Header
PROG ARCHIVES intends to be the most complete and powerful progressive rock resource. You can find the progressive rock music discographies from 8,745 bands & artists, 44,536 albums (LP, CD and DVD), 1,024,760 ratings and reviews from 50,700 members who also participate in our active forum. You can also read the new visitors guide (forum page).

Listen to progarchives.com radio ad presentation (30 sec.)

Latest 50 Free Mp3 Download (stream)


Random Playlist (50) | Open up player | How to submit new MP3s ? | RSS New Mp3s

Latest Progressive Rock Music Reviews


Last 50 reviews
 The Wind Cries Mary by HENDRIX, JIMI album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1967
4.00 | 5 ratings

BUY
The Wind Cries Mary
Jimi Hendrix Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "The Wind Cries Mary" is a very good atmospheric "Psychedelic Blues" song, with very good arrangements, and with particularly very good guitar playing by Hendrix. In my opinion, this song is one of the best songs that Hendrix composed and that he recorded with the Jimi Hendrix Experience. This song also shows Hendrix very own guitar playing style and also that he really was as a guitarist a very advanced musician, because not other guitarist played like him in those days. Also being an African- American guitarist gave him the "special touch", "soul" and "feeling" that only musicians of that racial group have. He also was a bit "out of place" in the musical business then, because as an African- American musician he was playing Rock and not only Jazz, Blues, Soul or Rhythm and Blues music like other African-American musicians at that time. Anyway, he really was an innovator because he mixed in his music several of these musical styles, even including some Psychedelic music arrangements, a not very typical thing among Afro-American musicians at that time, I think. He also helped to create the Heavy Metal music style which was later developed more by bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and others. He also had very good white musicians in his band: Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell.

"Highway Chile", in the "B" side, is also a good song, but more Rock oriented, but with a very characterstic guitar riff.

Both songs were later included in the "Smash Hits" compilation album of the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1968.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Day Tripper by HENDRIX, JIMI album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1988
4.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Day Tripper
Jimi Hendrix Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars In late 1988, in one (now defunct) FM Radio station in my city, they broadcasted for several weeks all the discography (or at least most of the discography) of John Lennon. In one of the radio programmes, they broadcasted a recording of "Day Tripper" and they announced it as being played by "the Jimi Hendrix Experience with John Lennon", so I was a bit surprised but anyway I recorded it in a cassette. A lot of years later, with the availability of the web, I finally could search for information about this recording, and I found that this recording of "Day Tripper" was not recorded with John Lennon, but in fact only by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, with Noel Redding "singing a bit like Lennon". In fact, all the three members of the band sing in this song, doing a very good heavy version. Finally, I also found that this song was included in an official album from 1988 titled "Radio One" which also included other recordings done for the BBC in 1967.

"Drivin' South - Alternate Version" is a heavy and very good instrumental musical piece played with energy by the band.

"Hear My Train A Comin' - Alternate Version" is a very good song, sung by Hendrix, and also played with energy by the band, also including some "chatting" and good humour between the members of the band.

The recordings are very good.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Alturas de Macchu Picchu by JAIVAS, LOS album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.22 | 218 ratings

BUY
Alturas de Macchu Picchu
Los Jaivas Prog Folk

Review by siLLy puPPy

4 stars Although LOS JAIVAS (a misspelling of "jaibas" which is Spanish for "crabs") formed all the way back in 1963 in central Chile they are best known for their 7th and most popular album ALTURAS OF MACCHU PICCHU (The Heights Of Macchu Picchu) which came out in 1981. While most South American bands who ventured into the progressive rock world eschewed the homegrown folklore styles of their respective nations, LOS JAIVAS took the exact opposite approach and fully integrated the homegrown traditional beats and rhythms of their native Chile while incorporating the symphonic bombast of progressive rock. The result is a strange hybrid that seems like a logical experiment that should have been attempted by countless bands, yet as far as I know most bands emulated their European idols and only LOS JAIVAS found success down this road. Although the band began in Chile they were uprooted during the tumultuous 70s in a volatile Chile and relocated in France for several years. It was during those years when they released some of their most celebrated albums such as ALTURAS. The music is more of a trade-off of styles for the most part rather than a complete fusion but there is plenty of fusion parts to be found.

Unless you are a speaker of the Spanish language you will not realize that ALTURAS DE MACCHU PICCHU is in fact a poem by Pablo Neruda which appeared in his book "Canto General (General Song)" from the year 1950. The Canto is actually a book of 15 poems in which "The Heights Of Macchu Picchu" is the second. The poem is a tale of the creation of humanity and how it can be witnessed in the ruins of Macchu Picchu and a celebration of the history of the indigenous inhabitants of the Andes Mountains. The poem has actually found its way into other musical formats including by the Chilean folk band Aparcoa and by the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis. LOS JAIVAS are famous for not only marrying the traditional Chilean folklore music with progressive rock but also for reciting the poem in near entirety in musical form. This is also perhaps one of the rare cases where progressive music can be danceable. The blending of the 4/4 steady beats of the folk music with the more symphonic bombast of the prog is done quite seamlessly. They make it sound easy but in fact it is quite a feat to accomplish. A unique album for a captivating blend of worldly musical styles.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Heaven & Earth by YES album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.35 | 178 ratings

BUY
Heaven & Earth
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by jljimenezs

1 stars Wooowww, what else can I say, coming from Zappa-Krimson school I admit I am totally incapable to find 1 interesting second of music on this record, I stopped properly listen to yes back in 1995 after they did Talk which I feel it is a pretty decent album, simply because they started to really be a thing of the past, after Trevor Rabin left, creativity left with him, obviously this statement will not be happily received by hard die dinosaurs yes fans... Keys to ascension studio material was extremely disappointing to me, then they went even lower with open your eyes, the ladder has a few listenable moments such as homeworld, still good musicianship there, magnification is absolutely irrelevant, fly from here absolutely no need for its existence, but this! this goes beyond whatever I expected, I knew it was going to be dull, but this is right there on the embarrassing line, YES was a great band and they certainly did things of a great importance in prog music, there wasn't any need other than making money to make such a travesty of record, it is extremely low and even sad. I won't even mention the vocalist stuff. RIP YES. One start because of the art work.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Redwings Nest by SOT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.77 | 7 ratings

BUY
Redwings Nest
SOT RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Andy Webb
Forum & Site Admin Group Admin / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars Dynamism in music is perhaps my favorite aspect of listening to progressive rock. The breadth of the human imagination is boundless, especially when it comes to the creation of music. Avant garde music, in its various forms, is perhaps the best at this, as musicians who play this genre purposefully take the accepted norms of music and transform them into either beasts or beauties or musical creations. This experimentation does not come without its share of risk, however, as the composition and performance of music that has not already been tested and reviewed before can often lead to harsh ridicule or simply a lack of listeners.

SOT, a Norwegian avant-jazz rock band that has been around the avant scene for less than five years now, is no stranger to this risk. Their debut 2011 album Kind of Saltz was a hit amongst fans of experimental and adventurous music, myself included. The band blended a unique groovy rock backing with tuba-driven jazz riffs and motifs. The album was exciting, unpredictable, and fun to listen to. The disorganized mish-mash of riffs and styles combined for a unique, different, and altogether enjoyable album.

When I received the bands next album, Redwing's Nest, I was very excited. The band had not released an album since their debut three years prior, and I was hungry for more of the band's spicy blend of Norwegian avant jazz rock. After my first spin, however, I was confused. It felt, on first listen, that the band had lost their spark. Kind of Saltz had a ferocious yet restrained pep to them, giving a raw energy to both the melodic and not so melodic aspects of the album. From the outset, Redwing's Nest seemed to be the product of a couple of weekend jam sessions that produced a lot of great ideas that had little cohesion. But as a veteran of their first album, I was convinced I was missing something and refused to have my opinion shaped by a single listen.

I was right, to a degree. The twists and turns of SOT's music still had that element of defiance against musical norms, and a number of the songs on the album, such as "They Called Me Sotanic," "Jan Meyen," "Redwing's Nest," and "Second Row," had that element of careless abandon that made their last album so special. The instrumentation was tight and purposeful; the arrangement showed power where strength was needed and restraint where a gentler or more whimsical motif was played. This is showed best in "Second Row," which is easily the best song on the album, showing each of the band's many, many styles. The band, as they showed on their last album, can switch between a pulsating metal riff, a feathery alto sax melody, and a weaving guitar-driven avant garde riff.

Much of the rest of the album, however, felt hopelessly disorganized. I could easily tell what the band was doing with each song, and on their own, many of the riffs are brilliant, but together, there are too many songs that feel forced. The transitions are weakly formed, and the songs blend together in a less-than-appealing way. For some, this reckless song formation will be attractive, as the songs themselves are not bad in any way. The band members play with drive and passion, and the writing is a prime example of what avant garde music can be. For me, however, I was disappointed with how little it seemed the arrangement of the parts seemed to have been thought out. I'm sure the band spent a considerable amount of time on this, and I'm afraid that it didn't show as well as they had hoped.

In the end, this album is in no way bad. All in all, it's a very enjoyable album to listen to. While I would prefer to listen to "Schlatan" for Kind of Saltz compared to "Second Row," this album shows that SOT still has a strong muse and can belt out a killer riff when they want to. Redwing's Nest is a really good album, but it will only be excellent for those who enjoy the form of avant prog that is played by bands with a stronger emphasis on riff diversity than riff cohesion. 3+ stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Aura Seminalis by ALIO DIE album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.03 | 3 ratings

BUY
Aura Seminalis
Alio Die Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt

4 stars Long forgotten architectural temples in Alio Die's musical imagination.

Diaphanous, wide open structures, filled to the brim with invisible threading choruses, slow single string chords, droning and nostalgic melody lines processed in his completely distinguishable personal music language.

Alio Die's "Aura Seminalis" 2008, concept is quiet well explained in the previous PA review, so I would not dwell into it. The fact that it all comes to a masterful music reinterpretation of physical structures, will reinforce the "concrete" and airy spaciousness of the 5 music compositions included in this work.

Besides that, as I have insisted, Alio Die sounds like Alio Die, therefore the musical comparisons act more as referentials, than comparisons as such. So in able to describe his music to newcomers, let me point out some references.

Hildegard Von Bingen (1098-1179) and Perotin's (1160-1230) sacred hypnotic music comes to mind at first. Then the Baroque organ music figures of J.S. Bach and the italian Antonio.L. Vivaldi's symphonic works, also Baroque. Enhanced with the flowing nature of early Renaissance music and some splashes of Indian's music mysterious under-tones.

In today's world, Alio Die compresses all these influences, strips them naked and then mixes up these powerful "powders" to the point of almost invisibility, yet perfectly structured and solid, as enticing.

As for prog audiences, well that's another ride! It all depends on your personal likings, but if you know and like the people mentioned above, well you are in for an amazing hypnotic experience!

**** 4.5 PA stars.

PD available in "i-Tunes".

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 The Light Beyond The Shades by SPLEEN ARCANA album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.21 | 38 ratings

BUY
The Light Beyond The Shades
Spleen Arcana Crossover Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

5 stars Spleen Arcana is a one-man French band in which Julien Gaullier is responsible for all of the instruments, compositions, vocals and technical details, the only exception is the drums recorded by David Perron. The Light Beyond The Shades (2014) is an album that took around four years to be completed for Julien recorded everything on his own calmly at his home studio in Paris.

I got to know the band back in 2009 when Julien himself got in touch with me asking if I would like to review his first album, The Field Where She Died (2008). At that time despite seeing that the project had quality I thought that something was missing in Julien's music, perhaps a greater identity to it. Well, in The Light Beyond The Shades (2014) he got that!

For fans that follow Spleen Arcana two of the three tracks on the new album are not that new, despite the fact that they have new outfits in the new album they were available before through the band's Bandcamp page as singles around 2 years ago. But, as I mentioned, for the new album they were re-worked and can be considered new. The tracks are 'Erin Shores' and 'Fading Away'.

The opening track, 'Erin Shores' starts where the last track of The Field Where She Died (2008) ? 'A Kind Of Heaven' ? ends and shows Julien's passion for Scottish folkloric music. Julien's vocals are calm, serene and gentle, however his music not always follows this path, especially in the instrumental moments. Listening to this opening track is quite obvious that Julien is a big fan of the classical period of Prog, the 70's, however Spleen Arcana's music sounds fresh and new. This fact is even more noticeable in the second track 'Fading Away' where his wife Marie Guillaumet helps him with backing vocals (like on his first album). Julien is a great instrumentalist now, and one can see his growth from his first album, he does well both in the bass and in the electric and acoustic guitars. Keyboards are also present, but in a discrete way most of the time. The instrumental section on this second track is simply superb, at the same time Julien was able to write something that is worthy of the great 70's Prog bands but with a freshness rarely present in the new bands. I must also say that David Perron's works in the drums are great on this track.

