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PROG RELATED

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Prog Related definition



No musical genre exists in a vacuum. Not all of the bands that have been a part of the history and development of progressive rock are necessarily progressive rock bands themselves. This is why progarchives has included a genre called prog-related, so we could include all the bands that complete the history of progressive rock, whether or not they were considered full-fledged progressive rock bands themselves.

There are many criteria that the prog-related evaluation team considers when deciding which bands are considered prog-related. Very few bands will meet all of this criteria, but this list will give an idea as to some of the things that help evaluate whether an artists is prog-related or not.

1) Influence on progressive rock - The groundbreaking work of artists like Led Zepplin and David Bowie affected many genres of rock, including at times progressive rock. Although both of these artists created rock music in a dizzying array of genres, both contributed to the ongoing history of progressive rock several times within the span of their careers.

2) Location - Progressive rock did not develop at the same time all over the world. It may surprise some people that as late as the mid-70s the US had very few original progressive rock bands that did not sound like exact copies of British bands. Journey was one of the first US bands to present a uniquely American brand of prog-rock before they eventually became a mainstream rock band. We have collaborators from all over the world who tell us which bands helped the progressive rock scene develop in their corner of the globe, even if those bands were like Journey and were known more for being mainstream rock bands.

3) Members of important progressive rock bands - Although most of the recorded solo output of artists like Greg Lake and David Gilmour falls more in a mainstream rock style, their contributions to progressive rock in their respective bands insures them a place in our prog-related genre.

4) Timeliness - Like many genres, prog-rock has had its ups and downs. In the late 70s and early 80s prog-rock was barely a blip on the radar. During this time artists such as David Bowie and Metallica released albums that captured key elements of the spirit of prog rock and did so while contributing their own original modern elements to the mix.

5) Integral part of the prog-rock scene - Sometimes you just had to be a part of the scene during a certain time period to understand how some bands fit with the prog rock scene of their time. Although Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Wishbone Ash may seem like mere hard rock bands, in their time they stood apart from other hard rockers with their more serious lyrical content and more developed compositions. Put simply, in the early 70s every prog-rock record collector usually had full collections of all three of these artists. These three bands were very much part of the prog-rock scene without being total prog-rock bands them selves.

6) Influenced by progressive rock - From the late 60s till about 1976 the progressive tendency was in full effect in almost all genres of music. Once again, as we enter the second decade of the 21st century a melting pot of prog-metal, math-rock, progressive electronics and post-rock influences have once again made a progressive tendency in rock music almost more a norm than a difference. Yet in other periods of musical history receiving influence from progressive rock could really set a band apart and make them worthy of our prog-related category.
Being influenced by progressive rock is hardly the only factor we look at, and in some periods of musical history it is almost meaningless, but still, it is almost a given that most of the artists listed in prog-related were influenced by the development of progressive rock.

7) Common sense - Nitpicking over the above listed criteria is not necessarily the correct way to evaluate a band for prog-related. Sometimes you just have to use some common sense and look at the big picture.
A very good way to describe prog-related would be to imagine an exhaustive book that covered the history of progressive rock. Would such a book include references to led Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven', David Bowie's 'The Man Who Sold the World' or Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody'? Probably so.
- Easy Money

Prog Related Top Albums


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

4.38 | 824 ratings
LED ZEPPELIN IV
Led Zeppelin
4.35 | 576 ratings
QUEEN II
Queen
4.27 | 675 ratings
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA
Queen
4.25 | 669 ratings
PARANOID
Black Sabbath
4.22 | 480 ratings
ARGUS
Wishbone Ash
4.20 | 552 ratings
SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON
Iron Maiden
4.19 | 601 ratings
BLACK SABBATH
Black Sabbath
4.16 | 388 ratings
THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS
Bowie, David
4.16 | 360 ratings
RISING
Rainbow
4.12 | 504 ratings
POWERSLAVE
Iron Maiden
4.18 | 275 ratings
HUNKY DORY
Bowie, David
4.09 | 504 ratings
MASTER OF PUPPETS
Metallica
4.08 | 525 ratings
SABBATH BLOODY SABBATH
Black Sabbath
4.03 | 615 ratings
PHYSICAL GRAFFITI
Led Zeppelin
4.10 | 270 ratings
HOUNDS OF LOVE
Bush, Kate
4.17 | 162 ratings
SECRET TREATIES
Blue Öyster Cult
4.00 | 519 ratings
MASTER OF REALITY
Black Sabbath
4.03 | 392 ratings
HEAVEN AND HELL
Black Sabbath
3.99 | 672 ratings
LED ZEPPELIN
Led Zeppelin
4.02 | 390 ratings
BRAVE NEW WORLD
Iron Maiden

