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Moongarden biography
Founded in Italy in 1993

Italian Symphonic band, MOONGARDEN was founded in the early '90s by Cristiano Roversi and David Cremoni. They had written enough material for a demo and added drummer Adolfo Bonati to the group. For this initial recording three guest musicians were recruited, including future full time member Simone Baldini Tosi. The demo released by Mellow records in 1994 as their first album, "Moonsadness." With a different lineup Christiano and David contributed Mellow Records' "The River of Constant Change" Genesis tribute album. Then they got to work on the next project. With drummer Massimiliano Sorrentini, guitarist Dimitri Sardini and vocalist Ricki Tonco joining the group, the band considers "Brainstorm of Emptiness" the actual first album. At this time an Osanna cover track was also recorded for a '70s Italian Prog tribute album.

Due to personal issues MOONGARDEN went inactive for over four years. The bug bit Christiano again and he got to work on new material, which would comprise the 2001 album, "The Gates of Omega." Dmitri did not return, Luca Palleschi joined as the new vocalist and Luca Dell'Anna was added on keyboards. The new album was welcomed positively by critics and launched a series of successful live shows. 2003's "Roundmidnight saw the band with a new label and another shift in lineup. Luca Dell'Anna was gone so Christiano had to cover keyboard duties again, which prompted the addition of Mirko Tagliasacchi on bass. In 2005 Max Sorrentini and Luca Palleschi called it quits. For the 2008 release, "Songs from the Lighthouse," Maurizio di Tollo joined on drums and original vocalist Simone Baldini Tosi returned to the fold. For the first time there was no shuffling as all the same members appeared on "A Vulgar Display of Prog" in 2009.

It seems as long as Christiano and David want to work together there will be a MOONGARDEN. It is a symphonic band that happens to be IItalian so should not be considered in the ranks of RPI. The influences stem more from Camel, Genesis and Pink Floyd than PFM or Banco. MOONGARDEN should be of interest to anyone exploring Symphonic prog.

H.T. Riekels

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Align Myself To The UniverseAlign Myself To The Universe
Ams Italy 2018
$15.79 (used)
Maracash 2014
$17.76 (used)
Songs from the LighthouseSongs from the Lighthouse
$16.89 (used)
Gates of Omega by MoongardenGates of Omega by Moongarden
$39.99 (used)
Moonsadness by MoongardenMoonsadness by Moongarden
Dark Matter Distribution
Vulgar Display by Moongarden (2014-05-04)Vulgar Display by Moongarden (2014-05-04)
Mellow 2005
Gates of OmegaGates of Omega
PID 2010
Brainstorm of EmptynessBrainstorm of Emptyness
Dark Matter Distribution 2006
$48.03 (used)
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MOONGARDEN discography

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MOONGARDEN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.78 | 48 ratings
3.21 | 56 ratings
Brainstorm Of Emptyness
3.10 | 63 ratings
The Gates Of Omega
3.65 | 73 ratings
Round Midnight
3.54 | 90 ratings
Songs From The Lighthouse
3.56 | 96 ratings
A Vulgar Display Of Prog
2.67 | 3 ratings
The Gates Of Omega "Revisited"
3.81 | 120 ratings
3.92 | 48 ratings
Align Myself To The Universe

MOONGARDEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MOONGARDEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MOONGARDEN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MOONGARDEN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Align Myself To The Universe by MOONGARDEN album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.92 | 48 ratings

Align Myself To The Universe
Moongarden Symphonic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Competent, sometimes quirky Neo Prog using dated instrument sounds while projecting a positive spiritual message. Not the direction I thought Moongarden was going!

