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Pascal's Prog Journey

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Magnum Vaeltaja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2016 at 20:15
Originally posted by infocat infocat wrote:

Try A Passion Play before giving up on Tull.


Yep, because then he'll definitely give up on Tull! LOL

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Magnum Vaeltaja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2016 at 20:31
Seriously, though, I've got some recommendations for you to work through based on what you've shown interest in so far. 

1. More RPI!
  • More PFM. If you loved Per Un Amico, I'd highly, highly, highly, highly, highly, recommend listening to PFM's sublime debut, Storia Di Un Minuto. Also, if you want something a bit more Yes-like, check out their third Italian release, L'isola di Niente.
  • Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - I have a feeling you'd like these guys; very classically influenced and keyboard-heavy arrangements. Their self-titled debut and Darwin! are both superb.
2. As for the "Big 6", I've noticed that you haven't actually finished off your early Genesis ratings. Trespass and Nursery Cryme are both essential releases, and their two best in my humble opinion. They both have a more rustic, folk feel to them than their later records, especially Trespass, but if you want quality symphonic music with less over-the-top Peter Gabriel theatrics, these are both great to refer to. Also in the Genesis sphere, but not by the band, is Steve Hackett's solo album Voyage of The Acolyte, which is an incredible achievement of instrumental guitar-based prog. 

3. Anglagard - These guys are a more modern (90's and onward) symphonic group out of Sweden. Their music isn't heavy, per se, but it has a very raw, primordial feel to it. I always find their stuff to be very evocative of nature, but not the pansy "prancing in the daisies" sort of nature, more like standing on the edge of massive fjord while a maelstrom of wind and rain is sending trees flying, and an avalanche is destroying a nearby village. The force of nature, if you will. All three of their studio releases are very strong, though Hybris is currently the highest rated. I'd recommend starting with any of them, though.

That should keep you occupied for a while. I'll let you know if I find anything else more symphonic that comes to mind.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Magnum Vaeltaja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2016 at 20:34
Oh right, one more classic instrumental album that no prog collector can be without:

Gryphon - Red Queen To Gryphon Three - A spectacular blend of symphonic prog with English renaissance and folk music. Plenty of great timbres to be appreciated here, from bassoons to crumhorns to classic 70's synths. I think you'll really appreciate the compositional style, too; very intricate and seamless arrangements. It almost feels more like listening to a symphony than a prog album, but with a distinct rural vibe throughout.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mechanicalflattery Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2016 at 20:53
This Magnum guy doesn't know what he's talking about, this right here is all the music you need to get through life:


Prom dance? Done. Something to make out to when the parents aren't home? Done. Wedding DJ? Done. Baby lullaby? Done. Funeral arrangement? Done. Something to stick your wife with in the divorce settlement? Done. Sitting alone, a regretful husk of a man, alone, unloved, wondering what could have been? Done and done.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Magnum Vaeltaja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2016 at 21:16
^ My bad. How ever could I have forgotten about that timeless, melodic gem? I guess I just thought it went without saying.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2016 at 08:14
That should keep me busy for a while, thanks guys! LOL
I too thought about more RPI as I really loved Per Un Amico, and had tried their debut. It's a very nice album, but I prefer Per Un Amico. 
I also tried Nursery Cryme a while ago, but couldn't really get into it, probably it's worth trying again in some time when I'm in a Genesis mood.
That Gryphon album is something I was looking for! At first listen it seems like something I will enjoy a lot.

As for Jethro Tull, I wasn't already giving up; Thick As A Brick is so popular that I must actually know it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Quinino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2016 at 08:45
This one here below should please you immensely, I risk to say, it's full of joyful very well done modern prog music.




♪ It's not about the Money, money ♪ We don't need your Money, money ♫
We just want to make the Woooorld dance ♫ ♪
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 09 2016 at 09:58
Lot of listening to new material lately, both 70's and more recent albums. I think I'll make a distinct list between old and modern prog from 2000 and newer. I've also updated the list I already had and make a little more difference between the albums. 
So the latest additions to the "old" list:

King Crimson - The Power To Believe: a modern album by an old band. Although distinguishable as a KC album, it's very different than the others I've heard. Like almost all modern prog albums, a lot of metal influence, but it fits Fripp's style very well. There are some moments which sound very fresh and innovating, but overall it's a little bit boring and the whole takes up quite some time. Their early work had much more personality IMHO. 7

Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick: that's (a little) more like it. Much more to my taste than Stand Up, still has a lot of energy but is also worth listening to closely. A few compositional highlights, but overall it feels a tad disjointed though. I would also want to hear more of the sound they had in Stand Up, at points it now feels as standard. 7.5

