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December 2013 - Issue 103
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Jon Anderson - Change We Must
Review by Gary Hill
This is a newly remastered version of the Jon Anderson Change We Must album.
Alessandro Bertoni - Keystone
Review by Gary Hill
This instrumental album is quite strong. One might quibble with the progressive rock heading, but if it fits anywhere else it would be under fusion.
Birds and Buildings - Multipurpose Trap
Review by Gary Hill
Music this strange shouldn’t be this compelling.
Blodwyn Pig - Pigthology
Review by Gary Hill
This compilation album from Blodwyn Pig is interesting.
Ximena Borges - Joyful Noise
Review by Gary Hill
Is this album progressive rock? Probably not. It’s definitely progressive music, though.
Dewa Budjana - Joged Kahyangan
Review by Gary Hill
I can see some people arguing about this landing under progressive rock.
Gadi Caplan - Look Back Step Forward
Review by Gary Hill
The mix of sounds on this CD is pretty impressive.
Chords of Truth - Reflections of Reality (The Chameleon Acidfolk Remix) EP
Review by Gary Hill
The concept here is intriguing. The songs here all started as Chords of Truth songs, falling into the folk heading.
Cinema - The Magix Box
Review by Gary Hill
The mix of sounds here is intriguing.
Circle of Illusion - Jeremias (Foreshadow of Forgotten Realms)
Review by Gary Hill
This is a dramatic and ambitions album. In terms of entertainment value, it’s perhaps a bit lacking.
Copernicus - L'Étérnité Immédiate
Review by Gary Hill
The album L'Étérnité Immédiate II was an extremely limited release.
Dark Chocolate - The Best of Dark Chocolate
Review by Gary Hill
I don’t know for sure where this group fits musically.
Tristan Eckerson - Dance Craze
Review by Gary Hill
I can imagine people quibbling with my classifying this as progressive rock. Clearly the “rock” part isn’t here.
Pontus H.W. Gunve - Live in New York EP
Review by Jason Hillenburg
Pontus H.W. Gunve's new live EP challenges, invigorates, and inspires.
Half Past Four - Good Things
Review by Gary Hill
This is cool stuff. It’s always left-of-center, but it’s amazing how mainstream these guys can often make that.
Hawkwind - It Is the Business of the Future to Be Dangerous
Review by Gary Hill
This is arguably the strangest album the Hawkwind catalogue.
Matte Henderson - with Marco Minneman - The Veneer of Logic
Review by Gary Hill
This is a cool set. It is clearly not for everyone, though.
Murray Hockridge and Dave Kilminster - Closer to Earth
Review by Gary Hill
What an amazing set this is. It’s a collection of covers all delivered in an organic, soulful approach.
Hot Head Show - Perfect
Review by Gary Hill
To describe this in one word would be to say “weird.” That doesn’t really encompass all of it here.
Steve Howe - Homebrew
Review by Gary Hill
This collection is a lot of literally “homebrewed” pieces by Steve Howe.
Steve Howe - Natural Timbre
Review by Gary Hill
This is Steve Howe’s first fully acoustic studio album.
Steve Howe - The Grand Scheme of Things
Review by Gary Hill
This is a pretty intriguing set.
Steve Howe - Turbulence
Review by Gary Hill
Although this album is strictly instrumental, it’s one of the most “Yes-like” of Steve Howe’s solo catalog.
I Know You Well Miss Clara - Chapter One
Review by Gary Hill
What an odd name for a band.
Dusan Jevtovic - Am I Walking Wrong?
Review by Gary Hill
This is a purely instrumental album with a pretty wide range of sounds.
Calvin Keys - Electric Keys
Review by Gary Hill
I’m going to land this one under progressive rock, but I could see people having a problem with that.
James LaBrie - Impermanent Resonance
Review by Gary Hill
In a lot of ways this makes me think of Dream Theater. Of course, when you’ve got heavy, progressive music with James LaBrie singing, that makes sense.
Le Mur - Silentia Nova LP
Review by Gary Hill
This album is quite cool. First off, it’s a limited edition, colored vinyl record.
Mobtown Moon - Mobtown Moon
Review by Gary Hill
Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album is one of the most iconic discs in history.
Neomythics - Projectiles
Review by Gary Hill
I can definitely see some people disagreeing with this landing in progressive rock. For my money, though, it fits.
Nightwish - Once
Review by Scott Prinzing
Every once in awhile, I discover a great new band, but recently, I’ve discovered several bands that have been around for a decade or more that leave me mystified as to how I missed them all this time.  
Nosound - Afterthoughts
Review by Gary Hill
I really like everything here. The power and majesty of these songs is great.
