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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Gak Omek

Return of the All-powerful Light Beings

Review by Josh Turner

They have an extremely weird name, but the band makes seriously good music. It's structured entirely around neo-progressive instrumentals. The mix is busy, yet not overly convoluted. The compositions are cleverly arranged, the beats are catchy, and the music is proficiently performed. The music is so symphonic that the vocals are not missed in the slightest.

Looking at the credits, one all-powerful light being is responsible for the majority of the music. He goes by the name Robert Burger and all he uses to make these sounds is a guitar, synthesizer, and digital drums. He is helped out by another named Dave Cashin who plays the keyboards on the first and last track. The last lifeform, Glenn Robitaille, donates his drums to the first track. Whether it's Robert, Dave, or Glenn enriching the elements, the music radiates particles that are rich with radioactivity.

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

Track by Track Review
Return of the All-powerful Light Beings
This is close-encounters of the third kind. The beings come down in a ship made of bright light. At first contact, it seems they speak a totally different language. There are no vocals in the music, but there is a moment where one of them tries to speak to us. It comes out as garbled gobbledygook. You'll be incapable of translating their words. Instead, the common language is found in the neo-progressive notes. This is a long piece with many recurrent themes. The delivery is clean and tight. These advanced beings can really jam. Their technology is capable of mimicking an assortment of brass, wind, and string instruments even though none appears to be mentioned in the manual.
Forbidden Technology of the Lost Clown Civilization
This is slightly more avant-garde and even a little bit jazzy. Considering the makeup of the music, it is rather melodic and accessible.
Cydonia
This is similar to the previous track. It's slower and serene, but much of the same. When the guitar takes the helm, we get Pink Floyd's Welcome to the Machine intermingled with Phil Collin's Genesis. There is a bit of Dave Bainbridge midway through, making the music ideal for a movie soundtrack. It goes off tangent towards the end as the remainder is more along the lines of Tuatara. This song is a sundry assortment of thoughts and traits. It possibly suffers from a chronic case of split personality.
Apparitions of Departed Human Personalities
This is improvisational and longwinded. While it lacks the pizzazz of the previous track, it has a pleasant persona. The overtones are tense, but it remains calm under pressure. This works as a bridge between the more energetic pieces.
Radio Hypnotic Intercerebral Control
This takes on a funky form as the beat modulates in Morse code broadcasted in many directions. It should appeal mostly to fans of the RIO genre (that's Rock in Opposition for you newbies). The factory runs at maximum capacity before the employees head to the break room. After this short reprieve, they file one by one back into the sweat shop. Before long the tired workers have the machines fully functional again. Over an intercom, a merciless master subliminally commands its minions to work harder. At the end of the shift, they collapse like an elaborate set of dominoes.
Dane of the Nine Unknown Men
Different from the last, this one gives the impression of a Utopia where the servants happily serve their superiors. Floating in the clouds, this workforce carries nosh and nectar to the all-powerful beings living in the castles at the edge of existence. They are content with their lifestyle, treating their generous elders to a life of luxury.
Departure of the All-powerful Light Beings
These curious creatures are not much for farewells. Under three minutes, this is easily the shortest track on the album. After charging the engines and lifting off, the spacecrafts hover overhead. In unison, they repeat the opening montage before drifting peacefully into the heavens. They become a twinkling light in a sea of constellations.
 
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