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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Project Morfeo

Dicotomia

Review by Gary Hill

While this disc might be called gothic or even techno music, I think there are enough shades of dark prog acts like Blackfield to include it in the progressive rock section. While this disc is gloomy and melancholy it is also quite beautiful and eloquent. Much of the album is understated in terms of volume, but yet it still manages to crank out into techno metallic fury at points. While I wouldn’t expect prog purists to dig this, I’d have to say that those who are more interested in darker neo-prog should enjoy it a lot.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Dark Corners
The sounds of the wind and surf lead this one off. Eventually keyboards with a predominating piano line starts up from there. This is a very dramatic and powerful piece of music, even if it’s understated and mellow in nature. It’s essentially an instrumental because the only vocals are non-lyrical ones used more as instrumentation than anything else. This is a great piece to set a tone for the disc.
She Is Pain
More dark, yet beautiful keyboard textures lead this off. As it carries forward a crunchy, almost techno metallic grind takes it. Still the keys and other elements weave lines of beautiful drama over the top. As this introduction ends the cut drops back to rhythmic texture with keyboards over it to create the backdrop for the first vocals of the disc. Instrumentation plays with this format. Then eventually it bursts back out to the harder edged segment. The two segments alternate, but this gets extremely powerful later and the instruments turn out some tasty solos. This is a strong tune.
Walk Away
Keys start this one off also. Waves of sound sweep across and then it seems ready to burst out with a space sort of texture. Instead crunching jamming takes over to pound it out from there. I’d have to say that this feels like a more prog rock oriented Gary Numan with perhaps a touch of Kraftwerk. The vocals are less direct than the last number. I’d have to say that I like this one better than the one that preceded it. Partly because I like the solos that take it later better, but partly because the over all song structure is more captivating.
My Truth
A somber ballad mode with some dissonance starts this one off. It grows ever so slowly in a very pretty arrangement. Eventually it bursts out into hard-edged dark prog like the previous couple tracks. This one is even stronger than the two that came before. There is a definite techno sound to this and goth leanings. I actually hear a darker Hawkwind sound at points, too.
Night Creatures
Once more keys are the first sounds we hear here. This rises ever so gradually. Atmosphere and texture are the rule of the day for the first forty or so seconds. Then an electro techno rhythmic structure joins in and the Kraftwerk and Gary Numan elements are on show again. Female Arabic singing comes in over this backdrop. While this cut is interesting, and a change of pace, it’s the first sign of the disc dropping back in terms of quality a bit. This doesn’t really go anywhere.
Free From Your Chains
The cut builds tentatively from nothing for a time, and then bursts out into more crunchy jamming that has all sorts of elements over it. It’s again like Kraftwerk and Gary Numan to a large degree. This is one of the least prog-like pieces on the album. The drumming is a bit over the top, too – and rather takes away from the effectiveness of the piece.
Evade
Keys start this one off and show a lot of promise as they do. Rhythmic structures join after a time to carry this onward. They burst it out from there into a pounding piece of wonderment that’s definitely a step towards regaining the momentum. In some ways this doesn’t vary a lot from the other material on show here, but still it seems to work better than some.
Vintersang
Winds begin this. Keys rise up to join them, tentatively at first. Then the song kicks out into a jam that reminds me a lot of early David Bowie. This one is pretty and very powerful. It’s another highlight of the disc. It moves through a number of changes and moods.
Det Siste Kapittel
Moody keyboards begin this track, but by now we should be used to that. They build ever so slowly. This is rather intricate and complex instrumental that makes for a satisfying conclusion to the disc.
 
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