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 MMXX by SONS OF APOLLO album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.79 | 15 ratings

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MMXX
Sons Of Apollo Progressive Metal

Review by NickCrimsonII

4 stars Sons of Apollo are back and start the new decade with a crushing new album! The 'super' in their supergroup label is once again justified brilliantly, not only because of the all-star line-up of Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinian, Billy Sheehan, Ron Thal, and Jeff Scott Soto but also with the incredible sound of this album that solidifies SoA as an excellent and important addition to the progressive metal universe.

The opening track 'Goodbye Divinity' was released as the first single and gave a glimpse of what the fans should expect about this new record. Sherinian's opening notes and the build-up with the other instruments remind a lot about 'New Millenium'. However, this is a not a DT remake but an excellent opening track that kind of continues the band's style from the previous album. We are presented with the sonic gigantism that these players are capable of delivering - Portnoy's inspired and destructive drumming, Derek's lush and menacing keyboard tone, Sheehan's crunchy bass lines, and Bumblefoot's guitar extravaganza. And above all, Jeff Scott Soto, whose flawless performance tops the one on 'Psychotic Symphony'.

'Wither To Black' is a groovier track but also upbeat, in a way. Definitely a track to headbang to, the catchy riff and the brilliant vocals are the highlights of this one, just to be followed by another incredible song - 'Asphyxiation'. Probably the heaviest track that features another memorable riff, great lyrics, and insane solos (What a surprise!). It showcases the proggier side of SoA mixed with their ability to create melodic metal pieces.

The fourth track 'Desolate July' could serve as the ballad of the album, opening up with Derek's piano and Soto's elegant vocals that lead up to the beautiful and powerful chorus. It captures the more emotional and lyrical side of the band that we are not exposed to too often. This leads to 'King of Delusion' that once again opens up with the piano continuing the 'slower' ending of 'Desolate July' but also reminding me of the band Far Corner and their first album. This leads to the thrashy breakdown that is like a sonic explosion. It is quite an enjoyable proggier track that consolidates the band's songwriting as a powerful yet intelligent one. Intelligent and interesting lyrics also roam the album adding more delicious cringe to the already astonishing album. The sixth track is also the second single off the album, 'Fall to Ascend'. And I must admit this might be my favorite track from the band. The mini drum solo opening, the vocal delivery and the catchy chorus all make up for a crushing prog metal track. But that's not all as the band decides to fill the second part of the song with majestic solos (five, if I'm counting right) that leave one speechless. The follow-up to this song, however, feels like the most disappointing track on 'MMXX'. This is, of course, 'Resurrection Day' and it fails to impress compared to all the rest that was on up until now. Not a bad track but a weaker one having in mind that the album has been flawless for six tracks straight.

So far, we get 7 tracks that are all of normal length for a progressive metal band (between five and seven minutes). So, of course, the final and closing track has to be a an epic - the 16-minute 'New World Today'. The cinematic and more ambient beginning lead to a spacy build-up that feels a bit Ayreon, a bit old-school Dream Theater. We get the main riff around the third minute with a groove that kind of disrupts the rest of the album. So far, the song does not seem like a memorable or impressive piece. However, the heavier transition around the sixth minute somehow 'saves' the song. BIlly Sheehan shines with a great solo that preceeds the instrumental part of the song that is, well, fantastic. I feel like they could have made this opus all-instrumental and it would've sounded much better and complete.

Overall, 'MMXX' is a great start to a new decade and a great continuation of what Sons of Apollo set as their sound. Brilliant instrumental work, as expected, numerous mind-blowing solos from all players, an even better vocal performance by Soto compared to the 2017 release, and thrilling songwriting. Yet, the last two tracks disrupt the beautiful sequence that comes before them.

The albums is quite solid and I can say without a doubt that it is a great addition to any prog rock/metal collection!

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 1914 by ARKUS album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.22 | 21 ratings

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1914
Arkus Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Nice Neo Prog from Utrecht.

