The album of the month December 2018: Roine Stolt's "The Flower King" - Manifesto of an Alchemist

Our album of the month December is by Roine Stolt, known as the guitarist, singer, writer and at times band leader of the groups The Flower Kings, Transatlantic, Agents of Mercy, Kaipa DC, as well as from his work with prog icon Jon Anderson and the new super-group The Sea Within.Under the moniker ROINE STOLT’S THE FLOWER KING, ’Manifesto Of An Alchemist’ offers 10 songs and almost 70 minutes of playing time celebrating the style Roine is most revered for: progressive rock, richly orchestrated with all the trademark elements from four decades of the genre. 'Manifesto Of An Alchemist' is a celebration of all the styles that have been part of the colourful, daring and dynamic songwriting and arrangements that Roine masters like no other, yet also offers a more immediate, more hands on approach. The album features a host of other musicians, including long-time collaborators Jones Reingold, Hans Froberg & Michael Stolt, as well as fellow The Sea Within member Marco Minnemann, Max Lorentz, Zach Kamins, Rob Townsend & Nad Sylvan.

The album of the month November 2018: Tiger Moth Tales-Story Tellers Part Two

In spite of his busy work as a member of Camel’s touring band throughout most of 2018, super-talented multi-instrumentalist Pete Jones has managed to write some material for the new Tiger Moth Tales album. After the success of “The Depths Of Winter” he harks back to the renowned formula of “Story Tellers Pt 1”. On “Story Tellers Pt 2” he was inspired by his favourite children's authors, amongst whom A.A. Milne and Hans Christian Andersen. This has evolved into an eclectic collection of wonderful songs, some of which reflect his love for the old prog dinosaurs i.e. Genesis/Hackett. Watch this space for an in-depth review.
 
  • The album of the month October 2018: Subsignal-La Muerta

    This band have released only great albums, don't get me wrong, but this album sounds the most consistent and coherent to-date. I thought they could never reach the level of Touchtones, but this album could be their best. Time will tell, if this album stands the test of time. See our cd/dvd page for a full review of the album.

  • The album of the month September 2018: Overture-Overture

    Overture is one of the most impressive new progressive rock bands that have come from Italy in recent years. The band from Sardinia has just released its debut album with an eponymous title that will be made available through Melodic Revolution Records (MRR). According to the band, the album is inspired by the progressive masterpieces from the 70s. On the band's Facebook page, Overture state it’s influenced by artists such as P.F.M, Jethro Tull, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Camel, Pink Floyd, Steve Wilson and Porcupine Tree. Fans will notice that Overture has its own unique and distinctive sound, but will be a good match with some of the best prog bands out there. An extensive review on our cd/dvd page.

  • The album of the month August 2018: Mystery-Lies and Butterflies

    This Canadian outfit has done it again. Their predecessor "Delusion Rain" was already a great success with prog orientated music lovers back in 2015 but one can safely say this album is the logical successor. 7 tracks on this album with a time span varying from 5 to 17 minutes. Total playing time a little over 64 minutes. Musically it bounces between (Neo)Prog and Classic Rock. The song "How Do You Feel?" has a Styx feeling to it and is therefore maybe the most accessible track on the album. See our cd/dvd page for a full review.

  • The album of the month July 2018: The Sea Within

    The Sea Within’s first album is a highly impressive but diverse voyage. Passengers on this ship will experience expansive high sea views, daunting subaqueous emotional depths and even fathomless submerged darkness. But they will also enjoy pleasing coral imagery, aquamarine beams of musical light, frolicking waves of melody, compositional variety and, most certainly, virtuosity of oceanic proportions. The band consists of topnotch Prog artists like Roine Stolt (Transatlantic, The Flower Kings), Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain of Salvation), Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings, Karmakanic, The Tangent), Tom Brislin (Renaissance, Spiraling, Yes Symphonic, Deborah Harry) & Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats, Steven Wilson, UK, Joe Satriani). Guest appearances by Jon Anderson and Jordan Rudess. Supergroup? Judge yourself, it was enough for us to name it AOM.

