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Symphonic in the 00's, an advantage or a handicap?

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Topic: Symphonic in the 00's, an advantage or a handicap?
Posted By: Gerinski
Subject: Symphonic in the 00's, an advantage or a handicap?
Date Posted: December 02 2012 at 04:16

When writing my recent review of Moon Safari’s Blomljud I reflected that comparing a modern band who makes a certain style which descends directly from music already done in the 70’s (symphonic in this case but the argument would apply to other sub-genres as well) is necessarily unfair.

 

The 70’s pioneers will always have the advantage of being considered as original and innovative, they created the genre after all. Modern symphonic can of course retain a certain level of originality but unless it goes very far from traditional symphonic (which probably some people would no longer consider symphonic) it will necessarily be derivative to certain extent and will sound familiar in the structures, the sounds used or whatever. It would seem that modern bands doing symphonic will always be in disadvantage even if they make music intrinsically as good as your favourite 70's stuff. It’s doubtful if any modern symphonic band can ever achieve the same timeless status as Yes, Genesis or ELP.

 

On the other hand, modern bands have 40 years of music to get inspiration from, plus all the new technology, and this might be considered as an advantage for making their music compared to the pioneers who had to come up with their music from pure inspiration, with very little existing music to base themselves on and limited technology.

 

For a band trying to make symphonic in the 00’s / 10’s, is it an advantage or an unavoidable curse?




Replies:
Posted By: apps79
Date Posted: December 02 2012 at 04:51
Nice topic man!

my opinion is that you get what you pay...when you rely heavily on analog instruments it is unavoidable not to be compared with the monster of the 70's, that created the sound in the first place, so that is a handicap...Additionally even modern technology is not enough to save you, Moon Safari in particular sound a lot like The Flower Kings who sound a bit like Yes...That's double-unoriginal and they won't ever escape from a just decent status unless they come up with a really masterful album...but again I think the guys play that kind of music intentionally, they just love to play this style (and they play it good).

On the other hand there have been bands that pushed their influences a little further with the help of their talent and modern technology.Echolyn are also influenced by Gentle Giant and Yes but it is impossible to mistaken them with any other band, they are easily recognizable from the very first note...and they have a lot more chances to be regarded as a classic act in the future.

So I think it actually depends on whether a band wants to refresh a style or just stick with the classic way, because simply that's the way it likes it.


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When the power of love overcomes the love of power,the world will know peace...

listen to www.justincaseradio.com , the first ever Greek Progressive Rock radio


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: December 02 2012 at 12:29
With the advances in effects devices it should be a great time for symphonic Prog to make genuine advances in timbre. There are, I'm sure, numerous stylistic ways of stretching symphonic Prog. I've always counted Peter Gabriel's Family and the Fishing Net as a symphonic Prog work, but it has the added influences from "world music" that give it a very unique character. People tend not to even notice it's very Genesis-like arrangements.

But yes, there is a disadvantage. If a modern Symphonic Prog group's (perhaps numerous) experimentations are too subtle then they are in danger having their originality questioned.


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: December 02 2012 at 12:42
Originally posted by HackettFan

I've always counted Peter Gabriel's Family and the Fishing Net as a symphonic Prog work, but it has the added influences from "world music" that give it a very unique character. People tend not to even notice it's very Genesis-like arrangements.
Agree, PG found a new dimension to symphonic (although it could be argued that he turned towards eclectic), but that was also a long time ago now... In any case it prooves that it should still be possible to find original new paths within symphonic.


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: December 02 2012 at 12:45
Originally posted by psarros

Nice topic man!

my opinion is that you get what you pay...when you rely heavily on analog instruments it is unavoidable not to be compared with the monster of the 70's, that created the sound in the first place, so that is a handicap...Additionally even modern technology is not enough to save you, Moon Safari in particular sound a lot like The Flower Kings who sound a bit like Yes...That's double-unoriginal and they won't ever escape from a just decent status unless they come up with a really masterful album...but again I think the guys play that kind of music intentionally, they just love to play this style (and they play it good).

On the other hand there have been bands that pushed their influences a little further with the help of their talent and modern technology.Echolyn are also influenced by Gentle Giant and Yes but it is impossible to mistaken them with any other band, they are easily recognizable from the very first note...and they have a lot more chances to be regarded as a classic act in the future.

So I think it actually depends on whether a band wants to refresh a style or just stick with the classic way, because simply that's the way it likes it.
Fair enough, I guess that if you choose to follow an already existing style that is the price you have to pay, you can build upon it but you will never be regarded as an innovator.


Posted By: Progosopher
Date Posted: December 02 2012 at 12:45
It is a disadvantage if the band is trying to emulate the past by using the same equipment and compositional techniques of the past.  When that is the case, the best that can be achieved is an elaborate tribute to a sound from many years ago as well as the bands which had produced those sounds.  However, if a band can expand on the qualities of symphonic rock, using the past as an inspiration, then they have the potential to create something new.  The influences may always be there, but the music will be original.  To be honest, not many artists can pull this off, and that is actually a different disadvantage - a greater challenge.  As is often the case, the answer lies not in sweeping generalities, but in the hands of those who create the music.

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The world of sound is certainly capable of infinite variety and, were our sense developed, of infinite extensions. -- George Santayana, "The Sense of Beauty"


Posted By: Gallifrey
Date Posted: December 02 2012 at 13:03
I personally think symphonic prog is a thing of the past and bands should move on. But then again, it has its place, because many fans just want to hear new versions of an old style without much 'progression'.

I think it's evident in the top album lists of recent years that many of the top albums haven't been symphonic. Even the most recent one, Echolyn's newest, is still a decent move forward.

There was a thread a few months ago about Steve Wilson commenting (a few years ago, still), about how bands should stop trying to emulate bands from the past, and move forward with their music. I agree with him, although it could be argued that some of his music is hardly moving forward.


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BLOG: https://www.facebook.com/neoprogisbestprog
LAST.FM: http://www.last.fm/user/gallifrey337
RYM: http://rateyourmusic.com/~Gallifrey


Posted By: Ytse_Jam
Date Posted: December 02 2012 at 13:51
There are many ways you can compare two records or bands. In terms of originality, 70s prog wins every time, of course, but if you talk about music ideas, it's different. There are a lot of awesome 00s bands and a lot of average 70s bands, so in terms of music ideas and composition the two eras are comparable, IMO.


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: December 02 2012 at 15:17
Originally posted by Gallifrey

I personally think symphonic prog is a thing of the past and bands should move on. But then again, it has its place, because many fans just want to hear new versions of an old style without much 'progression'.
I think it's evident in the top album lists of recent years that many of the top albums haven't been symphonic. Even the most recent one, Echolyn's newest, is still a decent move forward.
There was a thread a few months ago about Steve Wilson commenting (a few years ago, still), about how bands should stop trying to emulate bands from the past, and move forward with their music. I agree with him, although it could be argued that some of his music is hardly moving forward.

See now, I don't really see why symphonic Prog is a thing of the past any more than, say, Prog Metal. Nothing new about Prog metal. What Prog genre is actually new to the 00s or 10s, and do we just scoff at anything else that isn't? Take any of the cited genres on PA and there will be something innovative a creative person can do with it. Will they though? That's another question.

What should one make of old artists doing new albums? Steve Hackett still does symphonic Prog. Jade Warrior still does Symphonic Prog. Both of them do it with great integrity. Why should no one else be able to?

Just getting in to Echolyn, by the way. I do like them.


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: December 02 2012 at 15:27
Originally posted by Progosopher

It is a disadvantage if the band is trying to emulate the past by using the same equipment and compositional techniques of the past.  When that is the case, the best that can be achieved is an elaborate tribute to a sound from many years ago as well as the bands which had produced those sounds.  However, if a band can expand on the qualities of symphonic rock, using the past as an inspiration, then they have the potential to create something new.  The influences may always be there, but the music will be original.  To be honest, not many artists can pull this off, and that is actually a different disadvantage - a greater challenge.  As is often the case, the answer lies not in sweeping generalities, but in the hands of those who create the music.

I like your progosophy.


Posted By: Gallifrey
Date Posted: December 02 2012 at 15:32
Originally posted by HackettFan

Originally posted by Gallifrey

I personally think symphonic prog is a thing of the past and bands should move on. But then again, it has its place, because many fans just want to hear new versions of an old style without much 'progression'.
I think it's evident in the top album lists of recent years that many of the top albums haven't been symphonic. Even the most recent one, Echolyn's newest, is still a decent move forward.
There was a thread a few months ago about Steve Wilson commenting (a few years ago, still), about how bands should stop trying to emulate bands from the past, and move forward with their music. I agree with him, although it could be argued that some of his music is hardly moving forward.

See now, I don't really see why symphonic Prog is a thing of the past any more than, say, Prog Metal. Nothing new about Prog metal. What Prog genre is actually new to the 00s or 10s, and do we just scoff at anything else that isn't? Take any of the cited genres on PA and there will be something innovative a creative person can do with it. Will they though? That's another question.

What should one make of old artists doing new albums? Steve Hackett still does symphonic Prog. Jade Warrior still does Symphonic Prog. Both of them do it with great integrity. Why should no one else be able to?

Just getting in to Echolyn, by the way. I do like them.

Prog metal in the Dream Theater style is DEFINITELY a think of the past, but in terms of upcoming, the one I think is the most relevant isn't even listed in PA, but most bands are in crossover

Coheed and Cambria, Circa Survive, The Dear Hunter, Children Of Nova, Muse before they went electro, even The Mars Volta. They are all creating a new style not done before ~2003.

I, personally, have never liked any form of symphonic, so I can't really comment on it, but I do think it is a thing of the past. But like any past movement, there are always bands doing it currently, which I suppose the old fans will like.

But I think this new new new wave of prog (called "New Prog" in most forums, except here), is much more exciting than boring old symphonic.


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BLOG: https://www.facebook.com/neoprogisbestprog
LAST.FM: http://www.last.fm/user/gallifrey337
RYM: http://rateyourmusic.com/~Gallifrey


Posted By: Ambient Hurricanes
Date Posted: December 02 2012 at 16:11
It's hard to answer the question because the disadvantage you mention deals with a band's perception in the eyes of their audience, while the advantages deal with the ability to make quality music.  As far as audience perception goes, I think you have to say modern symph bands are both at an advantage and a disadvantage, because, while there are many prog fans who disdain modern symph because they view it as derivative, at the same time there are many fans who want to hear music inspired by Yes, Genesis, ELP, etc.

Insofar as actual musical quality goes, I can't see the symphonic prog style as an advantage or a disadvantage.  It's totally dependent on the skills of the performers.  Sure, the modern symph bands have Yes and Genesis and ELP to draw from but the old bands already had Hendrix and the Beatles and Mozart and Miles Davis.  The early symph bands, for the most part, weren't actively trying to create a new style.  They were just making the kind of music they wanted to make, influenced by the artists they listened to, which is the same thing the new symph bands are doing.  Their music just isn't as innovative typically because they draw most of their influences from a single genre, instead of multiple genres like the early prog bands did.


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Posted By: Quirky Turkey
Date Posted: December 02 2012 at 16:12
Originally posted by Gallifrey

I personally think symphonic prog is a thing of the past and bands should move on. But then again, it has its place, because many fans just want to hear new versions of an old style without much 'progression'.

I think it's evident in the top album lists of recent years that many of the top albums haven't been symphonic. Even the most recent one, Echolyn's newest, is still a decent move forward.

There was a thread a few months ago about Steve Wilson commenting (a few years ago, still), about how bands should stop trying to emulate bands from the past, and move forward with their music. I agree with him, although it could be argued that some of his music is hardly moving forward.


No I think Steven's music somewhat moves forward. While retaining many past techniques and sounds, he incorporates enough of his own style and modern production values, so it's not like another Flower Kings or Glass Hammer.

I personally love it when I hear the good old 70s instruments in modern music, but pure symphonic prog in this modern age doesn't do that much for me.


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: December 02 2012 at 16:15
@Gallifrey:
This is all well and good. I don't begrudge you your tastes, appreciate the band recommendations, and agree with you about Dream Theater. I myself have always listened to other things over the years, such as Zappa or Henry Kaiser, who are definitely not Symphonic Prog.   The problem I'm having is that the direction of the discussion in it's outward appearance is focused on genre as if that's the only kind of innovation that can be made. I don't know if it's intended that way. If someone ushers in a new genre, they deserve kudos (perhaps), but I'm also I interested in new timbres, new approaches to phrasing, new playing techniques, new scales, new arrangements, new approaches to rhythm, new math, new... Whether this is done in one genre or another (Symphonic Prog included) is something to be openminded about, I think.


Posted By: Polymorphia
Date Posted: December 02 2012 at 21:38
Symphonic prog has a pretty specific criteria. It pretty hard to write music organically, experiment with new ideas, and manage to ski ball it into the symph-prog hole. On the other hand, I don't fault an artist with sounding like another, if that's the music they truly want to be making. I just won't buy their albums.Wink


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: December 02 2012 at 23:34
Originally posted by Polymorphia

Symphonic prog has a pretty specific criteria. It pretty hard to write music organically, experiment with new ideas, and manage to ski ball it into the symph-prog hole. On the other hand, I don't fault an artist with sounding like another, if that's the music they truly want to be making. I just won't buy their albums.Wink

Seriously? I can't say I see any specific criteria. They all had classical influences for sure, although I'm not sure what one would say about Nektar in this regard. The commonality doesn't go far beyond that. They all had other influences too. Van der Graaf Generator seems more rooted in jazz to me. Even on the classical side ELP, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, and Genesis all gravitated to different historical periods of classical music. Some material one might not actually even call symphonic. There are plenty of blues things, folky things, and just plain weird free-form things, like Genesis' the Waiting Room. Genesis is well known to have written a large portion of their material together "organically" through jam sessions.

