Friday, 17 November 2017

Strawbs - Strawbs (1969)


The debut album from this British band.

Strawbs was a trio on this album with Dave Cousins, Tony Hooper and Ron Chesterman on vocals, guitars and bass. I believe Tony Visconti did the producing here and added a lot of xtra sounds and wizardry. It was one of his first jobs as a producer and he later did a lot of producing for David Bowie.

I am not sure if Strawbs is the first fully recorded album from Strawbs. They recorded an album with the utterly fantastic Sandy Denny and another album before this album, Strawbs, saw the light of day.

I have previously done a couple of reviews of their albums for ProgArchives back in 2009 and these reviews can be found here and here.
It is my intentions to review those Strawbs albums I have got in my collection in the coming months/you will find other reviews of Strawbs albums somewhere else in this blog.

It is something I have been looking forward to for a long time, sinking my ears and brain into the remaining Strawbs albums. I am an admirer of Dave Cousins and Strawbs. Their music, that is.

This 1969 is pure folk rock though and it is pretty basic music too with vocal harmonies, guitars, bass and studio wizardry. The song The Battle was showing the way forward for this band though.

The end result is a decent to good album which still has the ability to please anyone into folk and progressive rock.

2.5 points 

Iceberg - Tutankhamon (1975)


The debut album from this Spanish band.

Iceberg was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, saxophone, bass, drums, mellotron, synths, keyboards and Spanish vocals.

The band released four albums between 1975 and 1979. I have reviewed their second and third album for # 1 of this blog. These reviews are here and here.

Those two albums, Coses Nostres and Sentiments, was fusion albums. Very good fusion albums too. Tutankhamon is not a fusion album, though.

Take some Led Zeppelin and add some more hard rock too. Then add some symphonic prog with the mellotron and add a few sprinklings of fusion, soul and Spanish folk too over this stew. Then you get this album.

Tutankhamon is to a large extent a hard rock album with agressive guitars and guitar solos. The vocals is really good and adds quality to this album although I do not speak Spanish.

The end result is a passionate, soulful album which really rocks and moves the listener. It is also a very progressive album with a lot for the brain to digest too. It is a good album which I would recommend. Check it out.

3 points 


Kebnekaise - Resa Mot Okänt Mål (1971)


The debut album from this Swedish band.

The band was an eight piece big band with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, chorus and vocals.

This band is a legendary band in the Swedish scene. Their last album, of of in total nine albums, was released back in 2012. There has been some starts and stops in their career.

I reviewed their second and their fourth album for ProgArchives many, many years ago. The reviews are here and here. I will now review the remaining albums from this band/you will find other reviews of this band somewhere else in this blog.

Their debut album, this one, is an untypical album in their discography. The band was previously a hard rock band under a different name, chose a new band name (Kebnekaise.... after the highest mountain is Sweden) and recorded this album. Hence this noisy racket.

There is a lot of hardrocking vocals and instrumental songs here. There is also a lot of krautrock influences here. And a lot of blues influences too.

This album is half an hour long and it throws quite a punch. It is still a funny and life loving album. It is indeed a playful album. And I would rate it somewhere between decent and good.

2.5 points

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Onevoice - Unexpected Union (2017)


The third album from this US project.

Onevoice is Dan Costello on all instruments and vocals with some help from the guitarist Jason Gold on one track.

I have reviewed his first two albums in # 1 of this blog. You will find these reviews here and here.

Both of those albums got high score by myself. And I know I am not the only one to rate Onevoice very highly.

Don Costello still gives us ethereal symphonic prog-lite. There is a lot of keyboards, organ and piano in the music here. That and his vocals which is also pretty dominating too.

Don Costello very probably knows his strenghts and weaknesses. The music here and on the two previous albums is not playing on his weaknesses. But holy squirrel do he know how to play on his strengths !

Neither is this album outstaying it's welcome with meaningless sounds and misuse of time. Thirty-five minutes is what we get here and not a single wasted note.

This means melodic, ethereal music with lots of very good details. And the music is also very good. It is perhaps not music for the diehard tech and eclectic prog fan out there. But uncomplicated prog also has it's place and it really work on this very good album. Get it from here.

3.5 points

Unitopia - More Than A Dream (2005)


The debut album from this Australian band.

The band was a duo of Sean Timms (keyboards, computers) and Mark Trueack (vocals) at this album. 
The duo had help of some other musicians who provided guitars, bass, drums, woodwinds, percussions and more vocals. 

This band has so far released four albums and have been around the scene as long as I have been around the scene. And I should have reviewed their albums earlier. I am reviewing their three first albums before the end of the year/you will find my reviews of their next two albums somewhere else in this blog.

The music on this album has it's base in neo-prog. From this base, the music goes off in most other direcions. Pop, rock, prog metal, funk, eclectic prog and some symphonic prog. 

Their cool Australian sound shines through too and the vocals from Mark is very good. The music is also good. This is an album which kicks in all directions and has something to offer even for those not into progressive rock. I am a bit lukewarm to this album and awards it a weak Good rating.

3 points 






Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Ollocs - Soul Theory (2016)


The fourth album from this US band.

The band was a quintet on this album with a lineup of keyboards, bass, drums, guitars and vocals.
The band also had some help from guest musicians who provided cello, violin, didgeridoo, tuba, saxophone and vocals.

The band has released their four albums on Bandcamp from where they can be purchased pretty cheap.

The band has been correctly labeled as a heavy prog band. There is also a lot of references to experimental metal and post-punk here. Very much so. And you also get some post-rock here.

The music on this fifty minutes long album is pretty much dominated by half-acoustic guitars and some good vocals. There are also some death metal vocals half way through this album. That kinds of breaks of up the ambience here. Ambience also created by some mellotron like keyboards.

This album is by no means interesting or good. I find it pretty dull and a bit weak in it's contents and quality. I guess I was looking for the shoegaze label to plaster over this album. I have now found this label and is plastering it on this album. Shoegaze is what Ollocs is doing here. And it is not a good album.

2 points

However - Sudden Dusk (1981)


The debut album from this US band.

However was a quartet with a lineup of woodwinds, various bells, drums, bass, clavinet, synths, autoharp, glockenspiel, guitars and vocals.
Various guest musicians provided cello, violin, vibraphone, xylophone, whistling, marimba and woodwinds.

This US band released two albums before they gave up the ghost. I am reviewing their second album later this month too/you will find a review of their second album somewhere else in this blog.

The high praise in ProgArchives and the jazz/fusion label made me purchase these albums. Well, Sudden Dusk is not a jazz/fusion album.

