Header

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 01/01/2015

Iván Melgar Morey (Iván_Melgar_M)
Scott Tuffnell (AtomicCrimsonRush)
Anton Fritz (SouthSideoftheSky)
H.T. Riekels (bhikkhu)

Symphonic Prog Top Albums


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

4.65 | 3366 ratings
CLOSE TO THE EDGE
Yes
4.63 | 3105 ratings
SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND
Genesis
4.61 | 2689 ratings
FOXTROT
Genesis
4.43 | 2601 ratings
FRAGILE
Yes
4.42 | 2336 ratings
NURSERY CRYME
Genesis
4.38 | 1932 ratings
MIRAGE
Camel
4.41 | 1294 ratings
HYBRIS
Änglagård
4.38 | 1659 ratings
MOONMADNESS
Camel
4.36 | 2260 ratings
RELAYER
Yes
4.37 | 964 ratings
SI ON AVAIT BESOIN D'UNE CINQUIÈME SAISON
Harmonium
4.29 | 2191 ratings
THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY
Genesis
4.29 | 2091 ratings
THE YES ALBUM
Yes
4.27 | 1909 ratings
A TRICK OF THE TAIL
Genesis
4.27 | 1693 ratings
THE SNOW GOOSE
Camel
4.34 | 650 ratings
DEPOIS DO FIM
Bacamarte
4.31 | 861 ratings
SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER STORIES
Renaissance
4.24 | 1510 ratings
EMERSON LAKE & PALMER
Emerson Lake & Palmer
4.27 | 796 ratings
VILJANS ÖGA
Änglagård
4.25 | 754 ratings
HAMBURGER CONCERTO
Focus
4.17 | 1725 ratings
TRESPASS
Genesis

Symphonic Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

SÈVE QUI PEUT
Ange
ENTANGLED
Leitmotiv
L'ARBRE-CIMETIÈRE
Maldoror
HIJOS DEL AGOBIO
Triana

Download (Stream) Free Symphonic Prog MP3


Open player in a new window

Download (Stream) Free Symphonic Prog MP3

Latest Symphonic Prog Music Reviews


 Selling England By The Pound by GENESIS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.63 | 3105 ratings

BUY
Selling England By The Pound
Genesis Symphonic Prog

Review by Westonbirt

5 stars As I bravely set out to review Genesis' catalogue, I had to decide where to start. Probably best to go from the top and also the most uncontroversial. As such, here is "Selling England By The Pound", arguably best Genesis album and best title ever written.

Word of God says that this album was written at a time when there was a fear among the still small, dedicated base of the group over whether or not they would sell out to the dirty Americans and their new-world ways. As such, here is the album equivalent of a communitarian revival.

This is of course a caricature. This album has indeed a very English folk charm, but it is at this point a distillation of Gabriel's songwriting wonder, combined with the musicianship of Tony, Steve, Mike and Phil. For this album doesn't have the resonance of say, Dark Side, whose sparse lyrics were bordering on tautology at times.

No, this is isn't a broadly appealing piece - as noted by many reviews of the time. What it is is a brilliantly woven series of tableaux. Beginning with the opening track which transitions from a charming folk ballad to an explosive electric number so seamlessly it's almost offensive. It then peaks, sustains and gently glides back to earth - a complexity of texture that will seem familiar over the next 54 minutes.

Following with the almost successful single I Know What I Like, a delicious digestible piece that was quite rare at the time for Gabriel's Angels. Firth of Fifth needs no introductions - it is a wonderful Banksian work brought to impossible heights by Hackett. More Fool Me is meh, but then again it was written by Phil and Mike on the porch, so I wont be too hard. Battle of Epping Forest is a bit harder to swallow. While the lyrics are not bad, it's not greatly executed, very wordy without having the musical chops to sustain itself. But Tony thinks so too, so I don't feel alone.

Returning on the mode of the first piece, After The Ordeal. While shorter, it is also pleasant. The true second standout moment of the album is The Cinema Show. A truly magnificent work, from its gentle start to its finish on the leitmotiv of Dancing With The Moonlit Knight. Essentially instrumental, it serves a great ending ot the album (Aisle Of Plenty is more of an epilogue).

Phil's drumming brings the whole enterprise to a nice chug, while Hackett in bursts and Banks pretty much whenever manage to show tremendous skill. One reproach you could make it is quite a pretentious number. But I guess, to me, the pretentiousness of The Lamb crushes everything else. All and all, it is a really great album, and definitely one to hang over the chimney. A+

If you'd enjoy it more if it was on a slower boil, try Foxtrot. If you'd like it more if it had more material and was less idiosyncratic, try A Trick Of The Tail.

 Libre Y Natural by ESPIRITU album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.80 | 34 ratings

BUY
Libre Y Natural
Espiritu Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Heading for the recordings of a second album, Espiritu had to deal with a major departure, Gustavo Fedel left the band to join Generación Cero, he was immediately replaced by Ciro Fogliatta, member of the legendary Argentinian Beat band Los Gatos.Their new album was recorded at the Phonalex Studios, a regular home for major Argentinian Prog and Rock bands.It was titled ''Libre y natural'' and came out again on the Talent label in 1976.

