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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 1/3/2020

Luca (octopus-4)
Keishiro (DamoXt7942)
Dan (earlyprog)

Neo-Prog Top Albums


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

4.27 | 2387 ratings
MISPLACED CHILDHOOD
Marillion
4.25 | 2209 ratings
SCRIPT FOR A JESTER'S TEAR
Marillion
4.25 | 1398 ratings
THE ROAD OF BONES
IQ
4.19 | 1514 ratings
CLUTCHING AT STRAWS
Marillion
4.18 | 532 ratings
POSTHUMOUS SILENCE
Sylvan
4.14 | 738 ratings
CONTAGION
Arena
4.15 | 523 ratings
RESISTANCE
IQ
4.11 | 1215 ratings
MARBLES
Marillion
4.11 | 1013 ratings
FREQUENCY
IQ
4.09 | 763 ratings
THE VISITOR
Arena
4.11 | 484 ratings
EMPIRES NEVER LAST
Galahad
4.06 | 1023 ratings
DARK MATTER
IQ
4.07 | 765 ratings
EVER
IQ
4.05 | 770 ratings
THE MASQUERADE OVERTURE
Pendragon
4.15 | 210 ratings
NIGHT DREAMS & WISHES
Modern-Rock Ensemble
4.08 | 402 ratings
LOVE OVER FEAR
Pendragon
4.06 | 398 ratings
MOONSHINE
Collage
4.04 | 503 ratings
A TOWER OF SILENCE
Anubis
4.00 | 1516 ratings
FUGAZI
Marillion
4.06 | 375 ratings
SEVEN
Magenta

Neo-Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

TIMANFAYA
Healing Road, The
THE ART OF MADNESS
Psychedelic Ensemble, The
NEW LIFE
Solstice
HUNTING THE FOX
Ines

Latest Neo-Prog Music Reviews


 Holidays in Eden by MARILLION album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.15 | 768 ratings

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Holidays in Eden
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by Hector Enrique
Prog Reviewer

3 stars While the songs on "Season's End", the first Marillion album without Fish, were already ready before Steve Hogarth's arrival, "Holidays in Eden", the sixth album, is the first one where the singer really had a relevant participation in the definition of the band's new musical approach. A proposal of more linear and less intricate tonalities, on the way to finding their own identity and taking distance from their recent history. That is precisely what "Holidays in Eden" conveys, flying in winds closer to pop, turning at times into a work with little flavour and tinged with some flashes of greater elaboration.

Hogarth, who decisively tries to take charge of the situation although he is somewhat impostured, is accompanied by the calm keyboards of Mark Kelly and by the neat arpeggiated guitars and solos of the very correct Steve Rothery, generating an atmosphere of lightness and persistent accessibility throughout the album, getting closer to the commercial radio waves rather than to the canons of the progressive world, as is the case of the lively "Cover my Eyes", and the light "No One Can" and "Dry Land". Even the expectant title track with its catchy chorus fails to get off the ground.

Beyond the feeling that "Holidays in Eden" doesn't take any major risks, there are nevertheless some valuable passages: the opening, sorrowful "Splintering Heart", the acoustic chords of the melodic "Waiting to Happen", and the concluding "100 Nights" with an emotive guitar solo by Rothery backed by Ian Mosley's drums. Tracks that are enough for the album to scrape a pass mark, but not much more than that.

A new and definitive stage was underway for Marillion, and the hitherto little known Hogarth clearly assumed the musical leadership from "Holidays in Eden" onwards.

2.5/3 stars

 Now and Then Part II: Stories and Dreams by DAYS BEFORE TOMORROW album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2023
3.81 | 12 ratings

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Now and Then Part II: Stories and Dreams
Days Before Tomorrow Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars This American band is new to me, but I can see there is some history behind them. They originally came together back in 2006 when guitarist/keyboardist Scott Kahn and keyboardist Jason Buchwald were joined by vocalist Eric Klein. After an alt rock-styled debut EP that featured drummer Kevin Soffera (Seether), the line-up evolved and solidified around second guitarist Derek Davodowich, bassist Robert "Zeek" Maziekien (Eternity X), and drummer Jason Gianni (Neal Morse Band, Joe Deninzon/Stratospheerius). They shifted more into melodic progressive rock and arena rock which led them to record their debut album, 'The Sky Is Falling', which saw them gain numerous accolades including Record of the Year in the 2009 Los Angeles Music Awards and a Grammy nomination, but the group disbanded three years later after recording (but not releasing) a follow-up. Reconciliation among some of the band members left the door to future collaboration open, and in 2022, Scott, Derek, and Eric decided to revive Days Before Tomorrow with some new musicians.

The press release certainly implies this is an old recording as opposed to a new one, and that the new band will be recording and performing live, but when it comes to who played on this one all I can say is that Scott, Derek and Eric are definitely involved as they are part of the reformed unit, but as to whether the rest of the line-up is the old band or new I have no idea. Whatever, if the album is anything like this then I can certainly see why they won so many awards and I have no idea how I missed them first time around as this is one heck of a release. It is classified by the band as an EP, just five songs at 34 minutes in length, and brings in many elements from classic Kansas and Styx. Klein is one heck of a singer, really able to hit the notes when he needs to, without any effort whatsoever, as they blend melodic rock with prog, often straight down the middle but at others more on one side than the other. It is a highly commercial release which any proghead into this style of music will sit there listening to with their jaw open wondering how they have not previously come across this band, I know I did.

If this material is more than 10 years old then we should be incredibly grateful it is finally out in the open and one can only hope the new recordings will stand up to the test, and that is something I am certainly eager to find out.

 Live From Loreley by MARILLION album cover Live, 2009
4.45 | 122 ratings

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Live From Loreley
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nº 742

"Live From Loreley" is one of the many live albums from Marillion and that was released in 2009. It was recorded from a live concert performed at the Freilichtbuhne (Open-Air Stage), Loreley, St. Goarshausen, Germany, in 1987. The recordings of the album were taken during the supporting tour of their fourth studio album "Clutching At Straws", before an audience of about 18,000. Featuring Fish on vocals, and it was one his last live performances as a member of Marillion, it comprises songs of all four Marillion's studio albums from Fish's era, "Script For A Jester's Tear" released in 1983, "Fugazi" released in 1984, "Misplaced Childhood" released in 1985 and "Clutching At Straws" released in 1987. It comprises also the title track song of their debut EP and work, "Market Square Heroes" which was released in 1982.

The line up on "Live From Loreley" was the usual at the time for them: Fish (vocals), Steve Rothery (guitars), Mark Kelly (keyboards), Pete Trewavas (bass) and Ian Mosley (drums). It had also the participation of Cori Josias (backing vocals).

First of all I must say that my review is about the 2009 double audio CD version, which for the first time includes the entire live show. So, my version of "Live From Loreley" has eighteenth tracks. The album is divided into 2 Discs. Disc 1 has seven tracks: The first track "Slainte Mhath" was released on "Clutching At Straws". The second track "Assassing" was released on "Fugazi". The third track "Script For A Jester's Tear" was released on "Script For A Jester's Tear". The fourth track "White Russian" was released on "Clutching At Straws". The fifth track "Incubus" was released on "Fugazi". The sixth track "Sugar Mice" was released on "Clutching At Straws". The seventh track "Fugazi" was released on "Fugazi". Disc 2 has eleven tracks: The first track "Hotel Hobbies" was released on "Clutching At Straws". The second track "Warm Wet Circles" was also released on "Clutching At Straws". The third track "That Time Of The Night (The Short Straw)" was also released on "Clutching At Straws". The fourth track "Kayleigh" was released on "Misplaced Childhood". The fifth track "Lavender" was also released on "Misplaced Childhood". The sixth track "Bitter Suite (Medley)" was also released on "Misplaced Childhood". The seventh track "Heart Of Lothian" was also released on "Misplaced Childhood". The eighth track "The Last Straw" was released on "Clutching At Straws". The ninth track "Incommunicado" was also released on "Clutching At Straws". The tenth track "Garden Party" was released on "Script For A Jester's Tear". The eleventh track "Market Square Heroes" was released on their debut EP "Market Square Heroes" and it was the first song of its A side. It was also released as the A side of their debut single with the same name "Market Square Heroes". It was also released as the first song of the B side of their single "Punch And Judy".

"Live From Loreley" belongs to those days where prog bands like Marillion were among the highlights and played at Loreley. At the time, Marillion was then promoting their fourth studio album "Clutching At Straws" and still with Fish on vocals. At the time, they were at the commercial peak of their career. "Live From Loreley" has since been available on video and DVD, but the sound technically revised audio CD comes with more four additional tracks "White Russian", "Fugazi", "Garden Party" and "Market Square Heroes". But, even the revision cannot hide the fact that the concert on Loreley was primarily a very emotional live event, celebrated frenetically by 18,000 fans. Marillion always was a very successful live band because Marillion looked better lives, especially with Fish on vocals. The successful set list of the almost two hours of performance makes up for it, because whoever buys a live album shouldn't count on the intended perfection of the studio. And "Live From Loreley" really doesn't sound "reworked". Marillion brought what their fans wanted to the stage back then, a very successful mixture of classics and the current album at the time, which presented everything in a rocking way. Unfortunately, the booklet is a bit thin and only contains new liner notes by the master Derek William Dick. There could have been more, really. But, it will be always a great memory of the band in Fish's era.

Conclusion: "Live From Loreley" is a great live album. The live performance is fantastic and the choice of the tracks to be performed live is irreproachable, comprising all of their four studio albums, at the time. I prefer "Live From Loreley" to "Real To Reel" and "The Thieving Magpie ? La Gazza Ladra". It's true that "Real To Reel" is an excellent live album with a competent live performance but with little to distinguish the live tracks from the studio versions and where the vocal performance of Fish isn't as great as it should be. "The Thieving Magpie ? La Gazza Ladra" is also an excellent live album but has, for me, the inconvenient to be a live compilation recorded at different times and places, what takes away to its cohesion. So, "Live From Loreley" is with "Recital Of The Script" probably the best musical live testimonies from the band, comprising the Fish's era. Particularly, "Live From Loreley" is, without any doubt, an essential purchase because is an important live document that represents the end of an era and the born of another, into Marillion's career.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Geography by OVERWORLD DREAMS album cover Studio Album, 2024
3.88 | 19 ratings

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Geography
Overworld Dreams Neo-Prog

Review by alainPP

3 stars 'Geography' in the mouth, Matt on vocals, a little choppy, lacking pep, a riff is the good idea, the tune is jerky; station wagons, drawers there will be eight in fact, for a smooth, slightly sluggish variation; Elizabeth helps it's nice but nothing new on the horizon either; the piano break at 8 minutes, on a crystalline arpeggio then Steve Howe's guitar for an interesting latent moment, between solemn and contemplative and the most progressive part; already half way and Matt comes back, well it sounds like a Barclay James Harvest, the bass on a King Crimson from 'Discipline'; Yes is definitely in the crosshairs at least they stand out from Genesis; the tempos modulate the air between fluid melodic guitar and velvety keyboards, moving towards more tortured drifts, which positively enhances the second part; 19 minutes and finally the long-awaited explosion, well it subsides and the air becomes bucolic, on Genesis I also said to myself; South American guitar arpeggio which brightens up: let's summarize an emphatic, soft, dreamy piece with a taste of something already heard unfortunately and lacking energy, too melodic.

