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CROSSOVER PROG

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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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 01/01/2014

Evolver (Scott)
kev rowland (Kevin)
ProgShine (Diego)
tszirmay (Thomas)
Second Life Syndrome (Jason)

Crossover Prog Top Albums


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

4.34 | 1049 ratings
CRIME OF THE CENTURY
Supertramp
4.34 | 863 ratings
OMMADAWN
Oldfield, Mike
4.31 | 1110 ratings
THE RAVEN THAT REFUSED TO SING (AND OTHER STORIES)
Wilson, Steven
4.24 | 712 ratings
DOOMSDAY AFTERNOON
Phideaux
4.20 | 1156 ratings
GRACE FOR DROWNING
Wilson, Steven
4.24 | 357 ratings
~
iamthemorning
4.21 | 603 ratings
PETER GABRIEL (3 - "MELT")
Gabriel, Peter
4.18 | 758 ratings
ENGLISH ELECTRIC (PART ONE)
Big Big Train
4.18 | 678 ratings
SNOWTORCH
Phideaux
4.16 | 541 ratings
THE UNDERFALL YARD
Big Big Train
4.14 | 534 ratings
DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED
Moody Blues, The
4.15 | 443 ratings
NIGHT
Gazpacho
4.22 | 134 ratings
LOVE REMAINS THE SAME
Von Hertzen Brothers
4.16 | 200 ratings
THE HEMULIC VOLUNTARY BAND
Ritual
4.23 | 123 ratings
THE SHAMING OF THE TRUE
Gilbert, Kevin
4.11 | 314 ratings
PASSION
Gabriel, Peter
4.08 | 567 ratings
ENGLISH ELECTRIC (PART TWO)
Big Big Train
4.06 | 770 ratings
TUBULAR BELLS
Oldfield, Mike
4.09 | 344 ratings
WAR AND PEACE & OTHER SHORT STORIES
Filkins, Sean
4.13 | 191 ratings
QUICKLY QUICKLY QUICKLY
Tea Club, The
4.07 | 416 ratings
AMAROK
Oldfield, Mike
4.09 | 254 ratings
SPIRIT OF EDEN
Talk Talk
4.09 | 256 ratings
PAMPERED MENIAL
Pavlov's Dog
4.16 | 128 ratings
SECRETS OF THE BEEHIVE
Sylvian, David
4.01 | 700 ratings
OK COMPUTER
Radiohead
4.02 | 490 ratings
TALES OF MYSTERY AND IMAGINATION - EDGAR ALLAN POE
Parsons Project, Alan
4.20 | 92 ratings
THE GNOMON
Sunchild
4.05 | 255 ratings
LUNATIC SOUL
Lunatic Soul
4.02 | 410 ratings
TICK TOCK
Gazpacho
4.17 | 101 ratings
MODRA RIJEKA
Indexi
4.09 | 168 ratings
ACT I: THE LAKE SOUTH, THE RIVER NORTH
Dear Hunter, The
4.01 | 458 ratings
NUMBER SEVEN
Phideaux
4.04 | 261 ratings
TO OUR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN'S CHILDREN
Moody Blues, The
4.00 | 429 ratings
UP
Gabriel, Peter
4.04 | 230 ratings
EL CIELO
Dredg
4.32 | 52 ratings
TIME
Time
4.03 | 226 ratings
SHINE ON BRIGHTLY
Procol Harum
4.06 | 168 ratings
THE LONG DIVISION
3RDegree
4.05 | 149 ratings
ENOUGH BLAME TO GO AROUND
Disconnect
4.01 | 207 ratings
FOR YOUR PLEASURE
Roxy Music
4.00 | 197 ratings
ROXY MUSIC
Roxy Music
4.04 | 133 ratings
CINEMATIC
Lebowski
3.95 | 415 ratings
EVEN IN THE QUIETEST MOMENTS....
Supertramp
3.95 | 350 ratings
MARCH OF GHOSTS
Gazpacho
3.94 | 390 ratings
HERGEST RIDGE
Oldfield, Mike
