ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages

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Baywolf (USA) - 2003 - "Baywolf" **+
(12 min CD-R, Rock Works)

Baywolf is a duo represented by Earthly people of different sexes whose names are unknown to me, as they aren't mentioned in the 'booklet' of their eponymous debut EP nor in its press kit. The EP features three songs ranging from three to five minutes in length. The first two of them are about an accessible, very slightly Prog-tinged Hard Rock with elements of Folk Rock, while another, with its blend of Hard Rock and Art-Rock, sounds a bit more pretentious. There are some definite progressive features on "Baywolf", and female vocals are OK. Overall however, there is nothing interesting. The recording is homemade and is amateurish. The sound of the music, and especially that of a drum machine, is terrible, and the overall production of this production, which is the production of Rock Works Productions, is more than merely poor. Potboiler is the word. content


Black Jester (Italy) - 1994 - "Welcome to the Moonlight Circle" ****

This is the second album from this very promising Italian Prog-metal band, and it is more mature than their debut, however some of the distinctive traits of Dream Theater or Yngwie Malmsteen are retained. Also, the voice of Alexis "The Jester", as usual, is impressively weak. Nevertheless, positioned somewhere between Neo and complex Prog-metal, the band with this album will probably appeal to those of you who are firm on getting into the Prog-Metal genre. Release of obscure yet essential German "Music Is Intelligence" label. content


Black Sabbath (UK) - 1973 - "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" ******

Are you still remember of this the very first Big Step of Prog-Metal? Together with the excellent acoustical parts, various innovative arrangements, there are also you can hear some very good "invasions" from conducted by Will Malone Symphonic Orchestra. Bandleader guitarist Tony Iommi also plays on keyboards all over the tracks here, excepting Sabbra Cadabra, where are various keyboard themes were played by... Rick Wakeman. Of course, not for the sake of money already so important person as Yes' keysman done it... Critycally acclaimed everywhere as an excellent "Hard-Rock" album "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" was the first full-blooded work announced the New Progressive Realm, but unnoticed from the direction of Prog-reviewrs, and ignored by them up to now, as well as following three masterpieces made by this band. content


Black Sabbath - 1975 - "Sabotage" ******

With this album Black Sabbath opened up another door into heavy progressive realm. Except for the first track and the first half of the second, this yet another underrated masterpiece sounds symphonic rather than metallic. One of the band's prog-hallmarks Supertzar featured an outstanding choir supported, of course, with the famous Malone's Orchestra. Hey, young lovers of Dream Theater! Take a look back, listen to "Sabotage" and love it to death! content


Black Sabbath - 1976 - "Technical Ecstasy" ******

The authentic founders of progressive metal with their next album move into a faster and heavier direction and, for the first time, in company with incredible polyphonic keyboards playing here not a supporting role at all. She's Gone remains up to now one of the most magical Prog-ballads. The level of complexity on tracks like Dirty Women, You Won't Change Me, and Gypsy is quite compared to many songs from works of Genesis, Yes, Van Der Graaf, released at the same time Read my heartfelt opinion on "Never Say Die" (1978) in "B" section of Detailed Reviews. These three Black Sabbath albums were released on "Phonogram"'s labels, and they were excellently reissued by British "Castle Communications" in 1996. content


Boomerang (Kazakhstan) - Short Overall View

Discography:

1983 - "Boomerang"
("Melodiya")
*****

1985 - "Ornament"
("Melodiya")
*****

1986 - "Mirage"
("Melodiya" / "Musea"?)
*****

The first and the second albums by Kazakhstan's best band Boomerang (now defunct) contain a profound, strong, and very tasteful music, the best definition of which would be a fusion of Classic Jazz-Rock and the most complex forms of Kazakh Folk music. It is more than merely difficult to comprehend any of the first two albums by the band at the first listen to them. So, I am almost sure that they will never be re-released on CD, but remain the hard-to-get LP rarities even in the CIS. Boomerang's third album, "Mirage", is less complex than both of its predecessors and, unlike them, consists of the relatively short instrumental pieces. Here, a traditional Jazz-Rock is excellently intermixed with Middle-Asian tunes and those Neo structures that, for example, are typical for most of the instrumental compositions by The Alan Parsons Project. So I wasn't surprised when I learned that the people at "Musea Records" rejected both of the first two albums by Boomerang. While "Mirage" will most likely be reissued on CD by the label next year. content


Braindance (USA) - "Redemption" ****
(pre-production CC)

As a matter of fact, I have obtained this pre-production tape a long time ago. Only the side "A" contains short samples from the upcoming second album by Braindance - probably, that's why I have forgotten about it (and I am sorry for that). Nevertheless, I must admit, the style of the duet (a man and a woman) is very original, especially in singing, but although the structures of music are not too complicated, an overall sounding is really unique. This is a kind of quite a dark Progressive music with hard-to-find analogies. I believe that such music can easily become even more or less public, despite the fact that to understand Braindance clearly a few listening sessions are necessary. This is quite a promising unit of the genre. content


Brand X (UK) - 1975 - "Missing Period" ***+

I'm sure, very few people know about this Brand X' album, therefore I decided to put some info on it. These are the earliest recordings of the band which just showed the potential of these incredible British musicians: guitarist John Goodsall, bassist Percy Jones, keyboardist Robert Lumley, and of course, Phil Collins, the drummer. It is quite possible, this LP will never be reissued on CD (but maybe I am just wrong, and it has already happened?). Incidentally, I like their latest works much more, and my cassette copy quite suits me. content


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