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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Progfest '97 CD (album) cover

PROGFEST '97

Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)

 

Various Genres

3.04 | 7 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars After taking 1996 off to re-organize Progfest was back in 1997 with production responsibilities being handed from Greg Walker and his Synphonic label over to Pangea Music. Another steller lineup but this doesn't measure up to Progfest '95 in my opinion. Still we get some really amazing performances captured on audio here on this double disc. First up is THE JOHN WETTON BAND who offer up three tracks, the first two of which are from his UK days."In The Dead Of The Night" and "Rendezvous 602" are both good tracks with the first being fairly bombastic and the second being laid back. "Starless" is really stepping into hallowed territory isn't it ? The band do a good job but it doesn't compare to KING CRIMSON of course and John's vocals crack at one point which doesn't help. Not a bad performance overall I suppose. LE ORME come in with 5 tracks 2 of which are combined.Their album "Il Flume" is where pretty much all of the material comes from unfortunately. Not exactly a favourite of mine. On the other hand the rendition of "Felona E Serona" is a top three track from this double disc. Simply amazing as it goes on for 15 1/2 minutes. So moving and powerful at times and incredibly beautiful at others.This is the highlight of disc one easily. ARENA finishes disc one with two tracks. Nothing too special here although I do like the guitar on "Medusa" a lot. Disc two starts with THE FLOWER KINGS and they don't disappoint. "Retropolis" is my fourth favourite tune on here. I like the energy and prominant bass to start and end this tune with the middle being very laid back. Just a great sounding track. "Humanizzimo" isn't as impressive but it's still very enjoyable. SPOCK'S BEARD opens with "Thoughts" a GENTLE GIANT tribute of sorts but it's their "Go The Way You Go" that blows me away. A top three track on this double disc.The emotion and beauty cannot be understated. Fantastic ! BIG ELF is just a waste of space in my opnion. I just never liked their studio albums or when I saw them live and this is no different. SINKADUS is another story. "Altestupin" is the final top three track for me.The mellotron and the melancholic mood is priceless not to mention the chunky bass. Love this band and this song. I do have their whole set from this concert and they were amazing. 3.5 stars but it's worth checking out for the performances of LE ORME, SINKADUS, SPOCK'S BEARD and THE FLOWER KINGS.
Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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