Exposé Online banner

Crystal Maze — Forever
(Music Is Intelligence WMMS 036, 1994, CD)

Dialog — Cry of the Hawk
(Music Is Intelligence WMMS 011, 1993, CD)

Mad Puppet — King Laurin and His Rosegarden
(Music Is Intelligence WMMS 053, 1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-07-01

Forever Cover artCry of the Hawk Cover artKing Laurin and His Rosegarden Cover art

Three recent albums by three different unrelated bands on Music Is Intelligence. All three released very promising debut albums in the early/mid-80s, these being somewhat belated follow-ups (to be fair, I believe Dialog had a couple albums in between). Dialog may be better known as Dawn Dialogue, a Russian band who released the energized symphonic opus I Put a Spell on the Fire (recorded in the early 80s) a few years back. Well, sorry to say, this band has since embraced a more mainstream rock song-oriented style that falls somewhere between Eloy and the Neo-Prog-Metal camp, with some nice atmospheric embellishments on some of the tracks, but others have a more programmed feel. There are lots of nice moments here, and vocalist Valery Maladze is quite good (lyrics in Russian), but ultimately this is an album of commercial aspirations. Not prog.

Similarly, Crystal Maze's seven-year follow-up to Waiting in the Spider's Web (which was a very promising album) is really little more than a reformed band intent on pursuing a pop direction. Decent music, well written and played, but hardly anything that most would call even remotely progressive.

Mad Puppet's King Laurin and His Rosegarden, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter. For the most part, the band has come a long way, the music is quite interesting, filled with great ideas, and although it's quite a bit more accessible than their debut Masque – a more tight and streamlined sound, they have done well to shed the neo-progressivisms the carried in the past. Some excellent soloing abounds, and overall the playing is very cohesive. Unfortunately, that's not the whole 'story.' In between the tracks we have this silly narration of the story of King Laurin and his rosegarden, the enchanted dwarf king with a magic hood, the gallant fighting warriors Diehard and Firebrand, Sybil and her dwarf maids... the kind of stuff that brings to mind bands like Glass Hammer and Citadel. Aaargh! You be the judge.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 7, 1994 releases, 1993 releases

Related artist(s): Dialog (Dawn Dialogue), Crystal Maze, Mad Puppet

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

KBB - Live 2004 – Guitarists may get the lion’s share of attention in fusion and prog, but there have always been leaders on other instruments. For violin, the story probably starts with Jean-Luc Ponty, and we can...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues