July 22, 2010

Various-Prog Around the World Review

Magna Carta has been a home to many of the world’s greatest prog bands for a long time. Modern prog is a genre, however, that spawns from no single nation. It’s fitting that Magna Carta would take some of its premier international talent to form the compilation disc Prog Around the World featuring Martone, Age Of Nemesis, Liquid Trio Experiment, Derdian, Ethan Brosh, Lemur Voice, Ozric Tentacles, Khallice, Stripsearch, The Hideous Sun Demons, Anthropia, and Ola Frenning & Christofer Malmstrom.

The track selection for Prog Around the World is fairly diverse. “Elevation,” “Spiritual Jewel,” and “Another Existence” resonate more closely with the Dream Theater style of prog, where songs like “Lion Snake,” “Holes,” and “Armchair Journey” are largely their own beasts. That is to say, each of these tracks feels radically different from the next. Of course, this is to be expected on a prog compilation.

“Armchair Journey” is more of a psychedelic brand of prog. The drums sound like something out of a Drum and Bass song, and the guitar is laden with delays and phasers galore. Spacey pads and other effects also add to the psychedelic effect. “Holes” is a Liquid Trio Experiment tune that is a fully improvised jam. The feel is very spontaneous and unique, and is a real treasure on the album. Finally, “Lion Snake” is a grandiose modern prog epic. The male/female vocal pair covers a number of styles and textures to keep the tune interesting and story-like.

Die hard prog fans should own this album. There are enough styles of progressive rock and metal here to please most fans, and perhaps expose them to something new. As with all compilations, there is somewhat of a disjointed quality to the album. Essentially, each song is mixed, written, and generally approached very differently. This minor setback is overshadowed by the enjoyment one will receive by discovering new music, however. 

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Armchair Journey, Holes, Lion Snake

Matt Shelvock

July 21, 2010

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