Stylistically this one follows the vein of the previous release, establishing the band as one of the not so frequent entries in the Argentinian Symphonic Rock scene.With Fogliatta making heavy use of the same keyboard equipment as Fedel, Espiritu played a very YES-influenced Progressive Rock with big time symphonic arrangements, flashy keyboard parts, decent interplays and a normal taste of the South-American lands due to the Spanish vocals and laid-back acoustic passages.I would definitely expect some sort of originality, but the guys never escaped from the strong YES-rooted textures, which sees them making use of dominant, upfront bass lines and quirky keyboard splashes with the Moog synthesizer in evidence.In fact the more pastoral parts of the album also happen to be the more original ones, eventually giving space to a more Latin-spiced sound with a poetic lyricism and a rural enviroment.That's not to say that the richer movements are of a lower interest, the band sounded pretty great at moments, offering some very good instrumental parts with a couple of extraordinary guitar performances by Osvaldo Favrot, always in a YES vein, and cool keyboard lines on organ and synths.Lots of fine interplays to go along with some top notch complex ideas and Carlos Goler's outstanding drumming, which even flirts with jazzy patterns.

YES-influenced Prog Rock.You shouldn't expect that by a South-American band, but Espiritu did play so.At least they were pretty good and always made some room for some local acoustics during the gentle moments.Nice and recommended album.

 Past Orbits Of Dust: Live 1969/1970 by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 2012
4.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Past Orbits Of Dust: Live 1969/1970
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SteveG

— First review of this album —
4 stars Past Orbits of Dust: Live 1969/1970 is a tough album for me to review as it's made up of rare live recordings of the Renaissance Mark 1 lineup with varying degrees of sound quality. The Mark 1 lineup featured Keith Relf and Jim McCarty, formally of The Yardbirds, on guitar and drums respectively, along with Relf's sister Jane on vocals, John Hawken on piano and Louis Cennamo on bass. Hawken was a founding member of the one hit wonder The Nashville Teens, while Cennamo was a young but accomplished session player.

Only Jane Relf was a performing novice, but her contributions were mostly in the form of backing vocals and supplying Aeolian choral backing to all but three of the album's eight songs.

The thing most striking about these performances are how assured they are and are even more striking when one realizes that the entire first Renaissance album was road tested months before it was committed to vinyl. One of the circumstances that led to such stout performances was the fact that the band shared bills with harder rocking bands, as the concert promoters only knew that the group was formed from the ashes of the disintegrated Yardbirds , and placed them on concert bills with the likes of groups in the same vain as Humble Pie.

As a result, the group had to raise their game and were also much grittier and animated than the performances on their first album would suggest.

The album's two lead off tracks, recorded in late fall of 1969 in Helsinki, Finland are probably the album's two best sounding recordings, albeit a bit mono sounding, and amply demonstrate the band's chops as well as showcasing their new classical sound fused with rock music. The second of these Helsinki tracks features a more bluesy version of Bullit with excellent harmonica playing by Keith along with a Doors-like vocal break in the middle where Keith whispers, then shouts, about children playing with toy guns and what society implies to them about hand guns. The track ends with a great bass solo by Cennamo who employs an explosive fuzz tone and delay to his bass's sound and commences to play his own dark sounding symphony before all members rejoin to give the song it's final few notes.

Innocence is from a New York concert and again features Keith Relf on vocals before Hawken ends the song with his now usual homage to Beethoven, Bach, Johann Straus, Mozart and other popular central European classical composers, without sounding outright derivative of these composers. This track sports good sound with better stereo separation. The same cannot be said about the following track, Wanderer, sung by Jane, as this track has merely passible sound quality as does an early version of Sounds of Yesterday, which is considered one of the best tracks ever recorded by the Mark 1 lineup and was featured on the band's follow up Illusion album that was recorded and released (In Germany only) one full year later in 1971. It's fascinating for fans of this early lineup to hear how completely arranged this song was just a few months after releasing their first album.

The album closes with a jam that was latter partially incorporated into the studio version of Kings and Queens, titled No Name Raga, and a second version of Kings and Queens from a Swedish concert with features the Jane Relf showcased song Island sandwiched inbetween . All three tracks have good sound as does the closing track, an outtake from the 1971 Illusion sessions titled Statutes, which is as close as the Mark 1 lineup came to recording a commercial sounding "pop" song with it's catchy chorus and, it's little more, than two minute length. The song actually sounds unfinished to me as if it need's a lead guitar passage placed over it's bland middle eight section. Again, with it's varying quality of recorded sound, it's a hard album for me to rate. For someone who is an "archivist" of the group, like me, then Past Orbits of Dust is a four star essential. For those who cherish consistent sound qualtity, three stars would seem to be the best rating as these members or fans will rarely play this historical gem.

