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ITOIZ

Prog Folk • Spain


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Itoiz biography
Another symphonic gem from the Basque region. ITOIZ was formed by Joseba Erkiaga (flute), A. Azkarraga (bass), Estanis Osinalde (drums), J.C. Perez (guitars), and Jose A. Fernandez (Fender Rhodes piano, Grand piano, Hammond organ, Kong Polyphonic ensemble, ARP synthesizer). Their style is a mixture Basque folk, prog-rock and a little jazz. Still, there are (not surprisingly) absolutely no traces of flamenco influences. The music here is quite beautiful (very Italian, in fact) and emphasizes melodic interplay between interactions of wind instruments with keyboards, and guitars. Most of the tracks have male vocals, while the best tracks have some very beautiful female vocals. But they sing in the Basque language. Their early albums are now considered classics. Although they have many albums only "Itoiz" stands out as a real folk-progressive masterpiece. Their pompous arrangements remind GENESIS and CAMEL although ITOIZ also draw from their own folklore.

The eponymous debut-album (1978) from Itoiz is a wonderful blend of folk and symphonic rock, very original with only some hints to CAMEL and early GENESIS. It contains 8 melodic and tasteful crafted compositions. The music ranges from mellow with flute and acoustic guitar to more up-tempo featuring keyboards and fiery electric guitar. The vocals in the Basque language sound very warm. Highlight is the long track "Goizeko Deihadar", running time at about 10 minutes. It opens with tender Fender Rhodes electric piano play, strings and pleasant vocals, to continue with a mid-tempo rhythm, Hammond organ waves, fiery electric guitar runs and some short solos on the ARP synthesizer. In the second part the electric guitar howls like Steve HOWE at his best! The song ends with fluteplay in a mellow atmosphere, very enjoyable music.

Their second LP is in the same vein and as good as the first. Synths were omitted and sax and violin added. "Alkolea" is good too. From their fourth album on ITOIZ were largely a pop band, creating straight catchy melodies. With these later albums they became one of the most successful Basque groups in the eighties. Highly recommended if you are not exclusively into "difficult prog".

: : : Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS : : :
Fan & official Prog Archives collaborator

Itoiz official website

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Buy ITOIZ Music


AmbulanceAmbulance
Elkar 2011
Audio CD$15.99
$15.50 (used)
EzekielEzekiel
Elkar 2011
Audio CD$15.99
$14.99 (used)
ItoizItoiz
Elkar 2011
Audio CD$15.99
AlkoleaAlkolea
Elkar 2011
Audio CD$15.99
$80.14 (used)
Antologia (1978 - 2008)Antologia (1978 - 2008)
Elkar 2011
Audio CD$15.99
$80.14 (used)
AlkoreaAlkorea
Extra tracks · Import
Indies Japan/Zoom 2009
Audio CD$41.97
...Eremuko Dunen Atzetik Dabil...Eremuko Dunen Atzetik Dabil
Elkar 2011
Audio CD$15.99
EspaloianEspaloian
Elkar 2011
Audio CD$15.99
Musikaz BlaiMusikaz Blai
Elkar 2011
Audio CD$15.99
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Itoiz-Ezekiel Spanish prog Japanese SHM-CD Mini lp USD $32.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Itoiz-Alkolea Spanish prog Japanese SHM-CD Mini lp USD $32.99 Buy It Now 2 days
ITOIZ- ALKOLEA + 1 (SHM-CD) (JAPANESE MINI LP) USD $36.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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ITOIZ?/??Alkolea ?JAPAN SHM-CD Mini-LP w/OBI BELLE-091625 USD $42.50 Buy It Now 8 days
Kelly, John & Maite Itoiz,SEALED CD,Tales from the Secret Forest USD $9.99 Buy It Now 8 days
ITOIZ - ESPALOIAN : LP : Spain 1985 Elkar ELK-82 : Basque Progressive Rock USD $24.99 Buy It Now 12 days
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ITOIZ alkolea '82 LP mega rare Basque prog acid ELKAR 6 page booket NM/MINT USD $49.00 Buy It Now 14 days
John Kelly & Maite Itoiz : Tales from the Secret CD (2006) USD $3.25 Buy It Now 14 days
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ITOIZ JAPAN 3 Mini LP CD + ALKOLEA DISK UNION PROMO BOX, NEW, BASQUE USD $155.00 Buy It Now 21 days
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John Kelly & Maite Itoiz : Tales from the Secret CD (2006) USD $3.48 Buy It Now 29 days
CD itoiz ~ USD $16.01


