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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 23/10/2018

Ian (Tapfret)
silly Puppy (Mike)
Ian (Nogbad_The_Bad)
Mike (TCat)
Simon (Mascodagama)
Kevin (Magnum Vaeltaja)

Eclectic Prog Top Albums


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

4.63 | 4140 ratings
IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING
King Crimson
4.55 | 3284 ratings
RED
King Crimson
4.48 | 2022 ratings
GODBLUFF
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.42 | 2818 ratings
LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC
King Crimson
4.43 | 2142 ratings
PAWN HEARTS
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.34 | 1634 ratings
IN A GLASS HOUSE
Gentle Giant
4.31 | 1610 ratings
H TO HE, WHO AM THE ONLY ONE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.31 | 1545 ratings
THE POWER AND THE GLORY
Gentle Giant
4.30 | 1907 ratings
OCTOPUS
Gentle Giant
4.29 | 1476 ratings
STILL LIFE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.31 | 845 ratings
THE SILENT CORNER AND THE EMPTY STAGE
Hammill, Peter
4.28 | 1461 ratings
FREE HAND
Gentle Giant
4.26 | 1483 ratings
ACQUIRING THE TASTE
Gentle Giant
4.23 | 1380 ratings
VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE
Hackett, Steve
4.26 | 555 ratings
ANABELAS
Bubu
4.24 | 477 ratings
BANTAM TO BEHEMOTH
Birds And Buildings
4.25 | 399 ratings
MEMENTO Z BANALNYM TRYPTYKIEM
SBB
4.18 | 706 ratings
SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC - PART TWO
Beardfish
4.26 | 294 ratings
DECALOGUE OF DARKNESS
Daal
4.12 | 2104 ratings
LIZARD
King Crimson

Eclectic Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

MASAL
Prat, Jean-Paul
INTERPOSE+
Interpose+
MAREK GRECHUTA & ANAWA: KOROWÓD
Grechuta, Marek
KRYWAN, KRYWAN
Skaldowie

Latest Eclectic Prog Music Reviews


 In A Glass House by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.34 | 1634 ratings

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In A Glass House
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by progtime1234567

5 stars After listening to just this album and Octopus, I already consider myself a Gentle Giant fan. The album is a great record and should be heard by all fans of progressive rock. I would put this record on the shelf right next to Red by King Crimson and Close to the edge by Yes. Gentle Giant has a unique sound that is only comparable to King Crimson's sound in the 1970's. The album is very complex and all the songs sound unique and different from each other. The only only other Gentle Giant album that does this is Octopus.

This album makes me want to explore the territory that Gentle Giant has in the music world. The album is a masterpiece of prog rock music and should be heard by all prog fans.

 Grinilla by PEGGY'S LEG album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.58 | 3 ratings

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Grinilla
Peggy's Leg Eclectic Prog

Review by Psychedelic Paul

5 stars PEGGY'S LEG are a relatively recent addition to ProgArchives. We're travelling across the Irish Sea to meet them as they hail from Dublin in the Emerald Isle. Peggy's Leg were a short-lived band who released just one album "Grinilla" in 1973, which was apparently recorded in the space of just 24 hours. The bizarre album cover depicts a gorilla with a big cheesy grin (hence "Grin-illa"), apparently lumbering across the surface of the Moon in an astronaut's outfit with a big banana on its back, which might give some indication of the unique music contained within. The music of Peggy's Leg has sometimes been described as classically- inspired Symphonic Rock, so let's have a listen to "Grinilla" and find out for ourselves.

We're travelling back in time for "History Tells" where the enigmatic musical mystery of Peggy's Leg is gradually unveiled, just like an Irish limerick. Their music is hard to describe, so, somewhat inevitably, the band have found themselves in the Eclectic Prog section of ProgArchives, a prog sub-genre that's reserved for bands who don't fit conveniently into one particular genre of music. The opening track is a curious mixture of Jazz-Rock combined with acoustic Folk and subtle shades of Psychedelic Rock thrown into the mix too. One thing's for sure though, it's a recipe for success and the hairy "Grinilla" pictured on the album cover deserves a whole bunch of bananas because "History Tells" us that this terrific opening song is top banana. It gets even better too with the second song "Think for Yourself", a very commercially appealing and joyfully optimistic tune that's loaded with passionate intensity and which is very reminiscent of the Fab Four. Yes, there are definite Beatles influences to be heard in this charming acoustic melody which features some lovely harmonising too, in true Beatle-esque fashion. If all was fair in love and war and the harsh music business - where many dreams of stardom have been shattered - this potential hit record could have gone storming up the charts and reached the number one spot, but sadly, it wasn't to be as the song was never released as a single - not even in their native Ireland - as far as can be gathered. Such are the vagaries of the cynical music industry though, where so many budding new bands have withered on the vine, and Peggy's Leg unfortunately never managed to gain the widespread recognition that they deserved, either at home or across the Irish Sea in Great Britain. Anyway, after that minor digression, it's time for our third song "Variations for Huxley", a reference to the English writer Aldous Huxley (1894-1964) who was best-known for his book "Brave New World", about a dystopian futuristic World State - a bit like the European Union, only on a much larger scale. "Variations for Huxley" is a lovely 10-minute-long acoustic Folk Rock number bathed in warm golden guitar strings. This gorgeous piece of music begins as a gentle instrumental, with delicately understated guitar and percussion, carrying the listener along on a mellow wave of blissful harmony and melody. The upwelling music slowly gathers in pace and intensity, shifting into high gear when the singer and electric guitarist emerge to give the glowing performances of a lifetime in a gloriously uplifting display of majestic epic splendour. The grand finale to this outstanding song is simply sublime and we still have Side Two to look forward to yet.

