Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Captains of Sea and War - Remote (2016)

The second album from this band from Spain.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, vocals and guitars.

I have not had the chance to get hold of their 2014 self-titled debut album. Which is a bit of a shame.

The music on this album is a mix of rock, stoner rock and post-rock. Add some psych rock too.

The music does not ebbs and flows as a much as most albums in the post-rock genre. The music is therefore more crossover to rock and stoner rock than most albums in this genre.

The guitars is the main instruments here and the band is a twin-guitars band. Two guitarists in other words.

There are only sporadic vocals here and the vocals is only used as an extra effect and instrument.

The quality of the music is decent throughout. It is an album more for the shoegazer crowd than the progressive rock crowd.

Check out this album.

2 points

 

 

 

17f - Tree Of Them (2010)

The debut album from this band from Switzerland.

17f is the brainchild of the Swiss guitarist and vocalist Frederic Merk. He had help from a drummer, bassist, keyboards player, saxophone player, synth player and several other vocalists on this album. Someone also added samples to this album.

This band has so far released five albums. The latest one was released four weeks ago.

I have only the first two albums up for reviews. The second review will follow in some days time.

The music on this forty minutes long album is a mix of eclectic prog and post-rock. 

The music is pretty dark and not particular melodic. The vocals are good and there is some avant-garde elements here too.

It is still an album with some decent ideas and songs.

As a debut album, even from some exerienced musicians, this is an acceptable debut. 

This is an album fans of eclectic prog may want to check out.

2 points

 

 

 


Monday, September 26, 2022

Porcupine Tree - Closure/Continuation (2022)

 

The 11th album from this band from Great Britain.

The band is a trio with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, synths, keyboards and vocals.

Two guests vocalists provided female vocals.

This is their long awaited comeback album. A comeback from one of the best and most selling new progressive rock bands.

The vocalist and guitarist Steven Wilson has a very successful solo career and the two other members is also keeping themselves very busy in other bands and projects. None of these three musicians needs this band. But they still released this comeback album and we are all happy with that.

The music is mostly as the DNA profile of this band. 

That means cold, modern hard progressive rock. There is some electronica here and a lot of indie rock.

The songs are good... but that is really everything to be said here about this album. There is no great music here. Neither is the music substandard. The music is still interesting and it confirms that this band is one of the best bands in the scene. Even on one of their bad days.

3 points

 

 


Crypt Sermon - The Ruins of Fading Light (2019)

The second album from this band from USA.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars and vocals.

I am not a big fan of heavy metal. In fact, I try to avoid this genre to the best of my ability. 

Their two albums was sold to me as doom metal albums. I really like doom metal. I do not review/listen a lot to doom metal though and I thought reviewing both their two albums would redress this balance.

The debut album had too much heavy metal for my liking. But I still lived in hope when I gave the follow up album my attention.

There is still a lot of heavy metal here. The balance has been nudged a lot more towards doom metal though and references like Candlemass becomes a bit more evident.

The end result is a decent enough album which does not impress me that much. Neither does it offend me.

Check out this album.

2 points



Sunday, September 25, 2022

Cry Freedom - Sunny Day (1979)

The second album from this band from Germany.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, keyboards, woodwinds and vocals.

Their debut album was pretty poor and I did not have many expectations to this album.

The music on this forty minutes long album is a mix of brass rock, krautrock, soul, rock'n'roll and blues. 

If I should choose one genre, I would put the music here in the krautrock genre.

The keyboards is pretty decent. Or make that the organ. 

The rest of the sounds and songs on this album is poor. Very poor. 

This band and their three albums, and I am not going to bother about their third and final album, is very obscure and that for a good reason. Their albums was not any good. They were not even decent.

1 point



Salva - Ghost Story (2022)

The seventh album from this band from Sweden.

The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, mandolin, guitars, accordion, keyboards and vocals.

This is a new band to me. The band has released six albums before this album dumped into my domain. Their debut album was released in 2004.

Their music on this album is a mix of Scandinavian symphonic prog and neo-prog. There is also some more than undertones of folk music here.

Most of this album is neo-prog though. One hour with neo-prog.

The vocals are good and the music is both dynamic and pretty epic too. The songs are pretty long too as three of them is between ten and fifteen minutes long. 

This is also a melodic album. It still has some intricate details and the musicians keeps the music interesting throughout this album.

The result is a revelation to me as I have not heard about this band before.

This is also a good album and one to check out.

3 points



Morse. Neal - Momentum (2012)

The 17th album from this artist from USA.

