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SYMPHONIC PROG

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Symphonic Prog definition

Symphonic is without doubt the sub-genre that includes the most bands in Progressive Rock because for many people it's almost synonymous classic Prog, something easy to understand being that most of the classic and/or  pioneer bands released music that could be included in this sub-genre, except JETHRO TULL and PINK FLOYD (who still blended some symphonic elements), even KING CRIMSON who very soon expanded their horizons to more experimental music, made their debut with a Symphonic album, "In the Court of the Crimson King" which is a cornerstone in the development of the genre.

The main characteristics of Symphonic are the ones that defined all Progressive Rock: (There's nothing 100% new under the sun) which among others are:
  • Mixture of elements from different genres.
  • Complex time signatures.
  • Lush keyboards.
  • Explorative and intelligent lyrics, in some cases close to fantasy literature, Sci Fi and even political issues.
  • Non commercial approach
  • Longer format of songs

In this specific case the main characteristic is the influence of Classical music (understood as Orchestral works created from the late Gothic to Modern Classical) using normally more complex structure than other related sub-genres like Neo Progressive (That's why sometimes the borderline that divides Symphonic from Neo is so unclear being that is based mostly in a degree of complexity rather than in an evident structural difference)..It is easy to find long keyboard solos reminiscent of Johan Sebastian Bach or melodic works that could have been written by Handel.

As in any other genre, different Symphonic bands had different approaches to Classical music, for example YES and GENESIS are mainly influenced by the Baroque and Classical periods, while EMERSON LAKE & PALMER has a predilection for post Romantic and modern authors like Mussorgsky, Rimsky Korsakov, Bartok or Ginastera, being that their sound is less melodic and more aggressive.

The peak of the genre starts in 1969 and lasts until the mid/late 70's  (more precisely until the release of A Trick of the Tail), when the genre begins to  blend more mainstream influences that took to the birth of Neo Progressive (a new approach for a new decade).


It is important to remember that even though the creative peak of Symphonic Progressive ended before the 80's, we can find a second birth in the 90's coming from the Scandinavian countries (specially Sweden with ANGLAGARD or PAR LINDH PROJECT) and even bands that still in the 21st Century recreate music from this period like SPOCK'S BEARD or ECHOLYN.

Before ending this short description I feel necessary to say (In order to be strictly accurate) that the term Symphonic is not 100% exact, because these bands very rarely played symphonies and was probably used because the music that influenced the genre was performed by Symphony Orchestras, but it is so widely accepted by the Progressive Rock community that would be absurd and futile for anybody to attempt a change after so much time.

Iván Melgar Morey, Peru 2006



Symphonic Team

Current Team as at 06/02/16

Iván Melgar Morey (Iván_Melgar_M)
Anton Fritz (SouthSideoftheSky)
RdtProg (Louis)

Symphonic Prog Top Albums


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

4.66 | 3959 ratings
CLOSE TO THE EDGE
Yes
4.63 | 3678 ratings
SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND
Genesis
4.60 | 3188 ratings
FOXTROT
Genesis
4.44 | 3115 ratings
FRAGILE
Yes
4.42 | 2779 ratings
NURSERY CRYME
Genesis
4.39 | 2322 ratings
MIRAGE
Camel
4.38 | 1990 ratings
MOONMADNESS
Camel
4.36 | 2689 ratings
RELAYER
Yes
4.38 | 1521 ratings
HYBRIS
Änglagård
4.35 | 1142 ratings
SI ON AVAIT BESOIN D'UNE CINQUIÈME SAISON
Harmonium
4.29 | 2517 ratings
THE YES ALBUM
Yes
4.29 | 2618 ratings
THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY
Genesis
4.29 | 2023 ratings
THE SNOW GOOSE
Camel
4.27 | 2264 ratings
A TRICK OF THE TAIL
Genesis
4.30 | 1029 ratings
SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER STORIES
Renaissance
4.32 | 764 ratings
DEPOIS DO FIM
Bacamarte
4.24 | 1844 ratings
EMERSON LAKE & PALMER
Emerson Lake & Palmer
4.24 | 950 ratings
VILJANS ÖGA
Änglagård
4.25 | 894 ratings
HAMBURGER CONCERTO
Focus
4.22 | 960 ratings
LEFTOVERTURE
Kansas

