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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 12/31/2013

Rob (Epignosis)
Logan (thellama73)
Sagi (Sagichim)

Eclectic Prog Top Albums


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

4.61 | 3385 ratings
IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING
King Crimson
4.53 | 2655 ratings
RED
King Crimson
4.49 | 1593 ratings
GODBLUFF
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.42 | 1695 ratings
PAWN HEARTS
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.41 | 2260 ratings
LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC
King Crimson
4.36 | 1308 ratings
IN A GLASS HOUSE
Gentle Giant
4.31 | 1289 ratings
H TO HE, WHO AM THE ONLY ONE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.34 | 662 ratings
THE SILENT CORNER AND THE EMPTY STAGE
Hammill, Peter
4.29 | 1173 ratings
STILL LIFE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.29 | 1217 ratings
THE POWER AND THE GLORY
Gentle Giant
4.28 | 1510 ratings
OCTOPUS
Gentle Giant
4.28 | 1175 ratings
FREE HAND
Gentle Giant
4.24 | 1176 ratings
ACQUIRING THE TASTE
Gentle Giant
4.22 | 1082 ratings
VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE
Hackett, Steve
4.26 | 404 ratings
ANABELAS
Bubu
4.27 | 329 ratings
MEMENTO Z BANALNYM TRYPTYKIEM
SBB
4.25 | 366 ratings
BANTAM TO BEHEMOTH
Birds And Buildings
4.19 | 611 ratings
SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC: PART TWO
Beardfish
4.16 | 675 ratings
SPECTRAL MORNINGS
Hackett, Steve
4.33 | 180 ratings
1000 AUTUNNI
Ske
4.12 | 1509 ratings
DISCIPLINE
King Crimson
4.10 | 1688 ratings
LIZARD
King Crimson
4.21 | 275 ratings
MULTIPURPOSE TRAP
Birds And Buildings
4.11 | 981 ratings
THREE FRIENDS
Gentle Giant
4.20 | 293 ratings
BORIS
Yezda Urfa
4.24 | 202 ratings
SI PARTIE 1
Nemo
4.27 | 162 ratings
SBB (WOłANIE O BRZęK SZKłA AKA SLOVENIAN GIRLS)
SBB
4.13 | 368 ratings
MOTORPSYCHO AND STĹLE STORLŘKKEN: THE DEATH DEFYING UNICORN
Motorpsycho
4.20 | 217 ratings
PAMIęć
SBB
4.09 | 475 ratings
UK
UK
4.13 | 304 ratings
IN CAMERA
Hammill, Peter
4.05 | 801 ratings
THE LEAST WE CAN DO IS WAVE TO EACH OTHER
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.22 | 158 ratings
COMA
Nemo
4.19 | 173 ratings
ZE SłOWEM BIEGNę DO CIEBIE
SBB
4.24 | 125 ratings
DETTA HAR HÄNT
Gösta Berlings Saga
4.29 | 103 ratings
AEROLIT
Niemen, CzesŁaw
4.11 | 243 ratings
LAST EPIC
A.C.T
4.16 | 175 ratings
DIAGONAL
Diagonal
4.10 | 249 ratings
BARBARES
Nemo
4.13 | 198 ratings
CITY OF THE SUN
Seven Impale
4.05 | 414 ratings
SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC: PART ONE
Beardfish
4.38 | 75 ratings
NIL NOVO SUB SOLE
Nil
4.11 | 201 ratings
TODD RUNDGREN'S UTOPIA
Utopia
4.08 | 234 ratings
BEHIND THE SUN
Motorpsycho
4.07 | 211 ratings
DODECAHEDRON
Daal
3.96 | 945 ratings
THE POWER TO BELIEVE
King Crimson
4.05 | 238 ratings
NIGHTINGALES & BOMBERS
Mann's Earth Band, Manfred
4.03 | 285 ratings
CHAMELEON IN THE SHADOW OF THE NIGHT
Hammill, Peter
4.06 | 221 ratings
IN EXTREMIS
Days Between Stations
4.02 | 284 ratings
LADY LAKE
Gnidrolog
4.04 | 240 ratings
THE LOW SPARK OF HIGH HEELED BOYS
Traffic
4.02 | 276 ratings
THE MUSIC THAT DIED ALONE
Tangent, The
3.97 | 525 ratings
MAMMOTH
Beardfish
4.09 | 152 ratings
DANCES OF THE DRASTIC NAVELS
Daal
4.01 | 269 ratings
SOLAR FIRE
Mann's Earth Band, Manfred
4.01 | 253 ratings
LE VER DANS LE FRUIT
Nemo
4.14 | 109 ratings
PICTURES
Island
4.15 | 107 ratings
HAIKARA
Haikara
4.55 | 41 ratings
SEN BALıK DEğILSIN KI
Gevende
4.22 | 83 ratings
ECHOES OF FALLING STARS
Daal
3.91 | 1425 ratings
STARLESS AND BIBLE BLACK
King Crimson
4.21 | 83 ratings
THE APOCALYPSE INSIDE OF AN ORANGE
Rodriguez-Lopez, Omar
4.04 | 172 ratings
NOT A GOOD SIGN
Not A Good Sign
4.11 | 120 ratings
SNAFU
East Of Eden
3.95 | 386 ratings
DESTINED SOLITAIRE
Beardfish
4.19 | 85 ratings
ET CETERA
Et Cetera
4.01 | 218 ratings
THE SANE DAY
Beardfish
3.97 | 291 ratings
LE SACRE DU TRAVAIL
Tangent, The
3.96 | 340 ratings
+4626 - COMFORTZONE
Beardfish
4.24 | 71 ratings
OF THINGS THAT NEVER WERE
Worm Ouroboros, The
4.02 | 189 ratings
THE FINEST OF MIRACLES
Ciccada
4.11 | 111 ratings
THE TIME IT TAKES
Nice Beaver
4.07 | 132 ratings
IMAGINARY FRIENDS
A.C.T
4.09 | 118 ratings
SKYMIND
Taal
3.96 | 270 ratings
OVER
Hammill, Peter
4.20 | 77 ratings
SENNA
Mahogany Frog
4.35 | 52 ratings
SHESHET
Sheshet
4.15 | 88 ratings
MOVIN' ON
Circus
4.04 | 139 ratings
SI PARTIE II - L'HOMME IDÉAL
Nemo
4.06 | 122 ratings
EVER AFTER
Sanhedrin
3.88 | 946 ratings
GENTLE GIANT
Gentle Giant
4.06 | 111 ratings
ENIGMATIC
Niemen, CzesŁaw
4.09 | 97 ratings
SODOM & GOMORRAH
From.uz
4.26 | 57 ratings
KOROWOD
Grechuta, Marek
3.97 | 188 ratings
REWOTOWER
Profusion
4.03 | 126 ratings
IN CASE OF LOSS..
Areknamés
4.11 | 84 ratings
STRANGE IS THIS WORLD
Niemen, CzesŁaw
4.16 | 72 ratings
MARIONETKI
Niemen, CzesŁaw
3.89 | 418 ratings
GENESIS REVISITED II
Hackett, Steve
4.22 | 58 ratings
ZALMOXE
Sfinx
4.20 | 62 ratings
DIALOG S VESMÍREM
Progres 2
4.03 | 111 ratings
MERCATOR PROJECTED
East Of Eden
4.06 | 97 ratings
BELIEVERS & DECEIVERS
Brighteye Brison
4.30 | 46 ratings
ONDE, QUANDO, COMO, PORQUĘ, CANTAMOS PESSOAS VIVAS
Quarteto 1111
3.96 | 154 ratings
2ND HANDS
Gourishankar, The
4.25 | 50 ratings
BIGORNA
Cartoon
3.90 | 269 ratings
JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE
Traffic
3.87 | 327 ratings
NOT AS GOOD AS THE BOOK
Tangent, The
4.09 | 77 ratings
THE CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE
Thieves' Kitchen
3.87 | 362 ratings
BEYOND THE SHROUDED HORIZON
Hackett, Steve

