Artists (A)

Aardvark

Aardvark (1970) 3.50 stars


The Aaron Clift Experiment

– Lonely Hills (2012) NOT RATED
Outer Light, Inner Darkness (2015) 4.00 stars


Abacus

– Abacus (1971) NOT RATED
– Everything You Need (1972) NOT RATED
– Midway (1974) NOT RATED
European Stories (2016) 4.00 stars


Abandoned Stars

– Fragments (2015) NOT RATED


Abel Ganz

– Gratuitous Flash (1984) 4.00 stars
– Gullible’s Travels (1985) 3.50 stars
– The Dangers of Strangers (1988) 3.50 stars
– The Deafening Silence (1994) 3.00 stars
– Back From The Zone (2002) NOT RATED
– Shooting Albatross (2008) 4.00 stars
– Abel Ganz (2014) 4.00 stars


Abigails Ghost

– Cerulean Blue (2006) NOT RATED
– Seeping (2007) NOT RATED
– Selling Insincerity (2007) NOT RATED
– D_letion (2009) NOT RATED
– Unmastered (2014) NOT RATED
– Black Plastic Sun (2015) 3.50 stars


Abodean Skye

– Transmission (2011) NOT RATED
– Echoes of an Astral Empire (2013) NOT RATED


Abraxas (Ger)

– Tomorrow’s World (1998) NOT RATED


Abraxas (Pol)

– Centurie (1998) NOT RATED


Abraxas Pool

Abraxas Pool (1997) 4.00 stars


Abydos

– The Little Boy’s Heavy Mental Shadow Opera… (2004) 4.00 stars


Acacia Avenue

– Acacia Avenue (2010) 3.50 stars
– Cold (2014) 3.50 stars


Accept

– Accept (1979) 2.50 stars
– I’m a Rebel (1980) 2.50 stars
– Breaker (1981) 3.00 stars
– Restless & Wild (1982) 5.00 stars
– Balls to the Wall (1983) 4.50 stars
– Metal Heart (1985) 4.00 stars
– Russian Roulette (1986) 4.00 stars
– Eat the Heat (1989) 3.00 stars
– Staying a Life (1990) 4.00 stars
– Objection Overruled (1993) 4.00 stars
– Death Row (1994) 4.00 stars
– Predator (1996) 3.00 stars
– Blood of the Nations (2010) 4.00 stars
– Stalingrad (2012) 4.00 stars
– Blind Rage (2014) 4.00 stars
– The Rise Of Chaos (2017) NOT RATED


Accomplice (California)

Accomplice (1981) 3.50 stars


Accomplice (Corona)

– Accomplice (1997) 3.50 stars


Accordo dei Contrari

– Kinesis (2007) NOT RATED
– AdC (2014) 4.00 stars
– Violato Intatto (2017) NOT RATED

Although releases by this Italian band are typically labeled Jazz-Fusion, I also categorize them as Progressive Rock within my collection. Thanks to the violin, this mainly instrumental act plays music that reminds me of a heavier version of Jean-Luc Ponty or Mahavishnu Orchestra, with perhaps a touch of Zappa, Liquid Tension Experiment, and D.F.A. (Duty Free Area) added. The classical and Canterbury-Prog influences pop up from time to time, making for a nice blend of styles.


AC/DC

– Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976) 3.00 stars
Let There Be Rock (1977) 4.00 stars
– Powerage (1978) 4.00 stars
– Highway to Hell (1979) 3.50 stars
– Back in Black (1980) 4.00 stars
– The Razors Edge (1990) 3.00 stars
– Ballbreaker (1995) 3.00 stars


Ace Frehley

Ace Frehley (1978) 3.50 stars


Ache

Green Man (1971) 4.00 stars


Aching Beauty

– L’Ultima Ora (2004) 4.00 stars


Acidente

– Technolorgy (2002) 3.50 stars


Acid Rain

– The Descending Line (2009) 4.00 stars
– Shallow Paradise (2011) 4.00 stars


A.C.T

Today’s Report (1999) 4.50 stars
– Imaginary Friends (2001) 4.50 stars
– Last Epic (2003) 4.50 stars
– Silence (2006) 4.50 stars
Circus Pandemonium (2014) 4.50 stars


Acqua Fragile

– Acqua Fragile (1973) NOT RATED
– Mass-Media Stars (1974) NOT RATED
– Live In Emilia, Spring 75 (1994) NOT RATED


Active Heed

– Visions From Realities (2013) NOT RATED
– Higher Dimensions (2014) 4.00 stars


Acute Mind

– Acute Mind (2010) 4.00 stars


AD

– Time Line (1984) 4.00 stars
– Art of the State (1985) 4.00 stars
– Reconstructions (1986) 4.00 stars


Adagio

– Sanctus Ignís (2001) 4.50 stars
– Underworld (2003) 4.50 stars
– A Band in Upperworld (2004) 4.00 stars
– Dominate (2005) 4.50 stars
– Archangels in Black (2009) 4.50 stars
– Life (2017) 4.50 stars


Adamantra

– Revival (2009) 4.00 stars
– Act II: Silent Narratives (2014) 4.50 stars


The Adekaem

– The Adekaem (2015) 3.50 stars
– Sound Coloring (2017) 4.00 stars


Adiastasia

– Life War (2006) 2.00 stars


Ad Infinitum

Ad Infinitum (1998) 4.50 stars


Ad Maiora

– Ad Maiora! (2014) 4.00 stars
Repetita Iuvant (2016) 4.00 stars


Adramelch

Broken History (2005) 4.00 stars


Adrenaline Mob

– Adrenaline Mob (2011) NOT RATED
– Omertá (2012) 4.00 stars
– Covertá (2013) NOT RATED
– Men of Honor (2014) 3.50 stars


Advent

– Advent (1997) 4.00 stars
Cantus Firmus (2006) 4.00 stars
– Silent Sentinel (2015) 4.00 stars


Advent Horizon

– Stagehound (2015) NOT RATED


Adventure

– Beacon of Light (2009) 3.50 stars
– Caught In The Web (2014) NOT RATED


AElementi

– Una Questione Di Principio (2017) NOT RATED


Aeon Zen

– A Mind’s Portrait (2009) 4.00 stars
– The Face of the Unknown (2010) 4.50 stars
– Enigma (2013) 4.00 stars
– Ephemera (2014) 4.00 stars


Aerosmith

– Aerosmith (1973) 4.50 stars
– Get Your Wings (1974) 4.50 stars
– Toys in the Attic (1975) 5.00 stars
– Rocks (1976) 4.50 stars
– Draw the Line (1977) 3.50 stars
– Live! Bootleg (1978) 3.50 stars
– Night in the Ruts (1979) 4.00 stars
Rock in a Hard Place (1982) 4.00 stars
– Done With Mirrors (1985) 4.00 stars
– Permanent Vacation (1987) 3.00 stars
– Pump (1989) 3.00 stars
– Get a Grip (1993) 3.00 stars
– Big Ones (1994) 3.50 stars
– Nine Lives (1997) 3.00 stars


Aethellis

– Aethellis (2003) 3.00 stars
– Northumbria (2011) 3.00 stars

Buyer beware—the vocals are borderline irritating and over-produced on many tracks.


