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NEO-PROG

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Neo-Prog definition

Neo-Progressive rock (more commonly "Neo-Prog") is a subgenre of Progressive Rock that originally was used to describe artists strongly influenced by the classic symphonic prog bands that flourished during the 1970s. At the beginning of the neo-prog movement, the primary influence was early to mid-70's Genesis. Debate over when Neo-Prog actually came into being often takes place, with some asserting it began with Marillion's Script for a Jester's Tear in 1983. Others contend it began with Twelfth Night at the dawn of the 80s, while some even suggest the popular symphonic prog band Genesis gave rise to Neo-Prog with their 1976 album, A Trick of the Tail.

If one analyses the progressive movement just before 1980, then some albums which heavily influenced the Neo-Prog movement easily come to mind: Steve Hackett - Spectral Mornings, Genesis - Wind & Wuthering, Genesis - And Then There Were Three, Genesis - Seconds Out, Saga - Saga, all the Camel albums between Breathless and The Single Factor included, and some Eloy's albums, especially Silent Cries And Mighty Echoes.

This new form of progressive rock originated in the UK, and is most strongly associated with bands such as Marillion, Pendragon and IQ; and while theatrical stage antics were a part of the live performances of many artists exploring this subset of the progressive rock genre it's the musical elements that are key to the genre; typified by the use of atmospheric guitar and synth soloing with symphonic leanings, with a tendency towards floating synth layers and dreamy soloing. An additional trait is the use of modern synths rather than vintage analogue synths and keyboards. The main reasons for Neo-Progressive artists to be separated from the ones exploring Symphonic Prog in the first place are the above, as well as a heavier emphasis on song-form and melody than some of their earlier symphonic counterparts.

As time went by other artists appeared that also deviated from the norms created by the classic wave of progressive rock artists in the 70's. The late 70's had given the world punk music; the 80's gave the world new wave; and the 90's grunge. These, as well as other forms, had a tremendous amount of influence outside of the progressive rock realm. The advent of the modern synth also inspired artists like Tomita, Vangelis and Kitaro to explore dreamier musical works.

These and other forms of more or less newly made musical genres influenced artists exploring progressive rock as well. Although many artists did so within the framework of 70's progressive rock, more and more artists developed a sound and style so heavily influenced by these more recent musical developments that categorizing them within the existing subgenres of progressive rock became increasingly difficult.

While the Neo-Progressive genre initially consisted of artists exploring a modernized version of Symphonic Prog, these days artists coined as Neo-Progressive cover a multitude of musical expressions, where the common denominator is the inclusion - within a progressive rock framework - of musical elements developed just prior to and after 1980. The Neo-Progressive genre in it's refined form thus covers a vast musical territory, to some extent covering all existing subsets of progressive rock and also searching out towards genres as different as new age on one side and punk and metal on the other.

Opening paragraphs written by Stonebeard, Cygnus X-2, Greenback

Revised, edited and refined April 2009 by windhawk, The Doctor and E-Dub



The neo-prog team has also decided on 5 representative albums of neo-prog that encapsulate the essence of the genre. They are as follows:


Marillion-Script for a Jester's Tear
Collage-Moonshine
Satellite-A Street Between Sunrise and Sunset
Sylvan-Posthumous Silence
Frost-Milliontown


Current Neo-Prog Team members
as at 10/07/2016

Roger (Roj)
Keishiro (DamoXt7942)
Cristi
Tony (Hercules)