Symphonic Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DAY
Exodus
HIJOS DEL AGOBIO
Triana
LA MARCHE DES HOMMES
Morse Code
POLLEN
Pollen

Latest Symphonic Prog Music Reviews


 Jord by JORDSJØ album cover Studio Album, 2017
5.00 | 2 ratings

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Jord
Jordsjø Symphonic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

5 stars This is my first encounter with the band that I discovered when we were asked to add them to the archives. From the first note, I could easily make my mind on what type of band we have here. The type of band that I enjoy since the 90's because the Anglagard influence is obvious with a symphonic Prog/Folk Rock style. The songs are well crafted with gorgeous melodies displayed around the flute, the delicate guitar lines, and the keyboards. The songs are not overly complex and could be on the lighter sides of things and sometimes joyful with some flute sections. While they fit into the melancholic tones of the Scandinave bands, they bring that driving energy in some passages that remind me of White Willow and even Jethro Tull. It's a shame that this band is not more recognized, I should check out their others albums.
 Now And Here by I.C.U. album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.76 | 28 ratings

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Now And Here
I.C.U. Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars ICU(no periods between the letters) were a six piece band out of Germany, listed here under Symphonic but Neo-Prog is what I hear for the most part. I did think of NO NAME as Bogdan mentions in his review and this is a concept album with lyrics in English. We do get some female vocals from the flautist but male vocals dominate and they're okay but nothing more. This hour of music was released in 1995.

"One Life" opens with atmosphere as acoustic guitar and flute take over. Sounds like mellotron after 2 minutes then reserved male vocals arrive before 3 minutes. A beat kicks in then a full sound as the vocals turn more passionate. Guitar a minute later before an atmospheric calm arrives 6 minutes in without vocals. Picked guitar and vocals take over a minute later then the tempo picks up. I like this. Another calm then the vocals return 10 minutes in. It kicks back in with some nice bass and synth work.

"Another Life" opens with organ then it kicks in with some punchy drumming and much more. The guitar comes in over the top then female vocals before 2 1/2 minutes as male vocals join in then take over. Keys and drums stand out then the guitar soars over top. Themes are repeated. I like the dark calm with spoken words 4 1/2 minutes in. It builds back to a full sound with vocals. Love the atmosphere after 9 1/2 minutes.

"The Same Old Way" opens with flute and lots of depth. Acoustic guitar plays over top as reserved male vocals join in. A good laid back tune. "Two Steps Ahead Of Time" features lots of keys early on then we get a bass solo 1 1/2 minutes in which signals the start of a full sound. Processed vocals after 2 minutes. I like the bass and drums when the vocals step aside briefly. It's fairly powerful here, at least for this band but then it settles back after 5 1/2 minutes.

"A Pair Of Hands" is my favourite song on here. Nice guitar and bass to start, in fact really nice as it builds. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in as the sound changes some. This is good. I like when it settles back after 2 minutes with atmosphere, bass and guitar as the vocals return. Themes are repeated.

"Challenge Of The Unknown" opens with atmosphere followed by a scream and voices as the atmosphere continues. Acoustic guitar then reserved vocals join in. Organ replaces the acoustic guitar until the electric guitar arrives after 4 minutes. Synths swirl 6 minutes in, riffs also arrive as the tempo picks up. It settles back followed by soaring guitar leads as the vocals step aside to the end.

"In Every Stranger's Eyes" starts with atmosphere before keys and vocals arrive around a minute in this pastoral passage. It does turn fuller after 2 minutes with the guitar replacing the vocals. Vocals are back a minute later as the tempo picks up. Catchy stuff and lots of synths too as this plays out. Atmosphere and whales? ends it.

A good album for sure and for my tastes 3 stars is the right rating.

