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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 | 2010 ratings
MISPLACED CHILDHOOD
Marillion
4.25 | 1123 ratings
THE ROAD OF BONES
IQ
4.23 | 1900 ratings
SCRIPT FOR A JESTER'S TEAR
Marillion
4.16 | 1251 ratings
CLUTCHING AT STRAWS
Marillion
4.14 | 618 ratings
CONTAGION
Arena
4.15 | 450 ratings
POSTHUMOUS SILENCE
Sylvan
4.10 | 859 ratings
FREQUENCY
IQ
4.09 | 1034 ratings
MARBLES
Marillion
4.12 | 456 ratings
A TOWER OF SILENCE
Anubis
4.09 | 401 ratings
EMPIRES NEVER LAST
Galahad
4.04 | 876 ratings
DARK MATTER
IQ
4.05 | 615 ratings
EVER
IQ
4.04 | 655 ratings
THE VISITOR
Arena
4.09 | 313 ratings
SEVEN
Magenta
4.05 | 478 ratings
FANFARE & FANTASY
Comedy Of Errors
4.03 | 462 ratings
ALL RIGHTS REMOVED
Airbag
4.11 | 190 ratings
SEAS OF CHANGE
Galahad
4.00 | 621 ratings
THE SEVENTH HOUSE
IQ
3.97 | 1272 ratings
FUGAZI
Marillion
4.03 | 333 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

VOICES
T
HUNTING THE FOX
Ines
TIMANFAYA
Healing Road, The
SONGS FROM PENNSYLVANIA
Ezra

Latest Neo-Prog Music Reviews


 Live at the Target by TWELFTH NIGHT album cover Live, 1981
4.01 | 47 ratings

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Live at the Target
Twelfth Night Neo-Prog

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

4 stars The late 70s was in some ways more bizarre than what occurred in the music world within the decade prior. While rock and roll had morphed into all kinds of experimental branches including the hugely prolific progressive rock world, it didn't take long for established paradigms to gel and create distinct subgenera that would loosely define entire slivers of prog and how other bands that jumped into the scene would structure their compositions. However once the punk scene unfolded it completely shattered the status quo into a gazillion splinters from which the prog world would never quite recover but perhaps its greatest contribution to the music world was that it gave permission for new styles of music to mix and meld with the elements that came before.

While prog may have diminished in overall popularity, prog traits were being implemented in all kinds of ways. Post-punk was adopting Krautrock surreality as heard by bands like Chrome. Heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden and Saxon were borrowing the fantasy themes that were once relegated to prog alone and improvisation, jazz and classical features were popping up all over the place such as new wave, no wave and post-punk as well. Even the Talking Heads implemented spastic avant-prog touches and a plethora of crossover prog emerged as well as pop bands that once contained prog musicians such as Asia, the new Genesis, Peter Gabriel and the updated versions of King Crimson and Yes.

However, some bands that were up and coming in the 80s did things the other way around. While the 80s saw the decline of the 70s prog scene, it did see a revival of sort in the form of the synthesizer based neo-progressive rock that took the symphonic offerings of 70s Genesis and Camel, the space rock elements of Pink Floyd and a touch of more electric bands like Van Der Graaf Generator and The Enid. TWELFTH NIGHT relaunched prog in an unmistakable 80s style with updated digital synthesizers replacing Moogs and mellotrons, less emphasis on conceptual albums and outlandish lengthy compositions that excelled in ethereal otherworldliness that focused more on fantasy worlds that provided escapism.

One of the first bands to initiate the neo-prog scene was England's own TWELFTH NIGHT that took its name after the Shakespeare play and followed the updated playbook of mixing and melding elements of the past music scene with the present only in this case, the exact opposite of the post-punk explosion. The band was formed in 1978 when guitarist Andy Reveal and drummer Brian Devoil found common ground with an interest in the symphonic brand of 70s prog which they brought up to date with newer 80s technology. While starting out as the rather uninspiring Andy Reveil Band, they quickly changed the moniker to TWELFTH NIGHT and in the ensuing decades has become associated as one of the very first neo-prog bands that kick started a whole new generation of progressive rock.

