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NEO-PROG

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Neo-Prog definition

Neo-Progressive rock (more commonly "Neo-Prog") is a subgenre of Progressive Rock that originally was used to describe artists strongly influenced by the classic symphonic prog bands that flourished during the 1970s. At the beginning of the neo-prog movement, the primary influence was early to mid-70's Genesis. Debate over when Neo-Prog actually came into being often takes place, with some asserting it began with Marillion's Script for a Jester's Tear in 1983. Others contend it began with Twelfth Night at the dawn of the 80s, while some even suggest the popular symphonic prog band Genesis gave rise to Neo-Prog with their 1976 album, A Trick of the Tail.

If one analyses the progressive movement just before 1980, then some albums which heavily influenced the Neo-Prog movement easily come to mind: Steve Hackett - Spectral Mornings, Genesis - Wind & Wuthering, Genesis - And Then There Were Three, Genesis - Seconds Out, Saga - Saga, all the Camel albums between Breathless and The Single Factor included, and some Eloy's albums, especially Silent Cries And Mighty Echoes.

This new form of progressive rock originated in the UK, and is most strongly associated with bands such as Marillion, Pendragon and IQ; and while theatrical stage antics were a part of the live performances of many artists exploring this subset of the progressive rock genre it's the musical elements that are key to the genre; typified by the use of atmospheric guitar and synth soloing with symphonic leanings, with a tendency towards floating synth layers and dreamy soloing. An additional trait is the use of modern synths rather than vintage analogue synths and keyboards. The main reasons for Neo-Progressive artists to be separated from the ones exploring Symphonic Prog in the first place are the above, as well as a heavier emphasis on song-form and melody than some of their earlier symphonic counterparts.

As time went by other artists appeared that also deviated from the norms created by the classic wave of progressive rock artists in the 70's. The late 70's had given the world punk music; the 80's gave the world new wave; and the 90's grunge. These, as well as other forms, had a tremendous amount of influence outside of the progressive rock realm. The advent of the modern synth also inspired artists like Tomita, Vangelis and Kitaro to explore dreamier musical works.

These and other forms of more or less newly made musical genres influenced artists exploring progressive rock as well. Although many artists did so within the framework of 70's progressive rock, more and more artists developed a sound and style so heavily influenced by these more recent musical developments that categorizing them within the existing subgenres of progressive rock became increasingly difficult.

While the Neo-Progressive genre initially consisted of artists exploring a modernized version of Symphonic Prog, these days artists coined as Neo-Progressive cover a multitude of musical expressions, where the common denominator is the inclusion - within a progressive rock framework - of musical elements developed just prior to and after 1980. The Neo-Progressive genre in it's refined form thus covers a vast musical territory, to some extent covering all existing subsets of progressive rock and also searching out towards genres as different as new age on one side and punk and metal on the other.

Opening paragraphs written by Stonebeard, Cygnus X-2, Greenback

Revised, edited and refined April 2009 by windhawk, The Doctor and E-Dub



The neo-prog team has also decided on 5 representative albums of neo-prog that encapsulate the essence of the genre. They are as follows:


Marillion-Script for a Jester's Tear
Collage-Moonshine
Satellite-A Street Between Sunrise and Sunset
Sylvan-Posthumous Silence
Frost-Milliontown


Current Neo-Prog Team members
as at 10/07/2016

Roger (Roj)
Keishiro (DamoXt7942)
Cristi
Tony (Hercules)

Neo-Prog Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Neo-Prog | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.24 | 1883 ratings
MISPLACED CHILDHOOD
Marillion
4.25 | 1028 ratings
THE ROAD OF BONES
IQ
4.22 | 1785 ratings
SCRIPT FOR A JESTER'S TEAR
Marillion
4.14 | 1165 ratings
CLUTCHING AT STRAWS
Marillion
4.18 | 575 ratings
CONTAGION
Arena
4.16 | 429 ratings
POSTHUMOUS SILENCE
Sylvan
4.10 | 817 ratings
FREQUENCY
IQ
4.09 | 971 ratings
MARBLES
Marillion
4.13 | 425 ratings
A TOWER OF SILENCE
Anubis
4.05 | 609 ratings
THE VISITOR
Arena
4.08 | 373 ratings
EMPIRES NEVER LAST
Galahad
4.03 | 828 ratings
DARK MATTER
IQ
4.05 | 574 ratings
EVER
IQ
4.09 | 296 ratings
SEVEN
Magenta
4.04 | 454 ratings
FANFARE & FANTASY
Comedy Of Errors
4.04 | 432 ratings
ALL RIGHTS REMOVED
Airbag
3.98 | 1193 ratings
FUGAZI
Marillion
4.10 | 192 ratings
COFFEE IN NEUKÖLLN
Barock Project
4.00 | 577 ratings
THE SEVENTH HOUSE
IQ
4.03 | 310 ratings
MOONSHINE
Collage

