Cast: Vigesimus [Album Review]

CastVigesimusProgressive Promotions Records [2021] Sometimes a band just nails it right off the rip. Fully-formed debut albums are a rarity to be sure. So what to make of a band that records their masterpiece after 43 years and nineteen albums? Yes, Vigesimus is Latin for “twentieth” and after toiling in the relative silence of the … Read more

JPL: Sapiens – Chapitre 2/3 – Deus Ex Machina [Album Review]

JPLSapiens – Chapitre 2/3: Deus ex MachinaQuadrifonic Records [2021] Coming in hot after last year’s Album Of The Year designation, JPL has unleashed part two of his Sapiens space rock opera and it hits hard and fast. The pressure of repeating a classic album is nothing new to Jean-Pierre Louveton though. Back in 2006 his … Read more

Transatlantic: The Absolute Universe [Album Review]

TransatlanticThe Absolute UniverseInside Out Music [2021] For fans of Progressive Rock the name Transatlantic resonates like few others. They need no introduction to the faithful but to the rest of the world they better known by their day jobs: Neal Morse (ex-Spock’s Beard), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings) and Pete Trewavas … Read more

Prog 2020: The Year In Review

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Dickens himself couldn’t have explained this year any better. With a global pandemic virtually shutting the music industry down artists had to rely solely on non-touring revenue; and the bulk of that for Prog bands these days is physical record and CD sales … Read more

The Flower Kings: Islands [Album Review]

The Flower KingsIslandsInside Out Music [2020] A global pandemic may not be the most pleasant of origin stories but the new double album from Sweden’s The Flower Kings argues that from great struggle often comes greater returns. At this point in his career Roine Stolt (the band’s leader, singer, songwriter, guitarist, etc.) has absolutely nothing … Read more

Neal Morse: Sola Gratia [Album Review]

Neal MorseSola GratiaInside Out Music [2020] If the idea of religion as subject matter for progressive rock seems a little ridiculous at first then I completely understand. I do. But in all actuality nothing could be better suited for the complexity and grandiosity of the genre. Certainly bands like Yes always had a spiritual quality … Read more

TFN Interview with Neal Morse

Back in the early nineties progressive music was on life support. Grunge was King and the thought of someone starting a Prog Rock band in that era was insane. Utterly. But that is exactly what Neal Morse did when he founded the legendary Spock’s Beard and the band released their debut album, The Light, to … Read more

JPL: Sapiens – Chapitre 1/3 – Exordium [Album Review]

JPLSapiens – Chapitre 1/3: ExordiumQuadrifonic [2020] The first thing you hear is the devil’s interval – the tritone being playing by a French Horn that just seems too appropriate. It’s little more than a nod to Tales From Topographic Oceans but it sets the stage for everything to come. Jean-Pierre Louveton (known simply as JPL) … Read more

Prog 2019: The Year In Review

The apocryphal, and often repeated, origin story of Prog has it that in 1969 King Crimson released In The Court Of The Crimson King and a new genre had been born. This of course ignores the fact that Yes’ debut came out two months earlier or the contribution and influence of acts such as Pink … Read more

The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure [Album Review]

The Neal Morse Band The Great Adventure Radiant Records [2019] Fire Note Says: American Prog warriors unleash sequel to 2016’s The Similitude Of A Dream in convincing fashion. Album Review: Prog is a tough sell and, especially in the US, the market for it is extremely limited. There are, however, a few brave artists who … Read more

Prog 2018: The Year In Review

As another calendar year comes to an end it seems like 2018 was full of yardmarkers – elections, mass shootings, North Korea, etc. But it will be remembered in the Prog community as the 50th Anniversary of some of the genre’s most beloved acts: Yes, King Crimson and Jethro Tull all turned fifty this year … Read more

Prog 2017: The Year In Review

Progressive Rock is not dead. It’s been relegated to the back of the line but it refuses to go away. And this is the time of year I get to reflect on all of the previous twelve month’s worth of proggy goodness that my ears have received. Yeah, it’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta … Read more

Yes Featuring Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman: North American Tour 2017 [Concert Review]

Yes Featuring Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman: Fraze Pavillion, Kettering, Ohio – Sept. 12, 2017 The “New” Version of Yes hit all the right notes! As a newly-minted member of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame you would think that all would be peace and love in Yes world. In case you haven’t been following … Read more

