AYREON The Source (Progressive Metal, 2017)

Review by siLLy puPPy — Metal's artisan of ambitiousness Arjen Anthony Lucassen returns with his project AYREON taking time off from his other musical
projects Star One, Guilt Machine and The Gentle Storm to embark on yet another sonic journey into the world of science fiction,
where he unleashes yet another concept album that is a prequel to 2008's "01011001" laid out in his usual monstrosity of a double
album with an army of guest vocalists and musicians to play the proper roles in his larger than life metal operas. As a prequel, THE
SOURCE tells the origins of the Forever which is an alien race that is a key force in the overall storyline. The two discs are separated
into four Chronicles with each telling different timelines in the story. The are broken down into - Chronicle 1: The Frame, Chronicle 2:
The Aligning Of The Ten, Chronicle 3: The Transmigration and Chronicle 4: The Rebirth and the album is graced with beautiful
artwork, extensive liner notes and an overall packaging that goes above and beyond the call of duty for any dedicated artist.
Lucassen has really been upping the bar with each and every release and shows no signs of releasing his feet from the gas pedal.
His passions are ablaze and THE SOURCE displays it all in full regalia.

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ARGENT Encore: Live In Concert (Crossover Prog, 1974)

Review by SteveG — After reading an excellent review from ExittheLemming, I decided to dust off this celebrated live recording from Argent
and give it a fresh spin after being away from it for some 30 years. The two biggest gripes that people had with the
proceeding Argent studio albums was their louder than loud production and musically schizoid musical styles, with
Rod Argent penning the proggier songs and the rock and rollers penned by Russ Ballard. The latter aspect of the
group's albums never bothered me, and even an album recorded at Abbey Road Studios using ex Beatles' engineers
made it hard for Argent, and co producer Chris White, difficult to completely sabotage it's sound production.

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PRIMUS Frizzle Fry (Prog Related, 1990)

Review by martindavey87 — It would be an absolute understatement to say that Primus is an acquired taste. Their music is incredibly obscure, with
some of the most random musical passages and the most quirky lyrics you could think of. And so it is, that their debut
album is a convoluted mess of ideas thrown together with no real sense of direction, other than being random for
random's sake.

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DREAM THEATER Live At The Marquee (Progressive Metal, 1993)

Review by martindavey87 — Hey kids! Remember Kevin Moore?! The guy played on Dream Theater's first three studio albums, buggered off, and
has since more-or-less completely cut off all ties to the Dream Theater name, wanting nothing to do with the band. So
if you wanted to hear what the progressive metal legends sounded like in their early days, playing live with a certain
Mr. Moore, then this is likely to be the only chance you'll ever get.

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Edition 214 – Live From Progzilla Towers

Proving that prog isn't just for dinosaurs!


I’m delighted to announce that the podcast for edition 214 of Live From Progzilla Towers is now available.

In this edition we heard the following music:

  1. Toto – Jake To The Bone
  2. Gracious – The Dream
  3. Lahost – Dreams In The Witch House
  4. XTC – Green Man
  5. Osamu Kitajima – Benzaiten
  6. The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger – Moth To A Flame
  7. Rtfact – Life Is Good
  8. No Good Advice – Astronaut Superstar
  9. Boucle Infinie – 直線移動
  10. Ryuichi Sakamoto – Bamboo Houses
  11. Karma – Tigers In The Rain
  12. The Residents – Act Of Being Polite
  13. Mystery – Through Different Eyes
  14. Monarch Trail – Back To The Start
  15. Orvalians – Wrong Way
  16. Genesis – Do The Neurotic
  17. Second Hand – Revelations Ch. 16 Vs. 9-21
  18. No Brain Cell – Man Of Silence
  19. Nevesis – Arsefikker
  20. Paul Mccartney – No More Lonely Nights

iTunes/iPod users*: Just search for ‘Progzilla’ or subscribe to: http://podcasts.progzilla.com/cliff/podcast.xml

Enjoy!

The post Edition 214 – Live From Progzilla Towers appeared first on Progzilla Radio.

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THY CATAFALQUE Rengeteg (Experimental/Post Metal, 2011)

Review by Warthur — This is the first Thy Catafalque album crafted by Tamás Kátai as a solo performer (with guests on vocals and cello),
rather than as a collaboration with Juhász János on guitar - and to be honest, if I hadn't looked that up I wouldn't have
guessed, because this pristinely produced exercise in blackened avant-metal with ample folk, prog and electronic
influences and experimentation feels like a whole-band effort. The entire scope of Thy Catafalque's sonic universe is
brought together in album centrepiece Vashegyek, a 14 minute tour de force which should win you over to Thy
Catafalque's approach even if no other composition on here does. Pick it up if you like the idea of atmospheric black
metal by way of early Tangerine Dream as performed for an Eastern European folk festival.

