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June 2008 - Issue 70
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Asia - Phoenix
Review by Gary Hill
Unless you’ve been living in the proverbial cave for the last few years you probably know that the original lineup of Asia (Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and John Wetton has reunited). This is their first studio CD of the 21st Century.
Beardfish - Sleeping in Traffic: Part Two
Review by Bill Knispel
One year on from the release of their first album for InsideOut Music, Beardfish fulfills the promise made via the title of that release (Sleeping in Traffic Part One) with the second half of their lengthy concept piece. 
Black Fortress of Opium - Black Fortress of Opium
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve included this in the progressive rock section of Music Street Journal more because of the unique combination of sounds than anything else. Much of the disc doesn’t feel like what you would call “progressive rock” right out of the gate.
Blind Ego - Mirror
Review by Josh Turner
The front-man, Kalle Wahlner is a self-described egomaniac, but I wouldn’t say it’s without merit. Don’t take this on blind faith alone.
Caamora - She
Review by Bill Knispel
Everything bigger than everything else.  That seems, in many ways, to be Clive Nolan’s modus operandi. 
Dark Suns - Grave Human Genuine
Review by Gary Hill
Those who want to avoid metal in their prog will probably treat this one like the plague. They’ll be missing out of course.
Demians - Building An Empire
Review by Gary Hill
This the debut disc from French band Demians. It is a killer CD.
Destroy All Monsters - Live in Tokyo & Osaka
Review by Gary Hill

With a band called “Destroy All Monsters” and a CD cover like that, what do you expect? - certainly not “pretty” music. Well, don’t worry, that’s not what you get. 

The Divine Baze Orchestra - Once We Were Born...
Review by Gary Hill
Quantum physicists should pay a lot of attention to Sweden. It seems that the European nation is in the midst of a time warp that has it set firmly in the 1970’s rather than the 21st century like the rest of us.
Dream Theater - Made in Japan
Review by Rick Damigella
There are only a handful of bands with the boldness, chutzpah and talent to record and release a series of official live bootlegs where they cover another well known band’s album.
Edgar Gabriel’s StringFusion - Not Radio Material
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve put this into the progressive rock category. It could just as easily fit into “non-prog” as a full jazz contribution.
ES Posthumus - Featuring Luna Sans – Cartographer
Review by Gary Hill
This CD should appeal to fans of artists like Enigma and Enya, but I’ve put it into the progressive rock classification. For my money there is a ton of classical music, some serious artistry and other elements that make the argument.
Farflung - A Wound in Eternity
Review by Gary Hill
I should start with a few words about the inclusion of this review in the progressive rock section. Most people consider space rock to be a sub-genre within progressive rock.
GPS - Window To The Soul
Review by Josh Turner
Spock’s Beard is prog rock’s pop equivalent. Dream Theater is prog rock’s metal equivalent. And The Flower Kings are prog rock’s jazz equivalent. So what is GPS? 
 
Hate Camels - Death Comedy Jams...and One Piece of Life Metal
Review by Gary Hill
Hate Camels have produced an album here that is filled with fusion/RIO type instrumentals that (other than the last number) are designed to pay tribute to various funny guys who have passed on. Fans of RIO will definitely like this.
Karmacoda - Illuminate
Review by Gary Hill
This is perhaps not the most obvious choice for progressive rock inclusion, but it really has a lot in common with bands like Porcupine Tree. Comparisons to Enigma are also warranted, but for my money those guys border prog rock, too.
Kingfisher Sky - Hallway of Dreams
Review by Gary Hill
It’s a safe bet that prog purists will mark this one off there list as being metal. There are definitely a lot of heavy metal textures and sounds here. T
Magenta - Metamorphosis
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve heard of this band for a while, but this is the first time I’ve actually heard them. Well, I have to look into them.
Mar De Grises - Draining the Waterheart
Review by Gary Hill
Right off the bat, let’s say this – I’m not sure this is progressive rock. I am sure it’s an incredibly interesting CD that I like a lot.
Craig McConnell - Dessine-Moi Une Ligne Soundtrack
Review by Gary Hill
Craig McConnell is a progressive rock musician and this release is his music for the film Dessine-Moi Une Ligne. As with most soundtracks, this is nearly all instrumental.
