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CROSSOVER PROG

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Crossover Prog definition

Crossover Prog contains progressive rock music that, though 100% progressive, may have a musical connection to popular music-- whether it be the lack of emphasis on extended compositions, or an influence from mainstream music in addition to classical, jazz and folk. Compositions, however, still exhibit a high degree of sophistication, sometimes outright complexity, and the musicianship and virtuosity is often on a par with established Prog acts. Much like their kin in the established prog sub-genres, these groups will incorporate many major parts of what defines prog rock: the fusing of rock with the structures and discipline of more traditional musics, the use of syntheisizers and new technologies, intelligent thematics, and the expansion of the form.

The defining characteristics of Crossover Prog are a pop music influence that is largely vacant in typical prog rock. Songs tend toward shorter, more concise presentations though still reach beyond the typical verse, bridge, chorus pattern. The harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic structures may be more easily digested in Crossover while not losing the musical integrity that a prog listener expects. Whereas Prog Related bands are generally commercial groups with certain prog elements or players that were involved in prog acts, Crossover Prog artists are predominantly progressive with elements of popular music.

The most representative examples for this genre include The MOODY BLUES, SUPERTRAMP, DREDG, CINEMA SHOW, RADIOHEAD.

- written by micky (Michael) and Chus (Jesus)

Current Team Members as at 04/26/2015

Tom (Roland113)
Evolver (Scott)
tszirmay (Thomas)
rogerthat (Madan)

