Friday, May 20, 2022

Knekklectric - Alt blir verre (2022)

The third album from this Norwegian band.

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

I have never ever heard about this band before this album was given to me as a promo album. I thought it was their debut album. Their Bandcamp page says their debut album was released in 2014 and their second album was released in 2018. Albums I will have a look for now.

The reason is that the band plays some form for progressive rock.

Take early symphonic prog, add some fusion, Gentle Giant and a lot of Caravan like Canterbury prog.  

Both the music and the lyric is very quirky and nerdy.

This is music played by nerds and for nerds. 

The music has a good sound with some half-acoustic guitars and some subtle organs too. The vocals is really cool too.

I am really surprised by this album. It could had been better as it falls a bit short when it comes to really great melodies.

This is a good to very good album, well worth checking out.

3 points




Thursday, May 19, 2022

Long Distance Calling - Avoid the Light (2009)

The second album from this band from Germany.

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

They had help from some friends who added voices.

Long Distance Calling has established themselves as one of the better post-rock bands in the scene. 

Avoid The Light is almost one hour full of post metal and post rock. The album starts with some really hard post metal with some stoner influences and continues down the same path.

There is not much light on this album.

There is some vocals at the middle of this album and the album becomes a bit softer at the end.

The result is somewhere between decent and good.

I still got some more of their albums to review and I am looking forward to that.

2.5 points

 

 


Kanoi - Cosmosis (2012)

The second album from this one man band from Austria.

Benjamin Kantschieder did the bass, guitars and drums on his own. That and vocals.

This is the first really one man Kanoi album. This is where Benjamin does everything.

The first part of the album contains a pretty good song and some structured music.

Not of all this structured music is good though and the more ambient stuff does not feels right on this album.

If Benjamin had shortened this album by half of the running time, this album would had been far better. As it is now, it is barely a decent album.

This album runs the turkey yard too close for my liking. Hence.....

1.5 points

 

 


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Tales Of A Liquid Dawn - Morning (2022)

The debut album from this one man band from England.

The band is Anthony Yip on all instruments. That means bass, guitars and drums. Some may be programmed.

The music is post metal with a lot of post-rock and doom.

These forty-five minutes is mostly filled with guitars and is ticking over quite nicely.

This type of metal is a bit of an acquired taste. 

The music is short on variations and the album feels too long. 

A bit more quality next time would be nice.

2 points

 

 


Ryliemn - The Assembly (2014)

The one and only album from this US one man band.

Ryliemn is Rylie Nelson on vocals, guitars and probably a lot of programmed instruments.

He got some help from two guest vocalists.

This is another one man and his computers album released on Bandcamp.

That is not a bad thing and I think albums like this deserve a review in this blog.

The music is a mix of college rock, grunge, art-rock and rock. There is some metal and neo-prog too here. 

The guitars and vocals are pretty good and the dominating instruments here.

The songs are pretty long and the artist has ambitions with this album.

The songs are pretty decent but does not really impress. This is another album I fear has drowned among many similar sounding, but better albums.

2 points



Tuesday, May 17, 2022

ZeptoSegundo - Memorias de Tiempos Perdidos (2015)

The one and only album from this band from Costa Rica.

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

This album was released though Bandcamp and I got it some years ago. I still got hundreds of albums for review and the time has now come to this album.

The band is from Latin America and that shows in their music.

The music is indeed a mix of Latin American rock, jazz, Spanish prog and rock.

Spanish prog is probably the label their music deserve.

The album is clocking in at fifty-two minutes and the music is pretty cool with some good vocals and guitars.

The quality is not really here though and that is my gripe with this album.

It is a decent enough album but nothing more than that.

2 points

 

  

Project Creation - Floating World (2005)

The debut album from this band from Portugal.

The band/project is a nine piece big band with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, sitar, cello, flute, saxophone, synths and vocals.

This band/project released two albums before they gave up.

Hugo Flores was and still is an active musician in the prog rock scene in Portugal. This is one of his creations. 

The band/project is labeled as progressive metal. That is not the whole truth.

These seventy minutes gives us prog metal, musicals, goth, symphonic prog and eclectic prog. All of this pretty bombastic and epic.

The vocals are both male and female.

The music is epic but does not have many good pieces or melodies.

The quality is somewhere between decent and good. 

If this sounds good to you, check out this album.

2.5 points

 

 

 


Monday, May 16, 2022

Piramide Di Sangue. La - Tebe (2012)

 

The debut album from this band from Italy.

