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Special Compilation (Germany) - 2002 - "ProgFever-2"
(77 min, "Quixote")


*****+
Track List:
    
1. Principles of Alternation 12:15 (VIOLET DISTRICT) 
Neo Symphonic Art-Rock (Rating: 5)
2. At the End of Life 6:41 (CROMWELL) 
Neo Prog-Metal with elements of Symphonic Art-Rock (6)
3. Of Swords & Kisses 4:39 (ZHORN)
Modern Symphonic Art-Rock (6) 
4. The Lady Stands 7:20 (POOR GENETIC MATERIAL)
Modern Symphonic Art-Rock (6)
5. Sunstream 4:58 (CINNAMONIA) 
Modern Classic Symphonic Art-Rock (5+1/2)
6. Dark Room 4:28 (INES PROJECT) 
Modern Symphonic Art-Rock (5+1/2)
7. Lost My Heart 4:14 (DREADFUL MINDS)
Neo Prog-Metal w elements of Symphonic Art-Rock (5)
8. Symmetry 6:21 (ANGUISH)
Modern Symphonic Art-Rock + Prog-Metal (5+1/2)
9. Something In You 3:53 (HIGH WEEL)
Modern Prog-Metal with elements of Symphonic Art-Rock (6)
10. Shades of Silver 7:22 (T)
Modern Symphonic Art-Rock (5) 
11. Power From Within 4:21 (ZENOBIA)
Neo Symphonic Art-Rock (5) 
12. Discovery 11:18 (CHRASS)
Neo Symphonic Art-Rock (5)

Preamble. According to the manager of Quixote Music, Philipp Jahenne, "this compilation includes mainly unreleased and rare materials by Germany's most interesting contemporary progressive bands". What's central however, is that all the profits from the sales of this CD will be given to the victims of disastrous floods that happened in the east of Germany at the end of 2002.

The Album. After listening to "ProgFever-2", I've decided to transform the album's track list into somewhat of a rating-board where, in addition, each song would be accompanied by the stylistic definition of it. Of course, it's done for your additional accommodations and bearings dear readers. As you can see above, all the tracks that are presented on this compilation I rated either as masterpieces or excellent songs (no instrumentals here). Also, you will certainly note that my 'version' of the album's track list doesn't feature anything related to Classic Progressive. Indeed, most of the songs here, including two thirds of those that are in the vein of Neo, are highly original and don't contain any obvious influences. In my view, the prefix of Neo should mainly be used as an indicator of the accessibility of music. (As for the imitators of their idols, I always name them as just wannabe bands.) Those bands in the album's track list, the styles of which are marked as Modern Progressive, perform a complex music. But since the music they play is really fresh and there are too little or not at all of the elements that are typical for an old progressive school of the 1970-s in it, I can't label it as Classic Progressive in this case. Finally, here are some details concerning a few of those songs on the album that, in my view, should be mentioned specially. Four out of the twelve songs on "ProgFever-2" are ballads: Sunstream, Dark Room, Shades of Silver, and Power From Within (5, 6, 10, & 11). The first of them is the only song on a compilation that features female vocals. While the latter of them, apart from vocals, contains diverse interplay between solos of organ and rhythms, passages, and solos of acoustic guitar. Symmetry (8) is not only the only (huh?) track on the album where heavy and symphonic musical textures are balanced really well. In addition, it is just filled with orchestral arrangements where strings (i.e. varied violins) play first violin.

Summary. Even though most of the songs on "ProgFever-2" are just unreleased materials, this compilation represents one of the best selections I've ever heard. Even though the representatives of only two major progressive genres, Art-Rock & Prog-Metal, are featured on the CD, this is a really remarkable sampler. And even though there are too many repetitions in the summary of this review, it presents my honest opinion, as usual. Of course, like anyone, I can be mistaken in my reviews, but I am not able to express opinions that would be different from my true thoughts.

VM: January 22, 2003


Related Links:

ProgFever: http://www.progfever.de/

Quixote Records: http://www.quixote-music.de/


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