4.02 | 132 ratings
AS YOUR MIND FLIES BY
Rare Bird
3.97 | 231 ratings
PERFECT BEINGS
Perfect Beings
3.92 | 483 ratings
BREAKFAST IN AMERICA
Supertramp
3.98 | 178 ratings
ACT II: THE MEANING OF, AND ALL THINGS REGARDING MS. LEADING
Dear Hunter, The
3.94 | 299 ratings
AMUSED TO DEATH
Waters, Roger
3.92 | 428 ratings
PETER GABRIEL (4 - "SECURITY" OR "MASK")
Gabriel, Peter
4.15 | 65 ratings
BLUE JAYS
Hayward & Lodge (The Moody Blues)
3.91 | 548 ratings
KID A
Radiohead
3.99 | 152 ratings
BROKEN CHINA
Wright, Richard
4.20 | 54 ratings
THE EDGES OF TWILIGHT
Tea Party, The
4.06 | 91 ratings
AND THE GLASS HANDED KITES
Mew
3.95 | 198 ratings
AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE
Sunchild
4.06 | 84 ratings
THINK LIKE A MOUNTAIN
Ritual
3.95 | 181 ratings
LAUGHING STOCK
Talk Talk
3.94 | 196 ratings
ACT III: LIFE AND DEATH
Dear Hunter, The
3.91 | 297 ratings
INCANTATIONS
Oldfield, Mike
3.92 | 231 ratings
GHOSTS
Frequency Drift
3.91 | 252 ratings
DEMON
Gazpacho
3.96 | 142 ratings
HERETICS
Dream The Electric Sleep
4.18 | 47 ratings
VEIL OF GOSSAMER
Bainbridge, Dave
4.15 | 51 ratings
SELECTIVE MEMORY
Témpano
3.98 | 109 ratings
THE ANCIENT TALE
Fatal Fusion
4.21 | 41 ratings
CHROMIUM
Talisma
3.95 | 125 ratings
THE END IS BEGUN
Three
3.90 | 221 ratings
CHUPACABRAS
Phideaux
4.06 | 66 ratings
AN OCEAN HELD ME
Mice On Stilts
3.93 | 151 ratings
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS
Wayne, Jeff
3.89 | 230 ratings
PROCOL HARUM
Procol Harum
3.99 | 89 ratings
KAYAK II
Kayak
4.06 | 63 ratings
DREAMLAND
Plant, Robert
3.89 | 204 ratings
LAID TO REST
Frequency Drift
3.83 | 653 ratings
INSURGENTES
Wilson, Steven
3.91 | 154 ratings
RETURN TO MINGULAY
Oceans 5
3.90 | 157 ratings
CORVUS STONE
Corvus Stone
3.90 | 156 ratings
WET DREAM
Wright, Richard
3.94 | 110 ratings
GENERATION 13
Saga
3.99 | 80 ratings
WHITE ROCK EXPERIENCE
State Urge
3.83 | 485 ratings
SO
Gabriel, Peter
4.37 | 25 ratings
BRIGHTER SKIES
FreddeGredde
3.91 | 120 ratings
DELUSION SQUARED
Delusion Squared
3.86 | 180 ratings
EVERYONE IS EVERYBODY ELSE
Barclay James Harvest
3.84 | 241 ratings
ELDORADO
Electric Light Orchestra
3.83 | 285 ratings
LUNATIC SOUL II
Lunatic Soul
3.82 | 287 ratings
IN SEARCH OF THE LOST CHORD
Moody Blues, The
3.86 | 167 ratings
GRAND HOTEL
Procol Harum
3.87 | 147 ratings
TROUBLE WITH MACHINES
District 97
4.05 | 50 ratings
D'APRČS LE HORLA DE MAUPASSANT
Box, The
3.92 | 92 ratings
FEATHERGUN
Rishloo
3.81 | 402 ratings
THE BENDS
Radiohead
3.96 | 73 ratings
THE LIGHT BEYOND THE SHADES
Spleen Arcana
3.86 | 141 ratings
SYNAESTHESIA
Synaesthesia
4.06 | 45 ratings
THUD
Gilbert, Kevin
4.03 | 48 ratings
EL FIN DE LA INFANCIA (CHILDHOOD'S END)
Témpano
3.83 | 181 ratings
MOMENTS
IOEarth
3.93 | 77 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