Someone else commented on symphonic Prog being synth heavy, but this is of course only true about the later portion of the period in which synths were actually developed and they were able to procure them. Jade Warrior, for instance, didn't even use keyboards of any sort. They got their big sound with sax, droning distortion and flute. Jade Warrior also had a strong blues influence and were the first band to experiment with "world music" (way before Gabriel), demonstrating how expansive symphonic Prog could be. Hackett's post-Genesis work incorporates all sorts of different musical styles. While I'm sorry to be so contrary, the very idea of symphonic Prog as residing within some sort of pigeon hole is like a strange alternate reality, from my perception of things.


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: December 03 2012 at 00:05
First of all Symphonic Prog is not a thing of the past. It's only been tweaked and re-honed into the hands of a new artist. In other words, it's just evolution of the genre itself.

As far as technology is concerned that is an advantage because it offers new variety of sound when it comes to the recording and writing process of music, which can ultimately make the artist sound quite different but still adhere to the standards of the genre itself, which doesn't make much room for being original and unique as a new up and coming artist.

Above all, I think it is frusterating sometimes for bands to truly make their mark for originality and innovation with in the symphonic prog genre. For instance, let's look at a band like IQ. They are a band that is labeled to be Neo prog, which is a term that is incredibly hated by a lot of musicians in the symphonic prog genre including the great Martin Orford. Personally, I don't blame Orford because Neo prog implies lack of orginality for a genre itself. It implies new prog only deriving from the symphonic prog movement started by Genesis. To be more clear, it's like calling IQ the new Genesis.
To me, that is unfair and not true because I feel IQ sound absolutely nothing like genesis. Now in the 90's we have symphony X accused of being dream theater hacks. Don't agree with that either.
I think overall it's a very tough situation to completely sound orginal and fresh today because everyone is always gonna say well that band sounds like this other band and so forth.
It's a bit complicated because it's tough to go beyond the basics of what the genre is itself.




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Over many years exploring the world of Dark-Gothic Progressive Rock/Metal has been an unbelievably great experience. Colour me Goth all over! I'm hooked.


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: December 03 2012 at 08:57
Originally posted by Gerinski

...
It would seem that modern bands doing symphonic will always be in disadvantage even if they make music intrinsically as good as your favourite 70's stuff. It’s doubtful if any modern symphonic band can ever achieve the same timeless status as Yes, Genesis or ELP.

...
 
Likewise, there is only one Elvis ... or one Beatles ... and I like to say ... GET OVER IT!
 
I think that at times, we grossly misrepresent the music in a different sphere of our social milieu  ... that in which you can see the history of music alongside of it, and the many other things also taking place during that time in the arts, and everything else.
 
Yes, Genesis or ELP's greatest achievement were NOT, their symphonic this or that ... it was that they were quite original, and extended the limits of rock and pop music, beyond the conventional populist and simplistic music that radio played for you.
 
As I get older, I am starting to believe more and more, that without the FM radio explosion in the late 60's and early 70's in America, that a lot of this might not have been noticed, like the majority of popular music ... it comes and goes and no one gives a damn about Michelangelo!
 
I think that the massive sales that FM radio brought along, which were NOT the same sales as the pop/topten radio had, were a big problem ... as were the longer cuts, and the Beatles, "won" the battle, when Hey Jude became a massively huge hit ... that the AM radio stations in America could not cut down to 3 minutes ... which one station in Chicago did, and they got trashed and lost several advertisers in one day!  This was FUEL for FM stations ... we can play the whole thing ... and THEY DID for 6 to 7 years in America, and then around 75 or 76 when Ertegun became "the" distribution complex in America, and their groups started buying off ALL the FM stations they could find ... when they were mostly independent then. And the times agree with the "golden days" of progressive music ... and I believe the amount of sales that the FM radio generated in America ... a lot of the smaller bands in London ... or NY ... would have been ignored ... I mean ... 12k sales ... or 11k on an album here or there ... is not a whole lot ... and they would have been buried and ignored!
 
This historical perspective, is the kind of thing that sometimes turns history on its edge ... it's not "coincidence" ... it's not "top of the pops" ... there is something else that helps it all stay alive and come alive ... and -- usually -- in all artistic scenes, those are the type of events that BRING forth a lot of work ... that ends up remembered.
 
Top ten comes and goes ... and you are lucky to name one or two for 5 years in a row, and when you get 50, you will remember a song or two, have a smile, and move on ... you don't remember even the names of the bands anymore in some cases.
 
Progressive is here ... NOT because of top ten ... it was in spite of it ... now, doesn't it figure that folks would go ... that's interesting!


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: December 03 2012 at 09:21
Originally posted by HackettFan

Originally posted by Progosopher

It is a disadvantage if the band is trying to emulate the past by using the same equipment and compositional techniques of the past.  When that is the case, the best that can be achieved is an elaborate tribute to a sound from many years ago as well as the bands which had produced those sounds.  However, if a band can expand on the qualities of symphonic rock, using the past as an inspiration, then they have the potential to create something new.  The influences may always be there, but the music will be original.  To be honest, not many artists can pull this off, and that is actually a different disadvantage - a greater challenge.  As is often the case, the answer lies not in sweeping generalities, but in the hands of those who create the music.

I like your progosophy.
 
Ohhhh ... wait a minute ... so it's a disadvantage to know music, to know Mozart, to know Beethoven ... to know Stravinsky, to know Elvis, to know Beatles .... it's possible, of course, but not likely since you are blasted with music from day one of your life ... but there are eastern modes and african modes that are different, and I wonder if we're not giving the cultural time and place the credit that it deserves.
 
That's is strange thinking in my book ... it all comes into play, and the fact that you used strings might remind you of this or that ... but YOUR connection to something/someone else, MIGHT NOT be anywhere near the composer's or the band's design and idea and concept.
 
"Expanding" those abilities ... is ... for the most part, relative to the instrument and the time and place ... 100 years ago, the discordant tones in jazz and rock would not be acceptable ... and many composers had a hard time of it ... and it was not until the mid century that this changed big time ...
 
And yes ... the answer lies in the hands of the creators ... but I don't know many musicians that say ... I'm going to write a progressive music piece! ... in fact, NONE!


-------------
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: December 03 2012 at 09:23
Originally posted by HackettFan

Originally posted by Polymorphia

Symphonic prog has a pretty specific criteria. It pretty hard to write music organically, experiment with new ideas, and manage to ski ball it into the symph-prog hole. On the other hand, I don't fault an artist with sounding like another, if that's the music they truly want to be making. I just won't buy their albums.Wink

Seriously? I can't say I see any specific criteria. They all had classical influences for sure, although I'm not sure what one would say about Nektar in this regard. The commonality doesn't go far beyond that. They all had other influences too. Van der Graaf Generator seems more rooted in jazz to me. Even on the classical side ELP, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, and Genesis all gravitated to different historical periods of classical music. Some material one might not actually even call symphonic. There are plenty of blues things, folky things, and just plain weird free-form things, like Genesis' the Waiting Room. Genesis is well known to have written a large portion of their material together "organically" through jam sessions.

Someone else commented on symphonic Prog being synth heavy, but this is of course only true about the later portion of the period in which synths were actually developed and they were able to procure them. Jade Warrior, for instance, didn't even use keyboards of any sort. They got their big sound with sax, droning distortion and flute. Jade Warrior also had a strong blues influence and were the first band to experiment with "world music" (way before Gabriel), demonstrating how expansive symphonic Prog could be. Hackett's post-Genesis work incorporates all sorts of different musical styles. While I'm sorry to be so contrary, the very idea of symphonic Prog as residing within some sort of pigeon hole is like a strange alternate reality, from my perception of things.



Actually, of the bands you mentioned in the first para only ELP and Genesis are classified as symph prog here.   If I am not mistaken, Nektar is psychedelic prog here.   As a prog fan from back in the day (I presume), you are classifying all the classic prog rock bands as symph prog but that's not how the term is used in PA.   So Polymorphia has a good point, it is a fairly specific style with defined boundaries.   And given the emergence of neo prog, Genesis-like bands get slotted there and not symph prog, which basically leaves bands that sounds like Yes?


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: December 03 2012 at 09:25
If symph prog was actually used to club the more well known prog rock bands from the UK, it would indeed comprise of a very wide range of influences and present endless possibilities.   Subdividing into symph/heavy/eclectic/psychedelic already marks some narrow boundaries.   Even Renaissance were faintly pyschedelic on Rajah Khan so these barriers didn't really exist for those 70s bands and never have made much sense to me.  


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: December 03 2012 at 10:10
Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes

It's hard to answer the question because the disadvantage you mention deals with a band's perception in the eyes of their audience, while the advantages deal with the ability to make quality music.  As far as audience perception goes, I think you have to say modern symph bands are both at an advantage and a disadvantage, because, while there are many prog fans who disdain modern symph because they view it as derivative, at the same time there are many fans who want to hear music inspired by Yes, Genesis, ELP, etc.
I was not concerned with those who disdain modern symph, my point was that within those who like modern symph, many will never award the same recognition to modern bands as they do to the classics, even if the music made by these modern bands is genuinely as "good" as that made by the classics (subjectivity is implied) simply because they are playing it now and not then.

 
Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes

The early symph bands, for the most part, weren't actively trying to create a new style.  They were just making the kind of music they wanted to make, influenced by the artists they listened to, which is the same thing the new symph bands are doing. 
Maybe not deliberately create a new style, but I am quite sure that they were aware that they were making something new, while the modern symph bands are surely aware that they are not, although the good ones of course still strive to be original to some extent and make their own vision of it. As mentioned bands like IQ, Echolyn or Neal Morse deserve that credit for me. The case of Moon Safari is still hard to judge for me, I have not heard their debut and Lovers End did not impress me so much, but Blomljud did.
 
Before anyone says, I know that IQ are tagged as Neo but to me they are close enough to symph, and anyway the precise genre was not the point, the point was just that modern prog bands making prog directly influenced by 70's prog have a hard time earning the same level of recognition as the pioneers, even if they make great music. 


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: December 03 2012 at 10:18
Originally posted by HackettFan

The problem I'm having is that the direction of the discussion in it's outward appearance is focused on genre as if that's the only kind of innovation that can be made. I don't know if it's intended that way. If someone ushers in a new genre, they deserve kudos (perhaps), but I'm also I interested in new timbres, new approaches to phrasing, new playing techniques, new scales, new arrangements, new approaches to rhythm, new math, new... Whether this is done in one genre or another (Symphonic Prog included) is something to be openminded about, I think.
Well the discussion was intended on the importance that many people seem to give to "genre innovation", when I fully agree with you that more minor innovation within one genre can be equally satisfying.
But as written in the previous post, I feel that some people (myself possibly unconsciously partly included) seem to put modern bands in a second tier not because of the quality of the music they make but simply because of the timing they happen to live in.


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: December 03 2012 at 10:18
Originally posted by Gerinski

Maybe not deliberately create a new style, but I am quite sure that they were aware that they were making something new, while the modern symph bands are surely aware that they are not, although the good ones of course still strive to be original to some extent and make their own vision of it.


Right and therein is a simple rebuttal to the counterargument given to originality.   Rock genres, including prog and its sub genres, are still largely classified based on superficial characteristics.  Symph prog was characterised for the first time in the late 1960s.   There may have been music from different genres containing disparate elements also found in symph prog but it was in symph prog that the synthesis happened for the first time.   The moment you call a new band a symph prog band, they are indeed disadvantaged that way because the very characterisation is borne out of observing some similarity with the older bands.   Prog that uses chamber instruments but is atonal or dark is more likely to get slotted in Avant/RIO even though it's not such a bad idea to call it symph prog based only on the plain meaning of the word.   And the problem peculiar to symph prog is many of the tones date to the 70s and have fallen out of favour since then.  Whether justifiably or not is a different issue but it tends to bear less resemblance to contemporary music than some other prog genres for this reason.   With folk prog, the advantage is it at least draws from a timeless tradition so arguments that it sounds dated are less relevant but it is hard to find other contemporary music that does sound like symph prog which is not the case in crossover or prog metal.  In those genres, interaction and influence of contemporary music can be observed and that is why they are relatively 'new'.


Posted By: Polymorphia
Date Posted: December 03 2012 at 10:54
Here, I am using the PA definition of symph prog like the OP, not synechdoche like I did in the "Why classic prog faded?" thread. Otherwise, it's not such a pigeon hole. Wink


Posted By: zumacraig
Date Posted: December 03 2012 at 11:09
new(ish) symphonic bands have a great opportunity this decade to finally bring back good production values to prog and once and for all leave the AOR, over-reverbed, gated drum sound in the past!  they also have a chance to spearhead a return to dynamic range from the compressed sh*t that's been coming out for the last 20 years.  there is absolutely no need to 'sound' bad these days.  digital instruments are at their peak in sounding exactly like the cumbersome analog instruments as is digital recording.  i'm not saying these new bands should sound retro....they just need to sound good and listenable and classic.  maybe even hit the charts again.