While starting out as an instrumental band, TWELFTH NIGHT released a few demos but decided they really wanted a vocalist. After advertising in Melody Magazine they found promise in an American singer named Electra MacLeod who added lyrics to priorly crafted instrumentals and sang on the second cassette album titled "Early Material" or simply "Second Tape Album." Unfortunately things didn't work out so well so the band found itself without a vocalist for live gigs. Having been accustomed to instrumental only compositions, TWELFTH NIGHT continued forth without a vocalist and released their first album in the form of LIVE AT THE TARGET which finds this sophisticated synthesized music being performed in a pub setting. Now why don't this play this kind of stuff in the pubs in the US?

TWELFTH NIGHT have earned the Foghat effect within the neo-prog universe in the fact that this debut LIVE album has become legendary and somewhat eclipses their studio albums that follow. While the production isn't absolutely perfect due to its rather tenuous venue setting, the music on this one is pure magic with five stunning tracks that take all the progressive influences of Genesis and Pink Floyd amongst others and mix and meld them into stunning works of art that sound very much like they were construed in the 80s without sounding one bit cheesy. By this time the band had become a quartet with Clive Mitten joining in for bass, keyboards and classical guitar and Rick Battersby as keyboardist. Devoil plays drums and Reveal handles both electric and acoustic guitars.

LIVE AT THE TARGET is quite the stunning piece of early neo-prog and one of the few examples in the entire sub that eschews the almost ubiquitous emotional tugs delivered through dramatic lyrics and theatrical performances. Despite this vocaless experience TWELFTH NIGHT does establish a new paradigm that would launch the entire neo-prog scene in that it crafts carefully construed compositions that have a solidly composed form with heavy emphasis on clean melodic guitar solos and multiple keyboards runs that provide a multitude of counterpoints. There are also elements of funk grooves and hard rock guitar outbursts especially towards the end of performance with the album's highlight "Sequences." The compositions are quite dramatic in how they meander through different mood building suites despite not being listed as such.

This LIVE album came from the tour that put TWELFTH NIGHT on the map at least in the inner circles of the prog world that never abandoned the ideals of what the genre had to offer and on this tour the band would play at some of the biggest venues such as the Marquee Club in London. This particular album was recorded over a two day period on 15 and 16 of January 1981 at THE TARGET in Reading, England (the band's home turf) and delivered such strong performances that this is the gig that prompted Pinnacle Records market the band to both sides of the spectrum including the heavy metal world as well as the more psychedelic space rock world as both moods can be experienced within its run. LIVE AT THE TARGET is an excellent launching pad of the entire neo-prog universe that would soon be followed by bands like Marillion, Pendragon, Quasar and more. A deluxe edition reissue almost doubles the playing time with nine extra tracks.

 Dark Matter by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.04 | 876 ratings

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Dark Matter
IQ Neo-Prog

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

4 stars IQ had learned the hard way that straying from your musical proclivities that emanate the air of genuineness could lead to complete disaster. After the fiasco of their 80s failed ventures into crossover pop which frankly found the band skid out of control and falling into the worst possible crap possible, IQ had redeemed themselves by returning to form with 1993's "Ever" which found the band hitting their stride with a string of stellar neo-prog albums that took a cue from 70s Genesis, 80s Marillion amongst others and continued the tradition in a convincing satisfying way. While hitting a peak of sort with the outlandish double album "Subterranea" it seemed there was nowhere left to go but the band sallied forth with the turn of the millennium release "The Seventh House" which didn't find band reinventing the wheel but nevertheless stuck firmly with their established niche within the neo-prog world.

Four years later the band returned with its eighth studio album DARK MATTER which likewise didn't deviate from the established formula of drawn out atmospheric compositions that alternated soft symphonic prog passages with heavier rock flirting with metal rock and a nebulous overarching concept that i suspect matters less to the fans than the interesting musical backing, at least for yours truly. While "The Seventh House" seemed like a step down from "Subterranea" in that it played things a little too safe and didn't exactly dazzle in the wow factor, DARK MATTER changes all that with a more cleverly designed package that develops catchier melodies, stronger compositions and more varied instrumental workouts to support them. In fact, this album draws heavily from the 70s symphonic greats such as Genesis with tracks like "Supper's Ready" a prime suspect for the inspirational mojo magic and the band remained the exact same lineup which allowed a multi-year chemistry to blossom and it shows.

