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ECLECTIC PROG

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Eclectic Prog definition

The term 'eclectic' in the context of progressive rock describes a summation of elements from various musical sources, and the influences and career paths of bands that take from a wide range of genres or styles. While progressive music can be, in a larger sense, eclectic, the 'Eclectic Prog' term is specially meant to reference bands that trespass the boundaries of established Progressive Rock genres or that blend many influences.

Eclectic Prog combines hybrids of style and diversity of theme, promoting many elements from different sources. The Eclectic category recognizes bands that evolved markedly over their career (in a progressive, evolutionary way), or have a plural style without a clear referential core.

The basic features lie within the music's variety, rich influences, art tendencies and classic prog rock elements. Among the representative bands are KING CRIMSON, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, and GENTLE GIANT.

- written by Ricochet (Victor)

Current Team as at 1/3/2020

Ian (Tapfret)
Mike (siLLy puPPy)
Ian (Nogbad_The_Bad)
Mike (TCat)

Eclectic Prog Top Albums


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

4.63 | 4397 ratings
IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING
King Crimson
4.56 | 3497 ratings
RED
King Crimson
4.47 | 2176 ratings
GODBLUFF
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.42 | 2290 ratings
PAWN HEARTS
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.42 | 3022 ratings
LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC
King Crimson
4.35 | 1770 ratings
IN A GLASS HOUSE
Gentle Giant
4.32 | 1737 ratings
H TO HE, WHO AM THE ONLY ONE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.31 | 2064 ratings
OCTOPUS
Gentle Giant
4.31 | 1691 ratings
THE POWER AND THE GLORY
Gentle Giant
4.29 | 1584 ratings
STILL LIFE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.31 | 913 ratings
THE SILENT CORNER AND THE EMPTY STAGE
Hammill, Peter
4.28 | 1586 ratings
FREE HAND
Gentle Giant
4.27 | 1608 ratings
ACQUIRING THE TASTE
Gentle Giant
4.25 | 1481 ratings
VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE
Hackett, Steve
4.25 | 600 ratings
ANABELAS
Bubu
4.24 | 508 ratings
BANTAM TO BEHEMOTH
Birds And Buildings
4.25 | 420 ratings
MEMENTO Z BANALNYM TRYPTYKIEM
SBB
4.19 | 742 ratings
SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC - PART TWO
Beardfish
4.13 | 2268 ratings
LIZARD
King Crimson
4.24 | 336 ratings
DECALOGUE OF DARKNESS
Daal
4.13 | 2037 ratings
DISCIPLINE
King Crimson
4.19 | 495 ratings
MOTORPSYCHO & STÅLE STORLØKKEN: THE DEATH DEFYING UNICORN
Motorpsycho
4.14 | 907 ratings
SPECTRAL MORNINGS
Hackett, Steve
4.12 | 1318 ratings
THREE FRIENDS
Gentle Giant
4.22 | 296 ratings
PAMIęć
SBB
4.18 | 369 ratings
BORIS
Yezda Urfa
4.24 | 225 ratings
SBB [AKA: WOłANIE O BRZęK SZKłA AND SLOVENIAN GIRLS]
SBB
4.22 | 253 ratings
1000 AUTUNNI
Ske
4.16 | 375 ratings
MULTIPURPOSE TRAP
Birds And Buildings
4.11 | 656 ratings
UK
UK
4.20 | 248 ratings
SI, PARTIE 1
Nemo
4.14 | 410 ratings
IN CAMERA
Hammill, Peter
4.20 | 247 ratings
ZE SłOWEM BIEGNę DO CIEBIE
SBB
4.23 | 196 ratings
PICTURES
Island
4.07 | 1117 ratings
THE LEAST WE CAN DO IS WAVE TO EACH OTHER
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.35 | 116 ratings
NIL NOVO SUB SOLE
Nil
4.14 | 339 ratings
THE LOW SPARK OF HIGH HEELED BOYS
Traffic
4.14 | 281 ratings
TODD RUNDGREN'S UTOPIA
Utopia
4.23 | 164 ratings
HAIKARA
Haikara
4.07 | 526 ratings
SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC - PART ONE
Beardfish
4.18 | 196 ratings
DETTA HAR HÄNT
Gösta Berlings Saga
4.11 | 299 ratings
COMA
Nemo
4.17 | 186 ratings
SNAFU
East Of Eden
4.10 | 305 ratings
CITY OF THE SUN
Seven Impale
4.10 | 294 ratings
BARBARES
Nemo
4.22 | 141 ratings
MOVIN' ON
Circus
4.42 | 73 ratings
ONDE, QUANDO, COMO, PORQUÊ, CANTAMOS PESSOAS VIVAS
Quarteto 1111
4.06 | 382 ratings
CHAMELEON IN THE SHADOW OF THE NIGHT
Hammill, Peter
4.06 | 377 ratings
LADY LAKE
Gnidrolog
4.19 | 149 ratings
AEROLIT
Niemen, CzesŁaw
4.07 | 325 ratings
NIGHTINGALES & BOMBERS
Mann's Earth Band, Manfred
4.48 | 62 ratings
PLAT DU JOUR
Plat Du Jour
4.07 | 296 ratings
LAST EPIC
A.C.T
4.02 | 506 ratings
+4626 - COMFORTZONE
Beardfish
4.09 | 226 ratings
DIAGONAL
Diagonal
3.96 | 1261 ratings
THE POWER TO BELIEVE
King Crimson
3.98 | 632 ratings
MAMMOTH
Beardfish
3.96 | 1297 ratings
GENTLE GIANT
Gentle Giant
4.01 | 363 ratings
SOLAR FIRE
Mann's Earth Band, Manfred
4.33 | 75 ratings
SHESHET
Sheshet
4.03 | 285 ratings
DODECAHEDRON
Daal
4.15 | 128 ratings
OF THINGS THAT NEVER WERE
Worm Ouroboros, The
4.00 | 381 ratings
LE SACRE DU TRAVAIL
Tangent, The
3.93 | 1915 ratings
STARLESS AND BIBLE BLACK
King Crimson
3.98 | 385 ratings
THE MUSIC THAT DIED ALONE
Tangent, The
3.99 | 337 ratings
BEHIND THE SUN
Motorpsycho
3.97 | 474 ratings
DESTINED SOLITAIRE
Beardfish
4.02 | 264 ratings
IN EXTREMIS
Days Between Stations
4.00 | 320 ratings
THE SLOW RUST OF FORGOTTEN MACHINERY
Tangent, The
4.11 | 134 ratings
ET CETERA
Et Cetera
4.27 | 75 ratings
SEN BALıK DEğILSIN KI
Gevende
4.08 | 151 ratings
MERCATOR PROJECTED
East Of Eden
4.00 | 272 ratings
PROXY
Tangent, The
4.24 | 80 ratings
MAREK GRECHUTA & ANAWA: KOROWÓD
Grechuta, Marek
4.01 | 230 ratings
NOT A GOOD SIGN
Not A Good Sign
4.05 | 173 ratings
LE FANTASTIQUE ENVOL DE DIETER BÖHM
Lazuli
4.09 | 141 ratings
SKYMIND
Taal
4.05 | 171 ratings
IMAGINARY FRIENDS
A.C.T
3.98 | 298 ratings
LE VER DANS LE FRUIT
Nemo
3.96 | 353 ratings
OVER
Hammill, Peter
4.18 | 91 ratings
HARVEST
Ciccada
3.99 | 243 ratings
THE TOWER
Motorpsycho
4.15 | 98 ratings
THE APOCALYPSE INSIDE OF AN ORANGE
Rodriguez-Lopez, Omar
4.00 | 222 ratings
DANCES OF THE DRASTIC NAVELS
Daal
4.03 | 169 ratings
SI, PARTIE II - L'HOMME IDÉAL
Nemo
4.36 | 52 ratings
INSOLUBILIA
Ske
4.14 | 95 ratings
NIEMEN VOL. 1 [AKA: MARIONETKI]
Niemen, CzesŁaw
3.99 | 211 ratings
TWILIGHT CINEMA
Major Parkinson
4.11 | 105 ratings
STRANGE IS THIS WORLD
Niemen, CzesŁaw
4.02 | 161 ratings
ENIGMATIC
Niemen, CzesŁaw
3.98 | 207 ratings
SACRED BABOON
Yezda Urfa
4.00 | 168 ratings
IN CASE OF LOSS ...
Areknamés
4.41 | 44 ratings
THE AMERICAN STANDARD
Dreadnaught
4.15 | 84 ratings
CULPEPER'S ORCHARD
Culpeper's Orchard
4.09 | 104 ratings
TRUST US
Motorpsycho
4.05 | 124 ratings
PHANEROTHYME
Motorpsycho
3.90 | 526 ratings
GENESIS REVISITED II
Hackett, Steve
4.09 | 100 ratings
ARENA
Marsupilami
3.92 | 366 ratings
JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE
Traffic
3.94 | 260 ratings
A BLACK BOX
Hammill, Peter