Cool


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Stardust we are.
-Roine Stolt


Posted By: zumacraig
Date Posted: December 03 2012 at 13:07
Originally posted by Polymorphia

Symphonic prog has a pretty specific criteria. It pretty hard to write music organically, experiment with new ideas, and manage to ski ball it into the symph-prog hole. On the other hand, I don't fault an artist with sounding like another, if that's the music they truly want to be making. I just won't buy their albums.Wink

it should be called symphonic rock, as the ot was referring to in this thread's title.  rock music in the rock context using classical structures.  drop the prog.  it's such a divisiver term.  i'd also like to add that bands need to f'n write good songs and not just parts!  the thing about the old garde is that they had good songs/themes upon which symphonies/fugues were written.  steven wilson writes good, memorable melodies.  


-------------
Stardust we are.
-Roine Stolt


Posted By: Prog_Traveller
Date Posted: December 03 2012 at 14:51
Although I don't own any Moon Safari, I have seen them twice. They are good but are sort of an aquired taste for me because of the vocals. I don't hate them but I find it hard to get into them sometimes. Weird for me to say this since they played at Rosfest because of my recommendation. Smile

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Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: December 03 2012 at 16:15
Originally posted by progbethyname

First of all Symphonic Prog is not a thing of the past. It's only been tweaked and re-honed into the hands of a new artist. In other words, it's just evolution of the genre itself.

As far as technology is concerned that is an advantage because it offers new variety of sound when it comes to the recording and writing process of music, which can ultimately make the artist sound quite different but still adhere to the standards of the genre itself, which doesn't make much room for being original and unique as a new up and coming artist.

Above all, I think it is frusterating sometimes for bands to truly make their mark for originality and innovation with in the symphonic prog genre. For instance, let's look at a band like IQ. They are a band that is labeled to be Neo prog, which is a term that is incredibly hated by a lot of musicians in the symphonic prog genre including the great Martin Orford. Personally, I don't blame Orford because Neo prog implies lack of orginality for a genre itself. It implies new prog only deriving from the symphonic prog movement started by Genesis. To be more clear, it's like calling IQ the new Genesis.
To me, that is unfair and not true because I feel IQ sound absolutely nothing like genesis. Now in the 90's we have symphony X accused of being dream theater hacks. Don't agree with that either.
I think overall it's a very tough situation to completely sound orginal and fresh today because everyone is always gonna say well that band sounds like this other band and so forth.
It's a bit complicated because it's tough to go beyond the basics of what the genre is itself.


Interesting views and I like the use of 'great' to describe Martin Orford. I sort of agree in as much as The Old Road is almost as good as FrequencyWink
 
I like modern symph prog in the form of Glass Hammer and Par Lindh Project. Both bands have taken a few chances and have made modern symph classics although quite obviously they understand their genre extremely well. I once ordered a CD from Par Lindh on a recommendation from the ELP magazine Impressions and Par Lindh put a PS 'Long Live ELP!' on the bottom of the letter that came with the CD. Fred Schendel can ably demonstrate his 'Tony sound' , his 'Rick sound' and his 'Keith sound' and of course we don't need the second names to know who he is talking about!
Understand the genre but have some fun with it.


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: December 03 2012 at 17:48
Originally posted by Prog_Traveller

Although I don't own any Moon Safari, I have seen them twice. They are good but are sort of an aquired taste for me because of the vocals. I don't hate them but I find it hard to get into them sometimes. Weird for me to say this since they played at Rosfest because of my recommendation. Smile
For me a white glove test comes with live playing, I have not seen Moon Safari playing live except for a couple of videos in YouTube where I did not feel that they are as proficient as the old greats, that's why I keep some reservations about them, The compositions, arrangements and playing in Blomljud in studio impressed me but modern studio recording is deceptive of the underlaying real quality of the musicians, and I'm not yet convinced that they are at a level comparable with the great 70's symph bands in terms of live playing.


Posted By: Prog_Traveller
Date Posted: December 03 2012 at 22:21
Originally posted by Gerinski

Originally posted by Prog_Traveller

Although I don't own any Moon Safari, I have seen them twice. They are good but are sort of an aquired taste for me because of the vocals. I don't hate them but I find it hard to get into them sometimes. Weird for me to say this since they played at Rosfest because of my recommendation. Smile
For me a white glove test comes with live playing, I have not seen Moon Safari playing live except for a couple of videos in YouTube where I did not feel that they are as proficient as the old greats, that's why I keep some reservations about them, The compositions, arrangements and playing in Blomljud in studio impressed me but modern studio recording is deceptive of the underlaying real quality of the musicians, and I'm not yet convinced that they are at a level comparable with the great 70's symph bands in terms of live playing.



NOt on the level of the seventies greats live? Well to be honest how many bands are? Most of the bands from back then that are still together(ie Yes and whoever else)aren't even what they used to be live. Maybe Rush is but that's about it.


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Posted By: sleeper
Date Posted: December 04 2012 at 07:32
I think the problem here is that many of the modern band that play in the Symph genre are content to emulate the classic bands, it's a style they have a particular affinity with and so it's the style they play in. As such inovation is in short supply, whether it's the retro sounding bands like Anglagard and Wobbler or those that use modern production techniques like Moon Safari, The Flower Kings and Spocks Bear/ Neal Morse. It's not impossible for a band to sound unique within this genre, White Willow have only a few nods to classic bands in their sound despite being recognisably Symph, but it's not that easy and I think in many cases bands actively, or at least subconciously, chose not to.  

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Spending more than I should on Prog since 2005



Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: December 04 2012 at 07:32
Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by progbethyname

First of all Symphonic Prog is not a thing of the past. It's only been tweaked and re-honed into the hands of a new artist. In other words, it's just evolution of the genre itself.

As far as technology is concerned that is an advantage because it offers new variety of sound when it comes to the recording and writing process of music, which can ultimately make the artist sound quite different but still adhere to the standards of the genre itself, which doesn't make much room for being original and unique as a new up and coming artist.
....
... 
I like modern symph prog in the form of Glass Hammer and Par Lindh Project. Both bands have taken a few chances and have made modern symph classics although quite obviously they understand their genre extremely well
 
The harder part of the whole equation, when looked at the history of the whole thing, is that the majority of folks do not always know, or understand a bit of it ... it's not the same thing as just mentioning it.
 
50 years ago, the only way to get a nice orchestra sound, was expensive, and difficult to record. The advent of the keyboard instruments improvement helped many bands come off really well ... and they DID ... today, this is not an issue and you can add the sound of a favorite orchestra from a piece of software ... and some keyboard folks even flaunt the use of their iPad!
 
It makes for a "sound" that was not there 40 or 50 years ago ... that ELP, and other bands wanted to change some and work with!
 
In many ways, comparing the two is kinda silly ... it distorts history ... and the fact that in those days ... we didn't have it! Thus, seeing the newer bands doing different things, and adding new things that we did not have, or could imagine before ... and that is ... like you say ... the volution of the genre ...


-------------
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: infandous
Date Posted: December 04 2012 at 10:57
Evolution of instruments and electronics was indeed a large part of what made the 70's prog bands seem so innovative.  A lot of them started out emulating their favorites (so many 70's prog bands have Beatles influences on early records, if not their whole career, as just one example), but because it was possible to have their band as a full time job, they were able to improve their art and focus on creativity.  How many prog bands play 250+ shows a year these days?  How many have the band as their only source of income?  Sadly, I think most bands these days do what they can with the time they have for their "true love", and that often means playing what they enjoy.  I guess what I'm saying is that innovation is more of a challenge now than it was then, because rock is not a relatively new thing as it was back then, new technology nowadays seems focused on recreating existing sounds and not so much creating new ones, and musicians have to spread out their creativity and skills and can't just focus on one thing to make ends meet.

Still, I think symphonic prog does have a few bands that are "progressing" the genre these days.  Of course, others have found their formula and stick to it because people like it and buy it (though it could easily be said that rock bands as a rule do this all the time.......especially bands that were around in the 70's).  Personally I think there is still ground to be explored in symphonic rock (or prog or whatever), just as there are in other music genres.


Posted By: The Quiet One
Date Posted: December 04 2012 at 11:07
Originally posted by Gerinski

When writing my recent review of Moon Safari’s Blomljud I reflected that comparing a modern band who makes a certain style which descends directly from music already done in the 70’s (symphonic in this case but the argument would apply to other sub-genres as well) is necessarily unfair.

 

The 70’s pioneers will always have the advantage of being considered as original and innovative, they created the genre after all. Modern symphonic can of course retain a certain level of originality but unless it goes very far from traditional symphonic (which probably some people would no longer consider symphonic) it will necessarily be derivative to certain extent and will sound familiar in the structures, the sounds used or whatever. It would seem that modern bands doing symphonic will always be in disadvantage even if they make music intrinsically as good as your favourite 70's stuff. It’s doubtful if any modern symphonic band can ever achieve the same timeless status as Yes, Genesis or ELP.

 

On the other hand, modern bands have 40 years of music to get inspiration from, plus all the new technology, and this might be considered as an advantage for making their music compared to the pioneers who had to come up with their music from pure inspiration, with very little existing music to base themselves on and limited technology.

 

For a band trying to make symphonic in the 00’s / 10’s, is it an advantage or an unavoidable curse?


To the question, I believe it depends totally on the musicians and what the musicians want to do and what they listen to.

Roine Stolt, for example, is a big Zappa fan, and although you really can't hear much of that with The Flower Kings, the album Unfold the Future is a way more adventurous symphonic album with jazzy and experimental bits, that for me is totally great. Not saying it's something "new", but it takes the modern approach of symphonic a step ahead in comparison with the other albums that are pretty much "symphonic prog pieces" with an already defined structure, time changes, interludes, etc.

Keith Emerson said something like this, when asked about Rachel Flowers who plays his stuff perfectly well: Do not listen to me, listen to the guys I listened to (talking about classical music). (btw, it wasn't a critic to her)

I think that's the main difference, Prog bands in the 70s did have influences, of course, but they took it from the big names of classical or even from more avant-garde guys. From there they made what they did, they took ideas and reelaborated it into rock form.
Today's symphonic bands, mostly, seem to just listen to the 70s symphonic trend and since they love it, they want to do something alike, but they don't "understand" the process these 70s guys did. If they listened to other stuff, or better, if they listened to the classical guys or whoever came before the 70s, you could possibly hear a more interesting composition.

I'm generalising a bit, I know.Wink


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http://www.last.fm/user/GordonComstock" rel="nofollow - "For me, music and life are all about style.” Miles Davis(last.fm)


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: December 04 2012 at 11:43
Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by progbethyname

First of all Symphonic Prog is not a thing of the past. It's only been tweaked and re-honed into the hands of a new artist. In other words, it's just evolution of the genre itself. As far as technology is concerned that is an advantage because it offers new variety of sound when it comes to the recording and writing process of music, which can ultimately make the artist sound quite different but still adhere to the standards of the genre itself, which doesn't make much room for being original and unique as a new up and coming artist. Above all, I think it is frusterating sometimes for bands to truly make their mark for originality and innovation with in the symphonic prog genre. For instance, let's look at a band like IQ. They are a band that is labeled to be Neo prog, which is a term that is incredibly hated by a lot of musicians in the symphonic prog genre including the great Martin Orford. Personally, I don't blame Orford because Neo prog implies lack of orginality for a genre itself. It implies new prog only deriving from the symphonic prog movement started by Genesis. To be more clear, it's like calling IQ the new Genesis. To me, that is unfair and not true because I feel IQ sound absolutely nothing like genesis. Now in the 90's we have symphony X accused of being dream theater hacks. Don't agree with that either. I think overall it's a very tough situation to completely sound orginal and fresh today because everyone is always gonna say well that band sounds like this other band and so forth. It's a bit complicated because it's tough to go beyond the basics of what the genre is itself.


Interesting views and I like the use of 'great' to describe Martin Orford. I sort of agree in as much as The Old Road is almost as good as FrequencyWink
 

I like modern symph prog in the form of Glass Hammer and Par Lindh Project. Both bands have taken a few chances and have made modern symph classics although quite obviously they understand their genre extremely well. I once ordered a CD from Par Lindh on a recommendation from the ELP magazine Impressions and Par Lindh put a PS 'Long Live ELP!' on the bottom of the letter that came with the CD. Fred Schendel can ably demonstrate his 'Tony sound' , his 'Rick sound' and his 'Keith sound' and of course we don't need the second names to know who he is talking about!

Understand the genre but have some fun with it.


Well said. I think you just have to play around with the genre itself as you said. The foundation will always be in place meaning the symphonic genre itself and what you have to do as an artist is to tinker with it to get some sort of new, innovative and exciting brand of music. I feel IQ have gone above and beyond in that respect. :)

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Over many years exploring the world of Dark-Gothic Progressive Rock/Metal has been an unbelievably great experience. Colour me Goth all over! I'm hooked.


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: December 04 2012 at 20:05
Originally posted by infandous

Evolution of instruments and electronics was indeed a large part of what made the 70's prog bands seem so innovative.  A lot of them started out emulating their favorites (so many 70's prog bands have Beatles influences on early records, if not their whole career, as just one example), but because it was possible to have their band as a full time job, they were able to improve their art and focus on creativity.  How many prog bands play 250+ shows a year these days?  How many have the band as their only source of income?  Sadly, I think most bands these days do what they can with the time they have for their "true love", and that often means playing what they enjoy.  I guess what I'm saying is that innovation is more of a challenge now than it was then, because rock is not a relatively new thing as it was back then, new technology nowadays seems focused on recreating existing sounds and not so much creating new ones, and musicians have to spread out their creativity and skills and can't just focus on one thing to make ends meet.Still, I think symphonic prog does have a few bands that are "progressing" the genre these days.  Of course, others have found their formula and stick to it because people like it and buy it (though it could easily be said that rock bands as a rule do this all the time.......especially bands that were around in the 70's).  Personally I think there is still ground to be explored in symphonic rock (or prog or whatever), just as there are in other music genres.



