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April 2006 - Issue 57
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Aziola Cry - Ellipsis
Review by Gary Hill
If you like instrumental prog in the style of Djam Karet, but would like to hear that sound carried out with a bit more metal to it, then Aziola Cry is the band for you. These guys do have quite a bit in common with that other band, but they also share musical textures with Rush, Dream Theater and some metal bands.
Adrian Belew - Side Three
Review by Gary Hill
When I first got Belew's Side One it was said that that disc was going to be the first a trilogy of CD's. This album draws that set to a close, but as it turns out, there is now to be a fourth.
Robert Berry - Prime Cuts
Review by Gary Hill
The latest release in the Magna Carta series Prime Cuts, this time the attention is turned on Robert Berry's considerable work on the label. The first point I need to bring up is somewhat of a mixed one here.
Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Bill Bruford's Earthworks
Review by Gary Hill
The first disc by Bill Bruford's Earthworks project, this one might be a bit different for fans of his prog rock works, but it is also very solid. Bruford had always had strong jazz leanings, and made that quite clear over the years.
Enchant - Tug Of War
Review by Greg Olma
I just recently discovered Enchant. How they have been able to fly under my prog radar for so many years, I'll never know.
Ensoph - Project X Katon
Review by Gary Hill
Italy's Ensoph has produced one heck of an ambitious disc with Project X Katon. It is so creative and unusual that I really didn't know where to put it. In the end, although a lot of this would fit into metal and some into techno, the adventurous (and this is one of the most adventurous pieces of music you will ever experience) led me to put it into prog.
Flamborough Head - Tales of Imperfection
Review by Gary Hill
Fans of Renaissance should really like this CD. The truth of the matter is, though that fans of any classic progressive rock band should enjoy this.
Gargamel - Watch For Umbles
Review by Gary Hill
Formed in the new millennium in Norway, the band's sound would never give you that impression. Their sound would give you the impression that they were creating music in the Europe of the early 1970's.
Genesis - Wind and Wuthering
Review by Gary Hill
The second album from Genesis after Peter Gabriel left the fold, this one is rather maligned by a lot of prog fans. That's a shame because this one is really very good.
Green Carnation - Acoustic Verses
Review by Gary Hill
Prog fans might not have heard of these guys. It seems that they are a spin off project of a thrash band, and often times move more into the prog metal vein.
Halloween - Part One
Review by Gary Hill
The first album from French proggers Halloween, this disc is great prog rock album with lots of varying textures. Musically it falls into a more symphonic mellower range with hints of such bands as Alan Parsons Project, Genesis and Emerson Lake and Palmer.
John McCormack - Peace of Mind
Review by Gary Hill
A word of advice to aspiring musicians, when you release your CD, give some serious thought to the cover. This disc has been sitting in a pile here at MSJ central, as the cover was so amateurish that I was afraid to spin it.
Mindgames - Actors In A Play
Review by Gary Hill
Hailing from Belgium, Mindgames create a new form of progressive symphonic rock that is based quite firmly on the rich history of that musical style.
Mr. Brown - Mellan Tre Ogon Med
Review by Gary Hill
Coming out of Sweden in 1977, this is the first time this great melodic prog album has been released on CD.
Paine's Promise - Mobius
Review by Gary Hill
Fans of Rush should find plenty to like on this album. The drums in particular feel a lot like Neil Peart's work and really stand out.
Rush - Hold Your Fire
Review by Greg Olma
I am always afraid when I read quotes that say, "we are going back to our roots" and "it will be a back to basics record." More often then not, the artist will be wearing egg on their face once the album comes out.
Chris Squire - Fish Out Of Water
Review by Gary Hill
When Yes all took a temporary hiatus to focus on solo works in the early 1970's, Chris Squire put out this masterpiece.
The Syn - Original Syn 1965-2004
Review by Gary Hill
This compilation is a bit of a mixed bag. The first CD is composed of songs from the first era of The Syn, while the second disc are tracks created by the 21st century rendition of the group.
Uncle Moe's Space Ranch - Uncle Moe's Space Ranch
Review by Mark Jordan
If you wanted to point someone a to a CD and say that "this disc pretty much defines what modern Fusion is all about" then you couldn't go far wrong with Uncle Moe's Space Ranch. The album should also appeal to those fans of instrumental prog and metal who like to hear talented and very capable musicians really stretch.
