Neo-Progressive rock, more commonly Neo-Prog, is a subgenre of progressive rock that originally was used to describe artists strongly influenced by the classic symphonic prog bands that flourished during the 1970's. At the beginning of the neo-prog movement, the primary influence was early to mid-70's Genesis. Debate over when Neo-Prog actually came into being often takes place, with some asserting it began with Marillion's Script for a Jester's Tear in 1983. Others contend it began with the band Twelfth Night at the dawn of the 80's, while some even suggest the popular symphonic prog band Genesis gave rise to Neo-Prog with their 1976 album, A Trick of the Tail. Some of the albums which heavily influenced the Neo-Prog movement are: Steve Hackett-Spectral Mornings, Genesis-Wind & Wuthering, Genesis-And Then There Were Three, Genesis-Seconds Out, Saga-Saga, all the Camel albums between Breathless and The Single Factor included, and some Eloy's albums, especially Silent Cries And Mighty Echoes.
Twelfth Night-Fact and fiction (Fact and Fiction, 1982 UK)
Marillion-The web (Script for a Jester's tear, 1983 UK)
This new form of progressive rock originated in the UK, is most strongly associated with bands such as Marillion, Pendragon and IQ; While theatrical stage antics were a part of the live performances of many artists exploring this subset of the progressive rock genre, it's the musical elements that are key to the genre, typified by the use of atmospheric guitar and synth soloing with symphonic leanings, with a tendency towards floating synth layers and dreamy soloing. An additional trait is the use of modern synths rather than vintage analogue synths and keyboards. The main reasons for Neo-Progressive artists to be separated from the ones exploring Symphonic Prog in the first place are the above, as well as a heavier emphasis on song-form and melody than some of their earlier symphonic counterparts.
IQ-Frequency (Frequency, 2009 UK)
While the Neo-Progressive genre initially consisted of artists exploring a modernized version of Symphonic Prog, these days artists coined as Neo-Progcover a multitude of musical expressions, where the common denominator is the inclusion -within a progressive rock framework- of musical elements developed just prior to and after 1980. The Neo-Progressive genre in it's refined form thus covers a vast musical territory, to some extent covering all existing subsets of progressive rock and also searching out towards genres as different as new age on one side and metal on the other.