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SAFAVIEH Florida Shag Collection SG455 Scrolling Vine Graceful S

PROG ARCHIVES intends to be the most complete and powerful progressive rock resource. You can find the progressive rock music discographies from 11,745 bands & artists, 66,597 albums (LP, CD and DVD), 1,838,257 ratings and reviews from 65,578 members who also participate in our active forum. You can also read the new visitors guide (forum page).

Latest Progressive Rock Music Reviews


Last 50 reviews
Boxset/Compilation, 1971
3.59 | 389 ratings

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Relics
Bands Compatible with Apple Watch 38mm 40mm, 5 Pack Slim Thin Na Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

Review N� 474

"Relics" is a compilation of Pink Floyd and was originally released in 1971. However, "Relics" has been reissued on several occasions and in different places with different covers, and sometimes without the proper authority, namely, without the consent of the band's members themselves. This lack of consent made that "Relics" became, in reality, a true rarity. Finally, the reissue of the compilation in 1995 in CD format, meant that it could be purchased easily again.

The cover of the album was designed by the drummer of Pink Floyd Nick Mason when he was studying architecture in the Regent Street Polytechnic. According to him this was the only concrete product made by him in all the years he spent at that architecture school. As I wrote before, in addition to the original design of the original compilation, it was released in different countries with different art covers. Even the re-mastered CD version, the version released in 1995, has a different cover, a three dimensional version of the original sketch drawn by Nick Mason for the original release.

"Relics" has another peculiar particularity, the rare participation of the five Pink Floyd's members. Syd Barrett (lead vocals on "Arnold Layne", "See Emily Play" and "Bike" and lead and rhythm guitars on "Arnold Layne", "See Emily Play", "Interstellar Overdrive" and "Bike"), David Gilmour (lead vocals on "Julia Dream", "Cirrus Minor" and "The Nile Song", baking vocals and lead and rhythm guitars on all the other tracks except those who were performed by Syd Barrett). Richard Wright (lead vocals on "Remember A Day" and "Paintbox", backing vocals, organ, piano and trombone), Roger Waters (lead vocals on "Biding My Time", backing vocals and bass guitar) and Nick Mason (drums and percussion). We have also the collaboration of Norman Smith (backing vocals and drums on "Remember A Day").

"Relics" has eleven tracks. "Arnold Layne" was released in 1967 as the A side of the first single of the band. It wasn't released on any studio album. It hasn't any sort of prog rock sound but it's nice to hear. It's a good introduction to the music of Pink Floyd in Barrett's era. "Interstellar Overdrive" was released on "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn". It's full of improvisations and dissonant parts, confusing and chaotic. It's very innovative, with some progressivity. It can be considered their first approach to the space rock. "See Emily Play" was released in 1967 as the A side of the second single of the band. It wasn't released on any studio album. It's a song with such an uplifting tune and I just love that psychedelic vibe, really. "Remember A Day" was released on "A Saucerful Of Secrets". It's a song with psychedelic reminiscences with nice keyboards. I like very much of this song with the brilliant piano work of Wright and the nice drumming of Mason. "Paintbox" was released in 1967 as the B side of the single "Apples And Oranges", the third single of the band. It wasn't released on any studio album. It has a mysterious sound and the echoes of the voices have that sense of madness that surrounded everything about Pink Floyd in those times. "Julia Dream" was released in 1968 as the B side of the single "It Would Be So Nice", the fourth single of the band. It wasn't released on any studio album. This is a song that stands out because of its melancholic vibe. The Mellotron flutes are great too. This is a great track. "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" was released in 1968 as the B side of the single "Point Me At The Sky", the fifth single of the band. It wasn't released on any studio album. It's absolutely an amazing instrumental piece. I particularly love the Wright work with his organ. "Cirrus Minor" was originally released on "More". It's a slow song very beautiful and very relaxing too that begins with Waters' acoustic guitar and that ends with a superb keyboard solo performed by Wright. "The Nile Song" was released on "More". It's a very heavy song, one of the heaviest songs written by them. It's a very enjoyable hard rock song with nice guitar solos and where Gilmour screams instead of singing, which isn't very nice to hear. "Biding My Time" is a previous unreleased Roger Waters' song which was never released. It's a very bluesy song. The lyrics are good. It isn't very proggy but it sounds very Pink Floyd. "Bike" was released on "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn". It's a childish and mad song with good lyrics but completely insane. This is a very strange and original song.