DARK MATTER displays IQ performing at their very best. Peter Nicholls staying strong with his controlled vocal delivery of emotional lyrical tugs in perfect poetic expressiveness, Mike Holmes alternating between powerful power chords and Hackett inspired soaring solos and Martin Orford's cranking out the masterful keyboard deliveries that put IQ in the big boys club of progressive rock as he ekes out tender grooves and church organ fueled bombast that adds and provides the primary currency of IQ's neo-prog sound properties so gracefully. Likewise the dualistic effect of John Jowitt's bass grooves and Paul Cook's precisely delivered percussive tact all conspire to create a beautifully performed melodic progressive rock album that dishes out five tracks including the 24 and a half closer "Harvest Of Souls" that offers seven developments through the monumental suite.

The tone is set with the atmospheric and ethereal intro of "Sacred Sound" that sounds like the soundtrack to a helium balloon ready to break free from Earth's gravitational pull that slowly introduces the groove oriented 7/8 time signature and allows Orford's organ riffing to slowly gestate into a monstrous rumble of keyboard excellence. Nicholls joins in as the bass and drums individually create a corresponding counterpoint that finds the band blending together in perfect harmony. The next three shorter tracks find a slew of changes including tender acoustic guitar passages, Pink Floyd inspired space rock, mellotron, mellotron and more mellotron as well as a more typical IQ style that honestly doesn't distinguish itself drastically from previous efforts such as "The Seventh House."

The true magnificence of DARK MATTER really results from the longer tracks which take up 2/3 of the real estate but the lengthy closer "Harvest Of Souls" is perhaps IQ's most accomplished track of their career with all the ingredients of IQ's recipe book performing together in the best possible ways. The track commences with tender arpeggiated acoustic guitar, ethereal atmospheric embellishments that find Nicholls perfectly enunciating every lyrical passage with his usual expected grace. This is an exciting track as it meanders from one played out melodic development to the next with all the usual mellow and heavy tradeoffs. The true highlight of the album for me is when Nicholls tenderly shouts "We Will Shoot You Where You Stand" and then an aggressive instrumental simulation of gunfire erupts and begins a killer development of the heaviest aspects within the IQ universe erupt into a series of stellar band interplay.

Another winner for IQ despite not being uniformly perfect. The opener and closer are two of the best tracks in the entire neo-prog world bar none not to mention within the prolific career of the band itself but the middle section while performed in the expected stellar fashion is a bit ordinary as far as the creativity is concerned. Still though, DARK MATTER continues the daunting task of keeping the high quality standards consistent and provides yet another successful chapter in the gloomier realms of 21st century neo-prog finding all the band's efforts at their instrumentally performed best. After DARK MATTER, Peter Cook would take a little hiatus until "The Road Of Bones" which found the band shifting gears a bit. If only the middle tracks had a bit more oomf and this would be a bona fide masterpiece but if find only the lengthiest tracks fit that bill. Another excellent album from one of neo-prog's masters.

 Double Vision by ARENA album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.94 | 180 ratings

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Double Vision
Arena Neo-Prog

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

4 stars The latest incarnation of popular British Neo-Prog band Arena has been in place for seven years now, and 2018's `Double Vision' marks the third album fronted by superior vocalist Paul Manzi for the group. While `Double Vision' may not quite be the big leap forward in sophistication that 2015's `The Unquiet Sky' was in comparison to the previous song-based (but actually rather underrated!) `The Seventh Degree of Separation' that kicked of this era, it still confidently marries the heavy guitars and shadowy gothic keyboards of this current version but now fuses them again to the lengthier prog epics of Arena's early days. While the album may not be a narrative-driven concept work, all of the seven pieces here share a similarly icy air, heightened emotion and surreal darker lyrics to maintain a stylistically similar mood the entire disc.

The curiously titled `Zhivago Wolf' is a punchy opener fuelled by Clive Nolan's mysterious icy synths and John Mitchell's snarling guitars, the piece detailing the way memories can be distorted over time only to seem more real than ever before. Vocalist Paul Manzi reels off a feverish string of stream-of-consciousness fragmented imagery and the band tear off into an up-tempo sprint behind Kylon Amos' pulsing bass and Mick Pointer's thrashing drums in the final moments. `The Mirror Lies', detailing the `emperor's new clothes' syndrome of those who believe their own hype, might feature big organ blasts and crushing riffing, but some calmer guitars and soothing ambient synth washes throughout harken back to the prettiest earliest Arena moments, and it also holds a catchy chest-beating chorus perfectly delivered by Manzi's soaring voice (and just listen for Clive's wavering keyboard break in the middle!).

