Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Best LP Prog Epics from The 1990s

The 1990s' Best
Long-Playing Prog Epics (14 + mins.)
These are my top-rated long-playing prog epics from the decade of the 2000s, songs longer than 14 minutes. I'm sure I haven't heard everything released during the decade, but I'm working on it--which means I'll be adding to the list as I discover new masterpieces!

PROG PERFECTION:

1. "The Sky Moves Sideways - Phase 1"
(18:37)
by PORCUPINE TREE 
(40/40) = 10.0 
from the 1995 album The Sky Moves Sideways



NEAR PERFECTION:

2. "Glissements Progressifs Du Plaisir (extraits)"
(30:44)
by ART ZOYD
(59/60) = 9.83
from the 1997 album Häxan


3. "The Real Thing"
(18:02)
by KINGSTON WALL
(34/35) = 9.71 
from the 1994 album III - Trilogy


4. "A Suite for The Everyman"
(28:13)
by ECHOLYN
(58/60) = 9.67
from the 1992 album Suffocating the Bloom



5. "The Garden of Dreams"
 (59:34) 
by THE FLOWER KINGS
(114.75/120) = 9.5625
from the 1999 album Flower Power


6. "Slow Dance, Part Two"
(26:27)
by ANTHONY PHILLIPS
(47.75/50) = 9.55
from the 1990 album Slow Dance




Other LP Prog Epic Masterpieces:

7. "The Cathedral"
(19:33)
by PÄR LINDH PROJECT
(38/40) = 9.5 
from the 1994 album Gothic Impressions



8. "Before The Storm/The Storm"
(15:51)
by DISCIPLINE
(28.5/30) = 9.5 
from the 1997 album Unfolded Like Staircase



9. "299 796 km/s"
(14:46)
by IN THE WOODS
(28.5/30) = 9.5 
from the 1997 album Omnio


10. "A Change of Seasons"
(23:09)
by DREAM THEATER
(42/45) = 9.33 
from the 1995 EP A Change of Seasons 


11. "Terminal Man"
(15:15)
by BONDAGE FRUIT
(28/30) = 93.33
from the 1996 album II
https://guysegers1.bandcamp.com/track/terminal-man-bondage-fruit


Other GREAT LP Prog Epics:
12. "Jack Luminous" (17:28) 
by VOIVOD (32/35) = 9.143 
from the 1993 album The Outer Limits




13. "The Nile for A While" (21:29)
by MR. SIRIUS (36.5/40) = 9.125
from the 1990 album Dirge



14. "Humanizzimo" (20:53)

by ROINE STOLT (36.5/40) = 9.125
from the 1994 album The Flower King



15. "Mundus Incompertus" (26:43)
by PÄR LINDH PROJECT (45.5/50) = 9.1 
from the 1997 album Mundus Incompertus



16. "Stardust We Are" (25:02)
by THE FLOWER KINGS (45.5/50) = 9.1 
from the 1997 album Stardust We Are




17. "Madrigal Love" (21:57)
by AFTER CRYING (41/45) = 9.1
from the 1990 album Overground Music




18. "A Pleasant Shade of Gray" (53:46)
by FATES WARNING (95/105) = 9.05
from the 1997 album A Pleasant Shade of Gray



19. "Kingdom Come" (13:45)
by THINKING PLAGUE (27/30) = 9.0 
from the 1998 album In Extremis



20. "The Last Man on Earth" (14:45)
by PENDRAGON (27/30) = 9.0 
from the 1993 album The Window of Life



21. "Höstsejd (Rites of Fall)" (15:34)
by ÄNGLAGÅRD (27/30) = 9.0 
from the 1994 album Epilog



22. "Further Away" (14:30)
by IQ (27/30) = 9.0
from the 1993 album Ever




23. "Book of Prophecies" suite (20:35)
by SOLARIS (36/40) = 9.0 
from the 1999 album Nostrodamus: Book of Prophecies




24."The Divine Wings of Tragedy"(20:43) 
by SYMPHONY X (36/40) = 9.0
from the 1997 album The Divine Wings of Tragedy


25. "Omnio?" (26:04)
by IN THE WOODS (45/50) = 9.0
from the 1997 album Omnio



HONORABLE MENTIONS:
"A Mind Beside Itself" - DREAM THEATER (35.75/40) = 8.9375 from the 1994 album Awake
"Slow Dance, Part One" - ANTHONY PHILLIPS (44.5/50) = 8.9 from the 1990 album Slow Dance
"Joosan Lost / The Fate" (21:42) by FRENCH TV (40/45) = 8.89 from the 1999 album The Violence of Amateurs
"When the Water Breaks" - LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT (31/35) = 8.857
"Refractions in the Plastic Pulse" (17:32) - STEREOLAB (31/35) = 8.857 from the 1997 album Dots and Loops
 "Mooloop" (17:04) - PORCUPINE TREE (31/35) = 8.857 from the 1995 album The Sky Moves Sideways
"Vagabonds Home" - U TOTEM (26.5/30) = 8.833 from the 1990 album U Totem
"Les Études d'Organisme" - THINKING PLAGUE (26.5/30) = 8.83 from the 1998 album In Extremis
"In Your Eyes" - COLLAGE (26.5/30) = 8.833 from the 1994 album Moonshine
"Los Angeles 2026" (23:21) by SOLARIS (44/50) = 8.8 from the 1990 album Solaris 1990
 (22:25)
"A gadarai megszállott" (22:14) by AFTER CRYING (39.5/45) = 8.78 from the 1992 album Megalázottak És Megszomorítottak
"Walk with Me" (14:20) - THE TEA PARTY (26.25/30) = 87.50 from the 1995 album The Edge of Twilight
"The Sky Moves Sideways - Phase 2" (16:46) - PORCUPINE TREE (30.75/35) = 87.86 from the 1995 album The Sky Moves Sideways
"Symphonic Holocaust" (17:51) by MORTE MACABRE (30.5/35) = 87.14 from the 1998 album Symphonic Holocaust
"One Nail Draws Another" - U TOTEM (26/30) = 8.67 from the 1990 album U Totem



ALSO REVIEWED:
"Omnio" - IN THE WOODS (43.25/50) = 8.65
"Bleak, Uncertain, Beautiful..." (19:01) - GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR (34.5/40) = 8.625
"Somewhere But Yesterday" - CITIZEN CAIN (21.5/50) = 8.6
"The Narrow Margin" - IQ (34/40) = 8.5
"How to Measure a Planet?" - THE GATHERING (51/60) = 8.5
"Into The Dream" - DISCIPLINE (38/45) = 8.44
"Épreuves d'Acier" (17:56) by ART ZOYD (29.5/35) = 84.29 from the 1997 album Häxan
"Nervous, Sad, Poor..." (20:55) GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR (33.5/40) = 8.375
"Sono-bank"- BONDAGE FRUIT (33/40) = 8.25
"Récit" - BONDAGE FRUIT (46.5/60) = 7.75
"Amarok" - MIKE OLDFIELD (84/120) = 7.0


As Yet Unreviewed:
"Eyes of a Seer" (21:13) by KALABAN from the 1993 album Resistance Is Useless
"Hotash Slay" (14:01) by KALABAN from the 1993 album Resistance Is Useless
"Jag, Änglamarks Bane" - SINKADUS (/30) =  
"Snalblast" - SINKADUS (/40) = 
"Agren" - SINKADUS (35) = 
"The Limping Little Girl" - PRESENT (/30) =
"Ceux d'un Bas" - PRESENT (/40) =
"Queen of Hearts" - PENDRAGON (1991 The World) (/45) = 





Friday, February 21, 2020

The Best Mid-Length Prog Epics of the 1990s

The 1990s' Best Prog Epics
(9 to14 minutes in length)
Here are my top-rated prog epics from the 1990s. I haven't been able to find as many as there are from the last two decades, and I'm sure there are some that I've missed, but there are a few choice ones to get excited about.

