All posts by Angel Romero

Angel Romero has been writing about progressive music and world music for many years. Publications include Eurock (USA), Marquee (Japan), and Nuevas Músicas (Spain). He founded the websites and Angel also produced Musica NA, a music show for TVE (Spain) featuring fusion, avant-garde, world music, new age and electronic artists.

Aisles in Space

Aisles – Hawaii (Presagio Records, 2016)

Hawaii is the fourth album by Chilean progressive rock band Aisles. It’s a concept album about a post-apocalyptic world where humans live in space colonies.

The two CD set reveals a mix of pop vocal hooks and fabulous instrumental passages that border between progressive rock and jazz-rock fusion.

Disc 1 features 5 songs. Highlights here are track 2, “The Poet Part II – New World,” where the vocals are more progressive rock oriented; the great guitar interplay in “Upside Down”; and one of the best cuts on the album, “Ch-7” in which Aisles presents beautifully-crafted symphonic progressive rock with splendid vocal harmonies, notable guitar, Chris Squire-style bass, and fine keyboard work.



Disc 2’s highlights include the slow tempo, atmospheric “Terra”. Halfway through the piece, the vocals sound somewhat operatic, reminding me a little of recent The Enid vocals.

One of the best pieces on the album is “Club Hawaii,” a lengthy prog composition featuring one of the best intros of the album with all the musicians showcasing their talent. The vocals here are also fairly operatic although closer to Italian progressive rock.

The lineup on the album includes Felipe Candia on drums and percussion; Sebastián Vergara on lead and background vocals; Rodrigo Sepúlveda on electric and 12-string acoustic guitars; Germán Vergara on electric and acoustic guitars, piano and vocals; Daniel Baird-Kerr on bass; and Juan Pablo Gaete on keyboards.



On Hawaii, Aisles showcases excellent progressive rock instrumental mastery.

Buy Hawaii

Feaeless Marillion

Marillion – F E A R – Fuck Everyone And Run (EarMusic, 2016)

After its first two groundbreaking neoprog albums, Script for a Jester’s Tear (1983) and Fugazi (1984), I lost interest in Marillion as the band ditched progressive rock and went mainstream. Eighteen albums later, Marillion is back with a concept album expressing various crucial social concerns. And I was happy to hear progressive rock back in the band’s sound.

For those that expect classic or neoprog symphonic progressive rock full of instrumental solos, F E A R is not about that. This album has already generated a lot of opinions. I see it as a work that needs to be appreciated throughout time. I had to listen to it several times to discover its significance.

Vocalist Steve Hogarth does an outstanding job throughout F E A R. Even though Marillion started as band with Peter Gabriel-influenced vocals, Steve Hogarth has a style of his own. F E A R is a very atmospheric recording, featuring delightful keyboard work by Mark Kelly, including soundscapes, orchestrations, mesmerizing sequences and keyboard solos.

Despite the slow tempo of many sections of the album, Marillion has some great musical progressions, where the music becomes more intense and reaches epic prog rock proportions. Although the fabulous Steve Rothery doesn’t dominate the show, he delivers some memorable guitar solos.



The lineup includes Steve Rothery on guitars; Mark Kelly on keyboards; Pete Trewavas on bass and additional vocals; Ian Mosley on drums, percussion; and Steve Hogarth on lead vocals. Guests: Sofi Hoharth and Jennie Rothery on backing vocals; Mrs. Bond’s Class on vocals and claps. Strings by Covent Garden String Quartet: Eleanor Gilchrist on violin; Geraldine Berreen on violin; Teresa Whipple on viola; and Abigail Trundle on cello.



F E A R is finely-crafted progressive rock concept album demonstrating that Marillion still has a lot to say.

Buy F E A R in North America
Buy F E A R in Europe

Prog Rock Artist Franck Carducci Releases Teaser Video

Prog Rock Artist Franck Carducci Releases Teaser Video
Prog Rock Artist Franck Carducci Releases Teaser Video


Progressive rock multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and composer Franck Carducci announced that he will release a live DVD by the end of 2016, shot during his band’s 2015 European tour. His most recent recordings are: Torn Apart and Oddity.



