Sunday 31 May 2015

Holy Lamb - Beneath The Skin (2002)

The fourth and so far the last album from this Lavian band.

The band started out as a thrash metal band and got a pretty substantial following. The band then turned around approx 180 degrees and went prog rock. Neo prog to be more precise.

This forty-five minutes long album contains five songs. The longest one, The Sea, is seventeen minutes long. That speaks symphonic prog to some of you. That includes ProgArchives who has this band listed as a symphonic prog band. I am not in agreement with them on this. 

What we get here is some pretty eclectic prog. They have taken a lot of the Gentle Giant ethos and dragged it into a more neo-prog setting. There is a lot of things going on during these forty-five minutes. Bewildering much. A lot of different music styles gets a visit from this album. The instrumentation is guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals. English vocals and the vocals are mainly male ones. Good male vocals. A female vocalist livens up the longest song here.

The album is a bit bewildering. But there is a lot of life and theatre on this album. Vaudeville rock is a good label here. The end result is a good album with a very good organ sound which I really like. This album must be checked out to be believed, that is for sure.

3 points

Cosmic Jokers. The - Sci Fi Party

The fourth album from this German band in a matter of a few months back in 1974. 

Dieter Dierks, later most known as the manager of hard rock band The Scorpions and Klaus Schulze is very much involved in this album too. 

I am not a big fan of their previous albums. Too much twisting buttons and pointless electronica for the sake of electronica. I am not a fan of this type of music..

On this album though, the band has taken the hint and progressed. Very much progressed. There are even some very decent, dare I say..... good tunes on this album. The band has taken their inspirations from both Guru Guru and Amon Duul II on this album. Even Agitation Free has inspired some of the music here. 

This is still an electronica kraut album. But there are signs of hope here. So much that I really like this album. Yes, you heard me right. I like this album. There is a lot of inspiring, interesting pieces here. So much that it is a good album and their best album so far. 

3 points   

Atlantide - Francesco ti ricordi (1976)

The one and only album from this Italian band.

This band should not be confused with the French band of the same name. I have chosen to review both albums during the last weeks. Both albums deserve reviews. 

I think the cover alludes to what we get here. A hard rocking album full of attitude. Atlantide was a four piece with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, organs and Italian vocals.

The sound is good and ditto for the vocals. The music is pretty much straight forward with some decent organs and guitar runs. I think Budgie is a good reference for the music here as it is pretty much a boogie album. 

This forty minutes album is most of all a power pop album with a lot of Italian pop and attitudes. The music is very much decent without really being good. It is a decent album, well worth checking out if you are into the more hard rocking end of the Italian scene.

2.5 points

Saturday 30 May 2015

Schizofrantik - Knight on the Shark (2013)

The fifth album from this German band.

Their band name really says it all as I alluded to in my review of their 2011 album Oddities. Frantic and really schizo form of music. Really progressive too. 

This power trio (guitars, bass, drums and vocals) plays a really technical form of progressive post rock with a lot of changes of themes and odd rhythm structures. Very odd, in fact.

This time around, they have also included a lot of melodies too. Enough to make this rather weird album a lot more interesting than I anticipated. The album is fifty minutes long too and that is long enough to make this an interesting album. Not too long and not an overdose of uber-tech in other words.

This is a good album too and one I would recommend.

3 points  

Bachdenkel - Stalingrad (1977)

The second and final album from this rather obscure English band.

Their 1970 debut album Lemmings was quite a good psych/The Beatles influenced album. I believe the band had split in 1977. Which meant this forty odd minutes long Stalingrad was released after their demise.

The band was a three piece with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, organs, piano and vocals. Some really good vocals too. 

The band is still floating around the psych rock genre. There is some symphonic prog here too although the songs are pretty short. These short songs are still pretty intricate too and is still leaning towards the The Beatles territory. Or perhaps Barclay James Harvest territory.

The songs are good throughout and they proves that obscure bands like this one has a lot to offer too. I really like this good album and would recommend it. The CD version from 1990 comes with a lot of bonus tracks which I have ignored in this review. 

Check out this album.

