Thursday 31 May 2012

Coalition - In Search Of Forever (2012)

The debut album from this British band.

Their music is somewhere between old British prog rock from the 1970s and bands like Pendragon and IQ. Neo prog, they have labelled this music. And that is the right label as far as I am concerned.

The songs are pretty long and has some good melody lines. The instruments are the usual male vocals, tangents, guitars, bass and drums. The use of violins is adding spice to the sound. Most welcome spice, I have to add.
The long guitar solos is also adding some spices to this album.

The songs are good and there is nothing bad here I can put my finger on. The vocals is not good though and my major gripe with this album. My other gripe is that the songs tends to get pretty dull and featureless. This album is not a grower either. The neo-prog cliches comes thick and fast. Besides of the violins, the band is running an ultra-safe ship here and they really blends into the landscape. So much that this album is too safe and too calculating. The lack of any really great songs is also a major problem for me. Hence, this album is only a decent attempt in my estimation and not more than that. Fans of neo prog may purchase this album though.

2.5 points 

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Earth And Fire - Earth And Fire (1970)

The debut album from this Dutch band.

The year was 1970 and their music was very much steeped in the hippie movement of the 1960s. That means good female vocals on the top of some flowery pop/rock. I had expected (and bought these albums because of) some strong Renaissance influences. And they are here. The Jane Relf Mk 1 though.

The tangents is vintage and so is the beat. The music is very much standard flowery pop music based on the verse-chorus-verse formula. There is no outstanding songs on this album. But the overall quality is good throughout. It also makes me wanting to hear more from this band. I will do so.

3 points

Venegoni & Co - Mosaico (2000)

The second album after the rebirth of this Italian band who started out in the 1970s.

Mosaico is a straight melodic fusion album with a lot of movie/TV like themes. The songs meanders away in mid tempo and the focus is on melody and easy-listening. The instruments ranges from violin to keyboards, harmonica and guitars.

The quality is good throughout and this is an enjoyable listen. But I find this album lacking in substance. There is nothing particular great about this album. Neither does it offend me. This is the type of music you find in TV series and in movies.

3 points

Saturday 26 May 2012

Opale - La Dernier Toile Du Matre (1981)

An unknown French band who released only one album as far as I gather.

I thought I got some good French progressive rock in the vein of Ange when I got this album. I was a bit wrong. La Dernier Toile Du Matre is an album best described as a mix of folk, prog and art rock. There are a lot of pastoral parts here which reminds me about Genesis and Moody Blues. There are also some traces of Pink Floyd and Ange too.

The music is performed with tangents, guitars, bass and drums. That and some good male vocals. The quality of the songs are good too. I really love the sound here too. I love the pastoral spacy ambience of the songs. But this album is not in the same class as Ange's finest or any of their outputs. It is still worth checking out, though.

3 points

Friday 25 May 2012

Mörglbl - Brutal Romance (2012)

The fifth album from this French band.

The name of the band kinds of gives away the game here. Or the music to be precise. This is another tilting French band who are wobbling all over the musical landscape. In the case of Mörglbl, we are talking eclectic music. Eclectic music as in a crossbreed between harsh power metal riffs, King Crimson like harmonies and fusion as in Mahavishnu Orchestra. All of this is instrumental music. But it is far from elevator music or even easy listening. This is caffeine kick replacement music which kicks the listener like up the backside a mad stallion does (don't try that at home, please).

The music is dominated by the very dynamic rhythm section (courtesy of Ivan Rougny and Aurelien Ouzoulias). The melody lines is driven by Christophe Godin's guitars though and I am driven to compare his guitars to those of John McLaughlin. If you likes his guitars and music, you will love this album.

The result is a very dynamic album with a lot of very interesting details. This is a grower too and not an instant pleasure. My point score given below has gone up two points, doubled up, from the first week and my first listening session to the tenth listening session, three weeks later. This is what I call a quality album, in other words. This is an album I find very interesting and which drives me more and more towards fusion and eclectic music. I will go forth and investigate the back catalogue of  Mörglbl.