PROG PERFECTION:

1. "Isis and Osiris"
(11:11)
by AYREON
(20/20) = 10.0 
from the 1998 album Into The Electric Castle


2. "Hole"
(11:08)
by ANEKDOTEN
(20/20) = 10.0 
from the 1999 album From Within


3. "The Truth Will Always Be"
(9:15)
by PAT METHENY
(20/20) = 10.0 
from the 1992 album Secret Story


4. "Jurassic Shift"
(11:05)
by OZRIC TENTACLES
(20/20) = 10.0 
from the 1993 album Jurassic Shift


5. "Matthew - The Man" 
(11:53)
by IONA 
(20/20) = 10.0
from the 1992 album The Book of Kells


6. "The Awakening"
(9:39)
by PAT METHENY GROUP
(20/20) 
from the 1997 album Imaginary Day



NEAR PERFECTION:
7. "Kétezer Év"
(13:21) 
by AFTER CRYING
(29.5/30) = 9.833 
from the 1996 album Föld És Ég




Other Mid-Length Prog Epic Masterpieces:

8. "Baroque Impression No. 1"
(9:13)
by PÄR LINDH PROJECT
(19/20) = 9.5
from the 1997 album Mundus Incompertus


9. "Skogsranden (Eaves of the Forest)"
(10:47)
by ÄNGLAGÅRD
(19/20) = 9.5
from the 1994 album Epilog



10. "Big Puzzle"
(13:36)
by THE FLOWER KINGS
(28.5/30) = 9.5 
from the 1995 album Back in The World of Adventures



11. "Shining (...to the Powers of Fairyland)"
(10:45)
by AFTER CRYING
(19/20) = 9.5 
from the 1990 album Overground Music


12. "Svefn-G-Englar"
(10:04)
by SIGUR RÓS
(19/20) = 9.5 
from the 1999 album Ágætus Byrjun


13. "Carolina IV"
(10:23) 
by ANGRA
(19/20) = 9.5
from the 1996 album Holy Land



14. "How Fortunate the Man with None" 
(9:15) 
by DEAD CAN DANCE
 (19/10) = 9.5

from the 1993 album Into the Labyrinth



15. "Sista Somrar (The Last Summer)"
(13:10)
by ÄNGLAGÅRD
(23.5/25) = 9.4 
from the 1994 album Epilog


16. "Megalázottak És Megszomorította"
(11:46)
by AFTER CRYING
(23.5/25) = 9.4
from the 1992 album Megalázottak És Megszomorította


17. "Storm Bird Storm Dreamer"
(11:51)
by BONDAGE FRUIT
(23.5/25) = 9.4 
from the 1999 album Bondage Fruit IV


18. "Trial of Tears"
(13:06)
by DREAM THEATER
(23.5/25) = 9.4 
from the 1997 album Falling Into Infinity


19. "Jordrök (Earth Smoke)"
(11:11)
by ÄNGLAGÅRD
(18.75/20) = 9.375 
from the 1993 album Hybris


20. "A Gift of Wings"
(9:48)
by OZRIC TENTACLES
(18.75/20) = 9.375
from the 1990 album Erpland



21. "Scarred"
(10:59)
by DREAM THEATER
(18.75/20) = 9.375 
from the 1994 album Awake



Other GREAT Mid-Length Prog Epics:

22. "Third Eye" (13:54)
by TOOL (28/30) = 9.33
from the 1996 album Ænima


23. "Butterfly" (9:21)
by PSYCHOTIC WALTZ (18.5/20) = 9.25
from the 1992 album Into the Everflow


24. "Finding and Believing" (10:00)
by PAT METHENY (18.5/20) = 9.25
from the 1992 album Secret Story



25. "Lines in the Sand" (12:05)
by DREAM THEATER (23/25) = 9.2
from the 1997 album Falling Into Infinity



26. "The Moor" (11:25) 
by OPETH (18.25/20) = 9.125 
from the 1999 album Still Life



27. "Struggle For Life" (9:12)
by AFTER CRYING (18.25/20) = 9.125 
from the 1997 album 6 



28. "Travel" (9:11)
by THE GATHERING (18.25/20) = 9.125 
from the 1998 album How to Measure a Planet?



