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Bodragaz

Symphony

Review by Gary Hill

I’ve been following this band for a long time and have reviewed a lot of their discs. Their blend of hard rock and progressive rock always works well. They seem to have gotten better over the years and their most recent albums have been their strongest. This one is no exception. It might be their best album. It should be noticed that the only problem with Bodragaz is that sometimes the vocals can be a little off-putting and they occasionally wander off key a bit. Still, there’s not enough of a problem with the vocals to keep this from being a great disc. It’s quite an awesome set, really.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Before Winter

This comes in hard edged with a real classic rock turned proggy approach. It’s a smoking hot tune and a great way to start this off in style.

Symphony
Almost metal in its sound, the symphonic (synthetic) elements here keep this one in the lines of progressive rock. There is a lot of energy and this really is a powerhouse tune.
The Last Days
The opening here is more decidedly prog like, but there is some serious crunch on this thing. Comparisons to Dream Theater wouldn’t be entirely out of the question.
Red Sun
They drop things way down here for this mellower cut. It’s basically a symphonic and powerful piece of music that’s quite balladic early on in the progression. It gets some crunch later, basically turning it into a power ballad. They take it through several changes as the arrangement stretches out and there’s a scorching guitar solo.
Genevieve
This cut does a great job of contrasting mellower, more purely melodic progressive rock with harder edged stuff. While no one would ever mistake this for Styx, it wouldn’t be a big stretch to imagine Styx doing this. In general this is a bit crunchier than the classic Styx sound, but is pretty similar to the kind of hard edged AOR prog that Styx have always been so good at doing.
I Found You
There is an almost magical, mysterious element to the sounds that open this thing. From that point it powers out to a harder rocking jam that’s almost metal. This is one of the more energetic and crunchy cuts here, but there are still plenty of progressive rock elements keeping it interesting.
Eternity
Starting mellow, this powers out into harder rocking sounds. The keyboard sounds are tasty and the cut really pounds with a ferocity. There are some great bits of crunch in this tune. The guitar solo on this tune borders on technical metal.

 

Phoenix
I love the keyboard sounds on this and the introduction borders on thrash metal. It’s hard rocking and still very proggy at the same time. There are some symphonic elements over the top of the arrangement, but the guitar solo is pure crunchy, although it’s also melodic.
Dream On
A powerful and lush arrangement makes this one of the cooler cuts on show here. It’s hard rocking and energized, but also quite AOR progressive rock in nature. There is some great, melodic and technical, guitar soloing on this beast and it’s another real winner.
World of Fantasy
While this thing is crunchy and one of the more metallic pieces on show, it’s still got a lot of progressive rock built into it. The keyboard layers are tasty and the piece is another that has some similarities at times to Dream Theater. Every thing on this tune just works so well.
 
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