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ITOIZ discography


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

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

3.86 | 42 ratings
Itoiz
1978
4.17 | 89 ratings
Ezekiel
1980
3.34 | 17 ratings
Alkolea
1982
1.67 | 3 ratings
Musikaz Blai
1983
2.13 | 4 ratings
Espaloían
1985
2.00 | 3 ratings
Ambulance
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Itoiz Suite
2009

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

1.09 | 3 ratings
Eremuko Dunen Atzetik Dabil
1988

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

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

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

ITOIZ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ezekiel by ITOIZ album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.17 | 89 ratings

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Ezekiel
Itoiz Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Hailing from the Basque region of Spain, Itoiz' second album Ezekiel is, as the name implies, a concept album based on the Biblical stories about the prophet Ezekiel. Significantly, the band sing in the Basque language, taking advantage of the new freedoms Spain was enjoying after the recent fall of the fascist regime which had ruled it from the 1930s to the 1970s - under Franco, the different regions of Spain were discouraged from expressing aspects of local culture which were seen as affirming their differences with other regions of Spain, and the Basque language in particular was frowned on.

Itoiz exploit this opportunity to express their culture to the hilt, fusing Basque folk and progressive rock in a distinctive musical vision. Yet, at the same time, the prog side of the equation tends to let the side down from time to time: a tendency to be stuck in the past and plough furrows already exhausted both by folk prog bands outside Spain and Itoiz' flamenco rock contemporaries make the rock side of this folk-rock balance sound somewhat dated once you get past the novelty of the Basque lyrics.

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 Ezekiel by ITOIZ album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.17 | 89 ratings

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Ezekiel
Itoiz Prog Folk

Review by sinslice

4 stars A must for fans of prog-folk.

Good compositions expressed with acoustic and electric guitars sublimely supported by piano, flute, saxophone, violin and keyboards. Interesting collaboration of bass and drums, very rhythmic and protagonists.

I do not understand the Basque language is not familiar to me. But this does not prevent you from enjoying the quality of the material. The voices are those that add the main native touch. It contains a good mix of Italian and English folklore, Spanish featureless, as might be flamenco. No relation to their distant cousins ​​Triana, Veneno or Mezquita, musically speaking.

Haizea, and his work Hontz Gaia is another good option similar but more mysticism than this and more psychedelic.

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 Ezekiel by ITOIZ album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.17 | 89 ratings

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Ezekiel
Itoiz Prog Folk

Review by João Paulo

5 stars A beautifull album from this Spanish band of seventies. This band blew the Basque ethnic music with progressive rock. The result of this merger was the realization of a very beautiful album and maybe one of the best of its kind. Who said that the Prog Folk is not pretty and it is boring and dull? Ezekiel is proof that there are many excellent albums in this context. Very harmonious with newly introduced moments in music, which means that the hearing is an adventure. Choirs, guitars and beautiful arrangements make this album one of the most beautiful Prog Folk. A masterpiece for those who like the fusion of ethnic music with rock and recommend a careful hearing I give 5 stars because it's really a masterpiece

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 Alkolea by ITOIZ album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.34 | 17 ratings

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Alkolea
Itoiz Prog Folk

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

4 stars Itoiz is a band from Basque Country, Spain and they used the dialect of the place, not really Spanish. It's a great mix of Prog Folk, in fact it is REALLY great.

I always say that, and maybe sometimes I sound too boring and repetitive. But I really wished that more bands were using this kind of sound production during the 80's. Some albums weren't that bad, but production usually killed most of them.

Alkolea (1982) is a hell of an album with many interesting bits to make you feel full and content.

There's a 2009 CD edition that you can still find a copy!

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 Itoiz by ITOIZ album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.86 | 42 ratings

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Itoiz
Itoiz Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars One of the hottest names of the Basque Prog Folk scene,Itoiz started around mid-70's under the guidance of guitarist/singer Juan Carlos Perez and members coming from the towns of Mutriku and Ondarroa.Initially named as Indar Tapes,the band begun as a dance music group performing in evening festivities and soon developed their own style,mixing rock with Basque Folk.They were renamed to Itoiz (after the valley of the same name in Navarra) and debuted with an eponymous LP in 1978 on the biggest Basque rock label,Xoxoa.