 Shadowlands by GLASS HAMMER album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.72 | 195 ratings

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Shadowlands
Glass Hammer Symphonic Prog

Review by martindavey87

4 stars It's understandable that progressive rock is not always the easiest music to pick up, and an album like this, featuring just five tracks that range between seven and twenty-one minutes in length, certainly takes repeated listens before things start to fall into place. But the juice is worth the squeeze, because 'Shadowlands' is an enjoyable and infectious album, full of tasty melodies and catchy vocals.

With plenty of intricately-layered melodies, making full use of various instruments and multiple singers, Glass Hammer's sound, described as "symphonic prog", is as grandiose and epic as you can imagine. With interesting harmonies and some well thought-out lyrics, it's a shame that progressive rock, a genre that should be so appealing to so many people, is so easily overlooked.

Featuring some true gems such as 'So Close, So Far', 'Run Lisette' and the centerpiece of the album, 'Behind the Great Beyond', Glass Hammer's 'Shadowlands' is an awe-inspiring effort, which doesn't come across as pompous or self- indulgent. It's just one epic after another. The production does a fine job of giving every instrument enough clarity without being overbearing, which is quite a feat when there's so many things going on at any one time.

A true marvel of symphonic prog, this album is an absolute joy to listen to, and an essential addition to the collection of anyone who yearns for those classic days of yesteryear, when bands like Yes, King Crimson and ELP were all the rage.

 The Six Wives of Henry VIII by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.08 | 701 ratings

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The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nº 125

"The Six Wives Of Henry VIII" is the debut studio album of Rick Wakeman and was released in 1973. This is true, if we don't consider "Piano Vibrations" released in 1971 as his debut studio album. However, his contributions on that album were limited to performing as a session musician and he didn't compose any of the tracks on it. "The Six Wives Of Hery VIII" is a very ambitious and risky conceptual album about the six wives of Henry VIII. It's an album with six tracks, each one inspired by one of Henry VIII's wives. As Wakeman said, this album is based around his interpretation of the musical characteristics of the wives of Henry VIII. Although, the style may not always be in keeping with their individual history, because it represents his personal conception of their characters in relation to keyboard instruments. However, always was a mystery to me, why Wakeman doesn't treats the ladies in the chronologically correct order on the album.

Wakeman chose to participate on the recordings of the album the presence of some of the members of his current band Yes at the time and also some members of his previous band the Strawbs. So, we can see on the album the presence of the bassists Chris Squire of Yes and Chas Cronk of the Strawbs, the guitarists Steve Howe of Yes and Dave Lambert of the Strawbs, the drummers Bill Bruford and Alan White of Yes and the leader of the Strawbs, Dave Cousins, on electric banjo. Beyond these musicians, many other artists participate on this working too. However and despite the presence of several Yes and the Strawbs' members, it doesn't recall the work of any of those bands, in direct sense.

"The six Wives Of Henry VIII" has six tracks, as we can expect, and all the songs were written by Wakeman except "Anne Boleyn 'The Day Thou Gavest Lord Hath Ended'". "Anne Boleyn" incorporates the hymn "The Day Thou Gavest Lord Hath Ended" written by Rev. Clement Cotteril Scholefield, arranged by Wakeman. The first track "Catherine Of Aragon" is one of the best and most easily recognized musical pieces of the album. It's the song most close to classic Yes' sound, with some complexity and at the same time catchy, and where the music flows with passages of varying speed, mood and intensity. It's the demonstration of a perfect marriage between a keyboardist and an orchestra. The second track "Anne Of Cleves" is a song more in the jazz/rock style and where the sound is predominantly of keyboards and drums. It's the most strong and energetic song of the album, making it the most exciting song to listen. Despite be an intricate song with some complexity it's a very simple song to listen to especially for those who aren't so familiar with progressive rock. The third track "Catherine Howard" is on the contrary a more complex and difficult song to hear. It's one of my favourite compositions created by Wakeman. It's the most calm, relaxing and melodic song of the album. It's a song with musical changes and rhythms that moves gracefully and wonderfully through several short musical pieces. This is really a great track. The fourth track "Jane Seymour" is a classical symphonic piece of music composed for a church organ. It's a fantastic musical piece where Wakeman demonstrates how great his virtuosity as a keyboardist. Here we can see clearly the influences of Johan Sebastian Bach, the master composer of the classical music of the Baroque period. The church organ was recorded at St Giles-without-Cripplegate church, in London. The fifth track "Anne Boleyn" is another fantastic and brilliant melancholic song with a mixture of many keyboard styles, played by several keyboard instruments, with lots of changes and a splendid choir work, and where the music flows beautifully. This is a lovely and soft song especially performed by acoustic piano that gives it a more sophisticated feel and a certain type of class. In the end, Wakeman plays a lovely piano rendition of the hymn "The Day Thou Gavest Lord Hath Ended". The sixth track "Catherine Parr" is the song that completes perfectly and wonderfully this album. It's a very dynamic song combining magnificently the keyboard working with an excellent drum working. I also want to highlight the presence of the mellotron with its majestic sound which gives an ambient of a choir all over the song.

