Sunday, 22 February 2015

06: NEMO - Si Partie 1 (2006)

Introduction by André de Boer

"The story of my musical prog love life is related to an eclectic French band named Némo and their glorious album Si Partie 1. It was not this particular 9.5 review that triggered me to investigate their music. That was Dries Dokter's DPRP review of Présages, two years earlier. (Thanks for that Dries). But it is this album that became my all-time favourite eclectic progressive rock disc. The composition, the power of the playing, the gentleness and rawness make it a real gem. And me? A Nemo addict and a fan boy. Do yourself a favour and try some of their music. And yes, it's in French!"

From the 2006 archives, read the original review by the DPRP's Yalcin Inel, and see what he said about the album:
Read it here

Watch NEMO play their music live, in this video from 2010.
Watch the video here

The whole album can be purchased from the band website.
Buy it here

Sunday, 15 February 2015

05: KANSAS - Leftoverture (1976)

Introduction by Andrew Halley

"I was working in the USA on a TV documentary about American 60s music. We had been booked to record an interview at WDIA, which was Memphis's first black radio station, with DJ Rufus 'Walk the Dog' Thomas. When we got to the building, it housed about ten other radio services of all genres. I took myself on a wander and one particular 'booth' caught my interest. Belting through the glass, was the middle instrumental section of what I later found out to be Carry On Wayward Son, by Kansas. I'd stumbled across a Prog Rock radio station!

Our next port of call was Los Angeles, where I found a local record store and bought the Kansas back catalogue to play on my bang-up-to-date CD Walkman. I suspected there might have been music in this world that I'd never heard before, but unless you know someone who is also 'in the know', then you're stuffed.
All Kansas albums have an appeal to me (and Song for America is also a great album), but Leftoverture will always remind me of that day."

(In the summer of 2005 I actually got to see Kansas live at the Shepherds' Bush Empire, and it was everything I expected it would be. I think it was nearly the last time that violinist and superb singer Robby Steinhardt  played with them. In another strange twist of coincidence, the following day I was on another job in the same region of London, and as we arrived at the hotel, Kansas were leaving and getting onto a bus. Compelled to do something, I approached the aforementioned, hirsute and bemused fiddle player, shook his hand and told him what a fan I was. Oddly, my first thought was: 'What stubby fingers, that can play so intricately'.)

From our Counting Out Time archives, read the original feature by the DPRP's Henri Bos, and see what he thought of the album:
Read it here

Watch Kansas play Carry On Wayward Son live.
Watch the live video here

Listen to it on video here

The whole album is currently available on Spotify and can be purchased via a link from the band website as a CD.
Buy it here
Listen to it here

Sunday, 8 February 2015

04: NOVACT - Tales From the Soul

Introduction by Andy Read

"It was a decade ago (almost to the day) when DPRP reviewed the one and only album by this Dutch quintet from Arnhem. We were the first website to pick up on Novact. I'd got hold of their excellent four-track demo, Misunderstood, a couple of years previously. This was quickly followed by a great show supporting Pain Of Salvation at Amsterdam's Headway Festival – a gig that led to the band (then known as Morgana X) being snapped-up by American ProgMetal label Sensory.
Enthused by the band's unique blend of prog metal influences and the engaging voice of Eddy Borremans, I saw them again at ProgPower Europe in 2004 and even travelled to a bar in Arnhem to carry out an interview. I had high hopes that Novact could go on to become something special.
Sadly a mixture of illness, day jobs and life got in the way and the promise shown on this disc was never given the chance to blossom. Drummer Martijn Peters has gone on to join Stream of Passion, but Tales From The Soul remains an album that I regularly revisit with fond memories."

From the 2005 archives, read the original duo review by the DPRP's Dries Dokter & Andy Read, and see what score they gave the album.
Read it here

Watch Novact play the track, Hope and Fear, live at Patronaat, Haarlem, The Netherlands (supporting Epica).
Watch the video here

The whole album can be purchased from the Sensory label website as a CD for a bargain price of $5.
Buy it here

Sunday, 1 February 2015

03: BIG BIG TRAIN: Gathering Speed (2004)

Introduction by Eric Perry

"If you ever need proof of how far Prog has changed in the past decade, then the DPRP review of this album is a shining example. Back then, before Facebook filled our lives with a dose of spoon-fed banality and hyperbolic banter, the DPRP quietly went about its business giving a fair and considered assessment of what would become one the most popular prog bands of the last five years.
The review itself isn't that important on its own merits. It gives a reasonable 5 out of 10 for an average album, but its place in history highlights the way social media has changed the way we accept music into our lives. Back when Gathering Speed went-by unnoticed by the bulk of the band's fans today, FB was in its infancy. Yet the rise of the band and its fan base has been inextricably linked to the rise of FB and other such platforms. A final thought. If this album had been released in 2015, would it still receive a middling score or would the mark have become overblown?"

From the 1998 archives, read the original review by the DPRP's Martien Koolen, and see what score he gave the album:
Read it here

A point proven. There are no official YouTube videos of any track from this album.
Instead you can enjoy Sean Filkins playing High Tide Last Stand live at Den Bosch.

The whole album is currently available on Spotify and a remastered CD version from 2009 can be purchased from the band website.
Buy it here
Listen to it here