 The Grand Experiment (as The Neal Morse Band) by MORSE, NEAL album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.78 | 119 ratings

BUY
The Grand Experiment (as The Neal Morse Band)
Neal Morse Symphonic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

4 stars The idea of changing the songwriting formula by writing the songs all together instead of Neal Morse writing alone before bringing his ideas seems to be a refreshing idea. The result is not obvious in the first song "The Call" who has all the trademark of a typical Neal Morse song with it's ambitious symphonic style. But in the the songs "Alive Again" and "MacArthur Park", there is something different from the usual Neal Morse style with interesting instrumental passages. But at the same time, there is some less progressive songs that are more classic rock like "The Grand Experiment" and "Agenda". "Waterfall" is the ultimate ballad to put you in a different mood. The major change to me was the idea of letting Eric Gillette take the lead vocals role. And he has done a very good job in that department. The bonus CD is as good as the first CD but with another too repetitive and simple song :"New Jerusalem", in which the only bright spot is the drums parts that recall Manu Katché or some late period of Genesis. Finally, the longest tracks are the best ones, the others are taking a more standard rock direction and while have a certain appeal don't have the grandeur of the other tracks. I am happy that Neal Morse has brings something new to his music. The production and the musicianship are flawless, especially the bass and drums parts.
 Armenia by LIFE LINE PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.28 | 77 ratings

BUY
Armenia
Life Line Project Symphonic Prog

Review by grenadilla (mats)

5 stars It is now exactly one hundred years ago, since the horrible massacre of more than one and a half million Armenians by the regime of the Young Turks during World War I. Still the Turks have so much trouble in recognizing it as a genocide, but how would you call leading away an entire population in order to kill it, other than a genocide. Why do the Turks still have to defend this wrong and why not call heroes those Turks, who risked their lives by trying to rescue Armenian refugees and who were often hung in front of their houses, when discovered.

The Armenia Suite on the album Armenia gives a touching and dramatic musical impression of this horrible event. After a beautiful overture in which the main theme is launched, the impressive march to Deir Ez Zor, the place where so many Armenians left their lives, follows. It starts with a tender melancholic melody on the flute, reminding us a bit of the Armenian duduk, then follows the vocal part, so well sung by Marion Brinkman. The vocal melody starts warm and tender, but becomes more harsh and dissonant in the harmonies as the march proceeds. A violent and fierce part follows and leads us to the theme of the actual march, a cruel but solemn sounding dissonant theme performed on the mellotron, accompanied by several snare drums, discharging in a sad and nostalgic reflective part in which hatred and acceptance of the events are united, an impressive symphonic work.

A very restrained, but beautiful part follows, performed by the oboe and piano alone, over which Marion sings of the hope of a new dawn in which the Armenian people can once more resurrect and find happiness.

The 22 minutes lasting suite ends with a stormy and pulsating finale with a jubilant Moog expressing the will and force to overcome death and defeat, a brilliant conclusion of a true magnum opus.

The other compositions on the album get a bit overlooked by the impact of the Armenia Suite, but compositions like "Dans Le Ciel", sung in French (with a tad bit of Dutch accent) and the heavy "Another Deadline" and of course the Jon Lord tribute song "New Flight" with its heavy distorted organ sound are certainly worthy of being on the same album.

A great album on a sad event.............

Grenadilla (Mats)

5 stars

 Antiche Impressioni by DORACOR album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.02 | 22 ratings

BUY
Antiche Impressioni
Doracor Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars By January 1999 Corrado Sardella had already composed and recorded a third album, each release finds him becoming even more ambitious in composing terms, this time the album ''Antiche impressioni'' was dedicated to the land of his grandparents called Monti della Laga and located somewhere in the central Apennines.The line-up was expanded to a four-piece, Sardella plays all instruments except for guitars, handled by Massimo Farina (electric) and Marco Fedele (acoustic) with a female singer named Dea contributing the soprano voice and Farina taking the over the male singing parts.The album came out on Mellow Records.

''Antiche impressioni'' is actually a long 3-part suite, reaching the 40-min. mark, and finding Sardella exploring the grounds of dreamy Symphonic Rock with emotional passages in instrumental and vocal lines and reducing a bit the virtuosic E.L.P./LE ORME tendencies, now focusing on the more melodic side of keyboard-drenched Prog Rock music.Of course that doesn't mean that Sardella has abandoned all these bombastic keyboard flashes and layers, but speaking of a 40-min. piece you will see the emphasis now being on piano interludes, Classical keyboard intros and outros, melodic guitar solos and sentimental voices with a more pronounced orchestral feel and less technical solos.As expected the music is very well-composed with the synthesizers and piano dominating the album and a few Mellotron samplers popping out, drum programming is bearable and the sporadic vocals are pretty romantic.On the other hand the sound of keyboards is not always convincing, having sometimes a pale color and weak acoustics.Nice little attempt on long, modern Sympho Rock by Sardella.At the end of the album ''Sorge il sol'' is placed, the farewell six minutes of music sound very Neo Prog-ish, a few excellent melodies, the Electronic-flavored keyboards and the distorted electric guitars combine for a very good outro.