Conclusion: "Relics" was one of my first musical experiences with Pink Floyd and represents one of my first contacts with progressive rock. It isn't a pure and a genuine compilation. It's true that five of the songs were previously released on studio albums, but it's also true that six were never released on any studio album and this was the first time that we can have all those songs together and not spread for all those singles. So, I sincerely think that "Relics" is, in reality, an indispensable document to check the first musical period of Pink Floyd, their most psychedelic phase, the Barrett's era. So, consequently, this is an excellent addition to any progressive rock collection. Therefore, I don't share the point of view of those who think this compilation is only important for Pink Floyd's fans who love their first psychedelic musical period, or that it's only essential for fundamentalists and hard fans of Barrett's music. It's a great document of the 70's.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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Studio Album, 2017
3.76 | 52 ratings

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Shum-Shir
Vespero Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by prog_traveller!!

In November 2017, Shum-Shir, album by the Russian space rockers Vespero, was released. Shum-Shir is the second part of what the band calls "Abyssinian Tales Dilogy", the first of which is Lique Mekwas.

The title Shum-Shir comes from an old Ethiopian ceremony in which the tribal elders and shamans elect a new Negus� (king) of the tribe every ten years. A lot of drugs were consumed (inhaled, to be precise), so that this ceremony is perfect to be represented by means of spacey-psychedelic music. Isidore, Gaya and Gulli mentioned in the tracks on the album are mythical figures who descend from heaven at this ceremony to determine the new king. The final piece, Hapi, is named after a ritual drum that plays at the ceremony.

Musically, not much has changed much since the band's last albums. Vespero also play a psychedelic space rock on Shum-Shir, which on the one hand is relaxed and lively, on the other hand it bubbles out of the speakers dynamically and powerfully. The decisive factors in the sound are again violin and electric guitar, both of which put on some beautiful solo capades, garnished by all sorts of electronic bubbling and a dense percussive basis. The additional percussionist Alexander Timakov is only here on one piece.

The saxophone has completely disappeared and with it largely the jazzy note of the previous albums; Vespero now bring classic spacer rock to Shum-Shir, comparable to the Ozric Tentacles. Just with more "oomph". I regret the lack of jazz influences a bit, but the wild entries of the violin (which sometimes jams a bit) and the cutting guitars make up for it. At the end there is also a largely electronic piece with Hapi, in which some sequencer interludes are reminiscent of the Berlin school.

All in all, Vespero have quite normal spacer rock to offer on Shum-Shir, to which only the use of the violin gives it a certain character of its own. The musicians' obvious joy in playing, still make me appreciate the music. Spacerock lovers can't go wrong here.

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Studio Album, 2018
3.90 | 80 ratings

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Hollow Moon
Vespero Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by prog_traveller!!

On their "Hollow Moon" album, Vespero surprisingly go into space for the first time. If the previous works of the band had more earthly references, one now apparently visits the moon to see the rise of the earth from there.

Still, you can't say that there is much different music to be found on "Hollow Moon" than on the previous records. With guest Pavel Alekseev there is again a saxophonist who, together with violinist Vitaly Borodin, takes care of the soloistic character in addition to the omnipresent electric guitar. "Hollow Moon" is presented in a spacey way, embedded in all sorts of electronic wobbling, whining and hissing, driven forward by the rhythm department. Especially Arkady Fedotov's versatile, growling-humming bass playing deserves praise. Only occasionally, right in the introductory "Watching the moon rise" for example, or in "Watershed point", does the music float cosmically and informally, or is tinkered with a little more free-format sound ("Space clipper's wreckage").

As with the album with Ontalva, Alexander Fedotov occasionally picks up the mandolin or acoustic guitar, which creates a folky-jazzy note, as can be heard in "Sublunarian" or "Mare Ingenii", for example. This is also reinforced by various Borodin's accordion inlays. Such things were rather rare on the earlier albums, so it has to be admitted that the group's music has developed or changed. Certain complex interwoven guitar-bass patterns are reminiscent of even more recent recordings by King Crimson. Otherwise, driving-dynamic, psychedelic-floydy patterns prevail, or gong-like hustle and bustle determined by the sax, or spacey violin prog is offered.

Vespero still have high-quality space rock food on offer on "Hollow Moon", which is colorfully orchestrated, performed in a virtuoso manner and flows out of the speakers in a very varied and versatile manner. The band from Astrakhan thus consolidates their position as one of the best spacrock bands of the present, and those who appreciate the genre should grab it.

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Studio Album, 1974
4.31 | 3141 ratings

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The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
Genesis Symphonic Prog

Review by Argentinfonico

Well, as of today, there is little to say that hasn't already been said about this iconic album. I have to admit that I only just found out that Brian Eno participated in this album!

The fact that it's a double album cushions Gabriel's disappearance forever in the Genesian terrain. It must be the most spectacular Genesis concept album, as SEBTP is never quite conceptual, even though it revolves around a solid idea.

The sound is one of the most epic ever achieved. I love the album's idea of a young foreigner wandering and going on a journey of self-discovery in the United States.

High points of the album for me: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Fly on a Windshield, In the Cage, The Carpet Crawlers, The Chamber of 32 Doors, The Lamia, The Colony of Slippermen.

Best Song: In The Cage.

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Studio Album, 2004
3.98 | 21 ratings

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6PM
Phil Manzanera Prog Related

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

In Phil's words. "6PM is my sixth studio album but unconsciously it seems to be allied to my first in "Diamond Head" (1975). A lot of the same people play on it and the inspiration seems to come from the 60's." The two studio albums Manzanera mentioned are the only two I have but man what a couple of great albums. The man is so talented being a multi-instrumentalist plus he owns his very own recording studio and has helped Robert Wyatt in that regard. Oh and speaking of Wyatt he adds trumpet and drums on here, no vocals as Phil takes care of those. Phil of course has been on so many albums and has been a big part of 801, QUIET SUN and of course ROXY MUSIC. Other guests include Chrissy Hynde adding backing vocals and harmonica. David Gilmour guitar, Brian Eno electronics, Andy MacKay sax and oboe, Bill McCormick bass, Paul Thompson drums and many more.

This is melodic and commercial sounding at times but man it's all good. So many interesting tracks and some that I'm singing along with. The opener "Broken Dreams" is so uplifting despite being about his father's sudden passing. Just a feel good song. Chrissy is showing her talents on "Green Spikey Cactus" which is about social injustices. "Love Devotion" is folky with strummed guitar but man I'm just belting it out with Phil. "Wish You Well" is about his friend Ian MacDonald's death. Clearly a subject he and Phil discussed when you hear the lyrics. A very cool piece that is melancholic. The title track is another great sounding tune. Some energy here and I like the guitar a lot. "Waiting For The Sun To Shine" features another catchy chorus with lyrics I have to sing to along to. "Cissbury Ring" signals the start of five songs blending into each other to the end of the album as we hear this psychedelic short story. That opener is so 60's sounding and one of my favourite songs.

This will sit proudly beside "Diamond Head" on my shelf despite being recorded some 30 years later. Highly recommended.

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Studio Album, 2021
4.04 | 35 ratings

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Frontal
Turbulence Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

Ever since Myrath put the Arabic speaking Middle East and Northern Africa on the map as a hotspot for metal music, many a band has sprung forth to join the rest of the world in the music magic that this distorted and obnoxious genre of music has offered. Calibre, Chopstick Suicide, Coast of Arms, Creative Waste, Kimaera, Mortem Atra, New Carnis, Phenomy, Scarab and Smouldering In Forgotten may not be household names like Judas Priest or Metallica but yet the legion of metal musicians continues to grow worldwide even in places where most Westerners could possibly imagine. Africa and Western Asia are no exceptions.

TURBULENCE is one such band that has emerged from Lebanon, all the way back in 2013 in fact. The debut "Disequilibrium" was released in 2015 and didn't quite make the grade for garnering international attention but with the band's 2021 sophomore album FRONTAL, this Middle Eastern metal band has finally garnered the attention it deserves as one of the best up and coming talents from a region of the world that is woefully too often associated with dystopia and despair. Unfortunately the 24/7 news cycle of gloom and doom forgets that people wake up every day and live their lives and some even thrive in the face of adversity.

OMG the world of progressive metal has come a LOOOONG ass way since Watchtower showcased the technical possibilities of the metal universe all the way back in the 1980s. Of course it took Dream Theater in the 1990s to put the world of progressive metal on the map and there has been no shortage of imitators and innovators of this style of prog rock meets heavy metal ever since. In that regard TURBULENCE is just one of countless such bands that has followed in the footsteps of its predecessors but while prog metal bands are hardly uncommon, a band that finds its own sound without getting too weird and far out certainly is rarer indeed.

Once music expands in complexity, the phylogenic tree of nearest relatives is somewhat useful at least in terms of conveying where exactly a band is coming from when written in a form of review. TURBULENCE is very much of the "old school" prog metal ilk with progressive rock compositional styles meeting the more energetic delivers of Dream Theater, Haken, Circus Maximus, Pain of Salvation, early Leprous, Threshold, Seventh Wonder, Shadow Gallery and i could go on and on and on. Stylistically TURBULENCE falls in between and amongst this long list of prog metal warriors but somewhere in the mix has found a unique style of its own at least for those who can distinguish between the subtleties beyond within the somewhat pigeon-holed prog metal subgenre that basically exists within the context of Dream Theater.

