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October 2009 - Issue 78
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Asia - Astra
Review by Gary Hill
This album has all of the original lineup of Asia except Steve Howe. The music, however, is much different than what we heard on their debut disc.
Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Random Acts of Happiness
Review by Gary Hill
This live disc from Bill Bruford’s Earthworks is quite a tasty one. For those not familiar with the group, let me just say this is pure jazz.
 
Buggles - The Age of Plastic
Review by Gary Hill
A lot of people (especially in the progressive rock community) have disparaging things to say about Buggles.
 
Robert Calvert - Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters
Review by Gary Hill
This Robert Calvert disc is, in many ways, a lost Hawkwind album.
Copernicus - disappearance
Review by Gary Hill
This album is an intriguing and interesting (if perhaps not the most readily listenable one).
 
Jennifer Cutting - Ocean: Songs for the Night Sea Journey
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve seen this album called a folk disc. I don’t see it. Sure there’s some folk here, but I could more easily picture this under new age than folk.
Dark Chocolate - Unwrapped
Review by Gary Hill
Perhaps Dark Chocolate’s greatest claim to fame is that the group features Kim Stone who is well-known for providing bass for Spyro Gyra and Rippingtons.
Diablo Swing Orchestra - Sing-Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious
Review by Gary Hill
Those who follow my reviews carefully will know that I love music that combines unusual sounds to create something unique.
Enchant - Blink of An Eye
Review by Gary Hill
Fans of modern neo prog will surely like this disc. There’s not a bad song on the set.
Eyestrings - Burdened Hands
Review by Gary Hill
If you like quirky modern progressive rock that draws upon old school prog (and at times more modern sounds) this disc is for you.
Genesis - Invisible Touch
Review by Gary Hill
Certainly this is one of the most pure pop discs Genesis ever produced. That makes it a real thorn in the side to the prog head Genesis fans.
Genesis - The Way We Walk – Volume 2 – The Longs
Review by Gary Hill
Those who think that the Phil Collins era of Genesis was nothing but pop drivel are wrong.
 
Genesis - Turn It On Again – The Hits
Review by Gary Hill
This Genesis compilation, as the second part of the title says, focuses on the band’s hits.
 
Hawkwind - California Brainstorm
Review by Gary Hill
Due to the packaging and recording quality, I always thought this was a bootleg.
Hawkwind - Distant Horizons
Review by Gary Hill
I never met a Hawkwind album I didn’t like. That said, this is one of the more non-descript and lackluster discs in their catalog.
Hawkwind - Spirit of the Age Solstice Remixes
Review by Gary Hill
Here we have an EP from Hawkwind that includes four different mixes of the same piece, that being “Spirit of the Age” which originated on Quark Strangeness and Charm.
Hawkwind - The Friday Rock Show Sessions - Live at Reading '86
Review by Gary Hill
I’d have to say that for my money this is one of the best Hawkwind live albums.
Hawkwind - The Xenon Codex
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve seen some less than stellar reviews of this disc, but for my money it’s a great album and well in the upper percentile of Hawkwind releases.
Steve Howe - and Paul Sutin – Seraphim
Review by Gary Hill
I’m including this release under the Steve Howe heading. Why? Because that’s how it’s listed.
Steve Howe - Beginnings
Review by Gary Hill
Steve Howe’s first solo release, this is a strong album that’s not perfect.
Steve Howe - The Steve Howe Album
Review by Gary Hill
This was Steve Howe’s second solo album. Like its predecessor, the music here runs a nice cross section of musical styles.
iNFiNiEN - iNFiNiEN
Review by Gary Hill
If you’ve read a lot of my reviews and been observant, you’ll know that I really like music that combines disparate genres into a unique sound.
Just Offshore - Just Offshore
Review by Gary Hill
If you like keyboard based instrumental music you really need to check this one out.
Kosmos (Finland) - Vieraan taivaan alla
Review by Gary Hill
The latest disc from the Finnish band Kosmos, I like this one a lot.
Geoff Leigh and Yumi Hara - Upstream
Review by Gary Hill
Fans of RIO (Rock In Opposition) should like this album. It’s very freeform and a lot of it is dissonant.
Litmus - Aurora
Review by Mike Korn
For several decades now, the unquestioned masters of the esoteric art of "space rock" have been Hawkwind.
Meat Loaf - Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell
Review by Gary Hill
You may have noticed that I put the first Bat Out of Hell disc into non-progressive rock and this one into prog.
Moraine - Manifest density
Review by Gary Hill
Those who like their prog instrumental and just a little strange will enjoy this.
Moraz / Bruford - In Tokyo
Review by Gary Hill
This live recording of Moraz and Bruford dates to 1985 and it finds both musicians in top form.
Pianocircus - Skin & Wire - Pianocircus featuring Bill Bruford play the music of Colin Riley
Review by Gary Hill
This music is hard to describe – jazz is one definition, but it only fits so well.
Random Touch - A Way From The Heard
Review by Gary Hill
RIO is an odd thing as far as I’m concerned.
Saturnia - The Glitter Odd
Review by Gary Hill
If you are a fan of spacey progressive rock like early Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, etc., you’ll love this one.
 
