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 Gamma Knife by KAYO DOT album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.56 | 46 ratings

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Gamma Knife
Kayo Dot RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Kayo Dot pretty much stays in the avant garde prog genre, but it is pretty fascinating how many different styles they can explore within that genre. This particular album is a shorter one compared to the others in their discography, clocking in at around only 30 minutes with 5 tracks. But the songs on this one are loaded with so much music consisting mostly of layers piled on top of each other, enough that if the music and the musical ideas were broken down, you would have enough to fill over an hour. That is one of the drawbacks of this album, which was totally funded by the fans. I would have liked to have heard a little more development of some of the musical ideas here, but some of them are sort of buried in the noisier passages on this album.

The first track "Lethe" is not an indication of what most of the album sounds like. It sounds almost like a Gregorian chant with a minimal instrumental background which doesn't change throughout it's 5 minute length. The background fits to the chant strangely enough, even if the harmonies between the vocalist and the instruments have some strange harmonies. Very nice start to the album. Suddenly, that serenity is interrupted by the 2nd track "Rite of Goetic Evocation, which is layers of heavy guitar and black metal vocals. Yes, it's the first time since the "Choirs of the Eye" album since we have heard growling vocals, but they have returned as have the original Maudlin of the Well sound. This sound continues through the entire track, without letting up and no clean vocals. The vocals are somewhat buried in the mix, but they are there. The most surprising thing about this track is, even though this guitar orchestration is very dense and loud, the most dominant instrument in the mix is in the woodwinds and brass instruments, and their dissonance is the most crushing sound in the song. This is really close to black metal, but let's not forget it is actually avant-metal because it is not traditional in it's harmonics....there is a lot of dissonance in the track as there is throughout the album.

Next is the track that falls mostly between the extremes of the first and second track called Mirror Water, Lightening Night. This one is an excellent exploration of dynamics among the layers of instruments and features clean vocals, even though the overall feeling of the track leans towards the heavy side, there is a breakdown of the layers not prevalent in the 2nd track. Individual melodies and ideas are easier to pick out here and a lot more beauty shines through even among the most dissonant parts. This one is my favorite on the album. The 4th track returns more towards the 2nd track, but again not quite as dense even though the vocals are growly and screamed again. Throughout tracks 3 and 4, the woodwinds and brass instruments continue to be featured among the heaviness of the guitar layers. Both of these tracks meld the sound of black metal guitars with avant garde jazz which results in an interesting sound. The heaviness of these tracks probably would turn off a lot of casual listeners, but the avant garde sound of the music would also turn off a lot of metal fans.

The last track which is the title track is a quiet study with clean vocals and flowing yet dissonant instruments. It is, like the first track, a study in minimalism, but this time the song stays away from the Gregorian sound and remains unquestionably avant garde. It utilizes chromatics, as do the other tracks, and this is the reason that you get the atmosphere that you do on this album and also throughout most of Kayo Dot's sound. The vocals are a little wobbly and sung in falsetto, which Driver does on a lot of his quieter works.

Overall, this is another great exploration in sound and harmonics. Better than "Blue Lambency Downward" because of the variety, but a step down from the great "Choirs of the Eye" and "Dowsing Anemone..." this one is still an excellent addition to any avant-garde library, be it classical or modern. I love the way Kayo Dot explores the realms of classical style music utilizing modern instruments, genres and techniques. I only wish some ideas were more fleshed out here, but it is still a great album.

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 Watcher of the Skies by GENESIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1973
4.81 | 8 ratings

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Watcher of the Skies
Genesis Symphonic Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

5 stars (When I'm behind the desk and have some time to kill, I try to find a release I can write an ex tempore review on, preferably something WITHOUT dozens/hundereds of reviews already. This time I interestingly came upon just about the most classic prog ever that "hasn't any reviews". Except that the reviews page of Foxtrot is perhaps among the longest ones here... So who do I think I'm fooling?)

'Watcher of the Skies', the mighty opener for Foxtrot and surely one of the most anthemic and best known prog songs. Naturally the single edit can't have the famous, long mellotron intro, but the song itself is so powerful and effectively catchy, especially in the prog scale, that it deserved to be released as a single too. Did you know the song was inspired by Arthur C. Clarke's science fiction novel Childhood's End? Have a look at the cover of Genesis Live and you'll see Gabe in the role of 'Overlord', the super-intelligent Extra Terrestrial that happens to look like a devil... I should re-read the book some day to evaluate the song and its lyrics from that point of view.

B-side's 'Willow Farm' is the most hilarious section of the beloved prog epic 'Supper's Ready' that fills almost the entire 2nd side of Foxtrot. Of course that groundbreaking epic should be listened as a whole, but 'Willow Farm' functions pretty well also as a separate song. The best piece of humorous prog I know!

I have a temptation to rate this single as high as possible (I haven't rated Foxtrot but no doubt I'd give five stars), but up to the cover art everything is taken from the album... What the hell, this release screams five stars!

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 Live At Les Cousins by HARPER, ROY album cover Live, 1996
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Live At Les Cousins
Roy Harper Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

— First review of this album —
2 stars Historical, hysterical, but not essential.

If you ever wondered where the live take of I Hate The White Man that featured on Harper's the Flat, Baroque, and Berserk album originated from,and what happened to the recordings, then wonder no more. Live at Les Cousins (recorded in 1969) was the source of the song and languished in the Abbey Road type vaults until they were discovered in 1995 and handed over to Harper.

These is a clear sounding professionally recorded performance of Harper at his old British folk rock stomping grounds that sees Harper in full flight early in his career as a folk club troubadour.

Standout tracks included a slightly quicker early version of Hors D'oeuvers, that would be slowed down and lengthened for Harper's Stromcock album released a few years later. Other notable tracks are long instrumental intro song Blackpool in which Harper show off the skills that kept him in good company with Burt Jansch and John Renbourn early in his folk club traveling days.

East of the Sun features a more bluesy harmonica accompaniment by Harper than that found on the studio version of this standout song, while McGoohan's Blues and the instrumental Che are the two standout tracks on the CD's second disc.

There are a few songs such as She's The One where Harper is singing beyond his range as well as some long inane chatter from Harper (he's eternal MO) that puts a slight damper on this ultra clean sounding early live offering. 2.5 stars as this seems to be for Harper fans and devotees only.

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 The Last Man In Europe by NUOVA DIVISIONE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.00 | 1 ratings

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The Last Man In Europe
Nuova Divisione Crossover Prog

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars Nuova Divisione began life in 2009 in Avezzano, a town in the province of L'Aquila, in an area called Marsica. After a still immature work self-released in 2012, Once Upon a Time, in 2014 they self-released an ambitious and more refined sophomore album titled The Last Man In Europe, with a line up featuring Daniele Mari (drums, percussion), Alessandro Rivolta (bass, synthesizers, piano, vocals), Simone Salucci (piano, organ, synthesizers, Mellotron, vocals) and Francesco Mezzoprete (guitars). Despite the Italian name, the main influences of the band come from across the Channel and range from The Beatles to Pink Floyd and Genesis. The result is an interesting mix of psychedelia and progressive rock with a vast array of vintage sounds and a strong leaning to melody. The Last Man In Europe's music and lyrics (in English) tell of a man overwhelmed by his ego while the artwork and a surreal short story (in Italian) that you can find in the booklet try to help you to understand better the subject matter: in fact, here images and words are like the layers of a bad dream, just hanging memories that you can hardly define in the morning...

The opener "Here's The Light" starts softly with a spacey, mysterious atmosphere, then the rhythm rises and the story begins, the story of a man who dared to challenge gods, fate and fears. There's a beggar at your door and he looks like you... The following "Have You Ever Wondered Why?" recalls Genesis and raises some questions that could lead to an existential crisis, but beware! The road is dangerous and you could run into a wall just waiting for the final cut... "Mind Your Steps" is a short instrumental track that could recall EL&P with a pinch of Jethro Tull, the tension is high but after a while the rhythm calms down...

"The Contract" is a nice, light track that recalls The Beatles and describes the deal with a mysterious character who can give you anything you want, all you have to do is signing the contract with a blood drop. Next comes "I Don't Care" that takes you to the land of consumerism and egoism. You can go everywhere, so why not having breakfast in America, for instance? No need of explanations, time is worthless, there's no need to care about other people, now your ego is the only religion... Then, on the melodic "If You Want it" you can hear here, there and everywhere the singing sirens of desire, the tempting sound of a pied piper and you let it be...

"A Creature Of Reality (a.k.a. The Egosystem)" begins by a marching beat and drum rolls. You're losing control, you get lost in a nightmare but there's no time for pain, the spirits all around you are cold and you can see a shiny glow... Then comes the psychedelic "Remember The Future" full of dark visions and obscure omens and the mellow, yellow "Stop Your Mind" where thoughts keep on swirling all around and your damned ego begins to play bad tricks tearing you down. On "Here's The Night" the mood is even darker while the nightmare gets worse and worse. You gaze regretfully at the bloody contract while the walls around you turn into mirrors reflecting your immeasurable ego...

The long, complex suite "The Last Man In Europe" concludes the album. It's divided into three parts (Abomination Of Desolation - It Was A Fake Moustache - A Storm In A Teacup) and depicts a surreal landscape. Your ego was so big that there was no room for anyone else, now you're alone! You're the only inhabitant of a brand new world, and you're feeling terribly sad and desperate... Is this really what you call life?

On the whole a good album, even if it doesn't shine for originality. All the members of the band are still young but they're all skilled musicians and I'm sure that they will do better in the future. Anyway, have a try and judge by yourselves... You can listen to the complete album in streaming on YT

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 Unhinged by HARPER, ROY album cover Live, 1994
3.13 | 6 ratings

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Unhinged
Roy Harper Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

3 stars A great sounding collections of live solo Harper sounds recorded at various locations in England in 1990/91.

As then wife Jacqui was both Harper's touring engineer as well as his studio recording engineer, the sound quality of this long disc once again retains Harper's string of impeccable sounding recording that originated in the nineteen sixties. Standout tracks include the rarely played Decedents of Smith a and his centerpiece song form the Jugula album Hope that's played with a deft backing band that includes his son Nick Harper on bass and old friend, cricket star Foxy Fowler. All three nail the song after only minimal practice before the gig. Other standout tracks include the chilling Frozen Moment, also from Jugula performed solo by Harper, along with the perennials Highway Blues and Same Old Rock which feature Roy's talented son Nick standing in for Jimmy Page.

Live Harper albums are a bit of a rarity, especially ones that sport sound as good as this one. 3.5 stars.

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 Sheet Music by 10CC album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.71 | 77 ratings

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Sheet Music
10cc Prog Related

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

5 stars So we travel further to 1974, today fourty-one years ago, when the English art rock band 10cc released their second record which name was "Sheet music". As a Swedish listener my first thougth of the name was "skitmusik"(Crap music) but fortunately this is the totally opposition to that. This music is printed and to our amusement also recorded. The second album with the traditional formation: Eric Stewart, Graham Gouldman, Kevin Godley & Lol Creme implied a perfection and refining of their performances. Now 10cc had washed away the hint of parody in the music and the humour, still as present as before, could even more go along with the craftsmanship of 10cc.

The cover is yellow and has a great design but as a listener you of course want to get straight into the music. Sheet Music provides you a perfect mixture of songs. The harmony and the playfulness is so rich all the time. "Wall Street Shuffle"(10/10) is a perfect beginning and it was a hit song too. Almost the whole record is as good as it could be. "Hotel" (10/10) is a totally lovely piece which begins very soft and then hurries up to a really happy time. "Clockwork Creep"(10/10) is an artistic and very funny piece with a lot of styles mixed and different parts. Even if it's a short song it is arranged like an epic. Parts of it will return later in 10cc's discography. "Somewhere in Hollywood" which is the album's longest track (10/10) is also one of the best. It is a soft and very harmonic ballad. Along with these some other tracks are close to perfection: "Old Wild Men"(9/10), "Silly love"(9/10) and "Baron Samedi"(9/10) are marvelous tracks. The last of these just mentioned is a bit funny because I have recently seen "Live an let die"(Bond) where one of the evil guys was the character Baron Samedi. "The worst band in the world" and "The Sacro-Illiac"(8/10) are very fine pieces too.

This record, as even and perfected it is should be heard as a whole and not cut into pieces. It hosts some tracks that could be hits or chosen parts but it it best if you hear the full album at one occation. As early as with their second record 10cc was at their peak and made lovely music, accessible for usual radio listeners but also for people who want something more from music. My rating ends at 4.6 which makes it a five star record. Highly recommended!

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 The Big Picture by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.18 | 12 ratings

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The Big Picture
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Kings Cross

Going deeper into David Cross' discography, I've reached his second solo alum - The Big Picture. Compared to the follow- up Testing To Destruction from 1994, this 1992 album is clearly more consistent and coherent. It lacks the tedious improvisational numbers of Testing To Destruction, but it also lacks the standout tracks of that album. I was previously familiar with a live version of one of the album's tracks, namely the opener Nurse Insane which featured on the excellent live record Alive In The Underworld.

The sound and production values of The Big Picture are those of its time, namely the early 90's. Especially the drums sound somewhat dated, but it is not a big problem for me. The material here is generally of a good standard, and it is a rather enjoyable album from the ex-King Crimson violinist. It does not sound like King Crimson, but nonetheless might appeal to some fans of that band.

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 Light Damage by LIGHT DAMAGE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.68 | 19 ratings

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Light Damage
Light Damage Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars really

Light Damage is from Luxembourg and they have the debut in 2014 self titled. , Well if I summerise the music and all from this release in one word then will be - intresting. From the vocal parts provided by Nicholas John to instrumental passages this is quite an enjoyble liten from start to finish. This is not typical neo prog album heared every day, not because is among the most original releases from today, but because the members trying to bring something diffrent in this genre and most of the time succeded. With influences from almost ghotic zone, in some parts I swear I listen to Lacrimosa, but combined with neo prog sensibility Light damage is definetly a winner for me. Mid tempo most of the time with long pieces, elaborated arrangements and a fantastic voice on top just to be checked opening Eden or the best from here . The Supper of Cyprianus and will be pleased for sure. The guitars and keybords have some great melodic lines and is fiting perfect in overall sound. All in all a good debute even great in places, for me 3.5 stars. For fans of Sylvan or more moody type of neo prog. Strange art work btw., but music is counting after all.

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 Tantric Lover (2nd edition) by BROWN BAND, THE ARTHUR album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.83 | 3 ratings

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Tantric Lover (2nd edition)
The Arthur Brown Band Proto-Prog

Review by poeghost

4 stars I discovered this album while listening to a radio station I created using Arthur Brown as the starting point on Pandora. This is one of his more recent recordings, which I had never heard before. "The Bridge", "Circle Dance", "Swimfish" and "All The Bells" were the songs that appeared to me on Pandora and drew me in to buy the CD. I have the 2009 version which is the same as the 2nd edition from 2002. The earlier 2000 version contains more songs. But I don't know why they were omitted on the later ones.

The music is mostly acoustic with a relaxed mellow feel, but has power from Arthur's wide range expressive singing. "Paradise" has spoken word poetry, "Tantric Lover" is upbeat reggae flavored, "Gabriel" is crazy heavy rock, "Circle Dance" reminds me of something from Bob Dylan's "Street Legal" or "Slow Train Coming" albums. Some of the other songs are a little hard to describe. Arthur himself describes this album as being "Psychedelic World Music". While it isn't as weird or adventurous as his earlier Crazy World or Kingdom Come material, it is one of my favorites by him because it focuses on and brings out his wonderful voice. I highly recommend this album.

