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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Seventh Season

Liquid Water

Review by Gary Hill

You know, this one I’ve gone back and forth on. I’ve been just about to throw it into metal and then suddenly I’ll hear something that makes me think prog. In the end I went with progressive rock, but I can’t tell you why. It’s more a feeling than anything else. This is hard rock that is delivered with a great retro sound. If there is a real problem here, it’s the vocals. The first few tracks really suffer in terms of singing, but by “Control Me,” they seem to get a grip on it and deliver consistently solid singing.

Track by Track Review
Liquid Water
Somehow this track reminds me of a more prog-like Midnight Oil. It’s fast, but melodic. It’s simple, yet the arrangement is rather complex. Make no mistakes, this track isn’t overly prog-like, but it’s a solid intro to the disc.
Ocean of Time
This starts out as a bluesy rocker, but don’t be deceived. They twist this general motif and turn it into something for more sublime. We get a full on prog instrumental break and there is a ton of progressive rock laced into this musical motif. A smoking guitar solo serves to end the tune.
Freeway
Were the whole CD like this, I’d plug it in under metal, and probably would consider it exceptionally generic. This is definitely a weak point on the disc. Although the vocal arrangement has its charms, I’d probably hit “skip” on this track. The instrumental break mid-track does bring some progressive rock elements and is actually quite cool, but it’s too little too late to save the piece from mediocrity.
Apart From Here
This track is quite cool in terms of the music, but the vocals at time are over the top and really rub me the wrong way in places. This would be a great tune, were it not for the vocals. It’s got a mellower, rather jazzy, prog ballad sort of structure, but I have to say that the singing on this one has me running to hit “skip.” That delivery on a harder rocking song would work, but it’s overkill in this motif. It’s a shame, too, because the instrumental sections on this one are incredible.
Broken Artist
This one feels both hard rocking and proggy at the same time. When I say that I use “hard rocking” to mean something akin to a straightforward nearly metal sound. The thing is, their delivery is quite acoustically based at the same time.
Control Me
Other than one little section that feels a bit like Yes’ Talk album this one is pretty thoroughly metallic. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few other prog rock touches here and there, but overall this one is quite near to metal. The thing is, the vocals here are stronger than anything we’ve heard to this point. This is also one of the highlights of the CD.
Damaged
This is so nearly metal it’s scary. Frankly the only reason I would consider it progressive rock is the overall vibe of it. It’s not something I can single out, but just to say that the general tone fits.
My Only Honor
Once more, this comes across as metal with some progressive rock in the midst of its arrangement. It’s a good tune, but not great.

April
This one is more of the same thing we’ve gotten used to, music that skirts along the lines between metal and progressive rock. It’s definitely stronger than some of the rest of the stuff here and a highlight of the CD.
Nine To Five
This is bouncy and funny with a Beatles meets quirky pop/prog, this is a cool track and a good change of pace.

Machine
Based on a classic rock and roll riff, this one shows off more progressive rock leanings than metal, but both do show up here.
Wherever
The final track on the set is essentially an epic ballad. This is a cool number and one that still manages to bring in both metal and progressive rock sounds. It’s actually one of the strongest pieces on the CD and a good way to end things.
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