Crossover Prog Top Albums


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

4.33 | 1177 ratings
CRIME OF THE CENTURY
Supertramp
4.33 | 956 ratings
OMMADAWN
Oldfield, Mike
4.29 | 1374 ratings
THE RAVEN THAT REFUSED TO SING (AND OTHER STORIES)
Wilson, Steven
4.31 | 546 ratings
HAND. CANNOT. ERASE.
Wilson, Steven
4.24 | 778 ratings
DOOMSDAY AFTERNOON
Phideaux
4.21 | 1298 ratings
GRACE FOR DROWNING
Wilson, Steven
4.20 | 664 ratings
PETER GABRIEL (3 - "MELT")
Gabriel, Peter
4.22 | 388 ratings
~
iamthemorning
4.18 | 762 ratings
ENGLISH ELECTRIC (PART ONE)
Big Big Train
4.17 | 681 ratings
SNOWTORCH
Phideaux
4.18 | 568 ratings
THE UNDERFALL YARD
Big Big Train
4.15 | 594 ratings
DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED
Moody Blues, The
4.15 | 477 ratings
NIGHT
Gazpacho
4.12 | 592 ratings
ENGLISH ELECTRIC (PART TWO)
Big Big Train
4.23 | 127 ratings
THE SHAMING OF THE TRUE
Gilbert, Kevin
4.17 | 179 ratings
QUICKLY QUICKLY QUICKLY
Tea Club, The
4.12 | 290 ratings
HOUNDS OF LOVE
Bush, Kate
4.06 | 846 ratings
TUBULAR BELLS
Oldfield, Mike
4.12 | 252 ratings
CORVUS STONE II
Corvus Stone
4.10 | 334 ratings
PASSION
Gabriel, Peter
4.19 | 140 ratings
LOVE REMAINS THE SAME
Von Hertzen Brothers
4.13 | 214 ratings
THE HEMULIC VOLUNTARY BAND
Ritual
4.08 | 359 ratings
WAR AND PEACE & OTHER SHORT STORIES
Filkins, Sean
4.09 | 268 ratings
SPIRIT OF EDEN
Talk Talk
4.05 | 437 ratings
AMAROK
Oldfield, Mike
4.08 | 279 ratings
PAMPERED MENIAL
Pavlov's Dog
4.07 | 293 ratings
LUNATIC SOUL
Lunatic Soul
4.22 | 98 ratings
MODRA RIJEKA
Indexi
4.16 | 133 ratings
SECRETS OF THE BEEHIVE
Sylvian, David
4.02 | 750 ratings
OK COMPUTER
Radiohead
4.08 | 235 ratings
EL CIELO
Dredg
4.03 | 521 ratings
TALES OF MYSTERY AND IMAGINATION - EDGAR ALLAN POE
Parsons Project, Alan
4.30 | 67 ratings
THE EDGES OF TWILIGHT
Tea Party, The
4.04 | 427 ratings
TICK TOCK
Gazpacho
4.38 | 53 ratings
TIME
Time
4.11 | 172 ratings
ACT I: THE LAKE SOUTH, THE RIVER NORTH
Dear Hunter, The
4.05 | 291 ratings
TO OUR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN'S CHILDREN
Moody Blues, The
4.02 | 469 ratings
NUMBER SEVEN
Phideaux
4.10 | 159 ratings
THE LONG DIVISION
3RDegree
4.09 | 173 ratings
AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE
Sunchild
4.06 | 207 ratings
THE DREAMING
Bush, Kate
4.04 | 236 ratings
SHINE ON BRIGHTLY
Procol Harum
3.99 | 453 ratings
UP
Gabriel, Peter
4.04 | 218 ratings
FOR YOUR PLEASURE
Roxy Music
4.15 | 97 ratings
NEW WORLD (DELUXE EDITION)
Kerzner, Dave
4.16 | 92 ratings
THE GNOMON
Sunchild
4.03 | 214 ratings
GHOSTS
Frequency Drift
4.03 | 213 ratings
WALKING ON A FLASHLIGHT BEAM
Lunatic Soul
4.00 | 345 ratings
PERFECT BEINGS
Perfect Beings
3.99 | 341 ratings
MARCH OF GHOSTS
Gazpacho
4.03 | 209 ratings
ROXY MUSIC
Roxy Music
4.13 | 94 ratings
AND THE GLASS HANDED KITES
Mew
4.05 | 144 ratings
CINEMATIC
Lebowski
4.00 | 197 ratings
ACT III: LIFE AND DEATH
Dear Hunter, The
3.95 | 454 ratings
EVEN IN THE QUIETEST MOMENTS....
Supertramp
4.01 | 181 ratings
ACT II: THE MEANING OF, AND ALL THINGS REGARDING MS. LEADING
Dear Hunter, The
4.14 | 76 ratings
AN OCEAN HELD ME
Mice On Stilts
4.32 | 43 ratings
VEIL OF GOSSAMER
Bainbridge, Dave
3.94 | 540 ratings
BREAKFAST IN AMERICA
Supertramp
3.93 | 585 ratings
KID A
Radiohead
4.32 | 42 ratings
CHROMIUM
Talisma
3.97 | 249 ratings
BELIGHTED
iamthemorning
4.01 | 152 ratings
ENOUGH BLAME TO GO AROUND
Disconnect
3.98 | 192 ratings
LAUGHING STOCK
Talk Talk
4.07 | 95 ratings
NO TENGAS MIEDO
Kant Freud Kafka
4.15 | 65 ratings
BLUE JAYS
Hayward & Lodge (The Moody Blues)
4.33 | 39 ratings
CONFRONTATION
State Urge
3.94 | 319 ratings
AMUSED TO DEATH
Waters, Roger
3.92 | 418 ratings
HERGEST RIDGE
Oldfield, Mike
3.99 | 156 ratings
BROKEN CHINA
Wright, Richard
3.92 | 463 ratings
PETER GABRIEL (4 - "SECURITY" OR "MASK")
Gabriel, Peter
3.97 | 194 ratings
LAID TO REST
Frequency Drift
4.01 | 132 ratings
RETURN TO MINGULAY
Oceans 5
3.96 | 202 ratings
NEVER FOR EVER
Bush, Kate
4.06 | 91 ratings
SANCTUARY
Reed, Robert
4.22 | 48 ratings
SELECTIVE MEMORY
Témpano
3.94 | 225 ratings
THE KICK INSIDE
Bush, Kate
3.98 | 137 ratings
AS YOUR MIND FLIES BY
Rare Bird
3.99 | 122 ratings
THE END IS BEGUN
Three
4.04 | 88 ratings
THINK LIKE A MOUNTAIN
Ritual
4.20 | 46 ratings
CELESTIAL FIRE
Bainbridge, Dave
3.90 | 320 ratings
INCANTATIONS
Oldfield, Mike
4.04 | 85 ratings
I
Kaukasus
4.03 | 90 ratings
MAPS OF NON-EXISTENT PLACES
Thank You Scientist
3.93 | 193 ratings
SYNAESTHESIA
Synaesthesia
3.96 | 136 ratings
TROUBLE WITH MACHINES
District 97
3.93 | 178 ratings
MOMENTS
IOEarth
3.94 | 157 ratings
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS
Wayne, Jeff
4.01 | 95 ratings
KAYAK II
Kayak
4.10 | 61 ratings
ANCHOR DROPS
Umphrey's McGee
4.15 | 51 ratings
D'APRČS LE HORLA DE MAUPASSANT
Box, The
4.55 | 22 ratings
PEVNINA DETSTVA
Ursiny, Dezo
4.38 | 28 ratings
NORTHLANDS
Patterson - Eyre
3.96 | 115 ratings
THE ANCIENT TALE
Fatal Fusion
3.89 | 246 ratings
PROCOL HARUM
Procol Harum
4.19 | 43 ratings
EL FIN DE LA INFANCIA (CHILDHOOD'S END)
Témpano
3.89 | 228 ratings
CHUPACABRAS
Phideaux
4.09 | 57 ratings
TODD
Rundgren, Todd
3.91 | 172 ratings
OVER
Frequency Drift
4.05 | 67 ratings
TURN OF THE TIDE
Arz