But to be honest, the surprise of The Light Beyond The Shades (2014) is the third and final track 'Memento Mori', an epic of 24 minutes. 'Memento Mori' is a perfect example of the classic Prog Rock format in the 70's and the new Prog Rock made in the last ten years or so. Julien shows us that it is possible to mix both and that they match perfectly. Moreover, he shows us that you don't need to be trendy and super hyped to be a good Prog band nowadays. My only complaint is the vocal parts. Though I recognize that Julien improved a lot since his first album in this matter I think that the vocals on his new album are much alike, however I don't think this downgrades his work much, and the sounds you'll find in The Light Beyond The Shadows (2014) are so rich that honestly you'll find a great number of details for you to hook on.

Plenty of times when I start to write a review I ask myself if there's a way of sounding like the Classic Prog that we love but at the same time bring something new to the table. Most of the time I disappoint myself with new bands because of that. I believe that Spleen Arcana is my answer to that question! The album shows Julien with loads of Classic bands influence such as Mike Oldfield, Pink Floyd and King Crimson but at the same time he's listening to the new bands like Porcupine Tree as well. You can be sure that this five years waiting was worth it.

If you're one of those listeners that love the 70's and grew up listening to those but also like to know what's going on right now The Light Beyond The Shades (2014) is your album, you can buy it with no fear. On top of that I think this is a great format for an album: 3 tracks in 46 minutes.

I just hope that Julien will not take another five years to release a new album, but if that happens and if he can top The Light Beyond The Shades (2014), I don't mind waiting!

4,5 stars

(Originally posted on progshine.net)

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Aeolia by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.72 | 63 ratings

BUY
Aeolia
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by thwok

4 stars Aeolia is disrespected by several fellow reviewers on PA. Since Leprous was apparently quite reluctant to release this to the general public, the band members seem to feel the same way about it. I frankly don't understand it. I don't see Aeolia as a flawed precursor to Leprous' official releases, and I'm giving it four stars.

I think the sound quality on this "demo" is perfectly acceptable. I can hear all the instruments, and that's all I care about. I'm not an audiophile, and practically every kind of music player available today allows you to adjust the sound quality of what you're listening to. Therefore, you can change the sound of the music you're listening to as you see fit. I've heard all of Leprous' albums, and I recently listened to Coal before I started composing this review. Some folks say that Aeolia is too scattered, too "weird". That's what I like about Aeolia; I found Coal, which is regarded as more focused, dull by comparison.

Leprous' musical abilities have been well covered by others, so I won't. "Disclosure" and "Eye of the Storm" are a couple of my favorite tracks, but there aren't any bad ones on "Aeolia". I thank God that someone talked the band into releasing Aeolia so we could all enjoy it. This is definitely an 4 star "excellent addition to any collection".

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Salisbury by URIAH HEEP album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.17 | 524 ratings

BUY
Salisbury
Uriah Heep Heavy Prog

Review by Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars "Salisbury" is the first peak in the huge Uriah Heep's discography. From a prog point of view it is also the most consistent album they ever recorded.

The backbone is made by three memorable tracks: the heavy opener "Bird of Prey", the perfect archetype of the UH's aggressive rock song (with their multi part choruses trademark), "Lady in Black", the anthem everyone in the world knows, and the closer selft/titled epic, 16 mns of lush orchestration and large scale composing (very brass and woodwind oriented).

The remaining three songs are less known but at the very same level of quality: "The Park" is an introvert and melancholic number with sparse jazzy tinges and "Time To Live" is the heaviest song on the album, based on Mick Box's wah wah guitar. Last but not least "High Priestess" that is probably the most catchy tune, starting off very laid-back, then moving into a breezy fast tempo rocker.

This is one of the band's most diverse recordings, a highlight and one of the most overshadowed of the rock/orchestral crossovers that were fashionable at the time. Furthermore, the typical Hensley's hammond organ-led sound began to take shape.

Easily a five stars rating.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Heaven & Earth by YES album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.35 | 178 ratings

BUY
Heaven & Earth
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Kjarks

5 stars I find very astonishing to read so many negative reviews about this new album. I refuse to fall in this kind of collective condemnation. So many notes between 1 and 2 stars, how can we explain this ? Maybe a lot of people thought Yes could produce, in 2014, a masterpiece of modern prog music ?

I did not. We had to be aware Yes will never create a new "Close to the edge" or a new "Awken", not even a new "Mind drive". We just had to expect an agreable record and that's what it is : a nice collection of very pretty melodies full of beautiful harmonies in the typical Yes' manner. Probably, "Heaven and earth" is the most melodic record Yes has ever made.

The writing is quite good, the musicianship is skilled, more especially the guitar (though Howe's "it was all we knew" is the only weak moment of the album), Davison's voice is very close to Anderson's (in spite of some clumsiness, more especially in "Subway walls"). The entire disk reflects a great musical sensitivity and a perfect homogeneity. Surely, this is also the softer record Yes has ever made.

Ah ! I think I understand now why so many reviewers are disappointed : there is no heavy riff. Yes did not make any contractual reference to heavy prog, that's it ! Indeed. I could not say the contrary. No saturated guitars, no inflamed keyboard solo, no acute shouting, no thundering drums ; just soft and beautiful melodies.

In the mid 1990's, when they were reborn ("Keys to the ascension"), these musicians would have transcend the wise "Light of the ages". But this time is over. "Believe again" and "The game" are very decent true Yes songs, "To ascend" flows serenely and we nearly recover the great past some short moments in the bass parts and the keys/guitar bridge of"Subway walls".

I would have given 4 stars to this record, their best one since the Keys to the ascension. But I will give it 5 stars to balance a little bit the impressive flood of severe criticisms. "Heaven and earth" is quite an appropriate title for this record. But "Hell and flood" could reflect the predominant evaluation it gets here ! Unhappily...

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 High Life (With Karl Hyde) by ENO, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.00 | 4 ratings

BUY
High Life (With Karl Hyde)
Brian Eno Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt

3 stars Too much, too soon!

After all the 3 months ago first release by Brian Eno & Karl Hyde "Someday World" 2014, included an additional "bonus"disc. So, this second (?) release "High Life", 3 months later, seems and feels like an album of songs which came in third in their personal pickings .

The album repertoire (6 songs) sounds more like an Eno's self-tribute, than a 2 musician collaboration. Yeah! Maybe Hyde's "electronic funky" fondness matches that of Eno's, but as far as new proposals, there are really none.

Maybe with a bit more time, they could actually have found some new "music lines", who knows?

Ok ! It is not bad, but it just reinforces the quiet well established Brian Eno's "sonic" discoveries. Like his endeavors with Daniel Lanois and U2's electric guitar "fast-droning" sound, in their 'Joshua Tree's" (1987) record, as sound engineers and collaborators (i,e. track one "Return" ). I suppose it is focused more for Underworld's not-knowledgeable of his existence audiences, than for more aquainted with his work followers .

Anyway, this effort in fact should have been the "Someday's World's" bonus disc, and that release, a one disc release! As such, it all seems quiet greedy, therefore deceiving and somehow dissapointing!

***3 flat PA stars. (The five star song, because there is one, is "Cells & Bells", track 6.)

PD. The PA's guy who labels "First Review of This Album", somehow always misses mine, but this is that!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Never Before / When a Blind Man Cries by DEEP PURPLE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1972
3.30 | 11 ratings

BUY
Never Before / When a Blind Man Cries
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Both songs of this single were recorded during the recording sessions for their "Machine Head" album in December 1971. This single was released in March 1972.

"Never Before", included in the "Machine Head" album, but released in the "A" side of this single in edited form (with 3:29 minutes of duration), is a song more influenced by Rock and Roll music, and it has some good solos by Ritchie Blackmore on guitar and Jon Lord on electric piano. It is more a danceable and funny song in this single, and one of the best songs from the "Machine Head" album.

"When a Blind Man Cries", which was only originally released in the "B" side of this single and not in the "Machine Head" album, is a slow song with some Blues music influences and with somewhat "spiritual" lyrics which is somewhat similar to "Child in Time" but without Ian Gillan`s shouts and shorter in lenght. It is a good "serious" song sung with feeling by Gillan and with some good guitar solos by Blackmore. It has been written in some websites that Blackmore did not like this song, so maybe it was the reason that this song was relegated to the "B" side of this single. The band never played the song in concert with Blackmore. It was until he left the band in late 1993 that the band started playing the song in concerts.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Union by YES album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.48 | 724 ratings

BUY
Union
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 'Union' - Yes (37/100)

I can't rightly decide whether Union was a good idea in concept or not. The idea of teaming up the 'classic' Yes with the fashionably poppish '80s Yes is about as high concept as you can get in prog without spiralling into bombastic operatic narrative. While it probably sounded like a great way to merge the merits of both eras on paper, the album itself give the impression that it was a misguided decision at best. Rather than capitalize on the 'best of both worlds' as Union was no doubt supposed to, the strongest suits of Yes' prog and pop halves alike have been dulled to make room for one another. As is the case with every less-favoured Yes record, there are a few worthy gems, but it's not enough to compensate for Union's lack of focus and appalling inconsistency. If any one of the past four albums hadn't convinced someone that the glory days were indeed over for this band, Union should have been the final nail in the coffin.

Much like the album, I too find myself torn between sides. Part of me would like to see Union in a positive light. After all, given time and patience, I was even able to find some things to love about the unpopular Big Generator, and there are just enough hints of the 'old' Yes here to have piqued my interest. On the other hand, even compared to the band's 80s material, Union feels sloppy. Whether they're attempting to bring out the proggy side of their sound or opting for lighter fluid pop anthems, the music sounds like it was out of a compromise. Regardless what idealistic notions paved the way for Yes to pull this 'all together now' gimmick, every defining problem on Union is a cause of the decision to merge rosters. Looking at the performance credits on the album is enough to give anyone a headache; Trevor Rabin, Alan White and Tony Kaye (for example) are responsible for tracks 4, 6, 7 and 9, and their earlier counterparts are responsible for the rest. Instead of a real union, the band is just as segregated as ever; the only difference is that they're stuck on the same disc together. Yes' have proved a clichéd expression true- it turns out there is such a thing as too many cooks in a kitchen.

Although moments like the introductions to "Lift Me Up" and "Miracle of Life" showcase the instrumental fireworks of the proggy Yes, it's ultimately clear that the poppy constructs of their 80s material paved the sound here. Even the two aforementioned tracks revert to a fairly recognizable AOR format once they get the technical flash out of their systems. While I'm a defender of 90125 and even Big Generator, with Union the songwriting has taken a general turn for the worse. "I Would Have Waited Forever" is a fun song that would have fit well on Big Generator. "Shock to the System" is easily the best song on Union, featuring strong melodic hooks and an interesting groove. "Masquerade" is a solid classical guitar piece from Howe, and "Angkor Wat" (curiously left off of the original pressing) is an exotic ambient track that sounds like it could have been pulled out of Jon Anderson's solo career. Also, even though it's not even a minute long, the interlude "Evensong" (by guest bassist Tony Levin) is a pint-sized gem. Of course, it's little more than wallpaper ambiance, but it's still one of the best surprises the album has going for it.

The bad songs on Union are a lot easier to spot than the good ones, and there are plenty more of them too. While the classic roster at least offered "Shock to the System", the Rabin side of this musical debate doesn't have a single musical success here. When I was reviewing Big Generator, I remember condemning it for having the worst song yet of Yes' career with "Almost Like Love". Union offers several songs that make "Almost Like Love" look favourable by comparison. "Saving My Heart" is seriously one of the worst songs I've heard in ages; saccharine cheese and a god-awful chorus have a way of turning a song sour. "Dangerous" is not quite as bad, but it's pretty close, sounding like a less-fun, shallower version of the Ghostbusters theme, and as much as many Yes fans have been quick to sing the praises of "Lift Me Up" and "Miracle of Life" for their proggy intros, the songs themselves resort to the same mind-numbing AOR crap the rest of the Rabin material here is plagued with. I was a fan of Trevor Rabin's refreshing approach on 90125, but by this point, it's clear he was just as creatively exhausted as the rest of them.