''Itoiz'' blends nicely the softness of Basque Folk music with the adventure of synth-driven Progressive Rock.The tracks are split between two styles: those closer to Basque Folk music with delicate flute work by Joseba Erkiaga,mellow piano parts by keyboardist José Antxon Fernández and the acoustic guitars and dreamy vocals of Juan Carlos Perez and those deep into the progressive rock aesthetics with strong use of moog synths and a fair amount of electric guitars.The later are almost always wrapped in well-crafted symphonic arrangements with a strong sense for harmony and melody,while the vocal lines add often a dramatic touch.Both styles are satisfying for the prog listener with a good balance and enough space for instrumental action.

For those who want to come in touch with this particular progressive rock genre,''Itoiz'' is a great place to start.The album contains good interplays,warm vocals and semi-complex arrangements and comes strongly recommended for both fans of Folk and Symphonic Rock...3.5 stars.

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 Ezekiel by ITOIZ album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.17 | 89 ratings

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Ezekiel
Itoiz Prog Folk

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars I have heard about this band for a long time, but this is my first ever foray into their world.

This is their second album and one which is highly regarded in our community. The music is based in folk music, but there is also strong hints of Camel in their music. I reviewed all the the four albums by the Catalan band Herba Hameli last year and they comes across as a good reference. Well, Itoiz is an obvious reference for Herba Hameli although they are based in two different parts of Spain and in different cultures again. Spain is more a federation of nations than a nation or even a country. Itoiz is from the long suffering Basque region in Spain. OK, I am off on a non musical journey here, but I cannot deny I find Spain a fascinating theme and place.

Music wise...... yes, that's what this is about.... I have to remind myself..... music wise, the music here is flute, acoustic guitar (Spanish guitars ?) and Hammond organ based with some good vocals inbetween. The music is very folky sung in the local Basque language. The music is very good. My gripes is the lack of some real killer tracks and some pieces which would make me say "this can only be Itoiz". Hence, I am not of the view that this is an excellent addition to my record collection and it will get a more remote storage, I am afraid. But I would still recommend this album to any folk rock fan. I am not so there we go.

3.25 stars

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 Ezekiel by ITOIZ album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.17 | 89 ratings

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Ezekiel
Itoiz Prog Folk

Review by Blackdog

5 stars An outstanding album from the Basque Country. And specially meritorious if we notice that during the early 80's, Spanish music was not at its best: due to the euphoria of having escaped from the censorship that ruled until 1975, Spanish musicians were occupied composing dead easy techno-pop songs, with a notable lack of any melodical or lyrical preoccupation. It was the spirit of the 80's glam but augmented until grotesque limits of childish lyrics and monotony.

In the middle of this totally banal scene, Itoitz release their Ezekiel album. Not everything about it is perfect: if I had had the possibility, I would have chosen another lead singer, as Pérez's voice is somewhat weak, although it has similarities to some italian symphonic singers. On every other aspect the album is nearly flawless. The folky acoustic guitars that get electrified to perform some memorable solos; a sometimes funky-ish and always great-sounding bass; a constant melodic keyboard background; a flute à la Jethro Tull and the notorious jazz influences.

Something obvious when hearing Ezekiel is that, despite being a complex opus with a milimetrically care about instrumentation, it features relatively short and easy-listening songs. In fact, the album is not very long, and it seems to be even shorter because of the fluidity that characterise the compositions.

If I had to describe Ezekiel with just a word, it would undoubtlely be beautiful. In this sense, when I hear Ezekiel, it brings me to my mind that Harmonium's Si On Avait Une Cinquième Saison. The instrumentation is not so unlike in both albums, and they both show a brilliant and, in my opinion, optimistical sound, with a beauty that is impossible to hear in many other albums.

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 Alkolea by ITOIZ album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.34 | 17 ratings

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Alkolea
Itoiz Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars In between "Ezekiel" and "Alkolea", it would seem that Itoiz spent too much time listening to Supertramp, and their effort suffers as a consequence. Primarily they adopt Supertramp's dogged insistence on milking a mildly good idea until it is more than spent, and heaping repetitive oh's and ah's and na's on top of it in a vain effort to sound hip. This can be heard in the poor opener but also mars "Ixilik Egon Hadi...Ixiliki!" and ""Herri Neurak", both of which could have been far better without those "embellishments".

