- James Mac Gaw / guitar
- Emmanuel Borghi / keyboards
- Philippe Bussonnet / basses
- Daniel Jeand'heur / drums
2. "Opus 12" (7:52) a little more driven and uptempo. James Mac Gaw's guitar play is almost ALLAN HOLDSWORTH-like while Emmanuel Borghi's keyboard range is delightfully more similar to those of George Duke's or Allan Zavod's contributions to JEAN-LUC PONTY's wonderful string of albums in the late 1970s. A very solid song with some nice hooks and, of course, great performances. (13.25/15)
3. "Def MK1" (9:48) back to a more brooding jazz-rock, perhaps even closer to the Avant Garde world of GUAPO or UNIVERS ZERO, though this is still very much what we'd all call Zeuhl. Keyboards and drums are more in the limelight on this one. (17.5/20)
4. "Blade" (4:54) opening just like an old JEAN-LUC PONTY song, this one continues to move along very slowly, very delicately, as if moving cautiously through a dingy dark alley well after midnight. Cool but never really goes anywhere--never achieves resolution. (8.667/10)
5. "Automate" (7:29) more plodding suspenseful music in which the drums, bass, and keys play their parts very conservatively over the course of the opening two minutes. Drums are the first instrument to "come to life" in the third minute as the others go through some zombi-like chord progressions before returning to the opening motif. At 3:35 the soundscape shifts (though the rhythm and pacing remains constant) as keys move to the front to solo in a very JAN HAMMER-like aggressive way. The drummer is so solid, so in-sync with the pace! At 5:35 we return to whole-band solidarity (the keyboard solo ends) before we go through the "chorus" of chord progressions. Guitar takes a turn in the lead for final minute but really does nothing very dynamic. Solid. (13/15)
6. "Downwards" (9:10) dirty electric guitar arpeggi in the opening minute give this a very rock feel to it. The break and bridge at the one-minute mark is also very rock-like, but then the band picks up a new chord progression and new rhythm foundation to carry forward. Keys offer a little floweriness before the band shifts gear into a more laid-back Zeuhl motif with strong bass play and, eventually, electric guitar soloing. Despite some fine drumming on display, the repetition of the same descending chord-and note progression gets a little old; by the sixth minute I've about had enough; there's just not enough exciting music going on over the top/in the front. A little keys action, some fine bass play in the seventh and eighth minutes and, finally, some dynamic (JAN AKKERMAN "Answers? Questions!"-like) guitar work eighth and ninth minutes but it's just not enough. (17/20)
Total Time 54:18
- Andrew Marshall / electric and acoustic guitars, 12-string guitar, classical guitar, bass, keyboards, flute, drums and percussion
- Dave Brightman / drums
1. "Argamasilla" (11:04) an enjoyable outtake from GENESIS Duke. Easily the most sophisticated, symphonic, and accomplished of Andrew's compositions to date. And great production/engineering! (18.5/20)
2. "Willowglass" (4:02) acoustic guitars (12-string and 6-) finger-picked and joined by flutes and Mellotron. I like the flute melodies much better than those of the six-string. And the Ant Phillips-like outro. Gorgeous sound palette with not enough variety or development of the two themes. (8/10)
3. "The Maythorne Cross" (10:39) children's instruments in the intro are supplanted by flute and 'tron. The second section gets into KARDA ESTRA-like territory, then we kind of blend it all together in the third minute. Love the use of recorders in the middle (with snare drum military rudiments) but it's all a bit too contrived and too restrained--even when the Hammond and bass begin to "go wild." The ideas here could have been more developed. As it stands, it is just not a coherent or "finished" feeling piece. The whole song feels like a series of rudiments strung together. The song finally gels as it amps up in the final third and lets the Steve Hackett lead guitar wail away, but then there is a really strange ending of space-scape of synths (17.33/20)
4. "Book of Hours" (7:13) organ and guitar arpeggi. 'Tron supplants organ for second motif. This is all very familiar (similar to "Garden" from Andrew's debut album). The entrance of recorder to accompany the acoustic guitar in the next section is a nice change. Organ re-enters and then the full ensemble kicks in with great effect, great warmth, and great cohesion. (12.75/15)
