Sunday, July 21, 2019

Prog Contest: Semifinal Round

So now we're down to the Final Four, with only a few days to decide. (Friday is hoping to complete the vote by Tuesday).

Here are our two matchups:



"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 -- the actual album kicks in at the 1:23:06 mark):


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


# 2

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



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



Breaking it down further, the first contest pits a French band against an Italian one, while the second sends a British band up against an American one. Interestingly enough, three of the four remaining champions are modern prog bands, with only Pulsar hailing from what most consider to be prog's golden age, the seventies.

Usually, by this time in a prog contest, I know which is my favorite of the four remaining bands. This time, three of the bands are very close to being tied in my eyes. So it's going to be a brutal, and very proggy, final!