Crossover Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

GLOSSOLALIA
Walsh, Steve
STANDING STONE
Oliver
PRE-EMPTIVE FALSE RAPTURE
Chrome Hoof
CORPUS
Talisma

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Latest Crossover Prog Music Reviews


 Hounds of Love by BUSH, KATE album cover Studio Album, 1985
4.12 | 290 ratings

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Hounds of Love
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is not only Kate Bush's masterpiece, it is also on my list of perfect albums. It is one of those rare albums that I consider a 6 star recording. This is an amazing album with a wide variety of moods, styles and dynamics. It's one thing that KB has one of the most versatile and unique voices in music and that makes her music original and interesting. But to add to that the genius that so very few artists can do so well as what Kate did on this album and that is to mix the perfect blend of pop, experimentation and prog to make not only a successful album, but also one that is so amazing and that keeps it's timelessness over the years to still remain so great and not ever get stale. This is one album that I still enjoy as much as I did in it's day. If anything, my appreciation for it has grown.

The album is divided into two suites. The first 5 tracks are more individual, but have an underlying theme of different aspects of love. "Running Up That Hill" is the classic KB song full of mystery and lushness that is unbeaten. It reminds one of a foggy morning, so beautiful and strange. That feeling continues with "Hounds of Love". Both of these tracks carry with them the love of life that exists even with the limitations that humans have, the 2nd one being more carefree, while the 1st is more of a yearning for the impossible. "The Big Sky" also continues the poppish sound, but through these songs, you hear a constant beat, but there is an underlying current that makes the music so very un-typical of pop music that hasn't been copied or never will be. There is that air of mystery always apparent, yet almost with a childish attitude of happiness that comes with human nature, especially when it comes to love. "Mother Stands for Comfort" is probably the most inaccessible song on this side of the album. It is a moody slower song with some strange sounds and atmospheres. It includes a lot of vocal tricks of which Kate always has plenty of up her sleeve. This is one thing that has kept her from being completely pop fodder, her voice is unconventional, yet so beautiful and acrobatic. The music that accompanies her voice is not just backup sounds either, it is always important and interesting, just as interesting as the voice and the lyrics. Even on this album, it's still unconventional even with it's vicinity to pop. I hate calling this album pop by the way, because it is so much better than that genre. The last song on this side is "Cloudbursting" which is based on a relationship with a scientist and the work they are experimenting with. This returns to a consistent beat that was evident in different forms throughout the first side except for the 4th track.