4 points

Blasphemy - Live Ritual (2002)

This Canadian thrash/death metal band did not really set the world on fire with two very poorly received albums at the beginning of the 1990s. They were released on a major underground label though and I still don't understand what type of talent this label spotted in this band.

This live album, with a raw bootleg sound, just confirm to me that this band had nothing to contribute to the scene. Their music is raw thrash metal, with some supposed satanic contents. The quality of the music is poor and it does not even have a charming slant to it. Avoid this album.

1 point

Thursday 24 May 2012

Deadwood Forest - Mellodramatic (2000)

Mellotron. That is an instrument which set the sound in the progressive rock scene in the 1970s.

Mellotron is what you also get on this album. A lot of it, to be precise. This US band has copied the mellotron sound from King Crimson and created their own songs with it. Music wise, Deadwood Forest is somewhere between Anglagard, King Crimson, Pink Floyd and Moody Blues. The sound is very warm and well.... there is no denying that the mellotron is an essential part of this album and that you really have to like this instrument to like this album.

Songs wise, the band has come up with a lot of very good melody lines and songs. This album is full of small interesting details. Yes, this album is a retro prog album which will really appeal to everyone who loves the 1970s. But this album really stands on it's own feet. But this album is still lacking a couple of great songs and that is a let down. But it is still worthy a purchase.

3.5 points

Carpe Nota - Carpe Nota (2012)

Carpe Nota is an US band which features members who has lived for a while. Today's midlife crisis is not about buying a Harley Davison and getting killed on the roads. These days, you go out and form a progressive rock band when the midlife crisis arrive. Midlife crisis has been essential for keeping the progressive rock scene alive for the last decade.

This is the debut album from this band and they has taken a lot of inspirations from kraut and space rock, symphonic prog, jazz and prog metal. The music is instrumental throughout and it is very dynamic. The music is very good throughout. Sometimes, well known riffs and melody lines from other bands pops up in the music. Or that is what I believe, but I may be wrong. The music gives me a lot of vibes to the biggest bands in the scene.

But the music is also lacking the focus vocals of any form or shape would had given it. Solos follows solos. Riffs follows riffs. But the music is still a bit too fragmented for my liking. This album is also a typical debut album where things are trialled and then disposed of for the second album.

This is a good instrumental album, but nothing more. It is though a good debut from a band which should be checked out.

3 points

Carpe Nota homepage 

Friday 18 May 2012

Adharma - Mano ai Pulsanti (2007)

A one-album wonder/band from Italy who has split up now.

Adharma takes us to an eclectic landscape dominated by a mix of jazz and avant-garde rock. Radiohead is a biggest influence on their music. King Crimson, Mars Volta and Pink Floyd is evident too. So is some Italian giants like Banco and PFM too. The music here is dominated by tangents, Italian male vocals, bass, drums and guitars. The tangents are both piano, Hammond organs and other organic keyboards. No synths, in other words. The sound is very warm, pastoral and organic. It is also very good.

The quality is good throughout. I don't really feel they have come up with some great songs though. The sound is great and the band is touching onto something great. But they never really reach that level. But this is a free download and well worth grabbing. Make up your own mind by grabbing this album. An album I am sure will get legend status in the decades to come.

3 points

Free download

Less Than Human - To Breed True (1998)

Another Canadian one-album wonder.

This time around though, the music is metal in the Pantera vein, complete with the Anselmo like vocals. The production is good and the musicians does a good job. The music is a mix of guitar riffs, harmonies and solos. The only thing missing is good songs. This album just bypasses the listener without really making any impression and the listener really have to be a fan of Pantera to really enjoy this album. I am not.

There are some decent stuff on this album and it is unfair that this album was largely ignored when it was released on the tiny Yperano Records while far worse albums than this album sold out. But that is life, I am afraid.

2 points

Yperano Records

Rien - Requiem Pour Des Baroqueux (2003)

The first of three albums from Rien, now made available through Bandcamp too in addition to being a free download from their label's website too.