5. "The Labyrinth" (16:50) with opening theme s that sound like they came straight out of GENESIS' 1974-76 period, it then switches to an almost JEAN-LUC PONTY palette before reverting back into the safety of the lush GENESIS palette. Very engaging and satisfying. Not as elegant or filled with clever subtleties in several layers as the Genesis crew would do, but a true step forward in terms of composition sophistication. I think my main frustration with this song is with the high number of riffs and motifs that feel lifted from Genesis songs--not lifted in their exact form but so close, with such little variation, that the source is immediately recognizable and identifiable. The second half feels like Andrew is trying on some of the symphonic bombast that other bands (particularly RPI bands) have gotten away with since 1971 (though in truth it feels more akin to the early works of Ant Phillips and Steve Hackett than their band of origin); it's just a bit much for me. And then the all-too-blatant rip off of Steve's "Shadow of the Heirophant" for the final five minutes is going too far. (26/30)
Total Time: 49:48
- Łukasz Gall / lead vocals
- Piotr Płonka / guitars
- Ryszard Kramarski / keyboards, acoustic rythm guitar, voice (3), mixing
- Krzysztof Wyrwa / bass guitar
- Tomasz Paśko / drums
1. "Embryo" (13:19) constructed and paletted like a slowed down version of PINK FLOYD's Richard Wright's work. The vocal is strained and passionate like something between the work of Robert Smith at his most emotional that of The PAYOLAS on their monster teen anthem, "Eyes of a Stranger." (26.75/30)
2. "Up & Down" (12:28) plods along more like a TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS song until 2:15 when the swirling keyboard tracks and theatric vocals launch us on a kind of carnival ride (this is a vast improvement from the opening section). At 3:50 we then take a sharp turn into a soft piano-based, guitar-strum and picked "Hotel California"-like section. The nice vocals continue to make it interesting. When drums and synth washes join in, it becomes more CHURCH-like. At 7:20 it takes on a whole new DAVID BOWIE like sound and feel (even the vocals). But then at 8:10, we're off into funked up blues-rock for the guitar solo--until 9:10 when a spacious bass and drum section is all that supports the passionate ROBERT SMITH-like vocal and bluesy guitar interjections. When Łukasz stops singing, an electric bass solo ensues over the lushly washed synth background. This lasts for well over 90 seconds--in fact, right to the end! An interesting if multiple identitied song. (21.75/25)
3. "Rat Race" (11:43) opens as a straight-on late 1970s rocker--synths with guitar band. At 1:20 we shift into a totally different, PINK FLOYD-like territory. (16.75/20)
4. "Road To Infinity" (15:29) A solid if fairly simply designed prog song, the song really gets cooking after the 9-minute mark, but, unfortunately, the long guitar solo that follows in the 12th minute through to the end is straight out of NEIL YOUNG's "Like a Hurricane" from Live Rust, note for frickin' note! That's just cheating! (25.5/30)
Total Time 52:59
Line-up / Musicians:
- Kie von Hertzen / guitars, vocals
- Jonne von Hertzen / bass, vocals
- Juha Kuoppala / piano, keyboards
- Mikko Kaakkuriniemi / drums, percussion
- Teemu Mattson / trumpet (2)
- Meta4 Quartet / strings (3,6,9)
- Pessi Levanto / strings arrangements (3,6,9)
- Sonny Heinilä / alto flute (7)
- Jarmo Saari / theremin (8)
- Pekka Kuusisto / violin (8)
- Maikki Liuski / vocals (8)
- Saana Koskinen / vocals (8)
84.44 on the Fish scales = just shy of a near-masterpiece; a very good four star album; an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.
THE QUIET EARTH ORCHESTRA The Quiet Earth Orchestra
Wonderful Neo Prog (due to the vintage 90s sounds and production) from one-man artist-composer, John Ludi. John is blessed with a singing voice that ranges from ICEHOUSE's Iva Davies to DAVID BOWIE and ROGER WATERS. I am greatly impressed with the complexity of John's music: it's subtle; even in such a seemingly simple song as "Simple" there are many layers of instrumentation that go into the production.