Rather than work together, it truly feels like the two Yes's are trying to duke it out on Union. Like two warring nations continuing to fight after they've both been nuked, or two swordsmen duelling long after limbs have been hacked off, neither side is anywhere near their best, but it's nonetheless clear that they aren't compatible. Were it not for "Shock to the System" and a handful of others, I might consider Union a downright horrible album. Maybe there was a way a so-called union could have worked between the two eras, but this album sure as hell is nowhere near it. To date, Union still counts as one of the most disappointing albums Yes have ever done, and I don't suspect anyone's mind is going to change anytime soon.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Recommended Records Sampler (1982) by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1982
4.95 | 3 ratings

BUY
Recommended Records Sampler (1982)
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars As far a label samplers go this might have been the most significant in that it opened a lot of people's eyes to a whole new style of music. This was originally released back in 1982 by Recommended Records and i'll let Chris Cutler the man behind the label explain the reason for releasing this recording. "In 1982 Recommended was 4 years old, the catalogue had expanded and the label was firmly established; a sampler seemed an obvious and necessary next step. Compiling extracts from existing releases would have been boring, so I asked the most interesting groups under our umbrella to record something new. Most of them did. All the Rio groups appear, except for ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN who had broken up, and the sharp edge of the new generation of British bands is also well represented(THIS HEAT, THE WORK, THE HOMOSEXUALS, AMOS AND SARAH). But Europeans and Americans still predominate; the Japanese had not arrived yet. Ths record would have sounded very different 3 years later". "Intended on it's release to be a practical compendium, 25 years on this collection reappears as an indispensible document of the range and musical brilliance of a handful of left-field groups struggling to give shape to new musical vocabularies. The breadth of their imaginations is exemplary. And Inspiring." Chris Cutler, May 2008.

I'd also like to say that it was about a year ago that I read a thread on this sampler where heavyweights like Udi Koomran(sound engineer extraordinaire) and Steve F.(Cuneiform Records) revealed that they both played this double album to death back in the day and even for them it was a major eye-opener and a revelation. That is when I decided I needed to get this. I'll touch briefly on most if not all of the songs. I have the 2008 25th anniversary edition which also reveals what all the bands were "up to" that participated 25 years previous.

Up first is VOGEL and the song "Bottle Train" and it's mostly keyboards, percussion and vocals. Kind of a relentless yet melancholic driving rhythm to it with vocals that are processed in some manner. I like it! FAUST follows and they play "The Voice Of The Pumpkin" which is "Extract V" from "Faust Party 3". You can tell right away that this is FAUST and expecially when the vocals arrive singing and shouting. This is experimental as you might imagine. ART BEARS are next with "All Hail!" and they are a trio of Cutler, Frith and Krause. This is one of their more accessible tracks and I would even call the chorus catchy. Of course with Dagmar singing it has an avant-garde feel to it. STORMY SIX offers up a really cool tune in "Reparto Novita". The vocals are great and the song is even better. A mid-paced melancholic beauty. THE HOMOSEXUALS play "Walk Before Imitate" and the band they also remind me of is CARDIACS with the high energy and vocal style. JOSEPH RACAILLE and PATRICK PORTELLA's song is a relaxed short tune with clarinets, piano and vocals. FELIU GASUL ends side one of the original vinyl. He went on to make a lot of albums and in the process became one of Spain's leading guitarists and composers. A beautiful track really with acoustic guitar, flute and piano leading the way.

Deranged vocals and loud percussion standout on the next song "Strangelove" by THE BLACK SHEEP. UNIVERS ZERO hits a homerun with "Influences" written by Kirk. Man this is a top five on here for me for sure. Just a classic UZ song that any fan would drool over. Love when it gets more intense around 1 1/2 minutes in. ASAK MABOUL/HONEYMOON KILLERS are up next with a song with some killer bass clarinet in it along with male and female vocals. "Houdini" is a song played by THE WORK. Tim Hodgkinson plays hawaiin guitar. There are male vocals and it's a cool tune to say the least. HENRY COW offers up a couple of songs in "Slice" and "Viva Pa Ubu" written by Coper and Hodgkinson respectively. The first is an instrumental and I like it but the second is a little more difficult with Krause singing and shouting along with the rest of the band. The first album ends with an extract from a radio broadcast from DECIBEL who are from Mexico. An excellent track with some left of center clarinet while the percussion and keys form a steady rhythm.

Album number two begins with ART ZOYD's "Simulacres" with horns blasting then some sinister sounding piano and bass groove joins in. Eerie sounding strings resound with short but fast precision. It becomes mesmerizing after 3 minutes then changes with a variety of sounds before becoming intense again. I love how themes are repeated throughout. Next we get two tracks from THE MUFFINS, both of which are part of "Chronometers". Great stuff! Check out the heaviness of "Berlin" by HEINER GOEBBELS. The sound of glass can be heard breaking as female spoken words in German join in. Soundscapes of many different happinenings involving people come and go. This is experimental but oh so interesting the way they mix the music with the soundclips. Love the scream that comes and goes(haha). A top five track. Next is AMOS AND SARAH which is catchy with odd sounding female vocals and backing vocals to match. I like this one, it's a little over the top but I admire it. CONVENTUM from Quebec are next with "Commerce Nostalgique" which is a gorgeous composition with intricate sounds of beauty. HECTOR ZAZOU performs "Vera C" an emotional piece of music that has to be in my top five.

Side four of the double album begins with THIS HEAT's "Pool" with it's intense rhythm and experimental sounds leading the way. Such a cool track. Another top five song is by THE RESIDENTS called "Walter Westinghouse". It is really funny when the guys pretty much speak the words, especially the one who sounds like a hillbilly. It gets really intense late. What a song! R. STEVE MOORE is new to me but I love his vocals and the music. He reminds me of Kevin Ayers when he sings and we are blessed with two tracks here. Both are catchy and I can't stop playing them! Inventive as well if you get a chance to hear either "Pedestrian Hop" or "Follow Me". What a talent. PICHIO DAL POZZO's "Uccelini Del Bosco" is a top five. Each instrument stands out and the vocals are so expressive. It all ends with ROBERT WYATT's "The Internationale". Vocals and marching styled drums lead the way.

This sampler introduced a lot of people to some of the most adventerous and innovative music on the planet, and so I guess i'm a little in awe of it and feel the 5 stars is warranted in more ways than one.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Illusion by ISOTOPE album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.05 | 34 ratings

BUY
Illusion
Isotope Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by ariel666

5 stars This is an excellent but overlooked album that will appeal to those who like Quiet Sun or Mahavishnu Orchestra. How anyone interested in heavy fusion, who has listened to this particular album more than ten times, can not but consider it one of the greatest albums of what is a relatively small genre, is beyond me. It deserves 5 stars, the only Isotope album that does so. Like all truly great albums, it yields it's greatness slowly. Fully appreciating it is a learning curve. The more you play it, the better it becomes, though for many prog fans, especial those who like their music relatively pretty, it's a difficult album at first as it has a dark, cold edge that is consistent from track to track. In that sense, it is comparable to Starless and Bible Black. Don't worry, it will get warmer and brighter. Boyle and company have something to prove, notwithstanding the frustration they must have felt having comparably little commercial success, and prove it they do. To suggest that Boyle's guitar imitates John McLaughlin suggests a lack of intimacy with both artists. Much more rock than jazz, Isotope's Illusion is a unique gem that sparkles darkly on it's own merits.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Alive (The Trio Project featuring Anthony Jackson and Simon Phillips) by UEHARA, HIROMI album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.75 | 7 ratings

BUY
Alive (The Trio Project featuring Anthony Jackson and Simon Phillips)
Hiromi Uehara Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars I am travelling through the world of music. Every day there are new pieces that I achieve and try to understand. Quite recently did I begin to investigate new produced record and still active artist, when I before just listened to old bands.

Hiromi Uehara is a japanese jazz musician who has made a lot of praised music since a young age and now 2014 she and bassist Anthony Jackson and the drummer Simon Philips made "Alive" which is Hiromi's ninth studio record. Before me five others have rated the record and given it as many stars as posible.

The record contains nine tracks and everyone is long lasting so the listening time is 75 minutes of music. The music is varied and uses a lot of thoughts that evolves into interesting pieces. The best song in my opinion, in "Warrior" which is both very jazzy and very rocky and gives of glimpses of other progressive rock(9/10). Also "Alive" and "Wanderer" do I like with a lot of craziness and love for melodic streams(8/10). The other songs have parts that I like but I have hard to realy understand them.

Well, I am quite new to jazz rock I don't think I am a good judge to say this record är related to other records in the same genre. I can just judge from my own experience and then I most say taht I liked a lot here,a nd I liked the spirit and craziness here and there. Though are my experiences still too vague and the music perhaps too jazzy. I credit the record and suppose that others will like it even more. Three stars!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 L' enigma della vita by LOGOS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.58 | 19 ratings

BUY
L' enigma della vita
Logos Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars First class symphonic prog rock from Italy. I was asked to provide a review for this CD and I was quite pleased with what I heard. I really didn´t know about them and it seems that their first two albums they had at the beginning of the new millennium saw just limited release for I had not heard of any in all my years around here at the PA site. Anyway, L´enigma Della Vita was a very strong work from a very good band. Clearly they are rooted in the tradition of those 70´s giants from and out of Italy. And still they have enough modern influences in their music to not confound them with another retro band.

As one has to expect, their musicianship is superb and the the state of art production also helps their surprisingly strong songwriting skills. There is over 75 minutes of music, but none of the tracks is of lower quality than the other. In fact, my only gripe with this CD is the fact that they did not exactly mixed their several musical tendencies into a coherent whole. You know, a case of being too versatile for their own good maybe. You can hear just about everything here: from melodic neo prog traits complete with Gilmour-like solos of Venivo da un lungo sonno to a more avant guard instrumental loaded with frippertonic guitar (N.a.s.). From the classical piano solo of Pioggia in campagna to the acoustic pastoral intro of Il rumore dell'aria. And so it goes. After repeated spins I still get the feeling is that I´m listening to several good bands playing on the same CD. However, this same feeling practically disappears on the vocal parts, where Luca Zerman´s voice gives the group a more distinctive sound. Every time he opens his mouth we are given the impression of hearing something unique. Familiar, but still unique..

Don´t get me wrong: L´enigma Della Vita is an excellent CD done by an excellent band. But it is also clear they can go even further when they will balance all their influences into a more personal style. With their brilliant technique, tasteful arrangements and songwriting capabilities I´m sure it´s be only a matter of time before they will have their very own, trademark signature. I´m looking forward to hear their next release.

Rating: four strong stars. If you like Italian prog rock, this is a must have. If you love modern symphonic prog rock, you should at least give this CD a chance.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Healthy Music In Large Doses    (with Clearlight) by SPIRITS BURNING album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Healthy Music In Large Doses (with Clearlight)
Spirits Burning Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

— First review of this album —
4 stars All right, I would say that SPIRITS BURNING are stretching the genre boundaries again with this album. But hey, it's okay - on one hand here we have a distinctive orientation towards jazz, symphonic and avant to state - however, overall synths and guitars are still representing a strong spacey vibe. And so, regarding such a stylistical mix, this album comes as another really unusual attempt. I could only name Bo Hansson, who - but only concerning some parts, to make it clear - had to offer roughly the same in style and mood. CLEARLIGHT head Cyrille Verdeaux from France is deeply involved in the production, makes a lasting expression due to his piano and organ input above all.

Again a bunch of musicians have made a contribution to the thirteen songs. Solely mastermind Don Falcone appears on every track, understandingly enough, as he has assembled the puzzle in the end. This time Daevid Allen plays a relatively minor role, being present on one song named Bring It Down - lyrics and vocals are offered by himself, related to environment protection in general. 'If the hurricane don't shake ya, maybe the song can wake ya' - lyrically seen a clear message, musically this makes it to a proper reggae tune anyhow.

SPIRITS BURNING are on a relaxed trip predominantly - the rock component takes a backseat in general. Hence the first two songs appear in a rather jazzy lounge outfit, where Raised On Coal & Oil is more suitable for background listening. Treasures At The Dawn Of The Century strongly features electronic elements, although eqipped with a sawing electric guitar too. The atmospheric ethno and chamber/symphonic flavoured Our Secret Cloud is the first to offer a vocal presence then, a gripping implementation due to some different stages - excellent - the album's peak I would say ...

