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ASIA MINOR

Symphonic Prog • Turkey


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Asia Minor biography
One of the many fantastic, obscure European progressive bands to be unearthed and made available to the prog-buying public is ASIA MINOR, who only released two very small-time albums in the late '70s. This band took a more unusual twist on the genre popularised by CAMEL, with a mostly instrumental rock (what lyrics there are, are sung in a strangely accented English), with folk and ethnic influences, featuring much flute, guitar and keyboards.

The two albums are "Crossing The Line" and "Between Flesh and Divine", the latter one is absolutely essential. Whereas the similarly dreamy French progressive PULSAR drew on PINK FLOYD and KING CRIMSON influences. Excellent and original, indispensable for all lovers Progressive rock.

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Between Flesh And DivineBetween Flesh And Divine
Import
Musea 1981
Audio CD$11.84
$11.83 (used)
Crossing The LineCrossing The Line
Import
Musea 1979
Audio CD$12.75
$12.45 (used)
Between Fresh & DivineBetween Fresh & Divine
Import
Imports 2009
Audio CD$39.18
$140.28 (used)
Crossing the LineCrossing the Line
Import
Imports 2017
Audio CD$34.69
$52.58 (used)
Between Flesh & DevineBetween Flesh & Devine
Import · Remastered
Imports 2017
Audio CD$34.69
$52.58 (used)
Between Flesh and Divine by Asia Minor (2000-12-31)Between Flesh and Divine by Asia Minor (2000-12-31)
Musea
Audio CD$38.78
$45.99 (used)
EzgilerEzgiler
Akkiraz Muzik
Audio CD$24.15
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ASIA MINOR discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.53 | 103 ratings
Crossing The Line
1979
4.16 | 284 ratings
Between Flesh And Divine
1980

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

ASIA MINOR Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

4.09 | 13 ratings
Landscape Pictures In Rock
1988

ASIA MINOR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Between Flesh And Divine by ASIA MINOR album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.16 | 284 ratings

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Between Flesh And Divine
Asia Minor Symphonic Prog

Review by Luqueasaur

4 stars Like a better Neo-prog: 8/10

Emotive, atmospheric, melancholic, delicate, but also technical and well performed, ASIA MINOR's 1980 release plays a mellow homage to the 70s prog rock with their lush symphonic style. The band is heavily influenced by CAMEL, as observable by the long instrumental passages heavily reliant on the flutes and powerful Moog drone-esque moments; and even by YES' CLOSE TO THE EDGE, as Northern Lights' intro, or better, post-intro, feels like an 80s re-read of A Solid Time of Change. Lionel Beltrami's drumming is akin to Bill Bruford's and Robert Kempler profound and melodic keyboards manage to border Pete Bardens' magic; two things which depict ASIA MINOR's competence. BETWEEN FLESH AND DIVINE don't sound like a 70s symphonic prog proper neither as 80s Neo-prog; it's an intermediary with elements from both (although the first is more prominent). Perhaps one of the last roars of the prog rock mammoth before it entered its slumber.

 Between Flesh And Divine by ASIA MINOR album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.16 | 284 ratings

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Between Flesh And Divine
Asia Minor Symphonic Prog

Review by ctasan

5 stars Second album from Asia Minor, released in 1980, more known than 1979's Crossing The Line, and more advanced. Released in such a time that prog was in descent, it's quite brave and quickly gets high titles. Unfortunately, few people know this, even fewer in Turkey. Fortunately, it was reissued in 2016.

"Nightwind" opens with bass and as expected; guitar, synth and flute joins with a relatively fast rhythm. Good opening, then song relaxes with synchronized guitar and piano. Soon, flute and some guitar takes you away towards ending.

"Northern Lights" is only song that has different note scale than others. Opening with keyboard, then suddenly entering guitars, then again relaxing. Good usage of synth and flute.

"Boundless" is just 3 minutes, guitars dominate this with emotional lyrics.

"Dedicace" upstands with breathtaking flute, and helper guitars. Later on, keyboard starts to dominate.

"Lost in a Dream Yell" starts with rain effect. Strange, effect continues for 2-3 minutes with playing music. Then song closes with a flute solo.

"Dreadful Memories" is the end of album, fast, and a show of bass and keyboards. A fade-out effect is present at the ending.