We're Bach for the classically-inspired "Into the Nightmare", which opens deceptively-gently as a Jazz-Rock number with a good helping of classical Bach-style influences to be heard too. The clue to the music contained within is in the title though, because the song suddenly veers off the beaten track totally without warning and takes us on a storming nightmare ride of pounding machine-gun percussion and wild psychedelic guitar riffing in a sonorous explosion of raw power and energy. This is music that's meant to be played LOUD! The crazy off-the-rails nightmare train ride ends just as suddenly as it began as "Into the Nightmare" returns to the dream-like state of peaceful pastures for the gentle bucolic ending to this superb three- piece suite. This stunning album is no horrid nightmare though - it's turning out to be a heavenly dream-come-true album of classic Progressive Rock. We're on the move again with "Just Another Journey", where Peggy's Leg get to firmly establish their classical and jazz credentials in a glorious musical maelstrom of dynamic energy and sound. Again, the diverse music can't be easily pigeon-holed as it combines Jazz, Classical and Prog-Rock in equal measure in an intoxicating mixture that makes for great music. In fact, It's hard to compare this one-of-a-kind band with any other band as they've artfully managed to develop their own unique style, which isn't easy to do in the huge music industry. The sixth and final piece of music on the album will be instantly recognisable because it's none other than Aram Khachaturian's "Sabre Dance", although you've NEVER heard it played quite like this before. This storming number barrels along relentlessly at 100 miles per hour with all of the power of a runaway steam locomotive. You really have to hear it to believe it!

Peggy's Leg have concocted a delicious Irish stew of Classical, Folk, Jazz and Prog-Rock in this stunning one-off album. This merry band of Irishmen could never be accused of aping the music of other bands, because "Grinilla" is a unique rarity in the progosphere which sounds like nothing you've ever heard before, and probably like nothing you'll ever hear in the future either. There's no monkeying around here, because the six outstanding pieces of music on this extraordinary album are all King Kong giants! This Eclectic Prog masterpiece will surely leave any ardent prog lover grinning like a Cheshire Cat, or indeed, grinning like a "Grinilla" upon hearing this outstanding album for the first time. Give the "Grinilla" a banana. He deserves it!

 Cien wielkiej góry by BUDKA SUFLERA album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.77 | 58 ratings

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Cien wielkiej góry
Budka Suflera Eclectic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Budka Suflera may be more famous for their later rock/pop records but they had good prog-rock moments on their debut album. Not as ambitious and focused as SBB, Collegium Musicum or Blue Effect, Budka Suflera retained quite raw sound in 1975 unlike many more polished prog-rock bands in Western Europe, Italy and Sweden at that time.

Vocals are quite expressive and original sung in Polish. You will hear some rock, hard-rock and even light soul shades in the singer's vocal.

Instrumentally, there is not very much complexity but I would highlight drums and keyboards that some more progressive than other instruments. The guitar drives the sound more into hard rock/hard prog direction.

The weakness of this album is the average compositional power and incoherence since the band tried to try multiple directions.

Bonus tracks are surprisingly good, enjoy the last track "Najdluzsa droga", which is one of the most progressive tracks on the album supported by saxophone, clavinet and epic motive.

Another highlight is the epic 19-minute track with shifts in the speed and I love the synth solo in the middle.

Recommended to all that like exploring prog from less traditional countries.

 Anabelas by BUBU album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.26 | 555 ratings

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Anabelas
Bubu Eclectic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars Bubu and Banana from Argentina share the honour for having arguably the worst name for a progressive rock band.

Bubu's Anabelas is one of the most unique albums to come out of Argentinian progressive rock movement and still quite original at international level, too.

The strongest influence is born by King Crimson from years 72-74, there are Argentinian folk traits with violin and flute, dissonant and avantgarde moments full of sophistication. Some moments in the first track I could even attribute to Anglagard, in the flute and dissonant parts.

The only three tracks are go so well together after each other that you won't notice the end and start of each other.

Most of music is instrumental, thankfully, for the vocal is pretty average.

The first, the longest track, is the best one and very well developed. Chorals remind me of another Argentinian band, MIA.

The third track is played at fast pace for its first half before getting into a more reflective sung parts followed by instrumental cresciendo.

A very good and packed album although not representative of Argentinian 70's prog-rock.

 The Missing Piece by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.97 | 542 ratings

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The Missing Piece
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars You can't say they didn't warn us. On Gentle Giant's Interview - the studio album before this one - the band showed signs of wanting to experiment with musical sounds beyond the scope of the prog spheres they'd comprehensively conquered on their run of albums from the self-titled debut to Free Hand. (Give It Back, with its hints of reggae influences, was perhaps the biggest clue there).