'Forces of Nature' with 3 drawers; solemn piano intro with vocals, choirs, 5 minutes it goes up a notch with arrangements on keyboards interspersed with Elizabeth's soft voice for dynamic rock; folk-symphonic break with a heavy riff, which was missing from the first track; 8 minutes and the second very distinct drawer appears, playful, more dynamite which feels good with a very beautiful symphonic crescendo; 14 minutes and a Tangerine Dream- style synth break, pompous, solemn, airy; arrival of Elizabeth for childish vocals and a sound on Genesis with a beautiful flute; around the 20 minute mark a vocal duet emerges, moving, in stereo, accompanied by an all too rare guitar solo quickly engulfed in a keyboard finale for a bucolic, Dantesque, grandiloquent landscape; nice surprise.

Overworld Dreams shows great musical richness with lots of keyboards, melodic tunes and a lack to make it a great album; beautiful but used in this decade of 2020, melodic which is boring for the first title, fortunately the second brings its share of emotion; a nice tribute though to Randy.(3.5)

 Four Sides by MONARCH TRAIL album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.28 | 30 ratings

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Four Sides
Monarch Trail Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Four Sides" turned out to be a surprising journey at times and that was especially evident on "Eris" that almost 20 minute second track. It's the only one without guitar on it and man I have never heard stuff like this on a Ken Baird album before. Ken being the composer/singer/keyboardist and more of the trio and add a bass player and drummer. Two return guests add guitar each on one track while Ken plays guitar on two other songs.

I have to mention not only the cover art but all the pictures inside all done by Annette Roche who is also back thankfully. Artwork of the year right here. You almost need sunglasses on one of those pictures in the liner notes it's so vivid and bright but all are beautiful. A gorgeous package and I was saying the same thing about their previous album "Wither Down" which is still my favourite MONARCH TRAIL record.

Oh back to "Eris" and the surprising thing about this one is the spacey soundscape that lasts 6 minutes. It just sounds so cool but not something you hear on a MONARCH TRAIL record. It's almost apocalyptic but not quite. Church organ I believe brings us out of that or at least eventually takes over. It then settles into a blissful state before a sudden change after 11 minutes with pulsating Banks-like keys and a full sound. Piano leads after 14 minutes before synths take us to the end. Such a cool track.

This is a long album at over 73 minutes and that opener at almost 23 minutes might be my favourite. I like the lyrics and have always enjoyed Ken's somewhat fragile vocals. I like that line that is repeated "stairs and halls... ahhh ahhh ahhh". For some reason Ken's vocals at 11 minutes remind me of his solo stuff. I'm such a fan of "Martin Road" and "Further Out". Synths and light beats end this track. There is a fair amount of piano on those last three tracks, especially the last two.

A very solid 4 stars for this 2023 release and I am already excited about the next adventure.

 Awaiting Madre by GEPETTO album cover Studio Album, 2024
5.00 | 1 ratings

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Awaiting Madre
Gepetto Neo-Prog

Review by KansasForEver2

— First review of this album —
5 stars A little historical reminder, GEPETTO is the project of George PINILLA, composer, Franco-Spanish singer, self-taught multi-instrumentalist musician and seller of progressive rock by mail order since 1986. He has been playing for twenty-five years in a seventies cover band from BORDEAUX & began composing demos in 2005 for what would become GEPETTO. Its influences start from the BEATLES to encompass all "bisecular" progressive music from 1966 to 2023, to which a hint of Latin music must be attached.

GEPETTO's first two records, "From Heaven to the Stars" in 2016 and "Evolutive Songs" in 2020 were reviewed on profilprog.com (the second with an interview with the principal concerned), all listeners can therefore reread them to satiation. The new album "Awaiting Madre" tells of the very good relationship that George had with his mother who died during recording at the ripe old age of 97 and to which the album is logically dedicated.

For this "Awaiting Madre" let's first talk about the format chosen, two long suites of twenty-five and twenty-six minutes, nothing more "stunning" in musical terms because even more attention is required from the modest chronicler that I am (and others obviously) to listen and dissect what George and his traveling companions wanted to produce. The chronicle of the previous album was much easier without a doubt.

"Awaiting" and the language of SHAKESPEARE to begin with, a mid tempo sung by Chris PALMER of which we will remember the slightly jazzy passage of the third minute which opens the way to the first guitar solo of newcomer Pascal AGARD, before a clear WEST inspiration COAST (POCO comes to my ears from 4:23 to 5:55) even if it is not voluntary, then a pianistic and keyboard digression (moog solo) organized by Luis PUENTE (director of the IRUN conservatory) who was him already present on "Evolutive Songs". At 7:04 and until 9:32 GEPETTO is clearly eyeing CSNY, before a more energetic takeoff (six strings and piano) which takes us until 12:45, the the most becoming, the most musically beautiful, the most successful part of this first suite with Mister AGARD in pole position. Calm from 2:47 p.m., voice/piano/acoustic guitars and twelve strings, it's calm and beautiful, almost religious! and we leave for a more nervous finale at 16:53, sassy piano and incisive six strings, flute sampled at 18:38 with the support of Tiphaine RIVIERE's bass guitar before Pascal AGARD arrives again to perform a great solo class until 8:20 p.m.; the final part of the piece is much calmer, vocals/acoustic guitar/backing vocals/piano/mellotron/bells and the ticking of a watch as a conclusion.