29. "Mail Order Quarks" (10:27) 
by FRENCH TV (18.25/20) = 9.125 
from the 1999 album The Violence of Amateurs


30. "Stalker" (12:21)
by AFTER CRYING (22.75/25) = 9.1 
from the 1996 album De Profundis



31. "Canto IV" (13:44)
by DISCIPLINE (27.25/30) = 9.083 
from the 1997 album Unfolded Like Staircase






HONORABLE MENTIONS:
"Kung Bore (King Winter)" (12:57) - ÄNGLAGÅRD (22.5/25) = 9.0  from the 1993 album Hybris
"Weeping Willow" (11:40) - IN THE WOODS (18/20) = 9.0 from the 1997 album Omnio
"Sur les flots verticaux" (10:01)by PATRICK GAUTIER (18/20) = 9.0 from the 1993 album Sur les flots verticaux
"Moonlapse Vertigo" - OPETH (18/20) = 9.0 from the 1999 album Still Life
"De Profundis"  by AFTER CRYING (22.5/25) = 9.0 from the 1996 album De Profundis
"Junk And Donuts" - CITIZEN CAIN (18/20) = 9.0 from the 1994 album Somewhere But Yesterday
"Crutches" - DISCIPLINE (22.5/25) = 9.0 from the 1997 album Unfold Like Staircase
"The Accolade" - SYMPHONY X (18/20) = 9.0
"World of Adventure" - THE FLOWER KINGS (27/30) = 9.0 from the 1995 album Back in The World of Adventures
"Learning to Live"(11:30) by DREAM THEATER (18/20) = 9.0 from the 1992 album Words and Images
"After The Flood" - TALK TALK (18/20) = 9.0 from the 1991 album Laughing Stock
"Tabula Rasa" - ABRAXAS (18/20) = 9.0 from the 1996 album Cykl obraca się. Narodziny, dzieciństwo pełne duszy, uśmiechów niewinnych i zdrady... 
"Mutants Over Miami" (12:17) - KALABAN (22.5/25) = 9.0 from the 1990 album Don't Panic
"Pushit" - TOOL (18/20) = 9.0 from the 1996 album Ænima
"Chewbacca" - LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT (26.75/30) = 8.9167 from the 1999 album Liquid Tension Experiment 2
"Vandringar I Vilsenhet (Wanderings in Confusion)" (11:53) - ÄNGLAGÅRD (22.25/25) = 8.9 from the 1993 album Hybris
"Serenity Painted Death" - OPETH (17.75/20) = 8.875 from the 1999 album Still Life
"Wings in The Night" - COLLAGE (17.75/20) = 8.875 from the 1994 album Moonlight
"The Flower King" - ROINE STOLT (17.75/20) = 8.875 from the 1994 album The Flower King  
"Sanktuarium" - QUIDAM (17.75/20) = 8.875 from the 1996 album Quidam
"Nurses Whispering Verses" - CARDIACS (17.75/20) = 8.875 from the 1992 album Sing to God
"Scene Four: Beyond This Life" - DREAM THEATER (17.75/20) = 8.875 from the 1999 album Scenes from a Memory
"Another Dimension" - LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT (17.75/20) = 8.875 from the 1998 album Liquid Tension Experiment 2
"Pushit" - TOOL (17.75/20) = 8.875 from the 1999 album Ænimus
"The Heat of the Day" (9:45) - PAT METHENY GROUP (17.75/20) = 8.875 from the 1997 album Imaginary Day
"Procyon's Demise" (9:52) - KALABAN (17.75/20) = 8.875 from the 1990 album Don't Panic
"Imaginary Day" (10:11) - PAT METHENY GROUP (17.75/20) = 8.875 from the 1997 album Imaginary Day
"Moonshine" - COLLAGE (22/25) = 8.8 from the 1994 album Moonshine
"Masters Of Illusion" - PENDRAGON (22/25) = 8.8 from the 1996 album The Masquerade Overture
"You" - KINGSTON WALL (17.5/20) = 8.75 from the 1993 album II
"Feng Shui" - OZRIC TENTACLES (17.5/20) = 8.75 from the 1992 album Jurassic Shift
"Baśnie (Fairy Tales)" - COLLAGE (17.5/20) = 8.75 from the 1991 album Baśnie  
"Metropolis - Pt. I "The Miracle And The Sleeper" - DREAM THEATER (17.75/20) = 8.75 from the 1992 album Images and Words
"Ajudah" - ABRAXAS (17.5/20) = 8.75 from the 1996 album Cykl obraca się. Narodziny, dzieciństwo pełne duszy, uśmiechów niewinnych i zdrady... 
"30 Seconds of Weightlessness" (11:02) by CHEER ACCIDENT (17.75/20) = 8.75 from the 1996 album Not a Food
"Strange Barbarians" - CITIZEN CAIN (21.75/25) = 87.0