The 2nd half of the album is even more interesting, beautiful and amazing. This suite is called "The Ninth Wave" and consists of tracks 6 - 11. Even with the greatness of the first half, this side is even better, mainly because there are a lot more prog elements in the music and because it is so original. The vocals and lyrics still retain their importance, but the instruments now are even more important and are used so well. There is an underlying story to the concept of this part of the album that has to do with dreaming, drowning and dying but living afterwards in a different realm. "And Dream of Sleep" is one of the most beautiful songs ever sung, so peaceful, yet so powerful. "Under the Ice" is so mysterious and uses strings to build tension and work together with the voices here to add suspense. The very strange yet wonderful "Waking the Witch" utilizes some amazing recording tricks that continue with the tension building, and this almost seems to be inspired by Pink Floyd's "The Trial" off of The Wall album. The music isn't copied, but the idea is similar with a dramatic ending. The helicopter sound effect is actually taken from The Wall and credit is given. "Watching You" is more of a floating piece with some cool percussive sounds and more of a minimalistic approach but Kate's vocals soar and flow around the instruments. "Jig of Life" is based on celtic music but starts off in minor key to build more tension and drama, but the tension is released as suddenly the jig takes on a major key and becomes very traditional sounding Irish dance tune for a short while after which Kate interrupts and starts putting moments in their proper places....suddenly the jig is minor again and a male voice builds tension again as poetry is recited. Quite an amazing song. "Hello Earth" closes out the suite in a beautifully sung quieter piece that is interrupted a few times by a Gregorian style chant with minimal strings or syth is played in the background. This is surprisingly effective especially with the release of the tension, even though she is free floating above the earth and all seems perfect, the chanting is done in minor key and reminds you that not all is as great as it seems. Simply amazing music, I can't describe how much I love this album. The last song is actually not part of the suite, but is more of a stand-alone song called "The Morning Fog" which brings everything back to earth again. This is a short piece that is reminiscent of Kate's earlier works and it actually fits in well with the rest of the album.

I can't help but love this album, I think it is probably my favorite album of that decade when it was released, in the 80s. If it isn't my favorite, then it is definitely up there with the best. Perfect musicianship, so many little inticricies and little nuances that keep it constantly fresh and interesting to listen to. No doubt I have to call this one of the most important recordings of it's time and even still to this day. Like I said before, this is a 6 star album in my own book, but I only have 5 to work with here. This is a masterpiece.

 Night Of The Demon by GAZPACHO album cover DVD/Video, 2015
4.05 | 3 ratings

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Night Of The Demon
Gazpacho Crossover Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

4 stars This cd/dvd combo is from a show recorded April 12, 2014 at De Boerdrerij, Zoetermeer. The dvd has 5 more tracks then the cd. It's start strongly with the dark song "Tick Tock" part one, and immediately we can appreciate the clear production of the music. This band has the reputation to make music by creating intimate and electric atmosphere without displaying some complex time signatures. There is some recurring theme throughout those songs and a love for exotic music and folk music like the funny klezmer part in the song "The Wizard of Altai Mountains" and in the song "Golem" where we find a short escape to oriental music. "Winter is Never" is where the band slow things down and let the crowd sing before introducing the musicians. But things get back to the dark stuff slowly with "Dingler's Horses" that display some nice drums patterns and a heavy ending. My favorite track of all was from the album "Missa Atroppos", the song "Vera" with a beautiful melody. From that same album "Splendid Isolation" is another dark track with good atmosphere and a big crescendo with some David Gilmour style of guitar sound. This band succeed to create some emotional music with subtle arrangements that come also from the drums and the piano. All this music is enhanced by the nice voice of Jan Henrik Ohme. I recommended this cd/dvd for fans of Marillion late era and you won't resist to put the dvd on your player when you know that there is a lot more material than the cd.
 LOVE.BLOOD.LIVE by TRANSPORT AERIAN album cover Live, 2014
3.95 | 6 ratings

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LOVE.BLOOD.LIVE
Transport Aerian Crossover Prog

Review by Angelo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars In between 2013's Bleeding, and what would eventually become Darkblue, Transport Aerian released Love.Blood.Live, a compilation of live recordings made during live shows on Bleeding. The idea was to give fans world wide, who would not be able to attend shows in Europe, a feel for what Hamlet and his accomplice at the time Stephan Boeykens were capable of live. In doing that, they also created an nice introduction into the repertoire and style of Transport Aerian at the time.

From the opening track Love it is clear that Transport Aerian is not about party music. The atmosphere is gloomy and dark. The music, minimalistic - a pulsing bass, with (percussive) noises around it gives it an industrial feel, perhaps even more postrock, with some interesting guitar work by Stephan Boeykens near the end. The spoken word vocals of Hamlet tell of someone looking desperately for love in a voice that seems to be on the edge of breaking...

