  61. Menswear (413)
  62. Sinusoid (402)
  63. Queen By-Tor (396)
  64. andrea (396)
  65. TCat (377)
  66. Greger (365)
  67. tarkus1980 (363)
  68. Nightfly (363)
  69. Zitro (359)
  70. Cygnus X-2 (353)
  71. fuxi (353)
  72. Andrea Cortese (348)
  73. EatThatPhonebook (326)
  74. lazland (322)
  75. Guldbamsen (321)
  76. Negoba (316)
  77. richardh (314)
  78. Tom Ozric (306)
  79. Modrigue (304)
  80. Kazuhiro (299)
  81. Flucktrot (293)
  82. Proghead (289)
  83. OpethGuitarist (287)
  84. progaardvark (286)
  85. Second Life Syndrome (267)
  86. daveconn (266)
  87. Trotsky (264)
  88. Muzikman (263)
  89. Slartibartfast (256)
  90. The T (254)
  91. clarke2001 (254)
  92. Andy Webb (237)
  93. Bj-1 (235)
  94. GruvanDahlman (233)
  95. 1800iareyay (225)
  96. aapatsos (223)
  97. js (Easy Money) (222)
  98. poslednijat_colobar (220)
  99. Raff (217)
  100. The Crow (216)

List of all PA collaborators

TOP PROG ALBUMS
  1. Close To The Edge
    Yes
  2. Selling England By The Pound
    Genesis
  3. Thick As A Brick
    Jethro Tull
  4. Wish You Were Here
    Pink Floyd
  5. In The Court Of The Crimson King
    King Crimson
  6. Foxtrot
    Genesis
  7. Dark Side Of The Moon
    Pink Floyd
  8. Red
    King Crimson
  9. Animals
    Pink Floyd
  10. Godbluff
    Van Der Graaf Generator
  11. Fragile
    Yes
  12. Nursery Cryme
    Genesis
  13. Larks' Tongues In Aspic
    King Crimson
  14. Pawn Hearts
    Van Der Graaf Generator
  15. Moving Pictures
    Rush
  16. Per Un Amico
    Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
  17. Mirage
    Camel
  18. Hybris
    Änglagård
  19. Moonmadness
    Camel
  20. Hemispheres
    Rush
  21. Relayer
    Yes
  22. Darwin!
    Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
  23. Io Sono Nato Libero
    Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
  24. Storia Di Un Minuto
    Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
  25. In A Glass House
    Gentle Giant
  26. Si On Avait Besoin D'Une Cinquième Saison
    Harmonium
  27. A Farewell To Kings
    Rush
  28. Aqualung
    Jethro Tull
  29. Kind Of Blue
    Miles Davis
  30. Birds Of Fire
    Mahavishnu Orchestra
  31. Hot Rats
    Frank Zappa
  32. Meddle
    Pink Floyd
  33. The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)
    Steven Wilson
  34. Crime Of The Century
    Supertramp
  35. Still Life
    Opeth
  36. Ommadawn
    Mike Oldfield
  37. H To He, Who Am The Only One
    Van Der Graaf Generator
  38. The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage
    Peter Hammill
  39. Depois Do Fim
    Bacamarte
  40. Images And Words
    Dream Theater
  41. Permanent Waves
    Rush
  42. The Grand Wazoo
    Frank Zappa
  43. The Yes Album
    Yes
  44. Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory
    Dream Theater
  45. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
    Genesis
  46. Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh
    Magma
  47. The Mothers Of Invention: One Size Fits All
    Frank Zappa
  48. In A Silent Way
    Miles Davis
  49. Scheherazade And Other Stories
    Renaissance
  50. The Snow Goose
    Camel
  51. Still Life
    Van Der Graaf Generator
  52. The Power And The Glory
    Gentle Giant
  53. Hand. Cannot. Erase.
    Steven Wilson
  54. Octopus
    Gentle Giant
  55. Free Hand
    Gentle Giant
  56. A Trick Of The Tail
    Genesis
  57. Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
    Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
  58. Rock Bottom
    Robert Wyatt
  59. In The Land Of Grey And Pink
    Caravan
  60. Zarathustra
    Museo Rosenbach
  61. Second Life Syndrome
    Riverside
  62. The Road Of Bones
    IQ
  63. Blackwater Park
    Opeth
  64. Arbeit Macht Frei
    Area
  65. Ghost Reveries
    Opeth
  66. In Absentia
    Porcupine Tree
  67. Emerson Lake & Palmer
    Emerson Lake & Palmer
  68. Fear Of A Blank Planet
    Porcupine Tree
  69. Viljans Öga
    Änglagård
  70. Acquiring The Taste
    Gentle Giant
  71. Spectrum
    Billy Cobham
  72. Hatfield And The North
    Hatfield And The North
  73. K.A
    Magma
  74. The Inner Mounting Flame
    Mahavishnu Orchestra
  75. Misplaced Childhood
    Marillion
  76. Hamburger Concerto
    Focus
  77. Space Shanty
    Khan
  78. Anabelas
    Bubu
  79. Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You
    Gong
  80. The Perfect Element Part 1
    Pain Of Salvation
  81. Script For A Jester's Tear
    Marillion
  82. Pale Communion
    Opeth
  83. Rubycon
    Tangerine Dream
  84. If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You
    Caravan
  85. L'Isola Di Niente
    Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
  86. Lateralus
    Tool
  87. Doomsday Afternoon
    Phideaux
  88. Remedy Lane
    Pain Of Salvation
  89. Voyage Of The Acolyte
    Steve Hackett
  90. Elegant Gypsy
    Al Di Meola
  91. Uzed
    Univers Zero
  92. Felona E Sorona
    Le Orme
  93. Hiromi's Sonicbloom: Time Control
    Hiromi Uehara
  94. Caravanserai
    Santana
  95. Grace For Drowning
    Steven Wilson
  96. Part The Second
    Maudlin Of The Well
  97. Bitches Brew
    Miles Davis
  98. Memento Z Banalnym Tryptykiem
    SBB
  99. Romantic Warrior
    Return To Forever
  100. Leftoverture
    Kansas

* Weighted Ratings (aka WR), used for ordering, is cached and re-calculated every 15 minutes.

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