AMPHETAMIN A Flood Of Strange Sensations (Crossover Prog, 2016)

Review by ProgAlia — A Flood Of Strange Sensations album combines everything from art rock to post rock. Sebastian presents very
melodic music twisted just enough to make it feel foreign and strange.
Musically, it is misleading at first. It seems straight forward but after a few listens, you discover there's a lot going on.
The songs have plenty of space and atmosphere but at the same time, nothing is obvious. Sebastian has a unique
voice and a fondness for falsetto.
"Neverland" is shoegaze played by a doom band. "Once Upon a Tree" and "Thoughts in the Water" feel like a post rock
band covering Roxy Music. There's a flood going on underneath the surface of "A Flood of Strange Sensations." If you
like to be swept away by a tide wave of falsetto and texturized music, look no further as Amphetamin is the drug for
you.

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FILULAS JUZ Astralopithecus (Jazz Rock/Fusion, 2015)

Review by ProgAlia — Filulas Juz is an impressive instrumental jazz-rock unit featuring drums (Adriano Morales is an impressive drummer
all around, guiding the group through a variety of styles), bassist Luigino Mar'n, guitarist Armando Cuevas, with Fender
Rhodes and flute player Jos' Javier Rodriguez doubling on both instruments; guest player Pablo Olaya contributes
Rhodes on several cuts, trumpeter Alejandro Sierra plays on a number of others as well, along with percussionist
Francisco Jim'nez.
Most of the time on the nine tracks, the sliding scale tips far closer to the jazz element, with the Fender Rhodes often
recalling Chick Corea's playing, but with the rest of the group they truly forge their own identity. While drums and bass
create some stunning grooves, one would be remiss to label this fusion, as the overall identity of their sound generally
takes on a much lighter feel, without the heaviness. The odd track here is 'Green Dolphin Skit,' with spoken lyrics in
Spanish from guest Juan Regueiro, making it the only track on the entire album with any kind of vocals. The guitar and
keyboard interplay on the title tracks sets up beautiful and stirring passages for trumpet, guitar and keyboard solos,
while drums confidently leads the group through numerous irregular rhythms. The entire group gets a chance to
shine on the epic 'Voyager' as the piece builds and morphs into the closer 'Xena,' with a dreamy bass solo followed by
some strange effected moves, eventually giving way to some spirited ensemble work that truly makes these two the
most adventurous pieces of the nine. Looking forward to their next release.

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VERBAL DELIRIUM From The Small Hours Of Weakness (Crossover Prog, 2013)

Review by ProgAlia — This prog band from Greece, have quite a wide range in their musical radius , sometimes sounding like Pink Floyd, with
very spacey soundscapes, sometimes sounding like a cross between Van Der Graaf Generator and Audience, not to
mention some very beautiful intervals of pure brilliant symphonic prog! . They manage to go all over the progmap
without loosing their identity and most impressive they create these mentioned spheres with "simple" means,
keyboard (piano) bass, drums and superb vocals, be it lead vocal and/or harmony vocals/choir, add to that some great
flute, saxophone, trumpet intervals, yes there are guitars just not used in the traditional prog way, all instruments
seems integrated in the total sound picture of this very exciting new band, which is very impressing.
FROM THE SMALL HOURS OF WEAKNESS is a very pleasant and surprising album, it has got to be one
of the best surprises of the year in the prog realm!! Once you have heard them you will agree.

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EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER Live at Montreux 1997 (Symphonic Prog, 2015)

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush — This Montreux concert is an ELP performance from 1997. I owned the DVD and loved the music so it was worth checking out the
CD.

ELP in the late 90s were a cohesive unit and put a lot of effort into this performance but they are not as good as they used to be,
comparing to the dynamic energy of Isle of Wight 1970 and the exuberance of California Jam 1974. This is a very impressive
setlist overall with some of the best the band have done. The supergroup loosen up a bit midway through the concert, perhaps
that is the effect of Knife Edge, such a great song. Take A Pebble is the definitive highlight for me, an incredible song the band
seem to enjoy, and a song that drew me to this band in the first place.

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YES The Ladder (Symphonic Prog, 1999)

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush — Yes redeem themselves after a slew of mediocrity in the 90s with "The Ladder". From the outset there is a huge leap back into
progressive territory on the opening track Homeworld. Clocking over 9 minutes and full of wonderful instrumental sections
and the awesome vocals of Anderson with reflective lyrics, one wonders where the band had disappeared to on their last
album "Open Your Eyes". The keyboard workouts of Igor Khoroshev are great, he is now an official member, and it has a
definite progressive structure, with a rather provocative ending with wind blowing and Anderson singing to a lonely piano. Its
a wonderful way to begin this album.

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GANDALF'S FIST A Day in the Life of a Universal Wanderer (Special Edition) (Neo-Prog, 2017)

Review by CeeJayGee — I enjoyed the 2013 release of Gandalf's Fist's A Day In The Life Of A Universal Wanderer and I checked back to see how it is rated in its year of release ? it is currently 67th. I was a little surprised to see the Deluxe Edition newly released appear high up in the 2017 album chart. I was expecting a longer / dramatically developed album. The 2013 release has 11 tracks and the 2017 release 15 tracks. The weakest track on the 2013 release, Maze of Corridors has been dispensed with and is replaced by The Stowaway and the Endless Night, a fine addition. Otherwise the extra tracks are short narrative fillers. I rated the original album a four star in its year of release but for me this album should not be riding high in the 2017 chart and I have rated it two stars for that reason alone. However I accept that it is difficult for any annual ratings chart to distinguish re-releases, which this effectively is, from original studio albums (ironically the album currently No 2 in the 2013 chart is the re-release of Camel's The Snowgoose!).