Gryphon - Red Queen To Gryphon Three: Beautiful symphonic compositions, both horizontally and vertically. Very well build tracks, of course very classically influenced which I always like when implemented in a good way. Beautiful melodies mixed with a progressive rhythm here and there makes it excellent to listen to. 9

Storia Di Un Minuto: honestly, inconsistent. Wow-moments, goosebump-moments and skip-moments. Still the best moments are not near the best moments of Per Un Amico. Overall the sound and arrangements are also not as well done as on PUA, but I do really appreciate the style of RPI/PFM. 6.5
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 09 2016 at 17:19
I can imagine you'll like this one:
http://www.progarchives.com/album.asp?id=79
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 10 2016 at 03:42
^That was a great first listen, thanks for the recommendation!

Btw I have to take back the words that TAAB is disjointed, the horizontal composition is good, a deserved 8.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 18 2016 at 10:49
Before going to a jazz concert, let me give my opinion on my first few albums by modern bands:

Shamblemaths - Shamblemaths: excellent structured album. Very eclectic, without lots of repetition but very cohesive so that it deserves a lot of great listens. The many variations on the main theme of the opening epic is very creative! 9
Earth, Invisible - Earth, Invisible: sweet introduction for me to post-rock. The genre seemed and seems not something which I truly adore most of the days, it's a lot about sound and guitars, andless about complexity in many melodies- but it doesn't fail in hitting me very deep. Mixed with nice time sigs it's though very enjoyable to listen to. The album is on the other hand a little short. But it deserves an 7.5 and I might try some other post-rock in the future.
Thank You Scientist - Stranger Heads Prevail: a wow-album! This really got me hooked for weeks, and still there are few days in the week I don't listen to some (note: some, let me return on that later) of this wonderful album. The blend of jazz and metal arrangements beneath contemporary pop vocals is simply stunning. The instrumental parts are so interesting; complex, technical and creative- innovative beyond instrumentation as well and the vocal parts are sometimes very emotive. At first hearing the vertical composition is outstanding, but horizontally it also has very good parts, my favourites are: Mr. Invisible, Need More Input and Rude Goldberg Variations. I can't dismiss this album, however, without mentioning it's flaws. It's a very tiring whole, takes a little too long and I wish they would've done more jazz influenced parts, because they show they can arrange excellent jazzy parts, they don't delve too deep in it and leave it with just a little length compared to the more than 60 minutes whole. And that's why it's just not as good as my very favourites, and deserves a 9.
Battles - Mirrored: Another one which doesn't suit my personal taste completely, I find it hard getting really well into repetitive, minimalistic music. It is indeed very innovative and mainly the drums are outstanding in the music, but for me it's too boring to listen to for a longer while. At such a point I doubt if it's good to rate it, but for now I'll leave it with a 7.



Edited by DDPascalDD - December 18 2016 at 10:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 18 2016 at 14:57
"New/modern" list:

*1992*
Anglagard - Hybris [8.5]

*2007*
Battles - Mirrored [7]

*2014*
Iamthemorning - Belighted [8]
Thank You Scientist - Maps Of Non-Existent Places [8.5]
Snarky Puppy - We Like It Here [8.5]
Seven Impale - City Of The Sun [9]

*2016*
Shamblemaths - Shamblemaths [9]
Earth, Invisible - Earth, Invisible [7.5]
Thank You Scientist - Stranger Heads Prevail [8.5]
Iamthemorning - Lighthouse [8.5]


Edited by DDPascalDD - Yesterday at 07:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 17 2017 at 09:06
I thought it would be impossible, just like really getting into King Crimson, but I can now honestly say that I love to play some Meshuggah regularly! If you would foretell me two years ago I certainly wouldn't believe that I would listen to such metal music. 
Like always if you get into something pretty different, the whole album - thair latest: The Violent Sleep Of Reason - yet bores me a little for listening the whole way through. Maybe that can improve later on, maybe it won't because there is little melody and harmony to make the songs feel unique.
It will take me some more time for me to give a good rating of the whole album, because there are just a few tracks that I played so many times that I actually know how the track goes, speaking mainly of the rhythm of course LOL


Edited by DDPascalDD - January 17 2017 at 09:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2017 at 08:26
Another few albums to add:

Gentle Giant - Interview: an improvement of the preceeding Free Hand. More daring and more songs that peek my interest more. Delving a little deeper in the unique style they were creating, which is a very creative and eclectic whole. Indeed I miss more emotion and the mysticism and beautiful atmospheres that they created in earlier albums which put them above anyone else IMHO- the coda of I Lost My Head though does not fail to really move me, just like the outstanding ending of Three Friends, and parts of Empty City remind me of their debut album. I've lately been appreciating these early albums even more. But Interview is still quite good and the best vocal parts in this album are among my very favourites in their discography. I think I like it as well as The Power And The Glory, so: 8.5