The band is a seven piece band with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, clarinet, synths, feedback and loops.

This band released two albums some years ago and I got both of them for reviews.

The music here is not easy to explain.

Take space rock, add some Eastern and Arabic influences and a lot of RIO and avant-garde influences. Zeuhl too can be added.

The clarinet is a dominant instrument here besides of guitars and programming.

The music has an Arabic feel on the top of this kind of space rock.

The music is also instrumental throughout these forty minutes.

The quality is not particular good. The music is quirky but not particular good.

This is a decent enough album well worth checking out.

2 points



Nathan - Uomini di Sabbia (2022)

The third album from this Italian band.

The band is a trio with a lineup of guitars, keyboards and vocals.

Six guest musicians added drums, bass, backing vocals and choirs.

Nathan is a band in the middle of both the new RPI sound while they are also heavy influenced by the old RPI sound. Yes, Italian progressive rock.

Italian symphonic prog to be more precise.

Their two previous albums are very good indeed and I was therefore looking forward to this album.

There is no long suites here. Only one song, the final song, is longer than ten minutes. However, the short'ish songs are up to ten minutes long and they are both full of melodies and elegant details. Some of the details are even quirky.

The vocals are very good and the band and their guests are showcasing some very good musical abilities.

The songs are also pretty complex and keeps giving the listener new details on every listening sessions.

One minor minus is the lack of a killer track or three. I do not think the band has reached their potential yet.

This is a very good album indeed and one to check out.

3.5 points

 

  

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Enid. The - Arise And Shine (2009)

The 15th album from this English band.

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

The Enid is a band who has created their own genre somewhere between symphonic prog and classical music. Just as Karfagen from Ukraine has done.

The music on this seventy minutes long album is majestic and epic.

It is also pretty bombastic and very melodic.

The fusion between classical music and symphonic prog is working very well here and most of this album is working very well.

The music is also pretty romantic and flowery.

There is some good guitar solos on this album too.

This album is one of their best albums and it is indeed a very good album.

This is an album you should have from The Enid.

3.5 points

 

 

 


Saturday, May 14, 2022

Contraluz - Americanos (1973)

The debut album from this band from Argentina.

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

This band was one of the first ever rock bands from South America and this album is a historic album, being one of the first ever rock albums from this continent.

The band has released four albums and I am reviewing all of them the upcoming weeks.

The music on this album was sold to me as folk rock.

 I do not agree with that.

The music is somewhere between hard psych rock, blues, rock and some folk rock.

The music is at times very hard and wild.

There are also some more pastoral pieces here.

But most of this music is hard and wild.

The quality is decent enough. It is a historic release and should therefore be checked out. 

2 points

 

 

Whitecave - Times Of Trouble (2022)

The debut album from this band from the Netherlands.

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

I was sold this album on the basis of it being a symphonic prog album.

It is not.

There are some neo-prog on this album. But most of it is rock and AOR.

The vocals are good and the musicians is doing a job on this not so technical difficult stuff. The band is more about creating ambience and good songs instead of being clever and technical. 

The songs are not good at all and this album falls a bit flat on it's face.

This is a decent album but nothing more than that.

2 points



Friday, May 13, 2022

Relayer - The Teething Fashion (1996)

The second album from this US band.

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

This band should not be confused with the other band named Relayer whose only album I reviewed last week. 

The Relayer whose second album I am now reviewing, has so far released six albums. I reviewed their third album around ten years ago and did not rate it.

Their music is a mix of early English neo-prog and US symphonic prog.

On paper, this sounds good. Very good.

The vocals on this album is pretty dire/bad and the musicians does not really impress me either.

The music is decent enough but that is the best thing I can say about this fifty minutes long album.

It is not an album that shines brightly.

2 points



Windmill. The - Tribus (2018)

The third album from this Norwegian band.

The band was a sextet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, flute, saxophone, keyboards and vocals.

It is my understanding that The Windmill is no longer with us. They have broken up. This may be due to their drummer Sam Arne Noland passing away during the recording of this album. A tragic loss.

The band has been labeled as heavy prog. This more or less because they do not fit into the symphonic prog genre. Neither do their music fit into the heavy prog genre.

Tribus is fifty-three minutes with a mix of 1970s symphonic progressive rock and more stadium rock from that time. They are a 1970s band.

The sound is modern though and muscular.

The music is a mix of pastoral and epic. Italian symphonic prog springs to mind. A Norwegian RPI band ? There is still this Scandinavian sound from the likes of Kaipa in their sound.