Inspire shows a different face of Hamlet - loose piano notes are the basis of the song, which features a higher pitched, singing vocal, but still with a desperate ring to it. Drums and guitar loop kick in half way to make it more powerful, and near the end we get a haunting guitar and bass piece that is replaced by a horror movie like piano crescendo to finish the track.

With Fog Vision, another post rock like track appears - this time a bit faster played, and with an almost whispering vocal. A vocal that disappears completely for 2 minutes on the instrumental Float - a track by Stephan Boeykens, featuring a single guitar and a loop station, playing picked melodies.

This guitar seems to return briefly at the beginning of Nightsky, but switches to strumming when the vocals come in. In between verses, the guitar plays a simple 3 or 4 note repeating tune, which draw attention in a weird way. When singing on this one, Hamlet suddenly adds an aggressiveness to his vocal that wasn't there earlier. Involuntarily, in some places he manages to sound like a hoarse version of Klaus Meine - but only if one wants to hear that.

The aggression gives way to melancholy on the slightly sad, moody Winter, which also contains some nice, haunting postrock guitar work.

After this, its time for another instrumental by Stephan Boeykens, once again guitar and loop station, Minor Moody. A moment of peace in between the darkness of the other tracks.

And then, the two closing tracks Triangle Town and Radio Void bring us back to the opening - spoken word, dark music and a stronger beat than elsewhere on the album. Triangle Town also shows a little bit of jazz influences, when the bass and piano join the guitar and speed things up a bit halfway the track.

As I wrote in my review for Darkblue, this is not music to be played as background noise. No music ever should be, but in this case its impossible - you have to listen to be able to appreciate this, and that is what music should be about. Even though it's dark and gloomy, there are times when this is worth putting on and sitting down for - even if only once, to get a feel for what Transport Aerian is about.

 Darkblue by TRANSPORT AERIAN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.45 | 6 ratings

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Darkblue
Transport Aerian Crossover Prog

Review by Angelo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars When I was in high school, I always looked at the aspiring musicians in my school (some got quite far with their aspirations too) as if they were some sort of mystics. They always had this sense of being untouchable, impossible to understand around them. That feeling disappeared over time, as I kept in touch with some of them, and it turned out that they were just moving into the same musical areas where I ended up (albeit I started as a listener and became a player only much later). End of 2014, in the chatroom of House of Prog, I ran into Hamlet, the man behind Transport Aerian, and that old feeling returned. This man seemed to be very intelligent, open for communication, but also somehow distant, almost unapproachable. Now, half a year later, I know that the latter is not true, Hamlet is indeed intelligent, but certainly open for communications. However, unlike my old school mates, he is much less moving into the mainstream (or mainstream prog) direction than many others.

When I started reviewing his new album Darkblue, I was thinking of writing a double review for that album and the live album Love.Blood.Live, which preceded it last year. That wouldn't do justice to Darkblue however, because this is vastly different from Transport Aerian's earlier work. Where, as Hamlet wrote in his blog himself, Bleeding (studio album) and Love.Blood.Live are more song oriented, Darkblue is a surrealistic movie expressed in music and the visuals of the accompanying artwork. To that will, as plans are being announced now, the visuals of a live performance will be added later.

This album for sure is what the title suggest, dark, but not pitch black (although Jim Morrison's work with The Doors is almost white compared to this). The music is haunting and minimalistic (Sand Horizon), experimental at times (Black), leaning towards industrial in places (Full Body Access, ), while building almost psychedelic soundscapes in others (Epitaph) - and then there is something close to hard rock or metal as well (Crossbreed).

The lyrics, spoken and sung by Hamlet and his accomplice for this album Rachel Bauer (also responsible for the mystic photos in the album booklet) tell a story of, in Hamlets own words 'exile, self-isolation and love' - in a dialog between two people. As explained on the Transport Aerian blog, this "is the one-piece musical diary that tells the surreal love story, which is being recited throughout the album's temporal and spatial space from the face of two main characters". A concept that makes it nearly impossible to do a track by track review. In all honesty, I see no point in listening to individual tracks anyway - this is indeed a single piece of music. Thus, I'll hold back on that and just recommend anyone who's in for something non-conformist, experimental and as true to art as art can be, to give this album a try and experience for themselves what Hamlet felt when writing this music, and what Rachel Bauer and him made out of that when recording.

