Saturday, January 26, 2019

2018: Other albums that are worth checking out for yourselves

Below you will find albums from the hundreds of 2018 releases that I happened to hear that impressed me enough to collect them for possible future review but which, ultimately, failed to hold enough interest for me to want to invest the extra time and effort necessary to write a proper review. Meritorious music should be shared--even if it is not to my own personal stylistic liking. I understand that everyone else has unique and differing likes and preferences to those of mine, thus I "unleash" these albums to the general public with the recommendation that you check them out for yourselves. Good luck! and Happy listening! I hope you find some gems here for your own music listening pleasure!




URIAH HEEP Living The Dream

Who'd have thought that rock 'n' roll would stay so strong in an individual's psyche and creativity as it has in many of today's "Rock 'n' roll Grandpas," but it has. The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Daevid Allen, and these guys, the current incarnation of URIAH HEEP, have certainly demonstrated the staying power of rock. The Heep have here delivered an album with polish, grit, and power that not many of the younger up-and-comers can challenge much less top. This is masterful rock 'n' roll by masters of the genre, just enough refreshing and creative subtleties and flourishes to impress with little fluff or slough. Hearing live, living, moving keyboards beneath the music throughout songs is such a refreshing reminder of how it used to be, how music could be. Tight compositions with no wasted moments or riffs. This is a lean, mean, rock music machine. I never thought I'd be rating 70-year old musicians with five star ratings but here we are. This is a near flawless album! Welcome to the Prog Renaissance. Praise be the old masters! While this type of music is no longer my cup of tea, I cannot deny the value of this album to those who like well-polished rock'n'roll. Highly recommended to proggers everywhere to check it out for yourself.

Line-up:
Mick Box: Guitar, Vocals
Phil Lanzon: Keyboards, Vocals
Bernie Shaw: Lead Vocals
Russell Gilbrook: Drums, Vocals
Dave Rimmer: Bass, Vocals

1. Grazed By Heaven (4:32)
2. Living The Dream (5:34)
3. Take Away My Soul (6:13)
4. Knocking At My Door (4:59)
5. Rocks In The Road (8:19)
6. Waters Flowin' (4:28)
7. It's All Been Said (6:01)
8. Goodbye To Innocence (3:34)
9. Falling Under Your Spell (3:25)
10. Dreams Of Yesteryear (5:25)

Total time 52:30





THE PERFECT CIRCLE Eat the Elephant

  • 1Eat the Elephant5:14  (/10)
  • 2Disillusioned5:54 (/10)
  • 3The Contrarian3:59 (/10)
  • 4The Doomed4:42 (/10)
  • 5So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish 4:26 (8/10)
  • 6TalkTalk4:16  (/10)
  • 7By and Down the River5:05 (/10)
  • 8Delicious3:50  (/10)
  • 9DLB2:07  (/10)
  • 10Hourglass5:14  (/10)
  • 11Feathers5:48  (/10)
  • 12Get the Lead Out6:41 (/10)
  • Total length: 57:16







BABA YOGA L'Uomo Progressivo

Interesting jazz-based eclectic prog from these veterans from Rome. I like the inflections and themes of Arabic and African musical traditions infusing virtually every song. Definitely worth checking out.




POTTER'S DAUGHTER The Blind Side

Line-up
Dyanne Potter Voegtlin – Piano, Vocals
Amit Chatterjee – Producer, Arranger, Lead Guitar
Ian C. Voegtlin – Composer, Rhythm Guitar
Lincoln Goines – Electric & Acoustic Bass
Randy Crafton – Percussion, Hybrid Drum Set

01. Momento (3:53)
02. It’s Summer Night (3:17)
03. Movement IV (3:32)
04. To My Love (3:32)
05. Silver Moon (6:31)
07. Sure On This Shining Night (3:48)
08. Journey Into Spring (3:49)
09. I Lay Down (4:37)
10. Another Rain Song (2:14)
11. Night Has Come (1:29)
12. City Lights (4:34)
13. She Is Dreaming (3:34)

Total Time – 44:50




VOLVOX Universo Expandido

Another very solid release from Argentina's suddenly very active label, Viajero Inmóvil. This is hard drivin', heavy, very well recorded, and performed by a group of quite skilled musicians each of whom has plenty of turns to shine--though organ and guitars have most of the spotlight.

