Monday, October 18, 2021

Efecto. El - Memórias Do Fogo (2018)

The fifth album from this band from Brazil.

The band was a seven piece big band with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, ukulele, clarinet, flute and vocals.

The band had help from numerous other musicians who provided percussion, woodwinds, strings and vocals.

This band is a somewhat mystery to me. 

Their music is very much based on vocals and I do not speak Portuguese. In short, maybe I am missing the point here as my reviews of their five albums is based on their music alone.

Their previous album was on those terms a good album. I therefore had hopes about this album.

The band has again reversed to being a vocals dominated band with shouting and some strange vocals. The music is a bit mix of folk, post-punk and post-metal.

The music is not good at all. It is barely decent and there is not much here to feel joyful about.

This band is a bit of an enigma to me and as this is so far their final album, I will leave the band like that.

1.5 points

 

 

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Auric Gloom - Afterthoughts (2021)

The debut album from this Norwegian band.

The band was a seven piece big band on this album with a lineup of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and female vocals.

This band is new to me. The band is from Trondheim, a town/city in Norway (the third largest city in Norway) full of progressive rock bands.

I am therefore not surprised that another progressive rock band from Trondheim has released a self-released album. 

The music is a mix of neo-prog, a bit ambience and a bit dream pop. 

The band has female vocals too and a lot of guitars and piano. 

The music is at times very pastoral and a bit ambient. It is a floating around in the room kind of music. 

This fifty minutes long album has both a lot of interesting detail and also a lot of space where the tones is just breathing.

Auric Gloom is a great addition to the Norwegian scene and this album will surprise a lot of people. 

This is a good album and the band can only get better from here.

3 points



Saturday, October 16, 2021

Orang Utan - Orang Utan (1971)

The one and only album from this British band.

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

This band was formed on the basis of some less than successful bands from that era. Bands now forgotten. 

The result was a record deal and this album where the band members could show case their abilities.

The music is a mix of really hard rock, blues and hard psych rock. 

The double guitars rips up the songs and the vocals are really forceful.

No prisoners are taken on most of the songs. There are other songs again with a more calmer blues and psych feeling. 

The music is decent enough and this album is a good album for those who loves hard psych rock from the early 1970s. 

I am not totally won over but the quality is still decent enough.

2 points



Quietlife Project. The - Catastrophic Futures (2017)

 

The debut album from this US band.

The band seems to be a one-man project on this album. The man is Andrew Higgins and the instruments here are drums, bass, guitars, synths and vocals.

Andrew Higgins has released five albums under this name. Albums released well under the radar as there is next to no information about this band on the prog rock blogs.

That is a shame because this is a prog rock band and the music is US neo-prog.

Take some Transatlantic, some Spock's Beard and some Genesis. The result is The Quietlife Project.

...And this album.

The album is fifty-four minutes long and it has a lot of good vocals and a lot of good harmonies. There is a lot to like on this album indeed.

The music is indeed very good and I am impressed. Me need to get their four other albums and warn others about this album and band. 

This is a band who really belong in the prog rock scene.

3.5 points

 

 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Oldfield. Mike - Five Miles Out (1982)

 

The eight album from this British artist.

Mike Oldfield did the guitars, bass, synths, exotic percussion, vocals, banjo, celtic harps, bagpipes, piano and vocals himself.

He got help on strings, woodwinds, drums, percussion, synths, keyboards and female vocals.

Maggie Reilly is with him on female vocals and Carl Palmer from ELP has joined as a drummer. 

We are still getting a lot of the same from Q.E.2 on this album too.

That means classical pieces with some pop and keltic folk rock. 

Mike Oldfield more or less invented ambient music and this is another ambient music album.

His music is still five miles better than most ambient music and this is album proves this. The Irish references are very good and gives this album a very good sound and ambience. 

The music is really good here too.

I got a lot of respect for Mike Oldfield although ambient music is really not my thing. But this is still a good album and I will save up this album for the coming decades, to be treasured and listened to again and again.

3 points

 

 

 

 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Purple Overdose - Purple Overdose (1994)

The third album from this band from Hellas.

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

When I started out on my task on reviewing their five albums, I started with their very poor debut album which left a very bad taste in my view.

The band redeemed themselves on their second album. I was therefore looking forward to reviewing this album.

Their music is flowery psych rock from the last couple of years in the 1960s. 1968 - 1969 to be more precise.

US psych, that is. Not necessary the likes of Jefferson Airplane but more like the psych underground from that time.

... And the music is not an overdose of this psych rock. Far from it. 

The music is rather understated with some The Byrds harmonies and lots of very tasty keyboards sounds. The vocals too are tasty.

This is indeed a good album which makes me want to explore this underground US psych rock scene more. 

Check out this good album.

3 points


Terra Odium - Ne Plus Ultra (2021)

The debut album from this US/Norwegian band.

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

This is a bit of a super-group with members of Borknagar, Death and Cynic.

The music is not death or black metal, though.

We are talking power or progressive metal here. I guess progressive metal is the right label. It is softer music than the usual music from these five gentlemen.

The music is big and bold progressive metal. The music is a bit harder than most progressive metal albums. Hence me also using power metal on this music.

The vocals are good although a bit tiring. The musicians is top notch and cannot be faulted.

And the album is one hour long too. Good value for money.

I am by no means a fan of this genre. But progressive metal fans should check out this album.

For me, half of this album is good and the rest is decent enough.

Check out this album.

2.5 points



Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Sitting Bull - Trip Away (1971)

The one and only album from this band from Germany.

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

This band came and went again after releasing this album.

The music is loosely labeled as krautrock. That is a label which includes a lot of sins and sinners.

The music has some laid back west-coast blues. It also has a lot of psych and a lot of rock. 

The vocals are good and the music is much more pastoral and quiet than I thought it would be. I am a bit disappointed with that...

The music on this album was pretty outdated already in 1971.

This album is therefore pretty half-decent, bordering to being a turkey.

A couple of songs are decent and that is a blessing for this album.

I am not impressed at all.

1.5 points

 

 

Quasar H7 - Nanodroids (2016)

The one and only album from this Italian band.

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

This band has flown under the radar of the progressive rock fans as it is not listed in any prog rock lexicons. 

Quasar H7 very much deserve a place on a list of Italian progressive rock bands.

Their music is wild though. Take some of Area and add a lot of metal and some neo- prog and some musicals to it. Add some jazz too and you get the drift.

The music is wild. Very wild indeed.

The female vocals are cool and so is the guitars and the many, many wild guitar solos. 

The quality is not the best. But this is an album I am happy to include in my collection of post-millenium Italian progressive rock albums. It is perhaps not a classic RPI album though....

2 points



Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Amplified! - Mental Decay (2021)

The debut album from this band from USA.

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

This is a new band to me (again !) and it dumped down my inbox some weeks ago. Hence this review...

The music is borderline neo-prog and heavy progressive rock. Borderline...

Call it art-rock with some big Americana inspirations and a big Americana sound. There is also some hard rock influences here.

The band use both male and female vocals. Both of them are good.

Call the music what you want but the quality is not bad at all.

The songs are pretty clever and a bit commercial. The band is talented and I hope they will carry this talent onto the more commercial rock scene in USA. Which means lots of hard work..... Lots.....

Check out this rather good album.

3 points



Opus Est - Opus I (1983)

The one and only album from this Swedish band.

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

This band self-released this album and Musea re-released some years later. A second album with studio and rehearsal studio outtakes was also released. 

The band was probably Sweden's first ever neo-prog band.

This is therefore probably the first ever Swedish neo-prog album too.

The neo-prog here is also supplemented by some harder rock, fusion and some art-rock.

The vocals are a bit weak and a bit annoying. The guitars are OK and the rest of the band does a respectable job.

The sound is the 1980s and not so good.

The quality is decent enough and diehard neo-prog fans will find a lot to enjoy here.

2 points

 

 


Monday, October 11, 2021

Smalltape - The Hungry Heart (2021)

The third album from this German project.

Smalltape is Philip Nespital on percussion, guitars, keyboards, electronics, piano and vocals.

He got help from a small army of guests who has provided strings, woodwinds, bass, drums, vibraphone and backing vocals.

I really liked the 2017 album The Ocean and was looking forward to sink my teeth into this album.

Smalltape/Philip Nespital gives us a full range of music on this album. From elegant pop to neo- prog and jazz. There is also some musicals here.

This is a 2 CDs album and the second CD is mostly taken up by a twenty-two minutes long opus.

The sound is very good and so is the vocals.

