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June 2006 - Issue 58
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Altera Enigma - Alteration
Review by Gary Hill
It's beginning to seem like a pattern that death metal artists stretch out after a time into more progressive rock oriented territory. One only has to look to Green Carnation, The Gathering and others to see this pattern.
Mike Black - Go/No-Go
Review by Gary Hill
Mike Black is a true solo artist. He produces every sound on this disc.
Bob Couchenour - The Sound 1.0
Review by Gary Hill
You know, in many ways this disc breaks a lot of rules. Frankly, instrumental music in my opinion can be boring.
Dream Theater - Master Of Puppets
Review by Greg Olma
From the beginning, Dream Theater always gave the fans something special. When they go out on tour, if they have a 2 night stay at any venue, the second night becomes “cover” night.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer - The Birth of a Band: Isle of Wight Festival
Review by Steve Alspach
Since the two products are essentially the same, this overall review is taken pretty much intact from the accompanying DVD review. Check out that one for more specific details on the video content as the DVD is essentially the same as the video side of this DualDisc - ed.
The Flower Kings - Paradox Hotel
Review by Steve Alspach
You gotta admire the Flower Kings' work ethic. On the heels of Roine's solo album "Wall Street Voodoo" comes the latest album from Sweden's no. 1 progressive group, and it's a 2-CD set to boot.
David Gilmour - On An Island
Review by Lorraine Kay
On an Island is the most recent solo CD by Pink Floyd guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour.
Jethro Tull - Aqualung Live
Review by Lorraine Kay
When Lee Abrams of Rock Radio approached lead vocalist of Ian Anderson recently about doing a live recording of "Aqualung" as part of an XM Radio series, he wasn't excited about doing the project "But the notion of re-recording the Aqualung album began to exert its charm," he said, "especially since some of the songs had never been performed since the days when they were recorded back in January 1971.
Kansas - Works In Progress
Review by Gary Hill
This disc is a new compilation from Kansas. There is one interesting paradox (and you might note that that is in fact a title of a Kansas song - although one not included on this set) here.
Tony Levin - Resonator
Review by Gary Hill
In terms of releasing consistently strong material, Tony Levin is one of the best musicians out there.
Magic Pie - Motions of Desire
Review by Josh Turner
They are purveyors of the latest trends in progressive music. Their album offers everything you'd expect to find on display from all the modern day greats plus various jam band antics and amenities.
Mastermind - Broken
Review by Gary Hill
I've seen these guys listed as progressive rock pretty much all over the place. There are some definite progressive rock tendencies here, but having not heard their previous albums, I can't attest to Mastermind fitting into that category.
Scott Mosher - Deep Horizon
Review by Gary Hill
With Scott Mosher's latest release he continues a trend of producing extremely potent metallic progressive rock. It's amazing how he can continue to put out one album after another without any weak tracks or losers.
Carl Palmer - Working Live - Volume I
Review by Gary Hill
While fans of Emerson Lake and Palmer should be an obvious audience for this release from Carl Palmer and his new band, these guys don't do music that duplicate's ELP's sound.
Riverside - Voices In My Head
Review by Josh Turner
When I first heard this album, many of the Progressive P's came to mind. This would include Porcupine Tree, Pineapple Thief, Paatos, Pain of Salvation, and of course, Pink Floyd.
Jordan Rudess - Prime Cuts
Review by Josh Turner
Jordan Rudess is "technically" the best keyboardist in the business. When you limit this contest to progressive rock, it's a no-brainer.
Skyron Orchestra - Situations
Review by Gary Hill
Well, to anyone who says that these guys don't belong in the progressive rock section, part of me agrees. I'm pretty evenly divided on where to put this one, but in the end I chose the prog side for a couple reasons.
Soniq Theater - Enchanted
Review by Gary Hill
Soniq Theater is one man, Alfred Mueller, and this guy is talented! His newest release to fly under this banner is Enchanted, and it's full of all the instrumental progressive rock sounds and changes that you could possibly expect for one album.
Sylvan - Posthumous Silence
Review by Gary Hill
I have to admit to ignorance when it comes to this band. Although they have been at it for a while, I had never heard of them before.
Steve Thorne - Emotional Creatures - Part One
Review by Gary Hill
What a pleasant surprise this album is! I had never really heard of Steve Thorne before, but you can bet after this one I'll be keeping track on him.
Luca Turilli - The Infinite Wonders of Creation
Review by Gary Hill
First I need to talk about the layout of this disc. The CD I have is divided in very strange ways.
Viima - Ajatuksia Maailman Laidalta
Review by Gary Hill
I don't know what they put in the water in the Scandinavian countries, but the musicians in that region seem to have a way with classic progressive rock. In the case of Viima we get that sound with lots of Renaissance thrown into the mix.
Yes - Tormato (Expanded and Remastered)
Review by Greg Olma