... if not Infinite City works inspired in a quite similiar way, shows - partially distorted - lyrics in French by Verdeaux, just another tricky exemplar which obviously appears jazz/fusion laden. Hand Signals & Daily Horoscopes is the very best to remind me of the aforementioned Bo Hansson, where The Road To Shave Ice otherwise mirrors something like an avant space attitude. A variety of events is summed up, no wonder, considering that members of Thinking Plague, The Muffins, Universal Totem Orchestra are also taking part here.

'Healthy Music In Large Dosis' - an aural panacea in other words - this means yet another song collection where the listener has the opportunity to explore a lot which evolves off the beaten path. Released on Gonzo Multimedia this is an album with an unpredictable flow and quite a few compositions of high quality. Wind instruments are very present, just to note another prominent trademark. I hear a challenging blend of different music styles and instruments, suitable for moments of reflection basically ... and equipped with a lasting impression, if you decide to stay tuned to it for a while.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Lark's Tongue In Aspic (the complete recordings) by KING CRIMSON album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
3.51 | 13 ratings

BUY
Lark's Tongue In Aspic (the complete recordings)
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Crimson_King

4 stars MAN!

That review was quite a read! It's a bit harsh, given that the intention of the release was to document "every single recorded note" of this short-lived incarnation. Seriously, this band only existed for about 6 months, and to actually recover THIS much material is almost like discovering the Lost Ark of the Covenant! ha!

Anyway, I only wish that the price was lower on this, since I would have bought it, snapped it up, in a matter of seconds if it had been affordable for a poor, (generally)-unemployed sod such as myself.

Why the harsh criticism on "Keep that one, Nick"? Is it REALLY that dispensible?

I would give my right pinky finger just to HEAR that disk......but I seem to get the feeling that you didn't enjoy that 75+ minutes of........well........whatever it is. ha!

I will try to find this set later when I have some $$.

I must admit, however, that I do own a few of these concerts from years ago, albeit in their original recorded quality.

Do you think it's worth it anyway?

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Recital Of The Script  by MARILLION album cover DVD/Video, 1983
4.35 | 135 ratings

BUY
Recital Of The Script
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Time passes. And this is very clear with this concert video which shows MARILLION playing a concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London in April 1983, with the members of the band being in their early or mid twenties, playing to a mostly very young audience (to teenagers and to twenty- somethings). Their first album "Script for a Jester`s Tear" was just released in March 1983. Fish announces in the video that it was the last concert of their tour (a brief one, I think; maybe it was just the U.K. part of the tour, because they later carried on with an U.S tour and an European tour in 1983, before recording their second album in late 1983). This concert in London was also Mick Pointer`s last concert with the band, as it says in the final credits of this video. And while I did not like very much his drums playing and sound in their first album, in this concert video I could see that it was a bit unfair that he was fired at that time, because in this concert he played better and that his drums sounded better than in the album, and maybe with the passing of time he could have improved a lot, as his work with ARENA years later has proved. Anyway, that kind politics exist in every band, unfortunately. But fortunately, Pointer has found his right place in ARENA recording a lot of albums since 1995.

The influences from GENESIS with Peter Gabriel are very clear in this early concert video from MARILLION. Dramatic vocals, the use of costumes, make-ups and theatrical gestures by Fish are the main ingredients of these influences from GENESIS with Peter Gabriel. (This is more clear in the song "Grendel" which has some influences from GENESIS`s "Supper`s Ready" long song, as some of the members of MARILLION have recognized since then). Anyway, Fish had his own approach, and MARILLION musically also had their own style since the beginning. I think that MARILLION was a very good band since then even if in this concert video they still look and sound a bit nervous. But with the passing of time they obviously became a better band. And maybe this concert video was a bit premature to be released with only one album recorded then. But it is a very good document of their early years.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Skylights by LOWERCASE NOISES album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
3.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Skylights
Lowercase Noises Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars Faraway places with strange sounding names

Lowercase Noises' single "Skylights" was made to accompany Knate Myers Photography's timelapse video of the same name. The video is an amazing piece of work you should take time to view on YouTube. It consists of 6000 high rez photographs of the night skies taken in the remoteness of New Mexico's VLA. When pieced together the photos appear like a video showing movement. With little light and air pollution at this location the brilliance of the sky is overwhelming. He would often stay up all night long at these locations documenting the skies. The song written as the soundtrack for this short video captures perfectly the images it is there to set off. Othling's guitar leads are slow and dreamy, the beautiful melodic arcs conveying exploration, travel, and a longing to be somewhere else physically. The drumming is simple but effective. Coming and going they lends a bit of a "marching" feel, an adventurous spirit. While the track is available at Lowercase's bandcamp, this is really one you must experience with the video. So search for it at YT or Vimeo and enjoy both images and music. It will only take 5 minutes of your life and you'll never see a more lovely presentation of God's creation. I have returned to the video often to lift my spirits and I hope someday there is a longer collaboration between these two super artists.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Yesshows by YES album cover Live, 1980
3.63 | 341 ratings

BUY
Yesshows
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by 10string

5 stars THIS is a masterpiece 9/10 (because of the not too top notch production)

I'm sure thet it has been said before but ,this is how it went... Chris Squire did a "rough mix" of a live album and a couple of months later found out that Atlantic had released it! Now, mind you, the mix is NOT bad , but it doesn't have the usual Eddie Offord "sheen" (which was later corrected in the "Classic Yes" little 7 inch where Eddie mixed the remains of the LP)

Bought this when it came out TWICE, once in a USA pressing, and then a Japanese pressing, through the mail from a shop that was called "The Essentals" (which some of you may remember)-guess which one I STILL have and sounds like Heaven????

Anyway...the mix is a bit rough but it works real well to give you an insight to how they REALLY sounded onstage, WHY?, cause there are NO OVERDUBS!!!! (Jon's voice breaking up in GFTO is proof of this...)

Great versions of ALL the songs ("Time and a word" still catches me off guard) AND we get to hear Pat playing a SMOKIN' version of GoD!!! Also does a SPLENDID Job on Ritual, (which I edited as on the CD from my Japanese pressing! to make it into one song)

You can actually hear when Chris "mixes in between songs" because of the crowds. Sometimes the keys are lower on th emix , but he had the good sense to avoid what most players who mix their group's LPs syndrome -having his instrument louder than everyone else- I find this way more accessible than Yessongs...which sounds like crap.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Sagacity by SAGA album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.75 | 22 ratings

BUY
Sagacity
Saga Crossover Prog

Review by 10string

4 stars (I've been a Saga fan since their 2nd LP , I was at their legendary gig in San Juan that appears in the jacket of Worlds Apart- I have the original LPs of their first 6 releases and various CDs, even Network on DVD Surround-GREAT MIX btw)

yes, Saga , reinvented themselves again... Very strong material here and , although , extremely compressed, excellent production. No, you won't find a lot of Saga's "trademark" gtr/synths 32 note harmonies here, but the lyrics are very strong (funny, cynical...) Lyrically they have left heir "storytelling" phase quite a while ago and now they are just "normal" lyrics.

Mind you, I have the LP version, 2 LP's at 45 RPM, which give it an incredible sound! This is the FIRST NEW Saga LP I bought since..."In transit"..CDs are something else... The first time I actually can HEAR the BASS clearly on a Saga LP. Ian is VERY present on this mix and Jim is a great counterpoint, maybe on a not too distant 2nd place.

The LP is VERY nice, great photos, with lyrics on the jackets (except that they screwed up the illustration on the 2nd Lp's jacket , it's upside down)-not a very CLEAN pressing but definitely worth it...

I was also surprised that 20/20 got such a bad rep being another strong contender, but that's another story.

BUY THIS!!!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Ombra - Revisited by BRÜCKNER, MICHAEL album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Ombra - Revisited
Michael Brückner Progressive Electronic

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

— First review of this album —
4 stars July 2014 sees ambient space composer Michael Brückner release a reworked version of an earlier album `Ombra' from 2010, and those who like daring and experimental electronic works will find this one an immersive, challenging yet rewarding hypnotic experience. Initial recordings began as a request from a family friend of Brückner's wife to compose some incidental music to play during a wedding ceremony. Soon the arrangements were moving beyond this original idea, and a surge of inspiration resulted in this collection of lengthy dark drones, low-key slowly unfolding sound collages, reflective synth-scapes and avant-garde experimentation that brings an extra layer of depth to this always intelligent artist and his work.

`Threshhold' opens `Ombra - Revisited' like a thunderstorm, raging thick dark synths only revealing the barest of hope, light and sanctuary. The cacophonous title track is a nightmarish sound collage - lonely despairing cries, animalistic howls, scattered snatches of voices and dream-like glass chimes rising up creating a very claustrophobic panic. `Holsoning' thankfully brings a welcome respite, soothing sighs and placid synth waves caress the listener, droning treated trumpet softly bringing a reflective tone. Like the season it's named for, `Winter's tip-toeing electric piano and glassy synth brushes bring the cold, but the first use of percussive elements on the album with gentle tabla and soft looped beats, not to mention a brief choral mellotron choir deliver approaching warmth. A mix of hot and cold contrasting drone passages weave in and out of each-other throughout the ever-evoloving `Excursion', and for `Distance - Part 1', waterdrops, deep bass groans and booming cavernous programmed beats fight for dominance, with only lilting siren calls offering reassurance from sensory overload.

It's not surprising to find a piece called `Turmoil' filled with dread, confusion and a suffocating dark atmosphere. Like a more surreal, abstract and ambient reinvention of Pink Floyd's `A Saucerful of Secrets' perhaps crossed with the black isolating madness of Tangerine Dream's `Zeit', ghostly somber organ phases in and out, maddening imperial synths melt around the speakers, like worlds being destroyed and reborn over and over. It perfectly transitions into the pristine white fog that hovers with a stillness around the opening of `Garden', soft washes of synths lap at the listener as a drum n' bass skittering beat slowly approaches and brings a slinky dark groove, yet never becomes so loud and obnoxious as to steal all the attention. `Distance - part 2' is a simple low-key drone interspersed with slightly piercing metallic slices, `A Quick Call' a little twinkling interlude, and the surreal `Pastoral' a maddening collage, ominous humming keyboards groaning in the background with only a touching synth cloud at the end to offer anything in line with the title.

`Jeopardy' keeps the pulse raised a little longer with chittering unearthly voices and firing falling synth blasts, `Separation' is a momentary monolithic-like stony slab of isolation, with both of these pieces maintaining a fascinating darker atmosphere. `Beneath A Shadow' has a stalking quality, foot-step piano notes that feel like they're walking directly behind you and spectral choirs. Eventually pattering soft looped beats and levitating lead synth brings a warmer enveloping quality that helps the listener put more distance between the unnerving elements. The sparse `Tree and Path' ends the album on an uplifting and victorious soothing keyboard pool that's like waves forming around you, as if you're basking in the sand on the beach shore.

`Ombra - Revisited' is now available in two different limited versions, the standard CD of this new work or a special edition that includes not only the bonus of the original album, but your own special personalized disk entitled `Your Second Shadow' drawn from hours worth of electronic music composed by the musician! Who knows what waits to be discovered this way?

Difficult but not impenetrable, with many repeated listens a must to fully grasp and appreciate, this is the sort of work that seasoned electronic listeners will get the most out of, who will be able to approach it and listen without being intimidated by the variety of styles and sounds on offer. More experimental that his more easily melodic `Thirteen Rites of Passage', more demanding than the hypnotic `Nauro', with moments of heart racing tension, mysterious fascination and impossible beauty, `Ombra - Revisited' ' is one of Michael Brückner's most meditative, spiritual and varied works yet.

Four stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 ...Just Suggesting by SKEEM album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.67 | 24 ratings

BUY
...Just Suggesting
Skeem Neo-Prog

Review by Aragon

3 stars After i listen the 1st album i was just curious about the 2nd one. Skeem released their 2nd effort after 12 years, and they release 2 album. So it worth to wait so much? Sometimes yes but even no. The debut album was a masterpiece to me, excellent composition catchy chorus, and intricate solos between keys and guitar with a light fusion feelings. In this album they repeat the old formula of the 1st album: long intro about 1 minute, usually driven by a guitar solo and after this one starts the song usually is in a slow tempo, but what miss in this album is the energy from the 1st album, the final solos between guitar and keys are still there but the emotions are fade away. So to conclude 3 stars

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Starless And Bible Black by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.88 | 1182 ratings

BUY
Starless And Bible Black
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Crimson_King

3 stars I'll make this short & sweet, Only because "S&BB" is, yes, an indispensible addition to any Crimson fan's library.