Neo-Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Neo-Prog experts team

TRAVELLER
Magus / The Winter Tree
SONGS FROM PENNSYLVANIA
Ezra
NEW LIFE
Solstice
ARGOS
Argos

Latest Neo-Prog Music Reviews


 Detachment by BAROCK PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.13 | 136 ratings

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Detachment
Barock Project Neo-Prog

Review by The Jester

3 stars Barock Project is an Italian quartet that has been active for almost a decade, during which, they released five studio and one live albums. What they are trying to do is, to play modern Progressive Rock with elements of Barock music, which sounds like a good idea. All their albums seem to be equally good, with just a few ups and downs. I learned about them with their previous work 'Skyline', and I must say that I was pleased with it. Detachment follows the path of Skyline, but it is slightly better in my opinion. The production is very good once more, and the songwriting is very 'mature'. It includes 13 tracks, and has a total running time of 75 minutes. Here, you can find very beautiful and soft melodies mixed with some complex compositions, and an overall excellent musicianship. All the members of the band are very good musicians, and that is obvious throughout the album. As for the leading instruments, I would say that both guitar and piano are equally important here. Also, the vocals are in English, which is positive. Very pleasant surprise was the addition of Peter Jones as guest singer, who is participating in 2 songs; both of them beautiful ones. I didn't have the time to 'digest' the album yet, but based upon the first 3 listenings, I must say that it is a very good and well-made album, that definitely deserves attention. I believe each person who is fond of Progressive Rock, modern or not, will find some songs that he/she will like. As for me, the first songs I noticed immediately, are: Broken, Happy to See You and Rescue Me mostly, followed by Alone.

I will give 3.0 out of 5.0 stars, but maybe it deserves a little more than that'

 Voyage by PRELUDE album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.92 | 11 ratings

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Voyage
Prelude Neo-Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars Considering the `boom' period of what would later become referred to as the `Neo Prog' sound was the early Eighties and encompassed such groups as Pendragon, I.Q, Twelfth Night, Marillion and others, there's earlier examples of groups that were already playing in a classic-period Genesis manner, a band all those above mentioned groups used as a starting point. The first Saga album back in 1978 can now be looked upon as one of the earliest starting points that had that sleeker sheen, so too Austrian band Kyrie Eleiyson and their rough-as-guts 1976 Genesis-modelled `Fountain Beyond the Sunrise', as can this Belgian band Prelude and their debut from 1979. `Voyage' mixes symphonic keyboard-heavy arrangements and harder- edged metallic guitars with both English and French semi-theatrical vocals, all presented with a lo-fi `do-it-yourself' production that makes for a humble but enticing little work.

The band's statement of intent is clear right from nine-minute opener `Mox', a grand symphonic stunner of Vincent Fis' serrated guitars that also move through regal crisp runs, Benoit Van Der Straeten's bouyant chunky bass, Leon Paulus's peppy drumming and Michel Crosset's serene wisps of keyboards constantly rising in stature. David Piron's put-on theatrical snarl doesn't really come close to matching Peter Gabriel's charisma (if anything, in its worse moments it resembles Michael Schubert of the above mentioned Kyrie Eleiyson whose impression kind of sounded like Gabriel's `special' little brother!), but the reprising group chorus sung in French is catchy and easy to enjoy, and the piece holds a superb and dignified I.Q-like instrumental stretch in the middle. `Life After the Life' opens with chugging heavy guitars over sparkling electric piano and a strident beat, with the piece contrasting energetic little bursts with more dreamy interludes and even a brief spoken word passage. Both the spacey electronics swirling all around and David's charmingly accented English vocal remind of a band like Eloy, and the cool uptempo sprint in the finale with spiralling breakneck synth soloing will instantly raise a smile! Reflective chiming guitars ring throughout ballad `When' that describes a forest setting and long-passed romantic longings, and David's wistful yet delicately melancholic vocal holds a great heart-breaking dignity.