Decent Neo/Symphonic Rock.Again some sampling methods are pretty average, but the centerpiece of the album is well-crafted, grandiose and fairly melodic.Recommended.

 Cheval - Volonté de rocher  by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.33 | 28 ratings

BUY
Cheval - Volonté de rocher
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars After playing live in their homecountry and visiting Germany and Hungary for the promotion of ''Eight moments of eternity'', Isildurs Bane decided to re-record ''Sagan om ringen'' and release it properly on vinyl in 1988, after all they made a name out of the album.It was around the same time they added guitarist Tommy Nilsson in the line-up.Looking for another concept work, they found themselves surprised by the story of infamous French postman Ferdinand Cheval, the man who built his own castle all alone, working continuously for 33 years.The band toured prior to recording the album, when the time had come they collaborated with the local Hallandsensemblen orchestra plus guitarist Janne Schaffer.The album came out on the band's own label in 1989 both on vinyl and CD format under the title ''Cheval - volonte de rocher''.

Same problem apparent in most of Isildurs Bane albums during the 80's is present in another ambitious work by the Swedish, hiring a small orchestra was representive of the band's direction, which would now be much more orchestral and symphonic, but the 80's-styled production value and instrumental quality are again significant flaws, such a same, because the musicianship is pretty nice and even top notch at moments, while Isildurs Bane would record some of their most complex arrangements in this album.The sound has taken a more symphonic essence, but not the one appearing in the early works of the band, it's much more orchestral and recalls more of the works of MIKE OLDFIELD, PEKKA POHJOLA, STEVE HACKETT and the likes, strengthened by the massive sections with the backing orchestra and the use of keyboards and piano.Keyboards and drumming are the basic negative selections on this work, too thin and weak for supporting such an ambitious effort.The music also crosses THE ENID territories at some point, but the addition of some nonsense jazzy guitar plays are rather questionable.The orchestral arrangements are great to say the least with some beautiful climates and instrumental interplays and a few more cinematic segments.There are even some nice guitar solos in the process, but the overall quality is always linked with the mediocre production, making the album sound very digital.

An uneven work.Musically it's pretty strong and the emphatic orchestrations show the talent of the group.But I guess there was no other way at the time than to record this work under the period techniques, this happens to lower its quality at the point some of the material to sound more disturbing than attractive.Maybe fans of STEVE HACKETT's or ANTHONY PHILLIPS' orchestral endeavors are likely to find this one charming from start to the very end...2.5 stars.

 Mirage by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.38 | 1932 ratings

BUY
Mirage
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by poeghost

4 stars Camel's Mirage is an excellent album which I enjoy very much and highly recommend. This classic era prog album would be a good starting point for people just getting into prog.

The instruments used are organ/keyboards, guitar, bass, drums and flute. I like the deep smooth vocals on "The White Rider" and "Lady Fantasy". The varied parts flow well together. Some parts have a relaxed feel. There are fast and heavy parts. In particular "Freefall" is a heavy rock song. "Nimrodel" is dreamy and mysterious. The beginning of "Earthrise" reminds me of a castle with a forest around it. A cool synth bass sound with higher pitched otherworldly echo effects is near the end of "The White Rider". The highlights to me are "Supertwister", "The White Rider" and the "Lady Fantasy" suite.

 The Grand Experiment (as The Neal Morse Band) by MORSE, NEAL album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.78 | 119 ratings

BUY
The Grand Experiment (as The Neal Morse Band)
Neal Morse Symphonic Prog

Review by Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer

4 stars First off, I'd just like to say that I'm happy for this group of guys at the result of this album. The gimmick was that Neal did not have any new material, and that what we have here was the result of total group collaboration. I highly doubted that it was true in the first place (and it appears that, at least with Agenda, it wasn't), but I didn't know enough about the band members to know whether this would be a productive strategy.

I remember seeing Neal's band live a few years back on the Momentum tour, and my takeaway from that show- -other than being only able to hear bass and drums due to the terrible house sound--was that it didn't seem like a very cohesive group. Neal and Mike hammed it up, Adson Sodre would lay down some killer solos here and there, and Eric and Bill did not seem to have consistent roles to fill.

Now, imagine my skepticism upon hearing that Adson was not going to be on the album! Couple that with the material that was released before the full album: the average title track (despite the interesting chorus, the rest involved the band trying to hard to rock, and I could only picture Neal mean-mugging his was through the intro) and the playful Agenda. There was not much room for optimism, especially since I thought Neal was bordering a bit on staleness in parts of Momentum.