No, 1977's The Missing Piece was not, in retrospect, such a bolt from the blue as you might think - but even so, fans may be forgiven for being shocked by the comprehensive gear shift presented here. There is a logic to the album's structure which the CD format rather obscures; in the original vinyl configuration, the last four songs - prog pieces which sit comfortably next to earlier material, if a bit simplified compared to their most complex experiments - form the second side, whilst the first side is dedicated to the band's experiments in different musical genres and approaches. This division of two halves almost makes this an implicit concept album, or at the very least follows a theme - a balance between on the one hand exploring new territory and on the other developing familiar turf.

The punkish Betcha Thought We Couldn't Do It would be the most radical departure here, but overall there's hints of influences being picked up from the rising New Wave which doubtless, after further consideration, eventually yield the sound of Civilian, the band's final studio album.

In a way, Gentle Giant were once again ahead of the curve here - most of the prog groups who would eventually adopt a more commercial sound in the face of the coming decade were still playing in broadly their old styles in 1977. (Consider that this would be when Yes were Going For the One and Steve Hackett was still in Genesis.) It's no surprise that several band members would eventually land on their feet in record company jobs cultivating new generations of talent, because here they've clearly spotted the way the wind was blowing well before many others did.

The fact that they don't seem to have a strong idea here of which direction to go in next may justifiably be considered the first sign that the band was in its waning days. Had they chosen one distinctive direction to go in and committed to it at this point, then perhaps they'd have weathered the coming storm.

As it is, The Missing Piece is, true to its cover art, much like a collection of spare jigsaw pieces - each of which offers a snippet of an interesting-looking picture in its own right, but none of which fit together to come to a cohesive whole as an album. Nonetheless, some of those individual pieces are pretty fine. The second side of the album is pretty solid, whilst the experiments of the first part will grow on you if you allow them to. It wasn't enough to save the day in the long run - but perhaps it was good enough to keep the Giant ploughing on just a bit longer.

 One by CIRKUS album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.50 | 45 ratings

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One
Cirkus Eclectic Prog

Review by Psychedelic Paul

5 stars CIRKUS were a quintet of Geordies from Sunderland in the north-east of England. Cirkus' opening act in their big top performance came in 1974 with their "One" album. Another two decades would pass by before Cirkus re-emerged in the arena with their second album "Two - The Global Cut" in 1994, followed by a third album "III - Pantomyme" in 1998. Cirkus weren't quite finished yet though because they had one more final performance left in their repertoire with "IV - The Blue Star", released as recently as 2017. It's the opening 1974 act we're focusing on here though, which was re-issued on CD in 2015 with two bonus tracks added to the original nine songs on the album.

Cirkus have conjured up an incredible acrobatic performance of a lifetime with the exhilarating opening number "You Are". It's a booming and bombastic explosion of powerful prog that's unashamedly pompous and anthemic. The magnificent music features a rousing female chorus, repeatedly chanting "You Are" in perfect harmony over this fully orchestrated symphonic epic. There's also the gorgeous sound of a Mellotron to be heard underlaying the music, which adds to the sense of symphonic spendour and glorious majesty. If this bravura opening performance is anything to go by, then we could be in for a rather special treat indeed in the big top arena of Cirkus. The next spectacular act is "Seasons", a marvellous Mellotron melody balancing on a delicate high-wire of lush strings which wash over the listener in a tremendous rush of permanent waves of symphonic pleasure and delight. "Seasons" is a haunting, melancholic refrain that's in the same stellar league as the Mellotron classic "Epitaph" by King Crimson, with the Cirkus singer blessed with the same rich honeyed tones as the gifted and much- missed vocalist Greg Lake. "Seasons" is a gorgeous sunburst of dazzling anthemic power and epic grandeur that's guaranteed to brighten up the dullest of days. It's back to "April '73" now for our third Cirkus act. "April '73" is a very commercially appealing song with definite smash hit potential, if only it had been given the chance to grace the airwaves by being released as a single. There are obvious parallels to be drawn with Jeff Lynne's Electric Light Orchestra in this sensational string symphony of sound. The splendid year of 1973 is generally recognised as being the ultimate high-point of Progressive Rock, and you can hear why when you listen to the superb Cirkus performance here. Our fourth act "Song for Tavish" is a wondrous story of love and romance, where the lovelorn singer goes into full heart-wrenching emotional overdrive in this powerful symphonic ballad. He's able to conjure up powerful emotions and tug at the heart-strings in the same way as Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, and this song does indeed sound somewhat reminiscent of their classic "Nights in White Satin". Just as Barclay James Harvest recorded their rousing and anthemic masterpiece "Poor Man's Moody Blues", this Cirkus song represents a less well-known but equally good resemblance to the classic Moody Blues epic. Save a prayer now, because "A Prayer" is the title of the stirring paean which brings Side One to a thrilling climax. This powerfully impassioned, devotional song opens deceptively gently as a lilting Folk Rock refrain, but then blossoms out magnificently into a majestic symphony of epic proportions with truly awesome power and magnificent grandeur. WoW!! This is a rousing and stupendous celebratory song of praise and worship, the likes of which you may never have heard before. The rather mundane "Songs of Praise" on Sunday television will never be the same again!