Back in the late 1970's, Yes must have been a bit scared of the changing musical landscape. Punk was trying it's hardest to kill off bands like Yes; calling them dinosaurs.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Astral Doors - Astralism
Review by Gary Hill
OK, so this doesn't break any new ground musically. It's very much in the old school metal mode in the style of Dio (and the vocals are almost an exact match).
Benedictum - Uncreation
Review by Greg Olma
I have not been this impressed with a debut release in quite some time. Benedictum is San Diego's newest metal export and is a fine one at that. T
Beyond Fear - Beyond Fear
Review by Mike Korn
Nobody should doubt the heavy metal credentials of Tim "Ripper" Owens after hearing this recording. It's unlikely that 2006 will produce many records that are more pure metal than the debut of Owens' new band.
Dark Black - The Barbarian's Hammer
Review by Mike Korn
If you are of a certain age group (OK, over 40), you will actually remember when heavy metal seemed to discover itself as a genre and blossom into something really special. This would be the late '70's and very early '80's.
Luca Turilli's Dreamquest - Lost Horizons
Review by Gary Hill
Luca Turilli is a busy guy. In addition to serving a major role in the band Rhapsody he has two new projects coming out.
Event Horizon - Naked on the Black Floor
Review by Gary Hill
This outfit have produced a disc here that will certainly appeal to fans of progressive metal. The disc has a texture that is consistent with that sound, but also leans at times upon the heavier progressive rock tendencies of such bands as Dream Theater.
Evergrey - Monday Morning Apocalypse
Review by Gary Hill
It's got to be tough to be Evergrey. When you have produced progressive metal powerhouses like they have certainly every thing afterwards will get compared to those moments.
Grave Digger - 25 To Live CD
Review by Gary Hill
A companion disc to the DVD release, this one is a strong live album from a very effective metal outfit. As good as these guys are it should be no surprise that they've been around as long as they have.
Kataklysm - In the Arms of Devastation
Review by Mike Korn
Kataklysm's career is proof that slow and steady wins the race. These French-Canadians are no shooting stars...like the turtle in the old Aesop's Fable, they've been inching towards the finish line for many years, refining their sound and building their base.
Mekong Delta - The Music of Erich Zann
Review by Gary Hill
Germany's Mekong Delta has recently reformed and that seems as good a reason as any to have a look back at this killer album. The group have their own type of thrashing progressive metal that in many ways was far ahead of its time.
Pharaoh - The Longest Night
Review by Gary Hill
In some ways this disc is simply awesome. Frankly, if you take any one song here and listen to it by itself, you'll find that the group's version of classic heavy metal is powerful and invigorating.
Place of Skulls - The Black Is Never Far
Review by Gary Hill
I don't think it would be a far stretch to say that these guys like Black Sabbath. While these guys definitely have their own sound, it seems that a lot of their music is built on a motif that's firmly based in a sound that owes a lot to Tony Iommi's guitar work in Sab.
Queensr├┐che - Operation Mindcrime II
Review by Gary Hill
History - in many ways this album (and this review) is all about history. For my money the first Operation Mindcrime album is a true masterpiece that is unmatched by any album by any artist in terms of power and execution.
Rage - Speak of The Dead
Review by Gary Hill
Rage's latest is almost two different albums. The multi part suite that opens this one off is pretty much pure progressive rock, while the tracks that follow are equally unadulterated heavy metal.
Various Artists - Alternate Endings: Compilation of The End Records Artists
Review by Mike Korn
 If record labels have personalities like people, then The End records can be compared to the eccentric cousin who swears a lot and acts tough but has a secret soft side and an intellectual bent. That's the impression I get from seeing the diversity of artists on this off-the-wall label.
Venom - Metal Black
Review by Mike Korn
Venom is one of the bands that really changed how I looked at music. When I picked up their incredibly raw and Satanic debut Welcome to Hell back in the early 80's, I was first repulsed and then mesmerized by the brutality within.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Ernie Hendrickson and the Make Believe - Only A Dream
Review by Gary Hill
From the first few measures of this disc you might get the idea that you just popped in a new jazz album. However, as the music carries on it becomes pretty obvious that Ernie Hendrickson and The Make Believe are actually a jam band who just happen to incorporate large amounts of jazz into the mix that makes up their original sound.
Fields of the Nephilim - Mourning Sun
Review by Gary Hill
I have to say that this is the first full album by Fields of The Nephilim that I have heard. I first gained knowledge of this outfit when several musicians I had interviewed mentioned them.
Karate High School - Arcade Rock
Review by Gary Hill
Well, one look at the album cover and the band and disc titles and you can be sure that this isn't something to take too seriously. These guys say that they combine the music of arcade games with other sounds to create their sound.
Gary Moore - Old New Ballads Blues
Review by Gary Hill