Aether

– Visions (1999) 3.00 stars
Inner Voyages Between Our Shadows (2002) 3.50 stars


Affector

– Harmagedon (2012) NOT RATED


Affinity

– Affinity (1970) 4.00 stars
– If You Live (1970) NOT RATED
– 1971 – 1972 (1972) NOT RATED


After Crying

– Overground Music (1990) 2.50 stars


After Forever

– Prison of Desire (2000) 3.50 stars
– Decipher (2001) 4.00 stars
– Exordium (2003) 3.50 stars
– Invisible Circles (2004) 3.50 stars
– Remagine (2005) 4.50 stars
– Mea culpa (2006) 4.00 stars
After Forever (2007) 5.00 stars

A band I discovered way too late…indeed, After Forever was on the verge of a break-up just as I discovered the group. I purchased the final self-titled album (which blew me away!), fell in love with the extraordinary singer Floor Jansen, and the band promptly called it quits. Although I eventually decided that none of the earlier albums tops the final, stellar, and release (at least in my eyes—or to my ears), each deserves a listen. Floor Jensen KILLS on each and every album! She has me as a life-long fan. It’s no surprise that Nightwish eventually hired her.


After Hours

– Against the Grain (2011) 3.50 stars


After the Fall

– The Living Drum (2001) NOT RATED
Knowledge (2005) 4.00 stars


Ageness

– Showing Paces (1992) 4.00 stars
– Imageness (1998) 4.00 stars
– Songs From the Liar’s Lair (2009) 4.50 stars


Agent Cooper

– Beginner’s Mind (2005) NOT RATED


Agents of Mercy

– The Fading Ghosts of Twilight (2009) 4.00 stars
– Dramarama (2010) 4.00 stars
– The Black Forest (2011) 4.00 stars


Age of Artemis

– Overcoming Limits (2011) 4.50 stars
– The Waking Hour (2014) 4.00 stars


Age of Nemesis

– Eden? (2002) 4.50 stars
– Psychogeist (2006) 4.50 stars
– Terra Incognita (2007) 4.50 stars


Age of Rebellion

Ikarus Dream (1997) 2.50 stars


Agnes Strange

Strange Flavour (1975) 3.50 stars


Agnosia

– Trace Decay (2009) 4.00 stars


Agusa

– Hogtid (2014) NOT RATED
– Tva (2015) NOT RATED
– Katarsis (2016) NOT RATED


Ahkmed

– Distance (2009) NOT RATED


Aina

– Days of Rising Doom: The Metal Opera (2003) 4.00 stars


Air Force

– Legend (2010) 3.00 stars


Airbag

– Come On In (2004) NOT RATED
– Sounds That I Hear (2005) NOT RATED
– Safetree (2007) NOT RATED
– Identity (2009) NOT RATED
– All Rights Removed (2011) NOT RATED
– The Greatest Show on Earth (2013) 3.50 stars
– Disconnected (2016) 3.50 stars


Airborn

– Against the World (2002) 2.00 stars
– Legend of Madog (2009) 2.00 stars


Airlord

– Clockwork Revenge (1977) 4.00 stars


Airrace

Shaft of Light (1984) 4.50 stars
– Back to the Start (2011) 4.00 stars


Air Raid

– Air Raid (1981) 3.00 stars


Air Supply

– The One That You Love (1981) 2.50 stars


Aisles

– The Yearning (2005) 3.50 stars
– In Sudden Walks (2009) 3.50 stars
– 4:45 AM (2013) 4.00 stars
– Hawaii (2016) 4.00 stars


Ajalon

– Light At The End Of The Tunnel (1996) NOT RATED
– On The Threshold Of Eternity (2004) NOT RATED
– This Good Place (2009) NOT RATED


Akashic

– Timeless Realm (2000) 4.00 stars
– A Brand New Day (2005) 4.00 stars


Akin

– The Way Things End (2011) 3.50 stars


Akira Kajiyama & Joe Lynn Turner

– Fire Without Flame (2005) 4.00 stars


Akribi

– Black Morning Sun (2011) 4.50 stars

Lately I’m loving this band, a Dream Theater type of act with a terrific female vocalist. Akribi kicks ass!


Al Di Meola Project

– Kiss My Axe (1991) 3.50 stars


Al Stewart

– Year of the Cat (1976) 3.00 stars


Alacrán

– Alacrán (1971) NOT RATED


The Alan Parsons Project

– Tales of Mystery and Imagination (1976) 4.00 stars


Alan Reed

First in a Field of One (2012) 4.00 stars
– Honey on the Razor’s Edge (2017) NOT RATED


Alannah Myles

– Alannah Myles (1989) 4.00 stars
Rockinghorse (1992) 4.50 stars
– A-lan-nah (1995) 4.00 stars
– Arival (1997) 4.00 stars
Black Velvet (2007) 2.00 stars

I love this woman!  Her early albums are top-notch regarding vocal performance and production, although some of her material might be considered below-par or inconsistent, since it appears she never quite determined whether to go with AOR or Hard Rock or Easy Listening or even Country as her main focus—her albums are typically a combination of all of them. Nevertheless, she possesses a combination of pure melodic vocal prowess along with some raspier kick-butt-rocker belting and, therefore, deserves praise. Not at all thrilled, however, with the attempts to turn her into a Pop diva with overly electronic-based music in the new century.