The vocals are good and the saxophone adds a lot of quality to these songs. Songs who are not as good as the songs on the previous two albums.

This is an interesting album and well worth checking out. It is still a good album too.

3 points



Thursday, May 12, 2022

Henry Cow - In Praise Of Learning (1975)

The third album from this British band.

The band was a seven piece big band with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, clarinet, xylophone, organ, oboe, bassoon, guitar, piano and vocals.

The band had help from a handful of other musicians who provided trumpet, saxophone, oscillator, clarinet, guitar and vocals.

The third album from this RIO band. A band who delivered the most dense avant-garde I have ever heard on the first two albums.

Two not so good albums either. Hence, I was not looking forward to reviewing this album.

The first part of this album is vocals orientated with some good vocals and good weird instruments. Dagmar Krause did the vocals and she did a great job.

The second part is more a drone and a sound collage. There are some vocals here too.

The first part with the vocals is good.

The overall quality is in short good and this is the first Henry Cow I have really connected with. 

Check it out.

3 points

 

 


Congreso - Con Los Ojos En La Calle (2009)

The 15th album from this band from Chile.

The band was a seven piece big band with a lineup of percussion, drums, marimba, bass, guitars, tarka, woodwinds, piano, keyboards and vocals.

The band started out in 1971 in a country who security and politics wise was very insecure. People voiced their opinions and got a bullet in their heads as a thank you.

Their albums has had some twists and turns over the years. Not all of them in the right direction.

The band's music was rooted in the Latin American folk music tradition. The band has been great in adding in rock and jazz into that universe. 

This album is one hour long and is more rock and jazz than purely folk music. It still retains these Latin American folk music roots.

There are also some pop along here.

There is a pretty huge variation of music here. From folk rock to progressive rock, psych rock, pop, fusion and jazz. That is what this band was about on their previous albums.

The result is a very good album with good vocals and good melodies.

This is an album everyone into South America should have.

3.5 points



Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Asgaard - What If... (2022)

The seventh album from this band from Poland.

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

This band album debuted back in 1994 and has released seven albums. That well below my radar as this is the first album from them I have ever sunk my teeth into. 

I thought this was an album from the Italian band with the same name.... In other words, there are some other bands with the same name. Beware.

The Polish band is a goth rock band. There are some melancholic rock here too and the goth is not too overwhelming. Hence this review.

There are also some goth metal and some death metal growls.

The music is medium epic and the vocals, in both Polish and English, is pretty good.

The same goes for the music. It is a pretty good album who are not shaming this band at all. This will be my only album from this band and it leaves me with a good taste in my mouth. This band and this album deserve a lot more promotion and attention.

2.5 points



Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Ozric Tentacles - The Hidden Step (2000)

The 14th album from this English band.

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

The band from the south coast of England is still going strong.

The band started out in the Hawkwind vein. But they branched out and became more electronic after a while.

This album gives us a fifty minutes blend of space rock and more ambient rock with some Middle East and Indian subcontinent feelings.

The music is pretty relaxing. It also has some more dynamic interludes too.

The band is subtly, subtly moving towards post-rock on this album.

The music is still space rock, though.

The music is also good and offers us another dimension of this band.

The band has a again released a good album and it is well worth checking it out. 

3 points

 

 

Monday, May 9, 2022

Groundhogs - Split (1971)

The fourth album from this British band.

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

The band tried to follow up the good Thanx Christ For The Bomb from 1970 with another original sounding album.

Their style was somewhere between blues, psych, hard rock and progressive rock.

A heady mix.

There is a suite here called Split which take up over twenty minutes and the full side A on the album. The band also got a hit single here with Cherry Red.

This trio format creates a lot of noise with their music. Music very much rooted in the early 1970s sound and music. It is a bit dated.

The vocals and the guitars are good.

The songs are all decent to good. It is an album well worth checking out.

2.5 points



Adventure - Tales of Belle, Part 1 (2022)

The fifth album from this Norwegian band.

The band is a sextet on this album with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, flute, piano, organ, synths, keyboards and vocals.

It is not often I review their albums as I got a bit of a bad impression of the band based on their debut album. Progressive metal is not my thing, really. Less so bad progressive metal.

The band's record label sent me this album and I decided to give them another try.

There is not much progressive metal left.... if any. 

The band is now a Scandinavian symphonic progressive rock band with a lot of the sound adopted from the likes of early Kaipa and The Flower Kings. Throw in the early Norwegian symphonic prog scene and you get this album.