Conclusion: "The six Wives Of Henry VIII" is a classic progressive album and an unavoidable evergreen presence of the progressive rock of the 70's. It's usually accepted that this is his better and most fine musical work in his huge and prolific solo career. It's also one of my first contacts, in the 70's, with his music, together with "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth", "The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table", "Lisztomania" and "No Earthly Connection". As I said before, this is Wakeman's personal interpretation of the musical characteristics of the six wives of Henry VIII. As I don't know exactly the personality traits of those historical figures, I'm not sure if he could interpret them well or not, with the keyboard instruments. So, the only thing I can say is that "The six Wives Of Henry VIII" is a completely instrumental musical work of the highest quality and an indispensable album especially for those, like me, who love the superb analogue keyboard workings. This is really an album with a very impressive set of tracks.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Les Châteaux de la Loire by ELLESMERE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.86 | 25 ratings

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Les Châteaux de la Loire
Ellesmere Symphonic Prog

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ellesmere is mainly the brainchild of Roberto Vitelli, bass and guitar player from the Roman prog band Taproban. In 2014 he gathered around him some prestigious guest musicians to play his compositions and in 2015 released an interesting debut album on AMS Records. It's entitled Les Ch'teaux de la Loire and it's a charming work where acoustic, pastoral atmospheres prevail. The line up features Roberto Vitelli (Takamine 6 strings classic, Eko Ranger 12 strings, Fender "Geddy Lee" jazz bass, Fender Stratocaster, E-Bow, Moog Taurus III), John Hackett (flute), Anthony Phillips (narrative vocals), Daniele Pomo (drums, percussions), Luciano Regoli (vocals), Giulia Nuti (violin, viola), Pietro Horvath (cello), Linda Giuntini (horn), Fabio Bonuglia (Mellotron M 400, Moog Model D, keyboards), Paolo Carnelli (electric piano, keyboards, acoustic piano), Danilo Mintrone (strings arrangement) and Dario Esposito (drums).

The main course of the album is the title track, a wonderful, dreamy thirty-eight minute suite divided into eleven parts. It was inspired to Roberto Vitelli by a holiday he spent in France and starts with the narrative vocals provided by former Genesis member Anthony Phillips who reads some verses taken from Lines Written On Visiting The Ch'teaux On The Loire, a poem by Alfred Austin. Just close your eyes and let the music flow and show you some pondering pictures of the vast panorama of the past... In fact, the Loire Valley is studded with over a thousand ch'teaux, each with distinct architectural characteristics covering a wide range of variations, from the early medieval to the late Renaissance periods. Some sections of the suite are dedicated to some specific castles, amazing monuments of heart and mind such as Sully-sur-Loire, Meung-sur-Loire, Blois, Chambord and Chaumont-sur-Loire while the other sections mark the passages from one place to another as thoughts and feelings get mixed in an intermittent dream, cradled by the river waters. No need for words: except the narrative vocals that open and close the suite there are no lyrics and even the beautiful voice of Luciano Regoli is used here just as an instrument to add colours and emotions. By the way, Luciano Regoli (singer from Raccomandata con Ricevuta di Ritorno, Samadhi, DGM) is also a talented painter and took charge of the wonderful art cover that probably depicts the atmosphere of this album better than all my words...