1. "History Ends Here" (6:57) synthetic GENESIS. (7.5/10)
2. "God" (7:43) is an awesome song that reminds me of a cross between ROXY MUSIC, COLLAGE (synth work), and KINGSTON WALL (this latter because of the awesome lead electric guitar work and sound). My favorite song on the album. (10/10)
3. "Limitations" (8:59) another song that reminds me of some of the darker, more somber ROXY MUSIC/BRIAN FERRY music (with Iva Davies singing) from the 1980s. The synth horns sound a bit dated. (17/20)
4. "Simple" (3:49) a pretty instrumental with a PINK FLOYD The Wall or The Final Cut feel to it. (8.5/10)
5. "The Prophet" (5:50) a fast-paced rocker whose voice and lyric continue the late Roger Waters/Pink Floyd sound. The piano work in the fourth minute is my favorite part. (8/10)
6. "Singularity" (4:43) contains some great guitar riffs and chord changes as well as one (no, several) of the more interesting vocal styles on the album. A top three for me. (9.5/10)
7. "Slow Down" (7:51) a 70s-sounding rocker with a cool multi-voice approach to delivering the lyric. Reminds me of BLUE ÖYSTER CULT and URIAH HEEP and even a little PROCUL HARUM. Harpsichord! The quick-panning synth horn solo is cool, too. Unfortunately, the vocal style and repetitive stylistic sequences start to wear thin over this long song. (8.25/10)
8. "The Madness of Crowds" (5:02) a little DAVID BOWIE, perhaps? Sure sounds like it! (8/10)
9. "Cicadas" (6:49) more ROXY TALK TALK-like stuff--with a definite stamp of originality to it. Nice vocals and lounge-jazz bass, "brushed" drums. John definitely has a talent for melodic solos from his instruments. My other top three. (9/10)
10. "The Prophet's Theme" (4:54) synth-generated strings, reed instruments, and flute make for an interesting "experiment"--but it leaves me begging for the real thing--an acoustic orchestra. (7/10)
84.25 on the Fishscales = B/four stars; a solid contribution to the Neo Prog world from a very talented composer-producer.
Great melodic KING CRIMSON jazz rock fusion from Spain. The mostly-instrumental album has many dynamic ranges and interesting shifts and sound effect choices and subtleties within each song. Amazing diversity and always melodic! Jazz, folk, world, space/psychedelia, lots of KING CRIMSON and PINK FLOYD and even NEU! sounds--there's a little bit of everything here!
4 star songs: 3. "Meetings At Dawn" (1:36) (8/10); 4. "Kali, Destruccio" (5:11) (8/10); 6. "Abstract Passage" (1:25) (4/5); 7. "Tangle" (6:04) (7/10); 8. "My Being Forgets" (3:46) (8/10); 9. "Infinite Intuition - Recapturat" (8:16) (16/20), and; 12. "Diving Deep" (3:18) (8/10).
84.16 on the Fish scales = just short of the near-masterpiece status; a solid four star album and excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.
- Mirek Gil / guitars
- Satomi / violin
- Przemysław Zawadzki / bass guitar
- Vlodi Tafel / drums
- Adam Miłosz / keyboards
- Winicjusz Chróst / guitar solo (3)
- Karol Wróblewski / flute (3)
- Robert Sieradzki / lyrics & spoken word
Total time: 52:54
Line-up / Musicians:
- Jean-François Arsenault / electric & acoustic guitars
- Eric Plante / synth, sampler, saxophone, backing vocals
- Syd Marchamps / bass, percussion, lead & backing vocals
- Gardy Fury / backing vocals (7)
- Vanessa Caron / flute
- Mathieu Bergeron / drums
1. "Tout ce que j'ai rêvé" (8:47) one of the best songs of 2008! (20/20)
2. "Les arbres" (10:27) bluesy PINK FLOYDian (18/20)
3. "Caché au fond plus haut" (7:14) (13.5/15)
4. Source infinie (4:58)
5. In vitro (2:56)
6. Dans la peau d'un autre I (7:40)
7. Dans la peau d'un autre II (4:37)
8. La fontaine (0:45)
9. "La cage des vautours / Liberté" (15:25) quite an emotional vocal performance over some satisfying and often gorgeous music. The bass, flute, and keyboard work is particularly good. A little standard 1970s rock 'n' roll for my tastes, especially from the guitars and chord structures and progressions. (25/30)
Total Time 62:49
on the Fishscales = / stars;
This album caused quite a stir when it came out because it's predecessor, Jem Godfrey's band's debut, Milliontown had garnered a lot of attention and hope. Experiments in Mass Appeal is a collection of songs that are proggy but amped up and condensed to the point of being guilty of packaging for the masses. Where Milliontown had long, slower developing and more typically prog-paced songs, Experiments has created two- to five-minute monsters that would/could have been seven to twelve minutes long. Godfrey's experience as well-known pop producer has led him to this experiment--one that, in my opinion, he pulls off surprisingly well. To be sure, one of the album's songs, "Falling Down" (5:49) (10/10), is one of the most power-packed songs I've heard--and one of the best songs of 2008. Between Godfrey's keyboard/synth work and JOHN MITCHELL (ARENA, KINO)'s blistering guitar work the album is filled with highlights. The vocals are to my liking, though I've often wished to know what Declan Burke's voice would sound like without going so many treatments. Though there are many soft parts ("Experiments in Mass Appeal," "Welcome to Nowhere," "Saline"), it's the fast-paced, incredibly full parts that are so breathtaking.
