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August 2006 - Issue 59
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Analog Missionary - Transmitter
Review by Gary Hill
What if Tori Amos wrote music for and sang in a progressive rock band? The result would probably sound a lot like Analog Missionary.
Analog Missionary - Voyage of the Demeter
Review by Gary Hill
For those who might have questioned the inclusion of Analog Missionary in the progressive rock section of Music Street Journal based on the Transmitter album, this release should remove all arguments. This one was written as a soundtrack to the old silent film Nosferatu.
Anekdoten - Gravity
Review by Steve Alspach
I really didn't know what to expect from Anekdoten when I picked up this CD - I've seen their name around enough, but I have to confess to ignorance. Gravity proved to be a winning bet.
Michael Barry-Rec - On The Road to North Mountain
Review by Gary Hill
Sometimes words just don't do justice. Such is the case here.
Dream Aria - In The Wake
Review by Gary Hill
I'm always impressed with music that pushes aside barriers and combines styles of music that are not normally heard together. Well, this album certainly does both of those things
First Band From Outer Space - Impressionable Sounds of the Subsonic
Review by Gary Hill
If you believe the hype on these guys they are from outer space. Well, even if that is true, I don't think they are the "first band" from outer space.
Giant Squid - Metridium Fields
Review by Gary Hill
It seems as though the boundaries of what is "progressive rock" are always a somewhat steadily changing and elusive border. Surely part of what the original progressive bands were doing was throwing away all boundaries in favor of simply creating.
Hammers of Misfortune - The Locust Years
Review by Gary Hill
If I had to pick my favorite musical genre it would definitely be progressive rock, but heavy metal would come in a close second.
Hermes Orchestra - Live
Review by Gary Hill
I've seen this CD listed as a classical album, and frankly while I can see sections that fit that style, I really find it hard to believe classical music purists would consider it such.
Mark Hillis - Acoustic Environment
Review by Gary Hill
It seems that acoustic progressive rock works pretty well a lot of the time. Bands like California Guitar Trio certainly pull it off.
In-Tension - Fragments
Review by Gary Hill
Europe really presents its own brand of progressive rock these days, and lots of it. Such is the climate that gave birth to the Dutch band In-Tension.
Khan - Space Shanty
Review by Gary Hill
The world of progressive rock has always been a strange one. It has always amazed me how certain bands became complete legends of the genre and other, equally talented, acts were relegated to the ranks of obscurity.
Mahavishnu Orchestra - Visions of the Emerald Beyond
Review by Gary Hill
Well, I tend to figure that fusion that leans heavily towards the rock end of the spectrum qualifies as progressive rock. In that case, there's no question where Mahavishnu Orchestra belongs.
Eric Mantel - The Unstruck Melody
Review by Gary Hill
I have to say, when I put this CD into the player I wasn't expecting to be blown away. Well, that's exactly what happened.
The Marsh - The Marsh
Review by Gary Hill
This is another band that's really hard to pin a label on. In many ways they have a lot in common with '60's rockers, but I also hear Niacin, Pink Floyd, Yes, Jellyfish, It Bites and even punk rock in their particular mix.
The Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed
Review by Steve Alspach
Few bands make a quantum leap in musical style the way Moody Blues did between 1965 and 1967.
