Header
PROG ARCHIVES intends to be the most complete and powerful progressive rock resource. You can find the progressive rock music discographies from 8,960 bands & artists, 46,235 albums (LP, CD and DVD), 1,094,942 ratings and reviews from 52,343 members who also participate in our active forum. You can also read the new visitors guide (forum page).
Listen to progarchives.com radio ad presentation (30 sec.)

Latest 50 Free Mp3 Download (stream)


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

Latest Progressive Rock Music Reviews


Last 50 reviews
 Heaven & Earth by YES album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.49 | 313 ratings

BUY
Heaven & Earth
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by branchranch

3 stars I really like Subway Walls! It is one of my favorite songs from 2014!

Now for the bad news...

Pretty much the rest of the album.

Is it the lead singer? I say no. A lot of people complain about Jon Davison as the lead singer. I like the choice, personally. I liked his work with Glass Hammer, and the sounds-like-that-other-Jon quality I find rather comforting. I'm not going to get caught up in the "who's the better singer" debate. Jon Davison is certainly qualified to be here.

Is it the musicianship? Certainly not! In fact I applaud the band for showing more than their usual restraint in their arrangements. (Actually they are too restrained) Many of the songs from their "classic" period suffered from a bit of instrumental overload in sections IMHO.

Is it the production? Absolutely not. The sound is clear and crisp and the instruments are easily distinguished one from another.

Is it the material? OHHHH YEAHHHH!!! It's sluggish, forgettable even for AOR standards, and let's face it, uninteresting. Hooks? Almost nonexistent. Progressive? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

"To Ascend" isn't too bad. A nice poppy ballad, in case the world needed another one of those.

Did I mention I really liked Subway Walls. A LOT.

I don't mind bands making money. For example, I understand why Genesis forsook their roots when the cash started pouring in. But they had the good sense to write catchy (sometimes uptempo, hint hint) pop songs with good hooks. This album doesn't even have one of those. So it gets lost in the no-man's land of bad pop and really bad progressive rock.

So download Subway Walls and skip the rest of this album, unless you a huge Asia fan. Final rating: 2.65, rounded up to 3 stars for Subway Walls. Did I mention that I liked that song?

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 New World by KERZNER, DAVE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.96 | 6 ratings

BUY
New World
Dave Kerzner Crossover Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

4 stars From the first song "Stranted", we could easily ask our self if we are listening to David Gilmour, but then in the middle, here's the real Steve Hackett with a beautiful guitar solo taken from "Voyage of Acolyte". "Into the Sun" continue with more Floydish moody sound, then it gets heavier and faster, a simple song. In the song "The Lie", you can hear Yogi Lang of RPWL, but am I wrong, he is not really there as guest vocalist! The song "Under Control" brings some darker mood with a meaner voice from the perfect imitator Dave Kerzner. Nice atmosphere and chorus, it's easy too sing along. The song "Crossing of Fates" bring something new with the keyboards sound that take the Eloy's spacey sound and it's instrumental. The vocals are back with "My old friend", there is some acoustic guitar and some exotic chant in the background. In the song "Ocean of Stars", you won't resist to the irresistible melody. "Solitude" show the piano and the choir like it was almost a copy of Pink Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon". The song "Nothing" starts like a ELO's song, catchy song again with a Steve Howe guitar solo that take us back to "Relayer". The song "New World" is a throwback to the 70's and 80's, it's not progressive but very melodic and well done. And if it wasn't enough, the end of the album is a 17 minutes epic with Steve Hackett back with more RPWL influence, some cinematic passages and a display of many guests vocalists ending this beautiful tribute album to the progressive rock of the past. The only fault of this album is that it the music has been inspired by the great prog bands of the past. It's almost like as a profane you came across a painting and couldn't tell if it's a copy or the real thing, but you like it anyway.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Gran disordine sotto il cielo  by GRAMIGNA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.15 | 9 ratings

BUY
Gran disordine sotto il cielo
Gramigna RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars This was a large ensembe from North Italy with 8 musicians involved, which released one album for the Ultima Spiaggia label.Oboist Mario Arcari later played with Ensemble Havadià and singer/percussionist Umberto Calice was already a member of Yu Kung.Other members were bassist/guitarist Raul Scacchi, basoonist Dino Mariani, guitarist Maurizio Martelli, pianist Alberto Mompellio and singer/guitarist Francoise Godard.The album was titled ''Gran disordine sotto il cielo'', released in 1977.

This was one of the sporadic attempts from Italy on artistic Prog Folk with elements of Jazz and Chamber Music thrown in, highly acoustic, still with plenty of interesting moments and a good instrumental depth.It sounds like Italian Poetry mixed with soft Progressive Rock, offering subtle orchestrations with little rock content but with a nice generosity on varied instrumental themes with the display of oboe, violin and bassoon leading to some R.I.O.-flavored, emphatic and complex themes.I love the discreet bass work on this one along with Mompellio's great piano parts and atmospheric background organ.When the female vocals lead the music, the album has a slight Pop vibe, still keeping the artistic attitude quite high.Some sort of STORMY SIX meet PICCHIO DAL POZZO (yes, there is even a slight Canterbury aura on this one) meet PANGEA album.Am I the only one to hear some vibraphone on this one?Whatever, the music is extremely elegant, even if the lack of electric moments make it sound pretty delicate as a whole, but there is some serious beauty on this one, after the Mediterrenean atmosphere comes to meet the Chamber Jazz principles.Vocal tones and narrations are quite charming as well and parts of the album could have been easily used as soundtrack for a vintage Italian movie.

An honest and sincere attempt on a different king of Prog Folk.Quirky, intricate, poetic and theatrical music, largely based on acoustic and wind instruments.Nice stuff.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Bansheeface by PSEUDO/SENTAI album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.98 | 8 ratings

BUY
Bansheeface
Pseudo/Sentai Crossover Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Bansheeface' - Pseudo/Sentai (79/100)

I think there is something to be said for the kind of 'everything but the kitchen sink' progressive rock that seems to have fallen out of favour over the few years, provided it's in the hands of musicians who know how to wield it. Moreover, I'm most often impressed when a band dares to imbue pop sensibilities with a nigh-overwhelming complexity or attention to detail. Of the bands who come to mind at moment's notice, Queen is probably the best example who, in spite of having brilliant hooks worthy of being hummed along to enthusiastically by any soccer mom in between morning Zolofts and driving the kids to practice, earned some degree of infamy for the meticulous design of their arrangements and general snail's pace with which they produced their work. Given that Bansheeface has been a work-in-progress for the past five years, it's safe to say that Pseudo/Sentai deserve a share of some of this notoriety. And yes, while the music is undeniably experimental (occasionally taunting avant-prog territory), their music's always carried a strong melodic sensibility, no matter how chaotic it first appears. Bansheeface is, without a doubt, the most ambitious, layered and eclectic release yet from the young provocateurs, but so too has their strong pop essence benefited from the time and effort Pseudo/Sentai have invested in their craft this time around.

To a surprising degree Bansheeface still bears the proudly experimental imperfections that went a ways to defining Pseudo as early as the first demos, but whereon past work there was a clear gap between where they were and where they wanted to be, it feels as if Bansheeface is the first time the band's vision has been realized in a significant way. This is not to say that Pseudo/Sentai's EPs or debut It's Always A Fucking Problem weren't engaging, but the jarring aspects of their music often felt less like the vital side-effects of experimentation, and more along the lines of structural faults that the band had yet to rectify. Glorious, self-aware imperfection is what defined so much of P/S's music up to this point, and I do mean that in a good way. If my memory serves, Jon Poole of Cardiacs (whom Pseudo/Sentai's guitarist Greg Murphy admires as much as I do!) was quoted as saying something along the lines that perfection was repellent to him. Imperfection, by contrast (especially in experimental music) is often surprising and stimulating. There were technical issues I had with the earlier stuff, true, but Pseudo/Sentai's plain-weird fusion of modern prog with everything under the sun kept me on my toes.

That same gloriously imperfect experimentation is here on Bansheeface, but this time it's been coated with a level of polish and intention I'd never have thought to hear from them. If you need a basic idea of what Pseudo/Sentai sound like, think of what Coheed & Cambria (circa The Second Stage Turbine) might sound like if Claudio Sanchez had spent a year listening to Gentle Giant and wanted to make progressive rock of a similarly complex and eclectic nature. It wouldn't be out of line to associate P/S among the likes of so-called 'alt-proggers' like The Mars Volta and The Dear Hunter (and Coheed, of course) but that would only be scratching the surface of their style. The sheer eclecticism Pseudo/Sentai exhibit is naturally hard to pin down; they're not beyond echoes of 8- bit chiptune, flashes of metal and even noise (as heard in the would-be interlude "Trap of Assassination"). I think the thing that defines Bansheeface the most is the grappling sense of urgency and busyness; it takes little time to get started, and once it's gained momentum, it doesn't let up. Frantic guitar lines and multi- layered production (engineered by Colin Marston of Behold the Arctopus fame, no less!) give the impression of a whirlwind for the first handful of listens, though it's not long before that pleasant sense of familiarity sets in, thanks in large part to the album's lively hooks.

While it's a far cry from the quasi-grindcore microtracks that comprised There's Always A Fucking Problem, Pseudo/Sentai still relies on shorter tracks to express their point. I'm aware that these should be seen less as songs than as chunks of a seamless album-length composition, but the fact remain that Pseudo/Sentai take little time to make their point. The density of the band's music is one of their strongest selling points, though I found myself wondering while first listening to the album whether Bansheeface may have benefited from exploring a few of its better ideas at a more relaxed pace. Unsurprisingly, the most standoutish tracks are the more fully developed songs; "Black Matter of Machinations" is a fantastic example of what P/S can do when they lean on the conventional art of songwriting. Taking a driven route to atmosphere, Scott Baker's vocals (sounding close to some of the earlier mentioned alt- prog references) are finally given a chance to breathe amid the stifling arrangements- close comparisons could be drawn to their fellow East Coast proggers in The Tea Club.

The impression of fully fleshed songwriting tends to be an exception on Bansheeface, although this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Like many excellent experimental acts, Pseudo/Sentai have thought it best to hinge their music on great ideas and moments over necessarily great structures. The album's Cardiacs-ish intro "Quantum Cardboard" is not only the best example of this but possibly my favourite bit on Bansheeface overall- the moment the drums light up over the quirky electronics is one of the most satisfying musical moments I've come across in recent months. Alas, other parts give me a strong opposite reaction. The pseudo-rapping at the beginning of "Immaculation" is close to [%*!#]ing unbearable (think Weird Al doing a Nintendo-themed Hip Hop album). It's thankfully an unmatched low point on the album- Bansheeface otherwise remains a respectable consistency with the success of its experiments. Even when I'm not altogether loving an idea of theirs (the noise-prone "Traps of Assassination" really feels out of place in the album's flow, for instance) Pseudo/Sentai have put enough meat on the bones of this album to keep me interested throughout.

For a band that's trying to do so many different things with an hour of music, I'm not surprised that there are parts of Bansheeface I don't care for. What matters to me is that I get the impression that the zany experiments Pseudo/Sentai have mustered were done so with passion and vision. Bansheeface achieves the fulfillment of vision I struggled to find on Pseudo/Sentai's past output. In doing so, I think it's safe to say the album marks a new stage in evolution and maturity for the band.

By the way, did I mention it's a concept album? Some wacky [&*!#] about alien political intrigue, man-eating Selkies and the eponymous Bansheeface, whom I might have been able to write a bit about had I understood a splinter of what the [%*!#]ing story's about. Ripe material for a graphic novel to go along with the special collector's edition, I suppose?

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 The Book of Kells  by IONA album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.78 | 63 ratings

BUY
The Book of Kells
Iona Prog Folk

Review by BrufordFreak

5 stars is Celtic prog Folk (and Christian) artist IONA's breakout album though it is their second release. The distinguished crystalline voice of Joanne Hogg is on full display for all to hear, thanks to the fairly sparse instrument arrangements--especially in prolonged intros and outros. The other half of the band's core, Dave Bainbridge is also present on keys and guitars. This band seems to always be comprised of members who are all virtuosos on their respective instruments and this album is no exception. What changes in the future, however, is that bass/Chapman stick player Nick Beggs (KAJAGOOGOO), percussionist Teri Bryant and reeds player David Fitzgerald move out to make room for future mainstays Phil Barker (bass), Frank Van Essen (drums, percussion, & violins), and Ullilean pipe and whistle virtuoso and future star in his own right, Troy Donockley-- who happens to make his debut as a guest musician here. Though the synth washes are full and rich throughout and the percussion/rhythm team is at full power, The Book of Kells is a much more sparsely instrumented album than Iona's successive releases, but there are always plenty of gorgeous and glorious instrumental sections throughout all Iona albums. Also, as might be surmised from the album's title, which is is taken from the famous illustrated Christian texts of the New Testament that was created around 800 AD and then preserved in Ireland's Abbey of Kells, this is a concept album. What results from this mix of personnel is an album with such seamlessness, such depth and complexity of textures, as to astound even me who had already been a tried and true Iona fan for several years before going back into their early catalogue to discover this one. I didn't think that any Iona album could be better than Open Sky but the amazingly intense whole-goup focus on this concept album may have done it. What's more, this music and presentation is to my ears a prime example of all that is essential and at the core of prog: great story, great instrumental performances, great songwriting drawing from many traditions, great album art, all gelled into a powerful display of great human emotion. "Matthew - The Man" (11:53) (10/10) may be the best prog epic of the year but, heck! The whole album is like one continuous prog epic! Amazing! Beautiful! Another piece of man-made art that makes me proud to be human.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Year Zero by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.16 | 52 ratings

BUY
Year Zero
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by TCat

3 stars Overall, this isn't a bad album. The music is still industrial, like before, but it is cleaner sounding and seems to be more accessible, even considering the sci-fi concept that it is based on. To me, the music looses a bit of credibility because of the cleaner sound, so it doesn't have the bite and the draw for me that "The Downward Spiral" or "Pretty Hate Machine". There isn't much in the way of prog here either, not that there was a lot before, but there were some elements. The rhythms are pretty straightforward. But there are a lot of nice surprises which is what one can expect from NIN. But I don't believe the music has progressed so much from the earlier albums. It's okay to have a cleaner sounding and more accessible record if you can do that while advancing your sound. The music remains pretty close to the same, and with the accessibility factor on this album, that tends to make it suffer a little.

Don't get me wrong though. I still enjoy most of the album. But it pales when it stands next to Trent's earlier work. There are still plenty of dynamic changes and nice passages. It mostly suffers because of the sameness of a lot of the music. Not the best representation of NIN ingenuity, but still pretty good. Unfortunately, I have to give it about 3 1/2 stars because of the lack of progression and I will round this down because of the way the accessibility washes out the credibility.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Priest = Aura  by CHURCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.99 | 31 ratings

BUY
Priest = Aura
The Church Prog Related

Review by sinslice

4 stars It's strange to see The Church here. However, this is a must, particularly album.

