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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

My Only Danger

My Only Danger

Review by Gary Hill

I can’t tell you how often I get emails on myspace saying, “you have to check out this band, they are the next coming of Elvis, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Oasis all rolled into one,” or something like that. Most of the time the groups are generic and amateurish at best or terrible at worst. Well, I got such an email a couple months ago and since I was in a “oh yeah, right, let’s see” mood I checked the group out – I usually don’t take the time. Well, I’m glad I did because that group was My Only Danger. These guys are pretty amazing. They have a modern sound – a bit like Radiohead but they also have leanings towards old Yes, King Crimson and other prog greats. Mind you, there’s metal in their musical mix, too. These guys are talented, adventurous and a great band. As far as I know this CD is only available as a download, but you can get more information about it checking them out at myspace. No, I’m not emailing to say that this band is the next coming of (insert famous band name here), but if you got such an email and didn’t check out this band it would be your loss.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Melkirasha Nephilim
They start things tentatively and it feels like we might be about to launch into a pretty basic rock song. Instead we get some high pitched vocals that weave a more pure progressive rock (albeit neo-prog) texture.  The song grows as it carries on, building on this basic theme. Then it crescendos and drops back. My only complaint is that the vocals are a bit too far up in the mix here and a little overpowering. They keep it reasonably close to this generally motif for a time, but after a while they power it out to a rather metallic fast paced jam. This gets pretty heavy and quite powerful. After this works through we get an instrumental section that’s about equal parts metal, classical and progressive rock. After a time they twist this out to a King Crimson-like off-kilter fast paced jam that still maintains both the metal and prog tendencies. This veers here and there in a killer jam and then screams out into a whirling dervish of ethnic music before settling back down towards more metal elements. Then we get a section that reminds me a bit of Emerson Lake and Palmer’s crazier stuff. It resolves out from there into more melodic music and then they launch out into a series of new changes and alterations. They shift out after a while into a killer metal jam that’s still quite prog oriented in terms of its changes and progressions. They twist and turn things for a while longer until finally moving it back out to a more epic metal type of texture. This gives way to a drop down for the next set of vocals. At almost seventeen minutes in length this is definitely an epic piece. It’s also a screamer. The closing sections here are quite metal in approach, but it’s an effective way to close out this thrill ride. Even then, they move through a series of frantic and unexpected twists and changes.
The Time Turner
The off-kilter riff that leads this off is like Pentwater meets Iron Maiden. They work it out to a vocal segment from there. This is still crunchy, but certainly not metal. They drop it back later to a melodic, mellower jam that’s almost balladic in style. Eventually this is powered back up, but then it shifts out to a new instrumental section that combines the neo-classically tinged stylings with metal and fusion. The next section combines a swirling guitar pattern with a soaring vocal line. Then they scream out into metal meets Peter Banks jamming from there. A series of changes (most of them frantic) eventually brings us back to the song proper. They work through this again and then end it – although there’s a short burst of weirdness that serves as the actual closer. At over seven minutes this is still hefty, even though it pales in comparison to the previous monster.
Dream
This is an intricate and pretty ballad. Guitar based, it’s a short one. Of course, at nearly three minutes it’s about the length of a pop song. It’s just that amongst these other tracks, it’s short!
Daydream (Life is a Daydream)
A rather alternative rock sort of sound leads this off. They quickly launch into a jam that’s quite similar to early Yes – yeah, we get more of that Peter Banks thing here. They move it out to a more standardized section for the vocals and then scream out into another killer off-kilter instrumental jam. This, like pretty much all of the instrumental journeys these guys do, is angular and not content to settle down. Eventually we are taken back to the song proper and get another verse. A short (but dynamic) instrumental foray ends it.
The Epithelial Two-Hundred
Musical weirdness starts things off here – with noisy sound effects being the order of the day. This quickly gives way to an angular, circling pattern. The vocals come in over the top of this and we’re on our way down this musical road. They twist things out to a weird sort of movement later and then shift through a number of changes. These guys don’t stay in any one place for long. They take us through a number of changes and alterations before we’re done here – and this one is less than five minutes in length, but still full of crazed changes.
Re-enter Afterlife
This one is probably the one that most prog purists would find the easiest to latch onto. Some of the guitar work here reminds me a bit of Steve Howe and this is quite melodic. Still, it works its way through several cool variations. We get a more rock oriented motif (that seems a bit like Rush meets the Police) and a mellower, more ballad-like structure. This is a real powerhouse and one of the highlights of the set. They drop it back around three minutes in (this track is around eleven and a half minutes in length) and then gradually rise up into a killer jam that’s dramatic and angular with a bit of a Rush texture to it. They shift it out after a time into a related, but different journey. It turns more metallic in a neo-classical progression for a while, but then drops back to a reconstruction of the cool riff driven motif that lead this section off. Then it falls out into space for a time. Eventually they bring this back out into more complete musical zones and then shift it to a rising, melodic motif that makes for quite a satisfying resolution. They take us back into the song proper from there. This eventually takes us out.
Ventricula Helia
Fairly psychedelic musical elements lead things off here and they gradually grow these upwards. It crescendos and drops back to  a more stripped down version of itself for the first appearance of vocals. Eventually this takes us into another powerhouse jam that’s one part metal, one part neo-classical with hints of Rush and Zeppelin thrown in for good measure. This thing is pretty awesome and turns to some Eastern tones at times. As always they move from one musical pattern to another in quick order. A return to the main themes give us a killer resolution. Then it drops to more ambient tones that finally take it out.
 
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