ALSO REVIEWED:
"Night on Bare Mountain (incl. Black Stone)" - PÄR LINDH PROJECT (13:50) (26/30) = 8.67 from the 1994 album Gothic Impressions
"The Walls of Babylon" - PENDRAGON (17.25/20) = 8.625
"Jonny Had Another Face" - CITIZEN CAIN (17.25/20) = 8.625
"Amazing Flight" - AYREON (17.25/20) = 8.625
"Even Has a Half-Life" (9:34) by CHEER ACCIDENT (17.25/20) = 8.625 from the 1996 album Not a Food
"Goodbye to All That" - MARILLION (21.5/25) = 8.6
"Midnight Comet Dreams" (12:56) - KALABAN (21.5/25) = 8.60 from the 1990 album Don't Panic
"Deaf, Numb and Blind" - THE FLOWER KINGS (17/20) = 8.5
"Mysticum Arabicola" - OZRIC TENTACLES (17/20) = 8.5
"Breaking the Spell" - PENDRAGON (17/20) = 8.5
"Desert Song" (13:08) by CHEER ACCIDENT (21.25/25) = 8.5 from the 1997 album Enduring the American Dream
"Frost and Fire" - BONDAGE FRUIT (21.25/25) = 8.5
"Niespełnienie" - QUIDAM (17/20) = 8.5
"Time Will Tell" - ROYAL HUNT (17/20) = 8.5
"Souls at Zero" - NEUROSIS (17/20) = 8.5 
"The Butterfly Effect" (9:38) by CHEER ACCIDENT (17/20) = 8.5 from the 1992 album Babies Shouldn't Smoke
"The Shadow" - PENDRAGON (16.75/20) = 8.375
"Clouded" - GORGUTS (16.75/20) = 8.375
"White Cluster" - OPETH (16.75/20) = 8.375
"Calling Home" - THE FLOWER KINGS (16.75/20) = 8.375
"Sand and Mercury" - THE GATHERING (16.75/20) = 8.375
"Tiger Tea" - FRENCH TV (20.75/25) = 8.3
"Psychedelic Postcard" (9:50) - THE FLOWER KINGS (16.5/20) = 8.25
"Prayer" - BONDAGE FRUIT (16.5/20) = 8.25
"The Bends" - MR. BUNGLE (16.5/20) = 8.25
"Guardian Of My Soul" - PENDRAGON (20.5/25) = 8.2
"A Chronology for Survival " - NEUROSIS (16.25/20) = 8.125
"The Darkest Hour" - IQ (16.25/20) = 8.125

"Godhead's Lament" - OPETH (16/20) = 8.0
"To Dance The Enamel-Faced Queen" - CITIZEN CAIN (16/20) = 8.0