Neal Morse does the guitars, keyboards and vocals himself.

He got help from a dozen of guest who contributed with drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, flute, clarinet, strings and vocals.

His career and albums has been a mix of worship-Jesus, singer-songwriter and symphonic prog albums. Even his symphonic prog albums, solo albums, has been full of Christian lyrics. Which is fine for me as I am also (barely) tolerating lyrics about the devil.  

His symphonic prog albums is always of a high standard. Momentum is an hour long album divided into some shorter songs and a thirty-four minutes long suite which closes the album.

The music is good throughout this album. The final minutes of the World Without End is very good. There are also some more meandering pieces on this album.

The overall quality is therefore good without being impressive. Neal Morse has released better albums than this album.

3 points



Saturday, September 24, 2022

Progres 2 - Barnodaj (1971)

The debut album from this band from the Czech Republic.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of tambourine, drums, bass, guitars, claves, bonos, shaker, organ, piano, harpsichord, keyboards and vocals.

The band was helped out by a chorus, woodwinds and strings orchestra.

This is their debut album and my first ever meeting with this band. I got their six albums and reviews of the five remaining albums will follow later this fall.

All of their albums was released between 1971 and 1987. They were released behind the then Iron Curtain and the stalinist dictatorship did not approve of Western pop music. Something the band tried to play and record. This in some sub-standard record studios. The band had to make some artistic compromises to stay out of jail.... or in worst cases; avoid a lenghty stay in their occupier Sovietunion's Siberia. Not a nice place.... Not even these days. 

Their debut album is mix of beat music, folk music and some progressive rock. It feels chaotic and their version of We Can Work It Out (The Beatles classic) is not a good one.

I understand their struggle against all odds. This album is still best avoidable as the music is only half-decent.

I hope their other albums is better than this one.

1.5 points



Canvas - Digital Pigeon (2007)


The second album from this band from USA.

The band is a duo with a lineup of bass and keyboards.

They have hired in extra musicians who contributes with drums, guitars, keyboards, woodwinds, percussion and vocals.

I liked their so far last album, the 2013 album Long Way To Mars. An elegant art-rock album.

When I found this album (but I have been unable to find their debut album), I did not say no to review it.

The music on this seventy-five minutes long album is a mix of art-rock and neo-prog.

The music is pretty muscular but not heavy. 

The songs are all well crafted. The vocals is very good too and there is a lot of good details here.

This is another good album from this very undervalued band. A band who deserves a lot more attention.

3 points

 

 


Friday, September 23, 2022

Villarreal. Martin - Frozen Tears (2014)

The one and only album from this artist from Uruguay.

Martin Villareal did the acoustic guitars and keyboards here. A female vocalist and a bassist helped him out throughout the album.

Around a dozen of guests added their percussion, viola, chello, violin, piano, flute, trumpet, clarinet, female and male vocals to this album.

This is a new artist and a new album to me.

The music on this album is a mix of Mostly Autumn and some musicals like music. It is borderline progressive rock. But most of it is female vocals dominated musicals pop music. Goran Edman adds his male vocals to a couple of tracks too.

The music is not particular challenging and it feels a bit like a sugar rush. It is indeed very sweet and will melt hearts. This is off course helped out by the cover art on this Bandcamp album.

The music is by no means bad, although I have my reservations against sugar filled music as a whole. Some of the songs are rather good and some are decent. I am still not won over, though.

2.5 points

 

 


Thursday, September 22, 2022

Adventure - Tales of Belle, Part 2 (2022)

The sixth album from this band from Norway.

The band is a sextet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, flute, male and female vocals.

This album is part two of the Tales Of Belle saga. The first album was released earlier this year and that is a good album.

So here it is, # 2 of this saga.

The music follows the same theme as on the debut album. A bit dark Scandinavian symphonic prog with some folk rock influences.

The story told on this and the previous album is very dark so the gloomy mood is fitting. The music is also pretty epic and bombastic at times.

The vocals, both female and male, is good throughout.

The same also goes for the music and fans of Scandinavian symphonic prog will really enjoy this album.

Check it out.

3 points

 

 


Oldfield. Mike - Return To Ommadawn (2017)

The 27th album from this artist from United Kingdom.

Mike Oldfield played the guitars, basses, mandolin, bouzouki, banjo, grand piano, harp, spinet, Farfisa organ, synths, bodhran, glockenspiel, accordion, marimba, gong and tubular bells on this album.

Mike Olfield returned to the sound and some of the music on his classic Ommadawn album.