(Side note: I was planning on Agenda being absolutely terrible from reviews, but I like it as a playful throwaway song. It's meant to be cheesy! Watch the video that came out with it, and if you still can't appreciate it at least a little bit, then you could treat it as a bonus track, perhaps.)

However, all of my skepticism was unwarranted, as the rest of the album is quite good. Eric happens to deliver a great lead, full of a variety of tones and creativity, as well as a strong top harmony. Bill provides a more consistent presence in providing layering and texture to the keys, as well as an interesting vocal counterpoint. Notice a theme building about the vocals, because that's the highlight of the album in my book. They perhaps are not great by themselves, but together to combination is quite nice...sometimes I hear some Styx, sometimes some Eagles.

Highlights: The Call, Waterfall, Alive Again. The Call kicks off the album with a great deal of energy, and even if the song doesn't hang together perfectly toward the middle, to my ears it is very refreshing in terms of how it compares to previous material from Neal. Just a really fun song, and you can tell it's a true group effort. Waterfall is a slower tune that features the stacked harmonies, which is quite nice, and then morphs in to a bit of a Genesis Entangled vibe that I appreciate. Finally, Alive Again represents the epic, and I think it it quite a success. To be clear, it is not perfect, but I don't think perfection was really a possibility if the group was trying to maintain a team effort. For example, Bill's vocals in the "Man I'll Never Be" section get a bit rough and mush- mouthed, but he comes around nicely. Also, the middle theme that is revisited in what feels like dozens of times is just not good enough to be featured so heavily. Fortunately, there is enough creativity and variety to make the journey quite listenable, particularly because the finale is absolutely soaring and huge. The stacked harmonies, the majestic interpretation of the original chorus, the killer tempo kick...it's all great to my ears. I would nitpick the fade-out, but I just don't have the heart to do that here (you could argue that I just did, but it's not my intent to make this a backhanded compliment!)

Overall, I believe this represents a needed change of sound, the cohesion of a true band, and the potential for great things! Of all of Neal's solo and collaborative material, I have heard little that reminds me of Spock's Beard, but I swear there are sections here (fat, groovy bass from Randy, energetic but understated drums from Mike, for example) that really take me back, and in a good way. Here's hoping for Grand Revival in the future!

 Arachnoid by ARACHNOID album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.84 | 103 ratings

BUY
Arachnoid
Arachnoid Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Arachnoid came from the suburbs of Paris, a band which only earned some cult status over the years, struggling to find stability due to series of line-up changes, financial limitations and a slow development.They started in 1967 as the duo of Patrick Woindrich (bass, guitar, vocals) and Michel Pilot (guitar), evolving through the years to a Prog Rock band and adding members to the line-up.One proof of their slow development was the fact they hit the stage only in 1975, at a time when Pilot had quit due to lack of time.Woindrich then gathered a new line-up with Francois Faugieres (already a member since 1972) and Pierre Kuti on keyboards, Nicolas Popowski on guitar/vocals, Marc Meryl on vocals and Bernard Minig on drums, the band recorded an album in late-70's, released only on the newly established Divox label in 1979, an organization searching for new groups for its roster.

Arachnoid played a mysterious, very French-sounding and pretty unique Progressive Rock, which had its roots in Classical Music, but borrowed elements from a wide spectrum of tastes, only to showcase that this group was experienced enough and had a pretty long career, before launching this record, as their debut not only contains the early spirit of French Prog Rock but was flavored by jazzy, psychedelic and even some light Zeuhl moves.I can only compare them to ACINTYA in terms of originality and a heavy keyboard-led sound, although the two bands are far from similar.Arachnoid created muti-themed lengthy tracks with irritating vocals, slow moving guitars, Classical orientations performed on synthesizer and organ but also some strong jazzy passages with soft electric guitar and electric piano, revisiting the dark vibes of KING CRIMSON pretty often, producing some theatrical branches with narrations and keyboard experiments and somewhat getting lost in a labyrinth of complex ideas and poetry.There are even some evident links to PULSAR and CATHARSIS throughout the listening, featuring haunting spacious themes and obscure psychedelic acoustics, the album is far from consistent, but the band managed to produced some serious intensity and sinister atmospheres through these diverse influences.Actually I find myself struggling to catch up with all these mood variations, going from romantic lyrics and acoustics to a progressive mysticism with full-blown intstrumental interactions in a doomy execution, based on long keyboard plays and irritating electric guitars.

Of course Divox was not the right choice for a heavy promotion, but apparently the band found only closed doors when dealing with other labels.After some further line-up shakes Arachnoid became Color in 1980, sweetening their sound to more simplistic Rock formats, recording also an alnum, which was never released.Marc Meryl passed away in 1987 and Francois Faugieres died a few years later, battling for some time with a disease after getting wounded in a trip to Brazil.

Extremely serious progressive music with a dark and muddy sound and links to the more atmospheric French Prog bands like Carpe Diem, Shylock and Acintya.Not an everyday listening, but trully imaginative, psychedelic and instrumentally captivating.Recommended.