Line-up:
Marcelo Pijachi - keyboards
Pablo Pucheta - drums
Alejandro Derene - bass
Cristian Violante - guitar

1     Tiempo De Cambios (5:39)
2     Éxodo Caníbal (6:49)
3     Tarantino (5:18)
4     La Conquista de Lo Incierto (2:29)
5     Momentum (8:39)
6     Baby's Dreams (5:04)
7     Degeneración En Generación Parte II (5:29)
8     Otro Día En El Infierno (5:17)
9     Escapen! (5:00)




IL SENTIERO DI TAUS Macrocosmi

1. Overture (4:24)
2. Decisione (3:55)
3. Era Moderna (5:56)
4. Genesi (5:27)
5. Sorridi (3:05)
6. Adamo (Parte Uno) (3:21)
7. Canis Ferox (4:48)
8. Al Jilwah (8:05)
9. Adamo (Parte Due) (3:50)

Total Time 42:51

Line-up:
Gennaro Lucio Zinzi - Vocals, guitar, "funny instruments"
Tiziano Taccini - Guitar
Jesus - Bass
Claudio "Buddha" Buonfiglio - Drums




*.* (STAR PERIOD STAR) Daylight Spending Time

A little King Crimson a little Primus, a little old RUSH. Though the lyrics are cute and interesting, the quirky singer oft-times has trouble hitting the notes, i.e. singing in key.

1. "Daylight Spending Time" (6:25) (8.5/10)
2. "629" (3:42) (8.25/10)
3. "Dust Storm" (3:11) (/10)
4. "Current Wars" (7:11) an instrumental with some delightfully twisting and turning music. (9.5/10)
5. "The Pragmatist" (5:51) trombone! (8/10)
6. "Bully Pulpit" (1:35) more trombones! nice music but bad sound recording of the bad singing. (4/5)
7. "When Where Exceeds What" (3:57) (7.5/10)
8. "Lyrics 8. Pulley Bull Pit" (3:20) (8.5/10)
9. "Wine And Telescopes" (7:35) (9/10)

Total Time 42:47

Line-up:
Pat Hamilton – Guitars, keyboards, air synth, melodica, percussion
Patrick Hussey – Drums
Greg Stark – Bass
Dan Sweigert – Vocals, guitars, keyboards, spring drum, toy horn, bell
   With
Bob Drake (Thinking Plague, 5uu's) – Vocals (5)
Mike Hagedorn (Cheer-Accident) – Trombones (5, 6)
Ron Jagielnik - Guitars (7)




MARK WINGFIELD Tales from The Dreaming City

Great jazz fusion from guitar wizard Mark Wingfield with one flaw: the production/engineering sometimes leaves the guitar feeling isolated from the other musicians. Otherwise this guitarist sounds like an extension of ALLAN HOLDSWORTH, JERRY De VILLIERS, JR. and DAVID TORN with a very solid backup band and some nice jam-over song constructs.

1. The Fifth Window (5:09) (8.5/10)
2. I Wonder How Many Miles I've Fallen (7:19)
3. The Way To Hemingford Grey (5:54)
4. Sunlight Cafe (5:57)
5. Looking Back At The Amber Lit House (6:47)
6. This Place Up Against The Sky (5:46)
7. At A Small Hour Of The Night (8:03)
8. A Wind Blows Down Turnpike Lane (4:27)
9. Ten Mile Bank (5:36)
10. The Green-Faced Timekeepers (7:52)

Total Time 62:50

Line-up:
Mark Wingfield: guitar, soundscapes
   With
Yaron Stavi (Robert Wyatt; Phil Manzanera; David Gilmour): fretless bass guitar
Asaf Sirkis (John Abercrombie; Jeff Berlin; Nicolas Meier): drums, konakol singing (10)
Dominique Vantomme: synth soloist (3, 5, 9, 10)


CHARLIE GOOD Charlie Good

1. "Tim The Enchanter" (5:21) (9.5/10)
2. Don't Touch That (5:22)
3. "Stardust" (5:49) (9/10)
4. "Y Knot" (5:20) (8/10)
5. Fallen (4:56)
6. Digitally Impaired (6:19)
7. The Quest (7:03)
8. Marching Up And Down The Square (5:44)
9. Blue Wind / Stay (5:48)

Total Time 51:42

Line-up:
Dan Stein - keyboards
Chris Westfall - guitars
Russ Landau - bass
   With
Larry Aberman - drums (9)


INFICTIONS Vanity Project

Nice atmospheric crossover prog in the area of Radiohead and Steven Wilson. 