Once & Future Band: Once & Future Band [Album Review]

Once & Future Band Once & Future Band Castle Face Records [2017] Fire Note Says: Oakland band strives to make Prog cool again. Album Review: The first thing that catches one’s attention is the label. What’s an unabashedly progressive rock band doing on John Dwyer’s Castle Face imprint? Known more for promoting Bay area neo-psych … Read more

Prog 2016 – The Year In Review

It’s been a rough couple years for Prog with the losses of Chris Squire of Yes, Keith Emerson and Greg Lake of ELP, Nektar’s Roye Albrighton and Daevid Allen of Gong. The heroes of the Golden Age of progressive rock are entering their twilight years. Along with that comes the realization that anyone born after … Read more

The Neal Morse Band: The Similitude Of A Dream [Album Review]

The Neal Morse Band The Similitude Of A Dream Radiant Records [2016] Fire Note Says: The Neal Morse Band challenge the 70’s concept classics and record one for the ages. Album Review: In the lead up to The Similitude Of A Dream drummer Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater) compared this work favorably to other double concept … Read more

Karmakanic: DOT [Album Review]

Karmakanic DOT Inside Out Music [2016] Fire Note Says: Explore the universe with Sweden’s Karmakanic. Album Review: Karmakanic began as a side project for The Flower Kings’ bass player, Jonas Reingold. On their debut album, 2002’s Entering The Spectra, the band consisted mostly members of Reingold’s primary band but with each subsequent release (this is … Read more

Anderson/Stolt: Invention Of Knowledge [Album Review]

Anderson/Stolt Invention Of Knowledge Inside Out Music [2016] Fire Note Says: The voice of Yes and the leader of The Flower Kings team up for an unexpectedly great record. Album Review: There’s just something about the voice of Jon Anderson. While other vocalists from the Golden era of Progressive Rock (Peter Gabriel, Greg Lake, John … Read more

Big Big Train: Folklore [Album Review]

Big Big Train Folklore Giant Electric Pea [2016] Fire Note Says: English Prog band finally deliver on their considerable potential. Album Review: Formed in 1991 in Bournemouth, England, Big Big Train have been flirting with greatness for a while now. 2009’s excellent The Underfall Yard saw the band recruit a new singer (David Longdon, whose … Read more

Purson: Desire’s Magic Theatre [Album Review]

Purson Desire’s Magic Theatre Spinefarm Records [2016] Fire Note Says: Purson escape the dreaded sophomore jinx – but only just. Album Review: To say that this has been a much anticipated release for me is a major understatement. Ever since their delicious debut, The Circle And The Blue Door, dropped in 2013 this UK act … Read more

Dream Theater: The Astonishing [Album Review]

Dream Theater The Astonishing Roadrunner Records [2016] Fire Note Says: Progressive metal heavyweights push the envelope with a 34 song rock opera. Album Review: Since forming at the Berklee College Of Music back in 1985, Dream Theater have sold over 10 million records world wide and, along the way, pretty much invented an entirely new … Read more

Spock’s Beard: The Oblivion Particle [Album Review]

Spock’s Beard The Oblivion Particle Inside Out Music[2015] Fire Note Says: Album number twelve finds Spock’s Beard finally settling into their own skin. Album Review: Since Prog legend Neal Morse left Spock’s Beard in 2002 they have been struggling to find an identity. For four albums after that major defection, drummer Nick D’Virgilio, in true … Read more

Magic Pie: King For A Day [Album Review]

Magic Pie King For A Day Karisma Records[2015] Fire Note Says: So good you’ll want more than just one slice. Album Review: Magic Pie are a Norwegian band that has been around for about a decade now and have been releasing some really solid music mixing seventies indebted classic and progressive rock with a modern … Read more

Yes: Progeny: Seven From Seventy-Two (Box Set) [Album Review]

Yes Progeny: Seven From Seventy-Two Atlantic Records [2015] Fire Note Says: 7 complete concerts from 1972 recently unearthed, cleaned up and presented warts and all. Yes! Album Review: 1972 was a very good year for Yes. They had just released Close To The Edge and it was hailed as their masterpiece. After more than forty … Read more