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December 2009 - Issue 79
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Bodast - With Steve Howe – The Early Years
Review by Gary Hill
Before Steve Howe joined Yes, he recorded with several other bands. Bodast was one of them.
Beppe Crovella - Pianovagando
Review by Gary Hill
I have to say that this is one of the most challenging reviews I’ve ever written.
Flash - In The Can
Review by Gary Hill
The second album from Peter Banks’ first post Yes band, this one finds the group producing some of the best material.
Gary Hill - Excursions: A Sound Painting
Review by Rick Damigella
In the late 80’s and early 90’s I worked as a DJ at a small radio station.
Percy Howard’s Meridiem - A Pleasant Fiction
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite an intriguing disc. The blend of sounds is unique and the execution is generally stunning.
Steve Howe - Mothballs
Review by Gary Hill
This disc is included in the progressive rock section because of it being Steve Howe – not because the music fits that category.
Kinetic Element - Powered By Light
Review by Gary Hill
Kinetic Element is a band that features Mike Visaggio, whose solo work I have covered before.
Knight Area - Realm of Shadows
Review by Julie Knispel
The Netherlands’ Knight Area popped onto the radar of progressive rock fans around the world in 2004, following the release of their debut album The Sun Also Rises. 
Marillion - Less Is More
Review by Gary Hill
Marillion chose to record a collection of their Hogarth era songs with just acoustic instrumentation.
The Moody Blues - December
Review by Gary Hill
With a band as devoted to pretty ballads and symphonic stylings, it was just a matter of time before they did a holiday disc.
Steve Morse - Band – Outstanding in Their Field
Review by Gary Hill
The latest disc from Steve Morse and his band, this is exactly what you’d expect.
Nosound - A Sense of Loss
Review by Gary Hill
The latest disc from Nosound, this will again be well received by fans of Porcupine Tree and modern Marillion.
Odder Than 3 - Promo #1
Review by Gary Hill
This Italian outfit has released a cool EP. It’s definitely prog rock, but more along the lines of the newer version of that genre than the classic one.
The Pineapple Thief - 3000 Days
Review by Julie Knispel
The Pineapple Thief occupies an interesting place in modern progressive music, for reasons that I hope will soon become clear.
Porcupine Tree - The Incident
Review by Julie Knispel
Porcupine Tree has been riding a pretty significant wave since signing their first major label contract with Atlantic.
PropheXy - Alconauta
Review by Gary Hill
There are those who would call this metal, but it’s a safe bet most metal fans would be turned away by a lot of this.
Rare Blend - Sessions
Review by Gary Hill
I really liked Rare Blend’s last disc, Stops Along the Way a lot, so this one had a lot to live up to.
Shady Lane - Between Two
Review by Gary Hill
I am not a hundred percent sure about putting this into the progressive rock category.
The Univerzals - Ocean of Light
Review by Gary Hill
I originally had this pegged to fit into non-prog. Truth is, I think it’s progressive rock.
The Void’s Last Stand - A Sun by Rising Set
Review by Gary Hill
This album is definitely progressive rock. It’s also, most likely, the only disc you’ve ever heard like this.
Rick Wakeman - The Six Wives of Henry VIII Live At Hampton Court Palace
Review by Gary Hill
Rick Wakeman’s Six Wives of Henry VIII album was his first solo release and many would argue his best.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way to Blue
Review by Julie Knispel
With the death of singer/guitarist Layne Staley in 1992, prospects for new Alice in Chains material seemed bleak indeed.
Battleroar - To Death and Beyond...
Review by Gary Hill
Based in Greece, I suppose by definition Battleroar is European epic metal. The truth is, though, it’s not the kind of music we’ve come to expect under that banner.
Circle of Fate - Back To Life
Review by Gary Hill
This band is from Chicago. They’ve been around for ten years now.
Crescent Shield - The Last of My Kind
Review by Gary Hill
The music on this album is very much old school metal.
Lita Ford - Wicked Wonderland
Review by Gary Hill
This is Lita Ford’s first new album in well over a decade. As such it’s a great return to form.
The Foreshadowing - Days of Nothing
Review by Gary Hill
I suppose the most obvious reference to mention when referring to this disc is Tool.