It's time for some "Brotherly Love" now, a storm and thunder hard rocker that's the heaviest song so far on the album. It's always a delicate balancing act in juggling the right combination of "hard" and "soft" songs for an album, but Cirkus have mastered the art to perfection in this sensational album of thrilling trapeze performance acts/songs. We're getting all nostalgic now with "Those Were The Days", and the early seventies were indeed the glorious days when prog ruled the music world. This invigorating and uplifting explosion of psychedelic Prog-Rock will take you right back to those wonderful glamour and glitz days of Afghan coats, flared jeans, platform boots and Iron Butterfly flowers and beads. This is a song that's positively bursting at the seams with flower-power love and a desperate yearning for magical times gone by. It's only when you look back, you realise what a wonderful time the seventies were for music lovers, despite what some cynical music journos might say, but then, what do they know!? Enough reminiscing, it's time to meet "Jenny", a charming Pop song to add to Cirkus' stunning repertoire of great songs. This beautifully-produced melody is given the full symphony of strings treatment, guaranteed to carry you blissfully away on a #9 Dream to Seventh Heaven. The final song is simply called "Title Track" divided into "i. Breach" and "ii. Ad Infinitum". Cirkus fully intended to make this a truly unforgettable grand symphonic epic to linger in the memory, forever and ever, amen, and they've achieved that with spectacular style and panache. This has to be one of the most marvellous symphonic epics EVER to close an album!

Cirkus have given the big top performance of a lifetime with this "One" outstanding album!

 Side Three by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.00 | 80 ratings

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Side Three
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Adrian Belew continued on his quartet of albums released between 2005-06 with 'Side Three' on which he continues to explore his eclectic and experimental side quite well. This is the Belew we all hoped would develop after years with King Crimson. While he took the sound and expanded on it, KC would choose a different path that Fripp said Belew would not be right for. So he started generating his own music by forming his own Power Trio, working with Nine Inch Nails, developing his FLUX apps, and so on. These 'Side' albums were the bridge to these new projects (along with the amazing 'e' album that would come later).

As on the other albums in the series, Belew provides most all of the instrumentation, but, as on 'Side One', he also utilizes many of his friends to help bring in more depth to the tracks. The album starts with 'Troubles', a strong, strutting track with a catchy hook bringing in the listener, and then an almost rap-like preaching spoken word section from 'The Prophet Omega'. Sounds weird, but it works, in a funny kind of way. This track not only shows Belew's creativity to make a catchy song, but also highlights his sense of humor. 'Incomplete Indifference' goes for the funky, guitar scratchy vibe while Belew does some spoken word 'poetry' himself, again another catchy strut-style rhythm brings the listener in. Belew later sings, and includes his low and heavy voice in a sing-song style that we have heard previously in King Crimson and Zappa tracks, again utilizing a playful feel to describe someone's woes with technology. Great stuff.

'Water Turns to Wine' brings in his fellow Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp playing a flute guitar. That most definitely has to be a Fripp invention. This one is more experimental, but still maintains some accessibility and is surprisingly smooth and mellow. It's a nice sound and even with the unique sounds here, it still is easy to digest even from the first listen, and, of course, Fripp amazes. 'Crunk' is a short track with a heavy beat and crazy Belew guitar antics. 'Drive' is a lovely, atmospheric and almost ambient track that is in a more experimental style, with even more guitar tricks. 'Cinemusic' is another short track that starts with a chord drone, then slips into music-box and noisy weirdness. Cool.

Now Belew brings back Les Claypool and Danny Carey (they were both guests on 'Side One') for the next two tracks. Starting with 'Whatever', the three musicians establish a funky, yet quirky groove. Belew does a sort of call and answer style vocal with one voice trades back and forth with layered voices, almost like a conversation of sorts while the crazy guitar/bass/drum trio continues to play noise funk behind it all. The trio continues on the next track with 'Men in Helicopters v4.0' which uses a moderate march rhythm accented by strings and Belew's singing. This one is totally unexpected considering the musicians involved, and it turns out to be a nice surprise.

'Beat Box Car' is a nod back to 'Side One's' 'Beat Box Guitar'. An automatic percussion and guitar loop provides the foundation while synths and Belew's guitar spread out a smorgasbord of sound to a catchy beat and a sudden appearance on the second half or Mel Collins playing a sax that matches the wild carefree attitude of the track. There is a short track called 'Truth Is' which features an acoustic sounding guitar that has a sort of 'Clavier' sound to it, some flute by Collins, and some deep lyrics. So much packed into a short track. Then along comes 'The Red Bull Rides a Boomerang Across the Blue Constellation', which is an interesting, experimental soundscape of beastly noises, African drums looping a rhythm and electronic and organic textures and noises. It is experimental, yet strangely engaging noise rock. The last track here is '&', again a nod back to 'Side One' as the first track there was 'Ampersand'. It takes the rock n roll riff from 'Ampersand' and twists it all around, to make it a new version, even including Belew's lyrics. It's an alternate version, but so different form the original that it almost makes it new. It makes a nice bookend track that surrounds the entire project nicely. Yes there is a 'Side Four', but it is a live album that takes tracks from this series of albums and also brings in some King Crimson tracks and older Belew tracks, all performed by 'Adrian Belew's Power Trio', the original one with the extremely talented Slick siblings. That album is also worth checking out.

