Saturday, 22 October 2016

Eden - Erwartung (1978)

The debut album from this German band.

Eden released three albums and was more a collective of musicians than a band.  There are nine musicians listed as members of Eden and two other guest musicians. The lineup was spoken words, vocals, Moog and Arp synths, guitars, sitar, violin, bass, drums, percussions, flutes and woodwinds.

The setup and music is not as freeflowing improvisations as the Amon Duul albums. Thankfully !!

 Eden was one of those bands who populated the quite popular German, Swiss and Italian Christian prog and folk rock scene in the 1970s. This as an alternative to the secular prog and folk rock scene.
Most of this scene was Catholic. Catholic young people on a mission. This scene produced some good music which I am happy to give a go.

The music on this forty-two minutes long album is built on a platform of folk rock. There is a lot of flowing flowery German male and female vocals here. There is also a lot of flowery folk rock here. I am tempted to call it hippie and flower power music. But it is more folk music orientated than that.

There are also some clear influences from Eloy and The Moody Blues in their music. The music also rocks out for a couple of minutes. The "rock" element of the "folk rock" is pretty much present here in the form of some racy electric guitars.

The music is very sweet and nice. There is no really great songs here though and the music is missing a bit bite and substance. But I am pretty much enjoying this album. Eden is maybe an obscure band. But they are nevertheless well worth my time.

3 points 


Cargo - Cargo (1972)

The one and only album from this Dutch band.

Please note that this is the review of the forty-two minutes, five songs long 1972 album and not the seventy-five minutes long CD which includes a lot of bonus tracks and oddities. The CD offers the best value for money so get that one. But this is a review of the 1972 album.

Cargo recorded this album with nine musicians. I don't know the core of this band. But the lineup includes guitars, bass, drums, electric piano and vocals.

Progarchives has labeled this band as Heavy Prog and I am in full agreement here. I also cannot fail to notice that the album art-work is much more iconic than the band ever was. It is one of the great art-works from the prog rock scene. One I have been admiring for the last ten years before getting the album myself and then listening to it.

And the album is indeed also interesting. Not iconic though..... Take a lot of guitar based blues, add some psychedelic rock, a lot of British heavy metal, a lot of space rock and a lot of southern rock. There is a lot of Lynyrd Skynyrd here.

This album is also very pastoral at times. Very subtle too. Very cleverly made. And it is very much a 1970s album.

All guitar fans should bring out their air guitars and listen/get going to the final track Summerflair. The rest of us can also enjoy this good song and the four other songs. This album is really a good album with a great sound. There is no great tracks here though.... But enjoy and get the seventy odd minutes long CD !

3 points

Friday, 21 October 2016

Caplan. Gadi - Morning Sun (2016)

The third album from this USA based Israeli guitarist.

I know next to nothing about this guy as all my reference sources is offline at the moment. But I gather he got his musicial education from a guru in India and the Berkelee guitar university in Boston, USA.

He graduated from that university and released his debut album in 2010. His second album followed in 2013. That is all I can remember before my reference source went offline.

Gadi Caplan plays guitars and does the vocals here. He has got help from some other musicians too. The music is sparsely populated by instruments. Keyboards, synth, bass and drums. That in addition to the guitars and vocals.

The music is low-key and pretty much indie music. There is a lot of lounge jazz here in addition to a lot of post rock and a lot of pop music.

The music is by no means loud. It does not scream. It just whisper silently.

Everything here is subtle and low-key.

There is no real great music here and not much is happening. The music is decent to good throughout these forty odd minutes. The problem is the lack of really good and great melodies. Nevertheless, this is not a bad album.

2.5 points

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Invisible - El Jardín de los Presentes (1976)

The third and final album from this Argentine band.

The band returned again as a four piece band with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals. All vocals are in Spanish. The most known musician here is Luis Alberto Spinetta who later released some albums under his own name. Reviews to follow in 2017.....

I have never really warmed to this band. Their two first albums has left me cold and unimpressed. But changes were coming.....

Most of the maniac/manic hard and eclectic stuff was gone and replaced by a much more measured, melodic approach.

ProgArchives has been labelling this band as a symphonic prog rock band. I take issue.... There is no Yes/Genesis like music here. None whatsoever.

What we get in Latin-American prog rock with a lot of influences from the likes of Carlos Santana. Both the music and the guitars are pretty much influences by him. But the music is still very melodic and warm. So this is not a fusion album at all.

Still, there are some lounge jazz here together with some pop music and good old Latin-American prog rock. The music here is indeed very local and sounds like what it is. A prog rock album from Argentina.

The quality has been raised some notches on this album. There is a lot of interesting details and some good music here. Most of the melodies is indeed good.

This is by far their best ever album and one to check out.

3 points

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Carducci. Franck - Torn Apart (2015)

The second album from this Dutch artist.

Franck Carducci is back again with the follow up to the Oddity debut album.

He is doing the vocals, rhythm guitars and mellotron himself. A host of other musicians helps him out on other instruments. Steve Hackett shows up on track # 2 on lead guitars.

I have now learnt that Franck is French and has relocated to Holland. Just to correct myself......

Torn Apart is an hour of original songs plus a cover of Supertramp's School. That he has done a cover of Supertramp is not typical for the rest of the album. Most of the music is in the classic prog and hard rock school from the 1970s. It is indeed a retro-rock album. The Supertramp cover sounds a bit strange to me. But it is a good cover version so why not... I have no complaints.

Retro-rock is fine for me. It has a good sound although most of the album is too hard rocking for my taste.

There is no really great songs here among the original material. There is some glimpses of what Franck Carducci is able to do in a very inspired moment. But that is all.

Nevertheless, this is a good album which should please everyone into a bit harder prog rock.

3 points

Monday, 17 October 2016

Canarios. Los - Ciclos (1974)

The third and final album from this Spanish band.

I have yet to hear the first two albums from this band. Their debut album was released back in 1968, the second one in 1970 and this album was released in 1974. I have no idea what they sounded like.

Ciclos was recorded as a seven piece orchestra with lots of keyboards, synths, chorals, voices, bass, guitars, drums, percussions and symphony orchestral instruments.

Antoni Vivaldi (1678 -1741) and his Four Seasons symphony gets another good thrashing on this album. This for the numerous time and I am pretty sure our friend Antonio Vivaldi is pretty peeved off by now, there he sits somewhere in afterlife and is glumly watching those musicians who gives his Four Seasons their attention. I am pretty sure he has mixed feelings about his Four Seasons symphony right now.

The copyright laws means everyone can now make their own version of this symphony. A license a lot of bands has taken up and abused over the last fifty years. Some has made something very good out of it. Others has not.

Los Canarios has made their own version of this symphony. These seventy-four minutes is mostly classical music of some sort. But there is also some rock stuff here. This album is not progressive rock at all.

And frankly speaking, Ciclos is like giving The Four Seasons a solid beating up. Nothing here really works and this album is a disjointed effort I find impossible listening to from the first to last second. It is an abysmal album by all standards. It is indeed a turkey. One I am very happy to send over to my turkey yard, later to be enjoyed at the Christmas table.