1. "Ouverture" (4:09) opens with slow build temple-like cymbal crescendo before relaxed 4/4 blues rock groove is established for synths and melodic fuzzy guitar to lead over. I'm strongly reminded of the sounds and a particular melody that TRION used in "Frank." Nice but nothing extraordinary. (8/10)

2. "Life" (7:34) opens with a slow guitar melody that gets double-timed as the full band joins in at the 0:30 mark jumping into a full rock band mode. Lead electric guitar enters and solos melodically until 1:20 when vocals join in. The guitar solos through the fourth minute, before a break allows someone to do the dishes before a reset button starts the song over and everything starts over, slow to fast, before slowing down for the final section over which the guitar solos. (12.33/15)

3. "Scared" (6:38) opens with picked acoustic guitar (12 string?). This guitar remains--more prominent than on any other song on the album. Despite the same voice and vocals, same synth washes and the same melodic noodling of the same electric guitar sound, this is a nice song. (8.5/10)

4. "No Chance" (8:19) slow electric guitar arpeggi opens this one while a different (effect?) singer sings. The song literally starts over, music and lyric, at the 4:15 mark, slow and sparse, slowly building. The seventh minute is nice but the fast-speed finish from the eighth minute is predictable. (16.5/20)

5. "Adorable Woman" (6:06) boring. Except the bass play. (8.25/10)

6. "1914" (5:40) opens as a simple, almost Folk Rock song sung in English until at 2:48 a proggy soundscape establishes itself. It's the opening song, "Overture"! Exactly! Same nice melody riff from the same sounding lead guitar. It's Neil Young's "Like a Hurricane"! Chords and melody! (8.5/10)

Total time 38:26

My biggest complaint with this album is that the band relies heavily on synth washes to provide background for every moment of every song and on one particular sound for its constantly soloing lead guitar--which results in there being very little variety in the album's sound palette from song to song. They're nice sounds--definitely derived from the 1976 post-Peter Gabriel GENESIS sound palette, but there needs to be more. Plus, the singing is rather lackluster and the lyrics rather banal.

C+/3.5 stars; a pleasant enough sounding album that, in the end, is too simple and . . . just too simple.

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 Osiris by OSIRIS album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.92 | 71 ratings

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Osiris
Osiris Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Prog from Bahrain?!!! Obviously inspired by the prog giants of the 1970s, this full, keyboard- and guitar-led band of young Middle Easterners launched full on into Prog World with a skilled and highly texturized Arabian-influenced rock sound.

SIDE 1 1. "Fantasy" (6:00) opens with synth and electric guitar establishing a fast paced weave before drums and bass join in. Bridge and shift after the one minute mark into a bluesier section with bouncy organ for reverbed voice to enter and sing--somewhat ELOY-like (the singing, that is). Instrumental returns to the opening weave alternate with singing sections until the music holds fast for a two-guitar solo in the fourth minute, which then slows down and turns into a solid one-guitar solo before sliding back into the fuller version for the dynamic closing section and synth solo (90 seconds!) (9.25/10) 2. "Sailor On The Seas Of Fate" (11:46) seagulls, TD bass synth and Hammond open this slow tempo song before Arabian percussion instruments join in. At 2:25 electric guitar takes the lead, at first as if reluctantly, then with confidence. It's like I'm listening to an Arabian Santana! There is a break at 3:33 for Fender Rhodes foundation for effected vocal. TOTO-like rock theme introduced at 4:15 in lieu of a chorus. This back-and-forth goes around for two cycles until 6:50 when a flanged acoustic guitar starts doing arpeggi with wave-like cymbal play and a Fender Rhodes piano. This continues in a pretty theme until 9:30 when a nice MiniMoog solo begins to play over the vibes for the final two minutes. (21/25) 3. "Struggle To Survive" (5:01) a purely CAMEL song, even the vocals, as if it came straight off of Mirage or Moonmadness. Nice drumming. (8.5/10)

SIDE 2 4. "Atmun" (5:11) this instrumental opens as a basic, simple classic rock song until 2:00 when a nice new motif begins. There is a weird shift at 2:45--a bridge--leading to a passage with nice guitar and keys in the fourth minute. Cool final minute. (8.5/10) 5. "Embers Of A Flame" (5:00) after a brief rock opening a Fender Rhodes plays alone beneath gentle vocals. The rock-gentle sections cycle around twice before an uptempo jam section features a soloing electric guitar in the third minute. Great solos! From the guitar, MiniMoog, and then Hammond organ! (8.5/10) 6. "A Story Of Love" (6:15) opens with a full CAMEL/Latimer feel and sound. The chorus sounds like something straight off of LOS JAIVAS' Alturas de Macchu Picchu album! At 3:35 a more aggressive instrumental section begins in which the soloing electric guitar is in the lead. There is some pretty flashy lead guitar and MiniMoog exchanges before the music returns to the rock/Los Jaivas rotation for the final vocal section. (8.25/10) 7. "Paradox In A Major" (4:06) using either a different lead vocalist or different effects on the vocalist this song incorporates a fairly simple chordal structure to present a CAMEL sound palette. It's a very tight weave, almost classical in its structure, between the vocal verses. There is a very interesting two-channel (chorus?) effect being used on the electric bass over which a SANTANA-like guitar solo is being nicely performed. (9/10)

Total time 43:19

My favorite song elements are the Arabian percussion, eclectic electric guitar and keyboard voices, and the strong bass and drums. Everybody is competent and skilled, holding together the music flawlessly. Though the chordal structures are often quite simplistic, the transitions and shifts are usually quite dynamic and unexpected.

