Progressive Ears - various artists - prog rock compilation - " aka Eclectic Earwig Reviews Music and More for You!"
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Progressive Ears: Earsongs (CD, 71:38); PE
Records, PE0001, 2001 

10 words or less: Various artist compilation from
members of a progressive music website.

Elaboration: 100% of the proceeds from the sale of
this sampler go to support the cost of operation of
this website. I must admit, I have visited this
website and can tell you that it is by far, the best
progressive music resource/message board/chat forum on
the web so itís a worthy cause. There is practically
an even amount of info about Symphonic Rock, Fusion,
Avant Garde, NeoProg, ProgMetal, SpaceRock as well as
other music of interest like progressive R&B and
Latin. There is a balanced group of progressive music
lovers who are all quite friendly and helpful not at
all like usenet.

I will try to give each of the 11 separate artists on
this disc equal time so letís have at it. The disc
opens with a piece from The Red Masque. This is a long
and ambitious piece that goes through many changes and
sounds quite original. After an ominous, ethereal
intro the song conjures recollections of Souxsie and
the Banshees with their emphatic female vocals but
then morphs into something much more akin to King
Crimson yet not derivative in the least. A number of
changes follow in this 10 minute suite, leaving one
with the impression that this band can do many things
albeit a bit on the dark side. Track two sounds
immediately like something from Grace Under
Pressure era Rush. The artist, Scott Mosher
handles all of the instruments himself but the sound
is quite full with great energy. Track three is by
Menayeri, a Spanish language band influenced by
Genesis and Yes. This nearly 8 minute piece goes
through many changes and is a bit reminiscent of
Going for the One era Yes. Track four by
Mindworm is perhaps the tune with the best production
on the CD. The sound is clear and clean with nice
separation. There is a strong Genesis feeling ala
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. This is a very
talented band who, on this piece take the listener
through various nimble fingered changes culminating in
a hot call and answer Guitar duel. I want to hear the
full album. Track five is a shorter Fusion styled tune
by John Curtis. The tune is quite lively and
apparently all performed by John but at 1:40 it leaves
you too soon. The sixth piece on this compilation is
by Lyle Holdahl. Clocking in at just under 10 minutes,
this piece is exemplary of all that is good about
Symphonic Rock. This is so nice itís hard to believe
itís a one man effort! This piece makes me want to
hear the full album. The seventh piece fits right in
after the Holdahl piece yet has more of an ominous
quality. This piece by The Owl Watches, is apparently
the work of one Phil McKenna though once again sounds
quite full. Taking the listener on a journey of
contrasting soundscapes that seamlessly blend during
this eight minute instrumental piece, McKenna shows a
mature sensitivity for the finer points of Symphonic
Rock. Once more, I want to hear this entire album.
Track eight is a bit out of place on this CD being the
only Pop structured sound. The tune is reminiscent of
something perhaps by Sugarloaf from the early 70s.
Track nine is by Random. This is an Italian band who
sing in English and have somewhat of a modern Rock
feel. Thereís not an overt progressive feel to this
piece, perhaps due to the lack of Keyboards. The song
does have a nice, catchy though melancholy feel. The
tenth piece here is by Eric Kampman and at over 12
minutes, is the longest piece on this CD. Apparently a
one man effort, this has the feeling of Harbour of
Tears era Camel, alternately somber then
uplifting. The final track on the CD is... um... well
the best thing about it is that it clocks in at only
1:05! But seriously, itís a novelty song in the grand
tradition of those silly boys from Canterbury,
Hatfield & The North. Many of these artists have full
length albums available from
except the Menayeri album which is available at ~ L Perez




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