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Latest Prog Related Music Reviews


 Agents of Fortune by BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.02 | 120 ratings

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Agents of Fortune
Blue Öyster Cult Prog Related

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars "This is the night we ride"

While I appreciate the 'black and white' trilogy of albums, I'm in the minority who feels the band made a huge leap with Agents. This certainly put off some fans who had grown accustomed to the band and didn't want change. Fleetwood Mac did this with Tusk and even Zeppelin gets some flack for Presence, both of which were excellent albums with a different feel than more popular predecessors (and may have been better than their predecessors). But few great albums inspire as much angst as this one and I've never understood why. Agents took more chances given their fanbase's love of Secret Treaties, so it was the exact opposite of "selling out". Because it happened to score a big radio hit it was accused of being something it wasn't-I honestly don't think they expected the Reaper phenom that occurred.

Agents is first rate devious fun all the way through. Dark and yet insanely catchy, the songs are full of the tongue-in-cheek playfulness and campy hard rock brilliance few other bands have combined so successfully. They almost stole a page in pizazz/showmanship from Freddie Mercury or Elton John, while maintaining their night-rider tough guy sound. From sampling different musical styles to borrowing Patti Smith's poetic touch, creativity was at an absolute peak. Yes a huge radio hit was born, yet the sinister stories concocted in the other tracks are just as appealing. Hard rock and 60s rock are sampled, pop harmonies are blended with great hooks and punkish attitude, and a certain haunting mixture of surf and film-noir soundtrack recall the way The Doors could be both dangerous and commercial. It's also more ebullient and colorful in the overall sound motif, a pleasant improvement. The keyboards have been more heavily integrated and each member seems to be standing out front, I wonder if this album was more collaborative in songwriting than previous work? Summer of Love is a giant sneer, the Reaper's dramatic middle interlude a most perfect expression of deathly fear. Vera Gemini seems the pursuit of dangerous love with Smith's superb co-vocal, while Morning Final's music has a mini-epic feel of narcotic hazed grandeur in a Steppenwolf like package. All the tracks have this captivating combination of the eerie with the cheerful, a contrast between lyrics and vocals with dynamic playing that supports both. It did have its fans:

"Agents of Fortune is a startlingly excellent album---startling because one does not expect Blue Oyster Cult to sound like this: loud but calm, manic but confident, melodic but rocking. One area of clear improvement is in the matter of lyrics; for the first time there is less emphasis on absurd, crypto-intellectual rambling and more of a coherent attack on a variety of subjects." -Ken Tucker, Rolling Stone, 1976

"It's still dark, mysterious, and creepy, and perhaps even more so, it's still rooted in rock posturing and excess, but gone is the nihilistic biker boogie in favor of a more tempered sound that gave Allen Lanier's keyboards parity with Dharma's guitar roar" -Thom Jurek, Allmusic

I love this album because of the remarkably high quality playing at every level put to music full of life and personality. No other album conjures as well the lights speeding by on a warm summer night, mystery, romance, adventures. Unlike the machismo of the first three albums there is a big dose of the feminine coming through in several tracks, perhaps the strong imprint of Patti Smith coming through on the boys. "Vera Gemini" is the highlight on an album full of them. Anchoring it all is the lead work of Buck Dharma and he has never played with more conviction than on Agents. On some YouTube comments I was reading, a gentleman posed the question "Ever noticed that Buck Dharma has never thrown away a solo in his life?" It was certainly true on this album, and every lead and rhythm part on this album, each guitar sound, are perfect. Agents of Fortune is not only the feather in the cap of BOC's career, but one of the best albums of rock's most iconic decade. I supposed that's enough gush but this album is on my top shelf---couldn't help myself.

