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Various Artists (Label Samplers) - Cyclops Sampler 4 CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Label Samplers)


Various Genres

2.57 | 4 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This double disc sampler from the Cyclops label certainly made me feel warm and fuzzy as it reminded me of when I first got in Progressive music and searched every Prog site I could find reading reviews and looking at top 10 lists etc. This was released in 2000 and I probably picked this up a few of years after that. I will say that this is the best sampler recording that I think I have heard. In fact if I was just rating disc two I would give it 4 stars but unfortunately the first disc isn't nearly as good. Some of my favourite bands are on here though like PINEAPPLE THIEF, PARALLEL OR 90 DEGREES, SINKADUS and TWELFTH NIGHT.The Cyclops label really met a need when it opened for business in 1993, allowing Prog bands from the UK to get their albums released. Soon bands from all over the world were being signed by this label.

First up is Rob Andrews and his beautiful song "Sunlight On Leaves". A nice way to start. CITIZEN CAIN offers up "Liquid Kings" from their classic "Serpents In Camouflage" album. A definite highlight from disc one with those Gabriel-like vocals and soaring guitar leads with plenty of synths.

"Press The Flesh" from FINNEUS GUAGE's "More Once More" didn't do much for me although I recommend their other album called "One Inch Of The Fall". I quite enjoyed FLAMBOROUGH HEAD's "Shoolyard Fantasy" from their "Unspoken Whisper" album.

FRUITCAKE's is better though as we get a previously unreleased track called "On The Edge". A top three from disc one. I like these Norwegians. HAZE's "For Whom" does little for me but JUMP's live version of "Where Silver Calls" makes up for it. I like the power of this one 5 minutes in.

The other top three from disc one is Bjorne Lynne's "Shapechanger". Never heard this band before but that atmosphere and definite Swedish vibe sucked me in. Great track. Guy Manning's "Post Mortem" is laid back early with the usual strong lyrics.

MOSTLY AUTUMN ends disc one in style with the PINK FLOYD-like "The Night Sky".

Disc two starts off with another MOSTLY AUTUMN tune called "Pieces Of Love" which is pretty good. PARALLEL OR 90 DEGREES' "Encapsulated" blows it away though. It's from the "The Time Capsule" record and it is incredible.

PINEAPPLE THIEF's "Private Paradise" is from the debut but it has been re-arranged. It's the longest track on the whole recording and i'm so into it. SALEM HILL's "When" from "The Robbery Of Murder" is a good one. Emotional stuff really with male vocals.

SINKADUS' "Positivhalaren" from "Cirkus" is probably my favourite of them all on here.The mellotron, flute and chunky bass are all killer.

A couple of so-so songs from SPHERE and TRANSIENCE follow then we get TWELFTH NIGHT's "The Ceiling Speaks".Talk a bout a jolt of positive energy with this live version. Great track !

A track from VON DANIKEN is good but the two to end this are much better.VULGER UNICORN's "More Money Than I Know What To Do With" is so uplifting and catchy while KOPECKY's "Bartholomew's Kite" is another powerful instrumental but in a different way.

I would recommend this to someone just getting into Prog as a way to check out some bands, but for the majority it's not essential.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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