Univers Zero - Live
Review by Gary Hill
The first live album from Univers Zero, as good as this one sounds it begs the question, "why did they wait so long?" For fans of jazz/classical oriented prog a bit like Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, Univers Zero should be on their short list.
Various Artists - Howe White Squire - The More Drama Tour Limited Edition CD
Review by Gary Hill
This is a compilation album that was made to promote the Yes related More Drama Tour that wound up not happening. While it's not available for sale, any time you purchase a CD from Syn's official site, they include this puppy for free - now that makes it a great value.
White - White
Review by Gary Hill
While Alan White released one solo album in the 1970's, this is his first project that could be considered "solo" since then. Much like Steve Howe did with Remedy, rather than create a totally solitary work with guest musicians, White has chosen instead to put together a band to record his music. 
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Abramis Brama - Dansa Tokjavelns Vals
Review by Gary Hill
So, you say you like classic rock/old school metal by bands like Mountain, Black Sabbath and Captain Beyond? Well, you're sure to like this one, then.
Cathedral - The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Review by Mike Korn
There's something uniquely British about Cathedral. If you hear them and don't know where they are from, you can still tell they are from Old Blighty right away.
Judas Priest - The Essential Judas Priest
Review by Gary Hill
Riding high on a resurgence from the reuniting of the band with vocalist Rob Halford, Judas Priest are releasing a 2 CD collection called "The Essential Judas Priest." The set has two songs from their latest studio release, Angel of Retribution, which make a nice addition in the form of bookends.
Sepultura - Dante XXI
Review by Mike Korn
In the list of world literary giants, Italian poet Dante Aligheiri would have to rank pretty high. The 13th century scribe is generally credited with creating the modern Italian language in his massive work "The Divine Comedy," which detailed Dante's fictional travels through heaven, hell and purgatory.
Tipton, Entwhistle & Powell - Edge of the World
Review by Gary Hill
When Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest first set out to record a solo album he worked predominantly with John Entwhistle (The Who) and Cozy Powell (Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Emerson Lake and Powell and seemingly a million other bands). Well, after the disc was done, the label nixed its release. 
Glenn Tipton - Baptizm of Fire Remaster
Review by Gary Hill
The debut solo album (first one released, not the first one recorded) by Glenn Tipton has just been reissued with two new tracks added on to the lineup. Since I reviewed the original release of the album, the majority of this review will be drawn and modified from that review.
TNT - All The Way To The Sun
Review by Gary Hill
There was a time when I wouldn't have touched a CD by TNT. Too many memories of '80's hair metal bands dominating MTV soured that for me. Well, enough time has passed for the pain to go away.
The Devin Townsend Band - Synchestra
Review by Mike Korn
There is still a place in the world for the eccentric and even the downright looney, as the continued success of Mr. Devin Townsend proves. To paraphrase Frank Sinatra, Devin definitely does it his way and the result is some of the most eclectic and unpredictable music available.
Wicked Wisdom - Wicked Wisdom
Review by Gary Hill
Have you heard of Wicked Wisdom? Well, you may have seen them at Ozzfest last year. You may have also heard the name just based on one of the members of the group.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Blue Öyster Cult - Fire Of Unknown Origin
Review by Greg Olma
Back in 1981, Blue Oyster Cult was riding the wave of rock's "second coming". Having just completed a successful tour with Black Sabbath, the boys went back into the studio to record their next batch of songs and to try to keep themselves in the public eye.
Rik Emmett - The Spiral Notebook
Review by Greg Olma
Rik Emmett has worn the guitar virtuoso hat for quite a while now. I remember reading about him back in 1979 and for a while, in the 80's, you couldn't pick up a guitar magazine without some mention of him.
Kimi Hayes - Kimi Hayes Band - Red 14
Review by Lisa Palmeno
Kimi Hayes Band is best known for upbeat pop-flavored girl tunes. Red 14 is a professionally clean recording of the seductively feminine originals that make the band a favorite at festivals and clubs in their hometown, Chicago.
