.......................................A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FEATURED ARTIST AND CD REVIEWS - 2004
Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal - Logo
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LAST UPDATE 11/07/2004..
. TOWERSOUND - "Same"
The members of Towersound coming from the south of France, their family decided to move to the Auvergne province in 1999, they were in need of change, and winds brought us right into a great abode owning an old tower. Their name band and the "Blazon" have been inspired by the place where’re still living in and it’s the real origin of the member´s inspiration too. In first, Towersound is a great family story, indeed, the band was created by 3 guys: Laurent, Florian and Jean-Christophe Lecomte, during the year 2001. From July to March 2002, they decided to slave away: improving their instruments techniques, write enough songs to make an album, and prepare theirselves to invest stages. Established in the Cantal department (in the middle of France) for 4 years, they worked really hard last summer to record their first 10 titles album in their home-studio, following to a 5 titles demo. A blend of different influences, from classical music to metal. Since April 2003 some contacts gave them the opportunity to play on some stages in the country, like "Le Printemps de Bourges". But the band is still looking for contacts and in need of dates, gigs, labels, producers, managers, anything relative to the music world in order to start a serious and professional carrier... We are reviewing a new discovery in Progressive Rock Metal and It´s very pleasant to hear new features emerging as Towersound, mainly when we find three brothers and young musicians, a new generation that was influenced by famous musicians adding all the best styles around the Prog music. They blend Classic Music, Progressive Rock, Melodic Metal, Hard-rock, Celtic Music and Metal, everything sounding very creative and spiritual. Comparisons are hard to make, because they have a pretty and energetic sound and a positive music, with lots of inspired and clean guitars solos, including a fantastic keyboards and solid drums sounds, all the instrumental are so perfect but not very complicated, the main highlights on this band are the clean and pleasant vocals, in some ways it reminds me somewhat of the vocals of the "Strawbs", just in the "Hero and Heroine" recordings.  "Towersound"  is the new release, with ten tracks of pure inspiration. Currently, they’re working on a second album containing about 14 songs is in progress. Among the nine tracks on the almost 50 min we find songs that really define the Towersound style: "Towersound", "Shine Over Me" (Fantastic song), "Hell Is The Speedway", "Let Me Run", "It's A Good Day To die", "March Of War" and "One Step Further". The band are today: JeanChristophe Leconte (Jon) - Vocals, Studio microphone Rode: NT2 Synthesiser  Yamaha: PSR9000 Live microphone Shure: Beta 87C HF Effects processor T.C. Electronic: M-ONE XL Dual, LaurentLeconte (Lonn) - Electric guitars ESP: KH-2  Ibanez: RG550 EX  Ibanez: JEM 555 BK Multi-effects pedal Boss: GT-6 Ampli Marshall: JCM 2000 DSL Semi-Acoustic guitar: EPIPHONE: PR5E Artiste Classical guitar Luis Martinez: E3 and Florian Leconte (Flod) - Drums Pearl : BRX Master Studio Platinium with Remo Pinstripe Skins Cymbals ZILDJIAN: Crash  Thin 17" Avedis, Rock 18" Avedis, Rock 19" Z Custom. China 18" ZXT. Hit-Hat 14" Z Custom. Ride 20" ZBT+ Toms  Alto 10", Medium 12" et 13", Bass 16". Kick  22", Twin Pedals  Pearl : P100 TW. Snare 14.6/2. 9 Micros Sennheiser: Evolution Shure. Excellent and indispensable work, highly recommendable... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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01/01/2004..................Want to learn everything about the band and its members, Go to TOWERSOUND HOME PAGE...
. CONQUEROR - "Istinto"
The Conqueror coming from Palermo, Italy, and their history starts in november 1994, from an idea of Natale Russo (drums). At the beginning, the band turned to the cover… Suddenly, with the entrance of Salvatore Chillemi (keyboards), it turns to original musical excerpts that moved away from the traditional songs, putting together harmonic variations and change of beat, that showed a great originality and baroque mannerism. For years, Natale and Salvatore agreed on the musical choices and widened the group with the entrance of Gaetano Scarcella, guitarist (1995) and the bass player, Sandro Pavone (1995-96). The Conqueror had the problem to find a singer who could be able to perform their pieces of music; from 1994 to 1999 the singers were: Antonella Colosi, Adele Tirante, Giovanni Molino. From 1997 to 1999 Carlo Nicita joined the group and fixed, together with the 2 founders, the musical style, including flute and acoustic guitar to make the general sound more refined. At the same time Sergio Camelia (guitar) and Fabio Ucchino (bass) joined to the band. From 1997 to 1999, the group lived one of the best periods, meeting with outstanding success. After 3 years, Natale Russo, with the help of Simona Rigano (keyboards and voice), started to revival of the Conqueror. Moreover, Gaetano Scarcella, the first guitarist, came back to the group. They composed music, always on the same style of the beginning; the big difference was finally represented by the voice that gave serenity and firmness to the musical excerpts. Conqueror is another fantastic discovery that emerge and, comes from the Italy. They blend styles around of the Progressive Rock, Symphonic Rock, Melodic Metal and Neo- progressive, some their songs are long, and having a competent rhythm section, including very creative arrangements, all female vocal performances given by Sabrina Rigano, singing in italian, are incredible, giving a very special sensation for the listener, complementing multiple and awesome instrumental lines as inspired, fantastic and inventive sounds that leave the guitars and are an important highlights on the band, including hypnotic an inventive drum lines, but not forgetting the adventurous and atmospheric sounds that echo from the keyboards. The band has an authentic italian progressive spirit where some musical passes reminds me something very close or seemed with "Nuova Era", "La Maschera Di Cera", "Malibran", "Monte Feltro", "H2O", "Premiata Forneria Marconi" and  "Le Orme". Conqueror is one of those bands that is truly hard to forget, with an impressive debut album bringing together a variety of musical style that expresses the best progressive rock from all times. Istinto is the self and the first official recording and was recorded in 2003. Including eight tracks. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Quartar", "Pensieri Fragile", "La Strada Del Graal", "Cristalli Di Solitudine", "Porte Straniere" and "Entropia". The musicians on Conqueror are: Simona Rigano - Keyboards and Voice, Salvatore Chillemi - Keyboards, Sabrina Rigano - Flute, Sax, Vocals, Fabio Ucchino - bass and Natale Russo - Drums. Excellent and indispensable work, highly recommendable... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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01/11/2004..........................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit CONQUEROR HOME PAGE...
. FREEWILL - "Never Act"
We are in Kyoto, Japan,  whem Masahiro "vmo" Lee and Kozo "george" Tsuji were been looking for members (Vocal/ Bass/ Drums) to form a band, which plays technical-rock. Well on taht time they'd met Shingo "sin" Uchida+geddy (bass) + Tahira (vocal) through any times of auditions. This five people owned a kindred spirit, after playing DreamTheater/UK... etc with. Tahira has got out. They'd been looking for a vocalist, and had auditions again and again. And some vocal-songs was composed. Each member polished himself in supports for other bands. In 2001, Geddy has got out, and the band was dissolved on purpose of polishing each, in every free fields. In this term, "Vmo" - TribalJazzRock, George - Yotarou Teikoku (prog-band), "Sin" - many sessions as support...etc, every members in every fields. An accidental meeting - Hisashi "sisyo" Nakao was contacted on the web. Now the first formation it´s ok but the band´s name was called of the "Doripon" planed to play DreamTheater ("A Change Of Seasons") at the end of the year (planed-live-event). Sisyo played bass as a support member. In 2002, "Doripon" planed to play Dream Theater ("Leraning To Live") in a Rock-event, with ex-Vo; Tahira. And...for the other set lists, "Doripon" has needed instrumental numbers, and they've begun to compose full-scale INSTs. "Doripon" changed its name into Freewill, to quest one of the style (INSTs) of music professionaly. They held 1st live as Freewill. Get back years later when the east Progressive Rock scene was very active with bands as Mugen, Outer Limits, Ain Soph, Pageant, Bellaphon, Black Page, Asturias, Vermilion Sands and others, where all them explored not a specific style but all instrumental musical inspirations. Now, we have new bands that come from the same place and, bringing new ideas with inovative musical performance, filled with powerful and modern instrumental sound, we are talking from Freewill. Their music oscillate between Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal with some touchs of the Avant-garde, however in some parts, they use an instrumental and magnificient sound style as a Symphonic Progressive Rock band, where all instruments sound very impressive, adding their own style into every song. The main highlights are on the guitars sounds reminding me a bit of influences from Frank Zappa with touches of King Crinson,followed of symphonic sounds that flow from the keyboards and present an impressive melody, bass and drums work perfect, without vocals, disclosing that every instrument have a attractive and special sound with dynamic compositions. A new east band certainly capable of creating some elegant and enjoyable Progressive Rock. "Never Act" is the the second release but first official full self titled album, includind eight tracks, recorded at Osaka Sangyo University Multi Media Studio, mixed by Masahiro Lee.  A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Izanai", "Maelstrom", "Law", "Kaff" and "Cave". The musicians on the band are: Masahiro "vmo" Lee - Guitars, Synthesizers,  Shunsuke Yagi - Synthesizers+Electronics, Toshio "social" Ueda - Synthesizers+Electronics, Hisashi "syo" Nakao - Bass and Shingo "sin" Uchida - Drums. Excellent and indispensable work, highly recommendable... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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01/18/2004..............................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit FREEWILL HOME PAGE...
. MUSIC STATION - "Shaping"
Music Station came from Bulgaria, the members’ activity as “Music Station” is short, but every member play an active part in Bulgarian music scene as a member of several rock groups, as a support member of famous bands, as an arranger, and as a studio musician in Bulgaria. They started actively writing songs and rehearsals from September 2002. In the first term Ventzi, Bobby, Boris and Jordan started to play, the drummer and singer had been changed several time during this period. In October 2002, Radoslav has been fixed as the drummer, and in January 2003, Pavlin has got a position of the singer. During this period 2 songs were recorded as a demo with other singer, but it had not been distributed. From February 2003, the band had started recording with Tony Grapes (producer) of a technical rock band “Millennium” in studio AHAT. The recording was very complicated even used max 76 tracks. But Tony Grapes succeeded to mix it down for a quite short term. Music Station can be described such as a new generation in Classic Hard Rock with strong influences of Progressive Rock blending, in some songs, Melodic Progressive Metal, but in their music we can find wide ranging of musical styles, and very familiar, from such guitar virtuosos as "Joe Satriani", "Steve Vai", "Tony McAlpineand" and "Marty Friedman", but at the same time, extracting a variety of sounds from their own sources, we can hear lots and lots of powerful guitars riffs, where the solos sounds are very nice, including the virtuous keyboards, adding a sonic texture with many progressive symphonic ambitions, the vocalist "Pavlin Manev", singing in english, has an interesting articulate voices and an emotional vocal style, giving the music a special power. Of course as talented young musicians, they have got playing some musical influences around some giants as "Dream Theater", "Rush", "Yes", "Journey" and "Asia", also found similarities with "Shadow Gallery", "Queensrych" and "Fates Warning", including some influences of Bulgarian traditional music, where these influences make an unique sounds of band, and where the songs are pretty ambitious. Certainly soon they will be among the famous bands. "Shaping" is their debut album with ten tracks, was released in Bulgaria by UBP International Records. Produced by Tony Grapes and executive producer Koji Fukita. Recorded and mixed at Ahat Studio, Sofia, Bulgaria.  A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Intro", "Shaping", After Twilight", "Home", "Alone", "Painting Souls", "Inside" and "Gamble Away". The musicians are: Ventzislav Velev - Guitars, Bobby - Bass Guitars, Boris Zashev - Keyboards, Jordan Donov - Guitars, Radoslav Haralampiev - Drums, Pavlin Manev - Vocals and additional Vocals - Tony and Danny Grapes. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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01/18/2004.....................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit MUSIC STATION HOME PAGE...
. SOMA.PLANET - "Soma.Planet"
Soma.Rec Is an Experimental Music Band born in the mid 90's. Initially it was integrated by musician and painter Ivan Jordà and Guitar player and composer Tete Pérez; both the ones to set the bases of the group, composing the first songs and structures of Soma.Rec music. At the end of the 90's bass and double bass Player, and also painter, Marc Prat joins the band along with drums player Angel Abad. In all this period all the efforts and time were dedicated in finding formulas to play music that permitted at the same time breaking with traditional harmonies and structures following improvisational patterns built slowly in time, starting in understanding music as a "Game", and having as a result an always fresh show and, over all, always different. February 2001 Ivan Jordà Leaves the band, after two great concerts in Library-Bar Arcadia, and the band keeps on playing but some times in duo or Trio. May 2001 Soma.Rec records a live concert in Argentona, in where piano and keyboards player Marc Trullàs joins the group, as well as Saxophone player Furmi, resulting the "Free Action" improvisation, also recorded. In the concert that took place in Jem Casey's of Figueres Drums player and percussionist David Xiberta Joins Soma.Rec, becoming a sextet. Nowadays Soma.Rec, so called Soma.Planet, originally they are a quartet. Fantastic new group bringing all the best influences from the different lines around all the great 70's pomp bands. Soma.Planet is a band that prove easily that they are adepts of Experimental Music, Fusion Rock and Avant-Garde scene (Kraut Rock), a musical style developed in Germany, including a little bit of Progressive Rock passages. The song writing and the musical performance are diverse, the compositions have complex arrangements, many parts have heavy Sax, power bass and frenetic Guitars sounds, alternating quickly and playing different elements simultaneously, where each composition takes us on a different orchestral journey, elegant and amazing instrumental precision creating an incredible musical improvisation, exploring all the instruments sounds. This band follows the traditions of pure musical style very influenced by bands such as "Embryo", "Can", "Guru Guru", "Gong", "Pink Floyd" and also "King Crimson", but rapidly showing a personal style where they can express their strong musical feelings. Soma.Planet the first and very impressive album, featuring eleven tracks, almost 74 minute long album,  that illustrate the best Experimental Music.  A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Secret Triangle", "Action", "Moments Before Tea", "Kaleidoscope Visions", "Reaction" and "Cerebrum". The main musicians on Soma.Planet are: Andreu Tete Pérez - Electric Guitar, Vocal and Theremin,  Francesco Furmi Gómez - Alto Sax, Slide Guitar and Flute, Marc Prat - Bass and Vocals and Àngel Abat - Drums. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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01/18/2004...................Want to learn everything about the band and their history, go to SOMA.PLANET HOME PAGE...
. PRAVDA - "The Echoing Sounds"
Pravda is a new generation in Progressive Rock outfit hailing from the Pacific Northwest, U.S.A. The group consisting of veterans of the Austin, Orlando and Northwest music scenes, is realy to take on the musical enclaves of corporate rock, with a bold and invigorating sound, where their sound combines the best of Old & New Progressive Rock with some touchs of Jazz adding the power of Progressive Metal. Pravda is another extraordinary revelation, the band sounds really impressive in a beautifully constructed powerful Progressive Rock, where in some parts they mix Hard Rock, Melodic Metal with Symphonic Rock. They have a combination of musical elements creating innovative, atmospheric and heavy music, all compositions feature a mix among the vocals and lengthy instrumental sections, where certainly you will love all guitars solos, the drums sounds are full of rhythmic evolutions, where all is combined with wonderful sounds from the keyboards. It´s very hard to draw comparison between them and other bands, but Pravda represents an old school approach, with a variety of musical styles in a very professional way, which I can feel influences around "Yes", "Alice Cooper", "Genesis", "Moody Blues", "Kansas"  and others. "The Echoing Sounds" ia a stunning debut CD, the album was released by Sonus West Records Northwest Progressive Rock Label, engineered by K.C. Thomsen and Dave Thomas. Including fourteen tracks. There are no special and particular attention to the songs because all them are amazing, there is an interesting history around the lyrics, but to the best reference you will love "Prelude/Expatriate´s Lament", "The Program", "The Echoing Sounds Of Life", "Can You Hear Me", "Saving Your Soul", "Revolution", "Omnipotent Struggle", "For I Am" and "As One", This is one release that must be heard carefully and many times. The musicians on Pravda are: Dave Thomas - Drums, Percussion and Backing Vocals, K.C. Thomsen - Keyboards, Piano, Vocals and Guitar, Tom Svanoe - Four and Five String Fretless Bass, Chris Holman - Lead and Rhythm Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar and Steve Brown - Lead and Backing Vocals. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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02/15/2004.................................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit PRAVDA HOME PAGE...
. X-TERRA - "Demo"
In the fall of 1984, Bob and Anne Kachline seemed to arrive at an impasse. Each of them had played a part in various bands over the years, with each band folding for one reason or another. Anne was by then already a veteran songwriter and an experienced bass player both on the road and in the studio. Meanwhile, her partner Bob was a veteran of 18 years playing drums in a vast array of musical settings, but feeling mostly at home in jazz and rock genres. Yet each opportunity seemed to have its limits. After a lot of prayer, Bob and Anne felt they needed to use their God given talents to start a band together. They called the band X-Terra which implied the band’s goal, based on the scripture John 15:19 “If you belong to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you“. This is not a new band. X-Terra is in activities since 1985, having released 4 cd's through the world, as a rock band which writes about Jesus and the world, in a special care of being before all a rock band. This is a little piece of the new cd "Wolves"(after some line up changes) , with three tracks: "Wolves", "Calm Before the Storm" and "Don't Curse the Darkness". If you like hard rock, strong and very well done, this is for you. Bill Hunt (Vocals/Guitars) has a special voice for hard, very contagiant and strong. And the work of  Anne Kachline (Bass) and Bob Kachline (Drums) is fantastic. "Wolves" is a great tune, and I can say that "Calm Before the Storm" will keep in your mind for a long time. What more can I say? Jesus, please help them to release the new cd fastly! More come by Mark Blair Glunt and Silent Planet Promotions.  Today X-Terra  are: Bill Hunt - Vocals and Guitar, Anne Kachline - Bass and Vocals and Bob Kachline - Drums and Vocals.   (Comments by Rafael Carnovale)
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02/15/2004.....................................................,.....Interested to know more about? Please visit X-TERRA HOME PAGE...
