Category Archives: Progstravaganza XVII: Progression



Sludgebucket is a stoner-metal trio that was formed in Oakland California in early 2006 by bassist/vocalist/songwriter Kelly Waldrip with the help of good friend’s guitarist John Santos and drummer Douglas Weldy.  The idea was to take the vibe of 60s and 70s psychedelic heavy blues rock, early doom bands and fuse it with progressive, punk, metal, and sludge.  Their self titled debut CD was recorded and released in 2007, offering a heavy mix of sludgy fuzzed guitar, winding bass lines, pounding drums, and howling vocals all tied together through flowing odd meters.  Through the years they played clubs and continued to write and record music until the tragic passing of guitarist and collaborator John Robert Santos in March 2009.  Sludgebucket reemerged in late 2009 on the Oakland music scene and released their second CD Clown Soul Power Trip in 2011.  The band is currently working on their next three CD’s.


Magg on Progstravaganza compilation


Does time exist? Heraclitus’ river would say yes, Zeno’s tortoise: no.
At least: If I think, I exist! However… why is there something rather than nothing?

MAGG is the Progressive Rock/Metal band from Cancun that seeks answers to the principal questions of humanity. Its first album, a double-disc LP, released in 2013, has been applauded by specialized critics praising its symphonic sound and comparing it to leading bands like Dream Theater. (, New Releases: 10/23/13.)

Premise 1: Whatever begins to exist has a cause.

MAGG is comprised of five classical musicians, apprentices of prominent classical maestros, like Carlos Martínez Larrauri (Conductor of UNAM-ENM’s Classical Guitar Orchestra), Francisco Navarro Lara (Conductor of various orchestras and personalities like José Carreras and Montserrat Caballé) and “popular-music” composers (Enrique Quezadas, Hiram Gómez, Carlos “Bozzo” Vázquez).

The members of MAGG are: Alfred Merry (vocals), Ivan (bass), Sergio (drums), Luis (keyboards) and “Yito” (guitar).

Premise 2: The Universe began to exist.

The group was formed in 2008. MAGG soon achieved local awards (first places in several Battles of the Bands, presence in festivals) and released two demo recordings that obtained international acceptance through the principal social-network at the time: MySpace; having almost 10,000 followers and over 100,000 views.

After this period the band members decided to keep playing, now in a lower profile, focusing their efforts to continue their musical formation.

At the end of 2012, MAGG entered to the studio with the conviction to release its first album. These sessions surpassed 92 minutes of music, pushing them to publish the album in a two-disc box set.

In mid-2013 the album, now entitled “Birth / Revival,” was released (and entirely performed) in a successful opening concert. The independent album “Birth / Revival” is distributed with the help of Mixdown Records and it is available on every major online store (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify).

MAGG has released musical videos for two singles: Brightness and Mind’s Conflict.

Conclusion (from Premises 1 and 2): The Universe has a cause.

The music of the band has been equally accepted at Progressive Rock festivals and Heavy Metal festivals. MAGG has been featured on press, TV, radio, specialized websites and was described as a group “called to be one of the greatest Progressive Metal bands of the nation, or even of the World.” (Progresión, Código DF, July 2013.)

However, MAGG is focused to meditate on the main questions of life. For example: Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem predicts an absolute beginning of the Universe. Then, its cause must be immaterial, transcendent (it existed before matter, time and space), powerful and has a will to use this power. (Romans 1:20.) Platonic archetypes don’t cause effects, so it must have a consciousness. Enjoy a journey of questions with MAGG.


Basta on Progstravaganza compilation


Our name is “Basta!”: it means “stop”, but never will stop us! We play a strange instrumental prog-rock, with a bass clarinet and a melodion (and guitar, bass & drums). The originality, along with the ability to self-promote us and to make good music, is what has rewarded us until today.


OVRFWRD on Progstravaganza compilation


OVRFWRD is a four piece all instrumental progressive rock band  formed in late 2012. All four seasoned musicians, including drummer Rikki Davenport and guitarist Mark Ilaug, bassist Kyle Lund and keyboardist Chris Malmgren came together with diverse and complex backgrounds and musical influences. Together they have a common goal; to create and perform powerful, colorful, interesting and sonically descriptive music, engaging and pushing forward on
the musical journey they have embarked on.

On their debut release: “Beyond the Visible Light” [release date: January 2014] OVRFWRD has created a musical tapestry of sound. Exploring the light, the dark, the heavy and the silence. Bringing in influences from Metal, 70’s Prog, Jazz, Blues, Classical and more, they have created a compelling and unique sonic snapshot of energy and music.

“Beyond the Visible Light” was recorded at Terrarium Studios in Mpls, MN by Jason Orris and Rob Osterlin. In only 5 days, the band recorded live with very minimal overdubs. Balancing the recording process with the artistic outcome. The emotion and ensemble are paramount on these tracks, and the audible journey reflects the passion and proficiency in which theses songs were performed and captured.