3 points 

Friday 29 May 2015

7 for 4 - Splash (2014)

The fourth album from this German band.

I believe one of my first ever reviews for ProgArchives back in October 2008 was of their 2004 album Time. I liked that album.

I have to admit my musical preferences has moved on from the mix of Dream Theater and fusion I so much liked on Time. That is the music we also get here from this three piece. The lineup is guitars, drums and bass and this album is fifty-two minutes long. 

The album really throws a big punch. I am not really into these long guitar solos anymore and the music is pretty bland. Neither do I much enjoy their take on Dream Theater'esque prog metal. 

This is a slick album and not much an album with it's own soul and identity. This album runs through the motions and I find this a decent album, but nothing more.

2 points

Thursday 28 May 2015

Quinteto Armorial - Quinteto Armorial (1978)

The third album from this Brazilian band.

I am by no means a fan of their previous two albums and gladly admit that I should have given them a miss. But they are on my desk and I am reviewing them.

I am not a fan of traditional folk music and that is what we get here. The band continues in an acoustic tradition here with plenty of violins and other strings. Guitars for example.

The band has developed in a more melodic vein on this album. It is still a dense folk music orientated album and I find it a bit hard to swallow. 

Nevertheless, this is a decent to good album. It is also an album for the die hard folk music fans out there.

2.5 points

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Source. The - All Along This Land (2006)

The first of two albums from this US band.

The Source was a four piece band and their lineup was vocals, guitars, bass, drums, organs and piano.

The sound is pretty lush and warm. Ditto for the vocals too. The music is at times half-acoustic. Well, it is half-acoustic most of the times. 

To put a label on it........ College rock meets progressive rock. The music is typical Made in USA. The music is also very melodic. Melodic, but still pretty intricate. Hence, the progressive rock label here on the music and on the band. Which is a perfectly true label.

There is no really great songs here although most of the music is good to very good. Hence, I rate this as a good album which does not really sparkle.

3 points

Sunday 24 May 2015

Frutería Toñi ‎- Mellotron En Almíbar (2014)

The debut album from this Spanish band. 

The album has been released as a name-your-price Bandcamp album and you can check it out from here.

The artwork is very fruity and so is the band name. Unfortunate, I don't know who is involved in this band/project. Nevertheless, the lineup is mostly acoustic instruments and the label chamber rock/RIO is fitting for this project. 

When I use the term "RIO", let me also qualify this with mentioning that the music is not as dark as Univers Zero or that like. The music is also more wild and happy than the likes of Aranis. I would say this forty-five minutes album is like Area meets Aranis. This also taking into account that the band also has some mad Spanish vocals throughout.  

These forty-five minutes long album also got some good references to Spanish folk music too. It is a very fruity album indeed.

The quality of the music is generally good. I quite like this album although my preferred type of RIO is a lot darker than what this band/project comes up with. I would still recommend this album and it is most certainly worthy a download and a donation to the band.

3 points

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Kaipa - Sattyg (2014)

The twelfth album from this Swedish band.

The latest 2-3 Kaipa albums has had a very good standard without really being brilliant or even great. Some would even say they have become a tad formalistic. Well, that is what I am saying. 

Hans Lundin is still the captain on the ship and the lineups is more or less the same as on Vittjar, their previous album. Ditto for the instruments.

Sattyg is still a bit of a style changer for Kaipa. Yes, we still get Swedish symphonic prog here in the good old vein. Kaipa is proving that they are the grand-fathers of that genre. But......

.... There are two very notable changes here. The female vocalist Aleena Gibson, who were more in the background on the other albums, has been pushed more to the foreground and has taken up a lot more of the vocals duties.

The other subtle change, more than a subtle change btw, is the move towards traditional Swedish folk music. Kaipa has always been leaning towards Swedish folk music anyway. On Sattyg, they have more or less embraced it. You can hear this in the guitar solos and everywhere in the music. The music is still mainly symphonic prog though......

The end result is a very good seventy minutes long album. It is not the most exciting album around and those looking for something more fresh and contemporary may look somewhere else. It is still a very nice slab of Swedish symphonic prog and one to fully embrace.