1. "Here Now" (7:02) hard driving rock with the Neo Prog sound/instrument palette. Nice chord play from the synth strings bank. Violin work is cool with its echoed and/or chorused (or multiple track) sound. Vocal "whoa-oa"s kick in in the third minute. The song is just racing along at such a fast pace! We should be driving down the country roads with the top down! The vocal melodies do hook in. (8.5/10)

2. "Step After Step" (6:26) electric piano and voice open this emotive ballad. 12-strings and delicious cymbol-play come in after first chorus. Multi-voice harmonies are good. Bass and drums kick in toward end of third minute while vocals are parroting each other. Nice electric guitar solo ensues over the next minute. After the lead gtr solo, things strip down to near opening simplicity as voices sing. Everybody rejoins in the final chorus and outro--another nice electric guitar solo. (8.5/10)

3. "Run" (4:10) abrasive metal guitar chords and metal speed-riffing open this one. Sounds like something from METALLICA until the vocals come in when it becomes more like OZZIE, DAVID LEE ROTH, and/or UNITOPIA. Weird trip-hoppy whispered Italian rap in the middle (8/10)

4. "The Golden Circle" (2:56) space synths and solo voice open this one before picked electric guitars, bass synths, and multiple tracks of vocal harmonies join in. Closes with space synths. (8.5/10)

5. "Planet of the Absurd" (5:17) piano, synths, bass and drums open this one while lead guitar wails. Then all breaks down into silence sauf piano. Voices come in singing about the piano of the absurd while music picks up and sounds like And Then There Were Three-era GENESIS playing in style of THE POLICE. Even the solo sections in the second half are cheesy. (7.5/10)

6. "The Immutability" (12:07) contains an amazingly gorgeous chorus--whose melody is extended and then picked up and embellished by the guitar soloist(s) in the sixth minute to great effect. (9.5/10) I) "The Immutable" (3:22) okay melody and lyrics. It's the chorus that gets into your brain. (8/10) II) "Acqua Terra Fuoco Aria" (6:13) (10/10) III) "OM" (2:32) trip-hop bass, keys, and drumbeats are added as piano (and, later, "Om, shante" voice) carries forward the three chords of the chorus into infinity. (And beyond.) Awesome finish orchestrated by bass and drums! (10/10)

7. "Shiva" (6:00) beautiful GENESIS-like Neo Prog over which a rather dull, weak vocal is planted. (8.75/10)

8. "The Union" (2:14) guitar soloing over synth banks and washes. (4/5)

Four stars; a nice contribution to the lexicon of Neo Prog. As a long-time Moongarden fan, I'm not convinced that this is a step forward for the band; they just haven't ever achieved the tremendous potential that I've seen in their music.

 Align Myself To The Universe by MOONGARDEN album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.92 | 48 ratings

Align Myself To The Universe
Moongarden Symphonic Prog

Review by proghaven

4 stars The band's evolution is impressive. They began in mid 1990s with Moonsadness, a weak and faceless album which may be described as diluted early Fancyfluid and/or Notturno Concertante, or spoiled early Ezra Winston. In the new millennium, the artists found themselves and developed a very individual style, slightly grotesque, with pulsating rhythms in the vein of Galahad circa 2002-2012 and melody making technique not too far from Indisciplined Lucy. Now, with Align Myself To The Universe, they appear as true masters of prog - masters in both meanings, as high professionals and, on the other hand, prog landlords if you like. Indeed, something 'sovereign' may be heard in their new music, as if they felt responsible for what occurs in modern prog in general. While Round Midnight, Songs From The Lighthouse and especially Voyeur were first of all distinctive, original, individual - and written as only Moongarden can write music, Align Myself To The Universe is 'pan-progressive', written as if the musicians partially forgot about their personalities and acted as direct successors of Genesis and other protagonists. That's probably why they changed their creative manner from mostly distinctive (as in Voyeur) to mostly universal (as never before). But everything has a price: instead the artists refused to further develop some very interesting and perspective tendencies started with Voyeur, and as a result their music lost a part of its charm. So, I'd say Align Myself To The Universe is a great asset to any prog collection, but really essential still are only The Gates Of Omega (original version, not 'revisited'!) and of course Voyeur which remains the band's acme.
 A Vulgar Display Of Prog by MOONGARDEN album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.56 | 96 ratings

A Vulgar Display Of Prog
Moongarden Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars Moongarden has turned into a very interesting progrock band since their debut album entitled Moonsadness from 1994, although this album (2009) is only their eight studio-album in 20 years (their latest is Voyeur from 2014). In 2010 I attended a Moongarden gig in The Netherlands (they were support-act for Beardfish), one of the first Italian prog bands I ever witnessed on stage. And they made a lot of fans that evening, also due to their charismatic singer.

