ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages

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L


Lana Lane (USA) - 2005 - "Lady Macbeth" *****
(54 min, Think Tank)

"Lady Macbeth" is the latest studio effort by singer LANA LANE from California and is as usual a product of creative collaboration between Lana and her husband, keyboardist and producer Erik Norlander (of Rocket Scientists and >solo fame). The lineup includes also Erik's fellow Rocket Scientists band mates, Mark McCrite on guitars and Don Schiff on Stick, plus five more musicians, all being from Erik's current solo cohort. Most of the music is Symphonic Rock/Metal rather than Prog, though of course, the recording's 10 tracks vary in style. The rapid opening number, The Dream That Never Ends, is a killer, no matter that it is from beginning to end strongly reminiscent of early Dio (minus vocals for sure) - just listen to the first track from "Dream Evil", for instance, and compare. Keeper of the Flame and Summon the Devil are the other two great, still pronouncedly heavy tunes, with some reference to Doom Metal in their instrumental architectonics. Shine On Golden Sun, We Had the World and Our Time Now are nice ballads, whilst the only instrumental piece, The Vision, is in my view overloaded with vocalizations. The other, unnamed tracks are all bright numbers which I can find to be as good as gold as long as I view them as nothing more than traditional rock songs. Anyway, Lana's excellent passionate vocals in conjunction with her musicians' brilliant performance mastery make "Lady Macbeth" one of the very best contemporary albums within its genre category. content


Lemur Voice (Holland) - 1996 - "Insights" ****

The first (and the only so far) non-American band that joined the already widely known label "Magna Carta". A worthwile acquisition for them, I need to tell (it seems, these guys are the only perform live out of the other bands anchoring here). As far as quality and rogressiveness go, they're hardly second to the leader-founder Magellan. A small "minus" - if seldom, but still not quite absent influence of Dream Theater, though in general this is piece of work that fits well into the genre of Prog-Metal. An original vocal (really, "kind of lazy"), no accent. Among the eight (for 60 minutes) moderately hard compositions (but with lavish keyboards and frequent acoustic guitar episodes), two Classic Art Rock instrumentals take a worthy place. content


Life In The Sky (USA) - 2004 - "Illusions of Loudness" ***
(10 tracks, 34 min CD-R)

Life In The Sky is guitarist / vocalist Dave Campbell and drummer Andrew Dickson. Judging by the quality of the recording, which is poor, their first demo was recorded live in the studio with the use of guitar synthesizer and no overdubs. To all appearances, the duo is capable of doing live performance recording, but that's not the case, of course. The demo presents ten short tracks, seven of which are songs with either traditional or typical black vocals. Most of the music is a proto-progressive blend of Thrash and Space Metal with Punk overtones and is raw in all senses. Furthermore, the sound is highly derivative and clearly reminds me of early Voivod, who, though, played an inspired music and never used 'extremist' vocals. The only virtue of this material is Andrew Dickson's drumming, which is highly diverse and masterful. content


Light (Holland) - 1995 - "Light" ******

A unique album from a well-known "Home of Neo" Dutch "SI Music", gone bancrupt a few years ago. A whole hour of well composed and perfectly played innovative music in the frame of Classic Sympho-Prog sounds on this album. It's not Neo at all, but a profound work that emanates inspiration and contains gems as Dreams featuring Orchestra and Choir, Elephants on a Tightrope, and a number of others. Sadly, "Light" is one of the most underrated Prog-albums of our time. I have a CD made by Japanese label "Apollon". I know how long these Dutch guys cannot find a new home-label after the sad story with "SI Music", and it's a pity. Also, I've heard that Light opened some concerts for Pendragon. And in the present instance, unlike Jadis (see "J"), I want to say that Pendragon should have been opening for them! content


LSM (Uzbekistan) - 1990 - "LSM" *****
("Melodiya")

LSM (which is a 'Russian' abbreviation of Modern Music Laboratory) was one of a few bands from Uzbekistan that were known among the Prog lovers all over the USSR in the 1980s. As well as almost all of the other serious bands that came out from our republic at the time when the 'Soviet' Rock Music movement was, at long last, officially recognized (in the beginning of the 1980s), LSM performed a blend of the European-school Jazz-Rock and Uzbek national tunes. Their only full-length LP was one of the most popular Jazz-Fusion albums released by Melodiya in the end of the 1980s. Knowing that "LSM", as well as all the other albums of our native Progressive, would hardly ever be re-released on CD, I've began looking for this LP a few years ago. Certainly, I did not get it up to now. I believe that the people at Musea Records would license "LSM" from Melodiya and issue on CD if they were familiar with the contents of this album, but I don't have it even on a cassette, which I could send there. (Instead of Post Scriptum. By the way, a foreign Rock music was officially recognized in the USSR in the first half of the 1970s, - honestly! While already in the second half of the decade, "Melodiya" released, - under license (!), - a whole bunch of the excellent Progressive Rock albums, among which I especially loved "Watch" by Manfred Mann's Earth Band and "Sky-1", featuring Francis Monkman. It seems to me that I was a Prog lover already from the cradle.) content


Lost Detour - 2006 - "Painted Veil" *****

Finland's Lost Detour present their first release - the two-song mini-CD "Painted Weil". Their music is both unique and intricate, the group blending together such seemingly incompatible styles as progressive (really progressive) death metal and jazz-fusion, though elements of symphonic prog can be found in places as well. Fans of the likes of Cynic and Atheist should be the first to visit Lost Detour's website, as the EP is available from there for purchase and free downloading as well. Hopefully, it will be within the band's grasp to release a full-length album one day. content


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