3.5 points

Saturday 16 May 2015

Psychedelic Ensemble. The - The Sunstone (2015)

The fifth album from this US anonymous guy who plays a lot of instruments and has also hired in a handful of other musicians too. That includes female vocalists. 

The instruments here ranges from guitars, violins, bass, synths, keyboards, drums to male and female vocals. A wide array of instruments and I can understand that this ensemble has now got themselves a conductor. Although I believe the addition of a conductor was more than a bit cheek in tongue. This ensemble is a studio project. 

I get the feeling that this may be a concept album too. The sound is massive and leaning towards classical music at several stages. The music is more symphonic prog with a jazzy slant than neo-prog. There is a lot of female vocals here. Very beautiful female vocals too. 

There is also a lot of guitars and keyboards too. Most of the music is very melodic. A bit overwhelming big, but still melodic. 

The result is a very good one hour long album from one of the best new projects in today's scene. It is about time it get the attention it deserve. But the lack of touring and interviews.............. Yes, I know.

3.5 points 

Corde Oblique - A Hail of Bitter Almonds (2011)

The fourth album from this Italian band.

Corde Oblique is a folk rock group and their members list is very, very long. It is my understanding that the acoustic guitar player Riccardo Prencipe is the main man in this band. His guitars can be heard everywhere.  

The list of instruments is very long too. Most of them are acoustic of all sorts. The vocals are both female and male. The vocals are both in English and in Italian.

Despite of being a folk music band, most of the song structures are distinctive rock and even progressive rock. The songs are mostly really good here. Yes, there are some acoustic pieces, brief pauses from the songs scattered around this album. Most of the album does have songs though. 

The quality of this fifty-five minutes long album is very good and I really recommend this album. This is one of the best folk rock albums I have heard for ages. 

3.5 points 

Thursday 14 May 2015

Nucleus - Elastic Rock (1970)

The debut album from this British band who went on to releasing fourteen albums between 1970 and 1988. I got three of their albums.

Nucleus was the nucleus of the British jazz scene in the early 1970s. Well, more or less. Two of the members here, John Marshall and Karl Jenkins, moved on to Soft Machine later on. John Marshall is now in Soft Machine Legacy and Karl Jenkins is a classical music composer who delivered music to the 2012 London Olympic games too. The leader of Nucleus, Ian Carr, sadly passed away a couple of years ago.

The band was a six piece on this album with both woodwinds and guitars as leading solo instruments. But most of the solos is done by the woodwinds. To the solo instruments, you can add piano, organ, bass and drums. 

I am an unashamed Soft Machine fan and there is no doubts Nucleus falls into the same genre as that band. I am in familiar landscape here. Which is why I am not particular impressed with the first half of the album which features too much laid back jazz. I like my jazz a lot more intense than this. That is why I very much like the second half of this forty minutes long album. A far more intense twenty minutes of solos and hard bopping jazz. 

The end result is a good album though and a positive impression of this band. I am very much looking forward to listen to the two other albums too and perhaps purchasing some more Nucleus albums too.

3 points  

Sense - Going Home (2007)

The fourth album from this Canadian band and my first ever meeting with them. 

The band comes from the French speaking part of Canada, but their vocals are all in English. And so is their music too. Very English too. 

This five piece makes their music with a lineup of stick, guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals. The vocals are OK. The French accent makes me wish that they had made this a French speaking album. 

The music is pretty standard neo-prog with some standard rock and AOR influences. The songs are good though and the band has some very good melody lines too. Not at least when the stick and mellotron sounding keyboard is chiming in. The music is also looking back towards the 1970s throughout.

This is not the most exciting album I have ever heard. Nevertheless; this is a good album.

3 points

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Malibran - Le Porte Del Silenzio (1993)

The second album from this Italian band. 

I was quite impressed by their 1990 debut album The Wood Of Tales. Some good Italian prog rock, it was. So I was eager to check out this one.

The band is a six piece here with saxophone, flutes, guitars, keyboards, piano, drums, bass and vocals. The vocals are both in Italian and English. The first half of this one hour long album contains English vocals and they are really bad. The final half contains Italian vocals and it feels so much more natural and flowing.

