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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Aurganic

Deviations

Review by Gary Hill

This isn’t old school progressive rock, although it does touch on that sound. It’s modern prog with some definite alternative rock in the mix. This covers a wide range of sounds and styles. Each piece is unique. Yet, there is a cohesive sound throughout the album. This disc is quite a good one, actually.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Choices (ft. Joel Goguen)

As this opens it feels almost symphonic. It grows out from there into an energetic rocker that still has plenty of progressive rock, mind you modern in it. Then it drops way down to melodic, rather atmospheric sounds. The vocals come in over the top of a mellower melodic prog sound. It alternates between that mellower sound and a more rocking one.

Waking Trials (ft. Scott Carruthers)
The first vocal section is set in kind of a groove movement. There is a more melodic resolution later that serves as the backdrop for more vocals. This is prog, but definitely modern prog. It’s also quite interesting. The vocal arrangement on this tune is quite complex with multiple layers. The music is also quite complex, though. Yet, it’s not so complex as to lose the listener. There’s an instrumental movement later that’s more tied to classic progressive rock sounds. It gives way to a more powered up jam that’s set closer to the modern prog sounds.
Lucid
Melodic and mellower, I like this piece a lot. It’s less dynamic and varied than the previous cuts, but it’s quite cool. It’s very dreamy.
Paradigm (ft. Joel Goguen)
A cool bass line opens this and then melodic music comes over the top as they move it forward. This moves through a number of changes and different moods. It’s definitely mellower than the first couple songs, overall. It’s got some energy, though and works really well. It reminds me of Hogarth era Marillion bit at times. There are definitely hints of space rock, too.
The Lost and the Found (ft. Scott Carruthers)
Another that’s quite dreamy, I’m reminded of Porcupine Tree quite a bit. The vocals on this are among the best on the album.
Single Motion Sound (ft. Joel Goguen)

This is a bit more of a rocker, but it still somehow makes me think of modern Marillion. The chorus hook is among the most accessible here and this is another great tune. I like the bass work on parts of this quite a bit. There is also an intriguing jam later in the track that’s quite noteworthy.

Swells (ft. Scott Carruthers)
This is one of the strongest tunes here. It’s got dreamy sections and rocking ones. It’s dynamic and diverse and yet the vocal arrangement is remarkable accessible. This isn’t a huge change from the rest of the material. Everything just coalesces so well here that it stands out.
Outcast
In some ways this is still quite dreamy. In other ways, it’s more mainstream. Still, I can make out hints of early Pink Floyd on this number. It’s a good one wherever you lay the references, though.
In Deep Waters
Some backwards tracked music leads us in here. From there they work it out into a dramatic modern progressive rock jam. Then it drops to just piano for the first vocals. They build it out gradually from there. I think I like the vocal melodies on this better than just about anything else here. In fact, this is one of the highlights of the disc for me.
Easy (ft. Jessica Stuart)
Acoustic guitar opens this one.  As other sonic layers emerge the female vocals that join have a real soulful groove to them. This is an intriguing cut. It seems to combine that sort of dreamy modern progressive rock with something like India Arie. Saxophone lends a nice touch to the piece, too.
Southbound

More of a rocking tune, this still has plenty of dreamy qualities. It’s got some moments that aren’t that far removed from shoegaze, too.

Deviations
The title track closes the set. It’s a melodic progressive rock instrumental in the same modern prog style as the rest of the set. It’s an effective way to end this.
 
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