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Steven Wilson Announces North American Tour 2018

Steven Wilson Announces North American Tour

Steven Wilson has announced that he’ll tour North America in April and May 2018.

He’s lined up 19 dates in support of his hit album To The Bone, which arrived last month via Caroline International.

Wilson says:

“I’m happy to announce a return to the USA and Canada in April and May of next year with my band – and with a new show based on the current album To The Bone.

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MAXOPHONE La Fabbrica Delle Nuvole (Rock Progressivo Italiano, 2017)

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother — There used to be something of a running joke that Italy was home to a ton of doomed vintage prog bands that delivered one single album in their prime active years and then promptly vanished, leaving it their sole legacy. That rule has been somewhat shattered over the last few years as a ton of Italian groups have reunited and delivered long-belated follow-ups - yes, the likes of Museo Rosenbach, Murple, even Cherry Five and countless others - and now it's Maxophone's turn! Although `La Fabbrica delle Nuvole' doesn't often sound like their much-loved self-titled 1975 debut and only singer Alberto Ravasini and keyboardist Sergio Lattuada remain from the original line-up (although utilising the same talented new musicians that performed on their 2014 `Live in Tokyo' release), it's a varied and lavish assortment of rock pieces grafted to fancy classical-flavoured symphonic pomp that remains melodic and approachable without being overly simple. Unpredictable and cool rocker `Un Ciclone sul Pacifico' opens the LP around teases of orchestration and cool slinking grooves from electric piano, with heavier punchy bursts kicking in and out around slick backing harmonies, and Alberto Ravasini's voice has remained in fine raspy and charismatic form (with all the vocals performed in Italian, no two versions including English offered this time around, thank you very much!). `Perdo il Colore Blu' is book-ended with twisting/turning up-tempo sprints, and there's a light jazziness to the Hammond organ and cheerful swagger of the piece with brief rollicking PFM-like trilling synth runs, and `Il Passo delle Ore', one of the loveliest tunes of the album, is a gentler romantic moment with a catchy clever chorus, soft violin and crisp electric guitar themes. The title track `La Fabbrica delle Nuvole' is the first big `wow' moment of the disc, a fully-instrumental crossover of whimsical keyboard prettiness, light jazz-fusion guitar grooves and colourful symphonic themes (Marco Croci's slinking thick bass is a real highlight here too) all in under six minutes, and in parts it doesn't sound unlike Italian discs of the last few years like Progenesi's `Ulisse l'Alfiere Nero', Moogg's `Italian Luxury Style' or the last F.E.M album `Sulla Bolla di Sapone'. Folk aromas permeate intricate rocker `La Luna e la Lepre' with a dancing Baroque fanciness of madrigal-flavoured Gryphon and Gentle Giant-like sophistication and whimsy, plenty of ravishing acoustic guitars and intricate multi-part group harmonies, and dreamy synths, silken acoustic guitars and ruminative sax throughout the tasteful and classy `Estate '41' could almost have hailed from a Steve Hackett solo disc. `Nel Fiume dei Giorni i Tuoi Capelli' is busily schizophrenic for a track that doesn't even run four minutes, bouncing through everything from dream-like careful soft rock with elegant violin and sparkling electric piano tiptoes to delicate folk and frantic contorting guitar races, ultimately sounding closer to something like the modern version of Swedish symphonic proggers Kaipa. Those baroque and chamber prog flavours pop up again throughout `Il Matto e l'Aquilone' thanks to warm folk-flecked acoustic guitars and prancing violin whilst alternating back and forth with snappy jazz-fusion turns and infectious keyboard-driven symphonic prog sprints, and `Le Parole Che non vi Ho Detto' is a short and giddy violin/piano closer.

While it can't possibly live up to the status that the popular 1975 debut enjoys, `La Fabbrica delle Nuvole's strength lies in the fact that it's a real grower that impresses more and more with every listen. It's an eclectic, colourful and tastefully performed comeback with plenty to recommend about it, and another example that no country delivers better and more rewarding modern prog albums from older acts than Italy. Lovers of Maxophone and Italian prog fans in general should end up having a terrific time with this unexpectedly vital, highly surprising and greatly inspired work.

Four stars.

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