Line-up:
Ed Cartledge - vocals, guitars, percussion, accordion, synths
Tom Chaffer - guitars
Gareth Hughes - bass, percussion
James Fosberry - drums, percussion, lap steel
  With
Hannah Cartledge - flute, backing vocals
Ben Eckersley - cello
Nick Milne - muted trumpet
Nick Cox - piano
Naomi Fearon - viola
Kat Hurdley - violin
Olivia Shotton - violin

1. Airtight (6:45)
2. DeadZones (3:41)
3. RedList (4:50)
4. Antarctica (3:40)
5. Formaldehyde (3:54)
6. Freshwater (2:56)
7. Desrted (4:00)
8. Acidification (5:00)
9. Climatics (5:28)
10. The Weight of Hurricanes/The Upward-Sloping Path (6:12)

Total time 46:26 

Great songwriting from an artist whose production sense could use some more experience and/or maturation.




QUARKSPACE All These Suns

Very nice, raw space/psych/jam prog from Columbus, Ohio.

Line-up
Darren Gough: Guitar, Backing Vocals
Chet Santia: Bass, Guitars, Guide Vocals
Jay Swanson: Keyboards, Synths, Beats, Backing Vocals, Song Length Commentary
Paul Williams: Drumming, Synths, Keyboards, Fake Mellotrons, Beats, Loops, Moog, Backing Vocals
   With 
Carl Howard: Analog Synth (3,5,6)
Stan Lyon: Bass (1,2,4)
Carlton Smith: Drumming (3,5,6) 

1. Starbridge Freaks 4 (3:44)
2. All These Suns (12:13)
3. Who Lost Frederick? (3:18)
4. The Prodigal Spaceman (6:05)
5. Solar Progenics (6:14)
6. Watch For Swimmers (6:48)
7. The Prodigal Galaxy (5:28)
8. Space Folds Upon Itself (5:34)

Total Time 49:24





LONKER SEE One Eye Sees Red

Sophisticated jazzy psychedelic rock from this previously-stoner-rock band from Krakow, Poland, led by bass player/vocalist Joanna Kucharska.

Line-up:
Bartosz Boro Borowski - guitar
Tomasz Gadecki - saxophone, synth
Michał Gos - drums
Joanna Kucharska - bass guitar, vocal

1. "Lillian Gish"(18:16) (8.5/10)
2. "Solaris Pt. 3 & 4" (17:04)
3. "One Eye Sees Red" (5:12) Joanna's haunting solo voice opens this song with no accompaniment other than her own background vocal tracks that join in after the first verse! At the one minute mark the bluesy psychedelic rock band bursts onto the scene in lieu of the vocals while retaining and supporting the original melody lines established by the vocals. Weird but cool (and very distorted at the very end)! (8.5/10)

Total Time 40:32




COTSWORTH-HAY Emblem

Line-up
Jeffrey Malone: Bass, Drums, Percussion
Fernando Sotelo: Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
   With
Mella: Vocals
Nili Brosh: Guitar Solo (8)

1. Silence Of Sleep (6:02)
2. You'll Be Another (5:39)
3. Emblem (6:27)
4. Across The Sky (3:59)
5. Pilgrimage (7:31)
6. "Tell Me It Matters" (9:03) opens with an old jazz-rock feel, almost Dick Dale bass line, before the song settles into a groove to support Mella's vocals, then it's slower and more piano-based until the attempted heavy metal chorus. I really do not like the effect used on Mella's voice track--and the way it stays coldly isolated throughout--as if it is very much separate from the rest of the music. I really like both of the effects used on the guitar in the middle instrumental section. (7.5/10)
7. Out Of Place (5:58)
8. Faith Alone (5:48)
9. Emblem II (5:12)
10. The Way To You (5:43)
11. A Grey Town (6:23)
12. Fortune Smiled (3:23)

