ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


[ A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z ]


RadioMobel - 2005 - "Gundang Garam" ***

RadioMobel is a Swedish band from the late '70s. They released two fairly obscure LPs, "Gundang Garam" being one of them. This is Psychedelic-Art Rock, tinged by Symphonic Prog. Synthesizer and guitar are central to the music, which tends to meander, though, lacking strong melodies. The drums are very far forward in the mix, with a very thudding bass drum, which I find very distracting from the guitar and synthesizer work. Production values are pretty low. RadioMobel is at their best when going instrumental, as vocalist Carin Bohlin's voice would have to be an acquired taste, rather strident in tone. The strongest element in the mix is the guitar work. Between the vocals, the prominent drums and lack of memorable melodies, I would not recommend this album.

KW content

Ray, Rick (USA) - "Neurotic Tendencies" ***+ (71 min, "Ray")

Rick Ray performed his 6th album practically alone. On "Neurotic Tendencies" he sings, plays all instruments (guitars, bass, percussion, keyboard), and only Rick Schultz plays clarinet in some compositions. First off, Rick Ray is a virtuoso guitarist, and of course his varied electric and acoustic guitars dominate in each song. The guitar works all the time, nothing and no one can stop Rick and his fast fingers. Need to say that Rick's vocal sounds good too - always as well as his guitar. There are lots of diverse guitar-based themes and arrangements, fast and virtuostic electric guitar solos and classical acoustic guitar passages in this work. To be honest, it could be a good Prog Metal album (with some elements of Art Rock), if only Rick would have hired a live drummer to work with him and forgot about his awful drum-machine. content

Ray, Rick & Riot Act - 2000 (I) - "Live at Suma" ****

A prolific musician our good Rick Ray! Which we can't say about many. Not only these days, but even at the golden age of hard rock (as well as art rock, and all other rocks - yes, those 70s) I don't remember anybody who would print out over three studio albums a year. Rick put out a series (can't say precisely - no less than five) new albums last year; and what now - April isn't over yet and Rick has already made two giants, each in hour's length. Now let's consider the first, though. After his strongest in terms of composition, real prog-metal "You people" (one of the 1999s), where the only weak point was the drum machine (to say nothing of the sound, with such an activity it must be rather hard to overcome the noise level typical for the late 60s), Rick (guitar, guitar-synth, vocals) has armed himself with a live rhythm section (or maybe followed the advice I gave him in the review on "You people" - no kidding!) by Jack Ambrose (bass, backing vocals) & John Cek (drums, backing vocals) and, therefore, has re-baptised himself in band Riot Act (he's worked with that line-up in 1990- 1996). Recorded "live" (at once - without any overdubs) in Suma studio, the album is an example of very good, real Hard, typical just for the 70s, but with a very bad sound. Though, I won't be amazed if Live at Suma is in reality only a reissue. content

Ray, Rick & Riot Act - 2000 (II) - "Maniacal Disastrophe Tour" ****+

According to the catalogue of "Neurosis Records", this is a second album by Riot Act this year. The booklet says, it was recorded in January- February in "Techniquip" studio, that is already with the usual for the studio works overdubs and all that. So, this one sounds really with more life than its predecessor, and of course, "live rhythm section" (especially the drums) does its best in terms of the normal drive, necessary in hard rock (in all other rocks too). The line-up is the same. How many times I've heard, let's say, Ted Nugent, stylistically close to this music, yet quality-wise - worlds apart! And I don't care that his albums of diluted hard rock don't have side noises. On the other hand, there's no energy, no "delicious" themes, no worthy solos either - all that which Rick Ray and his rock-n-roll friends possess with ease. Unlike the chewing gum in the worn-out ads, "MDT" gets you started on the spot. content

Ray, Rick - 2002 - "Existing Passages" ****
(75 min, 'Neurosis')

All of the 19 tracks that are featured on this CD are either outtakes or unfinished pieces from recording sessions, done by Rick Ray, back in 1999 & 2000. His permanent colleague and devoted fellow, saxophonist and flautist Rick Schultz accompanies him throughout. Surprisingly enough, this motley collection turned out to be a rather quality musical production on the whole. More than a half of the tracks on "Existing Passages" are very good, and five of them are just excellent. In other words, about 45 minutes of this CD's total playing time contain material that is worthy of most of Ray's 'official' albums. Eleven songs and instrumentals (in all) are here completed in their entirety and represent an original Progressive Hard Rock, which is typical for Rick Ray's creation in general. Both of the musicians work here as effectively as usual. If Rick had released "Existing Passages" as a normal 45-minute album, consisting only of the unreleased tracks (i.e. without those unfinished pieces, etc), I would regard it a very good, at least. All in all, I like this very fruitful performer's music. It is filled with a powerful yet positive energy, which all of the people like Progressive Aggressor should consider the most balanced and actual for Earth. Which, in its turn, is a very unbalanced planet, f*cktually. content

Ritual (Sweden) - 1995 - "Ritual" ***+

I've not read another review on debut album of this Swedish band (and there are no new works from them up to now), excepting some strokes in Gibraltar packed of enthusiastic words only. Also, I've heard various "effusive talks" about them, and thus, bought that CD. As a result I was disappointed after the first listening, as well as after the several followings. Stylistically "Ritual" is more Folk-Prog than the other way round, and in reality it contains just two or three (from 11) true Prog songs only, not counting a few very short another episodes. Nevertheless, this stylistics is quiet original, the music were performed excellently with lots of folk instruments among the others. But I don't like that sort of (no, far not brutal, but "aggressive" ) singing, though English vocals is non-accented. I very like many of Swedish Prog-performers, but Ritual, on the whole, is far not model from this country. ("Musea" Records) content

Rocket Scientists (USA) - 1995 - "Brutal Architecture" *****

The second album of this american band ("Kinesis" label), unlike their debut (1993), showed a giant step forward to more complex, intricate yet still very melodic Art (Symphonic) Rock. These guys found their own, quite original way in arrangements, and only the light breathe of The Beatles (!) you can feel, listening to this music. About 2/3 of compositions were written and arranged by the bandleader and (great) keyboardist Eric Norlander, and the rest songs by guitarist/vocalist/lyricist Mark McCrite. The majority of compositions are excellent, especially all-instrumental pieces, the titlesong, and The Fall of Icarus. Unfortunately, a few tracks on this 60-minute-s work have some quite boring vocal themes, though a varied keyboard passages here are good, as always. But the worst track on the album is the last 12-minute-s "epic" (simply!) song Mariner with a bad monotonous lyrics and wretched arrangements. content

Roksana (Poland) - 1995 - "Barwy" *****
(15 tracks, 64 min)

The Ukraine-born singer and composer ROKSANA Vikaluk has lived in Poland already now for many years. Her debut outing, "Mizrah", a very unusual blend of Jazz-Fusion and Oriental music, was released in 2002, under the moniker of Roksana Vikaluk Quintet. On her second album "Barwy", which is a live recording, Roksana appears as a sole performer, singing, playing a synthesizer and using programmed sounds all simultaneously. She effectually combines ancient Ukrainian folk melodies with modern electronic music techniques, sometimes venturing into realms that are bordering on progressive music. Although the music is beyond any direct comparisons, there is certainly something in common between Roksana's and Peter Hammill's solo live performances. Recommended to the curious. The CD (very impressive digipack) can be ordered from Wydawnictwo 21 Records. content

[ A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z ]


ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages