Mark’s Quick Review: United Progressive Fraternity’s – Planetary Overload – Part 1: Loss

Mark’s Quick Review: United Progressive Fraternity’s – Planetary Overload – Part 1: Loss

Let me start this review by saying it will not be a quick review.  I have been living with most every version of this album for the last 100 weeks as I first heard it at 2017 RoSFest. I am also a huge fan of Mark “Truey” Trueack – flying to Wales from Chicago to see Unitopia in 2010.  

From the first note, the album the album exudes drama.  The voice-over sets the stage perfectly. Then the flute and the iconic vocals of Jon Davison suck you right in. The different instruments that fade in an out feel like a foreshadowing of the sounds for the rest of the album.

What Happens Now will shock Unitopia fans on first listen.  Mark sounds like he has never sounded before – abandoning some of his melodic vocals in favor of a “rockier” style.  Drama now coming not only from the vocals but from Steve Unruh’s violin and later with wind instruments.  

Cruel Times, written by Ettore Salati,Truey and Angelo Racz, is a mellow track and and Truey returns to the vocal stylings that have preceeded this album.  This song has some nice hooks and melodies.  

What Are We Doing to Ourselves is a shorter minimalist track and backed by a beat that you might envision being played by an island tribe.  

Stop Time is a quirky song with Truey showing his vocal versatility as he belts out some lyrics which are backed by some very staccato notes.  I particularly like the build to the 2-minute mark.  The interlude around the 4-minute mark includes an impossible drumming sequence that is 100% playful and 100% dramatic.  The choir sounds at the end of this section area wonderful transition back to the melody. 

One More is another very minimalistic track featuring Truey, violin, and guitar.

It’s time to rock out again when we get to Mercenaries which starts off with a sense of foreboding, but quickly turns positive with the lyric, “we can make it alright”.   Some wonderful violin again from Steve Unruh in this track in the song’s middle third.  

What If is a short interlude lead by Truey’s indomitable vocals.  

Forgive Me, My Son has some Middle-Eastern sounds due to the string instruments used for this track.  The song is a runaway train of emotion. Layers of sullenness fill this track with textures of a song containing twice as many instrauments as this song possesses.

Dying to Be Reborn shows Truey’s range as a singer.  This song reminds me of why I think his vocals are one-of-a-kind.  The melody in this track is catchy and emotionally charged.

The 20-minute epic, Seeds For Life, is an outstanding song . The 14-minute mark of this track might be my personal favorite part of the album

Loss To Lost bookends the album nicely with the menagerie of sounds and instruments that encompass the album.

Overall, this album may not have a song on there that I like as much as the Garden or Traveling Man or The Great Reward. That being said its a consistently outstanding album. Well worth your time and money.

ALBUM HIGHLIGHTS: Request What Happens Now Here

Click above to purchase at Amazon US or Amazon UK and we’ll get a little referral bonus on your whole order. Even if you don’t order this album

If you have never read the key for my ratings below please do so one time. I feel my ratings are tougher than my peers. Some other reviewers may inflate their ratings in hopes to get people and bands the share the link to the review. When you have a domain like progrock.com you don’t need to drive traffic to your site.
So you can count on my reviews to be fair and any bias I might have whether positive or negative will be clearly explained including a rating for my opinion of the band prior to reviewing the album. Also Check my last.fm link to see how compatible our music tasts are.

https://www.last.fm/user/mon40/library/artists

Key:
These ratings are just attributes and may not have correlation to the most important: OVERALL RATING

PREVIOUS BAND RATING
0: Never heard of them or debut album.
2: Someone recommended. I give them another shot.
4: Some good moments in the past but never put together an album I really liked.
6: Some 4 or 5 star songs but albums can be hit or miss for me.
8: I like 80% of their songs and probably went to see them live.
10: I would, and probably have gone on a plane to see them live.

ACCESSIBILITY EXAMPLES
2: Weather Report
4: Zappa
6: Genesis – Selling England by the Pound,
8: Marillion – F.E.A.R
10: Kino – Picture

HEAVINESS EXAMPLES
2: IQ – Seventh House
4: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
10: Opeth – Black Water Park

MELODIC EXAMPLES:
2: Opeth – Black Water Park
4: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
10: IQ – Seventh House

OVERALL RATING:
2: Will Never listen to again and deleted under no circumstances should you buy this
4: Not my thing maybe one redeeming song.
6: I like parts of this and I would check them out if they were near me.
8: I would get in the car and road trip to see this album live
10: I would get on a plane to see this performed live

Packaging:
0: Did not send
2: Sleeve or jewel-case with only single card front.
4: Some interesting information in packaging.
6: Nice art and some information
8: Nice art and full lyrics
10: Full lyrics, composer credits, are for each specific song

See if our likes are similar See my Last.fm Page

Mark’s Quick Review: Red Bazar’s – Things as they Appear

Mark’s Quick Review: Red Bazar’s – Things as they Appear

The Quartet of Andy, Paul,Mick, and Pete are back with their 2019 release. In my estimation it is ther best work to date. Now that the band has had this lineup for a bit they seem to be able to write to their strengths and maybe the song writing has matured as well. I love Pete’s vocals I can’t help but hear Paul Carrack whom I really like.