"Odd-Job" - BONDAGE FRUIT (15/20) = 7.5




As Yet Unreviewed:
"In The Eyes Of The World" (10:38) - THE FLOWER KINGS 1997 Stardust We Are
"Church Of Your Heart" (9:10) - THE FLOWER KINGS 1997 Stardust We Are
"Circus Brimstone (12:03) - THE FLOWER KINGS 1997 Stardust We Are
"Il Passo del soldato" - NUOVA ERA (/25) = from 1995 album Il Passo del soldato
"Scene Six: Home" - DREAM THEATER (/25) =  from the 1999 album Metropolis 2: Scenes from a Memory
"Scene Nine: Finally Free" - DREAM THEATER (/25) =  from the 1999 album Metropolis 2: Scenes from a Memory
"The Pilgrim's Inn" - ROINE STOLT (/20) =
"Dissonata" - ROINE STOLT (/20) =
"Through Silver In Blood" - NEUROSIS (/25) =  
"Purify" - NEUROSIS (/25) =   
"Strength Of Fates" - NEUROSIS (/20) =  
"Aeon" - NEUROSIS (/20) =  
"Enclosure In Flame" - NEUROSIS (/20) =
"The Garden of Emotions" - AYREON (/20) =
"Liquid Dreams (10:48)" - LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT (/20) =
"Il Passo del Soldato" - NUOVO ERA (/25) =
"Lawrence" - CAMEL (/20) =
"Sad Rain" - ANEKDOTEN (/25) =
"Book of Hours" - ANEKDOTEN (/20) =
"Merry Go Bye Bye" - MR. BUNGLE (/25) =
"These Empty Places" - SIEGES EVEN (/20) =
"Kodomo No Guntoi" - BONDAGE FRUIT (/20) =  
"The Judas Goat" - U TOTEM (/20) = 
 "Valkyria" - SINKADUS (/20) = 
"Ulv I Farakläder" - SINKADUS (/20) =
"Manuel" - SINKADUS (/20) = 
 Attestupan" - SINKADUS (/25) = 
"Júdás" - AFTER CRYING (/20) =
"V - Conclusion: "(Tribute to Keith Emerson) (10:45)" - AFTER CRYING (/20) = 
"Hey Joe" - OZ MUTANTES (/25) =
"Detras dal Umbral" - NEXUS (/20) =
"Eterno y Fugaz" - NEXUS (/20) =
"New Grass" - TALK TALK (/20) =
"The Siren of The Woods" - THERION (/20) =
"The Voyager" - PENDRAGON (1991's The World) (/25) =
"Kingdom Come" (13:45) - THINKING PLAGUE
"Les études d'organism" (14:00) - THINKING PLAGUE



Sunday, February 9, 2020

In Praise of Unsung Genius: Trevor Horn

My "Celebrating Some Unsung 'Masters'" series is intended to shine the spotlight on artists who, in my opinion, continue to be under appreciated. While not necessarily in any particular order, I feel compelled to write about the artists that I feel A) the most personally geeked about and B) are most deserving of the added attention and appreciation.

Trevor Horn began his storied career in the band The Buggles with Geoff Downes (future member of both YES and ASIA). Their two album releases are both ground-breaking treasures, the first for its catchy synth-based techno-New Wave pop songs (like "Video Killed the Radio Star" and "Astroboy [Watching the Proles on Parade]") while the second was notable for its amazing melodies and pristine soundscapes (the kind Thomas Dolby would later be famous for). Joining Yes in 1979 for the Drama album was a risky and controversial move--if only for replacing founding members Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, but also for bring a completely new sound to the band (a sound without stacks of racks of keyboards as sometime-memberRick Wakeman was want to do). But then taking on the production side of things may have been the stroke of genius that defined the rest of his career as Trevor and his studio with not one but two Fairlight CMIs became the go-to producer in the UK, helping the following bands achieve pop stardom:
Art of Noise
ABC
Spandau Ballet
Band Aid
Yes
Malcom MacLaren
Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Grace Jones
Propaganda
Godley & Creme's "Cry"
Pet Shop Boys
Simple Minds
Paul McCartney
Charlotte Church
Lee Ann Rimes
Faith Hill
t.A.T.u.
Belle and Sebastian
Seal
Renato Zero

To experience just a little of Trevor's magic, watch these video clips from the 2004 Prince's Trust Benefit Concert--an entire concert of Trevor's music and bands (some reuniting for the first time for this concert!)


Musican, singer, songwriter, producer, Trevor Horn has been a shining example of innovative sound master for over 40 years!

In Praise of Unsung Genius: Roy Buchanan

My "Celebrating Some Unsung 'Masters'" series is intended to shine the spotlight on artists who, in my opinion, continue to be under appreciated. While not necessarily in any particular order, I feel compelled to write about the artists that I feel A) the most personally geeked about and B) are most deserving of the added attention and appreciation.

Roy Buchanan was a creative genius. As I watch video footage of his stage performances I wonder how the rest of his band mates could ever keep up with him. His guitar playing and sudden shifts in mood and tempo would be enough to leave most bands in the dirt (which he may have often done), but if you focus only on the guitar playing, you cannot help but be floored by the choices in direction the Maestro makes--split second decisions that boggle the mind and never cease to amaze and astonish.

Try this video from Austin City Limits to try to get a sense for this man's genius:


or this one, the song that sucked me into Roy's genius and one of my all-time favorite guitar songs, "Fly…Night Bird."