Eclectic Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

I'M NORMAL, MY HEART STILL WORKS
Illŕchime Quartet
OJCIEC CHRZESTNY DOMNIKA
Skrzek, Józef
DIAGONAL
Diagonal
ZEALOTRY STERBLICHEN SCHIZOPHRENIA
Seamus

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Latest Eclectic Prog Music Reviews


 Civilian by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.78 | 331 ratings

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Civilian
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

2 stars Review Nş 56

Gentle Giant was a British group in activity for a decade, between 1970 and 1980. The Gentle Giant's music always was considered very complex and sophisticated even by progressive rock standards. They were musically influenced by many styles like folk, soul, jazz, medieval and classical music. Unlike many of their progressive rock contemporaries, their influences elements range from romantic music, medieval music, baroque music and modernist chamber music.

Mainly because of that, Gentle Giant was never a very popular group at the time. On the other hand, the band never made major concessions on their music to the public and to the media. So, there has always been a certain difficulty of relationship between the group and the media. Because of that Gentle Giant always thought that only few critics seemed to have an idea, about what the band really was and what were the things that they seemed to care about.

In the late of 70's, since the end of 1976, it emerged and developed the punk rock movement and the new wave. That new musical phenomenon was specially created as an opposition to the progressive rock movement, because they considered that the progressive rock music was very complex, elitist, bombastic, sentimentalist and soft. Those new musical changes, that took place at the time, affected the musical careers of all progressive groups, in a way or another. The progressive rock has become discredited, and many of those bands were considered old dinosaurs. The media and the record labels ceased to be interested on progressive rock and adhere to this new musical fashion.

Some progressive rock bands were more affected than others, and obviously Gentle Giant was, in my humble opinion, one of the bands that were most affected, due to the complexity of their music. It's true that Gentle Giant never was a band with great popularity, but with the beginning of punk, for Gentle Giant cessed definitely the possibility of can be recognized as a great band. They lost definitely the possibility of the big recognition for that they'd worked so hard to achieve and that so they richly deserved. Gentle Giant, like other groups, consciously moved the patterns of their music towards to a less complex and more direct style pressured by their record labels and the media. So, it was in that difficult musical context that Gentle Giant created their last studio effort, this album, 'Civilian'.

'Civilian' is the eleventh studio album of the band and was released in America, in 1980. Gentle Giant, relocated the centre operations of the group to Los Angeles, California because they hoped that a change of scene probably would help them at the American market. It seemed to them, that it was the better chance to can improve the sales and therefore be supported by their record label. In short, it would be the way to survive in that new musical reality.