Alarion

– Waves of Destruction (2016) NOT RATED


Alberto Rigoni

– Something Different (2008) 3.50 stars
– Rebirth (2011) 4.00 stars
– Three Wise Monkeys (2012) 4.00 stars
– Overloaded (2014) 4.00 stars


Albion

– Wabiac Cienie (2005) NOT RATED
– Broken Hopes (2007) NOT RATED
– The Indefinite State Of Matter (2012) NOT RATED
– Unsongs (2015) NOT RATED


Aldo Nova

– Blood on the Bricks (1991) 3.00 stars


Alaska (UK)

– The Pack (1985) 2.50 stars


Alaska (USA)

Alaska (1998) 3.00 stars


Alcatrazz

– No Parole From Rock ‘n’ Roll (1983) 3.50 stars
– Disturbing the Peace (1985) 4.50 stars
– Dangerous Games (1986) 2.50 stars


Alco Frisbass

– Alco Frisbass (2015) NOT RATED
– Le Bateleur (2018) NOT RATED


Aldo Nova

– Aldo Nova (1982) 3.00 stars
– Subject: Aldo Nova (1983) 3.00 stars
– Blood on the Bricks (1991) 3.00 stars


Aleph

– Seven Steps of Stone (2009) 1.50 stars

Progressive Death Metal that simply does not appeal to me. Sorry, but the growling vocals are truly obnoxious!


Alex Beyrodt’s Voodoo Circle

– Broken Heart Syndrome (2011) 4.00 stars
– More Than One Way Home (2013) 4.00 stars


Alek Darson

– Panopticon (2013) 3.50 stars


Alex Harvey

– The Joker Is Wild (1972) 3.50 stars
– The Soldier on the Wall (1983) 3.00 stars
– The Mafia Stole My Guitar (1979) 3.50 stars


Alias

– Alias (1990) 3.50 stars


Alias Eye

A Different Point of You (2003) 4.50 stars
– In Focus (2007) NOT RATED
– In-Between (2012) 4.00 stars


Alice

– Alice (1970) NOT RATED


Alice Cooper

– Pretties for You (1969) 2.50 stars
Easy Action (1970) 3.50 stars
– Love It to Death (1971) 4.50 stars
– Killer (1971) 5.00 stars
– School’s Out (1972) 4.00 stars
– Billion Dollar Babies (1973) 4.00 stars
– Muscle of Love (1973) 4.00 stars
– Welcome to My Nightmare (1975) 4.00 stars
– From the Inside (1978) 3.00 stars
– Special Forces (1981) 2.50 stars
Trash (1989) 1.00 stars
– Hey Stoopid (1991) 1.00 stars
The Eyes of Alice Cooper (2003) 3.50 stars
– Dirty Diamonds (2005) 3.00 stars


Alice in Chains

– Facelift (1990) 3.50 stars
– Dirt (1992) 3.50 stars
– Jar of Flies (1994) 3.50 stars
– Alice in Chains (1995) 3.50 stars


Alien

– Alien (1988) 3.50 stars
– Eternity (2014) 4.00 stars


Alkemyst

– Meeting in the Mist (2003) 4.00 stars
– Through Painful Lanes (2008) 4.00 stars


Allan Holdsworth

– Wardenclyffe Tower (1992) 3.50 stars


Alliance

– Bond of Union (1996) 3.00 stars
– Alliance (1997) 3.50 stars
– Missing Piece (1999) 3.50 stars
– The Road To Heaven (2008) NOT RATED


The Allman Brothers Band

The Allman Brothers Band (1969) 5.00 stars
– Idlewild South (1970) 4.50 stars
– At Fillmore East (1971) 4.50 stars
– Eat a Peach (1972) 4.50 stars
– Brothers and Sisters (1973) 4.00 stars
– Win, Lose or Draw (1975) 3.50 stars
– Enlightened Rogues (1979) 3.50 stars
– Dreams (1989) 4.00 stars
– Seven Turns (1990) 3.50 stars
– Shades of Two Worlds (1991) 4.00 stars
– Where It All Begins (1994) 4.00 stars
– Hittin’ the Note (2003) 4.00 stars


Allos

– Spiritual Battle (2012) 3.50 stars


All Too Human

– Entropy (2002) 4.50 stars
– Juggernaut (2012) 3.50 stars


Almah

– Almah (2006) 3.50 stars
– Fragile Equality (2008) 3.50 stars
– Motion (2011) 3.50 stars


The Almighty

– Blood, Fire & Love (1989) 3.00 stars


Alogia

– Secret Spheres of Art (2005) 4.00 stars
– Elegia Balcanica (2017) NOT RATED


Alphataurus

– Alphataurus (1973) 4.00 stars
– Dietro L’uragano (1992) NOT RATED
– AttosecondO (2012) 4.50 stars


Alquin

– One More Night (2003) NOT RATED


Alrune Rod

– Alrune Rock (1972) NOT RATED


Also Eden

– About Time (2006) 4.50 stars
It’s Kind of You to Ask (2008) 4.50 stars
– Differences as Light (2010) 4.00 stars
– Think of the Children! (2011) 4.00 stars
– [Redacted] (2013) 4.00 stars


Altaria

– Invitation (2003) 2.00 stars


AltaVia

– Kreosote (2016) NOT RATED


Alter Bridge

– Blackbird (2007) 3.50 stars


Altura

– Mercy (1996) 4.50 stars

To me, this band had everything…great vocals, great musicians, an ear for melody, complicated arrangements, and top-notch production. A shame Altura didn’t last more than a single album.


Alusa Fallax

Intorno alla mia cattiva educazione (1974) 3.00 stars


Amaran’s Plight

– Voice In The Light (2007) NOT RATED


Amarok

– Quentadharken (2004) NOT RATED
– Sol de Medianoche (2007) NOT RATED
– Hayat Yolunda (2015) 3.50 stars


Amaseffer

– Exodus: Slaves for Life (2008) 4.00 stars


Amazon

– Nature’s Last Ride (2010) 3.00 stars


Ambeon

– Fate of a Dreamer (2001) 3.50 stars


Ambergris

– Ambergris (1970) 3.50 stars


Amberian Dawn

– River of Tuoni (2008) 3.50 stars
– The Clouds of Northland Thunder (2009) 3.50 stars

Although the singer has been accused of using her falsetto voice a bit too often (a matter of opinion, I suppose), she does possess a distinct power, and a pitch-perfect approach. I’m looking forward to hearing more from this band.


Ambiazok

– Ambiazok (2018) NOT RATED


Ambrosia

– Ambrosia (1975) 4.00 stars
– Somewhere I’ve Never Travelled (1976) 4.00 stars
– Life Beyond L.A. (1978) 3.50 stars
– One Eighty (1980) 3.50 stars
Road Island (1982) 4.50 stars

Ambrosia is a band that altered styles during its career. The first two albums are considered Progressive Rock, whereas the next two albums are more AOR-oriented (with some Soft Rock included). The band’s final album, Road Island, is a fairly perfect blend of both Prog-Rock and AOR styles.