Side two's `Voyage', mellow electric piano and sweetly murmuring bass, dreamy and optimistic - blowing winds, dreamy soothing vocals, - `Life's melody is a mystical symphony', optimistic, lovely chilled-out electric guitar solo in the finale, making the piece resemble the genuine new-age loved-up sentiment of Steve Hillage's `Palm Trees' off his `Green' album. `Jesus, Come Back!' is the repeating pleading group chorus of the spirited track of the same name, loading with plenty of acid-rock wailing as well as being book-ended with runaway `Heart of the Sunrise'-like guitar snarls and wordless Yes-aping group vocal chants. The group ask him to return "to make peace", "for liberty", "to save us", "because you're needed" and, unless it's a misheard lyric, "for drugs!" Hopefully the band meant to fight the drug battle, not coax the good Lord back with the promise of drugs! `Suicided' is then a sombre symphonic closer full of supremely tasteful soloing, a touch of Pink Floyd to the plodding steady beat, murmuring bass and some of the more fiery emotional electric guitar moments, with an unexpected up-tempo burst in the final minute to lift spirits just that little bit more.

Hardly essential but definitely interesting nonetheless, `Voyage' may not always have the most lovable of vocals, the grandest of arrangements, the cleanest production or the most memorable of material, but it's well-performed, unashamedly and proudly `proggy' at a time when there wasn't a lot of attention being given to the style anymore, and it ticks many of the boxes that more forgiving fans of the so-called `Neo' sound should resonate with. The recent Mini LP reissue on the Japanese Tachika Records label offers a much more affordable price than the rare original LP's, so if you're a prog fan that already has all the major and minor essentials and want to start exploring some worthwhile little known obscurities, `Voyage' is waiting for you.

Three and a half stars.

 Misplaced Childhood by MARILLION album cover Studio Album, 1985
4.24 | 1883 ratings

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Misplaced Childhood
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Misplaced Childhood represents a significant moment in my music listening history. At the age of 14-15 I was listening to the vinyls of my elder sister and brother, Dire Straits being my first favourite band. There were a bunch of prog oriented early 80's albums too, by e.g. Asia, Saga, Rush, Yes and Jon Anderson that I found interesting. At the time I didn't yet buy vinyls myself, I used to tape music on cassettes. And then I saw this band on TV, it was some New Year's night concert featuring many artists - I don't remember who the others were. I do remember the line "do you remember" repeated several times, and the singer had some red paint on his face. I purchased Fugazi as my first vinyl and persuaded my friend to get Misplaced Childhood. So begun my most dedicated fandom period of my life, lasting for a couple of years.

Since it feels awkward for me to write a review for such heavily reviewed album, I first thought to write one for the 'Kayleigh' single. I'm getting tired of reviewing singles so much, so here's my very subjective view on this famous Neo Prog milestone. I bought it on CD several years later at the early 90's, but it isn't my favourite of the Fish era, that honour goes to Clutching at Straws. And up to this day my reception of Misplaced Childhood is somewhat ambivalent. Like many other prog listeners, I find it a bit cheesy as a whole, with the super-clean production, sugared synth carpets and sentimental guitar solos.

'Pseudo Silk Kimono' is irritatingly all cheesy synths, but it functions as a conceptual mood-setter, followed seamlessly by the radio-friendly song for lost love, 'Kayleigh' (which I have as a ringtone on my phone nowadays!), which is seamlessly followed by another radio-friendly love song, naively romantic 'Lavender'. What is this? A potpourri of pop songs? Luckily, 'Bitter Suite' and 'Heart of Lothian' are multi-part compositions with various moods. I love the quietest, more mystified parts ("A spider wanders aimlessly...", and later, "It's getting late for scribbling and scratching on the paper...") whereas 'Blue Angel' and 'Wide Boy' sections are really cheesy, especially for the guitar solos. On the next album there's a lot more diversity in guitar and keyboard sounds. Is Misplaced Childhood perhaps over-produced in a way, emphasizing the sentimental concept?

