Founded by drummer Gilbert Artman, Lard Free was similar to Richard Pinhas' Heldon; French, unconventional, experimental, but, incredulously, a rock band. Later albums would draw parallels to the cosmic side of the ubiquitous "krautrock" of Germany. Artman would simultaneously lead the massive performances of Urban Sax.
Perhaps most idiosyncratic of all progressives, Christian Vander's Magma documented the other-worldly parables of the planet Kobaia. The early side project Univeria Zekt album The Unamables is great introduction, but even their first two albums wouldn't prepare the world for the completely over the top epic Mekanik Destruktiw Komanndoh. Sung in Vander's self-created language, Magma's music a cross between Carl Orff, John Coltrane and some dark-ass heavy metal!
Swiss-born Patrick Moraz and Jean Ristori formed the band with vocalist David "Kubie" Kubinec (ex World Of Oz) and Bryson Graham, as Integral Aim, and later Mainhorse Airlines. Yugoslav Kubinec departed in 1970, the band shortened their name to Mainhorse, added Peter Lockett and signed to Polydor to release their eponymous album. Drummer Bryson Graham would later join Spooky Tooth.
Marillion are the best known and most commercially successful of the "neo-progressive" bands from the 1980s. Singer Fish fronted the band through their first four studio albums, although each member became well-known as a musician in his own right. After Fish's departure in 1988, singer Steve Hogarth joined the band.
After the departure of lead singer Fish, the band regrouped around new vocalist Steve Hogarth in 1989. After an album or two however, there's been no looking back: the band has gone on to create music far more original than their "neo-progressive" roots. Marillion remain the most successful groups of prog rock's "modern" era.
Marillion have released another version of their epic album Brave, recorded earlier in the year, on multiple formats:
"Recorded on the 9 March 2013 at the Marillion Weekend in Centre Parcs, The Netherlands. This concert film features the whole of the Brave album performed in full plus over an hour of encores and extras. This unique event was captured in glorious high definition by 15 cameras in a purpose built arena, bringing you a truly unique event and a defining moment in Marillion’s live performance career."