Best songs: "Pocket Sun" (4:29) (9/10), "Experiments in Mass Appeal" (7:57) 8/10), "Toys" (3:06) (8/10), and of course, the masterful "Falling Down."
The "sixteen minute" epic, "Wonderland," is worth mentioning for its first six minutes--which are top-notch prog rock--but then the song just disappears. It just stops. After about a minute's silence another totally different (and, frankly, much blander) song returns. What's up with that?!
A good album--one that I don't listen to all that often (I think cuz it all kind of blends together, homogenized, if you know what I mean, in one sitting), though I listen to "Falling Down" and the song "Milliontown" quite a lot.
1. "Prebirth" (1:10) is a collage of world music instruments setting up the album's predominantly somber, sometimes eerie mood. (8/10)
2. "The New Beginning" (4:50) begins with more exotic world instruments. It has very nice guitars and vocal in the first two minutes and a great mix, mood throughout. I just keep waiting for the change, the shift, the excitement. (8/10)
3. "Out on a Limb" (5:27) has Duda singing in his RIVERSIDE voice. There is a very nice climax to fade in the fourth minute. (7/10)
4. "Summerland" (5:00) is a pretty enough song--with nice CHROMA KEY vocal and melody. The build is nice--especially after the 3:15 mark. (7/10)
5. "Lunatic Soul" (6:47) begins with kalimba, keys, and acoustic guitar in a very PORCUPINE TREEish sound--even/especially when the organ and drums are added. (7/10)
6. "Where the Darkness Is Deepest" (3:57) has a very modern, computer age/PORCUPINE TREE sound to it until the piano comes in at the 3:00 mark. (7/10)
7. "Near Life Experience" (5:27) is the most developed song (thus far) though still sounds like a CHROMA KEY song. Unfortunately, this one is an instrumental; it's just begging for some vocals! (8/10)
8. "Adrift" (3:05) begins with a very spaced-out acoustic guitar, which is then joined by drums, a second acoustic guitar, and a vocal. At 1:00 bass enters with a nice FRIPP-y guitar solo. (8/10)
9. "The Final Truth" (7:34) is a nice vehicle for a great voice and vocal. I t keeps building and building, adding layer after layer, but ultimately goes nowhere. (8/10)
10. "Waiting for the Dawn" (3:36) is the world music outro bookend to the album's "prebirth" intro. (7/10)
Overall a very nice album which sounds great but lacks the interesting musical constructs to bring one back again and again. (Though I keep going back again and again--thinking that I might have missed something--that the twists and hooks are there, I just wasn't listening closely.) This 'band' certainly has great chemistry and talent, but they need more ambitious songwriting/er.
75.0 on the Fish scales = 3.5 stars marked down for monotony.
