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Reviews Written by
M. J. Sexton "Prog rocker" (Crayford, Kent United Kingdom)
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Gathering Light
Gathering Light
Price: 14.05

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blinded by the light?, 13 April 2010
This review is from: Gathering Light (Audio CD)
I'm giving this 4 stars based on the final epic title track. This isnt to say that the other tracks aren't equally as good, but ironically being generally shorter may take more listens. The strength for me with this disc is that the running order ensures that each song gets progressively better (no pun intended!) so that by the time you hit The Gathering Light, the album goes out on a peak rather than fading away. Standout playing has to go to guitarist Enrico Pinna who has a lot to live up to in filling the shoes left by Paul Davies (now with Panic Room) but who acquits himself admirably. Much is being made of Lisa Fury's voice who at times is reminiscent of Christine Perfect/McVie of Fleetwood Mac. Perhaps no surprise that Lisa's other 'job' is with tribute band Fleetwood Bac!

I think this is a grower and will benefit from the live dates the band are undertaking later this Spring. All credit to Ian Jones to have the balls to see this project through and to forge an album that offers many layers to keep the listener interersted.


Frequency [CD+DVD]
Frequency [CD+DVD]
Price: 22.27

5.0 out of 5 stars Frequency - frequently played!, 17 Jun 2009
This review is from: Frequency [CD+DVD] (Audio CD)
Peter Nicholls has commented drily about the album's title saying this could be the often lengthy intervals between the band's recorded output! There is perhaps a reasonable explanation in that they lost both Martin Orford (early on) and Andy Edwards (following recording) during the delivery of the piece. Whose next? JJ? Not that you'd know it here. With all the standard IQ trademarks in place, the band deliver what fans have come to know and love. I cant get Ryker Skies out of my head! Now what about that London date?


Pendragon - Concerto Maximo [2009] [DVD]
Pendragon - Concerto Maximo [2009] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Pendragon
Price: 22.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure prog in Poland!, 30 April 2009
I'm fairly new to Pendragon (hard to believe given how long they've been around!) However, I think now is not a bad time to have a look at where so-called 'neo-prog' is going, at least under the tutelage of Nick Barrett & co. I cant get enough of this at the moment. Not being familar with the back catlogue (OK all Pendies know Walls of Babylon) a track like I am a Nomadic man is a sheer joy, Barret's guitar style is melodic and emotive. Clive Nolan is a picture of studiousness as he sets his keyboard ranks for the next epic and what can you say about the rythym section of Peter Gee and Scott Higham? The new boy on drums is on fire through the whole set. Pure is only represented by 3 tracks so you'll have to catch them on tour this year if you want to hear the whole thing. This is a pleasure from start to finish. If you like Camel, yes or the Floyd, Arena, IQ Pallas you'll love this!


Hitman
Hitman
by Bret Hart
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellence of elocution, 27 April 2009
This review is from: Hitman (Hardcover)
I've only just started reading Hart's book, so its probably a little early to be submitting reviews, however what's taken me by surprise is just how eloquently he writes, especially about his family and early upbringing at Hart house. (Yes, Stu Hart was as big a bully and a tyrant asI'd imagined, yet Bret has nothing but respect and affection for him). Bret wrote a column for the Calgary Sun and still does for all I know, but in terms of sheer writing ability, only Mick Foley's books are on a par (and I'm not talking Foley's kids stories either!)

He writes with sincerity and if he hasnt got your attention in the opening paragraphs then you've just wasted your hard-earnt! I will always recall his glory days with the Hart Foundation whose matches with the British Bulldogs are now legendary. In the meantime, I cant wait to get back to his lifestory.... ps having now finished the book, I felt a little let down by the end. Bret's personal ife dissolves into a mess, although I have every sympathy with his predicament in WCW and the devastating effect of the stroke that nearly finished him off. But, I dont detract from the overall quality of this book. The film rights would make an interesting follow-up to Mickey Rourke's The Wrestler.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 17, 2009 1:13 PM BST


Pure
Pure
Offered by ProgRock Wales
Price: 9.15

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure prog from the Pendies, 30 Mar 2009
This review is from: Pure (Audio CD)
Pendragon have been around for a long time - a very long time! Writer/founder/guitarist Nick Barrett has vented his frustrations with the music industry and the plague of illegal internet downloading on many occassions. Although his views dont inform this latest cd (its been well summed up by the previous reviewer) I do wonder if it affected some of his playing style, which is heavier and darker on several tracks than earlier Pendragon albums. True or otherwise, with new drummer Scott Higham who plays with a furious energy, this album seems to take them on a stage from Believe, without being an outright sequel. Clive Nolan is more than just a bit player on this and the swirling keyboards complement Barrett's guitar playing and vocals perfectly. See them live if you can, cos after some 25 years they still cut it and with this album under their collective belts, you can only wonder where they'll go next!