OK, reinventing the wheel is not TURBULENCE's forte but don't let that shy you away. FRONTAL is a beast of an album that is passionately delivered and fortified with excellent musicianship that keeps my interest in its entirety despite the rather steep near 66 minutes of playing time. What you can expect here is a multitude of proggy instrumental workouts, excellent compositional fortitude and amazingly passionate vocals from frontman Omar El Hage. You can also expect loads of heavy guitar riffing, prog keyboard workouts, bass and drum rhythmic dynamism and a stellar production job. There's not much to dislike on FRONTAL however the originality factor could be turned up a few notches. Despite not being following int he footsteps of many prog metal band that came before, this is really an interesting blend of influences and one that is quite enjoyable!

Prog metal needs to be more defined these days. This is trad prog metal, you know the kind with CLEAN vocals, traditional progressive rock sort of compositional style and nothing too adventurous for those who worship the ground Dream Theater walks upon. This is not OMG avant-garde in the least. I used to punish artists for lack of originality but sometimes a given artist can actually perform the task better than those who originally initiated it and therefore there's no reason to rate an album for anything other than enjoyability and competence. As far as TURBULENCE's second album FRONTAL is concerned, this is a very beautiful construct of traditional prog metal indeed. Looking forward to what comes next.

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Studio Album, 2019
3.64 | 46 ratings

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Wired for Madness
Jordan Rudess Crossover Prog

Review by ProgDrivenFar

This album is truly a masterpiece! From start to finish Jordan manages to keep the listener engaged and amazed. Jordan's playing here is also brilliant in many ways. All the musicians who play on this album are also fantastic. The album does not contain a weak track and extremely solid trough out. You can tell that Jordan is an integral part of Dream Theater after hearing this solo album. I just wish Dream Theater would let Jordan write more songs for the band since this solo output really shows his immense talent. Everyone who likes Dream Theater or progressive rock in general needs to hear this album!

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Dragon Quest Xi: Echoes of An Elusive Age - PlayStation 4 Studio Album, 1994
3.48 | 188 ratings

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Goodbye to the Age of Steam
Big Big Train Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

It's doubly appropriate that, after producing two demo albums, Big Big Train should have released their full-fledged debut through Giant Electric Pea. Though it swiftly expanded into releasing music by other groups as well, GEP was founded as and remains the forever-home of IQ, and not only was BBT co-founder Andy Poole a roadie for IQ (and their predecessor band, The Lens) back in the early 1980s, but the musical style here is closer to neo-prog than the more ornate, lush symphonic prog style that Big Big Train would adopt later in their career. (Martin Orford even makes a guest appearance, helping out with the arrangements and contributing some backing vocals.)

Still, their sound here is far from being a glib rehash of Marillion, IQ, or any of the other neo-prog big names: early in their career, Big Big Train have already latched onto a wistful, melancholic aesthetic which is distinctly theirs, along with showing a knack for ornate vocal harmonies which add a lovely texture to things.

Thematically, the title of the album immediately calls to mind Big Big Train's long-running tendency to give nods to Britain's industrial past. I'm actually making a point of gradually revisiting the Big Big Train discography from the beginning at the moment, because whilst initially I bounced off their style somewhat, I think that's because I was mistaking their sometimes-nostalgic tones for an endorsement of a reactionary past.

Lately I've started to think I may have been mistaken - a lot of the historical lynchpins they've celebrated over the years have been directed to the overlooked working class history of Britain, not the typical flag-waving of narrow-minded jingoists, and furthermore they're not just nodding to the past for the sake of wallowing in yesteryear but tying in these themes they are fond of with particular emotional and philosophical considerations. This album is a great example of this: though title and cover art suggest mourning a vanished landscape, lyrically they weave these ideas in with a sense of vanished relationships, personal interactions gone to pot with the passage of time.

As one would expect for a band which, at this time in its history, was taking a more neo-prog oriented approach, Big Big Train draw on then-current music in more popular strains as well as the prog past, and in some passages here and there you can almost imagine hearing this sort of music on the radio in the mid-1990s - had they sustained that for an entire song. The band's prog instincts are not to be too easily suppressed, however, and any particular song will end up combining wickedly catchy moments with delightful prog workouts.