'Civilian' is an album with nine tracks. Let it be said from the beginning that 'Civilian' isn't a classic Gentle Giant's album, neither in sound or style. Most of the songs on the album are written much to the taste of a kind of the American hard rock new wave musical style. Some of the songs remind me the music of Foreigner, one of the most famous American rock bands of the 80's. I'm talking about the first track 'Convenience', the second track 'All Through The Night', the fourth track 'Number One' and the sixth track 'I Am A Camera', although the last of them, has a Gentle Giant's beginning. In reality, the songs are pretty good. I also like some Foreigner songs. The fifth track 'Undergroud' has also a Gentle Giant's beginning, but sincerely, the rest of the song reminds me Yes. However, this is still a good song. The seventh track 'Inside Out' is a song that reminds me Supertramp without saxophones. It's also a good song. The eight track 'It's Not Imagination', despite be a song with a simple American rock beat the keyboards remind me Gentle Giant. Finally, the third track 'Shadows On The Street', I may say that this is a very beautiful ballad that sounds a little beat to a Gentle Giant's song. It remains to me as one of the best tracks on the album.

Conclusion: We can say that 'Civilian' would be a good album if it was released by any other band and that it would to be rated with 3 stars. However, I cannot rate it with 3 stars, but only with 2. Why? Because, this is a Gentle Giant's album that doesn't sounds to a Gentle Giant's album and it has nothing to do with a progressive album. Where is the originality, the complexity, the sophistication and the diverse influences which were the foundation of their music? The main problem with 'Civilian' is that Gentle Giant changed so much that they lost their charisma, identity and their unique footprint in the world of progressive rock, to the point of being a band completely unrecognizable. 'Civilian' can reminds me everything, but very few of Gentle Giant. Even some band's members disliked the album, which caused the end of the group. So, when I listen to this album, I listen to it as if it was released by another band. Anyway, despite "Civilian", Gentle Giant is, and they will remain for the history of progressive rock music, as one of the biggest, original and interesting bands to emerge in the 70's. Even today, their music remains as refreshing as it was then.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Visitor 2035 by VISITOR 2035 album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.83 | 5 ratings

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Visitor 2035
Visitor 2035 Eclectic Prog

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Space Fusion

I imagine the second Visitor 2035 album as one of those titles which gets the occasional mention in darkened basements--where old proggers have gathered to spin obscure music whilst attempting not to bother the rest of the family. Somewhere between the posters and the next bowl Visitor 2035 comes up. Is it possible this title still is not available on CD?

While it may not be the greatest jazz-rock album and while I'm not genre qualified to proclaim that anyway, the jazzheads on the site have not yet written about this one. So you're stuck with my thoughts for now. Despite my lack of jazz pedigree I do know what I like. And I like this one. It fits comfortably with others I've owned such as Secret Oyster and Il Baricentro, while folks elsewhere have mentioned Brand X and Weather Report in comments. Certain "smoother" sections even remind me a bit of Camel's more fusioney moments.

Lacking the smoky grit of jazz albums that obsess on the saxophone and its seedy vibe, Visitor really does seem to consciously embrace the album cover they chose. Consistently they will bring back these keyboard sounds with a very spacey feel, very soothing and peaceful. This is not to say they cannot peel off some wicked guitar leads and funky grooves, the talents of the players and the diversity of songwriting is a great strength. They work their way into these huge, borderline wild jams (killer bass!) and then they drop right into these soothing, spacey landscapes, seeming to thrive on the contrast. "Cassiopeia" stays in this low key territory with acoustic guitar and light percussion, almost Oregon territory. Synths find their way back in and again we feel like we have a soundtrack for stargazing. I like the balance they use with various synthesizer, piano and e-piano. I think the album would please most instrumental rock fans.

I've always found this one an impressive release from the "little known gems" category. If you can't track down a vinyl you can hear it currently on YouTube.

 Snegs by SOM NOSSO DE CADA DIA album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.82 | 46 ratings

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Snegs
Som Nosso de Cada Dia Eclectic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars As talented as this three-piece was and with as many good moments as there are on this first one, SNdCD kinda just sat there; at least compared to what else was happening in popular music during the early '70s. In rock as much as with any creative medium, maybe more so, at some point you have to grab people by the throat. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

In all seriousness there are quite a few killer bits here and maybe these old ears have just heard way too much vintage stuff to make an objective judgement on the Brazilian trio. But it is rock; you gotta give us something that's .. well .. spectacular. There was just too much else going on in music not to. The croons of Pedrăo support slow but well-chorused 'Sinal da Paranoia' which has a neat synth wormhole ribboned through the center and features Manito's drunken fiddle, but 'Bicho do Mato' is a blues-rock shuffle that doesn't quite work unless you're playing Jabba the Hutt's palace. The very nicely counterpointed namesake cut is a keeper, has excellent chord progressions and fine keyboard leads, and six-minute 'Massavilha' steals the thunder with its Emersonian leanings. Spaced-out 'Direccion de Aquarius' is what may be a bad Beatles impression circa Abbey Road, hard to say, but luckily 'A Outra Face' saves us from taking a nice nap and is a mostly well-conceived funk/rock fusion bit with big funereal 'O Guarani' to finish.

A take-it-or-leave-it record, and with the incredible other music that was being issued in their time, this debut simply didn't rise to the challenge. Neither very good nor very bad, most assuredly.

