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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



Current Neo-Prog Team members
as at 27/8/2014

Apostolis (psarros) ... Team leader
Matti
Tom (Roland113)

Neo-Prog Top Albums


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

4.41 | 486 ratings
THE ROAD OF BONES
IQ
4.24 | 1492 ratings
MISPLACED CHILDHOOD
Marillion
4.22 | 1433 ratings
SCRIPT FOR A JESTER'S TEAR
Marillion
4.20 | 454 ratings
CONTAGION
Arena
4.13 | 913 ratings
CLUTCHING AT STRAWS
Marillion
4.13 | 650 ratings
FREQUENCY
IQ
4.11 | 786 ratings
MARBLES
Marillion
4.15 | 344 ratings
POSTHUMOUS SILENCE
Sylvan
4.13 | 367 ratings
A TOWER OF SILENCE
Anubis
4.11 | 364 ratings
FANFARE & FANTASY
Comedy Of Errors
4.06 | 498 ratings
THE VISITOR
Arena
4.09 | 329 ratings
EMPIRES NEVER LAST
Galahad
4.38 | 68 ratings
AMBIGIOUS POINTS OF VIEW
Shamall
4.02 | 677 ratings
DARK MATTER
IQ
4.04 | 444 ratings
EVER
IQ
4.03 | 453 ratings
THE SEVENTH HOUSE
IQ
4.08 | 244 ratings
SEVEN
Magenta
4.22 | 93 ratings
IS THIS HUMAN BEHAVIOUR?
Shamall
3.97 | 935 ratings
FUGAZI
Marillion
3.98 | 728 ratings
BRAVE
Marillion

Neo-Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

THE SPARROW
Metaphor
HUNTING THE FOX
Ines
TIMANFAYA
Healing Road, The
NEW LIFE
Solstice

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Latest Neo-Prog Music Reviews


 A Forest of Fey by GANDALF'S FIST album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.09 | 14 ratings

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A Forest of Fey
Gandalf's Fist Neo-Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars Now I am back with a review of a new record and it's time for a band that's totally new for me, the north English "Gandalf's Fist" which this year, has released their fifth studio record "A forest of Fey". Their last one(which I haven't heard) "A day in the life of a universal wanderer"(what a lovely name) did get good reviews here and it has begun good even with this. I don't use to like Neo-prog very much, I am quite new to it. Some reasons draw me to this album: the weird name and the odd and spectacular cover of the album. It is darkar than many prog covers. Gandalf's Fist consists of Dean Marsh on vocals, guitars, mandolin, keyboards and bass, Luke Severn on vocals, Chris Ewen on bass and Stefan Hepe on drums. They also have got help from a bunch of talanted guests from other prog bands(read for yourselves if you are curious).

I have listened a lot to the album and I must say it's clear there was a lot of hard work and musical inspiration that made this posible. I also think the album is worth hearing and it is quite unique, at least it gave me some new thoughs and the spirit of the record inspired me a lot. I have already written the "typical" neo-prog sound is not my favourite sound(I can't say if this is "typical") and the twelve songs of the album had different effects on me. The best songs are "Stories Old and Stories Told"(8/10) a symphonic and very melodic track, "The Circus in the Clearing" which is even more symphonic and folk inspired(8/10) and the shorter "Return from the Tournament" (8/10) great great acoustic guitar. Some songs lie between good and very good, especially "Gardens of the lost" (7/10) with great vocals and the different and exciting "The world we created"(7/10) which verses are similar to King Crimson's "Happy Family"(Lizard 1970). The opener "Childhood Ghosts" and the related closer "A poison tree"(7/10) would get the same rating. The other tracks are good but a bit too average and ordinar for me.