Gary Moore is probably best known for his work in Thin Lizzy, but the truth of the matter is, that's only one side of the coin. In his solo career he is an extremely talented proponent of the British school of blues.
Uli Jon Roth - Earthquake
Review by Greg Olma
When Uli Jon Roth left the Scorpions, that old excuse of "musical differences" did actually apply. While the Scorpions went on to write more commercial rock songs, Uli Jon Roth decided that he was not going to compromise his musical ambitions just to chase the dollar (or Deutsch Mark as in this case).
Otis Rush - And Friends - Live At Montreux 1986
Review by Gary Hill
I have to admit a couple things up front. First off, I find that a lot of blues tends to sound too much alike and can't get boring after a while.
Talk Engine - Talk Engine
Review by Gary Hill
Do you remember Marianne Faithful's work where she basically reads poetry over some killer music? Well, if you like that sort of material, this disc is definitely for you.
George Thorogood and the Destroyers - The Hard Stuff
Review by Gary Hill
I've always had a soft spot in my rock and roll heart for George Thorogood. I saw him live once years ago and used to buy quite a few of his albums.
Bruce Turgon - Outside Looking In
Review by Gary Hill
Well, let's just get it right out at the start - comparisons to Foreigner will abound on this one. Bruce Turgon's biggest claim to fame is probably his work in that band, in addition to playing with Foreigner vocalist Lou Gramm in Shadow King and his solo career.
Waking State - Hang On
Review by Gary Hill
Make no mistake, this album is modern alternative rock gone pop. If you take that sentence at face value, though, you miss out on quite a bit.
Warrior Soul - Last Decade Dead Century
Review by Greg Olma
The old saying "timing is everything" rings true for this album in 1991. Warrior Soul was a couple of years too late to hit the big time.
DVD/Video Reviews
Jon Anderson - Tour of the Universe DVD
Review by Lorraine Kay
Released simultaneously with the CD single "State of Independence," the debut solo DVD from legendary "Yes" lead singer and songwriter, Jon Anderson, Tour of the Universe is a musical passage through life, time and the world beyond, featuring many new songs as well as classic hits from his work with Yes and collaborations with Vangelis.
Nick Barrett & Clive Nolan - A Rush of Adrenaline DVD
Review by Josh Turner
When it comes to building a bridge or constructing a wall of sound, the bigger, is usually the better. This is especially true in the world of progressive rock.
Alice Cooper - Live at Montreux 2005 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I've been an Alice Cooper fan for a very long time and have seen him live on numerous occasions. As such I suppose I'm a pretty good person to review this new DVD.
Cream - The Making Of Disraeli Gears DVD
Review by Gary Hill
You've really got to love this series of DVD's. When these people say classic albums, they mean it.
Deep Purple - Live at Montreux 1996 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Sometimes it's all about the impression. I saw Deep Purple once quite a few years back, and frankly, I found them to be boring.
Willy Deville - Live In The Lowlands DVD
Review by Greg Olma
The music industry has no one to blame but itself for the financial woes that it is currently experiencing. They try to fit everything into their neat and tidy genres and when something does not fit, it is left on the side to languish.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer - The Birth of a Band: Isle of Wight Festival DVD
Review by Steve Alspach
The Isle of Wight Festival, is sometimes known as the "Kill the Messenger" festival for the hostility towards many of the performers (boy, that Joni Mitchell is a sensitive sort, isn't she?). It had at least one highlight - the "first debut performance" (um, how many debut performances can you have?) of The Supergroup (in caps) of the 1970s - Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer.
Rory Gallagher - Live at Montreux/The Definitive Collection DVD
Review by Gary Hill
The whole Live at Montreux series of DVD's is a pretty great collection. That said, in terms of breadth and scope, this one tops all of them I've seen so far.
Grave Digger - 25 To Live DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I have to say that I never really heard these guys before. Since Mike Korn had done a review of one of their previous discs for MSJ I knew who they were, but I had some notion in my own head, probably due to the band name, that these guys were some extreme death metal outfit.
Mike Oldfield - Live at Montreux 1981 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I'd have to say that the first thing that caught my attention on watching this video is how young Mike Oldfield looks here. Now, mind you, I understand that it is now 25 years later, and I'm not referring to his youth in comparison to today.
The Syn - Syndestructible Tour 2006 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Best known as one of the precursor bands to Yes, The Syn reunited recently and this DVD captures one of the shows on their reunion tour. The lineup here is different than the one on their new CD, most notably with Alan White being added on drums.
Yes - 9012Live DVD
Review by Greg Olma
This is the visual counterpart to the 9012Live album. Even though both share the same title, they are quite different. While the CD focuses on the solo spots of the 90125 show, the DVD contains more of the songs.
Interviews
Jon Anderson
Interview by Lorraine Kay
Interview with Jon Anderson from 2006


