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Un Voyage en Progressif, Vol. 4 (CD, 71:33) 2000, FGBG 4352-AR
Musea Records
138 rue de Vallières,
57070 Metz, France

Compilation CDs are like a box of chocolates... and Musea Record's Un
Voyage en Progressif, Vol. 4 is no exception.  There are some succulent
morsels of proggie goodness here, as well as a few less-than-appetizing
“Crunchy Frogs” peppered within its contents. Progressive bands hailing from
such far-away lands as France, Brazil, Japan, Venezuela, Australia, and a
place called “Luxemborg” all contribute their sonic wares to the effort.
However, despite its geographic eclecticism, there’s no doubting that the
great British symphonic-prog bands of the 70’s and some of the neo-prog
bands of the 80’s influenced all of these bands.  So let’s delve into the
cultural soup that is Un Voyage en Progressif and see what kinds of
tasty prog licks reside within.

Overall, the quality of the music on the CD is pretty darn good for a
compilation CDs, which are usually about as interesting as [insert Al Gore
joke here, {"I'm Bushed," ED.},which will surely be deleted by my Editor]. There really
aren’t any terribly low points at all – most of these bands show both fine
musicianship and top song writing capabilities.  There are a few tracks that
really stand out on the CD, some of which I will introduce you to right now.

First up we’ve got a beautiful little number called “Sogno D’Amore” by a
group from down-under going by the name of “Mario Millo”.  This tune
features lavish string arrangements and some very nice guitar work to create
a completely relaxing piece of music that can almost be described as
“supermarket prog” due to its Muzak-ish qualities.  I know that sounds like
an insult, but it’s not – this tune is mellower than Tom Landry on Lithium
with its well-structured chord changes and its twangy jazz guitar. It’s so
good that it almost makes me forget to ask why the heck an Australian band
has a name like “Mario Millo.”*(see note below)

The second track that I’m picking out of my hat right now is “Ordinary Man”
from the those pesky little lads from the great pee-wee-sized African island
of Luxemborg [ED: It’s a European country, you dope]{"Ahh," ED.} that go by the
extremely derivate name of “Supper’s Ready”.  Now, if you think that just
because the band is named after what is possibly the finest Genesis song
ever written that they’d be heavily influenced by that band… well, you’d be
absolutely correct!  This track sounds like it could’ve been included on
Trespass or Nursery Cryme with its arpeggio guitar riffs and
breathy flute solos.  The vocals aren’t all that fantastic, but they’re
easily overlooked because the music behind them is very powerful.

Thirdly, I’ve selected a song titled “Bridge of Souls” from a randy group
called “Chance” from that polite, always happy, American-loving place we
like to call France.  While I’ve mentioned that there are some very strong
tracks on this compilation, I would definitely have to say that “Bridge of
Souls” is head and shoulders above the rest.  This 10 minute mini-epic has
some swirly keyboard and beautiful acoustic guitar parts that make it
obvious that these guys really know how to evoke strong emotions out of the
listener.  The song slowly climbs to a crescendo at about the 7 minute mark
with powerful keys and Steve Rothery-esque spiraling guitar runs, and then
fades off into an almost tear-inducing piano piece that brings the song to a
most wonderful ending.  As a matter of fact, this song was so emotional to
me that I shed tears on my keyboard as I was listening, and am therefore
unable to review a song from a Brazilian band with a name that includes some
of the letters that no longer work on my keyboard [ED – He’s referring to
“Blezqi Zatsaz”… that’s no typo]{"OK, mYke", eD}.  Anyway, Chance’s “Bridge
of Souls” is alone worth the price of this CD.

Well, I’ve told you about the good ones so I’m obligated to say where the CD
falls a little short.  The track “Kamen No Egao” from the Japanese band
Pageant is harmless enough with its lounge jazz approach, but what the
high-pitched female vocalist piped in, I couldn’t help but picture Radar
drinking a Grape Nehi while Trapper and Hawkeye slammed down sake in a run
down Korean dive.  Also, Brazilian prog rockers Tempus Fugit’s track “The
Sight” was a little on the “wimpy” side, and would sound more at home on a
soap opera than on a progressive rock compilation.  I was actually quite
surprised at this, as I’ve heard mostly positive good things about these
South American musicians.

I’d suggest that all prog fans that haven’t yet been exposed to non-English
prog go ahead and check out Musea Record’s Un Voyage en Progressif, Vol.
4.  It’s got a lot of high-quality prog from both the symphonic and neo
camps, and proves that you don’t have to have one of those hoity-toity
British accents to be a top-notch progger! Ciao!

- Michael Askounes (

1. FUGU (France) "X-Fly" (6:23)
2. WINDCHASE (Australia) "Horsemen to Symphinity" (8:33)
3. TEMPANO (Venezuela) "En La Via" (6:23)
4. MARIO MILLO (Australia) "Sogno D'Amore" (4:36)
5. SOCIAL TENSION (Japan) "Bolero" (3:22)
6. SUPPER'S READY (Luxemborg) "Ordinary Man" (5:18)
7. BLEZQI ZATSAZ (Brazil) "The Rising" (6:30)
8. GERARD (Japan) "Catharina Parr" (6:21)
9. TEMPUS FUGIT (Brazil) "The Sight" (4:44)
10. TEKNIKOLOR (France) "Teknikolor" (2:00)
11. CHANCE (France) "Bridge of Souls" (10:36)
12. PAGEANT (Japan) "Kamen No Egao (Flute Version)" (5:54)

*Addendum: per e-note from Fernando Coto Posse, "In one of the reviews, the Musea
sampler one of your reviewers asked that why a group from Australia called
themselves 'Mario Millo'. The reason is very simple: Mario Millo was the name
of the guitar wizard who played in the australian progressive rock bands
Sebastian Hardie & Windchase in the mid 70's." (2-08-02)


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