Prog Rock

Unreal City – Il Paese Del Tramonto – Great Italian Prog Rock!

Last night I was checking out the New Progressive Rock releases at New Prog Releases. One of the albums of interest to me was Il Paese Del Tramonto (Country of Sunset) from an Italian Progressive Rock band Unreal City.  Their music was classified as Symphonic and since I have enjoyed other symphonic prog bands, I figured I’d like these guys. I figured right I put the album on while I was multi-tasking or as I like to call it ADDing! I was watching the football game, reading and listening! It didn’t take long to for the voices of Phil Simms and Jim Nantz to take a backseat to the keyboards Emanuele Tarasconi and Francsca Zantta’s guitar! (the decision was aided by the uncompetitive nature of the game, between the Colts and Pats! Ido believe, Unreal City would have lost out to the Packers and Seahawks!). Anyway I loved the album and today it became the soundtrack for my drive out Street Road to pick up my replacement hearing aid at Costco.  Listening to the album in greater detail only brought out the great keyboard and guitar work on the album, solidifying my opinion that this is a great album!!

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Ad Maiora! from Ad Maiora – Rock Progressivo Italiano

The phrase Ad Maiora means “to greater things” in Latin and that’s where, in my opinion,  the Italian Prog Rock band,  who chose that expression for their name, is headed.  Yes, based on their self-titled debut album. I think that Ad Maiora will be moving on to greater things!

The band was formed in 2009 in Milan, as a progressive rock project. During the period between 2009 and 2013 Ad Maiora was writing their own compositions, all of which appear on their debut album Ad Maiora! which was released in January of 2014. It was also in  this time period that the band contributed the track “Whaling Stories” to a Procol Harum tribute album, and played in support of  Italian bands like Ubi Maior and Shylock.

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Exploring the Music of Mostly Autumn

Folk Prog – United Kingdom                                 Current Release: Dressed in Voices (2014)

Dressed in VoicesMostly Autumn is  Prog Folk band, ProgArchive describes their music as:

… powerful atmospheric rock with a Celtic edge, influenced by PINK FLOYD, DEEP PURPLE and GENESIS, and reminiscent of 70’s FLEETWOOD MAC and FAIRPORT CONVENTION. Their sound incorporates the uses of flute, low and penny whistles, violins and vocal harmonies – over a powerful band, existing of keyboards, two guitarists, bass and drums.

Mostly Autumn was formed in 1995. Several of the  band’s original members had been part of  the  Pink Floyd/1970s tribute band One Stoned Snowman. In 1999, after several years of touring,  Mostly Autumn’s debut album For All We Shared was released. The original line-up of musicians included:

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Exploring the Prog Rock of the UK’s IQ The Road of Bones!

Evil man gesturing silence, quiet isolated on black backgroundThe other day I saw an interesting album on Progstreaming IQ’s The Road of Bones. I went to Spotify put the album on,  listened to a few minutes of the opening track “From the Outside In” really liked it and quickly downloaded the album  to the iPhone. I had a chance to listen to the album more fully this morning, and I love it. I see after reviewing band information at both IQ’s website and ProgArchives that IQ is a neo-prog band from the United Kingdom. IQ was formed in 1981 and seem to tour mostly in the UK and Europe, which partially explains why I have never heard of them.

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Gandalf’s Fist A Forest of Fey

A Forest of FeyThere have been some changes in the Neo Prog rock band Gandalf’s Fist, since their last release A Day in the Life of a Universal Wanderer. The new release  A Forest of Fey, is Gandalf Fist’s first release as a four-person band! What hasn’t changed is the stellar progressive rock delivered by the band!

Gandalf’s  Fist was formed in 2005 and was originally a creative collaboration between multi-instrumentalist Dean Marsh and lyricist/vocalist Luke Severn. The name Gandalf’s Fist, which conjures up images from J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, actually  originated, when a friend of theirs invented the name to try to impress a geeky girl one night in a bar!!  After the success of their first four albums,  in particular A Day in the Life of  a Universal Wanderer, The band appeared on the bill at Planet Rockstock ’13. After that performance, touring musicians Stefan Hepe and Chris Ewen were promoted to full-time band members

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Flying with the Super band Flying Colors’ Album Second Nature!

Second NatureOne of the albums that I’ve been listening to over the last month or so is the second release from Flying Colors Second Nature. Flying Colors is a band composed of  a terrific group of musicians. Here’s the story about the genesis of the band. From the band’s website…

It started with a simple idea: virtuoso musicians and a pop singer joining to make new-fashioned music the old fashioned way. A band followed, evolving into Flying Colors: Mike Portnoy (drums, vocals), Dave LaRue (bass), Neal Morse (keyboards, vocals), Casey McPherson (lead vocals), and Steve Morse (guitar). Together, they create a unique fusion of vintage craftsmanship, contemporary music and blistering live performances. Read More

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“Into the Morning” with New Music from Netherland’s Knight Area – Hyperdrive

HyperdriveSo back in May of 2013, I had a good music listening day that ended with the discovery of Knight Area from the Netherlands. I have patiently been waiting for the release of a new album and that happened on October 14th when they released Hyperdrive. Since the day of the album’s release, it has been in my music rotation, and I have enjoyed it a lot!! I will be writing about it in the next few days, but until then you can read my old post about the band here and let’s go into the morning with the video for the song “Hypnotized” from Hyperdrive!

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Exploring the Neo-Prog of the UK’s Cosmograf – Capacitor – Electrifying!

CapacitorSo once again I listen to a band, I like their music , I go to read about the band and I find, the band is mostly a one-person band and the music fits into the Neo-Prog sub-genre!! In this instance, the band is Cosmograf and the rock project leader is Robin Armstrong, a multi-instrumentalist from Waterlooville (near Portsmouth) in the United Kingdom. (We pause now to give in to my ADD and to find out more about Waterlooville)

Waterlooville

Waterlooville is a town in Hampshire, England, near the southern cost of England, approximately 8 miles north of Portsmouth. From Wikipedia:

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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 Psychedelic/Space Rock of the UK’s Amplifier – Mystoria!

So yesterday the soundtrack for my run (you can read about the run here) was the latest release MystoriaMystoria from the UK psychedelic/Space rock band Amplifier. Amplifier plays highly original material using deeply personal lyrics with walls of noise and stunning melodies. Mystoria is the fifth studio album from the band. They have also released several singles and EPs and one live album.  The original members of the band were Sel Balamir lead guitarist and vocalist, Matt Brobin on drums and bassist Neil Mahony. After there 2011 release the band members changed with former Oceansize guitarist Steve Durose and bassist Alex “Magnum” Redhead joining the band in 2011 and 2012 respectively. The last two years have been a very prolific period in the band’s history. Between Echo Street and Mystoria the band released the EP Sunriders, which was followed by Live in Barcelona 2013. This contrasts with the release of only one EP Eternity that they release in the five years between Insider (2006) and The Octopus (2011). Balamir explains it like this….

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