Great point and don't forget about the gouching record companies that stick their hands down artists shirts and twist their nipples till their purple with pain.

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Over many years exploring the world of Dark-Gothic Progressive Rock/Metal has been an unbelievably great experience. Colour me Goth all over! I'm hooked.


Posted By: The-time-is-now
Date Posted: December 05 2012 at 05:01
Very interesting and complex question.

The fact that some people here have a reflective point of vue shows that to 'make' symphonic prog in the 00s/10s is not obligatorily a curse.

And IMO, Blomljud is an excellent example of underrated album, surely partly because of this 'curse'.

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E nei tuoi sogni
Parli con gli angeli.
- Le Orme.


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: December 05 2012 at 08:10
Originally posted by infandous

Evolution of instruments and electronics was indeed a large part of what made the 70's prog bands seem so innovative.  ....
...
 How many prog bands play 250+ shows a year these days?  How many have the band as their only source of income? 
...
 
Perfect example.
 
We did not have the Internet then, either ... or computers, for that matter! I think UCSB had its first computer course in 1977 or 1978, btw.
 
In those days, you hit the road to get known, if you did not have radio.
 
Today, you hit the Internet ... you do not have to hit the road!
 
Which, in my estimation is another issue ... the bands, then, were better rehearsed and played ... because they had to go out and show it ... today ... you really don't have to if you don't want to and you can stick to the store room, or studio.
 
It was a VERY different time ... and when comparing these things, you pretty much have to take a "quotidian" attitude, or the discussion becomes superfluous and silly. It's like saying today that a gun is better than the sword, and 1000 years ago they would say ... what's a gun? Your argument becomes ... silly!
 
Between you and I, to my ears, the main reason why so much metal is not "better" or more "progressive" is very simple ... not enough rehearsal and dedication to make it more than just loud guitar ... as an example, we had a neighbor band that was pretty good and quite progressive, but the lead guitarist did not want the "progressive" sound .. he wanted the loud guitar sound ... and this is the same thing that appears in Dream Theater at times ... and the "wholesome" and "completeness" of the band's work, suffers in my book. They can be better, but the folks involved do not always have a great musical sense, beyond the "star" thing ... they want to be heard more for the loudness than they do for their music! 


-------------
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: infandous
Date Posted: December 05 2012 at 08:12
Originally posted by The Quiet One

Originally posted by Gerinski

When writing my recent review of Moon Safari’s Blomljud I reflected that comparing a modern band who makes a certain style which descends directly from music already done in the 70’s (symphonic in this case but the argument would apply to other sub-genres as well) is necessarily unfair.

 

The 70’s pioneers will always have the advantage of being considered as original and innovative, they created the genre after all. Modern symphonic can of course retain a certain level of originality but unless it goes very far from traditional symphonic (which probably some people would no longer consider symphonic) it will necessarily be derivative to certain extent and will sound familiar in the structures, the sounds used or whatever. It would seem that modern bands doing symphonic will always be in disadvantage even if they make music intrinsically as good as your favourite 70's stuff. It’s doubtful if any modern symphonic band can ever achieve the same timeless status as Yes, Genesis or ELP.

 

On the other hand, modern bands have 40 years of music to get inspiration from, plus all the new technology, and this might be considered as an advantage for making their music compared to the pioneers who had to come up with their music from pure inspiration, with very little existing music to base themselves on and limited technology.

 

For a band trying to make symphonic in the 00’s / 10’s, is it an advantage or an unavoidable curse?


To the question, I believe it depends totally on the musicians and what the musicians want to do and what they listen to.

Roine Stolt, for example, is a big Zappa fan, and although you really can't hear much of that with The Flower Kings, the album Unfold the Future is a way more adventurous symphonic album with jazzy and experimental bits, that for me is totally great. Not saying it's something "new", but it takes the modern approach of symphonic a step ahead in comparison with the other albums that are pretty much "symphonic prog pieces" with an already defined structure, time changes, interludes, etc.

Keith Emerson said something like this, when asked about Rachel Flowers who plays his stuff perfectly well: Do not listen to me, listen to the guys I listened to (talking about classical music). (btw, it wasn't a critic to her)

I think that's the main difference, Prog bands in the 70s did have influences, of course, but they took it from the big names of classical or even from more avant-garde guys. From there they made what they did, they took ideas and reelaborated it into rock form.
Today's symphonic bands, mostly, seem to just listen to the 70s symphonic trend and since they love it, they want to do something alike, but they don't "understand" the process these 70s guys did. If they listened to other stuff, or better, if they listened to the classical guys or whoever came before the 70s, you could possibly hear a more interesting composition.

I'm generalising a bit, I know.Wink



Well, I heard the Zappa influence right away the first time I listened to the Flower Kings (Retropolis album).  However, I still agree with the rest of what you say here.


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: December 06 2012 at 08:35
Originally posted by Gerinski

Originally posted by HackettFan

The problem I'm having is that the direction of the discussion in it's outward appearance is focused on genre as if that's the only kind of innovation that can be made. I don't know if it's intended that way. If someone ushers in a new genre, they deserve kudos (perhaps), but I'm also I interested in new timbres, new approaches to phrasing, new playing techniques, new scales, new arrangements, new approaches to rhythm, new math, new... Whether this is done in one genre or another (Symphonic Prog included) is something to be openminded about, I think.

Well the discussion was intended on the importance that many people seem to give to "genre innovation", when I fully agree with you that more minor innovation within one genre can be equally satisfying.
But as written in the previous post, I feel that some people (myself possibly unconsciously partly included) seem to put modern bands in a second tier not because of the quality of the music they make but simply because of the timing they happen to live in.

Not a timely reply, I've been a little occupied over the last few days. Yes, I agree with your premise. Did so in fact in my first post. Symphonic Prog is at a disadvantage in these times. I had to object to the idea that it should necessarily be this way. Symph Prog seems like unfinished business to me. It needs to be "carried forward" in an innovative fashion as some have said, but it's not at all like there's nothing that can be done with it. I think Steve Hackett's 00 work is a great example carrying it forward. He uses the genre, but as anyone who knows his solo work can confirm, he brings numerous other genres to bear.


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: December 06 2012 at 09:01
You know, I've been thinking about this one a bit lately.

I think that symphonic prog probably died off around 1976-1977 and then came Neo prog, which is a direct carry over from the traditional symphonic 70's prog movement set by YES and GENESIS. My overall opinion is that the innovation is certainly there and not hindered in any way. Such examples can be shown in IQ, GALAHAD and Marillion. Their music is extremely innovative from what traditional 70's symphonic used to be. But that was the 80's and 90's. 2000 and on we haven't seen too much difference or innovation just yet. I mean you can't be fooled by the use of technology in symphonic music today. The instruments and recording process sound far more polished and clearer on a digital scale than ever before, but that doesnt mean technology makes the music itself all together that innovative or unique. It just sounds a bit different in terms of the instruments that are used.

In any case, the base of the symphonic prog genre is still in place because Neo prog is a direct carry over of that genre.
So overall the innovation and unique has occurred but only in the 80's and 90's so far. 2000 and on there hasn't been a different movement yet, but it will come. Usually all things turn over a new leaf.   

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Over many years exploring the world of Dark-Gothic Progressive Rock/Metal has been an unbelievably great experience. Colour me Goth all over! I'm hooked.


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: December 06 2012 at 09:42
^^^^  In a certain sense, it has happened but, once again, genre classification obscures it.   In the 90s, Spock's Beard began to utilize alt rock/grunge elements in a more symph prog base and Kevin Gilbert did likewise.   In the 00s, as metal became more and more ubiquitous, symph metal became very popular.  Some of these symph metal bands are even on progarchives but they tend to get clubbed with prog metal.   Not saying they shouldn't be but if you look at it in a certain sense, it is like symph prog for the 21st century.   If you take Six Degrees or Octavarium, you can even hear sections of music that are reminiscent of 70s symph prog.  


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: December 06 2012 at 10:25
^ no you can't. Your right. I mean compare something like NEAL MORSE's SOLA SCRIPTURA to say GENESIS's FOX TROT. The only similarity there could be is that they both adhere to the genre specifics in terms of style of music, but the music is entirely different from a listening standpoint. Technology has a bit to do with that I think.
But yeah, good point.

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Over many years exploring the world of Dark-Gothic Progressive Rock/Metal has been an unbelievably great experience. Colour me Goth all over! I'm hooked.


Posted By: M27Barney
Date Posted: December 06 2012 at 13:20

^ Well strange comparison Foxtrot is one word but I think that some early Flowerkings could be favourably compared with Foxtrot era Genesis.......I think that Stardust We Are (Track) is very reminiscent of Genesis Foxtrot/Nursery Cryme with some elements of Floyd & ELP blended in....Thats why I love modern Symphonic prog - the multi influences of the classic prog bands of the seventies.....



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Play me my song.....Here it comes again.......


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: December 07 2012 at 01:54
Originally posted by progbethyname

^ no you can't. Your right. I mean compare something like NEAL MORSE's SOLA SCRIPTURA to say GENESIS's FOX TROT. The only similarity there could be is that they both adhere to the genre specifics in terms of style of music, but the music is entirely different from a listening standpoint. Technology has a bit to do with that I think.
But yeah, good point.
 
Seventies prog had a lot more dynamics though. Yeah I know its that old chestnut but modern symph prog is a lot more in your face and I think thats what makes it so different. Classic symph prog had lots of quiet atmospheric moments.
 
Neo prog in the eighties did draw heavily from the seventies with IQ's Tales From The Lush Attic the best example I can think of. However by the ninteties they had completely reinvented their approach on the Ever album where you will struggle to link what they are doing then with what came earlier although they were almost exactly the same band line up wise. There did seem to be a general divergence around that time with Angalard coming onto the scene with a much more retro approach BUT also with a highly distinctive sound and style of their own. Hybris is no copy for certain.
 
The last 10 years I would say the natural evolution of seventies symph prog has happened with Neal Morse and other artists who have a heavier sound.Its interesting though that BBT have garnered so much praise with an approach that is much closer to the seventies. The seventies will always be a comfort blanket for prog fans and artists like BBT and TFK perhaps understand that and are ahppy to exploit it?


Posted By: Ytse_Jam
Date Posted: December 07 2012 at 12:34
Originally posted by progbethyname

You know, I've been thinking about this one a bit lately.

I think that symphonic prog probably died off around 1976-1977 and then came Neo prog, which is a direct carry over from the traditional symphonic 70's prog movement set by YES and GENESIS. My overall opinion is that the innovation is certainly there and not hindered in any way. Such examples can be shown in IQ, GALAHAD and Marillion. Their music is extremely innovative from what traditional 70's symphonic used to be. But that was the 80's and 90's. 2000 and on we haven't seen too much difference or innovation just yet. I mean you can't be fooled by the use of technology in symphonic music today. The instruments and recording process sound far more polished and clearer on a digital scale than ever before, but that doesnt mean technology makes the music itself all together that innovative or unique. It just sounds a bit different in terms of the instruments that are used.

In any case, the base of the symphonic prog genre is still in place because Neo prog is a direct carry over of that genre.
So overall the innovation and unique has occurred but only in the 80's and 90's so far. 2000 and on there hasn't been a different movement yet, but it will come. Usually all things turn over a new leaf.   
I think you're right. Symph genre has absorbed a lot of musical elements in these years, from metal, 80s music, alt rock and so on, but I think the approach of symphonic prog bands hasn't changed, and still strongly refers to 70s. I mean, it's blended with other genres, but it is still symphonic prog. Instrumentation contributed to make it sound a bit different, of course, but I think this genre still follows the 70s model (luckly).


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: December 07 2012 at 18:54
Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by progbethyname

^ no you can't. Your right. I mean compare something like NEAL MORSE's SOLA SCRIPTURA to say GENESIS's FOX TROT. The only similarity there could be is that they both adhere to the genre specifics in terms of style of music, but the music is entirely different from a listening standpoint. Technology has a bit to do with that I think. But yeah, good point.


 

Seventies prog had a lot more dynamics though. Yeah I know its that old chestnut but modern symph prog is a lot more in your face and I think thats what makes it so different. Classic symph prog had lots of quiet atmospheric moments.

 

Neo prog in the eighties did draw heavily from the seventies with IQ's Tales From The Lush Attic the best example I can think of. However by the ninteties they had completely reinvented their approach on the Ever album where you will struggle to link what they are doing then with what came earlier although they were almost exactly the same band line up wise. There did seem to be a general divergence around that time with Angalard coming onto the scene with a much more retro approach BUT also with a highly distinctive sound and style of their own. Hybris is no copy for certain.

 

The last 10 years I would say the natural evolution of seventies symph prog has happened with Neal Morse and other artists who have a heavier sound.Its interesting though that BBT have garnered so much praise with an approach that is much closer to the seventies. The seventies will always be a comfort blanket for prog fans and artists like BBT and TFK perhaps understand that and are ahppy to exploit it?