So, 'Side Three' in my opinion, is the strongest of the series with a great variety of songs that somehow still come out more cohesive than ever. This time the album manages to make it to 40 minutes, which is another big plus, and the songs seem more complete and finished that ever, even the short tracks. Where 'Side One' was overall, a louder album heavy on guitar and KC styles, 'Side Two' showed the more electronic version of Belew as he messes around with newer sounds and 'Radiohead' style tracks, 'Side Three' on the other hand, brings it all together, mostly coming out less complex, but still eclectic, but more on the mellower side, I suppose. Don't let that scare you away though, this is still the strongest (an most creative) collection of the three. This series of albums is a definite must for those that want to hear Belew at his best, but also for those that love that era of King Crimson. All of the albums ended up with 4-star ratings, even though Side Three is the best of them. The main reason is because of them being so brief. Together, however, the series makes up a masterpiece and is one example where the whole is greater than the separate parts.

 Side Two by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.50 | 46 ratings

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Side Two
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars "Side Two" of Adrian Belew's series of albums after his last stint with King Crimson sees Belew handling everything on his own. All instruments and vocals are performed by him alone. Also, where "Side One" concentrated more on the raw energy of actual instruments and very little electronic enhancement, "Side Two" sees more use of electronic use, though there is still a generous helping of Belew's tasty guitar antics. The lyrics are not as extensive as on the previous album either, the words are fewer and written more in a "Haiku" style.

"Dead Dog on Asphalt" starts it off, and it also reflects the artwork on the cover which was painted by Belew from inspiration he had after accidentally hitting a dog while driving his truck. The sound is less chaotic than the first album, but no less experimental and not anymore accessible. The tone is a bit frosty, still sounding much like the work he did with King Crimson, and even, at times, sounds a bit like Radiohead. The first track has some great guitar work pared with keys and electronics, but "I Wish I Knew" is much darker (strangely enough) and heavier on the use of loops and etc. "Face to Face" once again pushes the tempo up, but staying with a more automatic tempo, more straightforward than on the previous album, this track could have almost got away with being radio friendly, but it's still catchy and interesting, plus, never fear, Belew's guitar work is still here.

As on the previous album, the tracks are not very long, and even though there are 10 tracks this time, the overall timing is the same. "Asleep" takes the prize for being the longest track, but stays safely within the 5 minute boundary. This track is based around a sneaky, repeating bass line, but is surrounded by Belew's unique phrasing on his guitar, adding a bit of glitchy-ness to the sound his "bow-like" playing. The last half of this track slips into a bit of experimentalism, losing the beat in the middle for a while as there is some free-form atmospherics, but then later returning to the repeating riff and vocals, and this time what sounds like some violin. "Sex Nerve" goes for a smoother sound with more repeated electronic effects, but still leaving time for freedom on the guitar, and somewhat sultry singing and lyrics. "Then What" goes full-on "Kid A" mode with crazy electronics and tortured guitar. Being a Radiohead fan, I mean this as a complete compliment. It doesn't sound so much like he is trying to copy their sound, it sounds like he helped them invent it.

"Quicksand" sounds similar somewhat to King Crimson's "Man with an Open Heart", but with a bit more of the electronics added in among swashes of guitar. "I Know Now" is a short, somewhat harsh sounding guitar free-for-all played over programmed percussion. "Happiness" is another short track that sounds like bright happy instruments that have been warped by an evil entity with dissonant music box sounds and such. The album ends with "Sunlight" with more Radiohead style percussion and loops overlayed with a more complex improvisation, but light and airy sounding. Vocals start after a minute.

This album is a bit more cohesive then "Side One" that was pretty strong up until the last few tracks and then lost focus. It isn't as loud and chaotic as the first one, and that might disappoint some people, but it is still pretty good, and it stays more even throughout. However, its main fault is the same as "Side One", its too short. As with that album, I also say with this one, the two should have been put together into one album, and then it would have been worth a 5 star rating. Alone, however, also like its predecessor, it is 4 stars.

 Side One by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.53 | 61 ratings

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Side One
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Adrian Belew took a break from his solo career after 1996 to continue his work with King Crimson. However, after KC released 'Power to Believe', that band went on hiatus again, and Belew went back to releasing solo albums. His 13th solo album was released in 2005 and was the first part of a trilogy of albums, this one entitled 'Side One'. This is the album that is notorious for featuring Les Claypool and Danny Carey (Tool) on the first 3 tracks. The placement of these tracks as the first three make for an easy transition from Belew's King Crimson days as the carry the same style of loud, almost abstract playing, very eclectic with heavy grooves.

The beginning trio of tracks start with 'Ampersand', a hard and heavy, complex rocker with the involvement of top-notch musicians. There is a rock n roll foundation that definitely stands out even with the heavy guitar, bass and drum layers, and layered vocals on top of it all. The ending is quite chaotic and noisy. 'Writing on the Wall' gets funky and effectively combines the weirdness and brashness of Belew's guitar with the punch of Claypool's bass and Carey's solid, complex drumming. It makes you wish this was a supergroup, but alas, the lineup only lasts for 1/3 of the album. The track is crazy, cool and tasty. 'Matchless Man' ends this dream trio with Carey mellowing out using a tabla, Belew making his guitar sound almost violin-like, and Claypool adding an almost jazz-like bass. Mysterious and a bit bizarre, very KC-like.