Neo-Prog Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Neo-Prog | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.24 | 1863 ratings
MISPLACED CHILDHOOD
Marillion
4.26 | 1013 ratings
THE ROAD OF BONES
IQ
4.22 | 1770 ratings
SCRIPT FOR A JESTER'S TEAR
Marillion
4.18 | 566 ratings
CONTAGION
Arena
4.14 | 1154 ratings
CLUTCHING AT STRAWS
Marillion
4.16 | 428 ratings
POSTHUMOUS SILENCE
Sylvan
4.10 | 808 ratings
FREQUENCY
IQ
4.09 | 963 ratings
MARBLES
Marillion
4.13 | 421 ratings
A TOWER OF SILENCE
Anubis
4.06 | 601 ratings
THE VISITOR
Arena
4.05 | 567 ratings
EVER
IQ
4.08 | 369 ratings
EMPIRES NEVER LAST
Galahad
4.03 | 822 ratings
DARK MATTER
IQ
4.05 | 451 ratings
FANFARE & FANTASY
Comedy Of Errors
4.08 | 292 ratings
SEVEN
Magenta
4.03 | 422 ratings
ALL RIGHTS REMOVED
Airbag
3.98 | 1182 ratings
FUGAZI
Marillion
4.00 | 570 ratings
THE SEVENTH HOUSE
IQ
3.97 | 908 ratings
BRAVE
Marillion
4.03 | 307 ratings
MOONSHINE
Collage

Neo-Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Neo-Prog experts team

TALES FROM THE DAM
Healing Road, The
THE ART OF MADNESS
Psychedelic Ensemble, The
CROWN OF CREATION
Emerald
ARGOS
Argos

Latest Neo-Prog Music Reviews


 Contagion Max by ARENA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2014
4.16 | 25 ratings

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Contagion Max
Arena Neo-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars After a ten year wait in 2013 fans of ARENA's monstrous neo-prog hit "Contagion" were finally treated to hearing the album as it was originally intended to be released in the form of the extended double disc CONTAGION MAX. Clive Nolan has always stated that the "Contagion" story was to be more intricate and drawn out with extra instrumental passages and vocal tracks that add more depth to the storyline. Well, Nolan wasn't too sure about the possibilities of releasing an extra long album and felt the pressure to to edit their ambitious project down to a single disc release. The result was that seven tracks were chopped off the listening experienced and released simultaneously on two separate EPs titled "Contagious" and "Contagium." While it was all fine and dandy to make those orphaned tracks to the public, much was lost regarding the context in which they were woven into the overall theme. After many years of a demanding public for the album to be released in full form, voila!

Fast forward ten years and the CONTAGION MAX anniversary edition finally sees the light of day in its complete original intended format. It contains all seven tracks in the proper order stuffed into the album "Contagion" from 2003 as a double disc digipak CD release. While i found nothing wrong with the original album "Contagion" and in many ways find it to be the peak of the creative juices flowing for ARENA in their lengthy career, i must say that i much prefer hearing it as the extended double album experience it was meant to be as it smooths out the ruff-around-the-edges transitions that become more apparent once listening in the band- desired delivery mode. CONTAGION MAX doesn't exactly make the two EPs that came before completely irrelevant if you are interested in hearing electronica induced remixes of the tracks "Witch Hunt" and "Salamander" but i find them a little cliche and devoid of any true reason to exist therefore i highly recommend this beautiful extended version of "Contagion" for anyone who loves that album and wishes that it was longer.

Despite being a fairly newer release, this album has become a little difficult but not impossible to find. Initially it was released as a pre-order campaign with band members adding their autographs but was only released in limited numbers therefore not as easy to obtain as the much easier to find "Contagion." Another worthwhile mention is that it seems that CONTAGION MAX is possibly a digitally remastered version of the original plus the extra tracks in the proper order. This album sounds EXCELLENT! The production is off the charts beautifully executed with every little sound shining like a crazy diamond and all aspects of the music perfectly mix together in superb splendor. It is unbelievable how well this album sounds and how wonderful it is to experience this one as it delivers on all accounts. Perhaps if this were released as intended it would have been considered a rival force to IQ's "Subterranea" which is of the same calibre but could also stand up to any of the great symphonic prog releases of the past.

