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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Marvin Ayres

Eccentric Deliquescence

Review by Gary Hill

This is probably not an obvious choice for inclusion in progressive rock. The album is mostly ambient (but in terms of being non-melodic, not quiet) and strange. There is a definite classical air to it. What’s missing in terms of progressive rock is the “rock” portion. This is an odd album, but also an intriguing one. I don’t think it’s something that I’ll be regularly digging out to listen to, but then again I’m not a big fan of RIO and this probably most closely resembles that.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Androgynous Weave
The early portions of this are ambient and quite pretty. It becomes more melodic, but still mysterious and a bit dark, as it carries forward. It gets quite powerful, but still maintains a certain atmospheric quality.

Soured Alchemy
Echoey piano sounds lead us out here. This gets more powerful as it builds up with layers of music coming in over the top. It’s still rather dissonant and gets a bit cacophonous.

I Wish I Was The Sky
This is prettier and more symphonic than the previous material. That said there’s still a certain darkness and underlying unsettling tone to it.

Elegiac Collage


The first half of this track is pretty and quite dramatic. The musical elements are focused on textures and such. As it moves forward we get piano and other elements amidst the musical themes, bringing more melody to the table.
 

Forever Is Now
In many ways this is much more classical in nature. It’s also dramatic and powerful but a bit odd at the same time.

The Bark That Is Bearing
This is a weird, echoey acapella journey.

Tail Piece
Dark and mysterious sounding, this rises slowly and gradually. It never really climbs very high, but doesn’t really need to.

Do You Hear Me Now?
This has chorale vocals and other elements in an almost spooky motif. As the vocals become louder the motif turns stranger. Violin and other instrumentation is heard in the mix.

Harold
Prettier but still dark and a bit strange, this is more classical in nature but still quite textural.

Bitter Beauty
Somehow this seems weirder and more unsettling than a lot of the other material here. This gets uglier and more dramatic as it carries on.  

Insomnolence
Noisy piano starts this off and creates a lot of the sounds we hear. In fact that makes up the whole intro. After a time this is turned darker and more creepy. At times this really feels like a film soundtrack and a scary film at that.

Neurasthenia
This comes in both atmospheric and noisy and these motifs are built upon in a nervous way. As this moves on it’s quite weird. It reminds me a lot of some of the music from the 2001: A Space Odyssey soundtrack.

Coiling Compotation
 This is prettier and more classical in nature than the previous number. It’s still quite dark but there is a certain beauty to it.

Durdy
Ayres closes this disc with a noisy, distorted piece that’s actually a little hard to make it through.
 
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