OVRFWRD’s “Beyond the Visible Light” is a cinematic adventure, requiring attentive ears and patient listening. From the beginning to the end, with twists and turns, new colors and textures, scene changes and sonic adventures it beckons the ears to follow and hear what is coming next. Every track is unique and compelling, 5 stories in an epic journey. A fantastic debut for a band that has a lot more great music in it’s future.


Bulbs on Progstravaganza compilation


Bulbs (hailing from Liverpool, UK) bring together adventurous music-making with information and sound samples chosen to challenge the audience to look around them at the world in which they are living. A ‘totalist’ project Bulbs seeks to challenge its audiences with complex cyclical rhythms and deep underlying thematic structures whilst simultaneously presenting a hedonistic, seductive, immersive and ultimately compelling musical experience, accessible to all. Presenting their live performances with specially made synchronised projected visuals, Bulbs specialise in creating atmospheric and consciousness-expanding experiences for audiences.

As a virtuoso solo guitarist, over the last ten years and more Neil Campbell has performed as a soloist and in various collaborative projects across the UK and Europe. Expanding the scope of his already densely textured compositions with various loops, delays and other electronic effects, he makes his classical guitar sound like a multi-timbral guitar orchestra.

His various collaborations and his concept performance pieces such as ‘Ghost Stories: A Night Opera’ and ‘Frankenstein: A Gothic Oratorio’ with The Neil Campbell Collective and Sense of Sound Singers, have earned him a reputation for musical ambitiousness and innovation. His recordings in the area of progressive rock, particularly ‘Particle Theory’ by The Neil Campbell Collective (2007) and ‘Ghost Stories’ (2008), have earned him considerable critical acclaim. Over the past five years he has been collaborating with Yes vocalist Jon Anderson on a series of large scale choral works.

For Bulbs, Neil has teamed up with Andy Maslivec, bass player from The Neil Campbell Collective, Joey Zeb (session percussionist and drummer with legendary underground Liverpool dub institution The Mighty Zeb and punk proggers Gorp) and Marty Snape (laptop/electronics) also of Zeb, The Hat Band and Babadub.


Vako on Progstravaganza compilation


Vako is the alter ego for Juan Carlos Palazón, a musician from Madrid, Spain, with an extended trajectory and a consolidated musical experience in the Spanish scene as a founder of diverse rock acts since the mid 90’s.

In 2001 he launched a hard rock and krautrock doom band named Glow releasing one demo, Living on Borrowed Time (2003), and two official releases in 2005 (Gone, but never Forgotten) and 2006 (Dive into the Sun). With Glow he toured Spain and Europe extensively but in 2008 he decided to split the band in order to concentrate on his musical training and give birth to his future project, Vako.

It’s been three years since he composed all the acoustic guitar parts for his first release in the Vako history, a personal adventure into the krautrock and progressive music, full of varied musical influences that are reflected in his newest compositions that have seen the light in 2013. In this homonymous release you can find a lot of references to the music by artists such as Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Ash Ra Temple, Popol Vuh, Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Heldon, Neuronium, Brian Eno, Michael Hoenig or Adelbert von Deyen… In general, a sound that reminds the krautrock and the progressive electronic music of the seventies, focusing on the Berlin school and even the ambient and folk music that ruled the progressive world in the golden decade of the XXth Century.

All his songs and compositions are played and recorded with analogue instruments, a true love for Juan Carlos, including Minimoog Voyager, Arp Odyssey, Oberheim OB8, Memotron, Solina String Ensemple, Gibson acoustic guitars, Doepfer Dark Energy and Doepfer Dark Time.

Vako is an ambitious project from Spain that tributes the acts and music of those from the seventies that created a musical experience for the opened mind people who searched the borders of sensitive and imaginative music.


Kosmoratik on Progstravaganza compilation


Kosmoratik is a recording and performing band based in Oslo, with an ambition to explore complex themes through a musical framework with influences from songwriters as Nick Drake and John Martyn, the first wave of progressive rock as well as the Beatles and the magic of the pop song.

Our music might be described as symphonic pop, in which acoustic guitars, string quartet and obo feature and blend with a rock band approach. Our aim is to make music which is both fresh and forward looking, still honoring the artists which inspired us in the first place, all for the love of music.




IRIDIC is a brand-new progressive rock/metal band from guitarist John Souki and vocalist Luke Mellinger. Channeling the baroque grandeur of Muse via the breathless dynamism of Dream Theater and the rhythmic technicality of Periphery, the group looks set to establish itself as a formidable force on the international stage.