Good point Richard. The model of the 70's symphonic prog is definitely still in place and I don't think it's hanging by a thread either. I also like your example of IQ. I think it perfectly explains musically how a band has grown and changed over a 30 year period while still keeping the traditional fundementals of 70's symphonic prog, but losely of course. Tales From The Lush Attic was definitely in tune with 70's sounding prog, but then their next release....oh my goodness what a jump away sound wise from tales. THE WAKE still to this day I feel is a real land mark in the Neo Prog Movement. Such a dramatic turn sound wise.

-------------
Over many years exploring the world of Dark-Gothic Progressive Rock/Metal has been an unbelievably great experience. Colour me Goth all over! I'm hooked.


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: December 08 2012 at 02:35
Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by progbethyname

^ no you can't. Your right. I mean compare something like NEAL MORSE's SOLA SCRIPTURA to say GENESIS's FOX TROT. The only similarity there could be is that they both adhere to the genre specifics in terms of style of music, but the music is entirely different from a listening standpoint. Technology has a bit to do with that I think. But yeah, good point.


 

Seventies prog had a lot more dynamics though. Yeah I know its that old chestnut but modern symph prog is a lot more in your face and I think thats what makes it so different. Classic symph prog had lots of quiet atmospheric moments.

 

Neo prog in the eighties did draw heavily from the seventies with IQ's Tales From The Lush Attic the best example I can think of. However by the ninteties they had completely reinvented their approach on the Ever album where you will struggle to link what they are doing then with what came earlier although they were almost exactly the same band line up wise. There did seem to be a general divergence around that time with Angalard coming onto the scene with a much more retro approach BUT also with a highly distinctive sound and style of their own. Hybris is no copy for certain.

 

The last 10 years I would say the natural evolution of seventies symph prog has happened with Neal Morse and other artists who have a heavier sound.Its interesting though that BBT have garnered so much praise with an approach that is much closer to the seventies. The seventies will always be a comfort blanket for prog fans and artists like BBT and TFK perhaps understand that and are ahppy to exploit it?


Good point Richard. The model of the 70's symphonic prog is definitely still in place and I don't think it's hanging by a thread either. I also like your example of IQ. I think it perfectly explains musically how a band has grown and changed over a 30 year period while still keeping the traditional fundementals of 70's symphonic prog, but losely of course. Tales From The Lush Attic was definitely in tune with 70's sounding prog, but then their next release....oh my goodness what a jump away sound wise from tales. THE WAKE still to this day I feel is a real land mark in the Neo Prog Movement. Such a dramatic turn sound wise.
The Wake is one of my favourite albums. I think they 'got to the point' on that album. At the time I was blown away by the sheer intensity of it. Shades of later seventies Genesis but with almost a punk/new wave sensability. I was gutted when Nicholls left shortly afterwords... but thankfully he was to return.


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: December 08 2012 at 10:20
Originally posted by richardh

[QUOTE=progbethyname] [QUOTE=richardh] [QUOTE=progbethyname]]
The Wake is one of my favourite albums. I think they 'got to the point' on that album. At the time I was blown away by the sheer intensity of it. Shades of later seventies Genesis but with almost a punk/new wave sensability. I was gutted when Nicholls left shortly afterwords... but thankfully he was to return.


Right again. NOMZAMO and ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY are god awful in my opinion and I didn't even bother buying either album. Nicholls is the heart of the band and EVER was an epic return. I almost cried.

-------------
Over many years exploring the world of Dark-Gothic Progressive Rock/Metal has been an unbelievably great experience. Colour me Goth all over! I'm hooked.


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: December 08 2012 at 13:05
Originally posted by richardh

... 
Seventies prog had a lot more dynamics though. Yeah I know its that old chestnut but modern symph prog is a lot more in your face and I think thats what makes it so different. Classic symph prog had lots of quiet atmospheric moments.
 ...
 
I think it DID have more dynamics, simply because the time and place was more conducive to experimenting and not so many folks telling it that it wasn't this or that ... like they do here!
 
The freedom is there ... you take it ... the freedom is not, most folks will not try different things, because they know everyone will trash it, and in this day and age, the commercialism is the only thing that will get you some sales ... which is an important consideration.
 
Ex: ... I seriously doubt that a Gentle Giant, would succeed today ... too far out there and strange and the lyrics? ... how can anyone relate to that, and a metal audience or some kind of strange other audience of half the threads here would go ... wtf is that! and I don't like it!
 
The fact that there was no "media" in those days helped ... something fierce ... today, no one can do anything without everyone having something to say ... and this is the difference between folks trying something or not ... you end up getting intimidated and when you are young, and you want to get laid, or have some fun with a few friends, being the odd one out is not gonna help you!
 
The "dynamics" is another word for ... I'm not writing just a song ... I'm telling a story and the music is illustrating that story, rather than follow some rock'n'roll process or idea ... or worse ... some "progressive" idea!


-------------
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: December 08 2012 at 13:26
Yes, I would like to see more dynamics both on the playing end and on the recording end. But that's an old thing from the early seventies. We're so lacking in it nowadays that I would regard it as maybe, though not exactly innovative, an effort to move things forward. I predict though that some/many would lambast it as just copying the old.


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: December 08 2012 at 20:01
Well it's easy to generalize but there's music with good dynamics now too, Big Big Train could be an example.


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: December 08 2012 at 20:39
Originally posted by HackettFan

Yes, I would like to see more dynamics both on the playing end and on the recording end. But that's an old thing from the early seventies. We're so lacking in it nowadays that I would regard it as maybe, though not exactly innovative, an effort to move things forward. I predict though that some/many would lambast it as just copying the old.

Not really.  Maybe, as richardh said it, that can be observed in new symph prog because it got heavier through the 80s and 90s.   But there are still bands, prog or not, that make dynamic music.    This was one artist I tried to suggest for JR/F but couldn't succeed, nevertheless a good example of dynamic music with old school values but a fresh approach (in term of Carnatic influence):

[tube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGiSaZ2LW7k [/tube]


From what I remember of Kayo Dot, I don't think they lack in dynamics either.  


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: December 08 2012 at 23:25
Sorry, I only wrote "dynamics" but I was really referring to dynamic contrast - my apologies. I thought that was what RichardH was referring to too, but I dunno. For dynamic contrast I'm thinking of Larks Tongue pt. 1 or Musical Box. In modern times I'm thinking of Jade Warrior's "3am Meltdown", but that's a band that goes back to the golden age of the 60s/70s.

@Gerinski
I was listening to Big Big Train on YouTube. They're like candy for a Prog fan, but I haven't come across any sign of dynamic contrast (though could be the simply the result of listening to YouTube through an iPhone). I thought the recordings could have benefitted from it. I'll have to listen to some more, though.

@rogerthat
Loved the music on your link, but it wasn't what I had in mind as far as dynamic contrast; quiet loud quiet loud (can't tell much on the recording side through my iPhone). Also, heavier bands are even more likely to go for more narrow compression and less dynamic contrast, but again, I realize I left out the part about contrast, mia culpa.


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: December 09 2012 at 00:01
^^^  You'd find quiet-loud contrasts in Steven Wilson's most recent album, Grace for Drowning.   Also on Mars Volta, but in a rather in your face way.   I personally like a balance of subtlety and contrast because the quiet-loud shifts should convey something more than just excitement or titillation.   So...the problem there may be that prog has moved away a bit from its connections to 60s rock, blues etc and lost out a bit on expression.    That's the kind of change you observe to some extent in jazz too.   Technical is all fine and dandy but it should also express and sway one's emotions; at least that's the way I like it.   A song like Fiona Apple's Get Gone is so much more expressive - and utilizes dynamics nicely to do so - than what I generally hear in modern prog.  I don't think that is a particular strength of prog for any era but it was emphasised a little more in the 70s, especially in Genesis, than it tends to be today.  


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: December 09 2012 at 00:05
Brubeck passed way last week.   Just a month back, I attended a jazz concert where the performers were just spectacular.   But sometimes I want to hear the feeling of the music having been crafted lovingly by the performer and not just as a vehicle to exhibit his prowess.   I am not greedy, I will take what I get but that's the thing that turns me on the most.   Something like this track, doesn't rely so much on contrast as it does on very subtle and delicate variations:

[tube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HUEiUOCLeI [/tube]




Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: December 09 2012 at 00:18
Yes, that's what I'm talking about. I enjoyed that.


Posted By: Neelus
Date Posted: December 09 2012 at 02:32
Originally posted by moshkito

Originally posted by richardh

... 
Seventies prog had a lot more dynamics though. Yeah I know its that old chestnut but modern symph prog is a lot more in your face and I think thats what makes it so different. Classic symph prog had lots of quiet atmospheric moments.
 ...
 
I think it DID have more dynamics, simply because the time and place was more conducive to experimenting and not so many folks telling it that it wasn't this or that ... like they do here!
 
The freedom is there ... you take it ... the freedom is not, most folks will not try different things, because they know everyone will trash it, and in this day and age, the commercialism is the only thing that will get you some sales ... which is an important consideration.
 
Ex: ... I seriously doubt that a Gentle Giant, would succeed today ... too far out there and strange and the lyrics? ... how can anyone relate to that, and a metal audience or some kind of strange other audience of half the threads here would go ... wtf is that! and I don't like it!
 
The fact that there was no "media" in those days helped ... something fierce ... today, no one can do anything without everyone having something to say ... and this is the difference between folks trying something or not ... you end up getting intimidated and when you are young, and you want to get laid, or have some fun with a few friends, being the odd one out is not gonna help you!
 
The "dynamics" is another word for ... I'm not writing just a song ... I'm telling a story and the music is illustrating that story, rather than follow some rock'n'roll process or idea ... or worse ... some "progressive" idea!


Yeah, this is an interesting point.  The fact that improved communication made media much more "cut throat".  And that this might scare bands into producing music more in tune with what they think audiences would like to hear.  Where are the days when bands ruled the media??
This, and obviously change in influences.  The classic bands listened to different stuff, most probably more subtle stuff than what modern bands grew up on. 
A modern (and twisted) example of an album with fantastic contrast is Still Life by Opeth.  Yeah, there is extreme vocals on there, but if you listen to it a couple of times, you notice it is something new, different, and it has loads of contrast between emotions and intensity.


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: December 09 2012 at 02:53
I fully agree that "dynamics" should be understood as much more than just "quiet - loud - quiet - loud - quiet", it refers to a very broad spectrum of musical variation, and in this respect modern symphonic bands (generalizing of course) seem less inventive than the 70's classics.
Modern symphonic has less influence from classical music and more from metal and rock in general.


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: December 09 2012 at 02:57
Originally posted by moshkito

Originally posted by richardh

... 
Seventies prog had a lot more dynamics though. Yeah I know its that old chestnut but modern symph prog is a lot more in your face and I think thats what makes it so different. Classic symph prog had lots of quiet atmospheric moments.
 ...
 
I think it DID have more dynamics, simply because the time and place was more conducive to experimenting and not so many folks telling it that it wasn't this or that ... like they do here!
 
The freedom is there ... you take it ... the freedom is not, most folks will not try different things, because they know everyone will trash it, and in this day and age, the commercialism is the only thing that will get you some sales ... which is an important consideration.
 
Ex: ... I seriously doubt that a Gentle Giant, would succeed today ... too far out there and strange and the lyrics? ... how can anyone relate to that, and a metal audience or some kind of strange other audience of half the threads here would go ... wtf is that! and I don't like it!
 
The fact that there was no "media" in those days helped ... something fierce ... today, no one can do anything without everyone having something to say ... and this is the difference between folks trying something or not ... you end up getting intimidated and when you are young, and you want to get laid, or have some fun with a few friends, being the odd one out is not gonna help you!
 
The "dynamics" is another word for ... I'm not writing just a song ... I'm telling a story and the music is illustrating that story, rather than follow some rock'n'roll process or idea ... or worse ... some "progressive" idea!
I think you are correct on all points
 
There was a climate that allowed bands to be very experimental and a bit 'out there'. It was encouraged and valued by those that made the decisions. Individuality and originality are not valued as much nowadays it would seem.
 
You might find it quite amusing that I had a conversation with my 16 year old Nephew recently and he was bemoaning the lack of good current music and how everything is the same now. He likes the Foo Fighters but also has a taste for classic seventies rock. I feel a bit sorry for him really. I couldn't suggest anything much other than Muse's latest album. He likes them but its not a lot to go on really.


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: December 09 2012 at 03:02
Gerinski, it's a trend observed generally and not just in prog, whether it's rock music or even R&B.   This R&B song has such fantastic dynamics (and of course some incredible singing).   I don't know if a contemporary R&B song has ever so much as broken through into my consciousness, let alone hook me and enchant me.

[tube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iu90eyHPOmc [/tube]

Popular music has generally got more electronic, processed and calculated over the years and Pedro may have hit on some of the reasons why.  I don't know if it has to do with the media but these days, people almost seem to be afraid of listening to music that throbs with life, going from whispers to explosive bursts and everything else in between.  They want music to fit into a certain comfort zone and that applies to prog rock as well.   Somebody like Surrealist likes to put it down entirely to the medium but it's a broader, cultural change and hasn't spared the Third World, from where I write, in its wake either.  Is it good or is it bad?  I don't know.   But I just like to point to the artists who deviate from the norm....if you like them, celebrate them, recommend them and maybe that encourages more artists to follow their example.  In that way, maybe the balance is slightly redressed....and even if it isn't, at least there are more artists to enjoy for us.


