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April 2007 - Issue 63
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Asmodeus X - Sanctuary
Review by Gary Hill
I first became exposed to this band while working on my book. One of the songs here is featured in that tome because of its link to the Lovecraft mythos.
Banco del Mutuo Soccorso - Banco del Mutuo Soccorso
Review by Bill Knispel
Banco is an essential band - full stop. If you like ELP, you will likely love Banco.
FeedForward - Barefoot & Naked
Review by G. W. Hill
Walking the fine line between progressive rock and metal, I'd say this disc comes in barely on the prog side of the festivities.
King Crimson - Islands
Review by Bill Knispel
King Crimson’s Islands album (1971) marked two milestones. On one hand, it was the band’s return to live performance, as Crimson had not played any live shows since December of 1969.
King Crimson - Lizard
Review by Bill Knispel
Lizard is one of two “lost” King Crimson albums. Generally overlooked in favor of either the megalithic debut release or the embryonic prog metal that made up the band’s mid-1970’s output, Lizard shows the band moving more toward Robert Fripp’s musical ideals and concepts.
Lifesizemonsters - Brain In A Box
Review by Gary Hill
Until now I had never heard any music quite like this. It's nearly impossible to classify. On the one hand you get sounds that might make one think of Adrian Belew or maybe even King Crimson at times.
The Mahavishnu Project - Return to the Emerald Beyond
Review by Gary Hill
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well, if that's the case The Mahavishnu Orchestra should feel quite flattered.
Loreena McKennit - An Ancient Muse
Review by Gary Hill
OK, maybe this isn't actually progressive rock, but it seems as close a fit as any genre. Traditional olde worlde tones are brought to live in vibrant, contemporary arrangements on this disc.
Kurt Michaels - Outer Worlds
Review by Rick Damigella
If there is one thing that I really enjoy musically is a great mixture of guitar and electronic instrumentation. Whether it be classics like Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, the ambient recordings of The KLF or even the new age dreaminess of the music of Lanz and Speer.
Alan Morse - four o'clock and hysteria
Review by Gary Hill
When I popped this CD in I was kind of expecting something that would sound like Morse's band Spock's Beard. Had I read the press materials that came with, I would have realized that the ride in store was different, but I usually prefer to give first impressions the chance to sink in before clouding them with words written about the disc.
Neal Morse - Sola Scriptura
Review by Josh Turner
This album is outstanding. If there was any stronger word to use in its place, I’d have chosen that instead to sanction my approval.
Øresund Space Collective - It's All About Delay
Review by Gary Hill
This modern space rock band have released their second disc for Record Heaven/Transubstans. A double disc collection, this is possibly even better than its predecessor.
Pentwater - Ab-Dul
Review by Gary Hill
I don't remember when I've anticipated a CD release as much as I did this one. I've been a fan of Pentwater since their first incarnation in the 1970's.
Roger Powell - Fossil Poets
Review by Gary Hill
Fans of Todd Rundgren's Utopia should find this release of particular interest as Roger Powell was a member of that band. Those who enjoy mellow fusion instrumentals should find plenty of common ground here as that style makes up the whole disc.
Anton Roolaart - Dreamer
Review by Rick Damigella
Connoisseurs of progressive rock have a debut disc from an amazing player to look forward to in April. Netherland’s born Anton Roolaart’s debut disc, Dreamer, should be occupying space on your iPod or in your CD tray for many months to come.
Daryl Stuermer - Go
Review by Gary Hill
Certainly Daryl Stuermer is probably best known for his work in the touring version of Genesis. The truth is, though, he's a great musician in his own right and Go is his latest disc.
James Sudakow - Green
Review by Gary Hill
So, you say you like instrumental music that borders between prog rock and fusion? Then this CD is definitely one you should check out.
Yes - Keystudio
Review by Gary Hill
Talking about the album that should have been! When these songs were originally released it was as bonus new studio recordings at the end of the two Keys to Ascension sets.
Frank Zappa - Absolutely Free
Review by Bill Knispel

Released nearly 1 year to the day after Freak Out!, Absolutely Free was the second release by the Mothers of Invention. Led by Frank Zappa, the Mothers of Invention began moving beyond the nascent avant garde elements of their previous work to fully embrace a wider range of classical and jazz elements in their psychedelic lambastings of the society around them.