 Led Zeppelin III by LED ZEPPELIN album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.92 | 628 ratings

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Led Zeppelin III
Led Zeppelin Prog Related

Review by maryes

3 stars LED ZEPPELIN III , in a overall evaluation, this album is an anachronism in Led Zepp's first half "flight". That is characterized by the almost complete absence of Page's guitar solos ( with a brilliant exception in track 3 "Celebration Day" and track 4 " Since I've been Loving You"). Even so there are other high points, like the riff and arrangement of track 5 "Out On The Tiles" ( a melody and rhythm very complex). Beside the Side 2 ( in vinyl) is very beautiful and unveil (definitively) the Zeppelin's acoustic vein. How somebody can contest the great arrangements of tracks, like "Gallows Pole" (with the banjo accompaniment), "That's The Way" ( with 12 string-guitar ) and " Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" ? Another great moment be in track 2 "Tangerine" with a lap-steel or bottleneck guitar intervention. In resume... if you are an admirer (like me) of country music ( with a progressive "brushstroke") as for instance Crosby,Stills, Nash & Young certainly you appreciates this album . My rate is 3,5 stars !!!
 Further/Deeper by CHURCH, THE album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.62 | 4 ratings

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Further/Deeper
The Church Prog Related

Review by nowhere girl

2 stars OK: I'll admit I only rediscovered The Church recently after a long break. Truth be told, I thought they'd gone by the wayside ages ago since I no longer heard any of their music played in the States. Turns out they've been churning out music right along since those 'heyday' years. Fast-forward to their 25th album, Further Deeper. I had no idea what to expect when I took the leap of purchasing a download off the website (downloads are cheaper + faster than CDs, or more, vinyl). What I got was quite a wide variation in likability. Some songs are hard to even recognize as The Church (e.g. Pride Before a Fall - huge disappointment esp for a first release - and Laurel Canyon & Old Coast Road - sound like they'd appeal more to geriatric folks). There are some standout songs mixed in that surprised me (e.g. Delirious, Love Philtre and Lightning White - all of which sound like The Church). But the last song, Miami (apparently Kilbey's favorite), for all its length and repetition just doesn't go anywhere. And maybe that sums it up best. It had been five years since their last album, they still perform but at fairly small local venues (for ~$AUD 60 or more a ticket), and they want to mainly play their new songs. Marty Wilson Piper may have been wise to leave when he did. Likely a case of too little too late, seems The Church aren't going anywhere any more.
 The Next Day by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 98 ratings

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The Next Day
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by uduwudu

5 stars This is a fantastic album. Alive with detail, variety and interest. Every song flows easily to the next but a few listens informs me of the detail.

First I heard the standard edition. I thought lost of great material but I didn't really get that album hit I expected. Heat is a fine number but not an album closer not for me anyway.

I really do recommend the deluxe edition. There's a couple of remixes that add to the album experience but mostly it is the rest of album - it's really a 3 LP set akin to Shut Up An' Play yer Guitar or Yessongs. 2 /3 of either are fine but the final 1/3... well you can work that one out.

Performances exemplary, every song worked out so well. Nothing questionable Bowie is far too smart and mature to have not have weeded out anything that may not have fitted in with this album.

The roots and orientation of this album references back to the Berlin trilogy and a few ironic sounds from Scary Monsters rears their head. Ignoring the '80s (thank you DB) the music continues on from his 1993 to 2002 area but sticks manly to rock rather than electronica dance sounds - no good nor bad thing, it's just what it is. As it is with Gail Ann Dorsey and Tony Levin supplying bass grooves there is no shortage of groove that can hit head and feet. Rock but ultra modern.

Four stars for the standard edition, more for the Japanese edition or the one with 3 extra tracks - 4 on the Japanese edition. Masterpiece level for the deluxe edition. There you get a DVD (not seen yet - videos for 4 tracks) plus all the interesting bits that get included in box sets. You get the lyrics, separate sleeves, a photo essay all marked Frame, Tracks, Extra, in black on white stark outline. The most puzzling in a book of 20 sides of blank paper marked "You." At least I don't have to put up with the worst thing - that edited Heroes cover. Sorry DB thought that was the worst cover idea since P Tree changing Stupid Dream to look like a promo for a music company. Or that Aphex Twin cover...

So like I say, this is like a 3 LP set and no wonder it took a while to write, record and produce this. Heroes. Low and Lodger took a while, no wonder really (plus some touring).

There are no real obvious hit songs (no Sound And Vision or Heroes) but you may beg to differ. Excellent. If this is the worse that can be said about a superb piece of modern music craftsmanship the bar is set very high indeed.