Rien is a French band and they deliver some pretty eccentric music too. Their music is difficult to describe and is not helped by this title track which last over thirty minutes, split into two parts. The first part is twenty two minutes long and it is eclectic, to say at least. Gosh, where do I start ? What comes to my mind first is that this album has the same ambience as Focus' masterpiece Hamburger Concerto. In particular; La Cathdral De Strasbourg and the title track. That though is the only comparisson I will make with Focus. The music itself on Requiem Pour Des Baroqueux is orchestral kind of post rock, mixed up with krautrock and avant-garde. The music is also pastoral and is softly spoken.
The main instruments are acoustic guitars, woodwinds, tangents, bass and drums. Vocals are sparsely added too. Most as sound effects though. I suspect there is a lot of samples here. The sound is excellent.

The title track, both parts is great. The five other shorter songs are not in the same league though. But this album is still an album which draws the listener in. It needs a lot of time though. My only gripe is the lack of a couple of more great songs. But there is no doubts this is a very promising debut album and I am eager to hear more from Rien.

3.5 points

Free download 

Thursday 17 May 2012

Pez - Frágilinvencible (2000)

The fourth album from this Argentine band whose whole discography has been available by the band as free downloads. A discography which includes a lot of sand among the gemstones too.

Pez has moved on from their more punkish antics and more into an eclectic art rock environment with this album. The band is still as noisy/heavy as heck though and the art of good song writing has yet to be developed in the band. But this album is still a big improvement on the previous albums. The band has made a move in the right direction on this album and there are even some Hammond organs here and some decent songs. But not good enough to win my approval.

This is a decent album, though.

2 points

Free downloads 

Tuesday 15 May 2012

A.L.F - Lonelyness Is Mirror (2004)

A rather unknown Brazilian band who released one album and then disappeared. I believe their guitarist has just released a solo album though.

It is a great shame that this band has gone into hiding and probably disbanded. They really delivers an album I guess would get them a lot of fans if they had been around today and marketed it properly. Their music is a mix of Dream Theater, Yes and Spock's Beard. A lot of Dream Theater in the beginning though. So you have to continue listening beyond the first minutes to really get this album. It opens up a lot into a modern progressive rock landscape after the intro though. There are some great tangents here and Yes like vocals throughout the album. The drummer and the bassist also dishes up some great stuff too.

The overall quality is great throughout. In particular the sound which really suits this mix of prog metal and symphonic prog. The best pieces here is the twenty five minutes long Endless Goodbye suite and the title track. Both really displays a band who knows what they were doing.

It is a great shame that this album is so ignored and that the band has disappeared. It is one heck of a hidden gem and one to really enjoy.

4 points

Kaipa - Solo (1978)

The third album from this legendary Swedish band. Kaipa were the home of both Roine Stolt and Hans Lundin on this album too.

The music is pretty symphonic with a dark, somber undertone. Most of the songs here are built in the same mould as dark Scandinavian psalms. The Swedish depressions, as Ingmar Bergman labelled it. And that is what Kaipa has done. Their music is a mix of pastoral psalms/hymns and Genesis/Yes like progressive rock.

The music is dominated by both dark Hammond organs and electric guitars. The Swedish vocals is dominant too and they are all supported by bass and drums.

The songs are good throughout. The album is sorely missing some great songs though. But it is still a good album in the Kaipa tradition. I like it and the other Kaipa albums a lot.

3 points

Monday 14 May 2012

Touchstone - Discordant Dreams (2008)

The debut album from these English proggy hard rockers after the very good Mad Hatters EP from 2006.

Touchstone's sound is pretty hard edged and is touching into prog metal. I still would not label them a prog metal band though. Not even this album which I feel is their hardest album. Hard rockers is a better label on Touchstone than prog metallers. The band is also unique in using both male and female vocals. Something that gives the band it's own identity. The slightly dark symphonic sound also adds a lot to their sound.

My gripe with this album is the lack of quality in the songs here. The title track is great. The rest of the songs shows flashes of greatness, but not enough to create a fire. But I still like this album a lot. It is a good album.

3 points

Bautista. Daniel - Beethoven (2008)

The debut album from this Spanish guitarist. A guitarist with long stints in other bands, ranging from black metal to pop.