. KING DIAMOND - "The Puppet Master"
Kim Bendix Petersen is born in Copenhagen, Denmark on June 14th 1956. He began his musical career in 1973 when he entered as a guitarist in a cover band called Brainstorm. It was with Brainstorm that he did his first concert, in 1976. He then left this band in 1978 to join another local band called Black Rose, but this time, as a vocalist. It's in this band that the character of King Diamond took shape. He first had the idea of wearing make-up after seeing the Alice Cooper show Welcome To My Nightmare way back in 1975. In 1980, King left Black Rose to join a punk-metal band called Brats, which featured members Hank Shermann and Michael Denner on guitars and Timi Hansen on bass. After only a few gigs, Brats split into pairs; King and Hank went on one side forming a new band while Michael and Timi collaborated on Danger Zone. Neither teams accomplished much on their own, so when Danger Zone requested King and Hank's assistance on their demo, it gave a new opportunity for the 4 guys to work together again. Kim Ruzz then entered as the drummer; Mercyful Fate was born. The band then recorded 2 demos. The first one contained Walking Back To Hell, Running Free, Black Masses and Hard Rocker. The second one contained Curse Of The Pharaohs, Return Of The Vampire, A Corpse Without Soul and Burning The Cross. These demos received some attention from the underground tape-trading circuit. In spring 1982, the English company Ebony Records asked the band to record 2 songs: Black Funeral and Walking Back To Hell. Black Funeral was included on the Metallic Storm compilation album, while Walking Back To Hell was never released until 1984 under the title A Dangerous Meeting. SSSSSsssssssssssshhhh...... make silence... lights out.... let'me tell you a horror history. I'm a human being, but i don't control myself.... at "Midnigh", "The Puppet Master" will start his show. With traditional heavy metal and the famous Kind Diamond vocals (in falsetto, or his agressive style), but don't you thing this puppets are so strange? It seems they're so real, so "Magic", kinda like human beings... I love it, but I saw the evil in his "Blue Eyes", and his wife brings me to the reality. Heavy metal is the law!!! Mr Diamond is back with a horror history, and something worse than a scary movie. The style is the same, heavy metal with fantastic solos, with Mr. Andy La Rocque and Mr. Mike Wead. "The Ritual" shows me that i'm not a human being anymore, i'm a Puppet, and the Master controlls me, with his horror style of making puppets, but what can i do? This record is fantastic, one of the best things Diamond has done recently, with a heavy style and a fantastic concept. Hear tracks like the ones above and "So Sad", and "Living Dead", and discover that the Puppets' Show you see can be more than just one entertaining night! Hail Mr. Diamond. The album, Puppet Master, was released on october 21st 2003 on limited digipak and CD, both including a bonus DVD on which King tells the story of the album in full make-up!   (Comments by Rafael Carnovale)
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02/15/2004......................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit KING DIAMOND HOME PAGE...
. GLOBAL WARNING - "Digital Black"
This four boys from Snohomish, Washington, U.S.A. decided to form a band to express their feelings about the world and their religious thinking. That was the way  Global Warning was formed in 1998. With Steve Carlson in bass, Brian Tomer in guitar, Alan Boyd in Vocals and Rich Weaver in Drums, they released "Global Warning" in 2000. This new cd continues with the musical objectives of his predecessor, kinda lika Pantera and Korn became a White Metal ones. The guitar riffs are such inspired in the 80's trash metal and Alan sounds like a Phil Anselmo more melodic, but no less agressive. Songs like "Follow", "Thrown Away", "Disconnect" (which has one foot in the New Metal) are very heavy and intense, but there is some melodic moments kinda "Digital Black" (one dark moment). The music is a mix of trash and some New Metal elements. It's a good way for the band, and a definitve proof that make music for Jesus is a good one, when you know what you're composing and writing. Good Luck Boys! "Digital Black" album was released by Mark Blair Glunt and Silent Planet Promotions, including eight tracks. The musicians on Global Warning are: Steve Carlson - Bass, Brian Tomer - Guitar, Alan Boyd - Vocals and Rich Weaver - Drums. Highly recommendable...  (Comments by Rafael Carnovale)
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02/15/2004................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit GLOBAL WARNING HOME PAGE...
. XD OUT - "Awakening"
Josh and Chris are two musicians from Pasadena (US), are huge fans of hard rock and Jesus. Why don't join both in a project. That's how "XD Out" ("Out of Christ") came to the world in 1999. After a self-titled cd in 2001, they release "Awakening", rocking with some melodical tunes like "Soil me Down" (a little piece of Alice in Chains), "Save Me" (almost a poppy-punk tune), "Phillippians 1:21" (very spped rock, good tune!), and some interesting songs like "For You", the almost punk "Take a Chance" and the special "Salvation", which is more progressive and mind-traveling one. One greatest cd, which contains a lot of good rock songs and good musicians. They know what they're doing, and it's very consistent work and continue to make Real Music for a Real World. "Awakening" album was released by Mark Blair Glunt and Silent Planet Promotions. XD Out are: Chris Haynes - Voice, Bass and Drums, Josh Haynes - Guitar and Vocalsand Bob Kachline - Live Drummer.  (Comments by Rafael Carnovale)
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02/15/2004...................................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit XD OUT HOME PAGE...
. AMY ABDOU - "The Girl Who Has Everything"
Amy Abdou is an innovative Lebanese and Irish singer/songwriter from New York’s Capital District, creating dark and melodic pop with a nod towards the ethereal. In addition to extensive live performance, she has composed soundtracks for two films and recorded three critically acclaimed releases that received national and international recognition, airplay and distribution. Amy Abdou is also an active voice in the promotion of underground arts. She produced the first compilation of female artists from the Hudson Valley, and founded Grrr Records, an independent label dedicated to raising the profile of women artists. For their first two years, she was the host of Time Warner’s "Sounding Board", the show spotlighting musical talent in New York’s Capital District.  Amy Abdou is also a regular contributor to The Hidden City (www.thehiddencity.com), a web magazine that serves as a gallery to a myriad of talented artists. Amy Abdou and her band have strong influence around styles as Classic Rock, Pop Rock, Melodic Rock adding some blends from Progressive Rock, her vocals have a different tone, full of wonderful sensations where the voice gives a strong but much kind sound into the music, at the same time adding a mystery dark moments and including a sensitive feeling, working together with Amy Abdou, we can find three talented musicians, to which they have developed nice arrangements denoting an amazing instrumental with interesting progressive style. In fact, she has a beautiful and strong voice that reminds, but not always, "Patti Smith", "Kate Bush", "Joan Baez" and "Kim Carnes". "The Girl Who Has Everything" album was recorded at Amy´s house except "Seeing Is", "Real Love" and "Invisible Armies" which where recorded at 66 sound by Rich Palaski. Produced by Amu Abdou and Alan Okey. Engineered and Mixed by Alan Okey.  A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "The Olive Tree", "Leave Him Alone", "Birds", "Stick Around", "Seeing Is" and "Real Love". The musicians on the band are: Amy Abdou - Vocals, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Violin and Keyboards,  Alan Okey - Bass, Matthew Tierman - Guitar, Danny Whelchel - Drums and Percussion.  Guest musicians: John Rodat - Background Vocal,  Adrian Cohen - Piano and Keyboards. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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02/29/2004.............;;;;;;;..............................,.....Interested to know more about Amy? Visit AMY ABDOU HOME PAGE...
. AQUAPLAN - "Paperimeri"
Aquaplan was founded in Oulu, Finland in 1999. The idea was to create music containing the challenging song-structures & time-signatures used in Progressive Rock, rich harmonic tradition of jazz, accessibility of pop-tunes and sensitivity of folk-music. The group was built around song-writer/ guitarist Ari 'Suti' Sutinen, who has been involved in many bands & projects before this. It was in one of those projects, where he first met the singer Maarit Saarenkunnas, and asked her to join the new band just being founded. Maarit already knew the band's drummer Tuomas Erkkilä, with whom she had performed in various theatre related music-productions. Tumppa had played with Ari also in 1996, when they started a tribute band performing music of Frank Zappa. Ari Kivelä was a natural choice for the bassist, as was Pasi Korhonen for acoustic guitar, both having played together with Suti in many of the previous groups. The keyboard player in one of Pasi's numerous other bands was certain Juha Anttila, who was asked to join in and complete the Aquaplan line-up. Year 2000 saw the first public performance of the Band, who played mainly their own material, where the music was composed by Suti, over lyrics written by his wife Terhi and Maarit. The language used was Finnish, although later they would start shifting towards English. In the mean time, songs were written, arranged & practiced, and the group decided to start recording a full length CD. However, in year 2002 the line-up saw its only change to date. Bassist A.Kivelä wanted to pursue a carrier in classical music & double bass, and decided to leave the band. The replacement was luckily close at hand, as the training facilities were co-hosted by another local group Trusties. Their bassist Ville Veijalainen, who was familiar already since the days of the Zappa-project, agreed to join the group, and so recording could continue. The new formation made its first gig in the autumn of the same year. The two bands were now quite closely linked as Suti had joined Trusties a year earlier. Finland was the land of fantastic Progressive Rock in the 70's as: "Wigwam" and "Tasavallan President", may be them very known from all progressive lovers around the world, but now appear new references as Aquaplan. They have a style blended around Progressive Rock  with strong Folk Music influences. The instrumental arrangements which consist of softs passages among the guitars strings and the keyboards, creating an intensive instrumental atmosphere, giving a magnificent and dynamic power to the music, all together with a rhythmic drums and pompous guitar bass sound. One of the highlights and, considered as one of the keys on this band is the singer "Maarit Saarenkunnas", performing a strong spiritual quality around the folk style, given a special tone to the lyrics, presented with a melodic Progressive Rock touch, singing the songs with a great feel and with a smooth voice. Aquaplan sometimes, remind "Karnataka", "Turquoise" and "Mostly Autumn", but there is something special on this band who I think no other group has, they play music that is sincere and meaningful, not a specific style but an universal Progressive Rock music, with sensitivity and impressive arrangements, a soft flavor that touch something comfortable on the listeners. Paperimeri was recorded, mixed and mastered by Ari Sutinen at Studio 1&2, songs written by Ari Sutinen and lyrics by Maarit Saarenkunnas and Terhi-Liisa Sutinen. Including ten tracks. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Metsä", "Päiväkirja", "Puun Suojaan (sinä vierelläni)", "Syli", "Paperimeri" and "Colouring Her". The musicians on Aquaplan are: Maarit Saarenkunnas - Vocals, Ville Veijalainen - Bass, Ari Sutinen - Electric Guitar, Pasi Korhonen - Acoustic Guitar, Juha Anttila - Keyboards and Tuomas Erkkilä - Drums & Percussion. Brilliant and amazing an indispensable work, highly recommendable... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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03/15/2004...............................,.....Interested to know more about this fantastic Band? Visit AQUAPLAN HOME PAGE...
. DAEDALUS - "Leading Far From A Mistake"
As usual the Progressive Rock music never stops taking me by surprise, and fortunately I know more delightful surprises will still be on the way continuously, at last the progressive scene has really been stronger than ever. So this time the great surprise to reach my knowledge is a band from the ever fertile italian ground, a progressive scene that for ages has become a true legend for all of us who appreciate quality music. The band to be mentioned here is Daedalus, a five-members’ band formed in Genova in April of 2000, that proposes at first a sophisticated Progressive Metal filled up with complexities, thus building a lot of intriguing themes not so easily performed by everyone of course, and therefore for being their debut album, it’s worth mentioning the members of the band have really faced the challenge and won it, revealing consequently  a unique skill on what they firstly proposed themselves to do in fact. The album in question  calls ‘’Leading Far From a Mistake’’, which consists of eight remarkable tracks, all of them really worth playing ‘till the end of the album. The music of Daedalus is that of a constant glittering, that keeps itself harmoniously close to gift and knowledge, thus making the listener to perceive clearly what he now gets around his ear is the outcome of something carefully made by people who were not only interested in recording an album and thow it on the market, but affording the listener, the pleasure of having their music around. This time I prefer not to quote any similar band to make comparisons between a band and another, I would just say if you know any Progressive Rock band that’s able to join a complex harmonic texture with melodic lines, culminating in  an exciting musical journey...this is such as Daedalus for sure. The line-up of the band is: Alessio Brunetti - Vocals, Fabio Gremo - Bass, Davide La Rosa - Drums, Andrea Rinaldi - Guitars and Giuseppe Spanò - Keyboards.  ‘’Leading Far From a Mistake’’ is brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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03/21/2004................................,.....Interested to know more about the new the Band? Visit DAEDALUS HOME PAGE...
. PANZERPAPPA - "Farlig Vandring"
Coming straight from Norway, a new masterpiece brings forward. The will of originating a progressive rock band that started far back in 1996 by the musician Trond Gjellum, now begins to bear fruits at last. He who kept himself quite persistent over the years by recording some demos on their own expense with a view to make his way through, and in the very end of the last decade Panzerpappa finally began to see overseas on releasing their debut whose title is ‘’...Passer Gullfisk’’, and also to take part in concerts along with known bands as "Anekdoten" and "White Willow" for instance. Anyway, the album in question here calls ‘’Farlig Vandring’’ a majestic work, totally instrumental, that I would certainly classify it as a masterpiece released officially last month, an album that brought me quite a good feeling right after the very first listening, and even reminded me of that golden era, of old Progressive Rock releases, seen that Panzerpappa also seems to be one more band among others from current scene that tries to rescue a bit of that old Progressive essence, mostly that once built up by the bands from the Canterbury scene, and in this case I would say that a bit of "Soft Machine" and "Matching Mole" would really be the strongest reference to describe the sonority of this stunning norwegian band. ‘’Farlig Vandring’’ besides offering the listener an all-time delight by the beauty of its songs, it also affords us the chance of appreciating some unusual instruments as melodica, glockenspiel, trondophon and balaphone, creating quite a fascinating musical atmosphere overall, also the bass passages strongly put forward enchant the ears, turning this band into a referential. Panzerpappa is still a band for sure to be discovered by most of prog fans outside of Scandinavia, maybe now after releasing this masterpiece the band can finally finds its foothold and go ahead bound for triumph. The line-up of Panzerpappa is: Steinar Børve - Saxophones and Keyboards, Trond Gjellum - Drumkit, Acoustic and Electric Percussion, Balaphone, Glockenspiel, Metalophone, Sampler, Trondofon and Melodica, Anders Krabberød - Electric Five String Bassguitar, Electric 4 String Fretless Bassguitar, Chapman Stick, Additional Keyboards and Jarle Storløkken - Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Keyboards, Accordion. ‘’Farlig Vandring’’ is brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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03/21/2004............,.....Want to learn everything about the band and its members, Go to PANZERPAPPA HOME PAGE...
. HÖST - "Live & Unreleased’"
‘’Giant’’ - this is the best way that I truly find to describe the greatness of this legendary band from norwegian progressive scene, that although they have just released two official studio albums in the 70’s ‘’Pä Sterke Vinger’’ and ‘’Hardt Mot Hardt’’, even today no one in its homeland and also in the adjacent countries that once appreciated so much this musical style that very occasion can still get rid of the old memories left by this great band, mainly upon its live appearances where the band members didn’t measure any effort to afford the audience thrilling moments, of pure delight at every concert, and it is still said that the members’ pleasure in performing live was so hugely that they didn’t even mind toward the number of the people on the premises because both, the pleasure of playing and the respect for the fans were always taken by the band as a question of principle overall. After long years since the band broke up, an album titled ‘’Live & Unreleased’’ was then introduced to the market. With a view to keep the old memories alive, the label Research records went for some unreleased material, tracks never listened by anybody previously, except the band members themselves of course, and then a real treasure was fortunately found, an arduous search that took the personnel at Research Records over five years to carry this project out, fortunately all this material was awfully found still in mint condition, and now the old and new fans of the band are also going to have the opportunity of checking this treasure, which was within an ace of never coming to the surface. "Live & Unreleased’’ consists of 13 tracks where the large majority of the songs are beautifully sung in norwegian language, and the whole content of the album are live recordings picked off from three different concerts in Norway and Sweden, Besides 4 songs sung in english picked off from a live appearance on a TV show in Norway a bit before ceasing its activities. To sum it up, this album is quite a find, and worth being checked by every Progressive Rock fan, that appreciate a music made and performed with the purest feeling, giving shape to a fusion between emotion and talent, that together were both changed into a perfect work of art.  The line up of the band in this album is: From track 1 to 9: Bernt Bodahl - Bass, Knut R. Lie - Drums & Percussion, Svein Rönning - Guitar & Keyboards, Lasse Nilsen - Guitar and Geir Jahren - Lead Vocals & Harmonica. From track 10 to 13: Bernt Bodahl - Bass, Halvdan Nedrejord - Keyboards, Willy Bendiksen - Drums, John Hesla - Guitar, Flute & Vocal and Geir Jahren - Lead Vocals & Harmoinica. Excellent and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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03/21/2004.......................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit PROGROCK NORWEGIAN HOME PAGE...
