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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Scott Mosher

Virtuality

Review by Gary Hill

Scott Mosher is an artist of considerable talent and ideals. The liner notes to his CD list a very extensive list of environmental, social and other idealistic charities that Mosher supports. Quite the renaissance man, Mosher is not only a musician, but also a graphic artist. Does that mean that his music suffers from lack of attention? Far from it, that form's representation on this CD has strong prog leanings with a great original and unique style. The material does hearken back to other artists, most notably Rush and Hawkwind, but the tapestry that Mosher weaves really just shares a little with those sounds. Mosher also does the vast majority of the performances on this album, joined only in places by Todd Corsa and Mickey James.

You will not hear another CD quite like this one, and I mean that in the best of ways.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2002 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Upon The Frontiers of Infinite Night
Beginning atmospheric, melody begins to unfold at first in a rather Michael Oldfield oriented way, then it turns heavy. As the intensity explodes it becomes somewhat metallic this is a fairly brief instrumental.
Virtuality
A keyboard fanfare starts the cut, but the bass line comes in in an almost '80's metal style. The vocals call to mind Geddy Lee just a little, but in a somewhat lower register. That brings a Rushish sort of feel to the piece. The instrumental break is both tasty and inspired, adding strong prog leanings back into the mix. Although the Rush influences are strong, the song is really unique.
The Human Machine
This one starts out slowly, gradually building on its simple basis by adding both instrumentation and complexity. The vocals on the verse are in the form of slowed-down spoken voice Ala Rush's Caress of Steel's narration. The Rush influences are definitely strong here, as well, but with some other unplaceable prog stylings finishing the picture. After a time a break ensues with a Celtic based percussion mode. This is a very cool song.
A Season of Fire
Another instrumental, this one begins with a keyboard flourish and starts a building process from there. As the other instruments enter the, intensity soars as the jam continues. Rushish influences surface at many times but with a backdrop that feels more like ELP and even Tomita at times. As the second movement begins a Hawkwindesque drone takes the piece, the sheets of keys begin to encircle the listener. A very Rushish jam ensues from there, but the Hawkish tendencies remain. After a time a triumphant sounding prog jam replaces all that. This is a great track with plenty of changes.
Attillou Sunrise
Sedate keyboard tones begin this one. Another instrumental, it is a delicate and gentle piece that works and wanders very carefully around its beginning style. The only complaint is that this piece is a little long.
Re-Define
More rock just a bit in the mode of '80's metal bands like Europe starts this cut. The Rushisms only show up on the vocals of this one. As the cut carries on it changes, though and there are some considerably meaty segments.
The Dreaming Eye
Beginning as a fairly sedate electronically based jam, the power quickly jumps and more of the processed spoken vocals come in. The jam gets quite interesting and energized as it carries on. Particularly intriguing is the shift into the second major movement when the cut is washed over by a sedate, calming keyboard segment that borders on fusion. Then it starts jumping in bursts from there before screaming out full on. This one just keeps evolving and is one of the strongest pieces on the CD. It is one that shows a definite sense of unique identity.
Sometime After Midnight
Coming in with a slightly off-kilter rhythmic structure, this instrumental follows patterns of sound in an organic, but somewhat quirky jam. It shows the disc just getting better as this piece is even stronger than the jam that came before. It drops to a slower segment and follows that through to almost a full stop. A very gradual buildup ensues as the song begins to rise from the ashes. That guitar work on this one at times seems to take on a slight Howeish texture. Eventually a rapid-fire, overdrive speed jam take the piece into new territory.
The Promise of Truth
Starting off with a prog style that is at once a bit mysterious while still triumphant. This one really makes a strong entrance. It drops to just keys, then begins a more pop-oriented prog song structure to continue - think Asia. This piece is not as strong as some of the other material here.
Shores of A Cosmic Ocea
This instrumental, as the title suggests, begins with atmospheric keys slowly coming in, as if washing on a shore. They build, then eventually move back out much as they entered.
Infinity Burns
Keys also starts this instrumental, and as the guitar enters it adds a lot of dramatic flair to the piece. It builds in a strong, somewhat hard-edged prog mode, but never wanders too far from its main theme.
Sorrow In A World Of Darkness
Beginning much like Hawkwind, a metallic sort of transformation takes the track. The vocals bring back the Rushish leanings. After a time the composition moves into the next movement, one of only keys in an intricate sort of mode at times, almost feeling like butterflies flitting about. This feeling does not last long, however, as a hard-edged, almost Pink Floyd oriented sound comes in, punctuated by neo-classical frantic jamming. This eventually resolves down into something a bit more settling again. Then it just builds on pre-existing themes for a time. Eventually, a percussive buildup takes the cut again and the Rush leanings return once again. Another change pulls it into a more fusion based variant on that section to continue. It drops down to atmospheric keys in a segment that calls to mind the melodic sedate side of Hawkwind to take both the track and album to its conclusion.
 
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