1. "Constant Bloom"(1:27) is a very cool introductory song--reminding me of the barbershop quartet "Excuse Me" on PETER GABRIEL's first solo album (except a little more somber and serious.) (9.5/10) IMO, the shorter songs work well, the longer ones tend to get lost or lose the listener's interest. The use of very traditional instruments
2. "Methuselah's Children" (15:43) has a very STYX-like feel to it, despite the strong presence of piano--even the vocals and vocal melodies. The BEACH BOYS-like harmonies and upbeat message I think must be intended to bring back to the hopefulness of the 1960s. It kind of works! For those who like to point to this album's long tunes for the listener to pay attention to (and come to appreciate) the progginess and virtuosity of the music and instrumentalists, I'm sorry, I don't see, hear, or feel it. Everything here seems to be a vehicle for the support of the vocal and that 60s/70s feel of optimism. (25.667/30)
3. "In the Countryside" (5:43) again purports to take us back to simpler, more wholesome times and feelings--in a very obvious CROSBY, STILLS & NASH way (even modeling the acoustic guitar sound, rhythms and chord progression from the sounds of the era.) (9/10)
4. "Moonwalk" (8:49) is the album's attempt at a true prog instrumental. It works on many levels and comes away, at times, with some originality, but slides a bit too often into GENESIS, YES, CAMEL, and STYX themes and sounds to truly pull it off. Neo-prog at best. (16.5/20) Until the taped voice interlude of astronaut's, I thought the title referred to the band's having gone on a kind of walkabout instrumentally.
5. "Bluebells" (10:11) is another little Windham Hill artists' collaborative jam upon which the singers put a nice REO SPEEDWAGON vocal. Pretty straightforward pop sing-a-long. Not much prog here, more 60s vocal pop. (Impressive vocal performances.) (17/20)
6. "The Ghost of Flowers Past" (9:47) begins with a rather catchy, albeit sappy piano intro before breaking into a kind of CAMEL/STYX sound. Some progginess accrues in the minute before the piano-supported vocals begin. Again, nothing really extraordinary here. . . until the "Ain't it funny . . . " section travels into some truly classical/symphonic territory before the electric guitar and mellotron support nicely recapitulate the melody. The delicate, almost a cappella, vocals are delightful, and the clever instrumental support, mirroring and recapitulation of vocal themes makes this song a true symphonic piece. The vocal harmony 'crescendos' of the final two minutes are quite taking. Nice piece though not melodically as memorable as one would hope. Still, props for pulling together one of the proggiest songs on the album. (17.5/20)
7. "Yasgur's Farm" (8:06). Let's go back to Woodstock! Get all the instrumentalists to jam together in one song and here we go! (Actually some rather nice guitar pickin'.) The vocal section, however, just isn't able to maintain that feel--and once it's lost, it is lost--despite the return to multiple sound soloing at the 4:00 mark. Nice tribute. Okay song. (8.75/10)
8. "Lady of the Woodlands" (3:37) is the most obviously bluegrass-influenced piece. Nothing to really write home about. (6/10)
9. "A Tale of Three and Tree" (3:29) is a pretty straightforward pop song--not unlike a STEPHEN BISHOP-with-THE-LETTERMEN (or COWSILLS) song. Pretty. (10/10)
10. "Other Half of the Sky" (31:44) is the epic song that has really prevented me from writing this review before: I've just never been able to get through it while truly paying attention the whole way through! Nice themes and sounds (a lot from GENESIS ["Supper's Ready," "The Knife"] to SUPERTRAMP to AMERICA to STYX and around again). The problem with "Other Half of the Sky" is that it really should be on stage--presented as a musical! Like GODSPELL or JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. This is a nice piece of epic prog--one of the two songs on the album that, IMHO, truly deserve the label "prog rock"--though instrumentation changes are virtually nonexistent (the occasional organ, mellotron, pedal steel, or acoustic guitar flourish makes itself known). This prog is very, very derivative and imitative. If I really want to hear 21st century artists doing epic prog--fresh sounding epic prog--I will turn to the last four Big Big Train albums. (56/65)
11. "To Sail Beyond the Sunset" (5:18) is a really charming end song that truly pulls together many of the strengths and feelings from the overall effect of the album--even re-capturing that initial feeling of astonishment from the album's opening a cappella song, "Constant Bloom." This could be a great song for say, Sesame Street or some other musical revue hoping to uplift audience spirits. Probably my favorite song on the album. (9.5/10)
Nice music, seemingly effortlessly combining a lot of sounds and styles from the 60s and 70s, with great vocal harmonizing, and conveying an all-too-rare positive mood and message but, in the end, it just isn't original enough to be memorable much less life-changing.