This different and well produced album of some form of neo prog has many relations to older prog such as folk prog and symphonic prog of the seventies but the spirit is modern I believe. I like it but am sorry I can't give it more than three stars, they are solid though and I could almost guarentee that others will call it a masterpiece. Best track: "Stories Old and Stories Told(Of Children Brave and Children Bold)"

 Until We Have Faces by SARIS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.36 | 5 ratings

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Until We Have Faces
Saris Neo-Prog

Review by robbob

3 stars Well This album reminds me the work of their conationals: Everon.(but sorry these last guys are better) Is heavy prog but more AOR in the line of some classic rock bands as Magnum ,Styx ,Uriah Heep, Asia.....but with more prog touches of course...Also it took to my memory Fish On Friday but this work is heavier. Touchstone is also on my mind Well done music, good songs, solid work......but nothing special . The women vocals are quite bad...I feel like is a little amateur . From their first album I feel is a step below. Best songs are : Rain and Endless Dream(in my opinion) So I hope fore a better work next time. 3 stars(3,5 maybe)
 (Im)Patience by MADELGAIRE album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.01 | 33 ratings

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(Im)Patience
Madelgaire Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Madelgaire - a very fine and intresting band from Belgium. They released one album untill now in 2010 named (Im)Patience. Well, I must tell that I was quite impressed by this album, very well done instrumental sections, pleasent voice , what else a winner for sure. There are lenghty pieces with complicated arrangements bordering neo with symphonic something close with what another band done in the past from Belgium Globalys who is also related with Madelagaire in terms of line up, and here and there hints from Genesis Wind and wuthering era. There are pieces sung in english and aswell french, both languages are fiting ok in this context, maybe the french one is little more pleasent and natural of course for the singer. Mellotrojn, guitars, drums, bass all is in good measure to creat a very leasent release. A nice one in the end and for that reason 4 stars from me, all pieces stands as great with a plus on Banquets De L'Equinoxe suite - divided in 5 pieces clocking around 30 min in lenght. recommended, nice digipak format.
 A Forest of Fey by GANDALF'S FIST album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.09 | 14 ratings

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A Forest of Fey
Gandalf's Fist Neo-Prog

Review by franklogan1956

5 stars I pre-ordered this ages ago after listening to the excellent "day in the life of a universal wander". Originally I was intrigued to have this as part of my collection, being the completest that I am I was especially interested in the contributions by Clive Nolan and Gryphon's Dave Oberle (huge gryphon fan here!!)

I am loathe to do a track by track review, firstly because I still have the impression that this CD has yet to fully digest into my system, but mainly because this album flows like one long song with many of the tracks transitioning into each other? something I always enjoy in a concept piece (mindcrime being my fave example)

The album, overall has a mix of folk and psychedelic prog (and almost mixed with maiden-style riffs at times) ? with the individual songs being diverse due to the addition of guest musicans (special credit going to the female vocalist who sounds SUPERB!).

After loving their last release so much and looking forward to this one for what seems like months now I have to say I am far from disappointed ? there is a 'moody' overall quality to the record that gives it a definite sense of "otherworldlyness" , something that is emphasised by excellent King-Crimson-esque sections like "Circus in the Clearing" and eerie whistles from Donockley that tie the LP together.

As previously mentioned I'm a fan of folk-prog like Gryphon and Tull so the direction the band has chosen for this album is truly up my street (even can hear some Anderson-inspired flute toots in there at some points!)

One slight niggle at first as the record sounded a bit quiet to me? but I cranked it up a notch (never one to fully approve of the nonsensical "Loudness wars" these days)? and man - What a journey, what a ride, what a trip! If you're looking for something a bit different, a bit refreshing and a bit strange this is definitely one to add to your collection!

I liked them before but the Fist have made a fan of me!