That is whole saga about this album. The first half has some pretty horrible neo-prog which makes me wonder why I like neo-prog. Teenybopper rock is my call here. 

The final half of this album shows a band turning more towards the very colourful and epic Italian symphonic prog rock music and fully embracing it. The result is so much better. 

Even the final half of the album label this album firmly in the neo-prog genre and I am not overwhelmed impressed by this album as a whole. That is an understatement........ 

This album is somewhere between decent and good. Hence my verdict here. 

2.5 points

Atrium - Journeys And Melodies (2014)

The second album from this Portuguese band. 

I quite liked their 2011 debut album, aptly named 2011. It was a refreshing take on neo-prog. So the band has returned with this album as a five piece. The lineup is guitars, bass, keyboards, drums and English vocals. 

The vocals is a bit of a sore point here. It is pretty bad and with a very heavy accent. My suggestion is; if your language skills is not good enough to carry English vocals, sing in your own language. This album is a prime example of that. The vocalist should had stuck to Portuguese.

That would had also saved this album from being a pretty bleak album bereft of most qualities. The music is somewhere between neo-prog, symph and very standard, almost teenybopper rock. The cliches comes thick and fast here through out this forty-seven minutes long album. The band has not invented the wheel, let me put it that way. 

This makes a very dull and uninteresting album. The vocals makes this a bona fide turkey, cluck-cluck'in away in my turkey yard. Horrible is the word.

1 point  

Monday 11 May 2015

Fonderia - Re>>enter (2006)

The second album from this Italian band.

Their first album was quite a tasty jazz album and it got the band a lot of fans. So they came back with a second helping. This album, that is.

The band is a five piece on this album and the lineup includes a multitude of instruments. From all thinkable and unthinkable forms of woodwinds to piano, guitars, keyboards, bass and drums. The band brings a lot of sounds to the table.

Some of the music here reminds me about Miles Davis. Other parts reminds me a bit about Soft Machine. The woodwinds is mostly in the front while the piano and guitars are honking around in the background as a secondary leading voice. 

The music is pretty laid back and not that aggressive. The music is still pretty intense and I find myself liking what I hear. Which is a long, good album which may be a bit one dimensional but still a good album. Jazz fans should really check out this album.

3 points 

Sunday 10 May 2015

Atlantide - Atlantide (1976)

Another band who released one album and then disappeared without a trace. This band comes from France.

The prog rock history is full of one albums only bands. This French six piece is one of them. The lineup is bongons, mellotron, guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and French vocals. 

The music is a bit all over the place when it comes to genres. Maybe the label French symphonic prog is the best label here. The album goes from pastoral acoustic guitars pieces to really being hard rocking. That though within a reasonable symphonic prog setting. No, forget that. Too much of this music is hard rocking. There are also some space rock here and some psychedelia. 

In short, an album which can be a bit bewildering. Not much of the music is good music either. This forty-three minutes long album is blowing bit hot and cold. But without coming up with the real goods. This is a decent album and that is it.

2 points

Weather Report - Tale Spinnin' (1975)

The fifth album from this US band.

Weather Report's music is probably the least accessible of the fusion who emerged from the Bitches Brew sessions (by Miles Davis). The emphasis has been more on jazz than rock in their music.

And that too is the case here. Wayne Shorter's saxophones and Joe Zawinul's keyboards is dueling over a bed of bass, percussions and drums. The music here is pretty funky and openly happy. 

I am starting to understand this band now after purchasing the two Original Albums boxes (2 x 5 CDs for £ 10 each..... a bargain !). So I am getting into this. Tale Spinnin' does not really have the best music though. Not even great music. It is also a funky album too. 

The music is pretty intense too and the duels between the two soloists creates some very good music. And this is a good forty-three minutes long album. But I have better albums from them than this one.

This is a good album which sorely lacks a great tune or two.

3 points  

Showmen 2 - Showmen 2 (1974)

The second and final album from this short lived Italian band.

I kind of got the drift when I spotted the band name. I got show-band associations here. The six piece band does little to get me on some better thoughts. 

The lineup is full of woodwinds and brass. That and some organs, bass, guitars, drums and Italian vocals.