 Presence by LED ZEPPELIN album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.39 | 443 ratings

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Presence
Led Zeppelin Prog Related

Review by wbiphoto

5 stars I was 13 years old when this album came out and it blew me away then and nearly 40 years later continues to amaze me. It's the last great LZ record and the culmination of everything that Jimmy Page worked so many years to achieve(in various interviews he's been quoted as saying that Presence is his favorite LZ album). His dream of creating an electric guitar orchestra was finally realized in spades on this grand, 'plugged in' masterpiece. Les Pauls and 12 string SGs here, there and everywhere! The record should come with a label: "No acoustic guitars were harmed during the recording".

Presence is 'Cosmic Hard Rock' meets 'White Funk' with some blues and prog on the outer ends to hold everything together. Interestingly, this record came out one month before Rush's 2112. Needless to say, the summer of 1976 was a memorable time for this lad growing up in the shadows of the NYC skyline.

Some knock the record because of the many multi-tracked guitar pats. Who cares! Get over it. The recording studio, from the day that Sgt. Pepper's hit the market, has been and will continue to be used as an instrument. This record mandates headphone listening to truly get what Page was going for. The guitars are so clear, and well-spaced in the aural landscape, with enough distortion and overdrive to give the hardest rockers of the day a run for their money. And, as expected, the drumming is about as good as anything that has ever been done in the rock realm. Achilles Last Stand is without a doubt Zep's crowning 'prog' moment. A piece that transports the listener to a Tolkien world in a ten minute span.

An item of note is Jones' bass work(ie. Nobody's Fault But Mine). Presence is one of those records where the listener can be tricked into believing that on some passages the bass guitar is actually the bass drum. I don't know how Page was able to get such a thick, tight bass sound without it spilling over onto the other instruments(very careful compression, perhaps?). If you're into music production, then Presence should be somewhere near the top of your "must listen" list.

The instrumental highlight of the record is Page's rapid fire right hand rhythms during the closing minutes of Achilles Last Stand; funky, nasty, jazzy and HEAVY....all at once! His most masterful electric right hand work to date. His mastery of 12 string arpeggios and Les Paul sweep picking is showcased on the heavy, bass driven rocker "For Your Life". The multi-tracked guitar assault continues until the last note is played on the melancholic, blues masterpiece "Tea For One".

One down note: This is not a record that one seeks for lyrical enlightenment; after all, on one of the songs(Royal Orleans) Plant instructs the listener on how to avoid gonorrhea and transvestites while hooking up with prostitutes in New Orleans!

Lyrical shortcomings aside, Presence is a masterpiece in every sense of the term. The Zep reached an electric peak on this outing that was approached tentatively on other records, but never quite reaching the heights of this 1976 gem.

Forget what the naysayers will write and say. Get this record and listen to it loud...VERY LOUD....with a substantial woofer, if at all possible!

******************************** ***** F I V E - S T A R S ***** ********************************

 801 Live by 801 album cover Live, 1976
4.05 | 54 ratings

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801 Live
801 Prog Related

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 801 Live (1976)

This band with Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music, Quiet Sun, solo, later Divid Gilmour) and Brian Eno (the electro pioneer) recorded a live album with material from the different member their groups. It is often hailed as one of the better recorded live albums of the seventies, but I'm not that impressed to be honest. I was mainly interested in the Quit Sun tracks, which is one of my favorite progalbums. Furthermore I was thinking about investigating the Manzanera albums under his own name, of which the track Diamond Head is on the tracklist.

I've listened to the record a couple of times and I must admit it is a bit of a dissapointment. I like the Quiet Sun tracks and Rotwang improved quit a lot, but most of the other tracks are way to poppy for my tastes. Especially the tedious 'Baby's on Fire' and the poorly sung 'Miss Shapiro' are track that really want me to raise the needle. Having that said, the rhythmical section of the band sounds really tight and the good moments have a great amount of energy in it. The guitars of Manzanera sound great.

Conclusion. Perhaps best enjoyed when you are a fan of Roxy Music and Brian Eno. Properly recorded seventies crossover prog record with strong instrumental tracks and weak songs. Two and a halve stars.

 John Wetton & Geoffrey Downes - Icon by WETTON, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.92 | 23 ratings

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John Wetton & Geoffrey Downes - Icon
John Wetton Prog Related

Review by brainsuccasurgery

3 stars Having dropped out of the Asia wagon since the station stop from John Wetton there's a couple of decades , I do not expect much from the record production of Geoff Downes. But without me nostalgic for that period of prog, reactivation of the collaboration between the two men could not leave me indifferent.