Eclectic Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

NIEMEN VOL. 1 [AKA: MARIONETKI]
Niemen, CzesŁaw
ENIGMATIC
Niemen, CzesŁaw
ASTRID PRÖLL
Astrid Pröll
SNAFU
East Of Eden

Latest Eclectic Prog Music Reviews


 I Am a Stranger in the Earth by ROZMAINSKY & MIKHAYLOV PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.96 | 20 ratings

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I Am a Stranger in the Earth
Rozmainsky & Mikhaylov Project Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Here we have the second studio album from Ivan Rozmainsky (keyboards, Roz Vitalis) and Vladimir Mikhaylov (guitars, percussion, drill, samples, Enine, Algabas). As with their debut album, 2017's 'For The Light', they are again joined by clarinettist Leonid Perevalov (Yojo, Pustotsvet) and drummer Yurii Groiser, and this time have utilised bassist Max Lokosov as well as some guests. I have long been a fan of Roz Vitalis, who are surely one of the most consistent and innovative bands to come out of Russia, and RMP allows Ivan to work with a melodic partner to take his modern classically inspired music into far more experimental and innovative directions.

There are times when the musical threads feel somewhat disconnected and unconnected, and it takes time for the brain to fathom what is really going on. The band themselves describe this album as almost instrumental (with rare female voices) progressive rock combining avant-prog, space-rock, psychedelic rock and improvisational music, yet while all that is true there are also elements of free jazz and even some RIO. Ivan produces a melodic base, often with piano, while Vladimir sometimes follows or goes off at complete tangents, Leonid may or may not be involved at all, while Yurii follows a path all on his own and Max tries to provide a link between them all. There are times when the music is complex in its arrangement that it feels like it has been scored for a modern orchestra and others when it feels so free as musicians go where they feel the need to explore. There is a great deal of space within the music, allowing everyone to come together or move apart as the need arises, and the listener is never sure where they are going to be taken except that the journey is definitely going to be worthwhile.

Yet another extremely enjoyable progressive album from Russia, and I look forward to the next one with great interest.