Total Time 71:08




OLA KVERNBERG Steamdome

Jazz fusion from Norway

1. Prologue (3:37)
2. And Now (7:16)
3. Caterpillar (8:43)
4. Black Lemon (5:38)
5. Go Up (8:33)
6. Above The Dance, Pt. 1 (2:47)
7. Above The Dance, Pt. 2 (3:32)
8. Through The Mantle (4:34)
9. Credits (6:00)

Total Time 50:40

Line-up:
Ola Kvernberg (Grand General ) - violin, viola, Hammond B3 organ, Vox Continental, harmonium, guitar, theremin, Taurus, drums, percussion
   With
Øyvind Blomstrøm - electric guitar, baritone guitar, pedal steel guitar
Nikolai Hængsle (The National Bank) - electric bass
Daniel Buner Formo - Hammond B3 organ
Erik Nylander - drums, pandeiro, tambourine, quirky percussion
Hans Hulbækmo - djembe, bongos, tambourine, drums
Børge Fjordheim - drums, prepared autoharp





THE VARDAMAN ENSEMBLE Is Land

Very interesting, creative, and eclectic avant garde/RIO from these young artists from Portland.
  
Line-up:
Eric: Drums, Percussion
Shampton: Sax
HL: All Other Sounds
  Except:
Zen: French Horn
Melissa: Narration as Teacher


1. Classroom/Doc 1 (1:19)
2. There's No There There (5:59)
3. Dromedary Drover (6:25)
4. Doc 2 (0:06)
5. Algorithmic Travel Through The Laws Of The Average (6:55)
6. Doc 3 (0:31)
7. Industrial Resolution (8:06)
8. Doc 4 (0:27)
9. 67th Annual Plastic Army War Theme (6:19)
10. Anorak Flats (3:21)
11. Doc 5 (0:10)
12. Weightlessness Is Utopian (5:20)

13. "From Sand To Neon Waves" (9:19) opens with softly strummed electric guitar chords before synth, bass, and cymbals join in. Activity and density begin to increase at 1:20 as the French horn, sax and droning Persian-like kazoo sound join in and the drumming becomes fuller. At 3:55 things shift, no longer soft and explorational, heavily fuzzed-distorted guitar chords and bass accompany odd time signature drums provide a King Crimson-like foundation for the horns to do their cacophonous call-and-response. Very chaotic though there is a pattern of organization. At 7:30 that pattern becomes quite a bit more regular and controlled--like a Red Nightmare with horns over the top. Weird and abrasive, though interesting (8.5/10)

Total Time 54:17





TRAVIS ORBIN Silly String II

Virtuoso drummer of CARTOON THEORY, THE DARKEST HOUR, and THE GABRIEL PROJECT fame Travis Orbin releases a full-length album of his own compositions performed and recorded with his own musicians.

1. Hand Of The Giant (6:05)
2. Snarl (3:41)
3. Coffee Terrorist (2:24)
4. Overreacting Bad-Karma Boy (2:48)
5. Inextricable (4:35)
6. What Happened To The Pause Button? (2:41)
7. Chucklehead (5:25)
8. He Slept Like A Maniac (3:18)
9. Random Hajile (0:52)
10. Obstreperous Restriction (4:39)
11. The Adventures Of Nerd Wolf (3:41)
12. Fleshier Glitch (3:18)
13. Napent (4:56)
14. A Slightly Unfinished Sound (3:07)
15. The End Of An Error (4:45)

Total Time 56:15

Line-up
Travis Orbin (Periphery, Sky Eats Airplane, Darkest Hour) - Drum set, Percussion on all but 9
   With
Adam Edgemont - Guitar (1-4, 6-8, 11-13, 15), Acoustic Guitar (1)
Cameron McLellan (Protest the Hero) - Bass on all but 9, 14
Matthew Riggen - Trumpet (1, 7, 10, 14), Trombone (7)
Jeff Siegfried - Saxophone (3, 10)
John Sims - Upright Bass (14)
Ben Rachbach - Piano (14)
Felonious Hunk - Theremin (13)
Sophia Uddin - Violin (5)
Owen McKinley - Congas, Bongos (7)
Ben Eller - Guitar solo (12)
Elliot Coleman, Jason Campbell - Voices in phone call (15)
Mason and Ian Campbell - Children (10)




3  3.2: The Rules Have Changed 

Line-up

Robert Berry (Jack Foster III, Magellan, Tempest) - All instruments, songwriting and arrangements
Keith Emerson (ELP) - Songwriting and arrangements