The music flows and ebbs. There is always a new theme around the corner and the music is very varied. Varied but never dull or less than good.

The music is really elegant and Philip Nespital is surely one of the bigger talents in today's scene.

Check out this very good album.

3.5 points

 

 

 

Embryo - Steig Aus (1973)

The fourth album from this German band.

The band was a seven piece big band on this album with a lineup of drums, percussion, bass, guitars, violin, electric piano, organ, mellotron and marimba.

The drummer in the band, Christian Burchard, was the leader of the band. He is still the leader and the owner of the band. 

On every album, he changed members in the band to suit the music he had created for that album. He still do that as the band is still active.

The music this time is fusion with a lot of krautrock incorporated in the music. 

The violin adds a lot of colours in the music. So does the marimba too and the guitars and the tangents also adds a lot of colours.

The music is very good throughout and this must surely be one of their best ever albums. 

It is indeed one of the better album from the German fusion scene. Check it out.

3.5 points

 

 



Sunday, October 10, 2021

Eros Necropsique - Charnelle Transcendance (1997)

 

The debut album from this French band.

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

This band released three albums before they gave up the ghost.

The music is a bit of a depart from what I normally review in this blog. I will review these three albums because I have been a bit curious about this band for a while. I got their three albums and decided to give them a try. The two other reviews will follow later this fall.

Their music is avant-garde goth with some black metal overtures. 

The vocals is both male and female French vocals.

The music is pretty much goth ballad like with some avant-garde classical music too.

Most of the male vocals is spoken vocals and the female vocals is soprano operatic vocals.

There is not much going on here and there is not much quality either. Some of the music is decent enough but not enough to warrant a decent album status.

If dark goth is your thing, this band is your thing. 

1.5 points


 

Leirånes. Marius - Langtidsperspektiv (2021)

 
 
The debut album from this Norwegian artist.

Marius did the guitars, keyboards and most other instruments himself.

He had help from four other guests who added guitars, synths, drums and bass.

Marius Leiranes is a member of the Norwegian band Pixie Ninja. This album has been produced by the Norwegian stalwart Jacob Holm-Lupo and the guests are from White Willow and other bands.

This instrumental album is about his own family farm Leiranes and it's history. The farm is still there and owned by his family.

I totally get this concept as it is also my own personal history..... although I come from my father's and my mother's farms on the west coast of Norway. Both these has similar stories to tell.

I would have told these stories in a novel/book but Marius has chosen an instrumental piece of dark progressive rock to tell the story.

The music is pretty somber and it has some electronica too. As a piece of music, this half an hour long album works.

The music is good. It is also as somber as you would expect from a story about a farm who is straddling the Arctic Circle in Norway.
 
Check out this pretty unique album.
 
3 points
 
 
 

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Skys. The - Journey Through The Skies (2015)

The third album from this band from Lithuania.

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

The band had some modest success with their second album Colours In The Desert from 2011 before they released this album.... and then a fourth album two years ago.

Their music is still a mix of Pink Floyd, some prog and some psych rock.

The music is rather pedestrian and includes both male and female vocals.

There is also some rather slow and lingering guitar solos here. Those are in the best Pink Floyd tradition.

The songs are not that impressive and this album is a big step backwards from their previous album.

I am not impressed at all by this album as the songs are simply not good enough.

This is still a decent album and perhaps worth checking out if Pink Floyd floats your boat.

2 points



Friday, October 8, 2021

Hawklords - Time (2021)

 

The 15th or so album from this British band.

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

A guest added saxophones and flutes.

This band started out as a side project of Hawkwind before they became a real band after 2010.

The band gives us over fifty minutes of spaced out psych rock. 

There are some space rock and some spoken words. Parts of this album has a cinematic feel. 

There are also some pretty melodic proper psych rock songs here too.

This is my first ever meeting with a Hawklord album and I am pleased about the quality of this album.

It is indeed a good album and one well worth checking out.

3 points

 

 


Thursday, October 7, 2021

Steam Haven - Last Want for Sadness (2021)

The debut album from this US band.

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

Some guest musicians provided bass, cello, violin, guitars and vocals.

This is another new band to me and it was sold to me as a heavy prog album.

Well, there is some Porcupine Tree here and I cannot deny that.

Most of this music is a mix of grunge and rock. Add some youthful college rock and desert rock too.