. RIVERA/BOMMA - "Invisible Force"
Rod Rivera (influences are: Ritchie Blackmore, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Michael Schenker, UFO, Carlos Santana). and Johnny Bomma (guitar and vocals where the influences are: Ronnie James Dio (Rainbow, Black Sabbath) Steve perry (Journey), Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) and of course "The King") formed the band in 2000, having recorded this first cd in 2001 with the helpful work of Edward Faust in drums, Sean Faust in keys and Dave Incognito in bass. It's is a good piece of hard rock, when they relate their experiences and life and their love for Jesus Christ and God. Good rock songs like "Victory", "Tarot Reader" (sounds like Deep Purple, with the Hammond, oh... I like this organ), the 5 piece "Eclectic" suite (the best moment ih the cd, with some rock and progressive parts), the 70's rock "No Win Situation" and the pop-rock present in "Hold On" make this record special for who likes a very well done hard rock, doesn't matter your religion or something else. You get a bonus track (a beauitiful acoustic "Cry of Love") to close this masterpiece. They are working in a new cd, to be released soon. I think they will rock the house! The musicians are: Rod Rivera - Guitars, Johnny Bomma - Vocals, Mizael "Taz" Robles - Live Bass Player and Steven D. Riker - Live Drummer.   (Comments by Rafael Carnovale)
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04/18/2004.................................Is there.an interested to know more about them? Visit RIVERA/BOMMA HOME PAGE...
. MEYVN - "Introduction Demo Cd"
Meyvn formed in the summer of 2003. Guitarist Drew Creel and keyboardist Charles Shultz, both previously of the band Divine Ruins, decided to start a band that combined the technical, "progressive" metal sound with memorable hooks and a passion for unconventional sounds and ideas. Drummer Brad Olson joined the group after answering an ad in the newspaper and bassist Ken Liao joined soon after. After searching high and low for a vocalist, the band received a call from Richard Clark in respone to their newspaper ad, and turned out to be a perfect fit. This band from Pasadena, leaded by Jeremy Wu, like a lot the prog-metal made by "Dream Theater" and their side-projects (Transatlantic, Playtplus...). So this demo CD is a 3 song compilation of pure progressive metal. "Revolution", "Last Rites" and "Cadence" shows a great keyboard oriented band, with some strong riffs in the 3rd song, but more progressive than heavier. They do a great job, althoug I would like to hear something different, with some vocals for example. It's not a bad CD, you can believe. This band works well and knows how to do great progressive suites with heavy elements, but it seems a lot with many bands we can hear in the scene today. More work can be a good idea, more ideas can make a best work. Currently, Meyvn is recording songs for their first full length CD and preparing to play shows all over Texas. Meyvn's first demo! Introduction was recorded on a mobile Pro Tools setup in Meyvn's practice room. The songs turned out well, especially considering that all the engineering and mixing was done by the band. The members on the band are: Drew Creel - Guitar, Brad Olson - Drums, Ken Liao - Bass and Richard Clark - Vocals.  Go for it Meyvn!!   (Comments by Rafael Carnovale)
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04/18/2004...................................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit MEYVN HOME PAGE...
. BLUSHING WELL - "Fragile Human"
Blushing Well is a North-American band, formed in 2002, wants to celebrate the glory of Jesus with a modern rock sound. The Redding Brothes (Heather-Keyboards,Joshua-Vocals,Jeremy-Bass,Jeff and Jared - Guitars) with the helpful work of Brad Cole on Drums and Brad Shelton and Brent Sanders as special guests in Drums and Bass, reborn the grunge from 90's from Seattle with extreme hability. They Believe: God is a person, eternally existing as trinity in unity -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- three persons, yet One God, Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of Heaven and earth.  Inexpressible in His glory and fearfully wonderful in His holiness. "Impressionable", "Safe" and the 70's hard "Rescue" remind our minds to Alice in Chains (with good vocal duets) and slow hard songs like "Rest" and the strong "Freedom I Need" (a sweet piece of southern-rock) are the best moments of this great cd. I have to tell you that i don't like the grunge style, but the personality of this talentous band have sounded very good to me. Great Riffs, a good work on the drums and bass, and the correct use of keys make this CD something special. Blushing Well are: Joshua Redding - Vocals and Programming, Jared Redding - Guitars, Jeff Redding - Guitars, Jeremy Redding - Bass, Heather Redding - Keyboards and Brad Cole - Drums. Good luck Boys!!!...   (Comments by Rafael Carnovale)
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04/18/2004..................................................................More about them please go to BLUSHING WELL HOME PAGE...
. SONIQ THEATER - "A Second of Action"
Alfred Muller born in 1962, taking organ lessons since the age of 12 and first synthesizer when he was 17. At the age of 18 he had his first band. Played in bands of different styles, in 1992 he won the rock-contest Headliner in Germany with his band Rachel’s Birthday, in 1998 he received the Award First Class from the Preston University for his compositions 1999 start his actual project.  Soniq Theater is a one-man band, presenting a mixture of progressive styles, mainly Symphonic Progressive Rock with elements of metal, electronic and classical music, jazz, world music and traces of other styles. As it is a one-man-project, the music only exists on CDR’s and is not planned to be played live. Alfred Muller is a great musician from Germany and a rock workaholic, with so many bands and projects. He formed the one-man-band Soniq Theater in 1999, with his influences of progressive rock as "Pink Floyd", "Genesis" and "Yes". Having released three CDR's (YEAH! the band will not record something in a CD, because Alfred has no plans to play live), this great work, from 2002 brings all the prog-metal fans want: great keys, great mid-tempo songs, and an impressive guitar working. Songs like "The Gold Rush", the eletronic "Elephant Race" the Dream Theater influenced "Centaurus" and the Sweet "Transsiberian Road" make this album a piece of gold to hear if you like progressive bands or new wave. Another great moment is the heavies "Halcyon Days" and "Gulliver's Travel's" (this one could be in a movie). Alfred still createad a beatiful song for the victims of the September 11th, the progressive "Phoenix". Good Job, Alfred. We'll be waiting for a new one. Why don't you play this live? "A Second of Action" Music composed, performed, produced, recorded and mixed by Alfred Mueller. Alfred Mueller uses a midi-system, contsisting of: Ensoniq TS10 as a masterkeyboard, Ensoniq EPS sampler, Yamaha SY85 Synthesizer, Roland JV1080 soundmodule, EMU Vintage Keys and EMU Orbit soundmodules, Alesis DM5 drummodule. Effect processors: Digitec Studioquad Multieffectprocessor, Alesis Microverb III, Ibanez SDR1000 Digital Reverb and Deltalab Effectron I Digital Delay. Tascam 788 8-track harddisc recorder Mixing console: Behringer Eurorack MX2802 and Sony DAT-Recorder. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...   (Comments by Rafael Carnovale)
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04/25/2004............................,.....Interested to know more about the this project? Visit SONIQ THEATER HOME PAGE...
. FLIGHT09 - "Forbidden Lullabies"
Flight 09 was formed in 1986 in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan (formerly USSR). Since 1986 they have played exclusively Progressive Metal. Recently however, they were forced to return to their proto-progressive Hard Rock roots due to the unpopularity of complex music in their hometown (unlike Samarkand, for instance). Now Flight 09 is very proud to announce their new work, titled "Forbidden Lullabies", released by the US' Neurosis Records label and managed by the well-known guitarist/ composer "Rick Ray". Flight 09 has a special touch in their music, they know how to create a special Progressive Rock using some musical feelings from "USA" Hard Rock style, decorated around European Classic Rock, also including Melodic Rock parts and Symphonic elements, everything together but with different ways, some time they play a magic symphonic instrumental moments and, in other parts using classics and hard instrumetal passages. The main highlights are the amazing guitars sounds with tastier´s solos, where they demonstrate their potential into their music, also the heavy drums sounds go on in typical bands around the years 80 but some times blend more modern passages, completing with exceptional and powerful vocals, the singer lay down over the music an inspired voice, giving a special effect to the music. Even though it is difficult to compare their musical style with other bands, but Flight09 could be classified as a modern Progressive Hard Rock band. "Forbidden Lullabies" album was released by "Neurosis Records" and Starless Records (for Russia, etc.). All music & lyrics by I.Savitch, Produced by Progressor, Engineered by Flight 09, Cover artwork by Vladimir Finkilstein and Booklet design by Vlaclmir Impaler. Eight tracks and almost 50min for the best and amazing songs. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "You Got My Love", "Look Around", "Something´s Wrong", "Both To Be Alone" (Is the best), "Shade" and "In The Darkness". The musicians on Flight09 are: Igor Savitch - Guitars, Keyboards, Lead Vocals, Constantine Savitch - Bass, Backing Vocals and Art Piyanzin - Drums, Backing Vocals. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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04/25/2004.................................................,Interested to know more about the Band?  Go to FLIGHT09 HOME PAGE...
. SIX-FING THING - "Self-portrait As A Venerable Shrub’"
It’s quite interesting to listen to an album whose style is almost unique, revealing a strong character of a musician or even a band, that just want to get rid of the daily sameness and express your musical view thru a different way without worrying about any musical trend given to his art. This is Six-Fing Thing, which is led by the texas’ multi-instrumentalist James Cobb. The album in question is called ‘’Self-portrait As a Venerable Shrub’’ released in the year of 2002, and whose musical direction is a bit hard in fact to find similar due to the strong desire of its performer in crossing a lot of sounding borders, thus affording the listener the possibility of coming along, and see how far we can go through his fertile musical knowledge. To be honest, I was not able to understand it at first listening, however, after having another try even more carefully than before, I could finally latch onto the real sense of the album, and appreciate it as it is indeed, even being a little bit different from what I’m generally used to listening to on my daily prog auctions’. ‘’Self-portrait As a Venerable Shrub’’ is really far from  following any familiar tendency, nevertheless it doesn’t really dim its shine at all, mainly because that must be the most probably  intention of his performer, following his own way without looking back to see what was done already by the others. Musically, the album is presented under diverse interplays, mostly between the keyboards as moog, mellotron, piano; And also, it is quite possible to find a lot of stunning interventions of flute, vibraphone, saxophone, and clarinet, besides being plenty of horns too. I would further say it is also possible to find some percussion instruments over the tracks as well. At times some of the songs even seem to verge upon a most familiar musical direction, reminding me of any other progressive rock act, but some of the constant rhythmic changes soon rush forward, and again the introspection flows out, returning to the same starting-point, and the very same originality as well. In spite of all this sonority seemingly disharmonized, the album really took a hold on me, keeping it in fact a shine of its own. However I would say ‘’Self-portrait As a Venerable Shrub’’ is mostly recommended for that kind of listener who is not attached to any familiar prog trend, but that listener who is often attentive to the most inovative musical projects. As I told previously, it is hard to describe the sonority of the music proposed by this band, otherwise, I can surely say the James Cobb’s musical view trends toward an avant garde direction, and as I use to be loyal to my convictions, I better believe in what I have said ever since. ‘’Self-portrait As a Venerable shrub’’ consists of 9 tracks rather long  whose longer song is 16:40 and the shortest one is just an introduction of 1:51, and the total timing of the album is 69 minutes. The line-up of Six-Fing Thing in this work consists of the following musicians: James Cobb - Alto, Soprano, Baritone, Bamboo Saxes, Maui xaphon, Chalumeau, Clarinet, Flutes, Guitar, Vocal, Keyboard and Drum programming, James H. Sidlo - Guitars and Cello, Gabe Herrera - Drums, Johnny Rodriguez - Vocals, Keyboards, Handclaps, Russel Hoke - Banjo and Vocals, Forrest Cobb - Vocal and Bobdog Catlin - udu and vocal.  (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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05/02/2004.....................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit SIX-FING THING HOME PAGE...
. TRUSTIES - "We Just Want to Rule the World"
Trusties is a Irish band and was founded sometime around 1989 by Marko Oikarinen and Matti Ylilauri, who wanted to create minimalistic acoustic rock music where for the first few years the instrumentation of the group consisted of two acoustic guitars, percussion and vocals, the 3rd person in the line-up was at first Juha Lintunen, soon replaced by Mika Kamula. Until 1994 Trusties had released 3 tapes with almost 3 hours of original music, and played over 100 gigs. Late 1994 Ville Veijalainen replaced Mika Kamula, and the group immeadetly started recording their first CD, "Growing Smaller", which was released in 1997. In 1998 it was time to start to record the next album. This time they wanted to use a wider range of expressions & sounds than previously. The core line-up was still the same, but they extended the instrumentation quite dramatically, as they started to use drums, electric guitars and keyboards. The wide palette of acoustic instruments and vocal harmonies were not abandoned, and the result was music, which combined many styles and influences in totally new ways. To be able to perform the new material live, and to explore new musical directions, a fourth member was added to the line-up in 2001. Ari Sutinen , the guitarist from another Oulu-based prog-band Aquaplan, joined in and the group made many gigs in this four-man format. Trusties is not in fact an original Progressive Rock band like "Genesis", "Pink Floyd" or being able to be like "Yes", it would not be correct to make comparisons with these bands. Their music oscillates between influences starting around the Art Rock with some ideas of Irish Folk, adding Hard Rock and Classic Rock elements, also blending some melodic and Heavy Progressive textures and finally they use some rhythmic balances around the drums. But you do not have to deceive yourself, because we can find important highlights on this band and, one of them is the capability to change the instrumental arrangements all time, creating different musical directions on the songs, some of them starting very soft and melodic, almost symphonic and, at the same time acoustic, basically the acoustic guitars, basses and percussions dominate almost all songs, although some times they change a little for a hard instrumental. For one better indication, Trusties has some similar musical feelings with: "Pink Floyd", "Crosby Stills Nash & Young", "Gentle Giant", "Anthony Phillips", "The Beatles"..."We Just Want to Rule the World" was recorded and mixed between early '98 to 2003 in Oulu, Finland. All songs written, arranged, performed, produced and engineered by Trusties. The CD contain 13 songs ranging from a minute and a half to over ten minutes. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Overture", "Universe's End", "Your God", "Messages", "The Ultimate Decision", "A Different White", "In the Forest" and "Everything". The musicians on Trusties are: Ville Veijalainen - Bass, Keyboards, Backing Vocals and Clarinet, Matti Ylilauri - Lead Vocals and Percussion, Marko Oikarinen - Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion and Drums, Ari Sutinen - Electric guitar and Janne Ervelius - Drums. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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05/02/2004..............................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit TRUSTIES HOME PAGE...
. DEIN SCHATTEN - "Das Ewige Elis"
I really think mr Bornzero (the Brainstorm behind Dein Schatten from Germany) is a great fan of Rammstein. This cd is a pure industrial piece of action. Totally sung in deutsch, is a great tune for fans of Depeche Mode ("Dein Schatten" and "Das Tier") and fans of atmospherical music ("Free" is a trip behind our mind and "Tranen Der Sleele" is a soundtrack to your darkiest dreams, or nightmares if you want). Some people can see some elements used by some black metal bands like the eletronical effects of "Gester in Mir" (The Kovenant used a lot of this in their recent cd) and the use of more eletrical guitars in the curiosly named "Wah Wah" (I think Mr. Satriani could have written this one). It is a difficult cd to hear, because it shots in a lot of styles, and some shots worked very well, so.... if you want something very different for industrial and eletronic songs, here's your choice, go into Dein Schatten...  (Comments by Rafael Carnovale)
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05/02/2004.....................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit DEIN SCHATTEN HOME PAGE...
. ODESSA - "Stazione Getsemani"
Speaking about the current italian progressive rock scene is surely as exciting to me as it were probably for those who formerly used to write as well some articles about this musical style on its very golden era; that occasion stunning bands like Le Orme, PFM, Goblin, Ibis, Il Balleto di Bronzo between others were just beginning to show the world how powerful and respectable that scene should really be from that very moment on; Decades went by and all the seeds are grown, and one of the fruits is a fine quartet called Odessa that really came to follow the steps once trodden by its masters and create a music of the very same excellence. The album to be spoken about now is called ‘’Stazione Getsemani’’ issued by Mellow Records in 1999, which I’m sure it hit the market such as a gift for  those overall, who have never renounced their affection for that old sonority once eternized mainly by the captivating sound of the old harmmond organ, which have for ages become a real characteristic of the large majority of italian bands, therefore it seems to me that Odessa’s mainly goal is actually to give sequence to such a tradition, keeping themselves always faithful to their roots; this way ‘’Stazione Getsemani’’ easily becomes that kind of album that can never cover up its origin. The album consists of 9 beautiful tracks, most of them energically performed, at times verging upon a slight jazzy touch in a song or another, but it keeps itself quite faithful overall to its real progressive direction. Also, another important point to be mentioned concerning the album, the songs are all sung in their native language, thus turning this work into a very original one and much more interesting too, seen that this language fits quite well to progressive music. As it generally takes place as well to the most of the italian bands, some corking flute interventions were also introduced to the album, brightening it up quite a lot. Definitely, listening to Odessa’s music is such as a splendid return to the glorious past of italian progressive scene, and who knows this is just the start! Although Odessa makes use of some old instruments as the Harmmond oregan for instance, the band really walks on its own legs, having its way well paved upon all its compositions, otherwise, as the band members come from a very influential country on the sphere of progressive rock music, no wonder if you happen to listen to one song or another that may sound a bit familiar to your ears, that’s quite possible, seen that these boys probably grew up by listening to the greatest progressive rock bands from its country over all these years, so it happened to me, upon listening to one of its songs whose title is ‘’Caronte’’ I could swiftly remember that piece was a bit familiar to me, mainly due to the splendid harmmond organ passages, and the old italian progressive rock band L’uovo Di Colombo was surely its stronger inspiaration overall, nothing bad at all. Odessa’s music is surely going to enchant the listeners who are fond of italian progressive rock scene, mainly those who are still attached to the bands of the stately 70’s. ‘’Stazione Getsemani’’ features the following musicians: Lorenzo Giovagnoli - Vocals & Keyboards, Boris Bartoletti - Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Valerio de Angelis - Bass, Federico Folonzi - Drums, also, Gianluca Milanese as a guest on the Flute. This album is highly recommendable!   (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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06/06/2004.........................,.....Interested to know more about this fantastic Italian Band? Visit ODESSA HOME PAGE...