The album is practically two side-long, pauseless entities, and that's definitley one of its strengths. The second part (side of the vinyl) contains the ultimate highlight, but there are also songs that feel like fillers to me. 'Waterhole (Expresso Bongo)', terribly boring. 'Lords of the Backstage' is refreshingly bold and bright. 'Blind Curve' is a magnificent journey into deep, sore emotions, and finally there's new blood on guitar parts too. The melody in 'Mylo' is spellbinding, and the creepily quiet section 'Perimeter Walk' gives goose bimples. Unfortunately the 'Threshold' section returns to the cheesiness and the similarily wailing guitar solo by numbers heard on the first side. 'Childhoods End?' is a fine, sunny and powerful catharsis after all the dark emotions the concept album has gone through. The synth solo at its end sounds very Genesis-like. But for me 'White Feather' is a boring anti-climax.

This is definitely an important album, but the certain weaknesses and the overall cheesiness make me round my 3˝ stars downwards. This is not to say I wouldn't understand five-star ratings perfectly well!

 Masquerade 20 by PENDRAGON album cover DVD/Video, 2017
4.11 | 9 ratings

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Masquerade 20
Pendragon Neo-Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars For the 20th anniversary of the "Masquerade Overture" album, the band recorded this show in their familiar venue in Poland. But you wouldn't know it is filmed at the same place because the lighting is very different using not as much various colors. The picture quality is ok as the sound and camera work. The band has a new drummer, Jan Vincent Velazco who has played in various styles of music and his now working with the band in London. He does a good job replacing Scott Higham. The band played the complete "Masquerade" album in the first part and some new songs in the second part. It seems to me that they didn't choose the best songs they could on those new songs, I might have to listen to those again to make sure. I don't think this DVD is better than the previous ones, so I don't think it will appeal to the old fans, but a new fan can't go wrong buying this because the band is constant as the stars shining at night. Their music still shows some Pink Floyd influence with a little modern approach in their later material. Pendragon as never been to me my favorite Neo-Prog band, probably because their music doesn't have enough of that darker style of IQ and that I will always prefer Genesis to Pink Floyd...
 Detachment by BAROCK PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.13 | 136 ratings

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Detachment
Barock Project Neo-Prog

Review by chikinn

2 stars Sometimes I'm shocked by how much my taste can clash with the majority on this site -- which is usually my best tool for discovering music.

This is my first and perhaps last Barock Project album. Frankly, the songwriting is dull.

I love classical music (chiefly baroque/romantic), but here, aside from the piano which is at times good, the classical instrumentation adds little. When classical music is bad it's soporific; this album brings out the worst in those influences. It's like someone imitated Bach without understanding music theory, and tried to make up for it with weird rhythms, time signatures, the occasional abrupt key change, and out-of-place guitar solos. Several of the songs have nice instrumental outros, though.

What a strange complaint to voice on this site, but it feels too... proggy? Like, focused on complexity for its own sake instead of on compelling melodies and engaging harmonic progressions. Compare to IQ at their worst.

The musicians are skilled enough to keep me from giving just 1 star (vocals at times evoking Steven Wilson). The production is good. I liked bits of every song. But it was a struggle to make it to the end. The composition just doesn't do it for me. The musical narrative is missing, the suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat when each new phrase begins.

If you manage to get there, the second half is better than the first. Appropriately, "Alone" is simply vocals with minimal accompaniment. "Rescue Me" is the catchiest track. Finally, the first part of "Twenty Years" delivers beautiful melody over beautiful guitar harmony, soured only partially by the maudlin string accompaniment.

At least the record is unoffensive and easy to listen to. Plenty of major harmony and nothing too dark or aggressive. Recommended if you're having trouble sleeping.