Take the most weird jazzy things from the Canterbury scene and add a lot of Frank Zappa to the mix. Frank Zappa without the vocals, I hasten to add. Add a lot of weird avant-garde jazz too and you get this album.

Something I don't mind at all. This fifty minutes long album though has it's own things going on though. There is a lot of woodwinds and bells here. There is not so much vocals here.

The ten songs here sounds like scetches and not really finished products. The really worked through tracks here are good. The scetches is just frustrating and not so good.

This is an album that I am struggling with. Both to really form an opinion about and to really agree with those who rates it as a great album. It is not a great album. It is merely a decent to good album and a frustrating one too.

2.5 points


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Olive Mess - Cherdak (2008)


The second and final album from this Latvian band.

Olive Mess was a sextet with a lineup of baroque guitar, archlute, keyboards, guitars, bagpipes, percussion, drums and vocals.
A female opera singer is adding vocals to one of the tracks.

I have yet to hear their 2002 debut album Gramercy. The avant-garde/RIO label has tended to scare me off getting albums like that one. I have had Cherdak, Russian for "attic", for many years before I took the plunge and gave it some listenings and my attention.

Olive Mess was in their early life a King Crimson tribute band. That is something I can clearly hear on this album. King Crimson and Univers Zero is big influences on this album. So much that I would label them as crossover between those two bands.

Which is both a statement of fact/what I hear and a compliment.

The music here is both quirky, ecclectic and avant-garde. It is still a melodic album. The male vocals is dark and baroque. Ditto for the music too. There is a chamber rock feel over this album.

The album is almost an hour long and it is divided on four tracks of similar lenght. The music is a heady mix and pretty esoteric.

This is also a good album which would satisfy anyone into King Crimson and eclectic music. Check it out as this is a bit of a hidden gem too.

3 points

Horizont - The Portrait Of A Boy (1989)


The second and final album from this Russian band.

The band was a sextet on this album wth a lineup of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, flute and some vocals.

I reviewed their debut album, the 1986 album Summer In Town one week or so ago. It was a good album in the direction of ELP and Yes. You can read my review here.

I was warned by reviews in ProgArchives that The Portrait Of A Boy was an avant-garde/RIO album. So I mentally prepared myself for an onslaught of weirdness....

....Which did not appear. OK, the music here is not really easy-listening. But it is not that esoteric as I was warned it would be.

There is actually a lot of Jean Michel Jarre in this music. Music which also has some influences from the likes of Univers Zero and Present too. But not that much.

There is a lot of airy symphonic stuff on this album. A forty minutes long album. There is a lot of things to really like here and to feel comfortable with. This album is that melodic.

The end result is another good album from this Russian band. An album in the Russian tradition and slightly eccentric. It is also an album from a very underestimated band who deserve a lot more attention. I hope they will get this attention and you should all seek out their two albums.

3 points

Ultimate Spinach - Behold And See (1968)


The second album from this US band.

Ultimate Spinach was a sextet on this album with a lineup of harmonica, flutes, guitars, drums, bass, sitar, keyboards and vocals. Both male and female vocals.

The band leader Ian Bruce-Douglas split up the band after the debut album and hired a new setup. The only one remaining was the vocalist Barbara Hudson.

Their self-titled debut album, also from 1968, was a decent to good album. You will find my review here.

The band continues in the same vein again. A bit west-coast psych rock combined with mainstream rock. The band was from Boston on the east-coast and they tried to establish an east-coast scene to rival the west-coast scene. The west-coast scene had the likes of Jefferson Airplane and other bands. The east-coast scene had Ultimate Spinach.... Well, the west-coast won that fight on a technical knock out.

This album or indeed Ultimate Spinach is not bad at all. The music here is the typical psych rock from the end of the 1960s. A lot of The Beatles, blues and Jefferson Airplane. A bit soul and stadium rock too. There is a nice mix of female and male vocals here too. 

Unfortunate, this is not a good album. It is a decent album though and one to check out if psych rock is your thing.

2 points

Monday, 13 November 2017

Outer Limits - Misty Moon (1985)


The debut album from this Japanese band.

Outer Limits was a sextet with a lineup of bass, violins, guitars, drums, keyboards and vocals.

Outer Limits has been labeled as Japan's answer to The Enid. Unfortunate, I have yet to discover The Enid although I do collect their albums, but have yet to review them.

I have also collected Outer Limits five albums and reviews of the remaining four albums will follow before the end of the year/you can find my reviews of their other albums somewhere else in this blog.

Outer Limits does symphonic prog with a considerable classical music influence. So much that we are here talking about a crossover between classical music and symphonic prog.

There is still a lot of rock music in their music too. The vocalist sounds like John Wetton and there are also some jazz influences in their music.

There is also a lot of violins and keyboards in this music which is more instrumental than vocals dominated.

The album is just over fifty minutes long and has a lot to offer to everyone into both symphonic prog and eclectic music. The music is very far from being straight forward and it is quite quirky at times.

This is indeed a very good debut album and proves that this band's very good reputation is deserved. I am very much looking forward to let my ears and brain enjoy their four remaining albums.

3.5 points


Guadalquivir - Guadalquivir (1978)


The debut album from this Spanish band.

Guadalquivir was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, bass, saxophones, flutes and drums.
The band also had help from a string quartet, hand clappers, piano, percussion and keyboards.

This band released three albums before they gave up the ghost. I will review all of them/you can find reviews of the two other albums somewhere else in this blog.

Guadalquivir has taken their name from a village on the outskirts of Valencia in the south of Spain. That is where the band is from. Which may explain the warmth of their music.

The band plays fusion strongly influenced by flamenco and some Spanish folk music. The flamenco is in most places and is tending to overshadow the fusion here. Well, the fusion is much more jazz than rock music.

The mix of jazz/fusion and flamenco is a very heady mix which has increased the temperature in my freezing cold office by several degrees. My mood has also been changed from rather gloomy to rather sunny.

Besides of being rather sunny, the music on this forty-five minutes long album is also very good. The band really knows what they are doing and the mix of saxophones, acoustic and electric guitars drives this album forward on some really very good tracks. The flutes and hand clapping is also very effective.

This is one of the better Spanish albums and it justifies this band's very good reputation. Check it out.

3.5 points

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Jane - Resurrection (1996)


The 12th album from this German band.

Jane was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals.
The band had help from some female vocalists and a hammond organ.

For some reasons I do not really understand, Jane now split into Peter Panka's Jane and Werner Nadolny's Jane. This album's official band name is Peter Panka's Jane. It is even written on one of the cows in the picture above.

Werner Nadolny's Jane mostly released collection albums and re-recorded versions of old stuff. So I am bypassing them and the remaining eleven Peter Panka's Jane and Werner Nadolny's Jane albums.

