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August 2010 - Issue 83
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Asia - Omega
Review by Greg Olma
Now this is more like it!  I enjoyed the Payne fronted version of Asia also but if you are a purist, then Omega will certainly satisfy those cravings for original Asia material.  
Birch Book - Volume III: A Hand Full of Days
Review by Gary Hill
This music is billed as folk. I’d have to say that a better description, in my mind, is folk based progressive rock.
The Blood of Heroes - The Blood of Heroes
Review by Gary Hill
I know, I know, this is not traditional progressive rock. That doesn’t make it any less progressive.
Xavier Boscher - Ultra Virtual Prog Band – Sphere of Knowledge
Review by Gary Hill
People can complain all they want about the old world of music and how hard it was to get an album released.
Canvas Solaris - Irradiance
Review by Gary Hill
If you like progressive rock that’s instrumental and fusion oriented, this disc is probably for you.
Mario Cottarelli - Prodigiosa Macchina
Review by Gary Hill
This release from Mario Cottarelli is really a great example of Italian progressive rock.
Delain - Lucidity
Review by Gary Hill
A lot of times I’m not blown away by all the bonus tracks on discs. Many times I think that less is more. That’s not the case here.
The Enid - Arise and Shine
Review by Julie Knispel
The Enid in 2009 is a somewhat different beast from that which strode the stage in the 1970s, 1980s, and even 1990s, yet some familiar threads remain constant.  
The Enid - Journey’s End
Review by Julie Knispel
The Enid has gone through various configurations over the years.
Forgas Band Phenomena - Soleil 12
Review by Julie Knispel
Patrick Forgas has a career in music stretching back over 30 years. 
Gary Hill - Missile Hay Knee Us
Review by Greg Olma
Gary Hill has compiled a number of tracks from his younger days to release this eclectic CD. 
Hope to Find - Still Constant
Review by Gary Hill
Here is a progressive rock band from a place where I wouldn’t think progressive rock would live – Turkey. So, we get a bit of an oddity factor here from the start because of the home country of this group.
Jimmy Hotz - Beyond the Crystal Sea – 30th Anniversary Edition
Review by Gary Hill
Apparently this album is considered to be one of the best Christian progressive rock albums of all time.
Karnataka - The Gathering Light
Review by Mark Johnson
I wish more bands were performing at this level. Every note here is a masterful stroke.
King Crimson - Lizard – 40th Anniversary Series
Review by Gary Hill
The third King Crimson album, this version is part of the 40th Anniversary series of reissues. It is presented here in a few ways.
Rod Kinny - Higher Self
Review by Gary Hill
The easiest thing to pin on this CD is the singing. It sounds very much like The Bee Gees.
The Moody Blues - A Night at Red Rocks With the Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Review by Gary Hill
For my money a lot of the albums where rock bands record with symphony orchestras are suspect.
Steve Morse and Sarah Spencer - Angelfire
Review by Gary Hill
This collaboration is an interesting disc. It tends towards mellower, acoustic driven music.
Nebuleyes - The Universal Being
Review by Gary Hill
I’d consider this progressive rock, but I could imagine some prog purists lumping it into heavy metal.
Negura Bunget - Virstele Pamintului
Review by Mike Korn
You're going to hate this if you like music wrapped up into neat little categories.
No-Man - Wild Opera
Review by Gary Hill
No-Man are re-releasing their Wild Opera album. It’s available now is a double disc set.
Omenopus - Portents
Review by Gary Hill
This EP features two Hawkwind alums (Bridget Wishart and Simon House) and Don Falcone of Spirits Burning fame.
Oxcart - The Equation
Review by Mark Johnson
Oxcart is a progressive rock band from Portland, Oregon.
The Pineapple Thief - Someone Here is Missing
Review by Gary Hill
I’m amazed at the quality of music coming out in 2010. This album is another that’s likely to make my best of the year list when it comes time.
Rausch - Rausch
Review by Gary Hill
One has to look no further than the cover of this CD to realize that the keyboards play a big part in the music here.
Roswell Six - Terra Incognita: A Line in the Sand
Review by Gary Hill
I continue to be astounded with the quality of music coming out in 2010.
RPWL - The Gentle Art of Music
Review by Gary Hill
This two CD set of RPWL gives a good retrospective of their career to this point. That makes it great from a historical point of view.
Julie Slick - Julie Slick
Review by Gary Hill
Julie Slick is a bass player who came to the attention of many through her work in the Adrian Belew Power Trio.
