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February 2015 - Issue 110
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Asia - Aura
Review by Gary Hill
This is an unusual album for Asia.
Peter Banks Empire - The Mars Tapes
Review by Gary Hill
This set is a rehearsal tape. That said, the band set up in a studio to start working on material that was to be an album.
Captain Beefheart - Somewhere Over Paris
Review by Gary Hill
This double disc set has some great live performances from Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band.
Captain Beefheart - Somewhere Over Vancouver
Review by Gary Hill
I’d have to say that this is probably mostly just for hardcore fans who have to own everything.
Dream Theater - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Review by Gary Hill
This isn’t a favorite Dream Theater album for me.
Electric Light Orchestra - Zoom
Review by Gary Hill
When Electric Light Orchestra came back with Zoom, I think a lot of fans had moved on to other things.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Tarkus
Review by Gary Hill
This is another classic ELP album that we’ve not previously reviewed.
Toulouse Engelhardt - Mind Gardens
Review by Gary Hill
Not everything here is progressive rock.
Existence - Live in Montreal
Review by Gary Hill
I’d never heard this act before. Their brand of progressive rock is quite cool.
Existence - Small People, Short Story, Little Crime
Review by Gary Hill
I wish I could say that I was familiar with this act before I heard this and their live set.
Casey Fallen - Atmospheric Disturbances
Review by Gary Hill
I definitely consider this progressive rock, but prog like modern acts like RPWL and Porcupine Tree.
Gentle Giant - Civilian
Review by Gary Hill
Long time fans of Gentle Giant were definitely not happy with this set.
Dylan Howe - Subterranean - New Designs on Bowie's Berlin
Review by Gary Hill
First off, this is arguably a jazz rather than progressive rock release
Jethro Tull - Roots to Branches
Review by Gary Hill
I have to say that this is a Jethro Tull album that doesn’t get a lot of attention compared to some of the rest of their catalog.
Tesla Manaf - Tesla Manaf
Review by Gary Hill
This release lands in the area between progressive rock and jazz.
The Mangoes - The Mangoes
Review by Gary Hill
This is filed under progressive rock because there is enough prog here to put it there.
The Moody Blues - The Magnificent Moodies
Review by Gary Hill
For the fiftieth anniversary of the release of this album, it’s been reissued with a lot of bonus tracks.
Jourdan Myers - Ruin Me with Love
Review by Gary Hill
Not everything here is progressive rock, that’s for sure.
Alan Parsons - Project - Gaudi
Review by Gary Hill
This album never seemed to catch on like some of the rest of the Alan Parsons Project discs did.
Pink Floyd - More
Review by Gary Hill
This album was a soundtrack album from Pink Floyd.
Queen - Queen II
Review by Gary Hill
The second Queen album, this has a lot of great music.
Renaissance - Turn of the Cards
Review by Gary Hill
This isn’t my favorite Renaissance disc, but it is quite a good one.
Rocket Scientists - Refuel
Review by Gary Hill
I think it’s safe to say that I like everything from Rocket Scientists. This new album is no exception.
Seconds Before Landing - Seconds Before Landing II
Review by Gary Hill
I reviewed the previous set from Seconds Before Landing and thought it was good.
Simak Dialog - Live at Orion
Review by Gary Hill
Simak Dialog’s brand of music has a lot of fusion and a lot of progressive rock at its heart.
Spontaneous Rex - Come at the King
Review by Gary Hill
There is some amazing music here.
Steam Theory - Asunder
Review by Gary Hill
It can be tough to make an instrumental album work.
Styx - Brave New World
Review by Greg Olma
This particular release from Styx is often overlooked but for the life of me,
THEO - The Game of Ouroboros
Review by Gary Hill
This is progressive rock. There is a wide range of ideas within that general label, though.
Toto - XIV
Review by Larry Toering
Toto are back with a vengeance and then some on this Frontiers release. Man, what a killer comeback to the studio this is.
Tune - Identity
Review by Gary Hill
The most obvious reference here is to David Bowie.
Toomas Vanem - 1
Review by Gary Hill
This is all instrumental music. It’s also guitar based and lands somewhat near folks like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani..
Various Artists - Spirit of Sireena Volume 9
Review by Gary Hill
These collections are always interesting. This one is no exception.
Yagull - Kai
Review by Gary Hill
This might not be progressive rock.
Yes - Like It Is - Yes At the Bristol Hippodrome
Review by Gary Hill
This new live album from Yes is quite good.
Frank Zappa - Jazz from Hell
Review by Gary Hill
This is an instrumental jazz album.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Carmine & Vinnie Appice - Drum Wars Live
Review by Gary Hill
This live recording definitely lands under metal because most of the music fits.
October Rage - Fallout, Dust and Guns
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve included this in the metal category. It has a lot of modern metal in the mix.
Scorpions - Blackout (Hybrid Multichannel SACD)
Review by Gary Hill
This classic Scorpions album is getting reissued in this very special edition.
The Skull - For Those Which Are Asleep
Review by Mike Korn
This has been a long time coming. The Skull continues the legacy begun by Chicago’s doom metal masters Trouble thirty years ago.
Spiders & Snakes - Year of the Snake
Review by Gary Hill
A lot of times we put things featuring progressive rock artists under prog, even when they don’t fit that banner based on the music.
Vespers 9 - True Story
Review by Gary Hill
Perhaps this doesn’t fit under heavy metal.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Alarm Clock Conspiracy - Harlequin
Review by Gary Hill
The mix of sounds on this disc is pretty wide.
Amarachi - All or Nothing
Review by Gary Hill
This set is made up of acoustic rockers with the powerful female vocal performance of Amarachi.
The Armory - Rediscover
Review by Gary Hill
This album sometimes leans toward heavy metal. It’s probably best described as “alternative rock,” though, whatever that really means.