 Kingdom of Oblivion by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.90 | 92 ratings

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Kingdom of Oblivion
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by lukretio

3 stars At the start of the year, Norwegian prog-rockers Motorpsycho announced a new full-length album, which they described as a return to a more direct "heavy" sound akin to some of their 1990s output. That intrigued me. Although I liked a lot the all-encompassing prog rock extravaganza of their most recent albums (2020's The All Is One is an absolute masterpiece), I missed the simpler heavy rock of some of their earlier works. Kingdom of Oblivion was eventually released in April, sporting the same line-up responsible for Motorpsycho's last couple of records, with Bent Sæther on lead vocals and bass/guitar/keyboards, Hans Magnus Ryan on lead guitar and keyboards, and Tomas Järmyr on drums. Swedish guitarist, and long-time collaborator of the band, Reine Fiske is also listed as a contributor on the record.

The first time I listened to Kingdom of Oblivion, two things immediately stood out for me. First, as promised, the music is indeed more metallic than before, edging on the heavy/space rock side of the progressive scale, with generous echoes of Black Sabbath and Hawkwind running through the album. Songs like "The Waning", the title-track, and "The United Debased" all develop from simple but effective bass grooves or guitar riffs that are repeated obsessively as the song builds and builds amidst seas of distortion and trippy keyboards. Järmyr's drumming is perhaps less spectacular than on the previous couple of albums, but it's effective and keeps a good groove, which is what the songs really need. The vocals are often edgy, almost angry, at times channelling the spirit of an Ozzy of time past.

The second aspect of Kingdom of Oblivion that stood out is that, Motorpsycho being Motorpsycho, this couldn't "just" be a heavy rock album. Things were bound to get weirder. And indeed they do. The third track "Lady May" marks the first deviation from the promised heavy sound of the album. It's a pastoral little piece with acoustic guitar and ethereal vocals that could have been lifted from a 1970s Canterbury record. The following track "The United Debased" goes back to the heavy rock canon, deceiving the listener in believing that, perhaps, "Lady May" was just a sporadic interlude. But no, things just get weirder and weirder after that, with "The Watcher" and "Dreamkiller". The first is a soundscape made up of ambient noises, whispers and a hypnotic bass line. "Dreamkiller" develops from a psychedelic vocal choir into a hellish dreamscape built around a sinister guitar riff and a magnetic and trippy mellotron motif. By the time the acoustic instrumental piece "Atet" comes by, the listener has all but forgotten that Kingdom of Oblivion was supposed to be a simple heavy rock album.

The last part of the record marks a return to the initial metallic sound, but without forgetting all the weirdness that has passed by. It's the best of both worlds, exemplified by tracks like "At Empire's End" (probably the best song of the record, built around a formidable guitar riff), the oddly mutant "The Hunt" (starting all gentle and pastoral with flutes and acoustic guitars, before a groovy guitar ostinato makes space for something that sounds like a hissing teapot - I kid you not!), and the aptly titled "The Transmutation of Cosmoctopus Lurker". If you are wondering what the hell a cosmoctopus is, I'll tell you: it's the bastard child of Tony Iommi and a creature that came out from Alice in Wonderland, all spaced-out and dazed.

Kingdom of Oblivion is yet another great album from the Stakhanovs of progressive rock. With 24 full-lengths over 30 years of career, the Norwegians are surely one of the most prolific rock bands on earth. Astonishingly, they also almost never ever drop the ball: the quality of each new album remains high, release after release. Kingdom of Oblivion is no exception. It's not a super-easy album to get into, because it's weird. But I grew to love it because of this. It's one of those records that take you by hand and lead you on a trip where nothing is like it seems, and where everything is allowed to grow, develop and mutate into something else. We need more albums like this: metallic and heavy, but also adventurous, challenging, and daring. In four words: a work of art.

[Originally written for The Metal Observer]

 Feel Me by EPIDERMIS album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.59 | 16 ratings

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Feel Me
Epidermis Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars EPIDERMIS were a four piece band out of Germany who released three studio albums from 1977 to 1991. I have the debut "Genius Of The Original Force" which is GENTLE GIANT-like for it's complexities and vocal arrangements. I gave it 3.5 stars, I mean I thought it was very good but not the most original sounding recording I've heard. "Feel Me" is the third album from 1991 with the same core lineup as the debut but with guests. This one did not remind me of GENTLE GIANT and the vocals have gone from English on the debut to German here. Not big on those vocals at all, in fact a big negative. Also it just seems so redundant to have an album with no less than two tracks that are done twice, one the original and the other the radio mix. What? So five tracks which means the fifth is a long one at 22 minutes. There's a fair amount of oboe on here along with what sounds like plastic synths. Different percussions and some sitar even. The flute is prominent and I do like the bass player.

Anyway a low 3 stars for this one that does have it's moments but overall it's just not my thing.

 Surrender of Silence by HACKETT, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.90 | 30 ratings

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Surrender of Silence
Steve Hackett Eclectic Prog

Review by Heart of the Matter

4 stars Steve keeps closing the gap between his both approaches to prog, that's to say, between his 'classical' leanings and his more specifically rock oriented output. In his previous album, he had already melded the contributions of his band with the sounds of orchestra & soloists, but keeping things strictly acoustic. Now, he is taking the next step by adding electric flow and density to the music. Even so, the resultant sound is not defined by the typical band-with-added-orchestra approach, but rather an inextricable fusion of both instrumental forces, with voices contributing specific textures (showing a huge variety of color and presence in the mix). The axeman in Steve is present altogether, for the most part as an 'orchestral' soloist, very concerned with the general tonal balance. Yet, there are moments of pure rock electric magic, like Held In The Shadows and Scorched Earth (which's not a VdGG cover).
 A Manual Dexterity: Soundtrack Volume One by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.76 | 33 ratings

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A Manual Dexterity: Soundtrack Volume One
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars It's actually kinda amazing how off the rails and loose this is and how indicative it is of what happens when Omar only needs to write for himself and nobody else. A Manual Dexterity is Omar Rodriguez Lopez's first solo album and it really shows a few things, namely that it's apparent that he had even more creative control than ever before, and that there were some really out there ideas he wanted to express. At the same time, it's also kinda undeniable that some of this compositional approach ended up translating into certain more avant-garde ideas on The Mars Volta's Frances The Mute as well, whether it's the passages of ambient, the moments of latin rock, and allowing the instrumentation to be even more significant in creating these detailed soundscapes and emotional moments. While this is definitely very loose and uneven in its tracklisting, with quite a lot of filler moments throughout, the ambition surrounding this and its total commitment to this cold sound is nonetheless hugely admirable in quite a few ways.

