All posts for the month December, 2019

Edition 224 of Sounds That Can Be Made is now available as a podcast!


Yngwie Malmsteen – Carry On Wayward Son (Kansas cover)
Magenta – Wonderous Stories (Yes cover)
Nick Beggs – Midnight Cowboy (John Barry cover)
Eivør – Hounds of Love (Kate Bush cover)
Tarja – Poison (Alice Cooper cover)
Transatlantic – In Held (‘Twas) In I (Procol Harum cover)
David Bowie – See Emily Play (Pink Floyd cover)
Suck – War Pigs (Black Sabbath cover)
The Flower Kings – Cinema Show (Genesis cover)
Adaline w. Vapor – Follow You Follow Me (Genesis cover)
Vanden Plas – Theme From Pseudo Silk Kimono/Kayleigh (Marillion cover)
Between The Buried And Me – Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen cover)
Queensrÿche – Scarborough Fair (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
Simple Minds – Biko (Peter Gabriel cover)
The Dear Hunter – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John cover)
Neal Morse – Where the Streets Have No Name (U2 cover)
Sons of Apollo – Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd cover)
Avenged Sevenfold – Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd cover)
Ulver – The Power of Love (Frankie Goes to Holiday cover)
Pain of Salvation – Perfect Day (Lou Reed cover)
Lithium Dawn – Open Car (Porcupine Tree cover)
Leprous – Angel (Massive Attack cover)
Angra – Mama (Genesis cover)
Red Circuit – Soldier of Fortune (Deep Purple cover)
Marillion – Toxic (Britney Spears cover)

Edition 217 of Steve Blease’s Heavy Elements is now available as a podcast.


Hedfuzy – Broken Mirrors
Cellar Darling – Pain
Psychotic Waltz – Devils and Angels
Obsidian Tide – Pillars of Creation
In Mourning – Magenta Ritual

That Was The Year That Prog: 1988
Crimson Glory – Lady of Winter
Sieges Even – David
Fates Warning – Shades of Heavenly Death
Queensrÿche – Anarchy X/Revolution Calling

Epic at 11: Dreamscape – The End of Light

Transience – Peoples Temple
Gojira – The Shooting Star

Album of the Week: Symphony X – The Divine Wings of Tragedy
Out of the Ashes
The Accolade
Sea of Lies

Ne Obliviscaris – Forget Not

Edition 223 of Sounds That Can Be Made is now available as a podcast!


Now In Colour – Foregone Conclusion (from Now In Colour)
Cellar Noise – Her (from Nautilus)
Dirt Poor Robins – The Saints II (from Dead Horse, Alaska (Gold))
Flying Colors – More (from Third Degree)
Blame Zeus – Déjà Vu (from Seethe)
Nightwish – The Greatest Show On Earth (from Endless Forms Most Beautiful)
Focus – Round Goes The Gossip… (from Focus 3)
Bodkin – Aunty Mary’s Trashcan (from Bodkin)
RPWL – World Through My Eyes (from World Through My Eyes)
Porcupine Tree – Disappear (Extended Version) (from Recordings)
Rush – The Enemy Within (from Grace Under Pressure)
Wishbone Ash – Something’s Happening In Room 602 (from Noveau Calls)
Coma Rossi – Transmission (from Coma Rossi)
Antariksh – Dheere Dheere (from Khoj)
Whitesnake – Forevermore (from Forevermore)
Deep Purple – Weirdistan (from Now What?!)
Flamborough Head – Wolves At War (from Unspoken Whisper)
Echolyn – Uncle (from As The World)
Nosound – Lightdark (from The Northern Religion Of Things)
The Ben Cameron Project – Colour in the Sky (from A Cycle Never Ending)
Ironvolt – The Pale Red Gentleman (from Grimm)

This news story was originally published here:

Ones That Nearly Got Away

The second in this short “catch ‘em while you can” series was also released on the impressive Rune Grammofon label, and saw the light of day back in May. I caught on two weeks ago!