Conclusion: Excellent melodies everywhere, with carefully processed (sometimes two instruments together) solos and good lyrics (no Turkish here). Organ-effect keyboard is another bonus for me. Highly recommended masterpiece even for non prog listeners. 8.7/10

 Crossing The Line by ASIA MINOR album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.53 | 103 ratings

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Crossing The Line
Asia Minor Symphonic Prog

Review by ctasan

4 stars The first album of short-lived band Asia Minor, which consists of two Turkish who were studying in France at that time, and two French members.

Album starts with Preface. Firstly, some Turkish percussion, then flute-guitar and keyboard enters. Just from this song, Asia Minor's sound shows up - flute-guitar or keyboard-driven. Later on, modern drums enter and closes in a rush of synth, guitar and drums.

"Mahzun Gozler" (Turkish: Grieved Eyes) includes suprising Turkish words that follows Turkish pop dominant in late 1970s. It's a love song, starts with an empressionist look, after nearly 3 minutes, song speeds up again with the help of flute, resembling Genesis and Camel style. When it gets relaxed, lyrics start, just keys lead here with 1960s psychedelic influences. The song closes with the sound of gong.

"Mystic Dance" is a blend of soft guitar and flute with the help of synth.

"Misfortune" starts with a synth effect, and again speeds up suddenly. After lyrics, song has a changing tempo.

"Landscape" is another song under the effect of synth. Good mystical feeling.

"Visions" differently opens with bass guitar, soon joined with electro. In middle of the song, good melody waiting for you. Overall, instruments are balanced equally. I feel some Van der Graaf Generator here.

"Without Stir" is an excellent show of guitars, nowadays all teens listen this kind of songs, or all intros are like this. Ahead of its time.

"Hayal Dolu Gunler Icin" (Turkish: For Days That Filled Up With Dreams" starts with bass, like Visions. Soon flute joins here, creating good ambiance, with guitar arpeggios. The song is fast in middle, but finishes relatively slow.

"Postface" just repeats the intro of Mahzun Gozler. Okay for exiting.

Conclusion: Quite good, a not widely known gem of symphonic progressive carrying various influences, from both Turkish and French music. 7/10

 Between Flesh And Divine by ASIA MINOR album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.16 | 284 ratings

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Between Flesh And Divine
Asia Minor Symphonic Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Between Flesh And Divine" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Turkish/French progressive rock act Asia Minor. The album was released through W.A.M. (the band's own label) in 1980, but it has since seen a couple of reissues, among others through Musea Records. Asia Minor was a relatively short lived act who only released two full- length studio albums before calling it quits (this album and "Crossing The Line" from 1979).

Stylistically the music on "Between Flesh And Divine" is predominantly instrumental progressive rock with the occasional vocal part. They often sound very similar to early- to mid 70s Camel. Sedated dreamy vocals, light fusion oriented drumming, flute, guitars, bass, and keyboards. Asia Minor are generally very well playing, and it's one of their greatest strengths when their music occasionally enters a territory tread by others before them. In other words they are not the most original sounding act out there, but they compensate well by delivering their music with great skill and passion. The material is well composed too, and Asia Minor are clearly very skilled musicians and composers.

"Between Flesh And Divine" features a very well sounding production, which reeks organic warmth. Asia Minor definitely still lived in the 70s on this release without a thought or a care of the digital sounds of the 80s.

Upon conclusion "Between Flesh And Divine" is on most parameters a high quality progressive rock release featuring high level musicianship, a great organic sounding production, and well composed material. Asia Minor's downfall was most likely releasing progressive rock albums in the late 70s/early 80s, and the fact that they don't sound particularly original. The latter affects my rating slightly, but especially fans of Camel's early- to mid 70s releases are recommended to give "Between Flesh And Divine" a listen. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

 Crossing The Line by ASIA MINOR album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.53 | 103 ratings

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Crossing The Line
Asia Minor Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars ASIA MINOR is a symphonic prog band that began as a bunch of college kids who met in Turkey but ended up in France and were there several years before recording and releasing their only two albums in the late 70s / early 80s divide. CROSSING THE LINE is the debut album that kicks in with a gong followed by some serious flute workouts. This band was serious about including Middle Eastern influence in the then traditional symphonic prog lite that may bring Camel or other breezy bands of the era to mind. Although the Oriental influences are there they are very subtle and ASIA MINOR sounds more like a Western prog band unlike say bands like Gunesh who really were full-blown Middle Eastern prog.

This first album simmers but nobody every bothers to turn the flames up any higher. I have come to this after the much better second album "Between Flesh And Divine" and am always left a little cold after hearing this one. They seem to get into some good grooves on here and then never really take off into more ambitious waters. This is a nice pleasant album and if you want a nice symphonic prog album that serves as background music then this one is perfect because it is very pleasant, it's just that it doesn't have enough to keep the active listener engaged, at least not this one. I'm also just not in love with the vocals on this one. Setrak Bakirel just doesn't deliver a very strong and passionate performance. This debut album simply lacks the diverse elements that make the second one work so well. A good album for its unique approach but in the end fails to pack a sufficient punch for my tastes.

 Between Flesh And Divine by ASIA MINOR album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.16 | 284 ratings

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Between Flesh And Divine
Asia Minor Symphonic Prog

Review by Thai Divone

4 stars Asia Minor is a unique band. It is a small one, not widely known, and this one feels so? I would have said mine, but it is not right. And yet, there is something in their music that is closer to me that many other bands. Perhaps it is the middle-eastern sound, or perhaps it's the way I found them, going through long lists in dark hours, when I had the time, when I was younger than today. But this band, and especially this album, is one of those that shaped me, that made me what and who I am.

If I had to describe their music, it will be a combination of Genesis, Camel and early King Crimson, with the addition of some middle-eastern influences and a great rhythm section. The music is complex, but not too much, feeling a little bit like the connection, the missing link, between Mirage and Moonmadness to Marillion's Jester.

Nightwind opens with a great bass-drums line, accompanied a little bit later by a very nice guitar and keyboards duet. 44 seconds and it starts to change, adding some great solos by the guitars, keyboards and an amazing flute. 1:48 and we're changing again, and around the 2 minutes mark words enter. The song becomes much slower, much calmer. The bridges between the verses are made by some amazing flute lines. 3:40 and we're changing again, getting into shape, moving rhythmically forward. Very Camelish transitions. 4:46 and we're changing again, getting back to a slower pace, moving towards the ending section. It feels grandiose, but so right. The guitars take the lead in this section, and it is just amazing.

Northern Lights opens with some ethereal keyboards, a little bit pastoral, a little bit spacey. Flute enters at 39 seconds. A soft fingerstyle guitar accompanies it all. 2:08 and all is changing, a new musical world enters. Electric Guitars take us through a new journey. And yet, I always feel during those moments the real star is the drummer, who is just mind-blowingly amazing. 3:43 and we're changing to a lot softer section, with vocals entering around the 4:35 mark. 5:14 a guitar-based bridge, and then the vocals return 20 seconds later. A nice guitar solo takes us to the end, playing over a little fingerstyle riff.

Boundless then starts, a short ballad. A little bit simple, yet so very beautiful. Unlike the rest of the songs in here, this one is very classic-rock in terms of structure, with a verse-chorus thing, and a long middle 8 as an outro.

Dedicace, on the other hand, reminds me a little bit of Ashes are Burning in terms of the bass line, but just a little. The flute, though, is unique and amazing. It goes all rock-y at around 1:15, with the drums yet again amazing. 1:54 and we're changing again, transitioning towards a different rock-ish sound. And at 2:48 vocals enter, and they're sung like their on fire. It reminds a little bit of Lady Fantasy. 3:22 and we're changing again, going to a more gentle sound, before picking a different pace at around 3:52. The guitar riff beneath the vocals is no less than brilliant. 5:03 and we're picking the pace again, back to the rock-ish sound, back to the Lady Fantasy like sound. Then it almost too abruptly ends, at around 5:58, leaving us with a lone Hammond note.

Lost in a Dream Yell is so ethereal, starting with some stormy SFX and then going slowly towards strong (but not heavy) notes by the bass accompanied by a great electric guitar lead and a nice keyboards arpeggio. The drums are just precise, making the sounds just when needed, with no beat to waste. 2:20 gives us a new spacey line, before going almost silence for a few seconds. The stage is cleared for the SFX and fingerstyle guitar, only to serve as a background to an amazing flute solo. The drums are soft, and a little bit march-ial. Different instruments share the stage with the flute, each time a different one taking the stage for a few phrases.

