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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Dream Aria

Fallen Angel

Review by Gary Hill

The latest album from Dream Aria, this seems more polished and professional than their previous entries. That’s not saying those were amateurish – far from it. This just has are more completed and ready for the big time element to it. The music is very much progressive rock, but there are plenty of other things that creep in. It never fails to entertain and never gets redundant. All in all, this is their best album to date, and that says a lot.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Fallen Angel

There’s a burst of sound effects type music, then it fires out to a jam that’s a bit like Renaissance. After the verse, though, they turn it very heavy, but it’s still far more progressive rock than it is heavy metal. The cut continues on from there. More layers of prog are put on top of the arrangement as it works through. This takes all kinds of little changes and at times turns more metallic and at other points more pure prog.

Gypsy Heart
Starting with atmosphere serving as the background of a monologue from the original “Wolfman” movie (at least that’s what I think it’s from), this powers out into another crunchy and fast paced prog journey. This doesn’t cross as close into metal and has chunks of world music interlaced within. It’s another powerhouse and shows that the group are continuing to expand and embrace their repertoire of sounds. Again, they include a number of changes and twists and turns in the mix.
Abstract Relations
This cut feels a bit like something from Rush. Of course the female vocals and other twists and turns create a different vibe from Rush, but the main riff that drives it is along those lines.
Tale Of Two Wolves
Starting as a pretty straightforward rocker, this turns out to one of the most purely adventurous progressive rock pieces on show. It alternates between these two motifs as it continues. The more straightforward portion feels a bit like Rush in some ways. There’s a tasty interlude with the sound of wolves for great effect. The instrumental section later has a smoking hot guitar solo.
The Illusionist
While this cut is decidedly hard edged modern progressive rock that at times calls to mind Rush, parts call to mind Missing Persons with a harder edge. It works out to a cool symphonic movement later that’s again rather like Rush – say Permanent Waves era.
Carnival Of Souls
Starting with carnival music, a barker announces the carnival of souls. From there, the group launch into a powerhouse modern progressive rock tune. This is less crunchy than a lot of stuff here, but quite energized.
Healer
Portions of this feel like Hawkwind styled space rock. There is (appropriately) a magical element to some of the lyrics on this piece. The music is very much modern melodic progressive rock. This is arguably the strongest cut on show. It certainly grabs the listener in a faster way than the other music seems to.
The Gift
At times that Missing Persons element shows up again on this piece, but basically just in the vocals. The cut is very much a triumphant sounding modern progressive rock number that’s very effective. There are some interesting little detours along the road here.
Winter Storm
Hawkwind like weirdness takes this and holds it through the extended introduction. They turn it out to a powerful and dramatic progressive rock journey that’s rather cinematic after that. It works through a rather classical progression and again turns movie like before launching into an ELP-like jam. Around the three minute mark it drops way down to the balladic for the first lyrical vocals of the piece. It works through like that for a time before powering out into a more triumphant sounding progressive rock jam. It turns rather world music meets carnival later to end.
Your Suffering Is Over
This is just a short reprise of the soundbite from earlier in the album. The only words are the title.
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