However, There is a serious flaw contained within it that the original buyers of this album in March-April 1974 would never have been made aware of, and probably still aren't aware of to this day.......

The track "Starless and Bible Black", long known as an improvisational piece, was actually:

"edited due to the constraints of vinyl" (David Singleton's exact phrase)

Now, personally, I don't know what this means exactly,

EXCEPT for the fact that we as listeners are not hearing the COMPLETE track as it was performed by KC on November 23rd, 1973.

In other words, parts have been cut out presumably in order to "save space" for Fracture, which immediately follows the title track.

SOMEONE who was present at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, with a tape recorder, NEEDS to come forth and GIVE all of us RABID, frothing-at-the-mouth, King Crimson enthusiasts.

To this day, I ask........"WHY?.....Why did you do this to us?"

The improv sounds great on it's own, the way it was mixed/mastered onto the album, but.....

To KNOW (thank you very much D. Singleton) that the track lasted a few minutes longer than the released record portrays.....is.......simply.......Frustrating.

Otherwise, excellent album.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Under the Moonspell  by MOONSPELL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1994
3.00 | 3 ratings

BUY
Under the Moonspell
Moonspell Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy

3 stars If the cover of UNDER THE MOONSPELL looks familiar its because the album "Under Satanae" has a very close variation of the cover from this debut EP. That is no coincidence since that much more recognized release contains remakes of many of the tracks on this EP. Despite the fact that many of these tracks have been rereleased and improved upon that doesn't negate the fact that these first editions are fairly well constructed tracks themselves. MOONSPELL proved from the getgo that they were a talented and unique entity in the metal world by creatively fusing folk, black and gothic elements together to suit their own purposes. The result is a very successful hybrid that delivers melody, aggression and vampire inspired themes.

MOONSPELL is probably one of the most famous metal acts to emerge from Portugal and on this debut album they lay it all down without hesitation. We hear all the elements that make great metal music churned out in a carefully crafted format. This music really floats my boat as it takes all the elements of the aforementioned metal subgenres and blends them together into a satisfying cohesive whole. Despite the unintelligible lyrics we get the lyrical themes of dark folklore and macabre poetry in both English and Portuguese. In a country where I would expect influences from such homegrown music as Fado and the like, MOONSPELL surprises by integrating a more Celtic folk sound with their blackened Gothic metal in a way that is obvious as to why they have become a major force in the metal world. 3.5 rounded down

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 The Gates of Omega  by MOONGARDEN album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.15 | 42 ratings

BUY
The Gates of Omega
Moongarden Symphonic Prog

Review by mbzr48

4 stars How can mere mortals make such beautiful music! If you've heard Moongarden's previous two albums and liked what you've heard, then do yourself a favor and have a listen to "The Gates of Omega". I admit I was skeptical when I found out that Riccardo Tonco (who sounds just like David Sylvian and has a beautiful voice) was no longer on vocals. Yet I was pleasantly surprised by their new vocalist Luca Palleschi, who does a superb job. To be honest, the lyrics are very sparse, leaving plenty of room for sounds that are out of this world. This music is simply magical: dreamy, atmospheric yet so tight it rips you apart at every turn. The musical phrases and movements are hypnotic and the production impeccable: even through a pair of mere headphones you can actually feel the bass through your body (never thought this possible!) This is Italian prog at its best. For me a 4 stars

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 On The Sunday Of Life.....  by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.01 | 606 ratings

BUY
On The Sunday Of Life.....
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy

4 stars Although this is the first official PORCUPINE TREE release it wasn't at all the beginning. Everyone knows that PORCUPINE TREE is really the talent of Steven Wilson dressed up as a band and that is not to dismiss the talent of the members who have contributed to this prolific band's wonderful sounds over the decades but the fact remains that Wilson is the conductor and main talent on board. This first album is really a compilation of the the material that he began created as a joke actually. The idea actually started all the way back in 1987 when Steven Wilson and Malcolm Stocks decided to make a fictional band that was influenced by psychedelic space rock music especially in the Pink Floyd arena. They went to great lengths to create a faux history and personas. Sounds to me like it was meant to be a Pink Floyd inspired Spinal Tap thing. Although intended to be a joke while focusing on his "real" band called No-Man, Steven released a couple of cassette only albums and they proved to catch the attention of the right people who decided that some of this material actually had a place in the market.

That brings us to the debut album ON THE SUNDAY OF LIFE. Although officially the first album, this is really a compilation of tracks off the cassette recordings that Wilson created on his then newly purchased recording equipment. The great thing about this album is as stated in the liner notes, namely that this album really represents all the possible avenues that Wilson could have gone down. Although there are clear moments of those that he did go down in the form of the psychedelic rock and crossover prog with beautifully melancholic melodies in a rock context, there are many tracks on this album that do not represent any of the later PORCUPINE TREE albums in the least. There are industrial rock tracks, new age ambient tracks and highly experimental ones that remind me more of the indie pop band Ween. It is clear from this debut album that Steven Wilson is a formidable talent who is more than capable of developing several branches of music. This is a remarkable album. I just love it. It was more than I ever could have expected coming to this after hearing most of the later albums. What we have here is a clear indicator that Steven Wilson was a hugely talented musician capable of greatness and in that regard he hasn't disappointed. Unfortunately the collective rating on this is unjust. This is eclectic to say the least but I enjoy every single track on this and contemplate all the possible avenues Steven Wilson could have taken. A very interesting album that displays Wilson at a stage before he had a fanbase and had to focus on that aspect of his music.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Power Windows by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.52 | 709 ratings

BUY
Power Windows
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Meegan

3 stars Don't get me wrong this album is incredible but not from a progressive standpoint

On my way back from seeing a friend in Dallas I had a 3 hour lay over in Houston. While waiting for my flight I thought about what I would consider to be my favorite Rush album (and yes I do think about stuff like that sometimes). Eventually I came to the conclusion that it was Power Windows. From a progressive viewpoint this album is nothing special, it doesn't have any 20- minute long epics like previous albums from the band, it's not very exploratory, the lyrics aren't very complex, the themes are fairly simple. If I look at this album in terms of what it did for Prog and how it deepened the genre, I would have to give it a 2 out of 5 stars. But this album for me really is a 5 out of 5 stars. There is not a song I do not like on this album, from The Big Money to Mystic Rhythms. This album is great not because it was a definitive prog album, it's great because every song on it is solid. The best part about this album is its lyrical simplicity.  It doesn't take you on a complex adventure, rather it gives you short and simple ideas. However these simple ideas are powerful. Neil Peart's goal was to give the listener a general idea of his opinion and then allow listeners to make their own opinions about the topic. Musically the album is fantastic (how could it not be? It's Rush). Unless you absolutely hate the synth, which if you do I'm not sure if prog is for you anyways,  you can respect this album. I went with the 3 star rating because I decided to average my ratings I made earlier. I went closer to 2 starts because I see this website as a hub for finding iconic progressive music, and since this is a poor progressive effort, it needs to be a little lower.

If you're looking for a great prog album,  with complex themes, and lyrics this album is not for you.

If you're looking for an album with simple, understandable, yet powerful lyrics, as well as great musicianship, I highly recommend this album.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Heaven & Earth by YES album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.35 | 178 ratings

BUY
Heaven & Earth
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by tbstars1

2 stars I will clearly have to marry AtomicCrimsonRush as soon as I have cleared the legal obstacles. My opinion matches his/hers exactly. "Believe again", "Light of the Ages" and "Subway walls" face to the left; the rest face resolutely to the right. To the left lies something akin to prog and distant memories of a band called Yes; to the right lie Tales of Unadulterated Garbage. Three out of eight is better than none out of eight but not nearly as good as eight out of eight. Time to re-shuffle this pack - yes or no? My bags are packed. I await the call from ACR.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Ode to Echo by GLASS HAMMER album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.50 | 89 ratings

BUY
Ode to Echo
Glass Hammer Symphonic Prog

Review by tbstars1

2 stars Mmm...the consensus appears to be that this marks yet another step forward for Glass Hammer, with a freshness and new-found accessibility that altogether forms a winning combination. I just don't see this at all, I'm afraid. After the splendid heights attained by "If" and "Perilous" (with "Cor Cordium" not far beneath them), this is a real let-down. After persevering over many listens, I conclude that there is not a single track that stands comparison with any of the true gems that have been delivered by the band in its many guises over its 20 years' existence. Here we have just a succession of discordant, instantly- forgettable tunes, with nothing very "tuneful" at all, as I see it , and with no particular melody or discernible sense of structure - just an aimless succession of tracks travelling under the generic "prog" label, where "prog" is measured solely by the yardsticks of musical cleverness and intricacy. We've been down this route before, and we don't need to repeat history. I don't doubt that what follows is near-sacriligious for the wider prog community to read, but anyone who saw Gentle Giant in their prime, as I did, will know that, whilst they were absolutely mesmerising in their versatility and artistry - and this, of course, could only be wildly appreciated and applauded - their concerts were extremely difficult to "enjoy" because the sheer complexity of the music was so distracting thta it became overwhelming.

The time is ripe for Glass Hammer to re-examine the way ahead. They have proved over many years that they can do so much better than this. This is, IMO, by far their poorest offering to date, worse even than either "Lex Rex" or "Culture of Ascent", which is really saying something.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Naturbål by VINTERSORG album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.00 | 6 ratings

BUY
Naturbål
Vintersorg Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by lucas
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars 20 years ago, Black Metal was still confined to its established codes and any attempt to merge it with other musical styles was rare because often not well perceived by its afficionados. Time passing, it was noticed that this extreme form of music, by breaking its chains, was able to give birth to many interesting things, and Vintersorg, with his last album entitled 'Naturbål', is a good example of this opening to other musical genres. We are indeed invited to dive in an unexpected blend of pop in the vein of Ultra Bra (Finnish band who used to craft catchy music with many prominent choruses), the most extreme Black Metal (martial-like as the band Axis of Advance), and elements of folk (the lyrics in swedish and instruments of traditional folk), Renaissance music and dynamics borrowed to progressive rock. Magical orchestrations, very creative and ubiquitous drums, upbeat choruses, male and female voices, blast beats with tortured "black"-oriented or more bestial "death"-oriented chant, harpsichord and instruments of a bygone age, we attend a festival of cathartic sounds within a music full of enthusiasm. The transition between upbeat and gloomy sections, or even their amalgamation, is astonishingly mastered, both worlds overlapping perfectly in a bazaar of ideas in all kinds. This was made possible not only thanks to a strong knowledge of the ranges, with vocals as convincing when they are "bestial" as when they are clean, but also thanks to unparalleled sense of tempo and musicality. One can only greet with respect so many passion spread all along the album by the artist (Vintersorg is driving almost alone his whirling merry-go-round) to share his love of musical universes that may seem unrelated to one another at first sight. The music, both dynamic and full of contrasts, could be compared to a journey full of hazards, like Orpheus in greek mythology facing sirens' chant with his enchanting voice and his lyre or leaving the world of the living to brave Hades and bring back Eurydice to his world. Fantastic landscapes alternate indeed with Hades fires in our mind. In a nutshell, a wonderful work by an artist who never ceases to delight our ears.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Men Singing by HENRY FOOL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.59 | 76 ratings

BUY
Men Singing
Henry Fool Crossover Prog

Review by admireArt

4 stars Far less modest than the previous 12 years ago, first release!

This album "Men Singing" by HENRY FOOL, their second release, has all kind of ratings, with their respective reviews, bashing it or loving it. So, it all comes down to what kind of MUSIC you like in this Prog universe.

To measure it up to expectations, is kind of selling it unwisely. Therefore just to point out where this big "All Star Band" (with guest stars included!) heads on music wise, I will point out some referentials.

For starters no vocalist! (no Tim Bowness' singing, he just plays guitar). The sound flows between Post/Math Rock and (Post?) Space/Psychedelia. It is tainted all the way with very colorful electronics. The structures (songs) are creative and dynamic. The added touches of a Mel Collins (no, he is not on this one!) kind of like wind player, sets it sometimes close to modern Prog/Jazz/Rock moments, therefore also near the King's territories. But the effectiveness of the song writing never stays too much in one single place or style, thereby it is no big deal!