I really hope I'll be able to catch a live performance of this album, if only to see if my own visualisations match those of the artists. Hamlet announced working on the scenario for a live performance as I write this, so perhaps see you there, dear reader?

(also published on my blog www.hulshout.nl/rfm)

 Nightwinds by NIGHTWINDS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.32 | 21 ratings

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Nightwinds
Nightwinds Crossover Prog

Review by MarxNutz

3 stars I recently discovered the self-titled "NightWinds" on YouTube and have given the album several listens. I like some aspects of this obscure Canadian band's offering, particularly that certain 'weirdness' their compositions exhibit (I LIKE weirdness BTW). Prog bands often revel in odd time-signatures, chord progressions and vocals that defy pop single status. At first listen, I enjoyed this band's weirdness, especially in the first half of the album. Other reviewers compared NightWinds to Genesis and Yes, but I didn't really get that impression. I thought they were closer to Omega (Hungarian band) a bit of Klaatu (as it turns out I was peripherally correct) with a hint of Ethos and even Gentle Giant. Upon additional listenings, I could hear what people were saying about Genesis influences and that's fine. With all that said, I'd have to say that at first I kind of liked the vocals, but after a while it got very tedious to listen to. In some cases, Sandy Singers' voice seemed oddly appropriate, other times an annoyance. Most of the songs were anthems with a couple of ballads thrown in, and Singers' limited vocal range seemed more useful for the anthem. I would be curious to find the lyrics, so I could keep up with some of the rapid fire lyrics. Occasionally, everything seemed to click and those are the moments I listen for in a prog album. All in all, a nice effort and I wonder what would have happened if a second album had ever been published. I would give this album a solid 3.5 for its 'weirdness' factor and homage to other more recognizable bands.
 Live From Here There & Everywhere by CIRCA album cover Live, 2013
3.96 | 4 ratings

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Live From Here There & Everywhere
Circa Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars "As the speed does increase, all the forces released"

Circa has two live releases out so far, with the present one being the most recent to date. At the time of the recording of their first live release, Circa consisted of three ex-Yes members in Billy Sherwood, Tony Kaye, and Alan White, plus Jimmy Haun. The DVD Circa: Live featured a performance of Circa's self-titled debut album in its entirety followed by a 40 minute medley of Yes songs (in chronological order from 1969 to 1999) plus one full Yes song in The More We Live - Let Go from Union (Billy Sherwood's first contribution to a Yes album).

In comparison, Live From Here There & Everywhere focuses entirely on original Circa material; the set list consisting primarily of cuts from their two most recent studio discs, HQ and And So On. As such there is almost no overlap between this and the first live release, which is good. The only song that is featured on both is Together We Are. White and Haun have moved on and two new members in Rick Tierney and Scott Connor have been recruited.

Even though the inclusion of Yes material would have been interesting, it is also nice to see that the band have the courage to concentrate on their own songs. I know that they include some Yes songs in their set lists, but the material selected for this live album is all their own. The songs are generally strong and especially some of the older songs are improved in the live setting compared to the original studio versions. There is a nice vibe and energy to these recordings.

Without necessarily saying that the eight songs featured here are Circa's eight best songs, this live album does run a little like a best off album played live. As I said, the main focus is on material from the band's most recent studio discs with half of the songs coming from And So On and three songs from the second studio album HQ.

Live From Here There & Everywhere is Circa's best live release and together with the studio album And So On it is also their best release full stop.

 Tregeagle's Choice by NAPIER'S BONES album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.94 | 8 ratings

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Tregeagle's Choice
Napier's Bones Crossover Prog