  • The album of the month June 2018: Riversea- The Tide

    Six years after their debut album “Out of an Ancient World” Riversea released their new album “The Tide” recently. Once again the album contains melodic symphonic rock. The group is lead by Marc Atkinson and Brendan Eyre and a choice of guest musicians like Dave Clements, Alex Cromarty, Peter Aves, Lee Abraham, Paul Cusick, Robin Armstrong, Simon Godfrey & Martin Ledger. The unrest in the world is the main theme on the album, but also personal suffering is incorporated on this wonderful album. A full review will follow shortly on our cd/dvd review page.

  • The album of the month May 2018: Lazuli-Saison 8

    French outfit Lazuli have recently released their eighth studio album. The follow-up to highly acclaimed “Nos âmes saoules” from 2016 entitled “Saison 8” was released in March, just ahead of European tour dates that took them to France, Holland (see concert pages for review), Belgium and Germany. A statement on the release reads: “Each new album comes as the new season of a TV series and each song as an episode of our lives”. For an elaborate review see cd/dvd reviews section.

  • The album of the month April 2018: Strawbs-The Ferryman's Curse

    “The Ferryman’s Curse” is the first Strawbs album of new material in eight long years. It is produced by the legendary Chris Tsangarides (Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, Yngwie Malmsteen). The Ferryman’s Curse, the title track of the album, is the epic sequel to The Vision Of The Lady Of The Lake, from Strawbs’ second album “Dragonfly” from 1970. The current Strawbs line-up comprises lead vocalist David Cousins, lead guitarist Dave Lambert, bass player Chas Cronk, and drummer Tony Fernandez, who recorded and toured together in the 1970s. They are joined by keyboard and guitar virtuoso Dave Bainbridge of Iona - a band who created a mystical blend of rock, folk, Celtic and ambient music - a perfect match for Strawbs.

  • The album of the month March 2018: Atlantropa Project

    Atantropa - a project of superlatives. Build a huge dam, dry the Mediterranean, obtain new land, unite Africa and Europe and create peace. Those were the ideas of German engineer Herrmann Sörgel in 1920. Congenially transferred into music, a concept album against current setting. Diverse compositions, complex themes played by very capable musicians. To put it simply: thought-provoking progressive rock! For a full review please see our CD/DVD reviews pages.

  • The album of the month February 2018: Kayak-Seventeen

    Legendary Dutch progrockers Kayak, founded 45 years ago, have just released a brand new album, aptly named “Seventeen”, the first studio album in four years. No more pretentious rock-opera like material, just twelve tracks that are reminiscent of the band’s best work from the seventies and eighties. With a new line-up surrounding founder member Ton Scherpenzeel the band has just embarked on a tour of Holland (and beyond). Guest contributions by Camel pal Andy Latimer on one particular song on the album. Watch this space for a more detailed review.

  • The album of the month January 2018: Andrea Orlando-Dalla vita autentica

    Drummer of Italian band "La Coscienza di Zeno’s" with his first solo effort. Apart from skilfull drum playing he also plays the organ and mellotron. The album has a nice sound of Symphonic Prog to it. Mr Orlando had some help from befriended musicians by the likes of Alessandro Corvaglia, Agostino Macor (both of La Maschera di Cera), Stefano Marelli (Finistere), Laura Marsono (Höstsonaten), Marcella Arganese (Ubi Maior) and Melissa Del Lucchese(La Coscienza di Zeno).
    As a result, “Dalla vita autentica” is a complex but never boring record of modern and Mediterranean progressive rock, mostly made of contrasts between mellow orchestral parts with piano and strings, and other more rushing and ‘rock’ ones, in which in particular Alessandro Corvaglia’s expressive voice is the absolute protagonist. The long title-track at the end is a perfect example of this, over 16 minutes of sound explorations that perfectly seal a beautiful album.