1. One By One (7:11)
2. Powerful Man (5:01)
3. The Rules Have Changed (6:47)
4. Our Bond (4:35)
5. What You're Dreaming Now (4:31)
6. Somebody's Watching (5:32)
7. This Letter (6:42)
8. Your Mark On The World (5:24)
9. Sailors Horn Pipe (Japanese Edition Bonus Track) (3:53)

Total Time 49:36




SUNCHILD Messages from Afar: The Division and Illusion of Time

An album of wonderful instrumental performances of a lot old borrowed themes and styles. The sound production is amazingly good--one of Antony's best, and the song constructions brilliant, seamless, and quite melodic, but there is so much schmaltz and graft and too much of what I call "Prog Lite" which means it's simplisitic, not very challenging for the listener, almost as if it's composed for easy access to a dumbed down audience. Plus, the lead vocals are often so imitative of those of The Flower Kings leader ROINE STOLT (either that or Roger Waters and/or the tame side of Devon Townsend). As with previous Sunchild albums, the female vocals are gorgeous and hypnotic--and the the fretless bass playing stands out.

Line-up / Musicians:
Antony Kalugin: keys, vocals, percussion
Viktoriia Osmachko: lead and backing vocals
Nikita Osmachko: lead and backing vocals
Olha Rostovska: backing vocals
Max Velychko: acoustic & electric guitars
Oleg Prokhorov: bass
Kostya Shepelenko: drums
Sergiy Balalayev: drums (8)
Maria Baranovska: violin (8)
Roman Gorielov: acoustic guitar (8)

1. "Searching Diamonds" (8/10)
2. "Grail and Time" (13/15)
3. "60 degrees to the 70s" (12/15)
4. "Mystery Train" (9/10)
5. "Dreams from a Lonely Town" (4.25/5)
6. "The Division and Illusion of Time" (12/15)
7. "Victory Voyager" (33/40)
8. "Father" (17/20)

Favorite songs: "Mystery Train" (9/10) and "Grail and Time" (13/15)

Gorgeous sound. If you're a fan of Beatles solo artist, George Harrison (I am not), this music may be for you.

83.43 on the Fishscales = C+/3.5 stars. Sappy but much better than it's pair, Messages from Afar: First Contact by one of Antony Kalugin's other bands, Karfagen.




KARFAGEN Messages from Afar: First Contact

Line-up / Musicians:

Antony Kalugin - keys, vocals, percussion
Max Velychko - electric and acoustic guitars
Kostya Shepelenko - drums
Oleg Prokhorov - bass
Olha Rostovska - vocals, additional keys
Michail Sidorenko - alto saxophone

1. First Contact (7:14)
2. Foreign Land (7:23)
3. Curious Talk (3:30)
4. Volcano Rabbit & The Frog (5:33)
5. Faces In The Clouds (3:08)
6. Vale Of Dreams (8:34)
7. Golden Fields Of Rye (2:15)
8. Riding On A Rainbow (2:53)
9. "Constant Flow" (15:45) (26/30)

Total Time 56:15





HUMAN FACTOR Let Nature Take Its Course

Wonderfully complex instrumental heavy prog/math rock from Russia.

Line-up
Pavel Vorobyov – guitars and keyboards
Sergey Volkov – keyboards
Alexander Meshcheryakov – bass
Konstantin Shtirlitz – drums
   With
David Paulley – voice (8)


1. Longyear
2. "A.L.F." (6:47) (9.5/10)
3. 1816
4. Lake of Solitude
5. Touch of Chixculub

6. "Alarm #1202" (5:50) (9/10)
7. Red Shift
8. Nubo Vetera Promesas Pluvon




SINDICATO DE ASESINOS SERIALES Las sombras que evadimos

Nice, creative prog--the third release in as many years--from this trio of Argentinian veterans. Really nice vocals with lots of emotion and great melodies throughout.

