Crossover Prog

Exploring the Crossover Prog of Umphrey’s McGee – Similar Skin!

One of the albums that has been in my rotation for a couple of weeks now is the latest release from Umphrey’s McGee Similiar SkinSimilar Skin. Umprhey’s McGee is a crossover prog band with a large following known alternately as “Umphreaks” and “McGeeks. Here’s what they say on their website about the band…..

 Umphrey’s McGee has risen to the upper echelons of the improvisational-rock scene through their seamless compositing of diverse musical influences, from progressive-rock to metal to funk to folk to jazz-fusion to classic song-based rock-and roll, all woven together with infectious melodies, thought-provoking lyrics, pristine harmonies, blistering musicianship, and rollicking grooves that keep dem bones a-shaking throughout the course of their patented sonic sagas.

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Exploring the Crossover Prog Rock of Finland’s The Chant – New Haven!

new havenThe album that was the soundtrack for my run on Thursday was New Haven, the latest release from the Finnish crossover prog. band The Chant. The album has been in my rotation for about a week now and it’s one of those albums, that get better with each repeated listen!

The Chant has been around since 1999. First, there were three Jussi Hämäläinen(guitar/vocals), Mari Jämbäck (keyboards) and Ilpo Paasela (vocals), then four when  Kimmo Tukiainen(guitar) joined the group. The final count which has been fairly stable over the life of the band was six, after Markus Forsström (bass) and Roope Sivén(drums) came on board.

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Exploring the Music of Spain’s Kant, Freud, Kafka – No Tengas Miedo – Symphonic or Not!

KantFreudKafkaAfter my run last night, I was pretty much physically drained, I took a shower, ate and then wrote a post at Me, Myself, Music and Mysteries. After that, I was going to write about my run and its soundtrack, which was the new album from The Royal Southern Brotherhood. While I was getting ready to write that post, I went to look up something about a prog band that I listened to earlier in the day Rite of Passage. wasn’t having much luck finding information, so I went to progstreaming, where I first saw their album. While I was browsing for the Rite of Passage album, I noticed another album No Tengas Miedo from Kant Freud Kafka. I went to Spotify found the album and gave it a listen and really liked the music. I set out to find more out about the band, off to ProgArchives. I ended up at the ProgArchives forum where there was a discussion among the leaders of the various sub-genre groups, whether or not, the band belonged in the Symphonic sub-genre. As I was listening, I was agreeing that the band was not symphonic, but more fusion/jazz oriented, but definitely prog and definitely good! Here is what I learned at New Prog Rock Releases…..

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Crossover Prog from Canada’s AsZension – Biosphere!

One of the albums that has been in my prog rock listening rotation over the past several days is Biosphere the sophomore release from the Canadian Crossover Prog band AsZension. The band is currently a studio-based band but there are plans to make it a live band. The band was founded by multi-instrumentalist Kevin Thiessen after he completed his studies in Contemporary Music and Technology, audio engineering, production and guitar at Selkirk College in Nelson B.C. After finishing his studies Thiessen set out to find like-minded musicians. First he met and then added guitarist and engineer Calvin Shiu, a martial arts practitioner and at the time, a recording arts student at the University of Lethbridge to the band. Shiu brought with him  his ”Shamisen”, a Japanese fretless lutelike instrument. This led to inspire Thiessen to use more world instruments in his miusic. In today’s recording era this is accomplished through “Virtual instrument technology or Vst’s. The final member of the band drummer Kyle Sheppard was an easy choice for the band since he had worked with Thiessen and was a life-long friend of Shiu’s. Their self-titled debut album won rave reviews and was nominated for Best Début Record at the 2012 ”Prog Awards” The Web World Awards dedicated to Progressive Rock.

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The Safari Explores the Music of Germany’s Frequency Drift – Over!

Over the last few days I’ve been exploring the music of the German Grossover Prog Band Frequency Drift; I stated with their current release Over. On my first few listens I wasn’t to sure about the vocals. The female lead singer’s voice was just a little too high and operatic sounding than I  like. What I was sure of was the music,I know I heard some instruments that you don’t normally hear like violin and flutes.Here’ what I read about the band at their website:

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Crossover Prog from Poland’s Iluzjon – Silent Andromeda!

One of the albums that I’ve listened to over the last week is Silent Andromeda from the Polish crossover prog band Iluzjon (yes, in Polish Illusion is the translation) From Wikipedia:

Grupa czynnie działała w latach 2000-2010. Założona przez wokalistę, klawiszowca, aranżera, kompozytora i autora tekstów – Michała Dziadosza. Od 2006 jako kwartet. Iluzjon w swojej konwencji, w której punktem wyjścia jest art rock, nawiązywał do jazzu, ambientu, popu, hard rocka, rocka psychodelicznego i poezji śpiewanej. W muzyce zespołu usłyszeć można echa takich wykonawców, jak King Crimson, David Sylvian, Peter Gabriel, Marillion. Wiosną 2005 zespół zadebiutował na oficjalnym rynku swoim pierwszym CD zatytułowanym City Zen.