70.9 on the Fish scales = 3.5 stars: Good, perhaps excellent; marked down for (at times) questionable proggitude. I will say, though, that I have continued to give this album attentive listenings over the past few years and, as it has become more familiar, I find it much more enjoyable. It seems now that it's the combination of rather banal lyrics and the over-presence of themes, riffs, and sounds from other songs from the 60s and 70s that kind of turns me . . . off.
The follow-up (14 years later!) to the ground-breaking, ear-defying 1994 classic, Focus, shows a mellower though technically and sonically still-amazing group of more-melodic metal extremists.
Favorite pieces: "King of Those Who Know" (6:09) (9/10) and the albums two "Nunc" bookends. Except for "Adam's Murmur" (6/10), the rest are all solid 7 or 8s.
IL BACIO DELLA MEDUSA Discesa agl'inferi d'un giovane amante
Gorgeous RPI with lots of beautiful melody and inputs from both rock and classical instrumentation.
- Simone Cecchini / lead & backing vocals, classical, 6- & 12-string acoustic guitars, tenor sax
- Simone Brozzetti / electric guitar
- Eva Morelli / flute, wind
- Daniele Rinchi / violin, viola
- Federico Caprai / bass
- Diego Petrini / drums, organ, keyboards, piano, vibraphone, percussion
1. Preludio: Il Trapasso (3:43)
2. Confessione D'un Amante (3:05)
3. La Bestia Ed Il Delirio (5:09)
4. Recitativo: è Nel Buio Che Risplendono Le Stelle (3:58)
5. Ricordi Del Supplizio (6:27)
6. Nostalgia, Pentimento E Rabbia (6:59)
7. Sudorazione A Freddo Sotto Il Chiaro Di Luna (6:03)
8. Melencolia (5:39)
9. E Fu Allora Che Dalle Fiamme Mi Sorprese Una Calda Brezza Celeste (3:22)
10. Nosce Te Ipsum: La Bestia Ringhia In Noi (5:27)
11. Corale Per Messa Da Requiem (3:54)
12. Epilogo: Conclusione Della Discesa Agl'inferi D'un Giovane Amante (1:48)
Total time 55:34
Though in general I feel about The Tangent as I do about The Flower Kings, Arena, IQ, and Marillion (very talented musicians playing melodramatic music that rarely matches up with pretentious, self-indulgent lyrics), this is a passable, decent album. I hear many complaints about the singing of front-man/songwriter, ANDY TILLISON, but I actually really enjoy his singing--voice and style. Here, especially on "The Ethernet" and "Four Egos, One War." It's the over-the-top soli and banal lyrics that sometimes irk or even repel me. Andy's music and keyboard playing style often get a bit bouncy dancey--like the Caribbean stuff of Jimmy Buffet or The Beach Boys. The lyrics are so unpoetic, so . . . unlyrical, just self-amusingly "clever."
Favorite songs: the beautifully simple "The Ethernet" (10:13) (one of my favorite Andy Tillison songs ever) (17.25/20); "Four Egos, One War" (8/10).
The instrumental formulae for Matthew's music is often so simple, and the song structures seem also rather predictable, but it's the performance--the power of the instruments' performances, the power of the incidentals, and, ultimately, the unquestioned power and stylings of the vocalist that make (or, at least, should make) Matthew Parmenter a superstar in the prog world.
Favorite songs: "In the Dark" (9:22) (18/20) and the beautiful, Japanese-tinged instrumental, "Kaiju" (3:52) (9/10).
Favorite songs are the classically tinged cello-featured "Flesh" (2:50) (4.5/5), the neo-prog KNIGHT AREA-like instrumental, "Sonja in Search of the Moon, Pt. 5" (9/10), and the awesome epic, "The Lighthouse Song" (9:33) (18/20). The latter, with Simone's sensitive, raspy COLDPLAY vocal is probably my favorite Moongarden song (though I love "Round Midnight").
Another wonderful collection of songs from a wide variety of prog all-stars based commissioned by Colossus Magazine/Musea Records to compose on the theme of Dante's Inferno (Book 1 of The Divine Comedy). Though not as consistently good as 2003's Kalevala: A Finnish Progressive Rock Epic and not even in the same league as my favorite, 2005's Odyssey: The Greatest Tale, the 4 disc, 34 song album stands up pretty well.