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: December 09 2012 at 03:03
Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by richardh

[QUOTE=progbethyname] [QUOTE=richardh] [QUOTE=progbethyname]]
The Wake is one of my favourite albums. I think they 'got to the point' on that album. At the time I was blown away by the sheer intensity of it. Shades of later seventies Genesis but with almost a punk/new wave sensability. I was gutted when Nicholls left shortly afterwords... but thankfully he was to return.


Right again. NOMZAMO and ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY are god awful in my opinion and I didn't even bother buying either album. Nicholls is the heart of the band and EVER was an epic return. I almost cried.
Nomzamo is their weakest album but it still has 3 or 4 good tracks but at the time I hated it admittedly.
Are You Sitting Comfortably is more 'pop prog' but is enjoyable nevertheless. Paul Menel deserves credit for keeping the band afloat at least and perhaps the other guys learnt one of two different things that stood them in good stead for future albums.


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: December 09 2012 at 10:11
Part of the problem is sometimes a lack of variety and twists and turns.
Sometimes though variety and twists and turns are present, but the guitarist and other musicians use a compressor. Sometimes this has real musical purpose, as to bring out more sustain. Most use it to pack more punch, but it makes it impossible to play real quiet. You could of course turn it off at times, but I think many if not most guitarists just leave it on, and they end up playing at comparable levels of volume whether they're playing power chords or finger picking. Then the recording engineers come along and compress everything even if the musician didn't play it that way.

I don't want to diss compression too much, because it's not without it's own value. I use it at times. My main man, Steve Hackett, historically one of the major advocates of dynamic contrast, plays with a lot of compression these days. It's valuable to him from a playing standpoint in giving him incredible and beautiful sustain. I also try to play like Frank Zappa, and for that you need to accentuate notes in different places (like with rogerthat's last YouTube link), can't do that with compression.

My point is that compression has gotten to be such a herd mentality, benefits aside, that I think it would be a step forward if we could re-introduce volume as a component to music. But, would this be a disadvantage in how the bands are viewed if they take what is essentially a step "backward" historically? I hope not.


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: December 09 2012 at 10:23
Originally posted by richardh

...
You might find it quite amusing that I had a conversation with my 16 year old Nephew recently and he was bemoaning the lack of good current music and how everything is the same now. He likes the Foo Fighters but also has a taste for classic seventies rock. I feel a bit sorry for him really. I couldn't suggest anything much other than Muse's latest album. He likes them but its not a lot to go on really.
 
This is the "make it or break it" point for the kid and his musical ability.
 
If it was me, I would try to show him, examples in this music, of what can be done with his instrument ... differently ... rather than just the notes and the stuckuplousy4count.
 
His ability needs to "get free" of the time constraints, and folks' comments ... and the only way he can do that is to develop his own ability to do his own thing ... and make his band, or his playing, stand out ... but if the guitarist gets mad at him, because he doesn't know what you are doing ... usually that guitarist is the problem, not your kid!
 
You have to teach these kids, in my book, to do some improvisations, and in the middle of them you have to throw kitchen sinks, vacuum cleaners, tomatoes, apple sauce, noise, rats, whatever, and tell them that they have to adjust their playing to each moment ... and that they have to stick together ... in the end of 15 minutes, they will be cracking up and having fun with it ... and stuff like this ... has a tendency to help the folks to learn how to listen to each other better, and eventually, it brings up the material they are doing a lot.
 
It is a simple exercise ... and something that the likes of krautrock might have done ... but it is not something that western culture, with its industrialist attitude towards music, is not capable of appreciating.


-------------
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: December 09 2012 at 12:02
SUPPERS READY is a great example of dynamics. Just Saying.

-------------
Over many years exploring the world of Dark-Gothic Progressive Rock/Metal has been an unbelievably great experience. Colour me Goth all over! I'm hooked.


Posted By: Neelus
Date Posted: December 09 2012 at 13:15
Genesis was excellent at dynamics 4 sho.


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: December 09 2012 at 19:48
Supper's Ready, definitely


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: December 10 2012 at 01:37
Originally posted by moshkito

Originally posted by richardh

...
You might find it quite amusing that I had a conversation with my 16 year old Nephew recently and he was bemoaning the lack of good current music and how everything is the same now. He likes the Foo Fighters but also has a taste for classic seventies rock. I feel a bit sorry for him really. I couldn't suggest anything much other than Muse's latest album. He likes them but its not a lot to go on really.
 
This is the "make it or break it" point for the kid and his musical ability.
 
If it was me, I would try to show him, examples in this music, of what can be done with his instrument ... differently ... rather than just the notes and the stuckuplousy4count.
 
His ability needs to "get free" of the time constraints, and folks' comments ... and the only way he can do that is to develop his own ability to do his own thing ... and make his band, or his playing, stand out ... but if the guitarist gets mad at him, because he doesn't know what you are doing ... usually that guitarist is the problem, not your kid!
 
You have to teach these kids, in my book, to do some improvisations, and in the middle of them you have to throw kitchen sinks, vacuum cleaners, tomatoes, apple sauce, noise, rats, whatever, and tell them that they have to adjust their playing to each moment ... and that they have to stick together ... in the end of 15 minutes, they will be cracking up and having fun with it ... and stuff like this ... has a tendency to help the folks to learn how to listen to each other better, and eventually, it brings up the material they are doing a lot.
 
It is a simple exercise ... and something that the likes of krautrock might have done ... but it is not something that western culture, with its industrialist attitude towards music, is not capable of appreciating.
didn't say he was a musicianWink


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: December 10 2012 at 01:39
Suppers Ready is a great example but then just about any major prog release (edit - at the time) would exhibit such characterictics ie TAAB ,Starless , Close To The Edge, Trilogy and the list goes on.


Posted By: M27Barney
Date Posted: December 10 2012 at 06:35
Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by richardh

[QUOTE=progbethyname] [QUOTE=richardh] [QUOTE=progbethyname]]
The Wake is one of my favourite albums. I think they 'got to the point' on that album. At the time I was blown away by the sheer intensity of it. Shades of later seventies Genesis but with almost a punk/new wave sensability. I was gutted when Nicholls left shortly afterwords... but thankfully he was to return.


Right again. NOMZAMO and ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY are god awful in my opinion and I didn't even bother buying either album. Nicholls is the heart of the band and EVER was an epic return. I almost cried.
Nomzamo is their weakest album but it still has 3 or 4 good tracks but at the time I hated it admittedly.
Are You Sitting Comfortably is more 'pop prog' but is enjoyable nevertheless. Paul Menel deserves credit for keeping the band afloat at least and perhaps the other guys learnt one of two different things that stood them in good stead for future albums.
The two mid eighties IQ efforts are easiy their weakest - I played one a few months ago and was put off by the weakness of the production - the richness just seems to be missing - when you compare with the resumption of IQ post Menel -you see that IQ were rudderless - and pop-prog probably covers those two albums perfectly - sort of ATTWT/Duke/abacab analogs if you will.
But IQ - superb band that they are - are blown out of the water by bands like Galleon/Flower Kings/Spocks Beard/Transatlantic.......They kept the interest till the mighty  bands I just mentioned took symphonic prog onwards and upwards....


-------------
Play me my song.....Here it comes again.......


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: December 10 2012 at 13:29
Originally posted by M27Barney

Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by richardh

[QUOTE=progbethyname] [QUOTE=richardh] [QUOTE=progbethyname]]
The Wake is one of my favourite albums. I think they 'got to the point' on that album. At the time I was blown away by the sheer intensity of it. Shades of later seventies Genesis but with almost a punk/new wave sensability. I was gutted when Nicholls left shortly afterwords... but thankfully he was to return.


Right again. NOMZAMO and ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY are god awful in my opinion and I didn't even bother buying either album. Nicholls is the heart of the band and EVER was an epic return. I almost cried.
Nomzamo is their weakest album but it still has 3 or 4 good tracks but at the time I hated it admittedly.
Are You Sitting Comfortably is more 'pop prog' but is enjoyable nevertheless. Paul Menel deserves credit for keeping the band afloat at least and perhaps the other guys learnt one of two different things that stood them in good stead for future albums.
The two mid eighties IQ efforts are easiy their weakest - I played one a few months ago and was put off by the weakness of the production - the richness just seems to be missing - when you compare with the resumption of IQ post Menel -you see that IQ were rudderless - and pop-prog probably covers those two albums perfectly - sort of ATTWT/Duke/abacab analogs if you will.
But IQ - superb band that they are - are blown out of the water by bands like Galleon/Flower Kings/Spocks Beard/Transatlantic.......They kept the interest till the mighty  bands I just mentioned took symphonic prog onwards and upwards....
Aside from the highly subjective opinion of what band one likes ( I think you may be aware I don't rate TFK at all) I don't agree with the general idea that IQ 'kept the interest' until those various bands came along. What about Anglagard , Anekdoten, Par Lindh etc that were around in the 90's?
Symph prog pretty much died in the early eighties and its offshoot 'neo prog' emerged. It was the Scandanavian bands (inc TFK) that lead a revival of the original movement. Par Lindh Project 'Gothic Impressions' was actually conceived in the 70's but according to the sleevenotes no record companies were interested. 
My argument is that the likes of IQ, Marillion and Arena continued with their strand of prog while an actual symph prog revival occured when the time was right and in parallel. Neo prog and Symph prog both happily co exist today. I don't think IQ should have an inferiority complex though.
The differences as I see it
Neo prog - harder sound ,more emotional and grounded in style
Symph prog - more complexity and draws (as you would expect) a lot more inspiration from classical music.Doesn't need to get to the point and doesn't have to be that emotional (neo does).


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: December 11 2012 at 00:17
Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by M27Barney

Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by richardh

[QUOTE=progbethyname] [QUOTE=richardh] [QUOTE=progbethyname]]
The Wake is one of my favourite albums. I think they 'got to the point' on that album. At the time I was blown away by the sheer intensity of it. Shades of later seventies Genesis but with almost a punk/new wave sensability. I was gutted when Nicholls left shortly afterwords... but thankfully he was to return.
Right again. NOMZAMO and ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY are god awful in my opinion and I didn't even bother buying either album. Nicholls is the heart of the band and EVER was an epic return. I almost cried.


Nomzamo is their weakest album but it still has 3 or 4 good tracks but at the time I hated it admittedly.
Are You Sitting Comfortably is more 'pop prog' but is enjoyable nevertheless. Paul Menel deserves credit for keeping the band afloat at least and perhaps the other guys learnt one of two different things that stood them in good stead for future albums.

The two mid eighties IQ efforts are easiy their weakest - I played one a few months ago and was put off by the weakness of the production - the richness just seems to be missing - when you compare with the resumption of IQ post Menel -you see that IQ were rudderless - and pop-prog probably covers those two albums perfectly - sort of ATTWT/Duke/abacab analogs if you will.
But IQ - superb band that they are - are blown out of the water by bands like Galleon/Flower Kings/Spocks Beard/Transatlantic.......They kept the interest till the mighty  bands I just mentioned took symphonic prog onwards and upwards....


Aside from the highly subjective opinion of what band one likes ( I think you may be aware I don't rate TFK at all) I don't agree with the general idea that IQ 'kept the interest' until those various bands came along. What about Anglagard , Anekdoten, Par Lindh etc that were around in the 90's?

Symph prog pretty much died in the early eighties and its offshoot 'neo prog' emerged. It was the Scandanavian bands (inc TFK) that lead a revival of the original movement. Par Lindh Project 'Gothic Impressions' was actually conceived in the 70's but according to the sleevenotes no record companies were interested. 

My argument is that the likes of IQ, Marillion and Arena continued with their strand of prog while an actual symph prog revival occured when the time was right and in parallel. Neo prog and Symph prog both happily co exist today. I don't think IQ should have an inferiority complex though.

The differences as I see it

Neo prog - harder sound ,more emotional and grounded in style

Symph prog - more complexity and draws (as you would expect) a lot more inspiration from classical music.Doesn't need to get to the point and doesn't have to be that emotional (neo does).


I really can't disagree with anything you have said here. Ok....maybe the only thing is that you felt Nomzamo was slightly tolerable. That's it. . I definitely see exactly eye to eye with you on this discussion and yeah, classic symphonic prog died when GENESIS made A TRICK OF THE TAIL. So 1976 is when symphonic prog evolved to Neo. I'm glad it did. I love the holy trinity of the Neo prog fab 3....ARENA, Marillion(fish era) and IQ. I could maybe through GALAHAD and PALLAS in their for a quintet. :)

-------------
Over many years exploring the world of Dark-Gothic Progressive Rock/Metal has been an unbelievably great experience. Colour me Goth all over! I'm hooked.


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: December 11 2012 at 01:05
^ never really liked Pallas. Saw them play live about 10 years ago at a prog festival and there were a group of fans in front of the stage going absolutely bananas for them while the rest wondered why. One of those bands that divide opinion I presume. I only recently bought my first Galahad album (the live double). Still digesting it. They seem a bit 'second division' compared to IQ and Marillion (and Arena) imo.


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: December 11 2012 at 02:46
Originally posted by progbethyname

I love the holy trinity of the Neo prog fab 3....ARENA, Marillion(fish era) and IQ. I could maybe through GALAHAD and PALLAS in their for a quintet. :)
Pendragon should be in the list before Galahad and Pallas imo.


Posted By: M27Barney
Date Posted: December 11 2012 at 06:58
Aye, Pendragon & Pallas - most excellent (especially the latest Pallas XXV - thats a marvellous effort)...Par Lindh - Gothic Impressions - absolutely superb CD - but a lot of people will be put off by the Priestly singer - it has some magnificent Church Organ - very Hard to place that CD though - it's not neo-prog thats for certain......
My copy of GI , is signed by PL.....probably coz I bought his entire back catologue from his web-site in a manic burst of CD buying....