Four stars; a solid contribution to early 80s progressive rock music--from Bahrain!!!

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 Ending Themes - On The Two Deaths Of Pain Of Salvation by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover DVD/Video, 2009
3.95 | 111 ratings

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Ending Themes - On The Two Deaths Of Pain Of Salvation
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars I like this live album far more than the acclaimed "12:5" because it closely characterizes the typical output by Pain of Salvation - progressive metal in its core with various elements of alternative metal or rock. The band is in a great form, loud, energetic, giving an excellent choice of tracks from all albums and even a cover version of "Hallelujah". Rhythm section is excellent, drumming progressive and vocals top notch. The tracks from "Scarsick" sound better than on the studio album and listeners should forgive the band to try forays into disco because it belongs to the show. A highly recommended live testament of the band in their initial era.

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 Metropole Orkest: E For Orchestra by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.91 | 3 ratings

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Metropole Orkest: E For Orchestra
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

5 stars When Adrian Belew and his Power Trio created the album "e" in 2009, he expressed a desire to eventually do it with an orchestra. When the original and extremely talented line up of his Power Trio went their various ways (though Julie Slick would return as bassist when Belew expanded the Power Trio in 2019), he put that dream to a reality and in 2011, self- released the orchestral version of the suite.

This time around, Belew put his soloing guitar in front of the "Metropole Orkest" with Jules Buckley conducting this 52 member ensemble. This time around, the album would be split up into 5 distinct tracks that would easily separate the 5 suites which were still named after the first 5 letters of the alphabet.

As Belew begins playing his guitar solo pretty much the same way as the original version, you start to wonder if this guitar/orchestra combo is just going to end up being a pretentious show-off album for Belew, but when the brass echoes his initial theme, you get the feeling that this album is going to have a lot more depth than that. As the first track continues, you know it is more than just Belew repeating his parts as the orchestra tried to copy the layers of loops that accompany the original version, as the orchestral parts take over the main lines at times and at others, Belew comes to the fore, but not as just the main artist here, more as part of the orchestra, and this turns into a veritable and amazing Electric Guitar Concerto.

The music continues to be as complex as it was on the original version, but the orchestra just brings in even more atmosphere, dynamic, depth and even excitement, giving what was already an amazing performance a new life. You can hear the recurring themes that were apparent in the original version, and you know this is definitely a composed and concise work by Belew, and not just an improvised work. Interestingly enough, it still retains its King Crimson attitude with its complex arranging, and if you are familiar with the original album, then these themes will be familiar, but with the added treat of being interpreted by an orchestra. But Belew just doesn't bring in his experience with KC to this composition, now that it has the orchestra involved, you can hear his time with Frank Zappa is also quite apparent. Take a mix of both, and you will get an understanding of what this sounds like.

This album might be a bit tougher to find than the original "Power Trio" version, but being able to have both is well worth the search. If you were impressed with the original, then you should be impressed with this version also. You still get plenty of Belew's experimental style, but with the dynamic of an orchestra. You might not have the amazing work of the Slick siblings on this version, but this version doesn't take away from that, nor does it reside below that version. Both of them are great and this composition should be recognized as the masterwork that it is.

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 Out Of The Blue by ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.64 | 303 ratings

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Out Of The Blue
Electric Light Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Jochanan

3 stars After many years of avoiding ELO's production of the second half of the 70's, and rather prefering the first half with the Eldorado highlight, I finally found enough courage to go through the "sweet" disco era.