Their record is called Icon, which is a nice title, and starting with "Let Me Go", a song that Asia might have forgotten to put on his first album back in the majestic inspiration, if not original. With "God Walks With Us", still nothing new under the sun Asian or on the bottom or on the form but an exceptional emotional power enhanced by a guitar solo that works, performed by the impeccable John Mitchell (Arena) . Intro to major organs on the following title, "I Stand Alone", which unfortunately does not avoid the trap of melodic ease unpleasant reinforced by the apparent sentimentality of "Meet Me At Midnight" impression, but swept by the air costs unstoppable "Far Away," the kind of candy would have been able to write the Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues the best years.

Is it useful to review all these melodies slightly outdated or obsolete, but that the moving song Wetton, in his soft, husky voice that has gained flesh it has lost clarity, manages to make pride and depth? Why not, especially since Icon is the most worthy our two prog legends have done something long ago. These ten tracks, alternating catchy soft-rock (the radio calibration worthy verse / chorus of "Hey Josephine"), neo-symphonic prog news ("Please Change Your Mind") and feverish ballad ("Sleep Away" with John Mitchell still comfortable), surely not have the relief of a UK which led him to cry masterpiece, nor for the potential commercial launch of the first Asia (even cry, but from the labels), but you will wait until the next showpiece of one or the improbable resurrection of the other - and if the sentence is too long, repeat slowly from the beginning.

But if you do the math, it lacks two titles in our passage reviewed and these are the two best: "Spread Your Wings" (well of course!), Small pearl breath athlete and careful arrangements (intro piano / violin magic of the rise, and Mitchell, always him, a solo Clive Nolan must regret pass) where Downes put all his knowledge of simple and original melody. And finally the aptly named "In The End", ladies and gentlemen, "In The End", which to my surprise crying with joy, is illuminated by THE great voice of prog in person, I have appointed the former Renaissance Annie Haslam. If I dared, I am happy to finish this review with the name of Annie Haslam.

 Kestrel by KESTREL album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.88 | 40 ratings

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Kestrel
Kestrel Prog Related

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Short-lived band from Newcastle, which became from an oddity to a legend over the years.Kestrel (named after a type of bird) were born in 1975, featuring Dave Black on guitars/vocals, Tom Knowles on lead vocals, Fenwick Moir on bass and Dave Whitaker (formerly of Ginhouse) in the original formation, later to add John Cook on guitars and keyboars.The band was then signed by Cube Records to release their only LP in 1975.Most tracks were written by guitarist Dave Black.

The music is somekind of light Progressive Rock with slight symphonic overtones and elements from British Psych/Pop, it reminds me of early YES, CRESSIDA and SPRING after repeated listens with AMBROSIA being the closest comparison from the US scene minus the pompous arrangements.The tracks are structured over soft electric guitars, great vocal harmonies and an array of keyboards, which includes Hammond organ, electric piano, harsichord and, of course, Mellotron.Two different sides of the band can be identified.First comes in the shorter tracks, most of which follow a typical melodic Psychedelic Rock vein with some MOODY BLUES and PROCOL HARUM influences with organ and guitars in evidence, featuring excellent songwriting skils and flawless vocal parts by Knowless, balanced between romantic and more edgy instrumental textures.Even if being too accesible, this material is still very strong and memorable.The longer pieces are more progressive and feature quirky instrumental parts, symphonic flavors and lyrical depth in one package.''The acrobat'' is propably the best of all, albeit showered by some AOR lines, with impressive instrumental/vocal changes, a nice and proggy middle section with some STEVE HOWE nuance in the guitar chops and series of beautiful melodies.''In the war'' is a mixed bag of progressive sounds, somesort of Symphonic-, Jazz- and Psychedelic Rock amalgam with organ, electric piano and smooth electric guitars leading the way.''August Carol'' is no doubt the most progressive track of the mass, typical British Prog in the vein of CRESSIDA with mood and tempo changes, propelled by the nice guitar work of Black and containing some majestic Mellotron in a grand, symphonic style, which offers the best outro of the whole album combined with the farewell solo of Black.

Kestel weren't enough around to taste success, as they disbanded the following year.Dave Black continued his career throughout the 70's, first with the Rock band The Spiders from Mars and later with Goldie, apparently an unsuccesful attempt on Pop Rock.