This album is fifty minutes long and contains that many minutes of pop and rock. Big sound pop and rock with roaring guitars which is leaning towards heavy metal.

Jane has gone mainstream and commercial on this album. I am not sure what they mean with the album title. A part of me thought it meant they were going back to progressive rock again........ But no... I was left mentally scarred and disappointed.

The vocals and the synth/keyboards sound is horrible. Ditto for the music. This album is a turkey with all the trimmings. Avoid !  

1 point

Old Rock City Orchestra - Once Upon a Time (2012)


The debut album from this Italian band.

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

I reviewed their second album, the 2015 album Back To Earth for # 1 of this blog back in July 2016 and found it an OK album. See my review here.

So I decided to check out their debut album too. The band has so far only released two albums and I like everything from Italy.

The band play rock'n'roll with some hard rock, AOR, prog rock and soul influences. As simple as that.

There is some stadium rock here too. But I think this is more a pub rock band than a stadium rock band.

Cinzia Catalucci's vocals is the focal point of the sound, music and the band. And her vocals is good, indeed. The music on the other hand.....

I would label their music unchallenging and pretty OK, dull and standard rock'n'roll. I am sure this band is so much better on a stage than on this album. I am pretty sure I would like their gigs. But in a sterile office with two speakers and one record...... This is only a decent to good album. But play your gigs, guys.

2.5 points

Anubis - The Second Hand (2017)


The fourth album from this Australian band.

Anubis is a sextet with a lineup of guitars, moog, sitar, bass, drums, organ, synths, mellotron, glockenspiel, percussion and vocals.
Various musicians contributes voices and additonal vocals.

I have reviewed their first two albums for # 1 of this blog and you can find these reviews here and here

This album is a concept album about the downfall of a media baron. The figure of Robert Murdoch is not mentioned here. But I get the feeling he has not been that far of the band's mind when developing this concept album. Fair enough. Robert Murdoch splits opinions in Australia too.

The Second Hand gives us seventy minutes of music. The song are medium long. The longest one is seventeen minutes long. The other eight songs are on average eight minutes long.

The music is neo-prog and simply progressive rock with a lot of symphonic prog influences. Yes, neo-prog with symphonic prog influences is the right label here. There is a lot of Pink Floyd influences here. Pink Floyd from the David Gilmour era. There is also some Camel influences.

The music is big and brash. There is no modesty, no false modesty in this music and sound. There is a lot of big guitars and keyboards here. The vocals is really good too.

The end result is a very good album from one of Australia's best bands. If not Australia's best prog rock band. Get this album.

3.5 points

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Discipline - Captives Of The Wine Dark Sea (2017)


The fifth album from this US band.

Discipline is a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, violin, tambourine, keyboards and vocals.

This band is mostly Matthew Parmenter's band and vehicle. He has a good solo career too with some albums. But from what I understand, Discipline is his main priority.

The parallels to Peter Hammel and Van Der Graaf Generator hits me when I am writing these lines. The same setup there as with Mr. Parmenter and Discipline.

The music is also not dissimilar. There is a strong VDGG element on this album. OK, Peter and Matthew have to different voices. But Matthew has.... let us say..... been very inspired by Peter's way of using his voice and pipes.

There are also some pretty melancholic in Discipline's music here. It is by no means as dark as VDGG's dystopic landscapes. Discipline is also taking a lot from Supertramp too. The main difference is that Discipline comes from USA, the new optimistic world whilst VDGG is from the old world and has taken a lot of their inspirations from the dying UK in the 1970s.

The music on the forty-five minutes long Captives Of The Wine Dark Sea is good throughout. The musicians is doing a good job and Matthew's vocals is very good. My gripe is that there is no great song here and no real great piece of music here. Hence my Good rating of this album.

3 point


Hammer. Jan - Melodies (1977)


The third album from this US artist.

Jan Hammer on synths, mellotron, piano and congas had help from three other musicians here who provided drums, guitars, violins, bass, saxophone, cello and vocals.

I know Jan Hammer from the TV hitseries Miami Vice. A TV series which symbolise the whole 1980s. It was a too slick and plastic fantastic TV series and the whole TV series makes me shudder. Jan Hammer did the soundtrack. I later discovered that he was a member of Mahavishnu Orchestra and I then insantly forgave him.

I reviewed his 1975 solo opera The First Seven Days one week ago and found that a challenge. See my review here

Melodies is something totally different again. I have not heard his second album and have jumped straight to this album. So I cannot say anything about his development from 1975 to this album in 1977.

Melodies has a lot of funky pop with lots of fusion included too. It is vocals and keyboards driven too. There is lots of bass here too and this is an album full of rhythms. There is also a lot of synths and piano here.

The songs are not particular good and this album falls a bit flat on it's face. It is still a decent album which does not do much for me, I am afraid.

2 points




Friday, 10 November 2017

Malicorne - Balançoire En Feu (1981)


The eight album from this French band.

Malicorne was a quintet with a lineup of clavinet, Scottish bagpipe, synths, guitars, bass, drums, mandocello, autoharp, dulcimer, percussions, crumhorn, lyre, vibes, electric piano, tubular bells and vocals. Both male and female French vocals.
Numerous guest musicians contributed their glockenspiel, woodwinds, piano, xylophone and Bulgarian bagpipes.

Malicorne has given me names and sounds of musicial instruments I had no idea even excisted. Just to do the listings on their albums is like a visit into a strange, strange world.

Their music and albums is strange, esoteric happenings in themselves. Their previous albums, see my reviews somewhere else in this blog, is as esoteric as folk rock albums can get, seen from an Anglo-American perspective.

Balancoire En Feu is not as esoteric and vocals focused folk rock dominated as their previous albums. The music is pretty melodic and welcoming here. The band has taken some steps towards the likes of Ange on this album. There is also some, shock horror shock, some pop music influences here.

This album is still an unmistakenly Malicorne album with strong vocals and good music throughout. And this is indeed a pretty good album. Check it out and give Malicorne your attention.

3 points



Gentle Knife - Clock Unwound (2017)


The second album from this Norwegian band.

The band was an eleven pieces big band with a lineup of samples, spoken words, bass, drums, saxophone, flutes, trumpet, keyboards, woodwinds, synths and vocals. Both male and female vocals.

This band actually play gigs as a ten piece big band. Which is impressive. The band is one of the best bands coming out of Norway right now and that says it all as progressive rock is now taking over from black metal as the biggest and best underground music export from Norway. That too says a lot !

I reviewed their 2015 self-titled debut album one week ago and gave that a Very Good rating. See my review here.