VOICE
Capability Brown
2. (ODCIEń CISZY)
Wozniak, Tadeusz
GLOSSOLALIA
Walsh, Steve
STANDING STONE
Oliver

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Latest Crossover Prog Music Reviews


 Entropy Of The Century by MOETAR album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Entropy Of The Century
MoeTar Crossover Prog

Review by Tull Tales

— First review of this album —
4 stars Another great release! They have retained their unique and very recognizable sound, yet pushed into new areas as well. The album is at once more accessible, and more proggy than the last one.

They start with some excellent and, at times, gorgeous melodies and "songs" and then embellish them with very sophisticated arrangements. The lyrics are, once again, intelligently written and expertly delivered.

There are a few "solos" here, but they are brief and complement the songs nicely. As on their first release though, the instrumental work going on behind the scenes, precludes the need for any extended soloing. I can't stop listening! Bravo!

 Miscellany by IAMTHEMORNING album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
4.17 | 27 ratings

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Miscellany
iamthemorning Crossover Prog

Review by LakeGlade12

4 stars 4.1 Stars. A great taster to the upcoming album.

Miscellany was created during the recording sessions in London while making their second album which will be released in Sept 2014. Due to the long time it took to produce the album the band chose to release this EP as a treat to those fans who had funded them via kick-starter (myself included). This release contains a mixture of tracks from the upcoming album Belighted, alternative versions of new and older songs and one b-side.

The first song on this EP is "to human misery" which is an alternative chamber version to the song that will appear on the new album. Its a incredibly beautiful and catchy song and is my favorite on the EP. Unlike some of the other pretty songs on ~ its instantly accessible and yet does not fall into the trap of simplification. If their other quiet songs are like this then I am going to in for a real treat! I am looking forward to hearing the album version which apparently is much heavier.

"the simple story" and "intermission XII" are both directly taken from the new album. The former is a mid tempo rock song with some strong hooks that the band excel in doing. They have done stronger songs of this type however this song was meant to be a radio friendly single (it has its own music video). So as singles go its a strong track with lasting appeal unlike most poppier songs. The latter is a short neo-classical piece in the exact same vein as the intermissions on their debut album. Unlike the other pieces this one has several sections in it and has a darker atmosphere. It strongly reminds me of the shorter songs Steven Wilson used on Grace for Drowning. Hopefully they will be thinking on the same lines and use this song as a bridge to other songs with the same mood.

"scotland (unplugged)" is a interesting version of the original song. The first part of the song is mostly the same as the original while the second (which used to be quite rough and heavy) uses a lot of distortion and intense orchestra to make the listener disorientated and drawn into their world. Its certainly a highlight of the EP and as strong as the original (which was one of my favorite songs on ~).

"touching II (london mix)" is close to identical to the original song so its not worth talking about. "intermission VIII" is only available on this EP. Its a quiet piece and not as strong as the other classical songs, but it does make for a pleasant closer.

I tend to give EP's like this 3 stars because they are clearly not essential when compared to the rest of their releases. However while some of the songs here are not very special the flow from song to song on this EP is fantastic. This makes the songs so much more satisfying to listen to. So I will give this a extra star and recommend it to all casual fans (but get their debut first). I really hope the new album is up to the standard of this EP and ~, if it is then these guys will become stars in the prog world. And with them now signed up to Kscope perhaps the wider rock and classical world as well. Watch this space.