Spock's Beard - X
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve followed Spock’s Beard for quite some time and have always enjoyed their music. From the start they’ve had a great ability to merge more pop oriented sounds with pure progressive rock.
The Sunset Curse - Artificial Heart
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve bounced back and forth on whether or not this album is progressive rock.
Various Artists - My Silent Wake and The Drowning - Black Lights & Silent Roads
Review by Gary Hill
This is a split album. The two bands represented are My Silent Wake and The Drowning.
Western Vacation - Steve Vai Presents Western Vacation
Review by Gary Hill
So you’ve never heard of Western Vacation? Don’t feel bad, most people haven’t – yet.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Freedom Call - Legend of the Shadowking
Review by Gary Hill
When I put this disc in for the first time it surprised me. I was expecting a rather over the top symphonic metal recording.
Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance
Review by Gary Hill
This disc comes from the period of time when Judas Priest were really riding high on the waves of fame and fortune.
Axel Rudi Pell - The Crest
Review by Gary Hill
This latest disc from Axel Rudi Pell continues the tradition of powerhouse epic metal releases. It’s not a big surprise, but it’s also a great album.
Queensrÿche - Hear in the Now Frontier
Review by Gary Hill
Sometimes, for long time fans of Queensryche, their albums need a little space to be appreciated.
Sanctus Bellum - Return to Dust
Review by Gary Hill
These guys might not be entirely original, but I’d have to say that their combination of influences and the way they deliver their music is unique.
The Vision Bleak - Set Sail To Mystery
Review by Mike Korn
Gothic music is something hard to do well without seeming corny or maudlin. A lot of what I've heard of it veers into sappiness or eye-rolling camp.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Bahntier - Venal
Review by Gary Hill
The mix of sounds created by Bahntier is interesting. The music moves from techno to space rock and nearly progressive at times.
John Coltrane - My Favorite Things
Review by Gary Hill
John Coltrane is a jazz legend. This album shows why.
Alice Cooper - Goes to Hell
Review by Gary Hill
This was the second Alice Cooper album as a solo performer (rather than the front man of Alice Cooper the band).
D.O.A. - Talk – Action = 0
Review by Gary Hill
I know these guys are considered to be hardcore punk. I’m not sure I agree with that assessment, at least based on this album.
Foghat - Last Train Home
Review by Gary Hill
This is being billed as the first Foghat blues album. Really, I’m not sure that title fits.
Glyder - Yesterday Today & Tomorrow
Review by Gary Hill
This album is Glyder’s third, but I’d never heard these guys before.
Herman Ze German - Take It As It Comes
Review by Mike Korn
The Blitzkrieg is back! Herman is none other than Herman Rarebell, long-time drummer of The Scorpions, who left the Teutonic Terrors some time ago to forge his own rock n' roll path.
Hewhocannotbenamed - Sunday School Massacre
Review by Gary Hill
I first heard of this guy when I was doing my book The Strange Sound of Cthulhu: Music Inspired by the Writings of H. P. Lovecraft.
Jefferson Airplane - Bark
Review by Gary Hill
A late period disc from Jefferson Airplane, I almost hear this as a transition between what the Airplane was and what Jefferson Starship would be.
Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection
Review by Gary Hill
This early Elton John album shows the man as a real artist. The arrangements here are quite intricate and involved and this is very much a band based project.
Karma To Burn - Appalachian Incantation
Review by Gary Hill
I’m a big fan of the stoner rock genre. Come on, it’s built on Sabbath-like riffs and other classic rock elements – how can you not like it?
Kiss - Alive
Review by Gary Hill
Without question, Kiss’ biggest claim to fame, especially in the early days, was their live show.
Kiss - Alive III
Review by Gary Hill
This is the third live album by Kiss, but I bet you figured that out from the title.
Ed Kowalczyk - Alive
Review by Mark Johnson
Ed Kowalczyk has been the vocalist and a major driving force in the band Live since 1991’s Mental Jewelry.
Led Zeppelin - II
Review by Gary Hill
This is widely considered one of Zeppelin’s best discs.
Magni - Magni
Review by Gary Hill
Magni is an Icelandic rocker. He’s probably best known outside his home country for his participation in Rock Band: Supernova on television.
Mehran - Angels of Persepolis
Review by Gary Hill
I guess the best description for this would be “world music.”
