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Various Artists (Label Samplers) - Analecta, Volume 1 CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Label Samplers)


Various Genres

3.95 | 2 ratings

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4 stars I received this as a sampler CD with my Progression magazine subscription. This is a sampler CD containing 13 tracks from 13 different bands on the ProgRock Records label. I was familiar with a couple of the artists/bands on this label but at the time that I received this album I only owned one of these albums. All that I can say is that ProgRock Records has an excellent stable of progressive rock, symphonic prog, and commercial progressive metal bands. I have since purchased most of the CDs that this compilation was taken from or downloaded them from eMusic. This was an excellent addition to my collection because it brought to my attention all of these great bands and it is still an excellent addition to my collection because sometimes it is just nice to listen to a compilation of various bands instead of listening to a whole album of the same band.

Man of Fire - The Block - a really good song with some strong piano/synthesizers/keyboards. I haven't picked up this album yet, but I am sure that I probably will.

Salem Hill - Children of the Dust - I was familiar with Salem Hill prior to this sampler but had not heard this song or album. This is a fabulous song that I absolutely love and they are an excellent symphonic rock band.

Alias Eye - A Clown's Tale - Another excellent song with some mid-eastern vibes.

Michael Sadler - I'm Not The Enemy - I am a huge Saga fan but this was the first time that I had heard one of Michael's solo songs. For the longest time this was the only one that I had until I finally tracked down his solo album, Clear. This might very well be the best song off of his solo album.

Aaron English - Brittle - This is another artist that I haven't tracked down the album for yet. This song would probably qualify as a well-crafted pop song. The bio on his website says that "he is a singer-songwriter and piano man from Seattle, Washington", which is the home of grunge music.

Little Atlas - Changeover - Little Atlas is a band that I have seen recently getting some love on PA with their later album release. Changeover is from their 2nd album "Surface Serene", which was released in 2004. This track starts out with some nice percussion and has a bit of a Middle Eastern vibe to it. This is accessible prog with some nice instrumental work throughout the song.

Frogg Café - Creatures - Frogg Café is a very talent band that is categorized in the jazz/fusion subgenre here on PA. They are very talented musicians. There is very much a Gentle Giant vibe to the singing on this track. This is a highly recommended song and album.

Zen Rock and Roll - Anthem - Zen Rock and Roll is a one man band by multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Saunders. This is on my list of albums soon to be downloaded from eMusic, but I haven't as of yet. This track has a nice symphonic sound to it. His vocals have a progressive-pop feel to them and include some effective female vocals.

Cryptic Vision - Grand Design - This is probably my favorite band discovery from this sampler CD. Grand Design is from their debut album Moments of Clarity which was released in 2004. The Grand Design vocally is channeling Jon Anderson. This band is highly recommended to Rush and Yes fans.

AtmOsfear - Circumcision - First off, ouch!!! What a subject. From what I have gathered the track subject is African societal customs involving female circumcision. This is a highly political subject for even a prog band. AtmOsfear falls into the category of traditional prog metal but I would not categorize them as a Dream Theater clone, although there is some virtuosic instrumental playing.

Sylvan - Belated Gift - Sylvan is another excellent discovery from this sampler CD. This song is from their 2004 release X- Rayed. Their follow-up album Posthumous Silence is their most highly regarded album here on PA. Belated Gift is a very good song. The vocals remind me of some good 80's metal, but I can't place who they most sound like. Sylvan is definitely an excellent band for prog lovers to discover if you haven't already.

Frameshift - The Gene Machine - This track comes from the concept album Unweaving the Rainbow. This is a side project of Chain guitarist Henning Pauly, and features James LaBrie from Dream Theater on vocals. Simply put, I think that if you like Dream Theater and James LaBrie's vocals than you will like this album. If you don't like James LaBrie's vocals than you probably won't like this song or album.

Chain - Eama Hut - A track from Henning Pauly's main project, Chain. Chain is mostly a progressive rock band but this track falls more in the prog metal vein. It probably would appeal to fans of Dream Theater. Some of the vocals have a bit of a Testament vibe to them.

All and all this is an excellent prog listening experience. If you are not familiar with these bands I highly recommend finding this sampler and giving it a listen. I think most prog fans would not be disappointed and might have some real nice fines amongst all of these bands.

rushfan4 | 4/5 |


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