Frank Zappa - Freak Out!
Review by Bill Knispel
Prog certainly existed after Freak Out!, but was there anything coming out at the time that did for the boundaries of rock and roll what Freak Out! did? It’s unlikely.
Frank Zappa - Zappa In New York
Review by Bill Knispel
The separation between live album and studio album has always been a fuzzy one when it comes to Frank Zappa. As so many of his “studio” albums were created through the use of individual instrumental tracks (or wholesale lifting of full band tracks) from live performance, it’s often difficult to tell on LP what was recorded in thew studio and what was recorded live.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Alabama Thunderpussy - Open Fire
Review by Mike Korn

A picture of a raging barbarian on an album cover has been an indicator of quality on heavy metal and Southern rock albums for many years now and Open Fire proves no exception, boasting a Kelly Freas classic. In fact, this record is bursting with so much fire and grit that I defy any fan of hard music to keep from bouncing around the room and making wild air guitar gestures. This one lays the smack down real hard!

DragonForce - Sonic Firestorm
Review by Rick Damigella
If you have never listened to a DragonForce album, you can’t go wrong with any of their releases but this, their second disc of power/prog metal, is a fantastic sophomore effort and a good jumping on point for new fans. The overall sound is much more mature over their first album yet is still filled with the lightning fast riffage which is the DragonForce trademark.
DragonForce - Valley of the Damned
Review by Rick Damigella
DragonForce blazed metal trails in 06 with their latest album Inhuman Rampage. They did it with constant touring behind the album and earning new legions of fans for their unique faster than fast brand of metal.
Fatal Smile - Neo Natural Freaks
Review by Greg Olma
On the other side of the Atlantic, bands don’t seem to try to fit into trends. Swedish group Fatale Smile may have some modern elements but, for the most part, it is just good old fashion melodic metal.
God Dethroned - The Toxic Touch
Review by Mike Korn
Holland's God Dethroned has been so consistently good for so many years that it's very easy to take them for granted. They have turned out unique and interesting death metal on a very regular basis since the early 90's and show no signs of slowing down.
Grayceon - Grayceon
Review by Gary Hill
Grayceon is definitely one of those bands that push the boundaries of heavy metal. With classical instrumentation fully integrated into their music they launch on a series of four musical compositions that combine the raw power of punk with the majesty of epic metal and the aggression of thrash.
Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind
Review by Rick Damigella
The year was 1983 and Iron Maiden had just released their fourth studio album, Piece of Mind. More than just another album, it marked the beginning of a new phase for the band.
Iron Maiden - Powerslave
Review by Rick Damigella
Just over a year after their previous album, Iron Maiden released what would become in the opinion of many fans, their defining album. Powerslave, like its predecessor, was recorded at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, the Bahamas with Martin “Headmaster” Birch at the helm for the fourth straight record.
Khallice - The Journey
Review by Gary Hill
Brazilian group Khallice have put out a disc that is nearly a masterpiece with The Journey. Most of the time it walks the fine line between heavy metal and progressive rock.
Kiko Loureiro - No Gravity
Review by Greg Olma
The name Kiko Loureiro may not mean much to most people but in the heavy metal community, he is regarded as one of the better guitars out there. His day job is with Angra but now he has decided to put out something all his own.
Machine Head - The Blackening
Review by Greg Olma
This is my first foray into the land of Machine Head. I’ve read about them but have not heard what they are all about.
Melechesh - Emissaries
Review by Mike Korn
This is one of those albums that's not only a high water mark for the band, but for the entire genre they work in. Emissaries is an effort that clicks in every way possible and which has already emerged as my favorite metal release of 2007.
Nikki Puppet - Puppet On A String
Review by Greg Olma
This album is a tough one to categorize. It is definitely the square peg trying to fit in the round hole. At times, it is trying to be rock/metal, other times; it has a total punk vibe.
Sacred Dawn - Gears of the Machine
Review by Greg Olma
I am glad that Illinois is turning out some great metal. Sure we have had some great stuff come out of our state but it is nowhere near the output from California or New York.
Trouble - Psalm 9
Review by Mike Korn
It was the long foretold year of 1984 when I first picked up the debut record of Chicago's Trouble. Like most of the discs I bought in the Golden Age of Metal, I still have this precious LP, made all the more unique because it was pressed on solid white vinyl.
Violent Storm - Storm Warning
Review by Greg Olma
I read a blurb about this band on the Internet but the information focused on K.K. Downing’s (Judas Priest) input more than the band or the music. I don’t know if it’s a good thing that Downing worked with Violent Storm or not.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Alcoholika - Toxicnology Part 1 & 2
Review by Rick Damigella
This is oddest record I have had to review thus far. From what I can gather, this is a compilation of the two releases called Toxicnology Part 1 and Toxicnology Part 2.
Jimmy Buffett - Take the Weather with You
Review by Lorraine Kay

Singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett's latest album Take The Weather With You offers up a few more country tunes but includes a variety of other styles and sounds throughout the album. This whole album has a “feel-good” thing about it. Even the “Cryin’ in your Beer” country tunes don’t really make you feel like crying. Jimmy Buffett’s song writing talents soar on the CD.

Mark Farner - For The People
Review by Gary Hill
Right off the bat, you might notice that the vocals on this disc sound very familiar. That’s because Mark Farner was the main voice of Grand Funk Railroad (along with the guitarist).
From - The American EP
Review by Rick Damigella
I get a lot of invites to be “friends” with bands and musicians on MySpace. We all do. That is one of the cool things about MySpace, the chance to learn about new artists that you might never have heard of.
3 Legged Dogg - Frozen Summer
Review by Greg Olma
This is a new project that is basically a supergroup of sorts. It is formed by former members of Dio, Quiet Riot, Lynch Mob, and David Lee Roth’s band.
13 Wyde - Social-Psycho Breakdown
Review by Tim Jones
This is 13 Wyde's first album, Social-Psycho Breakdown. The band is made up of five people, including a lyricist.
Tishamingo - The Point
Review by Gary Hill
Tishamingo is getting a lot of exposure on the jam band circuit. They really only fit so well into that category, though. Truly their sound is firmly rooted in the bluesy rock that was so popular in the 1970's – think Cactus, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, etc.
Ben Trexel - Under the Radar
Review by Greg Olma
There are a few names out there in the instrumental guitar world that everyone knows: Joe Satriani, Steve Via, Eric Johnson, and Paul Gilbert to name a few. A couple of new names need to be added to that list.
Tricky Bizzniss - Tricky Bizzniss
Review by Rick Damigella
Fans of well crafted electro-rock, take note, this is an album you should be listening to. Trixie Reiss is a name you will be hearing more and more now that this debut disc has been released.
Eddie Vaan Shaw, Jr. - Ass Whoopin'!
Review by Lisa Palmeno
Ass Whoopin! is blues veteran Eddie Vaan Shaw, Jr.’s 2001 solo release. Vaan Shaw, Jr. digs down deep on this 14-track compilation of exciting, full-bodied blues.
Lucinda Williams - West
Review by Gary Hill
You ever have a situation where you find out about some new treasure only to realize that it's only new to you, but well known and prized by others for a long time? Well, such is my discovery of Lucinda Williams.
Zachariah and the Lobos Riders - Alcoholiday
Review by Rick Damigella
It may sound clichéd but booze and country music go hand in hand. There is nothing quite like the twang of a Tele and the mournful wail of lap steel washed down with beer, whiskey and red wine (notice I said “and” not “or”).
DVD/Video Reviews
Canned Heat - Live at Montreux 1973 DVD (2 Disc)
Review by Gary Hill
I don't know what it is with labels these days. Well, actually I do. I just don't like it.
Dixie Dregs - Live at Montreux 1978 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Anyone wanting to see what makes the Dixie Dregs so special would do well to check out this awesome DVD. This band is so tight and purely smokes!
Iron Maiden - Death On The Road DVD
Review by Greg Olma
This is the companion DVD to the CD of the same name. Although Iron Maiden is great on their live CD's, somehow something is missing.
Iron Maiden - History Of Fear DVD
Review by Greg Olma
I am always cautious about these “unauthorized” biography/interview DVD's. Sometimes they are great additions to a collection, other times they aren’t even worth an initial viewing.
Kenso - Live in USA DVD
Review by Bill Knispel
Kenso’s triumphant return to North America in 2005 at NEARfest left over 1000 people awestruck and blown away by their heady mix of symphonic rock and jazz-fusion. Nearly 2 years on from this legendary performance, a DVD documenting the show has been released via Japanese import.
King Crimson - Neal and Jack and Me DVD
Review by Bill Knispel
King Crimson’s ‘return to the throne’ in the 1980’s must have been viewed with a degree of skepticism. The band made a name for themselves in the 1970’s with their dark blend of symphonic grandeur and intense heaviness, mixed with an improvisational spirit that would drive them to push every song and performance into parts unknown.
The Police - Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out DVD
Review by Vivian Lee
Composer/musician Stewart Copeland, best known as ex-drummer for The Police compiles his Super 8 camera footage to give a glimpse into the lives of The Police before their unofficial disbanding in 1986.
Run DMC - Live at Montreux 2001 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
For fans of “old school” rap, you just don't get much more legit than Run DMC. As such founding fathers of the genre, one would expect a killer performance.
Various Artists - Musicares: A Tribute to Brian Wilson DVD
Review by Gary Hill
From The Red Hot Chili Peppers to The Back Street Boys this is a concert that featured diverse performers covering the songs of Brian Wilson. While I'm not a big Beach Boys fan, I found that some of the showings were simply spectacular, while others didn't excite me so much.
Barry White - Let the Music Play – The Barry White Story DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Everyone knows that voice – the man, the legend, Barry White. How many of us really know the story of his life, though?
Yes - Greatest Video Hits DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Originally released on VHS, this collection was put out on DVD in 2005. This video is a collection of videos (many of which have not often been seen) interspersed with interview clips from band members (recorded during the Union tour).
Yes - Live At Montreux 2003 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Another in the Live at Montreux series, this DVD is one of the best of the bunch. Mind you, a good deal of that is about the performance that was captured here.
Interviews
Alabama Thunderpussy
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Bryan Cox from 2007
Al Atkins
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Al Atkins from 2007