A welcome return to the past, indeed.

The music is instrumental and with a lot of acoustic guitars.

The music is still dynamic and epic. 

This album very much showcases what Mike Oldfield was about and his special brand of music. He was and still is a ground breaking musicians. 

I very much like this album and it is a good album indeed.

Check out this album.

This review also marks my final review of this albums as it is so far his latest album. I do not think I will bother about the upcoming 50 years jubilee version of Tubular Bells.

I deeply respect Mike Oldfield as a human being (his self biography is worth reading) and an artist. He is one of a kind, indeed. We are lucky to have artists and musicians like Mike Oldfield.

3 points

 

 


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Like Wendy - The Fisher (2020)

The ninth album from this band from the Netherlands.

The band is reduced to a one-man-band with Bert Heinen doing guitars, keyboards, bass, vocals and programmed drums.

A guest is adding trumpet.

I have not been overly happy about the last couple of Like Wendy albums. Being a one-man-band has it's limits and those are pretty much in evidence on these albums.

We are still somewhere between neo-prog and rock/pop on this album. The title track is split in two parts and is together half an hour long. There are also some shorter tracks here.

The music is not overly technical. The mellotron sound is a nice surprise and a plus in my book/review.

The songs are - again - somewhere between decent and good. More good than decent though and this album is a bit better than the two previous albums.

Check out this band and album.

3 points




Greenough. Ned - Photography (2022)


The fifth album from this artist from USA.

Ned Greenough plays programmed drums, bass, piano, keyboards, guitars and does the vocals himself.

He got some help on guitars and vocals.

I take it that Ned Greenough is happy to be labeled as a singer/songwriter in the New York & surrounding area tradition. His homeplace Syracuse is in the greater New York area.

His genre is also art rock with some neo-prog influences.

There is a lot of piano and vocals only on this album.

The songs are decent enough on this seventy minutes long album. Some of them are a bit substandard.

Both Ned's and the female vocals are good. 

This is a typical Born In The USA album with big, bold sound and New York written all over it. It is also an album well worth checking out and I guess the same can be said about his back catalogue. The back catalogue, and indeed this album, is available through Bandcamp.

2.5 points

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Miller. Rick - Belief in the Machine (2020)

The 14th album from this artist from Canada.

Rick Miller did the guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals here.

He got help from four guests who added their drums, percussion, guitars, flute and cello.

Rick Miller has now settled into his own brand of progressive rock.

His brand is a mix of The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd and Genesis. This blend has been added a personal touch by Rick Miller.

The vocals is good and the musicians does a good job on not so complicated technical music. The music is pastoral and mid-paced. 

This type of music depends on good songs and Rick Miller has this time delivered fifty minutes of good music. 

This album is his best album for a while. There are some really good stuff here.

This is one of his best albums. 

3 points



Osiris - Osiris (1982)

The debut album from this band from Bahrain.

The band was a seven piece big band with a lineup of drums, percussion, vibes, bass, guitars, piano, organ, minimoog, keyboards, synths and vocals.

This band has released five albums so far. The last one in 2020 and I reviewed it for # 2 of this blog. I quite liked that album.

The band is a neo-prog band. They are the only neo-prog band from that emirate/country and probably the only prog band from the Arabic Peninsula.

There is some more than subtle Arabian influences in their take on neo-prog. But they are not dominating.

Their take on neo-prog is also rooted in the 1970s arena rock and rock sound & scene. The music is also somewhat poppy.

The sound and vocals is good.

The music is not up to scratch yet. As a debut album and the first album from Bahrain in this genre, it is an acceptable debut album and it is well worth checking out.

2.5 points



Monday, September 19, 2022

Canis Major - Butterfly Queen (1980)

The one and only album from this band from Great Britain.

The band was a sextet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, tambourine, synths, piano and vocals.

I thought this was a progressive rock band so I got their album.

I was wrong.

The band gives us forty minutes of a mix of post-punk and power pop. This comes included with some female vocals.

The music is pretty hard but still has some pop tunes sensibilities.

The vocals is horrendous bad and the same goes for the music.

This album is a turkey and it has dawned on me why this band only released this album. Quality is the word that springs to mind.

1 point

 

 


Vent D'Est - Vent D'Est (1980)

The one and only album from this band from France.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, piano, guitar synths, keyboards, synths and vocals.

This band released this album and then broke up. 

Which is a bit of a shame..... although their music was by 1980 a bit dated.

We are listening to French melodic symphonic prog here. Ange and Mona Lisa is two good references. 