America

America (1971) 4.00 stars
– Homecoming (1972) 4.00 stars
– Hat Trick (1973) 4.00 stars
– Holiday (1974) 4.00 stars
– Hearts (1975) 3.50 stars
– Hideaway (1976) 3.50 stars
– Harbor (1977) 3.00 stars
– America in Concert: King Biscuit Flower Hour (1995) 4.00 stars


American Tears

– Branded Bad (1974) 3.50 stars
– Powerhouse (1977) 3.50 stars


Amoeba Split

– Second Split (2016) NOT RATED


Amon Düül II

– Phallus Dei (1969) 3.50 stars
– Yeti (1970) 3.50 stars
– Tanz der Lemminge (1971) 3.00 stars
– Carnival in Babylon (1972) 3.00 stars
Wolf City (1972) 3.50 stars


Amon Ra

– We Never Said Good Bye (2015) NOT RATED


Ampledeed

BYOB (2016) 4.00 stars


Anacondia

– L’orizzonte degli eventi (2015) 3.50 stars


Anakdota

– Overloading (2016) NOT RATED


Analogy

– Analogy (1972) NOT RATED


Anamor

– Za Witrazem (2018) NOT RATED


Anasazi

– Origin(s) (2008) 4.50 stars
– Playing Ordinary People (2011) 4.00 stars
– 1000 Yard Stare (2014) 3.50 stars
– Ask The Dust (2018) NOT RATED

France’s Anasazi has released a handful of albums since 2006, with the band’s second release, Origin(s), being my favorite. The song arrangements are typically complicated, with shifting, driving rhythms and diverse, often-energetic instrumentation—frantic keyboard solos and bombastic guitar riffing—that is never boring, but rather bizarre and laden with unexpected twists and turns.


Anaxes

– Antithesis (2010) 4.50 stars


Ancient Bards

– The Alliance of the Kings (2010) 4.50 stars
– Soulless Child (2011) 4.00 stars
– A New Dawn Ending (2014) 4.00 stars

A female-led version of a band such as Rhapsody On Fire mixed with Dream Theater. Some exciting material along with thrilling female vocals. The singer has serious pipes!


Ancient Veil

– The Ancient Veil (1995) NOT RATED
– I Am Changing (2017) NOT RATED


Ancient Vision

– Focus Or Blinders (1995) 3.50 stars
– Lost at Sea (2008) 3.50 stars


Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe

– Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (1989) 4.00 stars

Basically, with Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman, and Steve Howe, this is another Yes album under a different band name.


Anderson / Stolt

– Invention of Knowledge (2016) NOT RATED


Anderson / Stolt

– The Living Tree (2010) NOT RATED


Andre Matos

– Time to Be Free (2007) 3.50 stars
– Mentalize (2009) 3.50 stars

The former lead vocalist from Angra, Shaaman, Virgo, etc. released several albums under his own name. And although each album brings to mind shades of his former bands, he also has a tendency (and why not?…hell, he’s showcasing his enormous vocal talents, after all) to have his singing/melodies dominate the releases, thereby placing the albums more into AOR territory (similar to Virgo more than Angra, for example) with only the occasional Prog-Metal excursions rather than being fully immersed into deep and detailed Prog-Metal territory. Nevertheless, fans of his aforementioned bands will likely enjoy his solo offerings.


Andromeda

– Final Extension (2001) 4.50 stars
– II=I (2003) 4.50 stars
– Chimera (2006) 4.50 stars
The Immunity Zone (2008) 4.50 stars
– Manifest Tyranny (2011) 4.00 stars


Andromeda (DE)

– Andromeda (1970) NOT RATED


Andy Jackson

73 Days at Sea (2016) 3.00 stars


Andy Tillison

– Fog (2007) NOT RATED
– Murk (2011) NOT RATED


Anekdoten

– Vemod (1993) 3.00 stars
– Nucleus (1995) NOT RATED
– From Within (1999) NOT RATED
– Gravity (2003) NOT RATED
– A Time Of Day (2007) NOT RATED
– Until All The Ghosts Are Gone (2015) 2.50 stars


Ange

– Caricatures (1972) 3.50 stars
– Le cimetière des arlequins (1973) 3.00 stars
– Au-delà du délire (1974) 3.00 stars
– Emile Jacotey (1975) NOT RATED
– Par Les Fils De Mandrin (1976) NOT RATED

Although I find the music generally pleasant and creative Progressive Rock, the vocals really bring things down, making it impossible for me to rate these albums higher. Fans of a more forgiving nature when it comes to erratic and often out-of-tune vocals, however, may be able to enjoy these releases more than I do since, as mentioned, the music offered here is quite good.


Angel

Angel (1975) 4.50 stars
– Helluva Band (1976) 4.00 stars
– On Earth as It Is in Heaven (1977) 4.00 stars
– White Hot (1977) 3.50 stars
– Sinful (1979) 3.00 stars
– Live Without a Net (1980) 4.00 stars
– An Anthology (1992) 3.50 stars
– In The Beginning (1999) NOT RATED

When it comes to the legendary Angel, the band slowly altered its style through the years. The first two studio albums are the only ones that contain a fair amount of Progressive Rock material, whereas the band’s other releases are fairly straightforward collections of Hard Rock/AOR and heavily Pomp Rock material, with only a touch of Prog elements on a few songs, lessening with each subsequent album. And when it comes to the band’s “reunion” album (In The Beginning) in 1999, even the Pomp Rock style is gone, with only the barest hint of keyboards being included.


Angels Grace

– New Era Rising (2003) 3.50 stars


Angel Witch

– Angel Witch (1980) 4.00 stars
– Screamin’ n’ Bleedin’ (1985) 3.50 stars
– Frontal Assault (1986) 3.50 stars
– As Above, So Below (2012) 4.00 stars


Änglagård

– Hybris (1992) 4.00 stars
– Epilog (1994) 3.00 stars
– Viljans öga (2012) 3.00 stars
– Prog pa Svenska – Live in Japan (2014) NOT RATED


Angra

– Angels Cry (1993) 4.00 stars
Holy Land (1996) 4.50 stars
– Fireworks (1998) 4.00 stars
– Rebirth (2001) 4.00 stars
– Rebirth World Tour: Live in São Paulo (2003) 4.00 stars
– Temple of Shadows (2004) 4.00 stars
– Aurora Consurgens (2006) 3.50 stars
– Aqua (2010) 3.50 stars
– Secret Garden (2014) 3.50 stars


Angtoria

– God Has a Plan for Us All (2006) 4.00 stars

Hating the album cover, but loving the powerful singer. Another band with a similar style to Nightwish, After Forever, and ReVamp, yet with enough uniqueness (and a talented vocalist) to make them “check-worthy.”


