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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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NJprogfan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I love these type of discs. You get a good taste for bands that are either high on your list or nearso, or totally unknown. And what makes it even better is the fact that it's live with all the burps. First off is HALLOWEEN, a very theatrical band with female and male singers. Violin is a lead instrument and being a French band the style is very much like ANGE and their symphonic counterparts. They're very unique and intriuging. Next up is KALABAN who play fusiony metal-like prog. A bit messy in spots with their third song on the disc containing some cheesy vocals. Sorry, not my cup of tea. Third is the band ANGLAGARD and their masterpiece "Hostead", pure heaven. A highlight for sure. Next is an obscure band, (another reason to buy these type of discs) who play PINK FLOYD's "Echoes". It's very well done, not exceptional, but fine nonetheless. Ending the first disc is an early live appearance of ECHOLYN with their classics "The Cheese Stands Alone" and "A Little Nonsense". If your're not familiar with these American's, they play a somewhat Americanized GENTLE GIANT with some STEELY DAN jazziness thrown in. If not the best prog band from the US in the 90's, you would be hard pressed to find a better one. Starting disc 2 is another song by ECHOLYN, "Here I Am" is a live song you don't find on many other live festival discs by these guys. It's lively and fun! Next is the KING CRIMSON affeceinados ANEKDOTEN, a kind of 'if KING CRIMSON came out in the 90's' band. Very well done dark prog from these northern Europeans. GIRAFFE is next and I must admit, I never heard of them but DAMN!!!, they do an AWESOME GENESIS! The sadly missed Kevin Gilbert does a fantastic Gabriel on two 'Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' songs and a killer version of 'The Musical Box'. You MUST hear them! Next is another French band, MINIMUM VITAL who are very much in the 70's vein of symphonic prog with a phenomenal female lead singer. They are very powerful and one of the many highlights of this album, especially the incredible song " L'Invitastion' with a very French feel with what sounds like an acordian! The album ends with, what for me, is the absolute highlight of this Progfest, the Australian band SEBASTIAN HARDIE who play some mindblowingly beautiful CAMEL and YES-like prog. The only drawback is some numbing guitar feedback during the first song. But if you can past that it'll bring tears to your eyes how their melodies are so strong and memorable. This live two-disc set is a great way to get a taste for some older and newer bands. Not perfect throughout, but it's high points totally outweigh the lows. A must get early look at 90's prog. A time when one would think it was a low point. Wrong! Oh so wrong!
NJprogfan | 4/5 |

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