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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Salt The Planet

Review by Gary Hill

Jeremy Morris is a Christian prog rocker who goes by the name of Jeremy. This is his third album of instrumental music. It is much in the vein of his other two releases. It is perhaps most similar in texture to the work of Larry Fast's Synergy, Vangelis and Kraftwerk, but other leanings show up from time to time. Morris works alone, making this a true "solo" album. Fans of keyboard oriented instrumental progressive rock should really enjoy this one.

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Track by Track Review
A rich, atmospheric tone starts the cut. After a time, rhythmic textures take the piece in sort of a space rock excursion into a techno sound. A melody that feels a bit Native American comes in after a while. Eventually a killer synth line moves the piece to new, but not unfamiliar ground. After running through themes, the cut drops back to a mellower, almost Kraftwerkian state to take it to its conclusion.
Backwards tracking begins this one in rhythmic patterns, and these elements remain as the rhythm while synth tones wash over top. After a time a piano melody takes the composition. The unique rhythmic structure really sets this one apart. Eventually the rhythm leaves, and the synthesizer just washes through, like waves on a beach.
A hammering rhythm with atmospheric keyboard textures serves as the intro. That rhythmic structure feels quite a bit like a factory, but synthesizer textures weave the melody over and around it. The cut builds for a while, then drops down temporarily before coming back up, the rhythm more busy this time. It goes to nearly unaccompanied rhythms before the keys return, sans the pounding, to take the tune through its outro.
Unaccompanied keyboard textures open the piece. Artificial rhythms join, feeling appropriately like a heartbeat. One of the most powerful melody lines of the album carries the piece forward. As it continues it works around this melody, becoming more lush in its arrangement.
Salt The Planet
One of the two extended pieces on the CD, this one comes in Kraftwerkish, then a melody line ensues. As the arrangement carries on it lushes up a bit. After running through that line for a time, the cut sort of stops, then that Kraftwerkian rhythmic segment begins again. This carries the composition to its next mode, a variant on the original theme. After a time, this segment runs through, then sweeps down to stop. A new element emerges, almost like a new song. This one is more heavily rhythmic and has a heavier melody. It feels rather industrial at times, while Pat Methenyish melodies come over the top. After carrying through this way for a while, a new, sequenced type keyboard texture takes the track, at first alone. Then an extremely powerful keyboard melody emerges over top.
This one is a hard-edged, slightly off-kilter number that does feel rather like an earthquake. It is also quite King Crimsonish and rather cacophonous. It is the hardest rocking piece on the disc. After a time it crescendos, and a lull takes the song. A foreboding, but beautiful melody come up and begins to grow for a time. Then it seems to fight with that storm for control of the number. The storm type sounds gain dominance. Then a new keyboard emerges, ever so softly, before a sound that seems a cross between a flying saucer and a siren moves across the soundscape. More melodious, but atmospheric tones take over to quietly end the track.
Light Years
Appropriately space oriented tones begin this one, the other long piece on the album. A rhythmic pattern emerges after a time, and when the melody enters it is in the form of something that easily be heard as the soundtrack of a sci-fi show. The cut builds on this theme for quite a time, becoming very lush and powerful before the melody goes away, leaving just a driving electronic rhythm. Waves of space sound are the rhythm's only company for a time. Then another new melody ensues, this one on guitar. It runs through this for a while before a sedate melody takes the piece in fairly atmospheric waves. Eventually the rhythm goes away, and a new day seems to dawn with an all new and rather pretty melody emerging. The spacey sound continues in waves across the face of this soundscape. This evolves in new directions again, feeling a bit Yes/Genesisish at times. This new segment takes the composition in triumphant ways to new ground, ending both the piece and the album. This is a very strong cut.
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