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Various Artists (Label Samplers) Unicorn Digital (VA) - Progression In Balance Vol. 2  album cover
3.95 | 3 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Leviosa (5:09)
Kaos Moon
2. Eternal Light Avenue (5:03)
3. Abandon (8:04)
Vladimir Badirov Project
4. Greeting From Nostradamus (3:50)
Little King
5. Peacemaker (5:35)
Parallel Mind
6. The Guardian (4:33)
Dimension X
7. Why (5:55)
8. Nouvean Depart (5:39)
9. Inner Pulse (5:24)
Ring Of Myth
10. Into Phase (9:51)
11. Alien Spheres (5:57)
12. Taking My Time (8:27)

Total Time: 70:38

Line-up / Musicians

BANDS: Talisma, Kaos Moon, NIL, Vladimir Badirov Project, Little King, Parallel Mind, Dimension X, Upright, Alkemy, Ring Of Myth, Hamadryad & Retroheads

Releases information

CD Unicorn Digital #: UNCR 5024 (2006)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Unicorn Digital (VA) - Progression In Balance Vol. 2 ratings distribution

(3 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(67%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Unicorn Digital (VA) - Progression In Balance Vol. 2 reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by progrules
4 stars Just when you think you've heard them all... Well, of course I haven't heard them all. I mean, there are over 5000 progressive bands out there. But with this sampler you're once again confronted with how many you don't know yet and also how much great prog there is to be found. Twelve bands on this sampler and only one of them is vaguely known to me (Nil). And the other eleven are almost all pleasant surprises I can tell you. Ten of these twelve are already included here on PA. Just Little King and The Vladimir Badirov Project will have to prove themselves a bit more apparently. I will go through each song briefly because that's the only right way to go in this review I feel.

It all starts with Canadian Talisma, crossover according to us but it sounds pretty much like heavy prog with a touch of eclectic to me. An instrumental with just some scat singing on the background. Starting with lots of dissonances, later on getting more mainstream. Not the best of them all according to me but a nice opener. 3*.

Next up is Kaos Moon, another Canadian crossover band. Also here dissonances but in a more pleasant and less distorted way than Talisma. Good vocalist is doing his job here. Interesting to hear some resemblance with Symphony X's V on this track and then I mean the Middle Eastern sounds that come up several times. Rest of the song is a million miles away from what the famous prog metal band sounds like. It sounds very nice to me with a very good guitar solo towards the end. 3,5*.

Third track is French eclectic band Nil. A band I heard of but don't owe anything of. Very good female vocalist is a significant aspect of the bands sound. The song starts fairly normal but after a few minutes the song gets more body and takes a more energetic and heavy road. It calms down after a while and takes off again. Nice shifts in mood and sound resulting in 8 versatile minutes. 3,75*.

4th is the first "unknown" for PA followers called The Vladimir Badirov Project with a song called Greeting from Nostradamus. An instrumental track that seems to lack direction at first but halfway the guitar takes the initiative to keep it till the end. Another interesting song with some fusion leanings. Could be a candidate to get included here. 3,25*.

The other non-PA band is immediately on as 5th here, Little King. A fresh sounding band that has pretty strong resemblance with Little Atlas. Must have something to do with the word Little you would think. Especially the drumming and guitar play reminds me of the American neoband. Good song though not exceptional. 3,5*.

Parallel Mind is next with their contribution called The Guardian. The Americans are in our jazz rock/fusion category. Ok, there is some resemblance with Planet X though this song is not half as complex as what Planet X usually does. Fairly accessible is what it sounds to me like. Fast keys is the deal here. 3,5*.

Dimension X is an American prog metal band playing their song Why. Good song but yet one of the lesser on this sampler. This also tells us something about the high level presented by the Unicorn label. 3,25*.

But for my personal taste it really gets started with the last 5 tracks. These are all in between excellent and mindblowing as far as I'm concerned. First of these 5 is Canadian jazz band Upright. No fusion this time but downright jazz. And since I love this music style big time and also because this is a perfectly executed track I welcome the first 4 star rating. Interesting is that the jazz is played by the electric guitar and sax mainly. Great stuff.

9th up is French prog metal band Alkemyst and this is one of the absolute highlights to me. It's another Planet X like performance here but again melody prevails over complexity. And Alkemyst proves to me that complexity and inaccessibility are not obliged to assure excellence. A more harmonic sounding composition is what we're dealing with and this one just gets better as it goes on. Even better than previous. 4,5*.

Ring of Myth takes us back to more symphonic moods with their contribution Into Phase. What struck me when I heard this one was the interesting mix of Genesis, Yes and King Crimson influences. I discovered Zowieziggy's review of the album and he noticed the exact same thing so it's pretty obvious apparently. The King Crimson part is 100% the song Red that comes to mind with its impressive hard rock like tune. The Yes resemblance is caused by the vocals and the rest of the song is typical Genesis style. Nicely done. 4,25*.

Hamadryad also has derivation from Genesis but this time caused by vocals and mellotron. Because of the resemblance with Genesis I'm really surprised to see this band listed as eclectic prog. Symphonic prog seems more appropriate. Unless of course this track is not representative for the bands usual style. 4,25 for this.

Unicorn saved the best for last with Retroheads. This band is included for some time now and already had quite a few reviews. But I'm amazed to see such low ratings. To me music doesn't get much better than this. This will also be caused by my unsurpassed love and preference for great guitar play. Well plenty of that for sure. Marvellous track. 4,75*.

So in the end the last 5 tracks secure my decision for a four star rating. The sting is clearly in the tail with this sampler. But that's also personal of course. I'm definitely very pleased I went for this sampler. If you are unfamiliar with most of the mentioned bands, I can only recommend anyone to check this one out. Nice mix of several prog styles. 3,75*.

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