 The Window Of Life by PENDRAGON album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.90 | 352 ratings

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The Window Of Life
Pendragon Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars I revisited "The Window of Life", this venerable classic, as I was somehow placed in a nostalgic mood for some outer-worldly experience that would relax my body and indulge my mind in unassuming fantasy. Pendragon needs little introduction, a fellow consolidator of the prog ideal at a lonely time in rock history, to be perfectly polite. 1993 was a revolutionary period, with very little excitement in terms of music, listening to stuff like still great Tangerine Dream, Oldfield doling out the Crises album, Saga's Heads or Tales and Solstice(prog) but precious little else, until the now-mythical "Script of A Jester's Tear" was unleashed on a totally unsuspecting public later in the year . Pendragon leaped to such higher echelons with this Pink Floyd meets Genesis album, a vehicle for Nick Barrett and Clive Nolan to make their music come hell or high water, a stand for which they were both adored and reviled. Finicky market. The fuse was lit and much to the chagrin of all the prog-rock haters (and trust me, there were many at the apparent funeral, spitting gobs of vitriolic abuse), the inevitable renaissance of prog was underway.

On the sleek "The Walls of Babylon", the lads even had the audacity to quote Supertramp's "Hide in Your Shell", a ballsy move that could have cost them a few quid had Hodgson and Davies been greedy bastards. While the sound certainly owes a lot to former icons, truth is the material was expertly played and muscularly delivered, conscious of the rock ethos needing to be preserved. Bassist Peter Gee and drummer Fudge Smith certainly pounded hard and fast when prompted, leaving Nolan's keys and Barrett's axe do all the brain damage. On the moving "Breaking the Spell", the fret-meister goes on a nice elongated foray, nothing too technical but oh so loaded with emotional discourse. A little hint of wah-wah and some spirited soloing really gets me every time, even 20 years later.

Epic monuments you ask, "The Last Man on Earth" is a nearly 15 minute colossus, with explosive vocals from Mr. Barrett (who never sounded better, before or after), mammoth Nolan symphonic bombast and mobile rhythmic agility from both Gee and Smith. This is, simply put, eternal and utterly fabulous, loaded with incredible imagery, dense space for contrast and breath, featuring glittering soloing, I mean the whole nine yards. Details, details, Watson! Slipping in some delectable harmonica, soothing backing vocal choir and some more overbearing emotions just steals the show, a true classic. The final earthshaking solo is gorgeous. In all honesty, this ought to have been the final cut (Oops!, sorry Roger), ending the album on an orgasm. "Nostradamus ?Stargazing" should have been inspiring with such archetypical prog subject matter but suffers from having to compete with the previous megalith, an unfair positioning makes this song seem weak in comparison. Guitar manipulations take their time in setting the controls to the heart of the song, but it's a fine diversion, The poppish texture should be more exciting in a live setting (in fact, Pendragon likes to do this in concert) but it's the necessary cream between the cookies. The final piece "Am I Losing You?" is delectable , a Pendragon ballad that finds itself drenched in serious bluesy affectation, a simple story that searches out all the questions we all ask ourselves, about love, life and the impossible pursuit of happiness. The Steve Howe ?like guitar motif sounds like a slip from The Gates of Delerium, these are clever lads indeed, reminding me of that classic Picasso quote "a good artist copies, a great artist steals", a little nasty perhaps but oh so true.

The upcoming Masquerade Overture remains my favorite Pendragon album, though I must admit I have lost interest after that. Maybe I should investigate, my dear Watson?

4 Panes of existence

 Men Who Climb Mountains by PENDRAGON album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.87 | 64 ratings

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Men Who Climb Mountains
Pendragon Neo-Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

5 stars 4.5 stars, actually.

I've decided that progarchives really needs a half-star option. Pendragon's newest album "Men Who Climb Mountains" is a case in point of this, as I fully believe that this incredible work of art deserves more than four stars. It is not, however, as good as their masterworks, such as "The Window of Life", "The Masquerade Overture", or my personal favorite "Not of This World". Or perhaps it is as good as those fantastic albums, except Pendragon underwent a change in style with their 2005 album "Believe", which is amazing, too, by the way. The last couple albums, however, although solid and still in my regular playlist, do not have the sweeping, majestic sounds of the older albums. They are darker, grittier, somewhat more technical, and also somewhat heavier. So is it really that they are not as good, or is it just that I like the old style better?

