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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Hedersleben

Hedersleben 3: The Fall of Chronopolis

Review by Gary Hill

This album is quite a ride. It’s more of less space rock start to finish, but there is a lot of room within that genre. Often times space rock has a tendency to be less dynamic than other prog. Sometimes that’s true here, but not every song is like that. There is a lot of psychedelia and more mainstream prog built into this. It even hints at bands ranging from Uriah Heep to Jefferson Airplane. There are moments that land close to metal. This is an often surprising and always effective set start to finish.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
An Empire

An organ heavy keyboard introduction starts this thing. Then percussion joins. Vocals come in over the top. After this first vocal section it works out to some pounding hard rock with prog elements. It’s kind of like a cross between Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and maybe Vanilla Fudge. After that works through, it drops to acoustic guitar and keyboard based movement that combines folk prog and space rock. The harder rock returns in a killer space rock jam. This continues to shift, evolve and grow, with a killer hard rocking jam ending it.

Gulf of Lost Souls

A fast paced modern prog jam with some space rock built into it starts this thing in style. Although there are non-lyrical vocals soaring over the top like an instrument, this is an instrumental. It is a lot more constant than the opener, with no real changes. That said, it fits the space rock mold in that it is constantly evolving, just in small amounts. When it does drop down the mellower closing movement, it really makes me think of Hawkwind, but some of the harder rocking moments even remind me of White Witch a bit.

Hulmu
Shorter and more melodic, this is another space rock instrumental. It’s slower than the previous cut.
The Third Time Fleet
We get hard edged, fast paced prog that at times leans toward heavy metal. There are a number of shifts and changes that ensue. It drops back to a mellow section with sort of whispered, spoken vocals. As this cut pushes forward there are some amazing prog rock movements. The balance between mellower and harder edged is great and so is the dynamic nature of the cut. The closing section is a little weird.
Umbul
Coming in with mellower, folk prog styled sounds, as the vocals come across references to Renaissance are definitely appropriate. It’s a fairly short (two minutes) cut that’s less dynamic than some of the rest.
Imperator
A harder rocking jam, this is perhaps more psychedelia than prog, but both are represented. The shifting and changing instrumental section later makes it more closely aligned with the prog end of the equation.
Somewhen Veaa (Dreamstate)
A slower, mellower arrangement brings this one into being. It works out gradually from there. It’s a nice combination of symphonic prog, folk prog and space music. This instrumental is classy.
Ghost Armada
More fast paced progressive rock is the order of business here. With mellower drop backs and harder edged stuff contrasting each other, this is a powerful and effective bit of space tinged prog rock.
The Archivist
This is a short (just over a minute) instrumental that’s a bit weird, but also pretty cool. It’s part classical and part electronic music. There is some strange space sound built in, as well.
The Fall of Chronopolis
The opening chords (which serve as the backdrop for a lot of the song) are almost heavy metal. Keyboards come over that. As the vocals join, it makes me think of a hard edged prog take on Jefferson Airplane. We’re taken out into a neo-classical, hard rocking instrumental segment mid track. Then it explodes back into the song proper with keyboards soloing over the backdrop from there. We’re taken back into the main section from that point.
These Pi-Mesons
Strange ambient tones start this and hold it for a time. Piano joins in a tasteful melody from there. That instrument doesn’t stay around long, though, with those weird things remaining after. This is short (less than a minute and a half).
 
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