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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Coma

Excess

Review by Gary Hill

Here’s an intriguing album. It does a nice job of sitting between modern metal and progressive rock. I’d say that it falls closer to the prog end of things, but there are those who would probably disagree. It’s an album that has a lot of variety and diversity and never fails to entertain. Those offended by foul language and harsh lyrics, though, might want to look elsewhere.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Excess

This rises up gradually, but then shifts out to something akin to modern hard rock for the verses. It’s got a stripped down arrangement there, but there are some interesting things going on. Other layers join after the first few verses, bringing more neo-prog to the table. There is a killer soaring hard rock meets modern prog jam later. They take us through a few alterations and eventually drop it way down to end.

Transfusion
A distorted voice leads this off and they launch out into something that’s well rooted in nu-metal. In fact, were the whole album like this I’d consider it metal. This is OK, but not up to the level of interest that the first song showcased.
Poisonous Plants
This track alternates between those nu-metal motifs and more prog-like ones. Albeit the prog is more in keeping with neo-prog. There is a cool movement later that’s more purely progressive rock.
Confusion
More purely modern prog, this is quite a cool song. It’s a nice change of pace and one of the most interesting pieces on show. I would say that comparisons to Radiohead would be warranted. There is a nu-metal section at the end of the piece, though with some extreme vocals.
T.B.T.R.
A mellower motif opens this and serves as the backdrop for the vocals. Radiohead could be mentioned here, mixed with both Porcupine Tree and The Scorpions, if that makes sense to you. There is a smoking hot guitar solo on this piece. It turns more metallic after that solo.
Struggle
There’s a touch of hip hop built into parts of this, but overall it’s modern metallic progressive rock. It’s a killer tune. In fact, it might be the pure standout of the set.
Afternoons In The Colour Of Yellow
This is one of the most melodic pieces on show. Its style of modern progressive rock is especially tasty and quite cool. It’s another highlight of the set.
Witnesses Of The Decline Of The Eternal Boys Land
They come out from the last prog number with a track that has a lot more metallic fury built into it. It’s a powerhouse cut that screams but still remains prog-like. It’s quite heavy, but also quite progressive rock. In some ways I can hear it as Dream Theater minus the keys and with more anger on the vocals.
Silence And Fire
At almost nine and a half minutes in length this is the second longest cut on show. There’s nothing here we haven’t heard before, but they use the extra time to really develop the track and include a lot of variety within. There is an especially tasty guitar solo section in this piece.
Eckhart
This is a longer track and it focuses more on the melodic end of things. In many ways I’d consider this to be the strongest track on the whole album. It’s powerful, and has a steadily building arrangement. This really is an epic adventure.
F.T.P.
The opening riff on this reminds me of “Driven” by Rush. They turn it out to the most raw and purely metal excursion of the disc.
F.T.M.O.
As the seeming “yang” to “F.T.P”’s ying, this is more purely progressive rock oriented. Sure, it still rocks out hard, but is far less metal than the previous track. With the lyrics “I feel the music’s over,” this makes a perfect closer for the disc.
 
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