Perhaps most progressive of the Australian band is in some surprising EP's, in songs like 'So Love May Find Us' (Pangaea), and 'Night Sequence' (Back with Two Beasts). Here in "Priest ..." we might mention the overwhelming ´Chaos´. The rest develops between rhythmic and dotted guitars, bass simple and accurate, new drummer that curdles well; and above all, compelling and exciting melodies, like much of the lyrics, sung with energy and passion. The production is top notch.

Is it appropriate not highlight it because it is not 100% Progressive? Who knows? The word 'progress' corresponds irrefutably and is applicable to this sublime work. I remember buying the CD 20 years ago and do not know any songs due to little commercial impact it had.

Musicians with accredited and a long career. It earned the band, despite facing serious difficulties and changes, has been reinventing and has remained active for more than three decades; because they are really good at their proposal. Several subsequent albums are worthy and leave a good feeling, but here there are no good rating for being less progressive.

In short: 'Aura' Is mesmerizing, dark and light at a time. The chorus of 'The Disilusionist' excels; ´Feel' should have given more commercial revenues. It would be unfair not to mention 'Mistress', 'Lustre', 'Feel', 'Ripples'. Short songs are competent and fit well in the work.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 The Missing Fireflies... by LOCANDA DELLE FATE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
3.22 | 31 ratings

BUY
The Missing Fireflies...
Locanda delle Fate Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Jeff Carney

3 stars What's a bit perplexing about this release is not the modern re-recording of old compositional ideas, but the questionable vintage source then used to complete them.

In fact, I found the modern recordings to sound absolutely brilliant. Better than could ever have been expected, they truly capture the spirit of how this musical work was surely envisioned in 1977. What is strange is that the 1977 recordings are from a distant audio source, when much of this material was already available via a different performance as a soundboard source, as evidenced by its release on Mellow in 1993. As I've noted in my review of that very Mellow CD, those recordings were absolutely butchered with digital noise reduction, but one would have to think the original tapes used by Mellow would exist. Could those tapes have provided a soundboard quality representation of the 1977 recordings which were used to finish out this fascinating, unreleased musical work?

I guess we can presume that the soundboard tapes available for Mellow's "Live" were unavailable for license or lost to the sands of time. I will say that the 1977 recordings of this material actually sound a bit better here than those on the Mellow CD. Again, this is down to the poor mastering on the Mellow CD. Nothing to do with a vast difference in performance.

So how to rate such a release? It's difficult, but given the quality of the modern version of LDF and their ability to capture a sound so truly similar to their original, I think 3 stars is entirely fair.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Live by LOCANDA DELLE FATE album cover Live, 1977
3.66 | 21 ratings

BUY
Live
Locanda delle Fate Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Jeff Carney

2 stars If ever you wish to understand why there is a sonic "crusade" against the use of digital noise reduction by many, this release is a fine example.

Even one of the finest reissue labels (Mellow) got burned by some engineer with the misuse of said technique, and the results are disastrous. Nice soundboard audio is simply ruined with no-noise here, and what I suspect were some bright, treble heavy choices on EQ are made to liven this up. But the sound of no-noise gating in and out is everywhere. It pulls at the vocals, and soft piano sections are so overcooked with it that you can sometimes hear the stuff ringing. The music often sounds like it is trapped under water, trying to grasp some air.

Perhaps not perfect recordings in the first place, but given the scarcity of live LDF, it would be wonderful to hear these get a proper release today.

The performances are excellent and it's essential for any devoted fan. However, I think the poor mastering will cause you to reach for this one only very rarely.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Yanqui U.X.O. by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.97 | 244 ratings

BUY
Yanqui U.X.O.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat

5 stars Another amazing collection of music by this seminal band. There isn't a lot of political music out there anymore, but GY!BE is political...and they are Canadian. They hit the political message right in the nose.....and they are mostly instrumental. In fact, in this album, they are completely instrumental and this is probably their most political/musical album. But that is one of the beauties here....you can take the political side and guess at what they are trying to convey by looking at the album art and etc., or you can close your eyes and imagine any image that the music conjures up in your mind.

Like I said, this is all instrumental. There are no sound collages and field recordings that were evident on their other albums, and, unfortunately, it is the one thing that is missed here. But the music itself is awesome. There are 3 main compositions here, two of them are divided into 2 parts, plus the vinyl had one extra track (which, by the way, is a spoken word recording by George Bush which has been cut and pasted together). Each separate composition is actually a multi-movement work, but, and this is another unfortunate fact, the movements are not outlined in the program notes or track list like it was on "Lift Yr Skinny Fists....". I do miss that because it would make the tracks seem less dense on this album. I know having that diagram of the breakdown of the tracks on the previous album really helped in the understanding of the music structure. But, once again, the music is still amazing. This album is more of a musicscape where their other albums were soundscapes.

It always surprises me, that given the length of most of GB!YE's works, that the time always seems to fly by when I am listening to them. On this album, you have 2 tracks that are over 20 minutes, but, even with the slow buildups and long releases, the time still goes by quickly and they are over before I know it.

A lot of this music was actually in existence before the recording of the E.P. "Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada", so it's been around for a while before the recording of this album. The music was perfected and retitled (from titles in GY!BE concerts). The music works off the basic Post-rock formula, which in many cases for me, has been a failure for many other bands because they don't expand on the formula enough. However, it always seems to work so well for GY!BE, because of the emotion put into the music, the way all the layers work together so well, the timing seems to always be right as far as when to reach the inevitable climax, and the fact that the music always moves or progresses. Rhythms change almost seamlessly but at a moments notice, the music is symphonic and epic. To me, this is in the same category as Classical music, even if it is still rock (progressive art rock), it is rock music pushed to newer boundaries.

A lot of fans seem to have had a harder time with this album. I know I did at first, but now I notice a lot more variety and movements within each song, which were not quite so evident without the program notes that were available in "Lift...". The music seems denser at first too because it isn't broken up by the field recordings. The thing is, with this album, it takes more time for it to sink in. But, the beauty and the wonder is still all there. Dynamics are determined more by layering then I think it was on earlier albums. There is definitely a lot more dissonance in this album also, which works well for the music on this album.

When I first heard this album, I considered it a lesser recording than the previous albums. I have gotten past that now. It took time, but I have found the masterpiece in this album and now consider it as great as their other albums. Yes it is a masterpiece and, as the other GY!BE albums, I consider it essential, especially for the proclaimed lovers of Post-rock.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 percept from ... by PTF album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.11 | 10 ratings

BUY
percept from ...
ptf Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars Out of nowhere came this Japanese quartet in 2009, they most propably were quite known in their homecountry, as they appear to be a very active group in live performances, but it wasn't until 2013, when they came in forefront by Musea.Members were Keisuke Takashima on electric/acoustic violin, Takeya Kito on keyboards, Hiroyuki Ito on bass and Yusuke Seki on drums, they published the first album ''Percept from...'' on Musea's branch label Musea Parallele.Violinist Keisuke Takashima composed all tracks on this effort.

Ptf continue the excellent tradition of violin-driven Japanese Prog groups like KENSO, OUTER LIMITS or MIDAS with some pinches of JEAN-LUC PONTY in the process and present here a delicate and dreamy Symphonic-Jazz Rock with some superb arrangements, beautiful solos and soft rhythms.No fanfares or pyrotechnics, the compositions are carefully arranged till' the last detail, alternating between dramatic sections with really complex musicianship and ethereal melodies with a Classical aura.The short pieces are pretty great, bass and drums are played with consistency, keyboards are used mostly for background purposes, mainly organ and acoustic/electric piano and Takashima's violin is the driving force without question, monumental performances with great hooks, solos and melodies.But the three long cuts, clockin' at over 10 minutes, are something else, featuring outstanding moods and climates with lots of melancholic tunes, romantic soundscapes and dense instrumental moves.Balanced on the thin line between Symphonic Rock and Fusion, this quartet delivers excellent variations in these cuts, performed like mini-suites and creating very emotional material.Some of the best blends between technical and melodious textures you can find around.

Killer album.Violin-drenched Symph Fusion of the highest calibre, fluid, melodious and slightly virtuosic.Highly recommrended, among the best of the year.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Galerie by HENRION, LUC album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Galerie
Luc Henrion Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars Back in early-70's, at the time when he was a student at the University of Leuven, Belgian composer Luc Henrion was inspired by the music of E.L.P., Pink Floyd and Mike Oldfield, albums like ''Pictures at an exhibition'' were very close to his Classical roots.He wanted to put up a similar effort of his own, hence he gathered some money to rent or buy instruments after recording an album for singer Dominique Delvaux.He met Dan Lacksman in a Jazz club, a man who owned a studio, which prooved to be too small to feature a grand piano, thus some parts of his solo effort had to be recorded in another floor.Henrion recalled also that the organ or harsichord sounds on the album were actually coming out of cheaper instruments due to lack of money, like a Crumar organizer and a spinet.Despite the difficulties he recorded all instruments alone, bass, drums, guitars and a variety of keyboards and pianos and launched this album independently in 1977 as ''Galerie''.

Henrion's solo debut was very much an amateur production, fortunately overpowered by his talents as a composer and performer.It contains two long instrumental suites along with a couple of shorter pieces, ending up to be a dramatic, romantic journey into the world of Classical Music, based primarly on a keyboard- and piano galore, avoiding the strict academic approach of other musicians and presenting a pretty atmospheric offering.I find the opening suite to be too much based on his grand piano, guitars are only used at the beginning, having a strong MIKE OLDFIELD-ian style, and the rest of the way is bombastic piano-driven Classical Music, doubled by a harpsichord.The second part is pretty great and more diverse, not only instrumentally speaking, but it also contains a variety of atmospheres: Romantic sections, haunting interludes and melancholic passages.Henrion's armour is on full display here, impressive GOBLIN-like polymoog synth lines, sweet symphonic E.L.P.-ish organs, cinematic piano textures, a nice attempt on laid-back, keyboard-based Symph Rock with a stronger guitar content, again akin to MIKE OLDFIELD works.The two shorter pieces on each side have the same title, but a different sound.Side 1-''N'publiez pas le guide S.V.P.'' is about a minute of folky, acoustic music, while side 2-''N'publiez pas le guide S.V.P.'' is a lovely harsichord outro, similar to Italian acts like CELESTE or LE ORME.

Henrion became a professional composer through the years, releasing lots of Classical-related efforts, providing music for several productions and delivering instrumental background for quite a few artists.

Symphonic Rock of a more loose variety, semi-improvised and more atmospheric than the albums you've used to listen to.Quite original with some interesting keyboard and piano themes, so this one comes recommended.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Transparencias by MIA album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.97 | 52 ratings

BUY
Transparencias
MIA Symphonic Prog

Review by Jeff Carney

3 stars Look, that some of this material was written by a 15 year old is remarkable, but let's try to judge this album objectively.

There is a lot ELP here. And early in the record the musical moves sometimes work themselves into classical tributes; which can sound a bit out of place. There is a long bass solo which sounds nice enough but is straight out of the Greg Lake/Chris Squire school. A drum solo follows which sounds somewhere between Carl Palmer and Billy Cobham, yet somehow feels forced and perhaps an example of overplaying. Overall, however, I found the rhythm section to be pretty strong. Moving the pieces along in interesting fashion. Keeping busy but not overly so.

The long title track is somewhat ruined in that it eventually descends into what is simply a blatant rip-off of Renaissance's "Ashes Are Burning." This goes on and on and on ... with an attempt to throw an Andy Powell guitar solo into the mix. It simply doesn't work and the album ends in disappointment.

This is no 4 star album. 3 is reasonable.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Now You See Me by MOLD, COLIN album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.13 | 14 ratings

BUY
Now You See Me
Colin Mold Prog Folk

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I purchased this album on the strength of my good friend Thomas' (Tszirmay) review, because, generally, we tend to enjoy the same music.

For what is so obviously an individual labour of love (Mold does it all on this work), so utterly home produced, the thing that strikes one upon hearing it is just how good the production and feel of the album is. The sound and vocals are utterly lush, as if, somehow, a David Hentschel, or similar luminary, had been sneaked into the home studio, twiddled the knobs, and left, with no credit to his name at all.

Mold has a plaintive, questing, and extremely pleasing voice. The emotion, see Will We Ever Return especially, an incredibly thoughtful song, is striking. His musicianship is of the highest order, and the backing vocals provided by Michelle Glover add very decent layers to the textures that the ears find so immensely pleasing.

There is a lot going on in this album, and the trick Mold pulls off is the very difficult one of making extremely accessible music in the context of progressive soundscapes. Not many pull it off, and it is done here with aplomb.

There is not one bum track, and my favourite amongst a really good bunch of tracks is Amelia (The Vagabond), a gorgeous paeon to the intrepid aviator who met her premature end somewhere over The Pacific Ocean. A thoughtful and lovely lyric, with some exceptional guitar work to take us soaring above the clouds whilst listening.

This is the kind of artist for whom this site was invented. A talented man, utterly honest in his endeavours, ploughing what must be, at times, a fairly lonely furrow bringing his music to a wider audience. The keyboard and guitar work, especially, deserve such an audience.

Well, this reviewer, for one, can wholly recommend a delicious slab of beautiful, pastoral, modern and commercial progressive folk rock.

Four stars. Quite excellent, so thank you Colin, Thomas, and, of course, Caerllysi Music from whom this was purchased - please support independent music outlets.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Powerslave by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 1984
4.13 | 521 ratings

BUY
Powerslave
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by Pastmaster

5 stars Iron Maiden-Powerslave

After the increased progressive leanings on 'Piece of Mind', Maiden released a new height with 'Powerslave' which could very well be called the first progressive metal album.

I'm always amazed when I listen to Iron Maiden, the fact that they can release masterpiece after masterpiece is simply amazing. Even though 'A Matter of Life and Death' is my personal favorite Maiden album, it's hard to pick a favorite when nearly all of their albums are flawless. If I had to pick a favorite out of the classics though, it would probably be 'Powerslave'.

The album begins with single 'Aces High'. Nicko McBrain's drumming on this track is very powerful and the guitar compliments it well. Of course you can't forget the other single '2 Minutes to Midnight', being just as powerful as the previous track. One song on this album that I feel gets forgotten is the instrumental 'Losfer Words (Big Orra)'. The song begins with cymbals before some really powerful driving guitar riffs come in. My favorite song from the album though has to go to the amazing title track. Bruce Dickinson gives one of his strongest vocal performances on this song, real power coming out of great lyrics like 'Tell me why I have to be a powerslave'. The instruments all compliment each other well, and the riffing can sound menacing on this song. Even though my favorite song on this album is the title track, my favorite classic Maiden epic 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' can't be forgotten. This nearly 14-minute behemoth is a musical interpretation of a poem, but that doesn't need to be known to enjoy this masterpiece. The guitars really drive, Dickinson's vocals are powerful, the drums are powerful, the song changes and is definitely one of my favorite epics of all time. The bridge is conducted perfectly, reminding me a lot of Rush's 'Cygnus X-1' with the way the guitar sounds and the spoken word. Once the song builds back up, Dickinson gives yet another powerful vocal performance. A true masterpiece.