This track listing shows the entire track listing of CONTAGION MAX with the titles in bold being the seven tracks that appear on this expanded edition which were originally spit up randomly and placed on "Contagious" and "Contagium." They are followed by brief descriptions

Disc One:

1 Witch Hunt (4:17) 2 An Angel Falls (1:14) 3 Painted Man (4:38)

4 VANISHING ACT (from "Contagious") (4:11) was originally a leftover instrumental track from "The Visitor" album and had the title "Sacrifice" but was rearranged, rerecorded and renamed. It begins with a space rock Floydian echoey guitar and synth run and then becomes more hard rocking with a ample change of riffs drenched in camp mellotron. Very cool sequencer beat and guitar solos that brings aspects of "The Wall" to mind

5 This Way Madness Lies (3:32)

6 THE HOUR GLASS (from "Contagious") (5:58) begins as a sensual ballad but adds some extra punchy guitars that display the vocal talents of Sowden and thick layers of synthesizers and a heavy bass led melodic development. It adds a continuity to the story as the narrative builds another layer of darkness to the mix

7 Bitter Harvest (2:50)

8 I SPY (from "Contagious") (2:33) is primarily an acoustic guitar folk number also displaying Sowden's vocal abilities. Other than acoustic guitar, only the bass is heard

9 Never Ending Night (3:11) 10 Spectre At the Feast (5.34) 11 Skin Game (4:44)

Disc Two: 1 Salamander (4:00) 2 On the Box (2:30) 3 Tsunami (2:30)

4 ON THE EDGE OF DESPAIR (from "Contagium") (5:40) begins with the same bass line and melody of "This Way Madness Lies" from Disc 1 and sort of a revisiting of that point in the story but after almost a minute switches gear and becomes an acoustic guitar ballad once again highlighting Sowden's vocals and lyrical supplementation. It continues to alternate between the beginning intro segments and then jumps back into acoustic guitar part again. Sounds really good together as the two parts contrast perfectly and add that flavor of life when some things seem familiar while totally new aspects are being introduced

5 City of Lanterns (1:23) 6 Riding the Tide (4:24)

7 CONTAGIOUS (from "Contagious") (4:07) begins with sirens and incorporates different sounds that are from the "Contagion" album and creates a little overture of sorts to revisit certain moods of the album. It features a strong bass line with John Mitchell delivering some of the most sophisticated and daring solos on the album. There is also nice background synthesized(?) vocals that add a spooky ambience to the overall mood. Nice keyboard runs as well. This is kind of a revisitation point on the album that takes a few minutes to reflect on what's already been happening. Very appropriate and nice to take a breather.

8 MARCH OF TIME (from "Contagium") (7:29) continues the only two tracks that sit back to back not on the original "Contagion." This sounds more like the majority of tracks as it begins with a heavy bass driven melody and screeching guitars in a Floydian style drenched by feedback and fuzz and then slows down a bit to usher in Sowden's vocals. Generally speaking the vocal parts are more Floydian and the instrumental parts are harder rocking. It also has some acoustic parts that remind me of The Who especially on "Tommy" with that Pete Townsend type of strumming.

9 Mea Culpa (3:45) 10 Cutting the Cards (4:41)

11 CONFRONTATION (from "Contagium") (5.05) begins with some sort of mixed media narration clips before ceding into a darkened bass line that is ominously overshadowed by more possibly synthesized background vocalists and that Who inspired acoustic guitar strumming pattern once again punctuated by a staccato heavy guitar chord. It all stops and enters church organ territory and then adds acoustic guitar again only before Mitchell channels his inner Pink Floyd guitar solo instincts and lets loose. This is another all instrumental track

12 Ascension (4:34)

Total Running Time Of CONTAGION MAX = 92 minutes and 40 seconds but i can't say i get bored once through it's entirety and much prefer this version as opposed to the truncated "Contagion" album of 2003. Something about the extra tracks connects all the dots for me on this one but that does not mean that the original CONTAGION album suffers from its brevity. On the contrary ARENA hit a home run with two stunning versions of this album that works with or without the seven tracks equally in my world.

 Contagion by ARENA album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.18 | 566 ratings

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Contagion
Arena Neo-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars As ARENA entered the 21st century they finally hit a stable lineup and for the first time and released two albums in a row with the same band members which allowed them the opportunity to learn how to coalesce their individual talents and develop a strong and stable chemistry. On their fifth studio release CONTAGION they hit the high point of their career with yet another concept album that like many of their albums delivers vague and ambiguous notions of going through the trials and tribulations of being human and experiencing every emotion there is to be had a hundredfold. This one is supposedly about the end of the human race and all the emotional baggage of being alive until it happens. As much as i try i still haven't found a decent explanation of what exactly the concept is supposed to consist of but it matters not for at long last ARENA found their perfect sound with Clive Nolan (keys), John Mithcell (guitars), Ian Salmon (bass), Mick Pointer (drums) and their third lead vocalist Rob Sowden and the quality of the compositions on CONTAGION shows it.