The Moody Blues - To Our Children's Children's Children
Review by Steve Alspach
The middle of the seven albums released by the Moodies between 1967 and 1972, "…Children…" has space exploration as its theme. No small wonder - it was 1969, and space travel was quite the thing back then.
Moraz / Bruford - Music For Piano and Drum
Review by Gary Hill
While many might think that Bill Bruford and Patrick Moraz first played together in Yes, that's not true. They never played in Yes together.
The Move - Message From The Country
Review by Gary Hill
I'll admit right off the top that I'm not one hundred percent sure about including this disc in the progressive rock section. Still, in the early days of prog (and this one is from 1971) there was a lot of ancillary weirdness that got lumped into the sound.
North Star - Extremes
Review by Gary Hill
 Peter Gabriel era Genesis produced some amazingly cool progressive rock. I doubt that there are many prog fans out there would disagree.
Nox Arcana - Carnival of Lost Souls
Review by Gary Hill
You might remember Nox Arcana from the review I did last year of their Necronomicon album. Actually a lot of that information - with more detail and some question and answer with Joseph Vargo is included in my forthcoming book due out August 20th.
Ryo Okumoto - Coming Through
Review by Lorraine Kay
One of the most sought-after musicians in the prog-rock scene and then some, keyboardist Ryo Okumoto has earned a global reputation performing with some of the biggest names in music, including Kitaro, Natalie Cole, Phil Collins, Aretha Franklin, and Roberta Flack.
OnOffOn - Bridge to Presage
Review by Gary Hill
This is OnOffOn's third album and these guys never fail to produce a quality musical exploration. This one, as all their discs, combines a strong jazz texture with prog rock leanings for a unique and captivating sonic structure.
Ostinato - Chasing the Form
Review by Gary Hill
If you enjoy unique music, you'll like this. I'm not totally sure that it fits into the progressive rock genre, but I really don't know how else to classify this.
Ozric Tentacles - The Floor's Too Far Away
Review by Steve Alspach
The Moody Blues came up with a song called "Veteran Cosmic Rocker," but if you really had to name someone to fit that category, it would have to be Ed Wynne.
Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
Review by Gary Hill
While we were working to assemble this issue the word came out about the death of Pink Floyd founder (and famed recluse) Syd Barrett. It seemed appropriate, especially since one of the themes this time around was the 1960's, to have a look at the only full album Barrett created with the band.
Rocket Scientists - Revolution Road
Review by Lorraine Kay
Revolution Road – a double CD – was released in September in Japan on the Avalon label and worldwide in November 2006 through Think Tank Media and ProgRock Records. It is the fourth studio album by American prog rock monsters Rocket Scientists.
Secret Aging Men - Fully Functional
Review by Gary Hill
The human mind needs frames of reference. That's why albums should have variety.
Billy Sheehan - Prime Cuts
Review by Steve Alspach
Ever play a bass guitar? "Strings" are a misnomer - they use great big, fat, wires. You have to work up some muscle in your fingers to aptly play a bass.
Derek Sherinian - Blood of the Snake
Review by Gary Hill
Derek Sherinian always seems to be looking for new ways to stretch out musically and this time around he's brought a lot of friends on board to help him in that process. The end result is Blood of the Snake, a disc that is arguably his most diverse. It also might well be his strongest album ever.
Time Requiem - Optical Illusion
Review by Gary Hill