Anguish

– Lost Days of Infancy (1996) 3.00 stars
– Symmetry (2002) 4.50 stars


Animal Bag

– Animal Bag (1992) 4.00 stars


Anima Mundi

– Septentrión (2002) 3.50 stars
– Jagannath Orbit (2008) 4.00 stars
– The Way (2010) 4.00 stars
– The Lamplighter (2013) 4.50 stars
– I Me Myself (2016) 4.50 stars


Animator

– Gallery (1990) 3.50 stars


Annalist

– Memories (1995) 2.50 stars


Annot Rhül

– Leviathan (2014) 4.00 stars


Ansoticca

Rise (2010) 4.00 stars


Antares (DE)

– Out Of Sight (1998) NOT RATED


Antares (IT)

– Sea Of Tranquility (1979) NOT RATED


Anterga

– Life Itself (2011) 3.00 stars


Anthony Phillips

– The Geese And The Ghost (1977) NOT RATED
– Wise After The Event (1978) NOT RATED
– Private Parts And Pieces (1978) NOT RATED


Anthrax

– Sound of White Noise (1993) 4.00 stars
– Stomp 442 (1995) 3.50 stars


Anthriel

The Pathway (2010) 5.00 stars
– Transcendence (2017) NOT RATED


Anthropia

– The Ereyn Chronicles Part I: The Journey of Beginnings (2006) 4.00 stars
– The Chain Reaction (2009) 4.00 stars


Anti-Depressive Delivery

– Feel. Melt. Release. Escape. (2004) NOT RATED
– Chain Of Foods (2007) NOT RATED
The Best of Anti-Depressive Delivery (2010) 4.50 stars


Anton Roolaart

The Plight of Lady Oona (2014) 4.00 stars


Antonio Giorgio

– Golden Metal: The Quest For The Inner Glory (2017) NOT RATED


Antonius Rex

– Hystero Demonopathy (2012) 3.50 stars


Anubis

– 230503 (2009) 3.50 stars
– A Tower of Silence (2011) 4.00 stars
– Hitchhiking to Byzantium (2014) 4.00 stars
– Behind Our Eyes (2015) NOT RATED
– The Second Hand (2017) NOT RATED


Anubis Gate

– Purification (2004) 4.00 stars
– A Perfect Forever (2005) 4.50 stars
– Andromeda Unchained (2007) 4.50 stars
– The Detached (2009) 4.50 stars
– Anubis Gate (2011) 4.50 stars
– Horizons (2014) 4.50 stars
– Covered in Black (2017) NOT RATED

This enjoyable group from Denmark has two phases thus far…the first phase being a tad heavier when the band had Torben Askholm as its vocalist on Purification and A Perfect Forever, with the second phase starting when Jacob Hansen replaced Askholm in 2006 and the subsequent albums took on a more progressive style, although equally as heavy but more diverse. Either phase of the band is terrific, and fans of the Prog-Rock/Prog-Metal genres should definitely investigate the band’s back catalogue. In my opinion, this band should be much more popular within the musical universe, since it always delivers the goods!


Anubis Spire

– Between The Two Eternities (2016) NOT RATED
– Divining Rod (2017) NOT RATED


Anvil

– Hard ‘n’ Heavy (1981) 2.50 stars


Anyone’s Daughter

– Adonis (1979) 4.00 stars
Anyone’s Daughter (1980) 4.00 stars
– In Blau (1982) 4.00 stars
– Neue Sterne (1983) 3.50 stars


Aperco

– The Battle (2016) NOT RATED


Aphélandra

– Aphélandra (1976) 3.50 stars


Aphelion

– Within the Woods (1999) 3.50 stars


Apocalypse

– Magic Spells (2006) NOT RATED
– 2012 Light Years From Home (2011) 3.50 stars


Apogee

– The Border Of Awareness (1995) NOT RATED
– Sisyphos (1998) NOT RATED
– The Garden Of Delights (2003) NOT RATED
– On the Aftertaste (2006) 3.50 stars
– Mystery Remains (2009) NOT RATED
– Waiting for the Challenge (2012) 4.00 stars
– The Art of Mind (2015) 4.00 stars
– Conspiracy Of Fools (2018) NOT RATED


Apoteosi

– Apoteosi (1975) 4.00 stars


Appearance of Nothing

– Wasted Time (2008) 4.00 stars
– All Gods Are Gone (2011) 3.50 stars
– A New Beginning (2014) 4.00 stars


Apple Pie

– Crossroad (2007) NOT RATED
– The Gates of Never (2013) 4.00 stars


April Wine

– On Record (1972) 3.50 stars
– The Nature of the Beast (1981) 4.00 stars
– Power Play (1982) 3.50 stars
– Animal Grace (1984) 3.50 stars
– Walking Through Fire (1985) 3.50 stars


Apryl

– Alorconfusa (2002) 3.50 stars


Aqua Talk

– Whatever Tickles Your Mind (2016) NOT RATED


Aquaplanage

– Aquaplanage (2008) NOT RATED


Aquaria

– Luxaeterna (2005) 4.00 stars
– Shambala (2007) 4.50 stars

Similar to its fellow countrymen Angra, Brazil’s Aquaria occasionally added extra percussion instruments to its majestically symphonic sound, giving some passages a “country of origin” flavor, which made the band’s music even more special. Sadly, Aquaria released only two albums, but both collections are highly dramatic pieces of art, both bombastic and melodious, featuring rich and complex soundscapes throughout, and with grand orchestrations that would have made Nightwish proud. Indeed, to me Aquaria seemed a fine cross between Angra and Nightwish, and included a powerful gem of a vocalist, thus making for a spectacular style that often left me reeling.