Vent D'Est is a bit more poppy and a bit west-coast orientated than those two bands. Some of the vocals here are in French and some in English.

The music has a French feel and sound, though.

The quality is also good throughout. A bit more symphonic prog would have made it better. Nevertheless, this is an album well worth checking out.

3 points



Subspace Radio - Aika (2022)

The third album from this band from Finland.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, keyboards, synths, programming and vocals.

The band had some help from guests who provided trumpet and female vocals.

This band debuted in 2004 with a neo-prog album. Their second album followed in 2007 and then there was a fifteen years long break.

There is still a lot of neo-prog in their music. The band has broadened out a lot and has also incorporated heavy metal, progressive metal and some hard rock in their music. 

There is clear Dream Theater, Rush and Marillion references in their music.

The vocals is good. Both the regular vocals and the guest vocals. The music is very heavy at times. It is also neo-prog at other times.

This fifty minutes long album has a lot to offer to everyone. 

The quality is good throughout this album and this is an album well worth checking out.

3 points




Sunday, September 18, 2022

Crypt Sermon - Out Of The Garden (2015)

The debut album from this band from USA.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars and vocals.

This band was sold to me as a progressive doom metal band. So I got their two albums.

Hmmm..... Progressive doom metal.... That is not what the speakers tells me.

The album starts out as a pretty much pure heavy metal album. Black Sabbath, the Dio era is what I get here.

The band takes a more doom metal direction after the first two songs. 

The last final half gives us some melodic doom metal.

The quality is pretty decent and this is by no means the worst doom metal album I have ever had the joy of encountering. But the music is still too standard for my liking.

If doom metal is your thing, this album may be something for you.

2 points



Saturday, September 17, 2022

Cry Freedom - Volcano (1976)

The debut album from this band from Germany.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, organ, piano, synths, saxophones and vocals.

This band released three albums between 1976 and 1980 before they split up. I got two of them for review.

The band plays a mix of fusion and blues. There is also some progressive rock here too. Eloy springs to mind.

There is a lot of saxophones in the music and not so much vocals. The vocals are good, though.

The music is not overly exciting as it is pretty much run-of-the-mill fusion. The music is not particular edgy. Neither does it has many interesting details.

Nevertheless, this is a decent album from a long forgotten band. 

Check it out.

2 points



Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate - The Confidence Trick (2022)

The sixth album from this band from Great Britain.

The band is a trio with a lineup of programming, bass, guitars, slide guitar, chapman stick, flutes, keyboards, synths and vocals.

I have reviewed a couple of their previous albums and have found them both bewildering and interesting. 

The band name means they do not take themselves too serious. It is British humour after all.

The music is taken seriously and the music is not a joke. It is still all over the place.

Take eclectic prog, add a lot of quirky melodies, add some symphonic prog, some Morrissey like britpop, a lot of electronica and some jazz. 

All this on this seventy minutes long album.

The band and this album is bending and then smashing genres, left right and centre. 

I am a bit bewildered. But the music is good amid the confusion this band creates in my head.

Check out this album and this band.

3 points



Friday, September 16, 2022

Enid. The - Dust (2016)

The 22nd album from this band from England.

The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, keyboards, vocoder and vocals.

The band had returned to a more rock sound on the previous album The Bridge.

That is very much what they continued on with on Dust. 

Joe Payne is again on the vocals. The music is again a mix of musicals, pop and rock. Grown up rock is perhaps the right label.

The music is really melodic and with some classical music sensibilities.

The music is decent enough and will win the band some new fans. 

I am not that impressed by this album. Nevertheless, it is an album well worth checking out.

2 points



Dream Theater - Octavarium (2005)

The eight album from this band from USA.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, lap steel guitar, keyboards, synths and vocals.

The band was supported by a classical orchestra and a string ensemble.

The band was by now one of the biggest bands in the broad church genre called "heavy metal". They were and still is the biggest band in progressive metal. They have also spawned lots of copycat bands.

Something I can understand as their music is the winning formula.

On this album, that is a mix of symphonic prog and progressive metal. Mostly the latter one, it has to be said.

The vocals is great and the band also delivers a lot of very interesting details.

This album is seventy-five minutes and not everything here pass the test of time... or my test.

This is not of their better albums. It is still a good album and one to check out.

3 points



Thursday, September 15, 2022

Capra. Marcello - Fili Del Tempo (2011)

   

The sixth album from this artist from Italy.

Marcello Capra does the acoustic guitars here and he is helped out by a keyboards player and a female vocalist.