The subject of his debut offering is Ludwig Van Beethoven and not the movie about a dog with the same name. He is doing parts of Ludvig's symphonies. That's the 5th, 7th and some others.

The whole thing is a very bad idea and Daniel falls flat on it's face when doing it. Simply because it is impossible, like trying to extract pure gold from blueberries, to do Beethoven's symphonies with guitars and guitars only. There is no other instruments here than guitars. This album is close to being an album you can only watch, but not listen to. It is utterly horrible and it reminds me too much about an album from The Great Kat.

Thankfully, this is a free download and that is the only positive thing about this album.  

1 point

Free download

Vieux Carre - Etero Nimie (2012)

The second album from this Italian band. The first album is a free download from their homepage and a good download.

Their first album was Genesis inspired if my memories serves me right. And that is the case here too. The vocals and their music puts them in the Italian progressive rock category and pretty much in the middle of the scene. There is a lot of jazz influences in their music. There is also a lot of folk rock in their music. I would also add rock, eclectic prog and space rock into the mix. Perhaps eclectic Italian prog is the right label on them. Anyway.......

The vocals, both solo and vocal harmonies, is pretty much dominant here and  I have been told by an Italian friend that the lyrics is brilliant. I have no clue though as I do not speak Italian. But if you are an Italian, the lyrics will not scare you away. The rest of the sound is dominated by the bass, guitars, drums and tangents. The sound has this warm glow which you only get by an Italian band. That is why so many of us likes progressive rock from Italy although we have never visited this country. The sound is excellent, in other words.

There is no really outstanding tracks on this album. All songs are great though and they floats into each other almost like this was a concept album. It feels conceptional in it's composition though. The whole album is a delight to behold from the first minute to the last. I award it a four pointer because I really enjoy this album and recommends it.

4 points

Friday 11 May 2012

Rush - ABC 1974 (2011)

A previous bootleg getting the official stamp. I hope Genesis will do the same for their best ever live album, accidently a bootleg, called Live At Rainbow Theatre too. But I live in hope.
Anyway, ABC 1974 has now been made official and that is a smart move from Rush/their record label.

This album mostly contains tracks from their first two albums. In my view; their most uninteresting albums. Fly By Night is quite good though. Their debut album is a topic I am avoiding though.

ABC 1974 has a good bootleg sound quality. But it is still raw and it still sounds like a bootleg. The performance by the band, including Neil Peart btw, is also very raw. Rush was a heavy rock band in this period of their career.

The songs from Fly By Night are good. The other songs are pretty half-decent though. The band sounds very tight and professional. But this is still only a raw as red meat, decent album. I prefer the other live albums to this one. But it is an interesting historical time capsule of Rush anno 1974 and that's it, really.

2 points 

Led Zeppelin - IV (1971)

There is really nothing much to be said about this album, one of the legendary albums of the rock scene. It starts with two rockers. It continues with the haunting, clever The Battle Of Evermore. A song I rate as the best song on this album. It continues with the song many regard as a cornerstone of rock'n'roll; Stairways To Heaven. The remaining songs Misty Mountain Hop, Four Sticks, Going To California and When The Levee Breaks is classics too.

Led Zeppelin was/is the best band the rock scene has ever seen (I regard The Beatles as pop music and rate them on the same level as Led Zeppelin) and this is one of their masterpieces. If you don't have this album, be ashamed of yourself. Then go out and purchase it.

IV is a masterpiece and a pure delight from a band I really love. And who does not love Led Zeppelin ?

5 points

Altona - Altona (1974)

The debut album from this German band.

Altona started up by members of Thrice Mice. Something that does not tells me much. But the music is pretty much American sounding. It is a mix of jazz, soul and blues. Southern rock springs to mind. This album could have been recorded by a band from the deep south. Even the vocals are pretty much American here. This album is not the krautrock album it was sold to me as.

The guitars are a bit krautrock like. Guru Guru, to be precise. But the vocals, the bass, drums and woodwinds is very much American sounding. Alabama goes Dusseldorf. That is what this album sounds like to me.

