Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Prog Contest: Elimination Round

SO Round 1 is complete, and we have come to the quarterfinals, or, as Friday likes to call it, the Elimination Round.

This week, all four matches will be held at once, with the four winners going on to the semi-finals. Our remaining entries are:

1. Wallenstein - Mother Universe vs. Pulsar - Halloween

Mother Universe

“This isn’t an album I’ve got a long history with. I’ve only just discovered it actually, but it did have some of those weirder moments I tend to like and seems relatively unknown here, so maybe y’all will like it too.” - bgillesp

YT link 1: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc-3YDl-AaU
YT link 2: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=URX6IC8gdmI
YT link 3: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc-3YDl-AaU

Also on spotify


"Pulsar was one of the finest symphonic progressive rock bands from France, 'Halloween' was their masterpiece, and benefited from a much better production than the previous albums. The music was a bit less spacey and instead more symphonic in a more traditional way. It's a concept album divided into two parts, divided into several songs with individual titles. This is one of the best French prog releases in the 70's." - e210013

Youtube (see track listing): https://youtu.be/EmCGdtxA3A8

2. The Mercury Tree - Permutations vs. Unreal City (Italy) - La Crudelta di Aprile

The Mercury Tree

"The common narrative among muso's today is that new prog is retro and even regressive, and they act like they're too cool to like prog anymore. The Mercury Tree is just one band proving the narrative is as bunk as ever. Permutations is a transitional album of alt-math-prog influenced by avant-prog, Larks-SBB-Red era King Crimson and Yes with a unique mix of microtonal sounds akin to avant-garde composer Harry Partch. Heavy, complex, melodic, and all the right kinds of dissonant, this is an astounding accomplishment for three dudes from the U.S., worthy of the highest award in truly progressive rock." - Friday13th

Bandcamp: https://themercurytree.bandcamp.com/album/permutations

Unreal City (Italy)
La Crudelta Di Aprile

"Unreal City is a relatively new symphonic prog band coming from Italy. Centered around a keyboardist who masterfully uses piano, organ, moog, mellotron - etc - , the man is also a gifted singer. Rhythm section is tight and guitar complements the keys very well. Band revives some of the Italian prog majesty of the 70's. They incorporate all the classic RPI traditions of clever melodies, artful presentation, impeccable delivery and dramatic touches. They are backed by Fabio Zuffanti, who is compared to an Italian version of Steven Wilson, so the group can have immense future appeal." - Jethro42

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaaGHDhmV84&list=PLyxgENECAaJ-vdx9kE4JflSv2uNO1VIFV

3. Wobbler - From Silence to Somewhere vs. Trettioariga Kriget - Krigssang

From Silence to Somewhere

"Seen by many prog fans as a modern classic of the genre, Wobbler's latest record is one of the few modern album that does justice to the genre's older 70's sound. Great production and excellent instrumentation make for a thrilling, energetic and infectious sound that drags only a little bit in very few parts of the record." - MrSirLordGentleman

Youtube: https://youtu.be/j2W_UAIqwbk

Trettioariga Kriget

"- stellar guitar playing, Mellotron, some acoustic guitars, prominent bass lines etc
- kinda "heavy" and "dark" ( as to be expected from scandinavians)
- sung in swedish for an öhh.... exotic flavor
- they go both ways ...short and long. (usually around 4 min. + a 17 min. track to close it out.
In one sentence: Young (well at the time) swedish prog rock band emulating the sounds of the "foreign greats" like King Crimson, Rush and Yes with some hard rock." - hansoloshotfirst

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VdxeeQjOho

4. Evership - Evership II vs. Tako (YUG) - Tako

Evership II

"They say you can't judge a book by it's cover, but apparently that doesn't hold true for records. This 2018 release contains the classic 70s inspired prog that you would expect from a cover like that. The production is up to date, but the music is classic (including a seven part, 27 minute long, closing number)... It's a testament to how long Friday's been running this tourney that I find myself rummaging through 2018 releases for obscure prog." - TwigTW

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4FNPi7My6H9mwdlEEt8VY4?si=nuBHjtLQRqCCwXCGI4wb8g

Bandcamp: https://mrmdistribution.bandcamp.com/album/evership-ii

Tako (YUG)

"A favorite of mine from the Yugo-prog scene that has been in regular rotation for quite some time. Don't see a lot of discussion from this particular part of the world when it comes to either progressive rock or jazz fusion so it would most certainly be a worthwhile addition, I think. Perhaps it's not as long as some of the other additions but it makes for a wonderful listen nonetheless." - Casavir

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJsOyRa3rKg&t=677s