Pendragon, however, have finally convinced me to love their new style. Although "Believe" was a change in style, it had enough of the old ways to satisfy me greatly. "Men Who Climb Mountains", though, is an album of the same quality, yet it retains the new style, and does so with gumption and gusto. Indeed, this is the best, most confident album since at least "Believe", if not "Not of This World". Pendragon have proven that these aged gentlemen still have everything it takes to claim a top spot in the best prog releases of the year.

"Men Who Climb Mountains", first and foremost, is a thoughtful work that contains my favorite lyrics of this year so far. Nick never disappoints in lyrical content or themes, and so I expected it. Yet, this album is deeper than the last two, as I see this album as focusing on those people that are truly one with the world around them. They hear, see, feel, smell, and taste the world in all its glory, and so see the divine, spiritual nature and connections inherent in everything. These people never lose hope. They never despair. They are ready for "When the Zombies Come", and they know where they are going after death. These are the nit and grit of this world, the people that keep it running at all costs, and that love it all. These are the people that we all are, except many of us have forgotten. This, of course, is all my own interpretation.

Of course, the music is important, too. As I said, the newer style is still here, but it has been perfected. Nick sounds great on vocals, even more melodic in many perfectly performed hooks, too, if I do say so myself. His flawless guitar work is again a highlight, too, whether it be soulful solos or acoustic brightness. Clive Nolan (probably my favorite keyboardist) seems to be more present on this album than the previous two. He sets many beautiful, soaring atmospheres to match the theme, but he also presents some awesome solos, too, such as on "In Bardo". Peter Gee, bassist, lays down his signature grooves, and he sounds great with Nick's riffing in the heavier portions.

Perhaps the most significant thing about this new album, however, is the exit of drummer extraordinaire Scott Higham and the entrance of Craig Blundell. I'll say it right down: Craig has laid down the best drum performance I've heard this year. He's unbelievable, and everything I could have hoped for with Scott leaving. Everything from his genius fills to his tasteful tempos to his breath-taking romps are all brilliantly performed. Craig, welcome!

One of the things that was missing from the last two albums, especially "Passion", was the presence of great choruses. I feel that Pendragon has again nailed them, with wonderful structures that culminate into catchy choruses, such as "Beautiful Soul" or "Explorers of the Infinite". Yet, even the instrumental portions are inspired and catchy, such as "In Bardo", "Faces of Darkness" or the oddly structured "Come Home, Jack". It's honestly difficult to pick favorites, as all the tracks are worthy. I do especially love, however, "Faces of Darkness" and the slow-burning catchiness of "Explorers of the Infinite", a song that I cannot stop singing (however horribly). I also really like the slower, thoughtful "Netherworld", as I'm a sucker for Nick's vocals.

"Men Who Climb Mountains", then, is a true Pendragon album with lush atmospheres, hard-rocking portions, and a certain level of oddity that is so endearing and addictive to me. I can only rate albums based on how I feel about them, and I haven't felt this way about a Pendragon album since "Believe". Indeed, I can't stop listening to it, and I never feel the urge to skip a track. It's all so good. Give this album a chance, then, and don't judge it based on how you feel about albums that were written fifteen or twenty years ago. This band has progressed to a new style, and they are finally fine-tuning it to great results.

 The Seventh Degree Of Separation by ARENA album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.48 | 191 ratings

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The Seventh Degree Of Separation
Arena Neo-Prog

Review by Fearabsentia

4 stars Arena-The Seventh Degree of Separation

'The Seventh Degree of Separation' is the seventh studio album by progressive rock/hard rock band Arena.

After Arena's well received 2005 rock opera 'Pepper's Ghost', it wasn't until six years later when Arena would release their next album. Upon it's release, many people were disappointed with the outcome of this album. Many complained that it was too bland and comparable to commercial hard rock, yet I find this not to be the case.

The vocalist has changed on this album, featuring vocalist Paul Manzi instead of Rob Sowden. They have very similar voices, so it doesn't change the feel of the music very much. I just felt like I had to point out this line-up change, even though it doesn't effect the music much.