The electric guitar is also the great thrill on this album, it is the setting tone to the four songs. It ranges from wild fuzz distortion to creative and "sparkling" electric arpeggios! The synths cover the whole environments with I repeat, highly ctreative electronics and symphonic strings (simmultaneously sometimes), therefore it is also matches with the Symphonic prog tagging.

Its highlights have to do more with music composition, than with "arena" band strategies of grandeure, although it does not lack that kind of intensity ("My Favourite Zombie Dream", track 3, is a good example of this).

It all comes to what kind of Prog music you like!

I myself, having no complaints (besides the Mel Collins sound alike), have had a really delightful time listening to it. It is so well written and diverse, that it never stops showing some new colors in each playing! And I will surely repeat the experience again. In addition it is completely "instrumental" which always adds up points in my account!

****4 "creative, colorful, hypnotic, unpretentious" PA stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 No Exit  by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.85 | 175 ratings

BUY
No Exit
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars Ray Alder is an excellent vocalist. John Arch is also fantastic, so you cannot go wrong with either. Their vocals sound different, but they both fit well into the progressive metal genre. No Exit is a fresh start with a new vocalist, but it is hard hitting with lots of bite delivered in epic fashion. It is easily Fates Warning's most underrated album and a strong candidate as one of their best. Jim Matheos and company have delivered another solid album that starts off a bevy of other future masterpieces. The highlight of course is the 22 minute epic The Ivory Gate Of Dreams, which was actually broken up into 8 separate tracks on my expanded edition. This is a must buy for anyone that likes Fates Warning or Progressive Metal.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Senda's Song by SPIRAL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
2.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Senda's Song
Spiral Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
2 stars Senda's Song is a shorter singles edit of a track called "The Memories Speak" from Spiral's "The Capital in Ruins" album of a few years back. It features Spiral contributor Senda Shallow doing a fragile and emotive vocal contrasted occasionally by the harder-edged guitar and programmed drumming. These fall away again leaving Senda singing over what sounds like a flanged effect on the guitar. The B side is an interesting unreleased track from the Spiral vaults (which must be enormous given their prolific creative habits). "The Sun Cauterizes His Soul" is a slow almost folksy based track with strummed guitar chords and cool upfront bass lines complimenting. The vocals are hollow and resigned, giving expression to horrific post-disaster imagery of the lyrics. But there is never any crushing here, Spiral goes the other direction with this and laments the pain in a less extreme manner. Nothing wrong with these songs, the rating is just noting this is a "fans" release. Senda's Song should be heard in full on Capital album and the B side is nice but not all that necessary. Great cover art in the Spiral tradition.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Do Ut Des by NEW TROLLS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.73 | 13 ratings

BUY
Do Ut Des
New Trolls Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars "New Trolls" is an Italian rock band which released their debut album as early as 1968 and "Do Ut Des" from last year is their eighteenth studio album. Despite it's boring cover(is it Loreen I see?) and the small interest from other's hear I found it a record worth listening to.

The impressions from what I have heard are many. Firstly it's clear that this is a quite hard rock band which heavy guitar lines and singable choruses are easy to get fond of. The influences present on "Do ut des" are rock music, classical music, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and symphonic rock. The record starts with "Paganini" a little classic bit(8/10) and then comes the "mega hit" "Per ogni lacrima" a wonderful song with symphopnic melody and instrumentation, keyboards and guitar are great(8/10). "La Luce di Vermeer" is fast and rocky, and the guitars feel like they're from the eighties. In a piano solo it sounds a lot like Emerson, Lake and Palmer(8/10). "Oltre Il Cielo" is languorous and swinging(7/10) and "Rispettare Puo' Salvare" is a catchy and partially lovely song(7/10). "Do ut des", the title track is very varied with classical music and a lot of instrumental parts with great instruments. The band does this very professional(8/10). "Sara' per Noi" is more mediocre(6/10) but "Siamo Ancora Qui" and "Sporca politica" are better and potential hits(7/10). The albums closes with the English sung "Can't go on" which also is very nice and energetic.(7/10). The last song features Fergie Frederiksen on vocals.

The very competent musicians who are working here are Gianni Belleno(drums and vocals), Maurizio Salvi(keyboards and vocals), Claudio Cinquegrana(guitar, vocals), Anna Portalupi(guitar, bass) and Alessandro del Vecchio(vocals,keyboards). I think their efforts should be acknowledged and I like many of these songs very much so I will give the record four stars! My favourite song from the album are "La Luce Di Vermeer" followed by "Do ut des" and "Per ogni Lacrima".

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Natural Elements by SHAKTI WITH JOHN MCLAUGHLIN album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.06 | 91 ratings

BUY
Natural Elements
Shakti With John McLaughlin Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars For those who appreciate the skillfulness of Jean Luc-Ponty, seeking out Shakti is a must. Strictly speaking, and despite the Indian percussion, there are distinct stylistic characteristics from all over the world present, including Cajun, Irish, Caribbean, and Chinese, even though the entire album is tonally static. Everything present in this album is agreeable and consistent.

"Mind Ecology" Frenzied and technical guitar and violin race to keep up with the harried percussive instruments. The harmonies are staggering.

"Face to Face" Abandoning the wild abandon of the previous piece, John McLaughlin provides graceful strums to accompany an elegant, silky violin. Midway through it adopts the character of an Irish jig.

"Come on Baby Dance with Me" The title is appropriate, given the nature of this upbeat and sprightly caper.

"The Daffodil and the Eagle" One of the most industrious pieces, this alternates between rapid-fire guitar phrases and almost New Orleans-like slippery fiddling.

"Happiness is Being Together" Once again, McLaughlin takes to hammering out the rhythm while Shakti ascends to the farthest reaches of the neck and spirals back and forth all over it. Cheery vocals make an appearance in what sounds like a background music for a Caribbean cruise ship.

"Bridge of Sighs" Exploring a sullener style, "Bridge of Sighs" is occasionally folksy and occasionally bluesy.

"Get Down and Sruti" Alternating again between open, respiring rhythm and swift passages of guitar and violin, this piece keeps returning to a very happy theme while closing with rapid vocalizing.

"Peace of Mind" The album concludes with its most tranquil offering.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Passage by LOWERCASE NOISES album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
3.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Passage
Lowercase Noises Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars Travels and transitions

Lowercase Noises is the moniker of multi-instrumentalist Andrew Othling who hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has become one of the premier post-rock/ambient/instrumental artists out there, and if you are a fan of these genres who has not yet heard his music, you are missing the boat. Othling seems to prefer to let his music do the talking for him, but has dropped a few hints about his EP "Passage" calling it "an album about transition" and stating that it was about a specific place on planet Earth. Some fans have wagered guesses about where but I'm not sure Othling has confirmed their guesses. It doesn't much matter to me for as usual his music takes me many places far and wide.

"Passage" indeed does seem a transition from the blue moving ambiance of "Migratory Patterns" to the somewhat (but not very) conventional storytelling genius of "This is for our sins" released just this year. You can hear the banjo and cello stepping forward and sharing more time with the guitar, a sound choice that increases on the latest "Sins" album. In fact, similarities in the sound and artwork almost make "Passage" feel like the songwriting warm-up for "This is for our sins." The metaphor of passage or travel is taking place as an album theme but also speaks to Othling's continual growth as an artist. While he once primarily made sound with his guitar and myriad effects, he is now reaching for all sorts of new colors without losing the relaxing flow of his music. Yes, there is banjo on this album but it still is instantly recognizable as Andrew. The album's five songs are all beautiful, relaxing tracks that pull you in and lower your heart rate. You are soon immersed in the weaving of shimmering guitar, light piano, occasional dramatic drums, and moving cello swells. There is such a mixture of joy and melancholy to his songs, an ability to delivery serenity in a way that is interesting rather than sleep inducing.

The album, like several of his offerings, was made available in limited vinyl release with incredible packaging and art. This is a guy who understands the new frontiers and realities of music fandom and he overseas the creation of quite special releases. It may be small fry compared to the distribution models of the past, but for those who discover an artist like this, the rewards for both are huge. The fans get product that is very special, sometimes even hand made, while the artists enjoys a more intimate connection to the fan base.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 L' enigma della vita by LOGOS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.58 | 19 ratings

BUY
L' enigma della vita
Logos Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Nightfly
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Despite having formed in 1996 and releasing their first album in 1999, L'Enigma Della Vita is only the third album from Italian's Logos (their second came out in 2001). This may explain why, in spite of my love of Italian prog, they passed me by and hadn't heard them until recently. Better late than never though and on the strength of this album I'm really glad to have discovered them at last.

L'Enigma Della Vita is a highly accomplished piece of work - great musicianship for starters. Clearly a band who have spent years learning and perfecting their craft. The loss of guitarist Massimo Maoli and replacing him with second keyboard player Claudio Antolini alongside band leader/keyboards/vocalist Luca Zerman gives the band a lush symphonic sound. It is too simple to define Logos as a symphonic prog band however. Despite their RPI credentials Logos are on the modern edge of the genre and atmospheric psych touches sit alongside neo (I was even reminded of IQ here and there) too and with an up to date production placing it firmly in the current century.

Before you think that Logos may be sitting on the lighter side of RPI though, at this point I want to mention the powerful and inventive guitar work of Fabio Gaspari. Previously he'd been responsible for bass (which he still doubles up on) and acoustic guitar. His electric work while always tasteful adds a powerful edge in contrast to the many haunting and melodic passages. Drummer Alessandro Perbelini's unfussy style is spot on, aiding Gaspari in laying the foundations with a solid rhythm section though not lacking subtlety when required.

The eleven compositions are inventive, taking surprising turns here and there as they expertly weave new and old prog elements but one thing that ties it all together and raises the bar is the bands ear for strong melodies, something that sets it well above some of the disappointing (mentioning no names) new prog I've come across recently.

L'Enigma Della Vita should go down well with anyone looking for a modern equivalent of Le Orme played with more balls and is the best RPI album I've heard in quite a while. Certainly the best this year and I'd rate it highly against any prog album in any sub-genre I've heard this year also. Highly recommended.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Infinity by JOURNEY album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.64 | 70 ratings

BUY
Infinity
Journey Prog Related

Review by thwok

3 stars How do you review an album that you really like, but isn't all that progressive? Infinity is a really fine rock record, and was hugely popular back when I was in junior high school. However, Journey had dropped just about all of their progressive tendencies by the time Infinity was released. My favorite tracks are probably "Feelin' That Way/Anytime" and "Wheel in the Sky".

The performances throughout the album are excellent, which should not be surprising considering the band members' backgrounds. Steve Perry can definitely sing, and Neal Schon shows once again what an excellent guitarist he is. I would rather listen to this than many of Styx's records or anything by Boston, to name two bands that are often compared to Journey. This album is certainly a whole lot better compositionally that what came after it!. Infinity's over-familiarity and lack of progressivenes decreases its rating for Prog Archives purposes. My final rating is going to be 3 stars - a really good rock record, but not a priority if progressiveness is really what you're looking for.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Face the Music by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.28 | 158 ratings

BUY
Face the Music
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by demolition man

5 stars An absolute gem of an album; probably my favourite of all the catalogue. Yes, the early albums are stunning, very different and timeless, but for me this is the album that I have consistently played over the last 39 years.

Without a weak track the whole album has a mixture of prog and some unique pop. What was to come next through the 70s was also very good (even Out of The Blue; mostly pop) but this for me was the greatest. Very surprising that none of this great band's album could muster even a 4 star here. Some band's albums transcended sound and some will forever remain in the favourites list; this album achieves both for me.

A special mention to the album opener; the haunting Fire on High which explodes into life......the band have really excelled themselves. Interesting enough the remastered CD comes with a very much different version. ELO have done a great job with all their re-masters and this track alone was well worth the purchase price. Even Evil Woman bonus comes with some fantastic piano work.

5 stars for my favourite ELO album.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Heaven & Earth by YES album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.35 | 178 ratings

BUY
Heaven & Earth
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars No. This album is not like "Relayer", "Close to the Edge", "Going for the One".... No. It is not entirely Progressive Rock in musical style. Does it mean it is a bad album? No.

No. There is not Jon Anderson singing and composing the songs. No. There is not Rick Wakeman playing the keyboards. Does it sound like YES? Yes. This line-up still sounds like YES. And more than in their "Fly From Here" album which in my opinion sounded more influenced by THE BUGGLES (Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn).