Around Knuckle White Tile immediately demonstrates a lot of strengths through its long, memorable melodic passages with some wonderfully interplay between the drums and guitar that then gets interspersed by these off kilter, screechy guitar solos. It all has such a distinct sense of flow to it as the instruments ebb and flow, heightening the intensity often before completely cutting it away and paving the way for a moment of spacey, psychedelic jamming. This is definitely one of the better songs on the album and feels as if it almost serves as a blueprint to the long instrumental stretches of tracks like Cygnus Vismund Cygnus and Cassandra Gemini, yet with a much messier sound indicative of Omar just wanting to get out his guitar and play around with some solos over everything else. At the same time, along with having these sorts of more atmospheric instrumental stretches, there's also some much more tightly written, catchy material to give this a bit more grounding. Of these, special mention should go to Deus Ex Machina and The Palpitations Form A Limit for being some truly great songs that manage to have some cool technical moments along with a strong sense of atmosphere and ability to weave some wonderfully evocative imagery that tie in with the idea of this essentially being a soundtrack to a movie that doesn't exist. Deus Ex Machina in particular interests me, since while it's very repetitive, that central melody is so, so great, and just has Omar build upon it in some really satisfying ways, as vocal filters phase in and out to continuously distort this song with these wonderful horns and percussion instruments further adding a lot of flavour to the soundscapes. Palpitations that Form a Limit simply appeals to me since it sounds a lot like a regular Mars Volta song, complete with vocals and some explosive instrumental moments, just being an incredibly solid track that should be heard.

While Omar's lack of filter undoubtedly is a contributing force to this being so unique and interesting, I can't deny the fact that it's also the one downfall of it as well, as while you've got some amazing moments that play wonderfully into the concept surrounding the album, such as Sensory Decay Part II, which paints a melancholic and frankly tragic picture of loneliness and degradation, seemingly being one part of a much bigger story as the waves of feedback engulf the track, but then you've got a bunch of useless stuff as well. Dramatic Theme and Dream Sequence feel especially egregious in this regard to me, with hints of greatness being buried under a whole lot of nothing, just dragging out the album by another 13 minutes and contributing to the album as a whole feeling a tad bloated. Omar also seems to have a really hard time starting almost any track on the album as well, with a lot of them having more or less a minute of weird sound effects and aimless guitar noodling before things fall into place, which gets quite tiresome by the end of the album when it's such a constant issue that only further bloats things. Despite the fact that this album runs too long as a result of these aforementioned issues, I still think that this is very solid in general and shows the sort of stuff Omar comes up with and messes around with when he doesn't have to filter any of his creativity in order to come off as marketable in any capacity, and also has a nice balance of more experimental, proggy moments, and atmospheric, borderline ambient moments that give this some nice variety. Definitely recommended to those who are interested in the more experimental elements of The Mars Volta's work, as this feels like those aspects extended into a full album.

Best tracks: Around Knuckle White Tile, Deus Ex Machina, Sensory Decay Part II, The Palpitations Form a Limit

Weakest tracks: Dramatic Theme, A Dressing Failure, Dream Sequence

 All Will Be Changed by FRUMPY album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.55 | 72 ratings

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All Will Be Changed
Frumpy Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. The debut of FRUMPY in 1970 certainly put them on the map in Germany. Maybe as much as this album caught the public's attention it was the live shows. And what young guy wouldn't want to see Inga in her leather pants belting it out on stage. As talented as she was, keyboardist Jean-Jacques Kravitz might trump her. I feel like the followup has spoiled me for this one. "2" is a 4.5 star album in my books. They slowed it down with better compositions and adding a guitarist was huge. A lot of the music on the debut here is uptempo to a fault. I just get tired of the relentless organ and vocals after a while. A little samey in that regard but there are some experimental bits on "Floating Part 1" and "Baroque". The band by the way was previously known as THE CITY PREACHERS before becoming FRUMPY. So a really good start by this band and they hit it out of the park with the next one.
 Motorpsycho Presents The International Tussler Society by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.86 | 28 ratings

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Motorpsycho Presents The International Tussler Society
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Forum & Site Admin Group Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Back in the 90's, when Motorpsycho was experimenting with it's sound, the main members of the band decided to try their hands at alt-country-rock and did it in the guise of another band performing music for a soundtrack to an imaginary western. It ended up getting a completely separate life of it's own in Europe, so much so, that the band decided to do another album in 2004. That is what this particular album is: "The International Tussler Society". This time around, Motorpsycho and friends is even more convincing than the previous attempt, and what they ended up with is this very respectable southern rock style album that pays homage to bands like The Byrds, The Allman Brothers and Gram Parsons just to name a few. This time around, they hit the style right on the nose and could have easily continued playing incognito and earned quite a decent amount of respect in the Americas.

