Live At Nearfest June 23, 2007

SKU: 669563536724
Label:
Doone Records
Category:
Progressive Rock
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The title says it all. This is the band's live performance at Neafest 2007. The band spotlights material from all three studio albums.

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  • "A new interpretation of a classic RPI title! This is quite an undertaking, but it comes off in an outstanding way, giving new life to old friends. In contrast to so many reworkings of old pieces that I've heard in recent years, this one does not leave me only wishing to listen to the original. Rather, the new work stands well on its own, not only helping me listen to the original with new ears, but also bringing new insights and experience.In 1972, Latte e Miele released their debut, an incredibly ambitious work based on the Passion of St. Matthew, "Passio Secundum Mattheum." This is one of the seminal titles of 1970s RPI and has rightfully stood the test of time. The band would never equal this album, although the subsequent title, "Papillon", came close. After that the band broke up for a time, until drummer Alfio Vitanza reformed the band, with new members including bassist Massimo Gori. Their only album, "Aquile e Scoiattoli", has its moments but is inferior to the first two, and the band disbanded a few years later after moving toward more commercial music.In 2008 the band reformed, including all three original members (Vitanza and songwriter/keyboardist Oliviero Lacagnina, as well as guitarist Marcello Giancarlo Dellacasa) and Massimo Gori, bassist from the second generation of the band. The quartet released "Live Tasting", an excellent live album that portended of the good to come. Their time together also produced a wonderful new album, "Marco Polo: Sogni e Viaggi" in 2009.Over the years, Lacagnina never stopped composing his masterpiece, his "Passio". Now the quartet has recorded anew their masterpiece, adding those "new" compositions into the narrative. For example, "Il Pane e il Sangue dell'Alleanza" has been inserted right after "Ultima Cena", and "Il Rinnegamento di Pietro" and "Il Prezzo del Sangue" between "Il Pianto" and "Giuda". Also, the ending has been fleshed out significantly, with four new songs, and the final song, "Come un Ruscello che..." includes the final themes previously entitled "Il Dono della Vita". Also of note, a solo organ piece entitled "Toccata per organo" is placed just before "Calvario"--this is special, as it is an original take from 1972!The instrumentation is true to the spirit of the 1972 piece, although with an updated sound. Ditto the choir, which sometimes on the 1972 version is muted and thin--here the choir parts are strong, lush, and vibrant. The majority of the pieces that were rerecorded for this edition also maintain their compositional structure, although there are a few changes inserted (notably in "I Falsi Testimoni", the new version of "I Testimoni" parts 1 and 2). There is nothing that violates that spirit of the original work, though it is impossible to duplicate its wonderful innocence.Another unique feature of this album is the presence of several prominent figures from RPI providing the spoken Evangelist parts. These include Alvaro Fella (Jumbo), Lino Vairetti (Osanna), Silvana Aliotta (Circus 2000), Paolo Carelli (Pholas Dactylus), Aldo de Scalzi (Picchio dal Pozzo), Sophya Baccini, Elisa Montaldo (Il Tempio delle Clessidre), Giorgio D'Adamo (New Trolls), Max Manfredi, Simonluca, and Paolo Griguolo (Picchio dal Pazzo). It's a nice touch that really rounds out the album.The CD comes in a jewel case with a lyric booklet. I'm told that the pending Japanese version will contain a newly recorded composition as a bonus track. But don't wait for that one--go out and grab this one. You won't be disappointed. Four plus stars (Gnosis 13/15).Edit: I can't stop listening to this! Though it's not quite as good as the original, it's very close. I'm bumping it up to Gnosis 14/15, which is five stars on PA." - ProgArchives
    $16.00
