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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Oomph!

Truth or Dare

Review by Gary Hill

This is far from traditional progressive rock. It’s not even closely tied to music like Dream Theater. There are some valid comparisons to something like Porcupine Tree, but where that music focuses more on subtle, mellower motifs, this is much heavier. Truly, this qualifies as a more progressive rock oriented version of the type of music we expect from Rammstein. It isn’t limited to that, though. There are cuts that are closer to epic metal and others that are more purely progressive rock. Even the songs that are furthest from real prog still have some hints of it. Still, if you believe it doesn’t fit under progressive rock, I won’t argue with you. There are definite arguments to exclude it, but I ultimately went with that inclusion side of the debate. No matter what you call it, though, this is some cool music that stretches boundaries while still entertaining.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Ready Or Not (I'm Coming)

An almost space rock element leads this off. Then that is merged with a sound that’s rather like Rammstein. When it drops down it reminds me of Art of Noise, but then it powers out into a more metallic jam for the chorus. A pretty piano is introduced during that chorus and continues beyond.

Burning Desire
This is brought in with a more stripped down industrial approach, but it’s powered up into a very proggy sound with both epic metal and industrial elements woven into it.
Song Of Death
Despite the gloomy title, this has some of the most prog-oriented we’ve heard so far. Layers of space rock like sound are heard over a techno/industrial kind of grind. 
God Is A Popstar
Take Marilyn Manson and Rammstein and merge them. Then give it a dark modern progressive rock edge. You’ve got a good idea of what this track sounds like. 
Labyrinth
There’s a catchy hook to this. It’s very much in the mode of combining modern progressive rock with sounds like Rammstein. It’s interesting and entertaining. 
The Final Match
Dark and moody, this is less prog-like than some of the other stuff, particularly on the chorus. Still, it’s also less techno in a lot of ways and there are enough interesting blends of genres for me to consider it as a form of progressive rock. 
Crucified
This cut seems to combine techno with epic metal. It’s really not prog, but it’s quite cool. That said, there is a proggy interlude mid-track. 
Sandman
There is still techno and metal on this, but in many ways this one of the most prog oriented cuts on show. It’s also got some David Bowie in the mix. 
Sex Is Not Enough
While there is quite a bit of metal built into this, there is also some real progressive and space rock with a distinct classic rock edge.
Land Ahead
While this is more purely heavy, it’s still got a cool psychedelic twist to it. 
Wake Up!
A more purely hard rocking tune, this one doesn’t have a lot of prog, but it’s still quite cool. 
The Power Of Love
While this is still heavy and crunchy, it’s much more melodic and real progressive rock. It’s dark, but also powerful and rather upbeat (still with a dark edge) in its lyrical themes. 
True Beauty Is So Painful
This is one of the most unusual cuts here. It makes me think of a darker, heavier, more techno version of Art of Noise. 
The First Time Always Hurts
Here we have a more straight ahead piece of music. It’s more metal than anything else. 
Dream Here (With Me)
While this is dark and rather heavy, it’s one of the more pure progressive rock pieces here. Sure, there is a lot of epic metal in the mix, too, but there is a definite symphonic element to this that has “prog” written all over it. It’s one of the strongest cuts on show.
On Course
A piano based balladic number, this is pure progressive rock. The arrangement is quite symphonic and this is a powerful piece of music, particularly as it grows up into a more developed version of itself. It is one of the strongest cuts on show.
 
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