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Music Reviews Progressive Rock

Kaipa – In The Wake Of Evolution

While Kaipa has had a lengthy career, beginning in the mid-1970s when English progressive rock was waning and the influence was spreading to other countries, I have finally heard them. My knowledge of them is more recent, as a big fan of The Flower Kings knowing that Roine Stolt was a founding member would give enough fodder to gain my interest. In The Wake of Evolution is an wonderful album, deep in conventional progressive ideals, Kaipa has a welcomed place in most traditional progressive rock fans. Kaipa continues and strengthens my opinion that some of the best progressive rock has come from Sweden in the past decade plus including Opeth, The Flower Kings, and Beardfish to name a few.

The opening track, “In The Wake Of Evolution” is the grabber and a wonderful way to introduce the album’s musical contexts, and as a new listener a great way to introduce the band. Aleena Gibson’s voice is well placed in the mix and adds an uncanny romanticism to the lyrics, especially when the music kicks back in. The solos are filled with talent and never masturbatory and add the right amount of tension to the musical journey. “In The Heart Of Her Own Magic Field” has an excellent melody in the chorus that will embed itself into your mind.

Categories
Music Reviews Progressive Rock

Rush – “Caravan” and “BU2B”

When describing progressive rock legends RUSH, there are certain reactions from fans and music reviewers that are usually given; incredible musicianship, drum solos, high-pitched vocals, eerily long epics and yes,  a bit of quirkiness.

It goes without saying that 2010 and 2011 are going to be on the biggest years in Rush’s history. Not only is the Canadian trio touring across North and South America, their popularity is sky rocketing to new found heights now in the 36th year of their existence. Recently, the long awaited documentary, Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage directed by Sam Dunn/Scott McFayden was released to an enthusiastic response, the band released two new songs in June; “Caravan” and “Brought up to Believe”, formerly called “BU2B.”

Categories
Music Reviews Progressive Rock

Spock’s Beard – X

Spock’s Beard has continued to press on, despite the diminished fan base over the years. With a lesser, but loyal fan base the band chose to use crowd funding to pay for studio time with an early limited 5,000 run pre-order edition with retail and digital editions at later dates. The crowd funding idea worked tremendously for Marillion, and many other bands have taken similar steps and may be the only way long-tail bands with a specific niche can survive. This independent choice in production of their tenth album is another wake up call for bands to being to realize the eventual change in tides when distributing music, particularly to retain control and ownership.

X is a pivotal moment for Spock’s Beard. The fourth album after Neal Morse left, certainly recorded during a time where fans of Spock’s Beard have retreated to a scarce few who remain loyal. For those who have stuck with the band, even pre-ordering the album will be fully rewarded with the band’s most solid release to date.