  • So here's my personal confession...after Neal left I felt that Spock's Beard lost their way.  Nick is a fine vocalist but there was something quirky about Neal's writing that had a reverential old school quality that I found lacking.  The albums didn't grab me.  Nick left and Ted Leonard took over on vocals.  Whether it was Enchant or Thought Chamber, he's always stood out and he fits Spock's Beard quite well.  The new drummer Jimmy Keegan slipped into the blend with no dificulty.  The result is (to my mind) a resurgence from this band.  Ryo Okumoto always puts on a show - in particular his heavy reliance on Hammond organ reminds me quite a bit of Steve Walsh.  In fact the sound of the whole album has a Kansas vibe. Coincidentally David Ragsdale guests on one track.  I'm not sure I can remember the last time I said this about a Spock's Beard album - Highly recommended."Very few bands are so recognizable that you know who you are listening to within 2 seconds.  That is all it takes at the beginning of the first track on The Oblivion Particle to know you are listening to Spock’s Beard.  There is no slow buildup or keyboard swells, just straight BAMM!, here we go.  And if the opening notes don’t get you, the organ 5 seconds in will.  The band’s 12th studio album, this one the second with singer Ted Leonard and drummer Jimmy Keegan, is a culmination of years of perfecting a sound and identity, one that not even 2 major lineup changes could fracture. With this new album, Spock’s Beard up their game again and show that this lineup is here to stay.If there was a track that defined what Spock’s Beard are, it might be the opening track, “Tides of Time.”  There are certain checklist items that mark their sound and they are all in this track.  The organ, the harmonies, the acoustic breakdown, the rocking middle and the epic ending.  Each member finds their moments to shine on this one and it provides a jaw-dropping sound overload that could leave one satisfied at that moment; only there is another 60 minutes to go.The album zigs and zags through a few more experimental moments, mixing in some surprises with more traditional Prog elements.  The album’s second track and first single is “Minion”, is a perfect example.  The opening a cappella harmonies provide the sort of memorable chorus and harmonies we’ve come to expect from the group.  While, the following distorted keyboard section is also standard Spock’s Beard.  But the verse and middle of the song is much darker and takes us on a surprising journey.The most unique song the album is the brilliantly titled “Bennett Built a Time Machine”, which the album’s cover is based on.  Drummer Jimmy Keegan takes lead on the vocals here and sounds incredible.  His voice actually fits the track better than Leonard’s probably would have.  The song is one of the album highlights and helps keep the record from sounding redundant.  It is almost a pop song most of the way through until turning on the jets and shifting into Prog mode.There are some heavier moments such as “Hell’s Not Enough” and “Get Out While You Can”. “The Center Line”, however, might be the most similar to something you might have found on their group’s previous album “Brief Nocturnes…”  The track opens with an expansive piano recital piece, before turning into a combo Prog-Western bounce with acoustic guitars carrying the groove. Ted’s voice lifts the choruses flawlessly and creates an almost cinematic soundscape.Even with all of these great moments, it is the album’s closing track that is the best song on the album.  “Disappear” might be one of the best songs the band has recorded since Neal left the group.  “We could disappear, you and me, we could be, anyplace else not here” sings Ted in the chorus as he wonders what might be if we left with no one knowing what happened.  The song is really the closest thing to a ballad on the album, but it doesn’t stay that way for long.  2 minutes in, the song stirs into a frenzy just before a brief cameo by Kansas’ David Ragsdale, appearing with his violin.  Of course, the big epic orchestral ending takes us home as Alan Morse provides the finishing touches with his unique finger picking soloing excellence.Spock’s Beard are Prog rock’s most reliable unit.  They have yet to disappoint and always provide comfort to their faithful fans with music that is both inspiring and breathtaking.  And while The Oblivion Particle shows a harder edged Spock’s Beard, it also displays a group that shows no signs of slowing down and is ready to take on all comers." - The Prog Report 
    $12.00
  • Well Opeth went and did it.  They gave prog rock fans the album they've been waiting for - the one that Heritage alluded to and came close to delivering.  Pale Communion is a full on prog album.  All clean vocals, tons of gorgeous keyboard sounds that will conjure up images of the 70s.  In fact if this album arrived with a Vertigo swirl on it I wouldn't have been surprised.  Some heavy riffing but no real metal elements within earshot.  The album was mixed by Steven Wilson and if anyone knows "the sound" its him.  By the way the album was recorded at Rockfield Studios which is holy ground for prog fans.  Prog rock album of the year?  You bet!  BUY OR DIE!!This is the CD/Blu-ray edition.  It arrives in a digipak and has expanded packaging.  Audio comes to you via a standard CD plus a Blu-Ray.  What's on it you ask?  You get a 5.1 audio mix plus 2 live bonus tracks recorded in Stockholm. 