Synths elegantly shimmer throughout `Scars' behind Manzi's pleading introspective voice, but it's really a showcase for John Mitchell's stadium-sized guitar soloing that rages with purpose, and muscular riffing around trippy electronic ripples burn throughout `Paradise Of Thieves' that also reveals another superb chorus. Bombastic organ menace and biting heavy guitars are perfect for conveying the hideous world of online sexual grooming in `Red Eyes', and lyrics like `Virtually invisible to you, spinning out my charms and promises, I can walk right into any room,' are deeply confronting. `Poisoned' is then classy and emotional ballad for lost loved ones, a true standout moment for Manzi on a disc that constantly highlights this charismatic singer.

It's then onto a closing epic (oh, as if prog fans dig those!), and the near-twenty-three minute `The Legend Of Elijah Shade' continues some story elements introduced on Arena's rightly cherished masterwork from twenty years ago, `The Visitor', a title often placed alongside other highly-regarded Neo-Prog works such as IQ's `Subterranea' `Twelfth Night's `Fact and Fiction' and Pendragon's `The Masquerade Overture'. Actually it's more a multi-part continuous suite of tunes than a true epic that would hold recurring themes and reprising passages, but pantomime-like grandness (similar to the wonderful stage shows that Nolan spends a lot of time on these days), ghostly piano ballads, boisterous harder rockers and uneasy gothic touches are all peppered with the theatrical vocal delivery, rousing choruses and surreal words the band do so well. There's no shortage of runaway keyboard soloing, and passages of sweetly chiming guitars and pretty synths instantly embrace the more romantic moments of the early albums once more, making the piece everything Arena do so well, and it maintains the great momentum and suitably dramatic build they excel at.

Arena here manage to marry the new with the old, but crucially without making it sound like a lazy retreat due to lack of inspiration. It's certainly not a challenging reinvention for the group, nor is it ever particularly subtle, but strong tunes, melodic arrangements, robust singing and an atmospheric instrumental backing all help make `Double Vision' a deceptively powerful and effective addition to the Arena discography that many of their fans will adore.

Four stars.

 You'll Be Mine by ALBION album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.98 | 20 ratings

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You'll Be Mine
Albion Neo-Prog

Review by CeeJayGee

4 stars I've listened to a few of Albion's previous releases and for me their latest You'll Be Mine seems like their strongest. This is a delightful album from this Polish neo prog band. There are seven tracks totalling just under forty-four minutes and the whole album is most enjoyable. What impressed me most was the strength of the melodies. I found myself listening several times to the whole album on repeat. All tracks follow the same structure. The melody is introduced by their fine female vocalist and the second half of each song then develops the melodic theme further giving opportunities for some fine guitar solos.
 The World by PENDRAGON album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.76 | 404 ratings

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The World
Pendragon Neo-Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After the fiasco of Kowtow (mediocre album by the way), Pendragon returned to their pure Neo-Prog origins heard in The Jewel and other early recordings with a record which should mark their style in decades to come.

In The World we can hear the most classic Pendragon line up with a very Barret's guitar oriented Neo-Prog sound, some glimpses of Nolan's keyboard leadership and with the typical weak and out of tone vocals of Barret himself.

Nevertheless, this gives the band an extra flavor which together with their mixture of English melancholy and epic approach to prog makes the listening of The World rewarding and interesting enough.

Best Songs: Back in The Spotlight, The Voyager, The Last Waltz.

Conclusion: if you like albums like The Masquerade Overture and Not of this Wold, you will surely enjoy The World although it does not has the quality of this later records in terms of production and songwriting.

My rating: ***

 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.25 | 1123 ratings

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The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Talking about a band with so much prestige, if I have to say that an album is their best to date that's a big deal...

But this is just what Road of Bones is. In my opinion, it's best IQ album to date. A dark, mature and epic collection of marvelous songs with almost no flaws or weak points. And talking about a double CD release, that's an extra point!