This album is definitely hard rock-based, instead of the more progressive metal-leaning previous album, but that doesn't make this a weak album. Like usual, Arena gives us a powerful opener with 'The Great Escape' which shows Manzi's powerful vocals very strongly right at the start. The heavy booming guitar comes in at the perfect moment after the words 'Can Anybody Hear Me?'. 'The Ghost Walks' is another standout track, with a marching beat and a menacing atmosphere. 'Echoes of the Fall' may be only two-and-a-half minutes, but what a two-and-a-half minutes they are. This song is the heaviest song on the album, and is a metal song. The powerful fast riffing and catchy lyrics make this an instant classic for me. 'Burning Down' has a Dream Theater-like sound, so this will be of interest to fans of that band. The closing song 'The Tinder Box' is probably my favorite along with 'Echoes of the Fall'. 'The Tinder Box' is everything a closing song should be, a slow melodic beginning with great piano, a powerful steady build-up, and an epic finale.

The concept of the album is about the birth and death of the world, so it does have an overall darker tone; however, a lot of the songs and lyrics feel very empowering. Songs like 'Close Your Eyes' and 'The Tinder Box' are both songs that I feel are very empowering.

Overall, it is certainly no flawless album, there are a few forgettable tracks here and there. The very powerful songs make up for that though, and it remains my favorite Arena album. I recommend it to any fan of hard rock with some progressive qualities.

Hope you found this review helpful.

(Originally written for www.MetalMusicArchives.com on October 19th 2014.)

 Not Of This World  by PENDRAGON album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.85 | 374 ratings

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Not Of This World
Pendragon Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars In 1997 another live album by Pendragon was released, ''Live in Kraków 96'', recorded in Poland (and later issued by Metal Mind in DVD format), which became one of the favorite destionations of the band.What followed though would have a huge impact on Pendragon's next studio release.Nick Barrett had to face the procedure of a long and painful divorce, a reality that influenced him on the writings of ''Not of this world''.Propably this sad experiene was the reason Pendragon would wait for a number of years to launch the album, which was released in 2001.

While the familiar Pendragon style dominates the album, let's get one thing clear: This is definitely one of the most emotionally loaded albums of the group, Nick Barrett's divorce being the main reason, serving as a somewhat autobiographical release.The huge display of sentimental vocals, the constant use of dreamy keyboard and piano parts and the obvious tendency towards atmospheric and melodious textures are the instant reflections of the fact.As a result they sound as close as it gets to GENESIS circa 76'-77' and mid-70's PINK FLOYD, offering extended, melodic pieces with smooth guitar plays and lovely synthesizer work by Nolan.On the other hand the choice of such a switch resulted to a reduced exhibition of symphonic arrangements and more complicated parts, the second being far from the band's priorities.The sound is less epic and more into melodic Neo Prog, but with such extended running times some more grandiose parts would be unavoidable.In pleasure of the band's thousands of fans worldwide the longer pieces still contain some powerful keyboard parts, some bombastic sections and some trully efficient guitar solos with the flawless touch of Nick Barrett.It is unbelievable that at this point Pendragon still sound like an 80's group, never giving up to the light symphonic aura and pure energy of the early Neo Prog movement, the atmosphere is great throughout and the melodies are mostly of first class.

Nice little treasure with GENESIS, PINK FLOYD and even some discreet CAMEL overtones.Among the most melodic albums of the British veterans, this would be a masterpiece if some of these melodies were left behind for a more symphonic approach, but this is still a strongly recommended and solid effort by the band...3.5 stars.

 Le Voyage De L'Enfant Lune by UNISPHERE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.06 | 8 ratings

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Le Voyage De L'Enfant Lune
Unisphere Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Claude Boisvert was the man behind this Francophone Canadian band.After taking studies in music he had been teaching composition, writing, orchestration and musical arrangement at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres for a decade or so.When the music department closed permanently, he decided to make his dream of a band come true, initially inviting his cousin Daniel Laroche on drums and later his childhood friends Mario Bouchard on bass and Yves Cossette on drums.The line-up was completed around the time Unisphere entered the studio to record their debut.Producer Rejean Bouchard took over the guitars and the album ''Le voyage de l'enfant lune'' came out in 2004.