Metaform - The Electric Mist
Review by Larry Toering
On his third CD, the electro-pop / trip-hop meistro "Metaform" goes all out with a tripnotic love-fest of colossal standards.
The Mission UK - Dum-Dum Bullets
Review by Mark Johnson
How do you describe what might be the last recording of a band that has been an important part of your life?
Molly Hatchet - Justice
Review by Gary Hill
I have to admit, I haven’t heard a Molly Hatchet album since the glory days of the band.
Spirit - Rockpalast: West Coast Legends, Vol. 3
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve always liked Spirit. They were a great band that represented both the hippie psychedelia and killer blues rock.
Steppenwolf - Steppenwolf
Review by Gary Hill
The debut album from Steppenwolf, this is quite an impressive release. It’s not the most consistent album, at least in terms of style.
Triumph - Greatest Hits Remixed
Review by Gary Hill
This greatest hits package is cool, but not without flaws. The flaws are sort of a primer for how hits and money can screw up a great band.
Various Artists - This is the Blues Volume 1
Review by Gary Hill
The premise of this series is a good one. Collect a bunch of killer blues performances and put them all in one place.
Various Artists - This is the Blues Volume 2
Review by Gary Hill
Here’s another installment in the This is the Blues series. The music here is perhaps more exceptional than on the first one.
DVD/Video Reviews
Abigail's Ghost - Live At Rosfest 2009 DVD
Review by Ron Fuchs
Abigail’s Ghost had two amazing studio albums under their belts so a live product, a DVD no less, was a perfect next release for the band.
Dickey Betts & Great Southern - 30 Years Of Southern Rock DVD
Review by Gary Hill
OK, before I start this review, a word about the packaging.
Black Sabbath - Classic Albums: Paranoid DVD
Review by Gary Hill
If you think you know everything you could know about the Paranoid album by Black Sabbath, I challenge you to watch this and test it.
Paul Butterfield - Band - Rockpalast: Blues Rock Legends, Vol. 2 - Paul Butterfield DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Before this DVD I had heard of Paul Butterfield, but never heard him.
John Cipollina / Nick Gravenites Band - Rockpalast: West Coast Legends, Vol. 1 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This is one of the best DVDs in the series. The performance here moves between pure blues and jam band sounds.
Commander Cody - Rockpalast: Blues Rock Legends, Vol. 1 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I really like this DVD a lot. Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen perform an intriguing blend of blues, rock, jazz and R & B that at times shifts near to Frank Zappa.
The Doors - When You’re Strange – A Film about the Doors DVD
Review by Gary Hill
In some ways this documentary parallels Oliver Stone’s film. In some ways it moves past that one, taking a more in-depth look at the other three members of the group.
Ian Dury - Rare And Unseen DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Fans of Ian Dury will really love this DVD. Frankly, I think it’s a great introduction to the man, and also an excellent overview for the casual fan.
Glass Hammer - Live Lex: Special Edition DVD
Review by Ron Fuchs
Glass Hammer brings forth the spirit of the 70's giants such as Kansas, Yes and ELP, to name a few. However, never do they copy those bands.
K2 - Live In Hollywood DVD
Review by Ron Fuchs
Back in 2005 I had the extreme pleasure of reviewing Book Of Dead album by K2 (K Squared). K2 started out as a project from the brainchild of Ken Jacquess (bass, keyboards),
Paul McCartney - Paul McCartney Really is Dead DVD
Review by Gary Hill
OK, first off, this is under Paul McCartney for lack of a better place – since everything needs to go under an artist’s name.
Radiohead - OK Computer: A Classic Album Under Review DVD
Review by Ron Fuchs
OK Computer: A Classic Album Under Review takes a look back at Radiohead’s third album, OK Computer, which has been hailed as a masterpiece by many.
The Rolling Stones - 1969-1974: The Mick Taylor Years DVD
Review by Gary Hill
For many, the 1969 to 1974 period of the Stones included some of their best releases. It was the period in which Mick Taylor served as the replacement for Stones co-founder Brian Jones.
The Rolling Stones - Stones in Exile DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Imagine this DVD as a snapshot of the Rolling Stones in a specific time period, the recording of Exile on Main Street.
RPWL - The RPWL Live Experience DVD
Review by Ron Fuchs
I was first aware of RPWL when I received Stock back in 2003 for reviewing. I was instantly hooked and began collecting their albums.