Dominici
Interview by Josh Turner
Interview with Charlie Dominici from 2007 
Earth Lab
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Jerry Richards of Earth Lab From 2007
God Dethroned
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Arien van Weesenbeek of God Dethroned
Glenn Hughes
Interview by Rick Damigella
Interview with Glenn Hughes
Machine Head
Interview by Greg Olma
Interview with Phil Demmel of Machine Head from 2007
Pentwater
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Pentwater
Spock's Beard
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Dave Meros and Alan Morse of Spock's Beard
Concert Reviews
Blue Öyster Cult - Live in Anaheim, CA, March, 2007
Review by Michael Bader
Gone are Eric Blooms’ tight fitting leathers, curly hair and neatly groomed beard/goatee. Gone are Buck Darhmas’ white suit, black mustache and long black hair.
Vince Gill - Live in Rockford, IL, February, 2007
Review by Gary Hill
I know that many of the people who read Music Street Journal are progressive rock fans – and some of you are prog purists. So, you are probably asking why we would review a Vince Gill show – and more importantly, why you should care?
Lamb of God - Live in Milwaukee, WI, March, 2007
Review by Greg Olma
When I first heard that Lamb Of God was going to play The Rave in Milwaukee, I was a bit surprised. Their latest Album Sacrament was a huge hit and coming off of a Grammy nomination, I figured that The Rave would be too small to hold the growing legion of Lamb Of God fans.
Machine Head - Live in Milwaukee, WI, March, 2007
Review by Greg Olma
I have never been to a Machine Head concert and until recently, had never heard their music. Based on the new CD The Blackening, I had to see these guys; even if it was going to be an opening slot.
 
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