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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    $19.00
  • 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
  • Its been quite a long time since we've heard from Magic Pie.  They went through lots of trials and tribulations getting this album finished but now its finally arrived.  If you are not familiar with this band here's the deal: Magic Pie are a Norwegian band with a retro 70s sound.  The music is a bit of a high wire act balancing the neo-prog sounds of The Flower Kings with the heavier elements of classic Uriah Heep.  They also seem to be the darlings of Rosfest having played there multiple times."It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since these proggers from Norway released their promising debut "Motions of Desire". At that time, their music struck me as an enthusiastic combination of classic prog and classic hard rock. (Think Deep Purple for the hard rock side of that equation.) At their best, they offered memorable passages and pieces that sounded like they very well could have been long lost recordings from many years ago. At their worst, they sometimes fell short of filling the big shoes of the legendary bands whose music they strove to emulate. That's actually not bad for a debut album from a new prog band. I found much to like and looked forward to hearing from them again in the future.Checking back in on them a decade later, I must say that I am very impressed with how they have developed and matured. No longer do I get the feeling that certain sections of songs are direct homages to any particular band from any one particular decade of prog's illustrious history. Their influences, while still very present and valid, are now more varied, including a greater percentage of modern reference points. More importantly, their influences are just that--merely influences rather than templates or even primary reference points.The sound quality on "King for a Day" is superb thanks in large part to the enlistment of sonic genius Rich Mouser (whose resume includes similar work for prominent contemporaries like Spock's Beard, Transatlantic and Dream Theater).Keyboardist Erling Hananger is an excellent addition to Magic Pie's recipe. His keyboard parts are expressive, dynamic and integral to the music. When appropriate, his leads seamlessly blend, harmonize, and work synergistically with electric guitar.The lyrics have a melodramatic and somewhat tragic flair this time around, but this is prog so you should be accustomed to the musical ride including a few tragic tales from time to time by now, right?OK ' so it's time for the "magic" question... A decade after their debut album, how has my impression of Magic Pie changed?On "King for a Day", I now hear a band which has found "its own voice", one that resonates confidently in the space somewhere between classic arena rock of yesteryear (on prog-steroids of course) and modern melodic prog of the 21st Century (like Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings). Add a few dashes of modern prog-metal to taste and you, my friend, have baked up a very nice confection indeed... MAGIC PIE!If you love modern prog anthems with big harmonies and 'sing along' choruses, give "King for a Day" a listen! I'm glad I did!" - ProgArchives
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It's easy to isolate the audience with solipsistic soloing and obtuse orchestrations, but from day one Moon Safari has made prog that—assuming the layperson were more amenable to songs that run upwards of thirty minutes—could lead them to something like a pop crossover hit.But while the union of hook-heavy vocal interplay and '70's prog stylistics gives Moon Safari an unmistakable, unique sound, it also handicapped them in a significant way for their first two LPs. The group's accessibility on A Doorway to Summer and Blomljud, along with its technical prowess, is unassailable, but the high-fructose sweetness of its style leads to a diabetic rush when stretched out onto songs that span ten to thirty minutes. For example, "Other Half of the Sky," the titanic thirty minute showstopper off of Blomljud, has so many memorable hooks that by the time it's run its time out, it's hard to remember all of them. The classic problem of "too many voices leads to a noisy room" was the defining problem of Moon Safari's otherwise enjoyable sound for some time. All that changed, however, in 2010 with the release of Lover's End.It is no exaggeration—even as the decade remains young—to say that Lover's End is one of the finest progressive rock records of the '00's. Hell, it's not even crazy to say that it's one of the finest pop albums of the '00s; anyone, even those turned off by prog's eccentricities, can find something to love on this mellifluous collection of songs. From the a cappella charm of "Southern Belle" to the hook-loaded "New York City Summergirl," Lover's End is chock full of goodness from beginning to end. What explains its genius is that in contrast to A Doorway to Summer and Blomljud, the songs are given exactly the amount of space they need, and not a second more. Some songwriters may feel hamstrung by the verse/chorus structure, but it's a perfect fit for Moon Safari's joyous approach to music.With their newest studio outing, Himlabacken, Vol. 1, Moon Safari continue the refining of their sound, and while this isn't the breakthrough that Lover's End was, it nonetheless attests to the brilliance of this group. Whereas the latter was bound by a loose concept (love and heartbreak), Himlabacken Vol. 1 is less a lyrics album than its predecessor. The cost of this is that the music is less distinct in its cohesiveness, but there are no shortage of catchy passages and amped-up solos. "Mega Moon" comes off as a tribute to musical theatre, with "The Very Model of A Modern Major General" vocal delivery interweaving with Queen-esque bombast to an impressive effect. "Too Young to Say Goodbye" sees and matches the polyharmonic beauty of "Lover's End (Part One)." By sticking to concise song formats—the longest cut here runs nine and a half minutes—Moon Safari ensures that things never run out of steam, an essential quality to any good progressive rock band.If nothing else, Himlabacken, Vol. 1 proves that there's one thing Moon Safari can't be accused of: being unaware of themselves. Grand finale "Sugar Band" is as much a statement of identity as it is a slice of epic pop: "Sweet and saccharine are we," they declare, followed by "syrup's the blood in our veins." (Less successful is the clumsy Katy Perry innuendo of, "suck our big candy canes," which is thematically consistent but tonally off.) Both "Sugar Band" and "Little Man," one of the few Moon Safari songs to feature a solo vocal, are emblematic of the mushiness that might turn some prog fans away from their music. The latter, while obviously a touching document of a father's love for his son, does feel a bit out of place in how deeply personal it is; part of the strength of this group's sonic is the universality of its pop appeal, and the intimacy behind "My Little Man" makes listening to it an almost voyeuristic experience. "Mega Moon" and "Sugar Band" are better at capturing the convivial spirit of the band that's accessible to all.As with past outings, even those drawn to vocal harmonies might find it hard to stomach all of the sweetness of Himlabacken, Vol. 1. But what ultimately makes this LP successful is its unpretentious commitment to fun. Moon Safari are a rare collective that prove daunting musical chops aren't anathema to accessibility, and with Himlabacken, Vol. 1 they've made a recording that, while not the magnum opus that Lover's End was, is as true a capturing of their ethos as there could ever be. Sating a sweet tooth brings to mind the phrase "guilty pleasure," but there's no guilt involved with music as first-class as this. Who knew being in a boy band could sound so classy? " - Sea Of Tranquility
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    $5.00
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    $13.00
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    $11.00
  • "Features guest appearance by Gentle Giant guitarist Gary Green on “Words and Miracles” (Electric Guitar, Guitar solos and backing vocals) and “Crush of Night” (Guitar solo) IZZ’s new studio album, Crush of Night serves as Part 2 of a 3-part series of thematic albums that began with The Darkened Room (TDR) in 2009.Crush of Night is a worthy successor to the well-received TDR and continues the exploration of one’s journey of self-knowledge, doubt and ultimately the search for meaning. IZZ brings their characteristic sense of melody to the fore on this album while at the same time fusing high reaching emotion with the driving impact that IZZ fans have come to identify with the band. From the opening vocal melody of You’ve Got a Time to the guitar-driven Words and Miracles featuring the distinctive guitar sound of Gary Green, to the stirring emotion of Half the Way culminating with the impressive 26 minute suite that shares ist name with the album title, Crush of Night delivers on all fronts by creating a sound and passion that belong to IZZ alone."
    $12.00
  • 2007 edition features the Nick Davis stereo remix and remaster. Not available domestically.
    $12.00