. KALO - "Spiral Dream"
Love at first listening! this is the way I truly ought to refer myself toward this thundering surprise coming straight from Japan, that hit me last week, and really freaked me out. The band name is Kalo, and the album, which is its debut calls ‘’Spiral Dream’’. This project was previously accomplished some 20 years ago by the skilful multi-instrumentalist Masahiro Uemura, born in Osaka in the year of 1963, and who began playing the guitars at sixteen; Also, by the female vocalist Miori Naritomi, among other musicians not  mentioned namely. Meanwhile Uemura was actively involved with other two successful bands as IO and Fairy, whose both bands, released an only album each ‘’Glass Castle’’ and ‘’Hisperia’’. In 2001 Uemura and Miori Naritomi made up their mind about bringing their sleeping project back to life, and began buckling themselves to it again by re-recording the tracks and also working upon the artwork. Fortunately all this effort resulted in the release of a top-flight album, which sure as shooting I dare to say this album is one of the best releases out in 2004, and I’m sure that I’m not talking through my hat, seen that it has been issued by two renowned record labels, the InterMusic and also Muséa; So that really clinches matter. ‘’Spiral Dream’’ consists of twelve wonderful songs, which only three of them are beautifully performed by Miori Naritomi, who is owner of a crystal clear voice, keeping in fact the very same tradition of the several japanese progressive rock bands that brightly use to opt for having a female singer as their leading vocals, and as usual, the vocals are originally enacted in their native language, which sounds fine indeed. The other remaining songs on the album are purely instrumental, featuring a lot of standout symphonic themes, really able to afford unmeasured delight and emotion to every kind of listener that truly appreciates a good quality music, such as that listener, who is more into the piercing compositions that use to go straight to the heart, by giving vent to the most beautiful feelings often held up inside himself. Since I got this album, it has been on for three times over, and this doesn’t only happen because I’m writing a review about it, the album is captivating in fact and also dynamic, making me realize I may go to the most fascinating spots in the world with no restriction at all. The opening song on the album is simply an epic, whose title is ‘’Dharani’’ that soon features Uemura’s virtuosity in a clear way; obviously giving the listener a hint of what’s just about to come henceforth. Summing it up, the album is musically magnificent on all aspects, not letting at all any true fan of Progressive Rock music indifferent to it, and I’m sure on the long run that everybody is going to come to the same conclusion as I did, seen that the album is performed brillantly by a grade A quartet. The line-up of Kalo consists of the following musicians: Masahiro Uemura - Guitars, Keyboards & Programming, Yan - Bass, Koro Uemura  - Drums & percussion and Miori Naritomi - Vocals. ‘’Spiral Dream’’ is highly recommendable!   (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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06/06/2004......................................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit KALO HOME PAGE...
. CONXIOUS - "Between Arrival and Departure"
ConXious is an Austrian band and was born around 1991,  with three more or less experienced musicians start a band-kind-of-thing, not really knowing, which way to go. Inspired by very different kind of stiles and bands like "Dire Straits", "Santana, "Al DiMeola" and "Bob Dylan" (no hard stuff yet), their music becomes a mixture of these influences. In 1994 a new musician takes over the bass-guitar. The band now is called "Brainstorm". 1996 was the year where Max Kainz (guitars) and Clemens Faerber (vocals) join. With them, everything gets more and more professional and for the next years Brainstorm plays in almost every location in Vienna. Their music evolves more and more to a very individual kind of Progressive Hard-Rock. After the first work, a new name was found, more fitting to their progressive style: "Mindgallery". Then Clemens Faerber (vocals) leaves the band and Max takes the challenge of singing and playing guitar. They begin with the work on "Portraits ... " In 2000 "Portraits" was released in march. Due to the fact, that there was another Prog-band from Canada called Mind Gallery again they change their name into ConXious, In that time, Max and Ina leave the band. At a "Yngwie Malmsteen" concert a conversation between a maniac-headbanger and Alexander starts with the legendary words: Do you play bass? Victor Gabriel joins the band, which adds even more virtuosity and wild live-performance to the band. Around 2002 ConXious are: Alex Ranic Dimoski, Alexander Ghezzo, Victor Gabriel and Michael Ghezzo, with this line up the work on the new album "Between Arrival and Departure" begins, and it was released in the end of 2003. ConXious is a new name around musical scene at the present time. A Progressive Metal made by up four young talented musicians, who know how to represent the honest, elegant and traditional Progressive Metal style. However, we can hear some connections with the traditional Heavy Metal also. The band create strong compositions using special musical ingredients, stuffed with many speed guitars lines including hard riffs, combined with a heavy drums sounds, vocals and bass complements with a special cover to the songs.  ConXious can be considered as an innovative, atmospheric and heavy band with style and influences around of legendery bands such as "Queensryche", "Fates Warning", "Running Wild", "Accept", "Thin Lizzy"  and "Dream Theater". "Between Arrival and Departure" is the second release, the first one was published  under the band´s name "Mindgallery".  All songs and lyrics by Alexander Ghezzo, including twelve tracks.  A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "How Could You", "Don't Fear The Dark", "Manifested Lies", "Turn Around", "Too Many Times", "Since Winter '72" and "The Departure". The musicians on th band are: Alex Ghezzo - Guitar, Victor Gabriel - Bass, Michael Ghezzo - Drums and Albert Leibel - Vocals. Get the new experience of Progressive Metal to your home. Excellent and indispensable work, highly recommendable... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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06/13/2004...............You was curious in knowing more about this band? Then, please visit CONXIOUS HOME PAGE...
. NAILED - "A Face to Hide the Show"
Nailed, is the brainchild project of Hank (Rain) Irving, who in the past formed his first metal Band "Seventh Gate". Lead vocalist for Magna Carta/Roadrunner recording artist "Altura". The actual concept of Nailed was developed years before it would ever surface as a recording act. Hank had always been a major fan of extremely heavy metal music and wished for the opportunity to begin writing and developing a side project that would be extremely heavy, as well as, melodic. Time, however, was not so easy to come by. It would be years before he would be able to get his side-project off the ground. The summer of 2003 provided Hank with the time he needed to begin writing the music that would eventually become Nailed. Upon searching for members to write and record with, Hank continually ran into brick walls. Frank from Altura, Brian Cox from Aether, and Jamie Holt were those that Hank looked to recruit for the project, however, it seemed that time was not just hard for Hank to come by, but for Frank, Jamie, and Brian to come by as well. After coming to the conclusion that he would have to begin the project alone, Hank began to fashion the idea of writing and recording each individual instrument. This idea, considered ridiculous by some, turned out to be the greatest of creative avenues for Hank. While writing and recording in his home studio, Hank began to craft the sound of what was to become a progressive metal masterpiece. Firmly entrenched in big brother Alturas' progressive and often-syncopated styling's, Nailed maintains more of a bruising rhythmic structure, while at the same time, incorporating odd time signatures over dark and beautiful melodies. Aside from the obvious heavy musical and technical prowess of Nailed, the lyrics go against the grain of everyday metal. Instead of perpetuating the negative, Nailed's lyrics accentuate the positive, while at the same time, remind the listeners to maintain a heightened awareness of the dark side. Nailed is, a perfect blend of different ways of metal rock, filled with a variety of all styles where  the Power Metal - meets Classical Rock - meets - Epic Metal - meets - Symphonic Metal - meets - Metal - meets - Progressive Metal - meets Progressive Rock - meets - Melodic Metal, in fact Irving uses a varied compositions, in what refers all styles, leaving behind all new and old musical parameters. The main highlights on this progect are the quitars works, where Irving shows his versatility and also skills with distorted metal guitars solos that really gives the music a special shine, vocals, keyboards and all other instruments into the compositions are full of explorations, disclosing an extreme maturity and talent. Hank Irving wants to play music that is sincere and meaningful, not a specific style but an universal music. "A Face to Hide the Show" chronicles a personal journey. This journey is one in which our subject seeks strength, not only through friends and family, but through growing in his spirituality as well. This record is a collection of experiences that range from falling down numerous times to being utterly disgusted at those who do the same. The idea that "what often disgusts us the most, we are guilty of ourselves" is the driving inspiration behind "A Face To Hide The Show". The album contains ten tracks and was released on February 17, 2004. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "My Necessity", "Seas Of Empitness", "Its What it Seems", "Nailed", "So Far" and "Because Of You". The main musician on Nailed is: Hank Irving - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, and Drums. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable to all Progressive Metal fans... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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06/13/2004.............Would you like to have more informations about this musician? Then, visit NAILED HOME PAGE...
. ALAN WILLIAMSON - "Another Kind Of World"
Alan Williamson is a first class guitar player with over 16 years experience of playing the guitar, he has performed with a number of local top class bands and is currently working with the band "Tyla Gang" In the studio and on the road. A tour of the U.K will be going ahead at the end of 2003 followed by a tour of Europe in March of 2004 and 10 dates in Sanfrancisco at the end of 2004. Alan Williamson is highly trained in the Electric, Classical and Acoustic guitar, has a qualification in the "Music business" and as a "recording engineer". He teaches students privately, at Schools, Seminars & Workshops and at the "Hartlepool recording studios" working with the Teesside Tertiary College, taking students through a "National BTEC in Popular music" and will be giving lectures in the near future on music in general. He is also a member of the musicians union and therfore offers only the very best in tuition, session playing and performing. Alan Williamson will also feature on the "Jools Holland" show at the end of the year 2004 with the "Tyla Gang". Alan Williamson is also working with his own outfit playing and recording his own material. What can I write about this musician? I can write some words and many adjectives as: exceptional musician, amazing guitar player, fantastic, incredible, exciting and energetic music... but I want to say, all written adjectives here are true. Alan is more than a guitar player or, more than a guitar teacher, I could say that it is a magician of the guitars, his music has a powerful atmosphere and, his influences and their musical inspirations comes from around styles as Classic Rock, Progressive Rock, Melodic Metal and Progressive Metal, he uses his musical technical abilities, creating fantastic solos that leave from his guitars, adorned with amazing keyboards, drums and bass sounds. Sometimes the rhythm guitars indicate Progressive Metal, but in otherwise indicate Progressive Rock. There is no comparison with other famous guitar players, but we can say that Alan studied at the same school of "Steve Vai", "Satriane", "Marty Friedman"... More one thing to tell: Alan, please on the next CD add more songs and "long" tracks, we will be waiting for next work. "Another Kind Of World" was recorded between February - April At "Another Kind Of World" Studios Hartlepool 2001, including six tracks. Engineered and Produced By Alan Williamson. All Music Written & Arranged By Alan Williamson. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Wheels In Motion", "Another Kind Of World Pt I", "Another Kind Of World Pt II" and "Fictional Reality". The Alan´s band comprises: Alan Williamson - Lead, Rhythm, Classical, Acoustic Guitars, Bass, Drums & Keyboard Programming, Ken Ward - Drums and Darren Croft - Rhythm Guitars. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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06/13/2004......................Interested to know more about this great musician? Visit ALAN WILLIAMSON HOME PAGE...
. THE AMBER LIGHT - "Goodbye to Dusk, Farewell to Dawn"
From Germany to the world. The Amber Light was formed at first by Lous Gabbiani, Jan Sydow and Rabin Dasgupta on the very threshold of this decade, and soon being together they began developing their own ideas concerning their music, besides being working upon some self-composed pieces since then. After performing along with some guest musicians, all drummers, Peter Ederer was finally teamed up in the year of 2001, and upon the following year The Amber Light got already a 4-track EP on its credit, whose title was ‘’As They Came They Slightly Disappeared’’, which was warmly received by those who had the opportunity of knowing it, and from that moment forth the band decided to go ahead, and show although the road was long, but not quite impossible to reach there, and after  persevering a lot indeed, the result is really this fine album called ‘’Goodbye to Dusk, Farewell to Dawn’’, that I’m now having the pleasure of listening to it. This such expected full-length album was released officially on late February 16th, and it consists of 8 beautiful songs, where most of them are rather long, and always expressed with a lot of sentiment while being performed slowly, however such a calmness is briefly changed into storm at every change on the rhythm session, making anyone of us to wake up from a wink; Thus, on familiarizing a bit more to the album, I could see the band really attempts to make that, calmness and storm to walk together, such as a living characteristic of the band itself. And as mentioned above, all the songs on the album are enacted with a lot of sentiment by Louis Gabbiani, making of his crystal clear voice one of the most important predicates in his band. And although most of the songs are sung in englsih, in a jiffy I could perceive that one of the them was not being sung in that language, but spanish I guess. So far I would say that The Amber Light, along with "Alias Eye" are two united forces, and worth being the most illustrious representatives of the current german progressive rock scene. ‘’Goodbye to Dusk, Farewell to Dawn’’ is quite a fine album, and I’m sure it will be welcomed by the fans of Landberk overall, seen that the music proposed by both can properly speak the same language upon some aspects, as the junction between serenity and strength on most of their pieces for instance, moreover such Louis Babbiani as Patric Helje are quite alike when enacting themes that demand such a melancholic behaviour with a view to elucidate a bit more their art. The Amber Light line-up consists of the following musicians: Louis Gabbiani  - Vocals, Keyboards & Guitar, Rabin Dasgupta - Bass, Jan Sydow - Guitar and Peter Ederer Drums. ‘’Goodbye to Dusk, Farewell to Dawn’’ is highly recommendable!... (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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06/20/2004.................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit THE AMBER LIGHT HOME PAGE...
. NELKO KOLAROV - "The Day of Wrath"
Again the doors of bulgarian progressive rock scene are opened by the "UBP International Records", that has faithfully trusted in their countrymen’s art, and decided splendidly to spread it all around the world. Thus, not only giving us the opportunity of appreciaiting the music of their country, but also helping us widen our musical knowledge. Lucky guys we are in fact for having access to such releases. The album in question here is called ‘’The Day of Wrath’’ by the bulgarian composer, conductor and keyboard player Nelko Kolarov, born in Varna in the year of 1959, who graduated from bulgarian state conservatory in Sofia, in orchestra conducting specialty in the year of 1985, and became afterwards the conductor of Varna Philharmony. One of Nelko kolarov’s most successful projects on progressive music sphere was along with Nikolo Kotzev’s rock opera ‘’Nostradamus’’ that resulted in an album released by SPV Records in the year of 2001. The ‘’The Day of Wrath’’ album, of which I’m now writing about, is the first Nelko Kolarov’s solo project, which consists of eleven tracks, where its total timing is 57 minutes. The album is richly performed by six gifted musicians, one of them is the guitar player Ivan Lechev ex-FSB member, quite a familiar band on progressive rock scene. The music proposed by Nelko Kolarov is best denominated as a Prog-Metal, always emphasizing complex themes, that often demand talent, and also a very diversified musical experience, that surely culminates in somewhat really fair, so this is the very outcome of this album. Nelko Kolarov and his band-mates have surely originated a fine work, that speaks fairly the real language of a high-grade music, through a very well-elaborated work overall, where even its heavier scales are able to transcend the listener to the most distant spheres, and I must really say this is not an easy task for a musical direction that goes halfway between tenderness and rowdiness, so this is the most intriguing stuff, and captivating too. Some of the heavier guitar riffs even remind me of something formerly heard already, sometime in the 80’s I suppose. Concerning some of the songs performed by the vocalist Ognian Tsolov for instance, he reminded me at times of Jeff Scott Soto’s performance, not on the whole album obviously, but in a song or another, and in this case specifically, it should be even amazing to see Jeff Scott Soto singing in the Bulgaria’s native language; At all events, jokking apart, I must take the vocals in fact as an essential point on the development of such a fine work. And just to close this review, I would like very much to congratulate Nelko Kolarov, not only upon his incontestable talent, but also upon his humbleness overall, for never exposing any sort of selfishness or unecessary exhibitionism on his album, thus giving his band-mates a fair opportunity to show their talent; Moreover he also showed through such an attitude a meritous respect for all those who followed up with him in his musical project; Therefore according to my slant, listening to ‘’The Day of Wrath’’ doesn’t only mean to listen to an album by Nelko Kolarov solely, but a band, whose founding father is Nelko Kolarov himself, of course. The musicians who accomplished this project are: Nelko Kolarov - Keyboards, Ivan Lechev - Guitar, Ognian Tsolov - Vocals, Dimitr Dimitrov - Bass, Konstantin Djambazov - Guitar) and Orlin Radinski - Drums. This album is highly recommendable!  (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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06/27/2004............,.....Interested to know more about this Bulgarian Musician? Visit NELKO KOLAROV HOME PAGE...