This is a fun neo-prog guitar driven (at times) album. Just a solid album cover to cover and a fine addition to your music library.

ALBUM HIGHLIGHTS: Request Nothing Left Here

Click above to purchase at Amazon US or Amazon UK and we’ll get a little referral bonus on your whole order. Even if you don’t order this album

If you have never read the key for my ratings below please do so one time. I feel my ratings are tougher than my peers. Some other reviewers may inflate their ratings in hopes to get people and bands the share the link to the review. When you have a domain like progrock.com you don’t need to drive traffic to your site.
So you can count on my reviews to be fair and any bias I might have whether positive or negative will be clearly explained including a rating for my opinion of the band prior to reviewing the album. Also Check my last.fm link to see how compatible our music tasts are.

https://www.last.fm/user/mon40/library/artists

Key:
These ratings are just attributes and may not have correlation to the most important: OVERALL RATING

PREVIOUS BAND RATING
0: Never heard of them or debut album.
2: Someone recommended. I give them another shot.
4: Some good moments in the past but never put together an album I really liked.
6: Some 4 or 5 star songs but albums can be hit or miss for me.
8: I like 80% of their songs and probably went to see them live.
10: I would, and probably have gone on a plane to see them live.

ACCESSIBILITY EXAMPLES
2: Weather Report
4: Zappa
6: Genesis – Selling England by the Pound,
8: Marillion – F.E.A.R
10: Kino – Picture

HEAVINESS EXAMPLES
2: IQ – Seventh House
4: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
10: Opeth – Black Water Park

MELODIC EXAMPLES:
2: Opeth – Black Water Park
4: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
10: IQ – Seventh House

OVERALL RATING:
2: Will Never listen to again and deleted under no circumstances should you buy this
4: Not my thing maybe one redeeming song.
6: I like parts of this and I would check them out if they were near me.
8: I would get in the car and road trip to see this album live
10: I would get on a plane to see this performed live

Packaging:
0: Did not send
2: Sleeve or jewel-case with only single card front.
4: Some interesting information in packaging.
6: Nice art and some information
8: Nice art and full lyrics
10: Full lyrics, composer credits, are for each specific song

See if our likes are similar See my Last.fm Page

Mark’s Quick Review: Fernando Perdomo’s – Zebra Crossing.

Mark’s Quick Review: Fernando Perdomo’s – Zebra Crossing.

I have had the pleasure of seeing Fernando Perdomo live a few times with Dave Kerzner and I can say he is one of the most electric musicians I have ever seen.

I was delighted to see this album show up in my inbox. The album is full of nice melodies and I really enjoyed listening to it.  I definitely hear some Beatles callbacks in this album its most obvious in the title track.  

I have this down as a moderate thumbs up.  Its a crowded field of talented prog artists out there so although I think that I personally would be listening to something else I think that you might like to put this in your personal high rotation. 

My favorite Song is listed below.   Queue it up and you will be glad you did. 

ALBUM HIGHLIGHTS: Request Not Meant To Be Here

Click above to purchase at Amazon US or Amazon UK and we’ll get a little referral bonus on your whole order. Even if you don’t order this album

If you have never read the key for my ratings below please do so one time. I feel my ratings are tougher than my peers. Some other reviewers may inflate their ratings in hopes to get people and bands the share the link to the review. When you have a domain like progrock.com you don’t need to drive traffic to your site.
So you can count on my reviews to be fair and any bias I might have whether positive or negative will be clearly explained including a rating for my opinion of the band prior to reviewing the album. Also Check my last.fm link to see how compatible our music tasts are.

https://www.last.fm/user/mon40/library/artists

Key:
These ratings are just attributes and may not have correlation to the most important: OVERALL RATING

PREVIOUS BAND RATING
0: Never heard of them or debut album.
2: Someone recommended. I give them another shot.
4: Some good moments in the past but never put together an album I really liked.
6: Some 4 or 5 star songs but albums can be hit or miss for me.
8: I like 80% of their songs and probably went to see them live.
10: I would, and probably have gone on a plane to see them live.

