Dig this: 8 Belgian prog-rock masterpieces

We go prog-rock, hard-rock and proto-rock with this week’s selection of iconic Belgian releases.

  1. Burning Plague – Night travellin’ man (From the album “Burning Plague”)

Psychedelic blues rock band from Brussels with incredible guitar riffs. Released in 1970, only two copies of the original pressing are available on Discogs, both of which fetching up to of 900 euros on Discogs. Fronted by Michael Heslop, who went on to play with Doctor Downtrip, this is an absolute killer.

  1. Lagger Blues Machine – Symphonie 1ere partie (From the album “Lagger Blues Machine”)

Orchestral psychedelic rock with hypnotic organs, eerie flute and sax as well as killer drums. Released in 1972, another Discogs rarity that goes for 500 euros or more – when one actually turns up. Thankfully Veals and Geeks Records reissued it in 2012, albeit limited to 500 copies. An absolute must-have for any self-respecting producer in search of the right break.

  1. Kandahar – Outside of reality (From the album “Long Live the Sliced Ham

Funk-infused prog-rock with drum breaks to kill for. One of the weirdest pieces of Belgian prog-rock to date, fronted by the legendary Karel Bogaerts, whose record label Dwarf Records went on to release COS, Solis Lacus, The Full Moon Trio and many more iconic records from the Belgian underground.

  1. Pazop – Swaying fires (From the album “Psychillis Of A Lunatic Genius

Lovely piece of Belgian rock, with strings and keys that perfectly add to the otherwise heavier rock tones. Recorded in 1972 but never released as the label deemed the album’s name unfit for commercial success.

  1. Jenghiz Khan – Pain (From the album “Well Cut”)

Heavy prog rock released in 1970 and which gave prolific Belgian singer-songwriter Pierre Rapsat his start. Original release comes in a beautiful illustrated gatefold, Mint copies of which fetch up to 500 euros on Discogs. No individual video of the track can be found, so we had to post one of the full album instead. The track in question is the first one, and lasts 7:38.

  1. Vacation – Vaction & Improvisation (From the album “Resurrection of Vacation”)

Vacation was a band that came from Charleroi and recorded just this one live album. That is pretty much defined by its elongated and intricate guitar solos. No single video exist of the album so we only could upload a video of the album’s first and third songs.

  1. Doctor Downtrip – Wanted (From the album “Doctor Down Trip”

Five-piece prog-rock outfit from Brussels that formed in 1969 and released just this one album in 1973. Features Burning Plague’s Michael Heslop on guitar.

  1. Dragon – Leave me with tears (From the album “Dragon”)

Undoubtedly one of our all-time favourite pieces of Belgian prog-rock, and highly thought after by avid record collectors. The entire album is a hypnotic, nearly cosmic trip into the deeper spheres of prog-rock, with certain compositions (namely, the album’s opening track Insects) sounding as though it could have been produced today. Mysterious band from Ath that released one album (in 1976) and pretty much disappeared or dissipated itself.