1 point

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Goblin - La Via Della Droga (1999)

The nineteenth album from this Italian band/constellation.

This is the soundtrack for the Italian police TV series Poliziotteschi. I have yet to find the DVD anywhere..... but I have only been looking in the world of Amazon.

Goblin was a four piece on this album with Fabio Pignatelli (bass), Agostino Marangola (drums, percussion), Massimo Morante (guitars) and Claudio Simonetti on keyboards. From what I understand, the classic Goblin.

Which probably has concentrated their minds.

Goblin soundtracks is so much better in the movies than on CDs/MP3s. This goes for most soundtracks. Goblin has indeed added some turkeys to my collection of turkeys. Not many, but enoug for me to approach another Goblin movie with a lot of angst and trepidations.

So I was pretty pleased after listening to this half an hour long album for the first time. Pleasure which only increased after some more listening sessions.

The band has added some jazz to this movie soundtrack. Jazz as in Gong without Daevid Allen. Their Shamal album springs to mind. But most of this album is cinematic music, ambient and soundbytes like.

The end result is not that bad. It is indeed an album with some good stuff and some decent stuff. Hence my rating.

2.5 points 

Krokodil - Swamp (1970)

The second album from this Swiss band.

The band was a seven piece band with a lineup of violins, bass, drums, sitar, harmonica, flute, keyboards, percussions, guitars, drums and English vocals.

I was not particular overly awed by their self-titled 1969 album. Too much blues-rock for my liking. Although, that album had some psychedelic music too.

Those psychedelic influences has been refined a lot on this album while the blues-rock has been replaced by a much more folk rock type of music. The music is not that hard, although it has it's hard pieces too.

There is also some pretty naive The Beatles like melodies here too. This album is a child of the 1960s. There is an aura of hippies and flower power on this album.

Not all musicians chimes in at the same time. The sound is pretty sparse on instruments throughout this forty minutes long album.

The sound is still populated enough to make the music pretty lively and rich in substance. This album is very much focused on songs. Good songs. The vocals and the vocal harmonies here are really good too.

This is in short a good album with good songs throughout. It is an album well worth checking out.

3 points 

Anderson. Ian - Rupi's Dance (2003)

The fourth album from this British icon of our time.

I am a pretty big Jethro Tull fan and I do not say "no thanx" to Ian Anderson albums either. Hence my purchase of them and the reviews.

Ian did all the flutes and vocals as per usual. Ten other musicians helped him out here. A track from the Jethro Tull Christmas album is bonus track here. Not a good track, btw. But it tells you where this album is heading....

It is pretty easy to label this album.

Take away the rock elements from Jethro Tull and add some Celtic folk music and pop. That is what this album is.

The songs here are pretty short and based on Ian's vocals. His flute also chimes in here. The flute is very much in the Irish jig vein.

This album is fifty-five minutes long. It has thirteen songs. Thirteen songs which is pretty good. But they also offers an overload of sugar at times. This is very cosy, but not so much rich on substance. Not if you are prog and jazz-head as myself.

This album falls a bit short of my expectations, I am afraid. Hence the rating.

2.5 points


Friday, 14 October 2016

Cameron Project. The Ben - Tipping Point (2014)

The debut album from this Australian artist.

Ben Cameron has had help from his brother (?) Chris Cameron on drums and percussion on this album. Ben is doing the guitars, keyboards, bass and vocals himself.

The same project has just released their second album. An album I have yet to get. That album has got a proper band behind it.

I do not know much about this project. But Ben Cameron seems like a young chap on the picture I have seen of him on ProgArchives. Long hair and all that. Well suitable to play progressive rock, this chap.

And that is what he does on this album. But with a twist....

The album is divided into two songs. Part 1 is clocking in at twenty-one minutes. Part 2 is clocking in at seventeen minutes. Not particular traditional, this album.

The music is somewhere between Yes, Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree. It is what ProgArchives would label as heavy prog, this album. And with full justification. It is indeed a heavy prog album.

Most of this album is pretty hard. Hard, but not heavy. It is also pretty melodic at times.

Both songs has it's good parts and some pretty average parts. This thirty-eight minutes long album is a decent to good album which does not enthuse me. Neither does it disgust me. It is well worth checking out.

2.5 points 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Dream The Electric Sleep - Lost And Gone Forever (2011)

The debut album from this US band.

Dream The Electric Sleep is a trio from Lexington, Kentucky. And I have no idea what that band name means. Anyway, their lineup is drums, bass, guitars and vocals. Male vocals.

This band is among the new breed of US progressive rock bands. The ones taking over from Kansas and those bands. Well, there has never been that many traditional progressive rock bands from USA.

Dream The Electric Sleep is not a traditional progressive rock band either. It is with a bit trepidations I am reviewing their three albums. The band are still alive, I guess. So more albums will surely follow.

But back to Lost And Gone Forever.

I am not sure what the band thought about themselves on this almost eighty minutes self-released album. An album they do not regard as their debut album. More of a collection of earlier material, I guess. But I am still reviewing it.

This album covers a multitude of genres and styles. From more traditional progressive rock in the Pink Floyd and Yes mould to more AOR, classic rock, hard rock and grunge. There is a lot of Pearl Jam not so well hidden in this album. Soundgarden is also well represented.

A mixed bag in other words and a bit of a frustrating listening experience. The quality is not particular good either. But I am not giving up on this band. It is well worth checking out, this album.

2 points


Hackett. Steve - Spectral Mornings (1979)

The third album from this English artist.

Steve Hackett scaled back a lot this time when it came to using musicians. His brother John did the flutes, Nick Magnus all the keys, Dik Cadbury the bass, John Shearer the drums and Pete Hicks shared the vocals duties with the always guitar playing Steve Hackett.

The result is back to the start again. Spectral Mornings is a restart and back to where he started off with The Voyage Of The Acolyte in 1975, his debut album. The previous album Please Don't Touch ('78) is just a bad memory.

The album starts of with two great symphonic prog songs in the form of Every Day and The Virgin And The Gypsy. Eleven minutes of greatness. A very much John Hackett dominated interlude follows and it is a great folk tune too.

Then the album goes a bit of rails....... I am not sure what this folk music hall ditty The Ballad Of The Decomposing Man is doing here. ELP also did comedy songs like this. Songs very much in the Monty Python mould. But this one is actually a good comedy song. But I am not sure why it is used on this album.

Some more odd and very good ambient folk music stuff where the two brothers are working together follows before the great title track closes this album after thirty-nine minutes.

This is by all means a great album. Barely a great album, in my opinion. But nevertheless a great album and one to really cherish. Something I do.

Check it out !

4 points

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Tiles - Presents Of Mind (1999)

The third album from this US band.

Tiles were a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, mandolin, banjo and vocals.

On their two previous albums, Tiles ('94) and Fence The Clear ('97), the band was operating somewhere between Dream Theater and Rush. Fence The Clear was actually a good album too. I am not that big fan of their debut album.

Fence The Clear was a fresh album with a fresh and lively sound. Ditto for the music. So I had high hopes for their third album when it came up for review.....