Carducci is running a crowdfunding campaign with pre-order and other goodies:

Symphonic Progressive Rock Legend Renaissance Announce USA Fall 2016 Tour

Renaissance - Photo by Brian Tirpak
Renaissance – Photo by Brian Tirpak

Renaissance, the pioneering symphonic progressive rock group, fronted by acclaimed vocalist Annie Haslam, will be touring the United States in November 2016.

The band will be promoting its recent DVD release “Live at The Union Chapel.” Filmed in London, the concert showcases Renaissance performing classics like “Carpet of the Sun”, “Ocean Gypsy”, “Mother Russia”, “Ashes are Burning” and newer pieces “Symphony of Light” and “Grandine il Vento.”

The current lineup includes Annie Haslam on lead vocals, Rave Tesar on keyboards, Tom Brislin on keyboards, Mark Lambert on acoustic guitars, Leo Traversa on bass guitar, and Frank Pagano on drums.

Renaissance Fall 2016 US Tour Dates:

Nov 03 Infinity Music Hall – Hartford, CT Tickets
Nov 04 Tupelo Music Hall – Londonderry, NH Tickets
Nov 09 Musikfest at ArtsQuest – Bethlehem, PA Tickets
Nov 10 Tralf Music Hall – Buffalo, NY Tickets
Nov 11 The Kent Stage – Kent, OH Tickets
Nov 12 Arcada Theatre – Saint Charles, IL Tickets
Nov 13 Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall – Milwaukee, WI Tickets

Buy “Live at The Union Chapel.

Snarky Puppy to Perform at GroundUP Music Festival


Jazz-rock fusion masters Snarky Puppy are set to perform at GroundUP Music Festival in Miami Beach. The festival will take place February 10-12, 2017. Artists scheduled to perform include Snarky Puppy, David Crosby, Laura Mvula, John Medeski, Chris Thile, Charlie Hunter, Shelly Berg, Terence Blanchard, and Pedrito Martinez.

Snarky Puppy is the Grammy award-winning band led by multi-instrumentalist and composer Michael League. This festival is a celebration of Snarky Puppy, their culture and their extended family across the planet. They will be performing one set a day every day as well as dozens of side-projects and sit-ins. the group’s discography includes Culcha Vulcha, Sylva, Family Dinner: Volume 1, Family Dinner Vol. 2, We Like It Here, Groundup, Tell Your Friends, Live at Jazzfest 2016.




North Beach Bandshell
7275 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach 33141

Il Castello Di Atlante’s Deep Intensity

Il Castello Di Atlante – ‘Arx Atlantis‘ (Aenima Recordings, 2016)

This is the new album by Il Castello Di Atlante, an Italian progressive rock band that has been around since 1974. “Arx Atlantis” brings back many of the original musicians.

Il Castello Di Atlante is deeply influenced by the early progressive rock bands form the UK and Italy. On “Arx Atlantis” the group opens the album with a hard rocking progressive piece titled ‘Non Ho Mai Imparato.’ However, the album heads in a different direction starting with track 2. ‘Il Vecchio Giovane’ begins with high energy drums, violin and synths. Four minutes into the piece, the sound gets more captivating with notable piano work, call and response vocals and, to top it off, a memorable great Genesis-style guitar solo and splendid violin, guitar and keyboards interplay. This second part sounds like the real deal, excellent rock progresivo italiano.

The progressive rock direction continues on track 3, ‘Ghino e L’Abate di Clignì’, featuring wonderful violin, keyboard and vocal work.

Track 4, ‘Il Tempo del Grande Onore’ shifts to folk-rock and pop hooks. The highlight here is a fine synth solo.

The grand piece is the final track, ‘Il Tesoro Ritrovato,’ an epic that contains all the tasty ingredients that we like about symphonic progressive rock: delectable guitar, synth and violin interplay; classic Italian prog vocals featuring two vocalists; piano and violin duet; and an epic conclusion.

The lineup includes Aldo Bergamini on guitar and vocals; Dino Fiore on bass; Andrea Bertino on violin; Davide Cristofoli on piano and keyboards; Massimo Di Lauro on violin; Paolo Ferrarotti on keyboards, vocals and drums on track 5; Mattia Garimanno on drums. Le Orme’s legendary Tony Pagliuca appears on keyboards on track 3.