This fifty minutes long album also got some Led Zeppelin vibes along the way. But most of all; this is album is a mix of tijuana jazz and hard rock. Show-bands rock in other words.

The sound is not the best. But the music is not bad at all. OK, the music is outdated by forty years. Nevertheless, this is a decent album.

2 points

Sicher - Sicher (1981)

The one and only album from this Swiss band. An album yet to be released on CD. 

Sicher was an eight piece band on this album with a lineup of violins, organs, keyboards, bass, drums, guitars, sax and flutes. And this album is an instrumental album.

It is listed as a symphonic prog album in ProgArchives and hence; it caught my attention. So I purchased it. 

Although a large chunk of this album is symphonic prog, another big chunk of it is firmly fusion and jazz. Then you got some chamber classical music too here. It is fair to say that this band has fused most of the melodic progressive rock scene from the 1970 into one entity; this album. 

The organ sound is very good. The melodies here not so good. The music is a bit on the slick side and is a bit bereft of substance and contents. This is a forty-five minutes long album the world has forgotten and I can understand why. 

2.5 points

Saturday 9 May 2015

Stackridge - The Man in the Bowler Hat (1974)

The third album from this English band.

Stackridge was called the west counties answer to The Beatles when they started out. This six piece band is firmly in the English apple orchards folk rock tradition though. There is a lot of traditional vocals in their music in addition to acoustic guitars. These are backed up with violin. cello, flutes, bass, drums and keyboards.

This album starts out in the good old The Beatles vein with a lot of pop and some psychedelia vibes too. The album is then incorporating folk rock and.........wait for it.......... some soul too. The final part of this CD with the bonus tracks and all has a lot of strange songs too. Songs that I am not that fond of.

The end result is an album I do not really like at all. The final half really destroys it for me. The first half is good, I agree. The rest........ 

This is a decent to good album. Nothing more than that.

2.5 points 


Samurai Of Prog. The - The Imperial Hotel (2014)

The third album from this multi-national band. 

The band includes a multitude of musicians from the likes of Anglagard, Kenso, Glass Hammer, Resistor and many other bands. The core of the band is from Finland and they are a three piece. The lineup is a multitude of instruments.  

This is their first album with original material after having released two albums with mainly cover versions. And yes, we are somewhere in the symphonic prog land. The title track is half an hour long.

Take a good chunk of Yes, Kaipa, Genesis, Glass Hammer and The Flower Kings. That is when you get this band. A band who are an unashamed pastisj of these bands and other symphonic prog bands.

The music is not copycat music. It is very, very inspired by the music of the greatest symphonic prog bands. That is something they have not denied. The music is though written by the band and stands proudly on it's own feet.

An the music is mainly very good too. The opening track After The Echoes is a great track, the eight minutes of it. Ditto for large parts of the title track. There are some not so good stuff here too. This is therefore a very good album well worth checking out.

3.5 points

Ave Rock - Ave Rock (1974)

The debut album from this Argentinian band who went on to release in total two albums.

The band was a five piece band with a lineup of keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and vocals. Spanish vocals, that is.

The sound is as expected from an album from 194. It is pretty raw, but still pretty good. They had a good studio and the album sounds good to me. 

The music has been labeled as eclectic in ProgArchives. I am not so sure about that as this music is not exactly in the Gentle Giant, King Crimson or Van Der Graaf Generator mould. The keyboards gives it some really good prog rock vibes and ditto for some of the more pastoral moments. The music is pretty hard though and this album falls into the hard prog category in my view. 

The music on this forty minutes long album is pretty lively with some hard rocking guitars, thundering bass and rumbling drums. The vocals is also in that mould. The band is from South America and the album has this red thread and sound running through it as blood veins in a body. 

The end result is a decent to good album which does not really have any great or good songs. There are some flashes of good stuff here and I would not write of this album.

2.5 points   

Friday 8 May 2015

Seven Day Hunt - File This Dream (2008)

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

The name/band may be new to you. They are though veterans and used to be called Egdon Heath. A band who released four studio albums before splitting up. Unfortunate, Seven Days Hunt also split up too after releasing this album.