Aquelarre

– Aquelarre (1972) NOT RATED
– Brumas (1974) NOT RATED


Arabesque

– Tales Of Power (2002) NOT RATED


Arabs in Aspic

– Progeria (2003) NOT RATED
– Far Out In Aradabia (2004) NOT RATED
– Strange Frame Of Mind (2010) NOT RATED
– Pictures in a Dream (2013) 4.00 stars
– Victim of Your Father’s Agony (2015) 4.00 stars
– Syndenes Magi (2017) NOT RATED


Arachnes

– A New Day (2011) 3.50 stars


Arachnoïd

– Arachnoïd (1979) 4.00 stars


Aragon

– Don’t Bring the Rain (1990) 4.00 stars
– The Meeting (1992) NOT RATED


Arbete Och Fritid

– Arbete Och Fritid (1973) NOT RATED


Arca Progjet

– Arca Progjet (2018) NOT RATED


Arcade

– Arcade (1993) 3.50 stars
– A/2 (1994) 3.50 stars


Arcadium

– Breathe Awhile (1969) 4.00 stars


Arcane

– Ashes (2007) NOT RATED
– Chronicles of the Waking Dream (2009) 4.00 stars
– Known – Learned (2015) NOT RATED


Arc Angel / Cannata

– Tamorok (2002) 3.50 stars


Arcansiel

Normality of Perversion (1994) 4.00 stars


Arch and Matheos

– Sympathetic Resonance (2011) NOT RATED


Archangelica

– Where Are You Now? (2009) NOT RATED
– Like A Drug (2013) NOT RATED
– Tomorrow Starts Today (2016) NOT RATED


Architecture of the Absurd

Beluga (2013) 4.50 stars


Arco Iris

– Los Elementales (1977) NOT RATED


Ardo Dombec

– Ardo Dombec (1971) NOT RATED


Area

Arbeit macht frei (1973) 4.00 stars
– Caution Radiation Area (1974) 3.50 stars
– Crac! (1975) NOT RATED
– Maledetti (1976) NOT RATED
– Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano! (1978) NOT RATED


Arena

– Songs From the Lions Cage (1995) 4.00 stars
– Pride (1996) 4.00 stars
– The Cry (1997) NOT RATED
– Welcome To The Stage (1997) NOT RATED
– The Visitor (1998) 4.00 stars
– Immortal? (2000) 4.00 stars
– Breakfast In Biarritz (2001) NOT RATED
– Caught In The Act (2003) NOT RATED
– Contagion (2003) 4.00 stars
– Contagious (2003) NOT RATED
– Contagium (2003) NOT RATED
– Radiance (2003) NOT RATED
– Live & Life (2004) 4.00 stars
– Pepper’s Ghost (2005) 4.00 stars
– The Seventh Degree of Separation (2011) 4.00 stars
– The Unquiet Sky (2015) 4.00 stars
– XX (2016) NOT RATED

See my “Arena – An Overview” for more information.


Argent

– Argent (1970) 3.50 stars
– Ring of Hands (1971) 4.00 stars
– All Together Now (1972) 3.50 stars
– In Deep (1973) 4.00 stars
– Nexus (1974) 4.00 stars
– Circus (1975) 4.00 stars
Counterpoints (1975) 4.00 stars

Although a few of Argent’s first four studio releases included several tracks with a Progressive Rock feel to them (the extended version of the classic hit “Hold Your Head Up,” for example), those albums were mostly Pop Rock/Hard Rock overall. On Argent’s final three albums, however, the Prog-Rock elements are much more prominent.


Argos

– Argos (2009) 4.00 stars
– Circles (2010) 4.00 stars
– Cruel Symmetry (2012) 4.00 stars
– A Seasonal Affair (2015) 4.00 stars
– Unidentified Dying Objects (2018)


Ariel

– A Strange Fantastic Dream (1973) 4.00 stars
– Rock & Roll Scars (1975) 4.00 stars


Aries

– Aries (2005) 3.50 stars


Arion

– Arion (2001) 3.50 stars


Arjen Anthony Lucassen

– Lost in the New Real (2012) 4.00 stars


Ark

– Ark (2000) 4.00 stars
– Burn the Sun (2001) 4.50 stars

Excellent semi Prog-Metal band with vocalist extraordinaire Jorn Lande at the helm. ‘Nuff said!


Ark (UK)

– Wild Untamed Imaginings (2010) NOT RATED


Arlekin

Disguise Serenades (2014) 3.50 stars


Armageddon

Armageddon (1975) 4.50 stars


Armaggedon

– Armaggedon (1970) NOT RATED


Armed Cloud

– Obsidian Desert (2015) NOT RATED
– Master Devices & Slave Machines (2017) NOT RATED


Armonite

The Sun Is New Each Day (2015) 4.00 stars
– And The Stars Above (2018) NOT RATED


Armored Saint

– March of the Saint (1984) 4.50 stars
Delirious Nomad (1985) 4.50 stars
– Raising Fear (1987) 4.50 stars
– Saints Will Conquer (1988) 3.5 stars
– Symbol of Salvation (1991) 4.00 stars
– Revelation (2000) 4.00 stars
– Nod to the Old School (2001) 4.00 stars
– La Raza (2010) 4.00 stars
– Win Hands Down (2015) 4.00 stars


Ars Nova

– Fear & Anxiety (1992) NOT RATED
– Transi (1994) NOT RATED
– The Goddess Of Darkness (1996) NOT RATED
– The Book Of The Dead (1998) NOT RATED
– Android Domina (2001) NOT RATED
– Biogenesis Project (2003) NOT RATED
Seventh Hell (2009) 4.00 stars

Imagine a band with the Progressive-Metal prowess of Dream Theater, the Jazz-Fusion inspiration of Return To Forever, and the complicated and bizarre doodling of a heavy Gentle Giant type of band all thrown together into the same mix, along with off-the-wall female vocals. That’s what you’ll get with Ars Nova, a unique all-female band with some (albeit sparse) vocals to add texture and melody to the package. I love this band, due to its “bizarreness,” and appreciate the offerings I’ve heard thus far. The female singer is sooooo unique and the overall package is truly an experience.


The Ars Supernova

– Lumina (2009) 3.50 stars


Art Griffin’s Sound Chaser

– Sound Chaser (2016) NOT RATED


Artcane

– Odyssee (1977) NOT RATED


Artemia

– Something Special (2011) NOT RATED
– We Still Exist (2013) NOT RATED


Artension

– Into the Eye of the Storm (1996) 4.50 stars
– Phoenix Rising (1997) 4.50 stars
– Forces of Nature (1999) 4.50 stars
– Machine (2000) 4.50 stars
– Sacred Pathways (2002) 4.00 stars
– New Discovery (2003) 4.00 stars
– Future World (2004) NOT RATED

This band never failed to deliver high-quality Prog-Metal material, and seemed to me a cross between Prog-Rock bands such as Royal Hunt and Balance Of Power with acts such as Deep Purple and Yngwie Malmsteen, especially with a vocalist such as John West, who has a similar singing style to that of Glenn Hughes (and he eventually joined up with Royal Hunt for a series of albums). Melodic yet heavy, and with always a nod toward Prog-Metal and Neoclassical-Metal, the band released a handful of commendable albums and, unfortunately, has been sorely forgotten/ignored.