The delicate balance of consistently strong material broken, "Alkolea" has a few other significant problems, like the runaway "Hire Bideak" which further acts against any cohesion even if it shows some potential and hot playing. Both "Lanbrora" and "Marilyn" are relatively dull tracks that are the not the equal of anything on "Ezekiel", reminding me at turns of James Taylor or Janis Joplin. The disappearance of female vocals, the harsher and overdone lead guitars, and the general lack of textural quality make "Alkolea" a disappointment.

To be fair, "Errotaberri" and "Eroa Nazan" are both top shelf. Here the melodies and lyricism are sparkling, and seem to blend the best of both of the previous two albums. "Errotaberri" is enhanced by string like keys and here the lead guitars and saxes suit the music much better. The bass and organs on "Eroa Nazan" play to the group's strengths.

While "Ezekiel" seems to sparkle whenever unleashed, "Alkolea" actually sounds like a much less talented and focused sibling, and seems the worse for wear. Without the unbroken string of fine songs working together as one, this is just a very uneven collection. 2.5 stars, rounded down.

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 Ezekiel by ITOIZ album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.17 | 89 ratings

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Ezekiel
Itoiz Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

5 stars While Itoiz' debut was an instantly likable major folk effort with a concentrated minor in symphonic progressive, their sophomore offering is far more eclectic and much harder to penetrate. In addition to a cornucopia of instruments such as electric and acoustic piano and guitar, flutes, organs, violins, and saxophones, and the reappearance of superb voices of both genders, the album's sprawling canvas incorporates several new styles for the group, particular jazzy elements. You could be excused for doubting this kitchen sink approach, because very few bands could pull this off with the skill and vision demonstrated herein. Your upfront investment will be rewarded manifold.

The general pattern of many of the tracks, such as the first three, is a song orientation followed by extensive instrumental excursions featuring the group's full arsenal, and providing for continued discovery over the course of many airings. Of particular note are the rich saxes and organ in "Ezekielen esnatzea II". The pent-up energy that had been withheld during the Franco years remained fully operative throughout this sophomore album. The approach is continued on "Ezekielen ikasgaia" where electric piano substitutes for organ, except the vocals are feminine and at times acrobatic in their versatility. Many folk orientations remain, generally paired with massed or individual children's voices, such as on the title cut and "Ezekielen ametsa". This apparent innocence is egged on by divine flutes even as it is belied by the accessible complexity of the compositions and arrangements.

If I had to choose a favourite, it would probably be the penultimate cut "Ezekielen erantzuna", which casts a sly eye back to the first album without sacrificing the newly found maturity. In addition, it boasts some stunning acoustic guitar work. The backing keyboards are hypnotic, and what sounds like violin sets just a slightly Eastern European - or is it Arabic - mood. This is wisely carried over to the closer, which is highlighted by some stellar lead guitar work.

This is a uniformly consistent album and perhaps the masterpiece of the Basque progressive folk movement. It is a sequence of songs that propose and deliver an indivisible unit, which is nirvana for most progressive fans. My highest and unflinching recommendation.

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 Ezekiel by ITOIZ album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.17 | 89 ratings

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Ezekiel
Itoiz Prog Folk

Review by progmex_addict

5 stars Ezekiel is a very unique album, sung in Bask language, Itoiz performance makes that the singing stays as a complement (even that is not bad at all) and let the instruments to speak. You will know what I'm talking about once you hear it.

I compare Ezekiel with Les cinq saisons of Harmonium: Change the country, move yourself to Spain and to the folk of the Basque Region add drummings and you will see the path that this is going to take.

Ezekiel is a very uplifting album, easy to listen, but the fact that is easy -or not difficult prog- to listen, it does not mean that you won't find beautiful passages of progressiveness. And ladies and gentleman, there are incredible melodies that you will find very technical and full of colors and with feeling at the same time, making it one of the best folkish prog rock albums you will ever hear.

In Ezekiel, all the instruments take the lead role in one point of a song. But I would remark 3 instruments that will show you the beauty of this album: the piano organ, the saxophon, and that beauty I found when I met this genre, the flute. The flute is executed so good, I enjoy it a lot and maybe that's why I will rate this album very well. But, first things last.

I don't know what's the story of Ezekiel, but I assume is a concept album, watching that the whole is dedicate to him.