Review by heartscore

4 stars Following the traditional path of the concept album Napier's bone's album "Tregeagle's choice" is based on the true historical story of Jan Tregeagle. The legend tells, that he sold his soul for success in life and Napier's bone's album is focusing on the legend creating an uni-directional story-line. The dramatic content is supported by the use of different singers. While the main role is taken over by UK based singer Nathan John Tillet, mastermind Gordon Midgley gives roles to other people as well. He takes over two roles himself. Other guests join a scene at a village, recreating an authentic crowd (track 5 "Vox populi") The story-line remind on other genius-stories like the one of Robert Johnson, Niccolo Paganini. Musically Midgley and Tillet have created a progressive rock style, which is also based on tradition (matching the historical story), but adding some unusual ingredients. The music is arranged with much diversity using all well- known elements of the classic phase of british progressive rock. The mellotron is intensively used, many different guitar-sounds and layers of guitar-sounds, some fine vocal-harmonies. Everything is pointing to the big ones of progressive rock: YES, Genesis and (most apparently) early King Crimson. Some people might be sad about the stylistic change of King Crimson after their first three albums towards Jazzrock and Avantgarde and exactly this group of people could be very happy with Napier's bones, if they are longing for a secret King Crimson-album between "The wake of Poseidon" and "Lizard". But "Napier's bones" is more than just a Yes/King Crimson - recreation for two reasons: The story told in "Tregeagle's choice" is much more concrete than the usual progressive lyrics. From the very beginning the listener is catched by the story-line, which is more comparable to 18th-century romantic ballad than to hard to understand Yes-lyrics. Second Nathan John Tillet's performance on the lead vocals is breathtaking different compared to classic prog- singers. Tillet sings like a very good drama-actor with emotional expression and much variety. His voice is causing suspense. Which progressive-rock-singer has ever caused suspense? Anderson? Greg Lake? Hamill? They are all very static singers, more another voice in the arrangement, more beautiful than thrilling. The emotional deepness of Tillet's style, and the rough and sometimes raspy timbre of his voice injects an unheard flavor to this progressive album, as if Roger Daltrey had joined King Crimson back in 1970.

A very pleasing album for listeners of both, Classic Rock and Progressive Rock

 Bansheeface by PSEUDO/SENTAI album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.95 | 17 ratings

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Bansheeface
Pseudo/Sentai Crossover Prog

Review by VOTOMS

4 stars Review nş 217

Pseudo/Sentai - Bansheeface

Another concept album by the superheroes Blue and Red, or Scott and Greg. Original as ever, the band planned something quite special from the very beggining. It feels like playing a retro videogame but slowly it gets progressive and turns into a weird pop, multi-layered rock featuring a hard psychological abuse of rhythmic boundaries. I feel these guys are listening too much to Cardiacs and stuff, really, the chord progression is far unusual and it could take some time to fully memorize a track if you're not paying the right attention. Hard to describe their music. Ecletic technical art pop with a tip of avant-metal background. Or maybe Crossover Prog, that's it. They got electronics, acoustic passages, and the main vocals reminds me of 30 Seconds to Mars, unfortunattely or not. Taliking about Mars, their music feels close to The Mars Volta sometimes... Anyway, this album is a trauma for me, because Greg sent me this material before the release and I got into a car accident while listening to his music. I think this is the perfect music for a spaceship drunk dwarf party at a mushroom shaped disco room. I wanted write a longer review but I'm feeling like PA's Allan Poe and currently I can only write short texts because of my unbalanced mental state.

 Garden Of Ghosts by FRACTAL MIRROR album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.94 | 25 ratings

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Garden Of Ghosts
Fractal Mirror Crossover Prog

Review by Angelo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars It's months ago that I promised Leo Koperdraat (keyboard, guitar, vocals) to review the album Garden of Ghosts, which he released together with Ed van Haagen (bass and keyboards) and Frank Urbaniak (drums and lyrics). The second album of this trio, and I must admit that up to this day I have not had the chance (or, to be more honest, time) to listen to their debut, Strange Attractions. Maybe I should, given what I found on this one...

Fractal Mirror consider their music (as written on their web site) to be contemporary pop/rock with progressive rock influences. This shows in the way the songs are structured, there's a bit more of chorus and verse structuring then on the albums I usually review, but a bit of variation in the musical diet usually doesn't hurt. Certainly not in this case, when the progressive rock influences are coming from the corner that was once monikered symphonic rock. Or, in short, there's a lot of keyboard work on this album. Not really a surprise, given that both Dutchmen, Koperdraat and Van Haagen play keyboards, next to the other instruments they handle.

This means that on just about all tracks, from the opening House of Wishes all the way to Stars, we are treated to layers of keyboard, synthesizer and mellotron melodies. Sometimes they simply form the main structure of the song, sometimes they are the accompaniment of the guitar. A guitar that is not always played by Leo Koperdraat by the way, on some tracks, for example Lost in the Clouds, producer and musician Brett Kull plays (slide) guitar.

