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December 2012 - Issue 97
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Bodragaz - Symphony
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve been following this band for a long time and have reviewed a lot of their discs.
Tom Brislin - Hurry Up and Smell the Roses
Review by Gary Hill

I really like this album. I first heard about (and met) Tom Brislin when he was playing with Yes on their symphonic tour. I was impressed with both his personality and his playing skill.

Brendan Byrnes - Micropangea
Review by Gary Hill
This disc showcases a wide range of music.
Carrousel - 27 rue de mi'chelle
Review by Larry Toering
This is an interesting combination of styles that really keeps grounded in progressive folk, but contains elements such as psychedelic and romantic music.
Corvus Stone - Cinema (Digital Single)
Review by Diane Hill
The guitar is so beautiful and the song has an ethereal quality to it.
Corvus Stone - Corvus Stone
Review by Jason Hillenburg
In a little under eighty minutes, Corvus Stone covers an extraordinary amount of ground on their newest album.
Corvus Stone - Scary Movie (Digital Single)
Review by Vivian Lee
The “Scary Movie” digital single was released just in time for Halloween.
Corvus Stone - You're So Wrong (Digital Single)
Review by Larry Toering
Being new to Corvus Stone, all I can say is they're a breath of fresh air to me.
Curved Air - Live Atmosphere
Review by Gary Hill
This new live album from Curved Air is quite strong. In a lot of ways much of this reminds me of a proggier Jefferson Airplane.
Daedalus Spirit Orchestra - Tabula Rasa
Review by Gary Hill
The mix of sounds on this album is pretty awesome.
Elska - Middle of Nowhere
Review by Larry Toering
This is an eclectic artist with an eclectic release that besides its pop leanings would otherwise be difficult to categorize.
Empress Hotel - Heavy Halo
Review by Gary Hill
Probably the best (or at least simplest) reference here would be a comparison to the progressive rock side of Radiohead.
4th Ward Afro Klezmer Orchestra - Abdul the Rabbi
Review by Gary Hill
Perhaps this doesn’t fit under the heading of progressive rock, but personally, I’ve always felt that music that bends genre and combines things normally not combined is progressive.
The Fusion Syndicate - The Fusion Syndicate
Review by Gary Hill
What an amazing set this is.
Galahad - Beyond the Realms of Euphoria
Review by Alison Reijman
Releasing two albums of new material in the same year could be seen as either a big gamble or foolhardy.
John Galgano - Real Life is Meeting
Review by Gary Hill
Best known for his work in Izz, John Galgano delivers a tasty progressive rock album here.
Randy George - Action Reaction
Review by Grant Hill
Virtuoso bassist Randy George began writing instrumental music around 1989 and wanted to ultimately showcase his writing and performance talents in a solo release.
Goldenbats - Goldenbats II
Review by Gary Hill
Atmospheric music, this was a little tough to review for Music Street Journal.
Mark Green - Fantasy Bridge
Review by Alison Reijman
Mark Green is a British-based composer, keyboard player and vocalist who has finally made this his debut album after some recent trials and tribulations, significantly his recent recovery from cancer.
Dave Greenslade - The Pentateuch Of The Cosmogony
Review by John Pierpoint
This is a recent CD reissue of a spectacularly ambitious full-colour book and double-album project from 1979.
Gunslinger - Unlawful Odds
Review by Gary Hill
I love Alan Davey’s current band Gunslinger.
Dennis Haklar - Lizard’s Tale
Review by Gary Hill
Featuring a guest list that includes Jon Anderson, this is a great piece of modern progressive rock with plenty of nods to the old school variety.
HBC - HBC
Review by Gary Hill
In a lot of ways, decoding this album is as simple as decoding the three letters of the name and album title.
Hess & Franzen - {Closedlockedsealed}
Review by Gary Hill
The disc I received has some interesting packaging.
G. W. Hill - Déjà Vu
Review by Larry Toering
I'm rather new to the music of G. W. (aka Gary) Hill, so when it came down to reviewing his work I was a bit reluctant because of a lack of knowing what the concepts of the content are all about, and just how to grasp and embrace them without that element going into it.
Elmo Karjalainen - Unintelligent Designs
Review by Gary Hill
The range of sounds on this set is pretty wide.
Jon Lord - Concerto for Group & Orchestra
Review by Gary Hill