Monster Island - Dream Tiger
Review by Gary Hill
What an intriguing CD this is! It has a lot in common with early Hawkwind, but you will probably also make out Mother Gong in this mix. Sometimes you can hear The Violent Femmes, too.
My Only Danger - My Only Danger
Review by Gary Hill
I can’t tell you how often I get emails on myspace saying, “you have to check out this band, they are the next coming of Elvis, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Oasis all rolled into one,” or something like that. Most of the time the groups are generic and amateurish at best or terrible at worst.
Oxygene8 - freak of chance
Review by Gary Hill
This is not your Father’s progressive rock. Indeed, there are probably those who wouldn’t think of it as prog rock at all.
Matthew Parmenter - Horror Express
Review by Bill Knispel
Matthew Parmenter may be best known to progressive music listeners as vocalist (and keyboardist, and occasional guitars/violin/saxophones) and erstwhile leader of Discipline, a Michigan-based progressive rock band responsible for two highly regarded albums released in the 1990’s, including the modern masterpiece Unfolded Like Staircase
Project Creation - Dawn on Pyther
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve set down to review this CD for the past two or three issues. It’s a tough one.
The Quiet Earth Orchestra - The Quiet Earth Orchestra
Review by Gary Hill
Let’s get one thing out of the way right at the start, this is not an orchestra. In fact, it’s not even a band.
Sense - Going Home
Review by Josh Turner
Recently I poured myself a glass of lavender cola. Similar to this, it’s not likeable with the first sip.
Seventh Season - Liquid Water
Review by Gary Hill
You know, this one I’ve gone back and forth on. I’ve been just about to throw it into metal and then suddenly I’ll hear something that makes me think prog.
Arianna Solare - Book of Us
Review by Gary Hill
This might not be the most obvious choice as a progressive rock CD. God knows, I catch enough headaches from readers and labels about what I do and don’t call prog rock, and,(although there are those who might disagree) I think I have a more liberal definition than many.
Stebmo - Stebmo
Review by Gary Hill
Often times there is a fine line between jazz and fusion and progressive rock. This CD seems to sit atop that line a lot of the time.
Yes - Extended Versions - The Encore Collection
Review by Gary Hill
So, you've probably seen this set around and wondered what it is and if you should pick it up. Well, I have saved you the trouble and will reveal what is in store for you here.
Robert Ziino - Slaves For The Billionaires
Review by G. W. Hill
This instrumental CD is, in a word, weird. It's all experimental keyboard work.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Bassinvaders - Hellbassbeaters
Review by Mike Korn
Pity the poor bass! Although it has its loyal devotees, it very much takes a back seat to its big brother, the lead guitar.
Benedictum - Seasons of Tragedy
Review by Tim Jones
This quality sophomore release by Benedictum, a power metal band discovered by Dio's Craig Goldy, is solid. 
Lair of the Minotaur - War Metal Battle Master
Review by Mike Korn
Since Lair of the Minotaur cuts right to the quick and doesn't waste time, neither will I: War Metal Battle Master is the most barbaric, most punishing slab of pure raging metal that I've heard this year. 
Manilla Road - Voyager
Review by Mike Korn
Mark "The Shark" Shelton has been walking this road since the late 70's and in the process, he's been bringing us some of the most stirring and epic metal out there. 
Mekong Delta - Lurking Fear
Review by G. W. Hill

My first exposure to Mekong Delta was when I was working on my book The Strange Sound of Cthulhu – Music Inspired by the Writings of H. P. Lovecraft

Mortal Love - Forever Will Be Gone
Review by Gary Hill
Take a healthy dose of Lana Lane. Add in a big helping of Queenryche.
Nightwish - Dark Passion Play
Review by Rick Damigella
The band who is at the forefront of the current European metal scene has returned after far too long a break since their last release. Nightwish infamously parted ways with their original singer following a concert in 2005. With Dark Passion Play, their first new album in three years, Nightwish continues to blaze new trails over the familiar ground of metal.
Powerglove - Metal Kombat for the Mortal Man
Review by Rick Damigella
What comes to mind when you think of unexpectedly great music combinations? Rob Halford fronting Black Sabbath in Costa Mesa, CA in ’92, Neil Young and Pearl Jam joining forces for Mirror Ball or Twisted Sister doing an album of Christmas songs are all good examples.
Royal Hunt - Collision Course
Review by Gary Hill
This CD is considered to be Paradox Part II. Well, since Paradox is one of my all time favorite discs, I had high hopes for this one.