Aziola Cry
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Jason Blake of Aziola Cry from 2006
Benedictum
Interview by Greg Olma
Interview with Veronica Freeman of Benedictum from May of 2006


Beyond Fear
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Tim "Ripper" Owens of Beyond Fear from 2006


Willy Deville
Interview by Greg Olma
Interview with Willy Deville from 2006
Flamborough Head
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Edo Spanninga of Flamborough Head from 2006
Kataklysm
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with J. F. Dagenais of Kataklysm From 2006


Tony Levin
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Tony Levin from 2006


John McCormack
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with John McCormack from 2006


Mindgames
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Mindgames from 2006


Paine's Promise
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Veronica Hughes of Paine's Promise From 2006
Carl Palmer
Interview by Josh Turner
Interview with Carl Palmer From 2006
Uli Jon Roth
Interview by Greg Olma
Interview with Uli Jon Roth From 2006


Warrior Soul
Interview by Greg Olma
Interview with Kory Clarke of Warrior Soul From 2006


Concert Reviews
David Gilmour - Live at The Jay Leno Show, 2006
Review by Lorraine Kay
While everyone else in town was busy standing in line to see David Gilmour at the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal CityWalk in North Hollywood, CA, a few lucky people scored passes to the Jay Leno, Tonight Show in Burbank, Thursday, April 20, to watch Gilmour in a private mini concert up close and personal.
Karmakanik - Live at RoSfest, April, 2006
Review by Josh Turner
Karmakanic were very good, but in my heart of hearts I expected more from them. After Krister Jonzon and Jonas Reingold blew away the crowd with The Tangent in the previous year, they returned to these hallowed grounds wrapped up in this different package.
Magic Pie - Live at RoSfest, April, 2006
Review by Josh Turner
I really enjoyed their studio albums, but wondered if they could pull it off in real-time.
Pallas - Live at RoSfest, April, 2006
Review by Josh Turner
This band greatly exceeded my expectations. Their sound engineers had this one tweaked to perfection.
The Pineapple Thief - Live at RoSfest, April, 2006
Review by Josh Turner
I never questioned The Pineapple Thief's progressiveness until I saw them live. In a concert setting, it's not an easy matter to leave or tune out the music.
Uli Jon Roth - Live in Chicago, IL, May 2006
Review by Greg Olma
More pics from this concert are available in our members' area.

It has been a long time since Uli Jon Roth played in Chicago with a full band; 21 years to be exact.
Spock's Beard - Live in Chicago, May 2006
Review by Josh Turner
More  pics from this show are available in our members' area.
The Watch - Live at RoSfest, April, 2006
Review by Josh Turner
Before The Watch hit the stage, Nick Barrett and Clive Nolan announced Pendragon would be back the following year. With all the administration issues out of the way, the lights went dim.
Book Reviews
Rush - Rush - Chemistry written by Jon Collins
Review by Greg Olma
There has not been much written about Rush. Aside from Neil Peart's books (which don't really touch on the band), there have only been a few shorts books written about this Canadian Institution.
Various Artists - Money, Marketing & Myths Inside the Musician's Corner - Volume One written by by Tom Leu
Review by Gary Hill
If you are a musician in a local or regional band that's trying to make it in the business this book is for you. Whether you are a solo artist, a manager, a publicist, or pretty much any other person working in the music field, you'll get a lot from Tom Leu's creation.
 
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