The vocals are good and the musicians adds their worth on this rather hard rocking album. Hard rocking with some violins and cello breaking up the rather harsh music.

The music is OK without really impressing me. It is not so much progressive rock. 

This is a decent to good album and the band is a decent addition to the scene.

2.5 points



Ophiucus - Salade Chinoise (1973)

The second album from this French band.

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

Two guests provided moog and piano.

I reviewed their 1971 self-titled debut album many years ago for # 1 of this blog and was not impressed. That album is a turkey.

I did not have much hope for this album either.

The band has French vocals and they are good.

The music is a mix of rock'n'roll, blues, chanson, prog and pop.

A bit of something for everyone.

The quality is again very poor and only the vocals saves this album from being included in my collection of turkeys.

Poor, poor, poor.......

1.5 points



Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Fragile - Beyond (2021)

The second album from this German band.

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

This band follows up last year's debut album Golden Fragments with their new album.

Fragile was a Yes cover band before they started to write and record their own stuff. It reminds me about The Watch and their relationship to Genesis.

The cover art-works on both their albums screams Yes and Roger Dean. This sets the mood in a perfect way.

Claire Hamill is the vocalist here and that is indeed a female vocalist. Something that adds a lot of value to this album. The not so few Renaissance references is not a problem here either. They adds a lot of value to this album, indeed.

An album where the Yes references comes thick and fast. Nevertheless, this band has their own identity. It is a bit difficult to detect in the cascades of Yes'ish riffs and themes. But Fragile still stands proudly on their own four legs... make that eight legs.

Three tracks between fourteen and twenty-two minutes is what this album gives us. It gives us some very good symphonic prog in the good old 1970s genre. 

This is an album every symphonic prog fan should check out and then include in their collections of symphonic prog.

3.5 points



Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Enid. The - Aerie Faerie Nonsense (1977)

The third album from this British band.

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

The band has gone totally symphony on this album. It is a piece of classical music, in other words.

It is performed with bass, drums.... the instruments listed above. 

It is still a piece of classical music and I am not that eager to review pieces of classical music. I have never really understood the urge for rock bands to make classical music.

This forty minutes long album is not too bad though. There are some good pieces of music on this album.

Nevertheless, there are also some barely decent music here too and I am not overly impressed by this album. I am in a minority here, I can read from other reviews.

It is still an album well worth checking out.

2.5 points



Congreso - Viaje Por La Cresta Del Mundo (1981)

The fifth album from this band from Chile.

The band was an eight piece big band with a lineup of drums, percussion, marimba, bass, charango, cello, guitars, flute, tarka, melodica, piano and vocals.

The band has reached the five albums milestone.

The band is normally a folk rock band. So the music on this album came as a bit of a surprise.

A positive surprise too. 

The music on this forty-three minutes long album is still rooted in folk music and rock. But the main part is pretty eclectic with a great deal of progressive rock and some fusion.

The vocals are really good and so is the instruments.

The songs are still melodic. This album is therefore not an avant-garde album although it is pretty much avant-garde compared to most of the folk rock scene.

The songs are also well crafted and has a lot of interesting details.

The music is very good and this is by far their best album so far.

Check out this very good album.

3.5 points

 

 

Monday, October 4, 2021

Vokonis - Odyssey (2021)

The debut album from this Swedish band.

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

This is a new band to me. But I liked the cover art-work so much that I took a chance on this album.

The music is a mix of Opeth like progressive rock, stoner rock, death metal and doom metal.

There is some growls and there is some clear vocals here.

The music is very heavy and muscular. This is very much a metal album.

Some of the music is pretty epic progressive rock too. But the metal soon takes over and this album only offers some small windows of progressive rock. It is pretty obvious that their countrymen Opeth has influenced this band. And that is indeed a good thing.

The quality of this album, a Bandcamp album, is good throughout. Even the metal parts is really good. 

This music is not the normal fare but it is still a good album. It is nice to check out the fringes of the progressive rock genre now and then.

3 points



Slang - Garden City (2019)

The debut album from this Canadian band.

Slang is Steve Lang on drum programming, samplers, bass, guitars and keyboards.

Some guests added vocals and bass.

This is a one and a half hour long album with a lot of genres.

We are talking funk, fusion, hard rock, soul, a bit prog and a lot of rock here. 