The last two pieces are credited as bonus tracks but they are not fillers at all. The mysterious, dark "The Ancient Samovar" tells in music and words about the almost magic power of an ancient samovar, a heated metal container traditionally used to heat and boil water in and around Russia as well as in other countries. Thanks to the thaumaturgic properties of its tea you can relax even in a silent, troubled night, waiting for the sun with a renewed feeling of hope... The closer "Wintry Afternoon" is a beautiful, melancholic instrumental track with the notes of an acoustic piano in the forefront the the sound of the wind in the background.

On the whole, a very good album!

 Afterglow by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 229 ratings

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Afterglow
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by skog_prog

5 stars Now don't think I am biased based on my Wobbler profile pic! It is because of this album that Wobbler rose to become my favorite band. "The Haywain"- A stellar opening to the album. A refreshing medieval style piece with recorder. More to come later in the album! Short piece but doesn't lack beauty.

"Imperial Winter White"- An epic! This song covers a lot of ground in 15 minutes. This is the only track on the album with vocals and there aren't a whole lot. Now I have seen reviews saying the singer (Tony Johannessen) is a weak point but I disagree completely! His theatrical vocals tie together this epic track!

"Interlude" - An absolutely beautiful classical guitar piece! You feel as if Morten Eriksen (Wobbler's guitarist) is playing in the room with you! You can hear his fingers slide across the strings. You can really feel the emotion in this song as well as the rest of the album.

"In Taberna" - Another epic! Another track that covers a range of sounds both soft and melodic and harsh and unsettling. It starts off aggressive and loud. The medieval lull in the middle of the song is powerful and really creates an amazing mood for the rest of the song.

"Armoury" - Ending in similar fashion to the way it started. A brief medieval piece with recorder, crumhorn, and organ. Another memorable song that really closes out the album well.

Overall: I believe this to be Wobbler's best album so far (there others are great too :)). The fact that it was written when they were only teenagers makes it all the more impressive! If you like Anglagard or Gryphon you will like this album.

Cons of this album: Too short!!!! :D

 Foxtrot by GENESIS album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.60 | 3188 ratings

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Foxtrot
Genesis Symphonic Prog

Review by Luqueasaur

5 stars The fox on the rocks surpassed the musical box: 9/10

FOXTROT presents us a more mature and well-produced GENESIS, with talented, incomparable musicianship. One of the most interesting characteristics of this album is that every instrument is highlighted, although there's a distinctive emphasis on the keyboard, which overflows.

Watcher of the Skies is an airy, light and yet an astoundingly powerful performance with superb contribution from all five musicians, especially Mike Rutherford's magnificent bass line and Tony Banks' ethereal Mellotron. Time Table is melodic and profound, typical characteristics of the Peter Gabriel era. Get 'em Out by Fridayis a conceptual and sarcastic tale - those lads were some cynical ones... Can-Utility and Coastlinersis an indication of what GENESIS was going to develop into (on SELLING), going so forth as to introduce pieces that would be reused subsequently on Battle of Epping Forest and The Cinema Show. Tony Banks and Steve Hackett excels expectations as they accompany and sometimes lead along Peter Gabriel's serpent-charming voice on an energetic, complex and, simply put, classical GENESIS song. Horizons could easily be confused as a Baroque acoustic track. The trace elements of Bach's music is whopping, and although short, it is just as lovable as Bourrée in D Minor. It also has some high pitch picks that resembles YES' Roudabout's intro. Hehe.

SUPPER'S READY lacks words to be described, it is an absurd epic full of nuances and emotions that touch deeply our hearts and intertwine with our souls inseparably. It is truly, in a certain way, a journey. It features progressive rock's greatest technical moment: the legendary polyrhythmic and paradigmatic Apocalypse in 9/8 - an imitation of Keith Emerson's style on ELP, according to Banks -, the track's mindbogglingly complex interpretation of apocalyptic chaos. They did all of this is in 1972. Needless to say, it is a symbolic juggernaut for its influence shaped immensely the streams of the genre.

Particularly, FOXTROT features key content for understanding the early GENESIS era; I'm honestly not much fond of the album, but similar to what I did on my TARKUS review, a single song makes me consider this an essential album, and not necessarily the quality of the record in its entirety. It's impossible to pretend to listen to Supper's Ready is not imperative.

