Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Top-10+1 albums of 2018. Part.2 (out of 3).

   Last week I uploaded here the 1st part of the list with the 10 best albums of 2018 (according to my opinion of course). Now, here's the 2nd part. There is going to be one more, that I will post here in the following days.
  I discovered Imperial Age last year, with the release of The Legacy of Atlantis. After a couple of weeks, I saw them on stage as opening act for the concert of Therion and they were excellent! So, I paid extra attention to their album. They are from Moscow and they are playing a Symphonic/Power/Epic Metal, which sounds like something between Therion and Nightwish. Upon the album’s release, I wrote a review, which you can find here: http://gfreedomathina.blogspot.com/2018/03/imperial-age-legacy-of-atlantis-2018.html
If you are into this kind of music, check this album!

                      KAYAK: SEVENTEEN
  This was of the most enjoyable albums of 2018. It was the 17th studio album of the Dutch band Kayak, hence the title...
I believe that most of the hard-core Proggers didn't like it, cause it is a light and melodic album, but I found it wonderful!
Upon its release I wrote a rather detailed review about it, which can be found here:

  This was one of the biggest surprises of 2018 for me! (Musically speaking of course).
I knew about this band, I already knew one or two of their cover versions, but I wasn't expecting something like this! The guys took the 18-minute-long Empire of the Clouds by Iron Maiden and transformed it into something amazing!
  This cover version is longer than the original, and it is divided into 4 parts, and each part includes narration and some special effects. It took me some time to get used to it, but when I did, I was listening to it every day!   When I found out about this album I wrote a review, which, in case you are interested, you can find it here:  http://gfreedomathina.blogspot.com/search?q=maiden+united
To be continued...


Monday, January 28, 2019

Prog n Roll Radio Show (27/1/2019). The complete playlist...

  Last night one more Prog n Roll radio show was on air, at  the usual time, on the usual internet radio station.
  Once more, we had nothing special prepared, further than the interesting (we hope) playlist. We cannot have all the time special shows, but we are trying to do our best each time.
  So, last night the playlist was kind of mixed up once more, and included songs from many different styles and sub-genres, as you will realize if you take a look at it:
Part 1: THRESHOLD: Phenomenon / KAMELOT: Nothing Ever Dies / LABYRINTH: State of Grace / HEIR APPARENT: The Road to Palestine.
Part 2: THE TEA PARTY: The Maker / WHOOPIE CAT: Sweet Jane / THE MARS VOLTA: The Widow / BLUES PILLS: No Hope Left for Me / RIVAL SONS: On My Way.
Part 3: GANDALF’S FIST: Leader of Men / INDUKI: Shade / SOEN: Lotus / RIVERSIDE: Lament.
Part 4: ARENA: Medusa / MARILLION: The Web / RED SAND: Brave.
Next, we will have 2 very special shows, on the 3rd and 10th of February. But more info on that, later...
A very big thanks to all those who listened to our show once more!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Top-10+1 albums of 2018. (Part.1)

 Hello all!
  A few weeks ago, in the radio show Prog n Roll we presented the 15 best albums of 2018; according to our opinion of course; but now it is time to present my personal list with the best albums of 2018. I made a few changes in the already existing list, removed some albums, added new ones, and finally it is ready.
  The list will be in alphabetical order and it will be in 3 (probably) parts. I hope that you will find it interesting and informative.
Let’s go!

  Last year, the Neo-Prog veterans Arena, returned with their new album Double Vision. It is surprisingly good, and I dare say that it is equally good with their old works. 
  Upon its release I wrote a review, which can be found here: http://gfreedomathina.blogspot.com/2018/05/arena-double-vision-2018-my-review.html 

  The 2nd studio album of the English band Damanek was a very pleasant surprise to me. I had no idea about this band, until I discovered this wonderful album. 
  The “moving force” behind the band is Guy Manning, a very talented multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer, who has participated in a plethora of bands and projects. There are many musicians participating here, (further than the band’s members), playing a rather good variety of instruments, including, sax, mandolin, bouzouki and violin. Also, there is a choir in a couple of tracks.
  The style of the album is a rather rhythmic and uplifting Prog Rock with many Jazz elements in it. Although Jazz is not a music style that I like, the way that these guys are mixing Prog with Jazz is very interesting and definitely enjoyable for the listener.
  I discovered this album rather late, and although I always wanted to write a review for it, I never did.
  Almost all the songs have something to offer, and especially the 30-minute-long suite Big Eastern that closes the album is really something!
  I have been listening to this album on and on since the day I discovered it, and every time I discover something new in it. Give this album a chance, you won’t regret it.