The question is, can the rest of the album live up to the supergroup feel provided on the first 3 tracks? 'Madness' follows with Belew unleashing his mean and heavy guitar sounds while he provides his own bass and drums this time on this instrumental. The track takes part of its inspiration from Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian with its complex instrumental lines, noise and dissonance. The rhythm is provided by the slow and steady pounding of a solid, moderate beat, chunky bass and angry guitar. The longest track on the album, it almost reaches the 7 minute mark. Belew proves he can be a supergroup all by himself on this sonic jam. 'Walk Around the World' uses Belew's unique combination of his vocals, funky guitar and complex sounds. The one man band is helped out on this one by Gary Tussing on cello and Peter Hyrka on violin, but Belew provides everything else. The sudden addition of strong bass is a welcome sound to keep the track fresh. 'Beat Box Guitar' is the last of the tracks making up the middle third of the album. This track was nominated for a Grammy for 'Best Rock Instrumental Performance' in 2005, but lost to Les Paul and Friends. This track is a cool, effects-heavy track with a nice accessible beat, record static backing up snappy guitar riffs and effects and tinny percussion until the last section where the drums become fuller and the guitar bursts with personality. It is quite a brilliant piece of work.

The last third of the album is by far the shortest third with three tracks that average under two minutes each. 'Under the Radar' is a neat, little atmospheric track with a psychedelic sounding vocal melody, 'Elephants' starts with the BBC announcer Ian Wallace, and then Belew using his guitar to imitate an angry elephant and some spoken word field recording peppered among the plodding sounds, and the 'Pause' ends the album with spooky sounding effects followed by some violin/guitar playing, then fading.

The last three tracks are okay, but almost seem to be tacked on to the end of the album in order to make it reach the 33 minute mark so that it could be considered an album, not an EP. This is the biggest fault of the album, as up to track 7, it sounds very much like a 5 star album, but then the short experimental tracks don't really fit in with the rest of the album making it feel like a bad extension. The album is too short as a result of this. It feels like a strong album and then is let down by the short, experimental ending tracks. It still comes out as a 4 star album, however, but maybe Belew should have combined 'Side One' and 'Side Two' to make one album.

 Jester by MACHIAVEL album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.77 | 98 ratings

BUY
Jester
Machiavel Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Belgian band Machiavel had debuted exhibiting influences from many, many bands including Supertramp, Nektar, The Eloy, Thin Lizzy, and David Bowie, to name just a few, but within the songs and instrumental sound choices of this album, Jester, one can hear the new sounds and styles used by Tony Banks and Steve Hackett on the GENESIS albums A Trick of The Tale and Wind and Wuthering, which illustrates just how quickly these sounds and styles were affecting the music of other bands at that time. The opener, "Wisdom," "Moments," Sparkling Jaw," and the ten- minute epic, "Rock, Sea and Tree" all show the mark Genesis had made.

1. "Wisdom" (6:00) if Robert Plant sang for VDGG. (9/10)

2. "Sparkling Jaw" (7:00) some Pink Floydishness here before the Eurobeats begin. Finishes with a second half of the bouncy keyboardiness of a SUPERTRAMP song ("Lady" or "Long Way Home"). (8.75/15)

3. "Moments" (3:17) 12-strings and passionate multi-voiced MARTIN COCKERHAM (SPIROGYRA)-like vocals give this one a pastoral Prog Folk sound and feel. (9/10)

4. "In The Reign Of Queen Pollution" (6:56) thicker chords and another impassioned vocal give the first half of this song a kin of Uriah Heep or Nektar sound and feel, then it goes Camel and Supertramp with more Roye Albrighton- like singing. (12.75/15)

5. "The Jester" (5:20) venturing into the realm of jazz-pop before going full on DAVID BOWIE Ziggy Stardust. Yet another fall back into a SUPERTRAMP-like electric piano stutter-step though it sounds a lot more like ELTON JOHN's "Saturday Night's All Right for Fighting" before a very early-GENESIS-like instrumental passage. (9/10)

6. "Mister Street Fair" (7:55) sounds a lot like QUEEN's "Killer Queen" until the "do you hear?" vocal rondo after which it becomes its own dramatic delivery mechanism. The speed up at the end of the fourth minute is a diversion for the multi-thread carnivalesque weave that follows in the fifth. I hear so many sounds from other songs in this weave--all so disparate yet making it so interesting--the Fender Rhodes keyboard is playing a variant of the arpeggio base of KING HARVEST's "Dancing in the Moonlight" before turning into SUPERTRAMP, the guitar and vocalist are playing melody lines from The MARSHALL TUCKER BAND's "Can't You See," and then it all goes into SUPERTRAMP "Dreamer" extended outro. Intersting mélange. (12.75/15)

7. "Rock, Sea, And Tree" (9:52) opens with a vocal sounding like GREG LAKE being supported by gently played Fender Rhodes and mosquito synth flying around in the soundscape. The vocalist changes and we get into more early DAVID BOWIE territory--though some NEKTAR Recycled can also be heard. The piano player likes that constant bounce so much he should have been a showtune accompanist. I love the bluesy fifth and sixth minutes (after the bouncy piano leaves). At the end of the seventh minute things turn GENESIS--very "Get 'em Out by Friday"-ish. (17/20)

Total time 46:20

The band has effectively incorporated a lot of borrowed sounds--including some of Genesis's new sounds--into a grand and surprisingly sophisticated potpourri of art-rock, bubble gum prog.