-------------
Play me my song.....Here it comes again.......


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: December 11 2012 at 21:30
Originally posted by Gerinski

Originally posted by progbethyname

I love the holy trinity of the Neo prog fab 3....ARENA, Marillion(fish era) and IQ. I could maybe through GALAHAD and PALLAS in their for a quintet. :)

Pendragon should be in the list before Galahad and Pallas imo.

I have one Pendragon album, The World. I listened to it once quite awhile ago and I didn't like it. I found it boring. The guitar work didn't seem all that interesting. Should I give it another chance, or are there other Pendragon albums I'd be better off looking into?


Posted By: Ivan_Melgar_M
Date Posted: December 11 2012 at 22:03
Originally posted by Gallifrey

I personally think symphonic prog is a thing of the past and bands should move on. But then again, it has its place, because many fans just want to hear new versions of an old style without much 'progression'.

I think it's evident in the top album lists of recent years that many of the top albums haven't been symphonic. Even the most recent one, Echolyn's newest, is still a decent move forward.

There was a thread a few months ago about Steve Wilson commenting (a few years ago, still), about how bands should stop trying to emulate bands from the past, and move forward with their music. I agree with him, although it could be argued that some of his music is hardly moving forward.

I strongly disagree

We listen prog, we shouldn't fall in the mistake of Pop stablished fashioon sense.

A healthy genre doesn't have to last 2 or 3 years, that's what the  producers and labels sold us in order to create ephemerous artists who sell for a couple of years, gain millions for the label  and vanish as fast as they appeared.

In Classical music, genres lasted centuries, 

- Blues Based Rock is at least 60 years old, 
- Hard Rock has 50 years (at least)
- Metal is about 30 something years old, 
- Pop has at least 50 years 

Why should Symphonic had to vanish after 1978?

Punk tried to destroy it and has almost vanished.

Now...All Symphonic sounds as in the 70's?, 

Please 99% of bands are not clones of the 70's pioneers, Symphonic is richer than ever, when it appeared it was mainly Rock with Classical arrangements and some fragments taken from Grieg, Bach or Mussorgsky, today we have

- Eastern Europe Symphonic that conbines delicate ethnic music from their countries
- Latin American bands like Bacamarte that are simply unique.
- USA who have added Heavy Prog and even Avant Garde to the sound.

A 40 something years old genre is young, and musicians have a lot to offer, of course some artists will remind us of Yes and Genesis, because all play the same genre called symphonic, with many common characteristins in the 70's and today

It's the case of any Prog Metal band that will remind of the pioneers of the genre, because all of them play METAL.

A few minutes ago I added SoulengineE from Italy, who have nothing in common with Banco or PFM, to the point that they were not accepted in RPI, they are unique, fresh, Symphonic hasn't grown dated, by the contrary, is fresher with the new influences that have been added.

Iván



-------------


Posted By: Ambient Hurricanes
Date Posted: December 11 2012 at 22:07
Originally posted by Ivan_Melgar_M

Originally posted by Gallifrey

I personally think symphonic prog is a thing of the past and bands should move on. But then again, it has its place, because many fans just want to hear new versions of an old style without much 'progression'.

I think it's evident in the top album lists of recent years that many of the top albums haven't been symphonic. Even the most recent one, Echolyn's newest, is still a decent move forward.

There was a thread a few months ago about Steve Wilson commenting (a few years ago, still), about how bands should stop trying to emulate bands from the past, and move forward with their music. I agree with him, although it could be argued that some of his music is hardly moving forward.

I strongly disagree

We listen prog, we shouldn't fall in the mistake of Pop stablished fashioon sense.

A healthy genre doesn't have to last 2 or 3 years, that's what the  producers and labels sold us in order to create ephemerous artists who create for a couple of years, sell a,lot and vanish as fast as they appeared.

In Classical music, genres lasted centuries, 

- Blues Based Rock is at least 60 years old, 
- Hard Rock has 50 years (at least)
- Metal is about 30 something years old, 
- Pop has at least 50 years 

Why should Symphonic had to vanish after 1978?

Punk tried to destroy it and has almost vanished.

Now...All Symphonic sounds as in the 70's?, 

Please 99% of bands are not clones of the 70's pioneers, Symphonic is richer than ever, when it appeared it was mainly Rock with Classical arrangements and some pieces taken fgriom Grieg, Bach or Mussorgsky, today we have

- Eastern Europe Symphonic that conbines delicate ethnic music from their countries
- Latin American bands like Bacamarte that are simply unique.
- USA who have added Heavy Prog and even Avant Garde to the sound.

A 40 something years old genre is young, and musicians have a lot to offer, of course some artists will remind us of Yes and Genesis, because all play the same genre called symphonic, with many common characteristins in the 70's and today

It's the case of any Prog Metal band that will remind of the pioneers of the genre, because all of them play METAL.

A few minutes ago I added SoulengineE from Italy, who have nothing in common with Banco or PFM, to the point that they were not accepted in RPI, they are unique, fresh, Symphonic hasn't grown dated, by the contrary, is fresher with the new influences that have been added.

Iván



Clap


-------------


Posted By: infocat
Date Posted: December 11 2012 at 22:11
Originally posted by HackettFan

Originally posted by Gerinski

Originally posted by progbethyname

I love the holy trinity of the Neo prog fab 3....ARENA, Marillion(fish era) and IQ. I could maybe through GALAHAD and PALLAS in their for a quintet. :)

Pendragon should be in the list before Galahad and Pallas imo.

I have one Pendragon album, The World. I listened to it once quite awhile ago and I didn't like it. I found it boring. The guitar work didn't seem all that interesting. Should I give it another chance, or are there other Pendragon albums I'd be better off looking into?
Pure and Passion, their latest two, are their best IMO.  Highly recommended, even if you don't care for their earlier work.


-------------
Frank Swarbrick
--
"I know that there's no time; I know that there's no rhyme!" -- Van der Graaf Generator, 1972


Posted By: Ivan_Melgar_M
Date Posted: December 11 2012 at 22:14
Originally posted by infocat

Pure and Passion, their latest two, are their best IMO.  Highly recommended, even if you don't care for their earlier work.

GREAT EXAMPLE

Pendragon is a band that evolved, since Believe they changed but with Pure, they ceased to be Neo Prog, don't remind me of their great albums as Masquerade Overture, but brought a breeze of fresh air to Neo Prog.

And Neo Prog is 32 years old, but keeps evolving.

Iván


-------------


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: December 11 2012 at 22:40
Originally posted by HackettFan

Originally posted by Gerinski

Originally posted by progbethyname

I love the holy trinity of the Neo prog fab 3....ARENA, Marillion(fish era) and IQ. I could maybe through GALAHAD and PALLAS in their for a quintet. :)

Pendragon should be in the list before Galahad and Pallas imo.

I have one Pendragon album, The World. I listened to it once quite awhile ago and I didn't like it. I found it boring. The guitar work didn't seem all that interesting. Should I give it another chance, or are there other Pendragon albums I'd be better off looking into?
In the context of stereotype Neo their first album The Jewel is perhaps the most representative, sharing similarities with IQ's Tales From The Lush Attic or Twelfth Night's Fact And Fiction, it's quite upbeat, typical Neo but more poppy and less symphonic than early Marillion or early Arena.
 
Then they went into a more Pink Floyd-ish period of which The World is a good example, if you found it boring I guess this is not your cup of tea but The Masquerade Overture is another good album from this period.
 
In their last two albums Pure and Passion they have become heavier, a bit similar path to what Arena have taken, personally they are not my favourites but if you like more energetic music you may like them.  


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: December 11 2012 at 23:13
Originally posted by infocat


Originally posted by HackettFan

Originally posted by Gerinski

Originally posted by progbethyname

I love the holy trinity of the Neo prog fab 3....ARENA, Marillion(fish era) and IQ. I could maybe through GALAHAD and PALLAS in their for a quintet. :)

Pendragon should be in the list before Galahad and Pallas imo.

I have one Pendragon album, The World. I listened to it once quite awhile ago and I didn't like it. I found it boring. The guitar work didn't seem all that interesting. Should I give it another chance, or are there other Pendragon albums I'd be better off looking into?
Pure and Passion, their latest two, are their best IMO.  Highly recommended, even if you don't care for their earlier work.

Thanks! I'll definitely check it out.
I'll give The World another listen too. I'm mindful that one listen isn't often enough to make judgements on Prog albums.


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: December 11 2012 at 23:24
Originally posted by Gerinski

Originally posted by HackettFan

Originally posted by Gerinski

Originally posted by progbethyname

I love the holy trinity of the Neo prog fab 3....ARENA, Marillion(fish era) and IQ. I could maybe through GALAHAD and PALLAS in their for a quintet. :)

Pendragon should be in the list before Galahad and Pallas imo.
I have one Pendragon album, The World. I listened to it once quite awhile ago and I didn't like it. I found it boring. The guitar work didn't seem all that interesting. Should I give it another chance, or are there other Pendragon albums I'd be better off looking into?

In the context of stereotype Neo their first album The Jewel is perhaps the most representative, sharing similarities with IQ's Tales From The Lush Attic or Twelfth Night's Fact And Fiction, it's quite upbeat, typical Neo but more poppy and less symphonic than early Marillion or early Arena.
 

Then they went into a more Pink Floyd-ish period of which The World is a good example, if you found it boring I guess this is not your cup of tea but The Masquerade Overture is another good album from this period.

 

In their last two albums Pure and Passion they have become heavier, a bit similar path to what Arena have taken, personally they are not my favourites but if you like more energetic music you may like them.  

The Jewel and Pure and Passion it is then. An old one and a newer one.


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: December 12 2012 at 01:34
Originally posted by M27Barney

Aye, Pendragon & Pallas - most excellent (especially the latest Pallas XXV - thats a marvellous effort)...Par Lindh - Gothic Impressions - absolutely superb CD - but a lot of people will be put off by the Priestly singer - it has some magnificent Church Organ - very Hard to place that CD though - it's not neo-prog thats for certain......
My copy of GI , is signed by PL.....probably coz I bought his entire back catologue from his web-site in a manic burst of CD buying....
I bought Gothic Impressions in 1995 at the 25th ELP anniversary convention in Birmingham. The artwork looked beautifull and it had a little sign next to it 'is this Brain Salad Surgery for the 90's?'. It wasn't but still very lovely symphonic prog. Not 'neo' but part of the retro prog revival of the time that was coming from Scandanavia. The singer was Par Lindh although Magda Berg featured on one of the songs and then became the full time singer for the next 2 albums.
Gothic Impressions also has a lovely little booklet. Interesting to see all the people involved in making it including a certain Mr Stolt.Smile


Posted By: M27Barney
Date Posted: December 12 2012 at 06:36
Originally posted by Ivan_Melgar_M

Originally posted by Gallifrey

I personally think symphonic prog is a thing of the past and bands should move on. But then again, it has its place, because many fans just want to hear new versions of an old style without much 'progression'.

I think it's evident in the top album lists of recent years that many of the top albums haven't been symphonic. Even the most recent one, Echolyn's newest, is still a decent move forward.

There was a thread a few months ago about Steve Wilson commenting (a few years ago, still), about how bands should stop trying to emulate bands from the past, and move forward with their music. I agree with him, although it could be argued that some of his music is hardly moving forward.

I strongly disagree

We listen prog, we shouldn't fall in the mistake of Pop stablished fashioon sense.

A healthy genre doesn't have to last 2 or 3 years, that's what the  producers and labels sold us in order to create ephemerous artists who sell for a couple of years, gain millions for the label  and vanish as fast as they appeared.

In Classical music, genres lasted centuries, 

- Blues Based Rock is at least 60 years old, 
- Hard Rock has 50 years (at least)
- Metal is about 30 something years old, 
- Pop has at least 50 years 

Why should Symphonic had to vanish after 1978?

Punk tried to destroy it and has almost vanished.

Now...All Symphonic sounds as in the 70's?, 

Please 99% of bands are not clones of the 70's pioneers, Symphonic is richer than ever, when it appeared it was mainly Rock with Classical arrangements and some fragments taken from Grieg, Bach or Mussorgsky, today we have

- Eastern Europe Symphonic that conbines delicate ethnic music from their countries
- Latin American bands like Bacamarte that are simply unique.
- USA who have added Heavy Prog and even Avant Garde to the sound.

A 40 something years old genre is young, and musicians have a lot to offer, of course some artists will remind us of Yes and Genesis, because all play the same genre called symphonic, with many common characteristins in the 70's and today

It's the case of any Prog Metal band that will remind of the pioneers of the genre, because all of them play METAL.

A few minutes ago I added SoulengineE from Italy, who have nothing in common with Banco or PFM, to the point that they were not accepted in RPI, they are unique, fresh, Symphonic hasn't grown dated, by the contrary, is fresher with the new influences that have been added.

Iván

Can't disagree with any point made there Iván a lot of mud gets thrown at the most bombastic/symphonic prog bands who are producing today....Lets hope that 2013 has even more pomposity and symphonic themes that would even make the hairs on my red-kneed tarantula stand up like little antennas to heaven......

-------------
Play me my song.....Here it comes again.......


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: December 12 2012 at 08:08
Yep, fashions come and go, but good music can never be a thing of the past.


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: December 13 2012 at 12:01
Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by moshkito

Originally posted by richardh


...