 The Dark Third by PURE REASON REVOLUTION album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.70 | 231 ratings

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The Dark Third
Pure Reason Revolution Crossover Prog

Review by FragileKings

4 stars With so many bands in this sixth decade of progressive rock choosing to rework the classic approach of the great bands of the seventies, it's often not easy to imagine how a modern progressive band should sound. The neo-prog movement was noted for generally more pop infused songs that still left room for the complexities of prog rock compositions. The revival in the nineties was a look back to the seventies mostly, and most bands assembled components of Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, ELP, King Crimson, and Pink Floyd in varying degrees depending on their preferences.

Certainly the new player for the nineties would have been electronic music, which by this time had come a long way both in scope of sound and ease of reproducibility. Along with that, many artists became associated with the prog label not because they were trying to write difficult, classical and jazz influenced compositions but rather because they were attempting to do something new with popular music, even if that meant simplifying the playing style.

Pure Reason Revolution's debut fits the bill as one of the modern approaches to popular music that goes beyond the standard radio format without attempting challenging and overly complex songs. The strength of their music here lies in four aspects: the effective use of male and female vocalists; the use of electronica to create atmosphere and at times haunting melodies; the Pink Floyd derivative guitar playing with additional reverb and delay; the tendency to rock out with heavy guitars when necessary.

As the music on the album is very cohesive and consistent, there's little point in breaking it down song by song. What you can expect are slow, post rock jangley guitar melodies that suggest Radio Head / Porcupine Tree moments; electronic music that might remind you of Ozric Tentacles without the eastern influences; choir vocals for aethereal effect or one vocalist repeating a line or two as the rhythm melody while others sing different lyrics over top as lead melodies, or vice versa; drums that sometimes hold a steady beat, introduce rhythm changes with sudden bursts, and drums that abruptly stop and leave you hanging with a melancholy jangley guitar melody; and sections of beautiful vocal melodies sung over an all-out heavy rock guitar riff.

I don't mean to say that each song combines all these elements and simply the permutations provide distinction between songs. And the band are keen enough to add piano, strings, cello, and other guest instruments on individual tracks. But you are quite likely to feel that the whole album is a kind of dreamy voyage with moments of near white- knuckle intensity like a trip across the clouds with roller coaster drops along the way. That the songs mostly segue one into the next only enhances this impression of continuity.

The Inside Out reissue I bought includes all the songs from the original American release, plus a second disc of material that appeared on the original UK release. There's a slight difference I feel between the material on the two discs, perhaps similar to how there's a difference between the material on IQ's "Road of Bones" disc one and disc two. It's the same band and the same instrumentation but somehow different. In any case, I am glad to have this second disc because I enjoy it as much as the first.

It's difficult to pull just a couple of tracks out to highlight since I can listen to the album from start to finish; however "The Bright Ambassadors of Morning" has some terrific moments, and "Bullits Dominae" has a wonderful vocal melody and concludes with a powerful delivery of rock guitar and strings.

This may not be what everyone thinks of as progressive rock as it lacks the musical complexity of the symphonic bands and no one comes across as a virtuoso. But I find PRR's combination of pop, rock, atmospheric rock, and electronica an well balanced blend.

 Sound Mirror by SYD ARTHUR album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.00 | 21 ratings

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Sound Mirror
Syd Arthur Crossover Prog

Review by freyacat

4 stars It's funny, because I was extremely annoyed by Syd Arthur's performance opening for Yes in Denver this year. The sound was mixed horribly, and sounded distorted almost beyond the point of recognition.

Yet the band had a presence that intrigued me, and I could detect some interesting melodies and rhythms underneath all of the distortion. I decided to go down to the concession stand and buy a copy of the album.

Am I ever glad I did! "Sound Mirror" is a delicious album of Psychedelic Rock / Canterbury Prog that satisfies on every level.