That takes the listener on a roller coaster and not all of this roller coaster is good.

Most of this album has ideas but not fully finished songs and melodies. Some of the pieces here could had been developed a lot more. A lot more, indeed.

This is not a too bad album. But it fails on a lot of levels. There is still some decent bits here worth a listen or two.

1.5 points



Sunday, October 3, 2021

Efecto. El - A Cantiga É Uma Arma (2014)

The fourth album from this band from Brazil.

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

Some guests also contributed with bass, tambourine and female vocals.

This album is acoustic reworks of older songs. Songs delivered acoustic on the previous albums.

The electric versions was full of screaming and random use of electric instruments who largely destroyed the songs. So these acoustic versions makes sense.

El Efecto was never a great band and song writers. But the folk rock on this album. Folk rock with some psych, is not too bad. 

It is fair to say that these songs gets into full bloom on this album. Not very good songs but they are still pretty good.

It is not an exciting album by all means but these songs are not bad at all.  

This is an album well worth checking out if Latin American folk music is your thing.

2.5 points




Saturday, October 2, 2021

Zerner. Alexandra - Silhouette (2021)

The debut album from this artist from the Czech Republic.

Alexandra Zerner does the guitars, bass, mandolin, sitar, keyboards and flute herself.

She has got help on drums and on vocals.

This female artist is a new name to me and most others too. Her album is on Bandcamp and a couple of singles was released before this album was released.

The music is mostly instrumental guitar solos and riffs. The other instruments is just there to support the guitars.

A female vocalist does a proper song in the musical tradition before the album ends after forty-seven minutes.

The music is a mix of metal and some more folk/keltic metal. There are also some hints of musicals here and the vocal track is a song in the musical tradition.

The music is not bad at all. It is not particular interesting though.

This is a decent album but nothing more than that.

2 points




Operation: Milksnatch - Sadly Tempoary (2013)

The one and only album from this US band.

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

This band released this album before they disappeared again. Not much has been seen of this album in the form of reviews or publicity.

The band is clearly a post-punk band who approached melodic prog and metal from that angle. 

That explains a very chaotic album where ideas is thrown around in songs without really being coherent.

Which is fine if it is done with some style and coherent thinking. 

There is not much of that on this album. An album with a lot more shock factor than melody.

The vocalist and guitars screams and the keyboards are demented on some demented pieces of music. Music that largely does not make much sense.

Post-metal and post-punk fans may like this album. It is still a very poor album and a turkey.

1 point



Quaser - Out From Quaser (1994)

The debut album from this Japanese band.

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

This band has released five albums so far but I have only got this album. I would very much like to check out their four other albums too.

The vocals are in Japanese and not too bad.

The band set out to sound like Emerson, Lake & Palmer. 

There is some ELP'ish music here. But there is also some art-rock and pop here. Add some laid back fusion too and you get the picture.

This fifty minutes long album has a lot of classy music. The synth is a bit bombastic. Some of the music is pretty bombastic too.

This is a decent enough album and I want more of this band. Hopefully, that can be arranged.

Check out this album.

2 points



Friday, October 1, 2021

Ozric Tentacles - Sliding Gliding Worlds (1988)

The fourth album from this British band.

The band was an eight piece big band on this album with a lineup of percussion, drums, bass, flute, synths, sampling, keyboards and guitars.

The band was now getting settled into their space rock genre. A genre they anno 2021 still inhabit. 

There is also a lot of electronica in their brand of space rock.

The space rock is pretty gentle and not that harsh on this one hour long album.

The band is running a bit empty of ideas on this album. 

The music is still pleasant enough and the quality is somewhere between decent and good.

I am starting to like this band now.

2.5 points



Dear Hunter. The - The Color Spectrum (2011)

The fourth album from this US band.

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

Numerous others added their basses, drums, guitars, keyboards, vocals, synths, strings, woodwinds and percussion.

This album is a compilation of the best songs from the nine EPs the band released under the same name.

This album is only forty-two minutes long though.....

The music is again a bit of Mars Volta, Coheed & Cambria.... and this time some Americana has also sneaked into their music. Even some arena rock.

The band has moved a bit from the angst ridden youthful life and become a bit more mature. 

The vocals are still very good and carries a lot of this album. 

The songs are pretty varied and this makes for a interesting ride.

The songs are also good so this is another good album from this band.

3 points