Experiments in Mass Appeal [bonus DVD][digipak]
Experiments in Mass Appeal [bonus DVD][digipak]
Price: 29.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frosties* - they're greeeeat!, 8 Jan 2009
Milliontown is an album that continues to grow in my affections, almost 3 years on. What then of this new work? If you followed Jem Godfrey's Myspace blogs, you'll have picked up on the possible direction on the album, with Godfrey's avowed intent not to make Milliontown 2. And to that end he's succeeded. A man of seemingly endless creativity surrounded with some of the most proficient musicians currently treading the boards, these songs have gone through any number of twists and turns during their evolution. The title track leads you in softly, gently before blowing your socks off with a bludgeoning chorus and a scorching metallic solo from Mr Mitchell. I wasnt sure I liked it....and yet, I cant get the melody out of my head! There is light and shade, softness and hard edged rock all embodied in just one track. I'm still living with it and looking forward to hearing these songs live in the UK, perhaps during May 09?


Turn Of The Cards
Turn Of The Cards
Price: 8.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Renaissance - a band out of time?, 20 Oct 2008
This review is from: Turn Of The Cards (Audio CD)
Other reviewers have summed this album up well. However, I think Renaissance were a band always searching for an audience. They werent prog and the arrangeements were too complicated for folk, so what were they? Carving a niche in a similar vein to Barclay James Harvest, who they toured with in the Seventies, they had a unique sound. A superb band of musicians, they suffered with record company deals and at the hands of another band who also used the name. Their music had the 'what the heck is this?' factor. Not sure what became of the others, but vocalist Annie Haslem still sings and paints in water colours in the States.

Some say that Magenta inherited the band's mantle, however, they have struck out in a new direction on their current cd, Metamorphosis.


Under a New Sign
Under a New Sign
Price: 12.05

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Seventies prog in a Genesis style, 23 July 2008
This review is from: Under a New Sign (Audio CD)
i have to say I'm not yet convinced by this band. True they have the right credentials and if you like Selling England by the Pound era Genesis, then this is your thing. For me, some of the arrangements are a little too derivative and the keyboard and guitar sounds echo Tony Banks and Steve Hackett a little too closely. They may have that late seventies Genesis sound nailed, but they lack a strong voice on lead vocals IMO. The odd metallic crunch of guitar is a nod towards more modern bands, but seems out of place against the generally pastoral tone of the album. Perhaps they will develop their own sound on the next one?
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 18, 2009 1:28 PM GMT


House Of Frankenstein [DVD] [1944]
House Of Frankenstein [DVD] [1944]
Dvd ~ Boris Karloff
Offered by 101Trading
Price: 4.42

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Karloff &Naish - what a double-act!, 15 July 2008
In what I think is the first of the Universal multi-monster format, Boris Karloff gives a compelling performance as mad scientist, Dr Niemann, ably abetted by J Carrol Naish who perhaps became stereo-typed as the hunchback assistant, but who gives a bang-on interpretation of the role and who is the focus of audience sympathy here. The film has the usual Universal hallmarks, including a brilliant sense of atmosphere, so often missing from today's gore-fest horrors. all the principals give solid performances, although I would have liked to seen more Lionel Atwill who was so good in 'Son of'.Glenn Strange has none of the presence of Karloff in the role of the monster as the storyline concentrates on a cure for Larry Talbot's lycanthropy and the scientist's quest to implant brains in the heads of his enemies! The ending seems a little hurried and the scenes of the torch-bearing villagers setting-to cannot be viewed without a smile and visions of Mel Brooks' spoof!


Two Moon Junction [DVD] [1989]
Two Moon Junction [DVD] [1989]
Dvd ~ Sherilyn Fenn

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For Sherilyn Fenn fans only, 11 July 2008
I suspect that Sherilyn Fenn got her break with David Lynch's stunning TV series , Twin Peaks. I certainly developed a crush for her during the series and so, some 20 years, a house a wife and 2 kids later, I thought I'd see what it was about her. Well, she's a platinum blonde in this and, to be honest, her acting isnt that great. However, she has a fragile beauty and a petite figure. The storyline is paper-thin, the soundtrack is a typical mix of sexy(?) sax and B grade rock. It looks pretty good, but the story is trite and the eroticsm by today's standards is very coy.There is swearing which probably denotes its 18 rating rather than anything you might see. Its back to Twin Peaks for me!


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