Slough Feg - Hardworlder
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve thought and thought about how to express my thoughts about this CD in as succinct and clear a way as possible and here it is: I love it! I have never heard this band before, although I’ve definitely heard of them.
Spiritual Beggars - Spiritual Beggars
Review by Gary Hill
This is a reissue of a CD that was originally issued in the 1990’s. It was the debut for this Swedish outfit and showcased a powerhouse band.
Testament - The Formation of Damnation
Review by Gary Hill
This CD represents Alex Skolnick’s studio return to the world of Testament. What they have produced is an album that takes no prisoners. T
Tarja Turunen - My Winter Storm
Review by Rick Damigella
Elsewhere in this issue of MSJ, I reviewed the latest album from Nightwish. Now we take a spin of their departed singer, the legendarily voiced Tarja Turunen.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Blind Melon - For My Friends
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve always liked Blind Melon. I was never a huge fanboy or anything, but I found them to be quite a cool band in their first coming. F
Budgie - The BBC Recordings
Review by Bruce Stringer
This compilation of rare live recordings between 1972 and 1982 shines a light on the maturity of the Welsh heavy rock outfit, including the raw energy that they are most known for and a few odd but exciting moments along the way.
Dead Man - Euphoria
Review by Gary Hill
Fans of psychedelia should be all about this CD. Dead Man have captured a sound that is so rooted in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s that it’s scary.
Dream/Clone - Transymphonic EP
Review by Gary Hill
Hip hop doesn’t often get the respect it deserves in much of the music community.
Guards of Metropolis - Alligator
Review by Gary Hill
This band should be huge! Seriously, if there were any justice in the world, they would be getting airplay on Top 40 radio right now. Their sound is not all that different from some of the female fronted alternative rock that’s already on the airwaves.
Robin Guthrie - Continental
Review by Bruce Stringer
Continental is Robn Guthrie’s second solo album and is an almost conceptual blend of atmospherics and lush guitar sounds.
Kalliopi - Around the World CD Single
Review by Gary Hill
This single showcases an artist with a lot of talent. It would be nice to hear a longer disc from Kalliopi.
Jessie Kilguss - Exotic Bird
Review by Gary Hill
Jessie Kilguss has shown herself to be a complicated artist. Parts of this CD share a lot with artists like Bjork and Tori Amos.
Keith Killgo - This World
Review by Gary Hill
This is kind of a unique CD. It’s an odd mix of music, but it works quite well.
King's X - XV
Review by G. W. Hill
The latest disc from King’s X, this is no real shocker, but quality material. It’s focused on their usual blend of catchy, yet unusual arrangements of hard rocking music.
Le Rug - Beenex
Review by Gary Hill
When I’m getting my list of CD’s to review together for a new issue, I go through everything I’ve gotten in, skip through the first two or three songs (except for the artists I know) and then organize them into piles (prog, metal and other) and then make my selections from there.
Jaik Miller Band - Jaik Miller Band
Review by Gary Hill
These guys have not reinvented the wheel. Instead they’ve put a cool rim on it. The music here is pretty standard rock and roll. It’s real roots based Americana.
Ted Nugent - Sweden Rocks
Review by Gary Hill
Whatever you think of Ted Nugent, the man has produced some of the most recognizable guitar solos in the world.
OMD - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - Architecture, Morality & More
Review by Eric Meli
With the exception of "If You Leave" I never really thought much of Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark, well I guess i was wrong.
Running Still - Running Still
Review by Gary Hill
This is really a strong CD. Fans of Radiohead should find plenty of common ground here as it seems that Radiohead must be the biggest influence on these guys
Shaw - Blades - Influence
Review by Michael Bader
Influence is the second and latest release from Damn Yankees members, guitarist Tommy Shaw and bassist Jack Blades. Consider the hard hitting musical history of these musicians as key members of bands like Night Ranger and Styx.
Andy Spitson - All Eyes On You EP
Review by Gary Hill
This EP is being billed as a preview of Northern Illinois musician Andy Spitson's upcoming full CD and if these four tracks are any indication, that’s going to be a great disc.
Jim Steed - Fall
Review by Gary Hill
This EP showcases a musical talent who produces music you’ll feel like you’ve known for years. His sound would have fit in quite nicely in the 1970’s or 1980’s.