 Tales From Topographic Oceans by YES album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.89 | 2151 ratings

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Tales From Topographic Oceans
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Luqueasaur

3 stars A proto-Relayer not at all amazing: 6/10

Jamie Muir - ephemerous percussionist of KING CRIMSON's LARKS' IN TONGUES ASPIC, on Bill Bruford's wedding reception, showed Jon Andeson the works of Paramahansa Yogananda, which can be summed as "Kriya Yoga". This heavily influenced Anderson to develop the mystical record we're seeing. Aside from this funny fact, many others before me explained thoroughly the virtues and flaws YES' most pompous record has, so I'll be short on my verdict.

TALES FROM A TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS had a bad timing: released right after what is hailed by many, I included, as the best progressive rock album of all time, the hype was overwhelmingly enormous. The issue is that YES departed from what made Close to the Edge magnificent - electricity, excitement, complexity - sailing into much calmer rivers. In fact, you can think of this as a transitory phase between the restless rockers to more matured, melodic musicians. Well, to make it short, it is disappointing - you can't really expect the energy from CTTE but neither the masterful emotion from Relayer.

The Revealing Science of God carries some early YES joviality syncretised with melodic virtuosity on a magnificent fashion, it presents itself as a unique creation - the blends of ethereal Moog sweeps along the tropical guitar riffs and solos fits the sublime concept Jon Anderson trips about. The cheerful parts are anthemic and beautiful, the mellow parts are smooth and soothing, but they're well balanced not to have either overrunning the overall atmosphere. Personally, I think it deserves acknowledgment as one of YES' best, as they achieved their pretensions of creating deliciously maddening prog. It is a solid opener, and what a solid one. The issue is that what follows on after this appetizing entrance just goes slower, and slower, and staler and staler as the album progresses.

In general, this is not a bad album by any means, it just isn't nearly as exciting as one would expect from YES - especially as it is the bridge between the Homeric releases CLOSE TO THE EDGE and RELAYER. Is it worth checking out? If you've got the spare time.

 Trespass by GENESIS album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.16 | 2048 ratings

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Trespass
Genesis Symphonic Prog

Review by Luqueasaur

4 stars Our beloved classic Genesis has been assembled: 8/10

GENESIS, still trying to find uniqueness in their music, morphed a lot after their debut album. In here, they're shaped similarly to what's known of them. Every feature that makes them majestic are found in TRESPASS, albeit less matured. Maybe the album name has something to do with their departure from safe formulas to a new, uncharted territory of musical exploration and innovativeness? Highly eclectic, TRESPASS features several moods: it's sometimes soothing and pastoral and other times energetic and even mildly aggressive.

Peter Gabriel's vocals are terrific, passionate, and heavily accented, as usual. His musicianship is top notch, which really begs the question on how can this man sing so professionally since his very first releases... also, there's an interesting use of vocal distortion (kinda like 70's autotune) on many tracks. And several - and boy, I mean it! - flute solos. Tony Banks, the man with angel fingers, delivers too a superb contribution on his Mellotron. SURPRISINGLY, Phil Collins is not here: instead, it's John Mayhew is on the drums with quality drumming, but similar to Collins' style - rhythmically fluid, with some baroque details of cymbals and ornamental beats.

Looking for Someone starts rather romantically slow, but there are several injections of instrumental parts and keyboard solos that take it far away from boring. White Mountain is perhaps the best track of the record. With a pastoral ambiance, it tells a poetic tale of a wolf's adventure. Soothingly acoustic, the big thing here, along Gabriel's vocal performance, is the spectacularly catchy and climaxing Mellotron chorus "riff". Vision of Angels, although not particularly morose, is not much interesting. Stagnation follows the path of Looking for Someone, as it has a calmer pace yet featuring some potent flute and keyboard solos around the three-minute mark. THE KNIFE is also an absolute highlight, as it depicts an uncommonly hyperactive GENESIS, almost hard rock-esque. The lyrics have many to do with civil revolution and rebellion, as Gabriel wrote this under influence of Ghandhi's work, which sort of explains the insurrectionary musical stylistic, atypical to the band. When I think about it, it's the least "progressive" object here, featuring a clear verse-chorus structure. Well, I ain't complaining.