Presents Of Mind sees the band branching out from their hard rock roots and into a much more diverse landscape. From the more adult orientated rock landscape with ballads to a more mature heavy metal landscape.

The band would like to show the world that they are a serious, very intelligent band. The result is this one hour long album.

That though requires some good melodies and songs. There is none of that here. The music is not too bad and the band knows their stuff. But this type of music requires good tunes, good melodies and a lot of substance. Which there is not much of here. Hence my rating.

2.5 points

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Camberwell Now. The - All's Well (1992)

The box-set from this English band who compiles the '12 and the album this band released.

I first thought this was a studio album so I started to listen to it. I never ever review box sets and compilations. But as I was already forming an opinion, I made an exception from this rule.

The Camberwell Now only released one album, the 1986 album The Ghost Trade. They left a big impression though and is an often used reference source when people are referring to avant-garde music.

The band was only a trio with Charles Hayward as the leading member. He did all the vocals here. Other instruments used was tapes, piccolo, ukulele, mandolin, bass, guitars, saxophones, voices, synths, drums and keyboards.

Punk is clearly an inspiration source here. So is avant-garde and krautrock. This seventy-four minutes long box set is a marriage of these three genres.

Charles Hayward's vocals is haunting, to say at least. The minimalism here is also haunting. It also creates a lot of moods and ambience. An ambience of hopeless excistense. Most of their music was a reaction to Margaret Thatcher's England.

This being a box, there is a pretty wide variety of music here. But all of it is within the krautrock avant-garde punk scope.

It is not the type of music I normally like. But the hype around this band is justified as it is based on quality and an unique form of music. I cannot remember ever hearing anything as "out there" as their music.

The quality is also good throughout this box. It is a box with some very good songs (the opening song Cutty Sark) and some less good songs. But the overall quality is good. Check it out.

3 points

Anima Mundi - I Me Myself (2016)

The fifth album from this Cuba based band.

The band was a five piece band with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, saxophone, Mellotron and vocals.

I pretty much liked their previous outputs and was really happy when this album arrived. An album with three long suites and three shorter songs. Well, short and short.... shorter than ten minutes, that is. This album is altogether one hour long.

The band continues on the path they marked out on the last album I reviewed by them, the 2010 album The Way (having yet to purchase their 2013 album The Lamplighter). A mix of progressive metal, eclectic prog and symphonic prog.

We even get some Italian symphonic prog on this album. And that is exactly what this album reminds me about. A RPI album.

There is some really great melody lines here. There are also some good melodies here. The album is pretty much technical and dense eclectic the whole way. It jumps a lot between moods and melodies. Between pure tech stuff and pastoral melodies.

It is not easy to get a handle on this album. But I like it a lot. Anima Mundi is a great band whose five albums is well worth checking out. This album is indeed a very good album.

3.5 points 

Steeleye Span - Wintersmith (2013)

The twenty-first album from this English band.

My last review of a Steeleye Span album was the 1976 album Rocket Cottage. A lot had happen since then.

Tim Hart had left the band in 1982 and then passed away in 2009 (R.I.P). Maddy Prior was still a member of the band and she had got five other musicians too in this band. The lineup was vocals, bass, drums, guitars and fiddle.

The sound had also changed a lot during those years. This is still Steeleye Span, but with a new and updated sound. The loss of Tim Hart is one of the most obvious changes.

Wintersmith was based on the work of the author Terry Pratchett and this album is indeed a collaboration between him and the band.

This album is also mainly a pop-folk album. A few rock and a few pure folk elements are still present. But most of this is pretty clean pop-folk. There are also some Irish folk music tunes here.

This album is just over one hour long and it has a couple of good songs and some decent songs. The title track is a good track. But most of this album is pretty docile and not that interesting. I very much prefer their first albums and would suggest that people interested in this band should stick to those albums.

2.5 points

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Gracious - This is.....Gracious!! (1971)

The second album from this English band.

Gracious was a five piece band with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, Mellotron, keyboards and vocals. Male vocals.

Gracious was one of those sthird division symphonic prog bands who never really reached the heights of Yes, Genesis and Pink Floyd. They mostly opened for these bands on bigger gigs. And that was as good as it could get. The band has been rediscovered with the help of ProgArchives and other similar websites. It was through ProgArchives I discovered them.

The band released three studio albums. I reviewed their debut album back in June 2010. An album I liked.

This forty-three minutes long album really incorporates a lot of different styles. From the semi-classical music of The Moody Blues to the more eclectic and atonal world of King Crimson.

The Mellotron plays quite a big role on this album. After a chaotic start of the album, the Mellotron takes over a lot and creates a lot of harmonies together with the vocals and the guitars. These harmony parts is mixed in with some more eclectic and almost avant-garde like pieces.

This album is indeed a mixe bag. It has also a lot of fans. I am more restrained as I am really missing some great stuff here. There is none. Nevertheless, this is a good album with some very good ideas. Ideas not fully brought into life. Which is a pity.

3 points

Invisible - Durazno Sangrando (1975)

The second album from this Argentine band.

The band was a trio with a lineup of bass, drums, guitars and Spanish vocals. The band was fronted by the guitarist and vocalist Luis Alberto Spinetta who later released some solo albums.

I was not too impressed by their 1974 self-titled debut album. A bit of a messy album who were kicking in all directions. Not so much in the progressive rock direction, though....

The band is listed as a symphonic prog band in ProgArchives and I had my hopes when purchasing their three albums. Hopes not fulfilled by their debut album.

They are still not an all out symphonic prog band on this album either. They are much more an eclectic prog band. Their music is also touching into symphonic prog territory. But that very much the South Americian version of symphonic prog instead of the symphonic prog version most of us know.

That means a lot of South American passion and folk rock. The music here is passionate, folk rock influenced and with some pop music influences.

This type of symphonic prog does not automaticly resonates with me. This almost forty minutes long album requires a lot of time. Time well spent.

I am still not convinced about it's qualities. The album is a bit messy with some sporadic melodies and inspired ideas. The quality is not that good either. It is still an improvement on the debut album. But only just.

2.5 points


Carducci. Franck - Oddity (2011)

The debut album from this Dutch artist.

Franck Carducci does the bass, keyboards, guitars, mandolin and vocals here. He is helped out by the likes of John Hackett (flutes) and many others on various instruments.

I have been aware of Franck Carducci and his two albums for a long time. Most of my friends rates them very highly. So me too wanted a piece of the action.

Franck Carducci debuted on Hammond organ when he was 5 years old. He comes from a family where music is everything and their whole life. Which is great.

This is also reflected on this album. An album which can be labeled as a symphonic prog album. References are both Genesis and Yes.

This one hour long album includes three long songs/suites, one short song and a very good version of the Genesis classic Carpet Crawlers.

Franck has a good, but slightly naive voice. The music is also upbeat and positive. Enough to make me smile and feel jolly. The music is indeed jolly.

Not everything here is symphonic prog. There is one blues track here which is not really my cup of tea. A folk ballad follows too and that is not met with my approval. The opening suite Achilles is very good, though.