I was not impressed by his 1978 debut album Aria Mediterranea. Acoustic guitars is OK but not as the only instrument on an album.

I am glad to report that this album also includes some good female vocals and some keyboards.

Most of the music is acoustic guitars and they are OK.

The vocal tracks are the best ones here as the acoustic tracks are barely decent.

This is barely a decent album which is elevated by some keyboards moods backing up the vocals and the guitars.

I am still not a fan.

2 points



Vanessa - Black And White (1976)

The second album from this band from Norway.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, saxophones, piano, synths and organ.

This album and indeed band came to my attention when this album was suggested re-pressed on CD as a part of the Norwegian classic albums series. 

I got their two albums and reviewed their 1975 debut album City Lips last week.

The music here is jazz. Jazz with some rock intertwined and that is why the band labeled it as jazz-rock. 

The music is dominated by saxophones. There is long solos here. 

The synths, organ and piano is working on the rhythms and in the background.

Some of the music is not too dissimilar to The Soft Machine, albums four to seven. Black And White is more based on avant-garde jazz than the debut album City Lips.

The result is a decent album which will appeal more to jazz fans than progheads.

Check out this band.

2 points

 

 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Lastryko - Sesje (2022)

The fourth album from this band from Poland.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars and keyboards.

This Bandcamp album showed up in my inbox one beautiful day. Something I am grateful for.

Lastryko is a space rock/post-rock band and their music is instrumental.

This thirty-five minutes long album gives us a mix of spaced out rock and the post-rock sensibilites. 

That means the music is ebbing and flowing a bit.

Most of this album is not that exciting. It is too standard and run-of-the-mill space rock.

Nevertheless, this is a decent album and worth checking out.

2 points

 

 


Oldfield.Mike - Man On The Rocks (2014)

The 26th album from this artist from England.

Mike Oldfield does the guitars, bass, keyboards and some backing vocals here.

He has got help from numerous people who contributes with drums, bass, low whistle, violin, guitars, piano, organ, backing vocals and lead vocals.

After the previous albums, I was expecting another new-age album. I put on this album and got a shock. So much that I thought it was the wrong record and wrong artist. I checked ProgArchives and.... This is a Mike Oldfield album.

The music here is pop-rock with proper songs. That is everything Mike Oldfield has not been on previous albums.

The vocals from Luke Spiller dominates the album and Mike Oldfield's contributions are some good guitars. He has also written these songs and by then revealed some hidden talents.

The result is a pretty good album with some good and some decent songs. It is also a major surprise of an album.

I quite like this album but not all songs are good enough. Hence....

2.5 points



Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Like Wendy - This Beautiful Lie (2019)

The eight album from this band from The Netherlands.

Like Wendy is now Bert Heinen on bass, guitars, keyboards, programmed drums and vocals.

Like Wendy started out as a classic Dutch neo-prog band. Then the band changed course...

The new course is a mix of neo-prog and a lot of pop-rock.

The reason may be that this is now a one-man-band. 

There is not much technical prowesses displayed on this fifty minutes long album. 

The vocals and the guitar harmonies are good. The songs not so good.

This album tends to sound tedious throughout.

It is a decent album though. It is not the best Like Wendy album out there.

2 points




RanestRane - Apocalypse Now (2022)

The seventh album from this band from Italy.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals.

I very much liked their first two albums before I dropped off the band and bypassed their next albums. Something I now regret.

RanestRane is an Italian band in the RPI tradition. 

The band celebrates this classic Vietnam war movie on this seventy-five minutes long album.

The music is pretty much classic RPI, but with a more contemporary sound. The vocals is very good and their take on Italian progressive rock is pretty pastoral at times. 

The music is melodic and not the usual epics I somehow associate this band with.

The end result is a good album and a logic addition to anyone's collection of RPI albums. 

Check out this album.

3 points



Monday, September 12, 2022

Nexus - Detrás Del Umbral (1999)

The debut album from this band from Argentina.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, organs, synths and vocals.

I have reviewed their last three albums. In this process, I had forgotten to review their first three albums and this is something I am now doing this month.

The band plays symphonic prog. That is symphonic prog with female Spanish vocals and in the vein of Yes and ELP.

The music is very complex at times. It is not overly bombastic and epic. 

The thirteeen songs on this one hour and fifteen minutes long album is a mix of short songs and longer ones. The longer ones is clocking in at just over ten minutes. The shortest one is just over two minutes long. 

