Kate Bush’s second release, this showed hints of some of the powerful music that would show up in her catalog down the road. It’s a strong disc, but not every track is great.
Cabezas De Cera - Fractal Sonico Review by Bill Knispel Prog is an interesting animal; while the scene seems to be dominated by a cadre of bands that are primarily English in lineage, some of the most progressive music in the genre comes from beyond the English.
Following on from three highly regarded studio albums, Mexico’s Cabezas De Cera released their first full length live album in 2007.Titled “Hecho En Mexico”, the album is literally made in Mexico, as the recordings are all from concerts performed in their home country.
This album from 1970 was reissued in 2001 and includes several demo versions as bonus tracks.
Days Before Tomorrow - The Sky Is Falling Review by Gary Hill I like this band. I’m not sure how comfortable I am putting them into progressive rock, but they do call themselves that – and honestly they are close.
According to the notes at their CD Baby site, “One of the group's primary objectives is to embrace some aspect of most existing genres of music in order to blend and fuse a diverse array of styles, creating a concoction of something decidedly unique, yet with an air of familiarity.”
Morglbl - Jazz for the Deaf Review by Bill Knispel Morglbl has been building quite a name for themselves in the United States, one which may someday match their reputation in Europe.
I have to admit that before this compilation I’d never heard Mostly Autumn. My understanding of the band was that they were a Celtic based progressive rock outfit with a female lead singer.
Native Window - Native Window Review by Gary Hill It’s Kansas, but it isn’t. When you have Billy Greer, David Ragsdale , Phil Ehart and Richard Williams as the members of a band you can be sure the comparisons to Kansas well be rampant – since all of these guys have been in that group.
Matthew Parmenter - Astray Review by Gary Hill Matthew Parmenter has created in Astray that most elusive of beasts – the prog rock album that should please fans of modern and old school progressive rock equally.
The Strawbs are an intriguing band. I know most people consider them progressive rock – and certainly some of their music qualifies. I put them in that category basically as a nod to general convention.
Styx - Cornerstone Review by Greg Olma When Styx released Cornerstone, they seemed to switch directions after the relatively harder Pieces Of Eight. Here, the band gave Dennis DeYoung a little bit more space to explore his musical leanings.
When I got this disc I was told that it was progressive rock. I have to say that when I first put it in I didn’t think that was true. As I listened to more of the album, though, I’d have to agree for the most part.
Theo Travis - Double Talk Review by Gary Hill A modern legend in both progressive rock and jazz circles, Theo Travis and crew have crafted a killer album that showcases both sounds.
The latest disc from Viima continues the traditions that we heard on their previous one.
WD-41 - WD-41 Review by Gary Hill WD-41 is collaboration between Willie Oteri and Dave Laczko. The music here is all improvised and recorded as it is being created.
Wishbone Ash - Pilgrimage Review by Gary Hill The second album from Wishbone Ash, most of this is pretty prog-like, but there are a couple straight ahead rockers.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Black Sabbath - Paranoid Review by Gary Hill The second album from Black Sabbath, this isn’t quite as revolutionary as their debut, but that’s probably because of how groundbreaking that one was and the fact that this builds on the music they created there.
This type of music is a nightmare for someone who reviews things track by track. There’s only so much you can say to differentiate this music. And it changes so very slowly.
Bruce Dickinson - Accident of Birth Review by Gary Hill You’ve got to love these Bruce Dickinson reissues. When they put them out they give us a whole disc of rare bonuses. You can kind of look at those songs as just the icing on the cake.
Bruce Dickinson - Skunkworks Review by Gary Hill I love how most of these Bruce Dickinson solo reissues include a full CD of bonus material. I’d have to also say that this might be my favorite of Dickinson’s solo releases. So, put those two together and you just can’t beat it.
Doro - Fear No Evil Review by G. W. Hill You can never go wrong with a Doro album. Sure, the sound is not often cutting edge – or even surprising. But it’s consistently good.
I like Tim Owens. The man has an incredible voice. I’m just not completely blown away by the music on this disc.
Stratovarius - Polaris Review by Greg Olma You can call me a newbie if you want but this is the first time I have ever listened to a whole Stratovarius album straight through. I know they have many discs and they have a very strong legion of fans but I was always bored with what I thought was their style.
Without Return - Someone Else’s Eyes Review by Gary Hill In the modern era of "oh so perfect" recordings, we've forgotten the raw charm that is a disc with a little bit of an unfinished or "rough around the edges" production value.
Carbon 9 have created a disc that does a good job of combining metal and techno with bit of prog rock. I wouldn’t really say that it fits into any of those styles, but the metal and techno are both reflected throughout.
The year is 1976. What, you say it’s 2009? Well you couldn’t tell it from this disc.
Jesse James Dupree and Dixie Inc - Rev It Up And Go-Go Review by Gary Hill
This is an intriguing, if a bit odd, disc. The first half of the album is a combination of metallic hard rock with southern rock and bits of country. That blend is probably not all the unheard of for fans of Dupree’s main band, Jackyl.
Eve’s Burden - The Black Letter Review by Gary Hill This is a good album from a group who seem like they are capable of a great album. When the disc works, it really rocks. Where it fails it’s for one of two reasons. The first is production.
This is a good CD – no question about it. Every song here is quality. My only real issue is the fact that music is really quite generic (picture it in the general neighborhood of Matchbox Twenty for the most part) and doesn’t really have an identity that seems unique.
P. Hux - Kiss the Monster Review by G. W. Hill Take major helpings of The Beatles, blend in modern alternative rock and power pop and you’ll have a good idea of the sound of this disc. Hux and company take these ingredients and consistently mix them into one tasty pop morsel after another.
Latin elements blend with jazz and even modern urban sounds in Jacky & Strings New Era. The result is an intriguing disc that has a lot of great music.