Overall, I think everyone can agree that this is an essential album to any metal collection. This album boosted Iron Maiden's popularity, and helped make them one of the most influential bands in heavy metal.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Patchwork Cacophony by PATCHWORK CACOPHONY album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.67 | 2 ratings

BUY
Patchwork Cacophony
Patchwork Cacophony Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I've always said i'm a music fan not a music critic, but whenever I give 3 or less stars I feel like a critic because I have to explain why I didn't give a higher rating and that becomes the focus. So it's times like this that I dislike reviewing because Ben Bell the man behind this one-man project is very talented and ambitious and has put so much time and energy into the music he loves. It just so happens my tastes don't align with the music here for the most part.

Having said all of that if your a fan of keyboard driven music then look no further than PATCHWORK CACOPHONY. Ben plays everything on here but his speciality appears to be the various keyboards he plays like the piano, Hammond organ, Prophet '08 synthesizer, Clava Nord Stage, Yamaha TG55, and Taijiguy and Emu Classic keys mellotron samples. We're only a quarter of a way through the list of instruments he plays at this point. Wow! He composed all the music and wrote the lyrics, as well as producing and engineering this album.

"Sketch Of A Day" is the 16 minute opener and it's all instrumental with piano only to start as we get some mellotron sounds and more joining in before it kicks into full sound around 2 1/2 minutes in. Lots of keyboards and a beat standing out here. A calm with piano 5 1/2 minutes in before it turns full again before 7 minutes as themes continue to be repeated. A pretty good instrumental that gets fairly intense later on before it ends like it began. "No U-Turn" is an uptempo keyboard-led instrumental. It's okay. "Dance Of The Fleet-Footed Heffalumps" is mainly keys and picked guitar I believe. Some sampled mellotron just before a minute that is like sunshine peering through the clouds. "Brinkmanship" reminds me of CAMEL at times, I think it's the organ. Piano to start then it kicks in before a minute. This is good with that organ leading the way. It picks up before 5 1/2 minutes with piano leading then the organ starts to lead the way once again. It settles before 8 minutes then rebuilds. I like the organ late. This is my favourite song of the first half. "Nylons For Parot" is a short tune with picked guitar and tapping throughout.

Next is the "Dawn Light" suite with around 30 minutes of music over nine tracks. "Prelude" features these spacey synths ala "Lost In Space" a TV show that only us old folks will remember i'm sure. Lots of atmosphere as well. "Changes In The Air" is the first song where we get vocals. Man this song reminds me so much of DISCIPLINE. Excellent track and my favourite overall. "No Time" on the other hand is my least favourite. It has vocals as well but it just doesn't do anything for me. "Reprise" is a short song with slowly played piano throughout. "We Can't Stay" has these high pitched vocals along with an instrumental back- drop that i'm not into. "Rest My Feet" has these sparse piano melodies as laid back vocals join in. It blends into "Scorched Earth" where it picks up quickly with a fuller sound. Some spoken words as well later on. It blends into "Final Sunset" where vocals arrive then we get a keyboard solo after 1 1/2 minutes before the vocals return a minute later as contrasts continue. "Twilight Procession" ends it as we get plenty of atmosphere.

A good album no doubt but one that just doesn't have enough positives for my particular tastes in music. Keyboard fans have to check this album out!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 L' enigma della Vita by LOGOS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.26 | 170 ratings

BUY
L' enigma della Vita
Logos Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars This band was originally formed in 1996 and this is their third album, although it is the first since 2001. They are listed as an RPI band but the music is more retro-symph-prog than RPI (old or new). The vocals however are more in RPI territory and don't sound like most symph bands. Although a quartet, there are two keyboard players while one member does both the guitar and bass duties. "Antifona" is a spacey and electronic oriented instrumental opener. Vaguely Floydian sounding. This leads into..."Venivo da un Lungo Sonno" which is more Genesis sounding. The vocals start almost halfway but they don't sound anything like a British band. I like the guitar solo towards the end which sounds like a cross between Gilmour and Hackett.

"In Fuga" starts with some Rhodes piano playing that you would not find on any Genesis or Floyd album. Some mellotron and synth join in just before the rest of the band does. After some vocals the keyboards and guitar alternate doing mini-solos. "Alla Fine Dell'ultimo Capitolo" fades in on a Genesis vibe. Love the chorus/delay effect on the crosspicked guitar. Really nice key/chord changes just before the guitar solo (and during it). Later a very symph prog sounding synth solo. One of the more interesting songs on the album. "N.A.S." is an instrumental. Generally more dark and harder-edged than what came before. The synth soloing is very good and melodic.

The synth and guitar sounds/tones are really good in the title track. The music gets faster and more symphonic starting in the middle. Then the tempo slows back down and the vocals return. "In Principio" is one of the highlights for me. Opening with synth arpeggios and some lovely acoustic guitar. Some vaguely spacey synths can be heard in the background while the vocals are out front. After the drumming arrives the music gets slightly busier. Over halfway comes a menacing sounding synth which, along with the almost funky guitar playing, takes the whole track to a different level. The music continues to get intense with a sympathetic guitar solo.

"Pioggia in Campagna" fades in on a very Genesis sounding note. Eventually things gets more acoustic and RPI sounding. A very symph prog sounding organ solo before the middle. Overall the music is classic symph prog but the vocals are more RPI. "Il Rumore Dell'aria" ends the album on a dark, mysterious note. The sound of water drops and some spoken word creates an atmosphere of suspense when coupled with the dramatic and 'dark' sounding synths. Nothing on here which is truly origin or groundbreaking but the album is still enjoyable and consistent. Recommended to fans of retro-prog or the more retro leaning modern RPI stuff. I will give this a 3.5 but round it up to 4 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Upon Darkened Stains by ANIMA MORTE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.94 | 17 ratings

BUY
Upon Darkened Stains
Anima Morte Symphonic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Anima Morte continue to deliver their cinematic symphonic instrumental music with a lot of dark atmosphere, but also some lighter passage. The band is taking his influence from Goblin and the Swedish Prog bands, like Pär Lindh Project and Anglagard. However in the song "The Carrion Crow", it's the influence of Pink Floyd and Eloy that comes to mind. This is intense music with the keyboards shining throughout the album with the usual retro sound of the Hammond and Mellotron. But the guitars have their time to take the lead and the drums are on the spot. This is not a music overly complex but contains enough change of tempo and dynamics. The band focus on building the melody slowly with emotion. There is enough variety and moods in each song to keep the listening enjoyable for the whole thing. Unfortunately, according to the band, this could be their last album.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Year Zero Remixed by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
2.57 | 12 ratings

BUY
Year Zero Remixed
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by TCat

2 stars This album is all remixes of songs from the "Year Zero" album. This was basically one of those contractual obligation albums that Trent put together and was the last one released on Interscope Records. After this release, Trent was free from any recording contracts and could record whatever he wanted.

There were two versions of this album: the one with the track listing above and the vinyl version which consisted of 5 recorded sides and one blank side. The vinyl version had a different track list with some tracks not included on the other version and a few tracks are left off. Overall, the vinyl version ended up with 17 total tracks. The vinyl version is the one that I listened to for this review.

So, that might give you an idea of what you will get with this album. It is, for the most part, quite difficult to sit through. Most of the remixes are quite repetitive and boring, nothing like a good part of the remixes that were released by NIN in the past. It seems to me that a lot of these tracks were rushed or maybe accepted just to fill up time. Some tracks extend over 10 minutes which is way too long for the type of repetitive remixes they are. They start out promising but end up overstaying their welcome in each case.

There are some great highlights here though, but I doubt they are worth the price or time invested. "The Great Destroyer" remixed by Modwheelmood is the best track on here and even entices me to check out some of their other recordings. "Another Version of the Truth" is also quite amazing and is performed and reimagined by the Kronos Quartet. This is a beautiful performance done by strings and I would have rather heard an entire album of this Quartet doing NIN songs. It is very modern-classical sounding and very impressive.

Other than those highlights, there are a few other okay recordings, but way too many that just continue on and on for way too long. If the two versions of "Vessel" were shorter, they would have been interesting, but as they are they continue on to the extent of redundancy and become annoying. "Me, I'm Not" works the same way, starting out sounding quite interesting, but wearing out at around the 5 minute mark and by the 14th minute, your mind has already dismissed it as background noise.

I enjoy listening to NIN's remixes and especially enjoy "Closer" which is an album full of mostly remixes of that song with a few other remixes interspersed within it's close-to-an-hour length. It's funny how that album doesn't get boring even if most of the songs are remixes of the same song. They are more than remixes and the album as a whole works a lot like a concept album which is a great supplement (or sequel is you will) of "The Downward Spiral". This "Year Zero Remixes" album though is a far cry from that "Closer" album and doesn't even come close to that one. Except for the few highlights and a couple of okay tracks, this one is too disjointed or just plain uninteresting. Only completionists will want this for the long-term, but since the production and sound is good, I can't rate it as poor. So I think we can squeeze 2 stars out of it, but try to see if you can get the few highlights from the album and disregard the rest as an album that simply fulfilled the record company contract.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Everything Is Healing Nicely (EIHN) by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.34 | 31 ratings

BUY
Everything Is Healing Nicely (EIHN)
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat

3 stars This album was released posthumously by the Zappa Family Trust. Basically, it is a collection of outtakes and rehearsals that were recorded during the recording of the "Yellow Shark" album. Being that "YS" was a highly respected work of FZ, this album was released to give people an insight as to what goes into the recording of one of FZ orchestral/serious works.

The good side of this album is that it contains some run-throughs that are very well recorded and these tracks are a good supplement to "YS". Tracks like "Roland's Big Event/Strat Vindaloo", "T'Mershi Duween" and "9/8 Objects" are excellent recordings that could have been included in the final product. However, there are others that tend to drag on too long and are difficult to remain attentive to like "Nap Time" (a fitting title) and "Wonderful Tattoo". For titles like these, it would be good to have accompanying video to watch how Zappa lead the orchestra/band with his hand signals and cues.

The bad thing about this collection is the times when the record button was left on during certain "readings" that ramble on for too long and take up too much time on this album. The novelty of these tracks just wears off way too quickly. I don't know if this was an attempt by the family to make the album more listenable and light weight, but to me it distracts from the best parts of the album and also lessens the chance that it could ever be taken seriously. This album could have been utilized as a study tool in music education to aid into the insight of FZ's serious music, but there is no chance of that happening because of the ramblings.

Anyway, with the unevenness of the album, the best that I can do is give this a 3 star rating. I suppose this album would make the most sense to the lovers of the "Yellow Shark" album that would like to hear more, Anyone else would probably scratch their head wondering what all of this is about.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Zeit 'Largo In 4 Movements' by TANGERINE DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.68 | 258 ratings

BUY
Zeit 'Largo In 4 Movements'
Tangerine Dream Progressive Electronic

Review by FXM

5 stars Zeit - a true masterpiece.

This review is a tribute to Edgar Froese.

I learned that Edgar Froese had passed away yesterday evening so as a tribute to one of the greatest pioneers of electronic music I have decided to do a review of one the greatest pieces of electronic music ever recorded. Tangerine Dream have a vast discography of both studio and live recordings and were still actively recording up to the death of their inspirational leader. In my opinion Zeit represents one of their best recordings. It is a mammoth work of four movements that each spanned a full side of vinyl on the original release. It was also the first recording of what many, including myself, would regard as the "classic" line-up of Froese, Franke and Baumann and represents a seminal work of electronic music/space rock.

It is subtitled "Largo in four movements" and as the term Largo indicates it is a slow moving work that gradually developes, evolves and unfolds capturing the listener in realms of deep space.

"First Movement: Birth of Liquid Plejades" starts with some rather menacing cello and evolves into an etheral mesmerising spacy composition.

"Second Movement: Nebulous Dawn" starts of quitely with droning synthesiser then joined by more keyboards and pulsating sound effects creating a very atmospheric haunting piece. Again it envokes images of the other worlds deep in the solitude of space.

"Third Movement: Supernatural Probabliities" envokes images of the vastness of space, menacing at times, with a pulsating sound in the background which if you let you mind wander could represent the hum of a futuristic space craft crusing through deep space.

"Fourth Movement: Zeit" is another haunting etheral composition. Zeit translates as Time, so I envisage it as a sound representation of time and space, many of the stars we see in the sky are many millions of light years away, the light we see from them now was emitted many millions of years ago and has travelled the vastness of space to only reach us now.

I tend to do most of my music listening while working (been self-employed helps) and some when driving but this music deserves to be heard properly, sitting back in an armchair with the lights dimmed (but probably not in the dark as it may just scare you too much) and closed off from the distractions of the outside world so that you can obsorb its nuances and take your mind on a journey to the outer reaches of the cosmos and alien worlds.

This is one of the most important records of the 20th Century. It is a magnificant musical achievement. It was ground breaking for its time, opening up a whole new world of musical posibilities. Definitely a masterpiece well worthy of a 5 star rating.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 A Night At The Opera by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.27 | 690 ratings

BUY
A Night At The Opera
Queen Prog Related

Review by Losimba

5 stars I admit I'm quite mainstream with my feelings of this album. But it is very hard not to be, looking at the variety of the songs which already makes this album as complex as possible without looking at the really complex songs. There's only one superfluous track, God Save The Queen, but if you put it into context with the name of the band and eccentrics of some of the musicians, it finds some justification, too. But let's start at the beginning.

The piano intro to the first track is a first hint of what to expect and soon evolves into teh accusing Death On Two Legs, a song directly aimed at the boss of their former record company who tried to have it banned, but without success. It is followed by the short and innocent Lazing On a Sunday Afternoon and the very heavy anthem of every proud European middle class twenty-odd year old man, I'm In Love With My Car. It is only after this fabulous song that the first half second of actual silence is set before the next song, one of Queen's classics, You're My Best Friend, the first ballad on the album. Number five is an up-tempo acoustic piece with Brian May at the microphone, '39 with some weird lyrics. It is followed by another Heavy Metal track, Sweet Lady, which is really good for a "weakest" song of the album, before side 1 ends with funky and funny .

All in all, 7 fine and nice short songs that would make a fine album for themselves if re-recorded in some extended versions. But then the extensions would probably only destroy the compact and strong feeling of those songs.

This all ends with the first track of the second side of the album. The definition of "epic" songs is a very wide one, and many prog fans use a certain length in minutes and seconds as the only parameter. While this is an easy and clear option, it sometimes does not do the songs justice. The Prophet's Song is one example, as many would not consider it long enough. But the song's structure more than makes up for the missing two or so minutes. The acapella section in the middle of the song is certainly not everybody's darling, but I like it not only because it hints at what will still come, but also for the show of vocal skill of all 4 band members. The outro is a direct link to the second ballad of the album, Love Of My Life which shows that Freddie Mercury might have been a strong contestant to Elton John in the race for best piano rock performer if he had wanted to. The album closes in to the end and gives the audience three and a half minutes to either dance or breathe through with the easy going Good Company before Freddie Mercury unleashes his opus magnum.