The quality is good throughout this album. It is not an eyebrows raising album. But there is some very clever pieces here.

I have always liked Nexus and this debut album is one of the reasons why I rate this band.

3 points



Sunday, September 11, 2022

Pastoral - En El Hospicio (1975)

The second album from this band from Argentina.

The band was a duo with two persons on guitars and vocals.

They were helped out on drums, bass, guitars, flutes and some ethnic instruments.

Their debut album was a decent enough album. 

Their music is simply vocals based folk rock.

Everything here is based on the vocals as there is little else than vocals based melodies. The vocals is supplemented by acoustic guitars and some flutes.

The music is very pastoral indeed.

The quality is again decent. 

Folk rock fans should get this album and explore this band. It is one of the better bands from this part of the world.

2 points



Saturday, September 10, 2022

Capra. Marcello - Aria Mediterranea (1978)


The debut album from this guitarist from Italy.

Marcello Capra did all the guitars on this album. He was helped out on xylophone and percussion by some guests.

Marcello Capra was a guitarist in the Italian band Procession before he started out on his own and released some solo albums. The last one around 2011. I also got that for review.

The music on this thirty-seven minutes long album is acoustic folk rock. 

No less and no more.

His guitars are pretty technical and his proficient guitar playing is the only saving grace on this album.

The music is half-decent and just that.

I am not won over by this album. Those who likes acoustic guitars may want to check out this album.

1.5 points



Vanessa - City Lips (1975)

The debut album from this band from Norway.

The band was a sextet with a lineup of drums, percussion, congas, bass, guitars, strings, woodwinds, flute, organ and electric piano.

This band released two albums if I am not much mistaken. Both of them will hopefully be re-released on CD before the end of the year in the Norske Klassikere (Norwegian Classic Albums) series later this year.

I got both their albums for review this autumn.

Vanessa gives us some jazzy fusion on this album. Saxophones, guitars and organs is the leading instruments. Their brand of fusion is slightly avant-garde and not so easy listening. The music is still pretty funky.

A good reference is The Soft Machine and their fourth to seven albums.

The music is decent enough and by no means a waste of time. This obscure album deserves some more attention. Attention now given.

2 points




 


Friday, September 9, 2022

Riis. Bjørn - Everything to Everyone (2022)

The fourth album from this artist from Norway.

Bjorn Riis did the bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals here.

He got help from a quartet who did drums, bass, piano and female vocals.

This member of Airbag has also a prolific solo career. A career probably bigger than the one of Airbag.

Bjorn Riis has moved a bit more towards mainstream rock on his solo albums.

This is very much in evidence on this fifty minutes long album.

There is a lot of Gilmour era Pink Floyd references in his music on this album. That aside, the music is straddling the neo-prog genre and the commercial rock genre.

There is a lot of guitars here and the music is pretty rocking throughout.

There is no great pieces of music here though. There is not many good pieces of music either.

The quality is therefore somewhere between decent and good. This is not his best album, I am afraid.

2.5 points



Groundhogs - Back Against the Wall (1987)

The 12th album from this band from United Kingdom.

The band was a trio with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars and vocals.

The band has by now reverted  back to their roots after some albums where they were making a detour into progressive rock.

Tony McPhee is still the guitarist and vocalist. He is the dominating figure in the band and that by some country miles.

The music is blues-rock and power trio rock.

No less and no more.

The music is decent enough but I get the feeling that the band was just threading water by now. The result is still a decent album from a band I have become pretty fond of.

I will bypass their final two albums, though.

Check out this band and in particular their early albums.

2 points



Thursday, September 8, 2022

Lindberg. Jonas - Miles from Nowhere (2022)

The second album from this artist from Sweden.

Jonas Lindberg did the bass, guitars, keyboards and some of the vocals.

He had help from some guests who contributed with drums, percussion, guitars and vocals. Both male and female vocals.

Three other guests added drums and guitar solos. Roine Stolt being one of them.

I was impressed by his debut album and was looking forward to this album.

Jonas Lindberg gives us well over an hour of symphonic Swedish prog. 

The music is epic and melodic. The Kaipa and The Flower Kings inspirations and influences is still there. In particular the Kaipa influences.

The music is also complex and at times very bombastic. The mix of female and male vocals is great.

The end result is a great album and one that has surprised me. This will be one of the best albums of the year when we do this year's accounts early next year.

4 points



Solace Supplice - Liturgies contemporaines (2022)

The debut album from this band from France.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, violin, keyboards and vocals.

A guest provided saxophone on one track.