Artful Dodger

– Artful Dodger (1975) 3.50 stars
– Honor Among Thieves (1976) 3.50 stars


Art Of Illusion

– Cold War Of Solipsism (2018) NOT RATED


Art of Simplicity

– Asymmetric (2005) NOT RATED
– Caught in This Iless Storm (2007) 3.50 stars
– When Fables Have A Bitter Taste (2016) NOT RATED


Arti & Mestieri

– Tilt (Immagini Per Un Orecchio) (1974) NOT RATED
– Giro Di Valzer Per Domani (1975) NOT RATED


Arvé

At the First Sight (2001) 2.50 stars
– Be on a Razor’s Edge (2008) NOT RATED


Arven

Music of Light (2011) 3.50 stars
– Black Is the Colour (2013) NOT RATED


Arwen

– Memories of a Dream (2002) 3.50 stars
– Illusions (2004) NOT RATED


Arzachel

– Arzachel (1969) 2.50 stars


Asa de Luz

– The Link (1998) 3.50 stars


Asaian

– Drama (1997) 3.50 stars


ASaP

– Silver and Gold (1989) 3.00 stars


Ascension Theory

Regeneration (2002) 4.50 stars
– Answers (2005) 4.00 stars


Asgaerd

– In The Realm Of Asgaerd (1972) NOT RATED


Asgard

– Imago Mundi (1993) 4.00 stars
– Drachenblut (2000) 4.00 stars


Ashby

– Fragmental (2015) 4.00 stars


Ashen Waves

Premonitions (2015) 1.50 stars


Ashent

– Flaws of Elation (2006) 4.50 stars
– Deconstructive (2009) 4.50 stars
– Inheritance (2012) 3.50 stars


Ashkan

– In From The Cold (1969) NOT RATED


Ash Ra Tempel

Ash Ra Tempel (1971) 2.00 stars


Ashton

– Modern Pilgrims (1988) 3.50 stars


Asia

– Asia (1982) 4.00 stars
– Alpha (1983) 3.00 stars
– Astra (1985) 3.50 stars
– Then & Now (1990) 3.50 stars
– Aqua (1992) 4.00 stars
– Aria (1994) 4.00 stars
Arena (1996) 4.00 stars
– Archiva 1 (1998) 3.50 stars
– Archiva 2 (1998) 4.00 stars
– Aura (2001) 4.00 stars
– Silent Nation (2004) 4.00 stars
– Phoenix (2008) 3.50 stars
– Omega (2010) 3.50 stars
– XXX (2012) 3.50 stars

To me, like the bands Magnum and Saga, Asia isn’t exactly what I would call Progressive Rock, not in the true sense, but there are enough Prog elements sprinkled throughout most of the band’s AOR-ish albums to potentially appeal to Prog-Rock fans.


Asia Minor

– Crossing The Line (1979) NOT RATED
– Between Flesh And Divine (1980) NOT RATED


Aslan

Weight of the World (2007) 2.00 stars


Asoka

– Asoka (1971) NOT RATED
– 36 Years Later (2007) NOT RATED
– Asoka Spelar Allan (2009) NOT RATED


Aspera

– Ripples (2010) 4.50 stars


Asphalt Ballet

– Asphalt Ballet (1991) 3.00 stars
– Pigs (1993) 3.00 stars


Aspire

In Defiance of Fortune (2009) 1.00 stars


Astarte Syriaca

– Darkened Light (2008) 4.00 stars
– Sex De Humana Natura (2009) 3.50 stars


Asterix

– Asterix (1970) 3.00 stars


Astra

– About Me: Through Life and Beyond (2006) 4.50 stars
From Within (2009) 4.50 stars
– Broken Balance (2014) 4.50 stars


Astra (USA)

– The Weirding (2009) 4.00 stars
– The Black Chord (2012) 4.00 stars


Astrakhan

– Retrospective (2013) 4.00 stars
– Adrenaline Kiss (2016)


Astral Doors

Of the Son and the Father (2003) 4.00 stars
– Evil Is Forever (2005) 4.00 stars
– Astralism (2006) 4.00 stars
– New Revelation (2007) 4.00 stars
– Requiem of Time (2010) 4.00 stars
– Jerusalem (2011) 4.00 stars
– Notes From the Shadows (2014) 4.00 stars


Astral Son

– Mind’s Eye (2016) NOT RATED


Astralia

– Connected (2000) 3.50 stars


Astronaut Down

– Moths To The Flame (2010) NOT RATED


Asylum Pyre

– Natural Instinct? (2009) 3.50 stars


At War With Self

– Circadian Rhythm Disorder (2015) NOT RATED


Atavismo

– Valdeinfierno (2018) NOT RATED


Athelstone

– The Quiet Before The Storm (2011) NOT RATED


Athena

– Inside, the Moon (1995) 3.00 stars
– A New Religion? (1998) 4.00 stars
– Twilight of Days (2001) 3.50 stars


Atila

– The Beginning Of The End (1975) NOT RATED
– Intención (1976) NOT RATED
– Reviure (1978) NOT RATED


Atlantis

– Atlantis (1997) NOT RATED
– Pray For Rain (2003) NOT RATED


Atlantyca

– To Nowhere and Beyond (2012) 4.00 stars


Atlas

– Bla Vardag (1979) NOT RATED


Atlas Volt

– Momento Mori (2015) NOT RATED


AtmOsfear

– Inside the Atmosphere (2003) 4.50 stars
– Zenith (2009) 4.50 stars


Atoll

– L’Ocean (1989) NOT RATED
– Illian J’entends Gronder La Terre (2003) NOT RATED


Atomic Clock

– Atomic Clock (2009) 3.50 stars


Atomic Rooster

– Atomic Roooster (1970) 3.50 stars
– Death Walks Behind You (1970) 4.00 stars
– In Hearing of Atomic Rooster (1971) 4.00 stars
– Made in England (1972) 3.50 stars
– Nice & Greasy (1973) 3.50 stars
– Atomic Rooster (1980) NOT RATED
– Headline News (1983) NOT RATED
– Rarities (2000) NOT RATED
– Masters From The Vaults (2003) NOT RATED
– Lose Your Mind (2007) NOT RATED
– Homework (2008) NOT RATED


