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Ghost Whistler

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I'm trying to like The Astonishing, by Dream Theater....

I am failing.

It's 2 and a half hours long, 35 songs over 2 discs, it's a rock opera about a future time where music is outlawd, it's not 2112, it's too much!

Even Keith Emerson would likely have agreed,
 

Ragr

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I, more than a little dismissively, refer to The Astonishing as 2112:The Musical. It was a brave attempt to do something different, however.
 

Dahak

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I'm trying to like The Astonishing, by Dream Theater....

I am failing.

It's 2 and a half hours long, 35 songs over 2 discs, it's a rock opera about a future time where music is outlawd, it's not 2112, it's too much!

Even Keith Emerson would likely have agreed,

I like Dream Theater, but even I can't defend that album.
 

Ragr

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Some thunderously epic remixes on the way from Pallas.

 

PolarBlues

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Magenta's Masters of Illusion is still getting a lot of play time. I figure I'd write a mini review because it's fabulous album with a lot of talking points.

Masters of Illusion consists of six tracks, each one dedicated to a classic horror movie star. Magenta does seem to like to write songs that biographies of real (or fictional) people in showbiz. Their album The Twenty Seven Club was all bio of musicians that died at 27.

1. Bela
The opening track features Magenta doing what they do best, strong melody with rich, colourful arrangements. I'd be surprised if this didn't become a stable in their live gigs, if we ever get live gigs again. The lyrics tell of the rise and fall from grace of Bela Lugosi and it is probably the only song in which you can easily make sense of the lyrics without an external hint.

2. A Gift From God
This a ballad with prog flourishes. It suffers by comparison to the other ballad with prog flourishes on this album The Rose, which I much prefer. The lyrics are about Christopher Lee and his regrets never having made it as an opera singer.

3. Reach For the Moon
I don't care for this track, so I won't talk about it.

4. Snow
This a true gem. It comes across as a short (well, 6 minutes) bubbly, pop tune. It even has a Eurovision-worthy "oh oh, hey, hey" refrain, but the arrangement is very clever and the lyric are so, so dark (it's about Ingrid Pitt's childhood in a Nazi concentration camp). There is a change of pace smack in the middle which jaw droppingly good and Tina, the vocalist, gives imbues the whole thing with so much character. I can see this one also becoming a regular at gigs.

5. The Rose
Beautiful prog ballad about Peter Cushing's relationship with his wife and his sense of guilt for all his infidelities. Great use of the oboe. The oboe is clearly most unappearicated and underutilised instrument in rock and roll. In funny sort of way I kind of wish I didn't know this about Peter Cushing. Somethings should probably stay private but I guess it was common knowledge among film buffs.

6. Masters of Illusion
Vincent Price gets the title track. This is the 16 minute epic prog track of the album. Honestly, it feels a bit disjointed, more like a bunch of segements sewn together, but the segements are all very good. Other than various references to some of the characters Price played, I'm not entierly sure what the lyrics are about.

All of this is wrapped in a rich, luxurious sound with great vocal, guitars and bass and vibrant arrangements. For anyone curious about Magenta, this would not be a bad place to start.
 

Voros

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US Maple are like Captain Beefheart meets hard rock.

 

Voros

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There were a number of bands in the 90s who took the Crimson influence from Slint and ran with it. Some called it Math Rock because my preferred term Prog Punk wasn't cool enough but I interviewed a number of the musicians and they often talked about KC.

Don Caballero


Storm and Stress (some members of Don Cab)


Trans Am

 

Voros

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This thread could also do with more classic German prog.

Neu!


Can


Cluster

 

Dahak

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The late Kevin Gilbert with his oddly self-prophetic song "Waiting":



Spock's Beard/Big Big Train/Mystery member Nick D'virgillio was on drums.
 

PolarBlues

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The Peanuts Gang's take on Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb". It is hysterical and disturbing in equal parts.


They also have Rush "Subdivisions" which thematically works very well

And Yes's "Roundabout" becasue it's "Roundabout"




I should add, the original music of the Peanut cartoons is in itself brilliant.
 
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Dahak

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Maggie Reilly operated in a lot of the same space as Kate Bush in the 80s, and was perfect as Mike Oldfield's singer for his art-pop period:

 

PolarBlues

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Funny, I always just assumed it was Sally Oldfield who provided vocals on her brother's tracks. I guess nepotism ain't what it used to be.
 

PolarBlues

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Peter Hammill - Flying Blind/etc.. from A Black Box


I admit, though I was a huge fan back in the day, I can't say much VdGG or Hammill finds it's way on my regular playlist other than A Black Box and X My Heart. I find myself wondering if I should look into the 2006 remastered version of A Black Box for, while the music is fantastic, the quality of the sound is a bit rough.
 
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