Richard Andersson always produces music that straddles the line between epic metal and progressive rock. Here I'd say he crosses more into the latter category than the former, but it's a close call.

Vanilla Fudge - Renaissance
Review by Gary Hill
Vanilla Fudge may not be progressive rock, or they might. Either way they have seriously influenced and impacted prog rock from the beginnings and I've always included them there.
Wolverine - Still
Review by Gary Hill
While I was definitely enthralled by Wolverine's last offering, this one blows the doors off of that one. If you read that first review you will note that I mention that the band started out as an extreme metal band, but have been morphing more and more into a progressive rock outfit.
Frank Zappa - We're Only in It for the Money
Review by Steve Alspach
America went through a bit of culture shock in 1967, and things were turned upside down. Haight-Ashbury was the place to be if you wanted to reject your parents' lifestyle (for a while, anyway). "Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out" was the mantra of the time - hell, even the New York Yankees were in last place for a few weeks.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
All That Remains - The Fall of Ideals
Review by Travis Jensen
Do you like Killswitch Engaged? So do I.
Before the Dawn - The Ghost
Review by Greg Olma
One of the cool things about reviewing music is that I get exposed to so much new material. Since American radio has all but abandoned any form of heavy music, I have to rely on other ways of hearing what is out there.
Destiny's End - Breathe Deep The Dark
Review by Gary Hill
Released in 1998, this was the first of two albums from Destiny's End and it is a definite masterpiece of metal mayhem that still holds up today. The sounds on the album run the gamut of classic metal from Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Mercyful Fate and more.
Dirty Rig - Rock Did It
Review by Greg Olma
Most people will probably know about this release because of Kory Clarke, the lead singer for the now defunct Warrior Soul. This is Dirty Rig's second release and their first with Clarke.
Doro - Warrior Soul
Review by Greg Olma
The Metal Queen is back with another slab of traditional metal. Although she has never made any real "clunkers", her last few albums have been some of the best of her career.
DragonForce - Inhuman Rampage
Review by Rick Damigella
Dragon who? Never heard of DragonForce? I hadn't either until this past January.
Enslaved - Ruun
Review by Mike Korn
Enslaved is the thinking man's metal band. Of course, they are not the only group meeting that description, but right now, I can't think of any metal group that is more forward-thinking or unafraid to experiment.
Falcon - Falcon
Review by Gary Hill
If you are a fan of classic hard rock and metal or stoner metal, you will probably like these guys a lot. What you'll hear from these guys is sort of a combination of those types of music with an emphasis on Black Sabbath, southern rock and perhaps Captain Beyond and the like.
Motörhead - Kiss of Death
Review by Gary Hill
When you put on a new Motorhead album you always have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Throughout the group's long history their sound has not changed much.
Motorjesus - Deathrider
Review by Greg Olma
According to some information on the internet, Motorjesus started their career as the S**theadz. I'm sure that would prevent you from finding their discs at Wal-Mart.
Philosopher - Thoughts
Review by Mike Korn
Few authors have inspired more heavy metal bands than Howard Phillips Lovecraft, the "old gentleman of Providence," who created legendary tales of horror featuring the dreadful Cthulhu and his brethern. Only J.R.R. Tolkien and his epic "Lord of the Rings" has probably influenced more bands.
Rebel Meets Rebel - Rebel Meets Rebel
Review by Mike Korn
If we lived in a world where heavy metal guitarists didn't get gunned down by lunatics with guns, this would a fun and entertaining record that mixes musical genres. But unfortunately, this is not such a world, so "Rebel Meets Rebel" is much more than a mere CD.
Sudden Death - Unpure Burial
Review by Greg Olma
I have to admit, I normally do not listen to this type of music. The "cookie monster" style of vocal delivery is something I never understood.
Voi Vod - Katorz
Review by Mike Korn
Elsewhere in this edition of MSJ, we took a look at Rebel Meets Rebel, a project of the late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott. Now we turn to the last output of another innovative guitarist who tragically passed away at a young age, Dennis "Piggy" D'amour of Voi Vod.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Body Count - Murder 4 Hire
Review by Gary Hill
There are those who credit Ice-T with pioneering the gangsta rap movement. Frankly, I don't know enough about that genre to comment either way on this part of its history.
Richard Butler - Richard Butler
Review by Greg Olma
I have never really listened to The Psychedelic Furs. I would hear a song in passing but I was never really a fan.
Johnny Cash - American V: A Hundred Highways
Review by Gary Hill
Anyone who's read MSJ for a while will know that I'm not exactly a country music fanatic. In fact, there was a time when I wouldn't listen to the genre at all.
Cheap Trick - Rockford
Review by Gary Hill
Rockford, Illinois' best-known band is back with a new studio album and this time they've named it after their hometown. I've read reviews where some people have compared this CD to Trick's Dream Police, citing it as a return to the band's roots.
Deep Purple - Live at Montreux 1996
Review by Gary Hill
Deep Purple has always had a special place in my heart. When I first started getting into hard rock a friend turned me onto the In Rock album and I was amazed.
Donovan - Mellow Yellow
Review by Gary Hill
Perhaps more than just about any other artist Donovan seems an integral part of the 1960's. His optimistic approach seems to make him the perfect flower child.
Teddy Geiger - Underage Thinking
Review by Gary Hill
How many of you are really concerned about the state of pop music these days and the lack of real talent on the airwaves? If your hand is in the air, I'm guessing you haven't heard Teddy Geiger.
Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Review by Gary Hill
Well, say what you will but Iron Butterfly were unique. Their sound is definitely dated today, but still there is a certain charm.
Tommy James - Hold The Fire
Review by Gary Hill
So, you remember Tommy James, don't you? This guy was a hit machine in the day and now he has his first new studio album for the new millennium. If the name sounds familiar, but you can't quite place the music these three titles should give you a clue, "I Think We're Alone Now," "Mony Mony" and "Crimson and Clover."
Rainbow - Live In Munich 1977
Review by Greg Olma
A Rainbow show from the Dio-era is always a welcome addition to any collection. There have been a couple of live albums put out, On Stage and Live in Europe, but this one is the first with the Daisley/Stone line-up.
Julie Roberts - Men and Mascara
Review by Gary Hill
The "sophomore jinx" it's called. That's the phenomenon where an artist's second album isn't as good as their first one.
Spirit - Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus
Review by Gary Hill

With 1970's Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus Spirit showed that they had a grasp on where the music of the new decade would be based. 