  I have been a fan of Galahad for almost 10 years now. I have been  following their releases and I think that I got most of their albums.
Seas of Change is their latest album, which is not so easy, but it is wonderful!
  Upon its release, I wrote a review, which you can find here: 

  I never considered myself as a fan of Ghost. And although I got all their studio albums, I never understood what the fuss is all about. For me, they are just a good Hard Rock band, with a very good manager and a "catchy" image.
But with this 4rth album they proved that they are far above the average.
Prequelle, in comparison with their previous albums, is better by far in almost every aspectIt is actually a very good album! For that reason, you will see it included in most "best of" album lists of 2018. If not in the 1st position, then in one of the first ones.
  If you make a search on the internet you will find dozens of reviews, so I don't think that it is necessary to add one more.
  Prequelle is a very enjoyable album that you should definitely check! 

To be continued...

Monday, January 21, 2019

Prog n Roll radio show (20/1/2019). The complete playlist...

  Last night one more Prog n Roll radio show was on air as usual.
I dare say that it was a rather informative and enjoyable show, and judging from the people's reactions and comments, I believe that everybody enjoyed it.
  When we were creating the playlist we divided the show into 2 main parts: The vintage and the modern one. So, during the first hour (2 half-hour-parts) we played lots of classic stuff from the 60's, the 70's and the 80's, and then, during the 2nd hour, we continued with songs taken from albums that were released in 2018.
 Here you can take a look at the complete playlist:

1st Part: THE BEATLES: Happiness is a Warm Gun / THE WHO: Acid Queen / TERRY REID: Without Expression / KALEIDOSCOPE: Please / VELVET FOGG: New York Mining Disaster / QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE: Just for Love Pt.1.
2nd Part: WINTERHAWK: Free to Live / URIAH HEEP: Look at Yourself / RUSH: A Farewell to Kings / JUDAS PRIEST: Dying to Meet You.
3rd Part: THE D PROJECT: The Sting / PAVLOV’S DOG: Paris / JET BLACK SEA: Home / THE WINDMILL: Make Me Feel.
4rth Part: MAXINE CILIA: Mum / GUNGFLY: Friendship / DAMANEK: Big Eastern Pt.1.
Once more, we had a good crowd gathered, with people from many countries, as usual. So, I would like to thank them all for being there once more!
Thank you all!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

GFreedom's Juke Box No.236

Hello all!
  After a very long break, my usual Juke Box post is back once more. As some of you know, every Saturday I used to post here my weekly Top-5 song list for you. From a point and on I stopped, but now I am back with it.
  So, from all the music I listened to during this week, these are the songs that I chose as the best ones:
RUSH:  A Farewell to Kings ( A Farewell to Kings - 1977)
JET BLACK SEA: Home (E.D.L) (The Overview Effect - 2018)
DAMANEK: Skyboat (In Flight - 2018)
WINTERHAWK: Free to Live (Revival - 1982)
NIGHTWISH: Sleeping Sun (Four Ballads of the Eclpise - CD single - 1999)
For those who might be interested, I'm posting here the YouTube links of the songs in my list. Unfortunately I couldn't find the song of Damanek.
So, just click on the links and listen to the songs...
RUSH: A Farewell to Kings
WINTERHAWK: Free to Live
NIGHTWISH: Sleeping Sun
Enjoy the music and have a very nice Weekend!
Thank you!

Friday, January 18, 2019

THE WINDMILL: Tribus (2018). My Review...

   The Windmill is a Norwegian band that I discovered recently, and to be honest I was impressed. I had no idea about them, until I saw some very good ratings and reviews about their latest album Tribus, and I decided to give it a try.
  Their music style can be characterized as Heavy Prog with a sound that reminds the bands of the 70’s, but in a more modern way.

  The album opens with the 24-minute-long The Tree, which left me speechless! If I would like to describe the feeling I had, I would say that it is as if you enter a train for a long journey, without knowing where it is going to lead you. So, you just sit back and enjoy the ride, with its infinite turns and changes of the landscape, and the peace you find yourself in. When the journey finally ends, you know that you only have to press “repeat” in order to feel it again.
It is one of the album’s “stronger” compositions, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the songs are just “fillers”. Each of the 5 songs is wonderful in its own way, and creates different feelings for the listener.
  The Tree is followed by the 10-minute-long instrumental Storm. What I wrote about The Tree stands for Storm as well. The only difference is the length of the “journey”. Another excellent track, including flute that permeates a vintage sound, if I can use that expression.
  Dendrophenia that comes next, is a lovely track that could easily fit in any of the old albums of Uriah Heep. A very nice and more “straight forward” track.
  Make Me Feel, the album’s 4rth track, is another highlight! Again, a long – 9.30-minute-long track, is one of the album’s stronger compositions. I didn’t pay much attention to it at first, because I kept listening to the first 2 songs repeatedly; but when I finally decided to continue with the rest of the album, this was the song that stuck with me again.
  Play with Fire is another wonderful tune that concludes the album in the best way possible. A more Folky and happier tune in comparison with the previous songs. Due to the sound of the flute and the singer’s voice, it reminds me of Jethro Tull a little bit, but it cannot be characterized as a “copycat” in any way.
  The things that I loved in Tribus are; firstly the very good and strong compositions, secondly, despite their sophistication, the songs don’t tire you out. Although most of them include lots of changes, they come artlessly and effortlessly. These guys don’t try to impress the listener with their technical skills, (which are very good), but with the quality of their music and their overall performance instead.
  This is a wonderful album that you listen from the first until the last minute, without having to skip not even one song. All the songs are wonderful and they have something to offer.
Stronger tracks: The Tree, Storm, Make Me Feel.
Weaker Tracks: None.
It would be a mistake to ignore this album! Give it a try and you won't regret it.
                         My Rating: 4.5 stars. 
If you click on the following YT link you will be able to listen to the song The Tree.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

BLOOD CEREMONY Live in Athens - The setlist plus videos...