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WOBBLER From Silence to Somewhere (Symphonic Prog, 2017)

Review by Zappy — Opinions concerning Norwegian symphonic prog rock outfit Wobbler have been quite divided in the past. From the beginning Lars
Fredrik Froislie and his bandmates were labeled an Anglagard cover band. Things didn't seem to change when Andreas Wettergreen
Stromman Prestmo added his singular falsetto on 2011 release "Rites at Dawn", adding a lighter texture to the band's overall sound.
Wobbler had now officially become a yes clone to many. The main complaint of critics is never aimed toward their technical capabilities
concerning composition or instrumental virtuosity but simply lies in Wobbler not having an own individual voice, but only borrowing
the latter of those before them. Yes indeed, Wobbler tap into some Yes, King Crimson or Gentle Giant repertoire from time to time,
integrating the one or the other idea into their pieces. But this is symphonic progressive rock. Who doesn't?

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GRYPHON Red Queen To Gryphon Three (Prog Folk, 1974)

Review by Walkscore — Truly Unique and Innovative, and Musical.

This is Gryphon's masterpiece, the one that everyone should have in their collection. Indeed, this site almost needs a new category
"progressive medieval" to classify it, or something, it is so unique. The basic medieval-influenced song structures are still there, as are
the crumhorns etc, but now as the basis for a truly new sound. Taking a cue from their extended epic "Midnight Mushrumps" from the
previous album, but clearly making a conscious decision to keep the pace up and the transitions between sections as seamless as
possible, the band fashions four distinct roughly-10-minute tracks, each with an original and memorable main theme and various sub-
themes. On this album, they add electric guitars and basses, and a full rock drummer, although the vast majority of the music is still
written around acoustic guitar, piano, flutes and the horns. But the complexity is much higher, and the musicality is clear. The most
medieval-sounding track is the second ("Second Spasm"), and for me this is the weaker one, although it is still very good with some
excellent middle sections (on par with the best on Mushrumps). The first track ("Opening Move") has a very memorable melody, and
the crumhorns here really add to the sonic feel. Really musical. The third and fourth tracks move around a lot, and have slower
sections. I really like the middle section in the third track, with the droning organ and the slower horn lines ("Lament"). The fourth track
("Checkmate") contains probably the most progressive-rock-sounding music on the album, with prominent electric guitars, keyboards,
drums and the like, and while it veers in and out of more medieval sounding themes, it is almost like math rock as it progresses
through part of its middle section, but returning to the main theme for the ending. In terms of a rating, this album sits right on the
8.9/9.0 mark for me (on my 10-point scale). I will say 9.0 as there is really nothing like this album, and thus I would say it is essential.
Thus, 5 PA stars.

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GRYPHON Midnight Mushrumps (Prog Folk, 1974)

Review by Walkscore — An original and musical evolution.

Evolving from their debut medieval cover album, Gryphon here offer a new and original vision. While not yet as outstanding as their
third album would be, this sees the band take the original impetus for reproducing medieval English music and use it to establish their
own voice, stake out their territory. And they do it well. There is not a bad track on this album, and many of the tracks here are on the
same, or better, level as the best track on their debt ("Juniper Suite"). The standout track on this album is the long epic title track
"Midnight Mushrumps". While some find it slow and fragmented, and in fact this is true, it is nonetheless very musical. It takes its time
to get where it needs to go, and sets out a number of very musical melodies, mixing piano, organ, acoustic guitars, and even some
great dissonance. A very satisfying experience. I really like how more of the tracks (including a number of sections of the long epic)
here move in an out of minor keys, which really sets it apart from their very major-key debut (were the middle ages really always so
happy?). And of course, there are the fabulous crumhorns and other English horns. After the title track, my favourite here is "Gulland
Rock", a really musical composition with some great slow dark, jazzy and moody sections, as well as dissonance, with lots of changes
and sections (including a nice happy roiling medeival theme in one part). Both this song and the title track also have very nice piano
parts, which adds much to the otherwise horns and organ sound. The rest of the pieces are all good too, although once again I would
have liked the entire album to be instrumental (thus, "the Ploughboy's Dream" is for me the weakest track on this album). So, while I
can listen to every song on this album, the quality is still mixed, with the two really excellent tracks balanced out somewhat by the
others. I give this 7.6 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is much better than the debut, and translates to high 3 PA stars.

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DELUGE GRANDER Oceanarium (Symphonic Prog, 2017)

Review by Progfan97402 — Oceanarium is the fourth installment by Deluge Grander from Maryland, a project lead by Dan Britton, also of Birds and
Buildings and Cerebus Effect. This is the second in a trilogy, starting with Helotians, and ending with the as-yet-to-be-released
Lunarians. Unlike Helotians, Oceanarium is an all-instrumental affair. This album really features a ton of diverse instruments,
from the typical guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, to violin, cello, sax, trombone, flute, and clarinet, but doing it all in a symphonic
prog context. What's really great is somehow they created an album that really reminds me of no band in particular. Sure I
notice an influence from King Crimson, Canterbury, Camel, Genesis, perhaps, but never directly reminding me of such. The
music is retro, so if you didn't know any better, you'd swear you were listening to a lost '70s recording. This is frequently dense
and complex music, and given it's nearly 80 minutes long it really needs a few listens to let it all soak in. It's hard for me to point
out a highlight, so I won't, but it's very much a worthy addition to your collection.

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