When I first heard Bohemian Rhapsody as a 13 year old lass, I hated it because I didn't understand the complexity of both music and lyrics. A few years later, when I had become older and wiser (yes this pun was borrowed from Alan Parsons), this epic song had become another of my all time top 5 songs and will probably never be relegated from this status. The gong at the end would be a perfect conclusion for the album, but this is Queen, so the British anthem was added as an outro and doesn't even spoil the overall impression of genius.

Full and undisputed 5 stars for one of the greatest albums ever recorded.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 In Rock by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.30 | 874 ratings

BUY
In Rock
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by Losimba

4 stars Ok, my first review here, and while it's not one of my all time favourite albums it contains one of my all time top 5 songs. This album was published a few months before I was born, so it was already quite old when I first listened in (I must have been around 16 or 17 then) and immediately bought it, of course on vinyl then.

And what a start Speed King offers. Easily one of the fastest songs Deep Purple ever recorded, it drives on for 6 minutes, including a classic of a guitar solo by Ritchie Blackmore. Track 2 is Bloodsucker, a fine contrast in its heaviness.  But the highlight of the album is Child In Time, 10 minutes and 17 seconds of intensity, vibration and variety. Starting innocently with this wonderfully simple bass lick and organ motif, the first part is one single crescendo culminating in Ian Gillan's famous screaming. The following solo section is similar, the first minute or so comes rather bluesy before the whole thing accelerates and finally ends with a strong chord. One might think that this is already the end of the song, but no, it's back to the beginning with just some variations in the organ parts, and of course the screaming part is not followed by another solo but a rather dramatic winddown ending the song with something like a big crash.

Side two begins with Flight Of The Rat, which is one of the reasons the album didn't get all time favourite status and 5 stars. Yes, it is another powerful song, but I never was able to get a really distinct impression. This is different with the next song, Into The Fire. Though it's the shortest and probably least "progressive" song on the album, the riff and chorus are something I find myself whistling now and then. Living Wreck is the second less distinct song on this album, before it closes down with Hard Lovin' Man, another rather long track which I rate somewhere between the good and the less good songs, but closer to the good ones. While energy and the chorus are firmly in my ears, most of the other parts of the song are put back into the back drawers of my memory recall about 2 songs later.

I don't own the remaster, but the Black Night single, and I'm quite disappointed with it. While the core of the song is quite good, this version will never be equal to the live versions on Made in Japan or Nobody's Perfect with their beautiful bass intros. So it's gonna be 4 stars, maybe 4.5 because Child In Time is a 6 stars song.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Oxygene 7-13 by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.44 | 52 ratings

BUY
Oxygene 7-13
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Breathe this!

I have always loved the melodic pieces of Jarre's original Oxygene (particularly the well-known and memorable Oxygene IV), but the album as a whole I never was able to like. The reason is simply that it contains way too much aimless soundscapes that are not much more than transportation to my ears. Oxygene 7-13 is the follow-up to that classic 1976 album and I am happy have discovered that it is built on the style of the best and most melodic parts from the original and as such is a much more enjoyable album overall for me.

The original Oxygene album was of course a pioneering work of electronic music and as such has earned its place in music history and Oxygene IV is rightly considered a classic tune, but this more recent album is a more mature effort and a much better album overall in my opinion. Indeed, I would even say that this is the best I have heard from Jarre and one of the best electronic music albums I have encountered.

Recommended!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Forest by GIRÓN album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Forest
Girón Progressive Electronic

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

— First review of this album —
4 stars How fitting that on the day that the world lost Tangerine Dream's electronic music pioneer Edgar Froese I should be reviewing an album and artist that takes his defining styles and sounds of electronic/Berlin School music and offers his own unique, exciting and very personal take on the same traditions in a way that Froese would no doubt have been immensely proud of. Spain's Tomás Fernández Girón's debut album `Forest' from 2014 may share the same kind exploratory ambience and space music adventurousness as the early Tangerine Dream, Cluster, Klaus Schulze and Ashra works, but there's a darker, more melancholic and deeply human sound drifting through this work, especially due to many sparse moments of despondent piano throughout the electronic ambient soundscapes.

One thing that makes `Forest' instantly stand out is that it avoids some `cosmic' clich's that are often found on these sort of `space music' albums, even the title suggests something more grounded, which makes the music easier to connect with and relate to on an emotional and personal level. Even so, there's something just a little...`off' in parts, slightly unnerving throughout this album, and it creates a very surreal and conflicting mood! This slight edge and uncomforting quality makes Girón's music about as far from unoriginal, pretty hero worship as you can get, and the sparse low-key production gives the album a very intimate and real fragility.

Opener `Cross The Line' weaves lonely heartbreaking piano behind reverberating machine hums and weeping synth cries, sequencer patterns creeping in and constantly building in urgency. `Inside the Forest' and it's reprise later on incorporate distortion, whirring machine oscillations and a maddening ticking beat that scratches at your nerves, Tomás' delicate piano notes cutting straight to your heart. An almost darkly romantic piano melody carefully dances over drowsy fuzzy washes throughout `Deep', with pressure drop rising and falling electronic waves, and skittering loops that race headlong into pulsing dance beats. The album then unexpectedly closes with moments of real joy throughout the dreamier and carefully sweet closer "Outside the Forest" by way of playful sequencer beats, trilling synths and warm electronics washing over the listener.

Recorded live in the studio during November of 2013, limited to a now likely sold out run of 100 CD copies, `Forest's lengthy Berlin School atmospheres, relentless sequencer patterns, sombre drifting piano ambience and even brief tasteful pounding dance beats ensure a perfect balance of vintage and modern electronic styles. It's an incredibly accomplished debut album with a very distinctive sound, and with mention of an upcoming second album already in the works, the ambient/electronic genres have an exciting and original new artist to keep an eye on with Tomás Fernández Girón.

Four stars for `Forest', a deeply personal favourite album for me from 2014.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Deconstruction (Devin Townsend Project) by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.91 | 343 ratings

BUY
Deconstruction (Devin Townsend Project)
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars So, this is the intense and chaotic progressive metal album that comprises one fourth of the original concept of the Devin Townsend Project (which has since progressed into six albums with "Epicloud" and also "Sky Blue" from the "Zed Squared" double disc). Having four of Strapping Young Lad's albums (Devin's other band from 1995 to 2006), I was expecting something really similar because the reviews I had read suggested so. Devin said in an interview that this is where he wanted to take Strapping Young Lad, and in another interview he said in response to a question about reforming SYL that "This is the kind of metal I want to do now".

Considering all this, I found my expectations were not met. Instead, I was faced with a mountain of creative music that I realized was going to take some time to explore and become familiar with. There is only one track here that I feel is similar to SYL's music, "Poltergeist" (an interesting title as the simultaneously released sister album is entitled "Ghost"). The rest of the album covers a surprising range of music, though still in the metal mould, from "Praise the Lowered" with lots of mellow and dark electronica to the 16-minute plus "The Mighty Masturbator" with various metal shades as well as a club music section, to the wild theatrical ride of the title track.

Fans of Devin will know that he has often worked with female vocalists (at least five that I can think of) because he writes music with a certain vocal quality or sound in mind that only woman can provide. He once said that he doesn't need to work with male vocalists because he can do most of what he needs himself. On this album, however, he wanted to make a real metal statement and called in quite a host of male guest vocalists. At first, I find the guests are not so easy to pick out. Devin is an accomplished screamer, growler, shouter, and sneerer, as well as singer, howler, whisperer, and crooner. After several listens now, I can better identify the guest vocal performances, particularly Oderus Urungus on the title track, Ihsahn on "Juular", and Paul Masvidal and Joe Duplantier on "Sumeria". Some have complained that the guest vocalists weren't used to their full capacity; however, I only feel the Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth has taken the most time to pick out considering his vocal talents.

The album alternates between shorter songs ranging between 3:29 and 6:37, and longer ones ranging between 9:27 and 16:38. My general impression of the album is that it is a precursor to the "Zed Squared" disc, "Ziltoid Dark Matters" because it includes an orchestra and choir and in parts sounds like a metal musical. It is loosely a story about a man seeking the secrets of the universe and finds himself in Hell before the Devil who offers him a cheeseburger which contains all he seeks to know. But he can't eat the burger as he's a "vege-ma- tarian" and so his quest ends in vain. I believe the message here is that we can't expect to solve life's mysteries as long as we cling to a single ideal. The limitations we impose upon ourselves will forever blind us to the truth.

The music is generally dark, brooding at times, full of rage at others, and very intense. At other times though, there are some slower moments, some of which are rather beautiful. The height of the theatrics lie in three songs: "Juular", "The Mighty Masturbator" and "Deconstruction". "Juular" features a choir singing back up and if you've seen the video with the train riding through a hellish landscape, you'll understand how the choir's vocal contribution suits the image of a train. When Ihsahn sings the chorus, the choir and music may inspire images of a very dark scene in a Tim Burton movie. "The Mighty Masturbator", in spite of its humorous title, is mostly quite serious, though the part about saving the world features some goofy spoken dialogue. Ziltoid himself makes a guest appearance here, first in voice only and later announcing that he is indeed Ziltoid the Omniscient. There's this crazy club music section where Greg Puciato sings "We praise God. He lives inside of us," and later "We praise ourselves," and finally, "We praise Satan". I find this part really cool to listen to and the meaning of the three statements together could be interpreted rather deeply and philosophically. The song concludes with a carnival atmosphere and Ziltoid introducing some freak show characters like the four-face boy, the man with seventeen testicles, and the Mankee Brothers who provide flatulence free of charge.

The wackiest, zaniest song on the album is the title track. Beginning with two scientists discussing the brain in a toilet (Devin's toilet humour fetish in full force here), the song seems to jump from theme to theme, mostly including wild, over-the-top guitar soloing, machinegun fire drumming, a choir (who sing "All beef patties, pickles onions on a sesame seed bun" in one part), and some crazy dialogue provided by Devin and Oderus (and I'm sure a third party). Fredrik Thordendal of Messhuga contributes a crazy guitar solo, too. This song really allows Devin to indulge in his elementary school boy humour with plenty of farts, toilet sounds, misplaced emphasis in the word happiness (hapPENIS), and some nose clearing and bizarre vocal sounds. It is the craziest song I have ever heard that still pretends to be serious.

I can't say there's anything I don't like about this album. True it will not impress everyone. People who don't like heavy metal will best keep away, and people who prefer their metal a bit simpler or more technical or more serious can also spend their money elsewhere. But this is one very imaginative album and one that is slowly growing on me. Recommended for the adventurous.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Deadwing by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.09 | 1552 ratings

BUY
Deadwing
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Pastmaster

5 stars After the success of the previous album 'In Absentia', which was pretty consistently prog metal instead of the previous albums having a few metal songs here and there, Porcupine Tree decided to maintain the heaviness but Deadwing features a more alt metal-twinged sound in my opinion.

Deadwing opens up with the title track, which sets the pace of the album really well. Many well-performed transitions between heavy crunching riffs and mellower passages take place here. Unlike the previous album, Deadwing featured two singles that were pretty successful on modern rock radio; The heavy 'Shallow' and the ballad 'Lazarus'. 'Shallow' is one of my favorites on the album, with great heavy-soft transitions, an awesome Tool- like chorus, and a crazy bridge with tons of distortion. The concert-staple 'Halo' is another one of my favorites with a kick-ass bass-line by Edwin. Probably my favorite song on the album is the Tool-esque 'Open Car', which has some great riffing.

Of course I can't forget the epic 'Arriving Somewhere...but not Here', which has very beautiful lyrics and an awesome build up for some great guitar work. Also featured on certain editions of the album is a re-recording of the classic 'Shesmovedon' from 'Lightbulb Sun'. I actually prefer this version of the song to the original, it sounds cleaner and the production sounds better.

The lyrics on the album are very strong, 'Halo' having some of the best on the album. The lyrics of the aforementioned song are about using religion as an excuse to do cruel things and wage war, with such lyrics as 'God gives meaning, God gives pain' and 'I got a halo round me, I got a halo round me I'm not the same as you'. There have been plans for a movie based around Deadwing, not sure how that will turn out but it could be interesting.

Overall, Another Porcupine Tree masterpiece. I recommend this album to any fan of progressive metal or alternative metal. Porcupine Tree would come back two years later with one of their most critically acclaimed albums and rightfully so.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Opiate (EP) by TOOL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1992
2.77 | 169 ratings

BUY
Opiate (EP)
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Pastmaster

4 stars Unlike later albums like 'Lateralus', Tool's debut EP 'Opiate' shows a much rawer and angry sound. 'Undertow', which would come out a year later, still maintains some similar qualities but still enhances and adds to their sound.

Opiate has four studio recordings and two live performances, and one hidden track. The opening track 'Sweat' is my personal favorite on this EP, having both similarities and differences from their later albums. Maynard James Keenan's vocals are already powerful and standing out. Adam Jones gives some great riffing during the bridge. Both 'Hush' and 'Part of Me' are songs perfect for headbanging, with good crunching guitar. The two live tracks are both really good performances, and the final track 'Opiate' is great other then the odd hidden track. The hidden track reminds me of the weirdness of 'Disgustipated' on the next album, except being much shorter.

Overall, 'Opiate' was a great beginning for my second favorite band. Short, but a great addition nonetheless.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Perfect Beings by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.01 | 309 ratings

BUY
Perfect Beings
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars As I have stated previously, one of my little pleasures is to see what bands and artists are featured on the PA homepage either in the latest posted reviews or in the most popular of the last 24 hours. I have become acquainted with a good number of bands this way, and Perfect Beings is one of the latest to reach me thanks to a review posted a few weeks back.

First, it was an interesting coincidence because around the same time I spotted the fabulous, Roger Dean- inspired cover of Johannes Luley's solo album and sought out information on this guitarist who was the founder of Moth Vellum, another band I had heard about and checked out on Amazon Japan, only to find that the album is available as a download only. Why is this a coincidence? Because Johannes also put together Perfect Beings, and very fortunately, I was able to order the album on CD.

This is an album of music that makes impression after impression. First and foremost, it is a beautiful album. I mean, the cover is intriguing, the digipak gorgeous, the artwork thoughtful and above all, the music is really wonderful. For those of you who feel Yes is as heavy as you want your prog to be, this album is worth looking into.

But what do we have here? From the first play through I wanted to hear it again and then a third time. All the way through. And later once more all the way through. Indeed, this is an album that has been difficult to strip apart and pull off a couple of winning tracks for playlists. Right from the start I don't feel inclined to hit skip at all. Even now after a few listens through, I am finding it difficult to say which is a favourite track. Whenever I try to select a song or two for a playlist of recent acquisitions, I end up choosing four or five consecutive tracks.

But, yes, what do we have here? Well, right off the bat you'll find yourself in Beatles territory with a Paul McCartney-styled vocal bit from the latter half of the sixties. You'll also encounter lots of Yes, particularly from around 'Going for the One' and that fantastic song 'Awaken'. I also felt there was a tiny bit of Camel, some Tears for Fears circa 'Seeds of Love' and It Bites from the late eighties, some nineties Brit Pop (the more mellow and well-behaved kind), some Pure Reason Revolution from the 00's and even some Big Big Train of recent years. And would you look at that! We have bits of musical inspiration from the last 55 years or more, all fitted suitably together on a modern album.