This album is a mixed bag. It is also a good album which deserves a lot of credit and one to check out. Go so forth and do so.

3 points

Friday, 7 October 2016

Goblin - Phenomena (1997)

The seventeenth album from this Italian band.

The original soundtrack for this Dario Argento movie was released back in 1984 and included the likes of Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Accept and other heavy metal bands. It only included four Goblin tracks. That soundtrack was not the one used in the movie of the same name. That soundtrack was released thirteen years later...... in 1997. Hence my review of that soundtrack.

 I am not sure which of the Goblin versions involved here as ProgArchives listing of this album does not include any info. But the use of instruments are really sparse. You get keyboards, guitars, drums, bass, a female soprano vocalist, some flutes and some percussions.

This album is almost fifty minutes long and it include some music which probably was never meant to be released outside that album. Which shows.....

The movie is not a masterpiece, I have been told. The best thing about it is the soundtrack, I have been informed.

The soundtrack is pretty ambient, gothic, very 1980s with some horrible drums and other sounds from that time. It sounds a bit plastic, the soundtrack.

The female soprana vocals is pretty haunting.... and poor. It breaks up the ambient stuff. Ambient stuff where the five themes here are repeated until they die. Fifty minutes is too long on a CD. I am sure they are just about right in the movie.

This soundtrack has not survived the transfer from movie to a music album. It is nevertheless a decent album.

2 points 

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Ave Sangria - Ave Sangria (1975)


The one and only album from this Brazilian band.

Ave Sangria was a six piece band with a lineup of guitars, synths, keyboards, percussions, drums, bass and Portuguese vocals.

The band was quite a colourful group on stage with a lot of strange clothes and fuzz guitars. A bit psychedelic and glam rocking.

But their music is not really glam rock. It is folk rock of some sort.

Take folk rock, add some of David Bowie's quirky songs, add some vaudeville, rockabilly, jazz and a some psychedelic rock. Also add the colourful culture of Brazil and you get this album. An album full of quirky music.

The vocals is falsetto and normal male vocals. The vocalist Marco Polo (!!) is all over the place. But his vocals is very good. The rest of the band also does a good job.

The quality of this thirty-eight minutes long album is not that good. This album is a curiosity these days. It is still an album well worth checking out if you are a big folk rock fan.

2 points

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Anderson. Ian - The Secret Language Of Birds (2000)

The third album from this British artist.

Yes, I should have reviewed his second album, the 1995 album Divinities: Twelve Dances With God. But classical music bores the life out of me and I found that album too boring to be reviewed. And I don't really want to say too many bad things about Ian Anderson either as I am a fan of him. So no review. Divinities: Twelve Dances With God. is a classical music album and that's it. I don't even touch albums like that with a barge pole.

Ian Anderson has mostly got help from Andrew Giddings here on keyboards, orchestral sounds and numerous other instruments. Martin Barre helps out with guitars. Ian is doing the flutes and the vocals.

The Secret Language Of Birds is basically Jethro Tull without the more hard rocking elements. There is hardly any rock on this album. Neither is this an edgy album

This album is really a flowery, very flowery folk rock album with Ian's very flowery vocals and flutes. That is what this album can be labeled as. And it is a very good label indeed.

The cover art work more than gives the game away. This is a very colourful album indeed. One to make me/you smile.

There are also some very good songs here. The title track, both # 1 and # 2, is very good. The rest of the album is not the best. But I would still give it a weak very good rating. It is far better than any of the Jethro Tull albums post The Broadsword And The Beast album from 1982. And that says it all.

3.5 points


Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Aperco - The Battle (2016)

The debut album from Israel.

Aperco is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals. Two guest musicians contributes flute and saxophone.

From what I can see, Aperco was created to make progressive rock with a 1970s sound and feel. A bit of a retro band with original material.

And that is what they have done......... largely.

Although the music is a bit harking back to the 1970s, the sound is very much contemporary and very much anno 2016. The music.....

Take a large slice of Pink Floyd anno 1975 - 1985 and add neo-prog to the proceedings too. The music also has a lot of Steven Wilson influences. Lots of it. Not necessary from Porcupine Tree as Aperco is never that hard as that said band. But this is Steven Wilson at his most reflective, ambient moments.

There is a lot of ambience and reflective pieces of music here. A lot of Pink Floyd like music here. There are some songs too and they are all good.

This one hour long album is indeed a good album. It is not particular exciting and I am not enthused by it. But you can have a good listen and perhaps purchase a digital copy of this album from their Bandcamp site. Check it out.

3 points

Monday, 3 October 2016

Anima Morte - The Nightmare Becomes Reality (2011)

The second studio album from this Swedish band.

Anima Morte expanded into a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bouzouki, synths, bass, drums, Mellotron, keyboards and organ.

I was not a big fan of their 2007 debut album Face The Sea Of Darkness. You can read my review here. Not good enough music in my view.

Their mix of Goblin and Swedish symphonic prog gave some hints of a direction well worth checking out. Something they have not done on The Nightmares Becomes Reality.

Well, there are some traces of Swedish symphonic prog on this album. The band is Swedish after all. But this album is much more about Italian symponic prog than Swedish symphonic prog.

Anima Morte has again visited the land of Goblin and has gotten very inspired by them. They are still disciples of Goblin. Fans of Goblin will love this band. ...........And this album.

This album is almost 50 minutes long. It is at time majestic and epic. It is also cinematic and symphonic. Fans of symphonic prog and Goblin will really like this album.

It is also a good album. It is still lacking a bit greatness. But the band is on a mission and I guess their third album is a better album than this one. But get this album.

3 points


Sunday, 2 October 2016

Anyone's Daughter - Adonis (1979)

The debut album from this German band.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, organ, MiniMoog, keyboards, piano and English vocals. Vocals very similar to Eloy's vocals.

I reviewed their third album Piktor's Verwandlungen for ProgArchives back in November 2011. An album I really liked. I think I need to get the two other highly rated Anyone's Daughter albums too.

Anyone's Daughter were a band who released eight albums between 1979 and 2004. There were a fifteen minutes long break between their sixth and their seventh album. Their 1980s albums is said to be good albums.  

Adonis, and indeed the career of this band, starts with the twenty-four long title track. A suite which comes across as a mix of space rock and symphonic prog. Indeed; between Eloy and Camel.

And it is between Eloy and Camel that is where we find most of this album. Very melodic, but still with a bite and a lot of intelligence.

The sound is really great and very much in the Eloy vein. It is the type of warm glowing sound I really like.

Adonis is the best piece of music here. The rest of the album is also really good. A couple of flirtationw with pop music does not impress me. But this album makes me sit up and really smile a lot.

This is not a great album. I am missing a great track or two. Nevertheless, this is a very good album which is converting me to this band. Their others albums is being ordered.

3.5 points

Satin Whale - As A Keepsake (1976)

The third album from this German band.

Satin Whale was a quartet with a lineup of organ, piano, keyboards, guitars, drums, bass and English vocals. A female choir and some woodwinds, flutes and strings also contributes to this album.

I have to say I have not been the most impressed reviewer of their previous albums Desert Places (1974) and Lost Mankind (1975). You will find the reviews here and here. Their hard blues rock is really not my thing.