The band behind Arthur on this album consisted of Stan Adler on cello, double bass, Fender bass and backing vocals; Malcolm Mortimer on drum kit, darabooka, udu drum, and percussion; Rik Patten on 6 and 12 string acoustic guitar, 12 string bottleneck acoustic guitar, banjo, piano and Hammond organ; Ravi on cora, Hannah on backing vocals, Phill on didgeridoo, John Clayton on alto sax, Jim Mortimer on 6 string electric guitar and Arthur himself on 6 string acoustic guitar and Tibetan singing bowl.

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 Mister Green by TAAL album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.91 | 73 ratings

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Mister Green
Taal Eclectic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars TAAL is the name for many things such as the Philippine volcano, an Assamese musical instrument and is even a film from Bollywood as well as being a type of Indian rhythm, but the TAAL we are interested today is a progressive band from Poitiers, France. TAAL is yet another progressive rock band that knows how to take a vast swath of musical influences and sews them all together in a very original way. While only releasing two albums to date which sound very different from one another, the debut MR GREEN shows the band finding an original way to construct highly complex compositions by leaving no influence unused. On this debut we only have five musicians while the second "Skymind" has twice as many but this album still sounds very rich and powerful as it seems like a strange medley of sounds throughout the space and times of our world and melds them together in a very interesting way.

As a template TAAL utilizes everything from traditional French chanson, to Celtic folk, space rock, jazz, metal, Parisian accordion music, cabaret, gypsy violin, ragtime and more progressive elements like Zappa-esque time signatures as well as symphonic, prog metal bits and more! The band pretty much excels at everything it puts forth. It is nearly impossible to go through every stylistic change that goes on here and this will require many listens to digest but only one to really slap you in the face and let you know you have found something truly unique, outstanding and incredible.

I won't go into a track by track analysis but i'll just give the first track "Barbituricus" which is the longest track clocking in at 15:16 a description as an example of just HOW eclectic, HOW adventurous and HOW unpredictable this music is. The album kicks off with a folk song being played on guitar at some party while one member, MR GREEN, decides to walk through a door and light a smokable while we can still hear a party going on on the other side. There seems to be a theme of this MR GREEN character aimlessly wandering around checking out various types of music. The track continues with some Floydian synths slowly creep in taking us on the musical journey. Spacey guitars slowly build up tension sounding Floydian in tone with some Air (French band) type grooves with some rock guitar joining in. The music steadily gets louder and then morphs into some nice Harmonium like symphonic prog with sweet vocalists harmonizing for a while and then some more strange instrumental time signatures that give the guitar a chance to shine before mellowing out to subdued synth line that quickly changes to a mid-tempo metal rocker which alternates between strange keyboard runs and frenetic drum rolls. The music just keeps getting more frenetic and things are changed up more often incorporating different ideas every couple measures or so and i could write an encyclopedia length review if i mentioned every little change! This pace continues for several minutes until it changes into a classical piano run. The guitar repeats the run and they play together. More interesting variations occur. Some ideas are revisited such as the Harmonium symphonic prog and then the track goes on to something completely new! This is about the 10 minute mark and it only continues the pace and franticness.

The rest of the album follows suit with both "Flat Spectre" and "Super Flat Moon" running well over 10 minutes. There are also shorter and sweeter tracks like "Ragtime" which is indeed a rag but sounds more like a cartoon theme with all kinds of crazy instrumental touches added like guitar, horns and a hard rocking section. Although this track is only 2:40 min long it still manages to take you on a roller coaster ride of ideas but unlike many other tracks that can seem aimless at times, this one has a clearly defined melodic approach that is adhered to.

Because this album exhibits a ridiculous amount of different musical ideas it is only recommended for the most adventurous of music lovers who really love the Mr Bungle approach of incorporating everything including the kitchen sink and then some. The difference with TAAL to the more extreme bands like Mr Bungle is that TAAL takes a classical musical approach to its compositions making a symphony of sampling and exceeds in creating a rotisserie of atmospheres and although I wish there could have been more uptempo parts that really ripped as the band tends to stay in the mid-tempo range they do conjure up some virtuosic moments. The brilliance of this one is clearly in the band interplay and how they seamlessly meander throughout the musical universe in unison like a school of fish. If that is your game though you will hardly be disappointed with this one.

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 Dances of the Drastic Navels by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.15 | 127 ratings

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Dances of the Drastic Navels
Daal Eclectic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars After the fruitful years of 2012 when DAAL released not only a full album but also an EP they took a couple years to hone the latest chapter of their musical world into DANCES OF THE DRASTIC NAVELS. The past several years has seen the duo of DA-vide Guidoni and AL-fio Costa (with guest musicians) make some waves in the progressive music universe and on this 2014 release they continue their propensity to follow in the wake of space rock giants Pink Floyd mixed with healthy doses of Klaus Schulze type progressive electronica.

While most DAAL albums take their sweet time to usher in the more energetic phases of a track, the opener "Malleus Maleficarum" has none of that predictability. We get some energetic rock kickin' the album off from the start with keyboards adding the mood building touch that eventually slows down to include a spooky theremin sound settling in a dark and chilling mood. The music continues its ebb and flow of spacey mellow passages and rockin' outbursts with piano accompanied by a guitar solo but about the 4:40 mark changes back into a spacey progressive electronic segment reminding once again of "Dark Side Of The Moon." This pattern continues building segments and climaxing and then abruptly transitioning into something new. DAAL have become very good at this Frankenstein approach of sonic seamstressy and keeps it all feeling very natural.

The second track "Elektra" takes the opposite approach and begins with a more expected slow spacey build up eventually being accompanied by some energetic tribal drumming and slow synth run offering contrast. It turns into a fun bounciness in proggy time signatures that lasts for over seven minutes but offers up enough variety to keep the whole thing interesting.

Another propensity DAAL has mastered is the melodramatic piano riffs as heard on the third track "Lilith" that wouldn't sound out of place as a TV soap opera theme bringing the US soap "The Young And The Restless" to mind. Some may find this a bit cheesy but i find the sweet and syrupy riff actually works well once all the counterpoints are added to expand its melodic possibilities into different directions. The slow addition of layers of instruments brings a veritable post rock feel to many of the tracks on DANCES OF THE NAVELS with "Lilith" being at the shortest track that lasts just long enough before becoming stale.

The longest and most varied behemoth on this album is the title track and begins with a steam train kinda chugga chugga rhythm overlaid with an unrelated vocal track and spacey synth line. Kinda has a Faust feel as it brings a collage type effect into play. All the disjointed and unrelated parts exude a strange tension that makes one ponder what's ready to unleash at any moment. Finally we get "Dark Side" Floydian bass accompanied by some tinkling piano and then adds some serious rock guitar. At 23:50 the track takes plenty of time to develop a plethora of passages that tend to alternate more the subdued mellowness to establish and re- establish the hooks while the harder sounds tend to allow the music to drift more into chaos before being jolted back to the main melodramatic piano again. Once again the post rock formula is well exhibited with building tensions constantly exploiting new layers of sounds like a violin segment that really brings acts like Godspeed! You Black Emperor To Mind."

Unfortunately i find DAAL's albums to be excellent but there always seems to be a song that rubs me the wrong way. In this case it's the finale "Inside You" which seems a little too tame to be in the company of such progressive beasts. Not that it's a bad song or anything but it just isn't a great one either and although i can understand the intent for it to be a sanity check after such frenetic instrumental prowess, i just find it is lackluster and skippable.

There is a feeling at this point that DAAL may be rehashing their sounds a bit and that they might be in danger of becoming stagnate as there really isn't a lot to distinguish this album from the others but the arrangements are interesting and DAAL has really tapped into some fusion possibilities that haven't been developed to this extent. Except for the last track i find this music to be captivating and thoroughly intriguing. I do hope they find a way to up the ante on future releases but at this stage i don't feel they've thoroughly exhausted the compositional possibilities of the style they have created. An excellent album filled with DAAL-lisciousness but falls a bit short from being a masterpiece.

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 Phideaux & Mogon Promotional Issue by PHIDEAUX album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
4.13 | 38 ratings

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Phideaux & Mogon Promotional Issue
Phideaux Crossover Prog

Review by Jordan677778

4 stars I actually saw this on prog archives and dismissed it initially because I couldn't find it anywhere. Then later by accident I found it, digital only, on Phideaux's bandcamp site.

As someone else stated, it's not exactly fitting to give something that isn't an album a masterpiece rating, but this collection truly houses some amazing tracks and is nearly worthy of that rating. Tempest of Mutiny, Strange Cloud, and Out of the Angry Planet are all faster paced lively rock songs comparable in sound to some of the album Number 7. The two previously released tracks, Chupacabras and Thank you for the Evil, are both newly modified versions and definitely worth a listen. The lyrics and style of 'Snuff' make me feel like it is part of the Doomsday trilogy, even though I know it isn't. The Wind Never Dies reminds me a bit of Infinite Supply from Number 7, just because it's mainly Phideaux's voice accompanied by piano playing. While this does give an idea of what to expect, the comparisons I mentioned are only a rough basis. This collection is in no way extinct from new ideas as I sometimes see happening with bands towards their later releases. If you're eager for Infernal to be released, then this should be more than enough to tide you over. Highly recommend this for fans of Phideaux.

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 Gamera / Cliff Dweller Society by TORTOISE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1995
5.00 | 1 ratings

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Gamera / Cliff Dweller Society
Tortoise Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
5 stars This is a 2 track single that lasts almost an entire half hour. This is an example of Tortoise at their inventive and experimental best. It is an example of their greatest work and is a good way for most listeners to test the waters to see if this style of post-rock is for them or not. Tortoise utilizes experimental composition, some jazz elements and explore the sub genre in ways that other bands don't. I really look up to their brand of inventiveness that stretches the boundaries of post and math rock.

"Gamera" is over 13 minutes long and starts out as a very pleasant acoustic song that establishes the main thematic element which the band will eventually start to build upon. The music continues to build as is typical of post rock. The thing that is different here is that there is no wall of noise established and no real climax as what is typical of a lot of post rock. Instead, they take a math- rock approach and continue to explore the themes. There is a very wise use of dynamism here to keep the music from wearing itself out. As the song comes to about 2 minutes before the ending, the music fades out completely and you have enough time to wonder why there is all this silence, when it fades back in with a strange reverb sound that give the impression that something has gone terribly wrong with this song and some things have been reversed while other elements have interfered with the entire theme, and while some the song seems to try to regain control, it only makes things worse until the music loses it's way and gives in to spoken word. This is a track that has to be listened to several times to understand just how complex it is while on the surface it seems so simplistic.

"Cliff Dweller Society" is a 15 minute epic and while the previous track explored a theme, this one just moves from one element to another throughout it's length, but as it does this, it keeps some semblance of unity. There is a lot of jazz usage in this track that wasn't so apparent in the last one. I heard it said that this track is a lot like moving around on a radio dial on a spaceship and this is a good way to explain the music here. It does start off as a concise piece but as it continues, it jumps from one station to another as if someone is searching for something but is not quite finding it. The use of electronics is done tastefully as loops come and go, rhythms glide in and out and even a brass section gets involved in this. Even though this may seem chaotic, on the contrary it is very smooth, not ambient, but jazzy with touches of dissonance appearing and disappearing. Great stuff.

This is music that transcends any formula that post rock listeners might be used to. It is definitely thinking music, it can be used as background because it is somewhat light, but it is so complex that it demands to be listened to. This is a great way to enter the world of Tortoise, but remember that their music is so varied, that this is only a small sample as to what the band offers. Great music, only available as bonus tracks in other countries, so if you can find this one, by all means, pick it up and get ready for some great experimental progressive jazz unlike anything else. Yes it is a single but, damn, I still gotta give it 5 stars.

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 The Game by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.72 | 302 ratings

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The Game
Queen Prog Related

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Queen is one of the bands that became a slave to the corporate machine as they approach commercialism. The interesting thing is how they lost their loyal fan base more and more as got closer to the pop sound. It's also interesting how the most memorable music came from the band when they were at their most inventive and their most dynamic. This album still has some greatness to it, but it would be the last one that would hang on to a part of that. This album is also missing a lot of the variety, experimentation and progressiveness that made the band great. I still enjoy this one, although less than the previous albums. Everything before this had amazing amounts of quality music with a lot of variety, talent, dynamics, inventiveness and so on. This album retains some high points, but it is very close to the fine line of pop and cookie cutter music that it just isn't as highly regarded by me as their previous albums. For example, "News of the World" was amazing for it's variety and the way each song was of the highest quality even in it's variety. "Jazz" was inventive and risky and showed the band taking on new frontiers for music along with retaining that great variety. "Sheer Heart Attack" was rough on the edges but still a masterpiece that I consider as great as "Night at the Opera". "The Game" however, is the end of the greatness that came before. Variety and experimentation starts to give way to commercialism and sameness.

Of course there are the great tracks "Dragon Attack", "Another One Bites the Dust", "Crazy Little Thing" (yes I'm a rockabilly fan and these guys do it right), and "Sail Away Sweet Sister". But there are also many that are annoying and too pop centered like the awful "Rock it" and "Don't Try Suicide" which attempt to achieve the status of rock/pop anthems, but fall flat on their faces. Then there is the pure pop drivel of "Play the Game", "Need Your Loving Tonight" and "Save Me" which utilize Freddy's amazing voice but suffer in the originality department.

This album was not their worst or representative of the band at it's rock bottom, that was coming soon though, and it would be impossible for Queen to bounce back on future albums. But at least they were great enough to be remembered for their best albums. This should be a lesson to the corporate engine to keep it's cogs out of artistry, but some people never learn. Anyway, this album gets 3 stars and after this, everything falls apart.

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 Galactic Cowboys by GALACTIC COWBOYS album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.25 | 14 ratings

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Galactic Cowboys
Galactic Cowboys Progressive Metal

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars As corny as the name of the band is, this is still pretty decent metal music, though on this their first album, the prog is not as prevalent as it would be later. But, this is still a great listen for lovers of heavier music. Many people compare the Galactic Cowboys sound to King's X, mostly because their soundscapes are somewhat heavy like King's X. But, GC has a Beatlesque 3 part harmony that sounds nice at first, however, it tends to wear out because of the extensive use of it in their songs. This harmony, used a little more sparingly, would have had a better impact overall, but most people may not even notice this because of the awesome guitar work on here which is loaded with heavy riffs and plenty of great hard music.

Starting off with the 2 first tracks namely "I'm Not Amazed" and "My School", it seems that the best prog moments come along early. Anyone listening to this the first time will think they have their hands on a great progressive metal album because these are great songs with just enough of a progressive edge to make one seem that they have their hands on some great sophisticated metal here, but the next 3 songs lean too much on straightforward heaviness and not enough inventiveness, plus the extensive use of the harmonies with the metal background tend to make the sound a little too dense while also leaning towards the commercial side of metal instead of the progressive side. These tracks become more enjoyable with more listenings as they take on their individuality, but really don't rise to far above the straightforward metal sound.