Colin Spring - How I Came to Cry These Tears of Cool
Review by Gary Hill
I was really impressed with the disc that Colin Spring did with the Band that Murdered Silence. That was a very captivating release.
Neil Young - Living With War
Review by Gary Hill
Right off the bat, I'm not going to get into a political debate about the lyrical concepts here. I'm sure with all the press and hype that has surrounded this release that you have an understanding of where Young stands on this album.
DVD/Video Reviews
Band Du Lac - One Night Only Live DVD
Review by Greg Olma
Charities are a wonderful thing. Not only do they help people but they have the ability to gather together musical artists that would normally not share a stage together.
Bon Jovi - The Story of My Life DVD
Review by Gary Hill
A point is made on this documentary that really said a lot to me. Had Bon Jovi not made it there probably would have never been a hair-metal scene.
Culture Club - Live In Sydney DVD
Review by G. W. Hill
Alright, alright, I know - a lot of you are probably scratching your heads and saying, "MSJ is covering Culture Club?" Well, the truth is, while I'm definitely a prog and metal head, I can appreciate good pop music and that's exactly what Culture Club always did.
The Cure - Lost in the Labyrinth DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Let's just get it out right upfront, I've always liked The Cure, but never been what you'd call a fanatic. So, this biography DVD is something to which I've really looked forward.
Dissection - Rebirth of Dissection DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Well, there aren't too many bands that go on hiatus while one of the members (in fact the main person behind the group) serves a sentence for murder, but that's exactly the case of Swedish death metal outfit Dissection. Jon Nodtveidt spent ten years in prison for murder and then when he was released in 2004 got the group back together.
Iona - Live In London DVD
Review by Gary Hill
After spinning this video (and in fact during the process) one word seems most prevalent in my mind - "wow!" I'd never really heard this outfit before, but rather only heard of them.
Korn - Steal This DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This is another in Locomotive's series of unauthorized biographies and this one centers on a group that I like a lot. It's also interesting to me because while I am quite fond of the band's music I never really knew a lot about them.
Erik Norlander - And Friends - Live in St. Petersburg DVD
Review by Gary Hill
As to be expected from Erik Norlander and his friends, the newly released DVD documenting his landmark concert in St. Petersburg, Russia (and chronicling the three-month 2004 tour as they traveled east from California to the Russian city) is another must-have from this group. It contains 90 minutes and 15 songs from the St. Petersburg concert, which features the vocals of Lana Lane and Kelly Keeling.
Rush - Replay x 3 DVD
Review by Greg Olma
If you are a Rush fan, these last couple of years have brought you many visual documents of their live shows. This particular set goes back to a time when VHS tapes ruled the world.
System of a Down - Dehumanize DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This is another in the series of unauthorized biography DVD's coming from Locomotive. This time they turn their attention to System of a Down, a band that I've had little exposure to in the past.
Interviews
Dirty Rig
Interview by Greg Olma
Interview with Buckshot of Dirty Rig from 2006


Eric Mantel
Interview by G. W. Hill
Interview with Eric Mantel from 2006

Ryo Okumoto
Interview by Lorraine Kay
Interview with Ryo Okumoto From 2006
Carl Palmer
Interview by Lorraine Kay
Interview with Carl Palmer From 2006
Derek Sherinian
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Derek Sherinian From 2006
Concert Reviews
Kino - Live at CalProg, Whittier, CA, 2006
Review by Lorraine Kay
CalProg 2006 was a full day of great prog-rock from across the country and the UK. Held in the Whittier Community Center, in Whittier, CA, a small community in Los Angeles County, there is always a family-friendly atmosphere in the 400 seat facility
Lamb of God - Live in Milwaukee, WI, July 2006
Review by Travis Jensen
First of all, I want to shake the hand of the tour managers and promotional people who teamed these two bands (Lamb of God and Slayer) together, as I don't think there is anyone more fitting to open up for Slayer than these guys.
Nima & Merge - Live at CalProg, Whittier, CA, 2006
Review by Lorraine Kay
CalProg was a full day of great prog-rock from across the country and the UK.
Ryo Okumoto - Live in N. Hollywood, CA, July 2006
Review by Lorraine Kay
As if he doesn't already have a full plate, Spock's Beard keyboardist Ryo Okumoto has added to his list of things to do - "build a new band and call it Code Red."
Carl Palmer - Live in Santa Ana, CA, June 2006
Review by Lorraine Kay
Best known as the "Palmer" in Emerson Lake and Palmer and as the drummer for Asia, Carl Palmer is still one of the most awesome drummers in rock and roll or any other music form. And if it were even possible, he seems to get better and more stellar as time goes by.
Rocket Scientists - Live at CalProg, Whittier, CA, 2006
Review by Lorraine Kay
CalProg 2006 was a full day of great prog-rock from across the country and the UK. Held in the Whittier Community Center, in Whittier, CA, a small community in Los Angeles County, there is always a family-friendly atmosphere in the 400 seat facility.
Slayer - Live in Milwaukee, WI, July 2006
Review by Travis Jensen
There is an old hard-core saying that goes "If you can't take a joke, then f**k you." I believe that the same could apply to anyone who doesn't like Slayer.
Toto - Live in Milwaukee, WI, July 2006
Review by Greg Olma
More pics from this concert are in our members area.
 
More Issues
October 2014 - Issue 108
August 2014 - Issue 107
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