I got interested in this 2 LP album to start with. And I find the album very pleasant, listening-friendly, colourful and idea-full. It showed me nice idea- It is better to do sincere and common stuff than trying to create something sophisticated, but failing, because it is not just my true way:

There comes to me a comparison of this album with ELO2. The average length of songs on ELO2 is somwhere about 8 minutes per song (which is an utter rarity for ELO :-)), I found the album empty and rigid- Roll over Beethoven could have been done within 5 minutes IMO, avoiding boring repetions, but that's a different story. I believe that Roy Wood's departure meant death of progressivity with ELO. Trying to be proggresive for Jeff Lynne and his band was not the way. Jeff Lynne's recipe is Sweet Talking Woman, Living Thing, a little bit of Fire on High and then some Xanadu and Mr. Blue Sky.

I pricked up my ears for some Gilmourish guitar solo, for an Emersonish keyboard solo, for some improvisation and I found none. I didn't find it nowhere in ELO's production except the first album with cello solos. Eveything here is neat, yes, there are a lot of ideas and colours, but they are subtle, somehow balanced. It is like a sightseeing in a tour bus. It's comfortable. You are taken everywhere and told everything imporatnt. Everything is safe: "See, there's museum, and there's parliament, and there's the oldest bookshop in the city and see- there's city park".

So, I want to say that I enjoy the sightseeing ride, it is sincere and fresh. My favourite higlights are Sweet Talking Woman, Believe Me Now, Sweet is the Night with beautiful Jeff's background singing and Concerto for a Rainy Day for its violin parts. It's better than 3 ***, but I don't want to give it 4, I don't know, all the songs are good, but in the end, it doesn't matter if they are part of this album, or that best of, or other platinum collection cd- 3,5 is a deal.

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 Here It Is by TRILOGY album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.66 | 39 ratings

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Here It Is
Trilogy Symphonic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Instrumental symphonic prog from Germany with two keyboard players dominating. Some include Here It Is under Neo Prog for its use of very familiar ELP-, CAMEL-, and GENESIS-like structures and sounds.

SIDE 1 1. "Venice" (4:31) a mix of FOCUS and GENESIS before turning ELP at the 2:00 mark. High quality sound and musicianship. (9/10) 2. "Breakthrough" (6:04) despite the very Mike Rutherford-sounding bass play, this song draws from other bands as well as the band's own originality. Could be American band HAPPY THE MAN. (9/10) 3. "Changing Scene" (9:17) opens with some GENESIS- but more CAMEL-sounding music; it's as if one keyboard player is trying to be TONY BANKS while the other PETER BARDENS or KIT WATKINS as the bass player does his MIKE RUTHERFORD thing. A nice song with pleasant melodies and challenging time and chord shifts but, in the end, it feels like an exercise in imitation--of Genesis and Camel. (18/20)

SIDE 2 4. "Andy" (6:10) organ, cymbals, and synths open this before it turns neo-classical in a CAMEL/NEKTAR kind of way. The Hammond turns out to be the lead instrument in this ELP-like classically-influenced weave though a clavinet also plays an important roll. Some riffs and motifs are almost exact duplicates of ELP passages. The drumming sounds very much like Camel's Andy Ward. All in all this song feels more like a study of ELP. (8.75/10) 5. "Crowed" (12:42) a very CAMEL-like instrumental epic, with lots of sudden ELP-like shifts and passages with occasional TONY BANKS isms. (22.5/25) 6. "Encore" (0:33) high-energy RUSH-like outro. (4.5/5)

Total Time (with bonus material): 45:06

I really appreciate the wonderful clarity and distinctiveness of the sound engineering of this album.

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music; an excellent album that probably deserves more credit for its outright symphonic composition instead of its influences and inspirations.

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 The Geese And The Ghost by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.04 | 372 ratings

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The Geese And The Ghost
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by Psychedelic Paul

5 stars ANTHONY PHILLIPS (born 1951) is best-known as the original guitarist with GENESIS. He appeared on their first two albums "From Genesis to Revelation" (1969) and "Trespass" (1970), but decided to quit the band due to crippling bouts of stage fright when performing live. He took a long hiatus from recording music and studied classical music for awhile until 1977 when he embarked on his long and illustrious solo career with the release of "The Geese and the Ghost" album. Three further albums followed at the tail-end of the 1970's:- "Wise After the Event" (1978); "Private Parts & Pieces" (1978); and "Sides" (1979). Altogether, Anthony Phillips has recorded an incredible thirty-one albums, including eleven volumes of "Private Parts & Pieces" and four volumes of "Missing Links", consisting primarily of demos, out-takes, and previously unreleased material from his vast library of music recordings. He still continues to record to this day with his latest album "Strings of Light" released as recently as 2019. Anthony Phillips' first album "The Geese and the Ghost" is notable for including his Genesis bandmates Mike Rutherford on bass and Phil Collins on vocals on a couple of tracks, and Steve Hackett's brother John Hackett on flute. Ant Phillips played all of the guitar and keyboard parts on the album. The 2008 CD reissue included a bonus disc of unused material from the album.

