Archive for the Symphonic Prog Category

Pulsar – Görlitz (1989) France

Posted in Symphonic Prog with tags on November 15, 2009 by MarkProg

The legendary French space-rock group. On their debut “Pollen” the media had them promoted as the French PINK FLOYD, though they were a lot more original than that would suggest, with much use of flute and electronics. They had a uniquely French sound. PULSAR’s third album, issued in 1977, “Halloween” (a conceptual “horror-rock” symphonic opus) is generally considered one of the ten best symphonic albums in the world. A masterpiece of refinement. Definitely indispensable for all progressive rock fans! “The Strands of the Future” contained beautiful, spacey, symphonic progressive music along the lines of PINK FLOYD, GENESIS, the early ELOY albums. This album featured some of their finest work, particularly the 26 minute mostly instrumental title-track. The atmosphere is enhanced by fantastic passages for mellotron. Probably as good or even better than “Halloween”! An excellent album!

gorlitz

Symphonic Prog • France

Studio Album, released in 1989

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Görlitz (19:25)
2. Fin de voyage (4:00)
3. Naufrage (4:58)
4. Pour un autre départ (2:46)
5. Autour de toi (5:40)
6. Tara (3:00)

Total Time: 39:49

Line-up / Musicians

– Victor Bosch / drums, percussion
– Gilbert Gandil / guitars, vocals
– Roland Richard / sax, keyboards
– Jacques Roman / piano, synthesizers
– Louis Paralis / bass

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Pictorial Wand – Face of Our Fathers (2009) Norway

Posted in Symphonic Prog with tags on November 14, 2009 by MarkProg

face of our fathers

Symphonic Prog • Norway

Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Wasteland (11:12)
2. Struggle Of Autumn Leaves (8:41)
3. Prince Of War (8:19)
4. The Ghosts Start Dancing (11:44)
5. Verse of Despair (6:10)
6. Face Of Our Fathers (9:33)
7. Circle’s End (12:05)

Total Time – 67:44


Line-up / Musicians

– Tomas di Sansimone / drums
– Idar Eidsaune / bass guitar
– Paal Selsjord Björseth / piano, organ, harpsichord
– Per Christian Jörstad / cello
– Synne Teiseth Norbeck / flute
– Staale Storlökken / synthesizer solo
– Sigrid Inderberg / flute
– Hanna Haugan / cello
– Mattis Sörum / electric & acoustic guitars, electric sitar, organs, keyboards & orchestra arrangements

Clearlight – Les Contes Du Singe Fou (1977) France

Posted in Symphonic Prog with tags on October 21, 2009 by MarkProg

75

Studio Album, released in 1977

Track Listings

1. The Key (13:42)
i. The Outsider (5:17)
ii. A Trip To The Orient (5:45)
iii. Lightsleeper’s Despair (2:40)
2. Soliloque (5:21)
3. Time Skater (15:29)
i. Prelude (1:50)
ii. Countdown To Eternity (4:28)
iii. The Cosmic Crusaders (9:11)
4. Stargazer (2:32)
5. Return To The Source (3:41)

Total Time: 40:45

Line-up/Musicians

– Serge Aouzi / drums, percussion
– Ian Bellamy / vocals
– Tim Blake / synthesizers
– Yves Chouard / guitars
– Joel Dugrenot / bass
– Didier Lockwood / violins
– Francis Mandin / Arp Odyssey
– Cyrille Verdeaux / keyboards, timbales

Clearlight – Forever Blowing Bubbles (1975)France

Posted in Symphonic Prog with tags on October 21, 2009 by MarkProg

forever

Genre: Symphonic Prog
Origin: France

Studio Album, released in 1975

Track Listings

1. Chanson (4:45)
2. Without Words (7:40)
3. Way (8:15)
4. Ergotrip (6:24)
5. Et pendant ce temps la (4:42)
6. Narcisse et Goldmund (2:39)
7. Jungle bubbles (2:42)

Bonus tracks on cd release:

8. Sweet absinthe (7:48)
9. Without words (Mellotron remix) (7:43)
10. Flute aquatique (2:45)

Total Time: 55:28

Line-up/Musicians

– Bob Boisadan / keyboards, synths.
– Jean-Claude D’Agostini / guitars, flute
– Joel Dugrenot / lead vocals, bass
– François Jeanneau / bubbles synthetizers, flute, soprano sax
– Christos Stapinopoulos / drums, congas
– Cyrille Verdeaux / keyboards, gongs, congas, synthesizers, Mellotron, glockenspiel
– Amanda & Ann / celestial choir
– Gilbert Artman / drums, percussion, vibraphone, maracas
– Christian Boulé / cosmic guitar
– David Cross / violins
– Brigitte Roy / vocals (6)
– Bruno Verdeaux / synthesizer, aquatic congas

Anglagard – Hybris (1992) Sweden

Posted in Symphonic Prog with tags on October 4, 2009 by MarkProg

hybris

Änglagård’s sound is rich in mellotron, Hammond and piano, and a brooding wash of guitars and bass/bass pedal accented by Holmgren’s moody and precise flute. The band’s compositions are characterized by long, often instrumental tracks with significant tempo shifts and sometimes intense guitar flourishes.
An inspiration for a lot of Scandinavian bands, ANGLAGARD’s first production is a must have in any prog collection. Maybe one of the few albums that everybody loves, and it’s not merely coincidental. After the decadence of the great bands in ’80s, and the poor approach to the original style from neo-prog bands, ANGLAGARD arised like the true response for all those who considered prog music dead and buried.