1. Alma Embalsamada (4:27)
2. Barco De Inmigrante (4:57)
3. En El Desierto (6:40)
4. Hombre Arcilla Parlante (5:43)
5. La Sangre En La Bañera (4:22)
6. Pasajero Oscuro (3:44)
7. Chank (4:43)
8. Smalltown Boy (4:40)
9. Las Sombras Que Evadimos (1:00)

Total Time 40:16

Line-up:
Marcelo Larramendi - Vocals, Bass
Mauricio Larramendi - Guitars, Keyboards
Leonardo Garcia - Drums





OLD MAN WIZARD Blame It All On Sorcery

Solid, well-polished, and simple guitar-based rock from this trio from San Diego.

Line-up
Francis Roberts - Guitar, Vocals
Andre Beller - Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
Kris Calabio - Drums, Backing Vocals


1. Beginnings And Happenstance (0:47)
2. Sorcerer (6:15)
3. The Blind Prince (2:49)
4. Never Leave (4:09)
5. Cosmo (4:04)
6. Somehow (2:20)
7. Innocent Hands (4:39)
8. Last Ride Of The Ancients (4:00)
9. The Vision (3:15)
10. The Long-Nosed Wiseman (10:10)

Total Time 42:28





SWIMMER Throw It Out

Guitar- and piano-based rock with a Southern flair not unlike THE GRATEFUL DEAD, THE ALLMAN BROTHERS, LYNYRD SKYNYRD, or even early DOOBIE BROTHERS.

1. Would Be (6:53)
2. Turko (5:17)

3. "The Impossible Engineer" (12:22) a decent rock song but nothing too new or innovative here. (8/10)
4. Catch (6:00)
5. J.I.G (8:02)
6. "Hyperbole" (11:31) a far-jazzier song than previous due to the funky rhythms and Matt's sax; not too far from the kind of music TREE TOPS and UNAKA PRONG have been making. (8.5/10)
7. Superbomb (7:16)
8. Family Fugue (1:35)

9. "Sea Cerebral" (9:29) a standard Dylan-esque jam song in the GRATEFUL DEAD vein. Nice keys and bass work. (7.5/10)

Total Time 68:25

Line-up:
Cotter Ellis - Drums, Vocals
Joe Agnello - Guitar, Vocals
Matt Dolliver - Keyboards, Saxophone
John Vignone - Bass, Vocals
Paul Klein - Guitar





DEE PALMER Through Darkened Glass

Wonderfully creative, time- and genre-bending music from a member of the J TULL lineup from the 1970s. Complex, symphonic with both a church and theater familiarity.

Line-up:
Dee Palmer (Jethro Tull) - Piano, Keyboards, Organ, Portative Organ, Musette Accordion, Flute, Spanish Guitar (6), Vocals, Orchestral arrangements
   With
Tim Harries - Bass Guitar, Fretless Bass Guitar, Contra Bass.
Martin Barre (Jethro Tull) - Guest Soloist
Scutty Lee - Drums; Guitar
Suzie Shrubb - Oboe and Cor Anglais
Eddie Maxwell - Trumpet; Flugel Horn
Nick Trish - Trumpet
Joe Giddey - Cello
Richard Horne - Percussion
Heather Cairncross, Nicholas Garrett, Nick Pritchard, Katie Thomas, Rachel Weston, Lawrence White - Backing Vocals

1. Urban Apocalypse (6:47) (9/10)
2. Black Orpheans (6:02)
3. At The Still Point (4:10)
4. Through A Piece Of Darkened Glass (5:11)
5. Emmanuelle (5:02)
6. The Man In The Street (5:06)
7. A Night In Spain (4:49)
8. Old Lady Grey (6:06)
9. Things We Said Today (3:53)
10. Forever Albion (7:03) (9/10)

Total Time 54:09




SCIENCENV The Quest for Prester John Vol. 1

Creative and entertaining "soundtrack" music--with their own narration and characters casting--for made up plays.

Line-up:
Jim Henriques: guitar, keys, flute, vocals
Rich Kallet: drums, percussion
Larry Davis: guitar, bass
David Graves: keys, vocals
   With
Carrie Adler: oboe (2a, 2c, 2h).
Michael Cooke: saxophone (2e, 2f)
Phil Freihofner: oboe (2h)
Joyce Graves: vocals as Lorena (2d), background vocals (2g)
Roberta Lengua : vocals as The Bride of Gods (2)
Alan Munson: vocals as Eloise's true love (2a, 2i )
Danielle Pribyl vocals as Lucretia (2d), background vocals (2g)
Paul Rosas: pipe organ (2f)
Betsy Snyder: vocals as Lillith (2d), background vocals (2g)
Rose Taylor: lead vocals (2)
Vanessa Yearsly: vocals as Leona (2d), background vocals (2g)