The music on Clock Unwound is a bit more complex and dense than their debut album. There is still a lot of Van Der Graaf Generator and Genesis influences here. They are just a lot more subtle than on their debut album. There is also a lot of Ange influences here.

The music is pretty moody, complex and varied with a lot of ideas coming into play on this fifty-five minutes long album. Ditto for a lot of instruments too. There is guitars, synths, saxes and flutes in the forefront together with the very good vocals. There are some really good guitar solos here, indeed.

The music can sound a bit unhinged. But there is method in this madness. There is a lot of the methods used in the 1970s. The music has one foot back in the 1970s and one foot in this day and age.

The result is a very good album and one that is already making waves in the prog world. That is highly deserved, indeed.

3.5 points



Oktober - Uhrsprung (1976)


The debut album from this German band.

Oktober was an eight piece big band with a lineup of string ensemble, bass, guitars, synths, spinet, flute, organ, percussion, drums, choir and German vocals.

Oktober released three albums before they gave up the ghost in 1979. I only got this album from them and this is my only review of their albums unless someone sends me a copy of their two other albums.

My German is not excellent. But I believe their lyrics is about getting rid of capitalism and introduce a hardline communist state. German was split into East and West-Germany at that time. Well, each to their own, I reflect when listening to the vocals here. Some good vocals.

Those remarks was to give you a flavour of the times and the moods from the days this album was recorded and released. It was a political album with lots of lots of vocals. The music is more in the background.

When that is said, the music is krautrock and it has it's moments of good details. When the music is free flowing, the result is some pretty good krautrock. Unfortunate, that is not often as the vocals comes in and dominates the soundscape.

The end result is a decent album which does not impresses me. But I am glad I have got this album as it is a pretty good political krautrock album from the far left.

2 points

Thursday, 9 November 2017

TNNE - Wonderland (2017)


The sixth album from this Luxembourg band.

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

The band released their debut album Zodiak back in 1993 under their previous name No Name. A namer they kept on for their first four albums.
I reviewed their fifth album The Clock That Went Backwards (2014) for # 1 of this blog back in December 2014 and rated it very highly. You can read my review here.

The band plays neo-prog. Unmistaken neo-prog with a lot of Dutch influences.

There is a lot of AOR in their music. Much more on this album than on their previous album. There is also some symphonic prog here.

The vocals are pretty dominant and they are good vocals. They are supported by keyboards and guitars.

The songs are all pretty good. Some really good details adds a lot of value to this album. The band has lost a lot of their own identity on this album and the music sounds a bit generic.

This is still a good album although I am having problems working myself up over the music here. This album is a bit of a step backwards from this band.

3 points

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Odrareg - God's Garden (2005)


The one and only album from this band from Venezuela.

Odrareg was a seven piece big band with a lineup of bass, synths, drums, guitars, keyboards, drums and some vocals.
Four guest musicians provided woodwinds and xtra keyboards and vocals.

This band was the sideproject of Tempano's drummer Gerardo Ubieda who needed a jazz/fusion outlet for his ideas. Musea picked up and released this album. 

The music on this seventy minutes long album is very complex, esoteric jazz/fusion. There are some RIO and zeuhl influences on this album and a lot of John Coltrane influences. You can also add a lot of Present influences too as the music is sometimes very moody and dark.

It has a lot of darkness, this music. But some of the jazz is pretty light too.

The music is very intense and very far from being easy listening. And the music is much more jazz than fusion.

I find this album intriguing. It has a mood and a raw, bleeding nerve which is very interesting. The music is also good throughout although it bordering to being too esoteric even for me. 

Check out this good album if esoteric, eclectic music rocks your boat.

3 points

Ultimate Spinach - Ultimate Spinach (1968)


The debut album from this US band.

Ultimate Spinach was a sextet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, sitar, flutes, harmonica, vibraphone, keyboards and vocals. Both male and female vocals.

The band, who was the brainchild of Ian Bruce-Douglas, released three albums between 1968 and 1969. I will review all three albums this month/you will find my reviews of their three albums somewhere else in this blog.

Ultimate Spinach was from Boston on the east-coast of USA. They sounds like a west-coast band though. But they were very proud of Boston and being an east-coast band. I better not provoke the band into an argument here....

.... but obvious references are Jefferson Airplane. Which means the band was a psychedelic rock band. There is also a lot of The Beatles in their music. There is lot of beat here and some harder rock.

The female vocalist Barbara Hudson, who together with Ian Bruce-Douglas was the only person featuring on all their three albums, sounds like Grace Slick too.

Nevertheless, this band's crossover between The Beatles and Jefferson Airplane gives this band and album it's own identity. The spaced out guitars and sitar also gives this album an edge.

There is no wonder why this band is regarded as one of the original psych rock bands. Fifty years later, this album still throws a punch. The quality is somewhere between decent and good. Check out this album if psych rock is your thing.

2.5 points

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Long Earth - The Source (2017)


The debut album from this Scottish band.

Long Earth is a quintet with a lineup of percussion, keyboards, bass, drums, guitars and vocals.

The band includes a couple of Abel Ganz members and it was inspired and promoted by Huw Montgomery from the same band. They have played warmup for the Pallas frontman Alan Reed on some of his gigs.
.... And the band contains five grown up men. Average age must be around 55 years going by the band photos. Well done ! I would love to do this when I become 55 years old.

The band members are all veterans and they have been around since the 1990s. That is very much reflected in their music.

This one hour and five minutes long album is an unashamed neo-prog album with some symphonic prog influences and lots of lots of 1980s and 1990s neo-prog influences. That without the plastic fantastic sound from that era. Bands like Marillion and Abel Ganz is references.

The sound is very good. Make that superb and it is a sound that connects with the listener from the first tone. The vocals is also very good and ditto for the rest of the musicians.

The quality is also good to very good throughout. It is unashamed and bashful neo-prog and there should be no shame about enjoying this very good album.

3.5 points   



Opeth - Pale Communion (2014)


The 11th album from this Swedish band.

Opeth was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, mellotron, bass, keyboards, drums and vocals.
Steven Wilsen helped out on backing vocals and mixing. Dave Stewart did the string arrangements.

Opeth and Mikael Åkerfeldt is someone I deeply respect and like. More than I like their music. A lot more than I like their music, in fact. You will find some reviews of their albums in this blog and in # 1 of this blog.

Pale Communion is not as one dimentional as the previous album Heritage which I found a bit on the dull side of the spectrum. There is still no death metal and growls on Pale Communion. That is a bygone era now, mourned by a lot of their fans. I am not one of their fans so I am not sure what to think.