. HIDRIA SPACEFOLK - "Symbiosis"
As good as the british masters! That’s the way I found to describe one of the most interesting bands that I have happened to know upon these last two months, whose music is  both, pretty and daring. And this is a band, that could well have become almost the pioneer on such a musical proposal if their members were born straight before their masters. The band in question here calls Hidria Spacefolk, which was formed in Finland, most specifically in Hiidenlinna Community in the very end of the last decade, and although they are rather unknown to the most fans of Progressive Rock, I can securely say this band really shake up the masses through their lively music. Well, the band story is rather as follows, after performing numberless jam sessions on Hiidenlinna wintertime, the promising boys decided to drop the rehearsal room to climb the stage, where  a lot of gigs took place in fact; At the same time otherwise, the finn boys were also joining forces to begin recording their debut, which originated a five-track EP as the result of their primary endeavour; nevertheless this nearly home-made release became the open door for the band’s progress, that were shortly after taken by their fans to the highest top for the brillant choice of such a musical direction to follow, whose style is strongly supported ever since by the british masters as "Hawkwind" and "Ozric Tentacles", and in this case, I personally take the Hidria Spacefolk’s musicianship closer to "Ozric Tentacles" than "Hawkwind", except upon the space synths tapestry, though. After releasing their first EP, that was called intimately as ‘’HDRSF-1’’, the band came even so to release another resultful remix material under the title of ‘’Violently Hippy’’ , whose release only took place in Finland, thus becoming a rare material. Finally in August of 2002, a full-length album by the band saw the light, and its title is ‘’Symbiosis’’, of which I’m referring right now on this review. ‘’Symbiosis’’ was released by a small local company called Silence. The album consists of nine exciting tracks, full of beauty and energy from the very start to the end, a real find in fact for every fan of Ozric Tentacles overall. And I personally daresay this band is the closest parallel that I have had already the opportunity to know until then. The total timing of the album is approx 60 minutes,  and the music proposed by this great band is basically instrumental, however it’s possible to find some very infrequent vocals performed by male and female in a song or another, and this really happens very sporadically, whereas the band have mostly concentrated their strength on their portly instrumental base, seen that their music is plenty of unusual instruments as mandolin, sitar, jawharp between others; Besides being of course, chocke-full of flutes, synths, organ and guitars. Due to it all,  I may only say the Hidria Spacefolk’s music is simply captivating on many aspects, seen that it is well-performed, and richly diversified; how so? diversified into its own context of course, on that has given this band the very status as being almost a self-styled one, and I just say ‘’almost’’, seen that bands like Hawkwind and "Ozric Tentacles" came ahead of them with such a musical proposal, and when I say diversified, I say that, seen that such as "Ozric Tentacles" for instance, the personnel of the Hidria Spacefolk also appreciate crossing a lot of musical borders, and much of their experiment is obviously introduced to their songs, thus making this band also a referential anyway, mainly for those who will come from now on, such as Ozric Tentacles have probably been one day to these gifted finn boys anyway. If you are that kind of listener who’s always in search of somewhat new and daring, whose human being is often challenging his own creativity’s limit, the Hidria Spacefolk’s music is surely going to fit your taste, and take you on board to the most fascinating spots across their art. Just close your eyes while listening to their songs, and you could probably experience the same sensation as I did. The Hidria Spacefolk line-up are: Kimmo Dammert - Bass, Mikko Happo - Electric Guitar, Harp & Digeridoo, Teemu Kilponen - Drums, Percussion and Voice, Janne Lounatvuori - Synths, Electric & Acoustic Piano and Organ, Sami Wirkkala - Electric, Acoustic and Midi Guitars, Mandolin, Sitar, Jawharp and  Synth, Teemu Väisanen - Flute, Olli Kari - Marimba, Vibraphone and Percussion, Tuure Paalanen - Celo, Mikko Rajala - Violin and Sabrina - Voice). ‘’Symbiosis’’ is quite an indispensable album at every Progressive Rock fan’s collection. Highly Recommendable!   (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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06/27/2004...............................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit HIDRIA SPACEFOLK HOME PAGE...
. FSB - "Non Stop"
Glad tidings of Bulgaria at sight! Definitively the ‘’Formation Studio Balkanton’’, or simply FSB as this great band are mostly known all over the world, that began on their earlier days as a rock trio, are doubtlessly the most successful progressive rock band from far-off Bulgaria; country whose progressive scene has kept itself very underground for ages, or who knows, not very well spread to the world ever since; otherwise, if I’m wrong toward my viewpoint anyway, I would really like very much to apologize for my ignorance and misjudgement. The album to be reviewed by me this time is called ‘’Non Stop’’, which was originally issued by FSB far back in the mid 70’s, thus kicking off to a series of other band works’ that should be released over their glorious career. However, before starting to express my viewpoint toward this magnificent album, I would firstly like very much to thank the "UBP International Records" for giving us the opportunity of having access to such a topping work, seen that this is one more rescue of a costly treasure, that a large number of people such as myself in the whole world, that couldn’t even dream about owning it in their collection, due to its rarity and high-priced estimation on the very vinyl era overall. Thanks even so, for trusting in this musical genre, and in its artists overall. Going on then folks! the ‘’Non Stop’’ album consists of eight tracks, where all the songs are majestically performed by eight very gifted musicians, that often try to get to perfection through their huge musical experience, and I surely say none of their efforts was in vain indeed, seen that they brillantly got to bring one of the most beautiful albums in this musical genre into light, an album that surely arouses any listener’s interest by its elegance that sounds delightfully to the ears, and make us only see the life by its sunny side fortunately. Oh yes, it’s also worth mentioning that some of the tracks on the album are cover songs by the legendary british band "Gentle Giant", and also the keyboardist "Patrick Moraz", however every listener could quickly perceive there’s a personal touch on these tracks, not dimming the shine of the album at all. ‘’Non Stop’’ blends vocals and instrumental pieces, where the songs are sung in their native language, which sounds exotic, but fine in fact, and too original as things must really be. The album is also extremely rich toward the instrumentation, seen that all the band members are competent on the point of making use of diverse instruments to perform their art, and afford the listener some moments of a pleasant sounding trip. For those whose music by FSB is still unknown, or have just known the band belike by their latest releases, I would say the music presented here specifically in this album, is very close to the bands as "PFM" due to its huge and incontestable elegance; Also Carpe Diem for its effusive sax performances. However it’s obviously otherwise, the FSB members should never fail to find an outlet to unleash their own inspiration, and so every sharp listener could shortly perceive the band had already a bit of their self-characteristic sketched ever since. The line-up of FSB consists of the following musicians: Roumen Boyadjiev - Moog, Synth, Mellotron, Acoustic Guitars, Lead Vocal & Percussion, Konstantin Tsekov - Piano, Harmond Organ, Mellotron, Clavinet, Lead Vocal & Percussion, Alexander Baharov - Electric Bass, Bass Pedals and  Vocal, Peter Tsankov - Drums, Percussion and Congas, Krasimir kamenov - Drums and Percussion, Angel Veznev - Soprano and Tenor Sax, Emil Handzhiev - Percussion and Boris Dinev - Percussion. This album is simply a gem, and  it is also highly recommendable!   (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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06/27/2004.........................................,....................Interested to know more about the Band? Visit FSB HOME PAGE...
. METAPHOR - "Entertaining Thanatos"
After the 2000 release of their widely acclaimed debut album entitled "Starfooted", Metaphor now return with their eagerly-awaited second album. And, as things strangely happen many times to me, I must say this great North American Progressive Rock band have just come into my life via their second effort, whose title is "Entertaining Thanatos", so I´m still unfamiliar with their first effort until such time as it finally gets to my ears. In the meanwhile I'm surely eagerly awaiting that opportunity, which I hope will be soon! Well, let me lead off with a brief story about this great band and its very beginning. Metaphor began at first as a Genesis cover band far back in the last decade, where they undoubtedly became experts in the craft of performing the music of "classic" Genesis, from the so-called Gabriel Era. After accomplishing two successful performances, the boys decided to drop the Genesis material and follow their own way through their self-composed pieces. In 1997 they finally hit their ideal line-up, began regular rehearsals, and finally recorded the band's debut which resulted in their triumph "Starfooted". Now, four years later, their second effort is out - "Entertaining Thanatos" - which isthe subject of this review. The album consists of eight symphonic tracks, all of them quite top-notch, and very well-built harmonically too. The CD contains plenty of great surprises throughout, including the stunning performance of John Mabry's vocals, showing an exuberant versatility in interpreting some hugely intricate themes. Overall the band is certainly made up of talented musicians, each of them really conscious of his responsibility in performing such complex music. All the instruments are beautifully played, in fact it's difficult for me to point out any highlight of one over the other. It appears that all the band members make a great effort to carefully play along with each other, without overwhelming one another, forming in fact a real progressive rock band. And for a band that once was covering Genesis songs, their members are clever at retaining in their music a vivid memory of that past source of inspiration. Such a memory, which is strongly found in most of Metaphor's music, is actually quite welcome, particularly when taken as a rescue of some elements of a style that was left behind long ago by its progenitor, Genesis, who of course had countless moments of glory over their brilliant career, but one day succumbed to pop music appeal. In Metaphor's music, they are acknowledging the legend, and retaining that peerless story to be told by the generations of progressive rock fans to come. Therefore, listening to "Entertaining Thanatos" is far more than a pleasure, it is quite a privilege, seeing that this progressive rock story is full of life and fortunately still far from coming to an end. So, don't let anybody fool you by saying that Metaphor is just one more clone of Genesis. I may even say that the sound of the band is halfway between the past and present of progressive music, with some of the songs strongly visible as being genuine Neo-Prog music, evoking something like style "Arena" and also "Grey Lady Down" at times. It's worth checking out this magnificent album! The line-up of Metaphor consists of the following musicians: Jim Anderson - Bass & Other Low Frequencies, John Mabry - Lead Vocals & Acoustic Guitar, Marc Spooner - Keyboards & Backing Vocal, Malcolm Smith - Electric Guitars, Flute, Synthesizers and Backing Vocal, and Jeff Baker - Drums as a guest musician. "Entertaining Thanatos" is highly recommended!   (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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06/27/2004..........................More about this North American Progressive Rock band? Visit METAPHOR HOME PAGE...
. JESSE BOLT BAND - "The Revelation"
Jesse Bolt Band was originally formed in 1974. The band performed from 1975 until 1981, playing live shows, principally in the eastern United States, and then disbanded. They reunited and performed from 1987 until 1990, before disbanding once again. In the year 2000 the members decided to record a CD of 11 of their original songs, principally because the music industry was not releasing any new 70's and early 80's style rock, and that there was a potentially huge market for it. They utilize three guitars and intertwine guitar harmonies within the songs whenever possible. They have reviews in many magazines and webzines in Denmark, Holland, Germany, Argentina, United Kingdom, Sweden, New Zealand, Norway, and Japan. They formed their own production company known as "Enlightening Entertainment", also taped a 60 second video commercial on the band to be aired on various cable channels starting in January of 2004. During their career Jesse Bolt opened shows for "U2" at the Ritz Theatre in New York City, "Black Sabbath" at the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, NC, "AC/DC" at the Cumberland County Arena in Fayetteville, NC, "Judas Priest" at Towson University in Towson, Maryland, "Kiss" at the Charlotte Coliseum, "Rossington Collins Band" at the Cumberland County Arena, and "Molly Hatchet" at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Virginia and the Masque Theatre in Richmond, Virginia. Jesse Bolt Band must be described as an authentic Heavy Hard Rock band, blending some touchs of pure Heavy Metal also, they show strong influences from famous British bands, their music has a special taste and is very familiar with the sound of the years 70 and 80's. The main element present in the band is the musical combination with three guitars players, talented musicians playing exactly the right kind of guitar riffs, where the sounds alternate around nice solos, sometimes melodious, sometimes heavy and fast, the vocals deserve a special comments, of course Gregg Woodcock has a beautiful and impressive strong voices and fit in excellently with the music, complementing with killer drums sounds. Jess Bolt Band shows maturity and a high confidence in their compositions, playing a tremendous Heavy Hard Rock. The band follow the same musical line as "Whitesnake", "Wishbone Ash", "Rainbow", "Deep Purple" and "Blue Oyster Cult". "The Revelation" was released in March 2003, was recorded at Jake Hunter Music Fort Mill, SC. Engineered and Mastered by Jake Hunter, Mixed by Jake Hunter and Keith Stacy. Produced by Keith Stacy. Including eleven tracks of a pure and incredible Hard Rock. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "We Will Rock", "When Hell Freezes Over", "On and On", "Faded Glory", "Kamikazi", "He Wore Black",  "Law Speaker" and "Rock-N-Roll Man". The musicians on thge band are: Jeff Shinn - Lead Guitar, Don Stacy - Lead Guitar, Keith Stacy - Rhythm Guitar, Gregg Woodcock - Lead Vocals, Max Hill - Drums and Craig Hatley - Bass Guitar. Excellent and indispensable work, highly recommendable... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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07/11/2004...........Want to learn everything about the band and its members, Go to JESSE BOLT BAND HOME PAGE...
. STEREOKIMONO - "Prismosfera"
‘’Primosfera’’ is the title of the second album by the italian trio Stereokimono released  by the recording label "Immaginifica Records" whose owner is the PFM drummer Franz Di Cioccio. I must say at first this band have previously debuted on releasing an album called ‘’Ki’’ about four years ago, and whose album still keeps, unfortunately unknown to my ears. In the back of the album cover we can explicitly find an interesting word whose saying goes as ‘’Psychophonic Oblique Rock’’, and so I suppose this is the very way that the band classify their musical direction, seen that their sonority really follows a very peculiar direction, however, very much welcome to my taste. In truth Stereokimono is one more band that try not to look at a mirror and see another person’s face but themselves, in other words, I mean this band have meritously tried to build their own musical direction without letting any other band to influence them. However it sounds like an extremely hard task on nowaday’s times, seen that all the ways really seem to have been crossed already for those who outpaced, and so the comparisons will ever be made anyway, but it is not impossible at all to fail to recognize there are a lot of vital signs well characteristical of a band that try to pursue their own course distincly, and this is exactly what happens to Stereokimono for instance. Their music is halfway between the psychedelic and the sperimental tendencies, even reaching at times a thin sphere of the avant-garde music so far. It’s worth mentioning however, their sonority is even accessible to any prog fans’ ears, those who are often inclined to listening to remarkable space synths, striking bass and guitars passages, and also an impressive drumming nimbleness folowed by some peerless percussions. I personally identified myself with their music right after listening to ‘’Onda Beta’’ which is the very first track on the album, seen that it really fitted very much well like the opening theme for revealing itself a daring sonority, and at the same time as I tell it about this opening track, it could as well, otherwise represent the very ending of an auction depending upon the listener of course, seen that the sonority of the band is choke-full of some self-peculiarities, giving them anyway, the merited status of a self-styled band. And while listening to their album, I could fortunately, call up a band of the very same excellence, the french band "Nebelnest" for instance, for their spledid capability of joining complexity and energy to their musical pieces, and in this case however, I personally compare both bands’ musicianship towards the development of complex themes, seen that the music proposed by Stereokimono is not so filled with energy as "Nebelnest", but very, very much creative though, even evoking some slight symphonic tunes off and on, as it happens to the second track called ‘’Rosso Di Luna’’, which certainly reveals itself one of the most highlights on the album, which the band could brillantly put the guitar and the keyboards together, giving life to one of the happiest marriages ever heard by me between both instruments. In fact, Stereokimono have become a very exciting surprise so far, and I deeply sorry their debut album is still unknown to me. The ‘’Primosfera’’ album consists of seven rather long tracks, and its total timing is about 55 minutes. I haven’t sincerely enough words to express how much I have appreciated this album, nevertheless I would like very much to invite the proggers in a general way, to have a try in this one, though you dislike such a prog tendency which refers to this album specifically, maybe who knows this is the very beginning of an enduring connection with the other side of progressive sphere. The line-up of Stereokimono are: Antonio Severi - Acoustic, Electric and Midi Guitars, Real and Virtual Keyboards, Electric Hand Percussions, Alessandro Vittorio - Electric Bass, Keyboards, Theremin, Didjeridoo and Tibetan Bells and Cristina Atzori - Acoustic and Electric Drums and Percussion. This album is execelent and highly recommendable...   (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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08/08/20043...................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit STEREOKIMONO HOME PAGE...