Aton’s

– Dr. Faust (1992) 3.50 stars
– Klein & Wagner (1994) 3.50 stars


Atria

– Boulevard of Broken Dreams (1992) 3.50 stars


At Vance

– No Escape (1999) 4.00 stars
– Heart of Steel (2000) 4.00 stars
– Dragonchaser (2001) 4.00 stars
– Only Human (2002) 4.00 stars
– The Evil in You (2003) 4.00 stars
– Chained (2005) 4.00 stars
– VII (2007) 3.50 stars
– Ride the Sky (2009) 4.00 stars
– Facing Your Enemy (2012) 3.50 stars


Audience

– Friend’s Friend’s Friend (1970) NOT RATED
– The House On The Hill (1971) NOT RATED
– Lunch (1972) NOT RATED


Audio’m

– Audio’m (2016) NOT RATED


AudioPlastik

– In The Head Of A Maniac (2015) NOT RATED


Aunt Mary

– Loaded (1972) NOT RATED
– Janus (1973) NOT RATED
– New Dawn (2016) NOT RATED


Aura

– Deliverance (2011) 4.50 stars


Aura (SW)

– Observations (2016) NOT RATED


Aurora Lunare

– Aurora Lunare (2013) NOT RATED
– Translunaggio…Nove Tributi al Rock Progressivo (2018) NOT RATED


The Aurora Observatory

– Failure Of Reality (2015) NOT RATED


The Aurora Project

– Unspoken Words (2005) NOT RATED
– Shadow Border (2009) 4.00 stars
– Selling The Aggression (2013) NOT RATED
– World Of Grey (2016) NOT RATED


Auspex

– Resolutio (2007) 4.50 stars

A band that commendably plays highly complicated, and often bizarre, songs and arrangements. Overall, despite the outrageously good instrumentation taking a front seat to the proceedings, I like the singer quite a bit—she holds her own amidst the quirkiness—so this band showed great promise.


Autograph

– Sign In Please (1984) 3.50 stars
That’s the Stuff (1985) 4.00 stars
– Loud and Clear (1987) 4.00 stars


Autumn

– When Lust Evokes the Curse (2002) 3.50 stars


Autumn Chorus

– The Village To The Vale (2011) NOT RATED


Autumn Electric

– Flowers For Ambrosia (2014) NOT RATED


Avantasia

– The Metal Opera (2001) 4.00 stars
– The Scarecrow (2008) 4.00 stars
– Angel of Babylon (2010) 4.00 stars
– The Wicked Symphony (2010) 4.00 stars
– The Mystery Of Time (2013) NOT RATED
– Ghostlights (2016) NOT RATED


Avenue [USA]

– Escape from Silence (1986) 3.00 stars


Avi Rosenfeld

– Very Heepy Very Purple VI (2017) NOT RATED


Avian

– From the Depths of Time (2005) 4.00 stars
– Ashes and Madness (2008) 4.00 stars


Aviary

Aviary (1979) 4.50 stars
– Ambition (2003) 4.50 stars


Aviva Omnibus

– Nutcracker in Fury (2008) 3.50 stars


Awaiting Dawn

– Leave No Trace (2017) NOT RATED


Awake

– Illumination (2007) 3.50 stars
– Forever More (2011) 3.50 stars


Axe

Axe (1979) 4.00 stars
– Living on the Edge (1980) 3.50 stars


Axel Rudi Pell

– Wild Obsession (1989) 3.50 stars
– Nasty Reputation (1991) 3.50 stars
– Eternal Prisoner (1992) 4.00 stars
– Between the Walls (1994) 4.00 stars
– Black Moon Pyramid (1996) 4.00 stars
Magic (1997) 4.00 stars
– Oceans of Time (1998) 4.50 stars
– The Masquerade Ball (2000) 4.50 stars
– Shadow Zone (2002) 4.50 stars
– Kings and Queens (2004) 4.00 stars
– Mystica (2006) 4.00 stars
– Diamonds Unlocked (2007) 3.50 stars
– Tales of the Crown (2008) 4.00 stars
– The Crest (2010) 4.00 stars
– Circle of the Oath (2012) 4.00 stars
– Into the Storm (2014) 3.50 stars
– Game of Sins (2016) 3.50 stars


Axenstar

– Far From Heaven (2003) 3.50 stars
– The Inquisition (2005) 3.00 stars
– The Final Requiem (2006) 3.00 stars
– Aftermath (2011) 3.00 stars


Axiom

– A Moment of Insanity (2004) 4.00 stars


Axiom (USA)

– A Means To An End (2008) NOT RATED


Axis

– It’s a Circus World (1978) 3.00 stars


Axon-Neuron

– Metamorphosis (2016) NOT RATED


Axxis

– Kingdom of the Night (1989) 3.50 stars
– II (1990) 3.50 stars
– The Big Thrill (1993) 3.50 stars
– Matters of Survival (1995) 3.00 stars
– Voodoo Vibes (1997) 3.00 stars
– Back to the Kingdom (2000) 3.50 stars
– Eyes of Darkness (2001) 3.50 stars
– Time Machine (2004) 3.50 stars
– Paradise in Flames (2006) 4.00 stars
– Doom of Destiny (2007) 4.00 stars
– Utopia (2009) 4.00 stars


Ayreon

– Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator (2000) 4.50 stars
– The Human Equation (2004) 4.00 stars
– 01011001 (2008) 4.00 stars


Aztec Jade

– Modern Prophet (1995) 4.00 stars
– Frame of Mind (1997) 4.00 stars

This band popped up in the mid-’90s a year or two after Dream Theater burst onto the scene. For some reason, and probably because of its timing, Aztec Jade reminded me of Dream Theater, but to only a limited extent. Sure, it incorporated some of the same styles as DT into its overall sound, but what impressed me about the band was that it refused to clone DT and, instead, developed a style all its own. Of course, the band featured grand keyboards, lush arrangements, slamming production, and even some “twiddly guitar solos” (on occasion), but also possessed more of a melodic/straightforward rock style (thanks to a wide-ranged, crisp-toned singer more in line with an AOR band) and shorter song structures that set it apart from DT (in other words, much more accessible to the average listener…the band delivered the substance with only a handful of experimental bits, instead of including overly extended Prog-Rock forays into every track). I have to say that if Styx had merged with a band such as Dream Theater, Aztec Jade is probably the closest one could get to this marriage.

I felt it a shame Aztec Jade didn’t last longer, and were (and still are) almost unheard of within the community, although I was happy to accept the group Ascension Theory (basically a continuation of Aztec Jade), which released several subsequent albums after the original band broke up. Regardless, Aztec Jade is missed.