ACCESSIBILITY EXAMPLES
2: Weather Report
4: Zappa
6: Genesis – Selling England by the Pound,
8: Marillion – F.E.A.R
10: Kino – Picture

HEAVINESS EXAMPLES
2: IQ – Seventh House
4: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
10: Opeth – Black Water Park

MELODIC EXAMPLES:
2: Opeth – Black Water Park
4: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
10: IQ – Seventh House

OVERALL RATING:
2: Will Never listen to again and deleted under no circumstances should you buy this
4: Not my thing maybe one redeeming song.
6: I like parts of this and I would check them out if they were near me.
8: I would get in the car and road trip to see this album live
10: I would get on a plane to see this performed live

Packaging:
0: Did not send
2: Sleeve or jewel-case with only single card front.
4: Some interesting information in packaging.
6: Nice art and some information
8: Nice art and full lyrics
10: Full lyrics, composer credits, are for each specific song

See if our likes are similar See my Last.fm Page

Mark’s Quick Review: Haken’s – Vector Deluxe Edition

Mark’s Quick Review: Haken’s – Vector Deluxe Edition

Haken’s 5th studio album is another triumph for the band. This English band has had such a string of exceptional albums that are tricking a whole new generation of music fans into liking progressive rock.

Wow this album does have a lot of notes in there, which sometime’s can lead to a busy overly complicated song structure, but in this case it adds to the tapestry of sound.  The songs are diverse and emotional.  Made it very easy for this 52 year old to stand for the three band concert. 

The special edition includes a 36 minutes of instrumentals and is a nice edition to the Haken cannon.  I do suggest getting the deluxe 2 CD, Digipack.

I have picked one of my favorite songs for you to request below.  Its a long one but everyone listening will thank you. 

ALBUM HIGHLIGHTS: Request Veil Here

Click above to purchase at Amazon US or Amazon UK and we’ll get a little referral bonus on your whole order. Even if you don’t order this album

If you have never read the key for my ratings below please do so one time. I feel my ratings are tougher than my peers. Some other reviewers may inflate their ratings in hopes to get people and bands the share the link to the review. When you have a domain like progrock.com you don’t need to drive traffic to your site.
So you can count on my reviews to be fair and any bias I might have whether positive or negative will be clearly explained including a rating for my opinion of the band prior to reviewing the album. Also Check my last.fm link to see how compatible our music tasts are.

https://www.last.fm/user/mon40/library/artists

Key:
These ratings are just attributes and may not have correlation to the most important: OVERALL RATING

PREVIOUS BAND RATING
0: Never heard of them or debut album.
2: Someone recommended. I give them another shot.
4: Some good moments in the past but never put together an album I really liked.
6: Some 4 or 5 star songs but albums can be hit or miss for me.
8: I like 80% of their songs and probably went to see them live.
10: I would, and probably have gone on a plane to see them live.

ACCESSIBILITY EXAMPLES
2: Weather Report
4: Zappa
6: Genesis – Selling England by the Pound,
8: Marillion – F.E.A.R
10: Kino – Picture

HEAVINESS EXAMPLES
2: IQ – Seventh House
4: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
10: Opeth – Black Water Park

MELODIC EXAMPLES:
2: Opeth – Black Water Park
4: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
10: IQ – Seventh House

OVERALL RATING:
2: Will Never listen to again and deleted under no circumstances should you buy this
4: Not my thing maybe one redeeming song.
6: I like parts of this and I would check them out if they were near me.
8: I would get in the car and road trip to see this album live
10: I would get on a plane to see this performed live

Packaging:
0: Did not send
2: Sleeve or jewel-case with only single card front.
4: Some interesting information in packaging.
6: Nice art and some information
8: Nice art and full lyrics
10: Full lyrics, composer credits, are for each specific song

See if our likes are similar See my Last.fm Page

Mark’s Quick Review: Evan Hause’s – Plastic Island Pentecost

Mark’s Quick Review: Evan Hause’s – Plastic Island Pentecost

Composer Evan Hause has released his debut album. Evan, who has a Doctorate of Music Arts and Master of Music degrees, has put out an album I am sure his friends would appreciate. As for me the album fell flat. Once I heard it I thought this is music written for musicians. Now that I know his background I feel that I can say, if you are a musician give this album a listen otherwise you might want to take a pass.