. AGENT MOONEY - "Big Plans (no Money)"
Kevin Mooney lead singer/songwriter for Agent Mooney began his musical career playing at the tender age of 10 years old. From church services to school dances, to coffee houses, to the stage Mooney has had the pleasure of working with tremendous musicians and the finest people on the face of the earth. “He has been blessed to have known such wonderful souls in his lifetime.” The son of a school psychologist and a teacher, Kevin Mooney grew up with his 3 brothers and 1 sister in the suburbs of Chicago. In his family education always came first. Attending Northern Illinois University Kevin Mooney received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education (with an area of concentration in music). Later, Kevin Mooney obtained a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois. Agent Mooney is not really a "Progressive Rock Band", but, if you like an original American Country Rock then, they could be a good choice. They have a unique sound and, you bet your life their music will get your attention. The general music style is enthusiastic with pure lyrics and nice vocals, married to beautiful melodies ranging from Country Rock to Classical Rock and driving around Pop Music. Musically and instrumentally they say what they have to say, hopes and dreams in a pleasant music found around bands and artists as: "Poco", "The Doobie Brothers", "The Eagles", "The Band", "Bob Dylan", "Hank Williams", "Graham Parsons" and "Steve Goodman". "Big Plans (No Money)" was recorded in Nashville and Chicago, all lead vocals and songs by Kevin Mooney (except China Grove written byTom Johnston), mastered at Final Stage Nashville, TN by Randy Leroy. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Lightning In A Bottle", "Living The Dream", "Come Home When You Can", "Am I Crazy" and "Just The Way It Works". Kevin (Agent) Mooney recruited Lee Oskar and the dream team of superstars musicians, where their talents blend to create a collage of musical textures.  Highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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08/08/2004..........................................Interested to know more about the Band? Visit AGENT MOONEY HOME PAGE...
. TIM BURNESS - "Finding New Ways To Love"
The history of Tim Burness start at the first school band "Rainbow Warrior", changed name to "Om", played headliner at local theatre in Chesham, Buckinghamshire in late 1978. Om evolved into Ultraviolet and then Perfect Strangers, who disbanded in early 1980 after a handful of local gigs. First studio recordings with next project Crossover in late 1980. Solo recordings in various studios 1981 and 1982. First solo album recorded in 1983. The band Burnessence (right) formed soon afterwards, played local gigs in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire during 1983 and 1984. Second album released 1984. Various line-ups of the band continued to gig extensively throughout the South-East of England, including supports to the then new wave of progressive rock bands as "Pendragon" and "IQ". The music of Tim Burness could be classified into the field of the Classic Rock, with some touchs of Symphonic Rock, specially by the instrumental work, but even mostly Progressive Rock, mainly into the some high moments, creating something special, that´s naturally, informed by his musical influences that comes from musicians such as "Mike Oldfield", "Steve Hillage" and "Steve Hackett", and in some times he uses dynamic musical elements  from bands such as "Pink Floyd", "Yes" and "Deep Purple". Tim Burness is a true musical composer and also, a talented musician, where its music already is highly mature, he uses an instrumental explorations where electronic keyboards sounds work together with soft guitars solos, creating a very energetic musical atmosphere. "Finding New Ways To Love" was recorded between February 2002 and March 2004 in Hove, England. Produced by Tim Burness and JulianTardo. Mastered in Dublin, Ireland by Bobby Boughton, consists of twelve wonderful songs. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Stepping Out", "Returning To You", "Unstoppable Waves Of Joy" (is one of the best), "An Interlude With Monty", "Love Is For Giving", "Tomorrow's God" and "Walk Through The Darkness". The main musicians on this project are: Tim Burness - Guitars, Vocals, e-Bow and Keyboards, Fudge Smith (Ex-Pendragon and Steve Hackett) - Drums, Keith Hastings - Bass, Monty Oxy Moron - Keyboards, Martin Franklin - Percussion and Chris Cordrey - Hammer Dulcimer. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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08/08/2004..............................More about this great songwriter and Guitar player? Visit TIM BURNESS HOME PAGE...
. SAENS - "Prophet In A Statistical World"
After releasing two albums whose titles are ‘’Les Regrets D’isidore D.’’ and ‘’Escaping From the Hands of God’’ the french quartet Saens bring forth again one more new album under the title ‘’Prophet in a Statistical World’’. This newly-born album is a concept one awfully grounded upon the famous literacies as ‘’Time Machine’’, ‘’A Brave New World’’ , ‘’This Perfect Day’’ and also ‘’1984’’. The result is doubtlessly a magnificent symphonic work, that will shortly be able to captivate every listener’s attention who appreciates in fact a work filled with creativity and good taste, which can easily take the listener  to the utmost delight through a music of the rarest beauty. I must say at first, that I have had already the chance of visiting the band’s official website, but I could never check their sonority out, so that’s my very first experience by listening to the music of this great band, and as an absolute fan of french progressive scene, I can only say this band have made indeed a new fan, and strengthened likewise my old viewpoint toward the good music proposed by most of the bands from that beautiful country, which has been continuously supporting the most diverse forms of art over the centuries. The then ‘’Prophet in a Statistical world’’ album consists of twelve tracks, where most of them are long enough by giving the band the real possibility of showing how inspirated the band members were when composing every piece on the album, and the music proposed by Saens by and large, is more into the Neo prog Music often developed by bands like "IQ" and "Arena" between others of course from the fruitful British scene, however I have personally quoted "IQ" and "Arena", seen that both bands have been often looking for a  modern texture for most of their acts, thus making each of their latest release a new surprise. Moreover this french band also keep an exuberant vocal music, beautifully intepreted by Pascal Bouquillard under a plain english indeed, whose lyrics sound fairly good upon his imposing way of vocalizing such as both British bands too. And while listening to music by Saens I could come to the blissful conclusion that this musical genre is really undying, and also able, fortunately to stand the unsparing Media’s hostility, seen that bands like Saens and too many others keep themselves faithful to their principles for not showing any intention of giving way to the easy-profit music. According to my point of view the music proposed by Saens is quite a genuine Neo Prog Music, however their sonority can certainly take the listener by a great surprise upon a passage or another, and remind him of any other stunning stuff from the past. Me for instance, was quite astonished when I had the pleasure of listening to a seven minutes song on the album called ‘’Forbidden Dreams’’ where a prevailing church organ stood by over the whole piece, really reminding  me of old tunes, and the surprises didn’t actually stop there, a lot of others were being revealed little by little until the whole album finally came to its very end, and so afterward the whole listening I could then see that, affording moments of pure delight seemed to be in fact the main goal of a band that employed an all-time enthusiasm followed by a huge competence on what they were set to do in fact, therefore the outcome is an album surprisingly filled with subtle songs that will be certainly hammering into the listener’s mind for a few weeks through until he can appease at last his salutary vice by finding another great album once again, and thus making such a vicious cycle go on without letting up whereas the progressive music reveals itself as important as the oxigene for most of us who really love this musical genre. Concerning the instrumental presented on the album, I must really say all the band members are awfully skilfull where each one of them develops their work majestically, being clearly visible each one’s talent individually, and as we are talking about the third album of a steady band, it’s obviously they show a lot of maturity on their performances, being even hard for me to say the album emphasizes plentifully this or that point, seen that  the band have developed a very cohesive direction ever since, thus making of their sonority a very special music to be soon absorbed by that kind of listener overall, that appreciates a music that touches inside of his sensibility. It’s also worth mentioning the very first edition of this work comes with a bonus CD whose title is ‘’Dodecamania’’, which features three long tracks. However I haven’t unfortunately, any effective ground to tell anything else about this bonus CD whereas I have just got another version of this release, which doesn’t include the aforementioned material; Anyway I wouldn’t really doubt at all the good quality of such material, seen that this band have stepped forward and enjoyed a good repute. Saens consist of the following members: Pascal Bouquillard - Lead Vocals, Bass and Classical Guitar, Benoit Campedel - Guitars and Keyboards, Vynce Leff - Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards and Wind Synths and Stephane Geille - Drums. ‘’Prophet in a Statistical World’’ is a highly recommedable album.   (Comments By Sergio Motta
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08/08/20043...........................Want to learn everything about the band and its members, Go to  SAENS HOME PAGE...
. GREG RAPAPORT - "Azrael Block"
Greg Rapaport is a seven-string guitarist whose musical focus is a combination of instrumental progressive-metal and jazz-fusion. Currently living in Cortland, New York (Northern Westchester County), he writes and records his own material in his project studio. A seasoned player of 25 years Greg Rapaport has grown into a competent songwriter and soloist. Continuing to develop as a songwriter and musician through instruction and constant practice, Greg Rapaport would like to record and release many interesting and musically diverse projects in the future. Since investing in an in house project studio he has been able to write and record four solo projects. This allowed him to gain engineering and production knowledge which proved advantageous in making a quality recording. The first CD, "Waiting for Darker Skies", is a combination vocal and instrumental project while "Artifacts" and "Wyrd" are both instrumentals. Teaching part time has also helped widen his scope musically while providing many new and different musical perspectives. Do not consider Greg Rapaport, as another guitar player into the Progressive Rock Metal Music scene today. He can be considered as a high technical guitarrist and an owner of a respectable discography, his music features special arrangements of Heavy Metal style, adding progressive rock standards, but in some times he blends Jazz Fusion and Classic Rock also, then joining these musical elements, he created an energy and powerful instrumental, some thing with a taste of melodic, soft, nothing aggressive, but with some heavy passages, capturing a vast array of texture and guitar colors. His musical styles are around of "Scott Henderson", "Michael Schenker", "Allan Holdsworth", "Steve Vai", "Satriane" and "Marty Friedman". Greg Rapaport is an excellent addition to an instrumental guitar fan's collection. "Azrael Block" is his new venture into instrumental fusion and probably his most ambitious project. Twelve songs and 75 minutes long, this recording was the most challenging and time consuming to make. He concentrated on trying to take the production to the next level and to incorporate new sounds and textures. He also concentrated on giving each song its own identity and making sure it was unique and cool. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Azrael Block", "Sever", "Tech Support", "Interlude - A", "Uncle Knucklez", "Flatline", "Deceiving The Industry", "Difunckt" and "No Solace". Greg Rapaport plays: 6 and 7 Strings Guitars, Bass, Keyboards and Programming. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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08/08/2004.............Interested to know more about the this great Guitar player? Visit GREG RAPAPORT HOME PAGE...
. DR. NO - "El Bufó De La Cort"
Hitting the target, how so? At first, on visiting the Dr. No Website without even knowing anything of their sonority I thought to myself that  band performed any sort of Neo prog music such as "Marillion", from the so-called "Fish" era overall, and I came straight to such conclusion on casting an eye over a band member’s photo, of which had his face painted such as "Fish" used to do upon "Marillion" live performences’, but now right after listening to the music by Dr. No, I could then see that I had just hit the mark by supposing the band sonority verged in fact to a Neo Prog trend, not following specifically the Marillion’s direction, even though the band members are creative musicians, and they try not, obviously to keep the band personality aside. Anyway the most important thing to say here now is, the final result is quite a spledid Neo Prog album of the very same karat as too many others ever released, not only by Marillion of course, but also by "Pendragon", "Eris Pluvia", "Tempus Fugit", "Clepsydra" between others around the world. ‘’El Bufó De La Cort’’ is then the very debut album by Dr. No, an album issued in 2003 under the band members’ expense at first, being remastered and re-released later by the dutch label Xymphonia Records, the then album features nine first-rank tracks, really able to top every fussy listener’s expectation, seen that the music proposed by this great spanish band is elaborated with a very special care by musicians, who didn’t hesitate in throwing their soul into such a noteworthy project, whose music is entirely able to captivate the listener straight upon the first listening due to its constant beauty often followed by grandiosity where guitars and keyboards harmoniously walk hand in hand across a sounding stroll, really culminating in memorably instrumental passages.The music by Dr. No is really that kind of music, when listened early in the morning straight before going to work, that very day will surely become a blissful one, which everything will succeed positively to your life, seen that this band seem to have created a music from the heart, evoking honesty and a lot of sentiment on what they were really set for doing. Also, I would like to tell about another interesting point upon the music by Dr. No, the language employed on the songs by the band is the catalan, which is the spanish dialect spoken in Cataluña, a language that really sounds different from the traditional spanish, but very, very much beautiful, and also exotic anyway. On the whole, the nine tracks that feature the album are all at the very same balance, really being unecessary of me to quote any highlight on it, and although I still remember mentioning that this album is a genuine Neo Prog one, I must further say this one will also be certainly appreciated by the fans of "Camel", seeing that some of the guitarworks evoke much of Andy Latime’s feeling. One more info upon the tracks before penning off, from the nine tracks that feature the album, two of them, the last two tracks specifically are live recordings taken from a concert performed by the band in January 30th, 2004 at La Rulot Hall - Barcelona. This album is for that kind of listener, that appreciates overall, a very special music, that warm the people’s heart ever. The members and contributors of Dr.No in this album are: Enric Pascual - Vocals, Drums and Keybaords, Conrad Dubé - Bass, Backing Vocals and Keyboards, Pere Mestres - Guitar, Dani Anguera - Some Guitars and Jaume Moncusí - Sound Engeneer. This album is an essential item at every prog fan’s collection. Highly recommendable...   (Comments By Sergio Motta
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08/15/2004..............................Want to learn everything about the band and their history, go to DR. NO HOME PAGE...
. JACOPO GALLI - "Timedrops"
Here’s another nice surprise coming straight from Italy, and keeping this country right down as usual, like a fruitiful ground for Progressive Rock Music. This time I will refer myself to Jacopo Galli, who is a multi-instrumentalist, born in North Italy, specifically in Pavia town, some 30 Km away from Milan. Jacopo Galli began playing the guitar in 1984, and the keyboards in 1992, and in the very year of 1994 he then started singing too. Right before making his mind up about performing his own songs as a multi-instrumetalist, he took part hereat in two bands called Bad Attitude and Inner Maze, of which in this last one he stuck by for nine years by playing the guitars and also leading the vocals. The album by Jacopo Galli that I have  it right here now is entitled ‘’Timedrops’’, and this material has got recently to my hands by courtesy of the Risestar Promotion Agency, which has been responsible for the album promotion. ‘’Timedrops’’ is really an album crammed with enjoyable surprises because this gifted musician keeps a very creative spirit upon creating such a complex music in its whole,  which demands a deep musical knowledge by its performer, mainly when this one is performing all the instruments by himself as in this case specifically. This solo project by Jacopo Galli proposes quite a remarkable Prog Metal Music, very much enjoyable to the ears in fact, even if the personal listener’s taste does not fit much into this Progressive Music sphere because his pieces keep a perfect balance between tenderness and excitement, and it all  ends in fact by envolving the listener in a certainly befitting way where he, the listener, also ends otherwise, by discovering that he is straight before one of the most beautiful and creative albums in this very musical genre, which become amazingly enjoyabale to realize this work was awfully developed by an only person. Therefore, I can only say here that Jacopo Galli is quite a standout musician, and his art presented here is grandiosely fine likewise. The ‘’Timedrops’’ album consists of eight tracks where the shortest track is 3:51 while the longest one is the album title song 12:25. His music is fine by and large as previuosly mentioned, and although he plays the whole instruments on the album, just as a lively Prog Metal characteristic, his music also emphasizes most the guitars and also the keyboards, thus putting both instruments into an all-time evidence, always however, employing a fertile creativity followed up by an unquestionable talent overall. As told by himself sometime, his favorite bands so far, are "Fates Warning", "Dream Theater", "Angra", "Symphony X" and "Megadeth" between others... According to my viewpoint, a bit of his sonority, mainly the guitars reminded me of a fine Prog Metal band from Brazil called "Vesânia", but only the guitars I mean where as the brazilian quartet of which I refer now perform a purely instrumental music. Another interesting point to be mentioned here is the track number 7 on the album whose title is ''Keys  to Imagination’’, which belongs to the greek musician "Yanni", so this song appears here as a cover song of, under another artistic reproduction though; And in this case particularly, Jacopo Galli emphasized plentifully his guitar capabilities while "Yanni" opted mostly for emphasizing the violin and his keyboards of course. According to my slant both versions are splendid anyway. This album will certainly please all those who appreciate a high-grade music, such as that sort of album that keeps on playing over and over until the listener purchases another great one again. ‘’Timedrops’’ is highly recommendable...  (Comments By Sergio Motta
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08/15/2004...............................,.....Interested to know more about this musician? Visit JACOPO GALLI HOME PAGE...
. SCOTT MOSHER - "Inferno"
Scott Mosher has been a recording musician for over 12 years and a graphic artist for 4 years, and an award winning "allaroundniceguy" since birth. Currently he has not toured the world, he has not won an MTV musical award, he has not been featured in any Pop-culture revival metal magazines, he has not been a guest host on any late-night TV programs (although he did lobby the Arsenio Hall Show in 1990 as the 'doomed to a life of mediocrity guy' to no avail). He has yet to win a Nobel Peace Prize or the Kentucky Derby, but as an avid film-goer, movie buff, musician, graphic artist, social activist, environmental advocate, animal rights dude, cat-sitter, Dr. Pepper afficionado, imaginary Micro-biologist, he's continuously working on new music, indulging in binges of Vanilla coke, petitioning Peter Jackson to direct "The Hobbit" and watching for dragons in the sky. Scott Mosher plays an emotional instrumental Progressive Rock that you will never forget, a blend around styles as Progressive Metal, Symphonic Rock and mainly Electronic Space Rock, adding passages of Ambient Music, an intense collection of symphonic arrangements, rich themes with an amazing instrumental content around the keyboards, guitars and drums, all arrangements have a powerful dimension, with many synthesizers and electronic textures, driving an amazing instrumental atmosphere with sounds that leave from the music for an exterior space, adorned by intense guitar solos and harmonic vocals. Comparisons are hard to make, but we can say:  - The Scott Mosher´s music sounds as a blend of influences among the electronic music from "Tangerine Dream", together with the Progressive Metal from "Dream Theater". "Inferno" is Mr. Mosher's third CD (following Virtuality in 2001 and Ambient Earth in 1996) and continues in his tradition of synthesizing heavy Progressive Rock and Electronic Music. The album was released in 2004, all music composed, arranged, and performed by Scott Mosher, art direction, graphic design, and photography by Scott Mosher, includind ten songs where all them are relatively long. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Inferno",  "Dark Sun", "Left Behind", "Exile" (is one of the best), "The Engines Of Industry" and "The World Fades To Gray". The main musicians on this project are: Scott Mosher  - Guitars, Keyboards (Synthis/Programming/Sequencing), Vocals and Percussion and Todd Corsa plays: Guitars and Lead/Harmony Vocals. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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08/15/2004..........................Want to learn everything about this great musician? Visit SCOTT MOSHER HOME PAGE...