 Komara by KOMARA album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.60 | 12 ratings

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Komara
Komara Eclectic Prog

Review by olaras

5 stars KoMaRa is Slovakian experimental guitarist and composer David Kollar new trio project with an acoustic and electronic percussions magican Pat Mastelotto and Paolo Raineri on trumpet. It sounds very fresh and exciting. Without doubts this realease is one of the best from 2015. Only 6 ratings and one review so far on PA site is probably the only reason why I can not see this record in the top ten of 2015. Music brings to mind some King Crimson or Fripp works mixed with Nils Petter Molvaer soundscapes and experimental-post metal moments. There are also some similarities to Tony Levin's World Diary or even more some Stick Man pieces especially in bass lines with tint of Miles Davis trumpet excesses or, in some parts also with Trevor Dunn's Trio Convulsant prog-hardcore-jazz experiments. This was my associations after the first three hearings, however this stuff is darker and denser, somewhat industrial-like and full of heavy moments interrupted by more melancholic and gently pulsing fragments. My favourite track is "Afterbirth" with one minute of silence at the end. Some associations around band name: "komar" means "mosquito" in Polish. We can say as linguistic joke: "komara" for female mosquito but correct form of this noun in Polish is "komarzyca" :-) Back to topic - four and a half star rounded to five. Highly recommended!
 Komara by KOMARA album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.60 | 12 ratings

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Komara
Komara Eclectic Prog

Review by KOSKAR

5 stars KOMARA!!What a strange name for a band.as strange as their music is.i really have not heard heard something like this before.we all know that progressive music tends to evolve,but i have never heard such a thing!THIS IS UNIQUE!!this is dark,mind altering and it seems that this record has gathered all the darkness of the world and space.i really cannot describe it better.just listen and you will understand.

i dont do drugs but while i listened to KOMARA i thought i was on drugs.i imagine that if i was on drugs with this thing i would end insane in a corner trying to get sober and not die!! i am really happy because some kinds of music,has died,but not progressive music!!if bands like KOMARA exist,prog music has nothing to fear.this is a unique form of expression and makes you understand that not only prog music has no limits,but it also expands like space. PERFECT!!

 Welcome to the Canteen by TRAFFIC album cover Live, 1971
3.39 | 53 ratings

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Welcome to the Canteen
Traffic Eclectic Prog

Review by thwok

4 stars Welcome to the Canteen demonstrates what an entertaining live band TRAFFIC must have been! The band's instrumental skills are well-known, and probably don't need to discussed by this reviewer. There aren't many bands who can make a 10 minute song, or longer, consistently interesting. One of the best things about this album is the fact that they play a variety of songs from different albums.

I only have two relatively minor complaints. The first is that Reebop's contributions, as skilled as he is, are not essential IMO. I much prefer the original "Gimme Some Lovin" to this rearrangement. The other is regarding the order of the album. It's unbalanced, with all the longer songs at the end. It must have been a frustrating problem in the early 70's. These days, of course, it's easily fixed. On the whole, Welcome to the Canteen in an excellent live album.

 Ikarus by IKARUS album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.83 | 47 ratings

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Ikarus
Ikarus Eclectic Prog

Review by buddyblueyes

3 stars Fly. On Your Way. Like and Eagle. Fly. Touch the sun ... just never wear polyester while you're doing it.

Ok, I embellished Bruce's lyrics, adding some good ole' fashion common sense for the safety of our younger generations. There was a good reason polyester was usurped by other materials for fashion dominance. Take that useful nugget of intel for what it's worth. May you live well and prosper. That aside, my fixation for music came into being around the same time as Piece Of Mind, but as of late, I've had a newfound appeal for locating older, eclectic vintage music. Recently, I've come across new sources for old Prog rock -- rare and lost from the 70s -- many of which never were released on CD. Older, dustbin finds like Ikarus put a smile on my face and a reward in my ears. Greater still, PA has already included many of these long forgotten gems already on this site. Groovy!

Ikarus is a German band with one, self-titled release back in 1971. They are similar to Focus, Colosseum, Van Der Graaf Generator, and Nektar. There's a slight psychedelic vibe in their rock direction, prevalent in many groups at the time -- 70s guitar and horns pairing with organ and synths, coasting on repeated musical themes. There are really nice sonic moments, memorable instrumental melodic lines and vintage atmosphere. The bass guitar also adds some really tasty voicings as well. Those listening to much Djent music as of late (like myself) will be blindsided, forgetting what a shiny strong bass line can even sound like and how it can color and propel the music. :)

A fun find and good for a few listens, one can understand how Ikarus may have gotten the cold shrug amongst the din of other great bands from the 70s. A bigger, heavier sound was starting to emerge from the heavyweight studios across the US and England. A strong emphasis was placed on the emerging rockstar, the centerfold vocalist with powerful pipes. It's hard to imagine this band keeping pace with that Led Zep sound, or coming in late to the marketing money behind such juggernauts as Genesis or Yes ' or any of the big 5 really. Looking back, one could see the writing on the wall for the band, but none-the-less, this is worth hearing at least once in your life.

With more music available to us today, let us take time to remember our past and the lesser-known musical forefathers. Obscured by the sands of time, there is still magic in their works. It would serve the newer generation well to uncover this past, and be mindful of just how far they've come, soaring in flight on the backs of past musicians who broadened the horizons. True, few are great, most are average, but like so many musicians, they were just simply trying to etch themselves into a brief moment in human history. It speaks well of us to briefly acknowledge their dedication and contributions in the pursuit of making the world a better place through music.

Wishful concert pairing (had I been alive at the time): Nektar or Colosseum, with Cathedral or Ginhouse as the opener.

 The Time It Takes by NICE BEAVER album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.11 | 111 ratings

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The Time It Takes
Nice Beaver Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The time It Takes, Nice Beaver´s third release came no less than11 years after their second, Oregon (2004), but was well worth the wait. In fact, it´s surely their best. The line up is almost the same as the other two (only drummer Corne van Disseldorp is a newcomer). And although I did write some enthusiastic reviews about then a few years ago, looking in hindsight I felt that something was missing with them, specially concerning their songwriting skills. Their mix of progressive rock, jazz, soul and even a bit of R & B seemed odd, but it worked, at least on several songs. But those elements were kind of scattered around, without really cooking. Now it´s a whole different story. On the new CD those dutch guys finally put all their influences into more consistent, mature compositions that flow from beginning to end without a hitch.

