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Archive for the ‘Neo Prog’ Category

Byron - Forbidden Drama

Neo prog band from Romania.
The sound is fairly good but I don’t find it catchy. And the vocals are not my type.

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Rovo - Mon

Rovo is a side project by Seiichi Yamamoto, Boredoms‘ guitarrist and Bondage Fruit‘s violinist Yuji Katsui.

They’re doing some relaxing music here instead of their regular bands’ sound. Plus some fresh acid jazz mood.

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Roine Stolt - The Flower King

First album solo by Roine Stolt.
I listened to Dissonata, the second track, for the first time about five years ago. I loved that so much that I wanted the full album instantly.
Unfortunately around 2002 internet wasn’t as huge as it is today and I never put my hands on the full album. Until last week.
But I’m not so impressed as I was five years ago. You know, Roine Stolt is one of the greatest names in neo prog, and The Flower King of course has moments of bliss. But I think it’s excessively sentimental and formal.
Its sense of melody reminds me of the english band Camel. But Roine Stolt sounded fresh enough to make his name after this album, when he founded The Flower Kings and became a common reference in any progressive rock talk.

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Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Grand Opening and Closing

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum is a band wich are being hype for some time. Although their first album dates from 2001, they’re very underrated.

SGM is a fine mixture of various things. You can imagine an alternative metal band with progressive elements and lots of experimentalism. Here in Grand Opening and Closing – their first studio album – their experiments reminds me of some RIO bands, like Art Bears and Henry Cow. And Carla Kihlstedt‘s voice would sound a lot like Dagmar Krause if it was less delicate.

The heaviest fast tracks seems to me like a cross between Mr. Bungle and Tool. But they have enough personality to slighly bring these (and possibly other) names to your head.

For a first album, it’s a really very fine record.

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Mew - And the Glass Handed Kites

Another partially good album by Mew. And the Glass Handed Kites has some strong progressive influence plus a more evident synthesizer. These characteristcs give them an unique sound.

This is a conceptual album. The tracks work as part of a whole thing, neverthless the plot is not clear.

The only down on Mew is their inconsistence. You just cannot pick up any track by them.

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Happy the Man - The Muse Awakes

Heard a lot about Happy the Man, that it was a great progressive rock band 3 decades ago, so I rapdly managed to listen to them.
It’s very very difficult to find their material, and generally it only makes things better.

Everybody saying Happy the Man sounds just like Yes + Gentle Giant. I thought “wow”.

Until now, the unique album I got by them was their last one, the 2004’s The Muse Awakes.

Don’t know the first albums but this one is boring enough to make me want to quit before I reached the end of the CD.
Everything sounds too artificial and cold. I really hate the synths here. It sounds like video game soundtrack.

I’ll probably check their 70’s releases. But The Muse Awakes surely gave me bad impressions.

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Circa Survive - Juturna

First album by the new band of Anthony Green and the guitarrist Colin Frangicetto.

Once I thought the hardcore boundaries could not be more pushed than what At the Drive-In did.
But 5 years after the releasing of Relationship Command, Circa Survive seems to challenge it.

But they’re not comparable to each other. Circa Survive is notoriously a less-furious effort, and it has frequent trips to neo prog fields.

Though the instrumental is a cool mix of modern rock subgenres, Green‘s voice will establish if you like them or not. His child-like voice, clean “bends” and screams are always present, and leads the music.

I like it, really good work.

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