This is a very fun album and quite an excellent bunch of songs that will make you almost swear you are listening to new music from the aforementioned bands and artists. A word of warning, however. This is not progressive music in the least, so you need to go into this album with that in mind. It is straightforward country rock at it's best. If this wasn't a progressive site, I would have given this album 5 stars easily. There are some really great tracks here, especially when they allow the guitars to run wild with southern-style jamming, which happens quite often here. "September" and "Satan's Favorite Son" are excellent multi-textured tracks that will bring back memories of earlier and more exploratory country rock, "That Ol' White Line" and "When We Were One" will remind you of Gram Parson's era The Byrds and also Buffalo Springfield, and best of all, "The Skies Are Full of....Wine?", "The West Ain't What it Used to Be" and "Cassie (Call on Me" would easily pass as music The Allman Brothers would perform.

It may seem strange that a psych/stoner/prog band like Motorpsycho would be able to convincingly pull this off, especially since they don't even come from anywhere in the Americas, and since this is so far away from the music they normally play under their usual moniker, but they do pull it off quite well, enough to give this a four star rating even on a prog site. Of course, Motorpsycho fans will still rant and rave about it because it is so well done, but if more people would expand their music tastes beyond their own borders, there would be a lot more fans out there. This is a very fun album, and also a very entertaining one too. Besides, prog giant Devin Townsend also did this and also did it quite well with his side band "Casualties of Cool", so why can't a great band as Motopsycho be able to do it too? (They actually did it before Hevy Devy). Anyway, this one is a lot of fun and is easily a four star album, even in a prog site.

 The Original Studio Gentle Giant - Vol. 2 by GENTLE GIANT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1974
3.22 | 4 ratings

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The Original Studio Gentle Giant - Vol. 2
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nº 460

"The Original Studio Gentle Giant - Vol. 2", is, as its name indicates, the second part of two compilation albums released by the band in 1974. The other is "The Original Studio Gentle Giant - Vol. 1", released in the same year. This is a compilation album that comprises tracks from three albums of them, their fourth studio album "Octupus" released in 1972, their fifth studio album "In A Glass House" released in 1973 and their sixth studio album "The Power And The Glory" released in 1974. All these three albums are excellent albums that deserve to be considered three masterpieces.

So, "The Original Studio Gentle Giant - Vol. 2" was released in 1974 and has ten tracks. The first track "The Boys In The Band" was released on "Octupus". "The Boys In The Band" is the only instrumental track on that album. It's a relatively complex and a fast jazz musical composition with different rhythms and tempos. It's a song well arranged with some excellent solos by keyboards, guitar and saxophones. We are in presence of a magnificent track. The second track "Knots" was also released on "Octupus". "Knots" is the less accessible track on that album and is one of the most complex and intricated songs ever composed by them. It's an avant-garde song that explores a cappella by the four vocalists of the band. This song is a perfect example how great and astonishing is the vocal work of this incredible group. It's true this is a difficult song to hear, but this is truly a great piece of music. The third track "The Advent Of Panurge" was another great track released on "Octupus". "The Advent Of Panurge" is a track strongly influenced by jazz music, full of energy, with varied melodies and different singing styles. It's apparently a chaotic song where all instruments seem to be played in different directions. What is more impressive on this track is that in the end we have a song with an excellent harmony. The fourth track "Experience" was released on "In A Glass House". "Experience" is an extraordinary track, very inventive and with a complex structure. Basically, this is a perfect example of Gentle Giant's medieval complex sound. But, the song comprises also many other and varied forms of music. The song is also rich of wonderful vocal harmonies. This is probably the most complex track on that album. The fifth track "The Runaway" was also released on "In A Glass House". "The Runaway" is a track with an extraordinary and surprising start where the band seems to break some glasses. This is a great song with rich varieties of styles and textures and is extremely melodic. But, it's at the same time complex and very creative. This is an excellent track, one of the best tracks ever released by them and a perfect opener to that album. The sixth track "In A Glass House" was another track released on "In A Glass House". "In A Glass House" is the lengthiest track on that album. It's an excellent composition with great harmony between all instruments. The chorus performed by the four singers is of superior quality. It has also a hard rock section with a memorable guitar riff, in the second part of the song. This is a great track that closes magnificently that amazing album. The seventh track "The Power And The Glory" is the title track of "The Power And The Glory". However, "The Power And The Glory" wasn't an ordinary track of that album. It was a mere bonus track, only available on certain editions of that album. It didn't originally appear on that album because it hadn't been written yet, when the album was released. It's a good song, a short theme with the classic Gentle Giant's sound. But, it seems to be less complex than the typical works of them. This song came out as a single, and so, no wonders that it's a bit simpler than what the band was accustomed to do. The eighth track "Proclamation" was released on "The Power And The Glory". "Proclamation" is one of the two lengthiest tracks on that album and remains a brilliant opening track. It's a song with the typical Gentle Giant's relatively complex musical arrangements, with great melody. This is one of my favourite themes from them. The ninth track "Playing The Game" was also released on "The Power And The Glory". "Playing The Game" is one of the lengthiest tracks on that album. It's a dynamic and a relatively complex theme. It's a really multi-faceted and pure prog song, in the Gentle Giant's pure style. The tenth track "Cogs In Cogs" was another track released on "The Power And The Glory". "Cogs In Cogs" is the smallest track on that album. It's an excellent heartfelt ballad very quiet and with very complex multi-part vocal harmonies. It's a track with a very intricate orchestral arrangement.