  • The album of the month December 2017: Tiger Moth Tales – The Depths Of Winter

    Tiger Moth Tales have released their third album, “The Depths Of Winter”, through White Knight on November 20. It features a guest appearance from guitarist Luke Machin of Maschine. "The Depths of Winter is an album based on wintery concepts, and stories which take place in the winter season," explains main man Jones. "There are a number of different themes explored on this album, including winter folk tales and characters such as the Ojibwe wind spirit, Biboon, the Viking legends of Baldr, Loki and Frigga, and the death of English folklore hero, Robin Hood." This new outing sees Tiger Moth Tales taking on a somewhat more mature sound, tackling some darker but less personal themes that take place in the winter season. There’s something for everyone on multi-instrumentalist Peter Jones’ new album; hints of Big Big Train, echoes of Camel, flashes of Hackett and, of course, Genesis influences. Watch this space for a more in-depth review.

  • The album of the month November 2017: Premiata Forneria Marconi-Emotional Tattoos

    Premiata Forneria Marconi (aka PFM) is one of the most famous Italian rock bands in the world and has just released a brand new album on InsideOutMusic. “Emotional Tattoos” marks the return of the band's trademark sound after two more experimental releases. “Emotional Tattoos”, released in both an English as well as an Italian version, is an impressive sonic statement that shines with memorable song writing and ultimately proves to be an energetic, imaginative and encompassing sonic experience, inviting all listeners to really sink into its musical facets and stories. For a full review of this album please see CD/DVD reviews

  • The album of the month October 2017: Monarch Trail-Sand

    Like Monarch Trail’s debut album “Skye” back in 2014, their new release “Sand” is also a warm, atmospheric and symphonic record, once more inspired by the paintings of Annette Roche. The name Monarch Trail refers to a route through nature in the Dundas Valley near Toronto. Every fan of symphonic prog and new prog should definitely walk this Monarch Trail.  

  • The album of the month September 2017: Eloy-The Vision, the Sword and the Pyre, Pt. 1

    Since 1971 Eloy has been more or less on the map of progressive rock lovers or symphonic/space rock lovers. This band from Hannover, Germany was formed around Frank Bornemann and has released 18 album since then, making this their 19th album. Their last (studio) album was 8 years ago ("Visionary") and although maybe not in their original line up Frank always seem to capture the Eloy sound throughout the years. This album is what can be expected from Frank, a highly professional and high tech album which takes you back to the hay days of symphonic prog but in present time.

  • The album of the month August 2017: Kotebel-Cosmology

    Formed in Madrid (1999) by Venezuelan pianist and composer Carlos Plaza Vegas, the music of Kotebel can be described as Prog Fusion with Classical influences. This is their seventh studio album, which took them 5 years to complete since their last release. According to their website the music on this album is a representation of four conceptions of the Cosmos. (We are actually all connected)

  • The album of the month July 2017: The Watch-Seven

    On May 29th, The Watch's new album was released with the appropriate title “Seven”. This is indeed the seventh studio album by the Italian quintet and the successor to the album “Tracks from the Alps” from 2014. Once again there is much to enjoy, especially if you like ‘old school’ symphonic rock, early Genesis to be precise. The album is extra special because of the collaboration with the legendary Steve Hackett, whose The Hermit is played in a special version, with the master on twelve-string guitar. An extensive review will follow as soon as possible, watch (!) this space.

  • The album of the month June 2017: Magenta-We Are Legend

    Amazing new studio album from multi-award winning progressive rock band Magenta, the band’s seventh studio album that follows 2013’s "27 Club". "We Are Legend" features three lengthy tracks, two 11-minute pieces and a 26-minute epic: Trojan. The album marks a first for Magenta as it is the first album where the live and studio line-up are one and the same. An extensive review will follow shortly, watch this space!

  • The album of the month May 2017: Isildurs Bane & Steve Hogarth: Colours Not Found In Nature

    Swedish Progressive Rock pioneers, Isildurs Bane and Marillion vocalist Steve Hogarth join forces on 2017 album Colours Not Found In Nature

    Comprising six songs composed by IB's musical director and keyboard player Mats Johansson and Steve Hogarth, the richly detailed recordings feature tuned percussion, strings, woodwind, brass and voices, and within an integrated suite-like album structure.