    $18.00
  • New 2 CD remastered and expanded version of Porcupine Tree's masterpiece. This was the pinnacle of their Floyd-inspired psychedelic spacerock period. The bonus disc features some killer stuff like "Stars Die" and "Moonloop (Improvisations)" as well as a 34 minute alternate version of the title track.
    $16.00
  • This is the third album from Syndone - a reunion album - that was originally released in 2010 on Electromantic Records.  Apparently it received little distribution and has now been reissued in a remastered edition via Fading Records.  It features one bonus track."Prolusion. The Italian band SYNDONE is the project and creative vehicle of composer and keyboardist Nik Comoglio. Formed in 1990 and disbanded three years later, following the production and release of the albums “Spleen” in 1992 and “Inca” in 1993. 17 years later Syndone is once more a going concern, and the first chapter in this band's second lease of life arrived late in 2010 in the shape of the CD "Melapesante", issued on Electromantic Records.Analysis. The last couple of decades have seen something of a tradition establishing itself in the music scene, with old bands deciding to get going again after a lengthy hiatus. Quite a few of these ventures seem to come as a direct result of either reviving faltering careers by the band members or just to use a well old name to get enough money into the bank account to survive whilst plying the musician trade. Others are less obvious, but a desire to create music and being at a stage in their lives, where the individual members have the possibility to spend the time needed, will often be the cause in those instances. Syndone is most likely a good example of the latter category. Musically we're dealing with an outfit with both feet well set and grounded inside the symphonic art rock tradition. Tangents of various kinds are constantly used, a minor army of reeds, brass and string instruments supply additional details and strengthen the musical companionship with classical symphonic music quite nicely, and the rock element is provided by a tight and creative rhythm section, and a lead vocalist conforming to what appears to be a strong Italian tradition for expressive, dramatic delivery. The only element some may feel missing will be the guitars, making a cameo appearance on a single track only on this production and then in the shape of classical rather than rock guitar in style. The compositions as such appear to be the result of extensive and painstaking planning, with a minor army of guest musicians providing numerous details of a sophisticated nature, more often than not emphasizing the symphonic aspects of the individual pieces. The vocal passages tend to be calmer, with organ, piano or synth gently underscoring the dominant lead vocals. Bass guitar and drums maintain momentum when applied, the latter more often than not adding a number of subtle intricate details to the proceedings. The instrumental sequences tend to be more energetic, featuring plenty of additional instrumentation and fairly advanced use and blend of harmonic themes and dissonant and at times disharmonic effects. In terms of stylistic expression, a fair few tracks incorporate details that jazz fans should easily recognize, be it the piano and drum-based motif that opens Mela Pensante or the ragtime tendencies that appear in efforts such as Malo in Adversity or final piece 4 Hands Piano Boogieprog. Gentle ballad-oriented pieces and efforts of a richer, tighter and in general more elaborate nature divide this disc more or less evenly. But none of the songs can be said to be conventional or predictable; a lot of effort has been used to provide surprises on each track, some more subtle than others. The haunting oboe solo on Dentro l'Inconscio is among the more delicate features, and the nifty harmonica and organ combination on Mela Di Tell an example of the more obvious kind. All of this splendidly put together, and utilizing Abbey Road studios for the mastering of this disc seems appropriate. How much better that studio is than others I can't say myself, but it is a name that that brings forth associations this production deserves.Conclusion. While not quite meriting a pure perfection grade from me, Syndone's comeback album is an inventive, high quality production through and through, of the kind that should warm the hearts and souls of even the most jaded symphonic art rock fans. In particular those who generally enjoy typical Italian lead vocals and the extensive use of traditional classical symphonic instruments. A strong production and one likely to be regarded as among the best albums of the genre released in 2010." - Progressor
    $17.00