The rhythmic section is perfect, Holmes is so elegant and gifted as ever, the keyboards are awesome, modern and not so old-school like most of the Neo-Prog bands, and Peter Nichols... In my opinion, he has improved his singing throughout the years, being not so high pitched but much more mature and natural. And his lyrics are his most personal and obscure to date, making this album worthy to be heard again and again and again.

Best songs: Road of Bones, Without Walls, Ocean, Until The End, Constellations... Should I continue?

Conclusion: Road of Bones is not perfect. It contains an average song (Hardcore), some good ones (Ten Million Demos, Knucklehead, 1312 Overture) and a bunch of great ones (the rest). But it's really rewarding to hear a band with more than 30 years of history in such a great form, releasing their most complete, mature and well-made album to date.

For this reason and for the outstanding musical quality of Road of Bones, I'm giving this effort five solid stars, being one of the best Neo-Prog albums of all times.

My rating: *****

 Find Your Sun by D PROJECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.18 | 41 ratings

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Find Your Sun
The D Project Neo-Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

4 stars The leader, singer, guitarist and keyboard player St'phane Desbiens firstly known for his band Sense decided to move on his own because he wanted more freedom. Sense was becoming a band difficult to keep together with a singer living too far. Since then Stephane has continued to make the same kind of Retro-Prog in his modern way with some big guest musicians from the prog scene. This time he had the help of his son in the bass position and he has kept his longtime relationship with producer Andy Jackson who his an obvious choice for a band that makes music with a Pink Floyd influence. The result is still brilliant with some elaborate arrangements with piano, flute, sax, and violin. However, the music still has that guitar-oriented (acoustic and electric) sound going along this identifiable voice of Stephane. The compositions are never too complex, "Crude Reality" is a fine example with his Genesis intro, his simple chorus to sing along, that gets heavier in his second part. The music is built around strong melodies containing a perfect balance with some delicate, melancholic atmosphere, and heavy passage with a crunchy guitar sometimes reminiscent of King Crimson. This is another good addition to your D-Project collection or your whatever kind of prog you want to call this 50 minutes album that goes so fast.
 You'll Be Mine by ALBION album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.98 | 20 ratings

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You'll Be Mine
Albion Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Six years after The Indefinite State Of Matter (2012) polish prog rocker Albion is back. This time with a totally different line up. Founder member Krzysztof Malec (keyboards) is gone and so is the superb singer Katarzyna Sobkowicz-Malec. Thus making guitarist Jurek Antczak the only member to play on all Albions records so far. But instead of a whole new personnel, Antczak decided to recall several ex members to reform the group: so original singer Anna Batko is back to the fold (she sang on their first two releases). Another original member, bassist Paweł Konieczny also joined in and once official drummer Rafał Paszcz (who played on 2005´s Wabiac and 2007´s Broken Hopes) completes the "new" Albion. Guitarist Antczak handles all the keyboards duties here.

So, what about the album? The gathering of old members may suggest to some as a kind of nostalgia trip, but Youll be Mine is nothing like that. The sound is different for sure, made it even clearer without Krzystof Malecs majestic symphonic keys, but that does not mean a lack of quality, much on the contrary. What we have is a guitar-led progressive record of the highest calibre, as the new songs are simply brilliant, with not even a single weak track in the whole CD. Anna Batko is in great form and her vocals have a mysterious and haunting quality that is perfect for the recent material. But the dominant figure here is Jurek Antczak: his guitar playing is absolutely brilliant throughout the entire CDs. He goes from delicate acoustic finger picking to beautiful Gilmour-like electric solos to crunchy, blistering riffs, all without losing any of the melodic flair, creativity and tasteful deliver he has always done with this band. If, for sometime, he looked like one of modern prog music´s most underrated guitarist, here he has room to fully show off his talent and versatility like he never did before. But he does that without ever overplaying.

With a good production and a strong rhythm section, this is one of the best prog records of the year so far. Songs like the emotional Does Everybody Count, the melodic Lady Death and the 9 minute epic closer Hell are fine examples of the new style, where inspiration, freshness and powerful performances were found on every tune. It may take a little time to fully get the new music - it was my case anyway - but once you get it you are hooked. As usual with Albion the album is not long, it has only 40 minutes of running time, but those are of the highest quality.

A real nice surprise and one of the best prog records of 2018. Highly recommended, specially if you like guitar led prog music.