The album is # 1 of a concept which I gather will include some more albums. 

It is forty minutes long and has some folk metal in addition to the symphonic prog. The sound is good and so is the vocals.

This is a good album indeed. A couple of very good or great tracks is missing but that is my only gripe with this album. Besides of that, check out this album.

3 points



 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Relayer - The Relayer Album (1977)

The one and only album from this band from USA.

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

They had help from a sextet of guests who provided drums, percussion, bass, guitars and saxophone.

This band should not be confused with the other US band called Relayer who has so far released six albums. I have previously reviewed a couple of their albums.

This album is a strange one as the band could not really decide if they were an ELP like symphonic prog band or a southern rock band. Yes, your eyes is not deceiving you. 

Although the band has not mixed these two genres, this album has healthy amount of both southern rock and ELP like symphonic prog.

Weird.... Weird thirty-four minutes.

It is a pity that the band only released this album as I would had liked to see what the band would have developed into. 

This album is an oddity. This is also a decent to good album and a hidden gem. 

Check out this album.

2.5 points



Yleclipse - Trails Of Ambergris (2008)

The fourth album from this band from Italy.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitar, piano, keyboards and vocals.

I reviewed their third album around eleven years ago and their fifth album nine years ago. Albums I liked a lot. 

I have yet to review or find their first two albums though. I will make an attempt to get them.

Their music is a mix of English symphonic prog and neo-prog. There is no RPI here.

Marillion from the Fish era is a major influence on the band and on this very long album. 

The songs are long and epic. We are very much in the symphonic neo-prog genre here.

The vocals are OK. The guitars are OK too. 

The sound could had been better and that is the only letdown here.

This still means this is a good album and one to enjoyed for symph prog and neo-prog fans.

Check it out.

3 points



Saturday, May 7, 2022

Quecia - Quecia II (2005)

The second and final album from this British band.

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

This band was fronted by Kirsty McCarrick and the later pretty successful artist Chris Picton was the bassist on both their albums. He did indeed released an album with reworked Quecia songs not so long time ago.

The music is again a mix of Americana, pop, neo-prog and rock. 

The main focus is again the vocals. The vocals is really good and she is on par with some of the better vocalists in the female rock scene.

The songs lets her and this album down. Not to mention the band.

The songs are somewhere between decent and good. They are a small improvement on the debut album, but not by much.

This is another band who did not make it.

2.5 points




Pentwater - Out of the Abyss (1992)

The second album from this US band.

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

The debut was an OK mix of classic progressive rock with lots of Gentle Giant, Kansas and Yes references. 

So they found that formula and decided to keep it on album # 2. 

There is some added King Crimson here and lot more Gentle Giant than on their debut album. The album is more eclectic than before.

There is still some Yes and Kansas influences here. But the band takes more chances on this album. They are more playful. 

The vocals are good and the other instruments does their bits too. The sound is pretty good too.

This is indeed a good album. A one hour long album who also include a live track at the end.

It is a hidden gem and it is well worth checking out.

3 points



Friday, May 6, 2022

D'Virgilio, Morse & Jennings - Troika (2022)

The debut album from this US-UK trio.

The lineup is drums, percussion, bass, guitars, organ and vocals.

Tony Levin plays bass on one track. 

The trio is Nick D'Virgilio, Neal Morse and Ross Jennings. They have played in bands like Transatlantic, Spock's Beard, Big Big Train, Haken, Novena and Flying Colours. Ross Jennings has one solo album out and Neal Morse has released around ten solo albums. All of them up for reviews in this blog later this year.

The story has it that all three of them was about to release their own acoustic album when they got wind of each other's plans and merged these plans into one album. The trio contributes with approx the same number of songs.

Yes, the main part of this album is acoustic rock with some influences from Spock's Beard and Neal Morse's own solo albums.

But most of all, this album and this trio reminds me a lot about Crosby, Stills & Nash. Something neither themselves and their promotion people denies. 

A Crosby, Stills & Nash for this day and age ? Yes, they are.

They sounds fresher and like these days and age. The vocals are top notch. The songs are not of the same quality of Crosby, Stills & Nash output, though........yet.

This is a good album though and one to check out. I hope we hear more from this band in the future although I would prefer it if the band members released more progressive rock albums. 

Troika is a good album, though.

3 points



Oldfield. Mike - The Songs Of Distant Earth (1994)

The 17th album from this English artist.

Mike Oldfield does the guitars, synths and samples here.