What's happening ? The ticking of the watch continues from the start of "Madre" (the first thirty seconds) then continues with bucolic guitars and keyboards (the mellotron is just ad hoc) until 3:25 then the rhythm picks up. speeds up, it's a party in the village with a superb flamenco passage (the origins of the boss stand out and the great TRIANA with it), George's singing in Spanish is calm and relaxing, at 7:00 the sarabande starts and unfolds between neo, sympho and Andalusian (at least the originality is there), GEPETTO stands out as a different formation. It is in my opinion the most important, far from the usual standards that we can encounter, the instrumental passage which begins at 13 :50 is worthy of the heyday of symphonic progressive, no less, with an ultra-lyrical guitar sitting on a very elaborate carpet of synthesizers. George takes the floor again at 5:30 p.m. for a finale with an acoustic- symphonic connotation of infinite beauty which once again highlights a galloping and melodic electric six-string at the same time, listen, it's simply magnificent. The concluding theme on the piano and the mellotron allows a gentle end accompanied by the swift guitar which follows us since the start of the album.

A great success to be credited to GEPETTO, as was the case for the two previous records.

Original review published at : profilprog.com

 Quidam by QUIDAM album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.02 | 158 ratings

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Quidam
Quidam Neo-Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION ((CD 2021, 74:54, GAD CD 183))

The Polish Neo-prog formation Quidam (derived from a poem, means in Latin "somebody") was founded in 1991 as Deep River, renamed Quidam in 1993 and disbanded in 2014. In between Quidam released only 7 studio-albums, their eponymous debut album from 1996 is still considered as their best effort. In order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of this debut album the band has produced a CD re-release in 2021. I have seen Quidam on several prog festivals: 1997 in Uden, 2006 in Paris and 2009 in De Boerderij, Each time Quidam was embraced by the crowd, showing a huge appreciation for their very pleasant and melodic Neo-prog sound. So "nostalgia rules", I am in the mood to listen to the reissue of this first and highly acclaimed debut album, it has been a while ago that Quidam was in my CD player, to be honest.

On this debut album Quidam is scouting the borders between Neo-prog, symphonic rock and folk (like in Bajkowy featuring cheerful tin-whistle), evoking Seventies and Eighties bands like early Genesis (especially the Steve Hackett guitar sound), Camel, Renaissance, Pink Floyd (The Great Gig In The Sky-like vocal eruption in Nocne Widziadla) and Marillion (Gleboka Rzeka and Plone). The focus in the very melodic and harmonic songs is on pleasant female vocals (between dreamy and powerful) in the native language, and the electric guitar, lots of moving soli with howling runs. The music is embellished with flute, hobo, piano and synthesizers, a pleasant variety.

My absolute highlight is the first track entitled Sanktuarium (close to 9 minutes). The bombastic intro contains a majestic church organ sound and howling guitar runs, wow, goose bumps! Then a mellow climate with dreamy female Polish vocals, blended with a hobo, gradually turning into a slow rhythm and an intense atmosphere with powerful emotional vocals. Back to mellow with volume pedal electric guitar, cello and flute. In the second part first a melancholy cello solo and then a long and moving guitar solo (strongly reminding me of Steve Hackett in early Genesis), topped with inspired female vocals. Wonderful!

As a bonustrack Quidam have added a 2021 version, it sounds a bit more lush and compelling, the intro features the distinctive Hammond organ, a strong conclusion.

My rating: 3,5

 Tales of Imaginary Movies by MILLENIUM album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.77 | 39 ratings

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Tales of Imaginary Movies
Millenium Neo-Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars During the years Poland has turned into a very prolific prog country, from Collage, Quidam and Satellite to Moonshine, Believe, Osada Vida, and of course the outstanding and very popular Riverside. Another interesting band is Millenium, a five piece formation that has released 18 studio-albums, 1 live album, 2 live DVD's and 7 compilations between 1999 and 2022, an incredible amount! This effort entitled Tales Of Imaginary Movies (total running time around 50 minute) is from 2022. Singer Lukasz Gall has been replaced by new member David Lewandowski, from the Kramarski Project.

On this album Millennium delivers 7 tastefully arranged, very melodic and harmonic compositions, often in the realm of Neo-Prog but also more AOR oriented, from mellow to bombastic, with the focus on strong English vocals with lots of emotion and compelling guitar work, often reminding me of David Gilmour (Pink Floyd).

The more dynamic and varied tracks are Invisible Superhero (huge tension, between mellow, slow rhythms and bombastic eruptions, embellished with inspired vocals and intense guitar), the wonderful ballad Brightness Hidden In The Dark ( from dreamy piano and vocals - in the vein of Roger Waters on The Wall - to halfway more lush and powerful sound with inspired vocals, and in the end moving guitar soli) and Memories In Tears (featuring emotional vocals, Mellotron-flute like keyboard sound, howling guitar leads, and finally heavy and biting guitar solo).

The song Second Earth contains a dreamy climate, tender vocals and piano, wonderful strings, the sound is intense with a melancholicy undertone, a bit dark but beautiful.