With an excellent, organic production, they have found their very own personality and sound like no other band. This is much thanks to the right use not only of stronger tunes, but also of the tight arrangements that show s their unique features like Erik Groeneweg´s fine soulful voice (sometimes reminding me of american singer Michael McDonald), Peter Stels great bass runs and Hans Gerritse jazzy guitar lines. Stels in particular shows a slight funk-like style that fits perfectly in. He is probably one of today´s finest bassists, while Gerritse plays some very good, tasteful licks and solos. New drummer van Disseldorp is a very good, versatile player that also proved to be the right choice for their music. In all we have 8 well crafted songs that are a joy to listen to. And the more I´m listening the more I´m liking it. One of those rare records where everything works like a clockwork: the right amount of notes at the right places, no less no more. I´m sorry this CD took so long to arrive and missed my list of best of releases of 2015. But make no mistake: if I could change it, this one would be at least at the top five.

The time It Takes have all the elements I enjoy on an album: excellent tunes, the right amount of virtuosity to enhance the songs and -more important - an emotional delivering. I really wish those guys will produce more masterpieces like this one. Music for the heart and soul.

Rating: 4.5 stars with honors. Highly recommended!

 One For Sorrow, Two For Joy by THIEVES' KITCHEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.82 | 105 ratings

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One For Sorrow, Two For Joy
Thieves' Kitchen Eclectic Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I actually wanted to get "The Water Road". It was in my Amazon stand by cart for nearly two years. Then "One for Sorrow, Two for Joy" came out and they both sat in my cart. Finally I decided to get "The Water Road" and it was gone, no longer available except as an expensive import. So I quickly snatched up this album.

I first heard about Thieves' Kitchen back in 2012 when I was seeking out new prog bands and stumbled across them on iTunes. At the time I liked only some songs but not enough to want to buy an album. Their mention in the book "Citizens of Hope and Glory: The Story of Progressive Rock" by Stephen Lambe made me change my mind. But "One for Sorrow" seems not like the best place to start with this band.

After a brief child's rhyme, the music begins and sounds promising enough. There's the usual electric guitar, bass, drums and keyboards. It's when the vocals come in that things start to go the opposite direction from which I'd hoped. Now it's not that Amy Darby is a bad singer. At first I thought she was good but unremarkable. However, listening more carefully I have come to think that the vocals lines for this song were just not meant for most singers. She has to sing low and throw in an occasional higher note and hold these low notes. It feels more like someone trying to sing over a prog instrumental. The next song doesn't fair any better and here I feel the lyrics sound as forced as the singing: "The cosmos in its scale / Like Isis unveiled / To the all-seeing eye". There's a pleasant bit of flute followed by some nice piano, the only redeeming virtues of this song for me.

"A Fool's Journey" is a surprise because of the heavy riff. As I had Black Sabbath's "13" in my iPhone music library at the time I first heard this song, I was for a moment puzzled as to why Black Sabbath suddenly got cued up. Yet despite the heavy riff, the production of this album is not like a metal one, and the song can no longer be confused with the metal legends. It's a powerful track musically and in some ways a good change at least as far as the singing goes. But in the end I feel something was missing to make it a successful hit with me.

"Germander Speedwell" is the longest track and it's the instrumental parts that save it as the vocal tracks again follow a similar stretched out and almost tiresome style. I don't think even Janis Joplin could have made these vocal lines work.

It's not until "The Weaver", a short acoustic folk piece, that at last Darby seems to have been able to capture her voice in the song. For that matter, it's only here where I first find myself really enjoying listening to the music. Prior to this, a lot if not most of it, sounds like a colour-by-numbers attempt to create a modern prog feeling but even though the bass and drums are working, they don't seem to manage anything inspiring. At times pretty good; at other times rather generic.

The final track is also a longer one, just over 12 minutes, and it's here at last that I feel the band found its inspiration. The music has energy and purposefulness. The band seem to know what they are doing and why at last and there's feeling in the playing. It's too bad that a couple of more songs on this album didn't have that energy.

I'm afraid that I can't get excited about this album. I've listened to it a few times and added songs to mixed playlists hoping to find something outstanding but I can't. I've read other reviews that say "One for Sorrow, Two for Joy" is a weaker album in TK's discography, so it seems I'm not the only one to feel something is lacking. It's not a huge disappointment but worthy only of a flat three stars and nothing more.

 World Record by VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.82 | 604 ratings

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World Record
Van Der Graaf Generator Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

5 stars Review Nş 54

'World Record' is the seventh studio album of Van Der Graaf Generator and was released in 1976. All the songs were written by Peter Hammill, except 'Wondering' which was written by Hugh Banton and Hammill. When of the recording sessions of the album there were two problems inside the band. The first problem was a lot of tension between the band's members, particularly between the leader Hammill and their keyboardist Banton. The second problem was a Hammill's personnel problem, the forthcoming separation of Peter from his long time girl friend which already shows up on the horizon. The result of this was that it was the last recorded album by this fantastic classic line up of the band until their reunion in 2005. At the end of 1976, following 'World Record', first Banton and then David Jackson departed from the group, having being replaced by their previous bassist Nic Potter that returned to the group to replace Banton, and the new presence of the violinist Graham Smith, ex-String Driven Thing, which replaced the saxophonist and flutist Jackson on their next eighth studio album 'The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome' released in 1977.