It's been said that a lot of prog bands these days are not actually progressive but rather retrogressive. They formulate a recipe using various concoctions of the classic greats like Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Pink Floyd or others. Who is actually creating something new? I believe prog can be compared to the Second Law of Thermo Dynamics. Basically, energy seeks to spread out and achieve equilibrium. In the heyday of prog, everybody was trying to do something different. Jazz, classical, folk, and world music were being plundered by musicians seeking to find that original sound for their band. These days, however, there is little or no room left to spread. As Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull said in an interview with Rick Wakeman, rock has branched out as much as it can. It is all wrapped up with a neat little bow. So progressive artists of the day are finding there are no new coffers to raid but plenty of stock in the prog coffers already. What counts these days is how convincingly a new band can combine its derivations into something that is attractive and gives the band a unique sound.

Which brings me back to this review. There is quite an impressive collection of inspirations. I have read other reviews on the band's web site where also XTC, Pink Floyd and a few other names were mentioned as well.

The album is a loosely based narrative of a science fiction book about an artificial intelligence in a post- apocalyptic world. Among all the various influential bands that I have already mentioned, you can expect to hear beautiful acoustic guitar, electric guitar that will make you sure Steve Howe is on there, some very appropriate and at times creative drumming, a bass guitar that bears the replicated spirit of Chris Squire, and some pleasant use of piano and other keyboards. Vocalist Ryan Hurtgen sings with a soothing voice that never gets edgy or gruff though he does try to pull off a theatrical scream at one point (please do not try again). Though the music can get a little excited at times, as in 'program_kid' with a vigorous Yes / Camel passage, there's no reason to shout, hammer out power chords, or raise hell on the drums. The truly surprising thing is that this is the most English-sounding American band I have ever heard!

I give this album a firm four stars. The prog quotient is very high even though blatantly derivative at times, and I can listen to this album all the way through without tiring of the music. The thing that stays my hand from clicking on that fifth star is that I cannot find any songs which really blow me away. There are no standout tracks for me, even though some are surely better contenders than others. For me, a five-star album should have a few killer tracks for stand-alone play as well as be an album that is enjoyable to listen to from beginning to end. I think this is one album worth recommending and I am sure most prog fans on this site will award it three to five stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Vapor Trails by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.44 | 662 ratings

BUY
Vapor Trails
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Pastmaster

5 stars Rush - Vapor Trails

After being on hiatus since 'Test for Echo', Rush came out with my favorite Rush album. Seeing as Peart lost his wife and daughter during Rush's hiatus, it makes sense that Vapor Trails is one of Rush's darkest albums. This is no light and uplifting album, this is a dark album where Peart unleashes his emotions very well in the lyrics.

This album signaled yet another new era of Rush, a much heavier style having the most metal moments since probably 'Hemispheres'. It is also the first Rush album to not have keyboard since 'Caress of Steel'. It's not all the same sound though, you get a nice variety with heavy driving riffs on tracks like 'One Little Victory' or melancholy ominous tracks like 'Ghost Rider'. The lyrics are among Rush's best in my opinion, with themes as 911('Peaceable Kingdom'), Death of Peart's wife and daughter('Ghost Rider'), and Change('Celing Unlimited').

The song structure is stronger, with the bridges of songs like 'Secret Touch' transitioning perfectly. Speaking of the bridge of 'Secret Touch', Lifeson gives some of his best riffs in a while driving throughout the bridge while Lee slaps the bass and Peart keeps a strong beat. We get to see another part of the 'Fear' saga as well, with 'Freeze' having some heavy riffs and lyrics about fight or flight. To close of the album there is a much lighter song, 'Out of the Cradle', to end the album off on a nice note.

Most of the songs on the album are dark and heavy, so if you're into Rush's darker and heavier stuff you will probably enjoy it. 'Peaceable Kingdom' and 'Earthshine' are my personal favorites.

A lot of people dislike the production, yet I honestly think it fits. The production is dark and raw matching the mood of the songs, and I think that is how it was supposed to be. Even if you don't like the production though, Rush recently re-mixed the album with a different production so more people can enjoy it I suppose.

Overall, I think Vapor Trails is Rush's first flawless album since 'Moving Pictures'. Even though it may not appeal to some, I think this is when Rush entered their best era. It's darker, heavier, and raw.

Give it a chance.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Zypressen by ZYPRESSEN album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.85 | 21 ratings

BUY
Zypressen
Zypressen RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Zypressen' - Zypressen (63/100)

Halfway into my first listen of Zypressen's self-titled (and only) album, I was left with the impression that the band's drummer must have the title of 'easiest job in the world'. It took a quick glance at the band members and their respective instruments to see the folly in that statement. Hirofumi Imai is listed as Zypressen's drummer, but he also takes charge of the marimba, xylophone, glockenspeil and 'wind synthesizer'. Add to that the example of a bassist who moonlights as the band's cellist/violinist, and you might get a better idea that Zypressen are miles from ever taking the 'easy' route in their music.

Although their layered arrangements and forays with atonalism convey their avant-prog influences, Zypressen is firmly rooted in chamber rock, the particular likes of which Univers Zero might undoubtedly stand as the flagship for. In the case of Zypressen (released in 1996, now something of a hidden gem amongst chamber/avant nerds), think of what the lighter side of Univers Zero might have sounded like, had it been influenced directly by the darker side of Univers Zero. There's no doubts that Zypressen is a weird and challenging album in parts (especially for those to whom 'chamber rock' may be an alien term) but the essence of their music is soft and listenable.

Zypressen's arrangements are nuanced and far more complex than the generally light tone of the album would suggest. At their best, Zypressen function in unison and without any sign of ego or individual motivations; it's really as if the music has been composed from a bird's eye view; none of the instruments are more than brushstrokes in of themselves- everything is conceived as a part of the whole. This gestalt approach to performance is a far cry from the egotism of rock (progressive rock included) but it's right at home with chamber musical tradition, which tends to pride itself on placing the whole before its parts.

With that context in mind, it's a bit of an irony that the composed parts of Zypressen come together only loosely. There are some individually excellent musical concepts to emerge here (just hear some of the explorations in "STR (Against the Wind)" to see my point) but there's very little of the adhesive Zypressen would have needed to give them the structural coherence their promising arrangements probably deserved.

Based on some of the track name extensions here ("Tangent", for instance, is denoted here as a 'new version') I get the sense that there is a side of Zypressen's career that we're not seeing here. Where are the old versions, the old mixes that this self-titled is building upon? I think some much-needed context and history would help put the album's strengths (and, more head-scratchingly: its weaknesses) in perspective. For a style and approach that obviously prides itself on the merits of composition above all else, it is puzzling that Zypressen do not manage to bind their art with a more satisfying structure. The beautifully written tripartite suite at album's end proves to be an exception to the rule (drawing chamber classical and jazz together in a fit of Third Stream brilliance) but even then, it does not feel like the band has properly managed to get their riffs to fit together.

That the band's sense of composition is so unfocused is a shame, really. A lot of the ideas here are pretty amazing, and surely deserved more than the structural mess that was afforded to them.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 In The Land Of Grey And Pink by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.26 | 1198 ratings

BUY
In The Land Of Grey And Pink
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by Horizons
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

3 stars Not as colorful as I imagined.

The Canterbury Scene as a genre really appealed to me early on during my explorations of the genres here on Prog Archives. It was light, quirky, playful, yet had wonderful musicianship mixing fusion into catchy pop-like songs. Every album I touched in the genre failed to disappoint and so I simply just ran down the list of artists and gave each of their higher rated albums a go. I was blown away by the experimentation of Soft Machine's Third, the virtuosity of National Health, the power behind Quiet Sun and so on as I continued looking into the bigger names of the genre.

Caravan was a slightly different experience. Now being one of my favorite Canterbury Scene band, I absolutely love their first 5 albums - except this one. I began with this album because it was, and still is, the highest rated Canterbury Scene album on Prog Archives. I was immediately annoyed by some of music on the album and was just quickly turned off by it. I continued to If I Could I'd Do It All Over Again..and just was in love. The stark difference in enjoyment between the two "masterpieces" of Canterbury Scene was just confusing. Even today, after more listens to In the Land of Grey and Pink, I just don't enjoy it nearly as much as any other Canterbury enthusiast. I find Caravan's other early work and other Canterbury Scene albums in general to simply be more successful and enjoyable.

For Side 1, we have shorter compositions and the pop-song qualities that Canterbury so often brings. Unfortunately we start off with the aggravating "Golf Girl". Richard Sinclair's vocals on this track and throughout the entire first half just are just grating on me. I find Pye's lead vocal contribution on "Love to Love You" not only tolerable but actually enjoyable. I've never disliked Sinclair's vocals prior, but I think when they're stuck in the middle of Golf Girl's weak, boring instrumentation and just lackluster lyricism they just are dragged down even further. I hate to come off so strongly, but even the ending piccolo solo and general outro can't save Golf Girls falling flat as a Canterbury pop song. "Winter Wine" brings things up a bit with more a more enjoyable delivery from Richard. His voice sounds airy and gentle. The extra two minutes we find on Winter Wine, compared to Golf Girl, really shows with a more tight composition with Pye's great lead guitar and other small, but noticeable offerings in passages leading up to the ending. "Love to Love You" is the shortest track on the album, just clocking over 3 minutes and somehow pulls off the bouncy, merry pop song more successfully than Golf Girl. Pye's lead vocals are great, the chorus is quick and catchy and we are given a wonderful flute solo for the outro. Overall this song takes Golf Girl's style and composition, compacts it and delivers a more enjoyable song. By the end of Side 1, we're given the title track, and by then I'm a little bored. Again we have a very simple, accented bouncy song with no edge, twists, or stand-out attributes. This song just embodies the first half overall unfortunately: a little too samey and far too weak especially when being compared to the brilliant album before this.

Now onto an interesting matter: Nine Feet Underground. Taking up the album's entire second side is a 22- minute epic by Caravan. This piece is a bit of a mixed bag for me. While it has some fantastic moments such as some great singing by both Richard Sinclair and Pye Hastings (to whom I prefer), fiery leads and solos, enjoyable keyboard textures, and some feel-good bass grooves, I just feel the song drags a bit sometimes. It has a hard time getting started, sure you can see it as coming out with some solos but I feel nothing is really being said by them and the structure comes off a little "by the numbers". Takes about 8 minutes for the rhythm section to really get an interesting pocket going and personally I think the song as a whole gets a little lost after it goes through some of the distinct phase changes. Enjoyable some of the time, though I feel that the ambition of the epic loses me.

In the Land of Grey and Pink just falls flat for me. Their previous album "If I Could I'd Do It All Over Again.." is a dignified masterpiece, and my favorite Canterbury album, but I just get a sense that a lot of the magical melodies and Canterbury flair was all used up around the time of this record. A Side 1 plagued by monotonous compositions and a surprisingly annoying sound while Side 2 just can't keep the heat it builds up every so often, ending up with a semi-enjoyable but obviously 22-minute long composition. In the end I would recommend any other album from Caravan from their '68-'73 period.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Al-Bandaluz by CAST album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.68 | 37 ratings

BUY
Al-Bandaluz
Cast Symphonic Prog

Review by sinslice

4 stars The beginning of a new stage.

From Al-Bandaluz, Cast became a stable and homogeneous band, IMHO. Strange, when you consider that this is the 11th studio album. It is also true that "Angels and Demons" is a callable work, as well as some parts of the good "Imaginary Windows", especially the fabulous 'Moving Universe' .

While Alfonso Vidales remains the principal mentor and leader, the arrival of Carlos Humarán (guitars and vocals), Kiko King (Drums), José 'Pepe' Torres (Saxophones, Flutes, Clarinet, Kena) and Flavio Miranda Jimenez (Bass ), gives way to a different musical product, slicker and more original than before. Adding some indigenous touches and originating in music and especially in the lyric. Becoming one of the most important bands of symphonic rock from Latin America.

Music never loses dynamic and lively way. Great instrumental virtues are perceived and contains captive jewelry, El Puente (central section is reproduced in formidable 'Arsis'), Viento, La Ballesta, Viajero Inmóvil, Encrucijada and Damajuana. Some instrumental parts are not so memorable; plus added some touches of Jazz-Rock, which do not set too well. Some people accuse Cast of lack of originality, may have some truth, but I find no active similar group for so long in the scene, especially by its Latin distinctive.

Although there would be some personnel changes in the future; most of his subsequent works are significant and worthy of being considered.

I mention some Latin artists who deserve to be in ProgArchives I think: Vox Dei (La Biblia), Astor Piazzolla (Libertango, Zero Hour) and Rodolfo Mederos (Generacion Cero).

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Then All Was Silent  by METAMORPHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.64 | 26 ratings

BUY
Then All Was Silent
Metamorphosis Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Among Jean-Pierre Schenk's ambitions was to create a concept album and steadily remove the sound of Metamorphosis from any 70's-related influences.He would make true the first one with the next album of the band ''Then all was silent'', writing a story connected with cloning and war, refering to goverments creating human war machines with no feelings, except one, Kenny.The album was recorded between December 2003 and July 2004 with Giova Esposito on guitars and producer David Grillon helping out with some additional electric textures.Olivier Guenat (solo guitar) and Milena Zaharieva (flute) appear also in one track.This came out in 2005 again on Galileo Records.

The attempt to make Metamorphosis sound more original was partly succesful for Jean-Pierre Schenk, truth is the Genesis-inspired keyboard leaks were somewhat reduced, although some grandiose, orchestral backgrounds come definitely out of the British legends' repertoire, on the other hand the PINK FLOYD influence had become the band's driving force, albeit in a much more modern fashion.I find Schenk's vocals less efficient than in the past, he reminds me of a more irritating version of LIKE WENDY's Bert Heinen, a band with which Metamorphosis has many similarities.The album is based on long, atmospheric, instrumental textures with some slight spacious and symphonic soundscapes, covering nicely the sci-fi concept, still ''Then all was silent'' lacks some of the killer melodies and monster arrangements of the previous work.Slow tempos, FLOYD-ian synth explorations, nice guitar work by Esposito and Grillon and acoustic textures all the way with the story unfolding throughout, but the dynamics are limited to the power of the concept with Schenk avoiding to pass it into the album's sound.According to his words, this work was downright pessimistic about the future of humans, so he managed to deliver highly emotional music with the focus on atmospheric instrumentals and lyrics.

Very good album for the purpose it serves.Not as good as the excellent ''Nobody cares'', still a nice pearl of FLOYD-ian Neo Prog.Would it sound a bit more energetic (like on the beautiful ''Beyond the wall''), it would be a trully excellent release.Warmly recommended.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Tacita Intesa by TACITA INTESA album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.07 | 24 ratings

BUY
Tacita Intesa
Tacita Intesa Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by HypnoticFM

5 stars As an Italian, I have to admit that our musicians, even the most popular ones, can be - sometimes - extremely ignorant.