"Sea of Tranquility" is another animal altogether however. This is a very dark and heavy song that at times even becomes abrasive, but not overly obnoxious. This one is a masterpiece of metal, and even though it still tends to rely on the commercial sound, it is probably a little too experimental for the typical metal lover. It is songs like this one that kept GC from having a huge following because the sound is a little too sophisticated for the typical listener of the genre, but probably not quite inventive enough for the prog head. I absolutely love this track though and it is a very heavy track with a few rhythm changes as it enters the bridge of the song and then returns to the theme. A definite 5 star song here. Next, the band leans towards a thrash metal sound with "Kill Floor" which is about a butcher turned serial killer. Again, this is not quite hard core enough to be considered pure thrash, but it is close at least and a respected attempt at the sound. There are 2 short pieces that come next that sound nothing like filler at all and still retain the heavy sound. Any kind of reprieve from the heaviness comes on the last track "Speak to Me" which is a more dynamic sound as it moves from heaviness to a more laid back sound and, like the first few tracks, hints at a more progressive sound.

Definitely a valiant try for a debut album. More progressiveness and a better use of the harmonics would have made this a better album. But it is still a fun album in that hints of humor lie throughout the lyrics, the music is a little more sophisticated than most run of the mill metal, but not quite inventive enough for hard core prog nuts. If you go into the album not expecting anything ground breaking or out of the ordinary, you may find you like this better than you think you would have. I do like this one, and would give it 3.5 stars, but I will round it down because it leans too much on the commercial side of music. But it is a respectable debut for certain.

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 Basket Of Light by PENTANGLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.11 | 87 ratings

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Basket Of Light
The Pentangle Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

5 stars The Pentangle's Basket of Light album from 1969 is adorned by great PA reviews and that's for many good reasons. First off, it's leadoff track Light Flight is a prog lover's dream with it's incredible time changes (7/8, 5/8 and 6/4) with electrifying playing form all involved, which includes incendiary acoustic guitar playing from the vaunted duo of Bert Jansch and John Renbourn. What is often overlooked in reviews is the incredible range of lead vocalist Jaqui McShee, that was only hinted at in The Pentangle's two subsequent albums . Indeed, Basket of Light contains some of McShee's best vocal work be it in counter vocals, jazz like scat accompaniment or atmospheric vocalize that seems to predate Annie Haslam's many vocalize phrases on both Renaissance live and recorded songs.

Light Flight was indeed even a minor hit in the UK and propelled the group to commercial stardom with some ugly results, such as some members of the group questioning their musical authenticity, and would result in the band going into a more straight forward folk rock sound devoid of jazz elements on future albums. But that's a story for the next album review.

After the stunning Light Flight, the band present the traditional English folk song Once I Had A Sweetheart that's enchantingly melodic, before lauching in to one of the album's highlights Springtome Promises, that features Jansch doing one of his best recorded vocals on this group penned tune.

Lyke-Wake Dirge is just what the name implys and is a true medieval English Dirge song by all except double bass player Danny Thmpson and features some trick overdubbing by McShee in a layered sound that predates Enya's new age recordings by decades.

The album's second highlight Train Song is up next and again showcases McShee doing ultra melodic scat vocals to accompany Jansch's second lead vocal on the record. This song also features a wonderful mid song time change that sees McShee doing an ethereal vocalise while Jansch and Renbourn trade guitar licks and Thompson add great bass runs.

Producer Shel Talmy (Kinks, Who, Roy Harper) has to be given credit for not only his clear spacious recording of all instruments but also for his great skills as a music editor and arranger. It's hard to imagine anyone else making this album sound as good.

The haunting traditional English The Hunting Song is next, again featuring impressive guitar work and is followed by a cover of a sixties' girl group song Sally Go Round the Roses that was originally recorded by the Jaynettes. Renbourn does some wonderful call and response type vocals with McShee as she is the glue that hold this newly transformed into a bluesy sounding rocker together. The song again features some incendiary guitar playing primarily by Jansch as his signature percussive string pops are quite evident. There are also two alternate takes on the 2001 Castle CD reissue of this album that showcases some different but equally good leads by Jansch. It must have been difficult for the band and producer to pick the best take as they're all stellar. The original album ends with the traditional tunes The Cookoo Bird and House Carpenter. House Carpenter features a duet with Jansch and McShee and bogs the album down a bit. However, the Castle reissue also includes two wonderful tracks that were easily good enough to make the album and I'm surprised that the second song I Saw An Angel, which features a fantastic siren call from McShee in the song's chorus, was not.

Five stars for this truly progressive folk rock milestone, as it's an album that simply should be every prog fan's collection

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 Living As Ghosts With Buildings As Teeth by RISHLOO album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.21 | 20 ratings

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Living As Ghosts With Buildings As Teeth
Rishloo Crossover Prog

Review by Gentlegiantprog

5 stars Living As Ghosts With Buildings As Teeth is the crowd-funded reunion album from the incredible Seattle Progressive band Rishloo. Its their fourth full-length album overall and sees the band back together now that singer Andrew Mailloux has returned to the fold and the other bandmembers changed their separate crowd-funded new instrumental band The Ghost Apparatus back into Rishloo. Its been an interesting wait as a fan, but I won't bury the lead? that wait was well worth it!

Consisting of just eight tracks with no intros, outros or hidden bonuses, this is the bands most succinct and concise offering to date, but you can file that under fat-free and lean rather than skimping on extras.

Stylistically; if you haven't heard the band before, they are often compared to bands like Tool, A Perfect Circle, Coheed & Cambria, The Mars Volta, Porcupine Tree, Soen, Dredg, Fair To Midland, Jurojin, Cog, Karnivool, Circe, The Mayan Factor and others. No single comparison there really does justice to what you can actually expect, but if you understand the sort of common theme between all of those bands you can at least expect the right ballpark. On top of that, Rishloo are also constantly developing and evolving, and no two of their albums sound that much alike because they progress and change over time (while always retaining a certain core identity where you can still tell its them straight away) so even their own catalogue doesn't necessarily train you for what to expect here. This album is stylistically a million miles from their 2004 debut Terras Fames, but in a way that makes sense and feels logical.

In that spirit, Living As Ghosts With Buildings As Teeth is no simple retreading of their back catalogue, nor any attempt to sound like someone else. On this album Rishloo sound like nobody but Rishloo. Even the previous Tool comparisons bounce limply off this album like wooden arrows off a tank. Hints is all you get, the rest is new. This record sees the band mix things up even more and explore different sounds, textures and combinations. Drew tries out new voices and styles he hasn't used before, such as the deranged sounding heavy vocals in the middle of 'Winslow.' There are guitar styles a past fan wouldn't expect. Things that only came up once on a previous album are given more time.

The rhythms are more disjointed and jarring. There's even more playing in uncommon time signatures and switching between tempos; opener 'The Great Rain Beatle' is particularly jagged, its unhinged and yet hypnotic like some psychedelic nightmare and makes Mars Volta comparisons more understandable? its like the most jagged parts of 'Scissorlips' made into an entire song. So too is the jazzier single 'Landmines' in its heavier sections. Although that being said, towards the end from the guitar solo onwards that kicks into some beautiful, straightforward head-banging energy.

There are also more hints of classic '70s Progressive Rock here than there have been on previous albums, to the point where (deep and hidden) you get feelings of almost Tales Of Topographic Oceans era Yes sounds at some stages (such as the middle of 'Dark Charade'), and the intro to 'Salutations' reminds me a little of Pink Floyd's 'Hey You' and 'Don't Leave Me Now' updated through some Radiohead and Deftones filters. There's also five-second bursts of King Crimson influence all over the place in spidery Fripp-esque guitar runs crammed in there every now and again by the underrated Dave Gillet. None of it is overt though, its subtle, bubbling under the surface. Hints.

Its difficult to pick album highlights in such a well-crafted, concise and consistent body of work; 'Dark Charade' for example has THAT riff, and afterwards kicks off into an exciting build-up that feels like the sequel to 'Downhill' off of the previous record and 'Dead Rope Machine' is just so unique, its like every song has its own identity and something completely singular to offer. Gun-to-my-head I'd have to recommend that you check out 'Winslow' (which people who followed the whole Ghost Apparatus period might recognize) and 'Just A Ride' as your tester-songs to see whether or not you'd like the album. Jesse's drums on those two are particularly excellent. 'Just A Ride' is the absolute perfect ending to this roller-coaster of an album and features the defining lyrics of this whole saga. That said, the whole thing works so well as a single journey that I almost feel bad picking favourites.

There are some things you can always count on Rishloo for; Firstly ? interesting, poetic, provocative, intriguing lyrics. Secondly ? powerful, emotional, evocative vocal performances. There's also always interesting, spiraling, unexpected music that will defy initial expectations but feel 'right' once you're used to it. Furthermore you can count on a certain arty air of mystique and most of all, quality songwriting depth that means you never get sick of the tracks, they just get better and better with each listen. Considering all these aspects, this new album is no exception to the rule, no misstep and no weak one in the set. This album has it all; whimsy, brooding, passion, intensity, subtlety, power, aggression, chilled out moments, virtuosic moments and scaled-back serve-the-song-not-the-player moments. Its got a strong sense of diversity yet feels like one cohesive whole throughout and a single journey (or 'ride') from start to glorious finish.

If you are a fan of the band then you unquestionably need this satisfying grower of an album. That may be a bit of a redundant sentiment but it's the absolute truth; I know that if you are an existing fan of the band then you probably crowd funded The Ghost Apparatus or pre-ordered the record already and got rewarded with early access downloads, so recommending it to you seems like preaching to the choir? but if you haven't checked out the band yet, or were waiting for the reviews then by all means please do give this a chance. This album is just as good as their previous work and if you give it enough spins to reveal its subtleties and hidden depths you will be greatly rewarded.

Oh, and if you enjoy it make sure to go back and check out the rest of their records too!

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 Five Miles Out by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.67 | 260 ratings

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Five Miles Out
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by steelyhead

4 stars This CD doesn´t need all the bad press It has had all those years. It is a good one and I think Taurus II is one of the finest pieces of music He has ever written (I mean It).

So enough with the backlashing and I encourage you to buy this CD and listen for yourself the good music It has on It. There's even a collaboration with Carl Palmer (not a good one, but alas).

I know, I know It has Family Man on It but take as a little Disco amusement and try to dance at the rhythm.

3.5 stars rounded up to four. Live with It.

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 Lizards Exist by LIZARDS EXIST album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.49 | 14 ratings

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Lizards Exist
Lizards Exist Psychedelic/Space Rock

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

4 stars Beaming down from Croatia in 2010, the bafflingly named Lizard's Exist made an instant splash on the psychedelic and spacerock scene with their privately released self-titled debut four years later. The four piece band offer a vinyl-length jammy, improvised mix of extended instrumentals loaded with mind-warping keyboard melts, heavy guitar grooves and delirious unhinged drumming full of spontaneity, and even some refreshingly sly little winks of humour! Taking in influences from early Pink Floyd, Nektar, little traces of the Ozric Tentacles and even modern improvised spacerock acts like the Oresund Space Collective, the Lizard's take it one step further by bringing unpredictable driving, gutsier, punchier bursts of power and energy hurtling through the slowly unfolding and drifting expansive cosmic atmospheres...or something like that!

Right from the opener, it's clear that the album perfectly captures a genuine 70's vibe, which is due to the band only using vintage equipment that was available in that era. `Bamija' jumps back and forth between slow-burn mystery and up-tempo runs of frantic eruptions, sounding like a blend of the first tiny cosmic Sixties steps of the Pink Floyd and perhaps even the first Nektar album. Ponderous bass, propulsive drumming and shimmering Fender Rhodes organ pin-pricks and fiery wailing electric guitar simmer slowly one minute and rage in a sucking vacuum-like vortex of distortion the next, and be sure to listen out for the whispering Mellotron veils that grow into a choir in the finale. Mellow guitar blues and disorientating splintering shards cut through `Ljetni Hit', and just as the piece seems to come to a rather clunky abrupt ending, it's all a tease as the band tears straight back into a noisy psychedelic freak-out with funky wah-wah guitars, nimble-fingered infernal Hammond organ runs and the obligatory wild Seventies extended drum solo!

`58' is full of an infectious and frequently playful bouncing energy with rapid-fire interplay between funky guitars, manic drumming, scratchy Hammond organ and pulsating bass, plus some Ozrics- like synth bubbles for good measure - never a bad thing! The band then close on the seventeen minute `Anunnaki Dance' that travels through a wide range of moods and environments. A slow psych build over glistening keys around chiming guitars, perfectly controlled drums slowly building in tempo, murmuring bass snaking along the background, rising and falling synth washes and electric piano fingertips tickling the horizon. The warmest of Hammond organ blankets envelope bluesy smouldering guitar wailing, before the band head for deepest space with echoing freeform sonic Glissando explorations that trickle like raindrops. A howling vacuum of feedback has the band escaping the black hole as confident thick droning Hammond organ and driving guitars swirl to a powerful climax.

If there is one complaint to make, it's that the bass is mixed far too low in some parts of the album. Where it should be upfront and making its presence known, it almost vanishes altogether to become a fairly non-descript barely audible thud in the background. Should the Lizard guys get picked up by a label who plan to re-release the album commercially, get that bass mixed way up and all will be right with the world!

But as it is, this self-titled debut from Lizard's Exist is still an exceptionally well-performed and exciting, lively take on all sounds jammy and psychedelic, and best of all, their music never comes across as aimless, instead always still remaining melodic and focused within the realms of improvisation. The four years the band have spent honing their skills have paid off with an exceptional debut album that already shows so much talent and even more potential to come. It's currently available on CD and download from their Bandcamp page at an absolute bargain price that puts many full-priced and established albums and artists to shame, so there's no excuse for not exploring this wonderful new young band!

Four stars.

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 The Unquiet Sky by ARENA album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.50 | 2 ratings

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The Unquiet Sky
Arena Neo-Prog

Review by onslo

4 stars Arena are back on form! I've had this album since their gig in London recently (a couple of weeks ago) and I've had it virtually on repeat. I won't make too much of an extensive review here but I will make a few bullet points.

* Anyone who had issues with Paul Manzi's voice on the last album should give him another chance on this one. Rob Sowden is obviously the best singer they've had. I personally liked the job Manzi did on the last album, yet it did take a bit of getting used to. But I can say that, on this album, he does an even better job and his voice is recorded and mixed in a way that suits him better.

* This is the catchiest Arena album ever, in my opinion! There are such great melodies throughout the album and I'm already singing the songs in my mind or out loud throughout the day.

* This album is not a Contagious beater. That album is so good and really hard to beat but I really feel it's one of Arena's best and I do think most people won't see it as that straight away. It is an improvement upon The Seventh Degree Of Seperation, but is also a departure from the sound of that album. One might think that 7th Degree was an indication of the sound and style they were heading in but the sound changes again for this album. It has elements of the last album but also contains some of the classic sounds of early Arena, which I think was done on purpose as this album was written to celebrate their anniversary. And with that said, this album is impressive for the time scale in which it was made. Apparently, it's the first album where Clive has opened up to let the whole band have a hand in writing.

* Track 2 (How Did It Come To This?) is one of the best songs they've ever written. Such a haunting, sober reflection on what we've come to in this world.

* Lyrically, this album is beautiful. As usual, the lyrics are very poetic and seem to roll off the singers tongue.