Data cached

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
SERGIO ALVAREZ Argentina
AMAGRAMA Argentina
AMENOPHIS Germany
AMOS KEY Germany
ANABIS Germany
ANCIENT VISION United States
ANDERSON BRUFORD WAKEMAN HOWE United Kingdom
ANGE France
ANGIPATCH France
ÄNGLAGÅRD Sweden
ANIMA Argentina
ANIMA DOMINUM Brazil
ANIMA MORTE Sweden
ANIMA MUNDI Cuba
ANOXIE France
ANTARES Germany
ANYONE'S DAUGHTER Germany
APHÉLANDRA France
APHRODITE'S CHILD Greece
APOCALYPSE Brazil
AQUAPLANAGE United Kingdom
ARABESQUE United States
ARACHNOID France
ARION Brazil
ARS NOVA (JAP) Japan
ART IN AMERICA United States
ASA DE LUZ Brazil
ASIA MINOR Turkey
ASTRË United States
ASTURCON Spain
ATILA Spain
ATLANTIS PHILHARMONIC United States
ATLAS Sweden
ATMOSPHERA Israel
ATOLL France
AUTUMN United Kingdom
AUTUMN BREEZE Sweden
AVIVA (AVIVA OMNIBUS) Russia
AXCRAFT United States
AZABACHE Spain
BABYLON United States
BACAMARTE Brazil
BANANA Argentina
BANZAI Belgium
ZELJKO BEBEK AND PODIUM Yugoslavia
BEGGARS OPERA United Kingdom
ROBERT BERIAU Canada
BLACK SEPTEMBER United States
BLAKULLA Sweden
BLANK MANUSKRIPT Austria
BLEZQI ZATSAZ Brazil
BLUE SHIFT United States
TOMAS BODIN Sweden
BONDAR & WISE United States
BRIMSTONE United States
BUSKER Canada
CAFEINE France
CAI Spain
CAIRO United States
CAJA DE PANDORA Mexico
CAL Spain
CAMEL United Kingdom
LOS CANARIOS Spain
CANNABIS INDIA Germany
ALEX CARPANI BAND Italy
CAST Mexico
CATHEDRAL United States
CHAKRA United States
CHALCEDONY United Kingdom
CHAOS CODE United States
CHRONOS MUNDI Brazil
JOSÉ CID Portugal
CINEMA Japan
CIRCLE Germany
CITIZEN CAIN United Kingdom
CLAY GREEN'S POLYSORBATE MASQUERADE BAND United States
CLEARLIGHT France
CODA Netherlands
CODICE Mexico
COLLEGIUM MUSICUM Slovakia
COTO EN PEL Spain
COUSINS & CONRAD United Kingdom
COVENANT United States
CRACK Spain
CRAFT United Kingdom
CRESSIDA United Kingdom
CRONICO Mexico
CROOKED MOUTH United Kingdom
CRUCIBLE United States
CRUCIS Argentina
DAWN Switzerland
DEJA-VU Japan
DELUGE GRANDER United States
DIALOGUE (DAWN DIALOGUE) Russia
DIAPASAO Brazil
DISCIPLINE United States
DOGMA Brazil
DORACOR Italy
DR. COENOBITE Netherlands
DRAGONFLY Switzerland
DRAMA France
DRUCKFARBEN Canada
DRUID United Kingdom
EARTH & FIRE Netherlands
EARTHRISE United States
ECCENTRIC ORBIT United States
ECHOLYN United States
ECLAT / ECLAT DE VERS France
ECLIPSE Brazil
EDEN Canada
EGGROLL Israel
EIK Iceland
ELOHIM France
ELOITERON Switzerland
EMERSON LAKE & PALMER United Kingdom
REDJY EMOND Canada
ENGLAND United Kingdom
THE ENID United Kingdom
EPIDAURUS Germany
EPIGNOSIS United States
EPISODE United States
EQUILIBRIO VITAL Venezuela
ESPIRITU Argentina
ESTRUCTURA Venezuela
ETCETERA Denmark
ETHOS United States
EVERFRIEND United States
EX-VAGUS France
EXODE France
EXODUS Poland
EZRA WINSTON Italy
FAITHFUL BREATH Germany
FALLING EDGE Canada
FANTASY United Kingdom
FICCION Venezuela
FINCH Netherlands
FIREBALLET United States
FIRST+AID United Kingdom
FLAGSHIP Sweden
FLAME DREAM Switzerland
FLAMING BESS Germany
THE FLOWER KINGS Sweden
FLÜGHT Mexico
FLYTE Belgium
FOCUS Netherlands
FOREVER TWELVE United States
THE FOUNDATION Sweden
FRÁGIL Peru
FRIGHT PIG United States
FROMAGE Japan
FRUUPP Ireland
FUSONIC Netherlands
GALIE Mexico
GENESIS United Kingdom
GENS DE LA LUNE France