I had heard a lot of positive things about this album before I got it. It was with a lot of excitement I put on this album for the first time.

The music is a mix of Magnesis, Porcupine Tree, Rush and Ange. 

The music is pretty muscular but also pretty complex. It is also melodic and it is fronted by some very good French vocals.

The music on this fifty minutes long album is also very elegant and it makes the listener sit up and listen.

The result is a very good album and one of the better debut albums this year.

Check out this album.

3.5 points



Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Morse. Neal - Testimony 2 (2011)

The 16th album from this artist from USA.

Neal Morse did the percussion, guitars, keyboards and vocals himself.

He got help from numerous guests who provided drums, bass, woodwinds, strings, guitars and vocals.

Neal Morse had by now released a Transatlantic album and a couple of other albums together with other prog rock musicians.

It was a motivated Neal Morse who started the Testimony 2 project.

We get the usual US symphonic prog on this album. A genre Neal Morse fully masters and where he is the unofficial king.

The sound and music is the usual one.

The quality is a lot better on Testimony 2 than on the previous album. Neal Morse has arrived again and is reclaiming his position with this album.

I am not won over by everything here. Nevertheless, this is a very good album and well worth checking out.

3.5 points



Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Like Wendy - Tales from Moonlit Bay (2000)

The fourth album from this band from The Netherlands.

The band is a duo with a lineup of drums, guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals.

I have not been very impressed by their previous three albums. The band has released eight albums if I am not wrong and I got two more of them to review. So I am cracking on with the task at hand.

The band plays symphonic neo-prog on this album. 

There is some long epics here and most of the songs are pretty long.

There is a lot of clever details here although some of the songs and epics is not cutting the mustard. 

The references to Marillion, the Fish era also comes thick and fast. In particular Marillion's first two albums.

The vocals on this album is not good and is my main gripe about this album. An album which should win favour with most fans of epic progressive rock. I have my reservations...

2.5 points

 

 

Monday, September 5, 2022

Cakewalk - Transfixed (2013)

The debut album from this band from Norway.

The band was a trio with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, synths and tapes.

This band, who has been flying under my radar up to now, has released three album through the Hubro Records label. I only got Transfixed.

The music is somewhere between jazz and eclectic prog. There is a lot of King Crimson influences here.

There is also a lot of electronica here and the music is twisted and quirky.

Eclectic is the best way to describe this music. It is also melodic, to my surprise.

Not all is good here. But as a debut album, this is a more than acceptable forty minutes long album. It is also very much in the same genre as the other Norwegian jazz/eclectic prog bands.

Check out this album.

2.5 points



Sunday, September 4, 2022

Vangough - Warpaint (2017)

The fifth and so far last album from this band from USA.

The band was a trio with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars and vocals.

This band has been described as Fates Warning without keyboards. I guess that is a fair description of this band. I have reviewed a couple of their album without really becoming impressed.

The band plays guitars dominated progressive metal.

There is a lot of djent in their music and the vocals is really muscular.

The music is indeed hard and harsh. There is some post-metal stuff here who makes the music a bit interesting.

The songs are decent enough but they do not convince me that this is a good album.

This is therefore a decent album and just that.

2 points



Fearful Symmetry - The Difficult Second (2022)

The second album from this band from United Kingdom.

Fearful Symmetry is Suzi James on percussion, bass, oud, mandolin, guitars, e bow, keyboards and backing vocals.

Two guests added drums and vocals.

I liked their 2019 debut album Louder Than Words. Nice progressive rock. 

Fearful Symmetry gives us one hour of progressive rock with a lot of pop and folk music influences. Both folk music from England, Ireland, Greece and the Middle East.

Mostly Autumn is a good reference. The band is in that genre.

Fearful Symmetry has a very good vocalists in Yael Shotts and Suzi James. 

The music is pretty muscular at times and pretty poppy at times. The Greece and the Middle East influences comes to the fore on a couple of the tracks. That adds spice and quality to this album.

The quality is indeed good throughout and this band is a new star in the British progressive rock scene. Let us hope they will release more albums.

3 points



 

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Groundhogs - Razor's Edge (1985)

The 11th album from this band from United Kingdom.

The band was a trio on this album with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars and vocals.

The band was still lead by Tony McPhee as it had been from the debut album. He is the band.

The band had by now reverted back to being a power trio blues-rock band.

The song on this forty minutes long album is really rocking.

Tony McPhee is really carrying this album with his very good guitars and good vocals.

His guitars is a joy to behold on these sub-standard songs.