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The Safari listens to Crossover Prog from Norway’s Fatal Fusion – The Ancient Tale

Today I was reviewing the Top Albums of 2013 at the ProgArchives  at number 16 was a band that I had listened to earlier this year, Fatal Fusion. Their 2013 release is The Ancient Tale and was the soundtrack for several periods of time today. Earlier in the year I had listened to their 2010 release Land of the Sun. I liked both of the albums. Fatal Fusion is a Norwegian crossover prog rock band strongly influenced by bands like  King Crimson, Camel, Pink Floyd, ELP, Yes, Genesis, Rainbow, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Deep Purple from the 60’s and 70’s and 80’s and 90’s bands like Anekdoten, Spocks beard, IQ, Marillion, Toto, Dream Theater, Iron Maiden According to their biography the music cover a wide landscape, combining many musical styles from Jazz, Blues, Rock, Metal, Funk, Psychedelia, Ambient, Latin, and Classical music! No wonder I like their music!! The Ancient Tale is composed of only five tracks and yet the combined length of the album is over 65 minutes!! Three of the tracks are over 14 minutes in length and the other two are over  8 minutes!! Each track is full of tempo and musical changes, that keeps the music continuously interesting! The two core members of the band keyboardist Erlend Engebretsen and bassist Lasse Lie first played together in a band called No Name way back in 1986. After that band disbanded in 1993, they created a new band in 1997 called Hydra with Erlend’s younger brother Audun as the drummer. After the formation and disbanding of  two more groups,  Moonstone  and  Chrystal Blues, Fatal Fusion was born because of their desire to play more progressive material! Along the way the band recruited the other two members of the band: Knut Erik Grøntvedt was added to handle the vocals. He had only played in a few cover bands, and guitarist Stig Selnes  who played in The Rumbling Tubes in the 1990’s, and Agathe in the 2000’s, before joining Fatal Fusion in mid 2008, he continued to play in both “Agathe” and “Fatal Fusion” for a while, before quiting “Agathe” in 2010, to fully 

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The Music Safari meets the Dutch Crossover Prog band Tumbletown!

Over the last week or so I’ve listened to the debut album from a band named Tumbletown Done with Coldness  and enjoying it more with each listen. Of course this leads to the ubiquitous question: Who are these guys and where in the world  do they hail from?  The answer to  the who is Han Uil and Aldo Adema, two skilled producers, guitarists and composers and the where is the Netherlands. Uil and Adema both were members of the band Egdon Heath and its continuation Seven Day Hunt. Uil also played with the band Antares and has released some solo works. Seven Day Hunt released their debut album  File This Dream  in 2008. The album was produced and mixed by Adema and well received! Both Uil and Adema left Seven Day Hunt in 2009. Adema to concentrate on production work and Uil to work on his solo career. In 2010 Han released his solo album Dark in the Light. Adema worked with  Uil on the track “Memento” on the album and the two hit it off well, and the result was the birth of Tumbletown!

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The Safari finds Crossover Prog from Argentina’s Vanished from Earth!

So one of the things that I like about prog rock are the album covers. The majority of them are very artsy and very interesting and the one to the left of me is no exception! It was one of the reasons that the band and album Vanished from Earth caught my eye this more at Of course it was the music that ultimately sealed the deal and made resulted in the album becoming the soundtrack while doing some chores this afternoon.

After listening I went to ProgArchives and found that the band hails from Argentina next door neighbor to Chile where we found Aisles yesterday. I guess that the prog rock scene is alive and well on the South American continent!! As a matter of fact Vanished From Earth made their debut at the “La Plata Prog 2011” after only a few months of rehearsal! At that event they shared the stage with some of the continents biggest acts like: Contraluz,Uranian, Fughu, Atempo, and Jinetes Negros. The followed that performance up with an appearance in their hometown at the “Close to the Edge Buenos Aires Prog Fest” at that festival they shared the stage with: William Gray, LaPlace, and Cristol. In 2012, the and released their self-titled debut album.

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The Safari listens to the Crossover Prog of Bremen’s Eyevory – Euphobia!

So I either have to study more German or stop listening to prog rock from Germany, because for the second time today I was faced with websites written in  German, the band’s native language. First it was Osta LCVE and tonight it was the band Eyevory. I have been listening today to Euphoria the debut album from the band. Eyevory is a  a progressive folk rock band from Bremen, Germany. They describe their music as a “colorful mixture, combining joyful flute melodies, catchy hooks, hard rocking guitar riffs and complex instrumental arrangements without boundaries and barriers.”

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