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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Classic Rock Presents: Prognosis 7 CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

3.04 | 4 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars One of the best things about the new "Classic Rock Presents Prog" magazine is the 'free; CD with lots of prog music to indulge in, and on many occasions it has been a pleasurable experience listening to new prog and of course the artists have one main intention in allowing their music to be compiled on these CDs; and that is, to gain public attention that may result in the sale of their albums. Occasionally these tracks on the Prognosis CDs have indeed led me to buy the whole album and I have been delighted with the material. In the case of Number 7 CD sampler, we have the likes of modern Prog from Touchstone, Syzygy, and Karnataka that are all favourites of mine so I was excited to sit down and let this one wash over my headphones.

"Prognosis 7" begins with Mandalaband's 'Eden', a gentle song with lots of synth and effective guitar over a dramatic rhythm. The vocals lead by Dave Rohl are deep and reflective as a story unfolds of the mysteries of the sea and the vanquished ones who have fallen. The musicianship is masterful, especially the violin and keyboard with flute embellishments and a striking orcehestral arrangement. I really liked this symphonic prog and would like to hear the rest of the album it hails from the 2009 "Mandalaband III: BC-Ancestors".

Mother Black Cap is next with 'Child Of Our Time' with strong synth and a focus on lead guitar. The vocals are okay but I particularly like the harmonies on high and low sounding very powerful. The songs stems from the UK released "The English Way". The instrumental break at the end is a treasure, virtuoso and compelling, especially the shimmering Hammond. It breaks into an electronic sound like Klaus Schulze and the sequencers glow brilliantly as a fast rhythm is maintained and some improvisations on keyboards. Another album worth seeking out definitely though not included as a prog band on this site.

Touchstone are well represented with 'Joker In The Pack' lead beautifully by the gorgeous Kin Seviour. The song from the acclaimed "Wintercoast" is a melodic rocker with some distorted metal guitar and wonderful crystal clear vocals. It sounds like a lot of bands these days but I love the female vocals against the heavy musicianship.

Syzygy are a favourite and I love 'Darkfield' from "Realms of Eternity". This is like Pink Floyd in places and Spock's Beard, with shades of Gentle Giant's complexity in the arrangements. Mark Boals does a tremendous job on vocals, and the guitars are aggressive. The structure is progressive and some heavy keyboard work gives the piece an organic quality. At almost 11 minutes this is a true standout on this sampler and another album to grab hold of and devour.

Elephant9 are a strange beast with 'Hardcore Orientale' from "Walk The Nile". The Norwegian trio produce some weird music that is a collision of avant prog and jazz fusion. The bassline is predominant and some delicious 70s keyboard dollops are served up with lashings of psychedelic guitar. The percussion is incessant and drive this instrumental along wonderfully. The insane jazz gymnastics are performed well by all involved; Ståle Storløkken on keyboards, Nikolai Hængsle Eilertsen on bass and Torstein Lofthus on drums.

EastStrikeWest's 'The Architect' is a track from "Wolvves" and the UK sextet perform a cinematic dramatis piece. The drums pound with loud ringing guitar clashes. The confident vocals are young and enthusiastic and well performed. This one is a bit like alternative Post Rock with a theatrical edge.

Milton Keynes' Solstice perform 'Here and Now' from the "Spirit" album, a 2010 Neo Prog gem in the same vein as Marillion, IQ, Twelfth Knight and Pendragon. The guitar work of Andy Glass is exceptional, powerful wah-wah and oriental flavours abound. As far as guitar lead music is concerned this is certainly a great example. There are key vocals from Emma Brown, that add to the ethereal atmospheres. The other band members are Jenny Newman on violin & viola, Pete Hemsley on drums, Steve McDaniel on keyboards and Robin Phillips on bass.

Karnataka are represented with an edit of their classic 'The Serpent and the Sea' from "The Gathering Light", chopped from its 14 minute length to 8 minutes. The new line up frontlined by bassist, keyboardist Ian Jones is as good as the classic Karnataka if not better judging from this sample. The lead vocals of Lisa Fury are very soulful and well performed. Ian Harris is terrific on drums as is Gonzalo Carrera on keyboards and piano but I am particularly drawn to the spacey guitars of Enrico Pinna, that soar into the stratosphere. Here is yet another album that is worth the hunt, sounding a bit like Mostly Autumn in style.

Manir Donaghue is featured with 'Angelus' from his "Reflections" album. The sound is akin to Steve Hackett meets Anthony Phillips and is a guitar heavy journey with tons of synth. Once again the artist is not included on this site but it is a prog sound that is generated.

Overall this is a very good sampler, not essential but worth the listen to check out some of these incredible artists. At least 4 of the albums are worth seeking out for my tastes.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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