Compilation: "The Original Studio Gentle Giant - Vol. 2" is a good compilation of the band. It covers the fourth, fifth and sixth studio albums of them, which are three excellent albums. It has three tracks from each of them, plus a non album's track. The selection is excellent, but those albums are three masterpieces that all tracks would be an excellent option. "Octopus" is one of the most beautiful and brilliant albums of them. Ray Shulman even said that "Octopus" was probably the Gentle Giant's best album. "In A Glass House" is simply brilliant. It's, one of their best works and is also one of the greatest progressive albums ever made. "The Power And The Glory" is a true amazing album, not only in its technically accomplished prog music, but also in its clever concept. It has numerous emotional and virtuoso moments.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 How Can I? by HACKETT, STEVE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1978
3.86 | 9 ratings

BUY
How Can I?
Steve Hackett Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Please Don't Touch! (1978) was Steve Hackett's second solo album, but the first one after he left Genesis. He had felt that as a composer he didn't get room enough in Genesis, and by listening to that album one truly can hear the thrill and joy of doing whatever he wished with all his flourishing musical ideas. The album isn't as well received here as the albums around it. Many listeners say it lacks direction and coherence, but I am personally very fond of it, perhaps helped by the fact I found it from library at the early stage of my diving into the classic 70's prog (I was probably sixteen). One thing I appreciate in it is the well chosen host of American guest vocalists: Steve Walsh of Kansas, and two black vocalists, at the time pretty unknown Randy Crawford (her vocals on the lovely ballad 'Hoping Love Will Last' are absolutely gorgeous) and the longtimer folk/blues/soul singer-songwriter Richie Havens, who sang two songs on Please Don't Touch! This single contains the folkier one of them. According to Wikipedia "the members of Genesis were fans of Havens, and the singer agreed to open for them for their series of concerts at Earls Court, London in 1977. Hackett invited him to dinner at his home, during which he wanted Havens to feature on a song of his."

'How Can I?' is an acoustic and rather simple song, but exactly for that reason it functions so brilliantly amidst more adventurous stuff. Havens' warm and raspy voice fits into it so perfectly that it's hard to imagine being sung by anyone else. On the B side is the instrumental track 'Kim' also taken from the album. It features Steve on acoustic guitar and his brother John on flute. The piece was named after Steve's beloved Kim Poor who also made the cover designs for his albums. It was clearly inspired by Erik Satie's music, especially by 'Gymnopedie No. 1' which it actually resembles a lot. Much later the brothers made a whole album of Satie's music called Sketches of Satie.

A lovely single altogether!

 Family Entertainment by FAMILY album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.61 | 121 ratings

BUY
Family Entertainment
Family Eclectic Prog

Review by mickcoxinha

5 stars Family is just another case of those promising bands from late 60s that never became prog. Their nicest moment is Family Entertainment, which is one of the best "one song of each style" that was characteristic of late sixties (see Beatles' Abbey Road, for example, another masterpiece of this kind). The music doesn't sound like what later would be easily recognizable as prog, but it has lots of elements that would feature on future 70s progressive rock, just not on one song. I believe that was mostly due to the influence of Rich Grech and Jim King because, when they left, Family became less adventurous. For example, in the following album (without them), there is a song of 9-minutes, but no hints of prog: it is less "prog" than even the 10-minute songs from yacht rock bands from late 70s.

Instead of going on a song-by-song basis describing which instruments are played, which I often find misleading, what I want to put in this review is that Family managed to make a collection of songs in many different styles and almost no letdowns (maybe the only "weaker" song is the oldies R'n'R song Second Generation Woman, not because it is bad or R'n'R, but because their attempt of doing the same in the following album is more interesting). In this album, you have the contrast of songs like Weaver's Answer and Hung Up Down, which are typical Family songs with strong rhythm section, Chapman's darker vocals, with folkier songs (Observations from a Hill, Processions), western- influenced (Summer of 67, Face in the Cloud), jazzy and acid (How-Hi-The-Li), with classical feel (From Past Archives) and even countriesque (Dim). All the songs are well-crafted and the string arrangements and extra-instruments are put to a great use, like the string arrangements in Summer of 67, From Past Archives and Processions, or the Sitar in Face in the Cloud and the banjo in Dim. The contribution of King with flutes and saxes was to be missed in the following albums, because his use of the instruments blended pretty well with the music they were doing at the time.

I have a penchant for albums that have this format of a collection of very distinctive songs (when it is done well, obviously, since this is a recipe for a trainwreck in unskilled hands), and Family Entertainment is one of my favorites, and, in my opinion, by far the best Family album, a real masterpiece.

