Various Artists — Un Voyage en Progressif Vol. 5
(Musea FGBG 4374.AR, 2000, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2001-07-01
We all know that one cut off of a sampler can’t possibly give an accurate picture of a band’s full breadth and quality. But if the purpose of a sampler slot is to shine positive light on a group in order to lure the listener into purchasing one a release of their own then this has to be Musea’s best one to date. What’s fueling the strength of this collection is the recent burst of quality and creativity from Japan, namely from veterans Kenso and newcomers KBB. The latter (plus three other Japanese bands) is represented here with an incendiary prog rock instrumental taken from Lost and Found, a disc that every Exposé reader should own. This approach is revisited in Cafeïne’s “Hubble,” Six North’s “Kundabuffer,” and Decadence’s “The Dancing Bells.” Each track serves up exciting and supercharged rock instrumentals featuring fierce soloing (typically from the guitars and keys) with virtuoso backing from the rhythm sections. What’s especially nice about this style is that it achieves what prog metal bands like Shadow Gallery and Dream Theater are after without the adolescent sentimentality and grandiose theatrics. For those wishing for something a bit more calming, tracks from Jean-Pascal Boffo and Germany’s Versus X are both simultaneously dynamic and restrained, demonstrating superior control and precision. On the whole there’s a maturity and intelligence to this collection that could just about restore respect to the prog genre and I heartily recommend it for those wishing to glimpse the best that today’s progressive rock has to offer.
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more