    Both a departure for Steve Hogarth and a stunning return for Isildur's Bane, the album incorporates elements of Rock, traditional music, Jazz and contemporary Classical in one brilliantly unified world

  • The album of the month April 2017: The Barock Project-Detachment

    Fifth studio album for the Italian Symphonic Rock leading band Barock Project, lead by multi-instrumentalist and composer Luca Zabbini. Zabbini is ready to launch another 75 minutes of his well established and unique music. One full year of hard work for Barock Project, 13 new tracks, many new sounds and joint composing and arrangement efforts to ensure a totally new approach and musical direction to the project. It’s a rollercoaster of notes and multiple scenarios. Take some rock, jazz, metal, prog, flamenco, oriental, folk, celtic, pop, symphonic and mix it well and it leaves us with a gorgeous album, interspersed with beautiful old-fashioned symphonic ballads and screaming guitars.

  • The album of the month March 2017: Gevende-Kirinardi

    The chaotic fusion of post-rock, jazz, and psychedelia that defines the band's music has made them a resilient treasure to audiences everywhere for just over a decade now. The frantic chord progressions, aggressive drums, and heavy distortion of Gevende's music have transcended borders, both geographical and cultural. In addition to making its mark on Turkey's music scene, Gevende has found fans in countries all over the world. Previous albums Ev (2006) and Sen Balık Değilsin Ki (2011) have taken the band to Greece, France, the UK, and Iraq.
    In short this is a typical TVRDO Album of the Month album !

  • The album of the month February 2017: Big Big Train-A Stone´s Throw From The Line

    Alex wrote in his review on this album (which you can find elsewhere on this site) . I dare to go as far as to say that "A stone's throw from The Line" is BBT’s equivalent of iconic live albums as Genesis’ “Seconds Out”, Yes’ “Yessongs” or ELP's “Welcome Back My Friends”. What they show here in a live performance may very well be listed among the best work of their already fairly extensive oeuvre. A cross section of the best material of the band, brought to life in a sublime way, a great achievement by these men and one lady.

  • The album of the month January 2017: Last Knight-Talking To The Moon

    Last Knight is an international music project. The different musicians collaborate through internet in the recording sessions coordinated by Spanish producer/songwriter Jose Manuel Medina. Originally it was created back in 1997 with the purpose of writing an instrumental album.
    The Last Knight project is a fusion between different music styles. It is oriented to an audience that loves music in every way. With guest appearances of David Rohl(Mandalaband): Main Vocals, Piano & Orchestrations Marc Atkinson (Riversea): Main Vocals;Yann Zhenchak (Azazello): Main Vocals;Ashley Mulford(Sad Cafe): Electric Guitars;Troy Donockley (Nightwish, The Enid and many others): Uilleann Pipes, Low Whistle & Electric Guitars;Theo Travis(Robert Fripp, Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson etc.): Tenor Sax & Flute; Geoffrey Richardson(Caravan, Penguin Cafe Orchestra): Viola, Violin, Piano, Keyboards & Percussion and loads more musicians with international acclaim. More details on the project and the artists involved at their bandcamp site: https://lastknight.bandcamp.com/album/talking-to-the-moon 
        

  • The album of the month December 2016: Janus-Gravedigger House Calls

    A new album of Janus. It appears a whole revival of 70/80's progbands are at hand. Currently there's Neuschwanstein, Jane, Kansas and the list is getting longer. Janus had their album Gravedigger out on the EMI/Harvest label(ring a bell?) back in 1972 after which the band split up. But the re-release of that album triggered something with the band members and they came together again and released the 1998 album "Agnus Dei" which unchained a longing by music listeners to hear Gregorian Monk's Sounds, which let to quite a hype in those days. And now they are back again, with the succesor of "Under The Shadow of the Moon" from 2013. Janus is still very much alive with again a prominent role for Paul Phoenix. Thanks Colin.

  • The album of the month November 2016: Kaipa Da Capo Darskapens Monotoni

    In 2014, original KAIPA members Roine STOLT, Ingemar Bergman (drums) and Tomas ERIKSSON (Bass) re-grouped under the name KAIPA DA CAPO to play the old music from the first three albums as well as brand new music. To complete the team they called Mikael STOLT (vocals, guitar), brother of Roine, and Max LORENTZ (keyboards).