The album opens with the brief prelude "Wind-Tales", featuring a light breeze of keyboards floating past the listener like a zephyr in a mellow wave of calming pastoral sound, which leads us into "Which Way the Wind Blows". This song is a gorgeous slice of melodic prog with the familiar voice of Phil Collins reminding us that this song would have fitted very nicely onto a classic Genesis album, although the music is altogether gentler and mellower than anything Genesis have ever recorded. We're travelling back in time to the royal court of Henry VIII now with "Henry: Portraits from Tudor Times", in the first of two long suites on the album. The six-piece "Henry" suite is a glorious 12-minute-long combination of gentle acoustic passages and marching battle themes and it also features a tremendously rousing chorus for the grand finale. The dynamic contrast between Ant Phillip's gentle acoustic guitar combined with his sonorous outbursts from the almighty keyboards are what really sets this long suite of music alight with passionate and powerful intensity. It's dramatic symphonic music imbued with all of the regal power and magnificent majesty of a King upon his throne. Phil Collins returns to vocal duties in a lovely duet with Vivienne McAuliffe for "God If I Saw Her Now". It's another beautiful piece of gentle melodic prog in an album that's positively overflowing with charming and enchanting English tunes.

Opening Side Two is "Chinese Mushroom Cloud" which sounds just as dramatic and doom-laden as the song title suggests. It's a short prelude featuring the rousing and resonant deep rumble of a cello, conjuring up a portentous and disturbing image of some cataclysmic disaster. This leads us into the two-part suite and title track "The Geese and the Ghost". Running at nearly sixteen minutes long, it's an epic masterpiece, combining orchestral, pastoral folk and proggy themes in a timeless timbre of tuneful melodies, which also includes some rousing grand symphonic keyboard flourishes too for our delectation and delight. We get to hear Anthony Phillip's voice for the first time on "Collections", and a very fine singer he is too. The music is a gorgeous flute and guitar melody floating on a sea of sensational strings. The final piece of music "Sleepfall: The Geese Fly West" is as gentle and peaceful as the gentlest of lullabies and it's a perfect dream-like melody to bring a marvellous and masterful album to a close.

"The Geese and the Ghost" is a timeless album full of reverberant refrains and mellifluous melodies combined together in a magnificent melange of pastoral folk, classical compositions and melodic prog symphonies. It's a superb album that should appeal equally to Genesis fans and non-Genesis fans alike. The music has been described as sounding like a "mixture of Vaughan Williams and Mike Oldfield" which sums it up rather well I think.

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 A Singles Collection - Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other  by MARILLION album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1992
2.94 | 74 ratings

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A Singles Collection - Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nş 308

'A Singles Collection', also known as 'Six Of One, Half A Dozen Of The Other', is a compilation album of Marillion and was released in 1992. As happened with their compilation 'B'Sides Themselves', 'A Singles Collection' is also a very special compilation album. If 'B'Sides Themselves' was released and only based on the B sides of their singles, taken from several singles, and put for the first time on the compact disc format as a single CD like a kind of a new studio album of the band, 'A Singles Collection' is a compilation of Marillion's A sides singles from both musical periods of the group, the Fish era and the Steve Hogarth's era, celebrating the band's ten year jubilee, between 1982 and 1992.

'A Singles Collection' includes the band's six most successful singles on Fish's era and all the six singles released on Hogarth's era, until those times. The tracks aren't ordered chronologically, but are ordered in a curious and interesting way. All the odd tracks belong to songs from Hogarth's era and all the pair tracks belong to songs from Fish's era.

'A Singles Collection' includes also two bonus tracks. Those tracks contain two new recordings of Hogarth's era, 'I Will Walk On Water' and a cover version of the Rare Bird's song, 'Sympathy'.