Fire! are a heavy saxophone-led jazz-rock trio from Sweden, and they occasionally augment their line-up with keyboards and a full brass/reeds section to become Fire! Orchestra, a completely different and utterly compelling proposition. This is the first Fire! Orchestra release to vibrate my stylus, and boy have I found something here!

Fire! already having released albums in collaboration with avant-rock luminaries such as Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi, 2011 saw the first Fire! Orchestra assembled, and two years later a 28-headed beast under that name released Exit, by all accounts a monstrously weighty but never unwieldy affair that merged exploratory rock and jazz in the finest traditions of avant-jazz ensembles of the past. Sun Ra is referred to.

Here we are then, some six years later, and the hydra has had a head reduction of 50%, and a mere 14 people groove in a thoroughly unexpected, loose-limbed, and Kosmische fashion on Arrival, a double album of glorious sounds and impressive heft. The huge beast of previous Orchestras is trimmed back in all areas, and a string section is added. The result is a living, breathing thing that combines songcraft with electronic rumbles and free jazz splurges, which seem to sneak out of an otherwise tightly contained and structured construct like schoolkids playing truant.

A symphonic bent lends the opening of Blue Crystal Fire an eerie menace as bass and contrabass clarinets rumble an intro to the high-register ultra-clear tones of one of the twin female voices (Mariam Wallentin or Sofia Jernberg, who also contribute the impressionistic lyrics, most by Wallentin) as she intones the poem, a butterfly dancing above flame-haze, before the theme returns and builds. This is lovely, and an example of one of many stylistic leaps this record takes with supreme confidence. The previous epic-length Weekends (The Soil Is Calling) was built on an alien funky shimmying beat, with all manner of instrumental derring-do and vocal syncopation on top, morphing into a coruscating saxophone free jazz excursion, before the rhythm and the song returns to take it home. The following Silver Trees commences with a sparse free jazz that becomes a delicate ballad, unfolding slowly through its quarter-hour using a repeated plucked motif on the violin as the base and introduction to some fine ensemble playing and songcraft, the twin vocalists adding another layer to the cake, repetition hanging in a hypnotic air. These three tracks hint at the vast territory covered by this unusual and enticing group, and also present plenty of evidence that Fire! Orchestra are in deep commune with the Earth goddess, as a significant female element in the band balances out its more male egocentric inclinations. This is an earthy record, oh yes!

A minimalistic simplicity in arrangement gives plenty of room for expansion and exploration throughout Arrival, as the primal chant of Dressed in Smoke. Blown Away attests, moving onwards by increment, exuding the feminine power that weaves its way through Arrival as an enticing perfume. The free skronk of the saxes is kept on a short leash, as the song makes its stately progress, assured in its majesty. Bewitching violins begin an unanswerable conversation, the bass line unchanging, Mariam and Sofia dancing voices around a maypole. There is a primal pull about this record that cannot fail to engage anyone with a soul.

The album ends with a cover of Chic’s At Last I Am Free, a song I first became aware of with Robert Wyatt’s version on Rock Bottom back in 1978. This version owes much to the pathos of Robert’s interpretation, the similar but slightly more expansive arrangement coasting on mournful cellos and keyboards, leaving not a dry eye in the house. Gorgeous!

Another immense release from Rune Grammofon, and like I did, buy this with Krokofant’s Q, and you won’t regret it! While you’re there, pre-order the new Fire! Orchestra album, Actions, out in February. No rest for the wicked!

01. [A1] (I Am A) Horizon (13:04)
02. [B1] Weekends (The Soil Is Calling) (11:12)
03. [B2] Blue Crystal Fire (7:31)
04. [C1] Silver Trees (15:45)
05. [D1] Dressed In Smoke. Blown Away (8:59)
06. [D2] (Beneath) The Edge Of Life (2:56)
07. [D3] At Last I Am Free (6:42)

Total Time – 68:11

Mariam Wallentin – Voice
Sofia Jernberg – Voice
Anna Lindal – Violin
Josefin Runsteen – Violin
Katt Hernandez – Violin
Leo Svensson – Cello
Susana Santos Silva – Trumpet
Per Texas Johansson – Oboe, Bass & Contrabass Clarinets
Christer Bothén – Bass & Contrabass Clarinets
Isak Hedtjärn – Bb Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Mats Gustafsson* – Baritone Saxophone
Tomas Hallonsten – Keyboards
Johan Berthling* – Bass & Electric Bass
Andreas Werlin* – Drums

(* Fire!)