1. Fanfare (1:22)
2. Eloise's Tale (32:35)
    a - What is a Word
    b - Overland
    c - Sojourner
    d - The Bride of Gods
    e- Across the Carpathians
    f- The Brides of God
    g - The Eunuch
    h - Half a Step
    i - Slowly

    3. An Earthly Paradise (6:11)
    4. The Gates Of Alexander (3:00)
    5. Above The Falls (5:32)
    6. Beyond The Falls (3:22)
    7. The Mongols (3:46)

    Total Time 55:48





    DOG DRIVE MANTIS How Did We Get Here?

    Choice and very tightly performed jazz-rock fusion from Canada. This reminds me of Belgium's HUMBLE GRUMBLE.

    1. Sink (1:00)
    2. Dancing On Symbols (3:14)
    3. This May Bear Some Fruit (5:14)
    4. Scrunch (5:02)
    5. Jungle Girl (6:37)
    6. We Were Watching (4:08)
    7. Chief King (3:05)
    8. Floorist (5:35)
    9. Do It Yourself (2:19)
    10. Stunya (6:01)
    11. Drop In (4:29)
    12. How Did We Get Here? (6:38)

    Total Time 53:22

    Line-up:
    Neilroy Miranda - Drums, Didgeridoo, Synths
    Carmen Haines - Bass
    Mike Papaloni - Guitars, Critter & Guitari Pocket Piano
    Derek Serbin - Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Clarinet, AKAI EWI 5000





    ME AND MY KITES Natt o Dag

    Interesting, entertaining, engrossing Folk music with a prog bent from Sweden. Side one ("Natt") is more true folk music while side two ("Dag") is more psychedelic prog folk.

    Line-up / Musicians:
    David Svedmyr: piano, bass-, electric- and 12-stringed guitars, Mellotron, electric harpsichord, cithers, vibraphone and vocals.
    Johan Svedmyr: drums and percussion.
    Simon Svedmyr: electric- and upright bass and vocals.
    Lisa Isaksson: vocals and flute.
    Mikael Lennholm: electric guitars and vocals.
    Karin Engquist: organ.
    Agnes Nykäsenoja: violin and vocals.
    Joel Öhlund: vocals, oud and acoustic guitar.
    Anna Myrsten: vocals.
    Andreas Stellan: vocals.
    Jennie Ståbis: vocals.
    Zeke Isendahl: clarinet.
    Hanna Pauser Lindgren: voice.
    Azusa: percussion.

    Natt:
    01. Natt o Dag [02:26]
    02. Fingers Of Senja [04:55]
    03. What If We Were Flowers? [04:22]
    04. Another, A Lover [03:58]
    05. En Väldigt Speciell Havsfest [03:30]

    Dag:
    06. Sister's Gonna Have A Baby [02:38]
    07. Dull Sky (for Cm, on a Perfect Day) [08:11]
    08. AC/DC [02:20]
    09. All Colours, Come Back! [01:10]
    10. Man kan ta allt ur jorden och använda det, men det kommer inte tillbaka [08:02]

    Total Time 42:00




    FINALLY GEORGE Life Is a Killer

    PF/PT/STEVEN WILSON-like prog.

    Line-up:
    Finally George - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
    Todd Sucherman (Styx) - Drums & Percussion
    Erlend Krauser - Guitar Solos on 2 & 8, Additional Guitars on 1,3,4,8
    John Engehausen - Guitar Solo on 4
    Ralf Bittermann - Guitar Solo on 6
    Fiete Felsch - Flute on 7
    Matthias Pogoda - Piano on 10
    Detlef Bösche - Hammond A-100 on 4,5,8,10


    1. Tears Of A Million Lies (5:43)
    2. Walk With Me (7:07)
    3. She (6:55)
    4. Ghost (6:09)
    5. Remember Me (7:40)
    6. I'll Be There (7:01)
    7. Time Stands Still (5:40)
    8. Way Home (4:58)
    9. Human (6:35)
    10. Life Is A Killer (6:58)

    Total Time 64:46





    KARMABLUE Né apparenze né comete





    ÜMIT The Testament of Ümit

    Bible-inspired heavy prog from Germany that is quite atmospheric, emotional, and powerful.

