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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Unified Past

Spots

Review by Gary Hill

The combination of sounds on this album is great. Add in the fact that these guys are excellent musicians and it’s quickly obvious this is a great disc. The sounds vary from modern progressive rock like Dream Theater to fusion and even some heavy metal influence. Overall, though, it’s all prog and quite strong prog at that.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Blank

Awesome keyboard textures open up here. Then some pounding powerful guitar based prog enters. It feels quite a bit like Dream Theater. They carry forward from there with melodic vocals and some cool changes. This is definitely metallic, but definitely progressive rock and not metal. There is a great keyboard dominated instrumental break that even makes me think a little of UK. A killer instrumental break later features some great fusion guitar work.

Deep
There is a definite classic progressive rock vibe on the introduction here. As they power it out to the song proper that element remains but the rhythm section does bring some hints of that metal thing. There’s a jam later that has a real fusion sound to it. They use that to explore some freeform instrumental territory, too.
Hot
Here is an awesome instrumental jam. It’s got plenty of fusion along with funk and a lot of other sounds brought to the table. At times I’m reminded quite a bit of Dixie Dregs. This tune is, indeed, hot! This definitely includes some amazing guitar work.
Seeing
This opens with the most metallic riff we’ve heard thus far. It’s definitely got a lot of heavy metal built into it, but there’s still plenty of melodic progressive rock here, too. In particular, there’s a melodic instrumental section later that features some great keyboard soloing. There is also some rather fusion oriented guitar soloing beyond that.
Tough
Powering in even more metallic than the way the previous one started, this thing is quite a cool tune. There are some killer fusion-like excursions as this continues. It’s definitely quite a dynamic and diverse instrumental tune. It covers a lot of territory and never fails to entertain.
Age
Although there is a lot of metal here, this cut has some of the most dramatic and powerful progressive rock on show here. In fact, this killer cut is arguably the best composition of the whole CD. I really love it. It’s got plenty of modern and plenty of classic progressive rock elements. At times it rocks out a lot, but they also drop it down to a piano based balladic section for good measure.
Sun
Here we get another instrumental with lots of fusion and even some hints of Southern rock built into it. Dixie Dregs is a good reference here, too, but there is plenty more going on, too.
Big
This awesome progressive rock instrumental is less fusion and more symphonic prog. I can hear some Rush here, but also some Dream Theater and some classical music, as well. It drops down to an almost folk prog meets ELP-type section before powering back upward. There are some great keyboard dominated sections later, too.
Wet
Here we get another instrumental. Again, this covers a lot of musical space. It’s one of the most directly fusion oriented cuts, though.
G
Some bass jamming starts off this short instrumental. It works though a couple changes and there are some bits of sound effects/background sound here.
The Final
The vocal line on this tune is the most accessible and powerful. Musically it has the same hard edged but melodic progressive rock vibe. This is another highlight really. It’s quite a dynamic and powerful ride and there’s a smoking hot bass section at the end.
 
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