John and Luke grew up on separate continents, but both were transformed by music early on in their lives. Born and raised in Venezuela, John Souki knew he was destined to create and perform music from the age of six. A musical father was his inspiration, laying the foundations for a lifelong obsession with the guitar. “Every afternoon,” John says, “Dad would sit and just play whatever came out. I wanted to follow in his footsteps”.
Over two thousand miles away in the town of Fishers, Indiana, Luke Mellinger was himself growing up surrounded by music, sitting in the back seat of the car while his parents jammed to Beatles tunes. When his older brother joined a high school rock band Luke’s interest shifted up a gear, and he can even pinpoint the precise moment he really fell in love with music. “My brother was driving his blue Taurus,” he recalls, “and said he wanted to play me something. I remember a bell, then a bass line, and the rest was history for me. The song was ‘The Glass Prison’ by Dream Theater”. Although he didn’t know it at the time, this awoke in Luke a passion for progressive rock that would one day lead him straight to John Souki.
Meanwhile, John – who had spent his teenage years devoting himself to the guitar – now harboured an intense desire to pursue a career in music. After graduating high school he joined various bands and toured around the United States, ultimately landing in Boston where he attended the Berklee College of Music. Emerging on the other side well and truly ready to make his mark on the industry, he spent a whirlwind few years with an Atlanta-based rock/hip-hop band (sharing the bill with heavyweights such as L.A. Guns and Bone Thugz-N-Harmony) and a country band, sharing the stage with REO Speedwagon, Sugarland, Darius Rucker and many more, as well as performing for sold-out crowds at the 2012 NFL Superbowl Village. All through this period, the dream of creating his own progressive band was slowly growing in John’s mind.
It took just one well-timed twist of fate to bring John and Luke together. Luke, who was still self-conscious about his voice at this stage, had been living with his parents and composing an original song on their piano, in secret, when alone in the house. Eventually he plucked up the courage to share a demo of the track with some friends, and it fell into the hands of a local country band. The guitarist for that band was John Souki. “John loved my voice so much that he called me up to ask if I wanted to be the vocalist for a progressive rock project he’d been planning,” explains Luke. “And without hesitation I told him that I would absolutely do it.”
Both musicians agree it was their shared love of the progressive rock genre that really sealed the deal. “It excites me that we share the same passions musically,” enthuses Luke. “Our goals and focuses are very similar. I can’t wait to journey along on this musical adventure and see where this road will take us…”.
So what does the future hold for IRIDIC? Their debut single ‘Catharsis’, part of a concept album due for completion next year, is scheduled for international release in January 2014.


Edison's Children on Progstravaganza compilation

Edison’s Children

The Darkness has come… “The Final Breath Before November” is the 2nd album to come from the minds of Pete Trewavas (Transatlantic/Marillion) and Eric Blackwood (Sunblister/Crimson Steele). After their groundbreaking album “In The Last Waking Moments…” produced a Top-40 smash “A Million MIles Away (I Wish I Had A Time Machine) for 10 straight weeks on U.S. Commercial Radio… (the first prog band in several decades to accomlish that feat), The Final Breath Before November brings CRS’ Best Drummer of The Year Winner for the past two years running, Henry Rogers (Dee Expus / Touchstone) into the fold. What has resulted is, the hauntingly beautiful “The Final Breath Before November… a nearly 80 minute long album featuring the 67 minute long epic “Silhouette”. TFFBN was mixed by John Mitchell (Arena/It Bites/Frost), Jakko Jakszyk (Lead Singer/Guitarist for King Crimson and Steve Hackett) and Robin Boult (Guitarist for Fish) and mastered by Marillion’s Mike Hunter. This new Edison’s Children concept album is a bit of a ghost story that isn’t really a story at all…

Read the Progstravaganza Questionnaire with Eric at the following link:


Bad Salad on Progstravaganza compilation

Bad Salad

Bad Salad is a progressive rock/metal band from Brasilia, Brazil.

The band was started in 2007 by brothers Thiago Campos (guitar) and Felipe Campos (bass) along with Caco Gonçalves (drums), with the purpose of getting inside a small studio and jam, to see wherever their musical background would take them. At the early stages of jamming in the studio, it became apparent that their music would be a mixture of styles, but at the same time leaning towards the heavier spectrum of rock/metal. Hence the name “Bad Salad”, which is a reference to the mixture (or “salad”) of musical styles the band displays.

Our first album – “Uncivilized” – was released in July 2012 to critical and popular acclaim. The release was followed by a short Brazilian tour towards late July / early August, where we were supported by our good friend and Keyboardist extraordinaire Junghwan Kim from South Korea.

In October 2013, we released our second work, the “Puzzled” EP. Again, the EP was received well both by critics and our growing fanbase.

With one full-length album and one also lenghty EP, we are working to establish ourselves within the progressive rock/metal genre. Or, shall we say, we are currently planning on conquering the world.