3rd Genesis - Vivid Light
Review by Gary Hill
Fans of the singer songwriter style of pop rock should enjoy this disc. It’s a cool EP that, while not exceptionally unique, delivers four good performances of accessible, acoustically based, pop rock.
Ween - The Friends EP
Review by Gary Hill
I had heard of Ween before, but never actually heard them. I have to say, I didn’t know what to expect from them, but even if I had, this would have surprised me. T
DVD/Video Reviews
Chris Barber - As We Like It DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This DVD is the film version of a one-night only performance by jazz/blues legend Chris Barber.  While this film will certainly please fans of old school jazz, the inclusion of Andy Fairweather-Low on a couple tracks means that younger audiences will be drawn in, too.
Caamora - She
Review by Bill Knispel
Repeatedly in my review of the album She, I make reference to how impressive this material might be if staged as a musical. 
The Doors - Classic Albums: The Doors DVD
Review by Gary Hill
You just can't go wrong with this DVD series. They start off by picking only albums that truly deserve the "classic" label - and that's a great thing.
Dream Theater - Live At Budokan DVD
Review by Greg Olma
Dream Theater have always made a point of only releasing quality product. Whether you like it or not, you always have to admit that the recordings and videos were done in the best possible way.
Bob Dylan - 1978 – 1989: Both Ends of the Rainbow DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Bob Dylan is one of a small group of artists who have been written about and documented so much that it seems like there can't be much out there that hasn't been covered.
Earth Wind and Fire - In Concert DVD
Review by Gary Hill
When it comes to soul music you just can't get much better than Earth Wind and Fire. So, it's a great thing that this video has come out on DVD.
The Funk Brothers - Live in Orlando DVD
Review by Gary Hill
You can't be the house band at Motown Records and have a lack of talent. The Funk Brothers was that group and their current lineup features the three surviving members of the ensemble.
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On and Greatest Hits Live Two Pack DVD
Review by Gary Hill
A bonus pack featuring two DVD's - how cool is that? Well, for those who don't already own these DVD's in their original release, very cool.
Allan Holdsworth and Alan Pasqua - Featuring Chad Wackerman and Jimmy Haslip DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This is the first official DVD by Allan Holdsworth. As someone who has had his whole world rearranged by seeing Holdsworth live, I can tell you that it’s an experience every one should have at some point in there life.
Jethro Tull - Jack In The Green - Live In Germany
Review by Greg Olma
I have been a fan of Jetro Tull since 11/8/84. I remember it vividly because that was the first time I saw them live and I have been hooked ever since.
Jethro Tull - Living With The Past
Review by Greg Olma
Jethro Tull have not released a lot of concert video material. Slipstream was their first but not much has come out since.
Korn - Live at Montreux 2004 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I love Korn. They are one of my favorite of the newer metal bands.
John Lennon - Classic Album: Plastic Ono Band DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This whole Classic Album series is pretty cool. It provides an indepth look into both the recording process and the end result of some discs that certainly deserve the title "classic."
Mink Deville - Live At Montreux 1982
Review by Greg Olma

I first got a glimpse of Willy DeVille’s world when I reviewed a copy of his then new DVD Live In The Lowlands. I also got to interview him for a more personal look and at that point I realized that he was a living, breathing embodiment of the songs that he puts out.

OMD - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - Architecure, Morality & More DVD
Review by Eric Meli
This DVD is a documented record of OMD's 2007 reunion concert.
Pallas - Moment to Moment DVD
Review by G. W. Hill
This new DVD from Pallas should be a real treat for their fans. It's a treat for anyone else who enjoys neo-prog as well, though.
Pär Lindh Project - In Concert: Live in Poland DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I had heard of Pär Lindh for a while, but had yet to hear him or this group. Well, the wait is over and it's a shame I waited this long.
Steel Pulse - Door of No Return DVD
Review by G. W. Hill
Those who are into the reggae scene are probably quite familiar with Steel Pulse. Those, like myself, who have a more casual interest in the genre will most surely have heard of them, even if they haven’t actually heard them.
The Tangent - Going Off On One DVD
Review by Josh Turner
They have given me a gag reaction. I keep spewing and spewing positive commentary; so much so that the genuine expression gets lost in the minutiae.
Various Artists - Earache: My Eye
Review by Gary Hill
Remember the days of VHS? Well, this was originally released in the final period of VHS.