Our mainstream bands/singers are 95% of the times people who work with the sole purpose of making their music the most catchy and easy-to-listen they can, in order to address a larger audience, and of course, make a lot of money.

Nowadays, we don't have many bands who really understand and transmit the boundless culture of music.

Thankfully, there are bands like Tacita Intesa in this world. I can roughly translate their name to "Silent Understanding" (such a perfect name for a Prog band).

These guys regularly rehearse in the back of a truck, in a run-down industrial area in the middle of nowhere, Tuscany. I've seen pictures of the place, and it's most likely the coolest DIY studio that ever existed. The fact that they all are about the same age (20-ish) is also crazy, they are so young yet they have already come this far in their knowledge of music. If they're able to make Prog at this level now, I can easily imagine them in 10 - 15 years being one of the best bands Italy has ever had. I know this can sound exaggerated, but I've had the chance to talk to them after one of their live performances (stunning) , and I've seen so much dedication in them, so much love for music.

Let's talk about their debut album a bit.

I have a physical copy of it, and it comes with the little lyrics booklet, which is really interesting to read if you understand Italian. As a matter of fact in some of their songs (like my favorite one, "Valzer della morte") they are trying to tell the listener a story ; that's why I'm saying that having the booklet can change your perception of the music they make.

The songs are very-well structured and diverse, that's why I really liked all of them, there is never a repetitive or dull moment. The album has the right balance between smooth, silky, interludes and schizophrenic, cacophonous refrains. There is everything, from the "traditional" Prog transitions to the most daring experimental sections.

It is a journey through the minds and thoughts of these brilliant, young men. I try to see this not as an album, but as an experience. You should, too.

I am looking forward to listening to their second record, which I heard is being currently produced.

Thank you if you read this review 'til the end, I hope you'll be able to enjoy Tacita Intesa's music as much as I did.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Golden Oldies by FOCUS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.46 | 40 ratings

BUY
Golden Oldies
Focus Symphonic Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

4 stars Now, let me say that I wasn't expecting ANYTHING when I received this CD. To be honest I was indeed expecting something: a bad something!

I usually don't like re-recorded albums and most of the time I see no point in a band doing it in studio, if you want to record the actual state of your band after changing in its line-up do a live record...

Also, for Focus to do it I can see only ONE explanation: that the band cannot reissue their classic albums because of some issue, that would explain why to go to the studio to do new versions of such classic songs.

Now, having said that let me go to the main topic which is: is this a good record or not?!?

The overall answer is YES!

Focus managed to print in the new versions something very hard for a band to do: maintain the original feel and yet bringing something new to the versions.

In general if you ever saw the band live in the last 10 years or so there's no surprises here. Also if you own one of their live CDs/DVDs of the same period you also know this versions. But, as I said, Focus managed to re-record this songs and give them a new and fresh look but keeping everything that made the originals classics. That's something.

Following leader Thijs van Leer (Hammond, keyboards, flute, vocals) are Pierre van Der Linden (drums) - also from the golden period - , the long time bassist Bobby Jacobs and the new axeman Menno Gootjes. Is nice to see also Jan Dumée doing the screaming vocals part on the classic Hocus Pocus cause he also marked the story of the band when the returned to the stages some 15 years ago.

Overall a great re-recording album. But if you're too `puritan` just skip it.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Nude by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.60 | 554 ratings

BUY
Nude
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by progadicto

3 stars Between two of the most weak Camel albums at early 80, appears this "Nude" as a light into the night.

Perhaps "I Can See Your House From Here" (1979) and "The Single Factor" (1982) are not bad albums, they're far away from the early 70's Camel's masterpieces and even when "Nude" is not at the top of that list (and not even close to some 90's brilliant releases) still it's a good and enjoyable album.

Based upon the true story of a japanese soldier lost in an abandoned island 29 years after the end of WWII, Andy Latimer and friends built a conceptual album with some delightful highlights plenty of proggy sections and sensitive atmospheres. The album starts with the poppy soft sound of "City Life", the only track that sounds totally out of this conceptual attempt. But then after we face a nice list of tracks closer to neo-prog than the classic symphonic Camel stuff from the 70's, most of them instrumetal.

If I got to pick some highlights I'll choose the soaring "Drafted", which has simple and delicate lyrics and a short but beautiful guitar solo; "Docks" and "Beached" which forms a strong instrumental sonic landscape; the almost tribal sound of "Changing Places"; and the powerful, rhythmical and captivating "Captured".

Not one of the best Camel releases but a nice one to listen and meet Latimer's making some good neo-prog stuff...

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Clara Crocodilo by BARNABÉ, ARRIGO album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.45 | 11 ratings

BUY
Clara Crocodilo
Arrigo Barnabé RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by VOTOMS

5 stars Review nº 213

Arrigo Barnabé - Clara Crocodilo

Originally a musical play full of criticism and counterculture , essential for MAGMA & ZEUHL FANS.

First of all, let me praise this wonderful brazilian concept album, a masterpiece of the underground progressive, technical Rock in Opposition. Unfortunatelly we have only two reviews for Arrigo Barnabé's albums in the ProgArchives. But just check them and you will understand what I'm talking about. Arrigo is my favorite (even stronger than Zappa and Zorn in my inspiration list), and after my long research into music I couldn't say anything less than, the best, most creative and innovative composer into Twelve-Tone atonality tecnique, a.k.a DODECAPHONISM. Beware, folks. Into these tracks what you will find is the real, solid hard listening avant-garde music. Definitely speaking, not for kids or light hearted musicians. What Arrigo leads in his debut is an ironic agressive opera satirizing the degraded life in the big city of Sao Paulo, fulfilled with well worked tunes, hailed as the most inventive creation out of the mold of what is meant by traditional popular music, infiltrating the brazilian radio with a perfect mix of heavy/prog rock, jazz and dissonant classical. Also, I'm a saxophonist/guitarist and I play some keys. I can tell you all the scores here are totally brilliant, end to end. Wanna upgrade your prog level? Take this.

Second, let's take a look at the background. His name once was popular in TV, radios and big festivals. In 1979, Arrigo won TV Cultura's MPB Festival with the intelligent, visionary songs "Diversões Eletrônicas" and "Infortúnio", even with a line of booing conservationists against him in the crowd. At TV Tupi's MPB Festival, he got first place and some other awards with "Sabor de Veneno" (which aroused considerable polemics too). This first LP was released in 1980, followed by a national tour. In 1981 the album was awarded with the APCA (São Paulo's Art Critics' Association) prize. Next year, Barnabé participated in the Berlin Jazz Festival with his project. After this, he starts writing soundtrack for movies (he participates in some of the same films). He was founder of the Vanguarda Paulista music scene (urban classically trained musicians of the city of São Paulo who added erudite experimentations to pop music). I can't believe how most of his albums were buried so deep. I was searching for an original Clara Crocodilo copy and hell, it was the equivalent to 300 dollars! During a 79' interview with the brainchild, after questioned about his influences, he said his works were most inspired by comics (Robert Crumb, Will Eisner) than music. Well, if you can find any clue of the original musical play, you will find some original comics too. The lyrics, and even words, were carefully chosen too, making the plot ironic about the current brazilian settings of its time: military dictatorship. Unfortunattely, in our studio version some of the phrases had to be changed thanks to policy. It doesn't matter or affects the suite at all. The words Clara (feminine name) and Crocodilo (crocodile) were chosen to cause a grammar impact. The lyrics tells a story about an Office Boy and his saga until his Kaiju transformation into Clara Crocodilo. The rhymes and choruses are actually hilarious in a clever way. If you have the chance to dig the lyrics, throw it all in a translator and decrypt the phrases while listening (remember the brazilian settings of that time and figure the second thoughts), you will not regret and will enchance your experience with the album. The more you listen to, more you realize the details. For example, there was a short part where, at first, sounded like each wind instrument were playing random improvisation. After some time my ears dissected the track, sax by sax, so I noticed they're playing the same riff, but each one playing in a different speed.

Finally, the music, in itself. What can I say? It contains the most authentic narrative form into music. Arrigo Barnabé plays the piano and all the keys/synth, and have been introduced to the twelve tone method after a gift from his girlfriend: a pocket book about dodecaphonism, the classical composer Arnold Schönberg, this kind of things. The band playing together is called Sabor de Veneno. You will notice that Arrigo loves to blend his aggressive, harsh voice with high octave girls, with epic results. Some of the women featured in the album followed a succesful career in later years, as Tetê Espíndola. There are a bunch of... something like "vocal riffs": repeated phrases in a weird choir, which would be a big appeal for Magma fans, as I already said. Once those lines gets into your head, it will be stucked there. Acapulco Drive-In and Orgasmo Total are a sarcastic kick in the eye, what a freak intro for an album. They are a good warming-up for the coming suite. In the second track you will taste some of Arrigo's piano and vocal. It's a track that gets better until the climax. So we reach the first Zheulish suite, in opera style: Diversões Eletrônica. This track shows the reason why they came. The lyrical story is a great entertainment, and the way it perfectly mixes with the music takes the listener to a demented mental theater. The synth made the perfect atmosphere for the urban "arcade" mania of the late 70s theme. It's packed with instrumental jokes, like the saxophone "laughing" while you'll hear a woman singing 'bout a wicked laughter. B side. Sabor de Veneno is a short (3 minutes) of definitive Clara Crocodilo. I mean, if you wanna know the potential of the band, just listen to this track and you will be surprised: yes, this is only a short track. This was the track which introced me to this cultural shock, shocking as a dead male pregnant little baby dancing around ice cream bubbles. It's also a genial preparation for Infortúnio: a track where, in 5 minutes they could easily disable any other prog track I ever heard. It begins slowly and funeral, with a soprano voice telling a tale of a woman who lost her husband. The track grows freak to heaviness but technically, energetic as a Gentle Giant tune, while the letter shows the tragic drunk bitch end to the widow's life. So, the main suite, Clara Crocodilo starts here, with Office-Boy. The intro has a impossible multiple score sync. The following scene gives an eletric shower in everyone who sits to enjoy the show. Frames of random intrigues, common struggles in ordinary life and the plot border the ridiculous absurd. Clara Crocodilo, the great climax, stroke the surrealism with a pneumatic jellyfish jolt. After about a minute of presentations (some comedy here) Clara Crocodilo is released. Actually, Calra Crocodilo's moment of release is a rebellion anthem against dictatorship: "Quem cala consente eu não calo/não vou morrer nas mãos de um tira/quem cala consente eu desacato/não vou morrer nas mãos de um rato". It would be something like this: "Silence is consent, I do not/ I will not die at the hands of a (tyrant) cop/ Silence is consent, I contempt / I will not die at the hands of a rat." The original line to come after this was removed from the album due to even more explicit revolutionary. A sudden silence and Arrigo double dare you to resist the short weighty musical jab. The girls are asking for another short heavy punch. The suite proceeds to the labyrinth stage, and so on until a whole new brass oriented heavy metal anthem. Instante is the mystical ending theme, refreshing your brain after this cold psychedelic eruption without lose the volcano vomiting meltdown rainbow sense.

Arrigo Barnabé is still active. After Clara Crocodilo, he writes a lot of highly awarded soundtracks and albums, some of them listed here in ProgArchives too, including the masterpieces Tubarões Voadores and another avant-prog opera called Gigante Negão. He's currently working with Luiz Tatit and Lívia Nestrovski (amazing voice!). Being extremely out of any unimaginable boundaries, Arrigo's debut strikes down: An evidence that you can make weird stuff sound catchy, with good taste. Absolute classic, a must.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Fantasy by INTROITUS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.74 | 44 ratings

BUY
Fantasy
Introitus Neo-Prog

Review by steelyhead

4 stars This the first CD of this group and the first one I have listened and I gotta say this is a pleasant surprise. First of all It is very unusual in prog to have four members of one family playing together but here they do a great job. Even the mother with her lyrics and voice (both are just fine, not great). Second of all, the music is great but here It comes the weakness I found: there's no Introitus "sound" there's not a single element that gives a clue what direction the second production will have. Keyboards are great, guitar playing is just what you expect, there's a violin (a good one) and some other instruments. Expect some Mostly Autumn comparisons but this is a different kind of group, more prog than celtic. Good one to have in your collection.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Time and a Word by YES album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.27 | 981 ratings

BUY
Time and a Word
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by aglasshouse

5 stars Yes- a timeless band. They never really do change, do they? Especially back in their early 70's heyday they were doing the same thing many other prog bands: reveling in the scene that they had intruded on. Yes was equally as fervent to produce their masterworks, but they were perhaps on the top. This, of course, was after 1972 when their hit Fragile slammed the charts and gave new light to it's other brethren. Antecedent to this, Yes was still releasing a few releases to test the waters, notably their self-titled début as well as Time and a Word. Out of the two of them, I like them both. Except, after listening to this album, it's grown on me so much that I absolutely adore it.

The band is of course a symphonic prog band. Thus, they have an obligatory motif of acoustic echoing and orchestral-style instrumentation contained within these couple of guys. I must say that this is excellent. Of course they've done it amazingly especially on later releases, but A Time and a Word gives you a little sample of what they've got going for them and for you, the listener in the future. The album features some beautiful previously stated acoustics as well as amazing vocals. Every instrument is played to it's full extent and is free of public criticism due to this (as stated before), before Yes became extremely popular. Something that's not exactly positive but I wouldn't take away from it is how not as accessible it is compared to their other releases. It features a lot more material from the heart as opposed to fancy time signatures to please time-weathered prog folk as well as the general consensus of the modern music world. It isn't anything displeasing; in fact for me, it's even better because there's less radio-friendliness and more true light-hearted experimentation coupled with occasional ominous overtones.

This album is one for the books. It is most definitely on par with the likes of Close to the Edge and Fragile, and is much better than The Yes Album with followed it up. I suggest you go pick up Time and a Word as soon as possible if you haven't already.

Go give it a listen.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Turn Off by SHAMALL album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.03 | 148 ratings

BUY
Turn Off
Shamall Neo-Prog

Review by Mr. Gone

2 stars I've tried. Really tried. Numerous times. I've given both discs between one and two dozen spins apiece. And I'm sorry but I don't see what all the fuss is about on here.

The biggest thing I can say is that each time I tried listening, my mind kept wandering. There is just not a whole lot here to hold my attention. Whatever embellishments they put on the different songs and movements on here, it always comes back to the same four (or so) themes with some different instrumentation or soloing over them. And, to be brutally honest, those same basic themes just aren't all that interesting. The drum machine patterns sound overly repetitive, the overall instrumentation feels cold and sterile, the lyrics are clunky, awkward and lack variety, and the general feel just is mechanical, uninspiring and indistinct. It feels like being assaulted by an arctic blast in a dreary, abandoned concrete shipyard without anything to hold your interest amid the discomfort.

If the bloat of these two discs could be pared down to a single disc (given the paucity of true variance of ideas on here, that could be easily done), it might not feel quite as tedious. I still say that the overall ideas don't grab my attention, so even that probably wouldn't salvage the rating, but it wouldn't feel like such a slog trying to pay attention for so long.