Click above to purchase at Amazon US or Amazon UK and we’ll get a little referral bonus on your whole order. Even if you don’t order this album

If you have never read the key for my ratings below please do so one time. I feel my ratings are tougher than my peers. Some other reviewers may inflate their ratings in hopes to get people and bands the share the link to the review. When you have a domain like progrock.com you don’t need to drive traffic to your site.
So you can count on my reviews to be fair and any bias I might have whether positive or negative will be clearly explained including a rating for my opinion of the band prior to reviewing the album. Also Check my last.fm link to see how compatible our music tasts are.

https://www.last.fm/user/mon40/library/artists

Key:
These ratings are just attributes and may not have correlation to the most important: OVERALL RATING

PREVIOUS BAND RATING
0: Never heard of them or debut album.
2: Someone recommended. I give them another shot.
4: Some good moments in the past but never put together an album I really liked.
6: Some 4 or 5 star songs but albums can be hit or miss for me.
8: I like 80% of their songs and probably went to see them live.
10: I would, and probably have gone on a plane to see them live.

ACCESSIBILITY EXAMPLES
2: Weather Report
4: Zappa
6: Genesis – Selling England by the Pound,
8: Marillion – F.E.A.R
10: Kino – Picture

HEAVINESS EXAMPLES
2: IQ – Seventh House
4: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
10: Opeth – Black Water Park

MELODIC EXAMPLES:
2: Opeth – Black Water Park
4: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
10: IQ – Seventh House

OVERALL RATING:
2: Will Never listen to again and deleted under no circumstances should you buy this
4: Not my thing maybe one redeeming song.
6: I like parts of this and I would check them out if they were near me.
8: I would get in the car and road trip to see this album live
10: I would get on a plane to see this performed live

Packaging:
0: Did not send
2: Sleeve or jewel-case with only single card front.
4: Some interesting information in packaging.
6: Nice art and some information
8: Nice art and full lyrics
10: Full lyrics, composer credits, are for each specific song

See if our likes are similar See my Last.fm Page

Mark’s Quick Review: ZW’s – If It’s Real

Mark’s Quick Review: ZW’s – If It’s Real

 

ZW is the Duo of Drummer Mark Zonder (Fates Warning, Warlord, Chroma Key) and Gary Wehrncamp (Shadow Gallery) just to name a few.  After corresponding for more than a decade the two have joined up to make the first album.  If It’s Real

The Can’t Believe starts the album out and what I can’t believe is how much I like Gary Wehrncamp’s vocals.  So maybe I do not like those vocals as much as Baker, Ashland, or Cooper’s vocals, but his vision and passion for this project is illustrated with every lyric.  

The Second track If It’s Real sounds as though its the missing track from In Absentia as just as good as any track on the album.

Two Year’s, Mark Zonder’s favorite track is a tour-de-force.  If you don’t like that song, you don’t like progressive rock. 

Too Late has a great bridge and more drama. 

The Next Big Thing might have my favorite melody and Mark Zonder just wows me on this track.  

This is an impressive album for any size band.  For a duo its frankly unimaginable.  

If you consider this a debut album, well, you would be hard pressed to find a better one. 

 

ALBUM HIGHLIGHTS: Request Two Years Here

Click above to purchase at Amazon US or Amazon UK and we’ll get a little referral bonus on your whole order. Even if you don’t order this album

If you have never read the key for my ratings below please do so one time. I feel my ratings are tougher than my peers. Some other reviewers may inflate their ratings in hopes to get people and bands the share the link to the review. When you have a domain like progrock.com you don’t need to drive traffic to your site.
So you can count on my reviews to be fair and any bias I might have whether positive or negative will be clearly explained including a rating for my opinion of the band prior to reviewing the album. Also Check my last.fm link to see how compatible our music tasts are.

https://www.last.fm/user/mon40/library/artists

Key:
These ratings are just attributes and may not have correlation to the most important: OVERALL RATING

PREVIOUS BAND RATING
0: Never heard of them or debut album.
2: Someone recommended. I give them another shot.
4: Some good moments in the past but never put together an album I really liked.
6: Some 4 or 5 star songs but albums can be hit or miss for me.
8: I like 80% of their songs and probably went to see them live.
10: I would, and probably have gone on a plane to see them live.

ACCESSIBILITY EXAMPLES
2: Weather Report
4: Zappa
6: Genesis – Selling England by the Pound,
8: Marillion – F.E.A.R
10: Kino – Picture

HEAVINESS EXAMPLES
2: IQ – Seventh House
4: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
10: Opeth – Black Water Park

MELODIC EXAMPLES:
2: Opeth – Black Water Park
4: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
10: IQ – Seventh House

OVERALL RATING:
2: Will Never listen to again and deleted under no circumstances should you buy this
4: Not my thing maybe one redeeming song.
6: I like parts of this and I would check them out if they were near me.
8: I would get in the car and road trip to see this album live
10: I would get on a plane to see this performed live

Packaging:
0: Did not send
2: Sleeve or jewel-case with only single card front.
4: Some interesting information in packaging.
6: Nice art and some information
8: Nice art and full lyrics
10: Full lyrics, composer credits, are for each specific song

See if our likes are similar See my Last.fm Page

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