Various Artists - Heads Up - An Extraordinary Drumming Event DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Three recent DVD's all focus on drummers. This one is not included in progressive rock (as the other two are) because the drummers here are not prog percussionists.
Various Artists - MetalMania 2007 DVD and CD Set
Review by Gary Hill
So, you didn’t make it to Poland last year to check out the MetalMania Festival? Or maybe you did and want a chance to relive the show.
Various Artists - Pete York's Super Drumming, Vol. 3
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite a cool DVD. While much of the music is pure jazz I've included it in the progressive rock section because Bill Bruford, Simon Phillips and Cozy Powell all appear here and have worked in prog rock.
Various Artists - The Drum Pad's 20th Anniversary Show
Review by Gary Hill
Drummers and drum fans unite and purchase this DVD! It features a number of world class drummers and you just don't get any better than this if your musical passion is geared towards percussion.
Amy Winehouse - Girl Done Good: a Documentary Review DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This DVD comes in the "Under Review" series of DVD's. I really admire this series as one of the better unauthorized documentary series out there.
Interviews
Beardfish
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Rikard Sjöblom and David Zackrisson from 2008
Black Fortress of Opium
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Ajda the Turkish Queen and Tony Savarino of Black Fortress of Opium From 2008
Edgar Gabriel’s StringFusion
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Edgar Gabriel from 2008
Robin Guthrie
Interview by Bruce Stringer
Interview with Robin Guthrie from 2008
Hate Camels
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Geoff Cleveland of the Hate Camels from 2008
Karmacoda
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Heather Pierce and Brett “B.” Crockett of Karmacoda From 2008
Manilla Road
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Mark "The Shark" Shelton from Manilla Road from 2008
My American Heart
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Jesse Barrera of My American Heart from 2008
Roine Stolt
Interview by Bill Knispel
Interview with Roine Stolt of the Flower Kings From 2008.
The Tangent
Interview by Bill Knispel
Interview with Andy Tillison of The Tangent from 2008
THIS IS AVAILABLE IN AUDIO FORMAT IN OUR MEMBERS AREA
UFO
Interview by Greg Olma
Interview with Andy Parker of UFO From 2008
Concert Reviews
Black Bonzo - Live at RoSfest 2008
Review by Josh Turner
For me, the hands down favorite of the festival was Black Bonzo. They might be Swedish, but they’ve more or less taken the genre of Americana and turned it on its head.
Blind Ego - Live at RoSfest 2008
Review by Josh Turner
Blind Ego was the first band to start the first official day of the fifth festival. They were solid but what was odd was the fact that their frontman, Kalle Wallner, operated off to the side and in an unimposing stance.
Budgie - Live in Adelaide, Australia, February 2008
Review by Bruce Stringer
It had been a long, long time and the anticipation was somewhat overwhelming but the day finally arrived and Welsh band Budgie hit the stage at The Gov in Adelaide, South Australia.
Circa: - Live at RoSfest 2008
Review by Josh Turner
Circa was way too loud and believe it or not; much too redundant. They had a nice sound – a lot like Yes - but only to those who had ear plugs in and sat more than a few rows back.
Dream Theater - Live in Rosemont, IL May 13, 2008
Review by Greg Olma
Dream Theater hit the road again but this time it is more of a tour package instead of the usual concert with a support group. Titled Progressive Nation 2008, Dream Theater headlined a four band bill that consisted of bands hand picked by Mike Portnoy.
GPS - Live at RoSfest 2008
Review by Josh Turner
GPS was difficult to assess. While they were great, I felt as if they didn’t bring their A-game.
Opeth - Live in Rosemont, IL May 13, 2008
Review by Greg Olma
Opeth are one of those bands that all my friends have been trying to get me to see. Well, I finally experienced them live as they were part of the Progressive Nation Tour.
Ritual - Live at RoSfest 2008
Review by Josh Turner
The festival’s first major surprise came in the form of Ritual. They put on a fantastic performance.
RPWL - Live at RoSfest 2008
Review by Josh Turner
Fans typically groan when a festival – a vehicle used to introduce new material to wanton ears - brings back an artist. No matter, RPWL deserved to be there.
UFO - Live In Chicago, April 19th 2008
Review by Greg Olma
UFO and Chicago have had a long standing relationship ever since they recorded their show at the International Amphitheater for the Strangers In The Night album.
 
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December 2014 - Issue 109
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