The most characteristic sound from the "old" YES in this album comes from Steve Howe`s guitar playing, in my opinion. Geoff Downes` keyboards playing and arrangements sound a bit more in the background in comparison to his role in ASIA and more particularly in comparison to the "Fly from Here" album, on which he was one of the main songwriters with producer Trevor Horn. Maybe he has a more prominent role in his song called "Subway Walls", a song which he co-wrote with Jon Davison. Alan White also plays good drums, but the drum parts are not very complicated. Chris Squire plays bass but in a more relaxed way, but his backing vocals still are very good and very characteristic from him for the general sound of YES. The recording and mixing of this album is good, and the production in general sounds more "simple" and "light" than in their previous album.

Jon Davison sings very well, and he is the main songwriter in this album. He sounds more closer to Jon Anderson in the sound of his vocals than Horn or Benoit David, but he still retains his own style. He does a very good job in this album as YES`s lead singer

In general, this album is really "very relaxed" in musical moods, maybe too much for some fans, and maybe it lacks some of the "old" "power" and "heaviness". Maybe the most Progressive song is "Subway Walls", with some changes in rhythms and good solos by Downes and Howe. But maybe the general "sweet musical atmospheres" are the main troubles for some fans to really like this album as an album from YES. I really expected worst things from this album. But I like this album, not a lot, but it is good anyway.

The cover design by Roger Dean is very good.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Escape by JOURNEY album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.59 | 85 ratings

BUY
Escape
Journey Prog Related

Review by Chicapah
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A few months ago I wrote a review of Journey's foul "Infinity" album from 1978 and I have no doubt that I insulted every one of their fans with my scathing assessment of it. It was vocalist Steve Perry's first LP with the band and I found it to be such a despicably blatant attempt at being commercial that I gave it .01 stars. It was as if Journey was massively codependent and desperately wanted everyone to like them. "Escape" came out in the summer of 1981 and by then Mr. Perry had fully acclimated himself into the group's Top 40 motif so the record is much more cohesive than those that had preceded it. Plus, they were one of the most popular acts in the biz so they knew exactly what their audience expected from them. The addition of Jonathan Cain on keyboards (replacing the burned-out Greg Rolie) gave them a bit of a creative boost, as well. All that being said, however, they were still about as progressive as George Strait. But I will concede that there are a couple of tracks on "Escape" that I can not only tolerate but actually enjoy so this critique won't be quite as disemboweling.

Wisely they open with what may go down in history as the most recognizable and memorable of their songs ever, "Don't Stop Believin'." While this is 100% pop rock from beginning to end it's still hard to say anything untoward about a tune as well-crafted and true to its intended purpose as this one is. I remember when I first heard it blaring from my car radio I was thinking how great it was to hear a number that featured a dominant bass guitar line up front in the mix for a change. The catchy chorus notwithstanding, I believe Russ Valory's contribution is the real key to the song's success and longevity. Like it or hate it, the tune is a gem of production and performance. "Stone in Love" is next and it's a reversion back to the brand of unsavory, faux "rawk" that I've come to identify this band with over the years. It has all the tired ingredients: vapid lyrics, calculated-to- dazzle-the-easily-dazzled dynamics and Neal Schon's wholly predictable guitarisms that appeal only to the lowest common denominator. "Who's Crying Now" follows and, despite it being a half-decent, inoffensive AOR tune overall, I find it impossible to be objective about it because it brings to mind my first wife. She went out and bought the LP with cash pilfered from our paltry music fund because she wanted to learn Neal's guitar solo on her rusty flute left over from high school. Since our marriage eventually ended badly even the mention of this particular ditty conjures up nauseating memories I'd rather not entertain. "Keep on Runnin'" is typical of the soulless drivel the dawning of the empty 80s decade brought to the rock & roll table, helping to foster a lot of the inane hair band crap that was so soon to flourish and drive decent prog fare off the music industry's map. "Still They Ride" is a slick, bluesy ballad that might've been acceptable to my ears had someone with grit like Rod Stewart sung it but everything slow-paced that Steve Perry warbles almost always comes off as a syrupy cocktail lounge number that only induces sleep.

The title track, "Escape," is an example of formula rock at its most pedestrian. At least the ensemble tries something a tad more adventurous during the middle instrumental segment but when it ends up being sandwiched between two thick slices of plain white bread as it does here it is relegated to the realm of the inconsequential. "Lay it Down" is next wherein their tried, true and trivial composing methodology is painfully exposed once again. Schon starts with his heavily stacked guitars playing a simple riff and then Steve Smith's boring drums jump in just before they embellish the track with Perry's high-pitched chirping and a big hook. I'm sure their devotees were happy as fish to hear it. "Dead or Alive" follows, a driving rocker coupled with what sounds like New Wave-ish vocal lines emanating from Steve. Compared to some of the other filler on the album it's not bad but that's not to endorse it as anything gratifying by a long shot. "Mother, Father" is one of the band's gallant attempts at manufacturing an epic anthem. Unfortunately there's just not enough substance lyrically or musically to hold this overblown piece together and it fails miserably to enthrall. They close out with "Open Arms." This staple of classic rock and adult contemporary radio stations is adorned with a beautiful melody that Perry delivers with class while the rest of the group manages to not clutter up the atmosphere unnecessarily. I've always admired a polished, unpretentious love ballad when I encounter one and this one deserves respect.

"Escape" was the first Journey album to rise to the very top of the charts and it further solidified their status as an arena-packing, multi-platinum act that made the shareholders of Columbia Records a lotta moolah (and still does). Yet by 1981 whatever progressive roots they once proudly sported had shriveled up and deteriorated completely so their presence on this site may surprise the prog neophyte who comes across them while scanning through the roster. Their prog-related tag is a stretch. If sales impress you and fill you with "Glee," then the fact that this album has sold over 12 million copies worldwide to date will be staggering to comprehend. But here in Progland the number of units shipped means next to nothing so I have to be honest and give it the rating I think it has earned. 1.8 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 An Ocean Held Me by MICE ON STILTS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.27 | 38 ratings

BUY
An Ocean Held Me
Mice On Stilts Crossover Prog

Review by lucas
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Hailing from New-Zealand, Mice on Stilts play a music covered in melancholy, where the complex alternative country of 16 Horsepower meets comfortably the space rock of Pink Floyd and the dark atmosphere of King Crimson. The instrumentation is rich, as, besides the usual bass/drums/guitar trio, other instruments abound, like piano, saxophone, viola and to a lesser extent accordion, mouth-organ, trumpet, Rhodes and organ. All these instruments are played slowly, thus being each a brick of of the wall of sadness. A few more luminous moments intersperse the prevailing desolation, such as the enchanting guitar backed by the jolly drums in "Syds Socks", some upbeat piano notes as well as the optimism that soars from Nick Wright's mouth in "Tuatara Lawn", and last but not least the lovely female choirs in "Binocular bath". In line with the lyrics of the closing track ("we are endlessly in torment") and the imploring cry of "Binocular Bath", the music is in the end tormented yet delivered in delicate ambiances, where instruments, staying in harmony despite their abundance, are accompanied by a beautiful pleading voice.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Behind The Mirror by SEASONS OF TIME album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.00 | 3 ratings

BUY
Behind The Mirror
Seasons Of Time Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Seasons Of Time came to life in Bremen during October 1993 with an original core of Willie C. Kimbrough (vocals), Thorsten Klein (guitar), Lars Ebsen (drums), Dirk Berger (bass) and Andreas Meyer (keyboards).1995 sees Klein abandoning the wagon and Stephan Dinter jumping in and the following year Ebsen was replaced by Erik Pilger.By 1997 only Berger remained from the original line-up with Kimbrough and Meyer both replaced by Malte Twarloh, who could sing and play the keyboards.The same year the band releases independently the debut ''Behind the mirror'', a concept work around a true story of a woman from United Stares, who killed her childern to live her life in luxury with a lover.

While the influences from the music of MARILLION, PENDRAGON and other Neo Prog groups is clearly evident, the Germans could produce some beautiful melodies and intense atmospheres, propably helped by the concept story, which is based on deep keyboard sounds and electrified guitar moments, as many bands did at the time.The main theme is developed through 15 short pieces, which can be laid-back, atmospheric, aggressive or bombastic, depending on each part of the story, but the bulk of the album follows a rhythmic style with diverse keyboard moments, including organ, piano and synthesizers, and soft to melodic guitar lines, sometimes with a slight PINK FLOYD aura, especially during the lyrical passages.Close to the trend of the time their tracks contained dreamy keyboard textures, calm piano lines and more flashy synth solos over a palette of guitar-driven ideas with the overall style flirting with compatriots ZIFF and ZENOBIA.A few pieces ended up to be a bit disjointed/uninspired with rockin' leads or slight psychedelic vibes, the same occurs though for a couple of folky tunes, led by a charming flute performance and being among the highlights of the album.

Were Seasons Of Time ready to kick some asses with their debut?I doubt so.But their music was up there with the better-known bands of the style, featuring nervous symphonic moments, good melodies and pompous deliveries.Decent and recommended stuff.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Un'Isola Senza Sole by APOSTHOLI, GLI album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.50 | 2 ratings

BUY
Un'Isola Senza Sole
Gli Apostholi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars Entering the 80's Walter Bottazzi secured a more stable line-up, featuring Gigi Terzo and Roberto Trentin along with new members Tullio Mazzaretto on guitars and Ivano Aldighieri on bass.Their next step was to re-record their early album ''Un'isola senza sole'' and launch it eventually in 1983 with a different cover.All lyrics are written by Carlo Andolfato, but it appears they had some connections with another Vincenza-based group, Abissi Infiniti, as their bassist Enrico Kotterl wrote one track, ''Pomeriggio ad Acquasparta''.

Stylistically not much has changed compared to the previous album, the sound of the band relies somewhere between Melodic Rock and Pop with some folky overtones, good thing is that this work contained some interesting flute parts among the electroacoustic moments, while a few synth/flute passages show tendencies towards a more symphonic style.At the end ''Un'isola senza sole'' sounds more mature and complete of an album, they even added some harder guitar moments over pompous keyboards and the tracks are well-arranged with a fine melodic content.Still this can hardly described as Progressive Rock music, even if the instrumental parts are extended, Gli Apostholi were always a band with poppy leanings and standard song structures, building their ideas on guitar solos and accesible songwriting.So expect an album with electric power, a fair amount of synthesizers, somewhat proggy piano and flute moments and melodic, Italian vocals, a bit comparable to compatriots ABISSI INFINITI, but with an even lesser progressive mood.

Even if they never released another album, Gli Apostholi remained active for decades around the Bottazzi/Terzo/Trentin core, more recently having Paolo Savegnago on vocals (member of the band in the 60's) and Alcide Ronzani on guitars.

As with ''Ho smesso di vivere'' the album has been reissued by MP Records.Minor inclusion of the 70's Italian Prog scene.Good, melodic rock, covering any attempt for more intricate, instrumental textures.For lovers of sweet, Italian-spiced music and lyrics...2.5 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Symphonic Live by YES album cover Live, 2009
4.26 | 208 ratings

BUY
Symphonic Live
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

5 stars After the remarkable Magnification, which featured a full orchestra, it only made sense to record a concert in the same vein, and it's fascinating to hear many Yes classics accompanied by such an ensemble. While I agree that "The Firebird Suite" is Yes' official entrance theme, I appreciated their use of the stunning introduction to "Give Love Each Day" to begin the concert.

Symphonic Live boasts three epic masterworks. Opening with "Close to the Edge," the band performs this at a pace that doesn't quite suit the energy the piece deserves, although I find Steve Howe's cleaner tone more enjoyable than his tone on the original. "The Gates of Delirium," from that peaceful beginning to that peaceful ending and all the cacophony in between, is always wonderful and welcome. Clocking in at nearly a half an hour, "Ritual" features extended bass soloing and a nod to "The Ancient."

Three traditional Yes songs are rendered better here than on any other live album I have heard. "Long Distance Runaround" is light and dashing, with Alan White brightening the song considerably. "Starship Trooper" is full-bodied and ethereal. Finally, "And You and I," with that phenomenal orchestral backing, transports the listener to another world.

Two songs, however, just don't belong in the set list. Of all the stellar material on Magnification, the band opts to include "Don't Go," which is the second weakest piece from that album (that adjective, of course, belonging to "Soft as a Dove"). I would have preferred to have heard the uplifting and progressive masterpiece "We Agree" instead. And as much as I enjoy "Owner of a Lonely Heart," the song seems inappropriate among everything else on the album. "Hearts" (from the same album, 90125) would have been a stirring penultimate song. Still, the inclusion of these two songs is hardly anything to fuss over.