On A Vulgar Display Of Prog (65 minutes, 8 songs) Moongarden invites us again on an interesting and captivating musical journey, these guys play progressive rock in the true meaning of the word. The one moment it's bombastic Seventies symphonic rock (in the vein of 76-77 Genesis) with lush Mellotron and a powerful guitar sound or mellow with dreamy vocals and ambient keyboards (Demetrio And Magdalena). The other moment we can enjoy an 'Eighties Queen synthesizer sound' (Mdma) or a heavy guitar wall with rap-like vocals (Compression), what a stunning variety! And I am absolutely delighted about the interplay between the guitars and keyboards: goose bumps in Aesthetic Surgery (howling guitar with choir-Mellotron), Wordz & Badge (exciting duel between aggressive guitar riffs and choir- Mellotron) and Demetrio And Magdalena (again howling guitar with bombastic choir-Mellotron). At some moments Moongarden also sounds mellow and warm with a strong emotional undertone like in Aesthetic Surgery featuring a tender piano and melancholical vocals ("I am an artist, not God"). Those vocals are an important part of Moongarden their distinctive sound with a lot of emotion and expression, a pretty unique voice in the progrock of the last two decades.

Although this music is not always my cup of tea, I am impressed, 15 years after their debut album Moongarden Moongarden were still alive and progging!

My rating: 3,5 star.

 Voyeur by MOONGARDEN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.81 | 120 ratings

Moongarden Symphonic Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Italian prog stalwarts Moongarden are back with another album, consistently producing new material at a regular pace. Their past discography as revealed a few gems ('Songs from the Lighthouse' was a real cracker) as well as few average ones without any duds, as they have always sought to move beyond the classic RPI mode and vie for a more contemporary style that reflects the 21st century. Keyboardist/stick maestro Cristiano Roversi has reassembled a new crew in Mattia Scalfaro on drums (replacing the supremely talented Maurizio di Tollo) as well as second guitarist Dimitri Sardini, to complement the long-time crew of axeman Davide Cremoni, bassist Mirko Tagliasacchi and singer/violinist Simone Baldini Tosi. The concept here involves the contemplative evocations from a peeping tom voyeur who enjoys observing, through the use of modern technology, on how people live in a typical modern chicken-coop high-rise apartment building. What makes this such a fascinating listen is the stellar musicianship displayed, as all are exemplary performers, albeit not the most technical material ever, it nevertheless possesses a unchallengeable seduction, the guitars brash and courageous, the keyboard work definitely modern symphonic with occasional electronic winks that define the times. The rhythmic foundation is the most overtly hi-tech, both icy and insistent, at times robotic in a good sense, as drummer Scalfaro blends the past with some slick programming touches. Though broken down into 11 tracks, the entire menu just flows into another chapter somewhat seamlessly, providing an almost cinematographic feel, segueing perfectly into a determined whole. Each piece has a variety of innovative sounds and tones that keep things on the boiling point.

Run into the lobby and up the staircase, Vickey the voyeur seeks out new visual pleasures within the tight confines of communal existence, finding victims of analysis and formatting those covert impressions into musical form. 'Voyeur part 1' sets the elevator route perfectly with some delicious sounds, segueing into the ultra-urban cool electronica of 'Vickey Mouse', a swooshing piece that rekindles a smattering of influences, from No-Man, the Underground to RPWL, with Simone's urgent vocals leading the smooth crew forever forward.

The glossy delivery continues on 'Barbiturates Gentleman', owner of a lovely Genesis-like chorus and a great hoarse vocal that enthusiastically becomes appealing, especially when shouldered by some vocoder echoes. The violin enters the fray in timely fashion amid the gargantuan mellotron swirls, combining again the past with the future, followed up a sublime and extended guitar solo, part Hackett and part Holdsworth. Gorgeous stuff. The highpoint arrives with heavier 'Mr. Moore', a crafty piece of pugnacious prog with fashionable sounds, rhythmic pulse that spans the gamut between slick and solid, winking at recent Porcupine Tree, blending cannonading drums and chop-chop riffs that give the meat some muscularity. Roversi adorns this artillery with a fine synthesizer salvo that is all about restraint and experimentation. The axe solo on the other head, is twirling and sensitive to the nth degree.

