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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Oceans of Night

The Shadowheart Mirror

Review by Gary Hill

When I heard about this project and knew that it was a new band featuring Scott Mosher, I figured that two things would be true. One, this would be a great disc. And two, it would be progressive rock. Well, I was right about the first one. Sure there’s some prog here, but overall I’d have to put this in under “heavy metal.” It’s a great disc and features Scott Oliva on vocals. I like the album a lot, but I’d chalk it up as falling somewhere around the Queensryche / Fates Warning part of the world – with some of Mosher’s trademark prog stylings showing up here and there.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
A Way From You
Keyboards weave patterns of sound to bring this into being. It gets some serious crunch as the guitar joins the fray. It shifts to something almost like doom metal for a moment. Then it fires out to some seriously rocking stuff. This calls to mind Dream Theater with perhaps a bit of Queensryche built into it. It's part metal, part prog rock and all cool. This is screaming hot. It includes a soaring instrumental jam later in the piece.
Living in the Past

While I’d still call this metal it’s got more prog in it than the previous one. It’s closer to Mosher’s solo works. There is an incredible instrumental section here that’s quite purely progressive rock oriented. This really feels in a lot of ways like it would have been home on one of Mosher’s solo discs. It gets quite involved, though.

New Machine

This reminds me very much of what you’d get if you combined something from Queensryche’s Rage For Order with Scott Mosher’s albums. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite tracks on the disc.

What's Left of Me

Here’s another highlight of the disc. A moody piano based introduction gives way to one of the most purely metal jams on show here. This again reminds me a lot of Rage For Order era Queensryche. It’s quite probably my favorite cut here.

The Shadowheart Mirror

This is incredibly heavy and quite furious metal that’s very technical in nature. This is an instrumental powerhouse jam that’s about ninety eight percent pure metal with a bit of prog thrown in (mostly in the form of keyboards) to round it out.

The Last Goodbye

Coming in heavy and rather in keeping with the rest of Mosher’s catalog, this drops back to a keyboard oriented balladic motif. They bring it up to more pure metal for the choruses, but drop it back down for the verse. There is a scorching prog rock meets metal instrumental journey before this cut is finished out.

Two Worlds Apart

Here’s a pretty strong metal cut that’s more along the lines of “What’s Left of Me” and “New Machine.” It’s not a highlight of the set, but pretty strong nonetheless.

War Inside Myself
This one’s probably the most successful marriage of prog and metal on the whole set – although it leans more towards the metal end.
 
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