The most accessible compositions are A World Full Of Spies (rock guitar, tight beat and a harder-edged sensitive guitar solo), A Comedy Of Love (in the end a fiery wah-wah drenched guitar solo with sumptuous keyboards) and The Sounds Of War (catchy beat, rock guitar, vocal harmonies, halfway and in the end moving guitar soli).

And finally the two-part title track Tales Of Imaginary Movies, part 1 (The Opening Credits) with majestic keyboard layers and howling guitar runs, pretty compelling, and part 2 (The End Credits) atmospheric with again howling guitar.

If you are up to accessible and modern sounding prog with the focus on strong vocals and moving guitar work, I am sure this album will delight you!

My rating: 3,5 star.

 From a Fading World by RUBBER TEA album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.59 | 13 ratings

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From a Fading World
Rubber Tea Neo-Prog

Review by Nomzamo

5 stars Only two words:simply stunning! This is my second review on progarchives after many years.I needed to write a review because this Lp is something we can't listen frequently nowdays.Delicate,articulate,beautiful melodies,wonderful use of the instruments like sax and flute and the beautiful voice of vanessa Gross are a real gem in the actual music scene. I wil not go into the explanation of the single song because may be, i wouldn't be able to do it. Anyway we are in front of an exciting and an amazing piece of music. Last but not least the artwork of the Lp and the book inside it with the story that's really enjoyable indicates a work behind that's very professional.The recording's also very remarkable. With many compliments to the band i think that four stars are not enough for this work; for this reason i reccomend it and i give five solid stars near to be a masterpiece.
 The Lightmaker by NINE SKIES album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.04 | 36 ratings

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The Lightmaker
Nine Skies Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars It is always a difficult decision as to whether to maintain a band when a key person leaves or sadly passes away, and I am sure there were many discussions as to what to do when multi-instrumentalist Eric Bouillette passed away way too young. He was also the most high-profile member, having been involved with multiple other bands as well, but it is nice to be able to report that Nine Skies have not only kept going but have returned with a very enjoyable album indeed. It is a concept, telling the story of Rudy who is living his 1001st and final life and is retracing some of his existences through different characters and he reflects on these.

They have dispensed with saxophones, so Laurent Benhamou is no longer with the band, but the rest of Nine Skies are the same as on '5.20'. They have again used guests, but this time around they have used multiple singers, and since the recording have brought in a new lead vocalist themselves in Charlie Bramad (who here provides lead on "The Haunted"). There is less instrumentation and diversity than previously, and now we often have keyboards providing a backdrop for other instruments to rest against. This has actually given the band a new lease of life and their guitars are more to the fore, moving even more deeply into neo-prog. The highlight for me is "The Dreamer", featuring Martin Wilson on vocals. Martin is of course a founder of The Room, which at one time included Eric, but I remember seeing him many times back in the Nineties fronting Grey Lady Down and here the band take a back seat and allow his emotional vocals to take centre stage, quite reminiscent of Credo. The guitar is plaintive and just right, providing the cut through.

I do hope this album gives the band enough confidence to record the next one without any guests as I would really like to hear them fully on their own, as I have no doubt there is no need for the additional help and with a new lead singer and a tour booked let us hope that is indeed the case. Even with everything the band has been going through, this is their fourth album in just six years and long may that work ethic continue. This is a very slick and well-produced neo prog album, given life with some wonderful fretless bass, keyboards providing the supporting role, complex drum patterns, guitars cutting through and vocals which are always to the fore. For those who think "neo" is a lesser form of prog need to listen to this and enjoy.