Summary: Make sure you give this album a chance, with repeated listens, no matter what your first impression tells you and no matter how much you want to hold onto past Arena styles. I place it in the top three albums by the band, potentially giving it the number two spot. I'm rating it 4 stars but if it were to be rated as an Arena album alone, I'd give it 5.

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 On the First Day by ALL WILL BE QUIET album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.00 | 1 ratings

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On the First Day
All Will Be Quiet Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars I borrowed this album from library after my research for unknown Finnish bands on the Archives. Soon I was deeply charmed by the music and felt happy of my discovery, since I'd be the first one to spread the word here. I even tried to contact the band but sadly it seems they are not active anymore. This 10- track debut contains extremely well done, fresh, Post Rock -flavoured indie rock sung in English. They have been compared to e.g. MEW and SIGUR ROS but are perhaps closer to pop (I don't mean they would sound commercial); the beautifully melodic songs stay economic and accessible, and yet they have a lot of dreamy, melancholic atmosphere and a cinematic rich sound. Everything's in perfect balance. Nearly too perfect for its own good.

Vocalist Aleksi Kaufman, who also plays guitar and cello, has a clean and sensitive voice that reminds me of the 80's pop artist BLACK known from the hit 'Wonderful Life', and of the singer of CRESSIDA. (There surely would be better, more contemporary references too which I can't spot right now.) The sincere delicacy of vocals is never buried under the Post-Rock grandiosity. The album has some sort of an Apocalyptic undercurrent beneath the light surface, and it's well captured in the cover painting too: the comfortably seated people wearing dark glasses are presumably witnessing a nuclear experiment. The lyrics are often quite sad and dystopic but wisely the music avoids sounding dark or depressing. The result is emotionally strong and beautiful.

As pleasantly as I was charmed at first, in the end I have to agree with the remark shared by many Finnish reviews (found via the band's stagnant homepage), that the album is "too orthodox" and lacks of greater surprises. The evenness of material and the atmosphere that stays pretty much the same throughout the whole album may become a problem on the long run. But anyway, what a waste if this extremely promising debut album will remain their last release.

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 10cc by 10CC album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.61 | 53 ratings

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10cc
10cc Prog Related

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars 10cc is an English band that has got my interest for some years now. My first encounter was Bloody tourists which I found in my grandfather's house. That was before I got interested in progressive rock and then I though 10cc sounded so different from other rock music. The nearest connection was Beatles but 10cc was perhaps even more playful I though. Now I am going to review all of their albums and I'll begin with their first named "10cc" and recorded in 1973, fourty-two years ago. It features the four very talanted artists Eric Stewart (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Lol Creme(guitar, keyboards, vocals), Kevin Godley(drums, percussion, vocals) and Graham Gouldman(guitar, bass, vocals). One of the first things you notice with 10cc is that the all four of them are first singers, just as it is with the Beatles.

This band's debut from 1973 is a talanted and very fresh encounter and it certainly has a lot to offer for curious music lovers. It isn't as seamless as some following records but it has a high standard and some gems. What also characterizes this record is that the band was perhaps even more playful and funny than later on. Often they parody different styles of music in a talanted way. The debut album of 10cc could also be a good first listening to this band.

I think two songs stand out from the others with especially good qualities: "The Dean and I" a funny and spectacular show of wonderful pieces (10/10) and "Rubber Bullets" (10/10) which is a very hard and bright shining track. Very recommended to hear are also "Johnny don't do it"(8/10), "Headline Hustler"(8/10), "Speed kills"(8/10), "The Hospital Song"(8/10) and "Fresh air for mama"(8/10). The other three songs are interesting to hear as well.

This progressive pop rock music from the middle of the seventies should be listened to carefully and with a lot of joy. The song length aren't progressive and 10cc hasn't problems with doing hit songs but they don't compromise with their musical visions which you will hear! This is a soplid and promising debut from a great band. Four stars for "10cc"!

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 FZ:OZ by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2002
3.94 | 44 ratings

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FZ:OZ
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is a live recording of most of the show performed at Sydney, Australia in January of 1976. The line up is one that is a rare one when it comes to live documentation, but it consists of one of the smallest live line-ups in FZ's discography. The band was pared down to the bare minimum here and the timing was right between the Bongo Fury album and the Zoot Allures album (which utilized this line up for the most part). The album was released posthumously by the Zappa family trust and was quite an anticipated release because of the rareness of releases of this time in Zappa history, unless you didn't mind having a bootleg.

The line up isn't bad, but it was just before the best line up would be formed. The concert itself has some songs on it that were rarely heard live plus one song that was not recorded anywhere else. This fact heightened the anticipation for the release. The recording isn't too bad as far as quality most of the time, but it isn't as good as some. The tape used had to be changed throughout the concert and this left some spots in the show that were not recorded, so, in order to release this show, the gaps had to be filled in with whatever bootlegs were available, thus resulting in a few spots in the recording that are obviously not as well recorded as others. But, the fact that most of the release was from mostly one show was an exciting prospect and in fact, is the most attractive thing about this recording. Other than that, there are much better recordings of the staple songs on other albums, but there are also a lot of rare performances on this that might make it worth while for Zappa-philes.

This album starts out with an introduction of the small band and a little goofing around before slipping immediately into a decent rendition of "Stinkfoot", moving on to "The Poodle Lecture" and on to "Dirty Love". These first songs fit together because of a common theme and are usually performed together on plenty of other live albums. Next comes a less often heard instrumental called "Filthy Habits" which comes from the "Sleep Dirt" album which wouldn't be released until 1979. This shows that many songs existed before being officially recorded, that FZ would often try out songs in concert to perfect them before officially releasing them. Thus you get an early version of this great instrumental. This is the first reason to find this album. Next comes some very early r&b style music from the debut Mothers album "Freak Out!". Brock at this point takes over the lead vocals from Frank and it brings a new feeling to these songs that were originally sung by members of the original Mothers line-up, so these songs can really sound different from the originals, namely "How Can I Be Such a Fool", "I Ain't Got No Heart" and "I'm Not Satisfied". After this trio of songs, the band plays some tracks from the then future "Zoot Allures" and it is interesting to hear these tracks in their early development. An almost 12 minute version of the classic guitar barn burner "Black Napkins" kicks in and the instrumental is awesome here. The theme is pretty much the same as the official studio version, but the improvised keyboard and later guitar solos are amazing. Then comes an 11 minute version of "Advance Romance" (from Bongo Fury) but without Captain Beefheart singing, this falls once again to Brock. He does a good job and the soloing in the middle is in fine form once again. The famous "Illinois Enema Bandit" comes next, but there are better recordings of this out there. Going back again to the future past, the band picks from unreleased material and plays a mediocre "Wind Up Workin at a Gas Station" and a shortened and quicker version of "The Torture Never Stops" which you can tell is underdeveloped, but enhanced with a harmonica solo instead of what would later be a hallmark for the killer guitar solos in future shows. The harmonica is played by a local Aussie talent who throws in an attempt at humor.

Disc 2 continues where we left off with the rare short instrumental piece "Canard Dujour" followed by an otherwise unavailable live version of the ultra rare song "Kaiser Rolls". Is it worth the search of this album for this track.....not really, but Zappa-philes will have to have it you know. Another track from the future "Zoot Allures" follow in "Find Her Finer" which is just annoying as usual, then the ever popular concert staple "Carolina Hard Core Ecstasy" which is an okay version but has a great guitar solo in it. The rare live version of "Lonely Little Girl", "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance" (with vocals!) and "What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body" all from "We're Only IN it for the Money" follow, but the versions here are again a bit lackluster, so not really worth the trouble. After this, a great version of the rare "Chunga's Revenge comes next with a very long sax solo and finally a drum solo, this after 15 minutes flows into another long instrumental off of Zoot Allures (the title track) and this is also great, but it turns into what will be known as "Ship Ahoy" with the echoing effects of the guitar giving a great ambient sound. The show was supposed to end after the usual "Keep it Greasy" but after a demand for encores, the band comes back and ends with the excellent 1 - 2 -3 punch of the showstoppers "Dinah Moe-Humm" which had been requested numerous times through the show by some demented fan and in this case has a nice doo-wop section, then "Camarillo Brillo" followed by "Muffin Man". This was a favorite encore set for the fans and the band in that it ended the show on an upbeat and exciting way. On this album, we are treated to another version of "Kaiser Rolls (du jour)" which is the rehearsal of the song recorded a few weeks before the actual show, again this song is not available elsewhere.

So is it worth it? To the casual listener, it might be okay, but there are better choices out there with better sound. For the Zappa-phile, there is quite a bit to get excited about though. For me, I have to average it out to 3 stars. It is entertaining enough and there some great bits here, but for the most part, there are better recordings out there.

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 Home by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.78 | 67 ratings

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Home
Sylvan Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars German band Sylvan has finally stamped its name on the prog scene, having defined a particular sound that is instantaneously recognizable, in a style that finds comfort in an emotional urgency that is perhaps closer to mid-period Marillion, though lead vocalist Marco Gluhmann has a resonance and mostly a delivery that is even more unique than that of Steve Hoggarth or Queensryche's Geoff Tate. Marco wails with incredible sustain and energy, hitting all the high notes in typical German precision, though I am quite sure he has a few detractors. Sylvan also is the possessor of a classic album in the person of 2006's 'Posthumous Behavior' which has installed itself into the pantheon of prog jewels. Since that colossal release, the band has replaced its guitarist on two occasions which seems not to have affected the otherwise stable line-up. The amazing double album 'Sceneries' went somewhat unnoticed which is a sad state of affairs as it was another masterpiece in my eyes. The refined style on 'Home' is perhaps a lot mellower than Posthumous, perhaps encouraged by that controversial 'Presets' recording which I still consider to represent their ultimate opus (raked in the mud by some because it followed the big opus). With newcomer Jonathan Beck wielding his marvelous guitar in a way that doesn't challenge predecessors Jan Petersen and Kay Sohl, building endless axe fortifications that give the already emotionally charged music even more depth and volume. They have opted for a heady mix of these assets, sweeping melodies and tight delivery, as well owners of a seasoned and professional rhythm duo, both Mathias Harder and Sebastian Harnack provide great musculature to the arrangements. The spotlight does remain on the exquisite Marco Gluhmann, surely one of prog's rare quality microphone wielders. Keyboardist Volker Sohl is more of an orchestral sound sculptor, relying on walls of synthesized squalls and massive doses of elegant piano, as best exemplified by the self-titled finale.

The album starts off with some sweeping strings, almost outright classical in scope and feel, which perhaps leave a sour note in the mouths of the heavier prog aficionados who are pining for another heavy release, even though it's quite evident that the group has moved on. I prefer this more cinematic approach anyway, even if it seems to conjure images of 'plasticene porters and marmalade skies' and a more psychedelic style. Some have claimed an affiliation with Coldplay which I do not see, hear or get (lots of piano now means an infatuation with Coldplay? Really? I would have opted for Mozart, Liszt or Chopin, or even Juergen Fritz, but whatever). In fact, the devout lads have never deviated from the path taken on 'Presets' and that seems to still chagrin a few out there. It's all good, the artists are in charge of their own destiny and not the fans, come hell or high water.

Sure, mini-epics like the serene 'Shaped out of Clouds', with its uber-melancholia will grate on the metal maulers but its undeniably passionate music. Ja, grandiose, magniloquent, affected music, loaded up with 'sturm und drang' that is closer to the romantics than to the head bangers altar of worship. The ending has this odd mix of James Bond-You only Live Twice and sweeping Mike Oldfield orchestration that I happen to really enjoy. The epic 10 minute 'In Between' is straight out of the Presets catalog, closely using modernisms found on a tune like the whopping 'When the Leaves Fall Down', combining monotone verse and tiki-taki drum fills that are perhaps closer to urban rap but sandwiched between harder edges than veer closely to heavy metal, showing Marco's incredible lungs and concentration at Mach One speed. The Ronald Reagan 'Open this gate' sample is followed by some crazed rifferama which clearly goes against all the marshmallow criticism levied by the inattentive. Neither plodding nor facile, this track rocks! Ja, it has its softer moments, including some brilliant bass underpinnings, slick guitar curls and delicate piano rivulets but the angst is skin deep and ardently charged. Beck shuttles along, spitting out hot little solos that spit fire, swirling synth acrobatics in tow, escorting that devilish piano. My fascination for the grand piano has matured to the nth degree, as I really 'feel' the passion exuded by the ornate ivories.

Clearly influenced by Hoggarth-led Marillion, a series of sweet and fragile songs like 'With the Eyes of a Child', 'Black & White', 'The Sound of Her World' and 'Sleep Tight' will again repulse the hard core fans of edgier prog and I cannot blame them, as it's not exactly steamroller material. All packaged together as if some kind of mini-suite, the music is lush, luxuriant and dense, the orchestrations are undeniably huge, but I like them immensely. This is resonating music, irrefutably feminine and will enchant the fairer sexed fans (of which we need desperately more of). The scorching 'Black and White' ballad in particular is gut wrenching, explosive and I daresay, armed with a rather orgasmic guitar rant. The following track has some choir crescendos and a swift pastoral turn that is effortlessly bold and charming, featuring Marco's divine wail. My new lady friend looked at me with melancholy eyes that almost made me blush, I was almost at a loss to admit such overt sentimentality, instantly erased by a celestial osculation (kiss, for you simpletons) that made me tremble with inner delight. 'The Sound of Her World' will please her and then she will please you. The cavernous and volatile 'Sleep Tight' seeks to ratchet up the tension to boiling point and get the body tremors going, Beck's guitar raunchily pushing forward like some panzer spearhead smashing through paltry defenses. The ending is pure 'mashed potato schmaltz' as early Bryan Ferry would state for the record.

Things get highly romantic with a two-pronged assault on febrile feelings with first the brief and volcanic 'Off her Hands' showing a crushing tendency to delicacy, a near lullaby, something a gentler IQ could come up with to woo the softer hearts, a delightful little rant that sets the table for a breathtaking segue. A colossal song like the melodramatic 'Shine' is quite illustrative of this collision of emotionally charged bellowing with cracking rock foundations and it finds itself cherried by an awesome axe solo to instill a coup de grace of whopping proportions. An easy progressive rock mega-hit, on par with the immense 'Chains' or even early urgent U2 when Bono was actually and credibly stunning , this is a thoroughly enjoyable high point to a rich and exalting album of really, really good songs.

This burgeoning heavier side is followed up by two harder-tinged rants that sort of bleed into each other, the quixotic and mercilessly tough 'Point of No Return' is first in line, a nasty undercurrent straight from the very onset leads to a binary guitar thrash, pummeled by some bulldozer drumming and howling vocals, all ensconced in a glorious melody and a thrilling variety of cinematographic sceneries that add power and punch, recalling the great epic moments of their huge classic album. 'All These Years' shows quirky tendencies, profound insanity and aggressive despondency, as the shrieking chainsaw guitar screeches in the foreground, Marco wailing like some bunkered madman, delirious and suicidal. The massed orchestrations are almost Wagnerian in intensity, as the singer now showcasing a high pitched lament, violin sweetness/bitterness crawling alongside, forlorn piano stating a sad 'auf wiedersehen'.

The title track serves to encompass all the previous emotions, closing the parenthesis that began with the first two tracks, infusing a return of the entrancing 'Shine' chorus and that 'You Only Live Twice' 'like melody that enhances the entire audition to unreachable heights of enjoyment.