The music here is progressive rock of some sort. I am not sure what kind of progressive rock. But Camel springs to mind and so does Cressida. Early symphonic prog ? Well, maybe.

Mikael's vocals is a bit strained at times and is hitting the limiter..... and beyond. It is not a pretty sight or nice sounds from my speakers. But they are mostly OK, his vocals.

The music is again good without really impressing me. I am afraid I am simply not getting why this band's music is so great. Great human beings, but not so great music.

3 points


Ponty. Jean Luc - Individual Choice (1983)


The 14th album from this French violinist.

Jean Luc Ponty returned again with a quartet. And what a quartet ! Allan Holdsworth, Randy Jackson, Ray Griffin and George Duke was his band this time in addition to his own violins. Guitars, keyboards, bass and drums is the other instruments.

Jean Luc Ponty was in the middle of a really good period. This was in an era where most other bands were in a slump and was releasing really awful albums. Jean Luc Ponty did not. I raise my glass to that.

The music on this album is more or less in the same direction as his previous albums. George Duke adds some funk here and Allan Holdsworth adds a lot of fusion and guitar wizardry. Not so much as in solos. But more in the sprinkling of great, but very notable small details. A hook here, a lick there...

On the top of that, Jean Luc Ponty adds his violins in this forty minutes long fusion album. An album not on par with his best albums. But it is still a very good album and one I really enjoy. I am becoming a fan, now....

3.5 points





Monday, 6 November 2017

Tantra - Delirium (2005)


The fifth and final album from this Portoguese band.

Tantra was a quartet on this album with a lineup of drums, synths, guitars, keyboards and vocals.
The quartet has got help from numerous guest musicians who provided bass, keyboards, drums, female vocals and poem.

Their 2002 album Terra was not too bad. You can read a review of this album and their other albums somewhere else in this blog.

As on Terra, Tantra was now reduced to be Manuel Cardoso's band and vehicle for his own music and visions. Gone was everything good from their first two albums. Their two classic albums.

Delirium is a mix of Pink Floyd and some classical opera. All of this on keyboards, guitars, bass, synths, vocals and bass. No classical music orchestra was hired to perform this fifty minutes piece of music.

Manuel Cardoso is a lead guitarist and his guitar solos are pretty much dominant here. They are supplemented by some synths and vocals.

The music is not good at all. It is barely decent. The sound is a bit on the plastic side and does not feel honest at all. It is pretty hard not to be annoyed by this album which sounds cheap and nasty. A couple of good details saves this from the turkey yard. But avoid this album. Only their first two albums is well worth having.

1.5 points

Odin - Odin (1972)


The one and only album from this British band.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of vibraphone, keyboards, bass, drums, guitars, percussion and vocals.

This album was released on the famous Vertigo label. A label which is now very popular among collectors. It was later re-released in the 1990s on CD too.

Their music has rightly been labeled as heavy prog by ProgArchives and there is no disagreements from me here.

The music is heavy with a lot of early Deep Purple references. But there is a lot more to their music too. There is a lot of beat and psychedelic rock here too. There is even some pretty notable ELP references too.

The music is brash with a some good vocals. The sound is the typical 1970s sound. A good sound but a bit outdated anno 2017.

The keyboards and the guitars are good. The music is not that good and it is seriously lacking in quality.

This is a decent album which will please those into harder progressive rock. I am not won over.

2 points

Horizont - Summer In Town (1986)


The debut album from this Russian band.

Horizont was an eight piece band with a lineup of voices, keyboards, flute, guitars, bass and drums.

This band should not be mistaken with the Swedish band of the same name.

This Russian band released two albums before they gave up the ghost. I will review both albums this month/you can find my review of their second album somewhere else in this blog.

Horizont is a band that falls into the symphonic prog label. At least on this album. Take a classical composer like Sergei Prokiev and mix his music with the likes of ELP and other symphonic prog bands. Then you get this album.

There is some of ELP's dissonans here and a lot of classical music leaning symphonic prog. There is also some references to Yes here. There is also a lot of cinematic music here. And some avant-garde rock too.

This forty minutes long album is a bit dark and brooding too. Most Russian music is like that. It reflects their history. A long bloody history full of suffering. Hence their brooding music. Something reflected on this album.

This is also a good album and a very welcome addition to my collection of symphonic prog albums. Check out this album and you will not be disappointed.

3 points

 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Premiata Forneria Marconi - Serendipity (2000)


The 15th album from this Italian band.

The band was a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, organ, percussion, synths, bass, synths and Italian vocals.
Four guest musician provides drums, strings, vocals and guitar solos.

Their previous two albums was pretty bad and in one case; a solid turkey. None of those albums has been nowhere fit to wear the Premiata Forneria Marconi album. You can read my reviews of those two albums and other Premiata Forneria Marconi albums somewhere else in this blog.

So I approached this album with a lot of trepidations.

The music is still a mix of pop and rock. Italian pop and rock. There are some good pianos and some organs and guitars around. The vocals are pretty decent. The choruses are a bit cheap and nasty.

There is a bit of an improvements here. The songs are better. But the music is not that interesting. Italian pop and rock does not really go down well. There is some hints of progressive rock here. This album is barely worth the attention of a Premiata Forneria Marconi fan.

The end result is a decent album. A fifty minutes long album I am never ever going to listen to again.

2 points

Hammer. Jan - The First Seven Days (1975)


The debut album from this US musician.

Jan Hammer does all the keyboards, synths, Mellotrons, Moogs, drums, piano and electronics here. He has got help from two other musicians on violin, congas and percussion.

I remember Jan Hammer from the very successful, the ultra 1980s TV series Miami Vice. Nothing was and still is more 1980s than this TV series. Jan Hammer did the music here and it was some good music too. But he still got this "naff and uncool" reputation in my household after that.
Some years ago, I learned that he was also a member of Mahavishnu Orchestra. So everything was forgiven and I started to look out for some of his albums. His listing in ProgArchives also helped.

The First Seven Days has been described as an opera. Well, there is no voices here and hardly anything else than Jan Hammer on a piano and tangents. The artwork looks a lot more lively than the music.

This is indeed classical music and I am no friends of classical music. Neither do I like piano/synths based ambient music. This album is both of them.

There is some good and half decent stuff on this forty minutes long album and it is highly rated. But not by me. This is a decent album which does not represent the rest of his works. I hope not.

2 points

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Odd Logic - Penny For Your Thoughts (2016)


The sixth album from this US band.

Odd Logic is Sean Thompson's one man band. He sings and plays all instruments and those include guitars, keyboards, piano, bass, drums and synths. The drums is perhaps drum machines. I do not know.