    After a series of concerts in 2015 the group started the recording of a new album in June 2016.
    The album is titled "Dårskapens Monotoni" (Folly Monotony, in a literal translation) and will be followed by an extended European and Scandinavian tour in the autumn. The music is in the traditional KAIPA sound with songs sung in Swedish.

  • The album of the month October 2016: The Mighty Handful "Still Sitting in Danny's Car 3 Rubicon"

    The Mighty Handful are a five-piece from South London. This third part of the Mighty Handful's it takes listeners on a trek through three millenia of history, juxtaposes classic comic book stories with a failing relationship, looks at the events and people who influence us consciously or otherwise, searches for the perfect woman and takes minor detours via 80s hair rock and gin.

  • The album of the month September 2016: Abraham Sarache "The Gardener"

    With his engaging, lively arrangements and warm and passionate vocals, "The Gardener" combines a rich style of writing with tasteful musicianship in a sturdy and exciting way. This album remains intriguing and is worth the effort to listen to. OK, there are obvious influences, but the final result is worth your while and refreshing of character. If you are looking for innovation and progression then Sarache’s style will most certainly appeal to you.

  • The album of the month August 2016: Karmakanic-Dot

    In the vast universe, we are just a small dot. This thesis of writer and astronomer Carl Sagan was the inspiration for Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings) for writing the fifth album by the progressive rock band Karmakanic. The line-up for "Dot" further comprises Göran Edman (Yngwie Malmsteen), Morgan Ågren (Casualties Of Cool, Frank Zappa, Steve Vai), Lalle Larsson (Agents Of Mercy), Nils Krister Jonsson and Erikson. Special guest: Andy Tillison (The Tangent).

  • The album of the month July 2016: Crystal Palace-Dawn Of Eternity

    Alex wrote in his review on the album in the CD/DVD section: a pleasant introduction to these Germans with their quitessential English name. It is also clear that they can also play, their sound is rock solid.

  • The album of the month June 2016: Jon Anderson/Roine Stolt - Invention Of Knowledge

    Collaboration of two prog giants, and this is how this project came about: "The idea came to life swiftly off the back of a performance from Roine's band Transatlantic, and Jon Anderson on the Progressive Nation At Sea Cruise in 2014, and was initially instigated by InsideOut Music label boss Thomas Waber. The duo set about crafting new music in the spirit of early epic works such as 'Tales From Topographic Oceans', 'Awaken' & 'Olias Of Sunhillow', but giving it a modern twist."

  • The album of the month May 2016: PROJECTiON-Realitivity

    A brief history of the band members and how they now became a Prog Band by keyboard player Peter Pampiermole: “Previously we played as the band called “LaRoque”, mostly in the cover circuit in Holland. On these venues however we were not held back to play the more heavier Rock material, i.e. the Dream Theater’s classic “Big Medley” was often played. Twice we were in the regional finale of Clash of the Coverbands.

  • The album of the month April 2016: The Enid-Dust

    The Enid are well known for albums In the Region of the Summer Stars and Something Wicked This Way Comes. DUST, the final part in a trilogy of albums, will be the band’s first official release since the highly acclaimed comeback album Invicta in 2012.
    Over the last year founder Robert John Godfrey was crowned Visionary at the Progressive Music Awards 2014, along with lead vocalist Joe Payne being voted Best Male Vocalist in the 2014 Prog Magazine Readers’ Poll.

  • The album of the month March 2016: Different Light-The Burden Of Paradise

    This CD was presented to us last week. A CD by the band Different Light. To be honest we did not know of this band and by listening to it, we wonder why this band has been under our radar for that long, since they have recorded 3 albums previous to this one. What stone were we under I wonder. What these guys display here in a mere 64 minutes is Symphonic Rock, AOR with a hint of Metal but most of all it’s very PROG. We were pleasantly surprised by the album and for that and all the reasons stated in this brief introduction was decided to vote it as the Album of the Month March @ TVRDO ...

