Tag: Progressive Rock

2017, Music

Oceanarium (2017) by Deluge Grander

Literally 4 years ago (seriously) the leader of this group sent me a message and asked if I would review this album based on a partial release. I suck and so it’s taken me 4 years to get to it. (In my limited defense, my podcast was still running so I basically listened to nothing …

2001, Music

Blackwater Pater (2001) by Opeth

I’ve been struggling with Opeth for years now, trying to reconcile their reputation with what I hear on record. My biggest issue on earlier records has been the categorization of them as “progressive metal” when I’ve felt like I’ve been hearing “melodic death metal.” Now, that might seem like I’m picking nits but, as a …

1975, Music

Crack the Sky (1975)

The narrative about American prog in the ’70s that I grew up on is that American musicians heard British prog and got really excited about it but, without the classical education, they really didn’t know how to do it, save to include some jazz. And then some of them figured out that if they just …

1970, Music

H to He Who Am the Only One (1970) by Van Der Graaf Generator

This has got to be the best-produced Van Der Graaf Generator record, at least among the albums of their first few eras. It’s clear and there are fewer instruments – or, rather, fewer effects on the instruments, I guess – and things don’t bleed together like they do on basically every other record this version …

1975, Music

Godbluff (1975) by Van Der Graaf Generator

Van Der Graaf Generator’s firs reunion album feels like the first step in the band’s evolution from its dense prog sound of its early days to the almost new wave sound they would have on The Quiet Zone. It’s a notably sparer record, which may seem like an odd thing to say if this is …

1970, Music

Jesus Christ Superstar (1970) by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice

I honestly had no idea this was an album first. I think because it has been so successful as a property I just assumed it had to have been a musical. But, instead, it was an album. And, as a result, it got reviewed as an album. (And, hilariously, it was banned in some countries …

1970, Music

Shazam (1970) by The Move

This is a bonkers record which, had I discovered it when I was in my late teens or early 20s, I might be telling you is one of the great unknown masterpieces of the early ’70s. However, time has dulled my tolerance for the “anything goes” approach of this band, especially given how scattershot the …

1974, Music

Red Queen to Gryphon Three (1974)

Are the wrinkles on the forehead of the character on the cover meant to to at least somewhat allude to Gentle Giant? Because that’s the first thing I think of when I see the cover and the thought enters my head that this might be somewhere in the world of Gentle Giant.

1974, Music

The Civil Surface (1974) by Egg

Here I am coming at yet another band backwards. This time, it’s even worse, because this album was made by Egg after they had broken up, to basically tie up loose ends or something. So, um, it’s probably not the best place to start.

1974, Music

Sheer Heart Attack (1974) by Queen

This is, by all accounts, the record where Queen really becomes Queen, taking their bizarre (insane, really) hybrid style and finally pairing it with enough quality songs that it no longer seems gimmicky. I’m not sure I entirely agree, but I get why people feel this way.

1974, Music

Crime of the Century (1974) by Supertramp

Before I knew what Prog Rock was, Supertramp was just a band on classic rock radio that I didn’t exactly love. Once I figured out what Prog Rock was, they became this caricature for me – my friends who hated prog hated it because they hated Supertramp but, to me, Supertramp wasn’t prog at all, …

1969, Music

On the Threshold of a Dream (1969) by The Moody Blues

Many people, or at least many rock critics, consider the Moodies to be the first ever progressive rock band or, at the very least, creators of the first ever progressive rock album. Now, I haven’t heard the previous album, but I have heard their album which supposedly invented the genre (Days of Future Passed) and …

1974, Music

Queen II (1974)

I think it’s safe to say that there’s no other band that sounds like Queen: hard rock plus operatic vocals plus other weird arty or proggy ideas, in a really accessible package, with occasional diversions into other genres that shouldn’t fit – pick a Queen record and there’s usually at least one of these. I …

1973, Music

Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh (1973) by Magma

The first time I heard Koenji Hyakkei I thought “Oh my god, what is this?!?!” and kind of lost my mind. It seemed like someone had invented a new spin on prog rock in the 1990s and I had just missed it during my teens. It was a while before I knew about Zeuhl or …

1973, Music

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973) by Black Sabbath

Is a band that does one particular thing very well, like Black Sabbath, allowed to evolve? It’s one of those tricky questions. On the one hand, we expect many if not most artists to evolve in some way. (Thank the Beatles for that, if you hate that.) On the other hand, some bands (AC/DC, Ramones, …

1993, Music

Focus (1993) by Cynic

Most of the time, when I encounter “progressive death metal” (which this sounds like to me, but which it isn’t categorized as on RYM), I think “this isn’t very progressive.” It usually sounds like more ambitious death metal, but it doesn’t sound very proggy. Well, not so here. If there is one thing this record …

1968, Music

Shine On Brightly (1968) by Procol Harum

Procol Harum remind me of The Moody Blues in a way; not in terms of their sound but in terms of their place in the history progressive rock, and how it evolved. Both bands got in on the ground floor, which makes them pioneers, at the very least. But both also got in before progressive …

1973, Music

Felona e Sorona (1973) by Le Orme

I don’t understand Italian, and I didn’t realize there was an English version – and I don’t really want to listen to that – so whatever this grand concept is, I don’t really know or care. Sometimes it’s better to listen to “High Concept” rock music in another language, that way you’re not confronted with …

1973, Music

The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1973) by Rick Wakeman

I can’t say I like programmatic music a lot of time as I often find the concept completely unhelpful in appreciating the music. (The exception to this is a really great tone poem, wherein the program sometimes helps locate the experience.) So frankly I am unconcerned with whether or not this record does anything with …

1995, Music

As the World (1995) by Echolyn

When I was in my very late teens and early 20s, I absolutely loved prog rock. And I think that, had I heard Echolyn then, I probably would have loved them; I probably wouldn’t have cared about the things that now cause me to be concerned about this kind of music. Because this record satisfies …

1977, Music

I Robot (1977) by The Alan Parsons Project

When I was young and obsessed with prog rock, people used to make fun of me. They would learn I loved prog and they would be bemused or even a little shocked/outraged. And I was confused because I really liked the stuff. Eventually, I realized that those who made fun of my tastes were often …