Anglagard - Hybris: such powerful music. "like standing on the edge of massive fjord while a maelstrom of wind and rain is sending trees flying, and an avalanche is destroying a nearby village" describes the feeling very well indeed, typically sounds like Scandinavia, though I don't dare to say why exactly. Wink  I really love the melodic themes and climaxes, played with a perfect guitar tone. There is very few vocals on it, but I wouldn't wish there to be any more. Also I was thinking this could be the music the mellotron suits the best. Anyways, very interested in other albums by these guys, rate this one an 8.5

Anyone's Daughter - Adonis: also a an album with a very distinct and emotive vibe. The singing really succeeds in taking me to where the music goes, to a place only "romantic" music can get you. The way they composed the epic reminds me of Nous Sommes Du Soleil: divided into parts; very clear parts which are one for one nicely bound together but the parts have very little to do with each other, which makes it a little disjointed (but with purpose? Can't get that part out of it unfortunately). Another thing which I miss once I've heard some of Gentle Giant is those creative compositional highlights, which I've only heard from GG and not from Anyone's Daughter nor any other band, to be honest. And that's a point which distincts prog from rock. Now I know that it's possible not only in classical music, I miss it in almost every other album that I hear, I miss that extra dimension which makes you listen to it truly deeply, not only paying attention to how the notes are played, but also the musical meaning of these bricks of music.
Well, leaving that thought for a moment, I'll give this album a little lower than Hybris: 7.5
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 13 2017 at 08:28
Over the last couple of weeks I've listened a lot to the most recent two releases of the Russian duo Iamthemorning: Belighted and Lighthouse. I love their style, of course it's music made to please pianists Big smile but they done it very well and create an atmosphere which is very vivacious and recognisable; the chords and notes chosen are done in a continuous manner and also the way the odd time signature bars are filled is done with an own style which can be reminiscent of Prokofiev's. The only thing I can say as a little point o critique is that it sometimes drags on a bit, there is a point where vivacious becomes tiresome- and I must be very cautious with saying this, it is indeed a little hyperbole.
In the two albums I listened, the style and sound hasn't changed too much, but Lighthouse is for me the one which is just superior to Belighted because the compositions are a little more detailed and there is the "I came before" motif which comes back various times in the album (beyond I Came Before The Water parts 1 and 2), whch makes it feel more cohese. 

Which makes:
Belighted - 8
Lighthouse - 8.5


Edited by DDPascalDD - February 15 2017 at 13:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2017 at 13:39
Because I really love the latest album of Thank You Scientist, I thought of trying the debut as well, which turns out to be something like In The Court - Poseidon: very much the same style and some songs almost seem to be made with the same "format" (Poseidon was worse though), which I think is too bad, because it makes it feel like the composer was lazy- the tracks though are on both of about equal level; I mostly prefer Stranger Heads Prevail, but because it now feels somewhat less original, I rate them both equally: 8.5
This learnt me to start with the debut next time LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2017 at 10:04
Now this is an excellent album I could recommend to you all: Snarky Puppy - We Like It Here. I'm not sure it could fit in fusion, however, it's a jazzy album which makes me very happen while listening, all done live but great sound and sick rhythms with outstanding musicianship, where catchy poppy jazz meets avant and psychedelia. I'll rate it with an 8.5
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2017 at 15:05
Haven't been listening to much new these days, but thought that taking the purpose of the "blog" a little further could be interesting. These days I'm very busy with school exams and preparing for auditioning at two conservatories: Codarts in Rotterdam and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. (That's also why I don't listen to many new things.) Coming wednesday is my audition for Codarts and I'll defenitely will let you know when I hear if I get accepted to go study there next year or not. Not very nervous right now but I'm sure that will come, it's quite a big deal for me... Big smile

Edited by DDPascalDD - March 26 2017 at 12:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2017 at 12:46
Can anybody recommend me some albums/artists? I'm looking for something related to the kind of compositions Thank You Scientist made with Rude Goldberg Variations and Suspicious Waveforms- an excellent mix of prog and jazz, it may have metal elements but doesn't have to. (Keep in mind I like complex composition Wink)
Just for listening, finding new music and for inspiration for own compositions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Meltdowner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2017 at 03:31
No Metal elements, but this is an excellent mix of Prog and Jazz, in my opinion.
Good luck with your exams/auditions Thumbs Up
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