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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Aurian Haller Band

House of Words

Review by Gary Hill

Here is another set that doesn’t fully land in progressive rock. Still, there is a lot of folk prog in this, along with modern prog. Add in things like alternative rock, psychedelia and beat poetry and you’ll be in the general neighborhood. Call it what you like, though, it’s strong.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Wolf at the Door

Folk music merges with alternative rock and even some modern prog on this energetic piece. It’s unusual, but also very effective.

House of Words
I love the spoken section at the start of this. There is a real dreamy, trippy kind of vibe here. Sure, it lands more or less in folk music territory. There happens to be a lot of psychedelia built into this thing, too. Additionally, the instrumental section is almost full progressive rock. I love the multiple layers of vocals. The jazzy section later in the piece is great, too. I really like just about everything in this tune. It’s a masterpiece and worth the price of admission all by itself.
And Still
This is more of a straight ahead rocker. Even then, there are bits of progressive rock in the extended instrumental section mid-track. It has some great guitar soloing. Parts of that section even make me think of Pink Floyd a bit. There is still a healthy dosage of folk in this, too. It’s another standout.
Les orphelins
With part of the song in French and part in English, this has more world music sections and others that land closer to proggy folk rock. It’s a complex arrangement and structure that feels simple. It’s not as strong as the last couple pieces, but it’s still quite compelling and effective. I love the guitar and keyboard soloing on this thing. Those both land it firmly in progressive rock territory.
Sister Moon
This one is more of a pure folk thing. The harmonica is a nice touch. The whole piece works well. If it were all like this, though, it wouldn’t land in prog.
Do Me a Favour
The opening guitar section here even reminds me a little of recent Yes. There are some other things here that call that comparison back, too. This is really a great combination of mainstream folk rock and more proggy sounds. There is even some 50s music built into it.
La première

Folk rock, pyschedelia and more merge here. This is in French.

River Flow
This is a great rocker. It’s not the proggiest thing here, though. It’s a lot more mainstream rock with folk and more in the mix. No matter how it’s labeled, though, it’s a great song.
If Only
A piano and voice based song, the combination of male and female voices is great. Yes, this is folk music. It’s also proggy. The thing is, it doesn’t matter what you call it. It’s that good. It’s understated, but also one of my favorites of the whole set.
Window in a Mirror
Trippy, dreamy folk music is a great space meets prog kind of thing. It has a definite psychedelic vibe. There is even a bit of country in the mix.
Storm Chaser
This is similar in basic concepts to the last song. It’s not the proggiest thing here, though. It’s more pure folk, but with a trippy element at its heart.
Façonne abandonne
Another in French, there are hints of funk in this. It’s more like a jazzy rocker than it is anything else. It’s not really folk based, and it has little prog, either.
Tripwire
The spoken, freeform poetry reading makes this seem like a merging of The Doors with beat poetry. Musically, it’s minimalist. It’s definitely progressive music, but not necessarily progressive rock. It’s trippy, experimental and extremely cool.
 
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