Symphonic prog from Sweden very much attempting to replicate the sounds and styles of the Masters of the 1970s.
- Daniel Fäldt / vocals
- Jonas Hallberg / guitars, percussion
- Magnus Paulsson / keyboards
- Stefan Renström / basses, keyboards, vocoder, story concept, co-producer
- Mattias Jarlhed / drums, percussion, co-producer
1. "Suddenly The Rain" (14:47) very solid retro symphonic prog; it's quite original despite the frequent reminders of early Genesis--with solid performances all around and really no weaknesses. (27/30)
2. Tardigrade (3:43)
3. The Chosen One (5:44)
4. Moon Mountain (2:33)
5. "As The River Runs" (10:40) I quite like this despite the obviousness of the first half being a "modern" reflection of GENESIS' "Watcher in the Skies" (a song I've never liked much). There's just so much embellishment and tangential in this to make it all its own. Plus, the musicianship and sound engineering are so solid. (18.25/20)
6. Your Future (0:29)
7. Strawberry Jam (2:32)
8. Circles End (6:19)
9. "Brother Where You Bound" (26:33) (45.75/50)
10. Beautiful New Day (0:43)
Total Time: 74:11
Hard-driving, high energy (almost humorous) avant jazz-fusion from Germany.
Line-up / Musicians:
- Jan Zehrfeld / guitar, producer
- Andreas Dombert / guitar
- Gregor Bürger / saxophone
- Florian Schmidt / bass
- Sebastian Lanser / drums
- Andy Lind / vocals (2,4)
- Naomi Isaacs / vocals (2)
- Conny Kreitmeier / vocals (9)
- Peter O'Mara / guitar solo (1)
- Ulf Wakenius / guitar solo (5)
- Nguyen Le / guitar solo (6)
- Jan Vacik / keyboard solo (7)
- Alexander V. Hagke / saxophone solo (4)
- Heiko Jung / bass (5)
1. "Pink Panther" (5:18) the famous movie theme song played by a band that very well could be on hallucinagenic amphetamines. (8.75/10)
2. "M.w.M.i.O.f.R" (3:54) (8.677/10)
3. "Smoke on the Water (3:22) (/10)
4. "Friede, Freude, Fußball (7:53) (/15)
5. "Wind of Change (4:42) (/10)
6. "Birdland (4:21) (/10)
7. "Dreamology (6:53) (/15)
8. "Thunderstruck (3:27) (/10)
9. "Zickenterror (3:49) (/10)
10. "Paranoid (4:09) (/10)
Total Time 47:48
Line-up / Musicians:
- Richard Vaughan / vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, Mellotron, ARP Odyssey, Echoplex
- Conor Riley / vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, Mellotron, ARP Odyssey, organ, piano, electric piano
- Brian Ellis / guitar, Moog
- Stuart Sclater / bass
- David Hurley / drums, percussion, flute
2. "The Weirding" (15:27) a bit like the original DOORS recordings--both in sound quality and sound. Nice feel to it but a bit too raw for my tastes. (25.75/30)
3. "Silent Sleep" (10:41) oddly soporific and rudimentary. (17/20)
4. The River Under (8:41)
5. "Ouroboros" (17:23) borrowing riffs and inspiration from several classic YES songs, including "Close to the Edge" (and perhaps some others from other Yes albums), everybody gets to jam on this one but none more than the drummer and lead guitarist. Very entertaining, interesting, and engaging. The lead guitarist is certainly gifted for playing catchy hooks and riffs (many of which are borrowed). I found myself thinking several times that I'm listening to a very talented, eclectic guitarist playing his favorite riffs over a variation of Robin Trower's "Bridge of Sighs." The 'tron players are definitely having fun, as well. (31/35)
6. Broken Glass (3:45)
7. The Dawning Of Ophiuchus (5:29)
8. "Beyond To Slight The Maze" (11:36) sounds as if it's modeled off of a combination of Steve Hackett's "Shadow of the Hierophant" and Pink Floyd's "Time" (17/20)
Total Time: 78:46
76.79 on the Fish scales = 2.5 stars (rated up for musicianship, composition, and admirable revival of many old prog sounds).
JEAN LOUIS Jean Louis
Very abrasive, angular, frenetically-paced avant jazz from France.
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