'A Singles Collection' has fourteen tracks. The first track 'Cover My Eyes (Pain And Heaven)' is the single version of a song released on 'Holiday's in Eden'. This is a good song that obviously calls the attention grabbers for commercial success. I've nothing against melodic tracks but this song as practically nothing to do with prog, really. The second track 'Kayleigh' is the single version of a song released on 'Misplaced Childhood'. This is maybe one of the most recognizable Marillion's tunes. It's one of their most accessible tracks too. The third track 'Easter' was released on 'Seasons End'. It's one of the most charming and beautiful songs in Marillion's catalog, with its lyrics about Ireland and its recognisable guitar playing, not to mention the brilliant guitar solo on it. The fourth track 'Warm Wet Circles' is the single version of a song released on 'Clutching At Straws'. It's a very nice track opened with soft guitar fills. It has also a great tagline melody throughout the song. This is easily an accessible song. The fifth track 'Uninvited Guest' is the single version of a song released on 'Seasons End'. This is a solid track. It has a guitar fill that can refer to their earlier albums but with different composition and nuance, especially due to the adjustment with the different voice timbre of both singers. The sixth track 'Assassing' is a remixed version of a song released on 'Fugazi'. The track is energetic and uplifting. It's a very energetic song with a touch of Islamic music, with a beautiful interlude, a good bass line and a very dynamic drumming and percussion. The seventh track 'Hooks In You' is the single version of a song released on 'Seasons End'. It's basically a straightforward rock song. The final result is a strong rock/pop effort that has held up well over time. The eighth track 'Garden Party' is a remixed version of a song released on 'Script For A Jester's Tear'. The lyrics are fantastic, very satiric, and represent one of the best Fish's lyrical performances. This song reminds me the style of Gabriel. The ninth track 'No One Can' is the single version of a song released on 'Holiday's in Eden'. It's a very good ballad with atmospheric guitars and keyboards. It's true that it's not properly prog, but it still is a good song. The tenth track 'Incommunicado' is a song released on 'Clutching At Straws'. It's an upbeat rocker of a tune led by fun synthesizers and good chorus led by Fish. The eleventh track 'Dry Land' is a song released on 'Holiday's in Eden'. This is a master example of a well crafted pop/rock ballad. This is pure beauty in both, musically as in Hogarth's crystal clear vocals. The twelfth track 'Lavender' is the single version of a song released on 'Misplaced Childhood'. It features beautiful lyrics, nice vocals and great musicianship. This is a ballad track, albeit short. The thirteenth track 'I Will Walk On Water' and the fourteenth track 'Sympathy' are both bonus tracks. Both songs have long been available only on this compilation, up to the moment that it was decided to reissue 1991's 'Holidays in Eden' album. 'I Will Walk On Water' isn't properly a great track. It's a tasteless hybrid track that sounds like everything and nothing at the same time. Although, the version of 'I Will Walk On Water' is an alternative remixed version. 'Sympathy' is an excellent cover of the Rare Bird's classic and certainly doesn't disappoint people who have the original version.

Conclusion: Despite 'B'Sides Themselves' and 'A Singles Collection' are both very special compilations, they're too different in their essence. 'B'Sides Themselves' has many different versions from the original songs released on their studio albums. 'A Singles Collection' was released with the most successful singles created by Marillion until that moment in both eras. Still, 'A Singles Collection' isn't a compilation very well representative of the best musical period of the group, especially in Fish's era. So, this isn't a good addition to any progressive collection, really. It's true that it's a good compilation with some interesting musical moments of the group but it can't replace any of the band's studio albums. The positive point of it is the confrontation between the two different music eras. Due to that, I give to it 3 stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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 The Perfect Element - Part 1 by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.23 | 1222 ratings

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The Perfect Element - Part 1
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars Pain of Salvation has now been fully embraced in their original mix of sounds and influences - alternative/prog metal and rock. The album is arguably less progressive than the previous one but is not less ambitious. "Used" is a great aperitif with volume contrasts, progressive drumming and appropriate guitar lines. The vocal is excellent and can easily take lead over all instruments - listen to the high-pitched heavy-metal like screams. "Ashes" is perhaps the most famous and romantic song by Pain of Salvation and will appeal to a lot of female proggers; however I consider "Morning of Earth" to be a tad nicer, flowing. "Idioglossia" is a heavy number reminiscent of Dream Theater. The downside is a repeated reference to "Ashes", the pros are ambitious rhythmic patterns. "Her voices" is another great creative number with oriental hints. The fact that there are more reflective, slow numbers here than on other PoS albums is confirmed by "Dedication" that has a lot of acoustic flavour and "King of loss" that is a bit too long for what it offers. Let's not forget about "Falling" that has excellent guitar soloing and synth in the background. The last, title track has the greatest flow and development. Tender guitar chords suit the gentle but massive chorus and it reminds me a bit of Devin Townsend. Overall, it is a quieter but nevertheless high quality effort.

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