  • Well Steve is done resucitating the Genesis catalogue and back to concentrating on fresh solo material.  The new album Wolflight is a bit of a loose concept album and I find it to be one of his strongest releases in years.  The album is filled with lots of guests (including Chris Squire) contributing exotic instruments to the mix adding an old world sound.  Steve's trademark sound is locked into place so if you are looking for the wailing guitar, liquid runs and acoustic delicacy you won't be disappointed.  His vocals has never been my favorite part of a Steve Hackett album but either I've mellowed in age or his voice has - not sure which.  Regardless it fits the music just fine.  Classic Hackett and nothing less.  BUY OR DIE!Please note this is the US edition that arrives in a digipak.  Its a 2 disc set.  Disc 1 is the standard CD.  Disc 2 is actually a Blu-ray.  Tontent includes hi-res stereo and 5.1 mix of the album, 2 bonus tracks not on the standard CD (in hi-res no less!), and extensive interview footage with Steve Hackett.
    $14.00
  • Many of you may be familar with Dave Kerzner who occasionally pops up with posts on the Progressive Ears forum under the moniker "Squids".  Dave is an exceptional keyboardist who made his bones back in the day playing in the LA prog band Giraffe along with Kevin Gilbert.  Since then he founded a keyboard software company called Sonic Reality and has been able to play along with a massive amount of high profile musicians - many of which fit squarely in the prog community.  Dave was also the co-composer of the Sound Of Contact debut release.  Dave has decided to release his own proper solo album so whats it about?Well its pretty suprising right off the bat.  The music of New World veers very heavily into Pink Floyd realms.  The core lineup consists of Dave Kerzner (vocals/keyboards), Fernando Perdomo (guitars/bass), and Nick D'Virgilio (drums).  Sometimes its good to know people...the guests featured on the album are mind boggling.  The more well known ones include Keith Emerson, Steve Hackett, Francis Dunnery, Heather Findlay, Colin Edwin, Simon Phillips, and the list goes on and on.  Forgetting about all the prog glitterati for a moment, this is superb symphonic rock from beginning to end.  You get the whole enchilada here including 2 epic length tracks that will keep your head spinning.  I'm sure Dave's software is pretty much on parade here and its all very impressive.  Everything about this is.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • This one is a real mindblower.  One of Italy's best bands, La Maschera Di Cera, has created a musical sequel to Le Orme's Felona E Serona.  I can't recall any band ever doing something like this.  Like all of the band's work it remains faithful to the "Rock Progressivo Italiano" sound.  Apart from cleaner sounding sonics it could have easily pass for somethining recorded in 1974.  The music does in fact pick up on some of the core themes and melodices from FeS.  You want 'tron?  You got it!  You want flute?  You got it.  To wrap the whole package together the band licensed the cover art from Lanfranco, the artist responsible for the art for FeS.  So it really does feel like a sequel.  Please note there are actually two versions of the album.  This is the Italian language edition that will satisfy any RPI purist.  Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • This is the bare bones edition of the new Steven Wilson stereo mix."Minstrel in the Gallery is the eighth studio album by British band Jethro Tull, recored in April and released in September 1975. The album go on a different direction from their previous work War Child (1974), with the orchestration being replaced by a string quartet conducted by David Palmer. The band also return to the blend of electric and acoustic pieces, in a manner more closely to Aqualung (1971) and Thick as a Brick (1972).It would be the last album to featured bassist Jeffrey Hammond, who was replaced by former Carmen bass player John Glascock." - Wikipedia
    $17.00
  • 2nd album from this New York based prog rock band. They are obviously from the new breed of progressive rock bands like Spock's Beard, The Underground Railroad, and Echolyn in that they wear some of their influences on their sleeve but they wrap it up in an original package. Izz places more of an emphasis on hooks, memorable melodies and intelligent lyrics than they do balls to the wall playing. Which is not to say there isn't some great instrumental bits through out. At times I hear elements of Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Porcupine Tree, and The Beatles. Overall if there was one band I could compare them to it would be The Underground Railroad. I think it's safe to say that this is a band that in the years to come will make a name for themselves in the genre - this is a good start. Really good stuff - recommended!