There's also a light touch of folk influences here and there, which is a nice way to make the package seem softer and less inaccessible without necessarily pandering to fashion. Adding a pinch of folk to neo-prog is something which seems to pay dividends - though Fish's experiment with it on Internal Exile had slightly mixed results, Mostly Autumn have been able to make an entire career out of it.

What this most reminds me of, in fact, is echolyn's Suffocating the Bloom - which preceded this release by a bit, but shortly enough that I am inclined to think of this as parallel evolution rather than conscious influence. There's the same attention to harmony, the same combination of modern (for the early 1990s) instrumentation with decidedly unfashionable ornateness.

Though I was curious about this debut album, I wasn't expecting to be as blown away by it as I am, and I'm looking forward to continuing my gradual trip through the Big Big Train discography - I expect I'll have a much better appreciation of releases like The Underfall Yard or English Electric now I've got the context offered by picking up their story from the beginning. Goodbye to the Age of Steam might be rather different from the band's current musical approach, but I think it is a beautifully-executed musical statement in its own right and doesn't deserve to be overlooked.

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Studio Album, 1987
3.82 | 20 ratings

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Dr. Hee
Tribal Tech Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by DangHeck

The guitar-great Scott Henderson's second studio release with Fusion project Tribal Tech, most notably featuring here bassist Gary Willis and reedsman Bob Sheppard.

The title track is a solid opener, with steady, straight- ahead rhythm and excellent playing. The keyboards are spacious and add nice flourishes to the otherwise intense Fusions on top. Scott and Bob riff off excellently.

Dr. Hee continues along in various flavors and feelings. I much like the cool "Mango Prom," with continued excellence atop a near lounge feel (at least at its start). [See also the very lovely "Twilight in the North Ridge," headed off by Willis and featuring acoustic/classical soloings by Henderson.]

It should be noted here that this album has a really great, fairly natural flow. Even from the thoughtful, short "Solemn" to the boisterous lilt of "Salsa Lastra," a very fun, exotic-sounding song featuring the varied percussion of Steve Houghton and acoustic piano by, I presume, Pat Coil. The other keyboardist present (Brad Dutz) is apparently predominantly the "mallets" player, a wonderful (and rarer) feature to hear in the context of Fusion. A welcomed rarity, indeed. [Ya like Jazz? Ya like Gary Burton Quartet's Duster, the 1967 early Fusion classic? Well, ya should! Lol]

At the end of the album, we have the interludinal "The Rain," a quirky, near-Ambient synthy number that really does call to mind the randomness of an evening rain. Very enjoyable, even if they didn't find a way to tie it tightly to the album closer(?!). And "Ominous" it is. The closing track is (inversely) a tightly organized cacophony of what this band really has to offer (Maximalists, rejoice!). And with that, I can confidently say, at the front and back, they certainly tied this album with a nice (complex) bow. Definitely check it out. In case you missed my true feelings, I've bolded my favorite tracks. Enjoy!

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Studio Album, 2005
3.93 | 5 ratings

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Veuillez proc�der
Rouge Ciel RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mirakaze

Veuillez Proc�der is an album that keeps you guessing, from a band of multi-instrumentalists who aim to absorb and crystallize a wide array of experimental prog styles. If you only have a chance to listen to one song from it, make it track two: "Nostradamus L'Avait Pr�dit" ("Nostradamus has predicted it") starts off as a mellow jazzy violin boogie which then quickly gains speed and intensity, turning into a jazz-rocking showcase for keyboard player Simon Lapointe's near-atonal piano chops, before settling down again and ending in a baroque-ish fugue with all the instruments playing different interlocking parts, like a more complicated version of Gentle Giant's musical jigsaw puzzles.

Individual elements from this one tour de force are explored further on the rest of the album. "L'Occupation" and the beautifully intricate "Flocons De Son" go even further in on the baroque vibe: here, the band lays down their rock instruments and instead jams out on violin, piano, trumpet and mandolin in an AltrOck-esque chamber prog style. On the other hand, "Teuteuta" and the lengthy, chaotic "N�vr�alit� Postparapsychophysiologique" venture more into jazz fusion territory, with the latter especially serving for the most part as a launchboard for fascinating, aggressive guitar and piano solos on top of a riff in an uneven meter. And interspersed between all of these songs is a series of free improvisations which focus on percussive and mostly non-tonal extended techniques ("Bond Pr�cisionnel").

While the album isn't free from filler, this band delivers when they're in form and the overall experience is a highly positive one. This is a must-listen for avant-prog aficionados.

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