So imagine my surprise when I got this album.....

The band has changed their direction.... slightly.... on this album.

Gone are most of the soul and the blues music and sound. It has been replaced with a mix of space and symphonic prog. It has been replaced by Eloy.
I did not know that Eloy was that influential. But Satin Whale has taken a big chunk of ideas from them and added it to their music. Add some soft music too and you get a pretty heady mix.

This forty-five minutes long album showcases a pretty mature band and a band in transition. In transition to a much more commercial and cinematic sound and music. The two albums that followed is like that.

I pretty much like this album and rate it as their best album. It is indeed a good album well worth checking out.

3 points


Saturday, 1 October 2016

Steeleye Span - Rocket Cottage (1976)

The ninth album from this English band.

The band was still a six piece band with the vocals of Maddy Prior and Tim Hart the soul and heart in the band. They are backed up by violins, guitars, mandolins, banjo, bass, tabor and drums.

I have reviewed their first eight albums and have found a great band who sometimes also comes up with some great songs and albums. They is among the best folk rock acts this planet has ever spawned.

Maddy Prior and Tim Hart's vocals is both superb. The band also does their best.

Rocket Cottage sees the band move more towards mainstream rock again. Their sound and music is punchier and harder. There are still some folk music elements here. But even they have a much more punchier and a lot more world music and funkier sound and melody.

There is even some disco music rhythm patterns here in addition to the slightly funky music. The band is pushing the boat out here.

The band is kicking in all direction on the final half of this forty-one minutes long album. The band is trying out different styles and sounds.

Even the violins are pretty funky and playing with modern rock here. 

Rocket Cottage is as the title says, not a safe voyage. It is the band trying to come up with something new. I get the feeling that the band was growing a bit restless here and wanted to push the envelope. Hence this album.

This is by all means a good album. But I feel that the band was running a bit empty on this album. A weak three, three minus award is fitting here.

3 points 

Krokodil - Krokodil (1969)

The debut album from this Swiss band.

The band was a five piece band with a lineup of guitars, sitar, violin, piano, flute, bass, drums, harmonica and English vocals.

Krokodil released five albums between '69 and '73. All of them will be reviewed by me. The band was regarded as a krautrock band throughout their career. Hence my interest in this band.

This, their debut album was a much more straight blues-rock album than anything else. On the surface and in your face, at least. But there are strange things hiding in the details.

It is pretty obvious from the sitar and the strong leanings towards Indian music on a couple of tracks that the band was on the move towards a much more psychedelic landscape. Indeed, most of the songs here has a pretty notable psychedelic twist.

Psychedelic blues-rock ? Indeed, their music is.

This is by no means the most interesting music around in my views. But this forty minutes long album is pretty charming and it has some good stuff.

This album even sounds timeless at times. Which is quite an achievement. I am not fully charmed into submission by this album. The stuff is somewhere between decent and good. Check out this album as you may find it your cup of tea.

2.5 points  

Friday, 30 September 2016

Anubis Spire - Between The Two Eternities (2016)

The third album from this US band.

Anubis Spire is a seven piece band with keyboards, bass, drums, guitars, various instruments (!) and voices.

The various instruments listing does not mean much here. This album is totally guitars driven with some keyboards chiming in now and then. Some voices adds voices too. But not much. This is an instrumental album.

Music wise, this album reminds me alot of Pink Floyd anno the Gilmour era. The Momentary Lapse Of Reason album. That without the vocals. Add some Camel too and the instrumental symphonic prog genre. This album can be labelled as instrumental epic symphonic prog.

There is also some Arabic and Middle-East influences on this album. The music is also very cinematic and a bit ambient. But there are also plenty of prog metal here too.

There is enough bite in this music to make the ambience new age audience run away in panic. The guitar solos are soaring, epic and very noisy. But they are also soothing. New age for heavy metal fans ? There is a lot of heavy metal solos here.

This album is over one hour long. I am a big fan of guitar solos. But this album is too much based on guitar solos. Moderation is not the word I would use here. There is no truly great songs here either. There are some good stuff here though. But not enough for my liking. Hence my verdict.

2.5 points

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Invisible - Invisible (1974)

The debut album from this Argentinian band.

The band was a trio with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and Spanish vocals.

Invisible released three albums between 1974 and 1976. Luis Alberto Spinetta was the driving force in this band. He later formed the jazz/fusion band Spinetta Jade. I am planning to review their albums too in the near future. That means sometimes in 2017.

Invisible was something else, entirely. They are listed as a symphonic prog band in ProgArchives. That based on their two other albums (both will be reviewed). To my disappointment, there is no symphonic prog anywhere on this album.

What we get instead is forty-five minutes with a mix of psych prog and jazz. Luis Alberto Spinetta's voice and guitars gives the album a cool jazz vibe. The drums and bass also adds to this.

The main music here is psych rock though. A sort of psych prog which relies a lot on the local flavours and sound. This is not west coast psych or English psych. This is psych from South America.

This album and this type of music demands a lot from the listener as the good things are always in the small details. Of whom there is not much of here.

The end result is a decent album who does not deliver any good stuff. Check it out on Youtube if you must/feel for it. I am not overly impressed by this album.

2 points

Anubis - A Tower Of Silence (2011)

The second album from this Australian band.

Anubis was a six piece band on this album with a lineup of guitars of all sorts, bass, drums, keyboards, hammond, mellotron, farfisa, percussion, moog, harpsiscord, piano, flutes, sax and vocals.
A big sound in other words.

Anubis has got a very good reputation and I liked their debut album 230503 in my review some years ago which you can read here.

Anubis has got a good reputation because they as a neo-prog band is really pushing the envelope and that genre. The vocals is pretty melancholic and so is their music too.

The melancholy also takes us into a pretty epic songs territory. The longest one here is eighteen minutes long. The opening track, no less. A bit of a commercial suicide if you want a mainstream audience. But Anubis has found their audience and scene in the prog rock scene.

Two other songs are also past the ten minutes mark. The other songs are not far away from being ten minutes long too. Altogether, this album is over seventy minutes long and is pushing the max lenght of a CD.

There is no really great song on this album. But there are several really interesting songs here. Both good and interesting. I am not a paying member of their fanclub and I find this long album a bit unsatisfactory taken into the account that I want great or superb albums to grace the air in my office. This is not a great album. Nevertheless, this is a good album and one to check out.

3 points

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Anomus - Anomus (2011)

The debut and so far the only album from this Finnish band.

The band is a five piece band with a lineup of guitars, bass, percussions, keyboards, drums and vocals. Male Finnish vocals, no less. Which is a rare event. Far too rare in my opinion.

The album is self-released as a digital release. Get it from Itunes here.

The band operates with a keyboardist. But most of the music here is based on guitars, bass, drums and vocals. The keyboards is pretty sparse.

That's because the music is pretty heavy. They are listed as a Heavy Prog band in ProgArchives and that with very good reasons. The music is hard and heavy. But the music is not heavy metal.

Take some grunge, add some 1970s hard rock and some post-rock. Then you get this album.

