On this page we will list a multiple review of a selection of 3 albums out of the (in our humble opinion) most important or interesting recent releases.
Agents Of Mercy
The Fading Ghosts Of Twilight
The albums released previously to Dark
were dominated by the music of Pink Floyd.
On Dark however,
can hear the first traces of a different style. A very enjoyable style I might
say. The fine melodic guitar solos related to
David Gilmour are still present
music of this Swiss band. The great synthesizer solos throughout the whole
album do not resemble Pink Floyd at all. They move in a direction we nowadays
describe as neo progressive rock music. Dark
is, as most of the bandís
releases, a strong album that deserves a larger audience. I hope
Metamorphosis will gain a lot fans with
this international release. As far as I am concerned, I am one of them.
You get almost eighty minutes of great prog music on
Vision made by German band Martigan
You can compare their musical style to bands like
Pallas and early
Marillion. I can rave on and on about
this superb album, but words are just not good enough to tell you that
is a Ďmust haveí for everybody who loves music made by the above-mentioned bands.
This album will become one of my personal favourites of 2009 for sure.
Therefore, I am not afraid to give Vision
the highest rating of five stars.
Initially, Roine Stolt
started this project to
release music performed only on acoustic instruments. However, as soon as
singer Nad Sylvan
joined, this project moved more towards the style of
his heroes in the sixties and seventies. Therefore, it is obvious that we can
hear influences of bands like Genesis and
The Beatles. I would
not call this a retro album, because we can still hear traces of
The Flower Kings, especially towards
the end of the album, but this time without jazz rock or fusion elements. Roine
and his friends made a fine melodic album. Maybe it does not reach the same high
level as the Transatlantic
releases or some of The Flower Kings albums, but who cares?
I am familiar with the previous work of Metamorphosis
so I expected again a very Pink Floyd inspired album. Well, indeed there is
still a strong influence, but they are seriously trying to develop an own style
now. I hear more up-tempo parts and it is often more powerful. The lyrics are
interesting and bring you in a mood indicated by the album title. All
ingredients for a masterpiece are there, but in my opinion, Metamorphosis is
not able to achieve that status with Dark.
The vocals are a bit boring and although there is more variation then on their
previous albums, the compositions are not really interesting.†
Despite of that it is a very enjoyable album.
I am a fan of the way David Gilmour
plays his guitar. That could be the reason why I love this new
so much. The emotional parts appeal to me very much although the music is not
very original. There is a lot of variation, but it sounds rather well known and
accessible to me. However, the music is interesting enough to keep oneís
attention from the beginning until the end. Musically, the compositions are less
sophisticated than the ones on the other two albums in this Juryís Verdict.
Nevertheless, the album gets a higher score, because of the high rate of goose
bumps I got while listening!
Here again is a Roine Stolt
product and again itís a Genesis inspired
album. Didnít we have enough of these projects? Well, the answer is NO. Wizard
Stolt was able again to make something special out of it. The compositions are
rather accessible, because they lack the freaky jazz-rock parts. The quality of
all musicians is evident. This is a must for all Roine Stolt fans and a strong
recommendation for the others!
Swiss project Metamorphosis is the
brainchild of multi-instrumentalist and singer
Jean-Pierre Schenk, who started to record his compositions in 2001.
Dark is his fourth effort. The eight
songs on Dark are not complex at all. Schenk has a pleasant but a non-expressive
and somewhat thin voice. His compositions sometimes tend to the work of
Alan Parsons, but you can also hear
flashes of Eloy,
RPWL and a touch of Pink Floyd.
the quality level of these bands. In my opinion, the best parts of the eight
songs are the guitar solos played by guest musicians
Roger Burri and Olivier Guenat.
They prevent the songs from getting dull caused by the average
length of about eight minutes. Dark is not a bad album at all, but in view of the
mediocre compositions three stars would be half a star too much.
I have to admit that I never heard of German band
Martigan before, in spite of the fact that
is their fifth release in fourteen years. From now on I will always remember
this outstanding neo-prog band, because they delivered an album that surely will
end high in my top-10 this year. What a remarkable and beautiful album this is!
Singer Kai Marckwordt is a very
expressive singer. Sometimes he reminds me of
Martin Eden (Chandelier),
but most of the time his voice resembles David
Cousins (Strawbs). If you are
into neo-prog in the vein of early Marillion, IQ
and Pendragon than you will
highly appreciate Vision. The album
contains at least three fantastic epics with a total length of 54 minutes and
all of a very high quality level with astounding guitar
(Bjorn Bisch) and keyboard solos
With a total length of approximately 78 minutes,
you never suffer a dull moment. Vision
is highly recommended for all prog fans, but especially for neo-prog heads.
In general, I donít like Swedish prog rock. Bands
like The Flower Kings, Karmacanic
are not my cup of tea. Thus,
when I got this album to review and I noticed that it was a new project of
guitarist Roine Stolt (Flower Kings)
and singer Nad Sylvan (Unifaun), I
had the intention not to be prejudiced and I started listening open-minded, but
unfortunately the voice of Sylvan almost immediately evoked irritation. I donít
like his voice at all and besides the compositions are quite mediocre. In fact,
they are rather boring. I would rather call this a soft rock album with jazz
influences and a touch of early Genesis
than a prog rock album. The music flows without any direction whatsoever, no
tension, no epic only a dull voice and poor compositions. It is beyond any
dispute, that Roine Stolt is an excellent musician, but on this album, he
proves that good musicianship is not enough to make an outstanding album.|