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of eclectic progressive art rock music.

Data cached

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
ALICE'S MIRROR Italy
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
ANAKDOTA Israel
ANANE Indonesia
APERCO Israel
COSTE APETREA Sweden
APPLE BELLS Poland
ARBATEL Mexico
ARDO DOMBEC Germany
AREKNAMÉS Italy
ARMADA United Kingdom
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
AXON-NEURON United States
BABA YOGA Italy
BAD ALCHEMY United States
VLADIMIR BADIROV Uzbekistan
BAG France
DAVID BAGSBY United States
BAKU LLAMA United States
FRANCK BALESTRACCI France
BARBARO Hungary
ERIK BARON & D-ZAKORD France
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
BIOCORD Ukraine
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
ARNAUD BUKWALD France
C & K VOCAL Czech Republic
CABEZAS DE CERA Mexico
CABINETS OF CURIOSITY United States
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
EL CIRCULO DE WILLIS Spain
CIRCUS Switzerland
CIRKUS United Kingdom
THE LES CLAYPOOL FROG BRIGADE United States
THE CLAYPOOL LENNON DELIRIUM United States
COLONEL CLAYPOOL'S BUCKET OF BERNIE BRAINS United States
LES CLAYPOOL United States
BARRY CLEVELAND United States
CLOUDS ON STRINGS United States
CMU United Kingdom
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
DIZZY MYSTICS Canada
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
ECHOTEST United States
ECLECTIC MAYBE BAND Belgium
EDENSONG United States
EFECTO Chile
EL EFECTO Brazil
EKSEPTION Netherlands
ELECTRIC MUD Germany
ELEKTRYK BESTIA United States
EMMETT ELVIN United Kingdom
EMERGENCY EXIT France
EMPATHI Thailand
EMPTY SPACE ORCHESTRA United States
EPIDERMIS Germany
ERE G Canada
ESPERANTO Multi-National
ESTHEMA United States
ET CETERA Canada
EVELINE'S DUST Italy
EXCESSIVE VISAGE Germany
EXCLUSIVE RAJA France
EXPERIMENTAL Chile
EXPERIMENTAL QUINTET Romania
LOS EXPLORADORES Norway
FAMILY United Kingdom
FANTASIA Finland
FERVENT SEND Multi-National
FETUS MAXIMUS Finland
OLIVIER FEUILLERAT France
FIFTH SPECIES United States
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
FUZZ PUDDLE United States
THE GAK OMEK United States
GALAAD Switzerland
GARDENIA Argentina
GARGAMEL Norway
GAYLORD United States
GECKO'S TEAR Italy
RON GEESIN United Kingdom
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GEPH United States
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JANE GETTER United States
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KRIS GIETKOWSKI Poland
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GNIDROLOG United Kingdom
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JEAN-PHILIPPE GOUDE France
THE GOURISHANKAR Russia
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SÉBASTIEN GRAMOND France
THE GRAND ASTORIA Russia
GRATTO United States
THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH United Kingdom
MAREK GRECHUTA Poland
GREYLYNG United States
GRIOT Portugal
GROOVECTOR Finland
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GUERNICA Japan
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HAIKARA Finland
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HALF PAST FOUR Canada
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PETER HAMMILL United Kingdom
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HAPPY THE MAN United States
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HOME United Kingdom
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ICED INK United States
ICHTHYANDER DAD'S ONLY DOLPHIN Ukraine
IKARUS Germany
ILLŔCHIME QUARTET Italy
ILLUSION United Kingdom
IN ABSTRACKTO Mexico
INFINIEN United States
INISTEKAR Canada
INNER LIGHT ORCHESTRA Finland
INTERFACE Japan
INTERPOSE+ Japan
THE INVINCIBLE CZARS United States
ISKANDER Germany
ISLAND Switzerland
IT United States
IT'S THE END Norway
IX Venezuela
IXT ADUX United States
JANOS VÁRGA PROJECT Hungary
JAPANSKI PREMIJERI Croatia
JEAVESTONE Finland
JOY UNLIMITED Germany
JULIAN'S TREATMENT United Kingdom
JUNE CLEAVER AND THE STEAK KNIVES United States
KARMABLUE Italy
KATAYA Finland
KEOR France
KHARMINA BURANNA Peru
KIDS EAT CRAYONS Canada
KING CRIMSON United Kingdom
KLOTET Sweden
KOIAK Chile
KOLORS OF ZOUND Austria
KOMARA Multi-National
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
THE LIGHT IN THE OCEAN United States
BJORN J:SON LINDH Sweden
LIZARD Poland
LOBSTER NEWBERG United States
LOCOMOTIV GT Hungary
THE LONG HELLO United Kingdom
LOST KITE Sweden
LUARVIK LUARVIK Estonia
LUCIFER WAS Norway
LUCY Brazil
MA BANLIEUE FLASQUE France
MACHIAVEL Belgium
MAD FELLAZ Italy
MAELSTROM Canada
MAGICAL PLANETS United States