I am pretty sure I interviewed Sean Thompson for ProgArchives. I have reviewed his fourth album, the 2011 album Over The Underworld. You can read my review here. That was back in May 2011. I have not had the chance to review any other Odd Logic albums.

That is mainly because I am no fan of progressive metal. It is a big No No in my world. Then again, Odd Logic is not really progressive metal. At least, not this album.

Odd Logic is far more than that. Sean has created a pretty eclectic album here. It is a bit all over the place. But there is still a concept and a vision here. It is a coherent album.

It is almost difficult to list influences and labels here. This album range from death metal through power metal, progressive metal to neo-prog and symphonic prog to pop music.

All this in fifty minutes.

The music is complex and good. Not all ideas is good. But there is also some very good stuff here. This is actually a good album and one I like. Maybe I should return to this band and get the rest of their albums too. I am tempted based on this album.

3 points 

Gentle Knife - Gentle Knife (2015)


The debut album from this Norwegian band.

Gentle Knife was a ten piece big band with a lineup of guitars, woodwinds, flute, keyboards, bass, drums, synths, percussion and vocals. Both male and female English vocals.

The band has just secured themselves a slot on the 2018 Prog festival at Loreley in Germany and is rightly regarded as one of the best bands in Norway right now. That is also based on their second album. An album I will review next week/you will find my review of that album somewhere else in this blog.

Gentle Gi... sorry, Gentle Knife is a progressive rock band. It is obvious that Van Der Graaf Generator has been a bit influence on this album. You can hear that on the saxophone and some of the dissonant sounds the band makes.

There is also a lot of gentle prog here with both female and male vocals. Genesis springs to mind. So does Jethro Tull too. But not much. There is also a lot of Pink Floyd in their sound. But most of all; there is a lot of Norwegian melody traditions too in their music. A bit folk rock, yes. But also the X factor Norwegian identity.

The album is one hour long and it starts with a triumphant, bombastic piece of symphonic prog which does not represent the rest of the album..... style wise. But this very good piece of music called Eventide still gives an indication of what to expect here. One hour of very good and exciting progressive rock.

This is indeed a very good album and one to really cherish and check out. Go so forth....

3.5 points    

Friday, 3 November 2017

Distant Dream - It All Starts From Pieces (2017)


The debut album from this Polish band.

Distant Dream is the project of the guitarist Marcin Majrowski. He has got help from a drummer, a bassist and some guitarist guesting on some of the tracks here.

The album has been released on Bandcamp and you can find the link here.

Gosh..... A guitar album and I am reviewing it. It just turned up on the top of my randomly compiled review list. So I will review it.

I remember those guitarist and shredding albums from the 1980s with a mix of horror and.... well, disdain. They were not my scene.

Marcin Majrowski is actually creating music here. There is a lot of post-rock in his progressive metal. I would even say post-rock is the base camp in his frequent expeditons on the way up his guitars. The music is also a bit ambient and pretty eerie.

And yes, the music is still progressive metal and heavy throughout.

Yes, this is a guitar album with more solos and guitar riffs than I can count on my fingers. But there is also something else here.

A bit more variations would had been a good thing on this forty minutes long album. But it is not a bad album at all. Check it out.

2.5 points

Nova - Sun City (1978)


The fourth and final album from this Italian band.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of woodwinds, bass, guitars, drums, percussion, keyboards, clavinet, organ, pipe organ, tubular bells and English vocals.
Four guest musicians added cello, vocals, strings and finger cymbals.

I have had the pleasure of reviewing their previous three albums and have found an interesting band who has added value to my life. One of many bands who has added value to my life.

The band has been a fusion band throughout. Fusion with a lot of Italian flavour.

That is not the case on Sun City. The sound here is American and British. Mostly American.

The music is a mix of fusion, funk and AOR. The funk has some disco influences too.
There is vocals throughout this album. There is also a lot of woodwinds here.

Some of the songs are AOR. Some are fusion and a couple are funk. The year is 1978 and the album is almost a time capsule of that year.

The music is decent throughout. Some of the fusion is even fairly good. It is not enough of it. There is some cringeworthy bad stuff too.

The end result is a decent album which does not really impresses me. Check it out if you want.

2 points

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Cosmos Factory - Black Hole (1976)


The third album from this Japanese band.

The band is a quartet here with a lineup of percussion, keyboards, bass, guitars and vocals.

I have reviewed their first two albums and intend to bypass their fourth and final album. You can find my reviews of their first two albums here and here.

Cosmos Factory is a strange and highly eccentric band. Something proven by their first two album. Something proven by this album.

There is no drums here. The rhythms are taken care of by percussions and the bass. A band without drums is a bit strange.

The music too is strange. Take a big chunk of Italian symphonic prog, add a lot of Van Der Graaf Generator and some Pink Floyd. There is even some zeuhl in their music.

The music goes from zeuhl like darkness to Pink Floyd like melodies and guitar solos. The vocals is the typical light Japanese vocals. But the vocals here is almost European in it's masculinity. They are very good. I am not sure if they are in Japanese or in English. But who cares ? Not me.

This is a strange album and one of a kind. I give it a lot of credit for it's originality and awards it a good rating. This is an album you should really check out yourself. Take my word for it.

3 points


Discipline - To Shatter All Accord (2011)


The fourth album from this US band.

Discipline was a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitars, saxophone, bass, drums, percussion, violin, keyboards and vocals.

I reviewed their third album Unfolded Like Staircase back in September 2010 and liked that a lot. I called it a good blend of Van Der Graaf Generator and Genesis. You can find my review here.
I have recently reviewed their debut album and you will find this review here.

The link between Discipline and Van Der Graaf Generator is more obvious here than on their debut album or their previous album.

To Shatter All Accord sees the Discipline vocalist Matthew Parmenter really getting into the Peter Hammel groove and getting inspired by his vocals. There is some very striking similarities between their vocals. That though is not a bad thing. Far from it.

The saxophone and the violin also gives VDGG assosiations.

The music is pretty frantic and dark throughout too. There are five songs on this one hour long album and the longest one is twenty-four minutes long. The songs are all symphonic and very intricate. Though without really being great songs. There is a lot of very good and good details here. The title track is a very good track too. The use of mellotron never fails to make me happy. 

I am not really finding this album as great as I have been told it is. It is a good album with a lot of positives. Enough for me to really rate this band.

3 points




Ocean - Melody (1981)


The debut album from this German band.

Ocean was a quartet with a lineup of keyboards, drum machine, percussion and flute.

This band must not be confused with the French band and other bands of the same name. There is some bands out there with this name.

The Ocean I am now reviewing released two albums before they were disbanded. Their second album Double Vison was released in 1984. Nothing is known about them and their albums are very much sought after as they have only been released on a limited run of LPs.