You might find it quite amusing that I had a conversation with my 16 year old Nephew recently and he was bemoaning the lack of good current music and how everything is the same now. He likes the Foo Fighters but also has a taste for classic seventies rock. I feel a bit sorry for him really. I couldn't suggest anything much other than Muse's latest album. He likes them but its not a lot to go on really.

 

This is the "make it or break it" point for the kid and his musical ability.

 

If it was me, I would try to show him, examples in this music, of what can be done with his instrument ... differently ... rather than just the notes and the stuckuplousy4count.

 

His ability needs to "get free" of the time constraints, and folks' comments ... and the only way he can do that is to develop his own ability to do his own thing ... and make his band, or his playing, stand out ... but if the guitarist gets mad at him, because he doesn't know what you are doing ... usually that guitarist is the problem, not your kid!

 

You have to teach these kids, in my book, to do some improvisations, and in the middle of them you have to throw kitchen sinks, vacuum cleaners, tomatoes, apple sauce, noise, rats, whatever, and tell them that they have to adjust their playing to each moment ... and that they have to stick together ... in the end of 15 minutes, they will be cracking up and having fun with it ... and stuff like this ... has a tendency to help the folks to learn how to listen to each other better, and eventually, it brings up the material they are doing a lot.

 

It is a simple exercise ... and something that the likes of krautrock might have done ... but it is not something that western culture, with its industrialist attitude towards music, is not capable of appreciating.


didn't say he was a musicianWink


Richard! Not to worry. The ears are still young and like every other body part we have, the ears will go through a gradual maturity process. I have hope for your little neph. Foo Fighters? Ouch. That probably eats you up a bit I can imagine.
It is actually a very hard thing to introduce someone to even the quality world that is prog, evolution of each genre aside of course. If your nephew is listening to foo fighters (ouch again) to get him to make a listening transition to say, Neo prog may be quite difficult. Try easing him into some classic Rock or crossover prog like DIRE STRAIGHTS or SUPERTRAMP. It might work. :). I wish you well

-------------
Over many years exploring the world of Dark-Gothic Progressive Rock/Metal has been an unbelievably great experience. Colour me Goth all over! I'm hooked.


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: December 13 2012 at 12:21
Originally posted by richardh

^ never really liked Pallas. Saw them play live about 10 years ago at a prog festival and there were a group of fans in front of the stage going absolutely bananas for them while the rest wondered why. One of those bands that divide opinion I presume. I only recently bought my first Galahad album (the live double). Still digesting it. They seem a bit 'second division' compared to IQ and Marillion (and Arena) imo.


GALAHAD. their sound maybe hit or miss if you are a hardcore fan of Neo prog in general. They boarder along Dream Theater sound territory sometimes and that may discourage some people because too many bands today, especially in prog metal try to take after DT. I am a huge fan of dt, but I don't want to hear traces of their musical style in everything I listen to in the prog metal/Neo prog genres. No thanks. Galahad is a quality prog band that has an evolutionized symphonic prog sound. I do give them respect. EMPIRES, YEAR ZERO and BATTLE SCARS are quite good.

As for Pallas. Again. These guys a huge enigma. They have some brilliant albums and some terrible ones. Their latest effort was not as wonderful sounding as their previous effort DREAMS OF MEN, which in my opinion is a masterpiece and a truly remarkable showing of how symphonic prog has really evolved. Great example. They even include some choir orchestrations in the music as well. Very nice touch. Give that a spin in you can ASAP. I don't think you will be Dissapointed

-------------
Over many years exploring the world of Dark-Gothic Progressive Rock/Metal has been an unbelievably great experience. Colour me Goth all over! I'm hooked.


Posted By: darkshade
Date Posted: December 13 2012 at 21:44
There are worse bands that kid could be listening to than The Foo Fighters. Sometimes it's best to introduce them slowly, with bands that are kinda similar. Might be why a band like Porcupine Tree is so popular; they're arguably the best band to get into prog with because they have so much alt-rock/metal in their current sound. Just like Dream Theater are a good gateway band for fans of metal and hard rock, like me when I first discovered DT.

Showing a Foo Fighters fan Marillion, Genesis, or The Flower Kings is probably not going to change their mind about music. Think about the mind set of these 14-17 year olds who have little to no exposure to "good" music in their lives, let alone progressive rock.


-------------
http://www.last.fm/user/MysticBoogy" rel="nofollow - My Last.fm


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: December 14 2012 at 01:35
Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by richardh

^ never really liked Pallas. Saw them play live about 10 years ago at a prog festival and there were a group of fans in front of the stage going absolutely bananas for them while the rest wondered why. One of those bands that divide opinion I presume. I only recently bought my first Galahad album (the live double). Still digesting it. They seem a bit 'second division' compared to IQ and Marillion (and Arena) imo.


GALAHAD. their sound maybe hit or miss if you are a hardcore fan of Neo prog in general. They boarder along Dream Theater sound territory sometimes and that may discourage some people because too many bands today, especially in prog metal try to take after DT. I am a huge fan of dt, but I don't want to hear traces of their musical style in everything I listen to in the prog metal/Neo prog genres. No thanks. Galahad is a quality prog band that has an evolutionized symphonic prog sound. I do give them respect. EMPIRES, YEAR ZERO and BATTLE SCARS are quite good.

As for Pallas. Again. These guys a huge enigma. They have some brilliant albums and some terrible ones. Their latest effort was not as wonderful sounding as their previous effort DREAMS OF MEN, which in my opinion is a masterpiece and a truly remarkable showing of how symphonic prog has really evolved. Great example. They even include some choir orchestrations in the music as well. Very nice touch. Give that a spin in you can ASAP. I don't think you will be Dissapointed
 Thanks for the recommendations. I think I will give that Pallas album a go.


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: December 14 2012 at 01:42
Originally posted by darkshade

There are worse bands that kid could be listening to than The Foo Fighters. Sometimes it's best to introduce them slowly, with bands that are kinda similar. Might be why a band like Porcupine Tree is so popular; they're arguably the best band to get into prog with because they have so much alt-rock/metal in their current sound. Just like Dream Theater are a good gateway band for fans of metal and hard rock, like me when I first discovered DT.

Showing a Foo Fighters fan Marillion, Genesis, or The Flower Kings is probably not going to change their mind about music. Think about the mind set of these 14-17 year olds who have little to no exposure to "good" music in their lives, let alone progressive rock.
I don't think he would be that impressed as you say about full blown prog rock bands. He likes Muse (but not as much as me) but he does also like classic rock such as The Who. His Stepdad has Planetrock radio on a lot of the time so that has helped a little but what he wants are newer bands making this sort of music and it doesn't really exist sadly.


Posted By: Polymorphia
Date Posted: December 14 2012 at 08:37
Originally posted by richardh


...

You might find it quite amusing that I had a conversation with my 16 year old Nephew recently and he was bemoaning the lack of good current music and how everything is the same now. He likes the Foo Fighters but also has a taste for classic seventies rock. I feel a bit sorry for him really. I couldn't suggest anything much other than Muse's latest album. He likes them but its not a lot to go on really.

 
I'm surprised that you didn't suggest anything but Muse. Confused


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: December 14 2012 at 12:51
Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by richardh

^ never really liked Pallas. Saw them play live about 10 years ago at a prog festival and there were a group of fans in front of the stage going absolutely bananas for them while the rest wondered why. One of those bands that divide opinion I presume. I only recently bought my first Galahad album (the live double). Still digesting it. They seem a bit 'second division' compared to IQ and Marillion (and Arena) imo.
GALAHAD. their sound maybe hit or miss if you are a hardcore fan of Neo prog in general. They boarder along Dream Theater sound territory sometimes and that may discourage some people because too many bands today, especially in prog metal try to take after DT. I am a huge fan of dt, but I don't want to hear traces of their musical style in everything I listen to in the prog metal/Neo prog genres. No thanks. Galahad is a quality prog band that has an evolutionized symphonic prog sound. I do give them respect. EMPIRES, YEAR ZERO and BATTLE SCARS are quite good. As for Pallas. Again. These guys a huge enigma. They have some brilliant albums and some terrible ones. Their latest effort was not as wonderful sounding as their previous effort DREAMS OF MEN, which in my opinion is a masterpiece and a truly remarkable showing of how symphonic prog has really evolved. Great example. They even include some choir orchestrations in the music as well. Very nice touch. Give that a spin in you can ASAP. I don't think you will be Dissapointed

 Thanks for the recommendations. I think I will give that Pallas album a go.


No problem my friend. Let me know what you think. The opening track is brilliant and INVINCIBLE is got a lot of power and feeling. There is a few really great build ups in that song. I think you'll love it. You know your Neo prog, so you are definitely honna pick up on the greatness of those tracks. :)

-------------
Over many years exploring the world of Dark-Gothic Progressive Rock/Metal has been an unbelievably great experience. Colour me Goth all over! I'm hooked.


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: December 14 2012 at 12:57
I just also want to say that GALAHAD's album EMPIRES NEVER LAST could very well been the best Neo prog album of 2007. I think it's close to a 5 star album. It's a very good showing how symphonic prog has grown on a heavier scale. Essential to a prog metal collection?? I think so. You may be sorry to be missing that album in your stack of CDs.

-------------
Over many years exploring the world of Dark-Gothic Progressive Rock/Metal has been an unbelievably great experience. Colour me Goth all over! I'm hooked.


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: December 15 2012 at 09:00
Originally posted by Polymorphia

Originally posted by richardh


...

You might find it quite amusing that I had a conversation with my 16 year old Nephew recently and he was bemoaning the lack of good current music and how everything is the same now. He likes the Foo Fighters but also has a taste for classic seventies rock. I feel a bit sorry for him really. I couldn't suggest anything much other than Muse's latest album. He likes them but its not a lot to go on really.

 
I'm surprised that you didn't suggest anything but Muse. Confused
Off the top of my head I was struggling to think of anything else


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: December 15 2012 at 09:05
Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by richardh

^ never really liked Pallas. Saw them play live about 10 years ago at a prog festival and there were a group of fans in front of the stage going absolutely bananas for them while the rest wondered why. One of those bands that divide opinion I presume. I only recently bought my first Galahad album (the live double). Still digesting it. They seem a bit 'second division' compared to IQ and Marillion (and Arena) imo.
GALAHAD. their sound maybe hit or miss if you are a hardcore fan of Neo prog in general. They boarder along Dream Theater sound territory sometimes and that may discourage some people because too many bands today, especially in prog metal try to take after DT. I am a huge fan of dt, but I don't want to hear traces of their musical style in everything I listen to in the prog metal/Neo prog genres. No thanks. Galahad is a quality prog band that has an evolutionized symphonic prog sound. I do give them respect. EMPIRES, YEAR ZERO and BATTLE SCARS are quite good. As for Pallas. Again. These guys a huge enigma. They have some brilliant albums and some terrible ones. Their latest effort was not as wonderful sounding as their previous effort DREAMS OF MEN, which in my opinion is a masterpiece and a truly remarkable showing of how symphonic prog has really evolved. Great example. They even include some choir orchestrations in the music as well. Very nice touch. Give that a spin in you can ASAP. I don't think you will be Dissapointed

 Thanks for the recommendations. I think I will give that Pallas album a go.


No problem my friend. Let me know what you think. The opening track is brilliant and INVINCIBLE is got a lot of power and feeling. There is a few really great build ups in that song. I think you'll love it. You know your Neo prog, so you are definitely honna pick up on the greatness of those tracks. :)
 
Yep you are bang on right. I should have picked up on it earlier as its Pallas highest rated album on PA and easy to understand why.Powerfull modern neo prog with strong symphonic elements.I like the scope of the music which feels cimematic.Approve 


Posted By: Slartibartfast
Date Posted: December 15 2012 at 09:18
Neither.

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Posted By: Ambient Hurricanes
Date Posted: December 15 2012 at 15:59
Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by Polymorphia

Originally posted by richardh


...

You might find it quite amusing that I had a conversation with my 16 year old Nephew recently and he was bemoaning the lack of good current music and how everything is the same now. He likes the Foo Fighters but also has a taste for classic seventies rock. I feel a bit sorry for him really. I couldn't suggest anything much other than Muse's latest album. He likes them but its not a lot to go on really.

 
I'm surprised that you didn't suggest anything but Muse. Confused
Off the top of my head I was struggling to think of anything else


He might like some modern Rush.  Counterparts, Test for Echo, Vapor Trails, Snakes and Arrows, and Clockwork Angels all have both classic and alternative rock elements.


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Posted By: Polymorphia
Date Posted: December 15 2012 at 18:23
Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes

Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by Polymorphia

Originally posted by richardh


...

You might find it quite amusing that I had a conversation with my 16 year old Nephew recently and he was bemoaning the lack of good current music and how everything is the same now. He likes the Foo Fighters but also has a taste for classic seventies rock. I feel a bit sorry for him really. I couldn't suggest anything much other than Muse's latest album. He likes them but its not a lot to go on really.

 
I'm surprised that you didn't suggest anything but Muse. Confused
Off the top of my head I was struggling to think of anything else


He might like some modern Rush.  Counterparts, Test for Echo, Vapor Trails, Snakes and Arrows, and Clockwork Angels all have both classic and alternative rock elements.


There are plenty of artists making good and interesting music these days. My personal favorites are Radiohead, Wilco, Grizzly Bear, Midlake, The Dodos, Sufjan Stevens, Sigur Ros, and Fleet Foxes. For him, specifically, you could suggest The Mars Volta.



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