Next up,'The Usurper' combines classic prog with explorative electronica to a new haunting level, using a multitude of effects and sounds that add anguish, pain and disbelief to the arrangement. Everything is alluring here, the anxious vocals and the delirious guitar solo, all snugly framed by the rhythm section. The shorter 'Shiny Eyes' is perhaps the most immediate song here, though the subject matter is not exactly happy, it is nevertheless pumped by a rather powerful theme that keeps things simple, a bit like current Pineapple Thief or earlier U2, jangling guitars notwithstanding.

'TV Queen' is the polar opposite, as heavy dual guitars carve a sinuous furrow, booming bass rumbles in the foreground while Simone growls the innuendo-laden subject matter. The dense mellotron torrents add confusion and camouflage to the reality of it all, the drums pummeling with unfettered desperation. The flow keeps growing as the band includes a lovely instrumental section as a separate track but without the slightest pause, a neat way the finish off a bruising piece of work.

To complete the deal, 'Message from the Last Floor' has a rather ominous tone, echoing piano and mechanical percussion in the forefront, Simone doing a fine job on the microphone once again. Bassist Tagliasacchi lets his fingers run over his fret board, but the guitars really steal the show, tossing off some delicate licks with little pretense. The mood here becomes slightly more bombastic and grandiose, sweeping upward and spiraling in total control. A terrific piece once again that will confound the skeptical fans.

The churning 'Voyeur Part 2' turns off the lights on this seasoned affair, a delightful addition to any ongoing Moongarden collection and most definitely an icon for those fans looking for newer sounds, while still remaining firmly in the progressive rock camp. This hard-working and consistently likable band certainly deserves a little more adulation from the progressive community.

4.5 Peeping Toms

 The Gates Of Omega by MOONGARDEN album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.10 | 63 ratings

The Gates Of Omega
Moongarden Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars A turn of events followed the release of ''Brainstorm of emptyness'', starting right after the album was launched with Tonco and Sardini leaving the band and Davide Cagnata from Obscura joining for a cover on Osanna's ''There will be time'', included in the 97' Italian Prog tribute ''Zarathustra's revenge''.Due to personal problems Moongarden were put on ice in 1997 with Roversi finding time to focus on his first solo album ''Music from my room's window'', which came out in 1999.When things were back on track, Roversi decided to gather Moongarden again with him, Massimiliano Sorrentini and David Cremoni now joined by another ex-Obscura member, Luca Palleschi on lead vocals and new keyboardist Luca Dell'Anna.With Mellow Records never giving up on the group, Moongarden returned in 2001 with the 2-CD album ''The Gates of omega''.

With Roversi exploring the fields of Electronic and Ambient Music during the abscence of Moongarden from the scene, it appears that his newly involved territories had much inspired his style.He brought these influences to his main band and the result was a super-extended effort, torn between an updated Neo Prog sound with lots of piano, vocal melodies and dreamy atmospheres and a minimalistic Ambient/Experimental approach, which focuses on soft singing lines, Industrial vibes, effects and electronics.The bad thing is that he decided to follow the latter style in most of the long compositions of the album, the result being a collage of hypnotic, atmospheric soundscapes with hardly distinguished variations in a lounge palette of music colors.''Forever chained'' and ''5 Years'' are two nice, lyrical and emotional Neo Prog pieces from the first CD, but the 27-min. long title-track maybe found a waste of time, for those discouraged by the label ''Ambient Music''.The second CD contains four long tracks (from 10 to 17 minutes long), which sound more balanced with mixed stylings, but the result is more or less the same.The big symphonic sounds in specific segments is absolutely efficient, the melodic breaks are mostly nice and the vocals of Luca Palleschi are both clean and sentimental.But then follow the emphatic twists towards Pop and Ambient Music with synth-based soundscapes, electronic beats and lounge acoustics, which hurt the overall effort.Focus on the 16-min. ''Home sweet home'', which practically sounds like old'n'good Moongarden and their strong GENESIS references.

