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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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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Almost a Rockumentary on DVD, Romantic Warriors is a reportage depicting one the most lively scene, the centre of the Prog revival in the new world, the North East cost of the us, between North Carolina and Connecticut. Indeed as Zeitgeist Media implies, there is some 150 million people within a few hours' drive, and this lets whatever few progheads there are in that region within reach of each other. Over four festival are held yearly in that region, (and Montreal's FMPM within reach until recently), but in seems to point at Baltimore (and its Orion studio/club) as its gravitational centre and the creativity that comes from the different actors/players running into each other and having labels, specialised press, studios and rehearsal space at proximity. It's also pretty nice to put a face on forum names

A flew inaccuracies are spread, most notably in the maps that are developed in the first chapter, mixing Savatage, Fates Warning and Queensryche with the 70's time frame for North America and most of the list of 80's & 90's Japan groups also featured in that time frame, something so big that most expert would even qualify as "anachronologism" or the Eastern European scene's dates, Asia Minor's time frame, etc?. It's almost nitpicking, but if you're going to attempt such a history, it would be nice to be more rigorous. In the same mould, Martino's interview is maybe a bit too pedantic and not always on the spot (the computer supposedly playing mellotron, but sounding like a Hammond), but it is relatively quickly forgiven, because there are many interesting moments, including French festival footage or Japanese record stores.

One of the nice surprises is the choice of bands the documentary chose to feature, including Gentle Giant and The Muffins (to satisfy the old wavers), but Italian, Mexican, Swedish groups (can't escape the hyper-active Zuffanti and Stolt), even if understandably the majority are newer US artistes (DG's Megan's voice sounds like she's heard Dagmar Krause's style) that are equally deserving and it made me discover a few bands I won't fail to investigate further.

Obviously, the object of this DVD is to open the eyes of the outsiders of the prog current, but this will be mostly hitting the usual proghead crowd, and therefore might appear to some as a self-satisfecit, but who gives a damn, it feels good to the actors of the prog scene in question and might just be informative to other progscenes on the planet. Not essential viewing, IMHO (it's not like it's bringing something brand new to old progheads), but a pleasant and heart-warming film. Viewing Romantic Warriors almost gives you the envy to move over on the east coast and be part of the scene, even if only fitting-in as a spectator in the mostly greying beer-bellyed male audiences and become part of the Last Mohicans tribe.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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