'World Record' is a milestone release for Van Der Graaf Generator. It's the album that features extended guitar use for the first time into all their discography, until then. Hammill has outgrown his fear of inadequacy, probably giving to his guitar the space that it was really needed. Jackson makes for yet another time a brilliant musical work with his saxophones and flutes, which became a perfect cooperation with Banton's keyboard work.

'World Record' has five tracks. The first track 'When She Comes' is a song related with Peter's personal love affair. The song seems to relate to how unstable and unpredictable the relationships are, and how we can live with a person, who after all, we didn't know as well as we thought. After all, we have no guarantees of knowing someone, even if we are very close to that person, and so there is the danger of we are alone in the world. It's a fantastic track and one of my favourites too. The second track 'A place To Survive' is probably the most standard Van Der Graaf Generator's track on this album. This song is about of us be alone in this solitary world, after the breakup of a close relationship, and trying to find a place and a way to survive in this hostile world. This is also an excellent track. The third track 'Masks' is a song more in the style of the first song. It's about to show be someone that we aren't, and so fooling the people who live with us. It reminds us the danger of show a face that isn't really ours and because of that we lose our real face and in the end, we truly don't know who we really are. The fourth track 'Meurglys III (The Songwriter's Guild)' is the lengthiest track on the album and is the most controversial, too. However, I really can't see any problem with this song. The song warns of the danger after the breakup of a relationship that we can isolate ourselves from the world remaining only as friends of our personal objects, for personal use, and only just talk to plants and animals, thinking we are gods in our personal world. This is a very lengthy and slow song especially composed for Hammill's guitar, the Meurglys III. Many people complain that the song is very extensive and has a reggae section. Sincerely, I don't see any problem with the size of the song and even with the reggae musical influences. I remember that we are on a site of progressive rock where musical genres aren't compartmented, and moreover we are talking about the sub-genre eclectic prog, which as its name indicates, receives influences from many different musical styles. The fifth track 'Wondering' is the song that ends beautifully the album. It's a hymn with a note of hope and desperate questions. It's an optimistic song with great lyrics supported by a high quality Banton's keyboard work. It brings us the hope that we need after the breakup on a relationship. We can return, arise and survive in this world. It brings also the hope that this line up of Van Der Graaf Generator may return, which luckily has happened, but unfortunately, only in 2005.

