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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Qoph

Kalejkoskopiska-aktiviteter

Review by Gary Hill

Very intriguing Swedish prog, this one combines straightforward rock arrangements with more traditional prog and fusion. The result is quite entertaining.

If you can`t find this disc in your local prog shop, try ordering it from http://www.cranium.co.nz/. Qoph is Federico de Costa, Robin Kvist, Filip Norman, Patrik Persson and Jimmy Wahlsteen. Several side musicians join them on this album.

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

Track by Track Review
Vansinner
A brief psychedelic effects driven intro leads to a funky sort of prog groove with vocals that are a bit Chris Squireish. This one gets very strange at times, somewhat Zappaish. It really explodes with prog fury into a considerably strong jam with lots of energy and emotion.
Ta Farväl
Starting in a prog metallish vein, this cut turns very jazzy for a while, then goes into a somewhat funky jam (rather Phish influenced). It seems to alternate between these veins before a wild jazzy segment ends the number.
Än Lyser Månen (Nadir I)
With an intro rather in the mode of Red era Crimson, this cut really has that kind of feel with some oddly arranged vocals. It also includes some solidly quirky groove oriented textures at times, with nice prog changes. Jazzy tones end the piece.
Månvarv (Nadir II)
Beginning in countryish modes, the piece quickly explodes into progish fury. Hawkwindesque moments show up, as does a nice rock jam. This one segues directly into the next cut.
En Måne Som Ler (Nadir III)
Coming straight out of the last number, this is good rock and roller, nice, simple and very brief number.
Aldrig Tillbaks
Starting as bouncy prog with Starcastleish vocal interplay, this one quickly evolves into a very jazz oriented progressive rock composition.
Herr Qophs Villfarelser
With an introduction that feels a bit like Rush`s Xanadu, this builds very gradually as a rock oriented jam. It later becomes rather progish, and features some Howeish guitar at times, and also goes very psychedelic for a while.
Forfonrande Radsla
Almost feeling like two songs. The first "song" of this piece is another no frills rock approach. It takes on an almost Black Sabbathish feel at times, but more progressive, and also features Crimsonesque elements. This segment takes on more traditional prog elements at times. The second part starts with an odd, sparse arrangement with spoken vocals and effects, the textures start building gradually. It takes on strong jazzish tones, and this piece, in general, really feels a lot like the French band Halloween. The number is quite an interesting prog jam. At times, it reminds the listener of Procol Harum`s Whiter Shade of Pale. The track is almost 14 minutes long, and ends in a rather traditional rock and roll manner.
 
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