Halford - Halford 3 – Winter Songs
Review by Rick Damigella
There is something magical about heavy metal renditions of Christmas songs, especially when it is done right.
Immortal - All Shall Fall
Review by Mike Korn
Immortal has emerged as one of those iconic bands that defines a certain sound. I would put them in the same category as Black Sabbath or Slayer.
Rammstein - Liebe Ist Für Alle Da
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve always liked anything I’ve heard by Rammstein, but this is the first full album I’ve listened to from them.
Sekond Skyn - Addicted To Chaos
Review by Greg Olma
This is the third release from New Jersey’s Sekond Skyn.  I have not heard their two previous releases but based on Addicted To Chaos, I will definitely check them out.  
WASP - Babylon
Review by Gary Hill
The latest disc from WASP, this is a new classic. It’s got the feel of a vintage WASP album.
Winters - Black Clouds in Twin Galaxies
Review by Gary Hill
This disc is at times brilliant. At times it’s also just plain boring.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
David Arkenstone - Christmas Lounge
Review by Gary Hill
Getting music for your holiday festivities can be challenging.
Buckcherry - Live and Loud 2009
Review by Gary Hill
With a Buckcherry album you get some serious hard edged rock and roll.
The Coloursound - Reclaim
Review by Gary Hill
New York City’s The Coloursound might not be completely originally, but they are totally entertaining.
The Company Band - The Company Band
Review by Mike Korn
When a plain looking disc from an outfit with the generic name of "The Company Band" arrived in my mailbox, my expectations were pretty low.
Everything Under (EU) - Infinite Genre
Review by Travis Jensen
The music scene today has taken on all forms.
Gorgeous Got a Gun - Gorgeous Got a Gun
Review by Rick Damigella
True story - a band I’d never heard of began following me on Twitter a couple months back. It was a band from Los Angeles called Gorgeous Got a Gun.
Kiss - Sonic Boom
Review by Gary Hill
Sonic Boom is the latest album from Kiss.
Led Zeppelin - Coda
Review by Gary Hill
Released after the band had broken up (due to John Bonham’s death), Coda is a collection of previously unreleased tracks.
Led Zeppelin - In Through the Out Door
Review by Gary Hill
This was the final studio album produced by Led Zeppelin before John Bonham’s death. As such it is truly their swan song.
Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
Review by Gary Hill
When Led Zeppelin went in to record their fifth album they didn’t plan to do a double disc set. It just sort of turned out that way.
Maggi, Pierce and EJ - Silver
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve wanted to review this disc for a while, but each time I sat down to do it, I kind of got lost.
Painkiller Hotel - Black Roses
Review by Gary Hill
The music on this disc is catchy and good. That’s about the only real compliments to be bestowed.
Paper Route - Absence
Review by Rick Damigella
There must be something good in the water in Tennessee, especially in Nashville, because the city with such a rich music pedigree has been turning out a new breed of inspired recording acts.
DVD/Video Reviews
Marty Balin - Live At The Boston Esplanade, June 14, 2008 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve never seen Marty Balin play live. I’ve never seen Jefferson Airplane, either – although I did see Jefferson Starship once.
Blackfield - Live in New York City DVD
Review by Julie Knispel
Filmed at the Bowery Ballroom in New York on 16 March 2007, Live in New York City documents the second touring cycle for Blackfield, the collaborative project of Israeli musician Aviv Geffen and Porcupine Tree mastermind Steven Wilson. 
John Denver - Rocky Mountain High: Live in Japan DVD
Review by Gary Hill
You can say what you like about John Denver, yes he was very much a “nice guy” kind of artist, but his music was good. 
Kenny G - An Evening of Rhythm and Romance DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I know, Kenny G is right up there with Yanni and John Tesh in terms of the coolness factor for a lot of music fans. I have to say, I think in every one of those instances that the label is just not earned.
Billy Idol - In Super Overdrive Live DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Filmed for PBS’ Soundstage series, that in itself tells you the video and audio are excellent.
Tom Jones - This is Tom Jones: What’s New Pussycat? DVD
Review by Josh Turner
Years ago, sitting in a submarine shop, the music of Tom Jones played overhead. It garnered some chuckles.