Conclusion: By all the problems mentioned above, 'World Record' is, in my humble opinion, the Hammill's most personal album of all the releases of Van Der Graaf Generator. This album is melancholic, helpless, angry, sarcastic, aggressive, dark, and almost brutal, from time to time, and at the same time it's very hopeful and very beautiful too. Why this album must be a masterpiece? Because 'World Record" has everything needed to be a masterpiece. It has some of the most beautiful lyrics written by Hammill and it isn't inferior to almost all of the previous albums of the group. 'World Record' saw Hammill at the peak of his powers, at just the moment when 'Anarchy In The UK', the punk movement, blew apart a largely stagnant rock scene. Forty years later, all we can do is to admire them, and be grateful for the creation of an album like 'World Record'. It worked as an excellent album that closes magnificently one more Van Der Graaf Generator's musical era. It shows why Van De Graaf Generator is one of the best prog groups.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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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
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
COSTE APETREA Sweden
APPLE BELLS Poland
ARBATEL Mexico
ARDO DOMBEC Germany
AREKNAMÉS Italy
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
BAD ALCHEMY United States
VLADIMIR BADIROV Uzbekistan
BAG France
DAVID BAGSBY United States
BAKU LLAMA United States
FRANCK BALESTRACCI France
BARBARO Hungary
BARRACUDA TRIANGLE Sweden
AL BASIM Iraq
BASTA! Italy
BATABEAT Canada
BEAR IS DRIVING United States
BEARDFISH Sweden
ADRIAN BELEW United States
SERGIO BENCHIMOL Brazil
IL BERLIONE Japan
MICHAEL BERNIER United States
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
C & K VOCAL Czech Republic
CABEZAS DE CERA Mexico
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
CICCADA Greece
CIRCLES END Norway
CIRCUS Switzerland
CIRKUS United Kingdom
BARRY CLEVELAND United States
CLOUDS ON STRINGS United States
CMU United Kingdom
COLONEL CLAYPOOL'S BUCKET OF BERNIE BRAINS United States
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
CURVED AIR United Kingdom
CZAR United Kingdom
DAAL Italy
THE DAEDALUS SPIRIT ORCHESTRA France
DAGMÄHR Canada
DALTONIA Chile
DARK AETHER PROJECT United States
DAYS BETWEEN STATIONS United States
GUILLAUME DE LA PILIERE France
DEBOCO France
DIAGONAL United Kingdom
DICE Sweden
DIONYSOS Canada
DISCORDIA Finland
DISEN GAGE Russia
DISTINGUISHED PANEL OF EXPERTS Multi-National
DJAM KARET United States
JULIUS DOBOS Hungary
WILLIAM D. DRAKE United Kingdom
DREADNAUGHT United States
DREADNOUGHT United States
DRIFT United States
EARTH SIZE DIAMONDS United States
EAST OF EDEN United Kingdom
ECHOES France
EDENSONG United States
EFECTO Chile
EKSEPTION Netherlands
ELEKTRYK BESTIA United States
EMPTY SPACE ORCHESTRA United States
EPIDERMIS Germany
ERE G Canada
ERIK BARON & D-ZAKORD France
ESPERANTO Multi-National
ESTHEMA United States
ET CETERA Canada
EXCLUSIVE RAJA France
EXPERIMENTAL Chile
EXPERIMENTAL QUINTET Romania
FAMILY United Kingdom
FANTASIA Finland
FETUS MAXIMUS Finland
OLIVIER FEUILLERAT France
FINNEUS GAUGE United States
FLASH United Kingdom
FLÄSKET BRINNER Sweden
FLIGHT United States
THE FLOCK United States
HUGO FLORES Portugal
FOND OF TIGERS Canada
FONDERIA Italy
FOXTROT Norway
FRAMUS 5 Czech Republic
FRATERNITY Australia
FRIENDSHIP TIME Sweden
ROBERT FRIPP United Kingdom
FROM.UZ Uzbekistan
FRUMPY Germany
FUN MACHINE United States
FUSIOON Spain
THE GAK OMEK United States
GALAAD Switzerland
GARDENIA Argentina
GARGAMEL Norway
GAYLORD United States
GECKO'S TEAR Italy
RON GEESIN United Kingdom
GENTLE GIANT United Kingdom
GESTALT Japan
GEVENDE Turkey
GEYSIR Germany
GLAZZ Spain
GLOBALYS Belgium
GNIDROLOG United Kingdom
GOAD Italy
GOMA Spain
GOOD NIGHTOWL United States
GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA Sweden
JEAN-PHILIPPE GOUDE France
THE GOURISHANKAR Russia
SÉBASTIEN GRAMOND France
GRATTO United States
THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH United Kingdom
MAREK GRECHUTA Poland
GREYLYNG United States
GROOVECTOR Finland
THE GUARDIAN'S OFFICE Norway
GUERNICA Japan
TREY GUNN United States
GUNS AND BUTTER United States
GURUH GIPSY Indonesia
GUZZLEMUG United States
GYPSY United States
H7G Costa Rica
STEVE HACKETT United Kingdom
HAIKARA Finland
BRENDAN HAINS Australia
HALF PAST FOUR Canada
HAMADRYAD Canada
PETER HAMMILL United Kingdom
HAPPY THE MAN United States
GAVIN HARRISON & 05RIC United Kingdom
STEVE HART United Kingdom
HEADSHEAR United States
HERD OF INSTINCT United States
HOBO Yugoslavia
HOBSON'S CHOICE United States
HOKR Czech Republic
HOME United Kingdom
HOMÍNIDO Chile
HOUSE OF USHER United States
HUNE Canada
ICED INK United States
IKARUS Germany
ILLŔCHIME QUARTET Italy
ILLUSION United Kingdom
INNER LIGHT ORCHESTRA Finland
INTERFACE Japan
INTERPOSE+ Japan
ISKANDER Germany
ISLAND Switzerland
IT United States
IT'S THE END Norway
IX Venezuela
IXT ADUX United States
JANOS VÁRGA PROJECT Hungary
JEAVESTONE Finland
JOY UNLIMITED Germany
JULIAN'S TREATMENT United Kingdom
JUNE CLEAVER AND THE STEAK KNIVES United States
KARMABLUE Italy
KATAYA Finland
KHARMINA BURANNA Peru
KIDS EAT CRAYONS Canada
KING CRIMSON United Kingdom
KLOTET Sweden
KOIAK Chile
KOLORS OF ZOUND Austria
KOMARA United Kingdom
KORPUS 2 (Корпус 2) Russia
