We have received a number of reviews from around the world (Japan, Italy, Germany, USA and the UK). Many thanks to the fans and colleagues who patiently translated these for us - some are still being translated and there are more in the pipeline. Here are the early headlines:
"A perfect mix of music and narration....", Fabio Rancatti, Italy
"Through sheer musical guile, Protos produce a masterpiece...", Rock 3, England.
"The compositions are dazzling...", Matt Howarth, Sonic Curiosity, USA.
"This is a great masterpiece, a step up in scale and quality from their previous work.", World Disque, Japan.
You can read edited versions of the reviews at:
Best wishesRory and Steve
In 1982, Sussex-born Rory Ridley-Duff and Stephen Anscombe released One Day a New Horizon, now acknowledged as one of English progressive rock’s ‘hidden treasures’. Popularised by Japanese, UK and US record collectors, a misunderstanding led to hundreds of advance order requests pouring into Protos’s web-site from Japan. With such interest, the band quickly established New Horizons Music at Rory's new home in Yorkshire to re-issue their original album on CD.
25 years on, Rory and Stephen have produced another stunning contribution to the genre.
The Noble Pauper's Grave (released 18th October 2007) tells the story of a man born to privilege who rejects his upbringing. Drawn to the plight of the poor, he helps to organise and rally support for their cause whilst finding love amongst them. A tale of humility, tragedy, courage and affection conveyed through ambient narratives and rock music.
The album opens with Born a Bit Blue, an upbeat blues number depicting the energy of youth. This is followed by Travels, a lilting melodic number in 5/4 time that portrays the noble sailing away to a new life. Next comes The Rally, one of two tracks on the album that exceed 10-minutes in length. This powerful rock track intersperses a march with reflective and melancholic passages. The Final Dawn is a tuneful reprise communicated through a subtle arrangement for guitar, saxophone, flute, acoustic bass, piano and strings. The fifth track, Outcry, has a dark and moody opening before breaking out in another powerful rock track. The central section depicts a dance that leads to an erotically charged love‑scene. The finale, echoing the track’s opening theme, paints a picture of the noble’s emotional turmoil as his lover departs. Aftermath, another upbeat rock number captures the mood of the noble as he faces the retribution of his followers. Departures closes the album with a beautiful portrayal of the noble’s funeral and ascent into folk lore.
The Story So Far…
PRESS COMMENT up to October 2007.
- Yasushi Tsurutu, Orange Power Prog Rock Magazine, Japan (Tokyo)
“I am amazed it never garnered more success. Protos is one band that begs to be listened to again…”
- Gregg Kovach, Prog Rock DJ, USA (Chicago)
“This collection really is a surprise to me as it opens the doors into a world where symphonically tinged prog rock lives in eternal splendour; it's beauty and magnificence never fading away. I recommend without reserve.”
- Fabio Rancati, Progressive Rock Reviewer, Italy
“…one of the most important albums of this particular sub-genre and in my opinion is one of the best…”
- Maribor, Progressive Ears Review
“There’s no denying the musical genius here…it has all the elements that make the genre so appealing: stellar musicianship, soaring melodies, complex passages, virtuoso solos, and that vintage sound....”
- Peter Pardo, Sea of Tranquility Review
“This is a long lost classic… it combines everything I love about the genre…”- Ron Fuchs, Prognaut Review
Passing Decades (the album that ‘accidentally’ revived interest in Protos’s music)
“… a fine testament to a very talented musician and composer…”
- Peter Pardo, Sea of Transquilty Review, USA
“Variations, Tempest and The Maiden, are each a fully-fledged art-rock creation, the former being the absolute winner in my eyes…..”
- Vitaly Menshikov, Russia
“I enjoy all the tracks on this CD, but I’m always drawn to Tempest and Space every time I’ve listened to it.”
- Ron Fuchs, Prognaut Review.
“The best is saved till the end, where Space, a 12-minute stunner wraps up this interesting album. Ambient and soundtrack music lovers are in for a treat.”- - Eddie Lascu, Gnosis Review.
A year to the day after we re-issued One Day a New Horizon on CD, our second album The Noble Pauper's Grave arrives in the UK. The new album is already available from CD Baby and SoundClick in MP3 form (7 Tracks, 46 minutes). The Retail CD, with additional narrative tracks and story-related sound effects, is a complete performance that will appeal to dance, theatre and drama groups looking for creative opportunities.
And what a journey it has been.....
We started writing / recording material in March 2007, had two intensive weeks recording Steve Anscombe's guitar contributions in June and August, then visited Nigel Rippon's home studio to add Electric Cello contributions. We even visited the place we reheased our 1982 album (Little Hayes, West Wittering) to record the very last guitar part - it just seemed right to pay tribute to the venue in this way.
So, we're exhausted but happy. Finally, we have the sound we want. It just took an extra 25 years!
The album features both old and new material, combining, for example, a 1978 version of Outcry with new material composed throughout 2007. Already called 'the most emotional and erotic track I've listened to for years' by an early listener, Outcry stands as the centrepiece of the album. It is Steve's favourite track. As for me, I have a soft spot for The Rally. This was a particularly challenging track to play live (see Into the Mouth of the Tiger). On this album release, we've dropped the less inventive material and replaced it with virtuoso stuff that was written and rehearsed in the early 1980s. It's release is long overdue. Lastly, there are tracks like The Final Dawn, based on a piano piece that spawed The Fugitive (released on One Day a New Horizon). We've not only done a restoration job by returning it to its original form, but also rearranged it for piano, guitar, flute, saxophone, percussion and strings. We experience it as a delightful melodic reprise between two 10-minutes rock epics described above.
This is an album to enjoy!
All the bestRory
© 2007 Stephen Anscombe and Rory Ridley-Duff. All Rights Reserved.