The Prog Collective - 'Epilogue'

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The Prog Collective - 'Epilogue'

It can be argued that Sherwood has over-reached here with a few too many diverse influences.

Yes alumnus Billy Sherwood can make a strong claim to be the hardest working man in progressive rock. Rarely a couple of months seem to go by without him being linked to one project or another and here he is revealed as being the man responsible for assembling The Prog Collective, an expansive cast of some of prog's most notable names, described by Sherwood as being "the biggest super group of progressive rock players ever assembled!"

'Epilogue' follows on from 2012's eponymous debut that met with considerable acclaim and this latest release seeks to repeat the formula but this time adding even more names to the mix, from the Yes keyboard playing quartet of Wakeman, Downes, Moraz and Kaye to the late Peter Banks and the Captain of the SS Enterprise himself, William Shatner. All of the material is composed by Sherwood and he is responsible for playing most of the backing instrumental tracks leaving the rest of the cast the freedom to provide their own contributions regardless of their geographical location thanks to the wonders of modern technology.

The main issue with these types of ensemble releases is that there is inevitably a disjointed feel and this is something that can be said of 'Epilogue' with the album lacking in cohesion at times and occasionally coming across as somewhat tired. That said, there are some highlights, specifically 'Shining Diamonds' where Sherwood's smooth vocals combine well with those of Alan Parsons and Chris Squire and the Gentle Giant inspired 'Just Another Day' featuring Gary Green's signature acoustic guitar and Kaye's Hammond at the forefront. Shatner's spoken word is put to use on the title track but aside from the novelty value his presence is superfluous and with more than 20 assorted vocalists and musicians it can be argued that Sherwood has over-reached here with a few too many diverse influences.

Dean Pedley

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