From the first notes of "Witch Hunt" it is obvious that ARENA got major rekindling of musical mojo. At this point they sound less and less like 80s Marillion which was the sound of their early albums and more like their contemporaries IQ who also released a concept album at the same time. This time around the band found a new lease on neo-prog by adding heavier and harder rock guitar and bass often verging into metal territory briefly with virtuosic guitar solos and heavy churning riffs and thundering bass but still manages to weave it around the intricately delicate melodies that have been carefully crafted into extremely strong and catchy tunes that build upon one another and seamlessly transition from track to track until an entire album unfolds around you. There are also many space rock references to Pink Floyd with dreamy echoey guitars, sensual solos and Salmon's strong Rickenbacker bass lines.

CONTAGION is perfectly partitioned into vocal and instrumental tracks. "Witch Hunt" begins with a thundering bass line, heavy guitar riff and powerful vocal performance by Sowden which sets the tone for the majority of the album but there are also ballad segments like the beginning of the music box beat backed "Spectre Of Feast" and the piano laden "Never Ending Night" which weaves in tender moments surrounded by more thunderous heavy rock. Despite having the qualities of AOR, something about ARENA's attention to details make the music quite sophisticated with variations in the subtleties such as keyboard runs, echoey guitar backings or different types of drum fills. The melody is the main driver of the tracks with Sowden's vocal emphasis on the lyrics being mostly in the spotlight except when the band delivers excellent musical prowess such as on the instrumental beasts "This Way Madness Lies," "On The Box" and "Riding The Tide."

I must admit that i wasn't a huge fan of CONTAGION upon first listen as it sounds very much like many neo-prog albums that may come off as gimmicky with the heavier rock elements added but after a few spins i was hooked and the intricate charms of the album shone through with synth rich ambient notes backing heavy yet melancholically addicting melodies passing the torch to the next track that takes the listener onto a new adventure and then on to the next. While there are clearly stronger tracks than others, the beauty of the album is that is places all of the elements in key places. It opens with several strong tracks and then has some quieter less powerful tracks that skillfully link the various parts together. The musicianship is extraordinarily strong on CONTAGION with every member going the extra mile to eke out the most satisfying musical performances.

CONTAGION was originally intended to be released as a double album but Clive Nolan got cold feet on releasing such a sprawling 90 minute plus behemoth of a double album and nixed seven tracks and would release them simultaneously on two separate EPs titled "Contagious" and "Contagium." After many years of demands by rabid voracious fans to release CONTAGION as the originally intended double album, in 2013 it finally came to be as a tenth anniversary expanded edition titled CONTAGION MAX which contains all of the missing seven tracks in their proper places amongst the others. While it was not intended to replace the original truncated form and was solely intended to provide a supplemental insight into the album's history, i have to say that ARENA scored big time with CONTAGION as i find it works equally well in either form as CONTAGION doesn't feel forced and never indicates that certain tracks were left out merely for editing's sake nor does CONTAGION MAX feel like the extra tracks were superfluous filler either. Personally i would highly recommend both editions but CONTAGION is probably the first place to stop for anyone wanting to check out ARENA's thoughtful and subtly textured symphonic progressive rock. CONTAGION will surely go down as their magnum opus as it is one of those album's that only gets better the more you listen to it, at least that's the way it worked for me.

 Contagium by ARENA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
3.10 | 43 ratings

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Contagium
Arena Neo-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars Clive Nolan's original intent for the "Contagion" album from his band ARENA was for it to be a double album with several instrumental tracks appearing at certain points in the album for there to be a smoother flow between the segments that spell out the storyline. But the record label had other ideas and the band was forced to scrap the idea and instead trim the album down to a single disc and with the leftovers created two separate EPs released simultaneously with the "Contagion" album.