    $12.00
  • Brief Nocturnes is the band's 11th album.  It marks their return to Inside Out and quite frankly its the best album they have released in a very long time.  Chalk it up to Ted Leonard handling vocals or Neal Morse contributing writing to a couple of tunes?  Not sure.  I am definitely hearing more vitality and overt progginess in the compositions.  Ryo is going off his nut here - keys are whizzing all around - organ/'tron/the whole schmear - and Alan's guitar runs are matching him step for step.  Maybe I haven't been paying attention as closely as I should have for the past few years.  I do know that I'm enjoying the hell out of this.  Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • The madcap French jazz metal trio return with their sixth album.  Morglbl consists of guitarist Christope Godin, bassist Ivan Rougny, and drummer  Aurelian Ouzoulias.  The band has toured extensively around the world – USA, Europe, Russia and even China!  They have shared the stage with Liquid Tension Experiment, Bumblefoot, and Umphrey’s McGee among others.These three virtuosos are also well endorsed clinicians and have developed a following individually but when they come together the fireworks really start.  Tea Time For Punks doesn’t deviate from the tried and true Morglbl formula.  Take equal parts fusion and crushing metal power chords, then inject a healthy dose of tongue in cheek humor and you’ve got the perfect Morglbl album. The band is often described as Primus meets Steve Vai and Allan Holdsworth, with flavors of Frank Zappa! 
    $13.00
  • 2007 Nick Davis remix/remastered edition. Steve Hackett's last album with the band and arguably their last great studio album as well.
    $11.00
  • "After several years' absence with members going off in their own various directions, Echolyn returned with a new offering. Cowboy Poems Free shows a decidedly more straightforward sound than their earlier days, while retaining the layered harmonies and often intricate phrasing for which the band is known. In many ways, this album strikes me as a worthy modern-day successor to The Band's work, a promenade of the American mythos part past and present, an examination that seems at once both of a particular time and universal. "Texas Dust" is a powerhouse of an opener. Brett Kull's plaintive, everyman voice is the perfect harness for this tale of live-by-the-day Texas farmers trying to eke out a living while at the mercy of nature. From the forceful, offbeat main riff that drives the tune, to Kull's final awe-engulfed cry "the wind came on," this is my favorite track of the album. Ray Weston, now taking over bass duties for the band, provides vocals ranging from the Prohibition-defying, hedonistic "Swingin' the Ax" to the loneliness of "1729 Broadway" (if I recall correctly, the lyrics to this one are adapted from an actual letter of an ancestor). "High as Pride," seems to point the way towards the band's next release, Mei. A sharp observation here from Kull: "At 18 our convictions are hills on which we look/At 45 they're caves into which we hide." The band takes one easy target liberty: urbane yuppie types in "Gray Flannel Suits," which is probably the least of the tracks, though I do like the line about "martini glasses that shimmer all weekend." Apart from that, this is pretty compelling music throughout, and the lyrics are consistently top-notch. Like Mei, well worth a listen." - Ground And Sky
    $14.00