The music here is, by definition, a marriage of classical and rock sounds in three extensive pieces.
Mahogany Frog - Senna
Review by Gary Hill
The mix of sounds here is pretty wide ranging.
Marillion - Sounds That Can’t Be Made
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite a tasty album. In fact, it might be the best album from the Steve Hogarth version of the group.
Mars Hollow - Live
Review by Gary Hill
I can see why these guys are getting so much attention these days, they are without question one of the most compelling modern progressive rock bands.
Mehran - Subterranea
Review by Gary Hill
Flamenco guitar is merged with fusion and more general world music along with some space rock and progressive rock to create a powerful and unique sound.
Minstrel’s Ghost - The Road to Avalon
Review by Gary Hill
This is the kind of progressive rock concept album that was such a big deal in the 1970s.
Nektar - A Spoonful of Time
Review by Gary Hill
The whole “do an album of covers” concept is a popular approach these days.
Neomythics - New Corporate Resistance
Review by Gary Hill
I know there are a lot of people who feel that when you put punk rock into the mix music ceases to be progressive rock.
Never awakE - NeverawakE EP
Review by Larry Toering
This is another Northwest band to which I’ve recently been exposed, and what a treat they are.
Øresund Space Collective - Give your Brain a rest from the Matrix
Review by Gary Hill
I have always liked this band. I have to say that this disc, though, is a real change.
Alan Reed - First in A Field of One
Review by Alison Reijman
The past two years have been a real step into the unknown for former Pallas frontman Alan Reed who parted company from the band nearly three years ago in acrimonious fashion.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays the Music of Rush
Review by Gary Hill
When you combine symphonic music with rock, to my mind it is, by definition progressive rock.
Brad Russell - Let’s Hear It!
Review by Gary Hill
While progressive rock might not be the most obvious heading for this, I think it fits. The one central factor to this set is smoking hot bass guitar work.
Salim Ghazi Saeedi - Namowoman
Review by Gary Hill
The latest disc from Salim Ghazi Saeedi, this one (like its predecessors) takes the sound in new directions.
Stephanie Schneiderman - Live at the Old Church
Review by Larry Toering
This is one of the artists dwelling in the Pacific North West who I hadn’t previously noticed.
Secret Saucer - Element 115
Review by Gary Hill
There is a lot of Hawkind type space rock in the sound of Secret Saucer.
Secret Saucer - Four on the Floor
Review by Gary Hill
There is a big change on this disc, well at least on one tune as it has vocals.
Secret Saucer - Second Sighting
Review by Gary Hill
Every Secret Saucer CD is based in space rock, and that, of course, begs comparisons to Hawkwind.
Secret Saucer - Tri-Angle Waves
Review by Gary Hill
While I like all the discs I’ve heard from Secret Saucer, this might be my favorite from these guys.
Billy Sherwood - The Art of Survival
Review by Gary Hill
You really can’t go wrong with Billy Sherwood.
Stars - The North
Review by Larry Toering
Being new to Stars I find it hard to believe I haven't heard them before.
Super Squid - Surf Party
Review by Gary Hill
In many ways, the only method of evaluating this CD is taking it one song at a time.
Tangerine Dream - Under Cover
Review by Gary Hill
The concept of bands doing albums of covers seems to be a trend that’s gotten popular in the last decade.
Therapy? - A Brief Crack of Light
Review by Gary Hill
I remember associating these guys with Ozzfest (although looking back, I don’t think I ever saw them at that festival).
Troldmand - Live at Loppen - 21.10.11
Review by Gary Hill
I like this disc a lot. Of course, I’m a big fan of space rock and these guys clearly fit there.
Under the Psycamore - I
Review by Gary Hill
Labeling this with just one genre title would be easy – progressive rock.
Various Artists - Axe
Review by Gary Hill
The central theme on this set is guitar, but this is no noodling kind of guitar hero sort of compilation.
Various Artists - There Is Hope: Disaster Relief USA
Review by Larry Toering
This is so good it's almost unreal, as there are thirty two tracks from which to choose.
Waves of Fury - Thirst
Review by Gary Hill
There are definitely parental advisors on some of the lyrics (and even one of the titles) here. 
Zaub Nasty - Cigarettes & Baklava
Review by Gary Hill
This is one of the coolest purely instrumental discs I’ve heard in a long time.
Zzebra - Zzebra (Vinyl LP)
Review by Gary Hill
This is a reissue of the group’s debut 1974 album and it’s quite cool.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Alhazred - Dead before Dawn (Digital Single)
Review by Gary Hill
There are some weird voices and sound effects to start this off, but then very atmospheric music comes in to create the start of the real music.
Dethklok - Dethalbum III
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve seen the animated show that features this “band,” but beyond that had not really heard them before.
Ian Gillan with Tony Iommi and Friends - Who Cares
Review by Gary Hill
