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Various Artists

Romantic Warriors: A Progressive Music Saga DVD

Review by Ron Fuchs

In many ways this documentary echoes some ideas about the music business that were discussed on Before The Music Dies. While that documentary is coming from a more mainstream stand point, it does have some interesting ideas. I urge people that buy Romantic Warriors and check out Before The Music Dies.

Okay onward to this amazing progressive music saga.  There are many interview segments with bands like Cabezas De Cera, Cheer-Accident, Deluge Grander, DFA, Gary Green (Gentle Giant), Karmakanic, La Maschera Di Cera, Oblivion Sun, Paul Sears (The Muffins), Phideaux, Qui, Rob Martino, Roine Stolt and Gentle Giant.

I’m familiar with a good amount of those bands, so it was a pleasure to hear them speak about themselves and their love of progressive music. I’m constantly amazed at all the wonderful music that comes from this solitary genre. The bands, and we the fans are united under this common ground. I don’t think mainstream bands and fans can say the same.

Both Mike Potter and Phideaux Xavier have valid points about the current status of progressive music. To paraphrase Potter, this is the best time for progressive music and the torch does need to be passed along to this new generation of bands. Xavier’s point is that major labels are not looking for the progressive rock band/artist. They’re more in favor of less cerebral forms of music. That is sad because true music is an art form and shouldn’t be viewed as a commodity or in a business sense. The major record label of today doesn’t allow a band or artist develop their wares. It’s like they are so pressured to get singles out, that it makes it harder for the progressive rock genre to thrive beyond its cozy community.

On this DVD there’s so much to digest that one or a half dozen viewings isn’t enough even though the documentary is 95 minutes. You have almost lock yourself away from the world and watch this. I prefer to watch with headphones on, to get every note, every word in a crystal clear environment.

I like the segment about Orion Studios and wished there were more places like that for bands to play. I have yet to see a band there. Now that I’m on the east coast, I’ll have to get down there someday to enjoy both a band and the ambiance of the atmosphere I’ve read so much about over the years.

I could go on and on but I think I’ll let you the viewer enjoy this DVD and form their own opinions. This DVD will be one of the very few in my collection that will get repeated as often as once a week, possibly twice a week.

This DVD has enough information for both the seasoned and newer fans of the genre. Hey, we’re always learning something new every day. I hope this DVD will be a wealth of learning for years to come. “Highly recommended” isn’t enough for this documentary. It really should be in every progressive music fan’s library!

This review was adapted from one that originally appeared at Prognaut.com

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 
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