There are several head scratchers about this decision of how to release these extras though. First of all instead of releasing one compilation album of the seven extra tracks, they were instead issued on two different releases, one called "Contagious" and this other edition CONTAGIUM which features the three leftover tracks "On The Edge Of Despair," "The March Of Time" and "Confrontation." In addition there is the "Special Remix Of Salamander" which sounds more like a psytrance meets hard rock track with plenty of mellotrons turned up to the max. There are also some multimedia additions that includes a video of "Painted Man," some ghost vocals that tell the story as well as a tour photo gallery and screensaver.

Like on "Contagious," these leftovers are quite decent quality listens but this EP as well has been made quite irrelevant since these leftover tracks found a new home on the 2013 anniversary re-issue called "Contagion Max" which featured all of the extra tracks in their proper place on the album as originally intended in its double disc form. The only track that has never found a new home is the remix of "Salamander" and it is hardly worthy of making this bunch of tracks relevant as the "Contagion Max" places the tracks that matter in their proper context.

 Contagious by ARENA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
2.89 | 48 ratings

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Contagious
Arena Neo-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars Clive Nolan's original intent for the "Contagion" album from his band ARENA was for it to be a double album with several instrumental tracks appearing at certain points in the album for there to be a smoother flow between the segments that spell out the storyline. But the record label had other ideas and the band was forced to scrap the idea and instead trim the album down to a single disc and with the leftovers created two separate EPs released simultaneously with the "Contagion" album.

There are several head scratchers about this decision of how to release these extras though. First of all instead of releasing one compilation album of the seven extra tracks, they were instead issued on two different releases, one called CONTAGIOUS and the other "Contagium." On this release CONTAGIOUS contains the tracks "Vaninishing Act," "I Spy," the title track and "The Hour Glass." In addition to these surplus musical tidbits, there is a "Special Remix Of Witch Hunt" which sounds more like an early 80s new wave band than ARENA.

While the music on this one is quite good, this EP has been made somewhat irrelevant since in 2013 an anniversary release called "Contagion Max" was finally made public and included all the extra tracks in their original intended ordered on a double CD. That means only the "Witch Hunt" remix is unavailable anywhere else and believe me it's certainly no reason to track this down separately. It's also strange that these tracks don't appear sequentially on the "Contagion Max" edition and are scattered about randomly on both discs.

 Live At The Northern Prog Festival by LEAP DAY album cover Live, 2016
4.14 | 5 ratings

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Live At The Northern Prog Festival
Leap Day Neo-Prog

Review by axolotl

4 stars Very pleasant live album of Dutch proggers Leap Day. It is recorded during the Northern Prog Festival festival in Holland. You can consider this one as some kind of 'the best of...' because they've taken songs from all their albums. It's a pity there's only one song on this live effort from their last album 'From the days of Deucalion, chapter 2', which is imho the best they've come up with this far. The music is very well played. It's always nice to know bands are not only very good in the studio but also on stage. They cover their studio sound very well on stage and I really like all seven tracks on this album. They are brought to you very closely resembling the original album versions. Well done guys! 8/10
 Masquerade by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.75 | 20 ratings

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Masquerade
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars Towards the end of 2016 Eyesberg came back with their second album, this time comprising all new songs. There was no use of a drum machine this time, as they managed to secure the talents of Spock's Beard drummer Jimmy Keegan, and this has had a major impact on the music. No longer are the drums just there to keep the beat and provide backbone, this time they have become very much an essential part of the overall sound as Jimmy drives the guys along ? he never has been one to be content with just playing the beat, he knows when not to play, and when to force proceedings. No longer are the band performing as if they were around more than thirty- five years ago (although they were), now it is more of that time being an influence on what they are doing, which is far harder and heavier than last time around.