Data cached

Eclectic Prog bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
16 DEADLY IMPROVS United States
17F Switzerland
4/3 DE TRIO France
8 DAYS IN APRIL Germany
A.C.T Sweden
ABRETE GANDUL Chile
ABSOLUTE ELSEWHERE United Kingdom
ABSURDCUS Romania
ACADEMIE OF FARSIDE Indonesia
ACINTYA France
ADVENT United States
AFFINITY United Kingdom
AKO DOMA Slovakia
AKRITAS Greece
AKT Italy
JEAN-PIERRE ALARCEN France
ALBATROS Germany
ALCO FRISBASS France
ALEXL Brazil
ALGERNON United States
ALICE'S MIRROR Italy
ALLOMERUS Australia
ALON United States
ALPHA RALPHA France
ALQUILBENCIL Spain
ALQUIN Netherlands
ALTABLANCA Argentina
ALTAIR Spain
ALTERNATIV QUARTET Romania
ALTERS Poland
MICHEL ALTMAYER France
AMPLEDEED United States
ANAKDOTA Israel
ANANE Indonesia
APERCO Israel
COSTE APETREA Sweden
APPLE BELLS Poland
ARBATEL Mexico
ARDO DOMBEC Germany
AREKNAMÉS Italy
ARMADA United Kingdom
ART AND ILLUSION Italy
ARTCANE France
PETER ASHBY United Kingdom
THE ASHQELON QUILT Israel
ASTRID PRÖLL Puerto Rico
ATHELSTONE Malta
ATLANTIDE France
AUDIENCE United Kingdom
AUDIO VISIONS United States
AUNT MARY Norway
AVE ROCK Argentina
AVIATOR United Kingdom
ÁVORA DI CARLLA Brazil
AXON-NEURON United States
BABA YOGA Italy
BAD ALCHEMY United States
VLADIMIR BADIROV Uzbekistan
BAG France
DAVID BAGSBY United States
BAKU LLAMA United States
FRANCK BALESTRACCI France
BARBARO Hungary
ERIK BARON & D-ZAKORD France
BARRACUDA TRIANGLE Sweden
AL BASIM Iraq
BASTA! Italy
BATABEAT Canada
BEAR IS DRIVING United States
BEARDFISH Sweden
ADRIAN BELEW United States
CLÉMENT BELIO France
SERGIO BENCHIMOL Brazil
IL BERLIONE Japan
MICHAEL BERNIER United States
BIOCORD Ukraine
BIRDS AND BUILDINGS United States
BLOQUE Spain
THE BOB LAZAR STORY New Zealand
BOOTCUT Sweden
EMMANUEL BOOZ France
BORDERLINE SYNDROME Greece
EDUARDO BORT Spain
BRAINSTATIK United States
VYTAS BRENNER Venezuela
BRIGHTEYE BRISON Sweden
BUBBLEMATH United States
BUBU Argentina
JEAN-LOUIS BUCCHI France
BUDKA SUFLERA Poland
ARNAUD BUKWALD France
C & K VOCAL Czech Republic
CABEZAS DE CERA Mexico
CABINETS OF CURIOSITY United States
CALLE DEBAUCHE United States
CAMERA CHIARA Italy
NEIL CAMPBELL COLLECTIVE United Kingdom
CANGACEIRO Chile
JOSE CARBALLIDO Spain
CARPE DIEM France
CARPET Germany
CARTOON Brazil
CASTLE FUSION Italy
CATAPILLA United Kingdom
CENTENAIRE France
CHAMELEON United States
CHILDWOOD Netherlands
CICCADA Greece
CIRCLES END Norway
EL CIRCULO DE WILLIS Spain
CIRCUS Switzerland
CIRKUS United Kingdom
THE LES CLAYPOOL FROG BRIGADE United States
THE CLAYPOOL LENNON DELIRIUM United States
COLONEL CLAYPOOL'S BUCKET OF BERNIE BRAINS United States
LES CLAYPOOL United States
BARRY CLEVELAND United States
CLOUDS ON STRINGS United States
CMU United Kingdom
CONSIDER THE SOURCE United States
THE COWBOYS FROM HELL Switzerland
CRIME IN CHOIR United States
CRÓ! Spain
THE CRYSTAL SUN United Kingdom
CULPEPER'S ORCHARD Denmark
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CZAR United Kingdom
DAAL Italy
THE DAEDALUS SPIRIT ORCHESTRA France
DAGMÄHR Canada
DALTONIA Chile
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GUILLAUME DE LA PILIERE France
DEBOCO France
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THE DEVIL'S STAIRCASE Multi-National
DIAGONAL United Kingdom
DICE Sweden
DIONYSOS Canada
DISCORDIA Finland
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DISTINGUISHED PANEL OF EXPERTS Multi-National
DIZZY MYSTICS Canada
DJAM KARET United States
JULIUS DOBOS Hungary
WILLIAM D. DRAKE United Kingdom
DREADNAUGHT United States
DREADNOUGHT United States
DRIFT United States
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EAST OF EDEN United Kingdom
ECHOES France
ECHOTEST United States
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EDENSONG United States
EFECTO Chile
EL EFECTO Brazil
EKPHRASIS France
EKSEPTION Netherlands
ELECTRIC MUD Germany
ELEKTRYK BESTIA United States
EMMETT ELVIN United Kingdom
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EMPATHI Thailand
EMPTY SPACE ORCHESTRA United States
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ERE G Canada
ESPERANTO Multi-National
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ET CETERA Canada
EVELINE'S DUST Italy
EXCESSIVE VISAGE Germany
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EXPERIMENTAL Chile
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LOS EXPLORADORES Norway
FAMILY United Kingdom
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FIFTH SPECIES United States
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FISSION TRIP United Kingdom
FLASH United Kingdom
FLÄSKET BRINNER Sweden
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HUGO FLORES Portugal
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FOXTROT Norway
FRAMUS 5 Czech Republic
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FREN Poland
FRIENDSHIP TIME Sweden
ROBERT FRIPP United Kingdom
FROM.UZ Uzbekistan
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RON GEESIN United Kingdom
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HOME United Kingdom
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IMAGES France
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IN ABSTRACKTO Mexico
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INSTANT CURTAIN Italy
INTERFACE Japan
INTERPOSE+ Japan
THE INVINCIBLE CZARS United States
ISKANDER Germany
ISLAND Switzerland
ISOBAR United States
IT United States
IT'S THE END Norway
IVIRON Germany
IX Venezuela
IXT ADUX United States
JANOS VÁRGA PROJECT Hungary
JAPANSKI PREMIJERI Croatia
JEAVESTONE Finland
JOY UNLIMITED Germany
JULIAN'S TREATMENT United Kingdom
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KARMABLUE Italy
KASKADEUR Germany
KATAYA Finland
KEOR France
KHARMINA BURANNA Peru
KIDS EAT CRAYONS Canada
KIKU LATTE / CICHLA TEMENSIS Japan
KING CRIMSON United Kingdom
KLOTET Sweden
KOIAK Chile
KOLORS OF ZOUND Austria
KOMARA Multi-National
KORPUS 2 (Корпус 2) Russia
KRACQ Netherlands
KRAKEN IN THE MAELSTROM Italy
KROMLECH Mexico
KTU Multi-National
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KULTIVATOR Sweden