Simak Dialog - Demi Masa
Review by Gary Hill
This outfit hails from Indonesia and the music has the world influence of that region.
Slivovitz - Hubris
Review by Gary Hill
Combining world music with fusion, RIO and other elements, this is a cool disc.
Paul Sutin - Seraphim
Review by Gary Hill
This disc is a new age album that has a lot of keyboards and atmospheric textures. It’s quite pretty and relaxing.
Teleseen - Fear of the Forest
Review by Gary Hill
I originally had pegged this one to go into the non-metal, non-progressive rock category.
Rick Wakeman - 1984
Review by Gary Hill
This concept album is Rick Wakeman’s interpretation of George Orwell’s classic book.
Rick Wakeman - Journey To the Centre of the Earth
Review by Gary Hill
Another concept album from Rick Wakeman, this one focuses on the famous novel by Jules Verne.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Asphyx - Death The Brutal Way
Review by Mike Korn
In the 90's, no band on Earth was heavier than Holland's Asphyx.
Beatallica - Masterful Mystery Tour
Review by Gary Hill
The latest CD from Beatallica, this is perhaps not as consistent as the previous one.
Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Review by Gary Hill
It has to be tough to invent a musical style like Black Sabbath did. There’s no one around to tell you what does and doesn’t constitute heavy metal.
Delain - April Rain
Review by Gary Hill
I have to say that when I first heard the female fronted, symphonically tinged epic metal genre, I was impressed.
Judas Priest - A Touch of Evil – Live
Review by Gary Hill
I make no bones about it; I’m a big Judas Priest fan. And the band are really at a new peak these days.
Judas Priest - British Steel – Remastered
Review by Gary Hill
British Steel was the first introduction many people had to the music of Judas Priest.
Judas Priest - Painkiller
Review by Gary Hill
They open this album with its title track – and Priest have seldom done any songs that are much more frantic and powerhouse in energy.
Judas Priest - Ram It Down
Review by Gary Hill
For my money this was almost an apology for the album that preceded it, Turbo.
Axel Rudi Pell - Best Of – Anniversary Edition
Review by Gary Hill
This compilation disc by Axel Rudi Pell shows how strong an artist he truly is.
Tommy Bones - EP
Review by Gary Hill
This debut EP shows a band with a lot of promise.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Abney Park - Lost Horizons: The Continuing Adventures of Abney Park
Review by Rick Damigella
Most genres of music have gone hand in hand with a fashion or artistic movement. But no genre is as inextricably linked to its synonymous style as Steampunk, and the foremost artisans of the steampunk sound are Abney Park.
AC/DC - Powerage
Review by Gary Hill
I know AC/DC really didn’t climb to the heights of superstardom until Brian Johnson was their singer. For my money, though, Bon Scott is the main man.
 
Aerosmith - Toys in the Attic
Review by Gary Hill
You know, this album is really a classic, but it seems to me that there are probably a lot of music fans out there who haven’t heard it these days. So, it seems a good thing to have a look at.
The B-52s - The B-52s
Review by Gary Hill
When the B-52s first came out they got lumped into punk rock.
 
Blondie - Plastic Letters
Review by Gary Hill
This was Blondie’s second album and it found them working within a quirky pop rock sort of element, but not taking it to the mainstream extreme of the next disc.
David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve always preferred the glam rock era of David Bowie.
 
Captain Beyond - Dawn Explosion
Review by Gary Hill
This album is not held in as high a regard by Captain Beyond fans as their first two. It features new vocalist Wally Daffern.
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies - Susquehanna
Review by Gary Hill
This is the first time I heard The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. I had always thought of them as one of the modern big bands – like Atomic Fireballs.
Chickenfoot - Chickenfoot
Review by Rick Damigella
When I first read about the formation of Chickenfoot, I nearly fell over.
Cockpit - Mission to Rock
Review by Gary Hill
Whenever you see a band of women playing hard rock you have to wonder if it’s all a gimmick.

Depeche Mode - Playing the Angel
Review by Gary Hill
I remember back in the day being dragged kicking and screaming into liking Depeche Mode.
 
Devo - Greatest Hits
Review by Gary Hill
We are Devo – D – E – V – O. For my money Devo were one of the most original outfits ever to hit the music scene.
 