The debut album would probably be best described as retro prog, but this one is much further into neo prog territory, with a far more abrasive edge, as if they have lost the innocence of the debut and are far angrier. The two albums are quite different in some respects, and very similar in others, with Malcolm's vocals playing a key part in bringing them together, along with Hackett Genesis influences still obvious in this one, although more diluted than in the debut. Of the two I think I prefer the debut, just, but they are both worthy of discovery to any prog lover,

 Blue by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.84 | 42 ratings

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Blue
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars It must be said that Eyesberg are a band with something of a back story. They came together in Frankfurt around 1980, with a line-up Georg Alfter, Michael Buchner, Norbert Podien, Thomas Klarmann and Malcolm Shuttleworth. Although they wrote several songs, they never released an album, and they all went on to other things. Thomas later enjoyed success as a member of Argos and Superdrama, and this spurred some of the others to revisit the old Eyesberg songs and see what they could do with them now. Malcolm Shuttleworth (vocals), Norbert Podien (keyboards, drum programming, backing vocals) and Georg Alfter (guitar, bass), were joined by Klarmann's Argos bandmate Ulf Jacobs on drums, but neither Thomas nor other original member Michael Buchner were involved this time around.

Given that these songs were written more than thirty-five years ago, as opposed to 2014 when they were released, it isn't surprising at all that they have far less in common with modern prog, and the album has quite a retro feel. This is enhanced by the quite large use of flute sounds from the keyboards, and it certainly makes me think of the type of music that Steve Hackett was producing at the time, as well as last Seventies Genesis. It is an incredibly enjoyable piece of work throughout, and the very English vocals of Malcolm come across as a mix of Gabriel and Roger Chapman, with hints of Peter Nicholls. Overall this is a very enjoyable album and I was keen to see if they would stick around to release another.

 Out Of The Box by MARILLION album cover DVD/Video, 2016
4.04 | 7 ratings

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Out Of The Box
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars I don't know any Progressive Rock bands that have produced about 100th releases in their career. Marillion has done it with all their live releases but excluding the ep, singles, compilations. In this weekend shows, they played the complete "Anoraknophobia" in the disk 1 with some classics. It's a bit of a surprise to choose this one because it is not a "classic" album. There are some excellent songs like "Quartz", "This is the 21st Century" and "If My Heart were a Ball it Would roll..." But there is no better song than one of their most progressive rock and titled-track "This Strange Engine". The music of Marillion became more accessible with the departure of Fish and the songs have often the same progressions starting as a ballad to switch into a full rock mode in the second part, with a beautiful guitar solo from Steve Rothery. The songs in the Hogarth era will never have the same impact as the ones of the first periods, but the band still manage to put some quality music. The second disk is the main event not only because they played the complete and stronger album "Marbles", but because of the stunning visuals with projections, lasers, and light show. We have some great songs here like "Invisible Man", and "Oceans Cloud". The third disk is a set-list of many singles including 40 minutes of the Fish period. So, no surprise and no epics songs. Those songs were played in chronological order and it's a couple of songs from the "Brave" album that sound to me as good as the singles from the Fish era. So this is another triple set of good quality from the band, and if some of past Marillion videos requires only limited viewing, I will put this one a lot more in my player.
 The Clockwork Fable by GANDALF'S FIST album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.09 | 135 ratings

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The Clockwork Fable
Gandalf's Fist Neo-Prog

Review by Karnataka

5 stars I came upon Gandalfs Fist via a track on a sampler CD. On the strength of the track, which came from 'Clockwork Fable', i bought that CD. I have been completely blown away by what is essentially a three act play in words and music. It's quite unlike any other prog rock CD I have. The story line reminds me a bit of the film 'City of Ember.' It's about a world where the inhabitants live underground as the surface is uninhabitable-the Sun has gone out and there are interminable winters. The band has created a complete planet with its own language and hierarchy, It's breathtaking in its breadth and depth, crammed full with quite wonderful music, each linked by spoken passages which taken as a whole carries the listener along at great pace. Its an astonishing piece of work, a tour de force and the bands magnum opus. It would grace anybody's music collection, let alone being pigeon holed as prog rock. Goodness only knows how the band will follow this up.
 Heaven And Beyond by KNIGHT AREA album cover Studio Album, 2017
2.96 | 18 ratings

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Heaven And Beyond
Knight Area Neo-Prog

Review by emperorken

2 stars I was quite a fan of Knight Area, up to and including their fourth album, Nine Paths. I rated each of those albums 4 stars or higher. However, I found their last album, Hyperdrive, quite disappointing, with the band going to a much more commercial, hard rock style. Anyway, I figured I would pick up this album, Heaven and Beyond, in the hope that the band would return to the form shown on their first four albums. Unfortunately, that did not happen. The band has continued its descent into a non-progressive, hard rock style, very similar to what Arena has done on their last two albums.