Record Label: Rune Grammofon
Country of Origin: Sweden
Date of Release: 24th May 2019

Fire! Orchestra – Website (out of date) | Facebook | Soundcloud

Edition 222 of Sounds That Can Be Made is now available as a podcast!


Magnum – Not Forgiven (The Serpent Rings)
Thaikkudam Bridge – Inside My Head (feat. Marco Minnemann) (from Namah)
Franck Carducci – Slave To Rock’n’Roll (from The Answer)
Crea – Walk Into Bright Lights (from Dwarves & Penguins)
Freedom To Glide – Escape To Survive (from Seed)
The Gift – The Comforting Cold (from Land of Shadows)
Genesis – Dancing With The Moonlight Knight (from Selling England By The Pound)
Pink Floyd – Sheep (from Animals)
Ghost Community – Blue December Morning (from Cycle of Life)
Anubis – A Tower Of Silence (from A Tower Of Silence)
Queensrÿche – Silent Lucidity (from Empire)
Psychotic Waltz – I Remember (from A Social Grace)
Cloud Atlas – Let The Blood Flow (from Beyond The Vale)
Maze Of Time – Oceans of Dreams (from Tales From The Maze)
Asia – Only Time Will Tell (from Asia)
Jethro Tull – Beastie (from The Broadsword And The Beast)
Semistereo – The Storm Behind Your Eyes (from Trans Earth Injection)
Karcius – Water (from The First Day)
Maiden uniteD – Phantom of the Opera (from The Barrel House Tapes)


Broadcast 29th  December 2019

1.   Woman James Gang
2.   I Wonder Humble Pie
New Millenium Prog Set
3.   Take A Breath David Gilmore
4.   Helix (fade down) Phideaux
5.   The Same Mistakes Again Pattern – Seeking Animals
6.   Tarkio Road Brewer & Shipley
7.   Gamble Gold/Robin Hood Steeleye Span
8.   One Particular Harbour Jimmy Buffett
9.   No Place to Go Charlie Daniels Band
6-Pack About Birds
10.               Seagull Bad Company
11.               Blackbird Beatles
12.               High Flying Bird Elton John
13.               Jerry’s Pidgeons Genya Raven
14.               Bluebird Electric Light Orchestra
15.               When Dove’s Cry Prince & the Revolution
16.               Pretzel Logic Steely Dan
17.               Mighty Quinn Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
Psychedelic Set
18.               Unconscious Power Iron Butterfly
19.               My Little Red Book Arthur Lee and Love
20.               Boysenberry Jam Moby Grape
21.               Who Are The Brain Police? The Mothers of Invention
22.               Hall of the Mountain Grill Hawkwind
SIAS: Crosby Stills Nash & Young 4 Way Street (side 4)
23.               Ohio
24.               Carry On
25.               Find The Cost Of Freedom  
26.               Blood and Water Potter’s Daughter w/Annie Haslam
27.               On The Run Lake
28.               Symmetry and Light This Winter Machine
29.               Loan Me A Dime Boz Scaggs
30.               Ageless Love Bob Harris
31.               Many Rivers To Cross Linda Ronstadt
32.               Time For Going Home Golden Avatar
33.               Chameleon Herbie Hancock
34.               Rockhouse Ray Charles
35.               Fire and Water Free
36.               Ballad of Mott Mott The Hoople
37.               Until The Night Billy Joel
38.               Rangers At Midnight Crack the Sky
39.               Blue World Moody Blues
40.               Dancing With the Moonlit Knight Genesis
41.               Goodnight Beatles


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Edition 216 of Steve Blease’s Heavy Elements is now available as a podcast.


