Kaipa makes modern symphonic prog that's often too bombastic for my taste, and this one's no exception. The male vocals are unpleasant. The arrangement has nice acoustic elements but the sad song itself is a bit boring. I suppose it's the opening part of the nearmin.
Well, seems every other modern prog band sounds like this, and the vocalist is mediocre. Furthermore the album wasn't fresh at the time anymore. This sampler contains some usual good stuff from the contemporary Various - Midem Sampler 94 (CD) names, and tasters from acts less familiar to me, of which only Rob Gould enters my check-out-some-more -list. Not many delightful new names, nor is the diversity of modern prog very widely represented here, or maybe the year wasn't that great?
I think two stars is enough. Powerful, slightly dystopic feel especially for the partly distorted vocals which I don't like that much. A bit monotonic song but with good sounds. Crossover-proggers KOYO and their eponymous album hasn't been reviewed here yet, but not-so-progressive rock piece 'Now I Understand' doesn't get me interested either.
Soft, orchestral sound is nice. Well done, but not much of originality. This softly meandering track is not very far from the more recent Marillion, but is for the most part slightly boring. No great band discoveries this time, so two stars it will be again. Given that we're celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Yes this issue, we thought it'd be a timely reminder of Banks' talent The rest of the artists are mostly cases of "never heard" for me.
A bit like Mostly Autumn. Sylvan I naturally know from Hackett's Genesis Revisited, but this vocal oriented and poppy collaborative track doesn't sound much prog to me.
This sampler is rather uneven, and funnily it contains pairs or threes that sound quite alike. But not a bad way of getting the first taste of several new bands. As always with GoD releases, the leaflet is packed up with information both in German and in English in a very user-friendly fashion. I'm naturally basing my review on those band introductions.
Here's a track from their intended second album that remained unpublished for nearly four decades. It's energetic, jazzy prog-rock starring Hammond and electric guitar. XHOL played psychedelic jazz-rock. The GoD release represented here with a frenzy minute instrumental is a live album "Essen ". Sounds very nice! Lyrics are in English and there's a lot of flute to increase a certain [pre-Aqualung] Jethro Tull flavour.
The chosen fast-paced track is starring oboe. The next two bands are the best known. The sound quality is not very good, and to me this is the sampler's weakest link. At least the 9-minute, lighthearted instrumental 'Dance of Some Broken Glasses' sounds nice with the cool groove and flutes, but there's not much of progression in the composition.
The original LP of copies is worth a small fortune. As usual the quality of the material is good to excellent, and for those with an interest or passion for vintage style psychedelic rock it'll be quite the pleasant experience indeed. As they are presented in these cover versions at least: I haven't checked with the originals to hear just how much these reinterpretations are different from the originals. In my view there's one cut here that stands a head and a shoulder above the rest though, namely Vibravoid's take on Pink Floyd's classic Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun.
A firmly retro-oriented take on this track, with a plethora of odd and eerie sounds, but with a firmer and more concise delivery that adds a tension and hardness to this track that manage to elevate the sheer cosmic nature of the song and a highly appealing manner.
If you have Various - Midem Sampler 94 (CD) interest in psychedelic rock, be it progressive or not, this is a fine collection of material of classic tracks and forgotten jewels from yesteryear as explored and performed by contemporary artists.
Those with an interest for material of this kind should not be disappointed by the material presented here. The album has a strong opener from Big big train, but never really let's go other than that track 4, Various - Midem Sampler 94 (CD).
The song from Bellerophon is probably the first to surface, as there are many mood changes, which make you wonder if you're listening to the same band throughout. The flow Various - Midem Sampler 94 (CD) thereafter, with some strong music, and the excellent vocalist from 'This winter machine' comes to the fore, sounding like Patrick Lundstrom from Ritual. I found this to be a good album, and very likeable. Amazingly, I bought two albums as a result of songs being on this album, namely albums by Gandalf's fist and Lyrian.
Thankfully, Various - Midem Sampler 94 (CD), both albums ended up being good, so the desired result was achieved. There's also a track from Bellerophon, who appear again, and make their presence felt on a later Prog magazine demo, P50 'Tales of the future'.
The opening track from their debut is a pleasant, bluesy composition that emphasizes electric piano and flute. Flute dominates on this one, a fresh and percussively strong little piece. Eloy, Genesis and Camel, never released an album, but a decent release was gathered from live and rehearsal room recordings. With a better sound quality it could have come very close to being an excellent symph prog discovery.
The Nice comes to my mind from the rather jam-like piece emphasizing on organ and drums. Peaceful 'Morning' is a fairly good outtake from it.
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