Spirit - Rockpalast: West Coast Legends, Vol. 3 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve reviewed the CD of this album in the current issue, so for more information on specific songs, please consult that review.
Tinyfish - One Night On Fire: Live In Poland DVD
Review by Ron Fuchs
Tinyfish are a relatively unknown band that were involved in the two day Prog Rock Festival in Poland.
U2 - Let Them Be: The Second Chapter DVD
Review by Gary Hill
The first note that should be made here is that those who are true U2 completists might already have this.
Sid Vicious - Final 24: His Final Hours DVD
Review by Gary Hill
No matter what you think of The Sex Pistols, punk rock or Sid Vicious, this is a fascinating, if morbid, tale.
Interviews
Captain Beyond
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Bobby Caldwell of Captain Beyond from 2010
Barry Cleveland
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Barry Cleveland from 2010
Izz
Interview by Mark Johnson
Interview with John Galgano and Tom Galgano of Izz from 2010
Mehran
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Mehran from 2010
Steve Morse
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Steve Morse from 2010
Audio of this interview is available in our members' area. Log in on the main page or sign up today - memberships start at just six bucks.
Steve Morse and Sarah Spencer
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Sarah Spencer from 2010
Rausch
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Doug Rausch from 2010
Paul Roland
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Paul Roland from 2010
RPWL
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Kalle Wallner of RPWL
Julie Slick
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Julie Slick from 2010
Concert Reviews
Dream Theater - Live in Holmdel, New Jersey, July 2010
Review by Julie Knispel
Dream Theater has not been an opening band for a very long time.
The Enid - Live in Bethlehem, PA (NEARFest 2010), June, 2010
Review by Julie Knispel
It’s hard to believe that a non-headliner would end up being the most talked about band at a festival, but the fact of the matter is that quite often bands come out of nowhere for a good number of festival attendees, and it’s usually bands that are on the undercard.  
Forgas Band Phenomena - Live in Bethlehem, PA (NEARFest 2010), June 2010
Review by Julie Knispel
What is it about French and Belgian bands being led by amazing drummers?
Steve Hackett - Live in Bethlehem, PA (NEARFest 2010), June 2010
Review by Julie Knispel
Steve Hackett headlined NEARfest alumni night, Friday 18 June 2010.  This would be his second appearance at the prestigious progressive and art rock festival, following a headlining set in 2002 at the festival’s second venue, the Patriot Theatre in Trenton NJ.
Iona - Live in Bethlehem, PA (NEARFest, 2010), June 2010
Review by Julie Knispel
English band Iona took the Zoellner Arts Center stage on 19 June 2010 as the third of four bands scheduled for the first full day of NEARfest 2010.
Iron Maiden - Live in Holmdel, New Jersey, July 2010
Review by Julie Knispel
As the sun began to set behind the hills of Holmdel New Jersey, the nearly 20,000 people gathered to see Iron Maiden play were growing restless.  
Jethro Tull - Live In Highland Park, IL, June 2010
Review by Greg Olma
 I had not been to a Jethro Tull concert in a couple of years so I figured it was time that I make the effort to see on of my favorite bands.
Procol Harum - Live In Highland Park, IL, June 2010
Review by Greg Olma
I can’t say that I was a Procol Harum fan before this concert.  
Riverside - Live in Bethlehem, PA (NEARFest 2010), June 18th, 2010
Review by Julie Knispel
Riverside was one of two repeat bands at NEARfest 2010, playing the first ever “Alumni Friday” pre-festival show (past Friday night showcases have featured fusion bands, the first PFM NEARfest performance, Proto-Kaw, The Musical Box, and other bands).  
Rush - Live In Chicago, IL, July 2010
Review by Greg Olma
Let me start off by saying that I am a Rush fan from the old days.  I first got into them back in 1975 (or was it 1976) and I have been an uber-fan since. 
Umphrey's McGee - Umphrey’s McGee – Live in Morrison, Colorado, July 2010
Review by Scott Montgomery
Coming off recent triumphs at Bonnaroo and Wakarusa in early June, the Chicago sextet Umphrey’s McGee brought its progressive jam juggernaut to the mighty Red Rocks Amphitheatre for a celebration dubbed “Red Rocks and Blue.”  
Book Reviews
Various Artists - Hellbent for Cooking: The Heavy Metal Cookbook written by Annick Giroux
Review by Mike Korn
Ever wonder what keeps rabid metal musicians nourished while they crank out riffs and blow out speakers?
 
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