Electric Light Orchestra - Strange Magic: The Best of Electric Light Orchestra
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve always liked ELO a lot and haven’t yet replaced my old vinyl collection.
Rory Gallagher - Crest of a Wave: The Best of Rory Gallagher
Review by Gary Hill
If you are like me you knew who Rory Gallagher was, but never really picked up an album by him.
Gift of Gab - Escape 2 Mars
Review by Gary Hill
This is a solo album from Gift of Gab of the group Blackalicious.
Grand Funk Railroad - We’re An American Band
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve always been a big fan of Grand Funk.
Kiss - Creatures of the Night
Review by Gary Hill
I remember when this disc came out I was purely blown away by it. Kiss had never rocked this hard and the album was extremely strong.
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin
Review by Gary Hill
It’s hard to believe that it’s been forty years since this album was released. It’s still a classic and probably always will be.
Lowdown Brass Band - Lowdown Brass Band
Review by Gary Hill
This album is a great release by the Chicago based horn band.
John Mayall - Tough
Review by Gary Hill
Here we get a killer blues rock album. What else do you really expect from John Mayall, though.
Meat Loaf - Bat Out of Hell
Review by Gary Hill
I remember that when this album was all over the radio and making news everywhere I was not taken by it at all.
Gary Moore - Essential Montreux – Live at Montreux
Review by Gary Hill
A box set made up of five CD’s from each of Gary Moore’s appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival, this is both a massive and powerful set.
Chuck Mosley and VUA - Will Rap Over Hard Rock For Food
Review by Gary Hill
Chuck Mosley is the former lead singer for Faith No More. If you know anything about that band, it’s that they were hard rocking and very creative.
Natural Gas - Natural Gas
Review by Gary Hill
Here’s a CD release that’s been overdue by a long shot.
Nazareth - No Mean City
Review by Gary Hill
This might not be one of Nazareth’s biggest albums, but it’s a strong one nonetheless.
Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine
Review by Rick Damigella
I am sitting down to write this one month and a day from the 20th anniversary of the release of Pretty Hate Machine - an epochal day if there ever was one.
Queensrÿche - Empire
Review by Gary Hill
Operation Mindcrime is, in my opinion, the greatest album ever produced by any musical artist.
Rainbow - Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll
Review by Gary Hill
I remember this was the first disc I ever heard by Rainbow and it purely blew me away.
The Ramones - Ramones Mania
Review by Gary Hill
This collection of music by the Ramones would be a perfect way to start your personal Ramones collection.
Status Quo - In Search of the Fourth Chord
Review by Gary Hill
Status Quo are a legendary band, but here in the US they are really not a household name.
Thisisashakedown - Love Kills
Review by Gary Hill
Hailing from Ohio, Thisisashakedown is band that combines electronic house music, rock and techno to form a sound that’s not extremely unique, but is still quite cool.
DVD/Video Reviews
Jason Aldean - Wide Open Live and More DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This DVD captures Jason Aldean and his band on the live stage.
Mr. B & Bob Seeley - Back to Back Live DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Those who play piano should really love this. Those with a passion for great piano playing should be all over it, too.
The Beatles - Rare and Unseen DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This is definitely a treasure trove for Beatles fans. What we have here is a whole collection of all kinds of never before seen rarities.
The Chieftains - Live at Montreux 1997 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
The Live at Montreux series of DVD’s is pretty much a series of winners. You just can’t go wrong.
Coheed and Cambria - The Last Supper – Live At Hammerstein Ballroom DVD
Review by Greg Olma
Coheed and Cambria is a new discovery for me.  I know, they have been around for a while but seeing them live recently on the Heaven and Hell North American Tour made me a fan.  
Little Feat - Skin It Back DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This concert was just a matter of days before the band recorded their Waiting For Columbus album. So, we catch the band live in the peak of their vitality and musical prowess.
Willie Nelson - The Willie Nelson Special – With Special Guest Ray Charles DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite cool. It apparently was a special shot for television. At its heart is an intimate live performance in a club.
Interviews
Copernicus
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Copernicus from 2009
Morglbl
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Christophe Godin of Morglbl from 2009
Oceans of Night
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Scott Mosher of Oceans of Night from 2009
Slayer
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Dave Lombardo of Slayer From 2009
Theo Travis
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Theo Travis from 2009
Concert Reviews
Chickenfoot - Live in Atlantic City, New Jersey – August 22nd, 2009
Review by Michael Ostrich
They say that the name of your band can describe the band itself. With a name like Chickenfoot, you need to expect the unexpected.
Coheed and Cambria - Live in Chicago, August 2009
Review by Greg Olma
I am a newbie to Coheed and Cambria.  My friends have been telling me for years that I should get into them but time and money have always kept me at bay. 
Nine Inch Nails - Live in Los Angeles, September 10th, 2009
Review by Rick Damigella
I’m starting this article with a disclaimer.
 
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