Nox Arcana - Legion of Shadows
Review by Gary Hill
To a large degree you know what you will get with a Nox Arcana album.
Paradise 9 - Take Me to the Future
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite an interesting album. It’s space rock, but there is a lot of punk rock edge to it.
Mike Pinder - Promise / Among the Stars
Review by Gary Hill
Mike Pinder is best known as the original keyboardist for the Moody Blues.
Paul Roland - and Midnight Rags – The Werewolf of London
Review by Gary Hill
This is a new issue of old independent release from Paul Roland.
Rovo and System 7 - Phoenix Rising
Review by Gary Hill
Steve Hillage is best known for his work with Gong and his solo work.
Saga - Spin It Again: Live in Munich
Review by Gary Hill
Saga is such a cool band. And, with Michael Sadler back, it’s the original voice.
ScienceNV - Bite My Bolero
Review by Mike Korn
Prog fans with a love of classical music are highly urged to check out this three-track EP from ScienceNV, whose ranks are composed of actual scientists.
William Shatner - Ponder the Mystery
Review by Gary Hill
The last couple albums from William Shatner have landed in my “best of” lists for those two years.
Simak Dialog - The Sixth Story
Review by Gary Hill
These guys always create great fusion.
Slack Armada - Slack Armada
Review by Gary Hill
This four track EP is pretty cool.
Space Mirrors - The Other Gods
Review by Gary Hill
The latest installment in the series by Space Mirrors, this continues their exploration of the writings of H.P. Lovecraft.
The Twenty Committee - A Lifeblood Psalm
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite a unique and effective set.
Narada Michael Walden - Rising Sun EP
Review by Gary Hill
I know this guy is considered jazz.
The Waterboys - Appointment with Mr. Yeats
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve certainly heard of this group over the years, but I don’t think I’ve actually heard them before.
Wide Hive Players - Turnstyle
Review by Gary Hill
I really love this instrumental album.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Annihilator - Feast
Review by Mike Korn
Jeff Waters and Annihilator have had the epitome of an up and down career.
Defy Tolerance - Stop the Bleeding
Review by Gary Hill
I’m not the biggest fan of modern nu-metal.
Fates Warning - Darkness In A Different Light
Review by Greg Olma
It has been almost a decade since we have gotten a Fates Warning release.  
Iron Man - South of the Earth
Review by Mike Korn
The term "Iron Man" will usually bring to mind either a red-and-gold armored superhero or maybe Black Sabbath’s seminal heavy metal tune.
Krokus - Stampede LP
Review by Gary Hill
This double disc set (on colored vinyl) is a reissue of the Stampede album by Krokus. 
Mindcage - Our Own Devices
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite an effective metal album.
Saxon - Unplugged and Strung Up + Heavy Metal Thunder
Review by Gary Hill
This double disc set is an unusual one.
Theocracy - As the World Bleeds
Review by Gary Hill
These guys are a metal band from Georgia who sound more like a European epic metal band.
Trail of Murder - Shades of Art
Review by Gary Hill
This is a pretty awesome metal album.
Various Artists - Thriller - A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson
Review by Gary Hill
I know the title says this is a “metal” tribute, but I question whether the person who gave it that title knows what “heavy metal” is.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Aradia - Possibilities: Light
Review by Gary Hill
For the most part, I like this set.
Bill Berends - In My Dreams I Can Fly
Review by Gary Hill
Other than drums, this is a one man show.
Tiki Black - Out of the Black
Review by Gary Hill
There is a real world music vibe to much of this album.
BluRum13 - Inverted
Review by Gary Hill
This hip hop album is fairly diverse.
Norine Braun - Conventus The Eye of the Heart
Review by Gary Hill
This is a pretty good set. The mix of sounds is interesting and musically it’s always good.
Marcus Corbett - Strung Deep
Review by Gary Hill
This is world music. At times one might call it progressive world music because it has a lot of proggy elements.
Skylar Elise - Skylar Elise EP
Review by Gary Hill
Skylar Elise can certainly sing. One would think that no matter her age.
Jeff Healey - Live from NYC
Review by Gary Hill
This live recording from Jeff Healey dates all the way back to December 1988.
Cole Hermer - Cole Hermer and the Ravens EP
Review by Gary Hill
Sometimes less is more. I tend to think that’s the case here.
Leah Jee - The Rest is Ours
Review by Gary Hill
This EP is quite good. It’s not without problems, though.
Keyser Soze - The Remedy
Review by Gary Hill
This is great. It feels quite retro in a lot of ways, but there are modern elements here, too.
