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News Progressive Rock

Two New Live Beardfish Tracks

Beardfish is planning on releasing Mammoth (source) in March 2011, but in the meantime two tracks “The Platform” and “And the Stone Said If I Could Speak” have been performed live and are available on YouTube. Also, an edited version of “The Platform” is also available on YouTube.

“The Platform” (Bratislava 10/25/2010)

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Music Reviews Progressive Metal

Haken – Aquarius

There are few albums that acquire your attention so quickly, and somehow, I missed Haken’s debut release Aquarius in March 2010. As the year draws to a close, this album has had several rotations on my playlist and there is no reason for it to leave any time soon. For a debut album, Aquarius has the polished glazed that often only appears on a band’s third or forth album.

Aquarius is a concept album about two parents who beget a mermaid child and release it into the river, knowing full well they could not properly raise it themselves. The mermaid child struggles to live in a changing environment as becomes surrounded by nature’s retaliation toward those responsible for global climate change.

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Amateur Round Up Music Reviews

December Amateur Round-Up

ProgSnobs welcomes all musical acts to submit their music for review. However,  it may be impossible to do a full-length review and not all bands are able to send a compact disc, our preferred way to listen to new material. Once a month, if enough material comes through, ProgSnobs will publish an Amateur Round-Up with brief reviews of albums or material submitted by unsigned bands or artists who provide us with streaming or downloadable content.

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Music Reviews Progressive Rock

Salim Ghazi Saeedi – Iconophobic

Iconophobic is an instrumental album that is far more focused than most releases by self-produced individual artists, yet each of its compositions offer unfocused melodies that appear to be controlled chaos to your ears’ benefit. The album never gives you cheap thrills that you would expect and the short songs often have a feel of jamming to them, despite their construction being that of one person, Iranian musician Salim Ghazi Saeedi.

The first two songs offer the listener a clean and simple way to enter into Saeedi‘s musical world, particularly with the ultra short “Composer’s Laughter”, which features moments that captures the song’s namesake. “The Songful Song of Songbirds” has the jam feel to it, praise for a one-man operation. “Don’t You See the Cheerful Rainbow” has a playful and slightly humorous quality to it.

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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.

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Music Reviews Progressive Metal

Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier

Iron Maiden‘s 15th studio album, The Final Frontier continues much of the same sound that has preceded them throughout the first decade of the millennium. For some this a travesty; to others, this is a move in the right direction. There is no doubt that the 2008-2009 Somewhere Back in Time World Tour had some influence on the album’s sound. It is a blessing for fans of Maiden’s 1980s sound, and a treasure for fans of the band’s entire discography.

The album begins with a “Satellite 15…The Final Frontier”, acting as both an opening montage of sounds that quickly turns into a catchy, straight-forward Maiden tune, very reminiscent of Somewhere in Time and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son era offerings. Some bass drum triggers bring back much of the dated 1980s sound, as well as reversing the trend that has spilled into the current decade. Yet the 2nd half of this song returns to much of the band’s progress made during the A Matter of Life and Death.

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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.”

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Commentary

Yes and Avatar

It has come to no surprise to those who have seen Avatar and seen the inspiration of Roger Dean’s Yes artwork. Yes has been known for their artwork that often depict gorgeous, colorful worlds that feature futuristic settings with a natural tone. Both the film Avatar and a majority Yes’ lyrical and musical output has been very nature based, making the influence perfect.

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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.

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News Progressive Metal

Porcupine Tree “Bonnie The Cat” Music Video Premiere

“Bonnie The Cat” off the The Incident has been given the music video treatment. This ultra wide screen edition is currently only available on the Porcupine Tree RoadRunner Records site, which you can find here.

It certainly has a very Tool-like style which fits perfectly with Porcupine Tree‘s Tool-meets-Pink Floyd musical blend.