You can also add some Finnish madness here. The vocals are sometimes well over the top and crazy.

The music is heavy, very Finnish and sometime melodic too. This music kicks butt. It is probably a lot better live than on CD or MP3. The sound is still very powerful.

My main gripe here is the lack of any good songs. The album is decent enough. But not much of these fifty minutes leaves any ever lasting impressions. It is power and noise for the sake of power and noise. Not for the sake of good melodies and interesting details.

The end result is a decent album and just that. I am not impressed.

2 stars

Griot - Gerald (2016)

The debut album from this Portoguese band.

Griot is a trio with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums, guitars and English vocals. They have got help of numerous guest musicans here who has supplied strings, woodwinds, backing vocals, Moog, flutes and piano. The end result is a thirty-three minutes long album with a lot of different sounds.

I have recently been complaining about the lack of bands from Portugal in my in-tray. By accident, I have now got a lot of albums from Portugal. Which is great for me.

There is indeed some Portugal flavours in this album. There is a cool and detached feeling here. Which is a bit of a difference from most other albums I review.

The music here is progressive rock. Mainstream progressive rock which is fairly in the middle of the well populated neo-prog land. But..... There is also a pretty big jazz flavour on this album. Add some folk rock too and you get this album.

The sound is really good here. I also believe this is a concept album of some sort. Have a look at the art-work above. Concept album ? The album is divided into Chapter I to V. Concept album ! Which is great for me.

... And indeed, there is some cinematic concept album influences on this album. I can hear that clearly now.

The music is really good here. All five songs are good in my opinion. My only gripe is the lack of that xtra great song, the album signature song. That aside, this is a nice addition to any neo-prog and melodic prog collection.

3 points

Tiles - Fence The Clear (1997)

The second album from this US band.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals. The classic rock'n'roll lineup known from the times of The Beatles.

I am in the process of reviewing all their albums and have arrived at their second album. It is quite an adventure, reviewing a band's discography. It is one of the reasons I run this blog.

I quite liked the debut album. See the review here. It had though some major faults I could not overlook.

Fence The Clear is their second attempt at the cherry/making a great album. It is almost an hour long album divided on twelve songs.

From having a major crush on Dream Theater, the band has moved on a bit. Moved on a bit towards the likes of Rush. A band Tiles sometimes gets compared to. And with good reasons, taking this album into account.

Half of this album is really good. The half I don't really like is the ballads, the vocals and the prog metal stuff which is still lingering on. The half I like is the guitars and when the band is being progressive and hard. In other words, I like it when they sounds like a unique band with heavy influences from Rush. There is a niche they can occupy here and I hope they have just done that on the albums following this album. Albums I am soon to review.

Half of this album is decent. The other half (make that: the first half an hour) is good. Hence my verdict.

2.5 points


Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Anima Morte - Face The Sea Of Darkness (2007)

The debut album from this Swedish band.

Anima Morte is a four piece band with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and keyboards.

And no, they are not a death metal band. Neither are they a black, doom or speed metal band. But their logo still points in the direction of the dark world........ Dario Argentino's movies and Goblin's music.

There is a lot of new bands who is very inspired, fanboys in fact of Goblin's musical universe. Anima Morte can be added to this group of bands. It is a nice trend and one I welcome.

It is not the most exciting music though, instrumental as it is. We are talking cinematic music here. Cinematic music to movies never made. Darkness and gore. The full package..... which reminds me that I need to watch those to Dario Argentino movies I recently bought on DVD.

The music on this forty minutes long album is a mix of Swedish symphonic prog and Goblin though as I can hear some flutes sounds from the keyboards. The band is Swedish and they are not even trying to hide that on this album.

I find most of this album pretty enjoyable. There is no real focal point, no real piece of music which makes this album kick on. My rating is therefore somewhere between decent and good. I will give this band another chance though.....

2.5 points

Monday, 26 September 2016

Anima - Anima (1989)

The one and only album from this Argentine band.

Anima was a four piece with a lineup of bass, drums, keyboards and Spanish male vocals. The band got help from around ten guest musicans who supplied guitars, woodwinds, synths and choirs. That includes female vocals too.

This band has been lumped together in the Symphonic Prog genre in ProgArchives. I neither agree or disagree with that choice. The reasons is.....

Anima offers up a bewildering mix of music on this album. Cinematic movie scores, instrumental symphonic prog, Pink Floyd rip-offs, pop music and some standard rock too.

I guess the label "rock opera" is what this album is. The music and vocals is operatic. It is also far too overblown and narcisstic.

The band must have suffered from a delusion of grandeur on this fifty minutes long album. Harsh words, but I think they are justified.

The music is so overblown and so badly constructed that I sometimes wonder what I am listening to. The pop songs here are pretty bad. The Pink Floyd'ish female vocals wailing is facepalm inducing. But worst of all; the music is both dull and simply not up to scratch. The music is so dull that I find myself falling asleep. That is never a good sign.

This album is not even a decent album. It is an addition to my collection of turkeys. You have been warned.

1 point

Anima Mundi - The Way (2010)

The third album this Cuban band.

Anima Mundi is a five piece band with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums, guitars and vocals. Three guest musicians adds bassoon, flutes and percussions.

I have reviewed their previous two albums for ProgArchives many, many years ago. But I never really got around to review this album. Which is a bit of a shame.

My review of their debut album is here and my review of their second album is here. My interview of the band is here. In short, I really liked their two first albums.

The Way is an hour long album divided on four songs. The longest one is the twenty-seven minutes long The Spring Knocks On The Door Of Men suite.

And yes, we are talking symphonic prog here. Yes springs to mind. So does Kansas and a bit The Flower Kings. I have heard the phrase "romantic symphonic prog" being used a lot on this album. I have to agree. In particular the almost half an hour long The Spring Knocks On The Door Of Men suite is very romantic. It reminds me a bit about Russian prog rock too. This suite is very flowery though with some guitar solos and great vocals. A bit sugary sweet.

The album opens with a cascade of prog metal though and I am fearing the worst from the first tone. I am not a big fan of the fourteen minutes long opening track Time To Understand.

The two closing songs Flying To The Sun and Cosmic Man does not much for me. A bit too prog metal and neo-prog for this album where the suite has set the tone.

The album is a bit uneven both when it comes to the genres and to the quality. The suite is really great. Not so much the rest of the album.

This is a very good album though. It is well worth checking out.

3.5 points

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Babylon - Babylon (1978)

The one and only album from this US band.

The band was a five piece band with synths, keyboards, percussions, drums, bass, guitars and vocals.

Babylon has been described as Genesis from the Nursery Cryme era. This album has been described as the long lost Genesis album.

... and my opinion.... That is not far of the mark. Take a bit more theatrical Peter Gabriel, of which Doroccus in Babylon wants to sound like, and add Genesis from that era.

It is obvious that Babylon was not as good as Genesis. The four songs on this thirty-five minutes long album is not in the same class as Trespass, Nursery Cryme or Foxtrot. But the sound is the same. The same pastoral sound. The same use of guitars and bass. Babylon use a bit more synths than Genesis too.