Blood Sweat and Tears - Child Is Father to the Man (Hybrid Multichannel SACD)
Review by Gary Hill
This new audiophile release is great.
Rey Cabrera - Controversia
Review by Gary Hill
If you want to hear some traditional Latin music, this will definitely do the trick.
Charley and Jesi - With Love
Review by Gary Hill
There is quite a bit of variety here. Part of that variety is obtained through the use of two different lead singers. Another part comes from the music itself.
Cock Robin - Cock Robin: Expanded Edition
Review by Gary Hill
This new edition of the self-titled Cock Robin disc features the full album and a lot of bonus tracks.
Judy Collins - Both Sides Now: The Very Best Of
Review by Gary Hill
I like this compilation quite a bit. Sure, it seems like just about everyone will argue about what the “best” of any artist is.
d.oh - Hole in My Sock
Review by Gary Hill
Although this is all pop music, and mostly modern, it’s tough to lay a more specific descriptive net on it.
The Tomas Doncker Band - Big Apple Blues
Review by Gary Hill
This has a real classic sound. Most of the time it lands in blues, but there is quite a bit of variety within that heading.
Sarah Donner - This Is A Pegasus
Review by Gary Hill
This is a fairly artsy set. It works quite well, too.
Fernando - The Dogs / Donna the Pride of Topeka (vinyl single)
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve never really heard of this artist before, but based on the strength of this release, I’m definitely interested in hearing more.
Simon Field - Gravity (ft Easton Davis) (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
This has four versions (the original and three remix/edits) of one song.
General Lee Band - Rebel by Choice
Review by Gary Hill
Imagine modern, harder edged versions of classic Southern rock songs.
Going to the Sun - Going to the Sun
Review by Gary Hill
I like this set quite a bit. It’s a solid pop rock disc full of a variety of accessible pieces of music.
Thadeus Gonzalez - Utopian Society
Review by Gary Hill
Although the general label that fits this set is probably just mainstream rock, there is a good amount of variety and range within.
Laney Jones - Golden Road
Review by Gary Hill
It would be pretty easy to classify this as country. Add some folk into the mix and it fits a lot of the set.
Klassik - Winter EP
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve reviewed something from this act before, and enjoyed it. I like this three song EP a lot, too.
The Legal Matters - The Legal Matters
Review by Gary Hill
If you like good pop rock with both retro and modern elements, this is for you. I
Lovesucker - Lovesucker
Review by Gary Hill
With a name like “Lovesucker,” one might expect raunch and roll or heavy metal. This is neither.
The Mailman’s Children - Spiders We Eat
Review by Gary Hill
I suppose you could call this alternative rock, but there is quite a bit going on here.
A. C. Myles - Reconsider Me
Review by Gary Hill
You could say that this is a solid pop rock album.
The Quick & Easy Boys - Follow Us Overboard
Review by Gary Hill
The mix of sounds here is pretty extreme.
Radio Drive - A Taste of Heaven (featuring Kevin Gullickson)
Review by Gary Hill
This four song set has two great songs, one that’s very good and one that could have been done better.
Ynana Rose - Ynana Rose
Review by Gary Hill
I know this artist is considered folk music.
Jason Sees Band - A Single Frame Passing Through the Light
Review by Gary Hill
This set seems to have boundaries that include progressive rock, jam band sound, psychedelia, alternative rock and much more..
Siena Root - Pioneers
Review by Gary Hill
If you are a fan of the hard rock that came out in the late 60s to mid 70s, you will probably love this.
Anne Simone - Bittersweet
Review by Gary Hill
The vocals are what really sell this EP.
Slang - Devastation in the Void
Review by Gary Hill
This is a set from Japanese punk rock legends Slang.
Swelo - Helvetica
Review by Gary Hill
This is very much artsy music. At times it’s strange.
John Taglieri - Days Like These
Review by Gary Hill
Although I suppose you could best describe this as “rock music,” that’s a pretty wide header.
The Torn Images - Reviver
Review by Gary Hill
Alternative rock, punk, Goth and more meet here.
DVD/Video Reviews
Trace Adkins - Live Country DVD
Review by Gary Hill
If you are a fan of Trace Adkins, or just love country music, this is highly recommended.
Jack Bruce - Rockpalast: The 50th Birthday Concerts DVD Set
Review by Gary Hill
It would be easy for a cynical person to assume that this was some hastily assembled set to cash in after the death of Jack Bruce.
Genesis - Sum of the Parts DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I guess how you feel about this documentary will have a lot to do with which period of Genesis’ career you like the best.
Annie Haslam - ‘Live’ Studio Concert DVD: Philadelphia, PA, USA, 1997
Review by Gary Hill
I have been a big fan of Annie Haslam for a long time. She has an incredible voice.
Bob Marley - Uprising Live DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This concert video dates back to 1980.
Rush - R40 DVD/BluRay Set
Review by Greg Olma
There has been a lot of discussion on the internet since this DVD/Blu-Ray set had been announced. 
Various Artists - Positive Force: More Than A Witness; 30 Years Of Punk Politics In Action DVD
Review by Gary Hill
A lot of times musicians will give a lot of lip service to various charities.
Interviews
Firebird
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Firebird from 2015
Dylan Howe
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Dylan Howe from 2015
The Merlin Bird
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with the Merlin Bird from 2015
James Lee Stanley
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with James Lee Stanley from 2014
Kasim Sulton
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Kasim Sulton from 2015
THEO
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Jim Alfredson of THEO from 2015
Book Reviews
Various Artists - 108 Rock Star Guitars written by Lisa S. Johnson
Review by Gary Hill
This is the quintessential coffee table book. That’s particularly true for those who love guitars.
 
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