Harlan Jefferson - You’re All I Need Review by Gary Hill You’re All I Need is the third CD from Rockford, Illinois based jazz saxophonist Harlan Jefferson. It’s a disc that is at times sheer brilliance. It’s also a disc that, while not perfect, is consistently very strong.
Joetown - Pills and Ammo Review by Gary Hill If you like your rock hard edged and raw with lots of retro music textures in the mix, then this is an album you need to check out. With plenty of 1970’s rock woven into this, it’s a great album that’s sure to entertain.
Johnfish Sparkle - Johnfish Sparkle Review by Gary Hill When you first put this disc in it’s easy to think it’s an alternative rock disc. I suppose to a degree it is. The truth is, though, it’s more retro rock (with several aspects of that genre demonstrated) than anything else.
Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy Review by Gary Hill For those who think Zeppelin was always nothing but bluesy hard rock, this flies in the fact of that. Much of this disc really fits into a progressive rock category.
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin III Review by Gary Hill This album was certainly a shock to Zeppelin fans when it came out. Accustomed to the bluesy hard rock of the first couple albums, much of this had to have seemed like a different band.
Hard rocking and quite industrial in nature, this is a cool disc. These guys are from my hometown area and I really never expected to hear a band this good at this type of music from Northern Illinois.
This live recording by the Gregg Rolie Band will certainly please fans of Santana. Rolie was the original keyboardist and vocalist in that band before moving onto Journey.
The Romantics - Super Hits Review by Gary Hill
Compilation discs are always a tricky thing. When you have one that’s entitled “Greatest Hits” or, in this case, “Super Hits,” though, it takes away the guess work of “Best Of” or “The Definitive Collection.”
The latest Sister Hazel disc is an exercise in the democracy of a band. Each member of the group brought a couple songs to the table to create the disc.
The States - The Path Of Least Resistance Review by Gary Hill The States have produced an intriguing album. It’s strong, but with a little different lineup in terms of song sequence it could have been even better.
This is a pleasant disc with moments of brilliance. While the musical motifs change pretty dramatically from one point in the set to another there’s still a consistency and cohesiveness here. It’s listenable and tasty – but not really stellar.
If you like hard edged alternative indie rock, you’ll enjoy this disc. It’s got it in spades. All the songs are entertaining and Telling on Trixie seems to know how to create a disc full of music that’s both cohesive and varied.
There’s a lot of good music on this, but it’s really all over the map musically. Variety is a good thing, but if you wander to far it seems like you don’t have direction.
The Black Crowes - Warpaint Live DVD Review by Gary Hill I’ve already reviewed the CD version of this set, so, for the most part I’ll leave it to that one to talk about the concert and focus here on the video itself.
Quincy Jones - The 75th Anniversary Birthday Celebration DVD Review by Gary Hill This is an unusual performance because Quincy Jones isn’t performing here. Instead this is a powerhouse group of musicians and performers Jones has influenced over the years performing music that’s connected to him. All this is with Jones in the audience.
Renaissance - Song of Scheherazade Review by Bill Knispel Only one thing has been missing over the years for devoted fans of Renaissance, that band combining rock and classical music more completely and seamlessly than almost any other band in progressive music…a video document of the classic band (Annie Haslam, Michael Dunford, John Tout, Terrence Sullivan and Jon Camp) live in concert.
Various Artists - Punk in England DVD Review by Gary Hill When Bob Geldof talks about punk rock it leads you to really question the genre. He begins by talking about how so much great rock and roll is from England.
Various Artists - Punk In London DVD Review by Gary Hill London, England was certainly an epicenter of punk rock. For that reason this documentary really is important and interesting.
Various Artists - Reggae in Babylon DVD Review by Gary Hill I’m not so sure about this being a real documentary. I say that because it really doesn’t have a coherent pattern to tell a straight-line story.
Echo Us Interview by Gary Hill Interview with EM of Echo Us From 2009
Saxon Interview by Mike Korn Interview with Biff Byford of Saxon From 2009
Beardfish - NEARfest 2009, Bethlehem PA Review by Bill Knispel It’s a cliché in most genres that long time fans are always looking for the next "big thing"…that band that picks up from where the past masters left off and drives the musical style forward.
DFA - NEARfest 2009, Bethlehem PA Review by Bill Knispel DFA has the privilege of being one of a select group of bands invited back for an encore NEARfest performance.
Godsmack - Live at Crufest 2 July 2009, Tinley Park, IL Review by Travis Jensen Here we are fellow metal fans, in another summer concert season, and it’s time to get Smacked! You too can come see one of hard rock’s loudest bands as part of the lineup for Motley Crue's Crüe Fest 2 tour.
Gong - NEARfest 2009, Bethlehem PA Review by Bill Knispel The announcement of Gong as Saturday night headliner for NEARfest may have caught a lot of people off guard. Certainly Gong has a history and importance level great enough to merit headliner status.
PFM - Premiata Forneria Marconi - NEARfest 2009, Bethlehem PA Review by Bill Knispel Throughout the entire weekend of NEARfest, one of the biggest wonders (other than whether the food at the on site caterer was edible…it was, by the way…or at least the bison burger was) was what kind of set Italian legends Premiata Forneria Marconi would be playing.
Michael Schenker - Group – Live in Chicago, June 2009 Review by Greg Olma The Michael Schenker Group has made its triumphant return to the US after a few years.What makes this a special tour is that Michael Schenker has decided to bring back original singer Gary Barden into the fold.
Whitesnake - Live in Chicago, July 2009 Review by Greg Olma It has been a while since David Coverdale and his band graced a stage in Chicago.In fact, it has been almost four years and that is really way too long a wait for us Whitesnake fans.