“Per Aspera Ad Astra” is the new album by Italian symphonic progressive rock trio Taproban. The band features three talented musicians that deliver high energy prog rock highlighting keyboard wizardry, creative bass lines and outstanding drum work.
For this project, the band’s fifth album, the musicians used an arsenal of vintage musical instruments from the 1970s, recreating the magical sound of the era.
The lineup on “Per Aspera Ad Astra” includes keyboard maestro Gianluca De Rossi on Minimoog Model D, Hammond C3 organ, Mellotron SM400, Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, Roland JX8P, Nord Electro 3 HP, EMU Vintage Pro, acoustic grand piano, glockenspiel and vocals; Roberto Vitellion Rickenbacker bass 4003 Jetglo, Geddy Lee Fender Jazz, Moog Taurus I & III, Gibson Les Paul Gold Top, E-bow, and Fender 6 string acoustic; and Ares Andreoni on Gretsch Catalina maple drums, Zjildjian Sabian and Paiste cymbals, rototoms, cowbell, darbuka, windchimes, and vibraslap.
Guests: Francesco Pandico on drums and percussion and Antonio Marangolo on tenor saxophone.
Wobbler is the Norwegian progressive rock powerhouse. It’s a band deeply influenced by some of the finest classic progressive rock bands of the 1970s. Unlike other progressive acts that draw their influences exclusively from British bands, Wobbler’s music is also inspired by the great Italian bands of the 1970s.
In Wobbler’s new album, From Silence to Somewhere, you’ll find Gentle Giant-style early music influences as well as passages inspired rooted in progressive rock-era Yes, King Crimson and Genesis. On the Italian influence side, Wobbler pays tribute to masters such as Museo Rosenbach, PFM and Banco.
For music fans, this is symphonic progressive rock at its best. From Silence to Somewhere contains four extensive musical pieces loaded with captivating mellotron, distorted organ a la Canterbury and other classic keyboard sounds along with beautifully-constructed vocals derived from Renaissance music, superb dual guitars, bass and percussion work.
The lineup on From Silence to Somewhere includes Lars Fredrik Frøislie on keyboards, backing vocals; Kristian Karl Hultgren on bass, bass clarinet, bass pedals; Martin Nordrum Kneppen on drums, percussion, recorder; Andreas Wettergreen Strømman Prestmo on vocals, guitar, glockenspiel, percussion; and Geir Marius Bergom Halleland on lead guitar, backing vocals.
From Silence to Somewhere is one of the best prog rock releases so far this year. It’s scheduled for release on October 20, 2017.
Kotebel, the masters of symphonic rock are back with an album about the cosmos plus an assortment of other pieces. The Madrid-based band is known for its two talented keyboard players (father and daughter) along with outstanding guitar, bass and drum work. On cosmology there is also notable flute work performed by guest musician Omar Acosta.
Cosmology is an instrumental work, like other Kotebel albums, where classically-influenced progressive rock is combined with avant-garde music and other influences in the form of mini symphonies.
The lineup on the album includes Carlos Franco Vivas on drums, percussion; César García Forero on electric and acoustic guitars; Jaime Pascual Summers on bass; Adriana Plaza Engelke on piano, keyboards; and Carlos Plaza Vegas on keyboards. Special guest: Omar Acosta on flute.
Big Big Train – Grimspound (English Electric Recordings, 2017)
Big Big Train is a third generation British progressive rock band (which also features American and Swedish members) that has matured to such a degree that it has become of the finest British progressive rock bands of all time. Grimspound came out in April 2017 and is one of the two albums released this year by Big Big Train. The other album is The Second Brightest Star (2017) released in June.
Grimspound was originally envisioned as an EP companion to 2016’s Folklore. However, as the band readied to release the EP, it grew into a fabulous full length album with state of the art progressive rock.
Big Big Train’s style draws from 1970s and 1980s classic progressive rock bands, but they also honor progressive rock pioneers by adding traditional folk, classical, jazz and even electronic elements. This makes Big Big Train a true delight to listen to.
On Grimspound you’ll find stellar musicianship, masterfully constructed musical pieces and lead vocals and exquisite vocal harmonies that immediately hook you. The listener is treated to memorable keyboard, guitar, flute and fiddle work, where moments of calm lead seamlessly to epic progressions.
Getting things right in terms of composition and arrangements in the complicated world of progressive rock is not easy, but Big Big Train are at a stage where the music flows perfectly.
Grimspound contains abundant folk music influences and references. The gorgeous voice of folk singer Judy Dyble (a folk singer with a prog rock soul) appears on “The Ivy Gate.”
The physical version contains beautiful artwork, lyrics and song descriptions.
The lineup on the album includes Nick D’Virgilio on drums, percussion and backing vocals; Danny Manners on keyboards and double bass; Rikard Sjöblom on guitars, keyboards and backing vocals; Rachel Hall on violin, viola, cello and backing vocals; Greg Spawton on bass guitar and bass pedals; David Longdon on lead and backing vocals, flute, piano, acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, banjo, lute, melodica, celesta, synthesizers, percussion; Dave Gregory on electric 6 and 12 string guitars; Andy Poole on acoustic guitar, keyboards and backing vocals. Guests:
Judy Dyble on vocals; and Philip Trzebiatowski on cello.