. VAGH - "Into The Future Zone"
Two years after releasing his debut album entitled ‘’Sands of Time’’, the swedish guitarrist & keyboardist Robin Vagh is back with a brand new album called ‘’Into the Future Zone’’, which I have got it recently by courtesy of Risestar Promotions. Unfortunately I don’t know his debut album, however, after listening to his latest release, I could plainly imagine that there’s still another great album to be discovered in times to come. Vagh proposes a topping heavy-styled music, many times evoking the sonority of the most expressive bands and musicians from the far-gone eighties due to his splendid guitar riffs, that easily transcend the listener to another dimension, mainly those who had the privilege of living upon that fertile decade for heavy music in a general way; So in this project, Vagh really seems to feel the need of going for that remarkable sonority once eclipsed away by the time, making thus of this very act such as a rescue of a precious jewel. My first contact to his music was delightful in fact because I could thus return right away to my halfling past, and remember of great bands, that really took their magnificent contribution to that musical scene, and if we are currently going through another stunning moment on such musical sphere, we ought to thank to them for taking one of the first steps forward, and making of this genre a great and respectful one worldwide. The ‘’Into the Future Zone’’ album consists of twelve tracks, that besides proposing an energic music in its essence overall, it’s also possible otherwise to disclose a lot of melodious songs on the album, that keep the listener’s heart throbbing in a way as if new lively sentiments were flowing inside on the verge of making him see life is worth. It all is only possible to come about in fact when performed by somebody who put his soul into his art and accomplish it with honesty followed up with love and competence. That’s the music proposed by Vagh in fact, which is awfully able to turn sadness into joy through a simple guitar riff, or even on a keyboards passage, which is plentifully found in his music too, and while the album is on, the listener could also perceive some Hard Rock tendencies at Vagh’s music due to some agressive keyboards such as a Hammond organ in the background featured in a song or another. Also, the vocals are beautifully performed by the lead singer Jonas Blum, and other gifted guests, that contributed as well by performing some songs, introducing them under different vocal timbre, and it all really turned out well on the long run, seen that  none of the songs lost any strength due to every singers’ individuality, really outstanding!. I don’t see here any need of quoting highlights on the album, seen that all the songs are in the same level in qualitative terms, and in fact Vagh and his band-mates were very happy on choosing such a splendid repertoire, making of this album a great one, and really worth being at every listener’s collection. I personally suppose this album is going to hit the fans of "Whitesnake", mostly those who appreciated the band when featuring "John Sykes" on the guitars; And the fans of the dutch guitar player "Vandenberg" won’t be indifferent to this work either. The line-up of the band are: Robin Vagh - Guitars & Keyboards, Jonas Blum - Vocals, Anders Rosell - Drums & Keyboards and Jan-Ake Jönsson - Bass. The guests are: John Marshall Gibbs, Axemen David Persson and Henrik Hansson - Vocals, special guest Noomi Strägefors vocals on "Moment of a touch" and "Don´t turn away". Highly recommendable!...  (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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08/22/20043....................................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit VAGH HOME PAGE...
. PESNIARY - "Gusliar"
Better late than never! after too long since this album had been released for the first time far back in the 80’s by Melodiya Records, today the Boheme Music (BMR), which is doubtlessly the most important russian label on progressive rock music, has brillantly rescued this masterpiece on the threshold of this decade, and thanks to CD creation, seen that too many people not so priviledged financially are just now having the chance of knowing this majestic work, whereas on its vinyl edition not so many of us outside of russian territory had access to this treasure. ‘"Gusliar" is the title of the album performed by this great russian band called Pesniary, whose music developed by Igor Luchenok and arranged by Vladimir Muliavin. The then album consists of an only and extensive song with a total timming of 36:42 minutes, and this work is grounded on the ‘’Kurgan’’ poem by the poet Yanka Kupala, quite a challenge to turn a literacy into such a well-structured piece, and in fact the outcome was  worth overall, and ‘’Gusliar’’ ended by turning itself into a splendid concept album ever produced in that far-off country, and although it consists of an only song on the whole, it is never pointed to an only direction because its themes are often switched from an atmosphere to another, where its performers were cleverly able to change this piece into several movements. And although the album can brightly show off its fair instrumental predicates, the vocals are also simply remarkable, becoming gradually one of the highlights on the album, always followed by an intense grandiosity such as those generally performed at every opera exhibition; Thus being properly possible to characterize this album like an opera rock. Still concerning the vocals, they are all sung in the byelorussian language by male and female singers, besides featuring as well a stunning choir on the background, and although this language sounds unfamiliar in fact, it is beautiful and melodious, fitting quite well for such a piece, where the singers’ emotion is often followed by the pleasure of enacting their art. I personally take ‘’Gusliar’’ as a true masterpiece for all it has represented to me since the first time I had the chance of listening to it, and I say that not as a reviewer, but as a fan of this marvellous musical style; The beauty of this work is quite unmeasured, and the talent of its performers deserves a lot of my esteem due to the most beautiful feelings their art can introduce to my heart each listening; Unfortunately otherwise, it is pity this album certainly runs the risk of being misunderstood by some listeners, mainly those who are most attached to the current sonority, whose ears are almost never allowed the chance of flirting in other musical territories. Moreover this album is strongly influenced by the sonority of the seventies, and I personally take the italian bands as its main goal, and I would further quote Alusa Falax at first for the corking sax passages and some nostalgic moments. With the exception of the language of course, it is possible this russian sextet can also remind the listener of others italian bands because the music performed by Pesniary expresses the very same beauty and sentiment, many times taking the listener to a deep state of reflection toward everything around himself, and also around this puzzled world that we all have been living in. Pesniary consists of the follwoing musicians: Vladimir Muliavin - Guitars, Vocals & Keyboards), Valery Daineko - Cello, Vladimir Tkatchenko - Bass, Cheslav Poplavsky - Violin, Vladislav Misevitch - Vocals & flute and Mark Pekarsky - Drums. This album is highly, highly recommendable.  (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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08/29/2004.........................................,...........................................................................NO HOME PAGE AVALIABLE...
. LELIO PADOVANI - "Unknown Evolution"
Born in Parma town, Northern Italy. Lelio Padovani is a well-known guitar players all over his homeland, and also abroad. He began playing the nylon-stringed guitars still young with the precious help of his elder sister when focussing mostly the Beatles’ songs that very occasion. Besides playing the guitars, he also adventured himself at learning how to play the bass and the drums, but decided to return to his foothold shortly after, the guitars, of which he took lessons from Chris Amelar and Harry Jacobson, besides graduating at a private school under the guidance of Alex Stornello. After releasing a demo material and receiving a lot of warmful reviews, Padovani then decided to work upon a full-length album, and show much of his skilfullness as composer and performer to a wider audience. His debut album to be mentioned here calls ‘’Unknown Evolution’’, that was issued in 2002 as an independent release. The album features nine gorgeous songs, which show entirely how talented and creative this italian musician is upon creating songs that harmonize perfectly well the acoustic and the electric guitars, reaching out deeply every listener’s heart by setting his feelings on through a music whose aim is to speak straight to the listener’s sensibility. The music of Lelio Padovani certainly expresses much of his personality, seeing that most of his pieces sound uniquely, as composed by a self-styled artist, that has built splendidly a trademark for his work. Also, an essential info upon the album is to say that it is awfully instrumental where the shortest song is 2:15 and the longest one is 6:23. The music proposed by Padovani follows an entirely symphonic direction, where it’s possible to appreciate the beauty of a music that reflects right down the inspiring state of a composer, that just expect finding the very satisfaction at the face of those who joyously share his work and his delight in creating it. Really, Padovani when playing his guitar seems to hit a new musical sphere where he invites the listener to share with him of his great discovery by creating a music that will surely help people find again some joy for their lives, and also a reason to keep on struggling continuously for their happiness. His guitars really thrill everyone’s sensibility because his songs are beautiful and full of harmony, where he, Padovani and his band-mates show off a standout talent indeed, making of this album a great find overall. The music featured at Padovani’s album is a good start in fact for those who are not used to paying attention to an awfully instrumental work, so I suppose this release will surely change your view regarding every instrumental albums from now on. The musicians involved in this project are: Lelio Padovani - Guitars, Davide Corradi - Drums & Francesco Signifredi - Bass. ‘’Unknown Evolution’’ is highly recommendable!  (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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08/29/2004....................................Interested to know more about the Musician? Visit LELIO PADOVANI HOME PAGE...
. POTION 13 - "Porte-Bonheur"
A sudden and enjoyable surprise coming straight from Canada has just hit me a few days ago, and such surprise, of which I refer doesn’t only happen by the fact of having quite a high-grade music here, but by the fact of knowing an interesting quartet, that bring an only man to their line-up while the other three band members are gifted girls. This great band whose name is Potion 13 even reminded me of the legendary Heavy Metal band called "Girlschool", whose girls were able indeed to put the female universe in full evidence on heavy music sphere, that was until then restricted to bands formed by men only. At all events, in spite of mentioning such semblance amongst both bands, I don’t mean at all the music proposed by both bands affords in fact the same flavor, though they are inclined to creating a heavy-styled music, but in this case, Potion 13 feature their music under an actual sonority, being exactly on the same level as other great bands around their generation. Potion 13 started activities in the year of 2002, and throughout that very year they debuted with a top-hole album entitled ‘’Porte-Bonheur’’, that consists of ten energic tracks whose songs are beautifully sung in the french language, sounding quite different from most of Heavy Metal works ever published, whereas most of them are sung in english. All the songs on ‘’Porte-Bonheur’’ album are well-built on all aspects, splendid guitarworks from the start to the end, striking bass and magnificent drumming peformances, being possible to find in each band member a perfect personal contribution with a view to create a respected and appreciated music by everybody who really loves a work of good quality overall. This is in fact the music proposed by Potion 13, really a band, that many of us will still hear about them in times to come because I’m sure enough that other stunning albums will be released by them, mark my words. As a vivid characteristic of the style, the guitars are most in evidence than the other instruments, so the stuff goes on this way here too, though the bass and the drums often try to face the guitars with a view to get rid of its supremacy, changing this friendly quarrel into a great appeal on the album, even on the point of fructifying further every song on it. I wouldn’t actually like to quote any highlight here because I personally take the whole songs on the album as the same quality conditions, that I congratulate the band upon the choice of a splendid repertoire, and whose listener has been the main beneficiary for acquiring quite a fine album in its whole, and I’m sure he will never stand in need of skipping any track while listening to the album. As I understand it, the band have been currently performing numberless gigs around their country, always keeping a loyal  audience wherever they are, seen that their live appearances are often turned into a topping event. Good gig followed by good music, what more can people expect from such a perfect quartet? Well, while the people who live outside of Canada haven’t had the chance of going to their gigs, I would then like to propose them to check out the music by this great band on purchasing the ‘’Porte-Bonheur’’ album, I’m sure it will be quite a great acquisition. The line-up of Potion 13 consists of the following musicians:  Danielle Langlois - Vocals and Lyrics, Annie Leclerc - Drums, Brian Harps - Guitars and Nathalie Baril - bass. This album is highly recommendable...  (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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09/12/2004.............................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit POTION 13 HOME PAGE...
. VOX TEMPUS - "In The Eye Of Time"
I have got recently a demo CD from a very promising US Heavy Prog band called Vox Tempus, the material to be mentioned here features only 3 songs, but quite stunning, that after listening to it carefully, I was convinced in fact that this band would really have a lot of doors opened up as soon they introduced their material to any specialized label because the band stand quite an immense potential on the point of becoming a well-known one around the world, such as "Dream Theater", "Fates Warning" and "Queensrÿche" amongst others that follow up the same musical direction. As I have mentioned previously, this material is a demo CD, that features 3 songs whose title are ‘’For Every Life’’ 6:17, ‘’Revelations’’ 7:41 and ‘’What About’’ 7:39. Fortunately the band have plans to release a full-length CD very soon, so much more of their musicianship could be appreciated by us who love this musical genre. In the beginning I thought their sonority revealed a lot of maturity for a band that’s just taking their first steps forward, but on reading a bit about every member’s musical experience, I could then see that Vox Tempus were formed after the breakup of other two bands called "Takara" and "Equinox", so I could find henceforward the answer for explaning the provenance of such standout maturity often revealed by them on every track of their CD. The music proposed by Vox Tempus is awfully exuberant on all aspects, the vocals are beautifully conducted by a very gifted singer, and whose voice is quite gougeous. Concerning the instrumental, many of the instrumental passages disclose a peerless grandiosity, of which makes of this band’s music somewhat very, very special, a music to be taken in fact as an encouragement for life, seen that each band member seems to throw his soul into  this project, whose aim is to afford the listener  delightful moments while helping him get rid of a bit of his daily disappointments, whose listening fits well enough after an exhaustive day at work. This is the music proposed by this promising band, a music made with love and an immense honesty overall. So I have appreciated their music quite a lot, even on the verge of being very hard for me to specify where I could really find the most essential point on the band structure, however I can’t do it at all whereas all members are quite competent by contributing equally to the development of the band. So as I take it, the band besides following the self-characteristic of the genre, their members also reveal an important sense of fellowship, not exposing anyone individually. Before concluding this review I would like to say if the listener expects a Prog Metal Music filled with emotion and good taste, this band won’t frustrate you at all, so it’s worth waiting ‘till they are all set for releasing a full-length CD at last. Vox Tempus are: Ray Mantor - Guitars, Dan Reed - Vocals, Eric Ragno - Keyboards, Jim Turba - Bass and Gregg Bissonette - Drums. Although being just a demo CD, this material is highly recommendable...  (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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09/12/2004.........................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit VOX TEMPUS HOME PAGE...
. GODON - "Armagodon"
At the origin, it is a family story, entirely centered on the performing stage. Growing up since their earliest childhood in contact with troubadours and theatre actors (Aix-en-Provence, TEX), the Godon  brothers never stopped, during their childhood, to go on the stage for classic, jazz and modern dance shows directed by their mother, a dance teacher and former dancer from the Opera of Strasbourg and the Opera of Nice. They rapidly steadily went in for guitar and legerdemain for one, and drums and clownery for the other. In 1998, after a remarkable participation and a four-tracks disc with the quintet of Laurent Cagnon, the harmonicist from Limoges, the two brothers recorded their first single, "J'ai tué le shériff", a French adaptation, with a jungle / break-beat  touch, of Bob Marley’s worldwide hit "I shot the sheriff". The song was plebiscited  on about fifty FM French radios. It is finally in 2003 that they created their own group, Godon, in which their nearly telepathic complicity can actually express itself. Dominique’s texts and Laurent’s four strings, expression and groove, words and gestures. Sébastien adds the riff. Olivier and Martin start it up. The result is there: a dynamic, free rock committed into authenticity. Godon is a case where we find a mixture of many influences, the music made by these talented musicians combines a diverse experience in a dynamic blend of musical styles, where the Hard Rock meets Progressive Rock that blends with Heavy Metal, at the same time also blends Progressive Metal and include some avant-garde and jazz fusion passages. The vocals on this band are in french and deserves a special attention, consistent, strong and sometimes agressive gives the music a special dynamic effect, into the arrangements, the electric guitar is the front instrument, with many heavy and distorted solos, combined with solid and heavy drums, decorated by a soft bass sound. Godon is a mix of bands such as "Rush", "Dream Theater" with "Ange". "Armagodon" album was released in March 2004 and the album contains ten good songs. A special and particular attention goes to the songs: "Etinamu", "Démoncratie", "Mastodonte", "Controverse", "Roots",  "Oil" and " Transitions". The main musicians on the band are: Dominique Godon - Lead Vocals, Laurent Godon - Bass, Sébastien Verlhac - Guitar and Background vocals, Olivier Martinez - Drums, Martin Bouny - Drums (substitute), Bertrand Lavergne - Sound Engineer. Brilliant and an indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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10/10/2004....................................,.....Interested to know more about this amazing Band? Visit GODON HOME PAGE...