Sensual, sexy and sensory are traits not necessarily associated with Teutonic efficiency but let me tell you, this is HOT music, almost carnal and utterly exhausting. I may choose to agree that nearly 80 minutes is perhaps too long but what woman would not want an hour and 20 minutes of good, dedicated and unselfish love making? Hmm, you may have a point, Don Juan Romeo Casanova! If you want to enjoy the manly, macho and angry Sylvan, 'Posthumous Silence' is always going to be there for you to relish and 'boys will be boys will be boy-oy-oys'. But when the lovely ladies enter the playground to see what all the fuss is about, all stitched up and hungry for love, this will get their passionate juices flowing (figure of speech of course!).

5 Love nests

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 Oranur III by SCHLOSS TEGAL album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.42 | 3 ratings

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Oranur III
Schloss Tegal Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

5 stars 'Oranur III' is the creepiest album I own. Even more so than 'Current 93's' "Nature Unveiled". Turned up loud, it sounds like zombies clawing out of graveyards. Almost purely electronic at source it's a swirling, throbbing and groaning recording that is unlike any other I've heard.

]Oranur III' is based on the theories of Wilhelm Reich with his outsider beliefs in 'Orgone' technology, UFO's and 'Cloudbusting' machines. This deep droning menace of an album sounds like all of the aforementioned condensed into a 40 minute prototype exercise in terror.

Comparisons could be made with bands such as 'Throbbing Gristle', 'Kluster' and 'Lustmord'. However, there's something deeply unsettling and undeniably disturbing about this particular recording. It's unrelenting in its oppressiveness.

The opener 'Oranur III' has a very eerie metallic drone which becomes very intense through waves of slowly pulsing keyboards. You can just imagine the creature from John Carpenter's 'The thing' slowly creeping up behind your back.

'Scary Bejeesus' is the only way to describe 'Dark Eyes'. A sliding, slushy drone of weird chords is played under effected spoken vocals which recite alien abduction encounters. In itself this should be laughable, but this and the following track '"L5' paint a very spooky and real death-like scenario. Gruesome sludgy, whining keyboards grate and grind creating in a swirling death effect leaving the listener unnerved.

The HP Lovecraft inspired 'Beyond the Wall of Sleep' evolves into a more ethereal sound, like an old Victorian haunted mansion. If you listen carefully enough you can almost hear voices from past millennia in the distorted keyboard chords.

'You Just Got Tired' has more alien abduction female screams going on but is delivered with a swirling, electronic semblance of a tune, which runs through my mind for hours after completion. Beautiful... but ugly.

This is probably my most listened to album of all time since purchasing it in '95. 'Oranur III' is only suited to listeners of the more extreme end of prog. It is without a drum, guitar, bass, or tuneful vocal.

On the whole, this will be abject torture to most prog listeners. For me it's a thing of beauty that has not been matched in it's genre since it's release..

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 Fuzzy Logic by SUPER FURRY ANIMALS album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.56 | 12 ratings

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Fuzzy Logic
Super Furry Animals Prog Related

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Fuzzy Logic is the debut album by Super Furry Animals, and in my opinion, the band did a pretty good job of nailing the sound of glam-rock which is pop based rock with an edge, the same kind of rock done by other great prog related artists like....hmmm, lets see.....David Bowie, Roxy Music, Queen, 10CC, yes even early Pink Floyd, the Beatles and Genesis....to name a few. This is the same kind of music that is performed by this band. Having said that, you will get an idea of what this music is about. Somehow, however, it got labeled by a lot of people as being alternative, but I guess many people would consider Bowie alternative too. SFA actually got the sound right the first time, which many alternative bands and new wave bands from the 80s couldn't get right for a while and some of them never did. I consider this music not pop, but anti-pop, which is demonstrated by the eccentric nature of the bands and the eclectic sound of their music. This is over the top music, not so much in the sound of the music, but in the performance of the music.

SFA do this kind of music, and they do it well. All through this album you can hear shades of David Bowie and Roxy Music doing what they did best. This music is very psychedelic, but has a more updated sound. Yet it still remains true to it's roots. This band just does not get the attention or the accolades that it so much deserves. This first album is a bit all over the place in a way, and not as focused as some of their later albums. But I listen to it and I am so surprised at how they really nailed it faster than so many other bands that people claim to be better than them. You get a few crazy guitar solos, a lot of chaotic sounding brit-pop (gone mad that is), and a very glam-rock type sound. But, this album shows some immaturity in the sound, which the band would adjust in the near future. For now, though, this is a fun album, full of surprises and even some heartfelt moments.

Lovers of Bowie and Roxy Music will find a lot to love here, just as I do. The band got the sound down so well that this album was considered on of the 1001 albums you must hear before you die. I couldn't agree more, but you got to go into it expecting prog related music in the same vein as all the best glam rockers. Those that profess that this is not progressive rock have forgotten that there is an entire genre of prog music that they have dismissed. It's true that this album doesn't have a lot of tricky rhythms (even though there are moments that make me go "WTF was that?") and the songs are not of epic length, but that doesn't mean this band doesn't deserve to be on this site. If that was the case, then Bowie, Roxy Music and Queen shouldn't be here either. This is the sub-genre of Progressive Music that everyone likes to forget about when trying to think of the definitive sound of prog, but let me assure you this is prog and deserves to be here.

You may ask, so that's all well and good, but what does this album sound like? Well, the entire album, though a little unfocused, sounds like Bowie, Roxy Music, early PF (the Barrett Days) and etc. just like I've been describing. That sound is evident through the entire album, with an occasional whacky guitar solo, a few strings placed here and there, psychedelic at times and experimental at others and though they rely a lot on the sound of glam bands, they still have that distinct sound that lets you know you are listening to SFA. I really can't give this excellent effort anything less than 4 stars. Great music by a great band that just doesn't get the recognition it deserves.

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 Sweet Child by PENTANGLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.64 | 35 ratings

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Sweet Child
The Pentangle Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

4 stars The Pentangle's follow up album to their self titled debut, titled Sweet Child, does not suffer from the usual "sophomore jinx" that plague many other followers of a debut album. Perhaps except that the shock of the group's musical formula may have worn off on some listeners along with some surprise that the double album follow up contains a new live material recorded at the London Festival Hall, with the second disc comprised totally of new studio songs.

I can only surmise that the band's touring schedule may have cut into their studio time. However, the first disc is excellently recorded in front of a rapt and extremely quiet audience. At least during the performances that is.

The group once again mine material from traditional English folk, Charles Mingus penned jazz classics, original folk/blues compositions as well as Elizabethan era dances played on a glockenspiel from drummer Terry Cox.

John Renbourn plays electric guitar as was he's want during live performamces and this steals a little bit of thunder from the usual guitar interplay between himself and Bert Jansch. Howerever, fear not, as the two resume their acoustic guitar dueling on several tracks of the studio disc along with some brilliant outtakes that have been added as bonus tracks to the 2 CD Castle Records reissue.

Aside from making marginal vocalists like Renbourn and Jansch actually sound good, producer Shel Talmy deftly recorded both guitarists in wide separation stereo which really shows off their breathtaking improvisational playing. As one guitarist starts a lead section on one channel, the phrase is telekinetically answered by the guitarist on the other and when both play intricate leads together, it simply sounds like one guitarist has filled the sound stage and is a testament of the extraordinary playing skills of both.This is extremely prevalent on the instrumentals In Time and Hole In The Coal, as well as their alternate versions.

Double bass great Danny Thompson struts his stuff on the above mentioned Mingus songs while the incredible Jacqui McShee again shows her vocal prowess both traditional songs like So Early In the Spring (sung unaccompanied ) on the first live disc, as well as soulful jazzy originals like the stellar I've Got A Feeling from the second studio album.

I've felt a need to review this album again in light of the current Indie folk rock (Nu folk?) resurgence as well the current trend of modern rockers like Mark Knoplfler to produce albums exploring American Roots and Folk music.

The Pentangle still defy classification almost fifty years after releasing their debut album and their collective musical skills have still not been equaled to this day. Four stars for another of The Pentangle's landmark albums. The Castle CD re-master has fantastic sound quality as well as the wonderful bonus tracks that also include live versions all of material that was released on groups' self titled debut and is featured on the first live disc.

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 Quinta Dimensione by PERSIMFANS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Quinta Dimensione
Persimfans Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars An obscure group from Genoa, formed by students in 1978 and led by keyboardist Marco Grasso, who was taught music at the Nicolō Paganini Conservatory.The other members were keyboardist Mirko Sannazzaro, drummer/percussionist Alessandro Castaldi, guitarist Roberto Gasparini and Marco Cipollina, who played both bass and guitar.They were named after an odd conductor-less orchestra found in Russia in early-1920's by Lev Tseitlin.The band released one album, ''Quinta dimensione'', and a single for the Eleven label the same year.

A trully bizzare effort of Avant Garde weirdness, Classical education, acoustic mysticism and deep experimentation, which breaks any narrow barriers and present a group of young guys ready to conquer the world with an undefined, cosmic sound, swirling around both grandiose orchestrations and very mellow textures.In that sense the name of Persimfans had much to do with the band, they really sounded like a totally free group of musicians, wanting to explore the possibilities in both synthesis and experimentation, as a result their only work lacks any sense of coherence, proper structure and melody, as they have chosen to compose short tracks with influences from Electronic and Classical Music, FRANCO BATTIATO's deep love for Avant-Garde Music and Minimalism and any other free form of music.They had an impressive armour of instruments, the notes display some 20 instruments, but their sound worked for the other side, they prefered to play slow-motion material with light symphonic and jazzy vibes, interrupted by occasional Mellotron majesty, Film-Score aesthetics and academic performances headed for teachers and not for the masses.The result was totally incosistent, often flirting with a mix between Experimental Rock and Library Music, propelled by a mood for haunting, cinematic atmospheres, but not having the appropriate experience to come up with something trully groundbreaking.

Original album is extremely rare and thus pretty expensive.Giallo Records reissued it in 1999 in CD with the pair of tracks from their only single of the band and other unreleased recordings.Weird listening experience, containing every possible music path with the only common link being the dark sound, definitely a work of an acquired taste, but you've got to have some love for mystical, experimental listenings to appreciate this.

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 Suiciety by METHEXIS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.15 | 10 ratings

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Suiciety
Methexis Crossover Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I was kindly asked by Nikitas Kissonas to listen to this album and to write a review about it. He is the composer and guitarist in this album from the project called METHEXIS (I mean, it is not really a band, but it is more a solo project by Nikitas Kissonas, with collaborations from other musicians). This is the second album from the METHEXIS project. The first album, titled "The Fall of Bliss" from 2011 (for which I also wrote a review about it some years ago), has Kissonas playing all the instruments (and also doing all the vocals), except the drums (which were played by a drummer). In this second album, Kissonas has other very good musicians playing with him, and it seems that this album was even a more ambitious task.

This "Suiciety" album is a concept album which has as central ideas the influences of the outside world (from society, that is, family, friends, school, institutions, etc.) against the inside world and psychological resources of the individual persons. Kissonas`s opinion (as long as I could understand it from reading the lyrics and the explanation of the concept of the album in his Bandcamp web page) is that the influences of the "modern civilized world" are really against the healthy psychological development of the individuals. While I agree with him in some of these ideas, I really think that the individual person has to have some optimism to live in this world against the possible bad influences from society. The concept of this album is, in my opinion, somewhat influenced by the concepts of Roger Waters`s for PINK FLOYD`s "The Wall" album (not one of my favourites) and film (a very good film...but not one that I could want to watch again) . But, at least Kissonas really composed very good music in most parts for this album. The lyrical concept could seem pessimistic in some places, but the music acts as a contrast against that pessimism in some places. In fact, the best songs in this album for my taste are the optimistic "Prey`s Prayer" (an instrumental piece of music with very good guitars by Kissonas and very good keyboard parts by Linus Kåse) and "Sunlight" (with lyrics about having some faith in life). I really don`t think that all the influences from society are "suIcidal" or "bad" for all the persons. Life is hard, yes, but not totally "bad" or "tragic", in my opinion. Anyway, it is valid to express in words and music all the ideas that the artists have...even if the reviewers don`t think in the same way.

The recording and mixing of this album is very good. There are some very good production ideas, and I think that the making of this album was really a hard work. I think that having several other musicians really helped Kissonas to develop the musical ideas better (he credits the other musicians for additional musical arrangements). The singer Joe Payne really sang very well, sometimes singing in a "dramatic" way, but his voice sounds very well in general.

As a whole this album musically is very good...even if I don`t agree very much with the concept.

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 Futile by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
3.43 | 124 ratings

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Futile
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A great companion E.P. to "In Absentia" as it contains a variety of material from those sessions. This review is based on the digital version of this release. The other "hard copy" version contains another live track, and interview with Steven Wilson, an Opeth track from their "Damnation" album which SW helped co-write and produce and contributed to some of the instrumentals, and a promo ID from SW. This downloadable album makes more sense since it is more available than the original E.P. and is more consistent since it contains only music from PT.

It starts out with "Collapse" which is a very shortened alternative version of "Collapse the Light into Earth" from the original album. I love the original song and this acts as more of a intro to the E.P. and give you an idea of how the entire song sounds. It serves the purpose of being a great opener and only lasts a minute and a half. This was originally supposed to open the "In Abesentia" album, but was left off probably because of repetition, so it is used as an introduction to this E.P. From there, we go into the MOR song called "Drown With Me" which is also available on the European edition of IA as a bonus track. This one is very accessible and has a nice hook with a great chorus full of the signature PT harmonics. Following this is a hard edged instrumental called "Orchidia" which sounds more upbeat and even in it's current underdeveloped state, still is an excellent track. The title track of the E.P. is next and is also a harder edged PT song this time with vocals. Any of these outtakes would have fit quite well upon the original album, but who is to complain when you can add these extra songs yourself to an already excellent album.

The following track is a live version of the excellent epic song "Hatesong" performed in Philadelphia on July 26, 2002. This is a definite hard and heavy song in a live atmosphere and is one of the excellent highlights of the original album. The song transfers well to a live format, and you can hear some differences in the vocal harmonics and a slightly heavier sound with some pronounced keyboards in certain passages and also features an extended guitar solo. This gives a slightly more developed sound to the song, which remains amazing. The last track is another great outtake that isn't available on the hard copy of the E.P. or anywhere else before this called "Chloroform" which is a very moody mid-tempo song with an accentuated bass line, some amazing vocals from Steven Wilson and later develops into a hard instrumental break with an excellent guitar solo. This one lasts over 7 minutes, so you know it's worth getting the downloaded copy over the hard copy (which is actually just a promotional release which explains the strange addtions of the interview and the Opeth song).

Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson fans owe it to themselves to get this as it is one of their best E,P.s and it is worth the money to get the extra additions to one of the most loved albums in the PT discography. I can't call it essential because it really belongs together with the "In Absentia" album, but it is definitely excellent even at the 32 minute run-time. Excellent companion to the IA album by all means. 4 stars.

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 Further Down the Spiral by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1995
3.26 | 19 ratings

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Further Down the Spiral
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is yet another companion album to the highly successful "The Downward Spiral" album and serves as an E.P. even though it's duration is around an hour long. It mostly consists of remixes which further explore selected tracks from TDS. The huge hit song "Closer" is not one of the songs explored on this collection, but if you are interested in the remixes and very indepth exploration of this song, then get the other companion collection called "Closer to God" which has several remixes of that song with the addition of a few more selections. That is an excellent collection that, even though mostly centers around one song, is actually quite well done and not as repetitive as you think.

