Various - After The Storm (A Benefit Album For The Survivors Of Hurricane Katrina)

Year of Release: 2005
Label: NEARfest Records
Catalog Number: NFR0007
Format: CD
Total Time: 143:55:00

When on Monday, 29th August 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast region of the USA, no one could imagine the disaster it would cause. In the end, no fewer than 1300 people were killed, whilst the material damage is estimated between 70 and 130 billion dollars, making it the most expensive natural disaster in the history of the USA. I remember that someone suggested on the Progressive Ears forum to do something with the prog community in order to help the victims. More and more reactions came in and in very little time it was decided to compile a CD, with all proceeds going towards the victims of Hurricane Katrina. All the artists present on this double compilation disc have kindly donated their music free of charge. In most cases, it even concerns so far unreleased material. The cost of the manufacturing of this package has been donated by NEARfest and NEARfest Records. In the end, all proceeds from the sale of this exclusive package will go towards Habitat for Humanity in aid of the survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

The generosity of our artists shows, as most of the material included within this package is previously unreleased. In most cases, however, mainly due to the lack of time, these unreleased gems consist of live recordings (Happy The Man, Spock's Beard, Sean Malone, Woodenhead, Neal Morse, Caravan, California Guitar Trio), bonus tracks that previously were only to be found on Japanese import copies (Camel), alternate mixes (Flower Kings, The Muffins, Arjen Anthony Lucassen), material that has never been available on CD before (FM), or tracks that have never been issued (IQ, Mike Keneally, Djam Karet).

Mike Keneally together with Bryan Beller and Toss Panos deliver their version of the Genesis tracks "Time Table" and "Apocalypse in 9/8" here. The IQ track, on the other hand, is a collaboration between vocalist Peter Nicholls and guitarist Michael Holmes. In fact, "Chemical Rain" is something Holmes cooked up using ProTools whilst also using sampled vocals that he pulled from the IQ track "Subterranea." So rather than a true IQ song, it's more like a solo effort from Holmes. Djam Karet's "The Shattering Sky" delivers the kind of instrumental genius we have been receiving from them for years now. Incorporating some field recordings, the rhythmic loops blend ever so well with the drums and jazzy bass.

Only six bands out of a total of twenty four pulled a track from one of their previously released albums, which act like promotional teasers for their own output here. Promotion is also high on the cards for Kraan, who with "Silver Buildings" offers a track from their forthcoming new studio album due out in 2006. Änglagård delivers "Ganglat Fran Knapptibble," which previously was only available as a free single given away with issue 5 of the Ptolemaic Terrascope magazine way back in 1994. This early Änglagärd recording has now also been added to the remastered version of the band's Hybris album.

Only one band managed to write and record a brand new exclusive track for this album and that's Echolyn. So if you're an Echolyn fan then this double set not only is a must have because of its social idea, but also because this is the only way to obtain the 5:10 brand new Echolyn recording "15 Days." Next to the bands, and Chad and Rob from NEARfest, also Michael Bennett has contributed by designing the entire artwork and layout free of charge in aid of the good cause. The diversity of quality material on offer here together with the large number of unreleased gems results in an album that will appeal both to the diehard progfan as well as the lover of simply good music, together with those who want to contribute to the future of the many thousands who lost their homes, their belongings and in some cases even their loved ones. So visit and order your copy today as no record collection should be without a copy!

Disc One: Echolyn - '15 Days' (5:10) / Happy The Man - 'Ibby It Is (Live)' (8:17) / FM - 'Random Harvest' (4:38) / Camel - 'After All These Years' (5:53) / Mike Keneally - 'Time Table' (6:16) / Spock's Beard - 'Shining Star (Live)' (5:53) / IQ - 'Chemical Rain' (5:26) / Kraan - 'Silver Buildings' (4:41) / Mostly Autumn - 'Ghost In Dreamland' (3:12) / Izz - 'My River Flows' (5:28) / Nektar - 'Phazed By The Storm' (9:23) / Sean Malone - 'Grace (Live)' (7:10)

Disc Two: Kansas - 'Song For America' (9:13) / The Flower Kings - 'A King's Prayer (Alternative Mix)' (6:03) / Woodenhead - 'Buzz Beat (Live)' (6:45) / Djam Karet - 'The Shattering Sky' (6:02) / Neal Morse - 'Sleeping Jesus (Live)' (5:18) / The Muffins - 'Essay R (Alternative Mix)' (5:53) / Caravan - 'Love Song With Flute (Live)' (4:06) / ?nglag?rd - 'G?nglat Fran Knapptibble' (7:18) / Little Atlas - 'On And On' (5:34) / Arjen Anthony Lucassen - 'Pools Of Sorrow / Not Over You (Alternate Mix)' (5:25) / California Guitar Trio - 'Zukoko Bushi (Live)' (3:47) / Pendragon - 'Sou' By Sou'West' (6:50)



Genre: Various Genres

Origin VA

Added: February 2nd 2006
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 997
Language: english


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