The four songs here are all enjoyable. A bit long'ish songs. A bit more complex and a bit more American than Genesis.

But this is indeed an album for the diehard Genesis fans out there. And what is there not to like about an album like this ?

I like it. But my main gripe is the lack of any great tracks. Babylon was never great song writers. Hence, they did not survive as a band. This is a good album though and recommended.

3 points

Bloque - Musica Para La Libertad (1981)

The fourth and final album from this Spanish band.

The band was a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitars, saxophone, bass, drums, keyboards and Spanish vocals.

I have had the joy of listening to their four albums and I have got a lot of respect for this band. A sadly overlooked band in the history of European prog rock. Although I have not been giving their albums a lot of points, this band has got my attention. It is a charming band with some charming albums. I am glad I got the chance to getting to know them !

This is their final album. I have not heard about any attempts to reform this band. Which is a bit of a shame.

This album is thirty-six minutes long divided into eight tracks. The sound is rather good. Good enough to let the music shine.

This album starts out with two pretty much commercial hard rocking tracks before progressive rock and folk rock starts to make it's presence felt. There are even some fusion here.

There are also some Camel like instrumental symphonic prog here. But with a large Spanish twist. Music which is rather good.

The end result is a decent to good album which I find charming. But not charming enough for my rather cold blooded analytical mind. But check out this album and this band. Give them the respect they deserve.

2.5 points 

Hackett. Steve - Please Don't Touch! (1978)

The second album from this English artist.

Steve Hackett has now quit Genesis and this is his first album on his own. Although he has got lots of lots of help from other musicians here. Steve Walsh from Kansas does vocals on three songs, including the opening songs (I thought I had put on a Kansas album by mistake....). Richie Havens does vocals on two songs and Randy Crawford does the vocals on one song.

Steve's younger brother John Hackett can be found on flutes and lots of others are also guesting on various instruments.

In short, Steve Hackett gets a lot of help. This album has also been recorded in a fancy studio with a big budget.

The result is disputed as this is a hate or love album. Taken the excellent 1975 debut album Voyage Of The Acolyte into account, I feel Steve Hackett lost the plot with this album. He got lost and he lost himself.

There is not much Steve Hackett and his guitars around. When they appear and we get some one to one with Steve, this album comes alive.

But most of this album is a mishmash of what was commercial music back then. The music is not much coherent. Neither is it much good. And I am sure the dollars and pounds were piling up here. But this is not a good album at all. It is a decent album and I am glad that it was... so I have been told... a one off album.

2 points

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Goblin - Notturno (1983)

The thirteenth album from this Italian band.

Goblin split into two bands before the release of this soundtrack album. This is the Goblin splinter band who had splintered off the original Goblin. They were a quartet and their lineup was woodwinds, keyboards, drums, bass and percussions.

The four members here are Antonio and Agostino Marangolo, Fabio Pignatelli and Maurizio Guarini. Just so we know what this version of Goblin was.

I have heard nothing about this movie. Well, I have to correct myself. The details about the film can be found here. It seems like a diversion from the usual horror movies Goblin usually did.

The movie soundtrack is said to be the best thing about this movie. Which makes me not that sorry that this movie cannot be found at I think I will therefore bypass this movie altogether.....

This half an hour long soundtrack is not that interesting. A mix of funk and easy-listening fusion. And there are some sound effects and some light rock too.

Frankly, this is the music that can send anyone to sleep. Try it tonight and you will see what I mean.
This half an hour is frankly too dull for me.

I can see why some says the 1980s was a terrible decade for Goblin. This album proves it. One decent track saves this album from ending up in my turkey yard among the other turkeys.

1.5 points

Ananga Ranga - Privado (1980)

The second and final album from this Portoguese band.

The band was a five piece band with a lineup of drums, guitars, bass, piano, percussions and English vocals.

I quite liked their 1979 debut album Regresso As Origens. Good jazz/fusion. So I was looking forward to this album.

To my horror, I get some vocals driven rock thrown into my face. On closer inspection and a closer proximity to the speakers, the music is a bit of rock with a lot of progressive rock influences. All the seventeen minutes of it. The male vocals is a bit too cheesy for my liking. But the music is pretty decent. Cheesy, but still decent.

But I wanted jazz/fusion. Not rock. And not vocals. And not heavy guitars.

This album is forty-five minutes long and the remainder of the album is taken up by fusion. Which is a sharp contrast to the first seventeen minutes. Two different bands ? I doubt it. This is still Ananga Ranga. Both of them. 

The fusion is pretty cheesy too, although not as cheesy as the rock stuff on this album. There is some woodwinds here. It is cool and it is everything the first part of this album is not.

And just to spoil the party, some sort of a party, we get some more vocals again. Funky vocals with the whole slick and sleezy feel.

The end result is an album which kicks in all direction. It is a decent album though. But it is not a coherent album so it is a weak decent rating, bordering to being a turkey rating. The pretty good fusion bits saves it's bacon.

2 points

Steeleye Span - All Around My Hat (1975)

The eight album from this English band.

Steeleye Span was again a six piece band on this album. The lineup was guitars, piano, bass, drums, mandolin, violins, tabor and vocals. Both male and female vocals. And yes, both Tim Hart and Maddy Prior is very much present here.

Maddy Prior and Tim Hart must surely be one of the best vocals combinations the scene has ever seen. I believe this musical pair has also released one or more albums as a duo.... Summer Solstice, this album is called. I will put in an order ! Their vocal harmonies on this Steeleye Span album and most other Steeleye Span albums is really great.

All Around My Hat sees the band doing what they can best. Electric folk rock with very strong vocals and some good songs too. In this case, almost forty minutes of it. 

The album starts with the haunting Black Jack Davey. A song I rate as one of their best ever songs. Another great song is the title track. 

The other songs are good, although I don't really understand what a clarinet do on the rather throwaway song Dance With Me. A song which takes the band into the pop scene. 

The other songs are much more genuine and honest folk rock. There is no denying that the band has become a bit more commercial acceptable on this album. There are no really hardcore folk music here. The corners has been cut and the rough edges smoothed over. 

That aside, this is a very good album and one to check out.

3.5 points

Satin Whale - Lost Mankind (1975)

The second album from this German band.

Satin Whale was a quartet with a lineup of saxophone, piano, keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, flutes and English vocals.

The name of the band grabbed my attention and their inclusion in ProgArchives also made me grab their first three albums. I reviewed their 1974 debut album Desert Places earlier this month. An album I quite liked.

The band has not changed much during the few months between these two recordings.

We still get heavy blues-soul with a lot of rock'n'roll too. There are a lot of hints of krautrock here too. The band was pretty active in the German scene and krautrock was the king back then. Hence some psychedelia too on this album.

Their sound is a bit special with this mix of soul and hard rock. The keyboards almost feels like Hammond organs here. The vocals too is very bluesy and soul like.

The music here has also got some Jethro Tull influences. In particular in the flutes and keyboards harmonies.

I am not completely sold on this album. My problem is the lack of any really good tracks here. There is a lot of interesting details here. But no really good tracks.