Although Il Castello Di Atlante was formed in the mid-1970s, the group did not release its debut album until 1992.

Il Castello Di Atlante’s discography includes “Sono io il signore delle terre a nord” (Vinyl Magic, 1992), “Passo dopo passo” (Vinyl Magic, 1994); L’ippogrifo (Vinyl Magic, 1994); Come il seguitare delle stagioni (Electromantic Music, 2001); Quintessenza (Electromantic Music, 2004); Concerto acustico (Electromantic Music, 2006); Capitolo 7 – Tra Le Antiche Mura (Electromantic Music, 2008); Una Sera a Tokyo DVD (Aenima Recordings, 2011) and Cap. 8 – Live (Azafran Media, 2014).

Arx Atlantis is a deeply intense Italian progressive rock album by a fine band that still has a lot to say.

Buy Arx Atlantis in the Americas.

Buy Arx Atlantis in Europe.

Pandora Announces New Vocalist, Emoni Viruet

Emoni Viruet
Emoni Viruet

Italian progressive rock band Pandora has announced the name of its new vocalist. Emoni Viruet, who collaborated with the band in the past, has now become an official member of Pandora.

Pandora recently announced its upcoming new album titled “Ten Years Like in a Magic Dram…” scheduled for release on November 30, 2016. Previous recordings include Dramma di un Poeta Ubriaco (2008), Sempre E Ovungue Oltre Il Signo (2011) and Alibi Filosofico (2013).

It’s always exciting to work with Pandora! I have been collaborating with them since 2010, and since then it has been a beautiful experience, creating and listening to the melodies that I would then translate with colors,” says Emoni Viruet. “On this album I was given the great responsibility to sing in important compositions and with great artists. I am extremely happy to be welcomed to be part of this family. ‘Ten Years Like in a Magic Dream…’ required a lot of energy and passion, and I believe that the final result is astounding! Hearing is believing!”

Submarine Silence Releases Journey through Mine

Italian progressive rock band Submarine Silence has a new album titled Journey through Mine (Maracash Records). This is the third studio album by Submarine Silence, the parallel project of the founding members of Moongarden, Cristiano Roversi and David Cremoni.

On Journey through Mine, the band has recreated the original line-up (Roversi, Cremoni, Pizzocoli) of the critically acclaimed self-titled debut album.
In addition to the original trio, Submarine Silence also includes talented vocalist and songwriter Guillermo Gonzales.

Journey Through Mine features captivating artwork by Ed Unitsky.

Kotebel’s Beautifully Composed Symphonic Rock

Kotebel – Live at Prog-Résiste 2013 (Musea FGBG 4968, 2016)

Spanish symphonic progressive rock band Kotebel has released its first live album on CD. Kotebel Live at Prog-Résiste 2013 is a 2-CD set that is not the same as the digital release. The limited edition CD set has been remastered and contains two bonus tracks.

Kotebel has become one of the leading symphonic progressive rock acts in the international scene. The group combines classic epic prog with classical music elements and contemporary forms such as minimalism.

Most of their pieces are instrumental, a sort of mini-symphonies. What’s especially attractive about Kotebel is that it features two virtuoso keyboard players, composer Carlos Plaza Vegas and his daughter Adriana Plaza Engelke. This allows the band to deliver masterful keyboard solos and orchestrations.

Live at Prog-Résiste 2013 features an entire rendition of Kotebel’s concert at the 2013 Prog-Résiste Convention in Belgium. It is a Limited Edition double CD digipack that includes bonus tracks with a selection of performances at 2007 Gouveia Art Rock Festival in Portugal, and 2011 in Madrid.

The rest of the band includes excellent instrumentalists: César Garcia Forero on guitars; Carlos Franco Vivas on drums; and Jaime Pascual Summers on bass. Vocalist Carolina Prieto makes a guest appearance on bonus track Mercury Pentacle.

Kotebel Live at Prog-Résiste 2013 is an exceptionally good album featuring beautifully composed symphonic rock pieces with an epic atmosphere and some stellar individual playing.

Buy Live at Prog-Résiste 2013 in the Americas

Buy Live At Prog-Résiste 2013 in Europe