Kimi Hayes - Simply Live
Review by Lisa Palmeno
Kimi Hayes Band's debut CD, Simply Live sports five originals, three covers, and an cut penned for the group by award-winning producer/songwriter/performer Tom Hambridge. The covers are Janis Joplin's "Move Over," "I'd Rather Go Blind" (Foster, Jordan), and a medley of hits called "Dueling A Minors/I Will Survive" (Fekaris, Perren).
Liz Larin - Wake Up Start Dreaming
Review by Steve Alspach
I'm thinking of starting a movement called GLOOM - Get Liz Out Of Michigan.
Ministry - Rantology
Review by Gary Hill
This compilation showcases a nice slice of Ministry music. For long time fans of the band, it might be a bit lacking in that they probably already have versions of most of this material.
Toto - Falling In Between
Review by Greg Olma
Falling In Between is the first new material from Toto in almost 8 years. Was it worth the wait, you might ask?
DVD/Video Reviews
Annihilator - Ten Years Of Hell DVD
Review by Greg Olma
Let's establish one thing right off the bat...Jeff Waters can shred. The Annihilator guitarist (in truth, Waters is Annihilator...a fact anybody who watches this DVD would be hard pressed to dispute) is simply one of the best heavy metal axe-men of the last 20 years. In terms of playing ability, he is right up there with the likes of Hammett, Mustaine and Skolnick.
Europe - Rock the World DVD
Review by Greg Olma
If ever there was a band whose whole career was judged by one song, it has to be Europe. "The Final Countdown" made them a household name but it also shut the door on what could have been a longer career.
Megadeth - The Arsenal of Megadeth DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Well, when it comes to DVD what would you expect from Megadeth. Well, if you answered a MegaDVD, then you are the winner.
Molly Hatchet - Live In Hamburg DVD
Review by Mike Korn
Here's a no-messin', no-frills DVD from a no-messin', no frills band. It seems hard to believe this is the first real DVD for the longtime Southern rockers, but so it is.
Gary Moore - and Friends - One Night In Dublin -A Tribute to Phil Lynott DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Well, first off, what can be said about Phil Lynott that hasn't been said before? The man was a musical genius, and in many ways was the heart and soul of Thin Lizzy - one of the best underrated bands of the 1970's.
Queen - The Making of A Night At The Opera DVD
Review by Gary Hill
When it comes to classic albums of the 1970's it seems that Queen's A Night At The Opera should be on most people's short list. Therefore it seems very appropriate that Eagle Vision created this DVD documenting the making of the album. This is a pretty impressive set just packed with stuff.
Otis Rush - and Friends - Live At Montreux 1986 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
If you are like me, when it comes to blues there is some that really stirs the soul and kicks pretty well, but a lot of the rest seems to just blur together. Well, this DVD does not contain any blurring.
Sodom - Lords of Depravity Part One DVD
Review by Mike Korn
In 1982, young Thomas Such was facing a lifetime working in the coalmines of his blue collar German hometown Gelsenkirchen.
Various Artists - VH1 Metal Mania - Stripped Across America Live! DVD
Review by Greg Olma
MTV "Unplugged" was a great idea but in the late 90's, music changed again, causing acoustic performances to go underground. None of the new artists could go unplugged.
Whitesnake - Live in the Still of the Night DVD
Review by Greg Olma
If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be reviewing a new Whitesnake DVD, I would have laughed in your face. Back in 1996, Whitesnake wasn't the flavor of the month.
Interviews
James LaBrie
Interview by Greg Olma
Interview with James LaBrie of Dream Theater From 2006
Lamb of God
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with John Campbell of Lamb of God from 2006


Øresund Space Collective
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Øresund Space Collective From 2006
Sepultura
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Derrick Green of Sepultura From 2006
The Syn
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Steve Nardelli of The Syn From 2006


Univers Zero
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Daniel Denis of Univers Zero From 2006


Concert Reviews
Dream Theater - Live in Chicago, March 2006
Review by Josh Turner
I've seen Dream Theater live on many occasions. They consistently maintain a high level of quality and innovation.
Rik Emmett - Live in Chicago, IL. February 2006
Review by Greg Olma
More pics from this concert are available in a gallery in our members area.

 
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