KRACQ Netherlands
KRAKEN IN THE MAELSTROM Italy
KROMLECH Mexico
KTU Multi-National
KTZAT ACHERET Israel
KULTIVATOR Sweden
KWADRAT Poland
KYTAJA Finland
LAPLACE Argentina
LALLE LARSSON Sweden
LASER PACE United States
THE LAZE United Kingdom
LAZULI France
LEMURYA France
LETHEAN Italy
BJORN J:SON LINDH Sweden
LIZARD Poland
LOBSTER NEWBERG United States
LOCOMOTIV GT Hungary
THE LONG HELLO United Kingdom
LUARVIK LUARVIK Estonia
LUCIFER WAS Norway
MA BANLIEUE FLASQUE France
MACHIAVEL Belgium
MAGICAL PLANETS United States
MAHOGANY FROG Canada
MAJOR PARKINSON Norway
MAKAJODAMA Sweden
MAKKIWHIPDIES United States
MAMMUT Germany
MAN ON FIRE United States
MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND United Kingdom
MANNING United Kingdom
MAQAMA Israel
MARSUPILAMI United Kingdom
MASTERMIND United States
ME EL-MA Israel
THE MEDICINE CABINET United States
HAI MEIRZADH Israel
MEN OF LAKE Italy
METROGNOM Norway
MICHIRU Japan
JOHN MINER United States
MINI (TÖRÖK ÁDÁM & MINI) Hungary
MINIMUM VITAL France
MIRTHRANDIR United States
KIMIO MIZUTANI Japan
MOJO POJO Venezuela
MORAINE United States
MÖRGLBL France
STEVE MORSE BAND United States
MOSER WOODS United States
MOTORPSYCHO Norway
MOUTH Germany
MR. EUPHORIA United States
MR. HYDE Chile
DOMINIK MÜLLER Germany
MUSICA FICTA Israel
N.Y.X Italy
NAPRA Hungary
NARAJAMA Czech Republic
NARANJA MECANICA Cuba
NARR France
THE NATURAL MYSTIC Italy
NECROMONKEY Sweden
NEMO France
NEMO France
NÉODYME Canada
NEOGRASS Norway
NEUTRONS United Kingdom
NEWCROSS United States
NICE BEAVER Netherlands
CZESŁAW NIEMEN Poland
NIL France
NOT A GOOD SIGN Italy
NOVA Finland
NURT Poland
OBLIVION SUN United States
OCTOHPERA Brazil
ODYSSEE Germany
RYO OKUMOTO Japan
THE OPEN WINDOW United States
OPERATION: MILKSNATCH United States
ORGIYA PRAVEDNIKOV Russia
ORIGINS United States
ORNE Finland
OS MUNDI Germany
THE OTHELLO SYNDROME United Kingdom
PALEY'S WATCH United Kingdom
PANDORA SNAIL Russia
HET PANDORRA ENSEMBLE Netherlands
PANGÉE Canada
PEANUT BRITTLE SATELLITE United States
THE PENGUIN CAFE ORCHESTRA United Kingdom
PENTWATER United States
THE PEROTIC THEATRE Germany
PHILHARMONIE France
PINGVINORKESTERN Sweden
BRUNO PITCH France
THE PITTS MINNEMAN PROJECT United States
PLAMP Switzerland
PLAT DU JOUR France
PLATURNO Chile
POETICA IN SILENTIO Netherlands
JEAN-PAUL PRAT France
PRAXIS Mexico
PRAZSKY VYBER Czech Republic
PROCOSMIAN FANNYFIDDLERS Norway
PROFIL Germany
PROFUSION Italy
PROGRES 2 Czech Republic
PROMETHEAN Finland
PSI VOJACI Czech Republic
PSICOTROPIA Spain
LA PURA REALIDAD Mexico
PURGE SOLENOID United States
QUAKER Argentina
QUARTETO 1111 Portugal
QUILT Canada
QUODIA United States
RACHEL'S BIRTHDAY Germany
SIMON RAILTON United Kingdom
RAW MATERIAL United Kingdom
REDD Argentina
THE REDZEN Italy
THE REFORMATION United States
EL RELOJ Argentina
REPLIKAS Turkey
RITRATTO DI UN MATTINO Italy
OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ Puerto Rico
ROOTS OF CONSCIOUSNESS United States
LA ROSSA France
ANDRES RUIZ Argentina
THE RUNNING MAN United Kingdom
SACCHARINE TRUST United States
SAHARA Germany
SANHEDRIN Israel
SBB Poland
LUCA SCHERANI Italy
SCHIZOFRANTIK Germany
SCYTHE Germany
SEAMUS France
THE SEASON STANDARD Germany
SENOGUL Spain
SEVEN IMPALE Norway
SFILTROM Slovenia
SFINX Romania
SHESHET Israel
SHINSEKAI Japan
SINATLIS TSELITSADI Georgia
RIKARD SJÖBLOM Sweden
SKALDOWIE Poland
SKE Italy
JÓZEF SKRZEK Poland
SKY United Kingdom
SLEEPY PEOPLE United Kingdom
JULIE SLICK United States
SIGMUND SNOPEK III United States
SOLUS3 United Kingdom
SOM NOSSO DE CADA DIA Brazil
SOMA PLANET Spain
SOPHISTREE Germany
SOUL ENEMA Israel
SPECIMEN13 Canada
SPEKTAKEL Germany
SPIROSFERA Italy
SPRING United Kingdom
STA IMA? Croatia
STAR PERIOD STAR United States
STELLA LEE JONES Japan
STICK MEN United States
JEREMY STORCH United States
STORM CORROSION Multi-National
STRINGPURÉE BAND Finland
JAMES SUDAKOW United States
SUMO ELEVATOR Israel
SUPERLUMINAL PACHYDERM United States
SYLBAT France
SYLVIA BLISS United States
SYNKOPY Czech Republic
SYRIUS Hungary
TAAL France
TAGYERIT United States
THE TANGENT Multi-National
TÁNGER Argentina
TCP United States
TELIOF Israel
TELLAH Brazil
TERRENO BALDIO Brazil
THIEVES' KITCHEN United Kingdom
TIME United Kingdom
TIN SCRIBBLE United States
TMN Switzerland
TOWNSCREAM Hungary
TRAFFIC United Kingdom
I TRENI ALL'ALBA Italy
TRIODE France
TRIPCYCLE Serbia
TROYA Germany
TU United States
TULLY Australia
UK United Kingdom
UMLÄUT Australia
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD United States
UTOPIA United States
VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR United Kingdom
LAURENCE VANAY France
JEAN-CLAUDE VANNIER France
VELUDO Brazil
VISITOR 2035 United Kingdom
VISITORS France
VISOKOSNOE LETO Russia
VITA NOVA Multi-National
VITAL DUO France
VITKASTE Finland
VOX NOSTRA France
VU METERS Italy
VULGAR UNICORN United Kingdom
VY Puerto Rico
WALPURGIS Germany
WEJAH Brazil
WLUD France
WOOLLY WOLSTENHOLME'S MAESTOSO United Kingdom
WOMEGA Belgium
THE WORM OUROBOROS Belarus
ALEX WROTEN United States
WRUPK UREI Estonia
XENOGRAFT Australia
XL Finland
YEAR ONE United States
YEZDA URFA United States
YGGDRASIL Faroe Islands
YOLE France
YONIN BAYASHI Japan
ZAPOTEC United States
ZECHS MARQUISE United States
ZEROESQUE United States
ZIP TANG United States
ZITA ENSEMBLE Italy
ZOMB France
ZWEITON Germany

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