Author: Paul Whimpenny

Features writer and album reviewer. Fan of all music from Vivaldi onwards with a predilection for classic and progressive rock from the 1970s.

Ruphus – Flying Colours (Karisma Records)

Scandinavian rock bands have come to the fore over the last decade or so but it wasn’t always like that. Much of the music created in the 1970s in that part of the world remains a mystery to most of us. Take Norway - can you name one band from Norway in that decade? Congratulations..

Hawkwind – Carnivorous (Cherry Red Records)

Lockdown (Keep Calm) has one of those irresistible Hawkwind riffs over which guitars, synths and disembodied voices weave a hypnotic spell. Imagine if Joe Biden came out on his presidential campaign with a guitar strapped around his neck and launched into Silver Machine or Master Of The Universe.  That rather bizarre image crossed my mind..

Airbag – A Day At The Beach (Karisma Records)

This album is likely appeal to a broad range of prog fans, young and old. This is the fifth album from Norwegian prog rock outfit Airbag.  The band is now just a trio with Jørgen Hagen (programming, keyboards) and Anders Hovdan (bass) having left since 2016’s Disconnected. Leader of the band remains guitarist Bjørn Riis..

Spellbook – Magick & Mischief (Cruz Del Sur Music)

Spellbook wear their 70's influences on their sleeve but there’s nothing predictable about the album and they have delivered an interesting and varied slab of retro-rock. Those with a sharp musical ear might spot similarities between this band and the Pennsylvania-based retro rockers Witch Hazel. If so, give yourself a pat on the back because..

Pain Of Salvation – Panther (InsideOut Music)

This is a very good album and will undoubtedly be ranked amongst the best progressive metal albums of the year. There is a fantastic soaring guitar solo that enters around the eight-minute mark on the closing track of this album, giving us a minute or so of pure Gilmouresque magic. But, remarkably, that is the..