The music is good though and I am by no means feeling cheated. There are even some really good songs here. The sound too is great. It is a very enjoyable listen the first times, but I got a bit tired of it during the end of my listening sessions. The longviety is not long, I am afraid. But this is a good album though.

3 points

Thursday 10 May 2012

Astre - Foresight (1981)

Astre was a short lived US band (a trio) whose this is their only album.

Astre was reputed to be an ELP clone. On the basis of the first minutes of this album, I agree. But the rest of the album also takes the listener into a King Crimson detour too. There is a lot of King Crimson in this album. Yes, ELP is very much present. But I would also say that they are probably more influenced by another ELP clone than ELP itself. I am referring to the German band Triumvirat here. Astre is much more like Triumvirat than ELP itself. That and some King Crimson influences.

The vocals are pretty good. The organs is good too. The quality of the sound is pretty bad and this album is pretty badly mixed. The quality of the songs are very good though. This album include some cringe worthy stuff too where the band tries to go commercial and the songs is not on par with the quality of Triumvirat and ELP. But this is still a good album and a must have for all fans of ELP like prog.

3 points

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Medina Azahara - En Al Hakim (1989)

Medina Azahara is a band who was blowing a bit hot and cold during their first five albums. This is their fifth album and they were most definate hot on this album.

I was expecting some Arabic influences on this album. Some seconds of Arabic/Israeli folk music in the beginning was all we got. OK, there are some subtle Arabic tones throughout this album though. An album dominated by the normal Spanish hard rocking pop/rock which Medina Azahara is so loved for in Spain.

The sound is good. The vocals and the rest of the band is also very good. There are a lot of Spanish folk rock in this album. But there is also a lot of rock and pop around with some chugging guitars to underline their identity as a modern rock/pop band.

This album is most definate an improvement from the previous albums. The songs are better and the arrangements are far more interesting this time around. This album ticks over nicely. A really memorable, great track is missing though and that is my gripe with this album. This is a good album and well worth checking out though.

3 points

Accidental Suicide - Deceased (1992)

This is the first album I ever reviewed for a major magazine back in Norway. I was pretty impressed by it twenty years ago.

Accidental Suicide got themselves a good record deal, released this album and then vanished again without a trace. Which is a bit of a shame. Deceased is a pretty good death metal album. Style wise, they comes across as a mix of Autopsy and Cannibal Corpse. Pretty slow to mid paced death metal in other words. They are not breaking any landspeed records with their music. Neither are they particular brutal, taken into account the grindcore and goregrind bands who later took brutality to another level again.

The music here is safe middle of the road death metal without really impressing me. It is a decent album from a band which had some potential. It sounds a bit dated these days though.

2 points

Numen - Samsara (1998)

The debut album and so far only album from this Spanish band.

Numen's music is in the Pendragon/IQ/Marillion back alley. Neo prog, some call it. The vocals are in English. Their sound is very far from the folk rock dominated Spanish scene. The music is delivered by tangents, guitars, bass, drums and vocals. The songs are medium lenght.

The vocals are pretty thin and not good. Ditto for the sound too. The songs are not particular good either. They are pleasing in a non-offensive way, but not good. This is just one of many bands trying their luck with neo prog and failing in this quest. It is a decent album, but just that. And that does not cut it for me.

2 points

Monday 7 May 2012

Gong - Time Is The Key (1979)

This is Pierre Moerlen's version of Gong and we are talking straight funky jazz here. He's got the likes of Hansford Rowe and Allan Holdsworth with him on this album.

Gone is the adventerous open landscape from the previous  Pierre Moerlen albums. Time Is The Key has a very minimalistic, one dimentional soundscape which leaves very little room for the material here to breathe. The music here is compacted into small pieces. This album too has a punkish feeling to it as the Daevid Allen lead Gong album About Time from the same year. Coincidence ?

Despite of  Pierre Moerlen taking a step backwards with this album, I still like the music here. The percussions and Allan Holdsworth's guitars does it for me. The same goes for the convoluted, but still impressive solos. But this is by no means a great album though. I prefer the other albums to this one.

3 points

Petra Janu - Exploduj (1980)

Petra Janu is a Czech female singer with tens of albums under her belt. She is a national treasure in that country. Her range varies from commercial pop/rock to jazz.