He is supported by numerous other musicians who provides tablas, percussion, keyboards, programming and vocals.

A lot of samples also contributes to this album.

Mike Olfield has released a lot of ambient world music albums. Albums that sends listener to sleep or to peace.

This album is one of them.

He is briefly touching into Tubular Bells here before he gives us some sampled and added female vocals.

It is nice and not offensive. It is somewhere between music and sleepy noises.

That is the meaning about this album.

The music and noise here is not bad at all. It is somewhere between decent and good. I quite like this album. Nevertheless, it is not an album who should be reviewed or taken as anything else than background noise for a nice, fitful sleep.

2.5 points

 

 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Henry Cow - Unrest (1974)

The second album from this British band.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, drums, bass, xylophone, bassoon, saxophone, oboe, recorder, piano, clarinet, violin, organ and vocals.

A guest added extra vocals.

This band is probably the most avant-garde of all the band from the original RIO scene and concert. 

The music is at times impenetrable.

Just as on the debut album which I did not rate particular highly.

This album clocks in at forty minutes and I am still a bit baffled about their all out avant-garde. Most of the music is pretty much anti-melodic and anti-establishment.

There are some half-good stuff here. 

But this album is still only a decent album and just that.

2 points

 

 

Marillion - An Hour Before It's Dark (2022)

The 19th album from this British band.

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

It seems like the leading and best progressive rock bands is making comebacks after the Covid epidemic has closed down the industry for the last three years.

Marillion is indeed among the best progressive rock bands on this planet..... and probably in the universe too.

Their last album was in 2016 and a comeback was in order.

We get the usual art-rock from the band on An Hour Before It's Dark. 

There is a lot of melancholy in their music. That suits their music.

The songs are on average very long. The longest song is clocking in at over fifteen minutes. The vocals is very good and ditto for the guitars. There are a couple of great guitar solos here. 

The overall quality is very good indeed.

Marillion has made a convincing comeback and will regain their throne with this album.

3.5 points



Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Relative Rabbit - I Could Be Mistaken (2019)

The one and only album from this US band.

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

This album has by sheer mystery made it's way to the top of my to-review list. Hence, I am reviewing it.

I have no idea about this band as the album was digitally released.

The music is a mix of vaudeville rock, US neo-prog and art rock. Add some college rock too and you get it.

The music is also pretty commercial and quirky at the same time. 

I guess this is what US rock fans anno 2019 was listening to.

There is some interesting details here to make this album pretty interesting.

It is still miles from being a good album and only fans of modern US rock will like this album.

2 points



Yak - Quest for the Stones (2015)

The fourth album from this band from England.

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

This is as we speak the last album from this band. I hope we will get more albums and music in the future.

The band plays instrumental symphonic prog.

The music is both romantic, dynamic and bold.

There is a lot soaring guitars and keyboards here.

The bass and drums is also adding some interesting rhythm patterns.

The quality is somewhere between decent and good. It feels a bit like one of the many run of the mill albums in this genre and it is not really able to offer something extra to this instrumental symphonic prog genre.

2.5 points




Monday, May 2, 2022

Quecia - This Is Where We Are (2003)

The debut album from this band from England.

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

This band worked under the name Polar Reign for a while before changing name to Quecia. 

Quecia released two albums and I am reviewing them this month.

The solo artist Chris Picton was the bassist and keyboardist on both albums.

Formalities over and done with.... back to this album....

The music is female fronted mix of Americana, rock, pop and neo-prog.

The vocals is very good but it is too dominating. It is like the music is clinging onto the vocals. 

The music is not that really good and it falls a bit flat on it's face.

The result is a half-decent album who are clocking in at just fifty-five minutes. I am not impressed at all.

1.5 points

 

 


Pentwater - Pentwater (1977)

The debut album from this US band.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of percussion, drums, bass, theremin, guitars, violin, flute and vocals.

This band from USA released three albums between 1977 and 2007. 

I got their first two albums and they are being reviewed this spring.

Pentwater's music is a mix of what we can call classic progressive rock. That means everything from Gentle Giant, Yes, Kansas and Genesis. Add a lot of avant-garde and vaudeville music too.

The album starts very promising with some Gentle Giant influenced music.

We also get some Yes and Kansas here before the music enters some nodding off and dull avant-garde workouts halfway through this fifty-three minutes long album.

Then we get some ELP influenced music too before the album ends.

This album has a lot of genres and is a bit bewildering. That aside, the music is pretty good.