This album was a true inspiration for many Northern Europe bands like SINKADUS or LANDBERK, who emphasized the sadness and nostalgy found in “Hybris”, making a sort of new “melancholic Scandinavian mellotronic” style. Precisely, “Hybris” is a party for Mellotron lovers.


Genre: Symphonic Prog
Origin: Sweden

Studio Album, released in 1992

Track Listings

1. Jordrök (11:10)
2. Vandringar i Vilsenhet (11:53)
3. Ifrån Klarhet Till Klarhet (8:04)
4. Kung Bore (12:57)
Bonus track on remastered CD:
5. Gånglåt från Knapptibble (7:19)

Total Time: 51:23
Line-up/Musicians

– Thomas Johnson / Mellotron, Hammond organ B-3 and L-100, solina, clavinet, pianet, korg mono/poly, piano and church organ electronic version
– Jonas Engdegård / Stratocaster, Gibson 335, nylon and steel acoustic guitars
– Tord Lindman / vocals, Gibson 335, nylon and steel acoustic guitars
– Johan Högberg / Rickenbacker bass, basspedals and mellotroneffects
– Anna Holmgren / flute
– Mattias Olsson / Sonor drumset, Zildjians cymbals, concert bass drum, triangles, tambourines, vibraslap, po-chung, gong, castanets, line-bells, cow-bell, wood-blcok, glockenspiel, tubular bells, bongos, bells, ice-bell, finger cymbals, waterfall, a-gogo bells, cabasa, claves, French cowbell, African drums, effect-flute

Cressida – Asylum (1971) U.K.

Posted in Symphonic Prog with tags on September 16, 2009 by MarkProg

cressida

CRESSIDA were an excellent band of early British symphonic progressive scene. Their sound is mostly dominated by the most beautiful and symphonic Hammond organ (dirty, and mellow), piano, bass, guitar, and drums. The instrumental sections are equally good, and tend to be typical of early 70s English prog rock. Thanks to the captivating atmospheres and the technical ability of the musicians. Similar bands include FANTASY, BEGGARS’ OPERA, CIRKUS, GRACIOUS, and SPRING.

Both CRESSIDA albums are excellent and very rare now (both were original Vertigo “Swirls”). Their self-titled debut is an early seventies forgotten classic with delicate vocals, gobs of organ and acoustic guitar. CRESSIDA’s second “Asylum” is the best of the genre represented by BEGGARS’ OPERA, SPRING, FANTASY, FRUUPP, and many more. The combinations of instruments used for this album featuring the flute and different keyboard configurations accompanied by acoustic guitar works. This album, though, was by far the better one, with long instrumental passages and more elaborate arrangements. Thus, if you’re interested, “Asylum” is a recommended starter of great early British rock. DEFINITELY A CLASSIC!

Genre: Symphonic Prog
Origin: United Kingdom

Studio Album, released in 1971

Track Listings

1. Asylum (3:33)
2. Munich (9:33)
3. Goodbye post office tower, goodbye (2:50)
4. Survivor (1:34)
5. Reprieved (2:28)
6. Lisa (5:08)
7. Summer weekend of a lifetime (3:25)
8. Let them come when they will (11:44)

Total Time: 41:15
Line-up/Musicians

– Angus Cullen / vocals, guitar, percussion
– John Culley / lead guitar
– Peter Jennings / organ, piano
– Kevin McCarthy / bass
– Iain Clark / drums, percussion

guest musicians:

– Harold McNair / flute
– Paul Layton / acoustic guitar

Mezquita – Recuerdos De Mi Tierra (1979) Spain

Posted in Symphonic Prog with tags on September 14, 2009 by MarkProg

mezq

Fantastic symphonic progressive from Spain. MEZQUITA can be defined as a more Progressive MEDINA AZAHARA. The band consisted of Jose Rafael Garcia (guitar and vocals), Randy Lopez (bass, percussion and vocals), Rosca Lopez (keyboards and vocals), Rafael Zorilla (drums and vocals) and a violin-section. They incorporate ethnic Spanish influences into the music, and the madness is perfectly wound around tight melodic themes with Arabic and Flamenco textures. As with many of MEZQUITA’s contemporaries such as TRIANA and GRANADA, there is a strong KING CRIMSON influence. The level of comparisons should bring it into perspective, this is one of the supremely classic examples of European symphonic progressive rock.

The album ”Recuerdos De Mi Tierra” from ’79 contains six inventive and compelling tracks with exciting interplay between electric guitar and synthesizer, strong and expressive Spanish vocals, the emotional flamenco guitar and some handclapping (palmas).

Genre: Symphonic Prog
Origin: Spain

Studio Album, released in 1979

Track Listings

1. Recuerdos de mi Tierra 7:38
2. El bizco de los patios 4:15
3. Desde que somos dos 5:41
4. Ara buza(dame un beso) 4:30
5. Suicidijo 7:20
6. Obertura en Si bemol 6:01

Total time 35:15

Line-up/Musicians

– José Rafa / guitars, vocals
– Randy / bass, percussion, vocals
– Roscka / keyboards, vocals
– Zorrilla / drums, percussion, vocals

GUESTS:

– José Azpiri / violin
– Santiago Crespo / violin
– Juan Ferrera / violin
– Manuel Lopez / cello