This band was a four piece with a line up of keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and vocals. They are helped out by a female vocals on a couple of tracks too.

And we are deep into neo-prog land here. Pretty standard neo-prog with the usual verse-chorus-verse structures. That goes for this whole seventy minutes long album.

That can be very effective though when done properly. Something the band has done here. The songs are pretty catchy and at times; very good. That for at least forty minutes. The final twenty minutes is not so good. The opening tracks though is very good.

If you like really good neo-prog in the traditional vein, this is an album for you. This is a good album and one I really like. The first half of this album, that is.

3 points

Avalon Legend II - Un Sogno Per Cambiare (2014)

The debut album from this Italian band.

I know next to nothing about this band and album. It was sold to me as an Italian progressive rock album. So I bought it as I am a sucker for Italian progressive rock. 

The lineup is keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and Italian male vocals. I am not sure how many members Avalon Legend II contains. I am not even sure if this is a band or a project.

The only thing I am sure about is the music. It was sold to me as progressive rock. That is not what really comes out of the speakers though. And my speakers are reliable. 

The music here is Italian rock. Pretty much mainstream Italian rock which is dominated by vocals. The sound is great and the musicians does their job to a very good standard. Ditto for the vocalist. There are no really good songs here on this fifty-three minutes long album. 

This is a decent album and only that. A decent album with not much interesting music. It is a standard rock album and that is it.

2 points  

Thursday 7 May 2015

Tangent. The - The World That We Drive Through (2004)

The second album from this international band lead by Andy Tillison. 

The band was a supergroup at their two first albums. In addition to Andy, we also got Roine Stolt, Guy Manning, Jonas Reingold and Theo Travis. All of them super artists in their own right. If I am not much mistaken, this is the final album with this constellation. 

Andy Tillison is still very much in charge here on the keyboards and on vocals. The music is the typical mix of Canterbury prog and symphonic prog. Their sound is very distinctive and easy to detect. 

The music is more introvert than I am used to from The Tangent. There are a couple of dubious songs too. There are also some very good songs. This is an album with highs and lows. 

The end result is a good album and one you should check out.

3 points 

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Shakary - Alya (2000)

The first of two albums from this Swiss band.

Shakary was a three piece band who got a lot of help and contributions from guest musicians on this album. The lineup is keyboards, piano, guitars, bass, drums and vocals. English vocals.

And yes, this is a neo-prog album. A neo-prog album who straddles both the English and the German neo-prog scenes. Despite of that, I was immediate drawn to comparing Shakary and this album to the English band called Threshold. In some quarters, they are regarded as more of a prog metal band. I don't agree but that is another discussion. Shakary reminds me a lot about Threshold.

The music here is very dynamic and a bit on the dark, gloomy side. The vocals may be the reason for the gloomy ambience here. 

There are no really great songs here. Nevertheless, this is a good album which I really find interesting.

3 points

Tuesday 5 May 2015

Fonderia - Fonderia (2002)

The debut album from this Italian band who so far has released three albums. 

I really liked their third album and reviewed it some years ago in ProgArchives. Hence my interest in this band. But other albums, 2500 them, has won my attention more than the two remaining Fonderia albums yet to be reviewed. Something about to change now.

Fonderia was a four piece band and they played straight jazz/fusion on this album. They did change towards eclectic prog at their third album. But not here.........

The instruments is woodwinds, guitars, bass, drums, piano and keyboards. 

The music on this one hour long album is jazz/fusion based on these instruments. The music is medium intense. It is not particular hard jazz and it is not lounge jazz either. It is middle of the road.

The quality is good throughout and I am really enjoying this album. It comes recommended.

3 points 

Sunday 3 May 2015

Psychedelic Ensemble. The - The Dream Of The Magic Jongleur (2011)

The third album from this US one man band with a guy who want to be left nameless. Which is fair enough.

This is my first meeting with his music after years of hearing only positive things about this, what I thought was a band. It is not so I am now a lot wiser.

This nameless man does everything here and I detect a lot of synths, guitars, bass, drums and some very pleasant vocals.