A decent to good rating is in order here. It is a bit of a hidden gem well worth checking out.

2.5 points

 

 


Sunday, May 1, 2022

Kornmo - Svartisen (2017)

 

The debut album from this Norwegian band.

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

Kornmo was formed out of the remnants of another Norwegian band; Morild.

I believe this ex self-released album got an official release through their record label earlier this month. That explains why it popped up in my email as a new album.

The sound still sounds like it is self-released.

The music is instrumental symphonic prog with some folk rock influences.

There are also a lot of Morild in their music. Camel is also present in their sound.

The music is not particular technical. Some of the parts is epic and bold.

The music on this one hour long album is decent enough. It is an album for the fans of Scandinavian symphonic prog and just that. 

I am not won over.

2 points



Saturday, April 30, 2022

Long Distance Calling - Satellite Bay (2007)

The debut album from this band from Germany.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars and electronics.

A guest added some minutes with voices.

Long Distance Calling has established themselves as a good German post-rock band and I have a handful of their albums to review this summer. 

The music on this album is the usual mix of light and shade we expect from a post- rock album.

The album clocks in at one hour.

There are no real surprises here. 

This is however a more than acceptable debut album who sets out their stall and course. 

Check it out.

2.5 points



Friday, April 29, 2022

Kanoi - Blisterfinger (2011)

The debut album from this band from Austria.

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

Kanoi is Benjamin Kantshieder's project and a one man band. On the debut album, Kanoi was a trio.

I got a handful of Kanoi albums and will review them this summer. 

The music is krautrock.

This means spaced out krautrock with a lot of repetitions. The bass, drums and guitars format does not create much variations during these seventy minutes either.

On the other hand, the band creates a pretty good soundscape with what they have got at hand.

The music is not bad at all. 

This is a decent album and I hope a taste of what to come as I have some more Kanoi albums to review.

2 points

 

 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Flower Kings. The - By Royal Decree (2022)

The 15th album from this Swedish band.

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

A handful of guests added saxophones, accordion, bass and vocals.

The Flower Kings is one of the biggest bands in the prog rock scene since 1990. That is a fact. Maybe not in sold albums. But they are certainly one of the most influential bands since 1990.

They and Kaipa gave us the Scandinavian symphonic prog genre and sound. 

By Royal Decree is clocking in at ninety-four minutes and it is a double album. That means a lot of things has to go right here as every listening sessions take that amount of time.

They are keeping the sound and the music. The music is really epic and the band has not gone down this pop-rock motorway. They have in fact made their music less accessible and more avant-garde symphonic prog on this album.

It has taken me some time to collect my thoughts about this album and get these into an opinion.

This album is indeed a very good album from some musicians who refuse to compromise. I can only admire Roine Stolt & Co for that.

This is one of their most mystical albums and a gift who will continue to give and give in the coming years and decades.

Check it out.

3.5 points

 

 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Masoni. Marco - Il Multiforme (2014)

The debut solo album from this musician from Italy.

Marco Masoni does the bass, acoustic guitars and vocals here. 

He has got help from his friends who added drums, electric guitars, keyboards, piano and flutes.

Marco Massoni formed the pretty good RPI band Germinale in the 1990s before he became a studio musicians. 

He has so far released two solo albums.

The music on this almost fifty minutes long album is a mix of acid folk, pop, prog and psych rock.

RPI... ? I am not sure but I would not be offended if someone decide that this is the genre for this album.

The vocals is good and in Italian.

The rest of the band also does a good job. 

The music is pretty melodic although the vocals is dominating everything.

This is a more than acceptable debut album. A bit less vocals and more music would have made this album a bit better.

2.5 points



Master of Ceremony - Above and Beyond (2009)

The one and only album from this Italian project.

Master Of Ceremony is a one man band and the musician is Marco Cinti. The lineup is drums, bass, keyboards, synths and vocals. I guess programming is also one of the tools used here.

The music is..... neo-prog. 

Take Genesis from their Wind & Wuthering album. That is the best reference when it comes to style and genre.

Hence, there is some symphonic prog here too.

The vocals are pretty good. The other instruments are treated with capable fingers.

The music is not bad at all. It is one of the better one man and a dog acts I have heard for a long time.

The quality is somewhere between decent and good. But fans of neo-prog, Genesis and symphonic prog should really check out this album.

2.5 points

 

 

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Kanaan - Earthbound (2021)

The fourth album from this Norwegian band.