 Scarab by AGENESS album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.65 | 30 ratings

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Scarab
Ageness Neo-Prog

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

4 stars While Marillion, Twelfth Night, IQ, Pendragon and Arena have received the lion's share of credit for transmogrifying the symphonic prog of Genesis into a totally new and distinct detour called neo-prog, there were in fact other players in that game and not all of them were from England. While not nearly as well known as the aforementioned neo-prog idols, the Finnish band SCARAB released one sole eponymously titled album all the way back in 1983. This one-shot album was initiated by the founders Tommy Eriksson and Kari Saaristo and a self-financed project. After this one release they parted ways and then nine years later reunited under the new name Ageness which still continues as a band to the present day. This debut demonstrates that it was more than just the English who were influenced by Peter Gabirel era Genesis (and beyond) and bands like SCARAB dipped beyond them alone to create a unique hybrid of the different strains of symphonic prog that graced the 70s.

While this album may sound derivative in many ways of 80s Marillion and even Peter Gabriel, it should be remembered that this came very early in the game and debuted the same year as Marillion's landmark "Script For A Jester's Tear." And despite some obvious similarities, SCARAB somehow managed to meld together successfully aspects of 70s Genesis, 80s Peter Gabriel solo albums, Marillion and some tracks suspiciously sound like they took a cue from 80s Genesis with "Abacab" type progressive pop making its way into the more bombastic symphonic tracks. As well as the obvious influences emerging from the Genesis inspired pack, there are clear Kansas aspects from the ubiquitous violin that ranges from simple symphonic touches to full-out attacks once let off its leash. The acoustic guitar passages have a ring of early Steve Hackett as well. I can detect some quirky Styx type energy infused in the mix as there is an infusion of the late 70s prog pop style interspersed with the more progressive rock touches.

SCARAB was quite energetic for this time in the emerging neo-prog era and that's what appeals to me the most. While some have an issue with the vocals, i personally don't find them to be so impenetrable as they have a unique charm all their own albeit attached to the neo-prog type of emerging sound of the era. True that better examples of the newly developed symphonic prog over the decades had emerged but i really love the quirky touches and the instrumentation of the band's sharp tightness which executes the over-the-top Genesis qualities of their different band developments from pastural symphonic prog to full-on prog pop. There are brilliant keyboard riffs, gentle pastural acoustic sweeps and a very competent approach to the percussion which is often lacking in the neo-prog world where more often than not it's on automatic pilot. Add the sensual violin and viola elements and this is a compelling early neo-prog album. There are also moments that remind of bands like Rush in not only a Geddy Lee type of goofy yelp but in the song structures themselves. SCARAB managed to create a diverse album that never stagnates throughout its playing time. I'm a fan of this one.

This SCARAB album was originally released with 9 tracks on vinyl but was later released in 1995 as an Ageness album titled "Scarab: The Album & Live At Tavastia Club 30.6.1983" on CD with extra tracks that included six bonus tracks of live performances at the Tavastia Club. While this may not go down in history as the most original offerings of the early neo-prog developments, i personally find it a rewarding album in the terms of delivery. While there is no doubt that Genesis is the prime mover of influential shakers, i have personally always favored the second generation of Genesis worshipers over the band themselves in the big picture (not to say that Genesis didn't have outstanding albums of course). SCARAB simply created a brilliant album that went somewhere Genesis abandoned as they favored pop over prog. Whether this rates as high in your world or not, neo-prog fans should definitely check this one out.

 Masquerade 20 by PENDRAGON album cover DVD/Video, 2017
4.11 | 9 ratings

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Masquerade 20
Pendragon Neo-Prog

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

5 stars Pendragon have visited Poland on a regular basis over years, and their performances there have been superbly captured in a series of DVD releases. 'Masquerade 20' is the latest of these, recorded at the Wyspianski Theatre in Katowice in May 2016.

As the title suggests, the DVD celebrates the 20th anniversary of the release of the mighty 'The Masquerade Overture' album. I must admit, I had to check this for myself, as that album seems to have been around for much longer, and has slipped neatly into my 'classic albums' selection.

The fist half of the performance consists of the entire album, played in its original order, and including the two bonus tracks ('Schizo' and 'King of the castle') on the second CD that were not simply edited versions of album tracks. The renditions are faithful to the original versions, the band clearly enjoying the opportunity to restore those that have slipped out of the regular playlist alongside perennial favourites such as 'The shadow'. Three quarters of the line up that recorded that album is still present, the only change being on drums where even Pendragon are not immune from the ubiquitous exploding drummer syndrome.