KWADRAT Poland
KYTAJA Finland
LAPLACE Argentina
LALLE LARSSON Sweden
LASER PACE United States
THE LAZE United Kingdom
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LEMURYA France
LETHEAN Italy
THE LIGHT IN THE OCEAN United States
LIND Germany
BJORN J:SON LINDH Sweden
LIZARD Poland
LOBSTER NEWBERG United States
LOCOMOTIV GT Hungary
THE LONG HELLO United Kingdom
LOST KITE Sweden
LUARVIK LUARVIK Estonia
LUCIFER WAS Norway
LUCY Brazil
LUX TERMINUS United States
MA BANLIEUE FLASQUE France
MACHIAVEL Belgium
MAD FELLAZ Italy
MAELSTROM Canada
MAGICAL PLANETS United States
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MAJOR PARKINSON Norway
MAKAJODAMA Sweden
MAKKIWHIPDIES United States
MAMMUT Germany
MAN ON FIRE United States
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MANNING United Kingdom
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MASTERMIND United States
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ME EL-MA Israel
THE MEDICINE CABINET United States
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JOHN MINER United States
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MINIMUM VITAL France
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MOJO POJO Venezuela
MOONPARTICLE Multi-National
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STEVE MORSE BAND United States
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NAPRA Hungary
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NARR France
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NEMO France
NÉODYME Canada
NEOGRASS Norway
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CZESŁAW NIEMEN Poland
NIL France
NOISE IN YOUR EYE United Kingdom
NOT A GOOD SIGN Italy
NOVA Finland
NURT Poland
OBLIVION SUN United States
OBSKYR Sweden
OCTOHPERA Brazil
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ODYSSEE Germany
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RYO OKUMOTO Japan
OMIE WISE Portugal
OMNIPOTENT YOUTH SOCIETY China
THE OPEN WINDOW United States
OPERATION: MILKSNATCH United States
ORDER OF THE LIVING Finland
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ORIGINS United States
ORNE Finland
OS MUNDI Germany
THE OTHELLO SYNDROME United Kingdom
OUT OF THE BEARDSPACE United States
OZ URUGULU Switzerland
PAJARO Argentina
PALEY'S WATCH United Kingdom
PANDORA SNAIL Russia
HET PANDORRA ENSEMBLE Netherlands
PANGÉE Canada
PEANUT BRITTLE SATELLITE United States
PEGGY'S LEG Ireland
THE PENGUIN CAFE ORCHESTRA United Kingdom
PENTWATER United States
THE PEROTIC THEATRE Germany
PHARNAL France
PHILHARMONIE France
PINGVINORKESTERN Sweden
BRUNO PITCH France
THE PITTS MINNEMANN PROJECT United States
PIXIE NINJA Norway
PLAMP Switzerland
PLAT DU JOUR France
PLATURNO Chile
POETICA IN SILENTIO Netherlands
PONDUS Sweden
LAURI PORRA Finland
POSTURES Sweden
VYACHESLAV POTAPOV Kazakhstan
NOLAN POTTER'S NIGHTMARE BAND United States
JEAN-PAUL PRAT France
PRAXIS Mexico
PRAZSKY VYBER Czech Republic
PROCOSMIAN FANNYFIDDLERS Norway
PROFIL Germany
PROFUSION Italy
PROGRES 2 Czech Republic
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LA PURA REALIDAD Mexico
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THE REDZEN Italy
THE REFORMATION United States
EL RELOJ Argentina
REPLIKAS Turkey
RING United Kingdom
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OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ Puerto Rico
ROOTS OF CONSCIOUSNESS United States
LA ROSSA France
ROZMAINSKY & MIKHAYLOV PROJECT Russia
RTFACT Multi-National
ANDRES RUIZ Argentina
THE RUNNING MAN United Kingdom
SACCHARINE TRUST United States
SAHARA Germany
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SARCOPHAGUS NOW Sweden
SBB Poland
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SCYTHE Germany
THE SEA WITHIN Multi-National
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SINATLIS TSELITSADI (THE LIGHT YEAR) Georgia
RIKARD SJÖBLOM Sweden
SKALDOWIE Poland
SKE Italy
JÓZEF SKRZEK Poland
SKY United Kingdom
SLEEPY PEOPLE United Kingdom
JULIE SLICK United States
MALCOLM SMITH United States
MIRA SNELDER Netherlands
SIGMUND SNOPEK III United States
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SOUL ENEMA Israel
SPECIMEN13 Canada
SPEKTAKEL Germany
THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS Canada
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SPRING United Kingdom
SPROINGG Germany
SQUINTALOO Germany
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STA IMA? Croatia
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STAR PERIOD STAR United States
STELLA LEE JONES Japan
STICK MEN United States
STIMPY LOCKJAW United States
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STORM CORROSION Multi-National
STRINGPURÉE BAND Finland
JAMES SUDAKOW United States
SUMO ELEVATOR Israel
SUNYATA Singapore
SUPERLUMINAL PACHYDERM United States
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SYLBAT France
SYLVIA BLISS United States
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TAAL France
TAGYERIT United States
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TCP United States
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THEY United States
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THIS ONENESS United States
THORS HAMMER Denmark
TIME United Kingdom
TIME STRUCTURE France
TIN SCRIBBLE United States
TMN Switzerland
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TOOTSCATS Russia
TOWNSCREAM Hungary
TRAFFIC United Kingdom
I TRENI ALL'ALBA Italy
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TRIPCYCLE Serbia
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TU United States
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UK United Kingdom
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VÆRKET Denmark
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LAURENCE VANAY France
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VISITOR 2035 United Kingdom
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WOOLLY WOLSTENHOLME'S MAESTOSO United Kingdom
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