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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Grey Lady Down

Star-Crossed

Review by Gary Hill

Grey Lady Down seem to be a band that are trying to combine a more metallic approach with a very traditional progressive rock basis. That said, there are times when they should concentrate a little harder on the prog end, as they suffer occasionally from a more rudimentary sort of approach in their metallic nature. Still, with leanings ranging from Yes and King Crimson and Genesis, you really can't complain too much.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2001 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Fading Faith
Beginning with a very traditional prog style, much in the mode of groups like Genesis, the cut drops to a more sparse arrangement for the verse. As it builds up again, it is still rather Genesisish, but with a harder edge. The composition moves into some pretty powerful territory as it carries on. It explodes into a great Genesisish jam that really rocks. This jam just keeps building and building in wonderful prog style. It is a killer cut that just keeps getting better.
Shattered
In a somewhat balladic mode, this one begins to evolve to hard-edged and powerful prog. It has a killer arrangement. It cuts back down to more sedate layers and styles then builds back up, getting quite hard edged at times. It covers a lot of musical ground.
As The Brakes Fail
Mellow balladic tones start this one and the cut begins building very slowly on that style. Eventually it does a complete 360, shifting to a great prog groove that is rather hard edged. It evolves again, becoming another hard-edged jam that calls to mind Genesis quite a bit.
Fallen
This one again showcases Genesisish leanings, this time right from the start. It takes on more metallic tones later, but still these prog tendencies run strong throughout. The jam late in the cut is particularly strong and all over the place musically. As it resolves out of that segment, the track begins to feel a lot like Marillion for a time. It drops to a very classically oriented mellow section as it carries on. That segment ends the piece.
New Age Tyranny
Hard edged, sci-fi oriented prog, this one feels a little rudimentary and clichéd. The later segments take on a power that really redeems it, though.
Sands Of Time
Light and fluffy, this starts as an acoustic ballad that feels quite Yesish. It is a rather poppy textured take on a prog ballad approach. The arrangement covers a good amount of landscape without wandering far from the central song structure.
Truth
Jazzy heavy prog, this one seems a bit like both Yes and King Crimson. It is definitely a dynamic piece and a great jam. It drops to a darkly mysterious sounding balladic segment and begins building from there. It eventually shifts gear completely becoming a frantic hard-edged prog jam that is musically all over the place.
Crossfire
Hard edged and plodding early on, this one feels quite metallic. It is more prog metal than prog, but gets quite powerful.
 
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