The band is a trio with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, oscillations, synths, mellotron and farfisa.

Kanaan is a band I have really come to love. Their three first albums, that is.

Hence, I was really looking forward to put on this album.

The strength of this band has always been the post-rock'ish changes between the harsh and the more pastoral in their take on spaced out jazz.

I was very much looking forward to another serving of the same on Earthbound.

That is not what I got.

Earthbound is a very hard album who borders the space rock, extreme metal and jazz territories. It is more jazz though and that of the more modern, harsh jazz variant. Mark Wingfield springs to mind.

The music here is harsh.

There is a lot of good details and this is indeed a good album. It is a bit of a let down compared to their three other albums.

3 points

 

 

Ghosts Of Jupiter - Keepers of the Newborn Green (2021)

The third and latest album from this US band.

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

The band was supported by a duo who provided hand-claps and percussion.

This band made a remarkable large leap in quality between their debut album and their second album.

Their second album The Great Bright Horses from 2016 was a very good album. What would their third album give us ?

The band does quirky psych rock with some good references to the early English symphonic prog scene. And may I now add on this album....... The Beatles. Not overly so, but you can hear the sound and soul of the fab four on some of the tracks.

There is also a lot of acid folk on this album.

The vocals are very good and the music is both melodic and quirky. The keyboards sound has both moog and melotron vibes. The flutes also adds a lot of colours to the music.

The songs are pretty much very good throughout this three quarters of an hour long album.

This is one of the better albums from last year and I am slowly becoming a fan of this band.

Check out this album.

3.5 points



Saturday, April 23, 2022

Bresk - A Journey Through The Life Of Peder Balke (2022)

The debut album from this Norwegian band.

The band is a trio with a lineup of drums, bass, organ, Moog and clavinet.

This trio consist of the Narum family. It is a family project and their tribute to the Norwegian painter Peder Balke who lived between 1804 and 1887.

The music is instrumental.

The music is also symphonic prog. References are Camel and some more eclectic, symphonic prog bands. 

The music is both eclectic and melodic. Well, the melodic parts interchanges with the eclectic parts.

The music is both dynamic and muscular. It is not so classical music based. It is not based on classical music at all, to correct myself. 

These forty minutes, and Peder Balke's artworks, has a lot to offer. 

Quality wise, the music is between decent and good. This is an album bound to get a cult status sooner or later. 

2.5 points

 

 

Friday, April 22, 2022

Enid. The - White Goddess (1997)

The 14th album from this band from England.

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

The Enid's music is somewhere between classical music and symphonic prog. 

This is also the case when it comes to this one hour long album.

The music is a bit too classical music in my opinion. I have never really admired classical music as it is a bit of snobbery, that genre.

But The Enid (and the likes of Karfagen/Antony Kalugin) has got a good balance between symphonic prog and classical music.

The main theme on White Goddess is a very good theme. The band has spun an hour long album around this main theme. This is why Mike Oldfield springs to mind when it comes to this album.

The music on White Goddess is bold and beautiful. It is a bit cheesy too. 

The result is a good album and one of the better albums from The Enid.

Check out this album.

3 points



Thursday, April 21, 2022

Congreso - La Loca Sin Zapatos (2001)

 

The 15th album from this band from Chile.

The band was a seven piece big band with a lineup of tarka, marimba, drums, percussion, bass, guitars, piano, keyboards, woodwinds and vocals.

This band had now become a national institution in the free, democratic Chile. 

The band has been dabbling with jazz, progressive rock, pop and avant-garde during their long career.

The basis has always been folk rock. Or folk prog.

The music here is progressive folk rock with some psych rock influences. There is also some acid rock here.

The woodwinds adds a lot of flavour to this one hour long album.

The flavour is mostly South American/Latin American and that makes it an exotic album for those of us living in other parts of the world.

The quality is good and the band has again delivered a good album who enhances their very good reputation.

3 points



Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Karfagen - Land of Green and Gold (2022)

The 13th album from this band from Ukraine.

Karfagen is Antony Kalugin on keyboards and vocals.

He got help from a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, flute and woodwinds.

As we are all aware of, Ukraine was attacked by Russia two months ago. Antony Kalugin lived in the east of Ukraine in or near Kharkiv. As far as I understand, he and his family is one of those who had to flee his home and Antony is also probably defending his Ukraine with arms these days.

I send Antony and his family my warmest thoughts every day.

The music he has released during the Covid pandemic and now during the war has been of a good quality.