The latter part of the album focuses on the band's latest studio album 'Men who climb mountains' released in 2014, plus a couple of tracks from the classic 'Window of life' and one each from the more recent 'Passion' and 'Pure'.

The unique chemistry between chuckle brothers Clive Nolan and Nick Barrett is as apparent as ever, Nolan enjoying the additional flexibility his revolving keyboard offers in terms of audience interaction.

The whole things is captured suberbly as usual by the Metal Mind Productions team, the camera work and sound reproduction (2.0 or 5.1) being as reliable as ever. The interviews this time are with bassist Peter Gee and drummer Jan-Vincent Velazco, the presentation being rounded off with the usual discography, photos etc.

Overall, an excellent presentation that offers a unique opportunity to enjoy what is arguably the band's finest album live and in all its glory.

 Monument by ELEMENTS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.95 | 3 ratings

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Monument
Elements Neo-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

4 stars A neat debut creation by a promising combo from Netherlands. A Dutch rock project Elements were founded as a Neo-symphonic band (commonly featuring guitars, keyboards, and drums) in early 2014, by four willing musicians squarely inspired by Dream Theater, Spock's Beard, Transatrantic, or plenty of art rock outfits. In this album are full of delightful sincere symphonic melody lines upon some tight but complex rhythmic bases, and they would catch art rock fans' hearts. They say they always play in the vein of modern melodic progressive style (namely sorta mixture of Neo-Symph / Crossover), and that's the reason their composition and production should be quite acceptable.

Every track is not too long for the audience to squeeze all of their spirits into it, and is pretty cool but catchy leaning towards 80s British progressive rock (reminds me of UK or Asia). Kee's keyboards play (what an ideal first name he has) is quite tight and enthusiastic enough that the audience should be driven mad. The rhythm section (Joost's bass play and Sander's drumming) can blow up and strike their strict and refined beats into a song. Ren''s lead guitar play would be called as a brilliant usher, who well utilizes vibes with heavy, metallic, tragic, or pleasant hints, for the combo. Joost's voices are a tad inflexible and opacified (sounds not suitable for such a massive music theatre) but simultaneously sound unique. Quite so excellent are their playing technique and production enough to amaze every progressive rock fan from now on.

 Story Tellers - Part One by TIGER MOTH TALES album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.98 | 88 ratings

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Story Tellers - Part One
Tiger Moth Tales Neo-Prog

Review by maryes

5 stars I confess, when I heard for the first time " Story Tellers " part 1 by TIGER MOTH TALES my expectations wasn't great.. because their previous album "Coccon" don't got my attention.... However this one at the end of first audition make me hear again and again.... Paraphrasing PA collaborator THE JESTER ( review (#1698098) posted Friday, March 3, 2017) where he says "Where Disney meets Prog!" ... a perfect sentence to define this album. Although you can find a strong GENESIS influence , starting by vocal timbre and interpretation, the use of some fables inspired themes, like in track 4 "A Kids Tale" and his acoustic-piano Boogie-woogie main theme (recalls the 20's decade sound) and track 6 "The Piper" an remake of " The Pied Piper" of Hamelin and his fantastic final theme of piper's revenge. I cannot say "Is a Genesis cheap copy " ... Far from this ! In spite this literature references , the album is plentiful of great instrumental passages , besides the two above mentioned moments, like the moog solo in track 2 "Story Tellers", the acoustic guitar/flute duet or the "Arabic" theme by guitar/keyboards just before electric-guitar solo. I consider this album one of best 2015 releases and I think which deserves a better classification than the 9 place in PA list of that year. My rate is 5 stars !!!
 Vivo by BAROCK PROJECT album cover Live, 2016
4.75 | 34 ratings

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Vivo
Barock Project Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

5 stars

After the release in 2015 of 'Skyline', the Italians returned the following year with a live double CD. The first of these features songs from the band's first three albums, 'Misteriose Voci' (2006), 'Rebus' (2009) and 'Coffee in Neukolln' (2012), plus a version of "Los Endos". The second contains six live versions from "Skyline" (2015) with a bonus studio song, "My Silent Sea", which was written and recorded in 2015 as a 'Skyline' follow-up. Unlike the two studio albums I have heard there aren't any additional guests, so no woodwind or strings, just five guys showing what they can do onstage (although as keyboard player Luca Zabbini does also play acoustic guitar they can provide different inflections at times).