    Line-up:
    Jochen Oberlack - Guitars, Voice
    Peter Kirschbaum - Bass
    Rudolf Kronenberger - Keyboards
    Peter Schürmann - Drums


    1. "Revelation (Genesis 4:1-24)" (LP Version) (8:48)
    2. "Into The Mirror Black" (LP Version) (4:30) Tight, well-performed basic hard rock with a spoken  "We're all of one" and "Into the Mirror Black" preface and final spoken words. The song is really well recorded and engineered but there is little variation or diversity within the song to warrant much excitement. The most exciting thing is the insidiousness of the driving metal rhythm guitar--it feels as if it has the staying power to break through walls. (8/10)
    3. "Hog Dead" (5:32) organ and guitar power chords establish a five-chord patterns right from the start which turns out to be just the chorus/intro section as the vocal section that begins at 0:29 uses a simpler, more stripped down 

    4. "Cows (Simmental Breed)" (11:30) opens with high and mid-piched synth sounds while tuned percussives tinkle away before lowing cow noises begin to appear in the background. Single synth takes the fore for the end of the second minute. At 2:18 thumping bass, drums, organ, and soloing electric guitar create a blues-rock sound and structure which continues unchanged until 7:05 when the synth is given the lead reins (while the guitar altogether disappears). Still no change in pace, style, form, or rhythm. Guitar returns at 8:18, this time with a little more high-pitch playing and, eventually, a little more speed and passion (especially around 10:30). The final minute is filled with sounds of cow lowing and cowbell. Solid blues rock but nothing really new or astonishing here. (7.5/10) 

    5. "The Deer (Psalm 42)" (Revelation Reprise) (9:32) opens with a scratchy voice recording of some man speaking in German before screaming guitar, bass, drums and synth supports launch into a heavy, steady and insistent Kosmische groove. The lead guitar is doing all the soloing for the first couple of minutes before the song shifts slightly into a kind of Pink Floyd chord and sound. Then the soloing guitar sound reverses itself for a bit (this will become the pattern: one guitar sound will solo for a while, then get replaced by another, different sound coming in on a different channel from a different track. As the guitar tracks double and triple the bass remains constant while the drums get a little more involved. Nice texture over the course of the final half. And this guitarist is pretty decent!  The sonic density clears slowly as we approach the end--except for the drummer's kick drum. By the end the guitars have faded out and all sounds are replaced by some primal screaming as if by a bleating rhinoceros. (8.5/10)

    Total Time 39:52





    NOIBLA Hesitation

    Very pleasant, atmospheric prog from former members of Polish band, ALBION.

    Line-up
    Katarzyna Sobkowicz Malec (Albion) - vocals, classical guitar (2)
    Leszek Jarzębowski (Albion) – guitars
    Krzysztof Malec (Albion) – keyboards
       With
    Krzysztof Wyrwa (Millenium, Metus, Jerzy Antczak) – bass
    Bartek Staromiejski – drums, percussion
    Paweł Nyklewicz – oboe (1, 5)
    Dariusz Rybka – soprano saxophone (2, 4, 6)
    Grzegorz Klimczak – contrabass (8)

    1. Faux pas
    2. One minute more
    3. Utani
    4. Atlantis
    5. Coming home
    6. Cistercian bell
    7. Metanoia
    8. Hesitation
    9. It's all i have






    ALCHEM Viaggio al centro della terra






    SONIQ THEATER Squaring the Circle 

    Interesting instrumental techno pop from Germany performed and recorded from all dated computer/synthesizers. Pop Berlin School eclectronica, anyone?

    Line-up
    Alfred Mueller (ex-Rachel's Birthday) - everything


    1. Squaring The Circle (6:21)
    2. Circus Ponies On The Run (5:00)
    3. The Unbearable Lightness Of Being (5:50)
    4. Strange Times And Odd Days (5:42)
    5. Kissing The Sun (2:27)
    6. Pink Panda (5:46)
    7. Flying Dolphins (4:40)
    8. Spirallels (4:17)
    9. Welcome To Absurdistan (2:24)
    10. Paradox (6:00)
    11. April Snow (3:08)

    Total Time 51:35