The result is a decent enough album. It is not up to the usual standards set by this band. Nevertheless, this is not bad at all.

2 points



Lindberg. Jonas - Pathfinder (2016)


 The debut album from this artist from Sweden.

Jonas Lindberg does the moog, mellotron, bass, keyboards, mandolin and some vocals on this album.

He had help from some guests who contributed with drums, percussion, guitars, organ, keyboards and vocals. Both male and female vocals.

Jonas Lindberg has released two albums. The last one a couple of months ago and my review of that album will follow next week. 

To my annoyance, this album went under my radar back in 2016. I am not a fan of singer-songwriter albums. This album is far from that genre.

Jonas Lindberg leads us nicely into the Scandinavian symphonic prog forest. The Flower Kings and in particular; Kaipa is two very good references here.

The usual Swedish folk music references are also here.

The melodies are epic and the vocals is good. Both the male and the female vocals.

A couple of better tracks would have benefited this album. It is still a very good album and I am really looking forward to sinking my ears and brain into his new album.

3.5 points



Friday, September 2, 2022

Splink - Kozmosis (2022)

The debut album from this band from England.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and violin.

This is a long awaited album, I have heard from the band and someone else. They have played Glastonbury Psych fest but nothing but singles has been released from them.

It was about time to release an album.... Although "only" a Bandcamp album.

The music is psych rock with some Jean Luc Ponty jazz influences and a lot of progressive rock influences. Add some Mahavishnu Orchestra influences too and you get this album.

There is no vocals here. Nevertheless, the violin has taken the vocals job and does it very well. 

This three quarters of an hour long album starts with giving me the vow factor before it proceeds on to a bit gentler pace.

The music is both melodic and full of very interesting details. The album is a bit of throwback to the 1970s and a look forward to the coming years.

Please tell me that this band will release more albums and in the same vein.

This is indeed a very good album.

3.5 points




Miller. Rick - Delusional (2018)

The 13th album from this artist from Canada.

Rick Miller does the guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals himself.

He got help from some guests who added percussion, cello, drums, flute and guitars.

Rick Miller has settled into his corner of the progressive rock, art rock and adult rock scene.

The music is a bit ambient rock with some americana and lots of melancholy. 

There is no fireworks in his music in other words.

It feels like Rick has been repeating himself on the last 2-3 albums. There is no excitement here.

The songs are decent to good. But there is nothing else here.

A bit surprises and a detour from the safe and well trodden path would have benefited this album.

2.5 points

 

 


Thursday, September 1, 2022

Oldfield. Mike - Music of the Spheres (2008)

The 25th album from this artist from England.

Mike Oldfield does the acoustic guitars here.

He got help from a conductor, Karl Jenkins (Soft Machine), a full symphony orchestra, a choir, a piano player and a soprano opera vocalist.

I have massive respect for Mike Oldfield and appreciate his free spirit. His albums has been a lot hit and miss. Mostly misses and I have reviewed them all and will complete this task later this fall.

The music is fully orchestral neo-classical music. 

A lot of choral choir and opera vocals. That backed by this symphony orchestra.

Some of this is quite ok and nice to my ears. 

I am by no means won over by this album. It is still a decent enough album and well worth checking out.

2 points



Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Lugnet - Lugnet (2016)

The debut album from this band from Sweden.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, organ, guitars and vocals.

I have no idea why I got this album but it is now up for review.

The band has released at least one more albums and is still alive. They are one of the many bands in the 1970s retro hard-rock scene.

Take Led Zeppelin and crossbreed them with Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. This is when you end up with Lugnet. Both the album and the band.

The vocals is good and very fitting this music. Music which is really hard throughout without being heavy metal.

This is in short through and through hard rock and the quality is somewhere between decent and good. Some good songs would had made a lot of difference. They are not here. 

Check out this band if retro hard rock is your thing.

2.5 points

 

 


Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Great Wide Nothing - Hymns for Hungry Spirits, # I(2020)

The second album from this band from USA.

The band was a trio with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals.

Four guests contributed with saxophones, trumpet and female vocals.

I pretty much liked their 2019 debut album The View From Olympus. A pretty good US neo-prog album.

The band continues in the same vein on the follow up album.

US neo-prog with a lot of Rush and some americana influences.

The music is melodic and not particular technical or quirky.

There is indeed some Pink Floyd influences on this forty minutes long album too.

The vocals is good and the band does a good job on some songs which is letting the band down.

The quality is therefore somewhere between decent and good. I am not won over.

2.5 points