Dreadful Memories opens a little bit like the soundtrack for a James Bond movie (or at least, that's what it reminds to me), picking a nice pace before keyboards join around the 49 seconds mark. It's a little bit repetitive, a little bit "not-going-to- anywhere", but after all those great composing achievements, it's nice to get something simple for a change. It is not a great track by itself, but it is the perfect fit for this album.

And so the album ends- perfectly, but way too short. So, is this album an essential addition? I don't think so, but one can't wrong go wrong with this album though. So? 4 stars and a half, rounded down for being non-essential.

 Between Flesh And Divine by ASIA MINOR album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.16 | 284 ratings

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Between Flesh And Divine
Asia Minor Symphonic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Lovely one from this unassuming Turkish foursome, rich in flavor and of complex ingredients, sincere to a fault, and pious in their intention to do credible symphonic rock as that of Renaissance or Genesis. The group is also branded as a Camel clone-- in sound maybe, but not content. There is more going on here, the material has a greater concentration, as if the band knew they'd only have a couple records to say what they wanted to. It is, in a sense, Romantic Prog.

The main influences here are guys like Ravel, Vivaldi, Copland, as evident in lilting 'Nightwind' and pastoral eight-minute 'Northern Lights' layered with flutes & keys, the piece moving into harder territory and significant progression, expansion and development. Somewhat flat 'Boundless' is not helped by the tortured vocal, but decent arena-rocker 'Dedicace' reflects a dying era of rock/fusion in 1980, weird 'Lost in a Dream Yell' is unsettled and directionless but in a very Syd Barrett kind of way and probably too long at over seven minutes, and fun Surf/Psych 'Dreadful Memories' provides some needed relief.

A brilliant try at one of the most difficult modi operandi to compete in, and a fine record of lush symphonic rock executed with care.

 Between Flesh And Divine by ASIA MINOR album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.16 | 284 ratings

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Between Flesh And Divine
Asia Minor Symphonic Prog

Review by Memo_anathemo

4 stars Some years ago, I managed to get this album and it was an excellent buy. Asia Minor, a band from Turkey produced a magnificent album entitled Between Flesh and Divine, which style is pretty similar to the sound of Camel, even the voice of Setrak Bakirel resembles to Andrew Latimer. The album itself is a delight to hear, every song possesses a wonderful symphonic combination. I like the use of the flute in the songs, an instrument which remarks the beauty of the music. My favorite tracks in this album are Northern Lights, Dedicace and Lost in a Dream Yell, each one containing excellent musical arrangements. A must for every prof fan!
 Between Flesh And Divine by ASIA MINOR album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.16 | 284 ratings

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Between Flesh And Divine
Asia Minor Symphonic Prog

Review by sinslice

5 stars A group of Turkey with a turkish accent singer singing in English in 1980, does not seem very attractive. If we add that initially sounds like a good copy of Camel, better let go.

Big mistake! No one should lose these 34 glorious minutes in the history of our beloved progressive path. Between Flesh and Divine is a treasure that deserves to be unearthed.

Some bands have edited hours and hours of music, and do not reach the magnificence of this work impeccable, just over half an hour. I enjoy this cd for 15 years thanks to the reissue of Musea Records, unmissable.

Highlights? Everything, every song, every instrument. Voices not detract from this work, and flutes are outstanding.

 Between Flesh And Divine by ASIA MINOR album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.16 | 284 ratings

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Between Flesh And Divine
Asia Minor Symphonic Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Well I'll be damned!

Wow, just before the coming of 2013 I step upon this album, which to me from the exterior, seemed obscure but ultimately unattractive. Once again my poor judgement tricked me again, I discovered another treasure...that many discovered before me it seems!

Asia Minor is serving us a delicate album, with contrasts of nightly atmospheres to bright light to more tormented segments. I always thought 'darker' progressive rock is the best, with King Crimson in lead. Well, this band is giving us a good serve of 'dark' music but sprinkled with tasteful flute, energetic and clever drums, Robert Smith guitars and silky smooth keyboards...yummers!

The inevitable Camel comparison is audible, but the band is clearly showing it's true colors most of the time with their moody and eerie sound, a perfect album for a snowstorm. I frankly thought of Solaris with their Martian Chronicles as the first influence, but...wait! This record was made 3 years before Solaris! If you appreciate this band, check out for Singularity as their nowadays counterparts...oh and why not Eloy at the same time!

Oh little album, you maybe have an ugly exterior, but your heart is gold.

Contenders for best lost gems of all-time.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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