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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
THE ADEKAEM Poland
ADN France
AELIAN Italy
AETHELLIS United States
AFTERGLOW France
AGENESS Finland
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
THE ANCESTRY PROGRAM Germany
ANDROID Hungary
ANÈMA Italy
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
ARGUS Netherlands
FINN ARILD Norway
ARK United Kingdom
ARKUS Netherlands
ARLEKIN Ukraine
ARLON Poland
ARRAKEEN France
ART Italy
ARTS Sweden
ARVE Germany
ASGARD Italy
ASSAL Poland
ASTRALIS Chile
ASTURIAS Japan
ATEMPO Argentina
ATLANTROPA PROJECT Germany
ATOMIC TIME Brazil
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
BEYOND THE BLUE Germany
BIG PICTURE United States
BIJOU Spain
BLACK PAGE Japan
BLACKSMITH TALES Italy
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
BROERS + KLAZINGA Netherlands
CHRISTIAAN BRUIN Netherlands
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
CENTRAL PARK Germany
CHANDELIER Germany
CHANETON Argentina
CHEST ROCKWELL United States
CHILDREN OF NOVA United States
CHORUSCANT Italy
CINDERELLA SEARCH Japan
CIRKEL Netherlands
CIRRUS BAY United States
CLEPSYDRA Switzerland
CLIFFHANGER Netherlands
CLOUDS CAN Germany
COALITION United Kingdom
CODE 18 Canada
COLD FAIRYLAND China
COLLAGE Poland
COMBINATION HEAD United Kingdom
COMEDY OF ERRORS United Kingdom
CONTEMPORARY DEAD FINNISH MUSIC ENSEMBLE Finland
ALESSANDRO CORVAGLIA Italy
COSMIC DANGER United States
COSMOGRAF United Kingdom
COSMOS Switzerland
CRAYON PHASE Germany
CREA Sweden
CREDO United Kingdom
CRIMSON SKY United Kingdom
CRISÁLIDA Chile
CROCODILE United States
CROMWELL Germany
CRUZ DE HIERRO Mexico
CRYSTAL MAZE Germany
CRYSTAL PALACE Germany
CYAN United Kingdom
CYE Switzerland
D PROJECT Canada
THE DAME Netherlands
DARIUS Germany
DARWIN'S RADIO United Kingdom
DATURA France
DAVID AND THE THEATRE OF TWILIGHT Germany
DAYS BEFORE TOMORROW United States
DEAD HEROES CLUB Ireland
DEAD LETTER CIRCUS Australia
DEATON LEMAY PROJECT United States
DEEP THOUGHT Switzerland
DELTA CYPHEI PROJECT Germany
DEYSS Switzerland
DIAL Netherlands
DID France
DIFFERENCES Netherlands
DIFFERENT STRINGS Malta
DIRECTION Canada
DISTANT DREAM United States
DOCKER'S GUILD Italy
TROY DONOCKLEY United Kingdom
DR. NO Spain
DRACMA Spain
DRAMA Uruguay
DREAM ARIA Canada
DRIFTING SUN Multi-National
DUSTER United States
EARTHSTONE United Kingdom
EAST Hungary
ECHO US United States
ECHOREC. United Kingdom
EDEN SHADOW United Kingdom
EDHELS Monaco
EDISON'S CHILDREN Multi-National
EDITH Italy
EGDON HEATH Netherlands
EGOBAND Italy
ELEGANT SIMPLICITY United Kingdom
ELEMENTS Netherlands
ELEPHANT & CASTLE France
ELEPHANTS OF SCOTLAND United States
ELIXIR France
ELLEVEN Germany
EMERALD Netherlands
THE EMERALD DAWN United Kingdom
ENDLICH ALLEIN Italy
EPILOGUE United Kingdom
EQUINOX Panama
ERASMUS United Kingdom
ESKAPE Germany
ESTHESIS France
ESTHETIC PALE Germany
ETERNAL WANDERERS Russia
EUREKA Germany
EURHYBIA France
EVERSHIP United States
EVERY WAKING HOUR United States
EVOLUTIVE France
EXHIBIT A United Kingdom
EXOUSTIA United States
EXXON Denmark
EYE 2 EYE France
EYESBERG Germany
EYESTRINGS United States
EZRA United Kingdom
F.O.R.S. Switzerland
FACTORY OF DREAMS Portugal
FANCYFLUID Italy
THE FAR CRY United States
FAR FROM YOUR SUN France
THE FAR MEADOW United Kingdom
FAUN Germany
FINAL CONFLICT United Kingdom
FISH United Kingdom
FIVE-O-ONE AM Netherlands
FIZBERS Poland
FJIERI Italy
FLAMBOROUGH HEAD Netherlands
FLAMMARION Portugal
FLUTTR EFFECT United States
FOR ABSENT FRIENDS Netherlands
FOR YOUR PLEASURE Germany
JACK FOSTER III United States
THE FOUNDATION Netherlands
FRACTAL United States
FRAMAURO Poland
FRAMES Germany
FRAMEWORK United Kingdom
SALLY FRENCH United Kingdom
FROST* United Kingdom
FRUITCAKE Norway
THE FYREWORKS United Kingdom
GABRIEL Argentina
GAILLION United States
GALADRIEL Spain
GALAHAD United Kingdom
GALL Poland
GALLANT FARM Italy
GALLEON Sweden
GAMBIT France
GANDALF'S FIST United Kingdom
DANIEL GAUTHIER Canada
PETER GEE United Kingdom
GENIE CRIES United Kingdom
GEPETTO France
GERARD Japan
GHIRIBIZZI Belgium
GHOST OF THE MACHINE United Kingdom
IL GIARDINO DEI VIZI CONTINUI Italy
JIM GILMOUR Canada
GLACIER United Kingdom
GOOD AUTHORITY Netherlands
ANDREW GORCZYCA United States
IAN GORDON United Kingdom
GPS United States
GRACE United Kingdom
LE GRAND BATON Guadeloupe