An expanded set based on the concept and charity involved with the original single, this double disc set has some great stuff.
Steve Harris - British Lion
Review by Scott Prinzing
First, by way of full disclosure, I should mention that Steve Harris was my personal hero and main musical inspiration, when as an 18-year old bass player I got to meet him backstage. 
Hellwell - Beyond the Boundaries of Sin
Review by Mike Korn
Hellwell is a very exciting collaboration between cult guitarist Mark "The Shark" Shelton of Manilla Road fame and underground horror writer E.C. Hellwell, who lends his name to the band.
Huinca - Sic Semper Tyrannis
Review by Gary Hill
These guys are pretty extreme metal, but there’s a lot more here than just that.
Iron Maiden - En Vivo!
Review by Scott Prinzing
Every Iron Maiden tour has a small core of songs that seem to be set in stone. 
Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance - Special 30th Anniversary Edition
Review by Gary Hill
I previously reviewed the original version of this CD.
Stratovarius - Under Flaming Winter Skies - Live In Tampere
Review by Gary Hill
This live album from Stratovarius is quite good, but not without its issues.
Various Artists - Re-Machined: A Tribute to Deep Purple's Machine Head
Review by Gary Hill
I’m a big fan of Deep Purple, particularly the classic stuff.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Edie Adams - The Edie Adams Christmas Album
Review by Gary Hill
This album is a number of holiday recordings from Edie Adams, some of which also feature her husband Ernie Kovacs. 
Blue Öyster Cult - Imaginos
Review by John Pierpoint
Rarely has an album divided fans as much as BOC's Imaginos.
Anna Cate - Anna Cate
Review by Larry Toering
Anna Cate is a string harpist who combines a lot of genre to encapsulate her amazing style of music and put it into one package.
Concrete Blonde - Rosalie/I See the Ghost (white vinyl 7” single)
Review by Gary Hill
Released on white vinyl, this single has a couple brand new tunes from Concrete Blonde.
Mark Etheredge - Change Coming
Review by Gary Hill
Probably the most obvious musical references here are Steely Dan and Boz Scaggs.
The HazeXperience - Not Purple
Review by Larry Toering
The HazeXperience doesn't exactly come out of left field for me, with Not Purple, because I've been anticipating this for a while, as it happens to be decades in the making, actually.
Heart - Fanatic
Review by Gary Hill
I really like this album a lot.
Honky - 421
Review by Eric Meli
Honky is trio from Austin, Texas who bill themselves as a psychedelic super boogie type band, but to me it seems that there are more elements to their sound than just that. 
Kalen - Fallen from the Sun
Review by Gary Hill
The mix of music on this moves between soul, jazz, reggae, electronic and a lot of other sounds.
Klassik - In the Making
Review by Gary Hill
Since a lot of this is basically hip hop, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that it earns a lyrical warning.
Mark Knopler - Sailing to Philadelphia
Review by Larry Toering
Listening back to such a release like this for review is not an easy thing on the surface, as this is a true gem.
Magnum - On the 13th Day
Review by Mike Korn
Since returning to action in 2002, venerable British rockers Magnum have been prolific and going from strength to strength.
Tom Maxwell - Somebody
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite a strong release. In fact, it would be pretty difficult to find anything to fault here.
May Stands Still - When You Come Home
Review by Gary Hill
While folk music is the central element on this disc, it’s not the only thing going on with the music here. There are symphonic elements at times and rock at points.
The Mickey Finns - Prayers and Idle Chatter
Review by Gary Hill
I suppose when people think of Celtic rock bands, The Flogging Mollys and Black 47 (like these guys, from New York City) are likely the first ones to come to mind.
Gary Moore - Blues for Jimi
Review by Gary Hill
Basically, this album is a live recording with Gary Moore covering tunes by Jimi Hendrix.
Kathy Muir - Far From Entirely
Review by Gary Hill
Folk, jazz, country and soul are all heard on this set. In a lot of ways this isn’t that far removed from the work of a lot of female singer songwriters from the 1970s.
Mumford and Sons - Babel
Review by Bruce Turner
Formed in 2007, Mumford and Sons are an English folk rock band based out of London England.  
Candice Night - Reflections (American Edition)
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve already reviewed this album when the European version came out, but this version is specifically for American audiences. 
Bill Ortiz - Highest Wish
Review by Gary Hill
I almost had this under progressive rock.
Anya Parker-Lentz - The Giving
Review by Gary Hill
This awesome disc combines modern sounds with retro elements. It’s a real testament to the strength of the set that the weakest music here is stronger than the best stuff on a lot of discs.
Lee “Scratch” Perry - Masterpiece
Review by Gary Hill
I would consider this to be progressive reggae.
Neil Sedaka - Show Goes On – Live at the Royal Albert Hall
Review by Gary Hill
Whether you appreciate his style of music or not, one really has to recognize the song-writing genius that is Neil Sedaka.
