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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Forms of Things Unknown

Cross Purposes

Review by Josh Turner

This is a rare breed meant for a niche crowd. It is part of clan that was prevalent in the soundtracks of seventies sci-fi movies. The music is both bizarre and mysterious at the same time. If you are into bands like Tangerine Dream that take lingering themes and stretch the notes for miles and miles, you may like this one. It isn't for everyone, but for those who like it, this will come as much needed treatment. It has all the therapeutic properties one would experience lying in a water chamber with ambient lighting and serene sound effects.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
Black Candles & Pentagrams n' S**t
i. Risen, the Judas Moon
This takes us to Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles. The planet is desolate and dusty. Life exists outside the camp's borders, but it is hidden from sight behind huge rocks and inside subterranean alcoves. This piece is overall eerie and becomes quite unnerving at times.
ii. Errant Bodies
This is much of the same, spooky and relentless, and it is 50% longer than the first track. For those not into this sort of music, it will have them itching to start the launch sequence and head back home. The instrumentations remind me of the opening sequence from The Outer Limits. There is nothing wrong with your television. The aliens are controlling the horizontal and the vertical.
Mariam Matrem
a. Instrumental
This is a change of pace as it is madrigal and medieval. As the title states, it is strictly instrumental. This is all it shares in common with the first two tracks.
b. Vocal
We continue with the theme from the previous song. Shannon Wolfe's soprano voice emerges. It sounds as if she is singing a religious chant.
Stupid Blood
Each track is different from the next. The first is a real space oddity, the second is almost an opera act, and this one swoops into the nest of Birdsongs of the Mesozoic. Bob Ayres is the baritone credited for the singing in this standalone piece. Ferrara Brain Pan provides all the interesting wind instruments. I'm sure some will find this album entertaining and it is no doubt different from the rest of the pack. For what it's worth, the uniqueness of this blend will draw some near while others will hold their nose and scurry in the opposite direction from its pungent aroma. This isn't my cup of tea, but it will certainly meet the needs of those who prefer compositions that are spacey, atmospheric, and avant-garde.
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