Dream Theater – This Dying Soul
Teramaze – Orwellian Times
Parallel Minds – On Your Own
Apotheus – Under a New Cloud Sky
Sermon – The Descend

That Was The Year That Prog: 2013
Fates Warning – One Thousand Fires
Votum – Deadringer
Caligula’s Horse – A Gift to Afterthought
Until Rain – Living Hell

Epic at 11: Wilderun – The Unimaginable Zero Summer

TesseracT – Smile
Skyharbor – Illusion: Aurora

Album of the Week: Outworld – Outworld
I, Thanatos

Earthside – Mob Mentality

The Progressive Tracks Show #345 (Best of Prog – 2019)

This week we’ll explore some of the very best progressive rock of the year.

C’mon, do I really have to tell you it’s gonna be exceptional?


  • Unit Wail – “égarés” from égarés on Soleil Mutant (2019)
  • Bent Knee – “Hold Me In” from You Know What They Mean on InsideOutMusic (2019)
  • Sonora Sunrise – “Poison” from The Route Through The Canyon on Trail Records (2019)
  • The Mercury Tree – “I Am A Husk” from Spidermilk on The Mercury Tree (2019)
  • Emmett Elvin – “Magnus Opium” from The End Of Music on Bad Elephant Music (2019)
  • Kanaan – “Act Upon The Mundane World” from Windborne on El Paraiso (2019)
  • The Far Meadow – “The Fugitive” from Foreign Land on Bad Elephant Music (2019)
  • The Wrong Object – “Rumble Buzz” from Into The Herd on MoonJune (2019)
  • Red Kite – “Ptah, The El Daoud” from Red Kite on RareNoise (2019)
  • Stephan Thelen – “Briefing For A Descent Into Hell“ from Fractal Guitar on MoonJune (2019)

If you have comments or suggestions for show topics/ music (always welcome), feel free to contact me any time via email:

And remember, you can access podcasts of any previous Progressive Tracks Show at: (there are well over 180 podcasts now!).

Most importantly, SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST below, so you’ll have it delivered to your fingertips weekly! ˅˅˅˅˅˅˅˅

This news story was originally published here:

Clouds On The Road (Live In Niterói 2005)

Originally released in 2012 in CD. First time it is released for download in high quality formats.

This is the first Live album from the Brazilian band Poços & Nuvens. It was recorded in September 10th, 2005 in Niterói, Brazil, on the Rock Symphony festival.

Enjoy and spread the word!


Edited by ProgShine – 8 hours 46 minutes ago at 18:39

This news story was originally published here:

Let’s get something clear straight from the off: I love Christmas music, always have done since first hearing Slade’s Merry Christmas Everyone and the masterpiece that is Greg Lake’s I Believe in Father Christmas, and countless other incarnations, reinventions and covers. I love them all, well, usually that is, but then I heard this album.

The brainchild and possibly bastard ego of Billy Sherwood, of Yes and Circa fame, here he delves into his little black phone book and calls some of his “friends” to help him indulge in some yuletide festivities, with a view to releasing his own take on Christmas music of the past and of today, summoning help from the likes of Steve Morse (Flying Colors), Jon Davison (Yes), Sonja Kristina (Curved Air), Patrick Moraz (Yes & The Moody Blues), and even an old appearance from the late John Wetton.

On paper, this sounds like a Prog Dream, but sadly the reality falls pretty far short, and it pains me to say this but seriously, I’d avoid this like the plague. The music itself is OK, as are the guest performers, but somehow it is lacking in any emotion or atmosphere and I find that very sad indeed.

After opening with Jon Davison’s Run With the Fox, a pale copy of the Chris Squire and Alan White original, Christmas Lights is a new song to me, but it is very pedestrian and Kasim Sulton (of Utopia) is not the World’s best singer, bringing nothing fresh or interesting to this song whatsoever. Steve Morse shreds Carol of the Bells well enough, his guitar soaring as always, but the drums are truly awful, insipid and dull. This is followed by a fairly dire version of The Twelve Days of Christmas by Annie Haslam of Renaissance, whose fine voice is wasted on this mush. Backing vocals support her but not to any great effect. The cover of Wonderful Christmastime with Billy on vocals and Patrick Moraz on keyboards is passable and pleasant enough – any Moraz keys are good with me. Possibly the best of a very poor bunch, this one at least has an element of jolliness to it, despite all attempts to thwart this.

