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Flower Flesh

Duck in the Box

Review by Gary Hill

The mix of sounds on this disc is cool. It ranges from classic progressive rock elements that can compare to Yes, ELP, Starcastle and others. Yet, there are metal elements in place a times. The pop music of the 1980s seems to permeate some tunes. Italian pop music and also something like The Cult shows up at points. This is all woven into a sound that’s cohesive, consistent and compelling. I like it a lot.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Falling in Another Dimension

As the disc comes in, it would be easy to imagine that this is some power metal disc. As the vocals and keyboards join, though, along with a different vibe, it is clear we’re off on a ride that’s like hard rocking progressive music. There is a hook oriented section at points in the tune, and at less than three minutes, the length of this also makes it one of the most pop-oriented pieces here. Still, there’s also an instrumental section that makes me think quite a bit of The Yes Album.

My Gladness After the Sadness

This piece comes in mellow, intricate and quite beautiful. It builds out after an extended introduction into a more energized progressive rock jam. The vocals bring almost a 1980s pop element to the table. After going through that section for a time, though, a very dramatic jam ensues. After time this thing explodes out with a smoking hot guitar solo. Then later it drops way down to mellower motifs and the vocals bring a definite Italian element to this. Keyboards take center stage as this powers out from there. There’s another Italian ballad style segment followed by more prog instrumental work before this ends.

It Will Be the End

There’s sort of a mystical, playful mode combined with a bit of that Italian element and more mainstream progressive rock on the first verses of this. It powers up to a more straightahead progressive rock section from there. This turns a bit crunchy later. They take into an inspired prog jam further down the road. At times that jam seems rather metallic, but then it has hints of Starcastle. Beyond that it turns to a staccato kind of fusion jam before working towards more melodic music again. They take it to a killer triumphant sounding progressive rock jam for the ending section.

God is Evil (Like the Devil)

Acoustic guitar opens this and keyboards quickly join. They power it out into a great prog jam from there. It rocks out pretty hard. In a way, this makes me think of a proggy version of The Cult. They include an instrumental section that’s perhaps closer to something like ELP, though. It also drops down to a mellower jam after that. A folk prog section emerges after that. Various themes get revisited and expanded upon as this continues. There’s a cool segment later with a more rocking vocal line running counter-point to the more melodic vocals.

The Race of My Life

Delicate and intricate music creates the introduction here. Then it shifts to sort of a progressive rock take on world music elements. From there a more mainstream progressive rock jam ensues. Then it gives way to a funky kind of fusion sound for the next extended instrumental movement. There is an almost spooky section later in the piece. It has more of those Italian vocals. A more mainstream element takes over after that.

Antarctica

There are some awesome musical adventures here. The rather complex vocal arrangement on this is among the best of the set and there are some great musical shifts and changes. Some moments on this make me think of Yes. Others are perhaps closer to fusion. Various other parts of the progressive rock spectrum emerge throughout the length of this thing. It has more energetic sections and mellower ones. This is one of the most intriguing cuts on show and one of the most effective.  

Scream and Die
Quite a dramatic and dynamic tune, in a lot of ways the early sections of this focus on a prog ballad approach. There are some intriguing vocal hooks and some cool changes in the music. It powers up at times into some dramatic harder rocking territory. In fact, past the two minute mark it works out to a faster jam that’s got some definite hints of metal and fusion in the mix. More triumphant and melodic progressive rock takes it later. The ending is very satisfying.
 
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