Symphonic Pop Rock of a great quality with focus on solid and sensitive songwriting and file next to FANTASY, CRESSIDA, SPRING, THE MYND and BYZANTIUM.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 Serú Girán by SERU GIRAN album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.82 | 36 ratings

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Serú Girán
Seru Giran Prog Related

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars A legendary, short-lived and very succesful Argentinian band, formed in 1978 by keyboardist Charly García and ex-Polifemo guitarist David Lebon, following the demise of La Máquina de Hacer Pájaros.Starting months are somewhat confusing, it appears that Garcia and Lebon travelled to Brazil to write songs for a new band and album.Garcia returned to Buenos Aires after some months and got impressed by the bass playing of Alas' Pedro Aznar, so he was invited to join the new project along with drummer Oscar Moro, whom Garcia new from their common stin in La Máquina de Hacer Pájaros.Originally they worked with singer Billy Bond in Brazil as Billy Bond and the Jets, but after an album Bond decided to dissolve the formation.Seru Giran originated from the disbanding and the remaining quartet worked on new songs, partly recorded in Brazil and partly in Los Angeles, USA.The self-titled debut of the band came out later in the year on Sazam Records.

Basically a Symphonic Pop album, ''Seru Giran'' reveals the talents of the involved members in many pieces, however the shorter cuts are following a more Pop Rock vein, apparently affected by the trends of the time, when playing progressive music was like a curse.Still Seru Giran tried to offer refined and sophisticated arrangements, even if the singing lines are too melodramatic and sentimental and occasional poppy tunes are detected throughout the album.The album is led by a soft orchestral atmosphere due to Gracia's always gifted keyboard plays and the involvement of Daniel Goldberg as a director of the orchestral moves.While the album is pretty short, two tracks exceed the 7-min. mark, ''Eiti Leda'' and the eponymous one, in an attempt by Garcia and the crew to revive the sound of LA MAQUINA DE HACER PAJAROS, flavored by some Orchestral Pop moments.These pieces follow a mellow Symphonic Rock vein with lots of piano, soft guitars and light synth flashes, backed up by a Classical background, which reminds me of 69'-days' KING CRIMSON.The rest of the tracks are more confusing with acoustic parts, discreet jazzy colors, still some symphonic ovetones (even reminding of GENESIS) and plenty of Pop thrown in, resulting a bunch of decent arrangements, still quite far from the true talents of the exhibition team.Generally the album lacks energy, being too smooth at moments, but the material is pretty good with many artistic parts, which hold a progressive interest.

On the thin line between Pop and Symphonic Rock.Equal to Italians FORMULA TRE or LA BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE, but the musicians here were much more experienced, so an even better result was expected.Still recommended to fans of the lighter side of Prog Rock.

 Church of Anthrax (with Terry Riley) by CALE, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.39 | 30 ratings

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Church of Anthrax (with Terry Riley)
John Cale Prog Related

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars In 1969 John McClure, the leader of CBS Masterworks, had a revolutionary idea to bring together these two figures from New York's avantgarde circles to make an album. The Welsh John Cale had naturally been in Velvet Underground, and Terry Riley had released his highly influential albums In C and A Rainbow in Curved Air that are connected to the minimalistic movement. The improvisation- based collaboration worked well until all of a sudden, during the mixing, Riley felt his ideas weren't taken seriously enough and bitterly walked out of the unfinished project. Before the album was finally released in 1971, Cale had already released his debut Vintage Violence.

The end result is however closer to the mentioned Riley works than anything Cale has ever since done as a solo artist. According to Cale he dug out the funk hidden in Riley's hypnotic patterns of organ and soprano saxophone. Whatever, this unique fusion of minimalism, experimental rock and free jazz is not as hard to digest as one could expect. There are three longer tracks between nearly eight and eleven minutes - my favourite is probably the title track - plus two short ones. The other of them, 'The Soul of Patrick Lee', is written by Cale only and features the vocals of Adam Miller. It feels somewhat out of place amidst the more innovative material. The album's total running time is approximately 33 minutes only, but that doesn't prevent it being an interesting work that has fully deserved its cult status. Esoteric Recordings' re-release features a detailed essay - and this little review is translated from my article on ER's numerous recent releases. Sorry to give very little information on how I personally was impressed by this album. I guess I like it to some degree but can live very well without it too. 3½ stars rounded up for uniqueness and notable historical value.

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KESTREL United Kingdom
KING'S X United States
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