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Various Artists (Label Samplers) Cyclops Sampler 5 album cover
3.32 | 5 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD1: (71:20)
1. Rob Andrews - Lake Vinuela 2 (6:15)
2. Flamborough Head - Limestone Rock (10:24)
3. Guardians Office - Dark Girl (6:32)
4. Henry Fool - Pills In The Afternoon (5:43)
5. Karda Estra - Projected Future (4:28)
6. Lands End - Coming Down In Sheets (10:22)
7. Manning - A Strange Place [live] (4:58)
8. Mostly Autumn - Prints In The Stone (4:44)
9. Mostly Autumn - Noise From My Head (3:04)
10. Mysterkah - Red Daylight (8:56)
11. Nice Beaver - Culley On Bleaker Street (5:54)

CD2: (71:45)
1. Odyssice - Scream [live] (8:02)
2. Parallel Or 90 Degrees - Blues For Leah (7:24)
3. Pineapple Thief - Variations On A Dream Pt 0 (7:05)
4. Saens - Escaping The Hands Of God Pt 2 (7:12)
5. Sphere3 - An Unusual January [Monkyfrog Mix] (5:48)
6. Transience - No Turning Back Now (10:53)
7. Tr3nity - Which Way (13:57)
8. Twelfth Night - Fact And Fiction (3:58)
9. Vulgar Unicorn - Gliders (7:26)

Total Time: 143:05

Releases information

2CD Cyclops Records CYCL 125 (2002 UK)

Thanks to Rivertree for the addition
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VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Cyclops Sampler 5 ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Cyclops Sampler 5 reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by progrules
4 stars This is actually a very nice sampler and can make you discover some fine new bands in case you don't already know everything that is around in progworld. Of course the tracks are very varied since they are not related except for the common label of all the bands. And therefore I will review song by song, in some cases accompanied by a short comment.

Disk one

1. Rob Andrews: 3,25 stars

2. Flamborough Head: 4,5 stars. Best song I know by this band. Nice female vocals. Good composition.

3. Guardians Office: 2,75 stars

4. Henry Fool: 3 stars

5. Karda Estra: 3,25 stars

6. Lands End: 3,5 stars

7. Manning: 3,5 stars

8. Mostley Autumn: 3 stars

9. Mostley Autumn: 2,75 stars

10. Mysterkah: 3,75 stars

11. Nice Beaver: 3,25 stars

Disk two

1. Odyssice: 4,75 stars. Fantastic instrumental with great guitar. Made me buy 2 albums by this band !

2. Parallel or 90 degrees: 4,25 stars. Some delicious (soft) jazzrock-like music. Great atmosphere.

3. Pineapple thief: 4 stars. The nicer side of this band. Great track. I also have an entire album by them that is quite poor but obviously they have more than one style.

4. Saens: 3 stars.

5. Sphere3: 4,25 stars. Another jazz-like track. Just about as good as Parallel or 90 degrees.

6. Transience: 3,25 stars. Bit of a slow, almost dull one. Pity for an over 10 minutes track.

7. Tr3nity: 5 stars. Highlight of this sampler. But I found out not everyone is impressed by Tr3nity !

8. Twelfth night: 2,75 stars.

9. Vulgar Unicorn: 3,25 stars.

So it's a clear case that for my taste the second disk is by far the best. If you don't know most of the bands I would certainly check this sampler out ! 4 stars overall (rounded up from 3.6).

Review by Mellotron Storm
2 stars The reason I bought this sampler many years ago was because it was advertised as being a double disc filled with previously unreleased tracks. So we get different versions of songs, live tracks and new tunes as well. Only one song was released previously to this but apparently it's rare so there you go. Something like this wouldn't appeal to me now just because I find alternate versions of songs rarely come close to being good as the original. And after many listens to this recording I can also say that this doesn't come close to being as good as the Cyclops 4 sampler, in fact I can't even muster up a 3 star rating for this one.

Disc one begins with Rob Andrews' "Lake Vinuela 2" with it's powerful atmosphere before the drums and guitar come in before 1 1/2 minutes. An enjoyable instrumental recorded specifically for this project. FLAMBOROUGH HEAD's "Limestone Rock" is a highlight for sure with those female vocals coming in around 2 minutes.The song begins and ends with seagulls and waves.I like the atmospheric instrumental part way through as well.

GUARDIANS OFFICE is an offshoot of FRUITCAKE and their alternate version of "Dark Girl" is a top three for me on this first disc. I really like the melancholic mood here. HENRY FOOL a band I really enjoy for Tim Bowness' vocals and the abundance of mellotron is next with a new song called "Pills In The Afternoon".This is a top three as well. Great track.

KARDA ESTRA's "The Projected Future" is one i'm not a fan of at all. I just never could get into this band. Same with the next band LANDSEND i'm afraid.

Guy Manning's "A Strange Place" is next and it's a live version that reminds me of the eighties for some reason. MOSTLY AUTUMN hit us with two tracks in a row.The first is Celtic-like and the second FLOYD- like.They're okay.

MYSTERKAH is a band i've never heard of. Female vocals in this one. Not a fan. NICE BEAVER ends disc one with my last top three song. It's an alternate version of "Culley On Bleaker Street". I like these guys.

Disc two begins with ODYSSICE's "Scream".This is a good instrumental with atmosphere early then piano and guitar. PARALLEL OR 90 DEGREES' "Blues For Lear" is a previously unreleased studio jam but it's all about the lyrics really. I like it.

PINEAPPLE THIEF's "Variations On A Dream Pt.0" was recorded for this sampler and it's my favourite song on the whole recording. Love this band and track. SAENS' "Escaping The Hands Of God Pt.2" is funny enough the worst song on the whole recording in my opinion.Yikes !

SPHERE3 offers up a jazzy instrumental. I like it,while TRANSCIENCE an offshoot of LANDSEND disappoints.

TRINITY's tune "Which Way" is poor. Sounding like a light seventies tune before turning into a FLOYD flavour. TWELFTH NIGHT" and their "Fact And Fiction" song is a top three. An eighties vibe on this catchy number.

VULGER UNICORN ends it all with "Gliders" a song i've enjoyed in the past.This is an alternate version and good enough for a top three on this second disc as well.

So 2 stars for this one. Some good songs and some bad ones make up this particular sampler.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars No other independent label can be said to have done as much for progressive rock in the UK as Cyclops, and with this sampler Malcolm marks his 125th release. This double CD features 19 bands with 20 songs, with only one being previously available in this form. The collection shows the diversity of styles on Malcolm's label alone that can be called 'progressive' from the folk stylings of Mostly Autumn through the classical influences of Karda Estra to the more rocky Nice Beaver. The traditionalist may prefer Parallel Or Ninety Degrees, while those who like the old school would definitely want to own the previously unreleased CBS studio version of "Fact and Fiction" by Twelfth Night.

There are so many different styles of progressive rock that to the outsider it can be hard to work out who is what, and what styles of music are covered under the banner. There are also some sections of the scene that are quite incestuous with musicians appearing in each other's bands although this only happens a small amount in these acts.

If you have ever enjoyed prog bands then why not try this collection of what is going on now? It is a sad indictment that if Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator or any of the other wonderful prog bands that this country developed thirty years ago, were starting life now then they would be destined to the same fate as the acts on this sampler. Why will hundreds of fans go to see a tribute band but not try something they have never heard before? Many of you have contacted me to say that you enjoyed the Black Widow sampler that was in #71 well why not try out the UK's No 1 progressive label and see what it has to offer? You may not like all the bands on here but you will find plenty that you will.

Originally appeared in Feedback #73, Apr 03

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