Ezekielen prophezia starts with the electric guitar and some drumming very good, but then the sax kicks in and the song sounds very cool-to say something-, then the vocals shows up, and to be honest, I find them accurate for this, I like it, maybe it's the fact that I applaude the courage for singing in your own language and still sounding good, or maybe just the pleasure of hearing other different language than english (not that I hate english); then, the first appearance of the flute, very calm and soft this time, and the violin sounding in the background, the song keeps going on, mixing now the sax with the vocals and drums, making this song very folk rock, at minute 3, the sax makes the solo, that the only thing you can do is to draw a smile in your face and tap your feet following the beat. At 3:40, the flute and the violin, and they both mix beautifully, the violin takes the lead role and the flute goes along with her, achieving a great finale. Excelent track.

Ezekielen Esnatzea. The first notes are from the acoustic guitar, inmediately, some hints of the piano organ and the vocals. The piano sounds more notable now at 1:10, and from that, takes the leadership, making its solo, until the minute 2:10 when appears the flute, that now shows us a softer and mysterious passages and keep leadering the song, tremendous solo! Suddenly the sax shows in and together the sound it's just unique. The electrical guitar shows up and take the control, all together with the bass and the drums. Yes, I know, what a mixture! and it's a lovely one! and it's not over, because the piano at minute 4: 35 kicks in and set the jazzy ambient with his solo. Marvelous!

Ezekielen Esnatzea. Once, the spanish acoustic guitar shows up. The Bask vocalist very calm sings some notes. the song follows that path until the saxophon appears and it's very delightful. A very touching solo. Then, the flute, oh god!, the flute! here the flute is at her best! Reminds some Camel or Focus, The tempo is excellent, the short -but deep- solo of the flute is really pleasent! After this magnificent piece, the organ demonstrates that also speaks and finishes the song, and now I have a remember of Genesis. Very good organ solo my basque friends!

Ezekiel. This is the acoustic and shortest song of the album. The acoustic guitar chords playing through the song makes it enjoyable. A children chorus singing Ezekiel completes the song. Not much to say about this song. It's like the time-to-breathe and sit back-and relax, like a bridge to the final part of the album; but anyhow a very soft uplifting and enjoyable track.

Ezekiel Ikasgaia. Well, this song is my song. Here you will find anything you were looking for in a folkish prog rock song. For real. The song starts with the acoustic guitar and piano. After 30 seconds, a good change: a female voice begins to sing in Basque of course, very pretty and soft voice with vibrato, I inmediately love it. The song remains in that vein with the singer and the piano goes along with her until the saxophon cracks up. And here it comes the deal: the wonderful solos of three instruments, first as I said, the sax, in the background the organ (genesis alike), then inmediately the flute takes the place, and now the sax in the background. To end, the piano enters and complete the melody with the drums, sax and organ in the background. But that's not the end. The female singer, continues singing but uses a little scatting, like gibberish accompanied by the piano at the background, I just love that scat, reminds hearing Aretha Franklin or Clare Torry, or more accurate, in Della Natura of Museo Rosenbach. So the whole song is an incredible jazzy folk song. I just close my eyes and let myself away. Extraordinary song.

Ezekielen Ametza and Erantzuna. For some reason that I don't know I have this two songs together. Acoustic guitar follows by the singing of what it seems a little girl; after that, the flute with a brief solo, but of course a pretty one, Camel influence is notable. The song speeds up a little bit wit the piano, the acoustic guitar and the violin, and the voice of the male singer starts. Great performance of this guy, at the middle of the song a melancholyc sax shows up for a while, then the acoustic guitar makes a good solo. The songs flows perfectly once again with the singer and at the end the sax solo accompanied for the piano. Another wonderful track.

Ezekielen: la maitasun kantu bat. The sound of a freight train starts this track. Few seconds later, the violin sounds and the flute and sax do it a little bit later. The singing for the male singer. The flute sounds in some moments, spectacular as usual. The flute and the acoustic guitar take the control in the middle of the song, slowly the electric guitar appears for brief moments, also the violin, as the organ. The flute still the leader of this song. for the end of the song, the electrical guitar owns the song with a solo to end fading out, finishing a very, very enjoyable and once again, uplifting album

So, I have no other choice but to rate this album with 5 stars. Highly recommended and must for any prog fan..

***

RSDMCG

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