Various - Frog Pest Fore!

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Magna Carta
Catalog Number: MAX-9074-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 74:04:00

We have to keep on repeating it, but in order to get the taste for prog back, and due to the lack of promotion through radio, television and/or the press, sampler CDs are a gift from heaven. As is often the case, Frog Pest Fore is a midprice sampler retailing in Europe for as little as 6,25 euro, featuring no fewer than fifteen of the latest Magna Carta releases. The main reason for this sampler is to promote the label and its artists, yet Magna Carta feels that a lot of their releases since 2001 seem to have gone unnoticed due to world events, economic downturns or industry-wide apathy -- in other words, things they have absolutely no control over and things that have nothing at all to do with music. The label started out somewhere right at the end of the eighties, trying to fill the need for great new progressive rock with a metal twist. Over the years, not only have some new bands emerged -- such as Shadow Gallery and Magellan, who are featured here -- but the label founded and run by Pete Morticelli often puts various members of different bands together in order to find that elusive spark that makes Magna Carta different from any other label. The period of pure progmetal is already long behind us as we have come to a point where even ambient soundscapes have found their way to the label. Just take the opening section by Vapourspace which is producer Mark Gage toying around with some LTE material.

Although all of the material on this sampler can be found on the full versions of the appropriate albums, "Aria For Italy" from Leonardo, The Absolute Man here concerns an unreleased demo courtesy of Trent Gardner, which is of course a valuable asset for any avid collector. Sometimes you have to admit that Pete Morticelli is kind of a visionary as it is he who sometimes put certain combinations in the works. Take Terry Bozzio and Billy Sheehan who, by means of "The Last Page," here in a special "off the wall mix," illustrate that the pair are much more than the world's best drummer and bass player. It also fully illustrates the unrecognized talents of Robert Berry by offering us two songs from his The Wheel Of Time album. Dream Theater members have found a new home with Magna Carta because not only does LTE and Explorer's Club deliver new material but James LaBrie has his own vehicle by means of Mullmuzzler whilst Jordan Rudess saw his Feeding The Wheel album released as a Magna Carta album as well. Two of LaBrie and Rudess' best tracks are on offer here.

Another recently issued and interesting album is Rama 1 delivered by the talented Andy West. "Mad March" which is pulled from that album is a dynamic slice of pure fusion from this Dixie Dregs bass player. If you're a Jethro Tull fan you'll be pleasantly surprised when you listen to the intro to "Family Jewels" from the latest Magellan offering Hundred Year Flood. As the song evolves it illustrates what a wonderful insight in pure symphonic soundscapes this band has! With Steve Morse, Deep Purple not only found a great guitarist but also a very versatile one as he illustrates here with "Majorly Up." Out of the lengthy Raising The Mammoth project, Explorer's Club has filtered the Steve Walsh vocals in "Passage To Paralysis" which sounds like LTE has joined forces with Kansas. Taking the dust from the Hammond and putting it right in focus has meant that the powertrio Niacin has delivered new material with "old" sounds, so to speak. "Elbow Grease" is exactly what its title implies, as you do need some grease to slide over that Hammond the way John Novello does. The sampler finishes with a Christmas classic as performed by the December People. Here Steve Walsh sings "We Three Kings Of The Orient Are," which is a pleasant surprise when you're tired of listening to those boring Crosby records around Christmas time. Talking of X-mas, wouldn't Frog Pest Fore be the best stocking filler?

Osmosis (LTE Remix) (Vapourspace) (4:19) / Aria For Italy/With Father (demos) (Trent Gardner) (2:54) / Reins Of Tuscan (Various) (5:48) / The Last Page (Off The Wall Mix) (Terry Bozzio and Billy Sheehan) (8:24) / Society Of The Mind (Shadow Gallery) (5:23) / Spears And Buckler (Robert Berry) (1:22) / Afterlife (James LaBrie's Mullmuzzler) (4:54) / Crack The Meter (Jordan Rudess) (6:13) / The Wheel Of Time (Robert Berry) (3:35) / Mad March (Andy West with Rama) (4:15) / Family Jewels (Magellan) (5:53) / Majorly Up (Steve Morse Band) (3:54) / Passage To Paralysis (Explorer's Club) (5:33) / Elbow Grease (Niacin) (5:17) / We Three Kings Of Orient Are ( December People) (5:23)


Various - Frog Pest Fore! (2002)

Genre: Various Genres

Origin VA

Added: November 2nd 2002
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1176
Language: english


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