I was amazed when I looked in ProgArchives, the bible and most important guide to progressive rock on the web, to discover that this album was yet to be reviewed! But, it has been rated thirty times, and is subsequently the fourth highest ranked live album of 2016. I do hope that this is a true reflection of how the guys are live in concert, and that there hasn't been too much work carried out in the studio, as this is awesome from start to finish. That these guys are masters at this musical form is never in doubt, nor is their ability to provide complex interweaving songs that keep the listener enthralled throughout. At times, there is an American style to what they are producing, but they temper it with good old-fashioned English neo-prog when the moment requires it. Given that they have also worked with some of the finest musicians in the Italian progressive scene, it is somewhat surprising that there aren't more influences from that genre within their music, but it is only occasional keyboard passages that allude to where they are from.

Complex, melodic, structured, progressive, brilliant. To say that I am a fan of this band is something of a massive understatement. I just can't wait to hear more of their music.

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Neo-Prog bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
25 YARD SCREAMER United Kingdom
ABACAB France
ABEL GANZ United Kingdom
ABRAXAS Poland
ACCEPT Japan
AD INFINITUM United States
ADN France
AELIAN Italy
AETHELLIS United States
AFTERGLOW France
AGENESS Finland
AGENTS OF MERCY Sweden
AHMSHERE Netherlands
AIRBAG Norway
AIRBRIDGE United Kingdom
AISLES Chile
ALBION Poland
ALKOZAUR France
ALMA SIDERIS Italy
ALSO EDEN United Kingdom
ALTAVIA Italy
AMANDA Belgium
AMON RA Germany
ANAMOR Poland
ANANKE Poland
ANDROID Hungary
ANIMATOR United States
ANNALIST Poland
ANUBIS Australia
APPLE PIE Russia
ARAGON Australia
THE ARC LIGHT SESSIONS Canada
ARCADELT Italy
ARCANSIEL Italy
ARCHANGEL Italy
ARENA United Kingdom
ARENAL Chile
ARGOS Germany
FINN ARILD Norway
ARK United Kingdom
ARKUS Netherlands
ARLEKIN Ukraine
ARLON Poland
ARRAKEEN France
ARVE Germany
ASGARD Italy
ASSAL Poland
ASTRALIS Chile
ASTURIAS Japan
ATEMPO Argentina
ATRIA France
ATRIUM Portugal
AUDITE Germany
AUFKLARUNG Italy
AVALON USA United States
SIMON AYRES United Kingdom
BACKYARDS France
BALLOON ASTRONOMY United States
BAROCK PROJECT Italy
NICK BARRETT & CLIVE NOLAN United Kingdom
KEVIN BARTLETT United States
SAULO BATTESINI Brazil
BEING & TIME Japan
BEL AIR Germany
BELIEVE Poland
STEWART BELL United Kingdom
BELLAPHON Japan
BIG PICTURE United States
BIJOU Spain
BLACK PAGE Japan
BLIND EGO Germany
BLIND OWL United States
BLUE MAMMOTH Brazil
BOLUS Canada
FABRICE BONY France
XAVIER BOSCHER France
BRAIN CONNECT Poland
BRASSÉ Netherlands
BREEZE Germany
DEC BURKE United Kingdom
TIM BURNESS United Kingdom
CAAMORA United Kingdom
CARPTREE Sweden
ALAN CASE Netherlands
RICH CASEY United States
CASINO United Kingdom
CASTANARC United Kingdom
CATAFALCHI DEL CYBER Italy
CATHEDRAL United States
CATWEAZLE Sweden
MARC CECCOTTI France
CENTAUR RODEO United States
CHANDELIER Germany
CHANETON Argentina
CHEST ROCKWELL United States
CHILDREN OF NOVA United States
CHRIS Netherlands
CINDERELLA SEARCH Japan
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