 Travel Conspiracy by TIME COLLIDER album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.45 | 13 ratings

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Travel Conspiracy
Time Collider Neo-Prog

Review by Rissan

3 stars Time Collider is a new band to the firmer progrock firmament, which houses a foundation of routines. Fudge Smith (Pendragon, Steve Hackett, Henry Fool) and Stephen Bennett (Tim Bowness, Henry Fool, The Fire Thieves, Opium Cartel) have known each other since the 1980s band LaHost and also John Jowitt (Ark, Arena, IQ, Jadis, Frost *, Uriah Heep) is no stranger. Newcomers Tommy Fox (vocals, guitar, bass and keyboards) and Dave H (guitar) complete the band.

Fudge Smith discovered Tommy Fox during the auditions, especially his four octave range, which in terms of sound moves between Peter Gabriel and Bruce Dickinson. The past two years have worked hard on the debut Travel Conspiracy, which houses a powerful mix of melodic hard rock and progressive rock. The catchy melody lines, for which Fudge Smith and Tommy Fox are responsible, settle after a few turns in your head and with the ten-minute opener Clock Strikes Twelve give the gentlemen an excellent business card.

Fine progrock with twists, which despite the dominating keys still offers the space for guitar and vocals, where it is striking that Tommy Fox acts as a kind of crazy musical scientist. He can invent completely strange but stimulating music that combines tempo changes and melody lines, making the music of Time Collider very accessible. Like an acoustic Ibiza style-like guitar part, as in Fierbinte Sub Soare (played by Nick Harper), that seamlessly merges into the spherical keyboards of Cold In The Shadow, which eventually turns out to be a solid hard rock song.

Dave H turns out to be a virtuoso guitarist during the album, who is dosed but full of surrender with nice solos and gives the songs that extra jeu. The only point of criticism that is heard after more than 72 minutes is the length of the album, and the resulting overkill. Because closing track Woodland Vertigo contains the least vocal performances of Tommy Fox, which sounds very whining. In general, the debut of Time Collider has become a pleasant album, with the fact that old-fashioned Bennett, Jowitt and Smith are banging away to showcase the newcomers Tommy Fox and Dave H.

 Seas Of Change by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.11 | 190 ratings

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Seas Of Change
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by Rissan

5 stars Galahad excels with Seas Of Change. Just as Comedy Of Errors presented their album spirit several years ago as a single track, Galahad does this again with a sublime suite of more than 42 minutes, full of the musical ingenuity that the band from Dorset has been offering us for over thirty years. .

The central theme of Seas Of Change can be captured in one word: BREXIT. Strongly politically engaged texts are the result when Stu Nicholson sings about the political climate in England. He looks with mixed feelings at the disappearance of his country hostage by social upheaval, mass confusion, an uncertain future and protests. But above all he paints a picture of the brutality that comes from the responsible politicians and all the resulting anger and frustrations.

A heavy subject, although Galahad knows how to make it musically brilliant and yet also airy, in which the entire spectrum of their repertoire is touched. Opening in an ambient style with references to Tangerine Dream and Latimer- like guitar playing, Nicholson is involved in this suite from The Great Unknown, the third movement. From the very beginning, Lee Abraham, already bass player in the band from 2005 to 2009, shines with strong and diverse guitar playing, that to be honest, Roy Keyworth, certainly a gifted guitarist, is in the crown.

Seas Of Change is a suite that, with each turn, grows into a compelling epic. The group chooses its moments for surprising breaks, choral parts and wonderfully lingering guitar playing, in which the dance influences of predecessors Battlescars and Beyond The Realms Of Euphoria, which date back to 2012, dominate less but perform a serving function.

Seas Of Change also marks the return of bassist Tim Ashton, who left for Japan after the publication of Nothing Is Written in 1990 and only returned in 2015 and that year debuted on Northern Prog; incidentally the last concert with Roy Keyworth on guitar. With the bringing in of Lee Abraham as a guitarist, the band seems to have tapped into a new dimension, with a better balance between the guitar and Dean Baker's keyboard work. Ashton and drummer Spencer Luckman provide the tight foundation, while Nicholson comes out of his career with his most politically engaged lyrics. It makes Seas Of Change a highlight in Galahad's oeuvre.

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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
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