One of the most uneven albums I've heard.The Neo and symphonic tendencies are among the goodies of this release and a great example of the style, but the minimalistic, electronic flavors, while quite atmospheric, spoil the cohesion of the listening experience.Approach with caution, at least the album is too long and there is some interesting stuff among the overstretched ideas...2.5 stars.

 Voyeur by MOONGARDEN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.81 | 120 ratings

Moongarden Symphonic Prog

Review by fphoenix

5 stars It's been five years since their last album and while the personnel is largely the same, Moongarden's style has changed for the better since "A Vulgar Display of Prog".

"Voyeur" is a much more focused concept album that follows the story of Vickey as she spies on various other characters living in a skyscraper. The album incorporates a wide variety of styles and sounds yet manages to make them work together cohesively within the context of the album. There's no filler tracks on here. Every single song gets 5 stars from me. "Voyeur" is full of breathtaking moments from start to end, finishing off with the astounding "Message From The Last Floor" and sublime "Voyeur Part Two".

Moongarden has never made a secret of their Genesis influence, but it's never been more clear than it is on Voyeur. Parts of the album sound like they would've fit right in on "Wind & Wuthering" or "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway".

That being said, although they've brought the typical array of Banks-like synths and Hackett style guitar solos to the mix, Moongarden brings the classic Genesis sound to modern times. The addition of new electronic sounds, instruments, and modern effects not typically seen in prog rock give it a new dimension. This isn't some copy. They've brought prog rock to the 21st century with great success.

As for the vocals, Simone Baldini Tosi does incredibly. His emotional delivery throughout lend the songs a lot of power. He also contributes by way of violin, used only a few times but very effectively. Every time the violin enters the picture is a highlight.

An absolute masterpiece. If you're looking for what Genesis might have sounded like had they never lost their sense of musical experimentation, look no further.

 The Gates Of Omega by MOONGARDEN album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.10 | 63 ratings

The Gates Of Omega
Moongarden Symphonic Prog

Review by mbzr48

4 stars How can mere mortals make such beautiful music! If you've heard Moongarden's previous two albums and liked what you've heard, then do yourself a favor and have a listen to "The Gates of Omega". I admit I was skeptical when I found out that Riccardo Tonco (who sounds just like David Sylvian and has a beautiful voice) was no longer on vocals. Yet I was pleasantly surprised by their new vocalist Luca Palleschi, who does a superb job. To be honest, the lyrics are very sparse, leaving plenty of room for sounds that are out of this world. This music is simply magical: dreamy, atmospheric yet so tight it rips you apart at every turn. The musical phrases and movements are hypnotic and the production impeccable: even through a pair of mere headphones you can actually feel the bass through your body (never thought this possible!) This is Italian prog at its best. For me a 4 stars
 The Gates Of Omega by MOONGARDEN album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.10 | 63 ratings

The Gates Of Omega
Moongarden Symphonic Prog

Review by bertolino

3 stars It seems i will be the fist to have a word on the actual version. Indeed,it has to be added about the new remastered and more concised 2010 1cd edition of what i think is a very good neo prog album. Now i've never heard the original version but whatever has been cut down gives as a result a moody but still powerfull cd.

For one ,the piece The Gates of Omega as suffered (?) a ten minutes cut and, at still seventeen minutes, it keeps a soft moody progression which will not overstay its welcome by too much. Home sweet home, now the fifth song of this single cd should stay pretty much the same at approx. the same time of sixteen or so minutes. And the same applies to Stars and Tears,the third epic of this well packed album, now the conclusion of the record. Untouched is the loveable overture, Forever chained, and the softer still 5 Years, giving you a one/two "feather punch" of prog ballads for which i'm a sucker i suppose.