My rating is therefore a decent to good rating. I am not won over.

2.5 points   

Friday, 23 September 2016

Osta Love - The Isle of Dogs (2015)

The second album from this German band.

The band is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, keyboards, drums, bass and English vocals.

I very much liked their 2013 debut album Good Morning Dystopia. I reviewed it back in May 2014. Good neo-prog.

The band has moved on a bit since then. Not much, but still notable moved on. Gone is most of the neo-prog. The replacement is art rock with some cool west-coast influences. Cool as in cold. Not cool as in fashionable.

There is also some very notable Americana in their music. The music still retains a German feel to it's core and sound. The vocals is not heavy accented. But you can still hear that his first language is German.

The music is made by a mix of guitars and keyboards. And the music is rolling on nicely throughout these forty-four minutes this album last.

Cool as in a cool breeze is what my enduring memories of this album will be. The quality is not what I will remember it for. The music is at times pretty dull and without many memorable moments. There are some quality here. But the album is too dull for my liking. Nevertheless; this is a decent enough album. But it is not my cup of tea.

2 points


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Multi Story - Crimson Stone (2016)

The third album from this English band.

Multi Story is a five piece band with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.

The band released their debut album East West in 1985 and the follow up album Through Your Eyes two years later. And then...... nothing....... until now.

From what I gather, the only remaining member from the 1980s is the keyboardist Rob Wilsher. The vocalist and acoustic guitarist Paul Ford played on the debut album and on this album, sitting out Through Your Eyes. I have also been sitting out that album as I have reviewed East West two years ago. An album I did not like that much.

It is obvious that the band were around in the neo-prog heydays. They were never prolific and I have problems remembering anything about this band from those days. The band never got any breakthrough, although releasing two albums back then were really well done.

We are talking neo-prog and AOR rock here. Paul Ford has a good voice and he uses it well. The other musicians also do a good job.

The music is a bit too comfortable and too much safe. The band is not really pushing out the boat here. They stay close to the shore and is not joining the greats of this scene with this album.

I guess the band is both happy and comfortable with their place in the scene and their music. Music which may light up a prog rock or a rock festival. Music that sits well in an open air festival as in a pub gig.

The songs are not really that good though. But there are some positives and good things here. An hour with this album, several hours in my case as I have had problems sorting out my impressions enough to write a review, is a bit too much for my liking.

This is a decent to good album. If old style neo-prog is your cup of tea, get this album.

2.5 points

Anabasi Road - Anabasi Road (2014)

The debut album from this Italian band.

The band has not released anything else after this album so I wonder what is happening to them. Maybe they will join the very long list of Italian One-Albums-Wonders bands.

The band is a six piece band with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, piano, synths, harmonica and vocals.

All the vocals here are in English..... with one notable exception. The best song here are in Italian.

The music here is bluesy classic rock. There are hints of prog rock. But not much. The Italian song Guerra Mondiale is touching into the RPI scene. A good progressive song with a pastoral feeling.

The rest of the album is pretty hard rocking with a bluesy undertone and feel. The band is doing their best on a pretty meagre, poor material.

There are also material here which is touching into modern heavy metal with some Soundgarden influences. I am not impressed....... Grunge is not my type of music.

This album is one hour long and only Guerra Mondiale is saving it's bacon. It drags it up to a weak decent level. I am no fan of this album. Fans of classic rock may check it out. But with a health warning...

2 points

Monday, 19 September 2016

Bi Kyo Ran - Go Un (1995)

The third album from this Japanese band.

The band was now an eight piece band with a lineup of woodwinds, guitars, synths, bass, percussions, marimba, timpani and both male and female Japanese vocals.

Bi Kyo Ran was previously very close to being a King Crimson copycat. In particular on their debut album and to a lesser degree on their second album.

That though changed on this album. An album which is slightly bizzarre.

The forty minutes divided on five pieces of music takes us through a bit jazz, a bit zeuhl, a bit of King Crimson like eclectic music, a lot of avant-garde and a lot of US funk and Caribbean salsa. The music is pretty weird with a Robert Fripp'esque guitar underpinning some rhumba and salsa. This would be too far even for Robert Fripp.

And this music is far, far out. It is as eclectic as it can get. It is also pretty commercial and pretty dance-friendly. Put on your dance shoes and dance..... Yes, do that to this album.

Parts of it is very dance friendly. Other parts is too dense avant-garde to step out on the floor to this music.

The quality is not too bad. It is not good either and I am able to restrain my praise for this album. It is too weird for my view. Too far out there. Too incoherent for my view.

This is a decent album and worth checking out if you like music far from the well trodden path.

2 points

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Anderson. Ian - Walk Into Light (1983)

The debut album from the Jethro Tull frontman.

Ian Anderson is a man I highly respect and admire. He is one of the elder statesmen in the scene and I soak up everything he says. I am probably a fan of his...... Yes, I am. But I take pride in that.

Most of the Jethro Tull albums is really great. But they suffered a slump, a self inflicted one, in the early 1980s with a couple of albums where they wanted to sound current and relevant.

This too is a product of that misguided belief. Ian Anderson does the vocals and guitars here. Peter-John Vetesse does everything else. Mostly with computers and synths.

There is a lot of artifical sound on this album. Synths, computers, electronic drums and a lot of the type of silly sound which sounded OK in the 1980s and just horrible today. Oh yeah, there is plenty of that sort of thing on this album.

The sound is dubious to say at least. Dubious as in really bad 1980s sound. The synths are everywhere, to say at least.

On the top of this, we get Ian Anderson's very good vocals. And some of the songs are not that bad either. Songs that I suspect would had been a lot better with a more acoustic and organic sound.

The sound kills this album flat for me. The songs are decent too good though. The result is a decent album and I hope for better things to come as I am now reviewing all his solo-albums.

2 points

Allen. Daevid - Elevenses (2016)

The fifteenth and final album from the much missed Daevid Allen.

Daevid Allen (Soft Machine and Gong) passed away in March last year and left a huge amount of album behind him. A huge legacy. His partner and wife Gilli Smith (Mother Gong) passed away last week too and the world has lost their two most foremost dada'ism musicians.

It is pretty obvious that the songs Daevid is contributing with here has been recorded well before he passed away. There is a lot of songs he is not contributing anything on and which I suspect has been recorded after his passing. The band behind Daevid Allen is Paul Sears from The Muffins, Don Falcone from Spirits Burning, Trey Sabattelli from The Tubes and Michael Glare.

Daevid Allen is very much alive on the first tracks. Some very whimsical tracks with his vocals and guitars. Very good they are too. Melodic pop tunes too in the Allen/Gong vein. I cannot help myself smiling.

The band takes over and creates a lot of music in the spirit of Daevid Allen. Whimsical and slightly avant-garde. Also pretty jazzy without being jazz. There is even some post rock and some slightly zeuhl influenced music here. All of them genres in the spirit of Daevid Allen.

This album is both an album from Daevid Allen and a tribute to Daevid Allen. On it's own, it is also a remarkable good album too. It is by no means a masterpiece. It is not even a great album. But I find myself liking this album a lot. Check out this album.

3 points