Check out the videos for this album and get this band’s great albums. It’s one of the finest prog rock bands in the current scene.
Buy Grimspound in the Americas and rest of the world
Of Things and Beings by Lost World Band is undoubtedly a progressive rock masterpiece. The talented artists behind this project are four excellent Russian musicians. Stylistically, plays masterfully-crafted symphonic progressive rock filled with stellar instrumental performances and magnificent orchestrations.
Lost World Band have developed their own style. It is founded in the interplay between multi-instrumentalist Andy Didorenko and flute player Vassili Soloviev. The rhythm section is equally superb, with creative drumming and bass lines. To get an idea of the band’s sound, picture a mix of Stravinsky, Anglagard, Canterbury jazz-rock and Mike Oldfield.
The lineup includes Andy Didorenko on all guitars, violins, keyboards and vocal; Vassili Soloviev on flute; Konstantin Shtirlitz on drums; and Alexander Akimov on percussion
Of Things and Beings is an impressive progressive rock release by Lost World Band, one of the finest bands in the current scene.
The Franky Valentyn Project – All In A Dream (The Franky Valentyn Project, 2015)
All In A Dream is an ambitious concept album with two distinct sets of tracks. The first two pieces are original symphonic rock instrumentals, deeply inspired by classical music, featuring lots of keyboards and orchestrations similar to Rick Wakeman’s earlier solo work. Franky Valentyn composed and arranged the music and plays the majority of the instruments featured here.
Tracks 3 through 6, on the other hand, sound like pop ballads, stylistically very different from the first two pieces.
Valentyn returns to symphonic rock mode on the final track, a long piece titled The Jovian Suite.
All In A Dream features several guests, including Ben Craven, Nikki Bennett and Michael Carr on vocals.
Pioneering progressive rock band Renaissance featuring Annie Haslam has announced its upcoming tour of the US Northeast in October and November 2017. Titled “Symphonic Journey,” the tour will feature four very special concerts with a 10-piece chamber orchestra, a handpicked ensemble of strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.
Concerts include October 26th at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield CT; October 27th at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA; Town Hall in New York City on October 28th; and The Egg in Albany, NY on October 29th. These concerts will be the first time in 40 years that Renaissance will perform on stage with a “live” orchestra.
Plans are currently being made for the group to film the October 27th Keswick Theatre show for an upcoming DVD release that will follow the success of its 2015 London Union Chapel DVD. A crowd funding campaign has been started to raise the significant funds to produce the new live DVD.
“The band keeps getting stronger and stronger and the addition of the chamber orchestra will be the most exciting event for the band in years,” said Renaissance leader and singer Annie Haslam. “This addition of ‘live’ orchestral musicians will add an incredible dynamic to our big numbers like ‘Mother Russia,’ ‘Carpet of the Sun’ and ‘Song For All Seasons,’ all of which included an orchestra on the original recordings.”
Annie Haslam will be joined on stage by long time musical associate Rave Tesar on piano, together with Tom Brislin on keyboards, Mark Lambert on guitars, Frank Pagano on drums and percussion, and Leo Traversa on bass.
Oct 26 – Ridgefield Playhouse – Ridgefield, CT (With 10-Piece Chamber Orchestra)
Oct 27 – Keswick Theatre – Glenside, PA (With 10-Piece Chamber Orchestra)
Oct 28 – Town Hall – New York, NY (With 10-Piece Chamber Orchestra)
Oct 29 – The Egg – Albany, NY (With 10-Piece Chamber Orchestra)
Nov 01 – City Winery – Boston, MA
Nov 02 – Rams Head on Stage – Annapolis, MD
One of the progressive rock sensations of 2017 is Italian band Cellar Noise. The young group plays symphonic rock inspired by 1970s classic acts loaded with mellotron, organ, and synths interweaved with guitar. Their debut album is titled Alight (Btf – AMS).
Multi-faceted Italian musician Fabio Zuffanti is the artistic director of the project.
Swedish progressive rock band Carptree will be releasing a new album titled “Emerger” on April 7th, 2017. In anticipation of this new recording, Carptree will reveal a new video titled “Fleeting Deep” in February.
Carptree is a progressive symphonic rock duo that includes producer and composer Carl Westholm on keyboards and composer and lyricist Nicklas Flinck on vocals. Even though Carptree is a duo, they are usually accompanied by the No Future Orchestra (NFO). The NFO includes musicians from other Swedish acts.
Carptree started working on the album in 2014. Jesper Skarin plays drums and percussion. Aside from the mellotrons that are generated from a sampler software, all instruments and amplifiers on this album are analog as well as the mix and mastering.
The CD will feature 8 songs, including a remixed version of “Dwindle Into Greatness” as a bonus track. The vinyl version will include the other 7 tracks and will be released about one month after the CD on the FOSFOR Creation label.