This collection though, is also very interesting, yet not quite as cohesive as the "Closer to God" collection. Several aritists like Coil, Aphex Twin and many others created these great remixes. There are a lot more mood changes in this album and the selected songs are explored quite well here. It is highly experimental, noisy at times and surprisingly ponderous in others. It starts out with "Piggy" (Nothing Can Stop Me Now)" which is a very industrial sounding remix and it is very recognizable, yet noticeably different from the original. It features the guitar parts from Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction) and starts off the album quite well, even though it is somewhat straightforward, and it prepares the listener for more in-depth exploration which can take the listener a long way away from the original tracks to follow. Next is the first remix of "Mr. Self Destruct" called "The Art of Self Destruction Part 1". The vocals here are downplayed quite a bit reduced to whisperings of certain phrases from the original song and the feeling is more quiet. The main passage used in this remix is from the quieter bridge of the original song, and that attributes to the overall feeling of this quieter remix. Following this is another remix of the same track called "Self Destruction Part 2" and it is based around the main themes of the song and focuses on Adrian Belew's (King Crimson, Talking Heads) guitar work from the original, thus creating a louder remix. This remix is definitely a noisy one and it is quite enjoyable.

Next is the remix of the title track of the original album and it is called "The Downward Spiral (The Bottom)". This one is harder to recognize as it uses a repetitive processed sound that sounds like something bubbling over. This is a processed loop of the guitar part of the original, yet it sounds like a keyboard producing the sound. Sounds very nice at first, but tends to be too repetitive. "Hurt (Quiet)" is the next remix from the original album. It is very recognizable and cleans up the original quite nicely, getting rid of a lot of the background noise that was evident on the original. The guitar build up is still present, but less noticeable and also a cleaner sound up until the explosive climax which echoes on for some time. This one is just as good if not better than the original and accentuates the lyrics better.

The following track is the first remix of "Eraser" and is titled "Eraser (Denial; Realization)" It works to build up quite well from the previous track and samples various phrases from the original song in a slowed down format so it becomes hard to recognize. The music builds back up and becomes more industrial sounding as it continues, bringing us back from the quietness of the previous track. Next comes an original instrumental track created for this collection by Aphex Twin called "At the Heart of it All". This one is a techno-industrial sounding song with a softer edge than normal, almost radio-friendly, but not quite. It incorporates a metallic drum loop as a base and later utilizes a horn section that grows and fades throughout the song. The next track is another version of "Eraser" called "Eraser (Polite)" which is a very short remix that repeats short phrases of the original and stays quite laidback and soothing, yet dark and foreboding.

Another remix of "Mr. Self Destruct" follows called "Self Destruction Final" which is a 9 minute remix that once again focuses on Adrian Belew's guitar passage from the original and also incorporates samples from David Bowie's "Time". It is very industrial and loud as you would expect from NINs. After this, another partly original track follows called "The Beauty of Being Numb" which starts out playing a backwards version of "Mr. Self Destruct" which actually sounds a lot better than you would think and is slightly ambient. This grows in intensity, but doesn't overwhelm and eventually becomes an original composition by Aphex Twin. The final track is the last remix of "Eraser" called "Erased, Over, Out" which samples synthesized sounds and thus ends the album on a slightly softer, yet still industrial note.

Overall, this contains some great highlights, but is still somewhat repetitive. The song explorations are great and I find that listening to the album is enjoyable except for the repetitive sections. Not as good as the "Closer to God" compilation or the original album, it is still a good album, it just isn't essential unless you love remixes and song manipulation. 3 stars.

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 Slow Dance by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 1990
4.24 | 131 ratings

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Slow Dance
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by branchranch

5 stars This album is phenomenal! I have listened to some of Mr. Phillips other work, and I think his presence really elevated Genesis' Trespass album. The pastoral sound which he brought to that group was sorely missed by me when he left. His music has always been peaceful and enjoyable to some degree. However, the only other recording by him that I own is Geese and the Ghost, which I like but not nearly as much as this one. But suddenly, out of nowhere, nearly twenty years later, the hand of God falls on Ant, and he creates this masterpiece. The equivalent of two side-long epics in the tradition of Thick as a Brick, this is an instrumental composition of incredible magnitude. And most surprisingly of all, his incredible guitar takes a backseat on this one. This recording is so filled with orchestral instrumentation, it could easily be classified as semi-classical, although comparisons to Michael Oldfield could easily be made, as well. The record starts out with one of the most enchanting themes I have ever heard. This theme will reoccur throughout the recording, and provides the glue which holds the entire piece together. A harp sound sets the mood, and then the orchestra enters bringing warmth and power to the main theme. Simplicity seems to be the key in this masterwork. Much of the record is spent is soft reflection between a couple of solo instruments playing counterpoint with the current melody line. Although there are a few segments where percussion takes center stage, the recording is so soft and pastoral, it is hard to classify it as rock at all. (after all this is a progressive-ROCK site) Transitions between musical passages are almost seamless, which is hard to fathom in a nearly 50- minute composition. The repeating main theme serves its purpose well here. Part two is a bit less interesting than part one, but only a little. On the downside, there are some cheesy-sounding synths and sampling from time to time, but that was a reflection of the time it was recorded. If you are a fan of classical or semi-classical music, Michael Oldfield, soft instrumental music, even easy-listening, you will find a lot to like here. If you insist that your music always have a driving beat, you will miss a real hidden gem. Final score: 4.75, rounded up to 5 stars, no doubt.

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 UKIYOE - Mondi Fluttuanti (with Insonar) by NICHELODEON album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.18 | 12 ratings

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UKIYOE - Mondi Fluttuanti (with Insonar)
Nichelodeon RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

4 stars Olives

Fellow esteemed reviewers have already gone into detail about this highly interesting offering from Claudio Milano and his cohorts Nichelodeon. Fact of the matter is this man has been rummaging round the outskirts of the Italian prog world for nigh on a decade now - still very much the outsider. Hell one of the first times I spoke to him over mails, he mentioned this outsider status had rubbed off to the outside world - leading the cutting edge RIO festival in Carnaux to ditch him because he didn't make the kind of music they were looking for.

So he's not RIO or avant enough for the cool cats in France, and he's not close enough to the old prog rock of yesteryear to be mentioned in the same breath. Basically this music is outside of the norm - beyond stickers. That additionally means it makes it almost impossible to convey in words just how this really sounds......that is without resorting to the glib ways of nonsense, which I naturally am about to do:

In many ways you could say that Ukiyoe sounds like a series of disturbing lullabies handed over to you by a vocal sorcerer of the wind....or maybe this is neoclassical folk music with a romantic yodeller floating elegantly overhead?

No matter how you approach this bugger you'll be struggling with your boxes. There just aren't any befitting ones available. To me that is a good thing. Considering that 90% of the current prog scene is enamoured with a style of music that seized to be progressive some 40 years ago - again and again trying to regurgitate a sense of structural complexity and far reaching sonic and intellectual motifs, it becomes all the more important that people like Claudio and his compatriots actually try to focus on what made prog of the 70s so vital and fresh, although with a completely new sound behind them.

With over 30 musicians lending a hand to this massive project one could easily be lead into thinking that Ukiyoe is a case of too many cooks in the kitchen. That is not the case though. The tunes all reek of intimacy and acoustic instruments - like a small gig in a beautiful shrubbery with harp and violin players dangling from the trees.

For points of reference........hmmm yeah...maybe go back to the earlier glib descriptions - that's all I can say. That and then occasionally I'm reminded of the wonderful operatic lunacy of yet another Italian group: Opus Avantra. Whilst they were fronted by one furious woman named Donella Del Monaco, it's the music and overall feel I'm referring to here. The combination of wildly experimental, yet at the same time gentle and soothing, vocals and this wafting kind of modern classical music rather mimics or indeed reflects some of the same strengths as Ukiyoe. To top it all off throw in some electronics, carefully placed usage of dissonance, folk music that isn't folk, classical music that isn't classical, bongos, the sound of seagulls, the odd drone and........wait for it.............. a boat! -Then you're almost there.

In truth, there is no way on earth to properly explain how this album sounds, and I find that exhilarating to say the least. If we are ever to find the spark that once lit up the 70s in fire and flame, then we have to start looking in places we haven't looked before. We have to be willing to taste a bit of something new before we proceed to knock it.

I hated olives growing up. They tasted like an unwashed bellybutton or wet lycra socks, that is until I overcame my fears and tasted them again at 29. My girlfriend at the time were lying in bed with me - obviously more interested in munching on something indefinable from beneath the bed than watching The Shining with your's truly. She then kissed me softly, but instead of enjoyment and the subsequent hand down her trousers, I was repelled by the smell coming off her breath. WTF had she been eating!?!?!?!!! Yup, turns out it was olives. Irritated by this pseudo Greek lying next to me and the fact that I had to stay with her for the remainder of the night, I decided to take the plunge... 'Hand over one of those bad boys baby'...and wow am I glad I did! Not only did I overcome my fear of olives - I additionally got into her panties.

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 The Lost Tales by AINUR album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2013
4.00 | 5 ratings

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The Lost Tales
Ainur Rock Progressivo Italiano

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

4 stars The works of fantasy writer J.R.R Tolkien, most recognized as the author of `The Hobbit' and `The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, have certainly influenced a number of progressive music artists over the years. Swedish keyboardist Bo Hansson was inspired on his `Lord of the Rings' LP, modern symphonic masters Glass Hammer offered `Journey of the Dunadan' and `The Middle Earth Album' early on in their discogrpahy, and Marillion themselves were initially named after a less widely-known known Tolkien tome, `The Silmarillion'. Also taking inspiration from that particular work even further is an Italian collective known as Ainur, a group that boasts no less than 18 musicians and singers. `The Lost Tales' is a compilation of both reimagined earlier pieces and unreleased tracks, yet it works perfectly well as a standalone album all its own. Every one of the thirteen compositions on offer here present a kind of light symphonic/medieval/folk and Rock Progressivo Italiano prog based around Tolkien's worlds with accessible arrangements, tasteful (frequently acoustic) instrumental playing and always pleasing male and female vocal melodies. Brief vintage prog sounds of the Moog, Mellotron and organ weave blissfully between violin, cello and harp, and it all comes together with evocative and sumptuous taste.

Looking at some of the standout moments, right from opener `Welcoming of Eriol', Gianluca Castelli's piano delicately and subtly dazzles, as a mix of charmingly Italian- accented English vocals (perhaps bringing to mind a less stuffy and grandiose version of Hostsonaten's `Alive in Theatre' live album) swoon around a haunting melody with restrained power and conviction. Violin, cello and harp weave magically together with warm group harmonies in the chorus of the madrigal `Mourning - The Coming of Nienor'. Tracks like `The Beginning of Days' are sweet and joyous, the droning group harmonies of the finale of `Verge of the Forest' is hypnotic, and the album closer `Lorien' is refreshingly upbeat and softly romantic. More ambitious and lengthier pieces impress even more and hold the most interest to progressive music listeners. `Yavanna's Song' begins with softly stirring horns and violin and careful jazzy drumming, before taking an uneasy, more up- tempo darker acoustic guitar turn alongside groaning cello.

But best of all is when the group moves closer to a more traditional Italian prog/RPI sound. `The Fall of Gondolin' features a passionate and raspy theatrical male vocal, melancholic flute, and a dashing range of exotic acoustic guitar flavours with wilder jazzy and classical piano outbursts. `Glaurung's Death' includes dirtier huffing flute and a pompous operatic vocal with a fiery Mediterranean acoustic guitar, violin and piano extended instrumental finale. The first half of `Hirilorn' has a lovely extended instrumental build on clarinet and acoustic guitar before sprightly piano, flute and violin duel in the finale, and `Return from Death' has a sprinkling of maniacal classical piano and tricky murmuring bass throughout. The symphonic drama of the almost ten minute `The Time Beyond' incorporates everything from operatic vocals, sweeping orchestration, glistening classical piano, heavenly violins that rise into the sky and the most sly of tiny Mellotron wisps.

Admittedly thirteen tracks equalling seventy four minutes mostly in a similar style becomes a little repetitive after a while. I'm not sure if the band would even fully identify themselves as a full-blown progressive rock band, but they should definitely consider incorporating longer instrumental breaks more often into their music, as many of the pieces here are loaded almost beginning to end with vocal passages that become a little tedious from time to time. However, this is immaculately performed with great conviction, and looking over the photos of the group all dressed in medieval garb inside the CD booklet reaffirms what a true sense of community these performers share together. Tolkien fanatics who will connect closer with the lyrical themes and book references will be the ones who really cherish `The Lost Tales', able to appreciate it on so many more levels than more general progressive rock and RPI listeners. But so much love, passion and devotion has gone into this work from the Ainur collective that the sheer talent on display cannot be denied.

Three and a half stars, rounded up to four.

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 Selling England By The Pound by GENESIS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.63 | 3109 ratings

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Selling England By The Pound
Genesis Symphonic Prog

Review by Westonbirt

5 stars As I bravely set out to review Genesis' catalogue, I had to decide where to start. Probably best to go from the top and also the most uncontroversial. As such, here is "Selling England By The Pound", arguably best Genesis album and best title ever written.

Word of God says that this album was written at a time when there was a fear among the still small, dedicated base of the group over whether or not they would sell out to the dirty Americans and their new-world ways. As such, here is the album equivalent of a communitarian revival.

This is of course a caricature. This album has indeed a very English folk charm, but it is at this point a distillation of Gabriel's songwriting wonder, combined with the musicianship of Tony, Steve, Mike and Phil. For this album doesn't have the resonance of say, Dark Side, whose sparse lyrics were bordering on tautology at times.

No, this is isn't a broadly appealing piece - as noted by many reviews of the time. What it is is a brilliantly woven series of tableaux. Beginning with the opening track which transitions from a charming folk ballad to an explosive electric number so seamlessly it's almost offensive. It then peaks, sustains and gently glides back to earth - a complexity of texture that will seem familiar over the next 54 minutes.

Following with the almost successful single I Know What I Like, a delicious digestible piece that was quite rare at the time for Gabriel's Angels. Firth of Fifth needs no introductions - it is a wonderful Banksian work brought to impossible heights by Hackett. More Fool Me is meh, but then again it was written by Phil and Mike on the porch, so I wont be too hard. Battle of Epping Forest is a bit harder to swallow. While the lyrics are not bad, it's not greatly executed, very wordy without having the musical chops to sustain itself. But Tony thinks so too, so I don't feel alone.

Returning on the mode of the first piece, After The Ordeal. While shorter, it is also pleasant. The true second standout moment of the album is The Cinema Show. A truly magnificent work, from its gentle start to its finish on the leitmotiv of Dancing With The Moonlit Knight. Essentially instrumental, it serves a great ending ot the album (Aisle Of Plenty is more of an epilogue).

Phil's drumming brings the whole enterprise to a nice chug, while Hackett in bursts and Banks pretty much whenever manage to show tremendous skill. One reproach you could make it is quite a pretentious number. But I guess, to me, the pretentiousness of The Lamb crushes everything else. All and all, it is a really great album, and definitely one to hang over the chimney. A+

If you'd enjoy it more if it was on a slower boil, try Foxtrot. If you'd like it more if it had more material and was less idiosyncratic, try A Trick Of The Tail.

