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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Romantic Warriors: A Progressive Music Saga CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

3.90 | 16 ratings

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4 stars Superb documentary on the contemporary progressive scene

"Romantic Warriors" is a film I jumped on the second I found out about in the forums of ProgArchives. Finally, someone took the time to recognize and document the current day progressive rock scene. As filmmakers Adele Schmidt & Josť Zegarra Holder make abundantly clear, there is a ton of great progressive music out there right now, as much as there ever was. The problem is the music business among other distribution and media issues, and the fact that so many fans of progressive rock are still captivated by the 1970s. Of course the 70s remain the zenith for many fans but the film argues we have to put away our old faves from time to time and discover the current bands pushing the boundaries.

This high quality feature length documentary features the following bands:

-Cabezas De Cera -Cheer Accident -Deluge Grander -D.F.A. -Gary Green of Gentle Giant -Karmakanic -La Maschera Di Cera -Oblivion Sun -Paul Sears of The Muffins -Phideaux -Qui -Rob Martino -Roine Stolt -Gentle Giant

All of the artists are interviewed for their thoughts on their music and on the future of the progressive scene, as well as what it means to be a band in this competitive environment. We get rare live footage of them at the various East Coast USA prog festivals. These festivals and their fans and promoters are also stars of the show, giving their insights on the music and how they fight to keep the scene alive in the age of a brain-dead media. Prog rock insiders are also interviewed like the legendary owner of Orion Studios and the guys at Cuneiform Records, among others. (Sorry to those I left out, I wasn't taking notes for this review, I was too busy jamming to live DFA!) This is a documentary and not a live concert DVD, so keep in mind the live clips are fairly short and the narrative keeps interrupting the music. The live moments are the highlight for me but there are not complete songs here. Had the DVD come with full performance clips of the songs included as extras it would have been the icing on the prog cake.

The highlight for this writer was getting intimate and close-up looks at bands I admire very much, like Dan Britton and Deluge Grander. It was fantastic to see how he put together their last album and then see it played live. Equally delicious was the chance to see live performances, albeit much too brief, by Italian gems DFA and La Maschera De Cera. The obvious joy of Cabezas De Cera was captivating as was hearing Phideaux interviewed and seeing them perform. (Phideaux, when are we going to get a high quality live DVD?) The only sad part was seeing the small turnouts for some of the prog festivals, which in a just world would be drawing more fans than Taylor Swift. Then again, the world is not just and we are lucky to have these great bands willing to go to great lengths to be there for us, in a time and place where being a prog-rock musician is not exactly lucrative.

Many documentary films have been made about the 70s giants. This one about the current scene is very special and absolutely essential viewing to anyone who loves modern progressive rock and wants some insight into how it is surviving in this age. Very highly recommended - get it here:

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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