I can appreciate the effort that was put into making this material and what they were trying to achieve. But the end product is going to go back onto my shelf and I can't say as I will ever be inclined to try it again. Two extremely disappointing stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 New Way Of Krautrock - Volume 1 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Studio Album, 2015
2.95 | 2 ratings

BUY
New Way Of Krautrock - Volume 1
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

3 stars In cooperation with the Underground Ãxpärten team, which is on the air via Radio Sunrise with regularity, Tonzonen Records have released an interesting song collection for a thorough investigation here. Just another cause for those who are willing to discuss it to death - is this krautrock or psychedelic/space or progressive electronic stuff what I hear? There are certainly a lot of transitions to remark, thus concerning this production at least pretty much everyone who claims to be a fan of this sort of music will be on a solid ground somehow.

Hereby ELECTRIC ORANGE are one of the forerunners, which nobody seriously will deny, I'm sure. Hence it's not a surprise that they are contributing - a must so much the more, and Chorg means an excellent excerpt from their killer album 'Krautrock From Hell'. SOUNDS OF NEW SOMA are an encouraging newcomer duo from Krefeld, On their debut, released in 2014, you are encountering a cosmic sound which has its roots in the Berlin School, dreamy soundscapes enhanced due to some saxophone support. Their song Mahatma Macht Mittag comes from the subsequent EP 'Gandhis Labyrinth' though, including soaring guitars and sampled drums.

Featuring Biene on keyboards and theremin Berlin based APHODYL are a quartet on high altitude currently. They are offering the extremely extended excursion Pyramide Of Slave, dedicated to fans of unbounded psychedelic/space jamming. For me it's a bit too much, too stretched, however this is purely a matter of taste of course. While adding the track Weed Porn to the compilation the band KNALL appears with lesser spacey appeal, they are more from the heavier blues rooted psychedelic department. Their passion is to celebrate and record improv sessions whenever there is some free time, having the focus on a vivid and multi-faceted electric guitar work.

The SPACELORDS are far behind a newcomer status in the meanwhile with three praised albums in the back. Prelude-Rhinoceros-Bison seems to be a previously unreleased exemplar, a constant on live gigs anyhow. Combined with some narration this is alternating between a relaxed spacey flow and heavier escapes. LOVER 303 includes - surprise surprise - iconic figure Mani Neumeier on drums. Alongside with Conni Maly he offers the song Jetzt geht's los venturing an ambitious blend of space kraut, ethno and electro pop. LARMAN CLAMOR finally closes the session with a dreamy nightfall.

There is unquestionably a new movement to recognize in Germany during the last years, with the purpose to revitalize the inspiration of the 1960/70s, which means the approach to celebrate experimental and innovative music in other words. And this without solely rehashing the good old times. 'New Way Of Krautrock - Volume 1' sums it up in a favourable manner. A bunch of new impressions is waiting for you. Well, this will not be the end of the story, as a series of five albums in total is at the planning stage - 3.5 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Fuego by PHISH album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.93 | 12 ratings

BUY
Fuego
Phish Prog Related

Review by aglasshouse

4 stars That'll do, Phish, that'll do.

The band's 2014 release of Fuego promised many fans a comeback for those in want and need of a new record. For me, at least, on listening, they delivered. Although the band seems to be tightrope walking on their guitar strings and seem to be trying harder to do a bang up job, they do accomplish just that. In fact, it somehow seems that they are trying to revive the progressive flare that the band had back in the early 90's.

The one track that I absolutely adore is the opening title track. It is extremely memorable, and the band has quite a lot of energy going towards it. From the jazz-rock highlighted opening to the downright prog rocking middle and end, this song signifies Phish's reincarnation. But alas, this song is the most memorable, because the rest of the songs follow the same path of the time-weathered sound the band had and has still. Another great thing about the album is that, for the most part, the alternative-style that they had taken on with their early-late 2000's that I never really enjoyed.

So, all in all, this album was not a flop, whatsoever. For an example of something that wasn't as satisfactory is the band Boston's release of Life Love and Hope in the year prior. Now this was an album that the band sort of shriveled up and died, mostly due to their overwhelming irrelevancy in the market. However, even though Phish may be even less known today, they're still able to make a great album to please their fans no matter what. For my rating, I'd give it somewhere between 3.5/5 and a straight out 4. But, for the sake of Phish, I've rounded it to give them the benefit. Here's to them.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 In the Court of the Crimson King, 40th Anniversary Edition (5CD's + DVD) by KING CRIMSON album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2009
4.75 | 74 ratings

BUY
In the Court of the Crimson King, 40th Anniversary Edition (5CD's + DVD)
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I never really knew, did I, what to expect when I first bought this album in the early 90's. How could I have? Up til that point in time I was heavily into jazz-rock, hard rock and folk but never knew, really, what progressive music was all about. This was all due for a mindblowing change.

This album has been reviewed and re-examined over and over again and what remains to be said? Really not all that much. Everything about this album screams the birth of progressive rock and never before, I would like to loudly proclaim, has there been a muscial product of such immense power and might as this one. It remains still the cornerstone of the progressive rock movement and rightly so.

Every aspect of this masterpiece signals prog and acts as the blueprint of an entire genre and it's sub-genres. From the very artwork, which has never been rivalled, to the name of the group and the title of the album and it's songs. Just being named King Crimson is as far as prog goes just as brilliant and unsurpassed as Black Sabbath in the metal world. The cover says it all. Dreamy and thought provoking, just like the music within.

So, having put forth nothing that hasn't already been said about the album itself, what is there to say about this box set? Quite alot. I have been living with this album for so long and it has been a very intense love affair, so I feel this box has so much to offer.

First, there is quite a number of mixes of the original album. There's the mix from 2004, 2009 and even a 5:1 one. That is all very grand and wonderful in itself but the true delight is in the bonus tracks. Listening to the BBC sessions on disc 2 is mindblowing and I find it so amazing to hear these quite different versions.

Secondly, the main reason for getting this box is the live recordings from 1969 (Hyde Park and Fillmore East). Not only do I get the chance to hear the material in a live setting, the year of the album's release but also some tracks rarely heard. "Get thy bearings" is amazing, as is "Travel weary capricorn". The songs "Mars" and "Mantra" is such a delight to listen to aswell. "A man and a city" is amazing to listen to, bearing in mind that it appears on the follow-up the next year. The song hadn't been released yet. That is mindboggling listening experiences all of them.

While a lot of the material in the box are remixes of the original album, along with a de-clicked vinyl transfer (made from one in Robert Fripp's own archive, if that isn't enough to make a grown man cry I do not know), the best pieces are the ones I have previously mentioned. While it may not be truly necessary to listen through all the mixes one have to bow in awe to the brilliance and contents of this box. The brilliance, the unsurpassed brilliance at that, is all too evident and I cannot but hail this as a box as being essential. True, if you are not familiar with this music I suggest you get one of those single CD:s out there. But if you like me adore this piece of progressive history you truly need to acquire this box. It gives this album all the exposure it deserves. Amazing.

Apart from the music there is also a lot of pictures and a very nice booklet to go through. The adding of pins, a couple of photos on high quality paper and a thoughtful design makes it all the more enjoyable.

Easily one of the finest and most essential boxes around.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Of Queues and Cures  by NATIONAL HEALTH album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.23 | 269 ratings

BUY
Of Queues and Cures
National Health Canterbury Scene

Review by Thai Divone

5 stars I don't remember exactly when I first heard them, but to this day they are still with me. It's a band that is so unique, and so magnificent, that I don' really have the words to describe what I feel for them. Hearing their melodies make my smile uncontrollably, and for ages I hummed their melodies (and it ain't easy, mind ya). And yet, I don't think that I can leave them outside of my reviews list, even though the rating is clear from the first sentence.

"The Bryden 2-steps (for amphibians) part 1" opens the album, with some birds and a synth, with some soft organ sounds. Some keyboards-bass noes follow, and for the first 2 minutes nothing really happens. And then the song explodes, with a great guitar motive that just screams perfection. The rhythm in here is just magical, and the organs just complement the guitar beautifully. The song continues through a series of metamorphoses, before a little bit after the 4 minutes mark it changes again, and then again. At the 5 minutes mark begins a new short section that sounds like its coming from a fifties jazz show, before we get back to our variations on the motive, with a great solo guitar beginning at the 6 minutes mark. The keyboards-guitar duet in the closing section is no less than pure minimalist genius.

"The Collapso" is a different beast, with a great rhythm and a nice play on this unique style. The overdrive guitar is magnificent, and actually- every line, every instrument role in here, is just so demanding and complex that one can just listen to every instrument on its own and still be amazed, not to mention the combination. And even so, the percussions in here just steal the show for me.

"Squarer for Maud" opens with a great bass line, with some very dark and claustrophobic overtones. Over this repetitive line layers are added and instruments just try to top each other, without really breaking free or seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. After 2 and a half minutes the Henry Cow influence is finally taking the lead, with some avant-garde sounds and textures, joined by an amazing guitar solo. The saxophone answers greatly to the call, before the song changes back and the tempo is rising slowly but steadily. As we come closer to the 6 minutes mark layers are taken out, but the avant-garde factor rises at the speed of light. And then, a short silence before some spoken poetry takes center stage, and the guitar goes soloing a few seconds later. It still sounds dark and morbid, even though it is now carrying some more weight. Clarinet is added next, after the tempo rises again, and the keyboards do their usual magic. As we come towards the end, the piano, the drums and the cello take the stage, leading us closer and closer towards the unavoidable end. The entire song has a Henry Cow vibe to it, which is only fitting and a huge win for me.

Dreams Wide Awake opens with some of the craziest organ lines ever put on a vinyl, with the added beauty of a great bass and drums combination to complement it. Stewart here sounds like he took way too many drugs, 2 and a half minutes and the song changes completely, and the entire band just do some magic tricks in the recording studio. The mood and tempo change regularly and continuously, and the meter doesn't stay the same for more than a few seconds. The guitar starts soloing at the 6 minutes mark, before a change of pace and mood takes place. So the guitar just goes dueting with Stewart.

Binoculars opens with a Hammond, creating an atmosphere of loneliness. After a minute the bass joins in, and vocals kick in 20 seconds later. The drumming is quite, yet outstanding, and the short bridges are beautiful. A strange lament on the addiction to television, way to relevant to our days. The flute solo, beginning around the 3 minutes mark adds another layer of genius, and then the rest of the band join back in, slowly, really slowly, making them sound even more like a jazz ensemble than they sometimes sound. The drumming grows much more prevalent, and a nice keyboards solo comes next. Then we slow down for a dramatic interval, and then we get a little avant-garde bridge utilizing a few saxes and other wind instruments. Vocals come back at around the 8th minute mark. We get another wonderful guitar solo to close the song, with the bass and the drums playing melodies that are just as wonderful if not even more.

Phlakhaton is a quick change of pace before we get back to The Bryden Part 2, beginning with a great keyboards line with some great drumming and bass lines underneath, and then the guitar kicks in. the atmosphere here takes the center stage, with the variations on the first part taking the second, smaller one. What a great way to close a perfect album?

I guess that by now it is pretty clear- for me it a solid 5 stars. I can't imagine a collection without it.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Utopianisti II by UTOPIANISTI album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.09 | 8 ratings

BUY
Utopianisti II
Utopianisti Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars (My apologies that a whole year passed before I finally reviewed this album.) UTOPIANISTI is the artist name of Finnish multi-instrumentalist and composer Markus Pajakkala. He plays primarily drums and reeds, plus additional keyboards, vibes, programming and "various ethnic instruments". The debut (2011) made it very clear that music can be simultaneously funny and technically impressive; that it feels good for the musician to follow creative madness wherever it leads and to give 110 % commitment to it all. Naturally the listener is free to think that the results are sometimes rather irritating, but the sheer joy of music cannot be denied. This nearly 79-minute second album is even more ambitious, fuller of ideas and containing bigger arrangements. And with a charming hand-drawn cover art!

The tracks 1-8 are the album's main body "which took a year to carefully form and craft itself", and in contrast to that, the next four pieces under the moniker UTOPIANISTI MEETS BLACK MOTOR & JON BALLANTYNE were composed in a day and recorded live at JJ Studio, Tampere, August 2nd, 2012. And as a "bonus track" there's nearly 10-minute, breathtaking 'U.L.J.C. (The Unnecessary Leftover Jam Session)' which definitely sounds better than its title. But let's return to the start, to the main tracks each with a different line-up of guest musicians.

'Mekonium Fist' (according to the foreword "inspired by our first diaper change where four hands weren't enough") is hectic and fast. 'The Vultures Were Hungry' mixes opera vocals with ZAPPA- like avant-rock. 'Pohjola' is probably the best track, a gorgeous Fusion piece in the spirit of PEKKA POHJOLA to whom it is dedicated. It stays more serious than the album as a whole, without losing freshness and certain musical joy. 'Tango Succubus pt. 2' is sung in Finnish by opera baritone(?) Waltteri Torikka. This very angular piece featuring also an accordion reminds a lot of the 90's cult band HÖYRY-KONE.

On the meaty jazz-rock number 'The Forest of the Bald Witch' there are delicious contributions for e.g. flute, organ and guitar. Like three other tracks, 'Bisphenol A' features The Utopianisti Big Band, and has an emphasis on heavy brass and programming. It is my least favourite, as well as the 7th one, a hilarious, ethnically oriented (Balkanesque) tune featuring accordion and fiddle among others. ALAMAAILMAN VASARAT, the instrumental descendant of Höyry-Kone, did enough of this kind of silly crap (sorry).

If there had been only these eight tracks, I wouldn't much like this album with so many annoying things in it. The live tracks featuring Jon Ballantyne on piano and electric piano are airier, jazzier and more thoughtful, in other words quite free of the silliness. With a suitable use of skip button you'll have a wonderful musical trip with this extraordinarily brave release. My subjective rating would be three stars, but for the masterful musicianship and some amazing highlights it deserves four.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 What is Constant by PTF album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.47 | 10 ratings

BUY
What is Constant
ptf Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by floflo79

5 stars Great. This album is just great. This is jazz rock/fusion at his best. I'm not a big fan of the genre, but this album is really, really good. Two tracks of 7 minutes for the opening and the closing, and one suite of 42 minutes called The Thing, divided into four parts. It's hard to make more progressive. The musicians are awesome, and the compositions are really smart and great. All the fans of JR/F should like, or love, this album which is my favorite album of 2015 for me at this moment. I think that 2015, who already gave great albums in one month, will be a great year for prog.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 If 2 by IF album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.84 | 35 ratings

BUY
If 2
If Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars I am such an ass! Going through 45 years without hearing something as marvelous as British jazz-rock legends IF is a crying shame. If I only knew IF! LOL. So what did it take to get me up to speed after such a long period of inertia? A stupendous review by my Aussie music mate Michael reminded me that I had been missing out on something quite delicious in view of my profound adoration of Nucleus, Soft Machine, Isotope, Traffic, Sunbirds, Wigwam and even Tasavallan Presidentti! I was perhaps misguided in hearing comments about similarities with Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears , both of which are not exactly in my range of goodies.