This is one of Yes' greatest live offerings.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 The Lost Broadcasts by YES album cover DVD/Video, 2009
3.82 | 40 ratings

BUY
The Lost Broadcasts
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars The Lost Broadcasts offers a historical look at early Yes. All but one of the performances are for the German program The Beat Club, the exception being "Time and a Word." It's a treat to be able to hear Yes' Ritchie Havens cover in its unadulterated form, with no orchestra swirling about the rock. Alas, Peter Banks' guitar is buried in the mix. Jon Anderson shows that, even in 1969, his between-song banter was rather cheesy and sometimes embarrassing.

"Survival" is my favorite song from the Peter Banks-era Yes, one I wish would have been performed live with Yes' more modern sound. It sounds like Chris Squire flubs the introduction a bit, after which Tony Kaye offers an unexpected organ solo. It was interesting to see how the band would "fade" into the quiet guitar that introduces the first verse; I was impressed to hear them throttle back into a quiet mist to allow Banks to emerge with his halcyon strumming. Kaye treats us to more soulful psychedelic playing. However, the vocals all around are pitchy, and Anderson actually misses a beat during the second refrain. I found myself paying more attention to Squire's groovy jamming than I did to the vocals anyway. Watching Bill Bruford is amusing, as his expressions alternate abruptly between opiate and tonic.

When "Time and a Word" arrives, so does the color, but the "live" element departs momentarily. The viewer may note immediately that no one- not even Anderson- is playing the acoustic guitar clearly heard, and later, a spectral orchestra materializes. That's because this is merely the band pantomiming to the studio version of the song.

"Yours is No Disgrace" is visually upsetting, with pink and yellow seizure-inducing flashes cut with a rotating head evoking the cover art of The Yes Album, worse even than the "psychedelic" interjections that make Keys to Ascension almost unwatchable. Speaking of strange visuals, what is that furry thing that crawled on Kaye's face? The sound is raw, and the synthesizer in front of Anderson doesn't help matters. The final "lost broadcasts" consist of three takes of "I've Seen All Good People," with "Your Move" out of the picture. The third is the finest, as the band is visible the entire time.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Heaven & Earth by YES album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.35 | 178 ratings

BUY
Heaven & Earth
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Detlef Albrecht

2 stars Heaven and Hell for Yes fans Previous comments have outlined the weaknesses of this album: Lack of dynamics and energy. Weak song writing (Was this really the best material available after all those years? If yes, why not engage brilliant songwriters such as Neal Morse for help? Yes has always been a great arrangement band, they practically re-invented "America"!!) Weak lyrics that sound like they are trying to emulate Jon Anderson's lyrical ambitions. On "Fly from here" they did stay away from that and did much better. Feeling that they are going through the motions, attempts to repeat past glories without new ideas. Why did they have to rush the production? If record sales don't matter anymore and they can only make money by touring, they might as well not have put out this record and done more concerts. The best I can say is that "Heaven & Earth" sounds surprisingly like a weak Jon Anderson Solo Album. 1.5 stars

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Reviews list is cached

Latest Prog News, Shows and Tours


Prog News & Press Releases (10) | More ...
Prog Gigs, Tours and Festivals (10) | More ...

Latest 3 Progressive Rock Videos


All videos
BUY PA T-SHIRTS & MORE
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.
To buy Progarchives.com custom items: t-shirts, beer steins, coffee mugs, mouse pads, bumper stickers, go to http://www.zazzle.com/progarchives, select the ones you like and checkout (PayPal support). All orders are handled by Zazzle from invoicing, printing to shipping.

Thanks in advance for supporting us and for spreading the purple prog !
MOST POPULAR ALBUM (yesterday)
Buy this album from PA partners
FORUM NEW TOPICS

Prog Lounge

Prog Polls

Prog Interviews

INTERACTIVE

Twitter, RSS feeds

+ more syndication options
Twitter RSS

Share this site

| More
NEW RELEASES

Second Nature by Flying Colors album rcover
Second Nature

Flying Colors

One Minute by Uriah Heep album rcover
One Minute

Uriah Heep

12 Areas by Telepathy album rcover
12 Areas

Telepathy

Ombra - Revisited by Brückner, Michael album rcover
Ombra - Revisited

Michael Brückner

The Calendar by Sparkle In Grey album rcover
The Calendar

Sparkle In Grey

100 MOST PROLIFIC REVIEWERS

Collaborators Only

ratings only excluded in count
  1. Mellotron Storm (3625)
  2. Sean Trane (3159)
  3. ZowieZiggy (2917)
  4. Warthur (2187)
  5. apps79 (2139)
  6. Easy Livin (1925)
  7. UMUR (1813)
  8. b_olariu (1809)
  9. Gatot (1791)
  10. Conor Fynes (1494)
  11. SouthSideoftheSky (1423)
  12. Evolver (1371)
  13. Bonnek (1359)
  14. AtomicCrimsonRush (1245)
  15. Tarcisio Moura (1222)
  16. snobb (1210)
  17. erik neuteboom (1201)
  18. Windhawk (1077)
  19. Finnforest (1076)
  20. ClemofNazareth (1009)
  21. kenethlevine (993)
  22. Cesar Inca (924)
  23. loserboy (895)
  24. Rune2000 (851)
  25. kev rowland (842)
  26. Marty McFly (833)
  27. octopus-4 (816)
  28. Chris S (753)
  29. tszirmay (750)
  30. memowakeman (745)
  31. Eetu Pellonpää (719)
  32. Matti (687)
  33. greenback (685)
  34. progrules (666)
  35. Seyo (638)
  36. Prog-jester (623)
  37. Guillermo (622)
  38. Rivertree (621)
  39. Epignosis (609)
  40. lor68 (601)
  41. Neu!mann (542)
  42. Ivan_Melgar_M (541)
  43. philippe (533)
  44. hdfisch (492)
  45. Chicapah (470)
  46. stefro (465)
  47. colorofmoney91 (459)
  48. J-Man (449)
  49. friso (438)
  50. zravkapt (427)
  51. Prog Leviathan (426)
  52. russellk (421)
  53. Menswear (412)
  54. Sinusoid (402)
  55. Atavachron (395)
  56. Queen By-Tor (394)
  57. ProgShine (379)
  58. DamoXt7942 (377)
  59. Greger (365)
  60. Zitro (358)
  61. Nightfly (354)
  62. Cygnus X-2 (353)
  63. fuxi (352)
  64. tarkus1980 (347)
  65. Andrea Cortese (345)
  66. andrea (342)
  67. EatThatPhonebook (326)
  68. Negoba (315)
  69. richardh (313)
  70. lazland (311)
  71. Guldbamsen (305)
  72. Kazuhiro (299)
  73. Tom Ozric (298)
  74. Proghead (289)
  75. Flucktrot (289)
  76. OpethGuitarist (287)
  77. progaardvark (286)
  78. daveconn (266)
  79. Trotsky (264)
  80. Muzikman (263)
  81. clarke2001 (254)
  82. The T (253)
  83. Slartibartfast (248)
  84. Aussie-Byrd-Brother (245)
  85. Andy Webb (234)
  86. Bj-1 (231)
  87. Second Life Syndrome (228)
  88. 1800iareyay (225)
  89. js (Easy Money) (222)
  90. poslednijat_colobar (218)
  91. The Crow (216)
  92. avestin (214)
  93. Syzygy (214)
  94. NJprogfan (211)
  95. seventhsojourn (211)
  96. Raff (211)
  97. Progbear (206)
  98. aapatsos (202)
  99. TheGazzardian (195)
  100. Moatilliatta (194)
Remaining cache time: 464 min.

List of all PA collaborators

TOP PROG ALBUMS
  1. Close To The Edge
    Yes
  2. Thick As A Brick
    Jethro Tull
  3. Selling England By The Pound
    Genesis
  4. Wish You Were Here
    Pink Floyd
  5. Foxtrot
    Genesis
  6. In The Court Of The Crimson King
    King Crimson
  7. Dark Side Of The Moon
    Pink Floyd
  8. Animals
    Pink Floyd
  9. Red
    King Crimson
  10. Godbluff
    Van Der Graaf Generator
  11. Fragile
    Yes
  12. Nursery Cryme
    Genesis
  13. The Road Of Bones
    IQ
  14. Pawn Hearts
    Van Der Graaf Generator
  15. Moving Pictures
    Rush
  16. Per Un Amico
    Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
  17. Hybris
    Änglagård
  18. Larks' Tongues In Aspic
    King Crimson
  19. Io Sono Nato Libero
    Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
  20. Moonmadness
    Camel
  21. Hemispheres
    Rush
  22. Mirage
    Camel
  23. Si On Avait Besoin D'Une Cinquième Saison
    Harmonium
  24. Relayer
    Yes
  25. Storia Di Un Minuto
    Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
  26. Kind Of Blue
    Miles Davis
  27. A Farewell To Kings
    Rush
  28. Darwin!
    Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
  29. Birds Of Fire
    Mahavishnu Orchestra
  30. In A Glass House
    Gentle Giant
  31. Crime Of The Century
    Supertramp
  32. Ommadawn
    Mike Oldfield
  33. The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage
    Peter Hammill
  34. Still Life
    Opeth
  35. Aqualung
    Jethro Tull
  36. In a Silent Way
    Miles Davis
  37. Hot Rats
    Frank Zappa
  38. Meddle
    Pink Floyd
  39. Permanent Waves
    Rush
  40. The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)
    Steven Wilson
  41. Depois Do Fim
    Bacamarte
  42. H To He, Who Am The Only One
    Van Der Graaf Generator
  43. Images And Words
    Dream Theater
  44. Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory
    Dream Theater
  45. One Size Fits All
    Frank Zappa
  46. The Yes Album
    Yes
  47. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
    Genesis
  48. Scheherazade And Other Stories
    Renaissance
  49. The Grand Wazoo
    Frank Zappa
  50. A Trick of the Tail
    Genesis
  51. Still Life
    Van Der Graaf Generator
  52. In The Land Of Grey And Pink
    Caravan
  53. The Snow Goose
    Camel
  54. Rock Bottom
    Robert Wyatt
  55. Second Life Syndrome
    Riverside
  56. The Inner Mounting Flame
    Mahavishnu Orchestra
  57. Zarathustra
    Museo Rosenbach
  58. The Power And The Glory
    Gentle Giant
  59. Octopus
    Gentle Giant
  60. Free Hand
    Gentle Giant
  61. Hatfield And The North
    Hatfield And The North
  62. Spectrum
    Billy Cobham
  63. The Perfect Element Part 1
    Pain Of Salvation
  64. Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
    Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
  65. Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You
    Gong
  66. Rubycon
    Tangerine Dream
  67. Blackwater Park
    Opeth
  68. Arbeit Macht Frei
    Area
  69. Misplaced Childhood
    Marillion
  70. K.A
    Magma
  71. Space Shanty
    Khan
  72. Felona E Sorona
    Le Orme
  73. Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh
    Magma
  74. Emerson Lake & Palmer
    Emerson Lake & Palmer
  75. Elegant Gypsy
    Al Di Meola
  76. L'isola di niente
    Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
  77. Viljans Öga
    Änglagård
  78. The Snow Goose (Re-recording)
    Camel
  79. Fear Of A Blank Planet
    Porcupine Tree
  80. Acquiring the Taste
    Gentle Giant
  81. Ghost Reveries
    Opeth
  82. Hamburger Concerto
    Focus
  83. Doomsday Afternoon
    Phideaux
  84. Lateralus
    Tool
  85. In Absentia
    Porcupine Tree
  86. Script For A Jester's Tear
    Marillion
  87. If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You
    Caravan
  88. To Shatter All Accord
    Discipline
  89. De-Loused In The Comatorium
    The Mars Volta
  90. Memento Z Banalnym Tryptykiem
    SBB
  91. Operation: Mindcrime
    Queensrÿche
  92. Anno Domini High Definition
    Riverside
  93. Ocean
    Eloy
  94. ~
    iamthemorning
  95. Voyage Of The Acolyte
    Steve Hackett
  96. Remedy Lane
    Pain Of Salvation
  97. Caravanserai
    Santana
  98. Uomo Di Pezza
    Le Orme
  99. Crimson
    Edge of Sanity
  100. Leftoverture
    Kansas

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

More PA TOP LISTS

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 1.37 seconds