So what does that mean in detail? Well, the album opens with House of Wishes, which has a an eighties synth pop feel to it, but with more intricate keyboard work. The singing of Leo Koperdraat reminds me slightly of Steve Kilby, singer of eighties Australian pop band The Church.

This is followed by the slightly more complex The Phoenix. A heavier opening is followed by more keyboard work, like on the opening track, but this track goes through different moods and tempos. Just in time for me, it becomes a bit more powerful near the end: despite the beautiful keyboard structures, the album lacks a bit of power for me.

On Lost in the Cloud, which starts in the same tempo as the first two tracks, the additional slide guitar adds a more rocky edge. This track is also the opening of the Powerless Suite, which covers four tracks from the album - dealing with social media, human communications and what would happen if we became 'really powerless'. An interesting theme, laid down very well in the music here.

Solar Flare the second part of the suite, is largely instrumental, with the band's friend and video artist Andre de Boer on triangle. The combination of organ (a Hammond?) and guitar work out really well here, mimicking the power of a solar flare for sure.

The Hive portrays what happens when the power goes down, taking us through the emotions of the now disconnected people. The keyboards and a quite sharp guitar part mimic the despair of the narrator having to communicate in the natural way again. That same guitar takes a lead role in the short instrumental Solar Flare Reprise.

After the suite, it is time for a short change in atmosphere and instrumentation. The Garden is build around piano and acoustic guitar, giving it a completely different feel than the rest of the album. A rather melancholic track about aging.

Orbital View builds layers of keyboard melodies again, which lead to a somewhat gloomy sound when combined with drums and guitars. Here Leo Koperdraat also sings in a slightly different way (higher pitched) than on the rest of the album.

Event Horizon is another good keyboard based track, about forgetting about the future when loosing someone. This nicely complements Legacy, which is about the feeling of parents when their children leave 'the nest'.

Closing off the album is Stars, which is dedicated by the band to all those they have lost. A beautiful track, opening with acoustic guitar and a real choir (no mellotron this time) followed by a bass hook that keeps you wondering how to explain it. The song builds up an becomes less dependent on that bass hook later on - and provides some great instrumentals.

Based on reviews of the debut, the band has improved quite a bit - and although this album is good, I hope the announced two volume album for 2016 shows more improvement. For that I see two ways, after listening to this album. First, I hope to find slightly more emotion in the vocals (Leo is a bit lacking there, which doesn't do justice to the nice timbre he has). Second, maybe a few more instrumental parts - the melodies and compositions are so good that sometimes the vocals could be omitted without loosing the story. A story which is otherwise well covered by the lyrics of drummer and lyricist Frank Urbaniak.

So, it took me a while get around to reviewing this album, but now it's done. Playing it is more than worth the time of anyone who likes symphonic rock and related music. Curious to things to come, with a promise of two volumes of music next year the band suddenly have raised the bar for themselves.

(also published on my blog www.hulshout.nl/rfm)

 The Bends by RADIOHEAD album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.79 | 422 ratings

BUY
The Bends
Radiohead Crossover Prog

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

2 stars In preparing this review I listened to The Bends several times. For some people, this would be a blissful experience; for me, it sort of felt like a chore. I have a lot of respect for Radiohead's elevation of artistic rock music in the popular arena; I hear the creative textures, emotional singing, and melancholic beauty... and just have a hard time caring.

Ultimately, the nicest thing I can say about The Bends is that I wouldn't mind if it were playing in the background, but I'd never seek it out. At its low points, this album sounds like noisy bathos, at it's best, it's average sounding art rock. I understand that this is subjective, because what's average to me is not average to the "normal" listener, but then again I don't think the majority of people reading this review are "normal" listeners, either. There isn't enough depth here beyond the numerous guitar effects for me to enjoy, and more than enough mopey yelling and toe-tapping alt-pop.

The Bends just doesn't do it for me; maybe if I were 16 years old again with my back to the wall with early '90's junk alternative, but not now. That being said, I do enjoy some of the quite songs, like "High and Dry", "Fake Plastic Trees", and "Nice Dream".

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

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