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 A Billion Years of Solitude by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.97 | 132 ratings

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A Billion Years of Solitude
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I really enjoyed this band's debut from 2010 called "Excavations Of The Mind" but skipped their next one after seeing some not so favourable reviews. This most recent recording by SKY ARCHITECT is pretty darn good but in my opinion it doesn't match the quality of the debut which was two years in the making.

"The Curious One" has a dramatic intro that gives way to some meandering drum work and spacey sounds. Strummed guitar and spacey synths take over after 3 minutes. Reserved vocals after 5 minutes then it starts to kick in after 7 minutes instrumentally, an impressive display. The vocals will proceed to come and go as the song plays out. I like the laid back atmospheric section starting after 12 minutes, especially when the spacey sounds are added. It kicks back in before 15 minutes for a kick-ass ending. "Wormholes(The Inevitable...)" opens with vocals, drums, organ and more before it settles into a groove although this song will continue to evolve and change. Some good organ runs late before we get a big finish. "Tides" is one I like a lot with those melancholic vocals which are the focus. Water sounds end it.

"Elegy Of A Solitary Giant" opens with piano and atmosphere before it kicks into an ANGLAGARD-like section which is really surprising and well done. It changes after 2 minutes with reserved vocals and a mellow sound. It starts to build. Horns 4 minutes in which is another surprise. A calm with piano like the intro follows then it kicks back in after 5 1/2 minutes. Impressive. Piano and a mellow vibe again before 8 minutes as we get a dreamy section with more horns. It's heavier late to end it. "Jim's Ride To Hell" is a really good kick-ass instrumental with some great bottom end sounds with atmospheric synths. Check out the guitar as well. "Revolutions" is my favourite and it has a punchy instrumental passage to start that is quite impressive along with the guitar before a minute. Organ to the fore then we get a calm before 2 1/2 minutes with vocals. Some nice guitar as a new instrumental section takes over at 5 minutes, but the vocals will come and go. "Traveller's Last Candle" is a catchy vocal-led piece that changes before 2 minutes with mellotron and manipulated spoken words. A calm with melancholic synths before 3 minutes then the vocals return a minute later. I like the way it drifts along after 5 minutes then it kicks back in. Vocals are back before 10 minutes then an intense slow burn ends it all. Nice.

3.5 stars but i'll stick with the debut when I reach for a SKY ARCHITECT album.

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 Constellations by KARDA ESTRA album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.16 | 28 ratings

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Constellations
Karda Estra Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Fourth year in the row with another album by Karda Estra, talking about 2003 here and Richard Wileman was this time influenced by six constellations, inspired by myths, astronomy and self-personal experiences.Once more the line-up would get an extension, welcoming cellist Sarah Higgins next to the ordinary choir/instrumental female collaborators of Wileman.The album, simply titled ''Constellations'', was the second of the band on Cyclops.

After the disappointing collaboration with Artemiy Artemiev Karda Estra would get back on track with a flavor already served on the ''Eve'' album and with ''Constellations'' Wileman has fully captured the essence of cinematic music.This album contains some incredibly atmospheres well-hidden within its softness and unvealed through the talented backing band of the main man, featuring strings, flute, sax and English horns.Wileman mostly performs on electric guitars and piano with some background keyboards in the process, the result is some really beautiful spacious, sentimental and Film-related arrangements with romantic preludes and interludes, light acoustic textures, orchestral overtones and a few progressive colors in the vein of STEVE HACKETT, ANTHONY PHILLIPS or GORDON GLITRAP.Ileesha Bailey's angelic, calm voice is just superb and comes as the perfect fit for the relaxed atmosphere of the album.Once more Wileman has avoided to add dynamics, apparently believing that the whole majesty of his music is released via his ethereal, elegant and very gentle arrangements.The scenario talks about six constellations, but the album contains seven tracks, the farewell one actually being a cover on STEVE HACKETT's ''Twice around the sun'' from the ''Darktown'' album, succesful choice that comes as a nice closer to a similar-sounding effort.

Cinematic, orchestral seminal Rock.Alternation between soft acoustic and electric guitars, piano and orchestral instruments, providing some lovely soundscapes.Again, not a work for Kraut Rock fans to say, but for all those admiring the acoustics of cinematic explorations.

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 Happy Accidents by RASCAL REPORTERS album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.69 | 5 ratings

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Happy Accidents
Rascal Reporters RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars From 1985 and for the next two years Rascal Reporters would work occasionally on their fourth album ''Happy accidents'', recorded at Sonic Crayon Studios in Detroit and at the Living Room, which is propably a name for their home recordings.At this point the duo of Gore and Kretzmer had made some good friends within the global Prog/R.I.O. scene, most of which appear on the album: Dave Newhouse from The Muffins, often considered the third member of the band, percussionists David Kerman and James Grigsby, both from U Totem, Present's and Universe Zero's bassist Guy Segers, Steve Feigenbaum played the electric guitar (founder of Cuneiform Records and the Wayside Music disc distribution company), guitarist Nick Didkovsky plus Paul Kretzmer on bass.The album came out on the Hebbardesque label in 1988.

''Happy accidents'' consists of two sidelong pieces, ''Weigh in on the way-out'' and ''Trucks'', both are a little over or under the 20-min. mark and are divided in a few shorter segments.This work finds Rascal Reporters at their creative pinnacle, their music remains quite difficult to follow, often childish and certainly chaotic, but regarding the composing skills the American duo had set series of interesting instrumental work with influences from Jazz, R.I.O. and Classic Prog, while reducing the somewhat annoying experimental passages towards a more tight, still playful and pretty progressive nature.The music relies much on keyboards, bass, piano, effects and drums with sporadic electric guitars, flute, strings and sax, the most impressive characteristic on both pieces is the comfort of the duo to mix some light vibes from Classical Music and Jazz with full-blown keyboard and piano rhythms and the everchanging tempos in a complex and adventurous offering.For the non-mystified their music will be a huge surprise, it's almost like Cartoon Prog with period keyboard programming surfacing next to the physical sounds of instruments and sounding like FRANK ZAPPA, THE MUFFINS and YES sharing a common musical direction.I find ''Weigh in on the way-out'' to be a little more efficient, but both pieces contain excellent parts of keyboard masturbations, Fusion interplays, symphonic breaks and cheap orchestral moves.

ZNR Records reissued the album in CD format in 1995, throwing in a few bonus tracks, of which ''Stabbing at air'' clocks at 25-min. minutes!Where the hell was this one hidden?Anyway, it follows the same vein as the two original lengthy pieces with big time symphonic parts, jazzy interventions and neurotic keyboard flashes, but the production is much cleaner, while some vocal parts and percussion experimentations are present in its second half.

Very good effort on quirky instrumental Prog, some keyboard ideas sounding like cheaptunes are not that rewarding, but these men were flirting with the ''genius'' label, after composing such music with limited techniques.For fans of THE MUFFINS, GENTLE GIANT, FRENCH TV and similar bands of complex Prog.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 In The Last Waking Moments... by EDISON'S CHILDREN album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.04 | 230 ratings

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In The Last Waking Moments...
Edison's Children Neo-Prog

Review by jmeadow

4 stars The first Edison's Children album In The Last Waking Moments ranges from radio-friendly AOR to more experimental, extended proggy tracks and even some post-rock moments. Both musically and lyrically the album is emotionally charged - songs of regret, reflection and trepidation. The album is infused with a gentle melancholy. As you would expect, the musicianship is high quality - these guys know how to construct a rock song, but the album never feels forced or contrived. The stand-out track for me is the radio hit A Million Miles Away ("the sky was so brilliant blue/And I was lost in the sunshine of you"), with the title track and The Awakening being other highlights. Highly recommended.

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 Perfect Beings by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.99 | 359 ratings

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Perfect Beings
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. It was the constant praise for this American band last year that caught my attention and I finally picked this up a few months ago. The music is fairly laid back with a dreamy Pop atmosphere bringing to mind early PORCUPINE TREE at times. I found myself really enjoying a few of these songs but I also felt that this album runs out of steam by track eight. Lots to like though so lets check it out.

"The Canyon Hill" is light and whimsical with processed vocals. A change though after 1 1/2 minutes when it turns fuller with normal vocals. "Helicopter" is another short track, this time with swirling keys and a cool chorus(I like the vocals). It settles after 1 1/2 minutes. "Bees And Wasps" opens with the sounds of bees before it kicks into gear with vocals. I like the guitar after 3 1/2 minutes during this brief instrumental section. Processed vocals follow then back to the main theme. "Walkabout" opens with the sounds of birds singing as acoustic guitar and reflective vocals take over. It's fuller before a minute then it becomes somewhat psychedelic 2 minutes in before some welcomed heaviness with chunky bass arrives. It changes again 4 1/2 minutes in to an instrumental dreamy state as some random drum patterns come and go. Vocals return late.

"Removal Of The Identity Chip" reminds me of PINEAPPLE THIEF early on at least the vocals do. I like how dreamy this tune is, such a good mood to it, very relaxed. Love the spacey sounds before 4 1/2 minutes. "Program Kid" is my favourite. We get light vocals with keys to start as bass and percussion join in after a minute. I adore those melancholic synths sounding like GENESIS' self titled release or "Permanent Waves" by RUSH. It then kicks into gear. "Remnants Of Shields" has strummed guitar and a blissful atmosphere as reserved vocals join in. Very enjoyable. "Fictions" is one that i'm not into with the multi-vocal intro although it does settle back with vocals later. "Primary Colors" is piano, vocal and guitar led for the most part and it's another feel good piece. "One Of Your Kind" is led by vocals and piano early on then we get an instrumental calm 2 1/2 minutes in that lasts about a minute. It then turns fuller before settling right back down with vocals. It's okay.

I can appreciate why many rate this so highly, it's very melodic and enjoyable for the most part, but for me it's not 4 star worthy.

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 Beyond the Storm by PHAEDRA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.92 | 17 ratings

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Beyond the Storm
Phaedra Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by maryes

4 stars Although in their second studio album entitled "Beyond Storm" the Italian band PHAEDRA don't reserve musical surprises, this band is extremely competent in remake the sound of old progressive rock school (mainly 70's symphonic prog). The work and sonority from this album is full of nostalgic moments, starting by initial and main theme of track 2 "No Crime" with a certain GENTLE GIANT"s swing, passing by GENENESIS clearly influence in track 4 "Phaedra", the overture theme of track 6 "Journey to the Edge of Nothing" with a flute melody in NOVALIS mood and the closing section with a GG Keyboards timbre. Another remarkable moment is the strong rhythm of track 7 " Freezin' Breeze on the People at Ease" which reminds me a jam band in the style of Allman Brothers and some others. My rate is 4 stars !!!

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 The Final Breath Before November by EDISON'S CHILDREN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.99 | 191 ratings

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The Final Breath Before November
Edison's Children Neo-Prog

Review by jmeadow

3 stars The second Edison's Children album is an extended meditation on/exploration of a musical theme from their first album. Musically the theme takes off from the stand-out track from that first album, A Million Miles Away, taking the central musical motif and extending and reshaping it in different ways. Lyrically, the theme is the haunting presence of the past in our lives, the personal past of loves lost and the spectral past of other lives long gone, but somehow both still present at the edges of our consciousness. Great music for the small hours of the night, though in the bright light of day I do wonder if the ideas herein can really sustain 80 minutes of music? On that basis, I would say this is a good album, though not essential.

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 The Unquiet Sky by ARENA album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.50 | 2 ratings

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The Unquiet Sky
Arena Neo-Prog

Review by Wasp

3 stars This review is based on 3 listens on receipt this week of the new album - and I'm sure my feelings may change with time and more familiarity, however, I have to say that this (to me) sounds just the same as Seventh Degree, very formulaic. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this album as I enjoyed the previous, it just is not quite up there for me. The guitar and drums are so similar to previous albums, and I'm still not convinced that Paul Manzi (great vocalist that he is) suits Arena's sound. And where oh where is Nolan's keyboards, which used to be one of the joys of great Arena albums, very memorable hooks and catchy noodlings...ha ha. Now, I search but cannot find. I will endeavour to find something in this album for me, but my initial instincts are, good, but not great and could've been brilliant. Is it time to say RIP Arena (along with Pallas & Pendragon), I sincerely hope not, but....... Sorry guys.

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 Oceanborn by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.95 | 188 ratings

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Oceanborn
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by Terakonin

1 stars Nightwish's breakthrough album Oceanborn is a decent enough album, one that for me has only a few notable tracks, but no really bad ones. Nightwish's dramatic, fantasy-movie-soundtrack sound, flavoured with small amounts of Celtic and Finnish folk, is already evident on their second album and is much of what makes them a unique band.

Stargazers is a strong opener. With powerful keyboard and guitar riffs that fit the full, operatic vocals from Tarja Turunen, it helps truly define symphonic metal. (8/10)

Gethsemane, the following track is just as strong, opening with a chaotic guitar/keyboard interplay that changes into a dark backdrop for the soaring vocals before returning between each verse. A strong, heavy track with many layer, interspersed with softer synth-string sections. (8/10)

I find that you can take or leave the following three tracks - Devil & The Deep Dark Ocean, Sacrament Of Wilderness, and Passion And The Opera. However they are not bad tracks - to me they simply do not stand out. (All around 6/10)

Swanheart is more of a ballad, with a choir and piano. It features a violin solo, as well as a slow guitar solo, and is one of the catchier songs on the album. (8/10)

Moondance also starts softer, with melodic piano, but the piano riff is quickly picked up by the electric guitar. After the track calms down again, sweeping woodwinds take over the melody, helped along by arpeggiated piano chords. It picks up again with electric guitar, becoming a pseudo-jig with a Celtic influence, that helps bring character to the song. (8/10)

The Riddler, The Pharaoh Sails To Orion, Walking In The Air, and Sleeping Sun are, again, tracks that I find you can take or leave (The Pharaoh Sails to Orion is apparently a favourite among fans). Again, I give them around a 6/10, with The Riddler maybe getting a 7.

This is definitely an album worth getting, as the tracks on it that I don't like seem to be a matter of taste rather than quality. Recommended for fans of classical-inspired metal, as well as prog metal in general. 7/10.

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 Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything by SILVER MT. ZION, A album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.05 | 19 ratings

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Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
A Silver Mt. Zion Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Just when other post rock bands latch onto the sound and formulas used by Thee Silver Mt. Zion, they change things up. Having left behind the traditional formula of slow crescendos to loud climaxes, TSMZ now jumps into their individual tracks full force and utilize dynamics in different ways than they did in their earlier years. You don't have to wait for the build up anymore. Now you get a thick wall of their rock orchestral sound starting right off at the beginning of the track with more reliance on the heaviness of guitar, strings and percussion with the occasional stripping back to expose the base of the music only to quickly build back up again, sometimes with a direction change. This is becoming less like the usual post rock that we are used to and branching out into other directions by adding a punk-ish sound and attitude (Efrim's vocals lend themselves well to this punk sound) while keeping the tracks well fleshed out and original.