..... which tells you that the collectors market is a bit mad. I got this as an MP3 file from a friend for reviews purposes only. I am off course not to play this album for the sake of pleasure. It is only to be used for reviews.

This forty minutes long album is a mix of symphonic prog and some jazz too. The band was highly inspired by the likes of ELP and Trace. There is also some traces of Focus here. But not much.

The music is played by keyboards and some sporadic flutes. But this album is totally keyboards dominated.

The quality is not that good. It is not good at all. It is merely decent and this album is a bit all over the place. It is a decent enough album and just that.

2 points


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Jane - Beautiful Lady (1986)


The eleventh album from this German band.

Jane was a quartet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, piano, keyboards, harmonium and English vocals.

The standards of their latest albums had not exactly been great. Their 1982 album Germania (review here) was pretty poor. You can also read reviews of some far better albums somewhere else in this blog.

The band took a four years long break. I hoped that long break would mean some fresh air and some better ideas and music.

I was wrong.

The 1980s was a year of excesses, bad style, cheesy songs and bad sound. Something this album has incorporated. This album is a pop-rock album with some cheesy melodies and choruses.

They have even tried a cover version of John Lennon's masterpiece Imagine. They have called it Imagination (to avoid paying John Lennon's estate ?) and added some music before and after the main theme which is Imagine. It is a terrible version and it makes the listener despair.

Ditto for the rest of the music on this forty-six minutes long album. This is commercial pop-rock. Third rate commercial pop-rock focused on the title track which has some very poor taste female and male vocals. Ditto for the music.

This album is a turkey and just that. Avoid !!!

1 point


Argovia - Distant Present (2017)


The debut album from this Colombian-Venezuelan band.

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

This is a new band to me. But they have got a Bandcamp site which tells me that this band has been around for a while. But not on my radar. Check them out here where you can also purchase this album.

The band compares themselves to Anathema, Riverside and Porcupine Tree. Which seems correct in my view. The difference is that none of the bands above has a female vocalist. Argovia do.

In a quest to find a suitable label for this band and album, I would also add the prog metal bands with female vocalist. The music here is unmistaken prog metal. 

That means you know what you get. Chugging guitars and some symphonic prog inspired pieces of music. The twelve songs are around the five minutes mark on average and that takes this album up to one hour and some seconds.

The vocals here is very good and the music is OK too. I am not a big fan of progressive metal and I am having difficulties finding any enthusiasm for an album like this. This is a decent to good album which will really please all fans of progressive metal.

2.5 points

Malicorne - Le Bestiaire (1979)


The seventh album from this French band.

Malicorne was a seven piece big band with a lineup of dulcimer, mandocello, zither, hurdy gurdy, organ, harpsicord, organ, piano, cello, violin, guitars, clavinet, synths, keyboards, bass, drums, woodwinds, percussion and vocals.

There was some people coming and going after the release of their previous album L'extraordinaire Tour De France D'Adélard Rousseau, Dit Nivernais La Clef Des Coeurs, Compagnon Charpentier Du Devoir from 1978. See my review here and you can also find a lot of my other Malicorne reviews in the rest of this blog.  

Mr and Mrs Yacoub still remained in Malicorne and they took the band is a slightly different direction on Le Bestiaire. Which translated to English means The Animals.

The music on this forty minutes long album is a lot more melodic and melody focused than on previous albums. There is even stuff here which reminds me of Magma. This means the band has not gone towards pop music. They have rather moved towards funk and jazz.

There is still a lot of folk music to satisfy their fans. A lot of folk music indeed. But the band has broadened their appeal and their music. Their music is still pretty avant-garde and dense.

This is also a good album and one I really like and rate a lot. Check it out.

3 points



Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Opeth - Heritage (2011)


The tenth album from this Swedish band.

The band was a quintet on this album with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums, mellotron, wurlitzer, grand piano, organ, percussion and vocals.
Some other musicians has helped with flute, percussion and piano. Steven Wilson is credited for some producing here. 

I have been reviewing their albums on and off during the last months. You will find reviews of their albums in both this blog and in # 1 of this blog.
I have not been too eager to review their albums due to the zillions of other reviews their albums has got in ProgArchives and other magazines/blogs/websites. I prefer more obscure and pure fusion/prog/folk albums and bands than Opeth. I say that with all respect to Opeth. I have massive amount of respect for them.

Heritage sees the band shedding all the death-growls and death metal music. What we get instead is some sort of progressive rock. What kind of progressive rock has been a much debated issue.

I find them droning about too much on this album. I am relieved when this album breaks into some hard rock too and some more pastoral stuff.

I am really in doubt if this is a good or merely a decent album. But there is some good details here and I have found a lot more good stuff when I put my head into the speakers and gave it my 100 % attention. But it is still a weak good rating.

3 points

 

Tantra - Terra (2002)


The fourth album from this Portoguese band.

Tantra was a sextet on this album with a lineup of synths, keyboards, bass, drums, guitars and English and Portoguese vocals.
The band had help from xtra keyboards, vocals and a choir.

Their last album, Humanoid Flesh from 1981 was a disaster trip into post-punk and new romanticism. A true turkey and you can read my review here. Their first two albums is really good though so this band has some merit.

Their first two albums was in the symphonic prog genre. The band took a twenty years long break after the Humanoid Flesh disaster and returned again to a more well known landscape.

We are somewhere in the border counties between pomp prog and symphonic prog. There are also some pop here. But not much. Most of the music here is in the symphonic prog genre.

The vocals are ok and a bit operatic. The other instruments are OK too. The sound is pretty organic and not too much synths dominated. Some of the music is a bit on the overly inflated side of the spectrum.

This album is one hour long and it has some long songs and some short songs. There is no great pieces of music here. Most of the music is decent to good. This album is not the most exciting album around. But check it out.

2.5 points 





Agusa - Agusa (2017)


The third album from this Swedish band.

The band is a quintet with a lineup of flute, organ, bass, drums, percussion and guitars.

Agusa is one of those bands I have knotted down in my notes as one band to follow. I did that already on their excellent debut album. You can read my review here.
Their second album was a very good album too and you can read my review here.

Agusa is one of those bands who has returned to the 1970s and further back to get inspirations and their own identity. Indeed, their music goes back two hundred years. To the times of Swedish folk music and Swedish popular music recorded on old '78 LPs.

Agusa combines this folk music with a lot of what Kaipa and later; The Flower Kings did. But in particular Kaipa is a big inspiration here on this album.