The band is labeled as a neo-prog band. Perhaps US neo-prog. Well, it is. The European neo-prog sound is a lot more naked and stripped bare than the US version where everything is bigger and brasher. 

Half of this album though sounds like symphonic prog to me with some church organs and some symph prog song structures. The first half of this album is great, great symphonic prog. 

The final half of this sixty-three minutes long album fizzles out a lot and we get some good US neo-prog. There are still some very good synth runs and melodies. The songs are not that good on this half of the album. 

So this album is an album in two halves. One half is great. The other one is good. Hence my rating.

3.5 points.

Bachdenkel - Lemmings (1970)

The debut album from this British band who released two albums before they were disbanded. A mostly forgotten band, but whose albums is still highly sought after. Both albums can be purchased as a 2 for 1 on CD. Even that CD is now highly sought after.

The band was a four piece with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, piano, organ and vocals. 

The music....... Well, let us start with The Beatles. Take a lot from them, add a lot of psychedelic rock and some hard rock. Then you get this album and this band. There some space rock here too. 

If pressed, I would label this as psychedelic rock. The vocals are really good and the other musicians is doing a very good job too. The music sounds both a bit naive aka the 1960s and grown up and developed aka the 1970s.

I really like this album and it is indeed a good album. What it is really missing is a great track or two. I guess that is the reason why this is such an obscure band. So obscure I did not even know about them before February this year. I guess there are some more gems out there and it is one of the reasons why I am running this blog.

3 points 

Moody Blues. The - Keys Of The Kingdom (1991)

The fourteenth album from this English band.

Justin Hayward and Patrick Moraz is still present in the and they got help from both Graeme Edge and John Locke. That is The Moody Blues on this album. In addition to this four piece, a lot of other musicians and a full symphony orchestra also helps them out.

Gone is the glorious progressive rock days of this band. In comes house wives and plastic fantastic yuppies friendly music. The music is so slick and so calculated that it goes well with the new Nokia mobile phones from that time. 

The songs are not that terrible. This one hour long album is not a turkey. But it runs that status close. The band has gone the way Genesis went. To the knackers yard and to the land where plastic is king.

1.5 points

Arrow Haze - Music Factory (2012)

The debut album from this Belgium based band.

Promoted to me as a prog rock album, I gladly purchased this album. What I got....... I am by no means a fan of progressive metal. It is in fact one of my pet hates. 

But first thing first. I know next to nothing about this band. I believe it is a five piece based on the sound and the live shots. I may be wrong. The lineup is keyboards, bass, drums, vocals and tonnes of guitars.

Progressive metal........ Well, it is not really traditional progressive metal. The band has taken a lot from the Seattle grunge scene and incorporated it into a mix of neo-prog and progressive metal. The music is pretty melodic. It is also full of guitar solos and I guess a socalled guitar hero is involved in the band. Timo Somers, he is called.

The music is pretty good and not as progressive metal as I feared. It is not an album down my alley though. I rate this one hour long album somewhere between decent and good. 

2.5 points   

Saturday 2 May 2015

Segno del Comando. Il - Il Segno del Comando (1997)

The debut album from this Italian band who has so far released three albums. I am pretty sure I have reviewed their third album..... No, I actually reviewed their second album Der Golem from 2002. I quite liked that album.

Il Segno Del Comando was a side project and probably still is a side project of another Italian band; Malbora. Some members here also plays in Ianva. 

And I can clearly hear that in the sound and music of this album and band. We are talking very dark and occult Italian progressive rock. For some reasons, Italy have an occult progressive scene too. No other country have that. Not even Great Britain. I guess this is because of the very strong catholic church. Large parts of the imagery has been transferred from the catholic church to the occult scene.

The band was a six piece band here with Italian vocals (both sexes), bass, drums, guitars and keyboards. The music is very gothic and also a bit hard rocking. The music has a bit of a cathedral, religious feel to it too. 

There is no good songs here and the sound is a bit dubious too. The art cover appeals more to the fans of really primitive black/thrash metal than the prog rock crowd. Frankly, this is not a good album at all. This is a decent album though and that is all I can say about it.