  • The album of the month February 2016: Mantra Vega-The Illusion's Reckoning

    Mantra Vega is a new transatlantic progressive rock band from Heather Findlay and Dave Kerzner (founding members of the bands Mostly Autumn and Sound of Contact respectively) along with Chris Johnson (Halo Blind/Mostly Autumn), Stu Fletcher (We Could Be Astronauts), Alex Cromarty (Mostly Autumn) and featuring legendary guitarist David Kilminster (Roger Waters/Steven Wilson).

    website: http://www.mantravega.co.uk/bio

  • The album of the month January 2016: Thieves' Kitchen-The Clockwork Universe

    The band’s sound blends elements of Canterbury, Folk, Fusion, Symphonic, and Rock to produce music as adventurous as it is familiar, as melodic as it is intricate, an ‘Englishness’ to its flavour, Swedish in its texture. Thieves’ Kitchen are widely respected for having woven their own unique sound.

  • The album of the month December 2015: Billy Sherwood-Citizen

    An all cast of Prog Stars on this album, maybe it is for that reason our contributor Alex Driessen, voted for this album as Album of the Month. And it must be said, the likes of Steve Hackett, Rick Wakeman, Geoff Downes, Steve Morse, Patrick Moraz, Alan Parons and many others will catch the prog minded listeners to attention. The review of this album has already been done by Alex which you can find under the cd/dvd reviews section.

  • The album of the month November 2015: Nad Sylvan-Courting The Widow

    The singer of the Steve Hackett tour "Genesis Revisited" has released his 2nd album. This former singer of Unifaun is accompanied by noteworthy guests, such as Steve Hackett, Roine Stolt, Nick D'Virgilio, Nick Beggs and many others. Nad's voice could be descriped as cross between Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins. A wonderful album to listen to if you like symphonic prog.

  • The album of the month October 2015: Built For The Future-Chasing Light

    The debut album from this San Antonio, Texas band is quite a cornucopia of styles that works well across a diverse selection of songs. Classic progressive sounds combine with melodic songwriting to deliver music that really wants you to dig deeper and explore further.
    Influenced by bands such as Spocks Beard, The Flower Kings and Porcupine Tree, the album ‘Chasing Light’ is the beginning a series of albums about a protaganist who is seeking to change life and worlds and find ‘light’. (Martin Hutchinson at progradar.org)

    The album is dedicated to Chris Squire 'The Fish'

  • The album of the month September 2015: Advent-Silent Sentinel

    Advent are Alan Benjamin, Henry Ptak, Mark Ptak, Greg Katona and Brian Mooney and they are from the States, New Jersey to be precise and this is their third album following the highly acclaimed "Cantus Firmus" released 2006 and their debut "Advent" in 1997. Simularities with Gentle Giant and Procol Harum are at hand, but also hints of Yes and Genesis can be heard. Furthermore they make use of real choirs (so not from a synth) distinctively.

  • The album of the month August 2015: Kinetic Element-Travelog

    The album of the month August is Travelog by Kinetic Element. A progressive rock band from Richmond, Virginia/USA. Their music is a mix of progressive/classic rock and fusion, and when all mixed together, like they do, you get quite an original sound. They don't look for 4 minutes songs, each song on this album spans over 9 minutes. Line up; Mike Visaggio:keys & vocals, Michael Murray:percussion, Todd Russell: guitars and Mark Tupko: bass.. Certainly a band to check out.

  • The album of the month June 2015: We Are Kin - Pandora

    A sensation to listen to this debut album by UK proggers We Are Kin. From folkie to down to earth prog with a message. Thoroughly enjoyable album from this Manchester based band.

  • The album of the month May 2015: The Enid - The Bridge

    The Bridge is the classical interval between "Invicta" and the upcoming album by The Enid later this year. Don't look for heavy guitar or drumsolo's on this one, there aren't any. David Storey had some time off.

  • The album of the month July 2015: Tiger Moth Tales - Story Tellers

    A very pleasant album with a nod and a wink to (in my opinion) to Genesis' "A Trick of the Tail"...
    http://www.tigermothtales.com/pete-jones