So we get Swedish symphonic prog with a folk music twist on this album. There is a lot of flutes and organs here. Two instruments who creates a warm sound. The lack of vocals is no problems here as both the flutes and the organs more than replaces the vocals.

The great artwork does not shame the music either. Some three quarters of an hour filled with warm Swedish folk symphonic prog.

The result is a very good album which proves that Agusa is one of the best Swedish bands around at the moment. Just like I said they would be back on their debut album some years ago. Enjoy !

3.5 points


Monday, 30 October 2017

Fred - Notes on a Picnic (2003)


The second and final album from this US band.

Fred was a sextet on this album with a lineup of saxophone, keyboards, drums, bass, electric violin, guitars, percussion and some vocals.

This is again a collection album of various recordings the band made in 1973/74. Just as their self-titled debut album was recordings made in 1971/72. Which is fine for me as the band and their recordings is too good to be ignored. You can find my review of the debut album here.

The music on Notes On A Picnic is totally different from their debut album.

What we get on a Notes On A Picnic is fusion. Fusion in the vein of Jean Luc Ponty and a bit like Mahavishnu Orchestra too.

The music is very intense at times with a great deal of organs and electric violins here. There is also some vocals at the end with some good electric guitars too and some funk. There are also some weird pop music here where the vocals kicks in.

Most of this one hour long album is fusion though. This is a better album than the debut album and it proves that Fred was not a bad band at all. Check out both albums as they are rather quirky and worthy of some attention and tender loving listening sessions in a sofa.

3 points



Ocean - God's Clown (1976)


The debut album from this French band.

Ocean was a quartet with a lineup of guitars, bass, drums and vocals.

There is numerous other bands with the name Ocean and this French combo should not be confused with the German and other combos with the same name.

This French combo has released three albums. The last one in 2016. Their second album was released in 1981. Well done, I have to say.

Ocean's music on God's Clown is very heavy. It is not truly heavy metal though. The music is a mix of Led Zeppelin, Man and Budgie. Add in a lot of blues and King Crimson too and you get this album.

The album is very noisy and full of spirit. Unrestrainded spirit. This forty minutes long album is a wild, wild ride.

There is also a lot of quality in this wild ride. It has a few mellow parts too amid the mayhem. Mayhem which also makes a lot of sense with air-raid like vocals and guitars. There is a lot of quality here and a lot of very interesting details.

The end result is a good album which deserves a lot more attention. Attention hereby given.

3 points

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Nova - Wings Of Love (1977)


The third album from this Italian band.

The band was a quintet with a lineup of guitars, glockenspiel, triangle, percussion, keyboards, bass, drums, saxophones, flute, clavinet, organ, mini-moog and vocals.

This band was one of the many Italian fusion/jazz bands in the 1970s. This scene was almost as big as the Italian symphonic prog (RPI) scene. 

I have reviewed their first two albums and intend to review their final album too. Yes, the band released four albums before they disbanded. You can read my reviews somewhere else in this blog.

Nova was never really one of the most jazzy of the fusion bands. Their previous album Vimana from 1976 had a lot of Latin-America rhythms. A good reference is Santana. 
Their first album, the 1975 album Nova had a lot of hard rock influences too. 

It has to be said that the band did not rest on their laurels....... or music style. Three albums in and we get a new take on fusion from the band. This time with a lot of funk and a lot of Latin-American and Italian pop music too. OK, this album is not many miles away from Vimana. But it still feels different indeed. 

There is a lot of vocals here mixed with some funk and fusion. The pop music is not particular good. But it is OK. The fusion is very good and the funk is passable. The flute adds some xtra folk music too and a bit Focus like progressive rock.

This is actually a good three quarters of an hour long album from an underrated band. There is a lot of good stuff here and that warrant a good rating. Check it out.

3 points



Discipline - Chaos Out Of Order (1988)


The debut album from this US band.

Discipline was a trio with a lineup of guitars, piano, keyboards, violin, bass, drums and vocals.

This album was originally released in 1988 and re-released again in 2013 with a bonus track. The albums are basically the same as the bonus track was also recorded in that 1988 session.

I reviewed their third album, the 1997 album Unfolded Like Staircase back in September 2010 and rated that as a great album. I also noted it was a perfect mix of Genesis and Van Der Graaf Generator. See my review here.
It is also my plan to review their last two albums within the next weeks/you will find my reviews of their last two albums somewhere else in this blog.

I would not really say that this album, Chaos Out Of Order, is a perfect blend of Genesis and Van Der Graaf Generator. Chaos Out Of Order is a concept album of some sorts.

The music is pretty much bland neo-prog meets pomp pop. It is some Supertramp here and that is it. The art of songwriting has is a bit scetchy and very much lacking on this fifty-three minutes long album. There is no good songs here and the sound too is found wanting. Hence my rating.

2 points





Saturday, 28 October 2017

Cosmos Factory - A Journey with the Cosmos Factory (1975)


The second album from this Japanese band.

The band was a quartet with a lineup of mellotron, keyboards, synths, bass, guitars, tapes, drums, piano, timpani, vocoder, percussion and vocals.
An man also provided narrations.

Their 1973 debut album An Old Castle Of Transylvania has got a cult status and with good reason. You can read my review here.

That album sounded like a mix of Eloy and Jane. The band has not moved away from the krautrock genre on A Journey With The Cosmos Factory.

We get more of the same on this almost forty minutes long album. The songs are a lot more eclectic this time around with lots of strange twists and turns.

There is also a substantial amount of RPI influences here. Enough to draw parallels to the likes of Banco and PFM. This due to a lot of mellotron and Italian like melodies.

The Japanese accent English vocals is not dominating the sound and the music is pretty pastoral at times.

The end result is a good album which is not as immediate as the debut album but creeps up on you as a silent assassin. Enjoy.

3 points




Oblivion Road - Ten Miles (2016)


The debut album from this band from Germany.

Oblivion Road is a trio with a lineup of guitars, programming, drums, bass and English vocals.
The band has also got help from a grand piano, xtra bass and vocals.

Oblivion Road is actually two Colombians and one Mexican who somehow has ended up in Cologne, Germany. They have also got help from another Colombian, one French, one Bulgarian and one Italian on this album. A multi-national album in other words.

I only wish the music was as exciting too.

The music on this forty minutes long album is a mix of college rock, indie rock and the likes of Rush and Kings's X. It is also song based and the usual pop/rock formula. Pretty short and punchy songs in other words.

The band knows what they are doing on their instruments. This is a good band which I guess has honed their skill by playing other band's songs. Individually or as the band Oblivion Road.

The music is not good I have to confess. Some details is really good and there are a couple of good songs here. But most of this album is decent. Hence the rating.

2.5 points