Navigator - Oceanic Empire. 2002 Denmark-Germany

Navigator - Oceanic Empire. 2002 Groove Unlimited (Netherlands CD)

Oceanic Empire is an essential slice of Berlin Skool Electronik Musik. The Danish/German combo offer up some of the finest sequences / guitar overlays one can find in the genre - competing mightily with legendary contemporaries such as Redshift and Radio Massacre International. 'Secret of the Cave' is about as perfect a realization of the entire genre as any track I've ever heard. If you're the sort who just can't get enough of that mid to late 70's Tangerine Dream sound - and apparently I'm one of these sorts - then do not hesitate to buy this CD when/if given the chance.

Drahk Von Trip - Heart and Consequence. 2005 Sweden

Drahk Von Trip - Heart and Consequence. 2005 Transubstans (CD)

Drahk von Trip are a southern Swedish group who play a unique mix of space rock and aggressive neo psychedelia. A large scale 6 piece band complete with female vocals and plenty of different instrumentation (violin, flute, "vintage synthesizers", multiple percussion contraptions, and some highly unusual wind instruments like the yidaki, a specific type of didgeridoo, as well as the Didjeribone). Some of the guitar work found here is quite inspiring. Though they have elements of many bands from White Willow to Hawkwind to Azalia Snail to Ozric Tentacles to Magma (mainly found in the bass work on 'One of a Kind' and 'Gahn'), Drahk Von Trip do not remind me of any one particular group. 10 lengthy, and somewhat complex, tracks allow for much discovery for each future listen.

Darediablo - Feeding Frenzy. 2003 USA

Darediablo - Feeding Frenzy. 2003 Southern (CD)

Welcome to the Hard Rock Cookin' Show. Today we have Darediablo from New York City. Tell us, Darediablo, what is your secret recipe?

Thanks for having us on the show today, Bob. We look at both the past and present for our recipes. On Feeding Frenzy, from the past we take one part Uriah Heep and one part Captain Beyond. And from the modern chefs, we like one part Kyuss and one part Tortoise. Blend. Drain the vocals out. Serve.

Yum.

Darediablo are very much a typical Under the Radar band from the 2000's. They never really had much exposure to the progressive rock community, and yet that may have been a better audience for the group in the long run. Today, the band seems long forgotten, only brought to life by archivists like myself. Like many before them, Darediablo arose from the New York City indie scene. They did have quite a bit of exposure 15 years ago, with their music showing up most prominently on ESPN's The Life among others. Their sound has been described (as recounted by the band themselves) as anything from Medeski, Martin & Wood meets MC5, to a combo of Black Sabbath and AC/DC. Since I've only heard Feeding Frenzy, I can't really say if these comparisons are accurate or inaccurate. My own description certainly points to another branch of the progressive hard rock tree. After Twenty Paces, the band seems to have disappeared altogether, and I cannot find any active internet presence. At some point, I need to make an effort to obtain their other 3 albums, as Feeding Frenzy is most certainly a solid organ based instrumental progressive hard rock album. This is the kind of CD that shows up for $2, so no sense in not picking one up if you see it.

Eye - Second Sight. 2013 USA

Eye - Second Sight. 2013 private (CD)

LP issue: 2014 private

Second Sight is an improvement on their already very good debut album. Eye continues to be influenced by early Nektar, and peaks on the awesome proto-prog 'Cultrider'. The title track sounds as if it were lifted from Tangerine Dream's Phaedra sessions, and 'Waiting for the Tide' has the classic early 70s Pink Floyd sound. What's not to like?

The Word of Life - Dust. 1995 Sweden

The Word of Life return with their sophomore, and ultimately last effort, Dust which is somewhat different from the predecessor. There'...