In fact this is a kind of album i'd listen in a row, when in the mood, with the polish group Quidam mark II version, period "Together we're alone". As long as you share with me some appreciation for the same kind of moody prog indebted to Genesis circa 76/78 but sung in place by Ray Wilson and thus Marillion: or if you like the overall work of Cristiano Roversi, you could do worst than put an ear on this one. Three stars and a half for this reworked version.

 The Gates Of Omega by MOONGARDEN album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.10 | 63 ratings

The Gates Of Omega
Moongarden Symphonic Prog

Review by Kiwi1

4 stars This is a magnificent album. What I find particularly admirable about the music is how Moongarden achieve a high level of compositional sophistication without allowing its complexity to become too conspicuous. Often, Progressive Rock strives too hard in its desire to employ unusual time-signatures and inventive harmonies such that the resulting music sounds awkward and contrived. It is, however, easy to overlook this album's sophistication even though it abounds in these musical attributes. What might sound like a straightforward harmonic riff involving a few repeated chords is often a carefully evolving structure which slowly builds to achieve an emotional intensity that is so often missing in Progressive Rock. Moongarden albums are often categorised a 'Neo-Prog' but the compositional sophistication here suggests that the label is unfair. The music also includes all the distinctive characteristics which render it clearly a Moongarden production ? the interplay between the guitarist and keyboardist, without involving flashy displays of instrumental virtuosity, is...well, always tasteful and somehow 'correct'. As with their previous albums, the music is overwhelmingly sad (what, I wonder, as I listen to it, happened to the band's members to make them capable of such melancholy). But such sadness is usually expressed in a way that is exquisitely beautiful and sometimes quite moving. If I have any quibbles, and they are only minor, it is that sometimes the layering of keyboards and studio 'effects' renders the music a little too mushy making me hope for some intervening sharpness to offset the prevailing mellowness and some of the tracks do seem to overstay their welcome and seem strangely reluctant to finish. But, overall, as I said at the beginning of this short review, this is a magnificent album.
 Brainstorm Of Emptyness by MOONGARDEN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.21 | 56 ratings

Brainstorm Of Emptyness
Moongarden Symphonic Prog

Review by Kiwi1

4 stars 'Brainstorm of Emptiness', the 2nd release by Moongarden ,is a fine supplement to Progressive Rock's noble corpus of unfathomable yet somehow compelling concept albums. I cannot confidently describe the content of this particular 'concept' given that the apparently broken narrative is developed by different characters all voiced by the same singer in an occasionally incomprehensible and 'accented' style. My particular interpretation ? no doubt wrong ? is that it concerns the cyclical unfolding of abandonment, withdrawal, childhood mental disturbance, loneliness and other 'cheery' themes in which a boy's (Fritz?) memories of his father leaving and his subsequent drift into crime and institutionalisation becomes all the more poignant now that he is contemplating leaving his own child (Sonya) who in turn associates her father with the coming and going of the moon and the realisation that she must also depart those she loves....yes, the narrative is that complex and I haven't even mentioned another character, a 'witch' called Sherylyn, whose role in the plot I cannot determine. Whatever the 'correct' interpretation ? if, indeed, there is one ? it is certain that the 'story' is one of exquisite sadness, something that the music masterfully captures. This and their previous release (the aptly named 'Moonsadness') demonstrate the band's talent for evoking a melancholy mood the beauty of which becomes particularly heart-wrenching during the guitarists understated but highly effective solos. The influence of the usual 'Classic' Progressive bands, especially Genesis and Pink Floyd, is evident throughout the album although the music always retains its own distinct identity.(But isn't there a moment during the second track that is almost a complete sample lifted straight from Pink Floyd's 'Great Gig in the Sky'?) Particularly impressive is the intelligent employment of 'tone-colours' to evoke, for example, the wash of the sea or the tumult of city life. Similarly, the clever use of syncopation and unconventional time signatures effectively 'paint' the disorientation and emotional turmoil that the various characters of the narrative are obviously experiencing. Hence, 'Brainstorm of Emptiness' , without ever achieving 'greatness' is a very good piece of Progressive Rock that is well worth an attentive listen.....just keep a bottle of anti-depressants handy if you do.
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