Meat Loaf - Bat Out of Hell The Original Tour DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I highly recommend this for anyone who has ever enjoyed Meat Loaf – and isn’t that just about any of us?
Redemption - Frozen in the Moment (Live in Atlanta) DVD
Review by Josh Turner
There is an irony in the title of this release.
Roxy Music - More Than This: The Story of Roxy Music DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I never really followed Roxy Music when they were around. I now wish I had.
Status Quo - Pictures: Live at Montreux 2009 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I recently reviewed Status Quo’s newest studio album and was not completely blown away by it.
Thin Lizzy - Are You Ready: Greatest Hits Live DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve always felt that Thin Lizzy was an incredible band. Certainly Phil Lynott is sorely missed. 
UB40 - Food For Thought: Greatest Hits Live DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Some of the videos recorded for TV under the Rockpalast heading are a bit lacking in terms of sound and video quality.
Various Artists - Let Freedom Sing – How Music Inspired the Civil Rights Movement DVD
Review by Josh Turner
This is the story of the Civil Rights movement told through song, and it features a string of significant, time-sensitive artists.
Rick Wakeman - The Six Wives Of Henry VIII:Live at Hampton Court Palace DVD
Review by Gary Hill
There can be a perception, when an artist releases a number of live DVD’s, that they are going to the well a bit too often and running out of water.
The Who - The Who, The Mods and the Quadrophenia Connection DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This is one of those unauthorized biography type rock documentaries. As such, it’s better than many.
The Zombies - Odessey & Oracle 40th Anniversary Live Concert DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary fo their Odessey & Oracle album, The Zombies played the entire disc in its entirety in concert in 2008.
ZZ Top - Double Down Live DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This is called “Double Down Live” because it’s two shows – one from 1980 and one from 2008.
Interviews
Aethellis
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Ellsworth Hall of Aethellis From 2009
Ajalon
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Ajalon From 2009
Dave Bainbridge
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Dave Bainbridge From 2009
Bird Mancini
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Bird Mancini From 2009
Buckcherry
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Josh Todd of Buckcherry From 2009
Djam Karet
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Gayle Ellett of Djam Karet from 2009
Edensong
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with James Byron Schoen of Edensong from 2009
Edgar Gabriel’s StringFusion
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Edgar Gabriel from 2009
Farpoint
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Farpoint from 2009
iNFiNiEN
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Matt Hollenberg and Tom Cullen of iNFiNiEN from 2009
King Crimson
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Pat Mastelotto of King Crimson from 2009
The Living
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with The Living’s Mike Bell and Elyse Jacobson From 2009
Kurt Michaels
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Kurt Michaels from 2009
Nox Arcana
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Joseph Vargo of Nox Arcana From 2009
Oz Noy
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Oz Noy from 2009
Rare Blend
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Victor Samalot of Rare Blend from 2009
Derek Sherinian
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Derek Sherinian From 2009
Billy Sherwood
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Billy Sherwood from 2009
Alex Skolnick Trio
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Alex Skolnick from 2009
Roine Stolt
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Roine Stolt from 2009
James Sudakow
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with James Sudakow From 2009
Steve Thorne
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Steve Thorne from 2009
Mike Visaggio
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Mike Visaggio from 2009
The Void’s Last Stand
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Jonas Wingens of The Void's Last Stand From 2009
Wolverine
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Stefan Zell of Wolverine from 2009
Concert Reviews
Buckcherry - Live in Chicago, IL, November, 2009
Review by Travis Jensen
Every time I go to a live show (and I’ve been to a lot of them) I always try to find what it is I like about the band.
Kiss - Live in Chicago, IL, November, 2009
Review by Travis Jensen
If you are between the ages of 8 and 80 and from the planet Earth, then you are well aware of the band Kiss.
Queensrÿche - Live In Joliet, IL November, 2009
Review by Greg Olma
Queensryche made their way to Joliet, IL for the second leg of their American Soldier tour.  Like the first run through, the show consisted of 3 suites from the Rage For Order, American Soldier, and Empire albums. 
Book Reviews
David Bowie - Bowie: A Biography written by Marc Spitz
Review by Gary Hill
This latest biography on David Bowie is definitely thorough and in-depth. I’ve not read other books on the man, so I can’t compare them, but I can say that this one goes quite deep.
 
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