On this album, she is in the pop/rock mood. The opening riffs is stolen from an AC/DC song and her band copies a lot of riffs and themes from other Western artists too during this album. Let's not forget that this album was recorded and released during the cold war and the iron curtain prevented the people in the east, Petra Janu's fans, to get hold of western rock music. You had a lot of local artists who copied riffs and themes from the western artists and got a good career out of that. They got a hard time when perestroika arrived though.

The vocals are in the Czech language and there are a lot of local pop music too on this album. An album which I am sure was very popular back in 1980, but falls flat on it's face today. It has not stood the test of time and it is a cringeworthy listen these days. It is all the commercial music from 1980 put together on this foul smelly stew. In short; avoid at all costs. But Petra Janu's voice is not bad though so good luck to her and her career.
It is the music here I strongly object to.

1 point

Mago De Oz - La Leyenda De La Mancha (1998)

The third album from these Spanish folk metallers.

Folk metal has been quite so popular since..... well, since Thin Lizzy started out in the beginning of the 1970s. Although they were a much more hard rock folk band. Mago De Oz though combines power metal with celtic folk rock. That means plenty of jigs with flutes and violins in addition to the usual power metal guitars. References are mostly Skyclad. But the Spanish vocals sets Mago De Oz apart from the rest of the scene.

The music is happy chappy party throughout the 60 minutes. Mostly, that is. A couple of power ballads breaks up the wild parties too. Terrible power ballads, that is.

The musicians is doing their best and this album is not a disaster zone. But I have big problems finding anything good to say about this album. This album is not for me and I award is a pretty decent status.

2 points

Porcupine Tree - The Sky Moves Sideways (1995)

I have really never caught onto this band...... before now, that is. This, their third album has won me over.

Long songs with a mix of Pink Floyd, the indie pop sound and the song structures of the epic symphonic prog scene is a mix I really like. And so is the use of guitars, tangents, drums, bass and Steven Wilson's vocals too.
All of you should already know this band and this album by now so there is no point of going more into this.

The title track is superb. Both phase 1 and 2. The other songs are also great. This makes this their first really great album and I suspect, the first of many really great albums. I am really looking forward to sink my brain into the rest of them.

4 points

Sunday 6 May 2012

Ange - Par les Fils de Mandrin (1976)

The fifth album from these French masters of progressive rock.

I gladly admit Ange is a band that fascinates me. Their mix of Paris cafeteria bohemian music aka Jaques Brel and English pastoral progressive rock aka Genesis is close to my heart. Par les Fils de Mandrin is no exception from this formula.

The French vocals are pretty dominant here. Par les Fils de Mandrin sounds like a concept album with a narration running through it. That means not everything here is great. There are some great songs here. But there are also some pretty uninteresting stuff here too. The quality varies from good to great. This is by no means Ange's finest moment, I am afraid. But it is still a very good album.

3.5 points

Vega - Andaluza (1978)

The debut album from this Spanish band. The first of in total three albums before this band were disbanded.

I was expected a solid dosage of flamenco and passionate Spanish vocals as this album is listed as folk rock on some websites. I was wrong.

Vega's music, on this album, is entirely instrumental. And yes, there are some flamenco kicking about on this album. But the acoustic, jazzy guitars are, together with electric guitars, the dominant instruments here. They are supported by tangents, bass and drums too. Al Di Meola is a good reference. The music is a mix of folk, epic prog, gypsy and jazz.

The music here are really great. It has this wonderful fusion mentioned above as it's core. On the basis of that, they have added some really great tunes too. Which makes this one of the hidden gems of the Spanish scene and one most definate worth checking out. It is recommended.

4 points

Friday 4 May 2012

Victor Peraino's Kingdom Come - No Man's Land (2010)

Album originally released in 1975, but re-released two years ago through Black Widow Records in a substantially re-worked edition.

Victor Peraino was the tangent player in Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come. The band that gave us the mega hit Fire. Arthur Brown broke up Kingdom Come and Victor Peraino took it over, released the first version of this album in 150 copies on LP and then disappeared again. Black Widow Records kindly made it available again.