2 points 

Secret Green - To Wake The King (2009)

The debut album from this English band/project. A band/project started up by The Enid founding member Francis Lickerish. 

Which should tell us where we are heading next. This is not progressive rock. Neither is it rock music of any kind. Neither is is folk music.

With tonnes of classical music instruments in addition to keyboards and guitars plus some female vocals on the top of that, we are talking about a hybrid of modern and old music. A crossover between classical music and some sort of pop music. Mostly classical music, though.

This album is seventy-five minutes long and it is a sort of a symphony. It is overblown and totally over the top. But not in a good way. I am finding it difficult to listen to this album in one go because it is very dull. There are a few good bits here. Most of the album is decent enough. 

Those into classical music meets modern pop should get this album. I find it a dull, dull decent album. 

2 points 

Sleepy Sun - Maui Tears (2014)

The fourth album from this US band.

I cannot remember if I have ever reviewed one of their three first albums...... Have I ? No. But I believe I got one of their three EPs too.

The band is a five piece band as far as I gather. Their lineup is guitars, bass, drums, vocals and some keyboards. And the band plays space rock.

Well, they call their music for stoner rock. I thought stoner rock was more towards doom metal that what the band is doing on Maui Tears. There is not much, if any, metal here. What we get here is weird, unhinged songs orientated space rock. 

The vocals floats on the top of the music which is pretty spaced out at times. It is still mostly sticking to the verse-chorus-verse formula. 

I very much like the greasy but still crystal clear sound. The songs are not all up to a good level. But there is enough here to make this a good album. A good three quarters of an hour long album. Check it out.

3 points 

Dodson And Fogg - After the Fall (2014)

The fifth album from this English band/project. It is lead by the multi talented artist Chris Wade who also has his fingers in a lot of other pies in the art world. 

Dodson And Fogg is a folk rock project with a lot of psychedelic vibes. The main instruments is vocals of all sorts and guitars. There are some added sitars, flutes, bass, percussions, keyboards and violins. 

The vocals are in the forefront here throughout this forty-two minutes long album. A bit of a one dimensional album, I am afraid. I like albums with a lot less vocals and more pure music. Hence my reservations here.

As per usual when it comes to an album from this band, there is one really great track. God Above is this album's great track. A track I really like. The rest of the album is not that great.

Nevertheless, this is another good album from one of the best new folk rock bands from the home of folk rock; England.

3 points

Friday 1 May 2015

Seasons Of Time - Behind The Mirror (1997)

The debut album from this German band. The first of two albums. The last one was released a couple of years ago.

Seasons Of Time was a five piece band on this album. The lineup was bass, drums, keyboards, guitars and English vocals.

We are in the thriving German neo-prog scene here. A scene which has given us a lot of great bands. In this case, the jury is still out. 

The sound is not the best and this fifty minutes album is really a story of two halves. The first thirty minutes is straight rock with a lot of AOR influences. And the music is most horrid. Well, perhaps not horrid. But it is as dull as watching paint dry. Safe rock with not much inspirations. A female vocalist chimes in and the vocals is not good at all. Neither the male or female vocals is up to a good standard.

The final fifteen minutes shows a band turning more towards Marillion the Fish era. The music is much more inspired and the band comes up with some fine ideas.

The end result is a decent album which will never be played again by me. It is simply too dull and uninspired. Not to mention; uninspiring.

2 points

Scherani. Luca - Everybody's Waiting (2012)

The third album from this Italian keyboardist and songwriter. 

Luca Scherani started out in the band Trama who released one album. He continued in Finisterre and Hostsonaten. Both of them brilliant Italian bands who I rate very highly. 

I have not heard his two first albums. This is my first meeting with his tonal world. A world dominated by his keyboards. This is by no means a man and his keyboards album. The mad professor kind of albums. 

The music is pretty much well balanced and with a lot of violins and female vocals too. The list of contributing musicians is very long indeed. A lot of strings, drums, flutes and vocals can indeed be heard on this forty-five minutes long album. A short album when listening to it. 

There is no really great or even a killer track here. But the music is very good indeed. It is perhaps too smooth. But it is still a very good album in the modern progressive rock vein. 

3.5 points