So just because the band has completely changed their style would not necessarily make this a bad album if the songs were good. But I found very little in the way of memorable melodies or even catchy riffs. Instead, in many cases here, the guitarist just tries to show you how many notes he can play in his solos. Now I must admit there are some good moments on the album, but most of the time, just when I thought a song was developing into something good, it ends abruptly or fades out.

So now with two consecutive disappointing albums, Knight Area will have to prove to me in the future that they still have what it takes to produce a fine progressive rock album. Sorry, but overall Heaven and Beyond does nothing for me.

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Neo-Prog bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
25 YARD SCREAMER United Kingdom
ABACAB France
ABEL GANZ United Kingdom
ABRAXAS Poland
ACCEPT Japan
AD INFINITUM United States
ADN France
AELIAN Italy
AETHELLIS United States
AFTERGLOW France
AGENESS Finland
AGENTS OF MERCY Sweden
AHMSHERE Netherlands
AIRBAG Norway
AIRBRIDGE United Kingdom
AISLES Chile
ALBION Poland
ALKOZAUR France
ALMA SIDERIS Italy
ALSO EDEN United Kingdom
ALTAVIA Italy
AMANDA Belgium
AMON RA Germany
ANAMOR Poland
ANANKE Poland
ANDROID Hungary
ANIMATOR United States
ANNALIST Poland
ANUBIS Australia
APPLE PIE Russia
ARAGON Australia
THE ARC LIGHT SESSIONS Canada
ARCADELT Italy
ARCANSIEL Italy
ARCHANGEL Italy
ARENA United Kingdom
ARENAL Chile
ARGOS Germany
FINN ARILD Norway
ARK United Kingdom
ARKUS Netherlands
ARLEKIN Ukraine
ARLON Poland
ARRAKEEN France
ARVE Germany
ASGARD Italy
ASSAL Poland
ASTRALIS Chile
ASTURIAS Japan
ATEMPO Argentina
ATRIA France
ATRIUM Portugal
AUDITE Germany
AUFKLARUNG Italy
AVALON USA United States
SIMON AYRES United Kingdom
BACKYARDS France
BALLOON ASTRONOMY United States
BAROCK PROJECT Italy
NICK BARRETT & CLIVE NOLAN United Kingdom
KEVIN BARTLETT United States
SAULO BATTESINI Brazil
BEING & TIME Japan
BEL AIR Germany
BELIEVE Poland
STEWART BELL United Kingdom
BELLAPHON Japan
BIG PICTURE United States
BIJOU Spain
BLACK PAGE Japan
BLIND EGO Germany
BLIND OWL United States
BLUE MAMMOTH Brazil
BOLUS Canada
FABRICE BONY France
XAVIER BOSCHER France
BRAIN CONNECT Poland
BRASSÉ Netherlands
BREEZE Germany
DEC BURKE United Kingdom
TIM BURNESS United Kingdom
CAAMORA United Kingdom
CARPTREE Sweden
ALAN CASE Netherlands
RICH CASEY United States
CASINO United Kingdom
CASTANARC United Kingdom
CATAFALCHI DEL CYBER Italy
CATHEDRAL United States
CATWEAZLE Sweden
MARC CECCOTTI France
CENTAUR RODEO United States
CHANDELIER Germany
CHANETON Argentina
CHEST ROCKWELL United States
CHILDREN OF NOVA United States
CHRIS Netherlands
CINDERELLA SEARCH Japan
CIRKEL Netherlands
CIRRUS BAY United States
CLEPSYDRA Switzerland
CLIFFHANGER Netherlands
COALITION United Kingdom
COLD FAIRYLAND China
COLLAGE Poland
COMBINATION HEAD United Kingdom
COMEDY OF ERRORS United Kingdom
CONTEMPORARY DEAD FINNISH MUSIC ENSEMBLE Finland
COSMIC DANGER United States
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