THE GIFT United Kingdom
GLASS United States
GLASS HAMMER United States
GOTIC Spain
GOVEA Mexico
GRACIOUS United Kingdom
GRANADA Spain
GRAND STAND Sweden
GRANDBELL Brazil
GREENSLADE United Kingdom
GREYFIELD Spain
GROBSCHNITT Germany
SHAUN GUERIN United States
GUILDENSTERN Germany
HALLOWEEN France
HANDS United States
BO HANSSON Sweden
HARLEQUIN MASS United States
HARMONIUM Canada
HECENIA France
HELIOPOLIS United States
ANDERS HELMERSON Brazil
HIGH WHEEL Germany
TERUTSUGU HIRAYAMA Japan
HOGGWASH Ukraine
HOKUS POKUS Norway
LYLE HOLDAHL United States
HOLDING PATTERN United States
HOLY LAMB Latvia
HORIZONT Russia
HYACINTUS Argentina
I.C.U. Germany
III MILÊNIO Brazil
ILVCIA Spain
IN SPE Estonia
INDEX Brazil
INFINITY United States
THE INNER ROAD United Kingdom
INQUIRE Germany
JACK INTVELD United States
INVISIBLE Argentina
ISILDURS BANE Sweden
ISOPODA Belgium
IZZ United States
JELLY FICHE Canada
BJÖRN JOHANSSON Sweden
KAIPA Sweden
KAIZEN Brazil
KALABAN United States
KALO Japan
KANSAS United States
KARDA ESTRA United Kingdom
KARFAGEN Ukraine
KARMAKANIC Sweden
KHATSATURJAN Finland
KING EIDER Netherlands
KLOCKWERK ORANGE Austria
KOTEBEL Spain
KVAZAR Norway
KYRIE ELEISON Austria
LADY LAKE Netherlands
LANVALL Austria
LÁQUESIS Argentina
LAZA I IPE Yugoslavia
LEGACY United States
LEI SECA Brazil
LEITMOTIV Canada
LETHE Netherlands
FRANCIS LICKERISH United Kingdom
LIFE LINE PROJECT Netherlands
LIFT United States
PÄR LINDH AND BJÖRN JOHANSSON Sweden
PÄR LINDH PROJECT Sweden
LITTLE TRAGEDIES Russia
CAILYN LLOYD United States
THE LOAD United States
LOCH NESS Brazil
LORD FLIMNAP Israel
M-OPUS Ireland
DUNCAN MACKAY United Kingdom
MADAME CLAUS Argentina
MADISON DYKE Germany
MAGDALENA Japan
MAGIC PIE Norway
NICK MAGNUS United Kingdom
MAGRATHEA United Kingdom
MAHOUJIN Japan
MAINHORSE Switzerland
MALDOROR France
MANDALABAND United Kingdom
MANDRAKE Japan
MANGROVE Netherlands
MANTICORE Sweden
MANTRA Spain
LA MÁQUINA DE HACER PÁJAROS Argentina
MARCO Mexico
MARYGOLD Italy
MASQUE PREMIERE United States
MAZE OF TIME Sweden
MEDINA AZAHARA Spain
MELVIN'S NOSEHAIR Netherlands
MEMORIANCE France
JACQUES MENACHE Mexico
MERLIN Germany
METABOLISME France
MEZQUITA Spain
MIA Argentina
MIDAS Japan
MIKLAGÅRD Sweden
MIKROMIDAS Norway
MILKWEED Canada
MARIO MILLO Australia
DAVID MINASIAN United States
MIND SKY United States
MINOTAURUS Germany
MIRROR Netherlands
MIZUKAGAMI Japan
MONA LISA France
MONOLITH United States
MOON SAFARI Sweden
MOONGARDEN Italy
MORGAN United Kingdom
MORILD Norway
MORSE CODE Canada
NEAL MORSE United States
TIM MORSE United States
MOSAIK Sweden
MOTH VELLUM United States
MUGEN Japan
NAUTILUS Switzerland
IAN NEAL United Kingdom
NEGASPHERE Japan
NESSIE Belgium
NETHERWORLD United States
NEUSCHWANSTEIN Germany
NEVERNESS Spain
THE NEW GROVE PROJECT Sweden
NEXUS Argentina
THE NICE United Kingdom
NOSTRADAMUS Hungary
NOTTURNO CONCERTANTE Italy
NOVALIS Germany
NOVELA Japan
OAKSENHAM Armenia
OCEAN Germany
OCTOPUS (NOR) Norway
ODYSSICE Netherlands
OMNIA Argentina
ONE Argentina
ONIRIS France
OPUS Yugoslavia
ORION France
OUTER LIMITS Japan
PABLO Argentina
PAGEANT Japan
PALE ACUTE MOON Japan
PANTA RHEI Hungary
PARAGONE United States
PARTHENON Venezuela
PATCHWORK CACOPHONY United Kingdom
PAZZO FANFANO DI MUSICA Japan
PELL MELL Germany
