Protos were a little known progressive rock band from the UK who were together from 1977 to about 1984, and recorded One Day a New Horizon, a fine example of 70's flavored symphonic prog-rock. After the band's breakup, interest from fans continued through the years, enough for the band to release their debut on CD, and now comes this collection of archival live recordings called Into the Mouth of the Tiger. Culled from performances from 1982-1984, this latest release is a fantastic example of the music of Protos, and while the recordings are raw and for the most part a cut above bootleg quality, there's no denying the musical genius here. After you get through the music on Into the Mouth of the Tiger, you'll wonder why Protos never got the record deal that many of their contemporaries got, like Marillion, IQ, Pallas, and Pendragon.
The band here was made up of keyboard player Rory Ridley-Duff, guitarist Steve Anscombe, drummer Iain Carnegie, and bassist Nigel Rippon. While the music is very symphonic and at times quite bombastic, being instrumental, there is lots of room for solo flights, giving the music a slight feel of bands like Camel, Finch, Sebastian Hardie, Brand X, and even Yes. The keyboard work of Ridley-Duff is outstanding, especially on epic tracks like "The Maiden", "The Fugitive", and "New Horizons-Protos", and he trades lethal bursts with Anscombe on the dramatic"Superpowers". The guitarist has a very fluid style, much like the greats of the 70's prog genre, and forms a stellar team with Ridley-Duff-listen to him churn out a killer solo on "The Aftermath", which is immediately followed by a scorching synth solo from Rory. While these two trade leads, the busy rhythm work of Carnegie and Rippon just keep cookin'. If you like less frantic, more "dreamy" styled prog, there's the melodic "Departures", and the Genesis flavored "Panamor".
Fans of rare progressive rock recordings of the 70's and 80's need to check this archival release from Protos out-can't get much more simpler than that. It has all the elements that make the genre so appealing-stellar musicianship, soaring melodies, complex passages, virtuoso solos, and that vintage sound. Now these long lost recordings are available for all to enjoy.
1 The Maiden
2 The Fugitive
3 Thing of Beauty
4 A Bit Blue
7 The Rally
10 Hunting Extremely Large Animals
11 New Horizons - Protos