The sonic textures achieved here are splendid, creating a mysterious sonic space where instruments blend into each other, vocals echo off into the darkness, and one feels as if the 70's have arrived again in the best possible way.

I heard people compare Syd Arthur to Caravan, but I must admit, this is what I always hoped Caravan would sound like. Liam, the singer and guitarist, purrs like the lower range of Grace Slick. The arrangements remind one of Hatfield and the North, or Soft Machine's Third album. Lots of jazz melodies coupled with psychedelic noise bits and jamming. My favorite song is "Autograph," which has a melody I cannot get out of my head!

Other reviewers have remarked on the similarity of the songs in terms of chord structure and melody. I would instead say that the songs flow together perfectly. I can listen to this hypnotic album again and again, and I am usually a listener who gets bored easily.

One of my favorite elements of progressive rock music is poetic, spiritual lyrics. Syd Arthur delivers this for me in a way no band has done for years. Their abstract, impressionistic lyrics don't reveal easily what they are about, and yet you can get the overall sense of spiritual longing and exploration.

"Syd Arthur" after all, is a pun on "Siddhartha."

Syd Arthur deserved far better sound engineering at the Yes concert, but I am hoping that they will be headlining someday, and that I might see them again. They are a marvelous band and this album is something truly special!

 The Unravelling by KNIFEWORLD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.68 | 19 ratings

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The Unravelling
Knifeworld Crossover Prog

Review by thedunno

5 stars Knifeworld is the band resulting from a solo project of Cardiacs guitarist Kavus Torabi. Tim Smith always described Cardiacs music as "psychedelic pop'. The same description you could give Knifeworld, yet they do not sounds like Cardiacs at all. In fact they do not sound like any other band currently in my collection.

Surely you can hear a lot of influences. I can hear a bit of Syd Barret, a bit of XTC, a bit of Gentle Giant and, what the hell, even a bit of Cardiacs. The unravelling sounds pretty diverse yet very coherent at the same time.

One of the strongest assets of this band is the wonderrful horn section. The bassoon intro on 'Send him seaworthy' gives me goosebumps everytime. More prog bands need horns and above all bassoon!

This is not a typical 'prog' album and it was never meant to be. Still I think many prog fans would enjoy this. It is colourful, layered and complex psycedelic pop. Kavus has a background in RIO/Avant prog but let this not deter you; The Unravelling is remarkable accesible but with an adventurous nature.

4 1/2 stars but happily rounded off to 5

 It's My Life by TALK TALK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1984
3.09 | 3 ratings

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It's My Life
Talk Talk Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars In my mid-teenage years TALK TALK was among my favourite bands, alongside with other contemporary artists from Dire Straits and Kate Bush to U2 and The Police - and the rapidly expanding number of 70's prog classics. Yes, I still think of my early music-listening years with fondness. And this single was probably my introduction to Talk Talk.

'It's My Life' is the energetic title track of their second album, which still represents the group's synth pop era. But it was a notable step forward from the rather hollow debut The Party's Over (1982). The songwriting - mainly by the vocalist Mark Hollis - is tight and increasingly original, and the production crisp and colourful. The soundscape in this song features very exciting, exotic nuances. The song leans heavily on the catchy chorus which does sound quite plastic, but the overall atmosphere has something more extraordinary.

The B-side has 'Does Caroline Know?', a slightly surreal and hypnotic little synth pop oddity; in a way it would be an ideal B-side song, if it was also a non-album track (compare to some MARILLION B-siders such as 'Live Forever'). But since it is included in the album too, the single does not earn the fourth star from me. Prog purists will stay away in the first place!

 Trouble With Machines by DISTRICT 97 album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.87 | 147 ratings

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Trouble With Machines
District 97 Crossover Prog

Review by progpig66 (arnold)

5 stars When I entered the page of one of my top one favourite bands, District 97, I noticed immediately the sad trail of two star ratings, all given shortly one after another by a number of silly persons with strange names (probably one and the same person), like daemacho, purplefloydfish, marfish, waeguk, or whatever. If you don't like progressive rock, find yourself a nice country or hip hop music page and don't bother progressive rock lovers with your [&*!#]!

Anyway, I think The Trouble With Machines is a masterpiece of progressive rock. Here we have five incredible talented musicians, who are prepared to give everything they got and who have delivered some huge music. Yes, it is obvious, that they must admire a lot albums by U.K. and GENTLE GIANT. What is wrong with that? Every progrock musician should be aware of the music of these true gigantic bands.

District 97 have succeeded in blending these influences into a true powerful sound of their own. A song like "Open Your Eyes" is as strong as hell and has even hit potential. Female lead vocalist Leslie Hunt doesn't hesitate to enter well-chosen aggressive dissonants in her vocal parts, supported by fast changing tempo and time changes. She really is my kind of singer ! Throughout the album the music maintains its force and surprises you with new great themes or aggressive interventions by the rhythm section. Check out a track like "The Thief". Drummer Jonathan Schang, who is responsible for most of the compositions on the album is a true mastermind and a wizard on his instrument.

The Trouble With Machines is a fantastic album, and should I have any doubt between a four and a five star rating, the silly sad proggophobic two star tail has decided me definitely to five stars !!!

progpig66.

 Hergest Ridge by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.94 | 390 ratings

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Hergest Ridge
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Well said, this is obviously a legendary album by multi instrumentalist Mike Oldfield and I have to admit that I am not a big fan of his music even though I have many albums of him. Actually it's for a simple reason: because Mike is the seventies musician where I knew prog music at the first time. So, I had couple of his albums in the forms of CD as well as cassette. For Hergest Ridge I only have the cassette version. Honestly this is not the cassette that I regularly play as at first I was not quite familiar with the kind of music Mike plays especially with this album. A friend of mine during college tiem in Bandung, West Java, always played the music of Mike Oldfield whenever he studied in the evening for next day exam. I was with him at that time when he played the Tubular Bells album. I could not afford to listen to that kind of music where to me was a bit of boring as only rarely the triable sound of THING comes up every one minuet or so. What a boring music!

Fortunately this Hergest Ridge is not as bad as Tubular Bells as the music is quite varied in terms of style and composition with main structure lies on the keyboard-like sound and unique guitar sounds of Mike Oldfield. I can not quite differentiate, really, between part 1 and 2 as they both alike. The music is ambient in nature and You won't be able to guess on the direction of the melody as it sounds like a free flow melody that does nt form something really memorable. So to me the key to enjoy this kind of music is listening to the subtleties of the sounds produced segment by segment of the track.

Overall, it's a good album as you can get various kinds of instruments that flow in an ambient mode throughout the album. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

 Swan Song by PORCELAIN MOON album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
4.13 | 11 ratings

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Swan Song
Porcelain Moon Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars The second (and last, considering the title?) release of this Swedish-speaking Finnish band is a 26˝-minute EP. Several bands have put out only EP's lately; being very much an album listener, I don't like this trend, but naturally a good EP is a better alternative than a half-baked album or nothing at all. By the way, I haven't yet had a good listen to their debut album, so I'm reviewing this release without comparing it to the previous work, free of expectations.

The band sound is great, suitably powerful and even ballsy at times. The music has a retro feel, resembling vintage psych/hard rock -flavoured prog of the 70's. Not necessarily British, perhaps some Scandinavian bands come closer. This release is instrumentally oriented, and what's more important, male vocals are totally absent. Charlotta Kerbs's voice brings delicious contrast to the masculin and intense playing, and she's got the needed strength too. In fact I'd like to hear more of her singing here.