. IN-TENSION - "Fragments"
The Dutch progressive rockband In-Tension exists in it's current line-up since late 2002. In 1998 the band was started as Symphus, with as biggest influences progressive metal bands like Symphony X and Dream Theater. After some changes in line-up and style finally in 2002 the band finds the musical direction it wants to follow: an easily recognizable own sound with influences from both Progressive Rock and fusion. The band members have acquired their reputation with bands like In "Cryptic Form", "Inner Strength", "Refrain", "GuessStation" and "Images and Dreams" and two of them graduate this year at the Rock Academy in Tilburg. The music of this new Dutch band is extremely melodic and symphonic, in some parts very hard with a powerful work, including technical arrangements in all compositions, filled with many instrumental variations. In-Tension follows the traditions of pure Melodic and Symphonic Progressive Metal Rock fronted by a female vocal, a wonderful and soft female voice, that it interacts very well with the symphonic keyboards sounds, but all the arrangements are driven by fantastic and incredible guitars solos that really shine on all songs, other highlights include the hard and heavy hitting drums and the bass lines. In-Tension has an extremely beautiful music, based into an elegant and traditional symphonic style, creating a perfect musical atmosphere. There is no limit to In-Tension music, they know creating and playing an amazing Melodic Progressive Metal Rock. If you want some comparisons around others bands, then join the energy of the "Nightwish" with the musical beauty of "Within Temptation" and the pompous symphonic music of  "White Willow" and "Mostly Autumn". Now, I will be really expecting fantastic things from this band in the near future. "Fragments" was recorded and mixed in the beginning of 2004, mastered at Sync Music Productions, Breda Drums recorded at Double Noise Studio, Tilburg. Produced by Pieter Kop and In-Tension,  "Fragments" is an independent production.  A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Unbreakable", "Too Much of Anything", "Mind's Illusion", "World of Illusions", "I Still Remember", "Frozen Memories", "Way" and "Empty". The musicians on In-Tension are: Noortje van de Voort - Vocals, Maarten Spoor - Drums, Nelis van Lierop - Piano and Synthesizer, Robin Zielhorst - Bass and piano and Ruud de Boer - Guitar. Fantastic, brilliant and an indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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10/10/2004.....................................,.....Would you like to know more about the Band? Visit INTENSION HOME PAGE...
. DARLING - "D2R"
 Hal Darling is a composer who plays drums. He plays keyboards a little too, as the drums have certain limitations as a medium for composition. He first picked up the sticks at age six following the examples set by two older brothers. By age thirteen he developed an attraction for rock music that was complex, influenced by jazz and classical ideas. His high school years were spent playing and eventually writing music that was truly awful, - but it aspired to be something more. He went on to study with jazz great Ralph Humphrey and studio legend Joe Porcaro at the Percussion Institute in Los Angeles. A brief stint as a studio drummer was followed by clinical presentations and private teaching. A search for the perfect gig led to a move to Europe, which in turn resulted in his decision to build a studio. Upon his return to the United States he chose to abandon live work and concentrate on composition and recording. In December of 1996, Hal released his eponymously titled debut to worldwide critical acclaim. His second effort was released in the second quarter of 2003. Hal hopes to refine his instrumental and compositional experiments in a fashion that will provide the listener with music that is as entertaining as it is challenging. Hal Darling could be described as a contemporary instrumental musician, let´s call him as a picture painter, or better saying, a painter of musical portraits. In fact Hal Darling is a composer of Progressive Rock Art music, where each composition takes us on a different musical picture, his music is centered around keyboards and drums, with complex arrangements and many instrumental explorations, driven by precise dynamic rhythms, while the keyboards add one symphonic musical atmosphere, and the drums sound as a fine paintbrush, creating a different environmental effect into the all songs, which sometimes sounds like an experimental orchestration. For one better definition, Hal Darling plays styles and influences around bands as: "The Mothers of Invention", "King Crimson", "EL&P", "Gong" and "Magma". "D2R" album consists of twelve tracks and was released in 2003, all songs written by Hal Darling with additional creative input by Brice Darling. Tracked and mixed at the Recording Facility, Omaha. All production and engineering considerations supervised by Hal Darling/Drums Productions. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Clown on Fire", "Black Rhyme", "Where Seraphs Despair", "Aggressive Biological Behavior", "An Unsettled Score",  "Dog Dreams", "Mr. Smith Shows the Children How to Smoke a Cigarette" and "Asunder". The main musician on this project is: Hal Darling - All manner of Percussives and Keyboards, with special guests: Uri Gatton - All Electric, Acoustic and Midi Guitars and Athan Gailis - All woodwinds, brass and Midi horns. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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10/12/2004.................................,.....Want to learn everything about this musician? Visit  HAL DARLING HOME PAGE...
. FSB - "Single Collection"
Here is one more legacy from a band that wrote  some essential chapters in the long story of progressive rock music. And in this case I am simply referring about the famous Bulgarian band called FSB, that was  very much active on the last three decades overall. As usual the UBP International is ahead of their releases, and this time they brought to light an outstanding material that has been kept obscure ever since. This release is rather new, seen that it was issued officially last year, and it is entitled as "Single Collection", which is the very result of a meticulous research where a treasure was finally found out. In truth this release is a compilation that covers an era for the band when still very active, seen that the songs presented here were recorded from 1975 to 1991. The album consists of 17 tracks and its total timming is 71:44. As the songs that feature the album were composed in different times, it is obviously they are introduced here under a rather discordant aspect, being possible to find some fantastic progressive pieces while others sound a bit pop. However this fact must never be taken by the listener, seen that this is quite unimportant because the album brings forward some top-notch songs in a generally way, besides revealing some quite standout surprises, as the famous song called "Celebration" by "Premiata Forneria Marconi" (PFM) for instance. By the way, could you ever imagine yourself listening to this song entirely sung in the bulgarian language? Yes, it is possible. I was awfully surprised on listening to it too, and it would also be very interesting if the "PFM" members had the opportunity of checking it out anyway because the talented Bulgarian boys were perfect in fact upon their performance. Besides performing the song above mentioned, they have also introduced majestically another known song by the italian masters as "Rainy Questions", quite splendid. Besides having the chance of checking out these two famous cover songs of "PFM", the listener will also have the opportunity of knowing a bunch of self-composed songs,  some of them revealing themselves as fantastic ballads, that surely speak straight to the listener´s heart, and brings to him a topping vibration. Though the Single Collection album is just a compilation, and it is musically a bit far from the classic works of the band as FSB ´´II´´ and ´´Non-Stop´´, which I take both as true masterpieces, I have found a lot of fine songs here in fact, most  of them reflecting the greatness of this unforgettable band. So I would say this release is an exempled one, seen that it has turned up like a rescue of an obscure material, that was within an ace of being kept unreleased, so if you appreciate this great band´s musicianship, and feel curious to check a bit of their early days, do not hesitate then in having it in your CD collection, it is worth. This album is highly recommendable...   (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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10/24/2004.......................,.....Interested to know more about new releases? Visit UBP INTERNATIONAL HOME PAGE...
. THE ROB SBAR NOESI - "Wagon Wheels and Atom Bombs"
It has got to my hands a few weeks ago a very fine and quite original album whose title is ´´Wagon Wheels and Atom Bomb´´ by The Rob Sbar Noesi, and whose project is led obviously by the US guitar player Rob Sbar. The album in question here was released officially in 2002 by the Aggregate Recordings, and it consists of nine topping songs, that the listener could shortly perceive the vast musical knowledge of Rob Sbar and his band-mates, seen that their musicianship is not at all attached to an only direction, and this is the reason why I have mostly taken their direction as being a fusion, that verges magnificently from Jazz to symphonic and so on. I must really say here that Rob Sbar has become in fact an expert in this kind of thing, and I may further say that he has become one of my favorite indeed, seen that he employs brillantly a lot of his knowledge into his music, making of it somewhat quite delightful to the ears. Though his guitarwoks often sound powerfully, he knows very well how to conciliate the power and the sensibility overall, seen that much of his musicianship visibly flows out from his heart too, such as that sort of an artist that uses to maintain a wholesome connection between his technical knowledge and his feeling, and this is the reason why this work has certainly changed into a jewel. Therefore I am quite sure the music proposed by The Rob Sbar Noesi will probably please most of the listeners, mainly those who are taken for open-minded people, not given generally to an only musical tendency. So this work is specially suggested to those who appreciate a progressive music filled with great surprises where a jazzy tune is suddenly turned into another one, where a powerful guitar is easily stopped by the saxophon intervention, besides other instruments too. And all of that really accomplished with an unquestionable talent overall. Well, before putting an end to this review, I would also like to mention something about the artwork, and say a fine booklet is enclosed to it, and although the album is fully instrumental, Rob Sbar himself invites the listener to share with him of what he has written on a 5-pages booklet, that he could splendidly create an interesting story around an entirely instrumental album, it is as if we could listen to an entirely instrumental song, but having its lyrics  in an imaginary way. What about checking it out? The Rob Sbar Noesi consists of the following members: Rob Sbar - Guitars, Erik Feder - Drums, Percussion, Glockenspiel and Xylophone and Matt Schaefer - Bass. This album is highly recommendable...   (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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10/24/2004.................Want to learn everything about this great musician, go to THE ROB SBAR NOESI HOME PAGE...
. DREAMTONE - "Unforeseen Reflections"
DreamTone was borne in Turkish and was an early college idea, with a different name, "Exotherm". It was formed by Can Karabulut, Onur Özkoç and Can Tav. With Oganalp and other members joining up in year 2000, the  band recorded their first demo. After working for several years, in 2001, the band changed its name, and became DreamTone. After facing lots of member changes, the current line up has been formed in 2004. We’re certainly in the realms of Progressive Metal, in fact, we are being presented to a strong Progressive Metal band where they insert elements from many sources such Symphonic, Melodic and Epic Power Metal. Dream Tone is a new musical inspiration, formed through a new generation of young musicians, where they are always researching a particular and dynamic combination of the modern musical elements, they aren´t very different from the famous and known Metal bands but, their music is really very interesting and, show us an amazing energy. The instrumental is concentrated around a heavy and melodic guitars sounds, where indicate Progressive Metal, but the vocals show influences around Metal, where they are some times soft but, in the main time includes agressive tones, the main highlights are the drums, where the sounds drive the music with a sped rhythms, keyboards and bass are very soft and clean. The references and influences, around DreamTone, can be found through the bands as "Blind Guardian", "Dream Theater", "Symphony X", "Ayreon", "Shadow Gallery", "Queensryche", "Fates Warning" and "Iron Maiden". "Unforeseen Reflections" All songs are composed by Onur Özkoç and/or by Oganalp Canatan, Keyboards and orchestral arrangements by Onur Özkoç and Oganalp Canatan, Lyrics and concept by Oganalp Canatan. Studio - Studio Midas'in Kulakligi/ December 2002 - November 2003, Recorded by Erkan Tatoglu, Cüneyt Çaglayan and DreamTone, Mixing and Mastering by Erkan Tatoglu and Cüneyt Çaglayan. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Blind Man (Inst.)", "Roots", "War Of Worlds (Inst.)", "Pre-Arranged Overture", "A Faith Collapsed", "This Flickering Light", "The Sacrifice", "Circus Of Circumstances (Inst.)" and "Dawn (Inst.)". The musicians on DreamTone are: Oganalp Canatan - Vocals, Burak Kahraman - Guitar, Ikay Özboyar - Keyboards, Efe Alpay - Bass Guitar, Onur Özkoç - Guitar and Emrecan Sevdin - Drums. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
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10/24/2004........................ .................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit DREAMTONE HOME PAGE...
. UZVA - "Tammikuinen Tammela"
I have recently known a great band fom the icy Finland called Uzva, a band that I have heard about since long, but unfortunately their music could not get to my ears before. Anyway, I have known them right now through their debut album entitled ‘’Tammikuinen Tammela’’, that I have truly taken it as a real masterpiece. And after listening to this top-notch album, I could come to the old conclusion afresh of how underground the Progressive Rock scene is indeed, seeing  that this work has been kept in a perfect obscurity since its release four years ago. And as I was noticed, another album of theirs entitled ‘’Niittoaika’’ has even seen the light in the meanwhile, and who knows I am  still here again to write a review about it later, I just hope it won’t take too long as it has befallen nowadays. Anyway reggarding Uzva’s debut album, I must really say that writing a review about it today surely affords me the same pleasure as if I had done it already a few years back. So, here I go. ‘’Tammikuinen Tammela’’ features six beautiful songs whose titles are put down as ‘’Intro’’,  ‘’Part I’’, ‘’Part II’’ and so forth; it’s also important to say that most of the songs on the album are extensive and extremely delightful to the ears. The music proposed by Uzva is quite an interesting Prog/Fusion, that reminded me lively of the glamorous sonority often featured by the Canterbury bands, and in this case, I would say that "Gilgamesh" has been according to my point of view, their starting-point, not due to any keyboard passage upon Uzva’s music obviously, but essentially for  the acoustic and electric guitar works overall. So if you are also peculiarly interested in this trend, this finnish band will surely fit into your taste because their music is richly performed such as too many other bands from the so-called Canterbury scene, whose musicianship is quite effulgent on all aspect. The Uzva’s music is fully instrumental, and also plenty of glamour from the beginning to the end. The listener could find a lot of notwhorty acoustic guitars’ tune over some songs, that will surely take the listener to another dimenssion, taking him also, many times to a reflective state; though it doesn’t go a long way, seen that the band music often stands an all-time evolution where that previous calmness is soon scored off  so that an impellent electric guitar’s intervention switch over the whole stuff. In fact the whole album is this way where every song reveals itself quite a pleasant surprise due to its instrumental diversity whereas the band besides making use of the usual instruments as the guitars, drums and bass, they also introduced to their music some unusual instruments as Accordion, clarinet, violin, cello, trombone amongst others, and I have no doubt that it all makes of their music one of the most affluent one ever since. Therefore I would like to say this album is a real find in fact for all those who appreciate a high-grade music overall, and if you truly love the glamorous sonority of the bands from  Canterbury, this album is undeniabebly for you. The line-up of Uzva consists of the following members: Heikki Puska - Accordion and Violin, Lari Latvala - Violin, Pekko Sams - Bass, Olli Kari - Drums and Percussion, Heikki Rita - Clarinet, Lauri Kajander - Guitar, Kalle Hassinen - French Horn, Marko Manninen - Cello, Teemu Mäenpää - Steel Pan, Rasmus Pailos - Steel Pan and Acidbox and Erno Haukkala - Trombone. This album is highly recommendable...   (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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11/07/2004.....................................................Would you like to know more about the Band? Visit UZVA HOME PAGE...
. TAAL - "Skymind"
After presenting their fans with the releasing  of a majestic debut album entitled ´´Mister Green´´ issued in 2000 by Muséa, this remarkable french band called Taal is back again by featuring one more top-notch album whose title is ´´Skymind´´. In truth this album was issued last year, but it only got to my hands a few days ago. After listening to it attently, I could really come to the conclusion that Taal are currently one of the greatest exponents of Progressive Rock Music. The creativity and irreverence often present upon their songs make of this band quite a very peculiar one to me because I appreciate their freedom at conciliating magnificently different musical tendencies to their pieces without being attached to any of them specifically; so do not wonder if you happen to find an interesting blend of rhythms at Taal´s musical direction where it often verges from the Jazz to Symphonic, from Prog to R.I.O, from Heavy to Folk and so on. However the most important thing overall is that all ends well in the long run, and the listener generally ends as well by discovering one of the most interesting and intriguing Prog bands until then. Concerning the ´´Skymind´´ album, I must say that it consists of six long tracks, where the shortest song called ´´Blind Child´´ is 6:10 while the longest one called ´´Stratus´´ is 13:24, and the total playing time is 56:00. Just as they did upon their first album entitled ´´Mister Green´´, the band surely worked hard and brillantily with a view to create a very personal music, of which their fans could unhesitatingly recognize their sonority, seen that their music is filled with singularities from the very start to the end. According to my slant, the ´´Skymind´´ album definitively preserves the very same semblance of its predecessor, at last these singularities are taken already as the trademark of the band; Notwithstanding I notice that much of that early experimentalism was cast aside anyway, making of this new effort less experimental than before, and at the same time the songs also gained conformity with each other. Therefore I would say that ´´Skymind´´ is more harmonious than ´´Mister Green´´, Though both are appreciated by me equally. Concerning the instrumental, I may certainly assure every person who’s having the opportunity of reading this article that both albums are on the very same level, seen that they are richly performed by very talented musicians, that really know how to accomplish a high-grade music overall, and also captivate that kind of listener that’s always looking for something else far beyond a simple Prog Rock album, but a gem for instance. And in this case, I may further say that you have really found it. This band´s music is choke-full of energy, that though it sounds agressively at times, the listener could swiftly see there’s a lot of sensibility over all the tracks on the album. Moreover Taal have kept 10 musicians involved in such a project where the listener will surely find a variety of harmonic instruments as viola, cello and violins. To my point of view, the music proposed by this great band is definitively one of the richest one ever found on current Progressive Rock scene. Listening to Taal’s music is such as to travel around the world without leaving the house, seen that their sonority crosses a lot of frontiers. It is as if they would introduce us a little bit of the world’s culture through some fantastic musical notes. So if you think this sort of sonority fits in fact into your taste, you mustn’t really miss the chance of checking out this release, it will surely help enrich your CD collection. The line-up of Taal consists of the following members: Anthony Gabard - Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Loic Bernardeau - Drums and Vocals, David Stuart Dosnon - Bass, Sebastien Constant - Keyboards, Igor Polisset - Electronic and Acoustic Drums, Helene Sonet - Flute and Vocal, Manu Fournier - Violin and Sax, Gaelle Deblonde - Violin, Manuel Bauriad - Viola and Mehdi Rossigmol - Cello. This album is highly recommendable...   (Comments By Sergio Motta)
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11/07/2004.......................................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit TAAL HOME PAGE...
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