This album does include a version of Fire too. So a tick in the box there. That aside, this album consists of space rock influenced mainstream rock from the mid 1970s. In addition to the traditional rock setup, there is also some flutes, woodwinds and mellotron here. The sound is not the best though. Pretty sub standard, in fact. The vocals are pretty good though.

The whole album feels a bit cobbled together and that was exactly what it was. It was Victor Peraino out to prove that Kingdom Come was his band. The result is not good. Even Fire is lacking... ehh.... fire in it's belly.
The overall quality is decent. But nothing more than that. This band and album is just a footnote in the history of music and barely that, if this album is being presented as the evidence for their status.

2 points

Mourning Beloveth - A Murderous Circus (2005)

It is pretty obvious My Dying Bride has left an impression on this world. With good reason too. Mourning Beloveth from Ireland has had a good listen to the bride's first album and made three-four albums out of that experience.

Mourning Beloveth's music is slow, slightly symphonic doom metal with bass, drums, guitars and growls vocals. A mix of death and doom metal, some would say. But Mourning Beloveth never really push the accelerator. At their fastest, they are mid tempo.

This is their debut album and they shows a lot of promise on this album. The songs are not fully developed yet. The My Dying Bride references comes a bit too thick for my liking. But they are onto something here. It is a decent debut album which comes without any really good songs. But I still give them another chance and is purchasing their second album on the basis of what I hear here.

2.5 points

Thursday 3 May 2012

Stackpole - Stackpole (1999)

Improvised jazz lead by the well known guitarist Dennis Rea.

I am not a fan of fragmented improvised jazz like Stackpole are doing here. I want a lot more structure in my music than this. Hence, this album falls flat on it's face and that even after a couple of weeks listening. I simply does not get it, if there is anything like "it" in this music. The musicians is doing a great job and Dennis Rea's guitar sound is good. But besides of that ? Nothing. Sorry, but I am not amused.

1 point

Rumour Den - Melancholics Anonymous (2012)

The debut album from this band from Northern Ireland. Originally recorded in 2002, released through Bandcamp ten years later.

Both Rumour Den and this album has been compared to a Porcupine Tree album. I have to admit I am not that into Porcupine Tree. But I guess that is a good label and not one to scare people away from this album. In my own words, I would describe Melancholics Anonymous as an album full of intelligent, cleverly written & performed art-rock songs. They are performed with the usual setup, sometimes helped with orchestral instruments (sampled). But the basis is guitars, bass, tangents, drums and vocals.

The vocals are excellent. The same goes for the sound and the other instruments. The songs are great with some suberb tracks too. My only gripe is the lack of a big signature track which would had elevated this album to a masterpiece. But by all means; this is a highly impressive album which should appeal to all art and college rock fans. I hope this is the first of many albums from this band.

4 points

Album download (£ 5)

Golem - Orion Awakes (1973)

Another German band with only one album before they disappeared for good.

Orion Awakes is another fine krautrock album. Or rather space rock album with a lot of interesting rhythms, improvised guitar playing and repetetive themes. There is also a lot of fusion on this album. Krautrock in other words.

Although this album by no means is a great album, it reminds me why I really like krautrock. Instrumental hypnotic space rock with a lot of fusion is something I really like. If it had included some great tunes too, I would had been even happier. But this is still a very good album.

3.5 points

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Van Der Graaf Generator - The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other (1970)

1970 was a good year for music. Some of the greatest albums of all time saw the light that year. One of the more unknown genre setting albums from that time is this album, the second album from this band. It is really the first true Van Der Graaf Generator album though because it featured the well known Van Der Graaf Generator sound. A dark, gloomy pastoral sound.

This album includes and indeed starts with two classic Van Der Graaf Generator tracks. Darkness and Refugees is two excellent tracks. White Hammer too is a very popular track from this album. But my favorite track is the closing track After The Flood. An epic elleven minutes long track which has all the hallmarks of their classic A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers from Pawn Heats.

In short; this is a great album and is a safe purchase from one of the best progressive rock bands off all time.

4 points