  A few days ago, the Canadian heavy Rockers Blood Ceremony visited Athens for the first time.
  It was a concert that I would be very interested to go, but unfortunately other things got in the way and couldn't make it.
  A good friend of mine went though, and he told me that they were excellent. They had a few problems with the sound at the beginning, but after 2-3 songs it was fine.
Although I was kind of sad that I couldn't see them, after checking their setlist I realized that they didn't play almost any of my beloved songs, so it's ok...
 In case they are playing at a place near you and you are thinking of going, maybe you should check their setlist first. (I am talking about the setlist they played in Athens).

The Great God Pan
Goodbye Gemini
Drawing Down The Moon
Half Moon Street
Hop Toad
Lolly Windows
Lord Of Misrule
Lord Summerisle
Oliver Haddo
I'm Coming With You
Hymn To Pan
Old Fires
My Demon Brother

Click on the following links to watch video from the gig:

Monday, January 14, 2019

Prog n Roll radio show (13/1/2019). The complete playlist...

Hello all!
  Last night one more Prog n Roll radio show was online as usual. This time we had nothing special prepared; no special guests, no presentations, not even a music quiz. Just a simple show with good music, which was a mix of old classics and modern stuff.
  We had a good amount of people listening, but not as many as other times. It was a quiet and enjoyable show, and I believe that our listeners had some good time.
Here you can take a look at the playlist:
Part 1: CAROLE KING: I Feel the Earth Move / PAUL Mc CARTNEY & WINGS: Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five / THE ROLLING STONES: Sympathy for the Devil / JOE COCKER: With a Little Help from My Friends (Live).
Part 2: ILLUSION: Madonna Blue / RENAISSANCE: Opening Out / CAMEL: Air Born / SUPERTRAMP: Crime of the Century.
Part 3: SULFUR GIANT: Below the Hollow Mountain / WITCHWOOD: A Place for the Sun / SIENA ROOT: There and Back Again / BLACK MOUNTAIN: Angels / MONDO DRAG: Pillars of the Sky.
Part 4: MACHINES DREAM: Airfield on Sunwick / CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX: Echoes Pt.1.
I would like to thank all those who chose to spend their evening with our show. Much appreciated!
Thank you all! :)

Friday, January 11, 2019

Prog n Roll incl. the Top-15 album list of 2018 is now available as podcast...

Hello all!
  I would like to inform you that the special radio show that we did on 6th of January 2019 is now available as podcast in Prog n Roll's page on Mixcloud.
  During that show we presented our Top-15 album list of 2018. It was a very interesting and definitely informative show, so if you missed it or you want to listen to it again, you can find it there.
  To visit Prog n Roll's page on Mixcloud just click on the following link: https://www.mixcloud.com/ProgandRoll/
  There, you will find more selected shows to listen to, whenever you are in the mood for that. You can also subscribe and follow our page if you want.
Thank you!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Prog n Roll radio show (6/1/2019). The Top-15 album list of 2018. The playlist...

Hello all!
  Last night one more special Prog n Roll radio show was online, this time with the presentation of the best albums of 2018. The whole show was dedicated to the presentation, so there wasn't any space left for anything else.
  A few days later, I will write here a series of posts where I will present the Top-15 album list more detailed, as I do every year. But for the moment, you can have a small idea by checking last night's playlist.
  As I said last night during the show, usualy we are making a Top-10 list, but this year we did an extended version. The reason is that I wanted to add a few live albums that I really liked, that usualy are not included in Top10 - album lists, cause they are not offering something new. So, I decided to make a Top-15 list, and add them there.
  I dare say that last night's show was a very good and informative one, and the people that were listening seemed to enjoy it a lot!
Here you can take a look at the whole playlist:

ARENA: The Mirror Lies / ASHBURY: End of all Time / AYREON:  The Theory of Everything (Live) / BIG BIG TRAIN: Telling the Bees (Live) / DAMANEK: Skyboat / GALAHAD: Dust / GHOST: It’s a Sin / HEIR APPARENT: The Door / IMPERIAL AGE: The Monastery / KAYAK: Walk Through Fire / MAIDEN UNITED: Empire of the Clouds Pt.2 / O A K: Diana Morgana / RIVERSIDE: Vale of Tears / URIAH HEEP: Dreams of Yesteryear / STEVEN WILSON: Arriving Somewhere but not Here (Live).
Thank you all!