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Kotebel, Spain

News: Kotebel have released their 7th album, entitled Cosmology, back in July. It apparently brings back the flute, which can only be considered a good thing. This is something I should buy pronto.


Location: Madrid

Overview: Kotebel were formed by Venezuelan keyboardist Carlos Plaza in 1999, and now could arguably be considered the premier symphonic progressive rock group from Spain. And one of the top groups for all of Europe actually. The band's origins were far less lofty in scope, starting out primarily as a solo vehicle for Plaza. Eventually more ensemble members were added. By the time of Fragments of Light (Sensations' Fix anyone?), there is clearly a sense that there is true synergy within the band, and many more ideas are brought forth with increasing complexity.

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The ongoing HiPo list

Read about this the purpose and idea of this thread at the bottom of this post. Feel free to opine on any of these albums as you wish.

Just Added!

Dai Kaht (Finland)

Mouth - Vortex (Germany)

Prior entries that have yet to be purchased or heard
Consorzio Acqua Potabile - Coraggio e Mistero (Italy) New album with Alvaro Fella (Jumbo!) on vocals. Considering this HiPo because of the Fella presence

Cosmic Triggers (Russia)

Fatal Fusion (Norway)

Il Fauno di Marmo (Italy)

Jordsjo (Norway) OK - just a quick update that Jordsjo will have a CD out in the fall. Yaay! (eventually)

Karakorum (Germany)

Kungens Män (Sweden) This band many releases already, and 5 are durable mediums. Looks like a group to check out at least one of.

Merry Go Round (Italy)

Mythic Sunship (Denmark)

Professor Tiptop (Norway)

Weserbergland (Norway)

The Winstons (Italy)

Witchwood  (Italy)

Wucan (Germany)

Prior entries that have been heard 
Avatarium - The Girl With the Raven Mask (Sweden) This worked out and a review was put u…

Il Segno del Comando, Italy

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Well I can see that I never created any notes or updated this post for Il Volto Verde. I bought it after release and think it's great! So next time I hear it, I'll update here and move the whole thing forward.

Il Segno del Comando - s/t. 1997 Black Widow (CD; LP)
Il Segno del Comando - Der Golem. 2002 Black Widow (CD; LP)
Il Segno del Comando - Il Volto Verde. 2013 Black Widow (CD; LP)

----Il Segno del Comando

Il Segno del Comando's debut comes from the 90's renaissance wave of darkly influenced Italian progressive music as promoted by the Black Widow label of Genoa. Their haunting formula includes pipe organ, synthesizer, echoplex'd guitar, and impassioned vocals in Italian. Il Segno del Comando were the culmination of Black Widow's stable of the era, which included Runaway Totem (especially at the time of their debut), Standarte, Malombra, and Abiogenesi. Perhaps a bit more space rock influenced than the aforementioned bands, making it …

Sammal, Finland

News: We have just received word that Sammal will release their 3rd album, titled Suuliekki, on March 9th. This must be "Finnish retro prog 2018 winter", as this follows Malady's own announcement for February. The more the merrier of course....

Facebook Samples
Location: Turku

Overview: Sammal are a modern band playing in the "retro prog"style, and who have a done great job to date of recreating the 1972 Finnish landscape.

UMR notes

Malady, Finland

News: Malady have announced their second album will be released February 2! It's titled Toinen Toista and will be released on Svart as was the debut. I'm most excited about this one, as their debut is excellent.
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Location: Helsinki

Overview: If you like the music of Finland circa 1973, you'll love Malady. They've captured the essence of another era perfectly.

UMR Notes

Arabs in Aspic, Norway

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Samples

Arabs in Aspic - Progeria (EP). 2003 Borse Music
Arabs in Aspic - Far Out in Aradabia. 2004 Borse Music
Arabs in Aspic - Strange Frame of Mind. 2010 Pancromatic LP. 2011 Black Widow (Italy) CD
Arabs in Aspic - Pictures in a Dream. 2013 Black Widow (Italy) CD + LP

Robert Fripp has stated that "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" means: "Something precious which is stuck, but visible. Something precious which is encased in form."  So with that heady bit of insight, it's obvious to me that Arabs in Aspic means... yea, I have no idea either. [shrug]

But what is "in aspic" is the band's ability to recreate the sounds of the 1970s. Specifically the American FM sound of 1975 and '76. Despite being from Norway, Arabs in Aspic are yet another band that would fit well in my USA Midwest / Ontario Progressive Rock (1970's/early 80s) list. Sounds odd doesn't it? Well... it's not as strange as it may first appear.

In 1990, in my Euro…

Ske, Italy

News: Not much happening as a solo artist, though a recent post did speak to a 3rd Not a Good Sign album.

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Location: Tradate, Varese (northeast of Milan, near the Swiss border)

Overview: Like some modern groups, Ske seems to have compiled the best parts of what progressive rock has to offer, and reassembles them into a hodge podge of the entire genre.

UMR notes

El Circulo de Willis, Spain

News: El Circulo de Willis are active and playing live shows in their native Spain. No word on a new album. I've only heard the latest from 2015 called Retales, but I was mightily impressed with the music and will certainly explore their back catalog as opportunity affords.

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Location: Madrid

Overview: El Circulo de Willis play an exciting instrumental progressive music driven by flute and guitar, with some sax, synthesizer, and metal touches. Like a blend of Ozric Tentacles, Naikaku, and Dream Machine with a bit of Kong thrown in.

Cuprum, Czech Republic

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First published June 11, 2012 and moved forward to highlight their new album Brahma Višnu Šiva.

The band is still active as of the summer of 2016.

Cuprum - Musica Deposita. 2011 private (CD)
Cuprum - Brahma Višnu Šiva. 2014 private (CD)

----Musica Deposita

With Cuprum what you get is good old fashioned hard rock meets progressive with loads of fuzzy guitar, Hammond organ and a little flute. Sure, it's retro 1971 England or Germany, and a sound you've heard from other modern bands like Wicked Minds (Italy), Seid (Norway), Siena Root (Sweden), Blood Ceremony (Canada), Hypnos 69 (Belgium) and a few others. But the Czech Republic has no such tradition, and hearing this style performed with the Czech language is quite interesting indeed. About the only band from 1970's Czechoslovakia that even came close to this sound was Flamengo and maybe Modry Efekt - both groups only at their most hard rocking selves. The songs for the most part are quite co…

The Cosmic Dead, Scotland

News: The Cosmic Dead are a very active band, playing live shows throughout 2016 and 2017. They also have numerous albums, their latest being Psych Is Dead from April of this year. I've only heard The Exalted King (2013) to date.

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Location: Glasgow

Overview: The Cosmic Dead are a Scottish quarter whose raison d'etre is improvised space rock

UMR notes

Quaterna Requiem, Brazil

News: Quaterna Réquiem are very active on the live front in their home country of Brazil. No word on a new album though.

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Location: Rio de Janeiro

Overview: Quaterna Réquiem were one of the first bands of the late 1980s/early 90s progressive rock renaissance to review the works of the Mediterranean bands such as Quella Vecchia Locanda and Gotic, rather than the standard English "Big 3" of Genesis, Yes, and ELP.

UMR notes