I opted for the deluxe DVD/CD package of the IF "2" release, a beauty that has a live DVD recording as well as the studio effort, all nicely put together with an amazing booklet, artwork etc?I was already familiar with keyboard whiz John Mealing (who later graduated to Passport and the Strawbs) as well as accomplished drummer Dennis Elliott who of course became a famous Foreigner. Dick Morrisey is a sax legend, so I knew enough to be at least conscious of their existence but the big surprise for me was guitarist Terry Smith, a wicked stylist with amazing technique a la Steve Cropper (blues and a distinct RnB country feel), a rock solid bass player in Jim Richardson and a real cool vocalist in J.W. Hodgkinson. I had never heard of these three, so I was in for a thrill. Though this is late 60s music , it stills smokes quite brightly and is a joy ride from beginning to end, it got me thinking that we would need some upbeat stuff like this in our currently apathetic/doom-laden culture. (Sorry Pharell but "Happy" is not quite enough to heal the world).

Things begin in radiant fashion with a sprightly "Your City is Falling", Hodgkinson grabbing the mike stand and showing who is the boss, while the lads pummel mightily in the background. The mood is balmy, warm and inviting, a really faultless opening salvo that sets the tone perfectly.

An extended platform for improvisation is the 8 minute+ "Sunday Sad", a Spanish guitar motif finds itself escorted by a flute caress which then quickly merges into a slick rambler that fumes, smokes, smolders and rages with torrid passion, fueled by the loaded double brass assault of Quincy and Morrissey on saxophones and another fine vocal performance by J.W. Bassist Richardson carves some manic grooves while Terry Smith does a splendid job on his axe, a gritty and sulphurous affair that is just awe-inspiring. Mealing's grumpy organ is shoved along by Elliott's sturdy drumming and lo and behold, this is such exhilarating music!

The Brits love their weird song titles (hello Canterbury lads) and "Tarmac T and the Lonesome Nymphomaniac" (what year? 1969, hmmm, pretty racy, wot?) certainly qualifies, a bluesy trippy ditty with a manic vocal that has a definite Traffic/BST feel, spread-eagled by a sick sax flirting overtly with the fuzzy wuzzy organ (that is innuendo-laden wordplay for you), sensual and sexual jazz-rock with some serious soul.

Driving your vintage MG or Triumph Spitfire, propelled by a bass-mad "I Couldn't Write and Tell You", gives the music a down to earth meaning, surprising the listener with inimitable genius, a flute from nowhere, a consistently believable vocal delivery , a solid beat and some glittering solos all within its 8 minute sinews. Terry Smith glitters on his axe, a blistering technique that nears supersonic speeds, frenzied and acidic. Wow! Has anyone noticed where my jaw landed? Yeah, baby!

Smooth? You want some velvety class , well it does not get creamier than the suave breeze heard on "Shadows and Echoes", sounding like some jazz toone from the 50s movies, a cool cat skinning his brushes, upright bass bopping along while the crisp and clear guitar does some marauding. A wide mouthed vocal again does the trick, versatile and groovy.

Hey, you wanna another oddball song title, look no further than the quirky "A Song For Elsa, Three Days Before her 23rd Birthday", I mean, C'mon! Doggone it when Brits can out soul the Yanks, and that's including the 'brothers'! At least in musical terms, British blues and jazz bands of the 60s and 70s certainly played a part in emancipating white crowds into getting off on black music (Hey, Jimi, How ya doin'?). Here Quincy and Morrissey play majestically, a pure joy and total marvel to witness and revel in.

What a great record and I can bury my ignorance now by pursuing the entire catalogue!

Merci, Michael!

4.5 Rudyard Kiplings

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 ...Di Terra by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.75 | 176 ratings

BUY
...Di Terra
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Argonaught

5 stars It's with great pleasure that I declare ... di Terra one of the best albums I have ever had.

Normally, I am not a huge fan of RPI; I used to have half a dozen to a dozen albums by PRM, Banco, and a number of albums and/or bands whose names had a word 'Locanda' in them. Some were good, others were not so good. All in all, I thought I'd moved on.

And then came ... di Terra, which I somehow had been escaping my attention for a few decade. So praise me to the PA brethren who pointed in the .. di Terra direction.

There is absolutely nothing on this album that I do not like. I classify this kind of musical as contemporary classical, which can sound like nu jazz in one place, like fusion or jazz-rock in another, and even like a Debussy composition elsewhere on the album.

In the same category, I list Viljans Öga and the latest live album by Jaga Jazzist (with Britten Sinfonia), but .. di Terra, I think, is even better.

The musicianship is flawless, as expected. The compositions are tasteful, mature and complex, but without being too convoluted or lengthy to enjoy.

Special bonus for refraining from singing, although some folks will disagree with this postulate. An extra special bonus for the length of the album that is neither too short, nor too long.

Also importantly, the .. di Terra has passed the rigorous "car test" with flying colors, which means it sounds pretty good even in mildly "audiophob" circumstances of a moving budget compact :)

I can't say I quite get the album art, but this "offence" will not cost ... di Terra half a star :)

Recommended to all those who like the late 20 century's take on romantic classical and symphonic music.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Exlex Beats by KING OF AGOGIK album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.02 | 6 ratings

BUY
Exlex Beats
King of Agogik Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars King of Agogik is a project led by drummer/multi-instrumentalist Hans-Jorg Schmitz who already has a nice series of recordings under his belt. Btw, 'Agogik' is according to Wikipedia 'the art of changing the tempo in the context of a musical performance'. To better flesh out this methodology, he has brought on board a slew of talented 'sessionaires' to join him in the quest. This latest release is a prime example of a highly gifted musician who just wants to have some fun, to paraphrase Cindi Lauper.

As befits a true instrumental showcase, the playing is absolutely first-rate, creative in a variety of styles, running the prog gamut of metal, neo, symphonic, jazz, eclectic and cross-over. I nevertheless needed multiple repeat listens to ooze into a comfort zone, as the initial auditions were focused on technique and execution rather than depth. As such, it does prove the mettle of prog-metal (pun), a genre that accentuates the power and the glory of rambunctious guitar phrasings as well as a booming propensity to combine Bonham-like explosions with Cobham-like velocity (aka the Bon to Cob syndrome! LOL). Double bass drumming at blitzkrieg speed is an aural experience to behold. I , as a rule, never liked the 'can you see how good I am' show-off style as espoused by otherwise brilliant musicians such as Stanley Clarke and Keith Emerson but here the focus is not just on chops but also on variety, humor and diversity.

On the opener, 'Bronto's Navel' the lads provide a bruising bass-led piece that combines King Crimson- like bravado, delightfully fluid guitar lines and deft drumming , the ending a straight lift of Owner of a Lonely Heart. This good natured homage continues on the masterful '11th Sense' a 12 minute retrospective of classic prog and non-prog lines, going from ELP, Van Halen, Genesis, Asia, AC/DC, Europe, and a few others'..which then just morphs into something entirely enthralling, synthesized hurricanes with blast of bass thunder and guitar lightning. The German word for fun is 'Spass', a perfect ride, as Schmitz has a little drum solo platform to amuse us and himself with.

The worldly beauty of 'Nomouglea' slithers into the mind with effortless vision, steered by Steve Unruh's seductive violin, amid idyllic acoustic guitar adornments that would make Ant Phillips smile. A thrilling flute also enhances the glorious mood, heightening a drop dead gorgeous melody that caresses the soul, before a wicked Dago Wilms guitar solo slams through the mist.

Change of pace with 'The Chasteness' , another swirly affair that bounces between robust and dreamy, Schmitz handling all the instruments save the lead guitar and the themes expressed are both inspiring and crafty, particularly a brief piano section that confirms the talent at hand. Wilms is a real gun slinger, fondling his guitar with brash abandon. Interesting combination of Genesis inspired instrumentation and a harder more metallic edge.

On the cool but too short 'Musicogenic Epilepsy' , Schmitz offers up a lovely duel between Michael Elzer's Chapman Stick and Pantelis Petrakakis' fluid bass guitar, low-end extravaganza of the highest order, ably decorated by some shining keys and drums. Great stuff, highly entertaining up to now but the best is yet to come, with the arrival of guest Andrew Marshall on Spanish guitar, he of Willowglass fame, ably assisted on electric axe by Arne Sch'fer of Apogee and Versus X repute. Gary Farmer handles the bass duties but it really is Andrew's show, as he does a truly lovely job, proof that Hackett does have students out there! 'Sheol' is the crowning piece here, a glowing affair of infinite beauty, the word itself being a Jewish term defining a place for the dead.

'Lick Me' is a return to the more extroverted instrumental jamming that Schmitz enjoys, heavy duty riff (a variation on 'Hey Bulldog' from the Beatles?) , essentially a duet with Dago handling the 6 and 4 strings while Hans-Jorg tackles the percussives and the ivories. Throw in some snippets of Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Nirvana, that Hey Bulldog cream and My Sharona, and well, you can guess the rest. Fun driving music that you can lick!

Pantelis does his best Mick Karn imitation (both Greeks and one a Cypriot to boot) a wobbly resurrection of the fretless wonder on the reptilian 'the Venturous Dream of a Schlabbershirt' (whatever that means). A perfect segue into 'Thin as a Skin' , a parody/homage to Jethro Tull's classic and need I say, a stunning instrumental reworking of this prog classic which is worth hunting this down on its own merits. Schmitz credits Harold (the Barrel?), Gerald (obviously Bostock) and himself for having the inspiration to tackle this 22 minute behemoth. To his credit, this is not a note for note copy but a total deviation from the original with occasional slick winks and nods while remaining stylistically reverential. It's also heavier, brasher and more manic. Unruh does both flute and violin, giving this a mercurial velocity. A child-like xylophone and mellotron duet recalls Hackett's 'Shadow of the Hierophant' blow out. A fun-filled ride this is, unabashed playfulness and gentle reverence. The urgency and power are stimulating, the classic theme given a thorough massage, the rabid flute causing quite some damage. To dare tackle a Barriemore Barlow only proves that Schmitz can beat his drums with great skill.

Nice little solo outro to seal this deal.

I am truly impressed by the amazing sense of adventure and total lack of pomposity, a fun album I intend to revisit many times again. Thanks to Windhawk for sending me a copy, this was way better than I ever thought!

4 Regal Tempos

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Reviews list is cached

Latest Prog News, Shows and Tours


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

Latest 3 Progressive Rock Videos


All videos
BUY PA T-SHIRTS & MORE
Arjen Lucassen (AYREON's mastermind) wearing the classic long sleeves PA t-shirt
Arjen Lucassen (AYREON's mastermind) wearing the classic long sleeves PA t-shirt.
To buy Progarchives.com custom items: t-shirts, beer steins, coffee mugs, mouse pads, bumper stickers, go to http://www.zazzle.com/progarchives, select the ones you like and checkout (PayPal support). All orders are handled by Zazzle from invoicing, printing to shipping.

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

Prog Lounge

Prog Polls

Prog Interviews

INTERACTIVE

Twitter, RSS feeds

+ more syndication options
Twitter RSS

Share this site

| More
NEW RELEASES

Reanimated Memories by Man album rcover
Reanimated Memories

Man

Past, Present & Future by Brainticket album rcover
Past, Present & Future

Brainticket

Secret Show: Live In Osaka by Aristocrats, The album rcover
Secret Show: Live In Osaka

The Aristocrats

Culture Clash Live! by Aristocrats, The album rcover
Culture Clash Live!

The Aristocrats

When Worlds Collide by Forgotten Suns album rcover
When Worlds Collide

Forgotten Suns

100 MOST PROLIFIC REVIEWERS

Collaborators Only

ratings only excluded in count
  1. Mellotron Storm (3675)
  2. Sean Trane (3159)
  3. ZowieZiggy (2917)
  4. apps79 (2471)
  5. Warthur (2194)
  6. Easy Livin (1925)
  7. UMUR (1851)
  8. b_olariu (1839)
  9. Gatot (1811)
  10. Conor Fynes (1532)
  11. SouthSideoftheSky (1450)
  12. Evolver (1380)
  13. Bonnek (1359)
  14. AtomicCrimsonRush (1254)
  15. Tarcisio Moura (1241)
  16. snobb (1210)
  17. erik neuteboom (1201)
  18. Windhawk (1142)
  19. Finnforest (1102)
  20. ClemofNazareth (1009)
  21. kenethlevine (1005)
  22. Cesar Inca (926)
  23. loserboy (895)
  24. Rune2000 (857)
  25. kev rowland (842)
  26. Marty McFly (833)
  27. octopus-4 (819)
  28. tszirmay (803)
  29. memowakeman (762)
  30. Matti (756)
  31. Chris S (753)
  32. Eetu Pellonpää (719)
  33. greenback (685)
  34. progrules (666)
  35. Guillermo (662)
  36. Seyo (638)
  37. Rivertree (637)
  38. Prog-jester (623)
  39. Epignosis (622)
  40. lor68 (601)
  41. Neu!mann (574)
  42. Ivan_Melgar_M (543)
  43. philippe (538)
  44. hdfisch (492)
  45. Chicapah (479)
  46. stefro (468)
  47. friso (468)
  48. colorofmoney91 (459)
  49. J-Man (449)
  50. russellk (435)
  51. zravkapt (434)
  52. Prog Leviathan (426)
  53. Menswear (413)
  54. Sinusoid (402)
  55. ProgShine (399)
  56. Atavachron (396)
  57. Queen By-Tor (394)
  58. Greger (365)
  59. andrea (362)
  60. Zitro (359)
  61. tarkus1980 (358)
  62. Nightfly (356)
  63. Cygnus X-2 (353)
  64. fuxi (352)
  65. Andrea Cortese (348)
  66. siLLy puPPy (347)
  67. Aussie-Byrd-Brother (339)
  68. EatThatPhonebook (326)
  69. Negoba (316)
  70. Guldbamsen (315)
  71. lazland (315)
  72. richardh (313)
  73. Tom Ozric (299)
  74. Kazuhiro (299)
  75. Proghead (289)
  76. Flucktrot (289)
  77. OpethGuitarist (287)
  78. admireArt (286)
  79. progaardvark (286)
  80. daveconn (266)
  81. Trotsky (264)
  82. Muzikman (263)
  83. Second Life Syndrome (255)
  84. clarke2001 (254)
  85. The T (253)
  86. Slartibartfast (250)
  87. Andy Webb (235)
  88. Bj-1 (231)
  89. 1800iareyay (225)
  90. js (Easy Money) (222)
  91. poslednijat_colobar (220)
  92. The Crow (216)
  93. Raff (214)
  94. avestin (214)
  95. Syzygy (214)
  96. NJprogfan (211)
  97. seventhsojourn (211)
  98. aapatsos (206)
  99. Progbear (206)
  100. GruvanDahlman (203)
Remaining cache time: 562 min.

List of all PA collaborators

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

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

More PA TOP LISTS

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

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


Server processing time: 1.77 seconds