'Trädens talan' ("Tale of the tree") is a superb 9-minute prog composition full of life. Fast, organ-heavy intro is followed by a song section that starts very calmly with only piano and acoustic guitar backing Charlotta's slightly folky vocals, before the more powerful band sound takes over again. Nine minutes seem to pass all too soon! 'Magma', which hardly refers to the French Zeuhl legend, is a fast instrumental rooted in the repetition of a ballsy guitar riff. Synths howl to create a Space Rock atmosphere. The other instrumental (with a Finnish title meaning "a loop to the Moon's crescent") starts slowly in a PINK FLOYD style. The wordless singing may bring 'The Great Gig in the Sky' in mind, even though the tempo-increasing composition is quite different from it.

It's seamlessly followed by 'Castle' (hmmm, three various languages in track titles...), another meandering prog masterpiece with plenty of dynamic changes and vocal sections woven beautifully to the whole. Sadly this short release leaves me hungry for more, but frankly I don't remember hearing a better EP, probably ever (the one by Octopie is also very strong musically, but it's marred by not-so-good vocals). Warmly recommended!

 Back To The Stars by RŘSENKREÜTZ album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.77 | 14 ratings

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Back To The Stars
Rřsenkreütz Crossover Prog

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

4 stars Synth pads! Rosenkreutz hails from Italy, and they sure bring the style and the excitement! Honestly, as soon as I heard the amazing synth at the beginning of "Signals in the Water", I knew I was going to love Rosenkreutz's debut, "Back to the Stars".

The basic lineup includes Fabio Serra with his stylish, Floydian guitars and his in-your-face keys. Fabio is also a music producer, and you can hear it in the high production values and the amazing mix. The rest of the band is Massimo Piubelli with his melodious vocals, Gianni Sabbioni with his throbbing bass, and Gianni Brunelli with his energetic drums. These guys really bring it with a mix of 80's rock, prog metal, folksy violins sections, and an elegant classic progressive rock sound with meandering mellotron and emotive guitar solos. This great combination takes a moment to absorb, as there are some very different things going on here.

Again and again, I was impressed and my synth weakness was enabled. From the synth goodness of "Signals in the Water" to the proggier "Conditioning" to the towering epic "Back to the Stars". The latter is simply magnificent and is easily the best track on the album, as it revisits everything that I loved from earlier tracks, but combines them all into one track that is far more serious than the rest of the album. Freshness abounds, though, throughout the album.

In some ways, Rosenkreutz reminds me of a proggier, softer, more focused Seventh Wonder, but that's just a shot in the dark. This comparison is valid, though, as the level of technicality is there, but the sheer fun and energy is at the forefront. Indeed, the drama is at a high point on this album, with emotions running high in the music and the lyrics.

Speaking of lyrics, I think they are the only weakness of this debut. They aren't particularly bad or anything, but there is a boatload of cheese. I think much of this may be attributed to the band being native Italian speakers, but I can't help but roll my eyes a little on , say, "Sitting on the Edge of Heaven", a song so lyrically cloying but so phenomenal musically (especially the towering violins) that, in the end, I love it. That is the basic reaction I had on many of the tracks, and, overall, I loved the ride.

You know you want to hear this. This album is flashy, somewhat cheesy, but rich musically and serious where it counts. It explores both the deep and shallow end of the prog pool, but I think it comes out a winner in the end.

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Crossover Prog bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
17 PYGMIES United States
3 United Kingdom
3 LEGGED MONSTER United States
3RDEGREE United States
7TH KIND United States
90 DAY MEN United States
A.L.F. Brazil
AARDVARK United Kingdom
AARDVARK' Finland
THE AARON CLIFT EXPERIMENT United States
ABACUS Germany
ABARAX Germany
ABBFINOOSTY United Kingdom
ABIOGENESI Italy
LEE ABRAHAM United Kingdom
ABSENTE H Spain
ABSINTHE JUNK United States
ACANTHE France
ACTIVE HEED Italy
THE ADDICTION DREAM United States
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