PENTACLE France
OTA PETRINA Czech Republic
PETRUS CASTRUS Portugal
ANTHONY PHILLIPS United Kingdom
PHYLTER Belgium
PI2 Spain
PICTORIAL WAND Norway
PIG FARM ON THE MOON Venezuela
THE PINK MICE Germany
MICHAEL PINNELLA United States
POÇOS & NUVENS Brazil
POLLEN Canada
PRE United States
PRISMA Netherlands
PROGRESSION BY FAILURE France
PROJECT (ALSO KNOWN AS PPRY) Finland
PROTO-KAW United States
PROUD PEASANT United States
PULSAR France
PUPPET SHOW United States
PYTHAGORAS Netherlands
QUANTUM Brazil
QUATERNA REQUIEM (WIERMANN & VOGEL) Brazil
QUILL United States
R-U KAISER Chile
RAIN United Kingdom
RAINBOW THEATRE Australia
RAISON DE PLUS France
RAK Switzerland
REALM/ STEVE VAIL United States
RECORDANDO O VALE DAS MAÇÃS Brazil
REFUGEE United Kingdom
RELAYER United States
RENAISSANCE United Kingdom
RING OF MYTH United States
ROCKAPHONICA Argentina
ROCKET SCIENTISTS United States
RAIMUNDO RODULFO Venezuela
KURT RONGEY United States
ANTON ROOLAART United States
JAIME ROSAS Chile
ANDREW ROUSSAK Russia
ROUSSEAU Germany
RUMBLIN' ORCHESTRA Hungary
RUMPLE STILTZKEN COMUNE Switzerland
SAECULA SAECULORUM Brazil
SAENA Mexico
SAGRADO CORACAO DA TERRA Brazil
SALMON Netherlands
SANDROSE France
SCARAMOUCHE Germany
SCHICKE FUHRS & FROHLING Germany
SEBASTIAN HARDIE Australia
SECOND MOVEMENT Germany
SENSITIVE TO LIGHT France
SEVEN REIZH France
SHADES OF DAWN Germany
SHADOW CIRCUS United States
SHARKMOVE Indonesia
SHINGETSU Japan
SHYLOCK France
SICHER Switzerland
SILVER LINING France
SIMON SAYS Sweden
SINKADUS Sweden
SIRIUS Germany
SIXTY-NINE Germany
SKRYVANIA France
SOCIAL TENSION Japan
SOLARIS Hungary
SOULENGINE Italy
SPHINX Multi-National
SPIN XXI Brazil
SPOCK'S BEARD United States
CHRIS SQUIRE United Kingdom
STARCASTLE United States
STENCIL FOREST United States
STERN-COMBO MEISSEN (STERN MEISSEN) Germany
ROINE STOLT Sweden
SUBLIMINAL Argentina
SUPERNOVA Argentina
SURPRISE United States
SWEDISH FAMILY Sweden
SYNOPSIS France
T-TAURI Netherlands
TABULA RASA Finland
TABULA SMARAGDINA Hungary
TAI PHONG France
TANTRA Portugal
TARANTULA Spain
TARKUS Brazil
TAURUS Chile
TAURUS (NETHERLANDS) Netherlands
TEMPUS FUGIT Brazil
O TERÇO Brazil
TERPANDRE France
TERU'S SYMPHONIA Japan
TESIS ARSIS Brazil
THETA Japan
THIRTEEN OF EVERYTHING United States
TIBET Germany
ARMANDO TIRELLI Uruguay
TISARIS Brazil
TOCCATA Mexico
TOMPOX Hungary
TRACE Netherlands
TRANSATLANTIC Multi-National
TRAUMHAUS Germany
TREM DO FUTURO Brazil
TRESPASS Germany
TRESPASS Israel
TRIANA Spain
TRILOGY Germany
TRION Netherlands
TRITONUS Germany
TRIUMVIRAT Germany
ÜNDER LINDEN Argentina
UNIFAUN Sweden
URBAN TRAPEZE Spain
MARIÁN VARGA Slovakia
VERMILION SANDS Japan
VERSAILLES France
VERTICAL ALIGNMENT United States
VESANIA Brazil
VIA LUMINI Brazil
VIA OBSCURA Germany
THE VOYAGER France
RICK WAKEMAN United Kingdom
WALLENSTEIN Germany
WALLY United Kingdom
WANIYETULA Germany
WELCOME Switzerland
WHITE WILLOW Norway
WILLIAM GRAY Argentina
WILLOWGLASS United Kingdom
WINDCHASE Australia
WOBBLER Norway
X RELIGION Uzbekistan
XII ALFONSO France
XNA United States
YES United Kingdom
YESTERDAYS Romania
ZARAGON Denmark
ZEBULON Germany
ZEN ROCK AND ROLL United States
ZOMBY WOOF Germany
ZOUNDWORKS Netherlands
ZYCLOPE Spain

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.23 seconds