What we get here is two good long pieces of music. Land Of Green and Land Of Gold. I personally take this as Ukraine but I may be mistaken.

The music is somewhere between symphonic prog and classical music.

The quality is again good and this album sounds like a defiant support of Ukraine. I take it as that. And Ukraine got my full support.

But the music itself is good and this is an album well worth checking out.

3 points

 

 

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Master Cylinder - Elsewhere (1981)

The one and only album from this US band.

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

They had help from a eight guests who provided organ and woodwinds.

Canterbury Prog from Texas, USA is as rare as a hen's tooth. But that is what we get here.

There is no vocals here and the music is on the more jazzy side of the Canterbury Prog scene. 

The music is very quirky and eclectic too. There is no doubt in which genre this album belongs.

The music is dynamic and fast. The musicianship is on a high level.

There is no killer tracks or killer pieces of music here who would have elevated this album to a great status. 

Nevertheless, this is a good album and an album fans of this genre must check out.

3 points

 

 

Monday, April 18, 2022

Materia Gris - Ohperra Vida De Beto (1972)

The one and only album from this band from Argentina.

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

This band were active in the 1970s but has never really got the attention other bands from that era got.

Their music is a mix of psych, blues and progressive rock. The music has this 1970s sound and style.

The reason for that is that the album was recorded in 1972. I should therefore put the release date to 1972 instead of my original plan of putting it as 2014 as Discogs. 

OK, 1972 it is. That just to tell the readers what sound and flavour they can expect from this album.

There are some raw guitars here. The vocals are pretty good and tasteful.

The music is indeed decent. It has a lot of attractions to offer those into late beat and early psych rock. It also has Spanish vocals.

Check it out.

2 points





Sunday, April 17, 2022

Melange - Viento Bravo (2017)

The second album from this band from Spain.

The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, bouzouki, guitars, piano, electric piano, organ, synths and vocals.

Three guests added triangle, handclaps and voice.

I really could not stand the dull, boring self-titled debut album from 2016. An album that I still use against insomnia. 

I had no confidence in the follow up Viento Bravo...... None whatsover.

The music is a mix of fusion, psych and progressive rock with a lot of Spanish folk rock and pop incorporated. 

The music is pretty laidback and sunny. It has a positive sound, indeed.

The music is still very dynamic and full of interesting details. So much that I wonder if this is the same band as the one who released that horror album the year before.

The vocals are really good and the band also gets going on some parts that sounds improvised and jazzy. 

This is indeed a good album. Unfortunate, this seems to be their final album too. What a shame....

3 points



Yak - Journey of the Yak (2008)

The third album from this band from England.

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

I was not a big fan of the debut album and I have yet to find a copy of their second album. So I am jumping straight to this album and later..... their fourth album.

Instrumental prog is what has been put on the plate in the front of me.

The music is somewhere between Camel and ELP. Not so classical music improvised as ELP and not so fusion orientated as Camel.

This is pretty much what symphonic prog is about, with the vocals removed.

The melodies are soaring and well into the skies, high above the earth. 

The music is keyboards based with some piano adding a lot of acoustic sound to the music too. The organs gives the music a nice 1970s feel. 

The music is surprisingly organic. Very organic, in fact.

This is indeed a good album and one to check out if symphonic prog makes your boat float.

3 points



Saturday, April 16, 2022

Snowman - In a Better Place (2022)

 

The debut album from this band from Portugal.

The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, flute, piano and vocals.

This is a new band on the scene and they have got some attention. Well deserved attention too.

The band has described their music as somewhere between Genesis, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Pink Floyd and Camel.

I would agree. The music on this album is a mix of old and new progressive rock. Of old and new progressive sound. 

The references to this day and age version of Opeth is pretty obvious in their music. There is indeed a lot of Porcupine Tree here too.

There is still a lot of Pink Floyd and not so much Camel and Genesis. 

The vocals are really good and there is lot of very interesting details on this fifty minutes long album.

The result is a good album indeed and one to check out. 

3 points




Ozric Tentacles - Waterfall Cities (1999)

The 13th album from this British band.

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

The band was still going on and in fine form.

The band has chosen water as the theme on this album.

Water in a space rock ambient setting. 

There are some cool soundscapes created by both synths and guitars. The guitar solos are subtle, but also very effective and cool. 

The flute adds some folky feel to the soundscapes too.

This album is one hour long and has a lot of good stuff. 

This is another good album from this band. A band I really like and a band who are turning me into being a fan of this end of the progressive rock scene.

3 points