So, in general, TRESPASS is firm, interesting and thoroughly creative. It was released in 1970, on the beginnings of the progressive rock, and I can assume it's one of the influencing factors that shaped the genre's directions and sonority, and undoubtfully, of GENESIS' style. A must for fans, and a "you really should" for anyone else.

 Gegants I Serpentines by GÒTIC album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.04 | 24 ratings

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Gegants I Serpentines
Gòtic Symphonic Prog

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A legendary ghost album finally revealed.

Gotic's 1977 Escenes is one of the most praised symphonic prog albums from Spain, and for some 30 years the only available release by this band. There had always been talk that they had recorded a 2nd album which never saw the light of day, but it remained quite a mistery, for many just a myth.

Somehow a couple of years ago the japanese label Tachika got hold of those tapes and released them under the name Maqueta, spanish word for "demo recording". A dream come true, what all fans considered already a secret treasure forever buried in lost history finally became available to the world.

And fortunately the material is much more than just a demo, it's clear that the album was practically ready to be released, the sound quality is not amazing but I have heard official albums sounding worse, the tracks are completely arranged and they all have their proper names in catalan language. Only the last bonus track is actually a demo with clearly inferior sound quality.

Like Escenes, Maqueta is entirely instrumental but it is more energetic and less pastoral, more jazz-rock but still a very symphonic kind of jazz-rock. Some people found Escenes too mild and pastoral, well they should love this one. The closest well-known reference would still be Camel, in big part due to the prominent flute. The recording is credited as being from 1978 and there are a couple of line-up changes, flutist Jep Nuix had moved to Mirasol Colores (together they would release their great fusion album Linea 5) and was replaced by Agusti­ Brugada who plays with perhaps a bit less personality but still very proficiently, and they got reinforced by a full-time guitarist Eugeni Gil which undoubtedly contributes to the rockier sound.

The first 3 tracks are excellent symphonic jazz-rock, upbeat with some interspersed calmer section. By the way a version (unfortunately without flutist) of the 3rd track Juventut Audac played live at the spanish TV show Musical Express can be seen in YouTube, just search "Gotic 70's progressive fusion from Spain".

4th track Amanda d'Estiu is soft and 5th track Bulerias is again upbeat. Like in Escenes, the flute takes a starring role, but keyboards are also prominent and there is much more guitar. 6th track Somniant is a short keyboard interlude and the last album track Pluja Sabatina is a beautiful song played in piano solo which reminds me of some songs by Chucho Valdes (albeit less virtuoso). The bonus demo track Jugant Amb El Gat has a clearly worse sound quality which is a shame because it's another great symphonic jazz- rock track and in terms of arrangements it feels as good as nearly finished.

This recovery of what was thought to be a forever lost album is to be celebrated by all fans of symphonic-jazz-rock, and especially those who like prog with flute. I'm tempted to give it 5 stars but I'l stay with 4.

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Symphonic Prog bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
21. PERON Turkey
5BRIDGES Netherlands
7 OCEAN Belarus
ABBHAMA Indonesia
ABSTRACTION LAYER Brazil
ACCENT Romania
ACHE Denmark
ACUITY United States
ADVENTURE Norway
AETHER Brazil
AFTER CRYING Hungary
AFTER THE FIRE United Kingdom
AGNUS Argentina
AGNUS GRAAL Brazil
AIRLORD New Zealand
AJALON United States
AKACIA United States
ALAMEDA Spain
ALASKA United States
ALBATROSS United States
ALMS Spain
ALPHA CENTAURY France
ALPHA III Brazil
ALTER ECHO Sweden
LEON ALVARADO United States
SERGIO ALVAREZ Argentina
AMAGRAMA Argentina
AMENOPHIS Germany
AMOS KEY Germany
ANABIS Germany
ANCIENT VISION United States
ANDERSON BRUFORD WAKEMAN HOWE United Kingdom
ANDERSON/STOLT Multi-National
ANGE France
ANGIPATCH France
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