GRAND TOUR United Kingdom
GREAT WIDE NOTHING United States
GREEN DESERT TREE Germany
GREEN SPACE France
JEFF GREEN Ireland
JOHN GREENWOOD Australia
GRENDEL Poland
GREY LADY DOWN United Kingdom
GRYDGAARD Denmark
HANGOVER PARADISE Netherlands
HARNAKIS Spain
HARVEST Spain
HAZE United Kingdom
THE HEALING ROAD Germany
HELLO MADNESS Mexico
HIDDEN LANDS Sweden
HIGH SPY United Kingdom
HIGHER CIRCLES United States
TRACY HITCHINGS United Kingdom
JOHN HOLDEN United Kingdom
LALO HUBER Argentina
STEVE HUGHES United Kingdom
HUIS Canada
HYBRID United Kingdom
I AND THOU United States
ICE Netherlands
THE ID Multi-National
THE IKAN METHOD Italy
ILLUMION Netherlands
ILLUSION OF GRAVITY Italy
ILUVATAR United States
IMAGINAERIUM United Kingdom
IN NOMINE Spain
INDISCIPLINED LUCY Sweden
INES Germany
INFRINGEMENT Norway
INIOR Italy
THE INSTITUTE OF MODERN LOVE United Kingdom
INTROITUS Sweden
INVERTIGO Germany
INVISIGOTH United States
IQ United Kingdom
IRIS France
ISBJÖRG Denmark
IT United Kingdom
VELISLAV IVANOV Bulgaria
IXION Netherlands
JADIS United Kingdom
JANISON EDGE United Kingdom
IAIN JENNINGS United Kingdom
JESETER Czech Republic
JOHNNY BOB Germany
JOLLY United States
JUMP United Kingdom
K'MONO United States
K2 United States
KADATH Japan
KAMPAI Germany
TONY KAYE United Kingdom
KEN'S NOVEL Belgium
KINETIC ELEMENT United States
KING OF AGOGIK Germany
KNIGHT AREA Netherlands
KONCHORDAT United Kingdom
KRAMER Netherlands
LAHOST United Kingdom
LANDMARQ United Kingdom
THE LAST PLACID DAYS OF PLENTY Canada
LAUGHING STOCK Norway
LAZLEITT United States
LEAP DAY Netherlands
LEGEND United Kingdom
LEGGAT Canada
THE LENS United Kingdom
LET SEE THIN Poland
LEVIATHAN Italy
LIFESIGNS United Kingdom
LIGHT Netherlands
LIGHT DAMAGE Luxembourg
LIGHTHOUSE SPARROWS Finland
LIKE WENDY Netherlands
LITTLE ATLAS United States
LONGSHOT France
LOOKING-GLASS LANTERN United Kingdom
LORIEN United Kingdom
LOW BUDGET ORCHESTRA Finland
LUNAR CHATEAU United States
MACROMARCO Italy
MAD PUPPET Italy
MAD TEA PARTY Germany
MADELGAIRE Belgium
MAGENTA United Kingdom
MAGNÉSIS France
MAJESTIC United States
MALOMENOS Chile
MANDRAGORA Argentina
GEOFF MANN United Kingdom
MARATHON Netherlands
MARATHON Italy
MARBLE HOUSE Italy
MAREK ARNOLD'S ARTROCK PROJECT Germany
MARILLION United Kingdom
MARTIGAN Germany
MARYSON Netherlands
MASCARADA Spain
MASQUE Sweden
MASTER OF CEREMONY Italy
NIALL MATHEWSON United Kingdom
MAYBE France
MICHAEL MAYER & DEAN ROUCH United States
MEDICINE MAN United Kingdom
MENAYERI Puerto Rico
MENTAUR United Kingdom
MERCHANTS VICE United Kingdom
MERCY TRAIN United Kingdom
METAMORPHOSIS Switzerland
METAPHOR United States
THE MIGHTY RA United Kingdom
MILLENIUM Poland
MINDGAMES Belgium
MINOR GIANT Netherlands
MK II United Kingdom
MOBIUS United Kingdom
MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE Ukraine
MONARCH TRAIL Canada
MONTECRISTO Indonesia
MOODMAN Poland
MOONRISE Poland
MORIA FALLS United Kingdom
MORPHELIA Germany
MOTHS United Kingdom
MR. GIL Poland
MR. SO & SO United Kingdom
MUDWAY Italy
MULTI-STORY United Kingdom
MUTE ALBINO Belgium
MUTINY IN JONESTOWN United States
MYSTERKAH France
MYSTERY Canada
MYTH OF LOGIC United States
BADER NANA Kuwait
NAOS France
NAVIGATOR United States
NEGUA Spain
NEMEZIS Poland
NEO-PROPHET Belgium
NEON LEAVES United Kingdom
NEPENTHE United States
NEW EDEN ORCHESTRA United States
NIADEM'S GHOST United Kingdom
THE NIGHT WATCH Italy
NINE SKIES France
NINE STONES CLOSE Netherlands
THE NO NAME EXPERIENCE (TNNE) / EX NO NAME Luxembourg
NO RESTRAINTS United States
NOISY DINERS Italy
NOLAN & WAKEMAN United Kingdom
CLIVE NOLAN United Kingdom
ERIK NORLANDER United States
NORTH STAR United States
NOSTALGIA Italy
NOVA CASCADE United Kingdom
NOVEMBER Netherlands
NOVOX Netherlands
NOW Belgium
NTH ASCENSION United Kingdom
NUANCE France
NUMEN Spain
NURKOSTAM Finland
NYL Russia
OCEAN Norway
THE ONIRIST France
ONZA Spain
OORT France
OPUS EST Sweden
MARTIN ORFORD United Kingdom
ORPHEUS Japan
OSIRIS Bahrain
THE OTHER SIDE United States
OUTSIDE France
OVERDRIVE Italy
OVERLOAD Pakistan
OVERWORLD DREAMS United States
OVNI El Salvador
MARCIN PAJAK Poland
PALLAS United Kingdom
PANDORAS.BOX Germany
PANGAEA United States
PANTOKRAATOR Estonia
PARADOX Germany
MATTHEW PARMENTER United States
PARZIVALS EYE Multi-National
JAKE PASHKIN Russia
INDREK PATTE Estonia
PAX ROMANA Finland
PBII Netherlands
PENDRAGON United Kingdom
PERFECT STORM Netherlands