The band was inspired by the classic groups of the 70's such as PINK FLOYD, ANGE, GENESIS and compatriots MORSE CODE to produce a light Neo/Symphonic Prog work, characterized by its long and elaborate tracks.With five compositions, the band shows a tendency to reproduce the progressive spirit of the past, because four out of the five pieces are 11 minutes or longer with ''Raconte-moi une histoire'' clocking at over 23 minutes!The opening ''Quand je serai grand'' follows more of a PINK FLOYD style with a spacious keyboard atmosphere, mellow bass and guitar work and constant display of poetic vocals with a bit of Arabian-like tunes in the smooth rhythms.''La femme sandwich'' is more of the same, based on hypnotic PINK FLOYD-ian textures with mellow strings added and some very DAVID GILMOUR-like ambiental, almost jazzy soloing, before expanding into the GENESIS' territories with excellent, vintage-styled organ and synth solos by Boisvert, much in the vein of ''The cinema show''.The cinematic and sentimental atmospheres continue with the 16-min. ''L'enfant lune (Le voyage)'', where the combination of sensitive lyrics and dreamy keyboards/light drumming have something of MARILLION circa-''Clutching at straws''.The more grandiose following with the symphonic keyboards, the old-school organ and the melodic guitar works are coming from the early IQ days.''Aide-moi'' is a short poetic ballad with discreet recorders and acoustic guitars in the vein of ANGE and the time has come for the long opus of ''Raconte-moi une histoire''.This is propably the more balanced effort by the band, a combination of FLOYD-ian organ/guitar soundscapes, dramatic ANGE hints with a strong vocal-theatrical taste and Neo Prog flashes on electric solos and synths.Maybe too extended for its own good, but still holding the interest of the listener until the very end.

According to Boisvert, keyboards were the most important instrument of Unisphere's music, thus a second keyboardist was hired, Annick Belisle, along with new guitarist Croteau Dennis.However the Canadian band never found its way to a second album and apparently dissolved.

Mellow, romantic and light Symphonic Rock in the vein of ANGE, PINK FLOYD and GENESIS.Nothing grounbreaking, still recommended to all fans of the style.

 This Island Earth by SHAMALL album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.37 | 30 ratings

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This Island Earth
Shamall Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars It took Shamall about three years to release his seventh studio effort.The album ''This island Earth'' with the very futuristic cover came out in 1997.Norbert Krueler handles all instruments and programming, Markus Jackel, Frankie Baderm, Lutz Breden and new entry Mathias Mertens help in specific cuts, although no instruments are credited to them.

While ''This island Earth'' is by no means a trully significant record, it shows Krueler developing further his style towards a more professional and sufficient style.He still seems fairly inspired by later days-TANGERINE DREAM, but his music has obtained a strong spacious content, sometimes akin to OZRIC TENTACLES, with the New Wave influences being reduced.The thin instrumental sound of drums and some keyboards are still an issue, preventing a full enjoyment of the album.The production is decent, but the awful percussion parts and robotic effects are a hurting factor.Composingwise the German composer offers an acceptable level of spacious productions with heavy use of synthesizers and electronics.The floating soundscapes, the propelling rhythms and mechanical beats and the cosmic synthesizers are combined for an enviroment, which delivers both tapping grooves and electronic textures.Plus you get some moments with chill-out piano lines among the storm of sonic deliveries.The combination works nice and I could say that a shorter running time with the best of these moments would have resulted a pretty cool album.However, the limited natural and programmed instruments related to a very long album surfaces again the similarity between many of Krueler's ideas.

Same formula but a bit of better ideas by Shamall.Not actually the improvement that could lift this work to a recommended level, but fans of rhythmic electronics will propably find this one pretty decent...2.5 stars.

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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
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
ASGARD Italy
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
BELLAPHON Japan
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