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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Hideous Sun Demons

Hideous Sun Demons

Review by Gary Hill

The names Ray Luzier and James Lomenzo are probably well known to anyone who has followed the career of Dave Lee Roth. The two of them (Luzier on drums and Lomenzo on bass) were Roth's rhythm section for quite some time. They both also have a lot of credentials as instructors at prestigious music schools. Japanese guitarist Toshi Hiketa can share that last claim. The three of them formed Hideous Sun Demons to record instrumental music in the vein of such groups as Bozzio Levin Stevens, Niacin and others. This is their first, self-titled album.

The disc is a good one for fans of the genre, encompassing a number of varied musical styles. While a certain fusion mode seems to permeate the album, each song has its own identity. I would probably say that with the slight infusion of a Southern rock style this perhaps comes closer to the Dregs than any of the other artists. Still, influences from other artists like King Crimson and Rush can also be heard. Overall, this one is fairly high energy and rocks out at least as hard as other bands in the genre.

It would be a great introduction to this type of music for fans of David Lee Roth. Those already listening to bands like this will certainly enjoy it, too. I hope we hear a lot more from Hideous Sun Demons.

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

Track by Track Review
Fast and frantic, this jam kicks off in a progressive rock does Zeppelin style. This carries on feeling at times like a merging of fusion with southern rock. It gets pretty intense as it carries forward and all the musicians put in smoking performances. It drops back to a nearly unaccompanied bass solo later before jumping back up to its origin, this time feeling a little Rushish.
This is another fast paced one and quite fusionish in nature. It includes some awesome guitar work. This gets pretty heavy at times.
Osaka Funk
While not varying too much from the songs that preceded it, this one, as the title implies, is rather funky. Some segments call to mind early Crimson just a bit.
A New Day
This one comes in decidedly slower and mellower than the earlier material, a much-needed chance to catch your breath. It includes some of the most impressive drum work of the entire disc, and does manage to get heavier later. It also drops back to a sparse arrangement at one point, but jumps quickly back up.
The Mummy
Starting in mellower ways with an enveloped guitar sound, percussion quickly threatens a more potent structure. When it comes it's in the form of a heavy duty Dream Theater styling. This rocker is one of the best on the disc and a killer jam. It drops briefly to a more laid back section, but also manages to pull in a more modern Crimsonish hard-edged jam.
Demon's Blues
A major change of pace, this is a lightly silly sounding mellow jazz jam. It features some killer bluesy guitar work. The title seems rather appropriate given that sound.
We're back to the frantic mode with this smoking fast fusion jam. It drops to a more melodic, slower groove later. When it jumps back up the guitar solo, and indeed the entire jam simply screams.
A lighter, almost Latin sound starts this. This jam is very tasty.
This one has a definite '70's rock style, but with the familiar fusion based format. It gets quite heavy at times, but also drops back to mellower stylings, too. A military like rhythm later provides the backdrop for one of the coolest segments, then a wah-based excursion takes over.
4 Seasons
A pretty acoustic guitar segment starts this, and the band begins a creative melody that is the mellowest of the album. This one is quite sedate and enchanting. It feels a lot like some of Tony Levin's work.
The Maze
A Hendrix-like flourish stars this, and the piece itself feels a bit like the Dregs. This is fun and energetic with a touch of southern rock amidst its fusion motif. A crunchy guitar solo lays down some frantic and tasty circles of riffing. This turns a little Crimsonish at times. It drops to just bass to end.
Purple Morning Drive
Coming in more mellow, as the rhythm section enters it turns just a little funky. This is a very effective jam. The guitar solo is quite tasty, as is the bass line. It builds up into more intense territory at times, but ends in the mellower mode.
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