PETER PAN Poland
PHAESIS France
PHENOM India
PHOEN1X United States
PHOENIX AGAIN Italy
PHREEWORLD United States
PI XPRNC Venezuela
PICKLELEGAZ Netherlands
PICTURES Italy
PILGRYM United Kingdom
PLACKBAND Netherlands
POPPSYKOSEN Denmark
PRELUDE Belgium
PRIMITIVE INSTINCT United Kingdom
PROAGE Poland
PRODUCT United States
PROFUNA OCEAN Netherlands
PROTEO Italy
PROTOS United Kingdom
PROTOTYPELAB Italy
PROVIDENCE Japan
PROXIMAL DISTANCE United States
PRP Finland
PSOPHO Belgium
THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE United States
PTS Netherlands
Q Chile
QANTUM France
QUADRA France
QUANTUM PIG United Kingdom
QUASAR United Kingdom
THE QUEST United Kingdom
QUIDAM Poland
QUIET EARTH Germany
QUMMA CONNECTION Finland
QWAARN Canada
RADAVIQUE Netherlands
RAEL Argentina
RAUSCH United States
REALISEA Netherlands
RED SAND Canada
REGENT United Kingdom
RETREAT FROM MOSCOW United Kingdom
REVELATION United Kingdom
RICOCHER Netherlands
RIVENDEL Spain
RIVERSEA United Kingdom
RIVERYMAN Finland
RIZENGARD Mexico
ROADS TO DAMASCUS United Kingdom
ROMANZA-BEKKAN Japan
STEVE ROTHERY United Kingdom
RPWL Germany
RUBBER TEA Germany
SAENS France
SAGITTARIAN Japan
MOTOI SAKURABA Japan
SALEM HILL United States
SANGUINE HUM United Kingdom
SAQQARAH France
SARIS Germany
SATELLITE Poland
SCAPELAND WISH United States
SCHEHERAZADE Japan
SEA VINE Poland
SEASONS OF TIME Germany
SECRET CINEMA Italy
KEN SENIOR United Kingdom
SETI Chile
SEVEN DAY HUNT Netherlands
SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR Germany
SEVERED GARDEN Italy
P.J. SHADOWHAWK United States
SHADOWLAND United Kingdom
SHAKARY Switzerland
SHAMALL Germany
SIGMA Brazil
SILENT AGREEMENT Netherlands
SILHOUETTE Netherlands
SILVER KEY Italy
SIMPLY THEY Canada
SINISTER STREET Netherlands
SINUS Poland
SIX ELEMENTS United States
SJS Australia
SKEEM France
SKYFOX 8 Brazil
SLOW MOTION REIGN United States
SLYCHOSIS United States
MARK SMOOT United States
SNOWDONIA Spain
SNOWMAN Portugal
SOLIS Brazil
SOLSTICE United Kingdom
SONIC SIGHT Norway
SONIC TAPESTRY United Kingdom
SPEKTRUM Sweden
SPITZEN Netherlands
SPLINTER Netherlands
STARQUAKE Germany
STEALING THE FIRE United Kingdom
STEP AHEAD France
STRANGEFISH United Kingdom
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN United Kingdom
SUBSIGNAL Germany
SUBTERRA Chile
SUMMER BREEZE PROJECT Netherlands
SUPERDRAMA Germany
SUPPER'S READY Luxembourg
ROBERT SVILPA United States
SWAPPERS ELEVEN Multi-National
SYLVAN Germany
SYRIAK Venezuela
T Germany
TALE Multi-National
TALE Italy
TALE CUE Italy
TALE OF DIFFUSION Poland
TALIESYN Germany
TAMARISK United Kingdom
TAMMATOYS Norway
TASKAHA Norway
STEVE TASSLER United States
TAURUS AND PISCES Netherlands
TEA IN THE SAHARA Germany
TEE (THE EARTH EXPLORER) Japan
TETELESTAI United States
THALASSA France
THEATRE Italy
THIRD QUADRANT United Kingdom
THIS WINTER MACHINE United Kingdom
TIGER MOTH TALES United Kingdom
TIME AND TIDE United States
TIME COLLIDER United Kingdom
TIME HORIZON United States
TIMELOCK Netherlands
TIPUTANI / EX ANCASTES Costa Rica
TMP (TOON MARTENS PROJECT) Belgium
TOP LEFT CORNER Italy
TOWER Italy
TR3NITY United Kingdom
TRAMA Italy
TRANSIENCE United States
TRIANGLE Netherlands
TRISTAN PARK United States
TSUKI-USAGI Japan
TSUNAMI Germany
TTM (TOM TIM MILES) United States
LA TULIPE NOIRE Greece
TWELFTH NIGHT United Kingdom
TWIN AGE Sweden
UEBERSCHAER Germany
ULTIME ATOME France
ULTRA VIOLET RAYS United States
ULTRAVIOLET DAYDREAM United States
UNICORN Sweden
UNISPHERE Canada
US Netherlands
UTOPIAN FIELDS Norway
VANTASMA Indonesia
VAST CONDUIT United States
VESTAL United States
VIENNA CIRCLE United Kingdom
VINTAGE Spain
VIOLET DISTRICT Germany
THE VIOLET HOUR United Kingdom
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VIRTUEL Bulgaria
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VISIBLE WIND Canada
THE VOW Germany
THE WATCH Italy
WATER GARDEN Japan
WHITE CHAMELEON Spain
WHITECHAPEL France
WILTON SAID Canada
WINDOM END Sweden
WINTER United Kingdom
THE WINTER TREE / EX MAGUS United States
XENN Poland
YACOBS Germany
YAK United Kingdom
YLECLIPSE Italy
DAVID YOUNGER United Kingdom
YUKA & CHRONOSHIP Japan
YWIS Netherlands
ZARATHUSTRA Germany
ZENIT Switzerland
ZENOBIA Germany
ZIFF Germany
ZIO United Kingdom
ZJEDNOCZONE SIłY NATURY MECH Poland
ZONK MONK Japan
TOMMY ZVONCHECK United States

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