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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Progfest '94 CD (album) cover

PROGFEST '94

Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)

 

Various Genres

3.68 | 11 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.5 stars. "Progfest 93" was the first one put on by Greg Walker and David Overstreet and it was perhaps best known for introducing ANGLAGARD to America. The audience who mostly knew nothing of these Swedes were quickly left with their jaws hanging open and then sprinting to the venders to purchase "Hybris" as soon as their show was over. The following year "Progfest 94" proudly boasted SEBASTIAN HARDIE as the headliners.This band had ceased to exist for sometime but reformed for this gig. Of note as well was the return of ANGLAGARD who headlined "Day One", and ANEKDOTEN who would play the U.S. for the first time. After this concert they would do a mini tour with DISCIPLINE to a few select American cities. While ANEKDOTEN and ANGLAGARD are two of my all-time favourite bands I was most impressed with Kevin Gilbert and his band GIRAFFE doing a 20th anniversary tribute to GENESIS' "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway". Nick D'Virgillo would play drums for them. Nick had learned to play drums by playing along to "The Lamb". I should mention as well that Kevin recorded "Progfest 94" on a 16 tracks ADAT, and apparently made his mellotron and mini moog available to any band who wanted to use them.

The "Musea" label helped out with "Progfest 94" financially and also distributed this recording. "Musea" bands MINIMUM VITAL and HALLOWEEN participated in this event as well. I feel fortunate to have an actual program from this event, although I would rather have been there in person. Some excellent bios in this program too.

Highlights for me on disc one are firstly the almost 16 minute "Hostsejd" by ANGLAGARD. Just a fantastic ride with flute, mellotron, organ, chunky bass and guitar standing out. Fantastic ! I did like the almost 15 minute cover of "Echoes" by U.S. band EPISODE. One other highlight from this disc for me is KALABAN's excellent instrumental "Mutants Over Miami". Impressive.

Disc two begins with ECHOLYN's "Here I Am" which is the best of the three tracks on here by this great American band. ANEKDOTEN gets some guest help from Mattias Olsen (ANGLAGARD) on bass-drum and gong, as well as from John Daversa playing trumpet on "Wheel". I'm obviously too big of a fanboy to give a biased opinion of the three tracks on this recording by them. My favourite though is "Mars" which opens with marching styled drums and cello. It gets heavier 3 minutes in, killer track. I've already mentioned how impressed I am with Kevin and his bands covers of GENESIS. Not only a pleasure to listen to but "The Musical Box" is so moving. That song was an encore by the way. Lastly SEBASTIAN HARDIE certainly doesn't disappoint, mellotron and all. Too bad there's some noisy feedback at times though during their set.

I'd love to give this 4 stars and feel bad not doing that but there's too much on here that i'm not thrilled about. An interesting historical reference though with some great performances.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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