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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

New Sun

Expectations

Review by Gary Hill

The third album from this group, this one shows a new maturity and refinement and higher level of professionalism for the band. Indeed, this CD really stands heads and shoulders above their other albums, which were not poor albums on their own. These guys seem to really be coming into their right as songwriters and musicians, and it is obvious that they should have a great career ahead of them.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2001 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Mammoth
A dramatic guitar oriented mini-riff begins this one, and then effects start to join in for a time. This one feels a bit like Pink Floyd meets Djam Karet. That riff holds the piece for a long time before a more metallic rocking, Queensrycheish mode takes over. That style carries the composition through the rest of the introduction. It drops way down for the first verse, then the cut alternates between the more melodic, balladic style and a hard edged prog metal tone that really cooks. It moves to a very powerful progish hard-edged jam after a time. It drops back down for a time, then an even stronger prog metal segment begins. The cut dissolves to effects to end. This is a very effective piece.
Cause And Effect II
Based in a mellow, somewhat classical sounding style, this one is a solid balladic tune. This one is very progish in texture and quite strong. It gets more hard-edged as it carries on, but the prog orientation is ever present, and the various musical wanderings are very potent.
Land of Not So
Coming across in a very live sort of somewhat rawer mode, this cut starts in a very quirky mode. It begins a bit of a building process in a somewhat off-kilter prog style. This one is a little strange, but solid. It drops to a jazzy instrumental interlude that is very strong. As the cut builds up from there, it gets a bit Rushish before dropping back down to the verse segment.
Expectations
At ten minutes in length, this one is a bit of an epic. The cut starts with an acoustic guitar oriented melody that feels a bit Rushish. It begins expanding and evolving while still true to that melody. The vocal arrangement really steals the show in this section of the piece. As it jumps into the next movement the cut takes on a hard edged staccato pattern that seems to combine the sounds of old Rush with a bit of a Dream Theater leaning. The Rush textures begin to dominate and in fact, this really begins to feel a lot like something from the middle period of that band, and that is definitely not a bad thing. In fact a lot of the instrumental break here really calls to mind A Farewell To Kings/Hemisphere's Rush. The cut drops down after this segment to another acoustically driven segment, but the Rush leanings are still there. As it begins its building from that point it is in a very dramatic and almost mysterious fashion with unique textures overlaid on this acoustic base. The track stops for a moment, then returns in a slowly emerging wave of sound. It begins another building process, this one quite slow and dramatic. Another false stop and the track is on its way again in a theme from earlier to bring about its conclusion.
Time and No Words With You
An instrumental based on the acoustic guitar, this one builds in a rather folky, pretty style. The only complaint here is that it is a little overlong.
No Mas Uvas
Starting with a retro sort of narration, this is another one that comes in a bit Rushish, but this time a little more raw edged, modern sounding. The cut makes a lot of unusual changes, running around a lot in its course. It feels a bit King Crimsonish (Red era) at times, as well. This is a weird, but interesting instrumental that is rather hard to keep up with sometimes.
Do You Wish To Know
Beginning in a rather mysterious zone, the vocals pull it into a style that sort of combines the groups traditional prog metal style with a modern alternative rock style. As it carries on it meanders into a Grateful Deadish jam, but with serious prog rock leanings. It drops back to a mellow sort of verse structure that still has some Garciaish guitar work accenting it. That segment ends the piece.
Expectations Reprise
Based on the title track to the album (as the title implies) this is a brief acoustic guitar and vocal treatment of the piece.
 
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