MAHOGANY FROG Canada
MAJOR PARKINSON Norway
MAKAJODAMA Sweden
MAKKIWHIPDIES United States
MAMMUT Germany
MAN ON FIRE United States
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MANNING United Kingdom
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KIMIO MIZUTANI Japan
MOJO POJO Venezuela
MOONPARTICLE Multi-National
MORAINE United States
EDUARDO MORENO Spain
MÖRGLBL France
STEVE MORSE BAND United States
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MOTORPSYCHO Norway
MOUTH Germany
MR. EUPHORIA United States
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DOMINIK MÜLLER Germany
MUSICA FICTA Israel
N.Y.X Italy
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NARR France
THE NATURAL MYSTIC Italy
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NECROMONKEY Sweden
NEMO France
NEMO France
NÉODYME Canada
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NEUTRONS United Kingdom
NEWCROSS United States
NICE BEAVER Netherlands
CZESŁAW NIEMEN Poland
NIL France
NOT A GOOD SIGN Italy
NOVA Finland
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ODD JOHN HAWKINS Puerto Rico
ODYSSEE Germany
RYO OKUMOTO Japan
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ORDER OF THE LIVING Finland
ORGIYA PRAVEDNIKOV Russia
ORIGINS United States
ORNE Finland
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PANDORA SNAIL Russia
HET PANDORRA ENSEMBLE Netherlands
PANGÉE Canada
PEANUT BRITTLE SATELLITE United States
PEGGY'S LEG Ireland
THE PENGUIN CAFE ORCHESTRA United Kingdom
PENTWATER United States
THE PEROTIC THEATRE Germany
PHARNAL France
PHILHARMONIE France
PINGVINORKESTERN Sweden
BRUNO PITCH France
THE PITTS MINNEMANN PROJECT United States
PIXIE NINJA Norway
PLAMP Switzerland
PLAT DU JOUR France
PLATURNO Chile
POETICA IN SILENTIO Netherlands
LAURI PORRA Finland
VYACHESLAV POTAPOV Kazakhstan
JEAN-PAUL PRAT France
PRAXIS Mexico
PRAZSKY VYBER Czech Republic
PROCOSMIAN FANNYFIDDLERS Norway
PROFIL Germany
PROFUSION Italy
PROGRES 2 Czech Republic
PROMETHEAN Finland
PROTOFONIA Brazil
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
ROZMAINSKY & MIKHAYLOV PROJECT Russia
ANDRES RUIZ Argentina
THE RUNNING MAN United Kingdom
SACCHARINE TRUST United States
SAHARA Germany
SANHEDRIN Israel
SARCOPHAGUS NOW Sweden
SBB Poland
LUCA SCHERANI Italy
SCHIZOFRANTIK Germany
SCYTHE Germany
THE SEA WITHIN Multi-National
SEAMUS France
THE SEASON STANDARD Germany
SENOGUL Spain
SEVEN IMPALE Norway
SFILTROM Slovenia
SFINX Romania
SHAMBLEMATHS Norway
SHESHET Israel
SHINSEKAI Japan
SILENT GRACE Ukraine
SINATLIS TSELITSADI (THE LIGHT YEAR) Georgia
RIKARD SJÖBLOM Sweden
SKALDOWIE Poland
SKE Italy
JÓZEF SKRZEK Poland
SKY United Kingdom
SLEEPY PEOPLE United Kingdom
JULIE SLICK United States
MALCOLM SMITH United States
SIGMUND SNOPEK III United States
SOLAR WIND Israel
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
SPROINGG Germany
SQUINTALOO Germany
STA IMA? Croatia
STAR PERIOD STAR United States
STELLA LEE JONES Japan
STICK MEN United States
STIMPY LOCKJAW United States
JEREMY STORCH United States
STORM CORROSION Multi-National
STRINGPURÉE BAND Finland
JAMES SUDAKOW United States
SUMO ELEVATOR Israel
SUPERLUMINAL PACHYDERM United States
SWIFAN EOLH & THE MUDRA CHOIR Norway
SYLBAT France
SYLVIA BLISS United States
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TAAL France
TAGYERIT United States
THE TANGENT Multi-National
TÁNGER Argentina
TCP United States
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TELLAH Brazil
TERRENO BALDIO Brazil
THEY United States
THIEVES' KITCHEN United Kingdom
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TIME United Kingdom
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TMN Switzerland
TOM'S HANK United States
TOOTSCATS Russia
TOWNSCREAM Hungary
TRAFFIC United Kingdom
I TRENI ALL'ALBA Italy
TRIODE France
TRIPCYCLE Serbia
TROYA Germany
TU United States
TULLY Australia
THE TWO HEADED EMPEROR United Kingdom
UK United Kingdom
UMLÄUT Australia
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD United States
URBAN NOMAD Canada
UTOPIA United States
VĆRKET Denmark
VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR United Kingdom
LAURENCE VANAY France
JULIUS VANDERBILT United Kingdom
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THE VIRIDIAN GROOVE Venezuela
VISITOR 2035 United Kingdom
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WOOLLY WOLSTENHOLME'S MAESTOSO United Kingdom
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THE WORM OUROBOROS Belarus
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XL Finland
YEAR ONE United States
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