Original Wishbone Ash bass player and singer Martin Turner massacres Greg Lake’s classic, reducing it from a monstrously epic piece to a damp squib of failed firework, also lacking from this song are the magnificent Moogs of Keith Emerson, which it really needs to lift the song from the dull depths in which it lies, unwanted and neglected. Martin’s voice is OK but lacks the purity of Greg’s original version and whilst a melody is played, it lacks the emphasis and power of the original. This is a poor version of a great song.

Fairytale of New York is next and again compared to original this is a very pale shadow of a classic song. Robin McAuley (MSG) and Leslie Hunt (District 97) try their hardest but this falls so far short that it completely misses the mark. This song is supposed to swing but instead it barely crawls along, a real wasted opportunity. At least you can hear what they are singing, but it lacks the raw emotion of the original version. My view is that if you attempt to cover a classic you need to do something different with it, but certainly not merely to clone it, and poorly like this one.

Next up is Sonja Kristina’s take on O Come All Ye Faithful which tries hard to be epic with a stately choral majesty, but again it falls somewhat short. Sonja sings it very well but she is not tracked enough to make an impression. A Christmas Song by Thijs Van Leer of Focus opens with a good bass riff and Thijs’ soaring flute, but this merely meanders without any discernible melody and a spoken part from Thijs is again insipid, missing the mark despite its social message.

You’re A Mean One Mr Grinch is pointless, to me it sounds like something from a bad pantomime and Malcolm McDowell should really know better. He adds nothing of any real note and it’s a pretty worthless track to these ears. Linus and Lucy from Geoff Downes (Yes and Asia) is a lively little piano romp that doesn’t really go anywhere apart from showing off Geoff’s not inconsiderable skills. All very nice but what is this trying to achieve as it simply doesn’t impress enough, instead you’ll probably start skipping this one. It’s followed by Silent Night by Nik Turner and Simon House (ex-Hawkwind) and it’s not too bad. I usually find Silent Night depressing and maudlin, this version is listenable enough but as an instrumental it lacks variation and pace.

Thus it is left to John Wetton to round the album out with a version of Happy Christmas (War is Over). This was a favourite song of John’s apparently, and he is in ever fine voice here. The backing vocals sound somewhat contrived and lack the power needed to really make it special. This is one of the better songs on this poor album, the backing track musically is spot on here but it’s a little too late to rescue things.

I hate to be so negative but good intentions alone won’t make for a good album. I think Billy Sherwood has tried but sadly failed on this occasion and my honest opinion is to avoid it and find a better prog Christmas album, like A Proggy Christmas from The Prog World Orchestra from 2012 where they both play up a storm and seem to be having fun in the process.

01. Run With the Fox (Jon Davison) (4:08)
02. Christmas Lights (Kasim Sulton) (3:57)
03. Carol of the Bells (Steve Morse) (2:50)
04. The Twelve Days of Christmas (Annie Haslam) (4:30)
05. Wonderful Christmastime (Billy Sherwood & Patrick Moraz) (3:03)
06. I Believe in Father Christmas (Martin Turner) (4:12)
07. Fairytale of New York (Leslie Hunt & Robin McAuley) (3:48)
08. O Come All Ye Faithful (Sonja Kristina) (2:52)
09. A Christmas Song (Thijs Van Leer)
09. You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch (Malcolm MacDowell) (3:07)
10. Linus & Lucy (Charlie Brown Christmas Theme) (Geoff Downes) (3:04)
11. Silent Night (Nik Turner & Simon House) (5:34)
12. Happy Christmas (War is Over) (John Wetton) (3:25)

Total Time – 48:56

Record Label: Purple Pyramid Records
Date of Release: 1st November 2019

A Prog Rock Christmas – Bandcamp