There is so much music going on here, and the streamlining of the band members have given the band a more focused sound than previously. The vocals, while still sounding desperate and vulnerable are also more confident sounding. The instrumentals are more expansive and broad even with the smaller band. The 1st track "Fuck Off Get Free (For the Island of Montreal)" sets the stage for the atmosphere of most of the album with a heavy sound without much of a break from the thickness in the sound. The change is more in the melody and the direction of the song which goes from a harsh sound to a beautiful yet still heavy sound about halfway through. Suddenly, you know what kind of sound to expect on this album. The 2nd track "Austerity Blues" is the centerpiece of the album. It is a track that remains heavy for the most part, but when the noise is stripped away, you are left with the base of the song that you tend to enfold yourself into immediately when this sparseness starts and then suddenly you find yourself wrapped up into the noise when it builds back upon itself, and you are trapped inside. The next time it happens, you think it's time to escape, but you are drawn in further and before you know it you are trapped again.

Two shorter tracks follow with "Take Away These Early Grave Blues" which is a less developed track that follows a constant rhythmic pattern and the beautifully quiet "Little Ones Run" which acts as a break from the noise for a few minutes with a female duet and a piano, which lulls you into what I consider the best track on the album "What We Loved Was Not Enough". This track has the best and most diverse use of dynamics which keeps the same style of singing but with beautiful harmonies by the background singers and an ever changing moody epic track. This one probably is more reminiscent of the older material, but it still manages to stay away from the tired old formulaic post rock sound and ventures out with as much confidence and impact as the louder tracks. The last track is another short one which starts out as what sounds like a field recording of possible an interview and adds in vocals, percussion and a certain ambience to close out the album on a softer side.

This is post rock doing what it's supposed to do to be considered progressive, that is, it's progressing. Yes, I still consider it Post Rock, but it's exploring new avenues and staying away from the usual sound. The tracks all have vocals, which is the first welcome change from post rock, but not really different for the band who actually started out as completely instrumental and as most prog heads know, branched off from Godspeed You! Black Emperor when they went on hiatus (which is now over and both bands are alive and well). GY!BE continues to show it's power through instrumentals and drones while ASMZ continues to push forward with a reliance on more focused vocals and the modern day noise/orchestral sound. Both bands are amazing and continue to pump out quality work even after more than a decade, progressing their sound and exploring new avenues. A lot of prog lovers may have a hard time with Efrim's vocals, but the vocals fit right in to the dissonance and beauty of the music. I can't imagine any other vocal sound that would go along with this music. I can't help but think of this as a perfect example of what post rock should be doing, developing their sound and not relying on the old formulas. Because of this, the band still puts out essential masterpieces and demonstrate the direction that progressive music should be taking.

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 Libre Y Natural by ESPIRITU album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.80 | 34 ratings

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Libre Y Natural
Espiritu Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Heading for the recordings of a second album, Espiritu had to deal with a major departure, Gustavo Fedel left the band to join Generaciķn Cero, he was immediately replaced by Ciro Fogliatta, member of the legendary Argentinian Beat band Los Gatos.Their new album was recorded at the Phonalex Studios, a regular home for major Argentinian Prog and Rock bands.It was titled ''Libre y natural'' and came out again on the Talent label in 1976.

Stylistically this one follows the vein of the previous release, establishing the band as one of the not so frequent entries in the Argentinian Symphonic Rock scene.With Fogliatta making heavy use of the same keyboard equipment as Fedel, Espiritu played a very YES-influenced Progressive Rock with big time symphonic arrangements, flashy keyboard parts, decent interplays and a normal taste of the South-American lands due to the Spanish vocals and laid-back acoustic passages.I would definitely expect some sort of originality, but the guys never escaped from the strong YES-rooted textures, which sees them making use of dominant, upfront bass lines and quirky keyboard splashes with the Moog synthesizer in evidence.In fact the more pastoral parts of the album also happen to be the more original ones, eventually giving space to a more Latin-spiced sound with a poetic lyricism and a rural enviroment.That's not to say that the richer movements are of a lower interest, the band sounded pretty great at moments, offering some very good instrumental parts with a couple of extraordinary guitar performances by Osvaldo Favrot, always in a YES vein, and cool keyboard lines on organ and synths.Lots of fine interplays to go along with some top notch complex ideas and Carlos Goler's outstanding drumming, which even flirts with jazzy patterns.

YES-influenced Prog Rock.You shouldn't expect that by a South-American band, but Espiritu did play so.At least they were pretty good and always made some room for some local acoustics during the gentle moments.Nice and recommended album.

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 Ben by BEN album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.16 | 16 ratings

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Ben
Ben Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars One of the really serious Vertigo rarities, a British Jazz Rock group with a short life but some fine talent.Ben were saxophonist/flutist Peter Davey, keyboardist/pianist Alex Macleery, guitarist Gerry Reid, bassist Len Surtees and drummer David Sheen, the later coming from Graham Bond's band.Their only self-titled album, which contains four long, instrumental tracks, was released in 1971.

This one falls into the same category as NUCLEUS and IF, it's technically competent Jazz Rock with some great solos and rhythms, varied climates, going from furious guitar moves and frequent instrumental interactions to a smoother keyboard/piano-driven music with a bit of a psychedelic enviroment, like RAY MANZAREK playing the piano.Cool sax work and some strong flute lines are always welcome, I fail to detect any impressive differences between the pieces, but if you ask me ''Christmas execution'' stands out from the bunch, because, unlike the other pieces, the atmosphere here is really dark and dramatic, rarely found in a Jazz Rock composition.It's also the most progressive piece in here with soft electric guitars, harsichord and lots of flute and an excellent second part with an incredible jazzy taste on guitars and eerie keyboard work.''Gibbon'' contains also some sporadic choirs, another element you'll hardly find in a Jazz Rock album, while the two longer pieces ''The influence'' and ''Gismo'', are definitely a lot more jazzier with good instrumental work, some parts with the guitars and sax in the forefront recall VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR's jazzy masturbations, but there are very limited progressive values in these with emphasis given to isolated solos.

Len Surtees played with the post-80's edition of The Nashville Teens, while David Sheen was later involved in various Jazz Rock and Fusion groups, including Mirage and the Canterbury-linked Soft Head.

Good Jazz Rock from the fogotten years, containing two very good compositions with a few proggy glimpses and another pair of more standard Jazz workouts.Warmly recommended, original vinyl is incredibly expensive, various reissues exist.

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 Live At The BBC Vol Two: In Concert by STRAWBS album cover Live, 2010
4.08 | 3 ratings

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Live At The BBC Vol Two: In Concert
Strawbs Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

4 stars The second of the Strawbs's Live at the BBC: In Concert is just what this double CD features. Outtakes from three concerts dating from 1971, 1973 and 1974 are featured and include the group's best known and appreciated songs from the album's From the Witchwood, Grave New World, Bursting at the Seams and the group's prog masterpiece Hero and Heroine. All of the essential songs from Hangman And The Papist, New Word, Down By The Sea through to all album highlights from Hero and Heroine are included.

As with Vol One, Vol Two's material was well rehearsed and played again owing to the need to present decent sounding album ttracks to the British public who were restricted from listening to actual album cuts or singles due to the BBC 'needle time" restrictions with the UK's Musician's Union.

Rick Wakeman is only present for the first concert from 1971 but he shines as usual as does his replacements Blue Weaver and John Hawken who demonstrate that both were masters of their Mellotron as well as great pianists. Highlights of these concerts include an a wonderful instrumental piano into organ jam featuring Wakeman titled RMW which I initially thought was Wakeman's initials until I discovered that his middle name is Christopher (!) along with an great extended organ jam on the coda to the song Sheep.

Highlights from the John Hawken era group feature a few older songs such as New Word and The River/Down By the Sea that are magnificent with Hawken's incredible Mellotron, complete with choir setting, virtually exceeds the orchestrated album cuts found on Bursting at the Seams album.This group naturally does justice to all of the Hero and Heroine tracks as they are motivated by the great crowd reaction and are naturally at the top of their game.

The addition of rocker dave Lambert for the 1973 and 1974 concerts definitely gives a greater overall vocal delivery from the group as well as the obvious shift to a more rocking (and louder) sound.

My sole complaint with Live at The BBC Vol Two is some uneven vocal mixing on a few songs of each concert, but overall, it's a great concert presentation of the Strawbs.

We again return to the question of how essential is this album to Strawbs' fans. I would have to say that it is very essential based on the diversity of the material, the diversity of the performers from different eras, the quality of the performances and the excellent re-mastered sound. 4 stars.

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 Live At The BBC Vol One: In Session by STRAWBS album cover Live, 2010
3.17 | 3 ratings

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Live At The BBC Vol One: In Session
Strawbs Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

3 stars One of the harder issues to balance in an album review is determining how essential a given work is to an artist's fans.

The Strawbs Live At The BBC Vol One: In Session is just such a compilation in question. As opposed to Live At The BBC Vol Two, Vol One is a single CD that contains all of the Strawbs' radio session recordings for broadcast on various BBC radio show such as Top Gear hosted by the legendary John Peel. In his autobiography, Exercising Ghosts, Strawbs' founder and leader Dave Cousins expressed sincere gratitude at being given the chance to perform on the BBC in both the Strawbs and the band's predecessor, The Strawberry Hill Boys. Cousins' stated that the Strawbs put 100% effort in their BBC performances as this supplemented actual album playing time that was cut down owing to an agreement with the UK's Musician's Union. And it shows. Every broadcast performance is easily discernible as a top notch performance from a group that really had only a couple of shots of getting a complicated song like The Battle right in the three hour time limit that was afforded each song by the BBC session producers and studios.

The Battle, from this first CD, is easily it's highpoint as future Strawbs' producer Tony Visconti brought in both Clare Deniz on cello and the great Rick Wakeman on organ to play on this daunting song, and the band and guests easily nail the performance given the limitations of the BBC recording studio's two or three track recording equipment. These sessions would be the first contact of Cousins with both guests, who would ultimately join The Strawbs, albeit briefly.

As time passes, both the Strawbs and the BBC recording studios get noticeably better as does Cousins' songwriting and the addition of later band members like John Ford, Blue Weaver and Dave Lambert easily fortifies their playing ability. Especially on partial jamming songs like the wonderful Is It Today, Lord? while the second recorded version of New World is even more menacing with just Cousins and Toby Hooper handling the vocals while singing over the ominous chords emitting from Blue Weaver's icy Mellotron. Even the hackneyed chart hit Part Of The Union receives an excellent mulit tracked group chorus that revels the original studio version.

Good stuff. But again, we return to the question of how essential is Live At the BBC Vol One: In Session? Well, if you have all of the original albums, then this compilation is superfluous as it simply does not contain any significant recordings of historical value, as opposed to the one off folk rock songs found on the celebrated Fairport Convention BBC sessions album titled Heyday from the same era. So, three stars is a reasonable rating for these well played and recorded (and re-mastered) session songs.

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 Still Dream by EDHELS album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.17 | 19 ratings

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Still Dream
Edhels Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars In 1987 Edhels performed the track ''Heart door'' for the Musea compilation ''Enchantement'' with an expanded five-piece line-up, featuring second keyboardist Jean-Marc Bastianelli.Although Bastianelli later became a stable member of the band, he did not appear on Edhels' ''Still dream'' album, the first and only work by the band to get parallel vinyl and CD issues by Musea.It was recorded at the Studio Les Mouchettes and released in 1988 with the regular Marc Ceccotti/Suzzoni/Damon/Rosati core.

This was another attempt by Edhels to combine different influences in a period amalgam, they sound like if CAMEL and KING CRIMSON shared some common members, but imagine all these elements created under an 80's production.In fact there is a certain feeling of confusion listening to this album, because Ceccotti's and Suzzoni's plays seem somewhat torn between jazzy and more melodic sources of inspiration, while Jacky Rosati seems undetermined on whether to use his keyboards in an orchestral or more quirky, Fusion-flavored way.The result has its own charm and ''Still dream'' sounds like a collection of pieces by two different bands, there are certain cuts with impressive electric solos and some acoustic pinches with PINK FLOYD and GENESIS influences, while the rest are in a jazzier/Fusion vein with a bit of HAPPY THE MAN/ALLAN HOLDSWORTH vibes, featuring nice instrumental breaks and shifting moods with semi-Classical piano and tricky work on guitars and keys, although performed in a much lighter style.''Still dream'' still suffers from the acoustics of the time, especially the drumming sounds very sterile, while there are a couple of minimalistic textures to be found in here (I hear some evident New Age-like echoes during these pieces), but the music is fine and executed with accuracy.

Not an album to like if you get sick about everything related to the 80's.But these guys definitely deserve some praise for keeping the Prog flame alive, especially after delivering material so close to Camel and King Crimson.Recommended with the above noted restrictions.

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    Rush
  42. Images And Words
    Dream Theater
  43. The Yes Album
    Yes
  44. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
    Genesis
  45. The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)
    Steven Wilson
  46. Scheherazade And Other Stories
    Renaissance
  47. Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory
    Dream Theater
  48. One Size Fits All
    Frank Zappa
  49. Still Life
    Van Der Graaf Generator
  50. Hand. Cannot. Erase.
    Steven Wilson
  51. The Snow Goose
    Camel
  52. A Trick of the Tail
    Genesis
  53. Rock Bottom
    Robert Wyatt
  54. Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
    Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
  55. The Grand Wazoo
    Frank Zappa
  56. In The Land Of Grey And Pink
    Caravan
  57. Zarathustra
    Museo Rosenbach
  58. Octopus
    Gentle Giant
  59. Arbeit Macht Frei
    Area
  60. Second Life Syndrome
    Riverside
  61. Free Hand
    Gentle Giant
  62. Mëkanīk Dëstruktīẁ Kömmandöh
    Magma
  63. The Power And The Glory
    Gentle Giant
  64. Viljans Öga
    Änglagård
  65. Misplaced Childhood
    Marillion
  66. Felona E Sorona
    Le Orme
  67. Spectrum
    Billy Cobham
  68. Blackwater Park
    Opeth
  69. L'isola di niente
    Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
  70. The Inner Mounting Flame
    Mahavishnu Orchestra
  71. Hatfield And The North
    Hatfield And The North
  72. In Absentia
    Porcupine Tree
  73. Emerson Lake & Palmer
    Emerson Lake & Palmer
  74. Fear Of A Blank Planet
    Porcupine Tree
  75. K.A
    Magma
  76. Acquiring the Taste
    Gentle Giant
  77. Space Shanty
    Khan
  78. Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You
    Gong
  79. Rubycon
    Tangerine Dream
  80. Hamburger Concerto
    Focus
  81. Bitches Brew
    Miles Davis
  82. The Perfect Element Part 1
    Pain Of Salvation
  83. Doomsday Afternoon
    Phideaux
  84. Elegant Gypsy
    Al Di Meola
  85. Ghost Reveries
    Opeth
  86. Script For A Jester's Tear
    Marillion
  87. We'll Talk About It Later
    Nucleus
  88. Uomo Di Pezza
    Le Orme
  89. If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You
    Caravan
  90. Crimson
    Edge of Sanity
  91. Ocean
    Eloy
  92. Operation: Mindcrime
    Queensr˙che
  93. Time Control
    Hiromi Uehara
  94. Lateralus
    Tool
  95. Voyage Of The Acolyte
    Steve Hackett
  96. Caravanserai
    Santana
  97. Anabelas
    Bubu
  98. Anno Domini High Definition
    Riverside
  99. Choirs Of The Eye
    Kayo Dot
  100. Leftoverture
    Kansas

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

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