Serapicos - Serapicos Is a Town
Review by Gary Hill
Psychedelic sounds and other retro elements are on display at points here.
Seven Days - Later on Then
Review by Gary Hill
I almost filed this one under progressive rock.
Mindy Smith - The Essential Mindy Smith
Review by Mark Johnson
Mindy Smith burst onto the music scene in 2003, as one of the only new artists featured on a Dolly Parton tribute album Just Because I’m a Woman.
The Toy Dolls - The Album after the Last One
Review by Larry Toering
This is a band that has been around for decades yet I don't recall even knowing of them before.
Tracer - Spaces In Between
Review by Larry Toering
Tracer come back with a very “mean business” approach to their brash attitude and do so with grand efforts galore.
Triumph - Live At Sweden Rock Festival
Review by Gary Hill
There were always a lot of sides to the Triumph sound and different aspects seem to dominate during different periods of the group’s history.
Various Artists - Who Are You - An All-Star Tribute to the Who
Review by Gary Hill
I like The Who quite a bit. I mean, they aren’t one of my favorite bands, but I do really like them.
George Woods - Heartbeat
Review by Gary Hill
The blend of sounds on this set is pretty cool.
Yusif - Yusif
Review by Larry Toering
Yusif is an artist from Seattle, with roots in Kuwait.
DVD/Video Reviews
Gregg Allman - I'm No Angel: Live On Stage DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This DVD is a recording of a concert from 1988. Gregg Allman and band were on fire and really put in a great performance.
David Bowie - The Calm Before the Storm DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I really liked this DVD. That said, I really like the period of Bowie’s career covered here.
Circle Jerks - My Career as a Jerk DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I always liked the Circle Jerks a lot.
Kid Creole and the Coconuts - Live at Rockpalast DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This is a two disc set, showing off two different concerts by this band.
Doobie Brothers - Let the Music Play: The Story of the Doobie Brothers BluRay
Review by Diane Hill
The Doobie Brothers got their start at the Chateau Liberte in Santa Cruz but they first met at the Gaslighter Theatre in Campbell California.
The Doors - Live at the Bowl '68 BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
OK, let’s get the first thing out here - "The Doors Live at the Hollywood Bowl" is not the same as this.
Peter Frampton - FCA 35 Tour: An Evening With Peter Frampton BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
It’s pretty tough to review this and not just say, “run out right now and buy this thing.”
Peter Gabriel - So Classic Album BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
So was clearly the album that broke Peter Gabriel into the mainstream.
Pat Metheny - The Orchestrion Project DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Wow, I really wasn’t sure what to expect with this, but I love it.
Gary Moore - Blues for Jimi BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve reviewed the audio version of this in the same issue of Music Street Journal and that addresses specific songs better than this particular review will.
The Move - Lost Broadcasts DVD
Review by Gary Hill
There are good and bad sides to this DVD.
Queen - Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
This is an awesome DVD. I mean, the concert footage is great, the sound and video are both very professional.
The Replacements - Color Me Obsessed – A Film about the Replacements DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I really love this DVD. The documentary has such a great flow to it, with rapid fire interview bits telling the story of the Replacements.
The Rolling Stones - Under Review 1975-1983: The Ronnie Wood Years Part 1 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
It is clear from this documentary that the first years with Ronnie Wood were inconsistent and there was a lot of trouble in the Rolling Stones camp.
The Stray Cats - Live at Montreux 1981 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This video is quite good. The sound and visual quality are both great.
Stryper - Live In Indonesia At The Java Rockin’land DVD
Review by Greg Olma
I have spent a good part of my adult life being not very religious and I was never into the message of that type of music whether it was Christian or Satanic. 
Ike and Tina Turner - Ike & Tina: On The Road: 1971-72 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This is a real film made around the tour that Ike and Tina Turner undertook during the years mentioned in the title. It’s an intimate look in terms of behind the scenes stuff.
Brian Wilson - Songwriter 1969-1982 DVD
Review by Diane Hill
The Beach Boys hits in the 60s were mostly composed by Brian Wilson. In the early 70s his mental health started to decline and his drug use escalated.
Interviews
Tom Brislin
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Tom Brislin from 2012
Curved Air
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Sonja Kristina of Curved Air from 2012
Randy George
Interview by Grant Hill

Interview with Randy George from 2012

Ted Leonard
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Ted Leonard from 2012
Magnum
Interview by Mike Korn

Interview with Tony Clarkin of Magnum from 2012

Alan Reed
Interview by Alison Reijman
Interview with Alan Reed from 2012
Markus Reuter
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Markus Reuter from 2012
Concert Reviews
Bob Dylan - Live in Portland, Oregon, October, 2012
Review by Larry Toering

Nothing can be finer than tripping out to see Bob Dylan in concert, especially at last minute’s notice on what seemed to be the rainiest night of 2012 in Portland.

Mark Knopler - Live in Portland, Oregon, October, 2012
Review by Larry Toering

Seeing Mark Knopfler was indeed a special treat. I wasn't even planning on attending, so it all went so fast it was hard to catch every little thing his band had to offer.

Never awakE - Live in Portland, Oregon, November 2012
Review by Larry Toering

Opening for MSG this year were two local prog bands that completely hold their own, and Never awakE is one of them.

Michael Schenker - Michael Schenker Group – Live in Portland, Oregon, November 2012
Review by Larry Toering

While MSG has hit Portland frequently, this time they were in a larger venue.

Geoff Tate - Live in Bolingbrook, Illinois, November 2012
Review by Greg Olma

The divorce of Geoff Tate and Queensryche has been dragged through the mud recently.

Book Reviews
Heart - Ann and Nancy Wilson: Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll
Review by Diane Hill
Heart is a more complex band than I ever thought.
 
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