Ron Littlejohn and the Funk Embassy - Shining On
Review by Gary Hill
Fans of old school R&B and soul will love this. It’s really quite retro in texture. There’s nothing here that doesn’t work quite well.
Joe Matera - Terra Firma
Review by Gary Hill
This is a good album. It’s got some cool songs.
Motörhead - Aftershock
Review by Gary Hill
We’ve all heard the stories of cancelled gigs.
NMercer - Crossroads EP
Review by Gary Hill
This four track EP is quite intriguing.
Painted on Water - Chicago Issue
Review by Gary Hill
I really like this EP a lot. It’s got an intriguing set of sounds.
Dug Pinnick - Naked
Review by Scott Prinzing
I was so anxious for this album's release that I actually downloaded a copy (legally, of course!) before waiting for it to appear in my local record store. 
Cookie Rabinowitz - Four Eyed Soul
Review by Gary Hill
I like this album a lot.
Alan B. Salisbury - Dream and Believe (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
This is both a Christmas song and children’s song.
Sound Strider - Intrepid Travels
Review by Gary Hill
This EP is described as a tribute to Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters and each song has links to that (most of the time through spoken samples at the very least).
Sonny Spectrum - Sonny Spectrum EP
Review by Gary Hill
This four track EP is pretty impressive.
The Standells - Bump
Review by Gary Hill
How many bands have forty five years between studio recordings?
Status Quo - The Frantic Four Reunion 2013
Review by Gary Hill
Status Quo is one of those legendary bands that are more or less a cult group.
Stoney - More than Animals
Review by Gary Hill
I like this album a lot. Parts of it land pretty close to modern progressive rock like Radiohead.
Umbrella Bed - Refill EP
Review by Gary Hill
This five track EP is quite cool.
Various Artists - Will Sing For Food: A Charity Album to Benefit the Rock River Valley Food Pantry, Rockford, Illinois
Review by Greg Olma
Benefit albums can be difficult to review because you get a bunch of artists who are generous enough to submit their art for charity. 
Narada Michael Walden - Thunder 2013
Review by Gary Hill
What a cool album this is.
The Walking Sticks - Send the Night EP
Review by Gary Hill
I wish there was more here than just these four songs.
Steven James Wylie - Everything I Love EP
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite a cool EP.
DVD/Video Reviews
Big Country - Live at the Town and Country Club London DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Well, this is certainly a no-frills release. It’s almost the equivalent of a VHS tape.
The Cockney Rejects - East End Babylon DVD
Review by Gary Hill
It seems like this issue I’m reviewing quite a few documentaries about bands I never heard of before.
Cosmic Psychos - Blokes You Can Trust DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This is an unusual documentary about an unusual band. It’s told almost as more of a personal story and frankly, after watching it, you’ll feel like these guys are just plain “blokes you can trust.”
Deep Purple - Perfect Strangers Live DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I can still remember when the Perfect Strangers album was released.
Def Leppard - Viva! Hysteria: Live At The Joint, Las Vegas BluRay
Review by Greg Olma
Def Leppard are the latest group to jump on the “let’s perform our most popular album from start to finish” bandwagon. 
Dr. Feelgood - Oil City Confidential DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I have to admit, I never heard of this band before.
Dream Theater - Live at Luna Park BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
This is arguably Dream Theater’s best live video released thus far.
Europe - Live at Sweden Rock DVD
Review by Gary Hill
First off, I have to admit that I was one American who had probably never heard anything from Europe other than “Final Countdown.”
The Gourds - All the Labor: The Story of the Gourds DVD
Review by Gary Hill
The title here is appropriate because watching this documentary it’s obvious these guys work hard.
CeeLo Green - Loberace Live in Vegas BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
CeeLo Green is an entertainer. It’s important to keep that in mind when watching this.
Steve Hackett - The Bremen Broadcast: Musikladen 8th November 1978 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve always liked Steve Hackett, going back to his Genesis days and well beyond. 
Lady Antebellum - Live on this Winter’s Night BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
I think our household now has a new holiday classic that we’ll be adding to the mandatory December viewing list.
Saga - Spin It Again BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
What an awesome product this is!
Various Artists - Move Me Brightly BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
I don’t know how to try to recommend this to fans of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead.
Interviews
Peter Calandra
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Peter Calandra from 2013
Matte Henderson
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Matte Henderson from 2013
Il Cerchio d'Oro
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Il Cerchio d'oro from 2013
Iron Man
Interview by Mike Korn

Interview with Alfred Morris III of Iron Man from 2013

Concert Reviews
Fates Warning - Live in Joliet, Illinois, November 2013
Review by Greg Olma

It has been a little over a decade since the mighty Fates Warning toured near Chicago.


 
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